Moments of Slow
There are moments that cry out to be fulfilled.
Like, telling someone you love them.
Or giving your money away, all of it.
Your heart is beating, isn’t it?
You’re not in chains, are you?
There is nothing more pathetic than caution
When headlong might save a life,
even, possibly, your own.
I've been thinking lately about what slow living means to me and how I can better share that with you. I believe that it's a term, much like the words success, progress, happiness (and many others), that has the ability to mean different things, to different people, at different times.
One of my intentions over the last six months has been to clarify and define this meaning in my own life. What does it look like, feel like, sound like, etc? Then, the task has become to figure out how to translate my definition of this lifestyle more and more into different aspects of my life.
For me, a slow lifestyle is synonymous with connecting to nature, cultivating mindfulness, and making eco-conscious choices. When I’m in a slow state of mind, I’m aware of what is going on inside and around me. I feel calm enough to contemplate, consider, create, prepare, and listen.
This state of mind is the foundation of living sustainably. In order to make eco-friendly lifestyle choices, we must make time to learn, prepare, and to make. We mustn’t be rushed, frantic, or desperate. We must be rational and patient enough to use what we have first, giving items a second or third life, and understanding, truly, why we need the next item we desire.
Most often, living slowly shows us that we don’t need much - we can live quite comfortably (and happily) right here, right now - without a lot of extra. It’s a mindset dedicated to making things last, whether it be a pleasurable moment, our material items, or our general happiness. I suppose that the essence of what slow living means to me, is a focus on the present moment; the magic moments extracted from the mundane.
These are my Moments of Slow…
It looks like
nature walks and noticing the bugs under rocks, the bee on the flower, the whispering of the trees
sipping tea as the spiral tendrils of steam float up to my face
family dinners without the tv on
time spent in the garden growing my own food
making my own natural and low waste products
purchasing less and reusing more
meandering and getting lost
automating tasks, and batching work to free-up time
washing dishes mindfully
meal planning & preparation
turning off the phone and stopping the scroll
creating a homemade gift
saying “no, thank you” to too many social commitments
an afternoon picnic under the maple tree
brunch with my sister
mending a broken appliance so it’s life can continue
a moonless nighttime sky freckled with stars
dining al fresco
the gradient fade of a radical sunset
It feels like
at my own pace
an old worn-out tee
my cozy wool sweater
a gentle and deliberate touch
sunshine warming my face
lungs full of breath
toes in the dewy grass
snowflakes on my tongue
It sounds like...
birdsong in the morning
wind rustling the leaves
rain pattering on the gravel
words of love and appreciation
my husband strumming his guitar
rolling thunder over the hills
trickling water over stone
the swish and crash of waves on the beach
It tastes like
a homegrown garden salad
my mom's buttermilk waffles and my dad's black beans and rice
a tall glass of clean water
hot coffee on a cold morning
ice cold lemonade on a sweltering afternoon
alpine strawberries - sweet, and oozing with juice
locally grown organic vegetables
It smells like
freshly cut grass
rain dampened soil
fresh flowers from the garden
a delicious meal cooking in the oven
the people I love when I hug them
clean line-dried linen sheets
Slow living is about figuring out how to have less so I can be more. It's about striving not to get more done, but to have less to do. It's not about working to make ends meet, but working to have less ends. It's about seeing the abundance of time that I do have, rather than seeing the time I've committed to something else. It's about choosing wisely what and who I'm giving my energy to.
It's about simplification, getting to the root of things, stopping the glorification of busy, and being happy with the most essential and unembellished. It's about living fully in the present moment, loving myself the way I am, and loving others they way they are.
It's about seeing the interconnectedness of all beings.
It's a lifestyle focused on actually living - not stuff, not prestige, nor accomplishment or productivity. It's a mindset focused on being, rather than consuming, and connecting rather than competing.
How do you define slow living? What are your Moments of Slow?