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The Impossible Question of Living Well : How do we hold on to what matters, while also knowing how to let go? - Helen Street

The Impossible Question of Living Well

How do we hold on to what matters, while also knowing how to let go?

By: Helen Street

Paperback | 9 May 2024

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This is a book about understanding change, so you can better understand yourself.

We all want to live the best life we can, but what that looks like or feels like is very much open to question. Many would say that relationships are at the heart of wellbeing. But what happens when we lose a relationship with someone or something that matters? After all, all things in life change - and nothing lasts forever.

So herein lies the question... how can we genuinely invest in our relationships, entwining ourselves with all that matters, when we know that, this means we will fall all the harder when those very same relationships are fractured or lost? How can we truly embrace life when nothing stays the same?


In this inspiring and innovative book, internationally recognised social psychologist Dr Helen Street explores this: 'The impossible question of living well'. In doing so, she helps us to understand that the only constant in life is change, and that is, in fact, a good thing. That success is not about reaching some illusion of a constant 'happy ever after' or that living a 'good' life requires unbridled positivity. Helen shows us that genuine connection matters. That disconnect will come knocking, but we can move through it and still live well. That living fiercely takes courage; but it is a genuine path to contentment.

Industry Reviews

'A book imbued with huge amounts of wisdom and personal honesty? It's such

a rare find, and for me made The Impossible Question of Living Well a richly

worthwhile reading experience. I learned much from Helen Street's words.'

John Marsden, international best-selling author of the Tomorrow series

and Ellie chronicles. Internationally acclaimed educator

'In life, everything changes. In this engaging book, Dr. Helen Street offers

gems of wisdom on living with impermanence in all its forms: growth, change,

loss, recovery, and growth again. Derived from her personal experiences, her

Buddhist practice, and her scholarly work, these chapters go straight from the

author's heart to the reader's, with gifts that are many and deep.'

Professor Richard Ryan, Co-Founder of Self-Determination Theory.

Professor - Institute for Positive Psychology and Education, Australian

Catholic University, Sydney

'Helen has captured many of the elements of how to live a good life. Consider

her your incredibly knowledgeable guide into using scientific insights to

improve your own life.'

Professor Todd B. Kashdan, author of 'The Upside of Your Dark Side' and

'The Art of Insubordination: How to Dissent and Defy Effectively'

'If you are a human, this book is for you. The Impossible Question of Living

Well challenges us to consider how the difficult times in our lives, despite

their discomfort, are an essential part of living a whole life. Helen's candour

and wisdom guides us on how we can learn to live with more ease, more

acceptance, and greater connection. Intertwining wellbeing science with

eastern philosophy, Helen's new book is one I will return to over and over

again for its relevance to my personal and professional life. Thank you, Helen,

for writing this book, for your honest stories of your life, for describing the

lessons you've learnt along the way, and for sharing why both the highs and the

lows in life are synonymous with the human experience.'

Janis Coffey MAICD, Board Chair - Montessori Schools & Centres

Australia (MSCA). Principal, North-Eastern Montessori School,

Victoria, Australia

'In this timely and thought-provoking book, Helen Street provides a personal

and philosophical reflection on the pursuit of a balanced and meaningful life. She

emphasizes the importance of embracing the full spectrum of emotions and

the transient nature of life. She delves into the challenges of navigating change,

the power of negative emotions, and the concept of impermanence. She

beautifully shares her own journey into Zen Buddhism and the integration of

eastern philosophy with western social psychology to develop a synergic view

of wellbeing. I loved it.'

Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, child and adolescent psychologist, 'successful

author, speaker, broadcaster and mental health advocate

'This important and educative book presents a personal journey through

numerous relational contexts where every changing and challenging life

moment has been recognised, mined and acknowledged in a pivotal relational

context with self, others and place. We grow

resilient relationally through better comprehending and appreciating life's

contexts encountered. I find this book to be up with the best.'

John Hendry OAM, educator and wellbeing advocate, acclaimed

internationally for supporting relational approaches to wellbeing

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