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So…Exactly What IS the Slow-Living (S.L.O.W.) Movement?

Everyone has heard the phrases “slow down,” “take it slow,” and “slow and steady wins the race”. It is good advice but not often heeded. A newer, similar term is the “Slow Living Movement,” a lifestyle concept that emphasizes slower approaches to all aspects of everyday life. In other words, it means choosing to live a more meaningful, balanced, and thoughtful existence.

It all began in 1986 with a protest of a fast food establishment opening in a quaint Italian village...and thus was born the Slow Food Movement. And it has expanded worldwide since then. To learn more, there are several books, seminars, podcasts and other sources of information on the subject.

Slow food means boycotting fast foods even within an all-around fast-paced life. The slow food movement was about paying close attention to cooking - savoring the experience and all the flavors. It was about choosing local, organic ingredients and cooking them slower. Over time, this slower food movement translated into a whole living movement.

The concept caught on and a sub-culture grew and tagged the acronym S.L.O.W. or Sustainable, Local, Organic, Whole (or Wellness).

I believe this movement grew from the need to feel supported and complete amid the pressure society puts on all of us to keep up, do better, have more, buy more, and overall, be on the move. It's commonplace to ask anyone how they are doing. The typical response is, "oh, super-busy!"... and if someone isn't busy, he or she is thought of as being lazy, unproductive, or without drive.

I think most people crave a happy medium of a balanced work/play lifestyle of careers they are passionate about combined with ALSO having meaningful time with family and friends, enjoying nature and experiencing actual relaxation.

Our culture does everything fast from fast food to the oxymoron “fast yoga.” Speed walking to speed dating to speed dieting. Slowing down is a conscientious decision. Saying no to obligations that aren't meant for you. Scheduling time to be with family and friends, time to relax alone, time for nature, and the best part, it's not feeling guilty about it. This is your life, live it the way you design it.

Slow Design is part of this slow-living philosophy. It's about cultivating the literal space (such as your home) that you want to be in. It's not about quickly throwing together a look in a fit of hyper-consumerism to meet a trendy feel. It is more about curating sustainable furniture and decor in a slow and thoughtful process. The end result is a meaningful environment that supports the function of your space and its inhabitants. Slow design is taking time to put together a space customized just for you.

It's perfectly imperfect, timeless, comfortable and brings happiness. As Maya Angelou wrote, "The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned." That is the pure essence of what home and what slow living design or timeless living designs is all about. It's about creating a home, creating a space where one is comfortable and supported in all ways, physically and emotionally.

Look for my blog next week, we will discuss ways to begin a Slow Design plan for your home.