Permission for Slow Living

I've just finished the 10-day Deeply Rooted Spring Cleanse offered by my friend Stephanie over at Wellness by Design. What an amazing journey.... I've come out of it refreshed and refocused. And with a new appreciation for slowing down. You see, early on I realized I could not maintain my normal pace, and truly honor the cleansing process. So I gave myself permission to go at whatever pace felt good. That, my friends, is big for me. (Would it be for you?)
What if you gave yourself permission to slow down, even just a little? What would that look like? How would it feel?

For me, it meant focusing first on the essentials (which required me to identify what those really are). Food, of course, was top of the list, being on a cleanse. Preparing made-from-scratch meals (no gluten, no dairy, no meat, no sugar, no caffeine, no alcohol) three times a day, for 10 days, took up a lot of my time. Moving my body daily and spending time outside in the sunshine was essential. As was getting enough rest.
Everything else after these non-negotiable acts of self care fell into place in a more balanced way. Somehow there was still time for the necessary family, work, and household responsibilities. The key word here is necessary. Yes, laundry piled up while I juiced a bazillion fruits and veggies. No, I didn't blog at all, but no deadlines were missed. And my family actually received more from me, as I slowed down and paid attention to their true needs in the moment.
By giving myself permission to slow down and do less, I actually felt like time slowed down for me. And in a lot of ways, it felt like I did more. Because what I was doing meant more. My choices were conscious, intentional, and fulfilling. I feel a deeper sense of peace and contentment than I have in years.
So now, I'm on the other side of the cleanse... and don't be mistaken, this was not easy work. Aside from the initial discomfort of the detoxing process, the mental and emotional resistance to this shift of perception was quite challenging... but now, I wonder, can it be sustained? If I eat a piece of bread, will this magical state of slowed-down-bliss fade away? (Of course not; that's silly, right?)
I want to hold on to what I've learned. I want to stay here in this new land of slow living where I put doing art at the kitchen table with my girls before sweeping the floor. Where walking on the beach and breathing in the salty air is just as important every week as paying the bills. Where I can give myself permission to do less and feel more. To live at my own pace.
What can you do less of so that you can feel, be, or do more? 
Or maybe you are already well along the path of slow living?
I'd love to hear your thoughts on how to sustain a slower pace.

1 comment:

Rose said...

"There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is in having lots to do and not doing it." --Mary Wilson

Easier said than done!