This is part three and the final blog of this series I've been sharing. All about slow living, with intention - as for me, this is the essence of feeling calm and ease, connected within myself, confident in how I choose to be and live my own unique life, with meaning and purpose. Not dependent on the fast paced, outside world, or feeling influenced by the stress or becoming involved within it, or any one else's way of being and living. Slow living with intention, I feel, is truly knowing our own values, making decisions and choices aligned with these, and choosing this, every day, in every way. You can read part one here, part two here, and I'm adding to this, with a few more ways to share, in this final piece today.
I've mentioned so many ways already, and realise how much it all comes back to knowing and living in alignment with our values, and truly embracing this way of being and living - with all of ourselves, with presence, with being open, curious and honest. Knowing and trusting in shifting things, changing things, and choosing to be conscious and intentional in all the ways we can, to slow down.
Slow living to me, is slowing down. It's become this way of being, for me. It's a more restful pace, a more natural rythmn that benefits my whole wellbeing, bringing a sense of ease to my every day. And I know that this comes through feeling connected to myself, feeling self assured and confident in knowing ways to intentionally choose what's right and most supportive me, in every moment, of every day. And it benefits others in every way, too.
Finding balance and harmony in our lives - I think this could be just one beautiful definition of slow and intentional living. It's bringing all these ways together, to create and design our days and lives. How we can bring a sense of ease and calm to it all, feeling that things can flow, even through uncertain and more challenging times. We have ways of being that are aligned and true for us, to return to, to remind us of how we can still find ease and joy. When we don't have balance in our lives, this is when stress can begin, even build up to feelings of anxiety, tension in our bodies, and health issues that can manifest or flare up at times. When we have harmony within ourselves, and in the ways we can choose to be within each moment of our lives, our whole wellbeing improves and we naturally feel more calm, connected and confident. Our bodies are like an ecosystem - all parts of us are connected - and for us to feel our best, to live our best lives - we must intentionally choose ways that support us to feel balanced. It will be different for us all, but it's worth taking the time to reflect and work on this, for ourselves.
Redefine what success, achieving and even wellbeing, means for you - we can be so caught up in this fast paced life and the rush of adrenaline that comes with achieving and succeeding in high performing ways. We often think of this as doing more, being more, earning more, working more hours, being busy and able to juggle things at once, and glorify multi-tasking. Such a great skill to have - but not always the most peaceful one that brings ease, or encourages us to find a slower pace. We can live simpler, slow and intentional lives and still be driven and motivated. It might just be redefining what it means to succeed and achieve. As perhaps it's not in the ways you were once used to, or perhaps it is, but with more intention to things that truly and deeply matter. Or perhaps it's in a completely different way, now, to how things used to be. I know for me, coming from a very high achieving and high peforming background, in my work, and as a long distance runner, I was so used to success and achievement as pushing myself to my limits, striving, placing so much pressure and expectation on myself, training so hard. Winning was a measure of success for me - the need to come first and always do more than my best. It became quite exhausting.
Life has changed in so many ways, and now, success and achieving are in far more simple, and less driven ways. I will always identify with being a high achiever and high performer, but the need to have that fast and busy life, is gone, and I find far more ease and calm, in a slower pace, where I've come to know what's truly important to me- what nourishes me. It's worth reflecting on these things for ourselves, as living with intention means that we choose ways of being that truly support us. And that might be because of life circumstances and things that change, and we change and adjust along with this - but we intentionally redefine what things mean to us, how we feel, and what it is that we truly know is right for us. Letting go of any pressures or expectations from the outside world, and external stress - letting go of what we think we should or need to be doing. Being courageous at times and brave, to say - this isn't working for me - and changing this. It's not lazy to slow down. It's not lazy or not achieving to do less - or to find ways to do less - and to truly live a more meaningful and aligned life, in our own intentional way. I hope some of this encourages you to reflect on these things for yourself.
Being intentional about our actions every moment of each day - the things we're choosing to do, engage in, give our time and energy, and heart to. To have self responsibility for these actions and the choices we can make. This includes our conversations with people and who we engage with. This includes our time on technology and social media too. It would be remiss of me to talk about this topic without mentioning my passion for digital wellbeing - and how much screen time, and time on technology, can mean that we are always 'switched on'. It can be so supportive to know ways to 'switch off'. I believe we can flourish with technology, but it does require us to be intentional about our choices with using it. I might share a blog piece tomorrow, on this topic alone - supporting you with ways to flourish with technology rather than to feel empty or depleted. Or even exhausted, as so many of us can do, if we're not intentional about this. I do believe that slow living embraces less screen time, and more time in presence with life that's happening around us and engaging in this real life away from technology. That's a value of mine, as part of my own slow and intentional living. Perhaps it is for you too.
Knowing ways to still our minds and support our nervous systems - all of these ways we can bring ease and calm to our minds, bodies, spirits, and hearts. Meditation is such a beautiful practice for this. There are other things we can do, in moments of our days too - taking moments to pause and breathe, to quieten our minds, to listen to our bodies, and to intentionally in these slow moments, pay attention to what it is we need, and make a better choice, or change something, or shift something for more ease and calm. A slow life, when we bring all these ways of being and all our values together in harmony and balance - allows us deeper rest, deeper connection within ourselves and this life, and naturally ways, to feel ease and calm. Instead of reacting to things, we respond in a far more peaceful and supportive way. And one of the most powerful and beautiful ways to reset our nervous system, is to allow ourselves to rest. This comes from gifting ourselves permission to slow down. And to have good, quality sleep each night (with an intentional practice for sleep - if you struggle with this, then do reach out).
