Friday, 6 September 2013

Masterclass In Session: Wellness with Jojo

Too much coffee plus too little sleep the previous night equals one cranky, tired editor. Resuming work, I pored over this unusual manuscript.

The path to balance: Jojo Struys's Guide to Wellness (that's a heavy necklace)

"...imagine you are in a place that could be real or imagined that makes you feel totally relaxed ... a beautiful island, a sandy beach, mountaintop, or green forest. Choose a location you will find therapeutic.

"...imagine your eyelids starting to grow heavier. As you feel more and more relaxed, your mind starts to drift into a state of total relaxation ... imagine sinking deeper and deeper into complete relaxation. Imagine the back of your calves growing heavier as your body starts to sink into the mattress.

"As your body grows heavier, you are becoming more relaxed and tired by every count. As you start sinking deeper and deeper into total relaxation, you can positively affirm something to yourself that will promote deep uninterrupted...."

Then I lost consciousness. For about three seconds.

Who needs to follow the instructions when reading them is just as effective?

I've always imagined celebrity Jojo Struys as a bundle of energy, so it's hard to reconcile that with one of her other hobbies: getting people to relax. Or that a caffeine-peddling franchise is selling her relaxation CDs.

I believe it's called "balance".

Which is lacking in many of our lives.

What a coincidence that the latest volume in the MPH Masterclass series will be launched around a time when the air is thick with the haze and people's outrage of things reported in the media: crime, prayer rooms, 'historical' films...

Time to chill. And Struys is going to show us how.

Struys doesn't talk much about herself (the wealth of photos of her compensate for that), except for her love of helping people and how she seems to be the agony aunt of her circle. "There was a time I thought I would become a counselor or psychologist because I seemed to have a constantly flashing neon sign pasted on my forehead that read: 'Please come to me if you have problems. I’m here to listen.'"

Personal anecdotes are weaved in to frame the problems and issues she addresses in the book: anger, insomnia, weight management, depression, stress, fear, self-esteem, and love and relationships, and what may happen if they are not addressed.

I was surprised when she described what I believe is the practice of tummo, a form of yoga practiced by Tibetan monks, and that she tried something similar herself. So she's not exactly peddling typical personality-driven feel-good tips.

There's not enough space to cover every topic, so it looks like Struys is focusing on the areas she's most familiar with - areas where one's state of mind is a crucial factor.

You get checklists and, where applicable, tips and exercises to focus your mind to align it towards solving whatever it is that ails you.

"Thoughts have so much power, so we must be careful what we think about," Struys writes. "I am hoping that by writing this book, it may help to shift your thoughts into positive gear because if you can change the way you think, you can change your life."

Now that MPH Group Publishing's 'official' Facebook page is up, I'll probably be announcing less new stuff here. The marketing elves are doing a fine job with updates and they have access to more exclusive material I can't get my hands on.

Jojo Struys's Guide to Wellness
Jojo Struys
MPH Group Publishing
204 pages
ISBN: 978-967-415-131-7

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