La Dolce Far Niente: The Sweetness of Doing Nothing
Life does not have to be FULL to Be fulfilling.
After the year of 2020, I am having a difficult time with reentry. Everything is opening back up, and I am feeling the fast pace world rush in around me. NO!!! I do not want to go back to the way I was before the pandemic. I have decided to embarrass the concept of Slow Living. Slow living refers to a lifestyle that encourages a slower approach to aspects of everyday life. It has been defined as movement or action at a relaxed or leisurely pace. It is suggested that a fast-paced environment can resemble a chaotic nature, whilst the notion of 'slowing down' in slow living implies that people would be able to enjoy life more and be more aware or conscious of sensory cues. Think of this way.... Would you rather zip through the FAST food line in a hurry to your next appointment, or sit and enjoy a meal? Savoring every bite? The Movement of Slow Living began in the 1980's with the Slow Food Movement, it is a concept that started in Italy. Slow Food was promoted as an alternative to fast food, it strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine and encourages farming of plants, seeds, and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem. It promotes local small businesses and sustainable foods. It also focuses on food quality, rather than quantity. Slow food to Slow living...
SO...What does Slow Living mean to me? Slow Living means structuring my life with intention and fulfillment. I want to live at a pace of freedom and creativity, being mindful what I put in by body, how I spend my Time. Slow living does not mean you live your life in slow motion. Slow living refers to a lifestyle that encourages a slower approach to aspects of everyday life. Slow living is a life philosophy, a state of mind and being a reflective approach, and methodical process to daily life.
Another very important point to slow living, is sustainability. Around 90.5% of plastic waste produced has never been recycled. In 2015, plastic packaging waste amounted to 47% of all plastic waste produced globally.
It’s estimated that we consume between one and five trillion plastic bags a year – five trillion bags equates to almost 10 million bags per minute and if laid flat, this quantity would cover an area twice the size of France. Styrofoam containers (which also reportedly contain carcinogenic materials) can take over 1,000 years to decompose.
By 2050, it’s estimated that 99% of marine birds will have ingested plastic. Slow living is about removing yourself from the quickened pace of daily life to make conscious decisions. In the environmental sphere, this means replacing the idea that “you don’t have time”, with “living with intent” by planning ahead to be able to consume in a more sustainable way. For example, you could make more time using local produce, that doesn’t come wrapped in packaging. This could have a an enormous effect by supporting your local community, eat fresher food and carving out time in your day for a screen free, mindful activity.
Here are a few tips you can use to start a
Slow Living Lifestyle:
~Unplug. Take a moment away from your phone , TV and computer. Find a hobby that is none of these things. Enjoy the sound of Silence.
~ Make your own meals. Make at least one meal a day, intentional. Enjoy the flavors of your food, linger at the table while dinning with company. Do as the Europeans do and center your day around your meals. Cook with a partner, or listen to music while cooking.
~ Consider what is important to you. My personal version of slow living is to make time for the things that are important to you. For me, this means making time to paint, go to the beach, swim in the ocean, reading books, personal writing, long walks with my dog, hanging out with my husband, friends, family and traveling. Even when my work piles up or I’m feeling stressed, I try to make time for these things. Most importantly, I don’t rush over these activities. Every moment is intentional & beautiful. When I have the freedom to enjoy life I feel calmer, less stressed and more creative - so it’s worth it to me. Make a list of the things that are important to you and make time in your life to enjoy these things without guilt. Your list could be as simple as going for a walk on your own once a week.
~ Get outside. Slow Living is a way of reconnections with nature. Make time to enjoy the simple pleasures of being outdoors. If you have a garden or yard, it could mean sitting on the back doorstep drinking your morning tea and watching the birds. Sitting on a beach and watching the wave, or go for a hike or walk.
~ Practice being present. About 12 years ago a friend gave me the book The Power oF Now By Eckhart Tolle. You will learn that the pas is Just a story, the future doesn't exist. All we have is right now. Being in the present moment or the “here and now,” means that we are aware and mindful of what is happening at this very moment.\
~Slow Travel. As you make your summer vacation plans, think about adding slow living to them. Slow Travel Movement is all about slimming down your itinerary. It’s about immersing yourself in a location and its culture. I will be hosting a creative retreat in March 2022 to San Miguel de Allende. My goal for this retreat is to have my participants learn a new skill while feeling cared for. We will immerse ourselves in the culture and have deeply nourishing conversations. At the end we will feel rested and refreshed. I am excited to implement slow living lifestyle on this creative retreat and to share it with all my participants.
~Saying no. And saying it with grace. Build your life around your priorities. This means you need to be ruthless about editing your schedule and saying NO to things that do not serve your goals. Slow living is about making time for what really matters.