November 2015 – The Slow Movement

“We are living the fast life, instead of the good life.” 

                    ~ Carl Honoré, author of In Praise of Slowness 

One of the main ideas of the Slow Movement is that by taking more time to experience the things that we do every day we will add a richness to our lives.  I am taking an eight week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction from the U of M.  It is based on the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn who is the founder of the Stress Reduction clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.  It fits perfectly with the Slow Movement as it encourages being fully engaged in our activities.  To do this most of us need to slow down.  He is speaking at at Northrup at the U on November 20th.  Here is the link, it is under the Wellbeing Lecture Series

IMG_2207I was biking in Italy last month.  Our trips guides stopped meetings so we could enjoy the fabulous sunsets.  Meals there often last close to two hours.  The picture is one course of a four course meal.  When I returned I learned the slow food movement started in the 80’s in Italy.  It is largely credit to Carlo Petrini and was a backlash to a McDonald’s opening in Rome.  Our guide thought it was insane that Americans order Expresso, which is served in about a thimble size cup, to go.  The slow food idea encompasses local food, sustainable farming and enjoying food in a leisurely manner with family or good friends. I know most of us don’t have the time for two hour meals.  Consider starting with a slow meal one one day a month and maybe increase that to one day a week.

Without knowing it, for years I have participated in the slow travel movement.  It is defined as connection to culture during a trip rather than trying to see as many sites and museums as possible.  Our bike trip was off the beaten path.  One town had a winter population of 40 residents.  By biking on our own at times, and getting lost, we interacted with local residents.   A cooking class was held in a private home.  We visited small family owned vineyards and olive farms.  I also have the great fortune to have a friend who has lived in Guatemala, Cambodia and Peru.  Trips to these countries with her always included visiting the homes of her friends there.  They also included providing direct help to schools and NGO’s (non government organizations).

“Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly.” 

                    ~ Mae West, Actress