As I’ve been working on my Slow Down resolutions for March I’ve been reading a lot about slow living. Interestingly slow living doesn’t have to mean going slower with everything. But then neither, now I think about it, does slowing down. Mark Sisson puts it well on his blog Mark’s Daily Apple when he says “living slowly ultimately means living deeply”. He talks about the different rhythms of our lives and how slow living is about finding your personal “sweet spot” – the rhythm that is most optimal for you and your life.
I thought I’d take some time to unpack what “living deeply” means for me, but I’m really still working on this. So what follows are a bunch of observations on slowing down, slow living and living deeply.
Notes on slowing down, slow living and living deeply
The extent to which I rush and go quickly goes really deep. I have a tendency to rush through the everyday moments of life – shopping, cleaning etc. The things we might class as mundane. But, as William Morris says in The Aims of Art
“The true secret of happiness lies in the taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life”. – William Morris
What if I weren’t to rush through these annoying tasks in order to get to the plans/hanging out – the good stuff –that can happen after? What if this also became part of the good stuff?
An idea from L’art de la Simplicité by Dominique Loreau
“Simple actions like eating, conversing or cleaning the home can be sanctified as rituals”. – Dominique Loreau
And again from Loreau’s book
“Idleness should be a sought after luxury, not a form of inertia”. – Dominique Loreau
Minimalism is linked to slowing down.
“It is never too late to do nothing at all” Confuscius
Leftovers. I’ve read a number of books stating eating leftovers is not as good for your soul (and body) as eating freshly prepared food. This made me wonder how people who cook fresh each day have time? Then it struck me – making the time to cook each night is important to slowing down. Cooking can be a pleasure not a chore. How we eat, what we eat and how the food has been prepared is important to our happiness.
What slow living looks like to me
I like how Sara Tasker writes about discovering what slow living might mean to her on her blog Me&Orla. It’s a personal thing, what it means to me isn’t what it means to you and so on. Slow Living might be a movement, but it’s not one where everyone follows the same script and does a set of actions to find happiness. It’s about figuring our your own rhythm, truly listening to yourself and figuring out what feels right and good.
The picture is still coming into focus for me but it looks something like having the space to breathe, deeply – to just be me. Unencumbered by a million to-dos, should-dos, household tasks and choices…
It has to do with making my sense of self-worth not dependent on my achievements, but actually on who I am on the inside. And I guess slow living is part of the journey to figuring that out.
What does slow living look like to you? Let me know in the comments below.