Slow Living

Admiring the elegant green needles on this pine branch and the
fluffy fresh snow,
my thoughts turn to how it is so easy to fall into a pattern of a frenetic
lifestyle in the fast lane.

Taking the time to notice how nature creates beautiful still life
arrangements, like these seedpods, leaves and moss fallen after the last snowfall.

Slow living is all about taking the time to savour and fully engage with life.

Just as snowfall slows down nature.
Mindful walking brings our attention to small details.
It makes us more aware and connects us to the present moment.

I noticed these beautiful reflections as I meandered where my steps took me
on my walk.
This scene made me think of the seaside. The wet sands, 
the receding waves leaving shiny reflections of the blue sky.
In fact, this scene was created by melting snow on a country road.

We notice more when we slow down. 
We take the time to see the splendour in the simplest things.

If I had been rushing along, preoccupied in my thoughts, I wouldn't have noticed
the shadow of a tree on a house as I walked up the hill away from the town centre
to be closer to nature.

Further up the hill, I saw how the trees were reflected in the windows of this wooden house.

Looking down, I paused to enjoy the sight of this tiny feather joined by a fallen leaf
on the paving stones. The naturally artistic arrangement was certainly worthy of my pause!

Finally I get up higher where I can see tall trees in all their majestic winter beauty.
This beautiful old oak with gnarled and twisting branches
stretching out to embrace the blue of the early February sky.
The days are getting longer
and all my senses are awakened as I hear the first birdsong of the year.

Sometimes we cannot get out into nature, but we can bring some into our home.
I picked these Chinese Lanterns from a pot on my balcony.
I marvelled at the lacy patterns and structure on their surface.

Noticing how abstract art can be created by gazing at ice-cubes in a bowl.

Some shiny marbles near the window drew attention to themselves in the light.

A tiny narcissus flower in a pot in my home is just coming into bloom.
I like to take the time to enjoy the beauty in shape, texture and colour.

I know that for many people, life is hectic.
The fact of going out to work each day and constantly looking at our watches
is all part of life in the fast lane
and often after work there are meals to prepare and children's needs
to be seen to.

But it would be so beneficial to take just a few moments, if we cannot manage more.
To include perhaps 15 minutes in our day to just to be
instead of constantly conjugating the verb 'to do'.

Early mornings can be used to bring calmness into our lives
Deep breathing exercises do wonders to relieve stress.
Getting up earlier to enjoy peaceful moments
before the rush of the day begins.

I have been meaning to have one day a week when I switch off everything.
That means my computer, my telephone, the television and the radio.
One day and one evening of the week where I can enjoy
the simplicity and quiet without all these distractions and noise.
It will be my goal during this month of February.

Do any of you offer yourselves this special day of peace during your week?

In the meantime, I welcome the quiet moments, going about my everyday occupations
slowly and mindfully (most of the time)!
This includes the preparation and the eating of a meal
and sitting down at the table to eat.

Immersing ourselves in nature , especially for us town-folk, is so beneficial.
Going to the park or taking a bus out of the city
into the peaceful environment to enjoy the trees, the plants and listen to birdsong.

At the end of each day, it's good to observe how I have lived this day.
Have I been rushing from one thing to another
or have I taken the time to slow down and really live
the precious moments as they constantly arise and pass?

It's never too late to finish the day with 
a little personal time to unwind. 
This doesn't mean constantly checking our mobile phones
or switching on the television!

The Slow Movement is being mentioned more and more.
Are we really listening?
It's time!



  1. Slow TV etc is all the rage! Camera's on cruise ships and canal boats as they travel along . . . all very peaceful.

    Always good to slow down and appreciate the here and now.

    I have tried (and failed) to have technology-free days. I do occasionally have a TV-free day and night - then you can find me being creative in my craft room!

    Hugs, Sarn xxx

    1. Sarn, I've never heard of 'slow TV'! I really am planning to do a totally technology-free day! I just have to choose the right day and stick with it! Being creative in your craft room is a perfect way of getting away from it all!

  2. A lovely walk...

    I agree, it is a good thing to unplug! Funny, it is such a modern day problem. Constant news and activity keeps us all informed-- but it is so draining!

    1. Yes, unplugging does seem to be a problem of the times we are living. I can't help feeling that this constant stream of news adds to feelings of anxiety. Sometimes, we just need to switch off and put our attentions on other things.
      Thank you for your comment, Sandi.

  3. I'm kind of on the opposite end of the busy world. I choose for my days to be slow, maybe too slow, I don't always get done what needs to be. I wander outside if it's possible each day and during this wet, dreary winter I've been working puzzles. It's a great brain activity. Taking one of Kim's classes always helps me slow down.

