As with most of us, the ringing in of a new year attracts a really good opportunity for reflection and goal setting *cue all of the nutribullet pictures on Instagram*. Usually I am ALL IN for that but this year feels a little different. Maybe it's because I am 30 (billion) weeks pregnant, or maybe it's a genuine shift in my thinking but I can't help but think about being motivated in a different kind of way this year. Lots of people have decided on 'words' or 'mantras' for the year, a way to reflect around a theme or a feeling - I kind of like that. I've decided to mix it up a little and explore something here on the blog that I've been ruminating over for a while.
Not only am I entering into a season of life where things are slowing down for me in many ways as we prepare to have a new baby on the scene, I am also really intrigued and drawn to the idea of 'slowing' in so many other facets of life.
Slow has had a bit of a bad rep, hasn't it? Most of us are irritated by slowness. People walking slowly, children getting their coats on slowly (*SIGH*), someone explaining something slowly, your order at a restaurant being brought out slowly, the list goes on. There is a hurriedness in our society that isn't actually making us happy and I wonder if, like most things we think are going to benefit us, the value of 'instant' is diminishing.
I have to also disclose at this point that there is something about slow living that goes completely against my innate instincts. I am largely a 'doing' person, my biggest strength being identified as that of an 'Activator' - described in the Strengthsfinder Theme in this way: "An activator believes only action can make things happen. Only action leads to performance. Once a decision is made, you cannot not act" so you can see how this notion of slowing is something that has the potential to irritate me. Yet, I have been learning the value of slow in lots of areas of my life and I want to try to unpack my thinking a bit here. I don't think slowness is the direct opposite of action, but it definitely rubs against it a bit but I'm up for the challenge.
I've loved reading about this from other people and blogs, and participating in various mediums of inspiration that glorify slowing down instead of being so painfully busy (my friend Jenny who is also pregnant just posted a funny but important blog on all the things she is not going to be doing this year - have a read) . Sara-Louise wrote a series on Slow Advent before Christmas that I got involved in and I also particularly love how Danielle and Melanie are using Instagram as a place to share moments of slow living with a community gathering around their monthly hashtag project.
So, starting next week, the aim here on this blog is to address the value of slowness in a specific area of life - the benefits, the nuances, the value of living a life that is more mindful, connected and purposeful in the hope that we can all give ourselves more permission to do the same. Some of the topics I'll be covering are: slow consumerism/spending, slow parenting, slow activism and slow faith.
Are you interested in joining? Maybe we could have a little twitter chat each week about the topic being unpacked? Let me know if this is something you'd like to come along with me and explore this year and I'll make sure to remind you. I look forward to slowing down with you!