The Art of Slow Living.
When we went to Europe for the very first time- my husband and I noticed that there was a very different feeling in the way time seemed to flow there. That first morning, we were up before dawn ready to go get coffee and start exploring- but Paris was ready to sleep in for a few more hours.
We spent the first few days in Paris learning to slow ourselves down a bit. And I say learning– because it was learning. It was a new thing to not just jump out of bed and hit the ground running- and instead treat each morning with a pace more like a cozy weekend. So we slept in a bit, lingered over our coffee and nibbled on breakfast while in jammies a little longer.
When you slow down a bit and ‘simmer’ a bit in the moment- you notice so much more. I have noticed this on photo shoots many times. If I slow my pace down and let what I am working on ‘speak’ to me more- I find a connection. I find the perfect angle, the idiosyncrasies in the lighting and the details that make the shot. This trip was one of the first times I understood what a slower living movement was all about. The quieter more intentional start to the day created a day filled with more. More Energy. More beauty and magic. More connection & detail.
More on that shift during that trip coming soon. Today we are kicking off that series all about the Art of Intentional Living. Today the focus is on the ‘slow living’ lifestyle movement. And you know, as someone who I describe as a spinning ‘Tasmanian devil’ type who thrives on busy- that slower approach may seem like it won’t be a fit. But it does. Maybe some things won’t resonate with you- but others will. But that is what it is all about. Finding your balance in your work & hobbies that you love and the best ‘you’.
And something fun- I am so excited to welcome my daughter here writing posts & sharing her tips and thoughts in this series. She is a freelance writer and is wise beyond her years. She embraces the art of ‘slow and intentional living’ everyday and loves how much it adds to life.
Embracing a Slow Living Lifestyle
Always moving and keeping a chock full busy pace from morning until night seems to spur the average person today. With a belief in society that the busier you are the better chances you have at being successful- the pace can be overwhelming. Working hard at your job, your dreams and your goals is a good thing, of course. It brings fulfillment, purpose and happiness and dreams coming true. It gets tricky through, when trying to keep up with the hustle culture of today without making room for adequate rest. That frenzied, stop until you drop pace is leaving many people in a constant state of stress. Slow living is a lifestyle designed to help us live a life at a slower pace with a deeper purpose. A lifestyle focused on living in the moment that ultimately aims to help us create a more meaningful routine that we will thrive in.
1. Your Morning Cup
The first way to start inviting slow living into your life is to start with the small things. Something as simple as your morning cup of coffee or tea. You can do this simply by taking time while you sip to sit and be present. Aka- without watching TV, surfing the web, or talking on the phone.
This may seem simple- but it can help to teach our fast-paced brains to focus only on what we are doing in the present moment. And help us realize it’s okay to enjoy our leisure moments peacefully without the need to always accomplish something in them. It can also highlight the joys of the little things in everyday life to be grateful for. Things often overlooked, such as the gift of peace & quiet with a cozy morning drink.
2. Make time every day for the things you love
Another way to welcome this lifestyle is to start making more time for the things you love. We can all be guilty of pushing off hobbies or rushing through in order to keep up with daily tasks. And it can be hard to tell our brain not to do that and to shift and simply enjoy when we have a break.
Try dedicating some ‘you’ time in your day-to-day schedule from now on and prioritize yourself without rushing. Get up a little bit earlier and take some time to journal, garden and arrange flowers or work on creating something that brings you joy- without feeling the need to rush.
3. Spend Time out in Nature
A great way to start embracing slower living is to spend some time with nature each day. Whether that is going on a walk, sitting outside with a cup of tea, or indulging in the warmth of the sun through an open window, nature has a beautiful way of slowing us down and can help us to better see the bigger picture and remind us how beautiful the world around us is.
It is no secret that meditation is a go-to when it comes to quieting your mind and finding inner peace. And it is also another way to embrace slower living. You don’t need to dedicate an hour or 30 minutes to meditation every day for it to be effective. Just setting aside 1 minute a day to do some deep breathing exercises is a perfect place to start. A few moments of dedicated quietness each day can help ease a busy mind and reset our focus.
Scrolling social media or watching TV, people are spending more time in front of their screens than ever before. Tech gadgets can help us stay caught up with people & get work done but they can also take up a lot of useful time and affect our overall well-being. How many times do you see people out at restaurants or with others and yet, they are staring at their phones? Taking some time to unplug each day and focus on life and people happening around you now and being more present helps to bring that back into more balance.
Get your work done, stay in contact with far away friends and family, find inspiration, etc. and enjoy all of that- and then also be mindful of turning off and being present to allow plenty of time for more in the moment soul-food activities.
A slower way of life may seem to sound so simple and well, slow, at first, but it actually can bring much more to our lives. It encourages us to start putting in effort to seize and embrace the moment, enjoy some quiet and reflective time and to prioritize ourselves and be more present each day.
What do you think of the more intentional, slow way of living? Is it something that you can see yourself embracing or that you already do?
Coming your Way
The next posts in our series are about creating a home that inspires you. From more intentional decor to editing your rooms to how to create spaces that rejuvenate you.
And also coming this week- stay tuned for a room redesign idea mood board, my goals and reflections post and Modern Farmhouse style favorites.