“Today’s women don’t need more time management skills to help them pack even more into their already over-packed schedules. They need tools to help them put on the brakes, gather themselves and remember what really matters.”

If you resonate with this quote by Abby Seixas, this book is for you. I do have to admit, it took me forever to get through it—because every time I picked it up I became so relaxed I stopped reading!

But what does it matter, since Seixas’ goal—in this book and in her workshops—is to nurture contact with the Deep River Within, the soul-nourishing dimension in each of us that flows beneath the busyness of daily life.

In the first part, called “Thirsting for the Deep River Realm,” I found refreshing truths I hadn’t heard expressed before with such compassion and understanding of the hurried lives most of us lead (I recognized myself there all too well). Chapter 1 addresses the disease of A-Thousand-Things-to-Do and the distracted behavior—called multitasking—of speed and interruptions it creates. Seixas reassures us there isn’t anything “wrong” with us individually as much as with our cultural picture we have entrained ourselves to.

In order to regain balance and find freedom from our sense of overwhelm, Seixas says we need to “drop down” and look beneath the perpetual-motion busyness of our daily lives. Some of the Deep River qualities we will find are peace, stillness, aliveness, clarity, new perspective, joy, ease, trust, tenderness, love, wholeness, compassion for others and connectedness to all that is.

Unfortunately, due to our non-stop way of life, one of the most common ways to the Deep River is through crisis—a serious illness, the death of a loved one, a divorce or some other major loss. The premise of this book is that we don’t have to wait till we are in shock or in terrible pain to begin to find our way home to our deeper selves.

Seixas doesn’t encourage retreating to a cave or a monastery to live our days in silent contemplation. Rather, the goal is to establish a consistent rhythm within our daily routine that allows us to tap into the Deep River, nourish ourselves and return to the surface with renewed perspective and vitality.

She offers six core practices for inviting the rich resources of our deeper nature into everyday life: make boundaries (learn to say “no”), schedule time-in, befriend feelings, tame self-expectations, practice presence and do something you love every day.

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” Instead of being busy, we can choose to be present. We may or may not get as much done, but there is a shift in energy and a point of contact with the Deep River. This way, what we do in our outer lives is informed by our inner lives and gives expression to the timeless qualities of the Deep River realm.

Hardcover, 230 pages, $22.95; Jossey-Bass, 2006