May 7, 2013

The Power of Slow

This weekend, our climber friend Thomasina was in town training for the World Cup Climbing competitions, and stayed with us a night in Grafenwoehr. Cooper and Cedar, Thomasina's adorable six year old daughter hit it off perfectly once again. They are two peas in a pod. Saying goodbye that evening was no easy task.

At Veldensteiner Castle in Neuhaus an der Pegnitz

Thomasina, while staying with us, graciously downloaded a podcast for me from a program called "Sounds True: Insights at the Edge".  I am forever grateful! They are awesome! So, the first one I listened to was "The Power of Slow", where Tami Simon interviews Carl Honore, award-winning journalist, author, and pioneer of the “slow revolution.” I listened while preparing two quiches and a berry pie with homemade whole wheat crust. Yum. Such an enjoyable evening.

Anyhow, I hadn't really heard of the slow revolution, but it totally makes sense and affects so many areas of our lives.  In the interview he talks about how the world got stuck in fast-forward and how we are now  trending towards putting on the brakes. He does a good job in defining the slow trend. It is not doing everything at a snail's pace, but finding the right balance with everything and being present. Finding balance, slowing down in every area of our lives to lead more fulfilling lives. The areas covered include slow parenting (my favorite), slow cooking, slow food, slow problem solving, slow work, slow sex, and a slew of other areas.

Slow parenting definitely is something I want to be better at. In an interview with Lisa Belkin for the New York Times, Carl talks about how the "consumer culture has reached a kind of apotheosis in recent years and the net effect is to create a culture of soaring expectations: we now want perfect teeth, perfect hair, a perfect body, perfect vacations, a perfect home – and perfect children to round off the portrait." Parents have their kids watch Baby Einstein, Baby Mozart , enroll them in foreign language classes, and a gazillion other programs to ensure they are successful. But all this has backfired we're starting to find out. Thus, the slow trend. "Slow parents understand that child rearing should not be a cross between a competitive sport and product-development. It is not a project; it’s a journey. Slow parenting is about giving kids lots of love and attention with no conditions attached."

Slow cooking and slow food is something I just recently joined in on. I found the blog 100 Days of Real Food and decided I wanted our family to eat as much real food only as possible. From buying food that is created in a slow, sustainable environment (think free range, organic) to making healthy meals and trying to eat together without interruptions. Getting more enjoyment out of eating.

I could go on and on in each area, but you really should listen to the podcast and hear it straight from the expert. However,  I really like the statements he makes at the end of the interview so I'll divulge. Carl explains how the slow movement is really a state of mind and provides 3 tips on how to slow down in this fast paced culture/life.

1. Do less. Less is more. Prioritize all you do, then cut off a few things at the bottom. The fluff. The Power of Slow is connected to the Power to say No. You can't do everything, so do what you value most in life.

2. Turn off the technology more. Pick a certain time each day to turn it off and have moments off the grid.

3. Identify an activity that puts a brake on you to help you enjoy slowness. Carl does Yoga. For me, its climbing. The simple act of getting outside in the woods, looking for bugs with my kids is awesome. Gives me a breather. Climbing and long hot bubble baths.

So how about you all? What area of your life do you think you need to slow down the most? What helps you slow down? Looking forward to checking out more of these podcasts in the evenings to come while I prep meals and so glad Thomasina downloaded it for me. I never would have taken the time ;)

Stopping to play with Forsythia.

Few things sweeter in life than kids holding hands


  1. LOVE! This has become my mantra too, finding people to surround myself with that embody these same ideas. Working hard to center my life around this community and learning to live with much less to have more richness in my life. Thank you for sharing!! I will check these out :)

  2. We miss you guys. Keep it real Mandy. :)
    Love you. xx


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