This morning, I flew home from near-perfect sunny weather in the desert to our snowy (inside AND out) polar vortex home. I’m struck by the vast difference in the quality of light here. Our home, bathed in cool clear light has a monastic, quiet, ethereal mood that easily ushers me into stillness. A year ago, I shared these images and thoughts about aligning with nature, adopting its pace and slowing down. Slow Living At Home & Ideas for Cultivating More Peace Now shares authentic glimpses of the sacred in the everyday.
Slow Living At Home & Ideas for Cultivating More Peace Now
Going to sleep at an earlier hour, carving out time for yoga and gentle stretching, baking bread, meditation, cozying down with a book on the weekend, and planning a relaxing vacation where ‘hustle’ is distant from the vocabulary?
Those are all intentional ways I am currently living slower.
By the way, these images aren’t styled or zhushed.
(Let’s face it…you spy plenty of gorgeously composed vignettes to inspire from others in my archives!)
The Christmas-y things have been stored away, and we’re living with things bare for a little while.
Bare feels good, and so does this new “only looks real” succulent in an awesome heavy pot.
Daring to Be Spare is Rare
And don’t think for a second you’re going to find hashtags such as ‘living my BEST LIFE’ sprinkled into this post!
I am the soul trying to embrace reality, previve cancer, and grow in wisdom, not grow an empire of influence.
Plus. ‘Best’ somehow implies I’m going to be graded, compared, or judged; the first half of life brought quite enough of that, thank you very much.
Real life in 2021 is stressful enough without the masochism.
The idea of ‘surviving modern life’ or living a ‘good enough’ life may not have been attractive pre-2020, but we have had so much time to assess such matters.
This quote (shared last year) continues to resonate at the moment:
Savoring the Sweet in the Slow
I have okay days and not so okay days, and I tell you what…
I appreciate the more peaceful ones so much now!
When my GI illness is calm, and I can smile…oh, mercy.
Simple things such as the ability to do light housework, swim a a lap, play music on the piano, or bake something delicious are so lifegiving.
I know you get it.
When you live with chronic illness and grow weary, such simple things are cherished.
Resistance to Share the Shadows
I would prefer NOT to push ‘publish’ on posts such as this one. I’d much rather keep the reality of life with illness under wraps or report remission is dreamily here.
Hopefully I am turning a corner. I have gained a couple pounds and begun to do light exercise again. But there is much healing to come, and until it’s here, a slower pace in tune with nature will do.
Slow Living Tips from an Expert
Here’s a great place to start if you too desire a slower pace.
Moving Forward Slowly & Imperfectly
Since I can blog from anywhere, I’m fortunate to travel when I have the strength.
I’ll be heading for warmer temperatures again soon and hope to get liberal doses of fresh air and beautiful scenery.
Of course soaring above the clouds is not a small thing these days, so it may be a road trip for us.
I’m ever grateful to have a travel companion on the journey who cares for me in a way that keeps me feeling as though I am quite enough.
Weak though I be, I am enough!
And so are you.
Words of Affirmation for You
I’m raising a half-FULL glass of Rosé champagne to you (since I can only have a wee bit these days) with this whole-hearted toast:
HERE’S TO LIFE LIVED SIMPLY yet FULLY AS THE GIFT it ever is…where LOVE is always the point.
What Keeps Us From Slower, More Peaceful Living?
There are multiple paths toward peace when you decide to say YES to its invitation.
Lord knows I have sought those paths over the years journeying through doubt, darkness, and despair.
At times, my pursuit of light is a desperate, feverish one.
Desperation seems to be a prerequisite (at least for me) for inner peace if only because it signals the end of my personal resources.
I don’t know anything at all about the actual mechanics, but I’m not magically summoning light into my heart.
Rather, the light is always here waiting for me to become permeable to it.
Love’s tender healing radiance waits within the stillness for my surrender, for my wordless, consenting YES.
10 Smart Ideas for More Peace
Reducing a peace pilgrimage to a Pinterest infographic that doesn’t even ring very spiritual and forgets to mention meditation…seriously, Michele?
Who does that?
I know it’s imperfect and insufficient, but could it be a start? If we all PIN it, do you suppose there may be ripples rippling, the likes of which we may never know?
(I can hear the groans…your list doesn’t even mention the peace a dog, cat, or pet brings!)
And I hear you.
While I believe in the power of prayer and have built spiritual rhythms such as meditation into my day, a lot of folks long for concrete ideas for embodied gestures as a bridge to more ethereal ones.
And please don’t think embodied gestures are inferior gestures.
Mind Body Spirit Matters
After years of rejecting the body* (and accepting poor theology), it has been necessary to relearn what a precious and sacred part of wholeness it truly is.
*Unfortunately, a chronic illness can make it difficult to trust the body and enjoy simple pleasures such as eating.
You already know the strength when there is harmony of body-mind-spirit.
BTW. Number 8 is decidedly not ’embodied,’ but it is so important to let go of shame and forgive yourself in order to welcome more peace.
Our bodies hold on to shame, pain, and regret, but we can show them the door!
You could pair #8 with number 4 and write post-it notes to yourself (i.e. IT’S A NEW DAY – YOU ARE FORGIVEN FOR WHAT YOU DIDN’T KNOW YESTERDAY!)
One more thing regarding #10 (invest in relationships)…if you truly want to love another purely, keep this in mind:
Thanks for listening, friends. If your journey is more of a fast pace of living complete with #livingmybestlife hashies, I also honor your journey.
Our diversity and our differences make us beautiful teachers for each other!
I have felt gently held in the buoyancy of your kindness and prayers in recent days and am praying for you too.
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Peace to you right where you are.
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