Over recent months and years there seems to me to have been a rise in people wanting to live a slower, more simple life. Of course it could be that I am only just really noticing it. And I do wonder if it is related to age as well. As I am getting older [Note: ‘older’ not ‘old’!] maybe I’ve just realised what is really important in life and I appreciate the small things more.
In today’s day and age, though, it is difficult to slow down. We are instantly reachable and connected through social media and text messages. Whilst we may be slower our friends and family aren’t necessarily, and we at least observe, if not get caught up in, their faster paced lifestyles.
Today I spent a couple of hours making yarn pegs. It was simple, it wasn’t taxing, and it was enjoyable feeling tucked up in the cottage whilst the rain was beating down heavily on the roof. I found, though, that I still have to battle the old voices in my head of this not ‘being enough’. At the very least I ought to be doing more or multi-tasking – responding to emails, or dashing to load/unload the washing machine between pegs, or – I don’t know – starting my tax return!
I had to stop a few times to give myself a gentle talking to. It was ok to be doing this. I wanted to do it and I needed to do it in order to start designing my own work. Just because it was slow, simple and enjoyable, didn’t mean it wasn’t worthy of my time. In fact, what could be more worthy?
Life can be busy and speed up at times. As a mum of two young children there are times when I need to step up a gear and get busy being a taxi service, organising hair cuts, dashing to school with a forgotten inhaler, or racing to pull together a book day costume at a moment’s notice. That’s the wonderful, eclectic, technicolour life of a parent.
Simple, slow living, doesn’t mean that we can’t get busy. It means that we catch ourselves when we realise we are dashing about and we allow ourselves to breathe and be in the moment for a second. It means we remember to listen to the rain on the roof, just because that’s a lovely sound.
Gentle living is all of this, with the added bonus of being kind to ourselves and not beating ourselves up for slipping into a pace we weren’t comfortable with. Gentle living is realising with a smile that we have speeded up, and that’s ok, because it was necessary, but maybe now it would be a good idea to slow things a little again.
Simple living needs to be gentle living until it becomes second nature (and even then it’s kind of good to keep being gentle with yourself anyway).
What are you going to do that will be kind to yourself today? How will you live gently this week?
Me, I’m going to have a cup of tea and listen to rain for a little while, before life goes up a gear on the soggy school run!
I have started using the #gentleliving hashtag over on Instagram and I’d love for you to share your #gentleliving tips over there or in the comments xx