Members' Room: Gretchen Rubin, Life in Five Senses: How Exploring the Senses Got Me Out of My Head and Into the World, with Alexandra Horowitz
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The bestselling author of The Happiness Project discovers a surprising path to a life of more energy, creativity, luck, and love: by tuning in to the five senses. In this special event, Gretchen Rubin converses with Alexandra Horowitz, author of On Looking: A Walker's Guide to the Art of Observation and other books.
For more than a decade, Gretchen Rubin had been studying happiness and human nature. Then, one day, a visit to her eye doctor made her realize that she’d been overlooking a key element of happiness: her five senses. She’d spent so much time stuck in her head that she’d allowed the vital sensations of life to slip away, unnoticed. This epiphany lifted her from a state of foggy preoccupation into a world rediscovered by seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching.
In this journey of self-experimentation, Rubin explores the mysteries and joys of the five senses as a path to a happier, more mindful life. Drawing on cutting-edge science, philosophy, literature, and her own efforts to practice what she learns, she investigates the profound power of tuning in to the physical world.
From the simple pleasures of appreciating the magic of ketchup and adding favorite songs to a playlist, to more adventurous efforts like creating a daily ritual of visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art and attending Flavor University, Rubin show us how to experience each day with depth, delight, and connection. In the rush of daily life, she finds, our five senses offer us an immediate, sustainable way to cheer up, calm down, and engage the world around us—as well as a way to glimpse the soul and touch the transcendent.
Life in Five Senses is an absorbing, layered story of discovery filled with profound insights and practical suggestions about how to heighten our senses and use our powers of perception to live fuller, richer lives—and, ultimately, how to move through the world with more vitality and love.
Gretchen Rubin is one of today’s most influential observers of happiness and human nature. She’s the author of many books, including the blockbuster New York Times bestsellers Outer Order, Inner Calm; The Four Tendencies; Better Than Before; and The Happiness Project. Her books have sold more than 3.5 million copies worldwide, in more than thirty languages. She hosts the top-ranking, award-winning podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin, where she explores practical solutions for living a happier life.
Alexandra Horowitz is a professor and Senior Research Fellow at Barnard College, where she teaches seminars in canine cognition, creative nonfiction writing, and audio storytelling. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know, On Looking: A Walker's Guide to the Art of Observation, and three other books. She lives with her family of Homo sapiens, Canis familiaris, and Felis catus in New York City.
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