It seems like the year just started. But in the blink of an eye, we’re done with the first quarter. With 2016 being incredibly hectic, nobody seems to notice how fast the days go by. As we welcome in the new month (Hello April!), now is good time to check in with ourselves and our quality of lifestyle.
In January, we started off this blog with a post on slow living. Since coming across the concept, how many of us have made a conscious effort to live in the moment? Dare I say, not many, and I’m guilty as charged because slow living can be hard. We lose track of time in our real lives, and the only date we’re focused on is that deadline for our major project. Unknowingly, we stress over tasks like a proposal our boss asks for, monitoring those stocks in the exchange market, and so on.
Many of us perceive time as a luxury that we cannot afford. Ironically, time is a manmade concept. But that’s another post for another day. Time and tide waits for no man. Good news is, we can still live slowly as long as we make the conscious effort to do so.
One of my favourite ways to do so is unwinding through a good book. When we read, we are focused on nothing but ourselves. Our minds play out the ideas in the pages and we’re taken to a whole new world. Furthermore, studies have found that reading for as little as six minutes can reduce stress levels by up to 68 percent. It works better and faster than other relaxation methods such as listening to music or having a cup of hot tea.
Here are two books to start you on a slow afternoon, or just an easy ten minute bedtime read.
1. The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom
Mitch Albom is my absolute favourite author, as he is to many. A book recommendation post from me would be incomplete without naming him. (His was the first ever book I read!) As such, for my fictional pick, I have The Time Keeper from the American best-selling author. It follows Father Time, the man who created the concept of time, on his journey in finding two people and teaching them the meaning of the very thing he regrets creating. One is a suicidal teenage girl who wants to shorten her time in this world, and another is an old tycoon finding ways to buy himself more time on Earth. The synopsis already creates an interesting dynamic and direction for this novel, but more importantly, these pages are filled with heartwarming truths about life and the human obsession with time. It’s a perfect read for anyone seeking to start living slowly.
2. The Perennial Philosophy by Aldous Huxley
For logical intellectuals who cannot relax without feeling like it’s a waste of time (ie. busy managers), try taking it slow by incorporating this non-fiction book by the most prominent member of the great Huxley family, Aldous Huxley. Well over 50 years since his death, Huxley is still one of the most well-known and highly regarded authors of all time. As the title suggests, the book is of philosophical nature. Huxley himself describes it as “the metaphysic that recognizes a divine reality substantial to the world of things and lives and minds.” It explores spiritual and religious concepts, interpreting them into meaning that others can understand. A great read for all those out there questioning the purpose of life and the existence of higher beings, regardless of religion.
I hope you enjoy these two books and get to savour them at your own pace.
Remember: live slow.