    1. Hello Cathy! We are fortunate to be able to take life in the slow lane! We no longer have to go out to work every day or take our children to classes and see to all their other needs! Many other people spend their busy days looking at their watches to get to places on time. These days, I only wear a watch when I have an appointment somewhere!

  4. Sandra, I loved this post from beginning to end. I too am retired and I LOVE the slow pace of my days. It's so lovely to just BE rather than being forced to spend most of my waking hours doing things that put food on the table but did nothing to feed my soul. I know how fortunate I am to have that privilege, and believe me, I am thankful for it. (I do spend too much time online, though, and I like your idea of setting aside a regular day to unplug.)

    1. Yes, we are in a calmer phase of our lives when we can take the time to enjoy all that is around us. I think that spending a lot of time online has sort of sneaked into our daily habits, that is why I plan on switching everything off once a week! It will be a very good experience, I'm sure! Thank you for coming in to visit!

  5. Beautiful post and very sound advice. I hope you'll share your crochet project soon!

    1. Thanks, Sue. I don't very often share my crochet on my blog, but you never know! I do it from time to time! I have just added a 'crochet' link on the right-hand bar on my blog under 'Labels', so you can check out any crochet I have put on my blog entries so far!

  6. This definitely sounds like a good movement, especially in these times.
    Great post, Sandra.

    1. Thank you. Lisa! Now I just need to fix that day for unplugging! Living life with awareness comes fairly naturally in my present lifestyle - switching off the computer for 24 hours is the next step!

  7. Constantly conjugating the verb 'to do'. Indeed. You have given me inspiration for a blog post.
    Thank you.
    Ms Soup

    1. Thank you for your visit, Ms Soup. I am happy you have been inspired!

  8. I love slow days and have them many times..usually with a book that I will read all day long and get very little done. The TV is not something that I even watch every day anyway so it would be very easy to give it up. I like the technology of being in touch with others (and especially those on the other side of the ocean!) but I have found that I can turn things off after a certain time, or if I go outside and walk. I do take my phone but usually I don't use it when I am walking unless a photo HAS to be taken. I think because I like alone time, it is easy for me to take it slow. Wonderful post!

    1. Hi Mary! I agree, it would be easier to not turn on the TV than cutting out computer time. How did we become so dependent on this machine? It's such a wonderful way to communicate, especially for people who live on their own. It is probably wise to keep the mobile phone switched on in case of emergencies, but just not use it oneself!
      So nice to see you visit, Mary!

  9. Sandra, what you write here is so true! I think slow days or sometimes only slow moments are so important and healing in our usually hectic lives. Nature is something that usually centers me, but with work and other commitments it unfortunately isn't something I can have on a daily basis. So I slow down by picking up my knitting needles. It's relaxing and peaceful, and I do it daily. I used to have un-plugged Saturdays, and perhaps I should re-introduce that, on a Sunday (I now work on Saturdays). You gave me quite some food for thought here.
    Your images are exquisite and so fitting for this post. Thank you.

    1. So nice to see you visit, Carola! Thank you for your kind words. Yes, nature centres me too, but I live in the town and need to make an effort to get into the countryside and I no longer have a car, so I don't get the country on a daily basis either. Knitting is a great idea to bring peace and relaxation. I mostly crochet, but it has the same effect! Unplugging is a great idea, isn't it? Keeping the same day every week would be good, but not always practical. I may try Tuesdays!

  10. Slowing down is good. It helps me notice all the little beautiful things I can sometimes look right past if I am too busy. Thank you for the reminder to slow down and 'live in those precious moments'. :)

    1. It feels so calming to slow down too and even our breathing changes and we become much more aware of everything around us! Thank you for your visit and your comment, Michelle!

  11. slow down, yes, we should all try some slow time. I turn off my computer/gadgets at night and read - at least I try to. we are too attached to our gadgets sometimes...

    have a lovely day.

    1. Hi Lissa! I've just gone 24 hours with my computer switched off. It certainly felt different. It's amazing how used we have become to being able to consult these machines so often. I do not belong to Facebook or Twitter, in fact I'm allergic to them, but I do enjoy chatting to friends that are far away, visit other blogs, share photography with others on Flickr and do online classes. So yes, I did miss not doing all of that, even for 24 hours!
      Well done for turning all your gadgets off in the evenings!

  12. slow living
    taking to heart
    admiring and appreciating
    love these stances
    and your images are lovely

    I like the idea of one day with things turned off
    usually i only do it when i am wandering, camping or the power goes off
    there is so much more time in a day at these times
    and i like the way i feel.

    inspiring post Sandra

    1. Thank you for visiting this older post, Tammie. I actually did do my 24 hours with my computer turned off. It felt very different, even a little strange, but as you say, there seemed to be so much more time in my day! I read more, listened to the absence of 'noise' and did some peaceful, rhythmic crochet. It was a good experience that I would like to repeat.