Friday, January 6, 2017

My Love Story with Slow Living

Happy New Year, all! 

I wanted to set the tone for 2017 by talking about something that's had a hugely positive impact on my life lately, and that is the concept of slow living. And when I say slow living, I mean this: remaining an active participant in your life. For me, that's meant slowing down some of the things that I used to rush through on a day to day basis: making coffee, preparing and eating food, doing yoga, taking off my makeup and washing my face at the end of the day, etc. I've noticed that, as I take a moment to really engage in what I'm doing rather than rushing through the routine with a "get 'er done" kind of attitude, I no longer see these activities as chores but rather as opportunities to experience joy and express gratitude for each and every small moment in my day.

I listened to a TED Radio Hour podcast today titled, "Simply Happy." In it, researcher Matt Killingsworth discussed his findings on what exactly makes us happy or unhappy, and what we can do to increase our happiness. The data from Matt's happiness research led to one really fascinating conclusion: people are substantially less happy when their minds are wandering than when they're not, regardless of if their minds are wandering to happier or unhappier subjects. In other words, happiness is (at the very least) strongly correlated with how present you are in whatever you are doing at that moment.

I think the moral of story here is clear: you can become a happier person simply by committing to what you are doing and remaining present in that moment. This scientific data only supports what many of us who practice yoga or meditation have heard many times before--that being mindful and active in our lives will bring us a depth of happiness that cannot be achieved through any sort of external means. I, personally, have found this to be absolutely true. The best part is this: it's so easy to implement in your daily life. The changes I've witnessed in my own happiness as a result of these small changes has been so unbelievably significant, that I knew I had to at least try to share it with others. It's one of those low risk/high reward kind of situations that seems like such a no-brainer, I feel I have no choice but to be an obnoxiously enthusiastic advocate for it.

I do, however, think it's important to mention that this is not a one-and-done sort of thing; I have to work really hard to keep this mindset on a daily basis, because it is so painfully easy to get drawn back into old habits. But I have come to see it as yet another tool on my belt that I know I can return to at any time.

I hope you all had a lovely holiday season and are experiencing a great start to 2017. Lately I've been feeling such a surge of excitement for what's to come this year as well as a stirring of creative energy that's trying to fight its way out of my brain and into a more open space; as always, I hope that I will be utilizing this space to do that! This year I'm also attempting to jump on the bullet journal bandwagon, as a way of keeping the contents of my chaotic monkey mind a bit more organized. I'll let y'all know how that goes.....



  1. Oh Audra, you inspire me as I'm sure you inspire many others. Very heartfelt post and quite nicely written. It's such a joy to share things we're excited about isn't it? Proud of you, baby.

  2. And...I'd be be happy as hell to stay and have tea with you! Miss you!

  3. Well? When are you going to invite me over for tea?


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