WHAT IS SLOW LIVING REALLY ABOUT?
“I’m pushing the pause button because I can’t change the existential reality of the times, but I can adapt my responses to it.”
It begins with pauses, deep breaths and honest decisions for a purposeful, content, and fulfilling life. That calls for an acceptance of personal values that truly make us happy. From such awareness, comes thoughtful, considered thinking. As a result, lifestyle choices begin to fall into alignment with authentic instincts.
INCLUDING, BUT ALSO TRANSCENDING THE LITERAL MEANING OF ‘SLOW.’
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”
The fast pace of modern living is the inevitable by-product of a very man-made system. It’s all coming from the manner in which the gathering, processing, and distribution of sensory stimuli is carried out. It’s all in the speed, frequency, and seamlessness.
When we literally slow down, we’re making an effort to snap out of auto-pilot mode. Doing so allows us to make an honest assessment of choices, possessions, and habits that take up ‘headspace and home-space’ even after their time and purpose in our life has run out. That’s why decluttering feels difficult. We don’t see the self-introspection lesson coming. Even if we do, we don’t feel prepared for it.
Lessons are always learned when we’re through with them. So, once we figure out what really keeps us in our element, the literal ‘slow’ of slow living becomes more soulful. We become more comfortable with exploring things that have a healthy and wholesome way of satiating our appetite. When this happens, it doesn’t feel like missing out. Instead, living in the moment feels more effortless.
WHEN DOES ‘SIMPLICITY’ FEEL ENOUGH?
Unfortunately, we equate simplicity with dullness far too easily and quickly. Simplicity is about depth of detail. It feels ‘enough,’ when the art, craft, and story makes us feel like we can let out an emotional expression through it.
Slow Living prompts us to think about the space we thought we didn’t need, until we created it. Then, any product, service, or lifestyle choice that feels like an extension of ourselves doesn’t need to try too hard to ‘sell’ itself to us.
WHAT ABOUT PUSHING ‘PAUSE’ ON PURCHASES IN THE NAME OF SLOW LIVING?
We wouldn’t have to force our hand away from Add to Cart, like an act of punishment, if we’re satisfied with the way personal values and lifestyle choices align.
The closer the alignment, the more authentic daily living feels, and pushing pause on purchases is a story that writes itself. For example, if it’s timelessness we value, then, we’d purchase, say, a piece of furniture that’s made with a sturdy, long-lasting material. Job done.
The external choice aligns with the internal value, so neither the mind, nor the heart feels the need to agonise over pushing pause on anything.
WHICH BRINGS US TO ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE CHOICES
Slow Living decisions have mindfulness and conscientious intent at the heart of them. Of course, that intent has to extend to our first and forever home – our planet. At individual and collective level, we all do what we can to take care of our environment, as we simultaneously work to lay plans that will incorporate eco-consciousness at every step of our processes.
Choosing timeless materials that remain relevant and useful for as long as they possibly can, is one way to go about it. Recycling resources is crucial. Repurposing leftovers can lead to very creative, and delightful outcomes. So can preserving and restoring articles to give them a new life. The mindset of multipurpose application is its own kind of sustainability and minimalism, in the sheer act of requiring little, to do a lot more.
FINALLY, A WORD ON THE LOVE AFFAIR BETWEEN SLOW LIVING & SOLITUDE
Contemporary discussions in home interiors and design acknowledge the need, and the value for solitude spaces, because of their rejuvenative and enlightening benefits. These spaces could be of any kind – from a favourite sofa, to an entire portion of personal space, like a corner of the terrace or the balcony, or even a creative WFH studio in the outhouse.
The need for intimacy can extend beyond a significant other, to a tight-knit inner circle; one that we identify when slowing down gives us breathing space to mull over the quality over quantity question.
It’s amongst the most human of human instincts to want to be alone as we assess our values or priorities, and our true sources of happiness.
Slow Living philosophy encourages us to be comfortable in our own skin, so that being alone doesn’t translate into being lonely.