4 Slow Living Practices to Spice Up Your Creativity and Life

4 Slow Living Practices to Spice Up Your Creativity and Life

There is nothing better than a full creative life where we are using every aspect of our creative energy to thrive and prosper in this world.

If you talk, make, lead or work you are likely creative.

I talk a lot with my private coaching clients — creatives and heart-centered womxn who know they are more capable than they are showing up in the world — about how vital my creative energy is to me and how I work tremendously hard to maintain a strong sense of vitality and clarity in my work as a creator and coach.

And, with that, I am also a fan of slow.

The first book I wrote and published was called Savoring Slow.

Keeping and maintaining a slow life is becoming more and more of a struggle in this modern era of constant information and rushing around — especially now that the pandemic is over in some parts of the world and life is resuming to normal.

But, for me, keeping a slower pace means truly slowing down.

And now just what I put on my schedule — but in all that I do.

If you are mentally and emotionally zapped all the time, it may be time for you to slow down as well. And perhaps you’re wondering how to even do that with a super busy schedule.

At the start of summer, during our Emerging You Retreat, I vowed to myself that I would try my absolute best to maintain the same slow life that I had gotten to enjoy over the pandemic.

And I’ve managed to do just that — with a few exceptions out of my control such as needing to get my twin teenage daughters to and from work and heavy client calls during two weeks out of the month.

The truth is that if we want to create more space for the things we love — our YES projects and more — we need to have the emotional and mental bandwidth as well.

4 Slow Living Practices to Spice Up Your Creativity and Life

4 Slow Living Practices to Spice Up Your Creativity and Life

Slow Reading

This has been by far the No. 1 game changer for me. It began with slow reading my emails.

Yes, emails. I subscribe to a lot of beautiful email lists. I love to read what a soulful, smart person has put their heart and soul into and I always want to give them the time they deserve.

Until I adopted my slow reading habit, I often ignored most emails or delete without reading — which didn’t feel good. Now I subscribe to the best ones that fill me up, make me think and I take time on Saturday mornings to read through them, slowly.

The same goes for books. It’s easy to get caught up in the “what are you reading” spin cycle that leaves us rushing to get through books to get to the next one. Or, to have a pile of books on our nightstands that we snap an Insta about as a performative gesture. But the truth is that great writing is meant to be relished, savored and truly absorbed. You can sign up for my newsletter here.

Slow reading means being fully present for the reading experience. It means reading to learn, reading to reflect, reading to appreciate, reading to enjoy the act of reading.

When we slow down our reading habit, we may not rush through and meet our 100 book reading challenge or get to all the bests — that fear of missing out is real — but we will soak up the story or the information in a more pleasurable way.

My slow reading habit is now a part of my daily routines and, as a result, has influenced my own creativity. I find that I am picking up so much more details and great one-liners that I am using them more in my conversations and starting more conversations with others about them.

And by reading more deeply, I am also finding I am able to string together more creative ideas of my own — and my own love for writing has deepened as well.

Slow Cooking

Chop the carrots, the celery, the onion.

Sauté with some oil and spices.

Stirring together a few ingredients to make a perfect sauce.

Sipping a drink, swaying to the music on the speaker, embodying the moment.

Taking your time with layer after layer of a recipe that is more involved and more challenging, even, is a beautiful practice to slow things down and allow all of your senses to wake up. This sparks creative energy inside of you, especially if you are fully embodying radical presence.

In all the hype to get things done more quickly we forget that creativity thrives with space and spaciousness and there is nothing more interesting than getting an idea while stirring a pot of simmering soup or folding in the cream.

The benefits of slow cooking is the way it ensures that everhything

Slow Practice

When we expect to get things done perfectly the first time, we set ourselves up to not only fail but also to give up on trying.

Like this blog post.

There was a time in my life where I could — and would — write 2,000 words and not change a thing. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn’t.

Now, I see a blog post draft as a starting point.

This is the practice.

The practice of showing up. Doing the work. Making it happen without any judgments of the outcomes.

This is how we let go of perfectionism.

Your creative practice — gardening, indoor plants, crocheting, painting, content marketing, planning out lessons, styling a room or baking a cake — needs your practice.

Slow practice just means you aren’t in a hurry to finish. You aren’t in a hurry to get to the end. You are enjoying the act of creating, making, writing, doing.

Slow practice includes a lot of breaks, breathing and boundaries to prevent you from giving up.

Slow Waking

I am a huge morning fan. I just love waking up and starting a new, fresh day. I don’t need much motivation to get out of bed. I hop out quickly most of the time.

