Are you slowing down? From the feedback on my last post (here) it seems that there are a few of us happy to slow down a bit this week. Great stuff. Very happy to have you along. It has changed my attitude to a few things already.
I've abandoned projects that were on the to do list but were, on reflection, not jobs for now. I've given myself permission to take my time, and to remember that not absolutely everything has to happen absolutely right now. I've gone back to planning my day and making lists of things that I want to do this week rather than launching headlong into the chaos, reasoning that there was no time to sit down and plan.
I've relaxed a little about what is and isn't getting done and interestingly I think I've been more productive. Less rushing and more focus. The trick of course will be to maintain it and not slip back into old ways but let's worry - and maybe write about - that later.
In my pondering of slow I remembered the the second annual Festival of Slow Music that took place here in Ballarat in August. Ballarat is city obsessed with festivals. There is a new one popping up every other month but the Festival of Slow Music is interesting for a variety of reasons. Firstly, it's not about slow music, it's about slow listening. It's about taking your time to listen to and experience music, no matter the tempo, and to get to know the musicians and the broader community with whom you're sharing your musical experience.
All performances are acoustic. This year there was a morning meditation to kick off each day and the venues are small and intimate. Collaboration is encouraged, There was jazz, classical, blues and rock, open rehearsals, free public concerts and a seven hour Byzantine/Minimalist hynm-based piece. (No I don't know what that means either). And for contrast Whitt from Spiderbait perfomed Dead Set: Songs About Death and Dying.
The Festival is part of the broader Slow Movement that you might have heard about. There's Slow Food - that's how it started in Italy in the 1980s as a challenge to fast food - but now there is also Slow Photography, Slow Architecture, Slow Education, Slow Travel and Slow Cities (known as Cittaslow). All are bound together by a cultural shift to slow the pace of life and appreciate what's around us, to do things at a pace that creates less stress, more meaning and more collaboration. I suspect there's a lot of similarities between the Slow Movement and the Minimalism movement that's also capturing our collective imagination at the moment. We want to do more with less and at a more meaningful pace.
It all sits well with me (I've never really been a 'I thrive on being busy' person anyway. it's not how I'm wired up) so I'm going to stick with it. If you're keen to keep it slow, you might find this TED talk by Carl Honore interesting too. He's been a great and early proponent of the Slow Movement, triggered by the moment he realised that he was trying to speed read his son's bedtime stories. In it he talks about how he has engaged his 'Inner Tortoise'. Take a look. It's a little long but you're going slow and investing your time in the meaningful now, aren't you?