Welcome to The Easy Aging Show. Today we're going to be talking about the slow living movement. This is an interesting idea, and I wanted to just give you a quick overview of what it's about because I think it's so much more relevant today than ever before.
As we're rushing to keep up with all the things and all the channels and all the stuff. So I'll give you an explanation of what it is, a quick overview with the history, and I'm going to leave you with the top benefit that you can get when you participate in slow living.
I've been an advocate of the Slow Living movement for many years, so let me give you a quote of what exactly it is.
"Slow living is a mindset whereby you curate a more meaningful and conscious lifestyle that's in line with what you value most in life. It means doing everything at the right speed instead of striving to do things faster. The slow movement focuses on doing things better. Often that means slowing down, doing less, prioritizing, spending the right amount of time on the things that matter most to you."
I got this quote from a fantastic website called SlowLivingLDN.com. This site is a feast for the eyes. The way it's designed draws you in and makes you want to slooow dooown. Ahhh...
Let's think about what this quote says. Curating "a more meaningful and conscious lifestyle that's in line with what you value most and "spending the right amount of time on the things that matter most to you."
For slow living to work for you, you have to know what you value and what's most important to you in your life at this moment in time.
In episode 72, I gave you a list of values that you could use to discover what your top values are. Once you know what they are, you can start using them as your North Star to ensure you're staying on track with what's important to you.
The bottom line is figuring out those top three to five values that are most important to you right now in midlife.
The perfect example of slow living was Jesus. He was never in a hurry.
Jesus got where He needed to be in the right amount of time. He never rushed, and He was very clear on his purpose, His ministry and what He needed to do next. That's something we can all learn from Him, right? Slow down, be present in the moment. Just take it all in and savor it.
When did the Slow Living movement start?
It started in Italy in the 1980s when a group of activists formed Slow Food, which was a movement that defends regional food traditions. The reason they did this was because there was a McDonald's opening in the heart of Rome.
Can you imagine? You're in Rome with all this amazing Italian food, then you see the bright golden arches. That would be a bit jarring, don't you think?
The whole concept went mainstream in 2004 with a book called In Praise of Slowness by Carl Honore. It started with food, but it's branched out to just about every area of life including slow travel, slow fashion, slow fitness and more.
The reason it expanded was to help you decelerate your life on a daily basis. Their motto is "live better, not faster."
What the Slow Living movement is not
Some people believe that slow living goes hand in hand with minimalism, but that's not necessarily true. You don't have to be a minimalist to enjoy slow living.
However, as you slow down and start looking at your life more closely, there's a very natural desire that comes bubbling up inside you that does want to get rid of all the excess.
That was my experience, at least. I've always said that I'll never be a full-on minimalist, but I'm more of an essentialist. I have only the things that are essential to me, my lifestyle and my values. That's why it's so important to know what your values are.
When you're living a life that's not aligned with your values, you're going to end up feeling restless and uncomfortable and more than likely pretty grumpy. And nobody wants that, do they? ;)
There are some people who associate slow as lazy or slothful or unproductive, and this isn't true either. It's simply slowing down and removing the things from your life that don't align with what's most important to you.
Very simply, it does not mean coming to a complete stop, not doing anything and being unproductive. On the contrary, you can get just as much done when you're going slowly as when you're going quickly. Leo Babuta, an author and blogger on productivity and simplicity, says:
"Be a curator of your life. Slowly cut things out until you're left only with what you love, what's necessary, with what makes you happy."
The #1 benefit of slow living
After doing this for a number of years, I've discovered one big benefit that you may not find in these blogs, articles and websites that are focused on slow living. And what is that?
You get more time in the day when you slow down. It actually feels like you create more time in your day. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but it's true. I used to think "If I go faster, I'll get more done, I'll be more productive, and I'll have more time at the end of the day." Nope. It doesn't work that way. I don't know why.
After doing this for a while, I've realized it doesn't matter if I go faster. I can still get the same amount done if I focus effectively and don't let distractions get in my way.
A plus of this is that I'm a lot less tired at the end of the day. All that exhaustion and fatigue I was experiencing has dissipated. I don't know about you, but when my schedule isn't working, I go into overwhelm.
I changed my schedule a few weeks ago so I could get up earlier and get more things done earlier in the day. I was shocked at how much time I had at the end of the day. I wasn't rushing around to write scripts or to do another episode or record or edit or any of that.
When this happened, I didn't know what to do with myself; I had so much extra time. I'd bump around the house for a little while, make sure the laundry's done, the kitchen's clean, all those little things you do. I'd get ready for bed, brush my teeth, wash my face, and I'd look at the clock. It was 8:15pm.
Oh my gosh, I got everything done by 8:15! I'm thinking, "Well that's a little early to go to bed. What am I going to do now?" Once I got over that "weirdness hump" of having extra time, I got used to it and I love it so much.
Easy Ager, your time is your greatest commodity and when you slow down, you can create more of it. You can open the door to new ideas and creativity and "aha" moments when you slow down. You'll have the time to just let your mind wander. To dream, to daydream.
Oh, it's amazing what your big, beautiful brain can come up with. You'll have more time to think, more time to figure out what you like and don't like in midlife. More time to consider the possibilities and options that are right in front of you.
With more time, you create space in your life so you can get clarity. And with that clarity comes the "aha" moments that can change your life.
That's it for today. Make sure you check out the site, SlowLivingLDN.com and dive deeper, do more research, whatever you need. I do hope you consider incorporating a little bit of slow living into your life.
I'll see you in the next episode and until then, peace, love and blessings to you in yours. Take care. Bye-bye!