Hello Slow

Posted in Women's Wisdom | 0 comments

slow

 

Slow has become a worldwide movement, slow food, slow travel, slow cities, slow thinking, slow medicine, slow sex, slow work, and raising slower children. The origins of the Slow Movement began in 1986 in Italy with Slow Food. Carlo Petrini founded the Slow Food movement to promote the use of fresh local foods, grown with sustainable farming techniques, prepared with love, and consumed in a leisurely manner in the company of good friends and family.

I stumbled upon Slow, not because I was living a crazy busy life but because from a very young age I was forced by my body to move slowly. Walking slowly and moving slowly offered me many personal advantages of living a more balanced life and a deeper sense of wellbeing. I love Carlo Petrini’s inspiration to relax, rejuvenate, replenish, reacquaint with loved ones and enjoy. Over time I have come to realise faster definitely isn’t better, and more is rarely enough.

The Benefits Of Slowing Down

Like anything worth pursuing slow means change. Change not only in your own personal life but also in the way you interact with others and the planet. If you are wondering whether its something you actually have the time for, here’s some of the personal benefits Ive received over the years of living slow.

More Time

Slowing down actually gives you more time. It truly is the strangest paradox and you won’t believe it until you try it. Heres how it works. If you want more time in your day stop hurrying and rushing. If you stop hurrying and rushing and slow down you will find that you cant possibly fit everything in, do everything and meet everyone. It is literally impossible. Slowing down teaches you this in a loving way.

Greater Authenticity

To gift yourself slowness you need to learn how to say, “No”. At first this is really difficult because most of us want to please, like to help and hate disappointing others. I had to learn when to say no and when to say yes and so I became exceptionally good at feeling and trusting my intuition. Stopping when I remembered and asking myself do I really want to do this? Does this bring me joy? Does this feel right for me? If my body contracted or I felt an uneasy feeling – it was a “No”. If I felt open, happy or joyful – it was a “Yes”. Disappointing people was tough, but I had to get use to it. Explaining that I was practicing self care and that I needed to put myself first for a time, was all I needed to say. This simple exercise created authenticity and deepened my relationships.

Personal Rhythm

I discovered my personal rhythm is very slow. It is the same no matter whether I walk, swim or ride a bike. Take your time to find your own rhythm, once you do, everything seems to flow effortlessly, there is a sense of calm and relaxation and at the end of the task it feels like zero energy has been used. This is the opposite to burn out, where we tend to push ourselves too fast for too long, losing our natural rhythm and depleting our natural energy source.

Intuition

Slowing down heightens your ability to connect to your intuition and hear your own inner wisdom. Intuition is a sixth sense we all have, but is often obscured by our fast paced life, planning and thinking ahead. Intuition allows us to make wise decisions often based on a gut feeling or deep inner knowing and can serve us in times when important decisions need to be made.

Increased Quality Of Life

Slow offers you the awareness of the sacredness of life rather than the need for things. Less becomes more. As you slow down, you begin to care about and appreciate beauty, craftsmanship, nature, gratitude, forgiveness, and the quality of one present moment over the quantity of many missed ones.

 

Tuscany market

 

Can everyone Benefit from Slow Living?

Yes, slowing down is not just a luxury for the chosen few. It is, in essence, a conscious choice. Most of the things that make up a Slow life are available to most people if they want it. We can buy local produce, cook simple meals at home and eat them at the table with family and friends, we can avoid over-packing our social schedules by saying No to some things; we can get up a few minutes earlier so we don’t have to drive fast to work; and so on.

 

Practices For Slow Living

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is being present with what is.

The Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh said, “I define mindfulness as the practice of being fully present and alive, body and mind united. Mindfulness is the energy that helps us to know what is going on in the present moment.”

Being mindful of what I am doing at any given time, such as washing the dishes, massaging, walking, helps me to slow down and be calm and centred.

Anytime you bring your attention to an action you will find you will naturally slow down to your personal rhythm.

The breath is another great tool you can use anytime. As you bring your attention to your breath you will notice it too will naturally slow down, finding a more relaxed and calm rhythm, without you needing to change your breathing in anyway. Just your awareness is enough.

Gratefulness

Being grateful for what I have, slows me down to appreciate what I already have, instead of rushing forward to the next thing. Gratefulness allows me to be with what is, more fully.

Keeping a Gratitude Journal is a beautiful way to slow down and reflect on your day. Each night, I write down three things I am grateful for.

These powerful and simple tools bring a sense of joy and fulfilment, helping us to slow down and enjoy our lives.

 

Gratitude-journal

I’d love to hear how you have slowed down? What tools can you recommend? What benefits did you notice?

 

Byron Womens Retreat Byron Bay

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