The Art of Doing Nothing ✋🏼

Shuffle Sundays #16 • April 18, 2021

Hello and welcome to Shuffle Sundays, a weekly curated list of content I thought was worth sharing with more people!

Ok, maybe the subject was a bit misleading, and this is not meant to be a guide on how to do nothing, nor suggest ways to achieve that. But in a time where we have so many things fighting for our attention all the time, how do we find the mental space to disconnect from everything and just be idle for a little bit?

This is a real struggle I’ve been having for some time, which seems to be getting more and more challenging after one year into the pandemic. So my question for you today is: what do you do to include some idle time in your day-to-day life, and how do you choose to spend that time? What are some of your favorite activities for relaxation? Would love to hear from you on this. Just reply to this email and let’s keep the conversation going.

🎧 • soundtrack: Rubel - Casas

📺 Headspace Guide to Meditation

{something to watch, learn, try • tv series, 1 season}

Everybody knows that meditation (or breathing exercises) is one of the most popular ways to slow down and fight anxiety nowadays, so I’m not here trying to sell you the benefits of it. Instead, I’d like to recommend a tv-series created by the people behind the already popular meditation app Headspace.

Each episode explores how to use meditation for specific purposes, including negative things like stress, pain, anger, but also some more positive ones, like achieving your limitless potential and falling in love with life through gratitude, all through a lecture-like narration followed by a guided meditation at the end. I know this all sounds unrealistic and hard to believe, but even if you’re still not convinced by the benefits, I still highly recommend watching, if only for the beautifully animated illustrations throughout the whole series.

Here are two extra pieces of content related to the topic:

Available on Netflix | watch the trailer on YouTube.

🧩 The Magic Puzzle

{something to play with • jigsaw puzzle}

I’ve been fascinated by jigsaw puzzles ever since I can remember, and it’s something I still enjoy playing with to this day. Since most of them follow the same formulas, I was super excited when I came across the Magic Puzzle early last year, while it was still a Kickstarted campaign.

Besides the fact that each of the three sets features a totally original illustration (instead of the postcard pictures or famous artworks we’re used to seeing in these puzzles) some of the other things that attracted me were the amount of thinking behind each individual piece, the quality of the stock, easter eggs, and a promised “mind-blowing magical ending”. And without giving out any spoilers, I can attest to how excited I got to the end and realized what had just happened! I can’t promise that this will be an original and unique experience for you too, but it will certainly put a smile on your face.

Check their website to learn more.

📚 How to do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy

{something to read • book, 256 pages}

Doing nothing is hard. — Jenny Odell

Yes, it is... I feel you, Jenny!

I came across this book early last year, while I was diving deep into watching Notion videos on YouTube and kept seeing this book at Marie Poulin’s workspace over and over. Not only the title was intriguing, but the book cover also caught my attention. So I added it to my anti-library (forever thankful to Anne Laure for this concept), like I do to any book recommendation that comes my way, and picked up to read in May while trying to adjust to quarantine life.

I originally thought this book was going to be about mindfulness, the ability to be able to just "be", enjoy the present moment without feeling any pressure, any guilt, without the constant feeling of always having to feel and be productive. But instead, it was an interesting journey about living as a community, learning with the past, reconnecting with nature, being a part of something bigger.

When overstimulation has become a fact of life, I suggest that we reimagine #FOMO as #NOMO, the necessity of missing out, or if that bothers you, #NOSMO, the necessity of sometimes missing out. — Jenny Odell

Here's to more #NOMO or #JOMO (joy of missing out) in our lives!

Check out the book on Amazon.

🕹 Stardew Valley

{something to play • videogame}

Although I absolutely love challenging fast-paced action games, sometimes all we need is a more casual and enjoyable game to take our minds off of all the anxiety and overstimulation that surrounds us. And for that, few genres are more triumphant than simulation games. Stardew Valley may be overlooked as yet just another "farm" simulation game, but the beauty of it is being so efficient in what it sets it out to be.

"You've inherited your grandfather's old farm plot in Stardew Valley. Armed with hand-me-down tools and a few coins, you set out to begin your new life!" Doesn't that sound lovely in this pandemic world? The game is open-ended, meaning that you get to spend as much time playing it as you wish. Whether you're looking for a casual distraction or to be immersed in your own little adventure, this can be the perfect game for non-gamers, or maybe hardcore gamers who are looking to slow things down and relax a bit. Don't let the prejudice fool you and give it a try!

Check the trailer on YouTube.

⚡️ Something to Inspire

Brad Cuzen is a Graphic Designer & Illustrator from South Africa. Check out his website or Instagram for more. Here are some favorites:

🔀 On a different note:

  • The Oscars 2021 is just one week away! This is the perfect time to grab my Notion template and stay on track with all the films nominated for the awards!

  • I can't believe we're getting a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles retro-inspired beat-em-up! Shut up and take my money:

💽 New Music

{something to listen to • albums & singles}

This week I'm particularly interested in checking the new albums from Andy Stott, Needtobreathe, Selton, and Son Lux. Also, new tracks from Twin Shadows, This Wild Life, Cautious Clay, Royal Blood, and many more. If you’re curious to hear some of these songs and more, make sure to follow my 2021 playlist on Spotify, updated weekly with new releases: 

👋🏼 See you next Sunday

My name is Leo Mascaro and you are receiving this email because you signed up for Shuffle Sundays, a weekly curated list of content I thought was worth sharing with more people. If this email was forwarded to you, subscribe using the box below:

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