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Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going to fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.
Sauntering is beautiful and elegant. We admire the woman who seems to be a flaneur in her life. But, seldom do we give ourselves permission to do the same. Over coffee, a friend confessed, “I am so ready to slow life down.” I asked her, “Well, why don’t you?” Without skipping a beat, she went into all the reasons she couldn’t.
I have bills to pay.
The kids are always needing to go somewhere.
If I slow down, I might get behind.
Fear, fear, fear. That’s all I heard.
I know that voice all too well.
And, it’s a lie.
Recently, the School of Self-image team and I have been going full speed.
At our last team meeting, we all agreed: it’s time to slow down to a saunter.
Not a screeching halt, just a slower, more luxurious, pace.
And, this is how life works — different seasons for working hard and seasons for rest.
But, if all you’re ever doing is racing through life, you’re probably missing out on the best stuff that life is made of — moments to just read a book, work in your garden, cook a beautiful meal, take an evening stroll.
Fear will steal the most precious moments of your life.
I know this all too well. When it came to speed, eating and practically everything in life, I was an all or nothing kind of gal. I was either going full speed ahead or paralyzed, eating the whole bag or nothing at all.
Moderation was not a mode of operation I knew well.
A French lady once said to me, “Darling, the art of being a woman requires solitude so that the artist can rest and dream.”
It sounds all nice and dandy, but to actually put into practice? Well, this is where trust and faith come into the picture.
There was a time in my life I was living full throttle 24-7, 365 days a year.
And, I was confused as to why I was getting sick? You can only ignore your body for so long before it will get your attention.
Fortunately, you don’t have to wait until you are lying in bed with bronchitis or the flu to find a moderate pace. And, within this space of slowing down a bit, you can assess:
Am I taking care of myself?
Is there space for creativity and inspiration?
Do I even like the path I’m on?
I am craving space to brainstorm the next evolution of School of Self-image — fresh ideas, how I can serve even more and how to add more elegance to the biz (cause we’ve been hustling y’all!).
I am also deeply desiring summer time — taking long walks by the river, enjoying my mom’s visit, weekends on the lake, cooking fabulous meals that are like art, more coffee dates with friends, soaking in long bubble baths, hosting dance parties in my living room.
Here’s what you may not know about me — I love to work (I call it leisurely hustling). I always have. I had my first job in a strawberry patch when I was seven years old, and I’ve been working ever since.
By the way, the opposite of ease is not hard work, it’s struggle. And, I’m not into the whole struggle lifestyle.
Struggle keeps you from slowing down out of fear. Ease asks you to slow down take a more elegant approach to your life.
I always ask myself: what feels like love?
Sometimes, love says, “Stop procrastinating. Go, girl! Full speed ahead.”
But right now? It feels like love to saunter over the next weeks.
You may be wondering, like my friend, “But, when you have so much to do, how do you actually slow down?”
Remember: it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You don’t have to book a trip to a private island and detach from the whole world to slow down a bit.
Here’s my process:
1. Write down all of your obligations (cooking, cleaning, work, laundry, kid’s activities, everything).
2. Go through each item on your list and ask yourself:
Is this necessary?
Would the world end if I didn’t do it?
3. Imagine not doing each item on your list and notice how your body responds.
Do you suddenly relax?
Do you feel lightness?
When I did this exercise a couple of weeks ago, there was one thing on my list that stood out to me.
For over five years, I have been writing to you weekly. I’ve written well over 250 posts — some that many of you have probably never seen and some you may have read many times. But, they’re all timeless.
I don’t have an editor or content manager. The ideas, typos, and grammatical mistakes are all mine.
I’m not complaining. Writing is something I love doing — for you and myself.
Every week, I receive e-mails from readers saying that just by reading my blog, their lives have changed. I beamed when a reader recently told me, “I’ve been married for 24 years, and my marriage is HOT thanks to School of Self-image.” (Can we all celebrate that?)
So, how I plan to slow down a bit over the next few weeks is this: I will be digging into the School of Self-image archives and sharing some of my favorite posts of all time (and, there’s some good stuff in there). You’ll still be hearing from me each week in the newsletter with updates and my weekly j’adore.
I’ll be back writing fresh new content before you know it. But, this is what I need.
When you think about what you need, you may hear that voice in your head:
What will people think?
Will people forget me?
Will I get behind?
Listen up (and take a peek into my head):
If someone is offended by me not writing a new post over the next few weeks, then they probably don’t need to be in this community (or maybe they do, so they can chill out a bit).
If someone forgets me, well, I wasn’t that important in the first place, so au revoir.
And, it’s impossible to “get behind.” Life is not a race, and I’m always where I need to be (and so are you).
Now, it’s your turn.
Are you feeling the need to slow down and saunter? Make your list and let me know what you’re committed to taking off your plate.
Back to a Saunter,
Live Your Life With Style, Flare, and Elegance
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