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  • Writer's pictureTina Joe

Simple Slow Living

A simple and slow life is not synonymous to walking slowly or keeping your voice low or being lazy. All through our lives we have been taught to be on our feet and be fast in whatever we are doing. There is always an urgency, a rush at the back of our minds to finish what we are doing and take on the next task in hand. Even eating and sleeping is considered a chore!!!!!!

When we started to embrace slow living as a family, one of the first hurdles that we had to overcome was this guilt, the guilt that always used to creep up…. the guilt that we were wasting our time. I was really surprised and taken aback by this fact that we were going over a guilt trip for living a slow life….

But then, this was bound to happen, the fact that we are wired to think we should be engaged all the time, we should always aim higher after each milestone… a slight slowdown and we start to think that we are wasting our time.

Come to think of it, this is a new culture to us 90's kids. Our childhoods were dotted with regular picnics to the park, a visit to the zoo, an afternoon siesta on Sunday as there was nothing to watch on the television until evening…. It was a perfect slow life. How did it all change? When did we start to run around like headless chickens as if the world is about to end if we don’t do something, each moment of our day? Why is it that we cannot sit back and relax for half an hour a day and do not feel guilty?

Do not get me wrong, there are hundreds of people out there who enjoy being occupied to the core and thrive at being engaged the whole day. But my point is even they need a breather, so we all need to slow down once a while, so that we can recharge and bounce back.

Instead of being wired in all the time and live a mechanical life, we should start to embrace life, and start to live the moment. No doubts there are days where the whole day passes by us in a whiff. I suggest that on these days we give us a little more time in the evening to sit down and replay the day in our mind. When doing any task let us give our self an extra 10 seconds which will allow our brain to register what we are doing, this will help us to start to view life from a different angle. An angle which makes us understand that it is not mandatory that each task done by us should give us an edge over others or put us ahead of the rat race. There is much more than this rat race.

Let's us imagine a scenario that we met someone for the first time... after the initial question of "What is your name?" it automatic second question we ask is "What do you do?". The work you do, where you live are the bench marks set to decide if you get into a circle.... or you get a certain level of respect. There are many European cultures who really do not entertain this question. For that matter the question "What do you do?" is considered to be an inquisitive question rather than a question that you can ask to a casual acquaintance.

I really wish we stop asking these questions. Why does it matter?

Once we stop asking these questions to others we will see that we have stopped comparing our self with others. Deep in our minds things will start to settle as we are not constantly comparing their jobs or homes with ours. Once we reach this state, you will find that you are more content with what you have; rather than look around and try and achieve or mindlessly purchase stuff just to satisfy your ego. We will be more at peace with our self.

When we embrace slow living it will not be work work work the whole day and then suddenly switch to relax mode. Slow living is more being in sync with nature, to be in sync with us and our body. Remember my previous slow living post? I mentioned Nature. Nature does everything in its own time. When you start to sync with nature, you will discover that everything has a time, and everything takes time. There is no instant or ready made option out there, every action and every breath are done at its own pace and at its own time.

Even though I am an ardent fan of online shopping I deeply disagree with mindless shopping and spending endless time surfing the internet. The idea that the world is at your fingertips is not a good idea. The world and nature are much above us, and we cannot bring them down to our fingertips. This idea presents a false sense of authority among us. Instead of scouting the internet to find what the latest gadget or gizmo is let us start to create comfy corners inside our nests for us to sit and read comfortably for hours or have cozy conversations with family and friends. Trust me, this make us more content and peaceful.

I wish we had the option to mesh in everything that was good about the early 90s and now. It would have been an amazing option. A slow life with all modern amenities------ absurd as it may sound, that is exactly what I crave for, I am not someone who would forgo the advantages of city living like online shopping and 24X7 medical facilities. But then I want the peace and calm and the slowness and the stillness in my life. How to incorporate this into our daily life is something that I explore each day.

Living a slow life is a way of incorporating nourishment and enrichment in your life daily rather than ear mark separate days for the same. It is a way of life where you give importance to understanding the true meaning of your life, instead of just living, slow living makes you live every second and be present with all your five senses in that second.

A life where you get to enjoy the smell of rain, you get to enjoy the beautiful sky, you get to enjoy the sweet tweeting of birds, you get to touch the grass with your bare feet………………. Each of the above helps us entice and stimulate our senses. Our body and mind will be in an absolutely relaxed state when we get to enjoy all these uninhibitedly. Each day will be filled with gratitude to the blessings that we are showered with.

Starting our day with self-reflection and ending each day with a thorough sense of gratitude, will make us happy in and happy out. And ending our day with a gratitude journal is a beautiful habit we can cultivate. It was a habit that my mom instilled in me. Even today when I sit down to write my journal it fills me with a huge sense of gratitude, each small blessing that I received throughout the day flashes through my mind. Writing gratitude thoughts will make sure that our feet are always firmly on the ground, and we do not take anything for granted.

Let us aim to find out the slower things in life.... let us aim to live each moment and be filled with gratitude, gratitude for every breath that we take every day....

Happy Musings


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