Just a quick one from me today to let you know that I have put together a free guide to Slow Living in our Digital Age to help you be more mindful with your time online and on your handheld devices.
Our phones are brilliant at keeping us connected but we need to find a healthy and happy balance and make sure we are intentional with how we use them so that the time we do spend online is productive and positive.
Sometimes I think music is my church. It’s the place I go to, to feel that everything is connected and intertwined, a place to find and feel something outside of myself, a higher state of consciousness. It’s also a place to get reflective and have some space to think about what is happening in my life and to let the weekly/daily happenings settle. Finally, it’s something to turn to when things don’t make sense and I feel a little lost.
Time and time again I have listened to music and found the answers to questions that weren’t even fully formed in my mind. Music has the ability to express things that words alone cannot.
I shared this quote a while ago in my Facebook Group Seeking Slow and it seemed to resonate with lots of you…”Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” Chinese Proverb
I therefore thought it would be useful to unpick this concept a little more, and a good starting point is learning to recognise how we physically hold tension in our body.
We need to understand the difference between tension and relaxation and understand how to navigate from one to the other.
Lots of us walk about holding tension in our body without even realising it. Sometimes tension becomes so habitual that we always ‘hold’ our body that way, it then feels completely normal to us. It’s only when we give our bodies the space and time to deeply relax that we can realise what released feels like. And by comparison, we can know what tension is. They are at the opposite ends of the spectrum and in some ways one allows the other.
Hurrying is such an unhelpful feeling but one that is familiar to all of us. Lots of folk seem to be playing catch up this week, myself included. It can be that way after a school holiday, right? We all spent the Easter holiday juggling (and loving) having the kids at home but also keeping on top of normal stuff too, be it work, or other projects. That unhelpful sense of being behind can swiftly spiral into rushing, which then turns into stress and anxiety.
We have also all had those mornings were the tasks we are doing have just taken longer than we thought, or something unforeseen happens that means you get lots less done. One morning this week my washing machine started leaking, luckily I was right there in the kitchen so managed to stop it pretty quickly, but there was still a good 40 minutes of mopping up water and organising someone to come and fix the machine that I hadn’t planned for.
Two frustrating mornings and a sense of being behind before I had even begun got me in a really negative head space for working. It got me thinking about why we hurry in the first place and how we can avoid hurrying altogether. There must be things we can do differently with how we approach our days and how we mange our time so we are present and relaxed whilst also being productive. Also, what if hurrying has become so habitual to you that you are in a rushing rut? How do we shake off that hurried feeling, do more things slowly and hurry less….
Since buying this house, over three years ago now, we have been trying to create a slow and simple home. There are some weeks when I glance around our home and the space is far from slow and simple, and having a slow home feels as elusive as ever.
When you are in the midst of house renovations there are bound to be patches of chaos. We have spent the last few weeks with the house feeling topsy turvy whilst we restored a sash window and then moved all the furniture out of one room into another in order to paint a floor (more on that later.)
Recently, I’ve been getting frustrated with how slow the progress has been. I know it’s ironic for some one who writes about slow living to admit that, but I just wish we could speed things up a little. How your home feels, and the space around you can have a really big impact on your well-being, and at the moment I am definitely craving more calm and order from our home.