Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.
~ Eddie Cantor
I love the long days, warm sun and fresh air that summer brings. The invitation to play, relax and have fun is in the air, but in a world that is in constant forward motion, it’s hard sometimes to not get overwhelmed by the rushed pace of life.
So instead, I choose to slow down. That truly is the gift of summer.
Slowing down is the best gift you can give yourself when we are feeling overwhelmed.
Heck, it’s a great gift to enjoy every day of your life!
Slowing down reminds you about the importance of recharging, taking breaks, relaxing and lightening up. It allows you to listen, to really listen to the messages in your heart. A slower pace creates space and in that space you can reflect on what’s working in your life, what isn’t and make slow, mindful changes along the way.
I’m noticing that when I slow down, I start to see my life differently. The things that I seem to think are urgent and stressful, well, they just don’t seem as bad when I’m savoring a slower pace. The need to check off the “to do” list becomes less important and self-care, rest and honoring my energy get my attention.
Slowing down helps me stay connected to an inner peace that helps me better deal with the ups and downs in the day – like when the kids are having melt-downs, or when the kitchen sink is piled up with dirty dishes (again!), or when I’m starting to well up with frustration when I can’t seem to find time to write a blog post except late after the kids have gone to bed.
Slowing down helps me remember…it’s all going to be ok.
Today I’m sharing with you that I’m being more intentional about slowing down for the rest of summer and ways I plan on savoring it.
Here’s what savoring slow looks like to me this summer:
For the month of July I’ve decided to take a break from Facebook and any other Internet surfing that can easily cause distraction. I’m feeling a deep desire to stay focused on things high on my priority list right now (like writing my new e-course) so taking a break from other time-stealers is a must.
2) Limiting Photo Taking
Do I really need 5,000 photos of my kids at the park? I’m giving my iPhone camera a much needed break. Less photos mean less clutter added to my computer.
3) Tackling Lingering Projects
So you know those photos I mentioned? My iPhoto is about to explode and I still don’t have my beloved 7-years worth of baby photos printed. I’m going to use some of my free time printing, deleting and savoring my favorite baby photos because it’s been on my mind way too long. No expectations – just a fun project that I will work on…slowly.
When you get in the habit of always doing, it’s hard to not feel like you should be doing something at every moment. When I feel that restlessness come over me and my mind thinks, I should be doing something, I’m reminding myself to relax. Savoring slow helps me reconnect to my breath and feel more relaxed.
5) Being silly; Having fun
My kids are silly. They put underwear on their heads. They run around and dance naked. They stuff food in their face. They belly laugh and pillow fight and wrestle. I can be silly, but I think I can definitely benefit from being silly more often. Afternoon dance parties are one of our favorite ways to reconnect after rest time and if you’ve ever danced with 3 boys under the age of 8 you can be silly real quick. When I’m in a rushed place, I can easily miss out on these moments. Savoring slow helps me stay more present and connected to what really matters!
6) Eating Slowly and Sitting Down
I make most of our meals from scratch and that’s a lot of work. Sometimes I make the kid’s breakfast and then continue prepping our meals for the rest of the day. I enjoy my mornings a little more when I make time to sit down and eat breakfast together, or enjoy a quiet cup of hot coffee by myself – depending on what I need most. Sometimes we make meals together. Sometimes it takes longer when the kids are involved, but when you are savoring slow, you find these moments usually turn out pretty special (and become the ones you remember most).
7) Protecting Downtime
I’m planning a lot less and keeping our days more open for spontaneity, art, journaling and just plain old downtime. We have our “out breath” activities of the day, but savoring slow and soaking up summer for me is about making sure we all get adequate downtime.
8) Honoring a Morning & Evening Ritual
Taking a morning walk, drinking lemon water, journaling and setting an intention for a day of going slow is my focus this month. This means going to sleep a little earlier and preparing for a peaceful sleep by sitting quietly before bed.
9) Letting Go
Some days I feel like sleeping in. Some days I just don’t have the energy to make meals from scratch. Some days I want to pack up a fast picnic, I don’t want the kids involved and I’d rather get the food ready instead of sitting down for breakfast. The point is…letting go of rigid rules, “must do’s” or “should’s” is the true gift of slowing down. This goes back to “Relax and Breathe”. Being kind to yourself and honoring your energy and the mood of the house goes a long way.
My friend Shawn, creator of The Abundant Mama Project, is celebrating the launch of her book, The Abundant Mama’s Guide to Savoring Slow, now released in paperback.
Her book is beautiful and offers such lovely inspiration on how to intentionally seek out slower moments in your every day.
Shawn gathered some of her favorite bloggers for her Savoring a Slow Day book tour, and I’m happy to be a part of it! You can visit the other wonderful blogger’s posts HERE.
Wishing you a beautiful season of slow…