Very Modern Mantras: Daily Affirmations for Daily Aggravations

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In the labyrinth of modern life, where the search for zen can feel like trying to find a free treadmill at the gym in January, “Very Modern Mantras” by Dan Zevin is the comedic relief we didn’t know we needed. This book is a collection of satirical chants for the everyday absurdities that make you want to scream into a pillow. It’s mindfulness with a twist, a cheeky nod to our collective struggle to stay sane amidst the chaos of daily life.

Imagine you’re in line at Starbucks, the barista has mispronounced your name for the umpteenth time, and you’re late for a meeting. Instead of brewing a storm inside, Zevin offers a mantra to chuckle away the frustration. Or picture yourself wedged between a manspreader and a loud phone talker on public transport; there’s a mantra for that too. This book is the mental equivalent of a stress ball, perfect for squeezing out a smile when life gives you lemons, but you’ve run out of sugar to make lemonade.

“Very Modern Mantras” is not your traditional self-help book. It doesn’t ask you to climb mountains for enlightenment or to find a guru in a far-off land. Instead, it finds humor in the mundane: the open-plan office, the never-ending airport security line, the shared ride that’s anything but swift. It’s a guide to finding inner peace without losing your sense of humor, and it’s as refreshing as finding a forgotten chocolate bar in your desk drawer on a particularly dreary Wednesday afternoon.

This book is the perfect gift for the friend who’s dabbled in meditation apps but finds more solace in memes, for the family member who collects self-help books but laughs in the face of ‘unplug and unwind’ advice. It’s for anyone who’s tried to balance self-care with a never-ending to-do list and could use a good giggle to lighten the load.

The contents of “Very Modern Mantras” are a testament to the power of laughter as therapy. With each page, Zevin acknowledges the ridiculousness of the situations we find ourselves in and offers a mantra to help us navigate them with a smile. From the trivial to the trying, these mantras are a reminder that sometimes, the best way to deal with life’s challenges is to laugh at them.

In essence, “Very Modern Mantras” is a book for the realists, the cynics, and the over-caffeinated souls searching for a moment of levity. It’s for those who know that sometimes, the path to serenity is littered with snark and satire. So, gift it to someone who could use a reminder that it’s okay to take life one chuckle at a time, because as Zevin shows us, the journey to enlightenment can be as hilarious as it is holy.


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