I first "discovered" Jarem Sawatsky's books in my search for authors who wrote from the heart about the art and science of peace-making. After reading "Justpeace Ethics" and "Voices of harmony and Dissent" I jumped at the chance to join an Advance Readers Group to have an opportunity to read this book early. I wasn't disappointed. Jarem writes profound prose with a poet's heart. "Dancing with Elephants" brings the reader face to face with the reality that Life, Death, and everything in between, are sacred if we embrace them and realise that every moment we have is precious. It's not an ordinary Mindfulness Training book. Though Jarem teaches Mindfulness with depth, clear prose, humour, and honesty, there is the ever-present reality that he is facing a chronic, terminal illness. I've never experienced a book that elicited both grief and inspiration as I read, to the degree that this one did. In my opinion, it's a unique book. If you're into mindfulness - buy a copy! If you want to be creatively inspired to live your live with the courage to love, laugh, and dance - buy a copy! You'll also learn how to dance with an elephant!
I barely just finished reading this book and I'm simply overwhelmed. I had no idea what Huntington's disease is and it breaks my heart to think of people both having to experience it and having to watch loved ones experience it. I feel like Mr Sawatsky's attitudes and approaches are nothing short of amazing! I found this book to be incredibly inspiring and I deeply value the content included. I love how he put links right into the book so I could get directly to the videos; I appreciate that he included his own poetry and such poignant quotes from others; and, I think most of all, I value the suggestions and tools he offers for anyone dealing with any type of struggle. It's true that my story is as different from his as night is from day, yet I found numerous bits of advice, information and perspective that I believe will help me to live in a more loving and compassionate way. Thank you, Mr Sawatsky, from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story, insights, intentions, love and humor with the world!
I just finished listening to the audible edition of this precious book. I live with chronic pain and fatigue have done for the last 22 years. I truly appreciate such honest and light - infused writing. To me it addresses the traversing of pain and suffering as a ladder into or an unravelling into our radiant Being.( Whom some of us call God). This work is a shining jewel and deeply touches our shared human condition of suffering in a heart felt , gentle and strong manner. It is so supporting and inspiring. I will recommend it to the libraries I frequent.
Jarem’s straight talking heartfelt account of how he faced a diagnosis of Huntingtons disease is lifegiving and inspirational. I was completely drawn in to his courageous embrace of a reality that many would run away from in a state of denial. His determination to celebrate his life and be present to whatever unfolded was a gamechanger for me. The intentional connections he forged within his family and community of support models a healthy integration of acceptance, humour, courage and determination in facing mortality. Thank you Jarem for this dignified example of how to live fully in the moment - no matter what the moment brings.
This is a must read for every person. Jarem gives us so many tools about how to live life fully; how to learn to live with debilitating health issues and to plan for the future - especially for families; the value/importance of a strong support group (with a wide variety of gifts/people); he's candid about the situation he finds himself/themselves in and doesn't ask for pity. Provides some good laughs!! A book with awareness of what Huntington's is all about - I had no idea. Book I'd strongly recommend for a book club. Have already read it twice. Thanks Jarem for sharing this gift with us.
Whether you are learning to live with a long disease or with the natural decline related to aging, Jarem's book is full of wisdom, humour and strength for this journey, and will help you live it well. It's a book the deserves repeated reading for all of us in the last third of our lives.