In Transforming Burnout, Dr. Shelton discusses the characteristics of burnout, a common term describing loss of energy for one’s work. The three main symptoms are 1) exhaustion 2) withdrawal and 3) loss of job satisfaction. The exhaustion is both physical—marked by tiredness, and emotional—characterized by depression and negativity. The withdrawal is evidenced by increasingly limited involvement with others. The result is a plummeting sense of personal accomplishment. Burnout has become a prevalent stress syndrome in our modern world.


To be spiritually connected, according to the wellness circle in Native American tradition, is to be healthy and in balance in the spiritual aspect of one’s life. In Transforming Burnout, Dr. Shelton expounds on the wellness circle and spiritual connectedness. He shows how a healthy spirituality is vital to enthusiasm and energy at work. Dr. Shelton differentiates spirituality from religion and explains how to develop and nurture one’s spiritual life. He also describes the gifts that a vibrant spirituality can bring to one’s work and life.

Recommended Reading

Borysenko, Joan. Fire in the Soul: A New Psychology of Spiritual Optimism. New York: Warner Books, 1994. An inspirational guide for inner healing and moving from crisis to hope.

Carlson, Richard, and Benjamin Shield. Handbook for the Soul. New York: Back Bay Books, 1996. A wonderful anthology of writings by 32 renowned spiritual teachers to nurture the inner life.

Dossey, Larry. Healing Words: The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1993. A complete and convincing presentation of the importance and place of spirituality in the practice of medicine.

Dyer, Wayne W. Wisdom of the Ages: 60 Days to Enlightenment. New York: Harper, 2002. A collection of writings and poems from great teachers of the past, applying their wisdom to create inner spiritual change.

Kabat-Zinn, Jon. Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life. New York: Hyperion, 2005. A practical guide to daily meditation. Full of simple yet deep insights to improve one’s practice of connecting with the inner life.

Moore, Thomas. Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life. New York: HarperPerennial, 1994. A fascinating discussion of the soul and how nourishing the life of the spirit can address modern psychological problems.

Nhat Hanh, Thich. Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life. New York: Bantam Books, 1992. Inspirational and practical ideas to bring inner peace, by the famous Vietnamese Buddhist monk.

Remen, Rachel Naomi. My Grandfather’s Blessings: Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging. New York: Riverhead Books, 2000. Beautifully shared stories of practical spiritual wisdom used to bring healing.

Sluyter, Dean. The Zen Commandments: Ten Suggestions for a Life of Inner Freedom. New York: J.P. Tarcher/Putnam, 2001. Illuminating teachings and methods to find the joy and freedom of the inner life.