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About the book
  • Published: 1 September 2006
  • ISBN: 9781590303085
  • Imprint: Shambhala
  • Format: Trade Paperback
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Five Things We Cannot Change


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David Richo distills 30 years of experience as a therapist to explain the underlying roots of unhappiness - and the surprising secret to finding freedom and fulfillment.

Why is it that despite our best efforts, many of us remain fundamentally unhappy and unfulfilled in our lives? In this provocative and inspiring book, David Richo distills thirty years of experience as a therapist to explain the underlying roots of unhappiness - and the surprising secret to finding freedom and fulfillment. There are certain facts of life that we cannot change - the unavoidable "givens" of human existence. Richo shows us that by dropping our deep-seated resistance to these givens, we find liberation and discover the true gifts that life has to offer us.
In the first part of the book, Richo identifies and explores the five "givens" of life, and especially of relationships:
(1) everything changes and ends,
(2) things do not always go according to plan,
(3) life is not always fair,
(4) pain is part of life,
(5) people are not loving and loyal all the time.
Richo helps us to understand that we cannot find real contentment in our lives until we acknowledge and come to terms with these facts. Once we begin to do that, we start to realize that these givens actually offer us profound opportunities. With warmth and poetic flare, Richo invites us to bring new honesty and realism to bear in our lives so that we can find lasting happiness.
In part two, the author explains how we can cultivate an "unconditional yes" to these conditions of existence, how we can learn to open, accept, even embrace, our lives under any circumstances. Blending Western psychology and Eastern spirituality, and including practical exercises, Richo shows us how to open up to our lives - including what is frightening, painful, or disappointing - and discover our greatest gifts.

  • Pub date: 1 September 2006
  • ISBN: 9781590303085
  • Imprint: Shambhala
  • Format: Trade Paperback

About the Author

David Richo

DAVID RICHO, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist, teacher, and writer who draws on Jungian, Buddhist, and poetic perspectives in his work. He leads popular workshops at the Esalen Institute, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and Santa Barbara City College. He is the author of HOW TO BE AN ADULT, HOW TO BE AN ADULT IN RELATIONSHIPS, and SHADOW DANCE: LIBERATING THE POWER AND CREATIVITY OF YOUR DARK SIDE. He lives in Santa Barbara and San Francisco, California.

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