Mindfulness Without the Bells and Beads

Unlocking Exceptional Performance, Leadership, and Well-being for Working Professionals

Non-Fiction - Self Help
224 Pages
Reviewed on 10/29/2021
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Author Biography

Clif Smith, a US Army veteran, former diplomat and intelligence officer, serves as EY's (Ernst & Young LLP) Americas Mindfulness Leader and is an internationally recognized leader for bringing mindfulness into the corporate world. Clif brings his story and over 25 years of experience leading through high-pressure situations into his teachings and demonstrates the value of adopting mindfulness as a fundamental part of our personal and professional lives. Following his passion for developing others, he built EY’s Mindful Leadership program, delivering practical training to over 65,000 people, including EY professionals and clients, with measurable impact on performance, leadership and wellbeing.

Clif’s personal journey from poverty to prosperity is a key motivating factor for his work as an executive coach, mindfulness teacher, and keynote speaker helping others achieve success despite their self-limiting beliefs and challenging circumstances. His one-on-one coaching clients have included CEOs and other senior executives, university administrators, veterans, troubled youth and others. His keynotes as well as his insights gleaned from successfully bringing mindfulness into the corporate setting, are sought after by many organizations, including major universities, corporations, leadership conferences and non-profits nationally and internationally.

Clif is a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction teacher, a certified Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence teacher, an ICF certified executive coach, and an accomplished public speaker. He has a Bachelor of Science in Business Information Systems from Bellevue University and Master of Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

For more information check out clifsmith.com

    Book Review

Reviewed by Dr. Jordan Alexander for Readers' Favorite

Mindfulness Without the Bells and Beads offers exactly what author Clif Smith says it will: Unlocking Exceptional Performance, Leadership, and Well-being for Working Professionals. Without ringing one bell or chanting one Om, the ex-CIA-trained intelligence officer, US Army veteran, and former diplomat shares a spiritual-free version of mindfulness practices that anyone can apply at work and home. Smith first quiets the noise around the concept of mindfulness, then shares examples of practices you can try over an eight-week period. None of them requires any spiritual belief! The overview of why mindfulness is critical today cites various studies of how work gets the bulk of our attention, followed by phone apps and Netflix, asking us what quality time is realistically spent in our lives?

Smith covers the myths of multitasking and the downsides of distraction, like how a three-minute social media break will take an additional twenty-three minutes to get you back on task. Readers will also learn why the wandering mind doesn’t allow proper rest and can create unhappiness; plus how consequences of physical presence without mental presence can increase stress and anxiety, compound health issues, and reduce productivity. So what’s the answer? According to Smith, it is a balance of non-striving (less doing, less should's, and more being), acceptance, letting go, and focusing on gratitude and generosity as a start. The rest is about practice – formal and informal – and patience with yourself, especially learning mindfulness. He urges us to be kind with the stories we tell ourselves about trying new mindfulness experiences.

In Mindfulness Without the Bells and Beads, Clif Smith has brought his teaching to tens of thousands of corporate and government leaders as Ernst and Young’s Global Mindfulness Network Leader. Now you too can gain his valuable insights and perspectives. Each chapter summarizes key learning points and takes you step-by-step on a formal practice to try yourself, like starting simply with an Awareness of Breath meditation. Your informal practices come next and include everything from mindful eating and drinking to catching and releasing thoughts and keeping a gratitude journal. Daily mindfulness practices help you become more aware, happy, and healthy. If the spiritual side of mindfulness has been holding you back, Mindfulness Without the Bells and Beads is here to help you improve your work, relationships, and life, one breath at a time.