When you hear one of your favourite magazines is putting out a book you get excited. So I couldn’t wait to see what the co-founders of Flow dreamed up for A Book That Takes Its Time: An Unhurried Adventure in Creative Mindfulness, released earlier this month. Just like the magazine, the book (printed on similar thick matte paper ahhh!) contains articles, activities and paper goodies to pull out, fill in and post up to remind you to slow down and appreciate the little things. It’s organized in six chapters — time to breathe, time to learn, time to create, time to reflect, time to let go, and time to be kind — with essays, poems and exercises designed to encourage mindful exploration. “Life is so much better when you enjoy living in the now, when you focus more on the beautiful moments, and when you don’t expect so much of yourself all the time,” say authors Irene Smit and Astrid van der Hulst. “We hope that our book will help you worry less, feel more at peace, and change your perspective.” Here’s a look inside. (Thanks for the copy, Thomas Allen & Son.)
“Everyone has a dream: writing a book, traveling around the world, or quitting your job and doing something completely different. Often the dream doesn’t become your reality, even if you nurture it. And this may not be such a bad thing.” — Mariska Jansen (from the chapter, Time to Let Go)
In the article The Beauty of Dreaming, author Mariska Jansen talks about her dream to move from the suburbs to Berlin. In just a few short pages (most of the articles run two to three pages) she touches on several different facets of dreams — why we have them, the tension between our romantic and realistic notions of life, and the importance of dreaming even if the dream cannot be realized. She talks to a counsellor, authors and a philosopher, and through their perspectives offers much food for thought. Mariska wonders if maybe Berlin itself might not be important but rather, the image of a way of life “…the desire to be a stranger somewhere — my need for freedom, space, inspiration and adventure.” Are there ways that these desires can be satisfied in her everyday life? What about our own dreams?
I particularly love the chapter Time to Create, which opens with a reminder about the happiness to be found in doing without worrying whether we’re any good at it or fretting about the result. This section includes:
- Slow Soup — recipes for Ramps Soup with Poached Egg; Avocado and Apple Soup with Poached Salmon; and Celery Root, Fennel and Sweet Potato Soup
- Meditation Makes You More Creative — an interview with psychologist Ayea Szapora
- Earth, Fire, and Water — a poem by W. B. Yeats
- Snail Mail — 12 postcards to tear out and send
- Lists Clear the Mind — six pages to write lists like Things that make me happy; Things My Inner Critic Tells Me (and what I want to say back); and Things I want to let go of
… and more!
Many of the articles list sources for further exploration, which I love. For example, in a piece about online vs. offline society and the trend towards building small social groups in real life, author Caroline Buijs offers the following resources:
- Have you and your friends ever dreamed of living together as oldies in one house? Check out this beautiful French movie, Et Si On Vivait Tous Ensemble? (All Together).
- Here’s a nice idea: camping in someone else’s backyard. (Preferably a lush English garden, of course.) On campinmygarden.com you can find people who want to share their gardens with you.
- Granny’s Finest is a knitwear fashion label that combines the creativity of young designers with the skills of grandmothers. This social enterprise does not focus on profit, but on solving social problems — in this case, preventing loneliness among older adults. grannysfinest.com
A Book That Takes Its Time is a wonderful, thoughtfully curated book to be savoured and enjoyed. It would make a fantastic gift for anyone curious about mindfulness, introspective types, and stationery lovers alike. There’s so much to love! Which is why I’m so glad I have a copy for one of you!
To enter to win a copy of A Book That Takes Its Time from Thomas Allen & Son, tell me how you practice mindfulness in the comments below. Do you meditate? Keep a journal? Paint? Make collages? This entry is mandatory.
For an additional entry, follow try small things on Facebook and share this post, then tell me you did so and your name on Facebook in the comments below.
And feel free to tweet the following once per day and leave the url for your tweet in the comments below (one entry per tweet). Make sure you’re following try small things on Twitter for your entry to count.
Win “A Book That Takes Its Time: An Unhurried Adventure in Creative Mindfulness” from @trysmallthings http://wp.me/p4xBed-6oA • CAN 11/15
The giveaway is open to Canadian residents 18+ and ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on November 15, 2017. The potential winner (chosen at random) must respond to prize notification within 48 hours and provide the correct answer to a skill-testing question, otherwise another will be selected.
Update November 16, 2017: Congratulations Josephine E!
Thomas Allen & Son sent me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Excepts from A Book That Takes Its Time: An Unhurried Adventure in Creative Mindfulness by Irene Smit and Astrid van der Hulst (Workman). © 2017. Used with permission of the publisher. Images 2 and 3: text, Mariska Jansen; photos, Bonninstudio/Stocksy United. Image 4: text, Alice van Essen; illustrations, Eva Juliet.