You know life has gotten extraordinarily busy and fast paced when there is an emerging movement spreading like wildfire to slow down life‘s pace. The Slow Movement is a cultural shift to slow down everything from eating to parenting to traveling.
I first heard about Slow Food as a movement originating in Italy in reaction to fast food. It’s premise was to enjoy food grown locally and often organically and eaten sitting down while enjoying the company of others. It has grown to have a bigger agenda including taste education and farming preferences.
But the origins of the movement are so meaningful -- to slow down our experience with eating to value real food eaten mindfully and connecting with others over meals.
I remember my trip to Italy several years ago. I was struck by the void of “convenience” foods. I couldn’t get my coffee in a giant to-go cup and walk around with it! I had to sit down at a table in a café and drink it from a small cup. Often the café owner brought pastries to enjoy with the coffee whether we ordered them or not.
Well, this became the most enjoyable awakening for me. We couldn’t multi-task on the run. We sat down, enjoyed the sights, talked about our experiences while we sipped and savored the delicious Italian coffee. We had to slow down to truly enjoy what that moment brought.
Slow Food has created many sub movements
Slow Parenting is another that caught my attention. It’s working to persuade families to slow down from the mad pace of daily enrichment activities after school, multi-tasking driving/eating/phone talking/drop offs and pick ups, all while squeezing in homework and meals. It encourages parents to let children experience life at a more natural pace, allowing enough open time and space to let life, learning, and relationships develop.
Both the Slow Food and Slow Parenting movements, and many of the others as well, can truly offer us all some significant reminders of what makes life meaningful for us.
If we cut down our busyness just a little, a whole world of awareness can open up. This is easier said than done, however. Fighting against efforts to slow down will be our internal desires to do it all and hyper achieve, along with a cultural expectation to do the same.
The competitiveness and fears of not keeping up can be paralyzing for some. Many will notice anxiety when they slow down which will be a result of deeper emotions that staying busy can help avoid.
What can you do?
Just making a commitment to enjoy a slow food meal a few times a week and reducing a small portion of your multi-tasking can help you feel more connected to yourself, your life, and others.
Notice what comes up for you in opposition to slowing down. Recognize it for what it is, reflect upon it, write about it, embrace it for what it’s trying to provide for you.
Then, take a deep breath and stay with your plan to slow things down a bit.
You’ll find it’s less about giving up tasks and more about discovering yourself.
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Sona DeLurgio, Psy.D, LMFT is a Psychoanalyst and Marriage & Family Therapist in Westlake Village, CA. She loves helping people who have gotten lost in their struggles with food, body, relationships, or trauma to find themselves and discover their freedom to live a true, authentic, and connected life. She can be reached at (626) 836-2023. Or you can learn more at www.DrSonaDeLurgio.com