I think a lot of people have misconceptions about slow living. One of the biggest myths, is about stress. If you are pursuing a life where your priority is to slow down, and connect, and fill your day with wholehearted moments, is there any room for rushing around, being busy, and feeling stressed?
I would get it a lot as a yoga teacher, my students would assume I floated about in a little zen bubble all day, not getting angry, or feeling anxious. I understand why they thought that, they only knew me through a certain context. However, stress is unavoidable, and I am naturally quite an anxious person – not to the Woody Allen extreme – but I have to work at keeping any worries in-check, other wise it can be all-consuming.
With my work, just like any other job, I come across situations that cause me stress. I also encounter days where I am really really busy – days when what needs to get done, trumps how much time I have to do it in.
This last few weeks I have felt that there are a lot of new beginnings just around the corner. Along with the change of the season, September always brings a general ‘back to school’ feeling, plus it’s Bailey’s first day of school ever this week.
Also, the start of the month saw the start of a new moon. I don’t know much about astrology, and I don’t even read my horoscope very often, but more and more I am noticing how the moon effects my mood and emotions. And, whilst there are actually some big changes happening at the moment, I am sure the new moon intensified some of what I, and others (including the four year old) have been feeling.
I know the heaviest of these changes is Bailey starting school. She knows something is about to be different, but until she has actually started, the idea is a bit conceptual for her, and for me too. It’s hard to fast-forward and know precisely how you will feel about an event, even one that has been a long time coming. Actually, I think in some ways, the anticipation and build up makes it worse. All Summer we have talked about school, been to buy the uniform, got new shoes etc… all of these individual things that lead up to this week, just add a bit of pressure.
There is something hypnotising about the summer that encourages a slower pace. I have written about it before, that particularly during the warmer months people noticeably have a strong desire to slow down.
Traditionally it’s when people go on holiday, which automatically invites a different rhythm from the rest of the year.
Bound by school terms for a large portion of childhood, maybe it’s ingrained in us from an early age, that the summer is the time to kick back and play. As adults with children, the free summer months still represent later starts and no school runs.
Perhaps also the warmer weather invites a slower lifestyle. Heat can definitely make you feel lethargic, after all the tradition of siestas became commonplace to help people avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day.
We have all heard the phrase “feel the fear and do it anyway”, but what happens when your fear pretends to be something else? Unhelpfully fear can take many different guises, so how do we recognise that stealth fear that lurks within and pretends not to be fear at all? Then once we have established it is fear, how do we begin to move past it?
I have had the pleasure of contributing to ‘Stitch and Forage’ – a Seasonal Summer Living E-course created by Hannah Bullivant (aka Seeds and Stitches) and Herbalist Natasha Richardson.
Stitch and Forage is a guide to natural Summer living on a budget. A self paced e-course, made up of four core modules; ‘Forage’, ‘Make’, ‘Gather’, and ‘Tend’. You will receive a beautifully designed PDF with all the tutorials, planning tools, resource links, and printables you need for the course.