Beauty and the Soul: The Extraordinary Power of Everyday Beauty to Heal Your Life

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9781585427079: Beauty and the Soul: The Extraordinary Power of Everyday Beauty to Heal Your Life

The bestselling author of The Power of Kindness shows how the ability to appreciate beauty-far from being a luxury or an afterthought-is vital to leading a happy, balanced, and satisfying life.

Beauty is all around us-in a flower, a song, the sound of falling water, or a dramatic painting. We often think of it as just "window dressing." But it's not. It is the balm of our existence, and we cannot live full and satisfying lives without it.

Transpersonal psychologist Piero Ferrucci helps us to see everyday beauty in a whole new way-and to understand its powers to guide us through periods of darkness or stress, to speed recovery, to make life feel purposeful. He uses stories, case studies, clinical histories, and anecdotes to explain how different kinds of beauty complement and complete our lives in different ways.

So much of the malaise and low-grade depression we may find in our lives and those of people we love is due to our inability to understand the extraordinary power-and necessity-of taking time to "smell the flowers." Ferrucci shows how we can place ourselves in closer proximity to the therapeutic healing that only beauty can bring.

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About the Author:

Piero Ferrucci, a former student of and collaborator with transpersonal psychologist Roberto Assagioli, is a staff member of the Psychosynthesis Institute of Florence, Italy, and the International Federation of Medical Psychotherapy. He is the author of The Power of Kindness, What We May Be, Inevitable Grace, and What Our Children Teach Us, among other titles. He lives in the Tuscan countryside with his wife and children.

Review:

How do our lives change when we are open to beauty? This is the central question in Piero Ferrucci's gentle book. We race around; harried, worried, distracted. Much of the time we are unable to see the beauty all around us. Some of us think we don't deserve it or that it's frivolous. When we work to change this, he writes, we escape from the cages we have created. We heal better when we are open to beauty, when healing is unobstructed by stress: "The encounter with beauty takes us easily back to the pure spring of our spontaneous emotional life." Because beauty is temporary, he writes, appreciating it involves a kind of surrender. We must learn "to welcome it when it comes, let it go when it leaves." Ferrucci's writing is calm and clear. His insights are widely intuitive. The very act of reading his balanced sentences unties knots and encourages openness.

susan.reynolds@latimes.com --Los Angeles Times - Entertainment, October 25, 2009

Italian transpersonal psychologist Ferrucci (The Power of Kindness) keeps it simple yet profound in this persuasive argument for the importance of appreciating beauty. Beauty is not the province of artists, poets and philosophers; it is as essential to the health of the individual soul--what the Greeks conveyed in the word psyche--as breath is to the individual body. As a clinician, Ferrucci not only hears what makes people ill, he also hears what makes them better, and the remedies can be small: contemplating a painting, smelling a piece of ripe fruit, hearing favorite music. As a scientist, Ferrucci can also cite the literature that empirically supports his argument. The evolutionary perspective offers evidence that the need for beauty is hard-wired into humans, and this adds new weight to philosophers' age-old arguments. There's a reason airports are unpleasant experiences: they're "nonplaces" that harm the souls of the people who use them. This is a wonderful book to give to anyone made uneasy by the conditions of modern life, because the solution is so simple and yet bears repeating: stop to smell the roses. -- Publishers Weekly, 6/22/2009

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