Posts Tagged "rhythms and cycles"

Going Deeper

Posted on Mar 15, 2015 | 0 comments

Going Deeper

Of all the things I passionately believe in, the power of deep experience is right up there. In fact, a large part of my commitment to Slow comes from an appreciation of the relationship between Slow and depth. One of the great tragedies of our Fast society is that we only skim the surface of life’s experiences and furthermore become unaware of this shallowness. With our senses so thoroughly bombarded and hence numbed simply as a coping mechanism, our perception of life becomes grossified. By slowing down and bringing more of our attention into the present we sink deeper into each moment. The things we discover can change our lives forever. I never would have had an appreciation for Slow if it was not for doing my first Way of Nature Sacred Passage. I spent a week in solitude and after two days of mostly sleeping, settling in and relaxing a whole new way of being with the world opened up in ways I could never have imagined. The incredible sense of connectedness was like a caress for the soul and the reciprocity with the beings around me in acknowledgement of this changed, deeper relationship with nature changed the way I see the world forever. I have found this and other deep experiences I have embarked on since then much like finding a great radio station and adding it to your favourites: you might not always be tuned in but you can find it again, the path has been illuminated, and simply just knowing it is there waiting for you is the source of much ease. Deep experience help you to see what is possible, inspiring and guiding everyday practice. So if you have started or thought about any kind of practice, such as meditation, to assist you to slow down, I encourage you to find the space and courage to let yourself go deeper. In a way, it is a matter of courage. Deep experience by its very nature requires you to go beyond comfort zone and learn about surrender, trust and letting go. These in themselves are incredible valuable lessons. Sometimes I’d claim my strategy with The Slow Project is to gently introduce people to Slow principles, thereby allowing them to come to the conclusion that deep experience is something they are ready for. But then other times, such as now, I just get too excited and decide that I’m going to try to convince you straight out. I practice what I preach, and I am heading off in a few week to spend 5 weeks in Nepal learning Thai massage and doing more meditation and qi gong on a pilgrimage. Before I go I am hoping to get enough people for two nature programs I am running in May and June. The May 23 event is a taster 1-day retreat and the June Nature Quest gives you a proper deep dive exploring and strengthening your connection with nature over 5 days including 2 days in solitude.  So have I convinced you? Are you keen? Please get in touch, even if it is to ask some questions over a coffee. Sign up for post updates:...

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Nature Quest in the Midwest

Posted on Mar 7, 2015 | 0 comments

Nature Quest in the Midwest

Craving time out from the craziness of modern life and ready to push your boundaries to explore what meaningful relationship with nature might be like? Technology-driven, adrenaline-fueled, time-compressed modern society creates separation from our bodies and from nature – the very essence of what it is to be human. In the vast skies of the midwest we will retreat and rediscover. What’s involved? The centrepiece of this program is 2 nights, 3 days spent in solitude in wild nature. Prior to this ‘AllOne’ time, we will learn simple and effective practices to allow us to become present and relaxed, merging with the natural energies and rhythms of nature. These teachings are based on the 12 Guiding Principles of the Way of Nature organisation. To keep costs low we will share responsibility for meals during the group time. Fasting is recommended for the AllOne time, although is not mandatory. Bring any snacks you might want for that time. Who’s it for?  This Nature Quest is suited to those who: Are looking to move beyond simple appreciation of nature and develop their skills in connecting with inner and outer nature May have tried some meditation but looking to connect that with your love of nature Yearn for space to reflect and rest in stillness May not have spent much time alone but looking to expand their boundaries with the support of nature Cost: $450 or $400 if booked prior to March 29  ...

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The Slow way to make your routine work for you not against you

Posted on Feb 1, 2014 | 0 comments

The Slow way to make your routine work for you not against you

This is something I never thought a non-conformist fond of change and exercising creativity like me would admit – routine is important. More so if no one else (such as an employer) is providing the structure for you. I had overlooked just what effect waking up every morning and being able to what I wanted, when I wanted, would have. I guess I had assumed that I would get to work 9-5 just like before but in a different location. Boy was I wrong. What are the implications of a lack of routine? The main issue is that using your limited pool of conscious effort to make decisions about things other than your important tasks means that you are significantly less effective than if you devoted the majority of your Slow Thinking daily quota to your daily priorities. As discussed here, your Slow Thinking system appears to draw from the same limited pool of available effort as willpower. Looking at routine as a subject for the project was not what I thought I would be focussing on in the early days. But following the realisation about effectiveness and its relationship with routine I had to quickly redress the balance of structure in my day before I flittered away too much time (and yes this does sound like someone for whom Slow does not come naturally. The purposeful part of Slow does for me, but not the patience part). Having a consciously chosen routine means your mind is freed up to focus on what is important. Being on autopilot is not Slow, but deliberately choosing what to allow routines to take care of in order to stay purposeful, is. Much like my journey with living with intention, this is all a work in progress but thought I would share some lessons as I go: Things like eating well and exercising are important, especially for someone like me who values health extremely highly. But I also go overboard with focusing on this and spend too much effort making decision about what and when I eat and exercise. Don’t let one of your values have too much sway over your routine – it will crowd out other values you hold, in this case my value of ‘contributing with purpose.’ Think about what time of day works best for you to complete certain activities, create and stick to a schedule so you no longer need to think about what you do when. For example what works for me is doing some form of centring and contemplative practice when I get out of bed,  exercise, then going into the most important task I have to complete that day that involves mental effort. Similarly, use natural rhythms and cycles to find the right routine, not just any routine. Getting myself to bed earlier is the main habit I’m working on because our melatonin/seratonin cycle guides our sleep and waking patterns. Seratonin is highest just before sunrise and melatonin at sunset; being in sync with the earth’s circadian rhythms has many benefits (sleeping better, reducing sugar cravings, increasing optimism and pro-activeness to name a few). Having a routine in terms of how you structure your day helps you keep in mind what your intent is for each part of the day. Use this, don’t multitask, limit distractions. Goals versus systems – using systems (routines) to achieve progress to desired outcomes is much more empowering and enables you to focus on the small steps which lead to success. For more on this topic here is a great blog post by James Clear Do you have any tips for...

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