Welcome. I am so pleased you can join me here for this moment. Moments are precious. This journal has been a long time coming. Waiting patiently in the dream realm for a day when I might give it some attention. I have many passions, but one that is now emerging more strongly than ever is writing, storytelling and sharing. I want to hear others voices and I feel ready to attempt to put into words some musings of my own.
I am not an expert in anything. My past decade or more has been devoted to living on a property in the bush with my family, raising three passionate little women, building a home, garden and more recently, a farm.
I moved to our off-grid cabin for a slower life. A life more connected with myself, the cyclical nature of the seasons and the land here on Bandjalang country. There was no hot water, very basic solar power and one room to sleep in for all 5 of us. It has been wonderful, but not exactly easy. Has it been slow? Well, sort of. And what does slow living really mean? You could say, I am still pondering this one.
So far, one thing I’ve learnt, is that slowness if anything is a state of mind. It can be achieved anywhere and nowhere at all. I’ve had times over the years where I was probably more stressed than a CEO in the city and times where I felt such flow and openness that I never wanted the day to end. Slow doesn’t necessarily mean doing nothing, although giving yourself permission do nothing can truly be a wonderful gift. Especially if you have a farm! I’d say I’m more of a doer, and have chosen a life where doing is pretty much essential, especially if you wish to have a hot bath at the end of the day! My days include chopping wood, keeping our wood fire stove going, tending to animals and doing the many chores that keep the cogs of homelife turning. Doing while being, now that’s my passion and something I am trying to cultivate more and more in my everyday life. Flowers help with this. It’s amazing to witness a moment of frustration being melted away by the presence and scent of a bloom. The expression “stop to smell the roses” is one cliche I can totally adhere to. There is always time to smell a rose, even when digging away out in the garden, and it always slows my mind.
Being an Aries and fairly spontaneous in nature, slowing down is something I have to practice with conscious intention. Mindfulness is another wonderful word, but slowness seems to counteract that impulse I have to do everything fast. I have long discovered that doing things more slowly means I not only enjoy a task more, but I do a better job at it and save myself time later.
Being with little ones is also great for this. I loved spending hours with my children when they were little simply exploring in detail one tiny section of our creek together. But as my children get older, those moments of sublime nothingness are getting less and less frequent. I’m holding onto them for dear life and so grateful for each moment like this when it comes along. So much more so now that I can see how fast it all truly whisks by. Now I have a teenager in the flock and another coming up the ranks, there are all sorts of new lessons to learn. Slowness together takes on different forms. Parenting consciously has been by far my greatest passion and still challenges me everyday. It continues to be a portal to some serious spiritual bootcamp. For those with littles, I’m sorry to say that the intensity doesn’t end it just changes, and for those with older children, feel free to shine and be my beacon through this wonderful yet ever evolving journey.
One way I try to flex my slowness muscles is to take some time, early in the morning before anyone wakes and have some ‘me’ time. This can include meditating, doing morning pages, reading something inspiring or sometimes simply a coffee and a walk around the garden at sunrise. When my girls were little, I would often take a bath at this time as it might be the only chance I would get. It’s a time to connect with myself, breath deeply and set the tone for the day. I usually think of a mantra or affirmation for the day that will help guide me back to myself if I get caught up in a storm.
Some favourites are:
“I have all the time I need”
“I am exactly where I need to be right now”
I get more done this way and I enjoy what I do even more.
I’d love to know how you nourish yourself, the words you speak to comfort yourself or what ‘slowness’ really means to you in this busy day and age.
Bedside table books to inspire slowness:
A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer
The Awakened Family: A Revolution in Parenting by Shefali Tsabary
Hurry Up & Meditate by David Michie