When you think of slow living what images conjure up in your mind? Perhaps it’s a freshly brewed coffee, steaming as it warms your hands on a cold autumn morning? Maybe it’s building that eco-cabin on a little slice of rural land so you can sit on the deck overlooking your vegetable garden? Or perhaps it’s a trip to the markets for local produce, a lengthy cooking session with a glass of pinot in one’s hand, followed by a meal shared with your closest friends? The truth is, all these things embrace slow. But what is at the crux of these experiences that ties them together and brings that warming sensation to your mind when you think of them? We define it like this:
To live slowly is to live in a conscious and considered way.
That might sound quite simple, however each and every word in that little definition has been chosen for a very precise reason. Let’s unpack things further.
Conscious is defined as being aware of and responding to one’s surroundings. When we live consciously, we are present in the many moments of our day. We draw information in through all of the senses – we see, hear, touch, taste and we smell. The net result of the influx and attention to all this sensory information is that our experiences are more captivating and we stress less. Life becomes more rich.
On the other hand, considered is defined as thinking carefully about something, typically before making a decision. Think for a second what is important to you? What kind of person do you want to be? What kind of life do you want to live? When you exist on a daily basis in accordance with your values, when your actions are truly considered, life becomes more meaningful.
Therefore, it can be said that slow is the key to living both a rich and a meaningful life.
Importantly, we can train our brains to get better at living consciously through mindfulness, through breath-work and through practices like yoga and meditation. Likewise, we can learn to be more considered too. That’s where we come in. You’re about to change your pace. You’ll watch, listen, read and you’ll learn. You’ll breathe and you’ll move your body mindfully. Importantly, you’ll learn to use these tools to control stress in a life that becomes richer and more meaningful.
It’s time to slow down.