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WEEK ONE: Make Space for Slow

An overall theme of slowness in your life doesn't just happen, it has to be fought for and protected.

If you can slow down, you can see. If you can see, you can know and understand. If you can know and understand. You can fall in love.

This week’s goal: to help you see your life for what it is and fall in love with it. Yes, without changing a thing. What does that look like?

Step One:

Become an observer of your life. Be brave enough to fully enter in the moments of your day.

Practice this right now by taking a deep breath, and another one.  Ask yourself: “What do I see right now? How does it make me feel?” Make yourself soft enough to allow the answers to reveal themselves. Then, grab a pen and physically write down those answers when they come.

“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.” Mary Oliver

Repeat this process at the beginning of the day, at the end of it. Do it if you’re riding in the passenger seat on family drive. Practice it in the small pockets of time that come when the water is boiling for pasta or the baby naps or those ten precious bathroom minutes. Record the good, the hard, the painful. Don’t shy away from reality.

This is how you start uncovering a thousand tiny glories spun into everything you’re living right now. It’s all right there, you just have to slow yourself down enough to see it.

Just For You:

The playlist I made for this week can be found HERE. Find time this week to listen. Each song was specifically picked to allude to the them of slowing down and noticing what’s right in front of you.

For further inspiration read this article from Ann Voskamp.

Step Two:

Dedicate one aspect of your life to slowness. Establish boundaries around that one thing and commit to upholding them.

Maybe it’s waking up 30 minutes before the kids do. Maybe it’s a Quiet Time in the middle of the day where the baby naps, the Big Kids play alone and mama has a small time slot to  herself. Maybe it’s a couple hours of the week that your partner takes the kids so you can be alone by yourself to do this precious work. Start small. Give you and your family lots of grace and begin.

Once you draw a Small Circle of Slow around that one aspect of your life. Commit to widening that circle as much you’re able to in this season of life. Remember: this will look different for everyone and that’s ok. Don’t let someone else’s definition of slowness threaten your own.

Pro Tip: You can always widen that circle more than you think you can. Yes, you can say no to that. No, you don’t have to commit to “all the things”.

Making space for slow is important because:

Making space for slow allows you to become present.

It gives you the perspective necessary for creating fertile ground for stories to grow.

Being observant is your main tool to use when unearthing hidden beauty.


Watch the video below and let it help you understand how slowness can make you sharply aware of all the meaning in your life right now.


HOMEWORK:

Part One: Identify three aspects of your life that need for you to ‘make space for slow’.

(Examples: our mornings, our weekly schedule, our evening routine)

1.

2.

3.

Part Two: Pick one hour of each day this week and dedicate it to observation. Whether it’s the first sleepy hour of the day when your family is waking and needing breakfast. Or the last part of the day when the sun is spilling it’s evening light in your windows. Observe. Observe. Observe. i.e, pay attention. “What does this hour feel like? Where is my heart drawn to? What is my heart turning away from?”

Part Three: Honor what you’re paying attention to by taking the time to tell it’s story. Try putting together simple paragraph below that explains what you’ve been observing. If it helps, take pictures of those moments. Don’t worry about the photography or writing “rules” with this exercise. Just start flexing those creative documentation muscles.

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Extra curricular exercise: listen to this song with headphones in. Select one instrument’s part (I suggest the cello) and listen solely for that one instrument throughout the song. This is a fun way to practice the art of observation.

Remember: you’re not slapping a Pollyanna, “everything-is-always-great!” filter on your life. You’re simply looking at your circumstances as they are and having the courage to believe there is meaning and purpose in every part of them.