Our path through life is not one that is minutely mapped out for us to the very last detail. It is more of a process of exploration and revelation which can, if we are not mindful of the direction we are moving in at any point in time, lead us off into dangerous and uncharted terrain.
Much like the trekker who enters the unknown on foot, each of us needs to equip ourselves for any possible misfortunes and calamities that spring up along the way. At all times a good map is essential.
For members of the younger generation, trying to obtain the right type of guidance for the journey ahead of them in life can be a major challenge but one spiritual teacher who has dedicated themselves to the creation and development of coping tools for young people is national youth advocate Scott Cooper.
Cooper, has been an active student in the realms of philosophy, human well-being, and science for much of his adult life. His previous publications include the award-winning Speak Up and Get Along (Free Spirit Press, 2005) and Sticks and Stones (Random House/Crown, 2000). In his new book Rock and Water he unifies his research into cognitive psychology to offer his readers 18 basic skills for ’enhancing and sustaining happiness that will uphold and carry inner peace and happiness from one day to the next.”
In Rock and Water Cooper uses the natural element of water, with its inherent peacefulness that emerges with us after letting go of those things that we cannot change and contrasts it with the fixidity of rocks which he describes as symbolizing the strong foundation upon which we can establish beliefs that nourish, support and sustain us.
This duality of approach to self-development also appears in Cooper’s joint application of cognitive-behavioral psychology and mindfulness/acceptance practice.
Rock and Water is divided into two specific sections. In the first, ROCK: The Power of Thought, he considers such matters as choosing sensible core beliefs, responding to errors in thought, upgrading moods, and thinking through solutions.
In the second part WATER: The Peace of Letting Go, he offers insights into proactive ways of dealing with personal challenges. These include the benefits from releasing the out-dated, utilizing non-judgmental awareness and dealing with unpleasant emotions.
As Cooper puts it “Our advanced mind and deep emotions open us up to an understanding and a full experience of the difficulties of life, but they also provide us with gateways to well-being.”
In the prologue to his book Cooper valuable guidance that should be instilled in everyone young person from birth and that is that happiness is not found in, or derived from, our external circumstances. Instead it is an internal condition that we all need to pursue and develop through trial and effort.
Rock and Water offers a powerful toolbox of insights and guidance from which everyone can benefit in their personal search for that state of bliss and serenity.
On its own, cognitive psychology is often insufficient as a technique for those who are opening up either psychologically and spiritually. However, the author’s additional inclusion of mindfulness practices and meditation exercises – all of which call upon the power of the spirit from within to make clear and lasting changes, he has developed a simple, but powerful, approach to navigating the difficult challenges in life.
Rock and Water is a self-development work of great merit and is recommended to anyone seeking a clear and concise approach to repairing the damage inflicted by modern pressures. We would highly recommended it to anyone seeking a dynamic shift in the fortunes of both their physical and spiritual lives.