Start the new year with some slow living

It’s a new year, 2018 is here and there is a fresh new energy. Time to plan and set intentions for the new year ahead right? Well, what if you’re not quite in that head space yet..? How about we try another approach? Take a moment to close your eyes, take a deep breath and really tune into your body… what’s the one thing it really needs right now? If it’s dreaming and scheming then go for it, but if you are anything like me you are craving rest, rest and a bit more rest.

I have definitely been easing myself into 2018. In previous years by now I have been struck by inspiration to dream, plan, choose my word for the year ahead, but that is not how I am feeling this year. I have an idea or two about why that is, but more on that later, in the meantime, I am just allowing myself to take things extra slowly. Which Is why it has taken me until now to write this first blog post.

Our bodies are wise, and even if you think you are pretty good at listening to yours, it’s sometimes so easy (with the wonders of social media) to get distracted by what everyone else is doing. It’s tempting to allow ourselves to fall in line with other peoples rhythm. Only you can set your own pace, not anyone else. Do what feels good for you. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, pick one thing to focus on, or do small things that feel manageable. Currently what’s helping me is concentrating on where I am finding the most joy.

Over the last few years I have realised that everything always comes in waves… creativity, work, energy, mood, seasons, monthly cycles… all of life is always ebbing and flowing. Before, I would get panicky if things got too quiet, or I wasn’t feeling creative, and I would often put pressure on myself and force myself to keep going. Now, however I am learning to savour the lulls and soak up the quiet pauses. If I am not feeing something, I sit and wait and have faith that it will return again as sure as spring will be here in a few months.

In terms of ‘Geoffrey and Grace’ there are new challenges and directions for me this year… the ideas that are floating in my head all feel scary and unfamiliar. There is a lot of self doubt and I struggle with my confidence and whether it’s all possible. If I rewind a few years though, all the things I have accomplished during that time, also all felt scary and unfamiliar at the time. Maybe then, things being scary and unfamiliar is okay, it’s just part of the process.

Things are bound to be uncertain when you are treading your own freelance path, there is always going to be a portion of you that feels like you’re making it up as you’re going along. It’s good to remind ourselves that all these feelings are perfectly normal. We then just need to ‘breathe out’ the worry, self-doubt and fear and take a leap of faith.

If you’re not great at taking stock and acknowledging what you have accomplished, then a great exercise to do is to look back at what you have achieved during 2017. I’ve found it can be brilliant motivation for getting me in the mood for thinking about the year ahead.

Reflecting on a few highlights from 2017…

Last year I had several written pieces published in magazines including ‘The Slow Art of Indigo’, ’The Maker’s Hands’ and how to ‘Create a Mindful Bedtime Routine’ for Project Calm and an article on the Art of Slow Living, to name a few.

It was a pleasure to be able to collaborate with some wonderful brands on the blog and on Instagram including The Linen Works, Smart Energy GB, WoolRoom, Farrow & Ball and Denby.

We also finally completed our Simple Kitchen. Plus we managed a few other updates to our house restoration.

It was wonderful to attend and teach yoga to the gorgeous women at Sisterhood Camp in early Summer.

I finished the year by holding my first ever live instagram (I needed to take big deep breath for that one) which was a live guided Midwinter Meditation.

I repeatedly returned to my word and intention for the year ‘Ease’. For someone who worries a lot and is naturally an anxious person, stress is no stranger to me. I thought if I could bring more ease into the every day and into the work I do, that it would be a great step to becoming more relaxed generally. For me the word acted a bit like an anchor, and when I was faced with decisions or was unsure about something I could return to the word for reference.

Geoffrey and Grace Appeared in Reclaim Magazine, Waitrose Weekender Magazine, Project Calm, The Early Hour and The Alex and Alexa Lifestyle Magazine.


Wherever you are with your thoughts on how to have the best start to 2018, just be kind to yourself and go at your own pace. Sure, 2018 is full of potential and possibilities but it’s okay if you need to rest, make cup of tea and recharge a bit more first. Try focusing on the present and what will make you happy today.

Happy New Year you lovely lot and thank you so much for taking the time to connect here, on Instagram, on Facebook or on Twitter. If you want to keep up to date with Geoffrey and Grace news and want tips on slow living and well-being than you can sign up to my newsletter here.

Melanie BarnesComment