the written word: a mindfulness practice

It is easy to get caught up in the fast-paced, productivity-above-all-else mindset that our career-centric society seems to foster. And yet it is so important to slow down from time to time, to learn to be in the moment. Much is written about meditation, running, yoga. These are all great ways to slow down, but my personal favorite is one that may never have crossed your mind: Write a note. Not an email. Not a text. A real note on beautiful paper with a special pen. Play soothing music or sit outside, weather permitting, and take a few stolen moments to thank a friend, send a gift, or let a colleague know you are thinking of her.


It is a veritable feast for the author’s senses to write on beautifully crafted and personalized paper, in her choice of colors and fonts. Of course, an email or text takes significantly less time, but nothing compares to the way one feels when she seals a handwritten note and drops it in the mail with the knowledge that she has expressed herself in such a lovely way.

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Furthermore, a note in your own handwriting shows both thoughtfulness and kindness and will make the recipient of your note feel cared for. I have a number of friends who keep notes they receive and put them in a cookbook or another favorite book and down the road, when they open that book again, there is the reminder of their friend or family member. They can enjoy reading that note all over again.

A good rule of thumb is one that a client of mine adopted for her daughter. She couldn’t play with it, wear it, or use it until she had written a note thanking those who had been so kind to think of her. A good way to encourage your children to adopt this thoughtful habit is to provide them with stationery in their favorite colors with their name on it. As they get older, they might even appreciate stationery in their school colors.


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Another client inherited an old letter from Clark Gable, who had written to his father on his own monogrammed stationery…what a treasure! It simply wouldn’t have been the same if it had been an email!

If you are not a note or letter writer at this point, try it out. My guess is that you will find it calming and that sending notes will bring you joy. You won’t be disappointed. Having stationery designed and on hand, of course, makes it easier to find the time for these moments of reflection. If you need to start by sourcing personalized stationery, I have everything, in every price range at Walton Street Stationers to help you make note writing a mindful habit.

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For Stylebook readers only, I am offering 20% off any engraved stationery through the end of the month. This is the ideal time, with the holidays approaching, to give the gift of personalized paper or to stock up on some for yourself! Reach out to me, Nancy, at to receive your discount.


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