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“A young woman writes of her spiritual evolution in an insightful debut memoir.
The “spacious life” of the title refers to the “immeasurable spaciousness” evoked when the author, a model and actress, practices meditation and mindfulness… The result here is not a dreary rehashing of her past but a thought-provoking look inward that includes fascinating mystical experiences and dreams. Writing in a strong, clear voice, she describes an inner journey augmented by travel and exposure to other cultures in places like Bangkok and Bangladesh… The result is a tale of heightened awareness and compassion. Despite her Mensa-level IQ, Doumani avoids pomposity, delivering a coherent story grounded in consistent practices and self-awareness.
Intelligent, contemplative spiritual memoir by a fine writer with a rich interior world.”
“Author Narissa Doumani was born in Sydney, Australia and grew up well educated, loved, and well-dressed; but struggled with the meaning of life and how to be truly happy. Her memoir reflects this struggle and the process involved in arriving at answers, and offers readers a blend of autobiography and spiritual reflection in a self-help journey that describes what forces change her life after she meets a Buddhist yogi in a Thai forest cave, who leads her on a spiritual journey.
While none of these subjects is new (self-inspection, spiritual seeking, or a search for meaning beyond materialism), what is different in A Spacious Life is where Doumani ends up in the course of her quest – and how she takes readers along for the ride.
Her observations of her state of mind and its methods is revealing and involving… Just how she took an ‘outpouring of energy’ and translated it into gems of insight to ultimately lead the life of a meditator cognizant of karma, choice, and actions makes for an involving story that ultimately questions what elements make for a meaningful life – and how to reach them.”
D. Donovan, Editor & Senior Reviewer, California Bookwatch
“This is a story full of heart. From the first page, Doumani’s lovely prose weaves a tale that immediately draws you in. Personable, humble, and with an engagingly warm sense of humor, Doumani feels like a friend you’d like to settle down with for a nice cup of tea, then just listen, as she shares her journey, which travels from the comfort of a childhood in the suburbs, all the way to Bangladesh, with myriad other voyages—both spiritual and geographic—intertwined. Juxtaposed with enough real-world connectedness and down-to-earth introspection to keep it real, keep us reading, and keep us interested, Doumani explores, with clean, clear, viscerally descriptive writing, how she wrestled with and overcame that nagging sense of, “Is this all there is?” that haunts so many of us developed-nation folks today. By the end of the book, you will feel that you too have traveled and explored, and will emerge from these pages with an enriched internal compass to guide your own journey.”
Sara DiVello, best-selling author of Where in the OM Am I? One Woman’s Journey from the Corporate World to the Yoga Mat.
“I’m sure I am not the only person to say that A Spacious Life is a beautiful piece of work… Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful story with the world.”
Jeremy Scott, author of The Long Road From a Broken Heart, National Heart Foundation of Australia’s ‘Heart Hero’ 2016.
“I try to not have expectations, but I couldn’t help think this wasn’t going to be for me. . . or else I was setting myself up for a happy surprise. Thankfully the latter happened. Stories from an attractive lady growing up in Australia while trying to become a better person through Buddhism … The greatest thing about this book is her sense of humor, especially when self-deprecating; the best way to put it is she entertains me as she’s enlightening me”
“A Spacious Life is an elegantly written and eminently readable book that not only relates the author’s journey on the path to spirituality and balance, but also makes the reader more aware of their own emotional and spiritual health… I left the book determined to create a healthier and more honest relationship with myself: my emotions and my physical being. I also felt more equipped to understand how to cope with life’s pitfalls, not by running or escaping, but through observant engagement. Overall, an extremely enjoyable and worthwhile read!”
“This is a beautiful, soul searching read that made me laugh many times and also cry… The beauty of this memoir makes you recount your first loves, professional and personal heartbreaks and the ever frustrating search for our purpose. By the end of the book – I felt that I had also learned a journey of true love and gained some special tools; the state of ‘mindfulness’ meditative practice and a term new to me, ‘spaciousness’ which conjures up feelings of having time & space for your loved ones & self. I felt like I decluttered my mental workbench reading A Spacious Life.”
“If you’re a fan of integrity, of cutting through the fluff of life and hearing someone’s real story, the pain, the suffering, the laughter and joy, there are few stories out there that can compete with ‘A Spacious Life’. So many of us search for our own personal meaning of life in the western world, but we don’t recognise that many right next to us are going through the same struggles. With heartfelt warmth, humour and kindness, Ms. Doumani demonstrates that its OK to be on that journey, and gives us a window to show we can all be individuals and find our own path in life.”
“Namo! This book was a joy! beautifully written with that what happens next quality interweaved with thoughtful meditations, like listening to a good friend take flight and soar. A timely reminder that the person next in line at the shopping mall could well be a bodhisattva and the most difficult situations are often our greatest teachers. A portrait of how patience, love, courage and a calmed mind can transform felicity and adversity into genuine fulfilment. From the seemingly mundane to the profound everything is fuel for awakening.”
“A heartwarmer and page turner for those seeking their own path”
“Narissa shares with us her journey on the path to mindfulness and simultaneously shows us just how much we are the masters of our own life experience – a lesson we could all benefit from regardless of age, wisdom, or spirituality.”
“The stumbles and failings on the road to awareness and mindfulness are well caught and described here and Doumani is very good at describing her own perception of what is happening to her and around her.”
“This is an inspiring book. It raises some great ideas, especially about mindfulness.”
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