Slow living is a movement that is against the fast paced modern world we live right now. We are getting overwhelmed and stressed easily because we want everything quickly and move on to the next goals according to our endless to-do list. The reality is, we only have so much time in a day, and we only live this moment once. Instead of hurrying, rushing and moving all over the place to get the next shining object on the other side of the grass, we can slow down, reflect, and focus on what's important and working for us, enjoying every moment of life. Instead of comparing to other people's success, we can listen to our own dreams and work with our strengths.
Slow living can be shown in any levels, food, exercise, clothing, entertainment, parenting, business and more.
We are so used to fast food, processed food, canned food, microwavable food, and snacks with ingredients we can not identify. Slow food is about using real food and cook from scratch at home. It does take more effort to prepare, but the health benefit is totally worth the trouble. This is the way people in most countries throughout the history. Time to abandon modern prepackaged, genetically modified, and artificial food. Forget about diet for health. If we can just stop eating "modern creation" junk food, we will be so much healthier.
People are so used to going to the gym to exercise, or thinking you need big equipment at home to work out. We try hard to sweat on the machines, and measuring the result by the numbers on machine. Isn't that sound so unnatural and boring? even a torture? Since when do we need to rely on machine to exercise? If you can not afford a gym membership or personal trainer, you can not exercise? Time to reverse that. Outdoor is the best place to exercise by walking, running, bicycle and more. Indoor is a great place to Yoga, meditation, and many stretching, jumping or just moving around.
We do not need a good equipment, an app, a video or a gym to move our bodies. Listen to our bodies and follow our hearts. Everyone has different style of fitness preference and requirement. Consulting professional is a good idea, but one style fits all is not going to work well in the long run. Figure out what works best for you and establish your own routine.
In the old days, clothing are handmade from cotton and wool. It also passes down to siblings. To get a new garment made, someone has to measure the size, decide the style, and gather the fabric first. It takes a long time to finish a piece of garment. Now, most of what we wear are manufactured in a third world country with cheap labor and cheap material. We throw out the old one without thinking too much because it is so cheap to buy new ones. Most people have an overload of clothing in the closet but still nothing to wear.
Isn't it nicer to have fewer garments, all properly fit to personal style and comfort. Learning to sew or have someone sewing for you is a good option because sewing machine is so easily available now and learning is easy from internet. Mass produced fashion has its place, but have one's own clothing made is extra special and usually last longer.
Capsule wardrobe is very popular now because of the minimalist trend. You only need a few key pieces in your wardrobe and clean out everything else. A simple wardrobe is easy to match, maintain and still versatile. When you only have less than 20 pieces of clothing and accessories, life is less chaotic instantly.
Most of our entertainment these days revolved around technology, from TV, tablet, e-reader, social media to smart phone and apps. Children's entertainment is not much different, TV, video games, electric toys.... Technology certainly helps us gather information and communicate a lot faster, but it has downside too.
It is hard to control, but we do need to have a life outside all the technology. We need time without the distraction of phones and medias. We need to have real face to face communication and connection instead of just message or texting. We should be fine entertaining ourselves without relying on any technology. For example, we can read an old fashioned book, draw, paint, garden, cook, sports, going outdoors, spending quality time with family and friends. Technology tends to give us more anxiety than calmness. We can not live without all electronics, but sometimes we should draw the line to experience the natural life without the interference of electronics.
Most parents want their kids to start winning the race early. They arrange a lot of activities and classes for that goal. Sometimes we have to stop and ask what does your kid really want? and what is the best for both parents and kids? Are we just applying the model we use for ourselves? Run around and work hard to achieve more? but ignore what our hearts feel?
There is always a trendy thing in any society for parents. Whatever other parents are doing, we have to do it too or we fear that we will be behind. I know it is difficult to listen to your child instead of everybody else. It's not about schedule classes and buying the latest toys. The more important thing of parenting is to teach the right attitude toward learning, people skills, life skills, and discovering the unique character in each kid. It takes time, a lot of quality time together, to develop the trust, and develop the full potential of a kid.
We want our children to grow independently, be responsible for themselves, and enjoy whatever they choose to achieve. Parents's role is only to guide, support and inspire.
This topic is less talked about. Slow business is a business building on relationship with customers, through trust and integrity. There is no short cut to an old fashioned branding. Business that helps people, provide valuable service or product will need to build the trust, one customer at a time. If the business stay true to what they promise, they will stay stronger. On the other hand, business that looks for quick money without investing in helping customers, will not have long term success.
There are a lot of get rich quick opportunities around promising easy money. They never work because a solid business needs a good product/service that truly helps people, and reliable customer service to establish the people connection. Slow business prove their integrity and build their trust through the test of time.
Basically, slow living means to simplify life, purge, de-clutter, return to the nature state and follow our internal pace. When we take away all the excess and irrelevant, life becomes much more manageable and enjoyable.