Slow living

Happy New Year! I've gotten a slow start arriving into 2014, which feels needed after the fast pace of the holiday season. I've been consciously allowing space for myself to start fresh, establish resolutions, and set intentions for the year ahead. And in doing so, I have found a welcome openness and a space created -- which has inspired me to more formally embrace the idea of slow living as one of my intentions for the year. Authors Beth Meredith and Eric Storm define slow living like this:

"Slow Living means structuring your life around meaning and fulfillment. Similar to 'voluntary simplicity' and 'downshifting,' it emphasizes a less-is-more approach, focusing on the quality of your life. … Slow Living addresses the desire to lead a more balanced life and to pursue a more holistic sense of well-being in the fullest sense of the word."

Slow living might sound like an outlandish prospect in this fast-paced culture, which prizes and rewards busy-ness, efficiency, and multitasking. But to me, it is the very medicine such a culture so desperately needs to balance itself and come back to center. Slow living does not mean laziness, procrastination, or dragging one's feet. It is another way to say living mindfully, with conscious connection to the present moment, people, and environment.

Incase you feel the desire to simplify, connect, and wake up to each moment you are offered, here are a few slow living inspirations you might enjoy: