Good Reads in LIFE: Finding Your Zen

Cape Cod Life  /  September/October 2021 / ,

Writer: Christina Galt

“I’ve had a windy path and it has been largely shaped around mindfulness–that’s the core of what I do.”

“I have always been a writer, so the dream was to write a book,” shares author Rebecca Pacheco. Things really caught fire for Pacheco’s writing when she began her blog in the early 2000s that continued into the 2010s, “It gained some popularity and that is how my first literary agent found me,” she explains. “It was really the impetus for my first book, “Do Your Om Thing” that was published in 2015.” She explains, “‘Still Life: The Myths and Magic of Mindful Living’ is now my second book; a lot has gone into both, but at my core, writing, mindfulness and yoga have really driven my work along the way. “

As a renowned yoga and meditation teacher, Pacheco found that yoga and meditation were a way for her to tell stories, “The inspiration for ‘Still Life’ actually began on my first book tour,” Pacheco reveals. “[“Do Your Om Thing”] is more specifically about yoga, but the thing that many people don’t realize is that yoga is so much more than just poses.”

After getting new opportunities to teach and speak in settings that were not necessarily yoga environments, such as classrooms and business conferences, she explains, “We weren’t able to do yoga, or they were not interested in doing yoga practice. I was teaching them other aspects of yoga philosophy, which at its core is mindfulness. I thought, ‘Oh! People need this.’”

She continues, “What happens if you don’t want to roll out a yoga mat? Everyone can benefit from understanding how to be more mindful in daily life and meditation practice itself has really gained more and more interest.” With a greater need for it especially now, she explains, “I felt I needed to write something that was even more inclusive and of the moment, and available to anyone who needed to find that inner stillness without having to do an hour of yoga to get there.”

Pacheco’s journey to mindfulness began 20 years ago, “I studied a lot of Eastern philosophy in college, and to speak about mindfulness we first have to honor the traditions from which it came–primarily Buddhism,” she explains. “It was about a five-year process of creating what this book would be; it essentially became a How-To book with a memoirist voice. I went to the sources of how these practices originated and became popular, while drawing inspiration from my life experiences.”

For many of us, we sometimes think meditation can be a one fix solution for the day-to-day stressors of daily life, “You can never stop your thoughts,” Pacheco says reassuringly. “But you can get a little space from them, even witness those thoughts from a more centered place, which I believe is a truly powerful skill.” Mediation itself is a tool for weathering the storms of life, “I wanted people to have an accessible resource that was fun and peaceful to read,” she shares. “My hope is that even within the structure [of the book] there is an experience of stillness, and it evokes some mindfulness itself by just picking it up.”

“Still Life: The Myths and Magic of Mindful Living” is published by HarperCollins. Available locally at Eight Cousins Books at 189 Main Street in Falmouth and wherever books are sold. 

Christina Galt

Christina Galt is the Digital Editor at Cape Cod Life Publications. Born and raised on the Cape, Christina has always had a love for the ocean and everything "Cape Cod." She found herself the perfect home away from home at the University of Rhode Island and double majored in Sociology and Gender & Women’s Studies. After graduating, Christina came back to the Cape and started her journey at Cape Cod Life. She spends most of her free time with her family, especially her chocolate lab Sadie, and enjoys spending summers on her family’s boat.