SLOW LIVING AND WHY YOU SHOULD TRY IT
What is slow living and why has it become such a movement? It's very simple - because we forget to actually live our lives.
Can you be intentional when you do not actually live your life? We rush through life, going from one thing to the next, buying fast food everywhere we go, purchasing shitloads of fast fashion. This is not intentional. So let's dive into what slow living is and why it is beneficial.
What is slow living?
The slow living movement is rooted in the Slow Food phenomenon that was started by Carlo Petrini in the 1980s in Italy. Slow food aims to provide an antipode to what has become the norm - gulping down food and having your bill on the table before you have even had your last bite. The slow food movement favours mindful eating and conversation.
Slow living is basically just an expansion of this concept. Slow down enough to enjoy every aspect of life.
Author and slow living advocate Erin Loechner says that "slow living is a duality of caring more and caring less - that is, working out what's worth caring more about, and letting go of the things that aren't".
When we are asked how we are doing, we often answer with a phrase around the word busy. And we seem to be proud of it. Why is being so busy considered a victory? When have we become so obsessed with racing to the next big thing that we see it as the ultimate goal?
This quote goes in line with what we believe intentional living is about. You are disregarding everything that does not serve you to take space in your life for what matters most.
How do you start living slow?
As so many things in the realm of intentional living, it all starts with awareness and observing.
Become aware of how busy you really are and how often you are multitasking? Are you sitting in a coffee shop, really savouring your fresh cup of coffee? Or are you multitasking, typing away on your computer, picking up your phone every 30 seconds and only squeezing that sip of coffee in between?
Observe your habitual patterns and make a list of what you have become aware of. In a second column, write down what you could or want to change about this.
At the beginning, you might actually start to feel a bit bored when you start living the slow live. In his book, Planting Seeds, spiritual leader and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh points out that in our day and age, it is quite difficult for us to be lazy. "Not doing anything, just enjoying ourselves and whatever is around us, is a very deep practice, because we all have an energy within us that constantly pushes us to do this or that. We cannot sit or lie still and enjoy ourselves or enjoy the beautiful sky. If we aren't doing something, we can't stand it."
Take this to heart the next time you are getting bored. Instead of moving right to the next activity, pay closer attention to the situation and the scenery you are in and try to savour it.
There are many list out there in the internet that provide you with tips on how to live slow. However, as we always do, we suggest you out in the work. Sit down and make your own list.
How can you slow your life down?