Moments of Slow

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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…

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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

doing nothing

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

messy hair

brunch with my sister

mending a broken appliance so it’s life can continue

solitude

a moonless nighttime sky freckled with stars

dining al fresco

the gradient fade of a radical sunset


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It feels like

calm

steady

engaged

non-judgmental

deliberate

at my own pace

freedom

care-free

vulnerable 

heart-centered

linen pants

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

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It sounds like...

birdsong in the morning

wind rustling the leaves

rain pattering on the gravel

stimulating conversation

words of love and appreciation

my husband strumming his guitar

rolling thunder over the hills

trickling water over stone

laughter

the swish and crash of waves on the beach

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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

fresh herbs

hot coffee on a cold morning

ice cold lemonade on a sweltering afternoon

alpine strawberries - sweet, and oozing with juice

locally grown organic vegetables

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It smells like

freshly cut grass

rain dampened soil

clean air

fresh flowers from the garden

a campfire

a delicious meal cooking in the oven

the people I love when I hug them

clean line-dried linen sheets

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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?

 
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