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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

"Friendly" Prose Makes Mindfulness Accesssible

Title:  Shortcuts to Mindfulness: 100 Ways to Personal and Spiritual Growth
Author:  Catherine Auman, LMFT
Author Website:
Genre: Self Help
ISBN:  978-0-9898305-3-9
Link to buy the book:

Originally reviewed by Hadley Fitzgerald, MA, for The Therapist, March/April 2015

Shortcuts to Mindfulness: 100 Ways to Personal and Spiritual Growth a jewel of a book with many more jewels to be found inside. “Shortcuts,” yes, but don’t let the title fool you. The essays are brief, but the operative word is indeed “mindfulness.” The author has the gift of writing in a way that gets your attention immediately and then stirs something deeper. No self-help pabulum here, just page after page of genuine, refreshing, soulful nourishment.

After a lifetime as a professional psychotherapist, Catherine Auman has skillfully and elegantly brought together her own brand of the best of self-help and the wisdom traditions presented in 100 condensed two- or three-page essays. Quick, short, and phenomenally easy to read, it’s 100 books in one. It is intelligent self-help, offered without backstory, unnecessary detail, or historical review, with no tedious case-building. This book essentially says: “Here’s the gist of what you need to understand – and here’s what you might do to benefit yourself. Here are suggested support and resources.”
In Shortcuts to Mindfulness, Auman has accomplished the exceptional: quick commentaries on ordinarily complex and difficult subjects, written in a friendly, clean prose that renders her well-distilled wisdom and constructive advice accessible to just about anyone – CEO and barista alike – while retaining all of the benefits one would not expect to find in such aptly titled “shortcuts.” Essay titles such as “You Don’t have to Kill Your Parents,” “Menopause Misunderstood,” “Sex as RotoRooter,” “The Great Art of Doing Nothing,” “You Can Induce Bliss at Any Moment,” and “The Bossa Nova Cure” can be easily read, fully digested, and effectively actualized during a short subway ride or a long smoke break.
The book provides quick, easy, rewarding reading on relevant, meaningful, and significant subjects essentially delivered in the equivalent of Zen sound bites. These essays often read as if she’s sharing her thoughtful insights with you at the kitchen table. In lesser hands this work might have been a smart book for dumb people, or even a dumbed-down book for smart-enough people. But thanks to Auman’s good intentions and gift for plain speaking, it amounts to a set of easily garnered lessons and guideposts for modern life’s tasks and trials, recommended for anyone and everyone who has ever had a problem and five minutes to spare.
Catherine Auman, LMFT is a licensed therapist with advanced training in both traditional and spiritual psychology with thirty years of successful professional experience helping thousands of clients. She has headed nationally-based hospital psychiatric programs as well as worked through alternative methodologies based on ancient traditions and wisdom teachings. Visit her online at

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