19 March 2017

The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down | Book Review

How to be calm in a busy world

This is what I like to call a classic 'coffee table book'. You know, the ones you keep in reach for a flick through to give you a little light after a bad day. This is another to add to my collection, filled with inspirational and thought-provoking insight into the modern world and how to deal with the troubles it brings. 

We are constantly moving, thinking, worrying and wanting to know the meaning of life - but is there any need?

Written by Haemin Sunim, a Zen Buddhist teacher and writer from South Korea - this book has found renowned success all over the world. Haemin wanted to write a book about overcoming challenges in everyday life but also about meditation and how it can help you. After being contacted by people from all over the world on Twitter, he found that if he can help so many people this way - why doesn't he just write a book? 

The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down is a really simple and engaging book. It is divided into eight chapters; Rest, Mindfulness, Passion, Relationships, Love, Life, The Future and Spirituality. 

Could this book get any better, you may ask? Well, yes it can! The book is also sprinkled with beautiful illustrations, by Korean artist Young-Cheol Lee. This creates breaks in the book, mainly featuring little tiny people within colourful yet relaxing landscapes. 

Each chapter provides Heasim's ideas and thoughts on how to tackle problems we all face such as loss and anger. The chapters are short, and each one has a selection of relevant quotes which are all easy to understand, allowing you to think about the chapter and how you can use them within your life. 

"When your mind rests, the world also rests." 

This is the main message I took out of this book. When your mind feels overloaded, it can feel like the whole world is against you, a negative mind brings negative surroundings - so true. The messages and chapters within this book can relate to every single person in some way or another, it gives you a chance to be mindful of your feelings, relationships, work and so much more. It's a real treat for the modern world which is filled with consumerism, selfishness and overloaded minds! It's just what we all need.

I've come to realise that I favour 'self-help' books over fictional novels, not sure what that says about me but if a book can help you see a new perspective, I'm all for it! So don't forget to let me know in the comments similar books like this.

Here are a few quotes in the book that I really loved...

There are many more ordinary hours in life than extraordinary ones. We wait in line at the supermarket. We spend hours commuting to work. We water our plants and feed our pets. Happiness means finding a moment of joy within those ordinary hours.

The mind cannot have two thoughts at once. See if you can think two thoughts at exactly the same time. Well? It is possible?

If you want to predict how a politician will act after winning an election, look at how he currently lives and how he has behaved in the past. A person does not live the way he says he would. He lives the way he has been living. 

Choose happiness, not success, as your life's goal. If you become successful but aren't happy, then what is the point?

Life is like a slice of pizza. It looks delicious in an advertisement, but when we actually have it, it is not as good as imagined. If you envy someone's life, remember the pizza in the ad. It always looks better than it is.

A cruel irony: The reward for someone who works hard is more work. 

I want you to know that I love your ordinariness, because I, too, am ordinary. The truth is, we are all ordinary.

Those who work in a playful, relaxed manner tend to work efficiently and creatively. Those who work nonstop, driven only by stress work without joy.

What do you think? One to add to the coffee table collection?

Hannah x


  1. I think I may need to borrow this from you. I LOVE the slice of pizza quote!! Xx


  2. I love that quote! Thank you for sharing! Finding joy in the ordinary is so important and so easy to forget!

    Andrea | www.morethanrubies.ca

  3. I'm going to have to pick this book up! x
    Sophie Cliff

  4. Ahhh I want to pick up this book so bad. Sounds like such a lovely read!

    Arden | Missing Wanderer

  5. Oh I added this book to my online TBR because sounds super inspiring

  6. These photos are absolutely stunning, I have to mention that first! This book sounds lovely, and honestly like something I need in my life immediately. Thanks for sharing!

    Amber - amberelb.com

  7. This sounds like such a lovely book, definitely going to pick it up and give it a read - also gorgeous photos as always!

    Lucy | Forever September

  8. I actually need this book! At the moment I'm all over books like this haha x



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