What is slow living?
What is Slow Living all about? Close your eyes. What do you picture when you hear those words? country roads? Tiny houses? Empty rooms with only the bare essentials? A return to simpler times? rigidity? Or a return to a life of unnecessary hard work?
The Start of the Slow Movement
The Slow Movement began during the 1980’s in Italy with Slow Food.
McDonald’s put a restaurant at the Spanish Steps in Rome and the Italians weren’t having any of that! Carlo Petrini who launched the movement saw the negative effects of industrialized fast food systems on food, health, social justice and culture. Slow Food was his cure for this modern illness.
Carl Honore, who wrote In Praise of Slow, which many consider the manifesto of the Slow Movement, explained it this way:
“It is a cultural revolution against the notion that faster is always better. The Slow philosophy is not about doing everything at a snail’s pace. It’s about seeking to do everything at the right speed. Savouring the hours and minutes rather than just counting them. Doing everything as well as possible, instead of as fast as possible. It’s about quality over quantity in everything from work to food to parenting.”
Since then, we have applied Slow Values to everything from work to fashion to technology
Why is Slow Living so attractive?
In recent years Slow + Simple living has seen a huge bump in popularity. It makes sense, right? We’re all running round like chickens without heads, exhausted and overwhelmed and feeling like something’s missing.
Meanwhile, while we try to fill that hole, we rack up debt and wreak havoc on our environment.
We know we can’t go on this way. A simple, slow life seems like a lovely change of pace from the frantic lives most of us are living, doesn’t it? One with less worry, less stress, less debt, less stuff.
Intuitively it makes sense that choosing to live a Slower Life could help.
Sometimes it’s fun to go fast. Sometimes it’s necessary. And that is TOTALLY OK.
Slow Living doesn’t mean you have to practice intentionally slow micro-movements while making your coffee. (Yes, apparently that’s a thing. And no, I don’t have time for that, either.)
What Slow Living is, is a deep belief that faster isn’t ALWAYS better.
Slow Living is about living at the PROPER pace. It’s the difference between cramming down a burger and fries in the car between appointments and sitting down to dinner with your family.
Efficiency has it’s place, but far too often efficiency and speed rob our lives of purpose and joy. Choosing to live an intentionally Slow Life gives us a chance to evaluate what is important, make decisions consciously instead of out of habit, and actually experience the moment we find ourselves in.
SLOW LIVING VALUES QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
More, bigger, faster is a pretty common modern mantra.
Trouble is, our undisciplined pursuit of More is making us unhappy, unhealthy and indebted. It’s also not been so hot for Mother Earth.
Instead, Slow Living celebrates LESS but BETTER. Whether it’s the Slow Meat Movement that advocates eating less meat of better quality or Slow Fashion that emphasizes owning less pieces that are made to last, the Slow Movement always puts quality before quantity. And I just LOVE this!
A SLOW LIFESTYLE MAKES TIME AND SPACE FOR WHAT MATTERS
Intentionally Slow Living eliminates the non-essential in order to make room for what really matters. Rather than viewing Slow Living as something to add to your to-do list, think of Slow Living as a NOT to-do list.
I have learned that most of the things we think is important, isn’t. PERIOD.
Getting rid of everything that didn’t matter freed up time, energy and focus for the very few things that do; my kids, my husband, hobbies and our home life.
Your attention is your most valuable resource. Why else do you think Facebook and all the rest are willing to pay such big bucks to get it and keep it?
So, fun fact about me: I read obsessively. Voraciously. One of my favorite genres is about human excellence and behavior. Learning how our brain works, how we form habits, how we think and how we can influence all that stuff is absolutely fascinating to me.
One thing you’ll find in common is where we focus our attention, so goes our life.
As someone who suffered from anxiety, learning to manage my attention completely changed my life. Whether it is practicing gratitude, being present in the moment, or learning to calm my heart rate, changing what I pay attention to transformed my life. I dug myself out from major postpartum depression and kicked anxiety to the curb.
Slow Living teaches us to be fiercely, unapologetically protective of our attention.
For me, that’s meant quitting alot of time on Facebook, taking specific time for social media for my business and personal brand and saying NO. A lot.
Thoughts are magically things. The ones we feed are the ones that grow. But we have to choose. Most of us who are living a fast, frenetic life aren’t choosing. Someone else (who is probably profiting from it) is choosing for us.
Slowing down allows us the time and focus to be intentional about how we spend out attention, our most valuable resource.
SLOW LIVING IS ABOUT EMBRACING IMPERFECTION
Some of the most “perfect” moments of my life have been the ones that weren’t planned for, the ones that aren’t worth Instagramming. They’re messy and imperfect and sometimes full of pain. And you know what, in all that pain, because I was present, because I had the courage to experience the grief, I was given some of the most valuable moments of my life.
For me, Slow Living has been about learning to lean into the pain as well as the joy. Farming is full of heartbreak. It can be gut-wrenchingly awful. But all the pain, that’s good too. If I refused to be open to experience the fullness of my grief, I’d also miss out on the fullness of joy. You can’t turn off one without turning off the other.
The Slow Life allows us the time and space for both.
Here’s the thing. SLOW LIVING ISN’T ABOUT PERFECTION. And there is no ONE way to do it.
Slow Living isn’t about going at a snail’s pace...
Slow Living is about Le Tempo Giusto. The PROPER pace. YOU get to choose that pace. Not me or some perfectly styled woman on Instagram.
No one else gets to decide if your life is Slow enough.There are no rules.You can’t do it wrong.
So... my question to you is, do you want to join the slow movement?
In this weeks Newsletter
2 Ingredient Pancake
Sauteed Chicken Livers & Tips to prepare Swiss Chard