The Art Of Slow And Purposeful Living

 

As with any so-called “movement” you can choose to hop on board and try it for a while, or, you can make a positive change and embrace a permanent and new way of living. The art of slow and purposeful living means you’ll need to retrain your brain and make each day count. What you’ll learn here are a few simple tweaks I’ve made in my own life by looking for areas where small changes can be made.

What is the Slow Living Movement?

The clue is in the name, and in a nutshell, it’s a slower approach to everyday living which can be applied to all aspects of our lives. Slow living opposes consumerism and a materialistic ideology moreover, the focus is on making purposeful choices, spending well (quality over quantity) and not frittering our money on unnecessary purchases. Of course, there’s more to it than that, read on to find out how you can try a new, slower and more appreciative way of living your own life.

Don’t just hear – listen. Don’t just see, look.

To put this into context, when my daughter was born I couldn’t wait for her first smile, her first chuckle, and a toothy grin to appear. Then, as soon as she began crawling I wanted her to start walking – you get the idea. Don’t get me wrong, I cherished every bit of her development and as a first-time mum, I was elated as she reached each of her milestones but I wanted her to hurry up and interact with me. As time ticked by she moved on from being “a baby” into a little personality and life couldn’t be better.

Be thankful

I’m thankful to be a mother. Had I been fortunate enough to have produced a much-yearned for second child I would’ve slowed it all down and taken time to savour each stage instead of hurrying it all along in my mind. The neuroticisms of being the mum of one do begin to subside but that innate, in-built need to protect and nurture our young never leaves us and is something to be cherished and held tightly in our hearts. Learning to appreciate today’s moments with our children is crucial to combat regretful feelings once they’ve flown the nest. That’s a theory I’ve come up with, at least.

I’m now the mother of a teenager, (and a whole lot older myself) a new reversal of the above is occurring – I really want to slow down what’s left of her childhood. This post isn’t meant to be about myself and my daughter per se, but a spark to reignite a positive change in not only a mindset but a way of becoming more appreciative of each moment, each day, and become more mindful and thankful of what we have and how our days are spent.

“Children grow up all too quickly so watch them slowly and enjoy their primary years as it’s all change once those years are behind them”.

 

The Art Of Slow And Purposeful Living

 

The art of slow and purposeful living tips

 

Slow and purposeful living is learning to appreciate nature.

Nature grounds and calms us, but how often do we take time to stop and smell the roses? as the saying goes. Step outside and scrutinise the detail of a leaf, or the silver lining of a cloud and you’ll quickly destress and relax your eyes giving a much-needed respite from screen-work. Climb a hill and stand looking at the view, but don’t just look, really look and examine all that’s before you. As you gaze into the distance, the muscles in your eyes relax to allow you to focus on those far-reaching nuggets you’d otherwise miss. Try it, It’s great for the soul. I’ve grown up appreciating the marvels all around us and often my sister and I will text each other and say “look at the moon!” Or, did you see the sunset this evening?

“I sometimes pull the car over on my way home so that I can sit and look at the sky for a few moments, particularly when there’s a beautiful or unusual cloud formation. Literally transports me to another universe whilst feeling impossibly minuscule”.

 

The art of slow living the beauty spyglass

 

Listen.

Do you ever hear bird song? when was the last time you actually listened to it? We can’t switch off our hearing but often we’re simply hearing, and not actually listening – There’s a difference. When the warmer months allow a  bedroom window to be left open, it’s a joy to lie in bed, feel the cooling breeze of the early morning air on one’s skin and be serenaded by the dawn chorus. Literally nothing better and brings a sense of thankfulness.

Embrace sunlight – it warms the soul.

One thing we take for granted is that the sun will rise and set each day and we only seem to notice when there’s a run of gloomy days and our mood starts to falter as we become increasingly fed up with the lack of light. The sun is our life force and when it’s hiding away behind the clouds it can have a negative impact on our wellbeing. Always try to look on the bright side – literally. The more time we spend outside soaking up the daylight, the better our body and brain will function. We’ll sleep better after the daylight gives our Circadian Rhythm a helpful nudge.

 

The art of slow living

 

Slow down your evenings.

That feeling of security and safety from wrapping oneself in a warm blanket and enjoying the flicker of a soothing candle, or two, is irreplaceable. Make better choices with your candles and don’t let the joy of a quiet, cosy evening be the reason your home is polluted with harmful toxins. keep things simple and avoid unnecessary chemical, nit just in candle and tealights but wherever you can, at home. Our evenings are “sofa time” where we gather as a family, chatter and enjoy a film or favourite programme for a couple of hours and is a time I look forward to at the end of each day.

Eat well to nourish body and soul

The Slow Food Movement began in Italy after McDonald’s opened near the Spanish steps in Rome 1986 and was met with outrage and protests – quite rightly so. Italy’s traditions of locally grown food, farming and cooking were under threat from a new wave of processed, fast food, going completely against the grain of Italy’s heritage. We’re all guilty of rushing around, grabbing food on the go or preparing the quickest and probably least a nourishing meal for our family simply because there’s no time. Make time. Food not only nourishes our body and provides energy and nutrients for our health but also replenishes the soul. Set time aside on a Sunday evening to consider your meals for the coming week and make a list of ingredients you’ll need to buy. If you can prepare your lunches ahead of time it’ll prevent you from rushing out to buy something you wouldn’t ordinarily choose, just for the sake of eating lunch. A handful of fresh blueberries is a great choice for after lunch and will help with productivity for the remainder of the day.

