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The range of 'WillingWay' advice

April 06, 2013
  • The cover of "The WillingWay".
The cover of "The WillingWay". (Changing Lives Press )

Why, you might ask, take advice from Mariel Hemingway and her partner Bobby Williams about how to live?

It's true that they've lived a lot — singly or as a couple facing mental health problems and suicides of loved ones, exploring all sorts of physical adventures, marriage and divorce, parenthood, Hollywood celebrity, the run of diet and wellness pursuits. And now they have "The WillingWay," a book out this week with a title that plays on their names and their philosophy: Where there's a will, there's a way. (

It's also true that half a century into their lives, they look great, feel strong and laugh often.

The book is organized with a system of points users can amass for behaviors based on a good deal of common sense: Eat well, sleep enough, exercise. Have fun. Be mindful of the time you have.

"How are you starting your day? What thoughts are you having? Are you watching a sunrise or a sunset? What can you do to slow down and connect yourself? The more you connect, the more joy you find," Hemingway said in an interview.

The book ranges from the standard advice of mainstream medicine to more unusual ideas. Here are a few of the authors' ideas:

• "Walking barefoot is natural. It is something that has been done for thousands of years. We believe it's become a lost art and is something we should all do more of."

• "Tend your yard or garden. Deadheading roses (removing their spent blossoms), raising vegetables, and planting or tending to anything in the Earth brings us directly into contact with nature's transformative power."

• "Before we go to sleep, we like to think about how we intend to wake up and what thoughts will be guiding our new day. This interlude is a powerful time for us to express our gratitude."

• "Consider planting your own herb garden or raising a few of your favorite herbs in pots on the patio or windowsill."

• "Take a look through your fridge and cabinets, and toss at least two non-nutritious items."

—Mary MacVean

Want to hear more? Join us at 9 a.m. Monday for a conversation with Mariel Hemingway and Bobby Williams. You can watch, listen and ask questions here.

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