This year – 2017 – I declared as my year of “slow living”. I announced that I was going to focus on having 52 weeks of being more connected with and enjoying the things I love:
- Family time
- Garden time
- Time in nature
- Time for creative pursuits
I shared this intention publicly with many people and the reaction was how on earth was I going to do that with all I had on? Valid point, considering I am studying yoga therapy as well as natural medicine with Quantum University, plus working part time and running my business. The year started at a rapid pace and I began to wonder if I had made a rash claim. How was it going to play out?
What I have discovered falls into three gifts:
- Making my intention public kept it alive and prompted me to be creative in how I was going to make this happen. It added an accountability factor – I couldn’t sweep this under the carpet.
- I’ve realised that slow living doesn’t mean not achieving or not doing things; it’s not about doing nothing. I am still committed to working and studying and running a business, but I am also committed to not allowing work and study to be my life.
- Slow living is about noticing the good things and being more present to what is already showing up in my life. The sunsets, the smiling child I pass in the street, the view from my bedroom window over the estuary and so much more. It doesn’t take more time out of my day to appreciate these things. I simply have to pay attention to what is happening right now.
- It is about an increased awareness of my energy and where I am sending it.
- It is about making choices as to who I spend time with, where I do it and what I do with my time.
- Slow living is about knowing what I value in life and noticing when I am in alignment with what I say I stand for – walking the talk so to speak. It is about really stopping when I notice these moments of alignment and taking the time to feel them in my heart and letting the feeling of gratitude grow.
- The more I do this, the more aligned I am becoming with loving my life and realising that it is already happening right here, right now, in this moment.
Commitment, presence and gratitude all come from within me, from my daily life as it is. I don’t need to get anything or learn anything new to do this. Conscious living is about committing to catching these moments as they spontaneously arise, letting the stream of thinking subside and being fully present, savouring the goodness and aliveness in each moment, more and more of the time. This is what allows me to go deeper into that part of me that isn’t defined by roles, materialism or expectations of others.
I encourage you to make a commitment: begin to alternate between a state of constant thinking, which is usually about the past or the future, and a state of noticing your breathing, looking around and giving yourself permission to be in the moment – that place before the thoughts start. That’s the place of a greater intelligence and spaciousness. That’s the place where you can’t help but feel grateful.
This alignment – commitment, presence, gratitude – is where you will awaken your consciousness.
“Unhappiness is created whenever you are out of alignment with the present moment.” Eckhart Tolle