Running on Empty
The Irreverent Guru's Guide to Filling up with Mindfulness
By Shelley Pernot
Shelley Pernot writes a lively, raucous how-to manual on mindfulness, including yoga and meditation--which appears at first a contradiction in terms.
The author has met all her goals, yet realizes that 'I hate my life,' despite living 'The American Dream.' While sharing a compartment on the Trans-Siberian Railway to China, she meets a woman who is retired and wealthy enough to follow her dreams--doing charity work among poor children. Shelley has an epiphany. This woman has the one thing lacking in Shelley's life. Happiness.
And so begins the author's journey to find what's missing in her existence. Luckily for her, she has the type of boss who listens when she tells him she needs to leave "to find my mojo. Somehow I've lost it." His answer. "Come back when you can."
Shelley is an affluent, educated young woman, with a career earned by concentrated effort and determination. She integrates much of these talents into her venture while discovering her own mindfulness. First to go are bad habits--cigarettes, booze and some extra weight. She's an all or nothing woman, who created her life successes which help develop the mindfulness missing in her own life.
Within her debut book, author Shelley Pernot takes the modern day craze of an ancient concept, adds the useful tools of meditation and yoga, creating a reasonably simple solution to what's missing in many people's lives. Yet its very simplicity is what makes it so elusive. According to Shelley, we live in a world of multi-tasking (bad for the brain) surrounded and ruled by cell phones, texting, email and other technology. Using excellent analogies, she pinpoints how we have gotten on a treadmill to nowhere. Adding yoga and meditation to her protocol teaches her students to develop a sense of stillness which slows racing minds and aids in focusing.
Besides writing this course in a witty, real "I've been there" style, the author presents mindfulness charts and practice sheets in easily understood language. I swore I would not take the tests but was quickly hooked, finding my own long lost mojo.
One of the things that makes this book so helpful is the writer's refusal to make her subject boring while describing a subject about as exciting as watching grass grow---and keeping readers turning the pages. With enthusiasm even! At times (many times) Shelley is as corny as Kansas, uses flip hipster jargon, tells some really bad jokes, and uses an overabundance of cliches . . . yet it works. And works well!
Shelley Pernot's part memoir, part how-to, told like a stand-up comedian would, draws the reader into the book with her, causing a bond that helps make 'mindfulness' a reality, because she's been there and is aware of all the ways we deceive ourselves. Reading this book is like having a pajama party with your best adult friends -- no secrets and lots of fun.
Recommended for educated, affluent women, this book crosses all age and gender barriers, from teens who 'have everything,' yet are unhappy through YA and adults of all ages and lifestyles. Who among us is not reaching out for that 'missing something ' . . . . Mindfulness.