The Beauty of Slow

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The great benefit of slowing down is reclaiming the time and tranquility to make meaningful connections—with people, with culture, with work, with nature, with our own bodies and minds.—Carl Honore

I hope you enjoyed the latest podcast interview with the ladies of Lady Farmer. I love their focus on slow everything. In their book, The Lady Farmer Guide to Slow Living, they end with a 21-day plan to practice slow using three tools—identify a slow living practice, create gratitude awareness, develop a feeling inventory. All important details to a fully engaged life.

In 2017 I read In Praise of Slowness by Carl Honore. The book begins with a quote by Gandhi, “There is more to life than increasing its speed,” and then explores our addiction to do everything faster. Sometimes we have to ask, to what end? Filled with research and story, I learned how the slow movement began and grew (hello, Italy slow food) plus takeaway tips.

I also read Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner and loved her circuitous tale on trying to embrace slow. She also ends with tips such as ethical shopping, hydrate, lavender, mason jars, read, and yoga. All things I love!

Since reading these books, I’ve been surprised by my impatience with the indecisive person in front of me at the cafe counter, frustration while navigating carts left in the center of the grocery aisle, and eagerness to pass people who walk two abreast on narrow sidewalks. To name a few.

While these may seem like every day city-living challenges, they don’t have to be stressors. If I simply slow down.

And that’s one thing COVID has given us, the forced slowing down through quarantine, social distance, and fewer options. While I wouldn’t wish this pandemic on anyone, it has made me much more aware of the beauty of slow. Farmers’ markets, walks in the woods, quality time with my pups and partner, frequent contact with family, appreciation of my home as sanctuary, and the ongoing desire to simplify.

When I wrote HTC10 in 2016, I confessed how I’d operated under a “crazy busy” mindset for years. You know, when people ask how you’re doing and the response is, “Crazy busy!” I cringe at that now. It’s not how I want to live my life.

Instead, I want to embrace the beauty of slow, intentional, and essential, even in the midst of life’s many twists and turns. Especially in the midst of this time!

The best part? I don’t need a 10-step program, special equipment, or weekend away. These practices are free and most are available daily—meditate, walk, sit down to eat at a table, write, tend plants, read, spend time with family and friends, support ethical companies, sip tea, light a candle, donate what I no longer need. Think quality over quantity.

Slow also aligns with essentialism (art of discerning between external noise and internal voice) and minimalism (only allowing what aligns with our most important values to take up our space and our time).

What does slow look and/or feel like to you? Here’s to slowing down in our own unique way. Bisous. x