Tranquilosophy: Slowing Down

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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

Sitting fireside Sunday night, I finished In Praise of Slowness. While finishing a book may not seem like a big feat to most, I read many books a few pages at a time, so completing one is a call for celebration.

I purchased this used book in prep for the upcoming Virtual Retreat themed around slowing down. Curious what research showed, how the Slow movement began and grew, and takeaway tips, I dove in.

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. To what end?

Since starting this book, I’ve been observing my own fast-paced way of living. Impatience over the indecisive person in front of me at the cafe counter, frustration over carts left in the center of the grocery aisle, and eagerness to pass people who walk two abreast on narrow sidewalks.

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

In observance of what’s coined “time-sickness”—obsessive belief that time is getting away, I’m aware of its constant tick. To alleviate some of the ingrained hurry mentality, I strive to leave 15 minutes earlier for work, observe my frustration over delays with a sense of humor, and insert blank space into my schedule.

When I wrote HTC10 last year, I confessed how for years I’d operated under a “crazy busy” mindset. 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 slow down and remain slow even in the midst of life’s many twists and turns.

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, read, spend time with family and friends. Think quality over quantity.

This boils down to essentialism—a beloved theme from January’s Tranquility du Jour Live—doing only the essential with more attention.

Here’s to slowing down despite a world that’s speeding up! Bisous. x