• Slow Living Light
  • Toppling forward

    “We are rushing when we feel as if we are toppling forward. Our minds run ahead of ourselves; they are out there where we want to get to, instead of being settled back in our bodies. Whenever we are not present, right then, in that situation, we should stop and take a few deep breaths. Settle into the body again. Feel yourself sitting. Feel the step of a walk. Be in your body.” Joseph Goldstein

    I’m finding this idea rolling and rolling round my head at the moment. My mind is tumbling with ideas, I feel as though by beginning to express myself creatively, just in the tiniest of ways, that I’m beginning to unleash a giant torrent of creativity and ideas. It’s overwhelming, exhilarating and almost frightening… this has parallels with the ‘outside’ world too, everything seems to be moving faster and so much information is making demands on my mind space, my time, everything… I feel like I’m almost being pushed forward, toppling, toppling… ….
    And so, I take a big deep breath, return to my body, sink right down into my very core and take refuge there.
    Being grounded and fully present…and hanging on for dear life as this rollercoaster keeps on going…. does anyone else feel almost pushed over by life? How are you finding ways to cope? I’d love to hear other experiences of this 😍

  • Slow Living Light
  • A lovely tea

    Slow Living Light moment: a lovely tea of crushed peas with wild garlic, seared new season English asparagus, goats cheese and olive oil… all piled on top of a beautiful loaf of sourdough, an unexpected gift from Laura @hartsbakery

    A perfect end to a lovely day catching up with a good friend that has left me with my soul full, my inspiration ignited and a happy tummy. Today has been a good day to appreciate the value of friends and a good old fashioned natter at the kitchen table while the baby sleeps and the kids are at school.

    #slowlivingsquad appreciating a moment of #slowlivinglight of #friendship and #simplespringfood atop of #sourdough 😍

  • Slow Living Light
  • Sharing another moment of Slow Living Light

    A little posy of wild garlic foraged from my woodland walk back home from work. A welcome little gift from nature after a morning spent in meetings and wrestling with spreadsheets. I was thinking of cooking it with new potatoes, asparagus and courgettes, maybe some goats cheese. Or any other suggestions… I’d love to hear how you eat it 😍 #slowlivinglight moment brought to you by the #slowlivingsquad

  • Slow Living Light
  • Books

    Completely and utterly inspired by these two books at the moment. I sat and devoured The Art of Frugal Hedonism in practically one day. It’s so reassuring to read similar experiences shared in the book and to know we’re not alone on this path. I ordered the book after listening to an interview on Slow Your Home podcast which was amazing. … I picked up Wild at the local library on a whim and it has blown my mind. I’ve never read anything like it before, it is so awesome. I can’t hurry my way through this one… each sentence needs to be savoured and digested. Remarkable… … What books are igniting your inspiration and passion at the moment? I’d love to hear your recommendations.

  • Slow Living Light
  • Walk through the woods

    A walk through the woods on the way to and from work is an absolute life saver for me. It’s a valuable transition space for me, a time just for me with no kids and no work colleagues. I deliberately don’t listen to music or podcasts and instead try to immerse myself in the sounds that surround me… the rustling of the leaves, the birdsong, the sounds that make me look behind me thinking someone’s there… … Springtime is bursting all around, bluebells carpet the woods, a patch of wild garlic, birds singing the joys of spring. A sensory overload to counteract the sterile environment of a man made office where I spend my mornings. … #slowlivingsquad enjoying #moments of #slowlivinglight in a #busyday

  • Slow Living Light
  • School

    “School seemed to me little more than a trooping process to educate the young to the cautious life of temperate contentment. Everything was made into corridors: corridors of convention, corridors from term time to term time, corridors from school to university, corridors from sensibly studying maths to marrying an appropriate accountant.” Jay Smith ‘Wild’ …

    Although rather dramatic, this quote sums up my uneasiness at sending our daughters back to school after the Easter break. We had such a lovely time, days spent with no planned activities, no agenda, just acres of time to allow the imagination to run riot and creativity to flow unimpeded. Bands were formed, songs created and sung with all the feeling of rock stars, dollies were the stars of dramas that would give any Mexican telenovela a run for its money.

