Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Interrupt busy with slow

This year started off with the most wondrous of intentions. Intentions to move slowly, be grace, live purposefully, breathe with intention. And I'm not saying I haven't done all those things. To a wonderful extent I have. 

But then along came the chaos. The busy. I'm dubbing it "the scheduled life". When there's so much to be done, and so many commitments that all the moments seem played out in routine. It kills spontaneity. And it turns a slow and mindful rhythm into a routine. And to that mishaps and mess + throw in a tonne of winter colds and coughs. 

I felt it approaching a month or so back. I felt despair. And a whole lot alone and helpless in getting all the things done while carving out the slow, heart-centred rhythm that I need. {I've come to understand that slow and heart-centred is quite simply how I thrive.} 

To some extent, busy cannot be stopped. Maybe, like me, you have three young children. Or maybe, like old me, you have a busy corporate job that works to strict deadlines. It's hard to stop the busy when you simply have so much necessary stuff to be done. 

I've researched this very topic on a personal level for the past 10 years. Rushing and the stress that tagged along with it was making me sick. I needed the antidote to busy and rushing. And I have a conclusion: We need to be okay with some busy. Life simply demands it. But we don't need to become "busy". Busy doesn't need to be our state of being: our sense of self from the minute we open our eyes from sleep to the minute they close again at night. 

So, what to do?

Interrupt busy with slow. That there is my solution. And it's working. For me.

It means slowing down, and taking a dose of mindfulness to heart. But it doesn't mean becoming a constant state of slow and mindful. We can still be mindful and not practise mindfulness every single moment of our waking day. 

I say, begin with a handful of minutes. Or add an extra handful of minutes to your already mindful routine. I'm honestly talking about just a few minutes. And this isn't about setting aside time to be mindful. It's about choosing slow + mindful when your amidst busy. It's about noticing that busy pace, and choosing to interrupt it. 

I fold these mindful rituals into the everyday effortlessly. Because as well as slow and mindful, simplicity {for me} is key. 

RESET YOUR RHYTHM + When I'm running around in the mess that can be mornings with kids, I choose to step away from the chaos, step outside with my cup of tea. I savour those sips, I look to the sky, I breathe. I move slowly. Just for a minute, before joining the mess again. Albeit calmer and more mindful. 

LOOK TO NATURE + When I've had a busy morning or afternoon, I pull the car over by the sea* on my drive home. I step outside {or we step outside, as I almost always have children in tow} to watch the water, taking note of the rhythm the sea is moving to today, breathing deeply and fully, taking in that sea air.  

STEP OUTSIDE + I often choose to eat my lunch outdoors, especially if the sun is shining. I notice the feel of the sun on my face, it's warmth. I pause before eating to just breathe, to give thanks for this moment, my food, the sun's shine. I notice the sky's colour, the patterns of the clouds. I tend to eat slower when I do this. Eat more mindfully. I'm present.

JUST BREATHE + And when I simply can't make make my slow minutes an escape, I just take a minute to tune into my breath. I notice its pace. I listen to the inhalation / the exhalation. I invite myself to breathe deeper and slower than before, and to release that breath fully. I invite myself to move slower. To walk/speak/react at a slower pace. Just for a minute. 

To counteract life's busy, interrupt it. With slow. For me, it works.


Will you give it a go? What activities help you stay centred and mindful in the here and now? I'd love to know. Elisa x

*Of course, not everyone lives close to the sea! But the sky is just as wondrous! Look to the patterns playing out across the sky from home or work, notice how it changes, notice how it's changed an hour later, tune into the rhythms of the sky as you could the sea. Just as expansive, just as mesmerising, ever-changing with the rhythms of life - as are we.     

--------- >> Learn about what's in my free mindfulness activity bundle for embracing slow + mindful, and tuning into the power of your breath here.  

--------- >> I have a new instagram account: @ohhelloheart xx


  1. I needed to read this post today. You have shared some tips that over the years I have let go of. We get so busy with life that we let it take over. Thank you for reminding me that I need to step back and live a little slower xx

  2. Interrupt busy with slow....this!!! I couldn't agree more. Living a slow and simple life doesn't mean there isn't some busy, but we have to be aware of our need to stop and notice, to be mindful, and to find those moments when we can interrupt the rushing and busy to reconnect to our heart center. YES!!!!!

    Nature connection, taking a moment to sit and enjoy a cup of tea, a few minutes of writing in my journal...all ways I interrupt the busy.

    Have a beautiful day. xo

  3. At the moment I definitely feel as though busy can't be stopped :) I love your advice though. Some times removing yourself from a situation and taking time in nature is all you need. Beautiful post. #teamIBOT

  4. I love this! These tips are so simple but so practical - I'm definitely going to try and give some of them a go.

  5. I love these suggestions! I'm always "busy" which has made me uptight, stressed and anxious. I love the suggestions you have in here to slow down and step outside - I need to do more of this. Thanks for the suggestions x

  6. Simple, important and how often we forget to give to ourselves that so needed space?

    Luisa xoxo


Thank you for your words and support. I'm so glad you stopped by xx