A Book That Takes Its Time: An Unhurried Adventure in Creative Mindfulness, a Flow book

I don’t want to promote things that aren’t useful, inspiring, or wholesome. But this book is genuinely all of those things and more. The quiet contemplation and slow appreciation guided me through some of the toughest questions: what makes me who I am, what do I want out of my life, and what matters most to me? Digging deeper into myself put me face to face with those daunting questions. And I have answers for them. Shout out to the wonderful humans at Flow Magazine for creating something so simple, yet so moving.

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I wasn’t expecting anything with this book. My boss recommended it to me and I thought to myself, “Sure, this looks fun and cute.” It turned out to be far more than just fun and cute. With every article, activity, and writing prompt, I felt compelled to think and feel deeper. It opened my eyes to the questions I wasn’t thinking too deeply about.

What makes me who I am? As leading expert in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Jon Kabat Zinn says, “Make a list of what is important to you. Embody it.” And so, I did. My list of important things are as follows: independence, freedom, open-mindedness, originality, creativity, expression, respect, equality, fairness, loyalty, honesty, and mindfulness. Then I started thinking about the ways in which I can live my values.

What do I want out of my life? It was there in front of me, in 6 printed words. “What do you want from life?” I answered: “I want to live life fully and inspire others to do the same.” Then it prompted me to think deeper. “Why do you want that?” I thought harder, then answered: “I want to be happy and I also want others to be happy too.” Then it made things even harder. “What would you do then, for example?” I thought back to moments when people around me told me how much I had inspired them. The feeling of knowing that filled my heart with purpose. So, I answered: “Write books and teach yoga.” And then that lead me even further into my introspective hole of self-discovery.

What matters most to me? With my values in mind and this opening sense of direction, I came to realize that I have to be honest with myself if I want to achieve my dreams. It matters to me that I live deeply and honestly. It matters to me that what I am doing today will get me closer to where I want to be tomorrow. It matters to me that I am embodying my values in every way.

In the smallest and biggest ways, this book changed my life. It helped me evaluate the kind of person I am and the kind of person I want to be. It made me see how what I was doing was not in line with achieving my greatest goals and dreams. And it helped me slow down, think about my every day actions, and be much more grateful. Every day, I wake up in the morning to write in my journal why I am thankful. Today, it was for my life. I am very grateful to have my story, experiences, and present situation. I strive to live with a whole heart, open mind, and present awareness.

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