A Mindfulness Guide for Survival
by Ruby Wax
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 5 Aug 2021 | Archive Date 4 Aug 2021
Welbeck Publishing UK, Welbeck Publishing
I have written this workbook filled with exercises and information so that hopefully next time there's a catastrophe; from a small scale one (your dog is missing or you forgot to return an email) to another big world crisis (the spread of a future variant caused by people in Utah eating aliens) you'll be better prepared.
I hope the book can help you hold the rudder straight even in a squall and come out the other end buoyant. I know nothing about warding off another virus, immunologist, vaccines aren't my thing but I do know how and what to do with the mind. Not because I'm a naturally born 'Enlightened One' but because I studied, practiced and still practice mindfulness. Anyone, after 100 reps of tummy crunches at the gym will eventually develop a muscle, unless they're cheating, same thing with mindfulness.
So wherever we are, this workbook is for you, to hopefully steady and strengthen the mind muscles to be able to take on the whips and arrows of outrageous fortune or whatever's slung at us in the future and to better survive this life.
Love, Ruby x
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 12 members
I love Ruby Wax's books. She writes with such honesty, and such humour they're always a pleasure to read. I was super excited to read this book, so was super grateful to be given an early electronic copy in exchange for an honest review. I got so much from this book. I love how it still included lots of facts and lots of the science (don't be put off by that - Wax explains everything so clearly!) as well as things to think about. It includes journal prompts too. This book was written during the Covid-19 pandemic, so it feels so relevant. There's so much to take away from this. It's one that you can dip in and out of, or read in one go. I loved this book so much that I have pre-ordered the physical copy when it's released in a couple of weeks.
Having read "And Now for The Good News" I was interested to see what the latest book had in store. I had not read Frazzled that is mentioned in the latest book but this seems to be the same kind of theme and ideas and almost a manual for mindfulness. Being written in the time of the pandemic the idea of mindfulness is needed even more than before with a lot of isolation and disconnection. As with the previous book I ended up looking up several other books and looking at YouTube for speakers and their ideas that are mentioned in the book. There are so many quotes in this book that you can take away but I loved the following "We are Velcro for negative thoughts and Teflon for positive ones" absolutely right and as an educator I see this all the time. I would love Ruby to do a tour of schools and impart some of her knowledge to stressed kids- there are certainly techniques in the book I will be passing on and recommending the book to a few of my students. A great read for those into - or getting started with mindfulness.
Being mindful is something I think everyone would benefit from, as we can be so far removed from the here and now. Constantly looking into the future, planning and thinking and obsessing about what’s to come. Its easy to get swallowed up into life without really being present for it. A mindfulness guide for survival was a great read, drawing the reader in to consider and ponder the big questions as well as gain awareness of how to be mindful. The book teaches you how to bring your brain back for a mindful moment, how to recognise what you need to address and how to be present. I also liked that the author included lots of snippets about her life, which helped to make you feel like you weren’t alone in the struggles or what you might be feeling. The inclusion of all the science behind mindfulness, physiology and neuroscience was great to read too and a really nice addition. The book also includes lots of immersive and participatory exercises for you to work through and begin to learn the art of being mindful. It’s a book to have on your shelf and refer back to regularly, working those mindful muscles on a regular basis. For that, the book definitely delivers on its main aim. A must for all those who want to learn more about mindfulness and how to navigate in today’s mad and busy society.
This was such a nice workbook to interact with! "A Mindfulness Guide for Survival" is a resource for the post-lockdown world. Ruby Wax uses her knowledge and experience in mindfulness-based therapy to explain what does being in the here and now means, and she does it in an accessible way. She offers a non-evangelical approach to mindfulness and wellbeing, keeping her approach and explanations down to earth. Ruby Wax invites curiosity and exploration but doesn't overpromise. Quite the contrary--she doesn't shy away from difficult topics, such as existential givens (change and death to be precise). There are plenty of self-work exercises that encourage the readers to look within and unpack certain aspects of themselves to become more emotionally literate. The exercises are simple but not simplistic--they provide a lot of food for thought if one decides to answer honestly. This workbook can be a great start in exploring mindfulness and self-awareness or a great addition to regular counselling / psychotherapy. I will be recommending "A Mindfulness Guide for Survival" to my clients. I also appreciate personal anecdotes that were very honest and refreshing. Ruby Wax is one of those chill mental health professionals who are not afraid to admit that despite all the knowledge of human psyche they're far from perfect. She is also an inspiration for people who are considering a later in life career change.
If you are interested in learning how to be more mindful in your daily life but if you are allergic to meditation and yoga, you should give a try to the practical handbook of Ruby Wax, "A Minfdulness Guide for Survival". The book is concise, to the point, without too much theory and with lots of practical exercises. Although the book intro mentions the consequences of the COVID pandemic on our habits and mental health, the tips it provides can apply in pretty much any context. The first chapter (on the "Big Six") can feel a bit simplistic, but the core of the book, "the five pillars of mindfulness", is full of good tips to feel better about yourself. Most exercises are surprisingly simple, yet they concretely demonstrate the benefits of being more "aware" of yourself and others (e.g. the exercise involving eating chocolate). Some require a bit more effort and a follow-up over several days, but I think I will come back to some chapters at a later stage depending on my needs.