• Leanna Christina

Living consciously - the slow revolution

I'm immediately realising the irony of my writing this just as I'm gearing up to launch both this blog, and my vintage store, on top of 'real life' stuff, all during a global pandemic and a national lockdown... it's been hectic, to say the least. Although, it hasn't been something that I've paid much attention to before, I have recently noticed that I have consciously been seeking ways to find balance. I do this by pausing regularly to check in on my priorities which has allowed me flexibility to find contentment amidst the chaos. There are many names and definitions and ways of slowing down - here's what it means to me, in hopes that somebody else will perhaps find an idea or some inspiration for themselves.

Rest is 'productive'

I have always loved my sleep, like A LOT! But sleeping in or going to bed early is often met with a slight anxiety from the idea that you should get more done today, that you could fit one more task in. Rest, of course isn't just referring to sleep, but also just allowing ourselves to switch off from what we perceive we need, to what we actually need - a break! I have since realised that I am much happier when I'm not exhausted - slow learner here - I'm a better mum, a better partner, friend etc etc. and generally just a nicer, less stressed out human. It does follow that I'm more productive (these articles are easier to write for sure), but I'm deciding not to make that a reason why I should rest, I rest because I need it, and because it makes me happy. Rest isn't being lazy, it's actually a form of resistance against the oppression of our fast-paced economy-focused lifestyles. Take the night off, rest and relax - you don't need to earn it, you already deserve it

Wabi-sabi baby

Removing the non-essential without sacrificing the beauty - to some, minimalism. Too much stuff stresses us out, spending too much stresses us out, trying to store all of this expensive crap stresses us out - and all of this is stressing our planet out too. Slow living is an art in itself, it isn't about sacrifice or denying yourself enjoyment, its about curating things, people and experiences that truly light up your life. Through the things we choose to buy, we can implement a calmness to combat the busyness and noise of our daily lives. We can reduce our consumption by bringing intentionality into each decision before we make (or don't make) a purchase

Everything can be slowed down

This isn't to say that everything should be, but we can choose specific areas of our lives and devote ourselves to slowing those parts down, to live in them more. I have moments throughout the day when everything else is put aside and my little one has my absolute and undivided attention, we both love it, and it can be achieved without feeling like something has to be sacrificed in exchange for these precious moments. Intentionally slowing life down and focusing on one thing that you love is as close as we can get to hitting the pause button on time. It can be parenting, cooking, eating, reading, walking in nature, creating, spending time with loved ones, working on your passion, basically whatever brings you happiness - give it the permission to consume you completely for a while

Slowing down can do wonders for that knot of anxiety in our stomachs when we subconsciously feel that something is off kilter. Take a quiet moment to identify the cause and allow yourself to really focus on it - allowing ourselves to look at our problems can be a huge help to ease the stress that's often amplified by busying ourselves to ignore it - even before fixing the problem, acknowledging it eases the pressure

Changing the world

It's very difficult to figure out how to be effectively involved in making changes in the world while actually living in it, our world is fast-paced and the days (and years) can feel like they are flying past us quicker than we can reach out to grab onto them. Going fast can be fun, liberating, productive - who doesn't love "getting in the zone" with something they're passionate about? But the hunger to cram more and more into our days is debilitating - this fast pace of living is an echo of consumer culture, for the economy to grow fast, so must everything else - and for that, we're burning out the world and ourselves. While we were so busy being busy, we didn't notice the glaring inequalities and injustices right beneath our noses, the destruction of our home - and we are all complicit by not seeing this, yet benefitting from it (some a lot more than others). Slowing down is making a change in the world, paying attention is changing the world, we can now go further by focusing on smaller elements that we can actively impact, and we have the energy to do this, because we are slowing down and making room for what is important to us