    And yet, the inevitable question, what did you DO this holidays asked by well meaning adults, stops our kids in their tracks… er, well… we didn’t DO much at all. …
    Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy and there are inevitable squabbles, moments of frustration and boredom. I also go through times of intense self doubt, should we be DOING more? Are we depriving them of important cultural activities? This parenting lark is an exercise in existential doubt that my teenage self would have revelled in!

    But when we see how much they don’t want to go back to school this morning, a fresh wave of doubt creeps in… should they even be going? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below if you’ve felt the same sending kids back to school or have felt vague pangs when underscheduling holiday times…
    #slowlivingsquad trying to practice #slowlivinglight but finding it a bit tricky when it comes to #slowparenting but I’m glad I had the foresight to take a photo of a corridor type lane so #winningatinstagramforonce

  • Slow Living Light
  • Slow Living Light

    I’ve been reading various blog posts recently about how difficult it is to live a slow life and how, away from Instagram, lives are anything but slow. It has given me a lot to think about, in terms of my own life, my relationship with Instagram and how it all fits together with this relatively new and unformed project which is the Slow Living Squad.

    I spoke before in my first ever blog post about how relieved I was to find the Slow Living label and how it seemed to encapsulate everything which had previously seemed ‘weird’ about my life and could provide some comfort and community as I increasingly feel out of kilter with mainstream life. And yet…. This label does seem to imply a certain aesthetic. I realise that I have felt blocked about posting on Instagram because (completely self-imposed judgement here) I felt (feel?) that my photos aren’t good enough, that my styling is non-existent and that my real life isn’t slow enough. Don’t get me wrong, I loooove looking at beautifully curated images of slowness and stillness, the moodier the better in my book. But I feel that I’ve been judging myself against these impossibly high standards and it has stopped me even getting started. So, it’s heartening to read that behind these photos of perfection, there is a messier, real life that is anything but slow…

    Which brings me to my radical new idea for myself. Slow Living Light. It was partly inspired by the Coca Cola Light that I love to have while in Mexico, for me it’s always seemed much more exotic and exciting than Diet Coke which we have here in the UK ( I always have to say Light in a Spanish accent too which just adds to the exoticness in my eyes, but probably sounds completely deranged to anyone else). I love the idea of lightness being added rather than Diet which for me implies a certain heaviness, dourness and general puritanical buzz killer.

    So, along these lines I decided to add this idea of lightness to Slow Living. It doesn’t have to be a another burden added to my already busy life with two daughters, a day job and a house to run. It can be the opposite. I don’t have to post perfectly curated photos of my Slow Life because a Slow Life lived Lightly doesn’t have to conform to any preconceived aesthetic. I don’t have to live in a perfectly minimalist home, or have perfectly arranged bunches of wildflowers that I somehow picked up during a slow walk out in nature or have perfectly arranged plates of food bathed in a beautiful play of light and shadows. I don’t have time! With lightness added I can make Slow Living Light a part of my real, everyday life and begin to explore what my life looks like when I start to take things away that don’t serve me. I subtract the ‘stuff’ that is no longer useful, I subtract the need for complicated meals, I subtract the time spent with people who do not resonate with me or my values or who are just not nice to be around, I subtract the extracurricular activities that seem to abound for my daughters, I subtract the ‘shoulds’, I subtract the ironing, I subtract and subtract and subtract until what do I have left….?

    I have tiny pockets of time and space. Spaces in my home and time to just stop for a minute. To take a breath. To just be, even if it’s just for one second. I have time to spend with my kids and they have time to play, to create, to get bored, to imagine, to just be. No, it’s not perfect and it’s not very photogenic, but it gives me hope in these hectic times.

    Does any of this resonate with you? Do any of you have any thoughts you’d like to share about Instagram and the space between real life and what is presented on there? I find it a fascinating space and I’m hoping to explore that space in lighter way, without bringing my preconceptions and judgements to it and blocking myself in the process. I’d love to hear what you think…

    PS. I love the idea of Slow Living Light so much that I asked my husband to handprint it on a t-shirt for me! I find it an amazing reminder to just stop and find the lightness in the moment. If you like it too, you can find it in our shop. But please be aware that wearing the t-shirt isn’t a pre-requisite for living a slow life : )