Everyone who reads The Happy Talent knows that mindfulness is amazing. You can use mindfulness to think yourself happy. Or to think yourself skinny. Or to think yourself into eating better or making more friends... or just being better at everything.
Indeed, mindfulness helps you stay in-tine with your body and appreciate the everyday miracles in your life. But mindfulness takes practice -- and I've just discovered the most delightful way to remind people to stay mindful. Behold:
The Cloud Collector's Handbook, by Gavin Pretor-Pinney, game-ifies mindfulness by teaching you just a bit about the clouds in the sky above you -- and assigning you different points based on the rarity, level of difficulty, etc.
Game-ification aside, I've always found that the more I know about the world around me, the more aware and appreciative I am of my surroundings. This has been true whether I learned about California wildflowers, soil acidity in Yosemite, or coastal ecosystems.
This book is the perfect guide, because it's just enough science, without going too in-depth (if you want to learn more, there are endless opportunities for that online). It's great for kids and adults, alike. And... it's kind of worth the $11.23 just for the gorgeous cloud photos.
Plus, it helped me identify one of the most gorgeous optical effects I've ever seen. On October 12, 2013, at 11:25 am, I saw a glory:
Cloudspotters must gain some elevation to add a glory to their collection of cloud optical effects, for this striking phenomenon is only seen with the sun directly behind you, as it casts your shadow onto a layer of cloud. The glory, which looks like a series of rainbow rings around a shadow, is produced by cloud droplets reflecting, refracting and diffracting sunlight, although the exact optics are not understood. Read more >
The one I saw was WAY prettier than this one, because mine was on scattered cumulus clouds over the turquoise Caribbean. SO GORGEOUS!
Anyway, I've had an enormous amount of fun and have become more mindful and weather predictive with the help of my Cloud Collector's Handbook, and recommend it as a gift to yourself or a loved one.
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