I first heard about Dr. Gabor Maté in the classes I was taking last year to learn more about my brother’s schizophrenia and how to be a good support to him while taking better care of myself. Dr. Maté is a Canadian physician who started out as a family practitioner, moved into palliative care and then onto the treatment of addictions. He is very highly regarded, and it expanded my view of what addictions are and led to quite a few Aha! Moments about the role they play in sabotaging my mental and physical health.
For those of us with a busy mind, stillness can be a challenge. Yet embracing it unlocks a flood of creativity and joy. One of the things that resonated immediately—and critically in the midst of prolonged pandemic lockdowns—was the author’s invitation to find joy in everyday things. While this may sound cliché, he explores this in the context of flipping our innate negativity bias—our natural tendency to scan first for the bad in things as part of our unhelpfully intact prehistoric threat assessment—on its head. Circumventing this hardwiring is no small thing. Or is it? As I read and put into practice what’s shared, I’m learning just how easy this can actually be.