On Breaks. Or Brakes.

I’m doing some thinking. Some sitting and staring. Some recalibrating. Some learning.

I’ve gotten a little lost. And I know it’s self-indulgent to talk about my mind’s wanderings, as if they’re important. But…

Something has been sitting poorly in my chest for a while now. And, after a life-changing weekend, I have worked out what it is.

I want you to visit this blog, find a small moment of inspiration or encouragement, and take it with you as you move about in the 3D world. Let it accompany you as you live. As you explore. As you soak in the beautiful, tiny moments between.

What I found to be sitting poorly in my chest, is that everything I have written here, everything I have created, has relied on you sitting in front of your computer or reading on your mobile phone.

This is the opposite to the life I want to live. How about you?

Do you want to be glued to a device, looking for inspiration? Or do you want to grab life – real life – by its shoulders and embrace the hell out of it?

That is a genuine, judgement-free question. Please feel free to answer it – both for your own benefit and mine.

I think too many of us lose too many hours by not being present. We miss those tiny moments, those small beauties, the everyday miracles because we’re simply not paying attention. I don’t want to be part of the problem. I want to be part of the solution.

I want us to put down the phone, switch off the monitor and embrace the hell out of life.

So with that in mind, I am taking a brief and necessary break. Or brake, as it were.

I’m pulling back and recalibrating. I just need a moment between to soak up the tiny beauties we pass by too frequently.

Maybe you’d like to do the same?

Let’s meet back here in a week. OK?



24 Responses to On Breaks. Or Brakes.

  1. Brooke, it sounds like you’re talking about not only slowing down our homes, but also slowing down our lives. I like to think that these go hand in hand. Minimalism must be individually defined, but I believe it’s about recognizing that less is actually more, not only in our belongings, house size, and general clutter, but in our approach to life, and in our consciousness. Like you say, we need to intentionally be present, rather than multi-tasking, rather than assuming more chores and responsibilities, rather than missing what is really important. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and the reminder that we all need to take some time to reflect. Pennie

  2. Brooke, once again we are on the same wavelength.

    I have been struggling with my blog and my writing, because I’m not sure where to go with it. I know that the answers are NOT online, and I want my readers to realize that as well.

    We could probably spend a lot of time (too much time?) discussing this.

    It’s a toughy, that’s for sure.

  3. Hi Brooke,

    I can tell by your Archive and how much you have accomplished (beautiful blog, workshops and a book) that you’ve logged a lot of hours behind your computer. I can see why you might need a break.

    For me, I spent over 30 years in an office building focused on what mattered to the company. For the most part, I liked my work and the people; however, it never made my soul sing.

    Last year, I left corporate America and now I sit behind my computer doing work I love, work that seems to matter. To me and, I hope, to others. For me, I find this is grabbing life by its shoulders. I have a chance to make a dent in the world and it’s both exciting and scary.

    Maybe it’s because I’m so new to this type of work. But all I want to do is create…I have to force myself to back off the computer and go outside for air and exercise. But, it is nice when I do!

    Enjoy your break and I look forward to more from you in the future ~

  4. Brooke – I can relate to how you are feeling. You have explained exactly why I feel uncomfortable about writing a blog. For me – its about saying more – but less often. I strive to connect with people – briefly and rarely – but hope that my message stays with them as they go on with their day – away from the computer. There’s so much noise online and I feel uncomfortable about contributing to it. Enjoy your break and see you on the other side :-) x

  5. After filling up two pages of a notebook with all the things I have to do after the same life-changing weekend, your post is a big reality check. I feel like a hamster on a wheel at the moment and during the conference, I too felt the need for more mindfulness. Wanna know the funny part? My first thought was to start another blog to help me be more mindful. Hmmm.
    I have been receiving your simple boot camp emails and I wouldn’t say they are contributing to the noise. Rather, I’d say they are reaching me in the noisy place I’m at. Perhaps, what I learn on your blog and through your other writings will mean I will no longer need Slow Your Home. Perhaps sending an enlightened reader on their way away from your blog is the outcome you will be happiest with. Just a thought.

  6. I am new to this site, but over the past couple of weeks, I have been checking in regularly for updates. Due to this site and another one with a similar vibe, I feel that the time I am spending on the computer is more “quality” time. My “go to” sites were previously home decorating/renovation sites and I was continuously feeling like I needed a bigger house, nicer things etc. But in reality my house is a small 3br cottage and I do actually love it and the things in it. These websites have given me the confidence to allow myself to actually openly like my smaller house (rather than desire a larger one or to apologise for it’s size to guests). It has opened my eyes and I am slowly feeling more comfortable with not wanting more, paring down my possessions and focusing on what is important in life. There are still things that I would like to buy, but I feel in a better place to make decisions about purchases, that will actually enhance my life, rather than detract and cause clutter.
    So while we are sitting on the computer reading this blog, and you are sitting on the computer writing it, at least for me, it has an impact after I leave the screen and providing the confidence/inspiration to live a more considered and simple life away from the screen.
    So thanks!!!

  7. I’m with you. I’ve been cutting back on my blogging time lately and trying to give myself time and space to enjoy the real world.

    Last weekend CatMan and I went for a bike ride – we usually ride during the week because the trails are less crowded, but things just worked out that way. Anyhow, there were all sorts of people out biking, which was totally great, but it seemed like a good 50% of them were talking on the phone while they were doing it!

