Intentionally simple. Intentionally slow. Closing my eyes, I force myself to take deep breathes and feel the moment. I hear the kids playing downstairs, stacking books to become towers underneath which dragons will be slain.
I set my steps to be slow. I set them to move me through the day with ease and rhythm. It doesn't always come easy. The days fill and pass by quickly, with chores to do and work to finish, it's easy to get lost in the swing of it all. But it's those little moments in-between where the magic happens. It's the brushing of hair while we read books. It's the laughter we share as we linger at the table well after the meal is eaten, it's the motions between tasks where the air stands still and memories are formed and folded into sacred spaces.
There are choices we can make to create space, to create a womb where stillness can reside and magic can swirl.
Carve space every day just for you. Take time to be with yourself, to sit in the quiet of a still morning with a cup of tea and book, take a walk outside or bath alone in the evening. Set this time aside to cultivate your relationship with yourself. A time away from devices and distraction, a time to connect with yourself as you would a dear friend.
Find inspiration every day. Be that from a book, music, art or nature. Listening to a few of your favourite songs can cause a swelling of inspiration that lifts us off our feet if only for a moment.
Nourish yourself with warmth. Brew yourself a cup of herbal tea, a matcha latte, a herbed cocoa or a cup of soup to warm the body from the inside out.
Read for a few moments every day. Feel the pages in your fingers, breathe deep the smell within its folds. Soak up the words and allow them to move you, infuriate you, make you weep or wash over you with hope.
Check out from all devices for a time each and every day. Computers and phones off, tablets put away. Look deep into the eyes of those around you or with yourself and dare to be together without electronic distraction and being 'on call' all the time.
Turn off your internet or wifi router at night. Let the house sleep under a blanket of quiet, where hidden signals and vibrations cannot penetrate. Reach for your book and a piece of dark chocolate or the warm body next to you and sleep peacefully.
Eat cleanly and organically. Keep your food free of harsh chemicals and preservatives so that your body can process those toxins that do come in, more easily. Nourish your body with healthy fats, vitamins and minerals so that the cells generated each and every day are spun from a web of healthy food.
Connect with nature every day. Go for a walk, drink your coffee on the porch, lay down in a pile of leaves, or simply open a window and gaze out at the birds as they sore under the clouds.
Touch every day. Be touched, touch others or touch yourself every single day. Connection through touch is so important. Body, foot or hand massages for your children and partner or for yourself are not to be underrated. Especially now.
Sleep when you are tired. Don't push beyond the window of sleep, it doesn't pay off. It all begins with sleep; our patience and ability to listen and be present. Value it like you value your most sacred things. Nurture it, hold it, give it space.
Eat when you are hungry. Make large and nutritious meals, prepare in advance. Shop with intention and with a plan. Take the time to prepare food that is easy to make or easy portion and keep on hand. Love tomorrow's you with food already prepared. Let her rest.
It's no surprise that each of these things calm the nervous system. It's no surprise that living intentionally forces us to connect with others, with ourselves and with nature. All of these things play a huge role in our stress, our immune system response and our overall health.
But above all, they feel good to do.
Living simply and slowly takes intention. And it feels fantastic.