Life 2 the Full
by Raymond Floodgate

"Living life to the full doesn’t mean that you must cram as much as you can into every minute of every day."

Modern Americans have been conditioned to believe that workaholism is something to aspire to; that multitasking always leads to accomplishment; and that one’s social status and importance directly corresponds to the fullness of one’s schedule. But this mindset does not allow one to live life to the full, argues Reiki master and tai chi instructor Floodgate in his second published book. Instead of living frantically, live mindfully. Enjoy every second of every day, instead of constantly updating one’s to-do list. Floodgate posits that it is through embracing mindfulness and avoiding stressors that good health is achieved.

Many small life changes can contribute to overall wellness in general and mindfulness in particular. Floodgate covers the basics of breathing techniques, meditation, tension release, sleep, and nutrition. He delves into alternative practices such as the use of qi, but also explores the scientific studies of the cellular aging process via the shortening of telomeres (essential parts of human cells that affect how they age) and the actions of the telomerase enzyme.

Floodgate does a commendable job of marrying modern medicine with ancient practices to produce an easily understood self-help guide for those interested in preventive wellness. Although the book could have benefited from more streamlined intra-chapter organization, the narrative style of Floodgate’s writing does flow well and lends itself to an enjoyable read. It’s possible that the discussions of qi may be off-putting to a few skeptical readers, but those who have ever taken a tai chi or qigong class will recognize the basic principles of bodily harmony described in this book and the purpose of these principles in supporting mindfulness.


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