    I even saw one fellow who was out with his family yacking away on his phone – not even a bluetooth headset, he was actually holding the phone in one hand and only had one hand on the handlebars, all while towing a small child in a trailer! So he’s out there with his wife and kids, but he didn’t seem to be enjoying either the fresh air or their company, and he was creating a hazardous situation on top of it all!

    Sorta seemed like missing the point to me…

  8. I’m struggling with my blogging identity at the moment. I don’t know if that will be solved by staring at the computer, but I also need a place for my writing.

    I get a bit cranky if I don’t write, so blogging is important to me, and connecting with other bloggers too. But I also understand our need to unplug, step back and enjoy life. I am trying to embrace autumn here in the UK, and I think that will only happen if I step out of blogland occasionally.

    Good for you for taking a break, there is no need for schedules, or consistent updates.

  9. Brooke, go ahead and take a much deserved break. Go out there and let the blog take a backseat and be an active participant to your beautiful life as it is unfolding. Let the present be at the forefront of your consciousness. You’ll find even more to write about when the last thing on your mind is wondering what to post next :)

  10. I understand dilemma.

    Reading Slow Your Home is the way I am able to connect with like-minded people. Through your blog, you have pricked my conscience, given me ideas for dealing with my stuff and assured me that I’m not alone in wanting to slow down and appreciate the beauty of everyday things.

    Whether you continue to blog or not, Brooke, you have had a positive impact on my life. Thank you.

  11. Hi Brooke,
    I can completely understand your desire to rest and recalibrate after that weekend! It left me feeling all kinds of thin things I wasn’t prepared for.

    I enjoy reading your blog but I can see your point completely. Last Christmas, my volume button died on my phone and it was silent, just in time for summer holidays. It was such a blessing as I had the opportunity to just feel, see and breathe in every moment and memory without the thought of my phone or any interruptions. I left it at home each day when we went exploring or relaxing on the beach. It was one of those simple holidays and I feel like the memories are burned in to my mind and not in my photo stream, I truly felt like I was ‘present’ for every second.

    Maybe that’s something you could incorporate into the blog, a ‘switching off day’ just a gentle reminder to get out and love this beautiful world we live in.

  12. It was so lovely to meet you on the weekend, sorry I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye. Enjoy your deserved break, hope it helps find you some clarity xx

  13. This is lovely Brooke :) so honest and refreshing.

    I’m with you here, after a while you think – hang on, I want ppl to get out and enjoy life but I would also like them to read my blog. Can’t have it both ways!! Dang.

    Enjoy your week off! xx

  14. Trying to lead a simple life can get pretty complicated sometimes can’t it?

    Sometimes I stop and realize that I’ve been taking shortcuts with dinner, buying things I could easily make myself and spending my precious free time consuming media because I’ve been so busy writing about how not to do those things!

    Thanks for the reminder :)

  15. Just wanted to let you know that whenever I’m feeling fuss trated, I come here and check out your blog. Keeps me grounded amongst pinning renovation ideas and reminds me why I love my sweet little home. X

  16. I’m reading Winter of Our Disconnect by Susan Maushart at the moment. It is an annual read for me as whenever I am nodding along to what she says and also laughing outloud I generally start to think ‘what the hell am I doing?’ Why do I feel I have to keep up with my emails on my phone, why do I have a Facebook account as a blogger when I don’t even like Facebook!! Am also having a re-think of where I want to go with blogging and why I am doing it in the first place. Absolutely recommend the book for a good laugh and how we live our lives today.

  17. I love your blog and all the comments! It´s great. Exactly what I am thinking. I am from Germany and I love your (english-)writing. But not mine :-). And you have explained exactly why I often feel uncomfortable about writing a blog. So, yesterday I visited the forest (After lots of blogging)! It was great to smell the trees (yes, you can smell them) and great to see all the animals (bees, flies, cows …). They all live without internet and without blogs.

    See you on the other side next week :-)


  18. I find that time only feels like it allows me very small breaks, and the easiest way to spend those is online. But I have been making an attempt to get out more, and I’ve been loving it.

  19. I think for me it’s about connecting online briefly, for moments … But living my moments right now and right here as fully as I can. The more I tune into my natural rhythm I see too that breaks/brakes are necessary, a good thing… Something that can inspire even xx

  20. What you said here sums up how I see your nlog and the others I read: “I want you to visit this blog, find a small moment of inspiration or encouragement, and take it with you as you move about in the 3D world. Let it accompany you as you live. As you explore. As you soak in the beautiful, tiny moments between.” I adore reading blogs in my quiet moments, they give me sanity. I store up the sanity to get through the madness.

  21. […] The last post I wrote wasn’t designed to garner a heap of attention or praise. Your comments and emails were so gratefully received, and everything you have said – both publicly and privately – has been taken on board. […]

  22. Hi Brooke…I just wandered over from Bethany’s link on her site, Journey to Ithaca. I appreciate your question about whether a person is “embracing life by sitting in front of a computer” and agree if that’s all your doing–sitting and passively observing others then you are definitely missing out on life! Instead, as a blogger myself I hope that people read what I write (not every one will want to or even like it) but those who do will start thinking and questioning themselves enough to take real action. Of course, in the end, what others get from our writing is ultimately up to them–we just put it out–like seeds in a garden, some will sprout and some will wilt….But for those of us who believe our dharma is gardening….we have not other choice. ~Kathy