First, I'm going to share that I love Ella Roberts's music. I don't know how I hadn't heard of her before, but she's wonderful! Her soft Celtic music, which includes many of my favorite songs, has been a companion through my past few weeks of writing. Her songs bring joy and pair well with slow living.
I recently came across this movement called Slow Living, which it happens, has been around for quite a long time, so apparently I'm slow in a few things. Anyway, it's a wonderful and simple concept, this slow living. I've discovered that it means different things to different people, but at the core of it is the idea of slowing down, living a simpler life, and experience whatever is happening in the moment. For me, this also means having a purpose for everything I do, or it's not worth doing, buying, etc.
These are a few of mine . . .
Read with purpose.
This is my mother. She reads at a snail's pace, but she reads every word carefully. In fact, she remembers some of the events in my earlier books better than I do. I'm practicing reading at a slower pace, to savor each word and not worry about how quickly I can finish a book, and think instead of what I can take away from it. Reading has become an even more enjoyable passion, which I did not think was possible.
Shop with purpose.
I've never been one to care about current fashion trends, so I have no need to buy whatever is in style. My winter uniform mostly consists of comfy pants or cords, shirt, and wool cardigans. Summer is for long flowy dresses and sandals, even when out in nature. I am a lot more careful now about what I buy, and have put myself on a stricter budget (except for books, which have no budget). I think about every item before I buy it and ask myself if I'll use it as often as I think, or if I already have something else that will do the job.
Garden with purpose.
90% of gardening, for me, is about joy rather than purpose, but joy is a worthy objective. Digging in the dirt, nurturing plants, and watching them take root and life, and then walking through the garden to enjoy the fruits of our labors, is purpose in itself.
Live with purpose.
Take the time to cook a good meal and sharing it with others, enjoy a long walk in nature without technology interferring, look up and smile at others when you pass them on the street, and give of time, money, and support to those who need it more. All sometimes easier said than done, but all worth doing.
Love with purpose.
I have to say it: this mostly applies to animals. Seriously, no one will ever convince me that loving animals is not akin to love another human. I love a few people, too, but there's something about a cute little (or big) furball cuddling and staring at you with big lovey eyes. It melts the heart over and over again (even though a heart can't melt, or it can, but well, you get it).
Gratitude in all things.
It's not always easy to wake up, plodder through the same routine, and remain positive. Some people will say it's not a choice, others will say it's 100% about personal attitude. I say sometimes life happens, it's not always pretty, but there's always—ALWAYS—something for which to be grateful. Live, laugh, love, dream, and REPEAT is my recipe for a healthier and happier day, even when I have to work really hard to find something to be grateful for.
My goal for this new year and all the years ahead is to slow down, enjoy the little moments, and live each one with purpose and joy.
What one thing would you change in your life to live slow? I hope you discover all the wonderful possiblities that await in your discoveries.
#UpbeatAuthors was originally launched by author Trish Milburn in 2017. Most of those who participated carried it through 2018, and a few went a year or two beyond. I've decided to revive it for 2023, at least on this blog, for a year of positivity.