26 Responses to “How to Master the Art of Slowing Down”

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  1. Thank you Courtney, Just what I needed right now. Since I enrolled in ‘How to Create a Microbusiness that Matters’ I’ve been working hard on my new website, working my 9-5 and maybe lost a little focus on what really matters. It’s funny, I blog about slowing down and enjoying life quite a bit myself, but we all need reminders.

    Dan Garner

  2. And by the way, to all of your readers – try the mini-course it’s great and it’s less than $20.

  3. How slow can I go?

    Slower than a herd of turtles in a jar of peanut butter!

    All kidding aside, here’s a link to a rain retreat meditation that can help ANYone downshift gears to a healthy pace: http://wp.me/pP1C5-OP

  4. Slowing down changes our entire experience of life making it richer and more vivid, doesn’t it? I remember when I was in India where life proceeds at a far different pace and what a visceral experience it was. I love these ideas, especially choose people first even over our digital devices! I’ve never heard the term “dolce far niente” before; how sweet sounding! I was perfecting that practice over the weekend. :)

  5. Thank you for this, Courtney!

    We, too, are just starting our new life in our apartment in the city, and we’ve got a crazy list of activities we would like to do, but we’ve spent the past week going to the pool, talking to each other, and relaxing. I like to think of life as a fine chocolate–something to be savored slowly, not scarfed down.

  6. Courtney, thank you for this post. Especially number 5. The last few months have had their ups and downs and lately I have been more focused on the downs. Instead of dwelling on what I might have done differently in the past, I am going to focus on right now and simply trying to do my best. This definitely helps put things in perspective.

    • Courtney Carver

      Lauren, When I get caught up in something like regret and hold on to things that make me feel bad, I think about my daughter and if I would wish that on her. Would I want her to be regretful or to punish herself over and over again for something that happened already? Absolutely not.

      I want the very best for her, so I know that if I act accordingly, I can have the very best too.

      We deserve that.

  7. Thanks for a wonderful list. You’ve reminded me of how far I’ve come in the twenty-some-odd years since I started down this path. At this point I seriously can’t even imagine having to use an alarm clock or car every day!

    But the thing is, the frenzy still catches up to me from time to time. At least now I know that it’s totally self imposed, and when the old hurry bug starts to nag at me, I know it means that there’s some emotional stuff brewing that I don’t want to deal with. Somehow getting all worked up about the dishes is just easier than facing the out of control feelings that we all inevitably experience.

    • Courtney Carver

      I feel the same away about busyness or clutter covering up something I don’t want to deal with. It is so subtle, but if I am paying attention, I can address the real situation.

  8. When we slow down we can become more attentive to what is really important—we can become more productive. Stress makes us busy.

  9. Hi Courtney

    Having just made the decision to “slow down” my life I find your list very helpful in that it gives me something to go by. I was finding myself working way too much with a full-time career position and a full-time side business… thus leaving little time for family and the important things in life!

    Your number 7: “Dump your fear of missing out” is something that I need to better work on as I struggle with this particular point.

    Now that my work life has been reduced somewhat I find I can “breathe” and really enjoy the friends and family that are truly what life is all about!

    Interesting post!

    Chris

    • Courtney Carver

      Thanks Chris, Seems we’ve been raised to believe we can do whatever we want and have it all (as if that’s a good thing). The less I own and the more engaged I am with fewer projects, the happier I am.

  10. Courtney! Nice post, man. The quality of our work is despicable for the most part. Now I have sunk to mentally rewarding someone if there are no spelling or grammar errors in their email and they use complete sentences. I think this rushing around is constantly lowering the bar for us all. Conversation has been relegated to weather and health problems and occasional gossip. Taking time to ponder and elaborate on a topic makes for much better and more interesting conversation. This takes time however. Thanks Courtney and have a beaner of a day!!!