Find time to just sit and think.

Reflection is powerful. Turn off the brain chatter and cast your mind back to fond childhood memories or happy times and let go of sad, sorrowful or stressful times, leave the past where it belongs, you’re not going that way.

 

How to live slowly

 

The art of slow and purposeful living the beauty spyglass

Use your fingers for something other than scrolling

Step away from your device. Go outside and gather from the hedgerows or look around your garden or local woodland for whatever catches your eye and bring it indoors for a little creative time out. I wouldn’t dash out and pick wildflowers as this is frowned upon but collect fallen twigs and forage for sprigs and leaves with unusual markings or shapes. A vase full of foliage can be just as beautiful as freshly cut flowers from the shop or florist and more rewarding when you gathered and arranged it yourself. Of course, there are plenty more ways to embrace the Slow Loving Movement and living minimally with less “stuff” is one. Read more on that here where I offer suggestions on how to live with less.

Hopefully, you’ve found inspiration from how I try to embrace the art of slow and purposeful living. Will you make 2020 a slow year?

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Be mindful that some of natures wild offerings can be toxic to domestic animals, so it’s worth a quick check first.

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All content and imagery is the property of The Beauty Spyglass and is subject to copyright. If you would like to use any of the imagery, please email samantha@thebeautyspyglass with your request.

14 Comments

  1. February 26, 2020 / 4:56 pm

    I feel like I’m half way there. I’ve always appreciated nature, which I’ve inherited from my Granda where we would talk about changes in plants, the light, everything like that, on a weekly basis. I also love a slow evening and just taking the time to be grateful. On the other hand, where I need to do better is always thinking of my next goal – be it big or small but sometimes, I need to just stop and appreciate. I really enjoyed this post x

    Beautylymin | Pat McGrath & Natasha Denona Palette Giveaway

    • Samantha
      Author
      February 26, 2020 / 9:18 pm

      I loved to read that you used to spend time in your Grandma’s garden talking about nature. I do think once the wonders of nature is highlighted we go on to keep that appreciation going. My grandmother was also green fingered and we loved to spend time watching the butterflies in her garden as children. Thanks for sharing that lovely x

  2. February 27, 2020 / 9:48 am

    It’s on my New Years Resolutions list this year, to try and live more slow and intentful. I definitely want to use my hands for more than scrolling, and more creatively this year. So this blogpost was so useful, I even saved it to come back to later.

    • Samantha
      Author
      March 1, 2020 / 11:49 am

      Hi Monique, thanks so much for your kind comment! Just making small adjustments can be a good start, none of us are perfect, but at least we can try!
      Have a lovely day x

  3. March 4, 2020 / 1:18 pm

    This is a really lovely post Samantha and the photos are absolutely gorgeous. I love the idea of slow and purposeful living, it is such a refreshing change from the norm. Life can get so busy, overwhelming and stressful at times, it’s so vital to step back and take things at a slower pace. I’ve recently started getting into guided meditation on YouTube, whenever I listen to one I feel like my life is on pause for a while, things settle down and I feel re-balanced and calmer. Slow cosy evenings sounds perfect too – blankets, Netflix and a cup of tea is my favourite way to chill. Thanks for sharing your suggestions, fab post <3 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

    • Samantha
      Author
      March 4, 2020 / 10:55 pm

      Thank you for your lovely comment Bexa. Love the sound of Guided Meditation, sounds really interesting and I’m pleased it’s working for you. I’ll have to have a look! It’s good to see you back here x

  4. March 4, 2020 / 11:52 pm

    Wow this was such an inspirational read. It’s good to just take an easier approach to things sometimes I think we often forget to relax nowadays!

    Lots of Love,

    Serene XOXO

    http://www.surrealserene.com
    instagram.com/surrealserene_

    • Samantha
      Author
      March 7, 2020 / 10:32 pm

      We really do, it’s so important to take time out! Thanks Serene. x

  5. March 5, 2020 / 8:15 am

    I totally understand where you’re coming from. Today I had this great pleasure of talking a walk and enjoying the chirping of the birds.

    http://www.fashionradi.com

    • Samantha
      Author
      March 7, 2020 / 10:29 pm

      That sounds like a wonderful walk. Thanks for your lovely comment! x

  6. March 10, 2020 / 12:01 pm

    I absolutely love this post and the sound of the slow living movement. I often catch myself admiring nature- marvelling up at the stars or just appreciating the nearby forests, but I think we could all do it more often, it’s so good for the soul. I definitely need to work on my meal planning because I’m so guilty of buying into fast food.
    Soph – https://sophhearts.com x

    • Samantha
      Author
      March 11, 2020 / 11:23 am

      I’m so pleased to see you’re stopping to appreciate the universe. You’re right though, we can all do more of it! x

  7. March 16, 2020 / 3:19 pm

    I couldn’t have read this post at a better time. You just worded every single point so beautifully. I’m definitely going to apply some of the things you’ve mentioned. I’ve been feeling so anxious during the past couple of days and I think what I need to do is learn to appreciate the nature and be appreciative. Such a great read x

    http://new-lune.com

    • Samantha
      Author
      March 17, 2020 / 6:24 pm

      Thanks, lovely! There’s definitely increased anxiety around all the uncertainty we’re currently experiencing. No better time to appreciate what we have! I hope you and your family are keeping well. x

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