Slowing Down & Taking Time with Flow Magazine

*This post was sponsored by Workman, but all opinions are our own.*

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"Time is the new luxury these days. At least that's how it can feel sometimes. What happened to the child you once were, who could contentedly watch a ladybug for hours on end or while away entire afternoons plucking flowers and concocting perfumes from their petals? What happened to the long holidays, those idle weeks spent doing nothing, just hanging around with friends--with no sense of the passing hours?" --- Irene Smit & Astrid van der Hulst, authors of A Book That Takes It's Time: An Unhurried Adventure in Creative Mindfulness.


I mean, woah. If those few sentences don't hit you right in the feels, I don't know what will. These days we seem to all always be in a rush. What's next, what time is it, how many things can I do at once, and the list goes on. Or at least the two of us are guilty of that. So, props to you if you're not! :) So, when we were first asked to team up with Flow Magazine to really take time and dive into this new book, we were really curious as to what it would bring us. And it totally opened up our eyes to a few things....a few things we were guilty of *hint-never turning off our phones*, and a few practices we wanted to try out! 

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We'll start by giving y'all a little background on this lovely book. Flow is a magazine that takes its time, celebrating creativity, imperfection, and life's little pleasures--breathing in the smell of a flower, or taking time to just be present in whatever moment is surrounding you. In a time when other print media are focusing their energies on their digital properties, Flow Magazine is finding success by fully embracing the physical qualities of paper—its weight, texture, the way it takes color—and the formats and ways in which it can be delivered. Articles in the magazine mingle with bound- in or fold-out posters, stickers, preprinted thank you cards from some of the world’s leading illustrators, and other “goodies.” Basically, Flow has created a magazine best enjoyed in print form.

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This is a book about doing, about experience, and about intention. And we're sure you can tell by looking at it in a photo, it doesn't look like a regular magazine. Everything behind this book is well thought out. So, we're going to dive in a little and tell you a few of our favorite things we got out of reading this book! 

Cort's up first!

Hi! So, I'll be switching to singular pronouns here for a sec. ;) As we mentioned in the description of Flow: A Book That Takes It's Time, there are so many lessons, activities, and practices one can take from this book. One of my favorites was one of the first stories in the book (I also love how this book is written in stories---definitely holds my attention more than objective articles, as it's very personal and easy to connect with). 

Anyway, this story was called "Look, a Beautiful Moment." I don't want to ruin the story for you guys, but the premise of it was that it took the author of this story having a friend become really sick for her to really slow down enough to realize how important spending time with those you love really is. "What if you could work less?", she says. And immediately my mind goes to, "I can't work less! I have this and this and this to do." And that's exactly what she's talking about. How many beautiful moments are we really taking the time to appreciate with those we care about when we're always thinking about what else we could be doing? Because, I mean, having money is great, and making a living is necessary, but is that really our main purpose in life? It only gets you so far, and leaves you half as fulfilled as having a truly beautiful life experience, in my opinion.

Along with this story comes an activity--notecards for you to write down your 'beautiful moments', and a challenge to save them in a jar and look at them at the end of the year. And I've already written a few. Like "going outside in the morning, and feeling the change of season in the air....sun on my face, and the hair on the back of my neck stands up," and "the smell of coffee brewing. Hubs calls to me from the other room and has it waiting in my favorite mug."  Really little things, and if I was thinking about how many emails I had to answer or how I didn't have enough time that morning to get everything I wanted to accomplished, I would've missed them. But now even typing them out makes me happy. :)  

Okay, Jenna's turn! 

I've always had a vast affinity for "human interest" type of journalism. My mom and I used to watch this wonderful CBS Morning show every Sunday morning that this book reminds me of. Life can get so loud and busy, that when someone tells me or I read something lovely about a woman living in Norway knitting little jackets for guinea pigs for a living, it somehow brings me so much peace and almost puts life in perspective. A soon as I read my first FLOW magazine back in February, I was hooked. I would have 100000% promoted FLOW, whether it was sponsored or not. Irene and Astrid have captured an incredibly beautiful insight into the art of slowing down and soaking in the beauty of the small things that constantly surround you. This new book by FLOW delves into little nooks and crannies of beautiful things and tells you about them.

One thing that I suffer from regularly is lack of inspiration and creative ruts. I go through big spurts where I have loads of ideas and inspiration, then crashes where I don't even WANT to be inspired or do anything. And then I'll find that after my time of "creative rest" I'm SUPER inspired and refreshed and can't wait to create. But I hate how frequent this happens and loathe those crashing periods of creative block. This book has several sections and articles that harp on meditation and simplifying to maintain creativity and a fresh outlook. The section entitled, "Why Life Looks Better with a Beginner's Mind," was suuuuuper helpful to me. It doesn't necessarily deal with creative block specifically, but it encourages returning to a childlike mindset when performing day to day tasks. I think I get overwhelmed with all the things I have to do that I work like crazy to achieve so many projects, and that's when I go through those burnout periods. There's a quote in this sections that says, "You don't get that 'aha' moment when you're busy analyzing, judging, and comparing. It comes when your mind is empty and receptive." I think the key to staying productive is to actually take less on and judge yourself less. I'm going to personally try and implement a simpler approach to my tasks to avoid those creative ruts and make each project I work on more meaningful!

Here's a peek inside the book just to give y'all an idea at how pretty it really is! 

So, long story long, you need this book in your life. We are both big believers in the message that it brings, and honestly, it just makes you super happy to read! You can get it here!

Here's to taking your time and enjoying each moment. :)


Love & Simple Joys

Jen & Cort