This week I finished Michael Acton Smith’s Calm, and I must say, it was one of those books that seems to arrive at just the right time.
Calm the mind, change the world are the words you’ll find printed across the front cover. A simple yet honest encapsulation of what is at the heart of this book.
I picked up Calm during a particularly stressful time. I had just finished university, I was at the tail end of my work experience placement at Penguin and quite frankly, I was frazzled.
Aside from the beautiful cover, this book jumped out at me because of one word: the simple promise of calm.
So this is where my journey began.
Calm is inspirational and innovative, unlike most non-fiction that you’ll find on the market. In fact, it is perfect for busy people with busy lives who are too swamped with deadlines to enjoy the soothing pages of a book between the fingers. You don’t need oodles of time set aside, in fact, no more than a few minutes to dip you nose between the pages is just fine – that’s the beauty!
This is not a book to be read chronologically. It is there for you to pick and chose at your leisure. Depending on your mood, you may decide to flick through any page from any of the categories; Nature, Sleep, Travel, Relationships, Work, Children, Creativity, and Food. Each categories works simultaneously with the other as well as independently, it all rests on how you read and how you approach the book. But no matter your method, the result is always the same – a calmer, happier you.
From cover to cover, Calm is filled with gorgeous typography, images, ideas and quotes. The colour is vibrant, the format easy to follow and the language contains a deep resonance. Really, all you need to enjoy this book is an open mind and a desire to help yourself along your journey.
The effect of this book is instantly calming. A lot of the time I didn’t even need to read the words because the colours and shapes resonated with my imagination in such a way that my stress was replaced by creativity; in other words, I found myself engaging with the creative side of my brain rather than my anxiety.
There are spaces throughout Calm which turn it into more than just a self-help book. It is also an interactive journal with moments for you to pause, think and fill in your thoughts. Obviously, if you don’t want to write in the book then that’s fine! The template is there to guide you, not dictate.
I managed to fly through this book in a couple of sittings, the sections on nature and relationships were my favourite. If mindfulness and mediation is something that you haven’t come across before (or it hasn’t quite sounded like your cup of tea) then don’t be intimated. I found the book handled these ideas simply and concisely, making them seem like realistic methods to calm your body, spirit and mind rather than something that can only be accomplished by monks and yogis.
What this book taught me is that the world is changing. It becomes more stressful day by day and we need a vessel to cope under the pressure. Mindfulness is growing in popularity and it’s for good reason!
At the end of the journey (because Calm is more than just a book) you may be surprised by what you find out about yourself, as well as methods to stay calm. This book was a revolution for me because I picked it up at a time when I really needed it. As a result, it will become a bit of a staple for me, stored on an accessible shelf of my book case for when I next need to be inspired to partake in a moment of calm.
It grew my mind and taught me ideas that I had never thought about before, so thank you Michael Acton Smith and Penguin Random House for making this book!
Copyright: Laura Davis © 2018, all rights reserved.