Part 2 of 2
In the first part of this article, I talked to pyschotherapist, counsellor and advocate of slow living Bonnie Grotjahn about the satisfactions of the slow.
Having discussed the satisfactions, I asked Bonnie what advice she would give to someone who wanted to incorporate more slow into their life. She suggested 5 things that you can do as a starting point:
Noticing – This might be a first step. This could take the form of noticing the impact of what you are doing, noticing when you want to speed up, and how you speed yourself up, and being curious and non-judgmental about this. You notice – ‘I have the impulse to switch on the TV’ – what might you notice from this? It is not about saying, “I must slow down”. You need to be gentle with yourself.
Stepping away from the computer – Having one day a week not doing anything on the computer is a good way of slowing down, taking time on this day to do physical things with attention.
The pocket holiday – One of the main barriers to slow for me is that I think this requires dedicated time. Yet it can be about finding ways to build slow into your day. Bonnie provided the idea of the ‘pocket holiday’. You might be yearning for a holiday and a chance to slow down. But you can take a pocket holiday and stare out of the window for five minutes, or imagine a place that you’d love to be, and this can make a difference.
Bringing slow into our product choices – We can support slow in the economy through the choices that we make, for example being mindful of the products that we buy, trying to buy those that are built to last or can have a second life, rather than being on the fast road to landfill.
Learning to say no (and looking after yourself) – This is such good advice and insight from Bonnie: “In some cases, people both want to and fear slowing down. What do you fear might happen if you slow down? Or say ‘no’ to a possible activity or demand someone is making of you? It can be worth exploring any messages you might have been given, or beliefs you may be holding, about your value as a person if you ‘do’ less. I often see clients who need support to feel OK about defining themselves, saying ‘no’ where that would be healthy for them and accepting that – for any variety of reasons including getting older or another change in circumstances – they need to prioritise looking after themselves.”
What are the barriers that might be stopping you from going slow? What are your experiences of slow? The satisfactions as well as the barriers? And what has helped you to slow down?
Bonnie practices at Cotswold Talking Therapies and can be contacted through their website – http://www.cotswoldtalkingtherapies.co.uk/