How to Embrace Slow

How To Embrace Slow

We’ve just had an incredible long weekend, although there was really nothing extraordinary about it.

We spent time with family, slept in, watched movies, had a backyard campfire, took a long, slow bushwalk together and enjoyed some beers at the pub. I read a little, wrote a little, thought a lot.

When we slow down, we give ourselves time and space to really think about things, to be present, to embrace what’s happening right in front of us, as opposed to flitting from task to task, never quite spending time in the now.

I tried to think about how it’s come to be this way for us, how it’s come to be easy to slow down and enjoy the moment. And I realised two things:

1. There are no rules that apply to everyone.

2. You can’t wait for a perfect time to slow down.

If we waited until the house was immaculately tidy and work was quiet and the kids were perfectly settled and we had no stresses, then we would still be waiting for permission from life to slow down.

It doesn’t happen like that. Life is messy and layered and there are always things going on. It requires constant tilting.

This weekend could have been stressful. The kids have been sick, work is very busy and there are always (always) things to do at home.

But instead of waiting for those things to not be an issue anymore, we simply embraced the opportunity to slow down anyway.

Chores? They’ll be there tomorrow.

Kids unwell? Take it easy and enjoy the opportunity to watch Star Wars and Jurassic Park. (Side Note: It’s such a happy day when the kids start requesting something other than sugar-soaked animated films.)

Work stresses? Don’t check in over the weekend. It can wait ’til you’re back at your desk.

It’s amazing what comes to the surface when we slow down and stop cramming stuff in to life. Ideas, thoughts and memories come bubbling up alongside realisations and discoveries.

We think clearly. We pay attention to the moment. We learn things. We come away feeling rested and rejuvenated and at peace, because we’ve spent time living in the now.

That’s the feeling I have this morning as I sit with my coffee and write these words. Peace. Because I can look back at the time I’ve just spent with my family and can see that I truly spent my time with my family. I was all there.

And while the emails need to be answered, the lunches made, the floor mopped, the meetings attended, it’s these times of being present, of living slow, of paying attention that will be important.

 

18 Responses to How to Embrace Slow

  1. You’re so right Brooke. There is no perfect time to make a change, but there is always now. My son has recently given up napping in the day, but if we go out in the car or the stroller in the afternoon he’ll nod off and be up until after 9pm. This has given me a great incentive to stay home in the afternoon! To start with I was a bit frustrated by this – it was a bit boring, long afternoons – but I am really embracing the slowness of it now. I’ve discovered he will even tolerate me knitting for a bit or reading my book. It’s been good practice for saying ‘no’ – both to my own “shoulds” and to others – as well as being really intentional about my activities.

    • Ah, yes, I remember that transition well! It can take some serious getting used to, but it sounds like you’ve got the right idea. Tilt and flex and make it work for you. xx

  2. Sounds like a great long weekend. We had a big family party on Saturday, then took the rest of the weekend pretty slow. We all have colds, so outings were not a good plan, I spent yesterday (and now part of today) sitting on the sofa in the sun in my newly decluttered living room, enjoying some open space and knowing the room is clean. So easy to go slow without the clutter :)

  3. Lovely post! Being ‘there’ both emotionally and physically is so important. I was a little frustrated this morning because although I love long weekends with the family I always feel the ‘rush’ that follows as routines get so disrupted and put aside followed by the need to make up that ground.. But I try to remind myself to breathe, that everything will still be there tomorrow and exactly when those chores get done really aren’t that important.

    • Absolutely, Erika! It’s a really powerful thing to realise (and be OK with) the fact that the things we think we need to do right now simple aren’t going anywhere. I hope the rest of your day is a good one. x

  4. your post was the perfect fit for me right now! I have spent most of my life in pursuit of perfection in my home, my teaching, my relationships, just everything. I know I cannot undo the past, but I am learning to slow down and enjoy the process of life and allow myself to better prioritize my choices and not feel guilty for leaving a few tasks for”later”

  5. I love this. There will never be a time when there is nothing more to do (our culture teaches us to be busy, we can always find things that need to be done), but embracing the moment now is important. It sounds like you had a fantastic weekend.

  6. Love, love, love this post. It resonated so strongly with me and where I am right now. There is NEVER a perfect time to take a time-out. Thanks for the reminder. I experienced a long-weekend very much like the one you described just a couple of weeks ago and it felt … blissful. Nothing phenomenal happened, nothing that even cost money (other than a couple of meals out) but it was incredibly fun and restful. A good way to hit the “reset” button on life. Thanks for this great post today! :)

  7. Thank you for this. Sometimes I just need the reminder to give myself permission for imperfection. I imagine that lowering the bar gets easier and easier with consistent practice. Trying to meet an unreasonable standard is an incredible self-imposed burden!

  8. “i was all there” sweet, glorious state of being. Too many times my body and mind have been at totally different events at the same time. But I ‘ve learned ( not a natural trait for me) to be content, partially by being ” all there”.
    Thanks for sharing

  9. Thanks for this post, very timely for me as this is exactly what our family is working. “You can’t wait for a perfect time to slow down” really resonates with me. With a five and one year old, it feels like life is getting busier – it really does take such a conscious effort to remember that busy is not better and NOW is the time to slow things down.
    P.S – kiddie star wars fan in our house too :)

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