Seeking Serenity through Slow Living
By Rebecca Robinson
Today, we're going to explore the concept of slow living - what it is, how to do it, and why we might want to try it.
In our 24/7, digital world that never sleeps, where instant gratification is available at the touch of a button, it can feel as if we are living in a frazzled world that has lost its patience.
The antidote to this, though, I believe, lies in slow living, in taking a less rushed approach to everyday life, and in stepping back so that we can see the bigger picture.
Our life unfolds in moments,
in days -
but we do not have to do
Living slowly is about living consciously and mindfully, knowing that our only mission is to live our life the best we can, not as fast as we can.
So often, when we're driving or traveling by car, we're moving so fast that we miss the scenery flying past our window.
We miss out on the journey and why we are even embarking on a journey in the first place - and so it is, too, with life, but I don't want to hurtle through life so fast that I feel I can't drink it all in.
Slow living is about savouring the moment, and when we live like this, it brings a real sense of peace to our days.
It helps us to remember that life is not just about where we're headed and our future destination. It's about focusing on what we're doing now and giving the present moment our full care and attention.
Society seems to pride itself on speed,
often mistaking it for efficiency -
but ask yourself this,
when has rushing ever worked well for you?
Apart from the fact that rushing robs us of experiencing the richness and detail of life - and heaps a whole load of unnecessary stress on us - it can also cause us to stumble and fall.
Yes, there are times when we might need to move a little more quickly and that's ok. That's just life - and life is so often about spinning plates and seeking balance, pivoting and tilting as needed.
Something that I try to do when I notice myself begin to rush is to physically slow down the pace at which I'm moving, using a deliberately light and gentle touch. This really seems to signal to my mind and body that it's ok to relax and slow down.
When we live from a place of care, consciousness, and calm - rather than racing headlong through our To-Do list - we are often a lot faster, more effective, and not to mention happier.
Remember what Aesop said, 'Slow but steady wins the race'. There's a lot of truth to this - though I would add that we're not actually in a race or a competition.
We're all in this thing called Life together, and I can't help but think that many of us might feel even a tiny bit better if we just took our foot off the gas and hit the brakes whenever we are able to.
Sometimes, too, life itself will actually slow us down, throwing unexpected speed-bumps in our way - but we simply slow our pace and drive on.
Speed bumps are not 'stop signs'; they simply make us move forward at a much slower and safer pace. We may not arrive where we wanted to go as fast as we wanted to, but we will arrive nevertheless.
As human beings, we are not meant to stay static, and to never move or change; we are designed to grow, to evolve.
But evolution is a slow and natural process,
so why not lean into this a little bit
and embrace a slower pace?
This makes me think of the Aristotle quote, 'Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit' - reminding me that a thing worth having is a thing worth waiting for.
There is nothing wrong with waiting and with being patient with ourselves and others, or with reaching our goals and living life in the slow lane.
One of the kindest things we can do for ourselves is to do as much as we can at a softer and gentler pace - still moving forwards, still walking our own path, still saying 'yes' to what aligns with us and 'no' to what doesn't - but really embracing what it means to go slow and grow.