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How to thrive amidst CHAOS!


Covid-19, Afghanistan, climate change. It sometimes feels like the doom and gloom are never-ending. We face an existential crisis, with people everywhere struggling. But, are the skills we've been told to cultivate making things any easier? The straight A's, the prestigious university, and the athletic performances are not providing enough of the support we need when things seem to be crumbling all around us.


Over the next ten years, we will continue to face new challenges, and will the things we have been taught to value be enough to avoid a catastrophic mental health crisis?

Novocastrian Evan Sutter, a leading Australian happiness expert, and his new book Awake will equip us all with valuable skills so we can still thrive amidst the chaos and confusion. His unique approach to creating a book which is also a journal, a guide, a retreat, and a friend, is full of thought-provoking philosophies and actionable practices to help readers forge a shift in what we think is vital for us to live a good life.


What will be the skills we need in order to not only survive but flourish in an unpredictable future? Are the coding skills our tech-savvy society adore really helping us feel healthier, happier, and more fulfilled?

"What good is a masters degree if you can't communicate with your wife? What good is the big house if you find yourself angry all the time? What good is enjoying your weekends if you are miserable all week?" says author, speaker, and reformed hedonist, Sutter.


"COVID-19 has made people all over the world realise that maybe they will need some better tools to cope with change, loss, stress, boredom, and loneliness. Tools other than Netflix, alcohol, Tinder, and a nice car."


Awake is a skilful blend of modalities like positive psychology, mindfulness, resilience, self-compassion, kindness, and emotional intelligence that provides the reader with a holistic and multi-dimensional focus, guiding us to enjoy taking steps that make our lives easier.


With over 20 practices, 12 guided meditations and body scan exercises, gratitude, how am I writing meditations, stretching yourself, the curiosity challenge, sharing and communication practices, cut-out thank you cards, mindset tips, good deed challenges, mindfulness colouring and more - Awake is a practical tool-kit we can all use.


In addition to publishing his first book, Evan is currently working on a local project, One Cool Thing + Happy Business, based at Mayfield. This project will see businesses sign up - pay what they want (they don't have to pay), get access to the Ideas Pool full of ideas to benefit their employees' wellbeing, community, environment and business. They implement one cool thing from the pool, and the best ideas from other businesses are added to the pool to build more collaboration and community. They get branding (sticker) so consumers can identify them easily as a business that is doing more, encouraging them to support local.


Awake, published by US publishers Schiffer Publishing, is available pre-sale online right now at Booktopia and Amazon AU. You'll also find it in-store at Dymocks in mid-November.


We asked Evan for a practical tip we could all use right now to help us be happier despite everything going on around us.


WATER THE FLOWERS Think of a friend or family member you feel comfortable with. Write down three positive qualities about them, with examples of what they do, to showcase these qualities. Next time you see them or talk to them, express these compliments. Good things are like Teflon and bad things like Velcro. We are good at seeing our faults, so having others recognise our goodness helps us grow. And it helps you grow too. Doing an act of kindness releases our feel-good chemicals, and we get a little helper high while satisfying our need for connection. We boost positive emotions through appreciation and gratitude, which lead us to be higher functioning people and increased self-esteem. Those are all really good things that make you feel good, long-term - and they are super simple. Water a flower this week. Water many.

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