Singer and “transformational speaker” Justin Michael Williams’ new meditation book Stay Woke: A Meditation Guide for the Rest of Us promises to helps people to maintain inner peace while the world is in chaos.
Stay Woke: A Meditation Guide for the Rest of Us is a book full of affirmations, guides and meditations all designed to help marginalised people to remain mindful while the world around them is in chaos. [READ: Getting Started With Mindfulness].
“If you meditate when you’re black, or gay, or trans, or poor … you’ll start to break free from the chains that keep you in your place and that have kept your family and your people in their place for so long,” Williams tells us. He is targeting the current rise in mental health problems around the world and the continuing popularity of meditation and yoga. “The fact that we, today, even have the opportunity to think about things like mental health and manifesting and life purpose is an opportunity and privilege that we cannot take for granted,” he tells us.
Along with Stay Woke: A Meditation Guide for the Rest of Us, Justin Michael Williams is also releasing a single titled “I Am Enough”, a song all about empowering people and communities that feel marginalised.
Williams’ song and book come at a time when we are witnessing many artists and celebrities getting into both yoga and mindfulness. Of course the question remains whether their efforts are done for the genuine intent of helping people or an effort to garner publicity off of the back of the current trend in yoga and mindfulness. We’ve seen numerous celebrities taking all manner of yoga-selfies and coming out about their mental health concerns. So what does Justin Michael Williams add to the equation?
For starters, the song “I Am Enough” takes meditation music in a new direction. He worked with producer Jon Chau to create relaxing meditation mixes that are different to most meditation tunes. “
“Most meditation music is just full of gongs and cheesy nature sounds,” he says. It’s a positive, feel-good anthem that basically works around the affirmation “I am enough”. It’s a most instrumental tune that uses the mantra “I Am Enough” to remind the listener of their own inner strength. He dreams of a day when tens of thousands of students across America will all be singing the mantra “I Am Enough” together.
So how about the new meditation book Stay Woke: A Meditation Guide for the Rest of Us. It focuses squarely on using meditation as a marginalised person and offers ways to stay mindful [READ: Best Mindfulness Activities].
Williams says that meditation is not supposed to be about relaxation, that it is about being more alive. He says it is about being more “connected to your passions, your emotions, the people you care about, and the causes you believe in.”
Meditation, Williams says, can help marginalised people to break free from the chains that keep them locked in place.
If I had to review Stay Woke I’d say that it is not particularly unique in the activities or teachings. They have all been written about before. But the fact that Williams focuses solely on those who feel marginalised gives this book a unique perspective. I wouldn’t add it to my list of the best meditation books ever. But it is an interesting read.