Have you ever read Flow magazine? It’s a pricey little thing, at £46 for three editions via subscription, but they are beautiful magazines, with articles designed to inspire crafting, mindfulness and hyggely feelings. I have had a subscription (as a gift) but now I make do with buying an edition now and again when I can afford it, or something tickles my fancy.
What started as a magazine in Dutch , written by two ladies in Holland, has expanded to an internationally available magazine that has a good reputation for inspiring ideas and promoting good mental health. I love having a copy to reread and to browse over, and I keep my past copies to reread again!
I’m pleased that so much of their content seems to be available in book form after a short while. Their books are lovely, and share the same design aesthetic as the magazine, with colourful illustrations, and an emphasis on things that are to do, like postcards, journals or pages free for lists. At Christmas, I treated myself to A Book That Takes Its Time, because the subtitle attracted me. It is ‘An Unhurried Adventure in Creative Mindfulness’. MIndfulness is so fundamental to creating positive mental health, that I knew straight away I wanted this to be one of my hibernation books.
It’s a hefty tome, a 217 page hardback that must weigh at least 500gm. At £16.99 it seems like a pricey book as well, until you get it and realise how many little bits it has. Each chapter seems to have something to do or to write in, with note cards to cut out and create a Beautiful Moments jar, a One Thing at a Time notebook, a Tapemeasure timeline and poetry stickers. I remember a couple of the chapters being in Flow magazine in the editions I have, but there was enough new and different chapters to make the book seem fresh.
It’s separated into 6 sections: Time to Breathe, Time to Learn, Time to Create, Time to Reflect, Time to Let Go and Time to be Kind. Each has introductory essays on mindfulness as it relates to that chapter, and there are other essays throughout the book. Like the magazine, these stand reading a few times and thinking about. I found that every few pages there was an idea or a quote that I wanted to mark off, or jot down.
The title says this book takes its time, and you won’t be finishing it in a hurry either. It may take a lot of time and bravery to finally cut into the beautiful quality pages and decide to attack it. That’s before you start any of the longer-lasting projects, like the Beautiful Moments jar or the 30 days mini course in mindful analysis. It needs to be taken slowly, to be savoured like a fine wine or nibbled delicately like the best chocolate you’ve ever had. Some of the actions in the book need to be thought about before you adopt them, rather than to form another item on a tick list to rush past and mark as done.
Take your time. Enjoy the book.
When you take that time, you see the tiny pleasures in life, you see what they bring you: They add glow and depth to our lives, and wonderful memories for our future. So stop rushing. Stop blazing through life, perpetually distracted. Just stop.
(Irene Smit and Astrid van der Hulst)
One day I’d love to write for Flow magazine. Until then, I’ll make do with writing my own books. My next book will be about happiness and should be out sometime in March. My other books are available now from Amazon. 50 Ways to Hygge the British Way is available in Paperback and Kindle version and so is How to Hygge Your Summer, again in Paperback and Kindle form, from Amazon. Have Yourself a Happy Hygge Christmas was released in September 2017 and is available again in paperback and ebook version.
And if you have my books but feel sorry for a penniless writer (I do have an attic to sit in, but the hygge nook in my house is warmer) then you can always donate the cost of a coffee via paypal.me/HyggeJem . Every penny counts, as the blog isn’t monetised and I only review things that I trust and believe are truly useful in building a happier life. Usually I buy them myself, although if a product, book or service that I would actually buy for myself offers a review copy or sample, I won’t say no. I will tell you when that happens, though, so you know what’s been given and what I’ve bought. Hope that helps!