Creating compassionate and intentional boundaries - I touched on this in yesterday's blog, around healthy relationships. I feel that compassionate boundaries are necessary for us, and for others. When I think of boundaries - I don't see fences or walls - I see fluid and flexible interactions, that feel natural, easy and can change and evolve, just as our seasons, and as life circumstances can shift as well. We can deeply love and respect someone, and really desire them as part of our lives, but have compassionate boundaries. Being intentional about this, is everything. Knowing why we need a boundary, knowing how we feel when we don't have one and the difference this makes, when we do. Knowing that saying no to someone, or creating some space, doesn't make us an unkind person - we can often find that relationships improve when we have boundaries, and even more so, if and when we communicate these too. For those of us more giving people, who are used to perhaps supporting others more than ourselves - compassionate boundaries are so very important for our wellbeing. It can take practice to intentionally be honest in choosing and creating these. It might take self compassion and kindness to keep putting these into practice. But when we do, we intentionally notice the shifts and changes this brings. We can start to know how to support ourselves and appreciate ourselves, in doing so. Living life in a way that we are mutually giving to others and giving to ourselves.
This is how I see and view my own slow and intentional life - a loving exchange, and in communion with life and those relationships within it. I wonder if this resonates for you.
Bring intention to those things that uplift you, fill you with delight and hope, and optimism - I really believe this is so important as a part of our own slow and intentional lives. In creating and designing the way we choose to be and live, aligned with our values and what's deeply important to us. I believe that by choosing my own slow living, I've naturally re-discovered things that delight me, I naturally choose things that do uplift me and I feel optimistic, about myself and life. Regardless of uncertainty at times, and circumstances. I intentionally lean into things, people, spaces - where I feel the best version of me, in all ways. Even more so, if times are uncertain or more difficult too. Our wellbeing improves when we fill ourselves up with all the good things, and we start to be more at ease with life, to not take things so seriously, to not dwell on things, to how to accept and surrender to things at times - and the profound healing journey this can be. We don't feel negatively or worry so much, but start to see and find joy and delight in all the small things, and to be more curious with life, to just be in the present moment, and to allow things to unfold. Become intentional with what truly feels good and healthy for you - in every way, and in everything. It supports us to be our own authentic selves in every way. When we feel truly aligned within ourselves, we don't doubt ourselves, and we trust more deeply in ourselves and in this life. Feel the ease and calm this brings.
I'm going to finish this piece today - and this series - with these words that I always return to, within my own slow and intentional life.
Less is more - you may have heard these words, and perhaps they do resonate for you. I encourage you to lean into this phrase, and reflect on the slow and intentional life you choose to design and create for yourself - with all the ways I've written here, and ways within yourself. How this feels for you, what this means for you, and how you might choose to embrace this. For me, I take a deep exhale with these words as it reminds me always to come back to what I already have within myself. The beautiful space of stillness within, and that by slowing down, I have need for less, I have need for more quiet, I have need for more space, and I deeply desire and know that what is most supportive to me, is less busy and rush, is less expectation or pressure, and more ease and calm - and all the ways I have these, within.
Slowing down allows us to do and be so much more. In quality and meaningful ways. We just need to remind ourselves that it's okay to do this, it's our choice, it's our own conscious and intentional life we get to create and choose - and sometimes it means really doing the work and looking at our lives inside out and changing things, to embrace all these ways of being, that feel more aligned and true for us. But my hope is, that if you are intentional about choosing slow living, in ways that are true for you - you'll come to know and believe so deeply within yourself, that less is more, and benefits you in every way.
I want to also write and speak more about conscious living, and how this is such a passion and part of my own personal slow and intentional life. But I will do this in another blog piece, as a separate theme of its own. To me, it's all connected and as one, as living a conscious life, is a huge part of who I am, my values, and intentionally supports my whole wellbeing, others around me, and this earth and planet too. It's all part of this loving exchange and communion with life I mentioned - self care and care for others, and our planet - all so important to me.
I hope from this three part series, you've felt that something has resonated for you, or inspired you to choose ways to embrace your own unique slow and intentional life. I'd love to hear and know. I'd also love to support you with this, and can do so within our sessions, working together. Supporting you to live your best life - to feel calm, connected and confident in every way - to make choices, decisions and to know ways of being to lean into, that support you, in every way.
You can find details about working together here, and I'd love to connect with you - https://www.katiejanewellness.com/coachingsessions.html
I have loved writing and sharing this blog series on slow and intentional living, so much. All these themes, and ways of being, have had such an impact in my own life, through so much change, and to be in the place where I am now, fills me with passion and delight to support others even more. To feel calm, connected and confident, through all times of uncertainty, change and transition. Slow and intentional living is such a beautiful way of being and living - supportive in so many ways for our whole wellbeing.
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Katie Jane is a Holistic Therapist, Life Coach, Health Coach, Nutritionist, Naturopath, Meditation teacher, writer and author. Katie has been working in the wellness industry for over 15 years, in private practice and online, and brings all of these qualifications and skills, along with her own lived experiences through challenges, changes and transitions. Her approach to life and wellbeing is truly holistic and unique for each individual. She supports and coaches clients to make powerful changes, to feel calm through uncertainty and change, to embrace self care as a way of being, and to thrive through life transitions.