Earlier this year our boss gave each and every one of us different books. One of my friends got a book about how to be an entrepreneur, my other friend received a book about the art of loving, and I got myself a book titled "Offline: Finding Yourself In The Age of Distractions" written by Desi Anwar.
"Do I being judged because of having an online presence too much?" I said.
It's a small book. Blue colored with leaves picture on its front cover. Not so flashy and somehow calming to look at. I turned the book over and read the blurb.
This collection of reflections is to remind us of some of the things we can turn our distracted minds to, when we can direct our attention to what are in front of us, above us, and more importantly, within us, using all the senses that we were all born with
Also, it marked as 18+ book at the lower right back. Indeed, talking about life is a hardcore book for adults. Flip after flips, I finished it today! I re-read some of the chapters and put it down. What a nice little thing.
Filled with light thirty-nine reflections by Desi Anwar, it really is an enjoyable book to read from cover to cover. Like having a conversation with an old friend, it tells us what life is and how we can appreciate it because we are the ones that have it.
Topics that were brought up by her also very light and simple but somehow often forgotten by us. In the beginning, she talked about sounds around us.
There is joy in pricking up one's ears and listening to the sounds around us. The world is full of them.
Do you listen to how birds are chirping every morning? Like really listen to them and appreciate how life is making noises around you? Or maybe listen to your undulating breath? Feeling those air in your lungs and out?
Somehow it's refreshing to be aware of those things and sounds that around us. I, for example, very often fend them off using music blasting from my earphone. "To concentrate," I said, but somehow also I forgot to notice there's life happening around me.
One of the chapters that quite interesting for me titled "The Merits of Boredom". This chapter brings me back to a conversation that I had with my friends. It started when we were talking about what we wanted to have. After telling one another desires, my friend said "I want to do nothing".
We laugh. But he meant it seriously, he really wanted to spare his time to do nothing.
We have an itch to always constantly consume information. Whether it's from watching random YouTube memes, playing games, or just scrolling our Twitter's feed, we never let our minds have an idle state.
Even during our most alone and intimate moments, such as sitting on the toilet, we can still keep up with the latest news, the most trending topics and the most popular videos on YouTube.
Where formerly we would probably spend these solitary minutes to gaze at the patterns on the bathroom floor or daydream with our chin resting on the palm of our hand, the chances are nowadays we sit on the toilet with our smartphone firmly clutched in our hands as if our life depended on it.
While I never bring my phone to the toilet (it's gross!), but that paragraphs were true! We keep feeding our minds with so many things. There's even a phrase in Indonesian which is "jangan bengong!" which literally means "don't spaced out!" where it called upon when someone stares idly.
But why? Why can't we be spaced out? It's a state where our mind can have a relaxed moment and release its tension. We really need to take a break physically somehow, likewise our mind. Like someone ready to leap off, they need to take a step back before jumping through. Spaced out is a really good thing to do!
There's even a better way to do it. It's called mindfulness, and it's a really common thing to practice and calm your mind. It would even give you self compassion by appreciating your body and your surroundings. There's an episode from Science of Happiness talking about this practice and how important it was. Take a moment to enjoy it here.
It's a really amazing book for anyone who has a chaotic day filled with many things to do. It's a book for anyone that really needs to "hold a moment, take a breather, look around". It's a book to remind you who you are and you exist. It's a book for anyone trying to find what happiness is, maybe not fully find the answer, but getting a sliver of it.
Now take a moment and be offline.