The World According to ‘Not-the-Guru’ Gav: A Concise Beginner’s Guide to Loving and Healing Yourself, Everyone and the Planet Earth

Gavin Muschamp

Publisher: Balboa Press Pages: 40 Price: (paperback) $22.88 ISBN: 9781982282332 Reviewed: January, 2021 Author Website: Visit »

Gavin Muschamp’s The World According to ‘Not-the-Guru’ Gav is an illustrated first course in wellness and self-fulfillment leavened by light-hearted humor.

Muschamp has spent the 2020 pandemic reading self-help guides by leaders of contemporary spirituality and self-care, ranging from Rhonda Byrne, Ram Dass and Louise Hay to Sir David Attenborough and even climate change advocate Greta Thunberg. He includes a list of 23 authors in the back of the book for further reading.

In 23 chapters, each no longer than two pages, Muschamp shares their core insights via a short list of bullet points under a bolded question and an amusing color photo of himself in scenic areas of England and Scotland. In many photos he wears T-shirts he credits to that reinforce his messages of “Be Yourself!”: for example, “Sometimes I pretend to be normal, but it gets boring, so I go back to being me” or “I thought growing older would take longer.”

In the bullet points, he offers the most rudimentary ideas of New Age thought, among them “Let go of judgment and criticism” and “What you think about and focus upon you will get”; motivational prompts such as “Face your fears” and “Use affirmations”; and environmental recommendations to declutter and “Look after the Earth and all the life forms we share it with.”

Muschamp is a warm, energetic cheerleader for self-improvement. Much self-help literature is serious to the point of being humorless, but this middle-age Englishman with an expressive face has presented ways to improve one’s life with joyful, silly photos. The bullet points are simplistic, a jumble of self-help ideas that offer a superficial look at a subject rich enough for lifelong study.

For anyone reluctant to venture into self-help waters, here’s a regular guy going about his happy life, eager to nudge a new companion out of his/her comfort zone. In these pages, Muschamp offers a safe, undemanding space to begin.

Also available as an ebook.

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