  11. I love and embrace the whole idea of slowing down being a choice. It really is. Even if you have a job, a sick pet, or myriad other emergencies, you can prioritize and simplify.

    Great point about regrets, Courtney. They eat away at you, waste your time, and decrease your ability to attend and live life. Thank you!

  12. Thanks Courtney for all these reminders. My personal favorite is letting go of the fear of missing out. I used to be constantly worried that everyone else was having an amazing time and that if I didn’t keep moving I would miss something amazing. I now know that my “best” experiences are always the ones where I am most present. And once again we must be thinking somewhat along the same path because I too wrote a blog post titled, “Permission To Slow Down–Ending the Addiction to Busy-ness”

  13. Numbers 4 and 6 are specially challenging for me. I can’t think of how many times I’ve told my daughter to wait while I finish up commenting on a post or sending a tweet. Part if it is me wants to teach her delayed gratification, but I have a feeling it’s more of a lame excuse on my part to not put her first. There are lots of other ways to teach her patience without making her feel like she’s less important than a machine.

    Do you think it’s true dolce far niente if you have to force yourself to do it? I guess that’s where the art form comes into play. It is truly a difficult concept to master when we’re brought up our whole lives with a zillion tasks to do in school, and then later in work. I remember vividly at the end of each school year or semester having that “I’m supposed to be doing something” feeling when really there was nothing to do. It would take me a few days to release that fear and enjoy the summer. I was also brought up being told “If there’s work to do, you should be doing it.” There was no such thing as down time if there was still work to be done. Now it’s hard work to stop myself, ignore what’s not done and put it on the side (physically and mentally) but I never regret it when I do.

  14. I really needed this. Especially #3. I tell my son “in a minute” a lot. Usually when I am reading my kindle or checking emails. Uh, what a horrid example. I guess I also need #5 and releasing my regret about this too- the only thing that will help is to actively change my behavior.
    Oh, and wolfing down breakfast in the car on my way to work. Need to work on that too.

    Katie

  15. MelD

    We are currently in our holiday home in France with no internet (unless we are in town).
    We just had visitors from the US. They were amazed at the life we live and how often we just go somewhere to sit, watch, drink something etc. If that is how people are surviving in the US (rather than living), I see why this movement exists… I kinda wondered why there is so much around on this topic!! Now I know, Americans rarely actually live!
    Glad we live life at our own pace in France & Switzerland ;o

  16. This is great advice for slowing down your life. I will definitely try to implement these tips into my life, dolce far niente will for sure be the hardest concept for me to grasp.

  17. I am glad I read this post today! Lots of the points resonate with me. I usually wake up 30 mins before I really need to get up to pray and enjoy the process of waking up. What I would like to do more though is really create more wealth around me so that I can take more time with being with people. I am really enjoying the process of taking about an hour daily to build a website that I love on a topic that I find fulfilling.

  18. I love the slow morning idea, and I think I will work through your morning routine course once we have finished dress with less (we are taking that nice and slowly).

    I agree with driving too. Admittedly I do eat a little fruit in the car to keep my energy up on long drives (which I unfortunately have a couple of days a week at the moment. I am working on that). But I do not answer calls during that time (I do listen to podcasts, but only because it is much better than radio, and it helps with my focus).

    Thanks for these wonderful thoughts Courtney

  19. I really like 4 5 and 7. Life really can get out of control fast (excuse the pun, which is intended BTW) so learning to slow down and appreciate the people around you and your surroundings is important for a healthy and more stable and happy life.

  20. Ron

    Excellent advice! Thank you.

  21. Lovely post! You hit on so many different aspects of life, and how we can slow down, that can benefit me as well as my clients. I sometimes get pulled in too many directions and recalibrating myself with solid practical advice like this is very helpful! I especially liked your paragraph on dolce far niente. Just BE for moment. Although with having 4 kids I do get the MOM… every time I sit down to do something, so putting people first is a runner up-lol! Thanks for sharing.

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