Living Positively: Intro To Slow

Published on: February 1, 2016

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Two people laying in a field in the distance

By: Tonya Papanikolov 

Slow living is a lifestyle. It’s a choice and, more than anything, a commitment. The movement started in the 80s in Italy by Carlo Petrini, who protested against the opening of a McDonalds in Rome. From there, slow food was born and has since become a worldwide movement. Carl Honoré coined the phrase “slow movement” in his book, In Praise of Slowness.

Slow living, slow food – it’s about the pace with which we decide to operate, both our mind and body. It’s about our priorities and rewiring our Western programming. The ‘fast pace of life’ is something we love to talk about, maybe even complain about. We never have enough time. I feel this pressure often. Most of us do. Life gets busy.

I read and talk about slow living but my life is anything but slow right now, in the literal sense of the word anyway. Between late nights with school — papers, tests, exams basically every day of the week – tacked onto that is a job, freelance projects, foodbyt and of course, all whilst maintaining relationships. We all have our own versions of this full life, with a special shout out to anyone who adds ‘raising a family’ to that list. 

Truth is, I rather like my days to be full and involved yet despite this movement of life, slow living and food will always be a value of mine. Life isn’t really going to slow down per se, but that’s not what the movement is about. It’s not about the physical act of being slow or lazy. It’s about the pace of our mind. It’s about savoring the minutes, however many or few, in between. Making time to stretch, meditate, breath, to prepare thoughtful food, to journal or feel feelings instead of pushing them away. Slow takes dedication, but the outcome is worthwhile.

A few suggestions on how how to start slow:

·      Cultivate your own morning or evening rituals – whichever is a better time for you. This means uninterrupted you-time. Take responsibility to prioritize this for yourself because no one else will.

·      Practice an act of daily self-love – invest in caring for yourself and becoming self aware. Our relationships with others is a reflection of our relationship with ourselves. Self-love can include anything from yoga, meditation, writing, a personal retreat, 20 minutes alone a day, dry-brushing before a shower, looking in the mirror with a smile instead of with a microscope – there are so many ways we can show ourselves compassion

·      Thoughtful food – if you are fortunate enough, invest in getting to know who is growing your food. Shop at farmer’s markets (yes, even in the winter!), buy local foods, buy organic, plant a home garden, teach your children about where their food is coming from and why it matters.

There is so much beauty that is exposed when we slow down, not to a snails pace, but to the right pace, where we can see the fullness of life.

A photo of. Tonya Papanikolov and her bio

To minimize the use of plastic in your own life, look around your home and work to identify plastic items. From there, seek to find alternatives.