Welcome to a new series called Boreal Book Club: a monthly meeting for bookworms who’re looking for their next good read. Since we aim to shine a spotlight on all things Canadian in life and style, beauty, and health and wellness, it goes without saying that every installment of the Boreal Book Club will feature a Canadian author and their latest title. Be sure to use the hashtag #borealbookclub to share with us on social!
A book is the perfect way to learn and implement a new way of thinking. Throughout the month of February, we’ve been focused on practicing self-care and we’re still learning how to incorporate it into our daily lives. On a mission to find a book that would help us find a rhythm, we came across Living Lightly by Canadian authors Dale Curd and Kimberly Alexander.
Living Lightly encompasses three themes: slowing down, self-awareness, and connection. The book provides a digestible daily reminder of how to be more present and better connected to ourselves – the ultimate end goal of self-care. Luckily, we had a chance to connect with Curd and Alexander about their new release, and you can read our conversation below. Their tips about smartphone usage are key.
SC: Dave – you have an extensive background in mental health, especially as a psychotherapist and host of CBC’s Hello Goodbye. What brought you to write this book?
DC/KA: Writing is an amazing way for us to come forward together, as a couple, for the first time and offer a hopeful and empowering message for daily living, that applies to us all universally. We live together, parent together and work together, so it seemed like a gentle next step forward in our vision. We’re passionate champions of self-awareness and the support, empathy, and gentle curiosity that nurtures it. Stories are roadmaps helping us both discover new ways back to a powerful connection with ourselves. And of course, if people like the book and our vibe as a couple, it would be a lot of fun to bring Living Lightly to television.
SC: Why did you choose to format the book as a daily guide?
DC/KA: Harper Collins Canada has an incredible team, and they invited us to consider a daily journal style and the essence of a name at the beginning of the project. The daily format is brilliant because it allows readers to come together through universal themes and relationships that we all have. Also, 365 unique, short readings, turns the book into an enjoyable, almost ritual, self-loving experience. We added personal stories and lessons learned so everyone can read one, let it go, and trust the message is working its magic. As our writing developed, we began to feel that Living Lightly was like a trusted friend, loving and truthful, always at our side and forever our champion.
SC: What are your favourite ways to bring happiness and calm to your everyday?
DC/KA: We both refuel very quickly from contact with nature and animals, and we’ve been building a lifestyle over the last decade that includes daily access to these elements for everyone in our family. Sometimes we’re fortunate to have time for a forest bath, barefoot earthing, listening to the wind whisper through the pines, or fresh lake swimming. On time-pressed days it might be cuddling our animals, being present with a sunbeam, or pausing our minds to look out the window without distraction. It all works. And, lastly, breathing. We both appreciate the practice of breathing fully and deeply. Air is so precious.
SC: How has having the world at our fingertips changed our ability to find calm?
DC/KA: Our lifestyle, pace, and technology made us find ways to increase our capacity through multi-tasking. We’re huge technology people. We run our mental wellness sites online and wrote the book on iPads, so technology is a tool we use fully. However, it’s in our intention where the remedy lies. There are now many businesses and apps that help companies and people be socially conscious. If our intention is to connect, learn, expand, share, help, launch, or create – then technology is a magical tool to use. When our intention is to numb, retreat, hide, push, drive, or force, (which we all do from time to time), then technology can help with that too. Simply asking ourselves what our intentions are can unearth discovery. Our intentions are honourable, and when we come back to them, sometimes our methods need to change to be aligned again. Calm is a state of mind, as is contentment. Regardless of where or when, with or without technology, we can arrive at both when we make them crucial, must-have expressions of self love.
This interview has been condensed and edited by STYLE Canada.