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home : arts & entertainment : arts & entertainment February 5, 2016

4/8/2014 12:30:00 PM
Book helps expand capabilities
By Jim Cornelius
News Editor

All of us want to live with passion and vitality - but so often we create our own impediments. Our own habits, tendencies, addictions dissipate our energy.

Sisters resident Jeff Sanders has developed a year-long program to help people "master the art of vitality," laid out in his new book, "The Discomfort of Happiness."

People often become comfortable with habits, patterns and behaviors that are unhealthy or even harmful. Getting outside those zones into greater capabilities can be acutely uncomfortable and frightening, and we often retreat back into those dysfunctional - but comfortable - patterns.

As Sanders explains at "At some point bigger begins to feel untenable. Your mind fashions an image of who you are, the boundaries of your capability and capacity. As you reach the edge of what is familiar, your personality quirks and dysfunctions are triggered. You create resistance or diffuse your vitality as a way to burn energy and return to what is 'normal.' Your dysfunctions are brought on by the inability to tolerate your expanding vitality, the discomfort of your happiness."

The Discomfort of Happiness offers a series of exercises and over 600 questions to help readers highlight areas of "resistance" and increase their


"A lot of what I'm focusing on in the book is that you can deconstruct a lot of your dysfunctions and dissipations," Sanders said. "If I can begin to discern what my resistances are, I can begin to eliminate the resistances and move into effortlessness."

Sanders, who developed Hara Yoga and for a time operated a studio in Sisters, has been seeking out ways to get at some of the deeper resistances people face in realizing their desires to become more vital, capable people.

He found that his physical practice, yoga and healing "were missing tools."

He set about developing those tools through the exercises in the book - literally putting them up on butcher paper in his office.

He is developing online programming and workshops to further the program he developed for The Discomfort of Happiness.

Sanders notes that the program is not a means to simply cope with or work around dysfunctions and dissipations.

"It's not a better way to drag your anchors behind you," he said. "Putting wheels on your anchors does make it easier - but they're still anchors."

Creating an awareness of what puts us out of balance, what makes us angry or afraid, makes it much easier to communicate successfully and to move more easily through the world.

"The sooner we can discern that we're out of balance, the easier it is to get back into balance,"

he said.

For Sanders, his program is about "shifting the paradigm to personal responsibility and that personal awareness."

The Discomfort of Happiness is available through Sanders' website at

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