But one of the things I’ve been playing around with lately — because I am at that stage in my life where I can — is that I am intentionally waking up more slowly.

I’m stretching in bed.

I’m moving more slowly when I step out onto the floor.

I’m spending longer time in meditation and yoga.

I’m journaling more slowly.

It’s all unfolding but at a pace that feels slow, nourishing and pleasurable.

Our creative energy doesn’t just show up spontaneously when we sit our butts in the chairs or grab the brush or try to solve the problems.

Our creative energy begins with how we wake up, how we move through our day, how we shape our lives.

What slow living practice will help you thrive in your creative work today?

A Dose of Inspiration for When You Feel Torn Between Doing and Being

A Dose of Inspiration for When You Feel Torn Between Doing and Being

Listen, my dear one, you absolutely, 1000% deserve to feel really, really good every single day of your life. Including TODAY.

And contrary to what you may see over and over on the Internet … doing nothing isn’t always what makes you feel good.

What?

It’s true.

I know because I doing nothing has about one minute of charm for me – a doer.

And, I also know because I am hired primarily to be my clients’ MIC – Motivator in Chief.

Our tendency as human beings is to rest. It’s actually quite hard to make ourselves work really hard.

And all that pushing that we do to keep up, striving and make things happen is what is utterly exhausting.

And that is what seems to be driving so many people’s desire to REST.

Years of languishing, striving for perfection, overworking, being the Good Girl and doing so much for others has got you to a breaking point of burnout and exhaustion.

But like usual, I have a lot to say about these conflicting thoughts between doing and being, working and rest and striving and settling.

I’m a big fan of building in sustainable rest, renewal and revitalizing in mind, body and spirit SO THAT you can do all the amazing things you want to do in your life without forcing it.

I’ve been talking about all of this for years because I know for a fact that we thrive when we’re in flow DOING.

But WHAT YOU ARE DOING is what matters most and when you put your own #UnshakeableResilience at the forefront you are stronger in mind, body and spirit.

I am a doer. I take very good care of myself. My well-being is a 10 6/7 days of the week. I am not problem free or struggle free. I work very hard for my family and my life.

AND

I want desperately to make a bigger impact, to disrupt the status quo that so many others are happy to duck out of and away from and to serve deeply in this world.

My inner fire is hot and rest is not really needed when your soul is on fire with passion.

So, I want to remind you that, yes, you need to take care of yourself AND that isn’t always doing nothing and resting. More often than not it’s actually more essential in choosing the sacred, conscious action that is going to send you into a flow state of joy, contentment and service to others.

Sometimes the Brave Yes is rest.

Listen, my dear one, you absolutely, 1000% deserve to feel really, really good every single day of your life. Including TODAY.

And contrary to what you may see over and over on the Internet … doing nothing isn’t always what makes you feel good.

What?

It’s true.

I know because I doing nothing has about one minute of charm for me – a doer.

And, I also know because I am hired primarily to be my clients’ MIC – Motivator in Chief.

Our tendency as human beings is to rest. It’s actually quite hard to make ourselves work really hard.

And all that pushing that we do to keep up, striving and make things happen is what is utterly exhausting.

And that is what seems to be driving so many people’s desire to REST.

Years of languishing, striving for perfection, overworking, being the Good Girl and doing so much for others has got you to a breaking point of burnout and exhaustion.

But like usual, I have a lot to say about these conflicting thoughts between doing and being, working and rest and striving and settling.

I’m a big fan of building in sustainable rest, renewal and revitalizing in mind, body and spirit SO THAT you can do all the amazing things you want to do in your life without forcing it.

I’ve been talking about all of this for years because I know for a fact that we thrive when we’re in flow DOING.

But WHAT YOU ARE DOING is what matters most and when you put your own #UnshakeableResilience at the forefront you are stronger in mind, body and spirit.

I am a doer. I take very good care of myself. My well-being is a 10 6/7 days of the week. I am not problem free or struggle free. I work very hard for my family and my life.

AND

I want desperately to make a bigger impact, to disrupt the status quo that so many others are happy to duck out of and away from and to serve deeply in this world.

My inner fire is hot and rest is not really needed when your soul is on fire with passion.

So, I want to remind you that, yes, you need to take care of yourself AND that isn’t always doing nothing and resting. More often than not it’s actually more essential in choosing the sacred, conscious action that is going to send you into a flow state of joy, contentment and service to others.

Sometimes the Brave Yes is rest.

Sometimes the Brave Yes is digging Sometimes the Brave Yes is digging deep and dusting off your inner fire for your life so you can start floating rather than swimming. and dusting off your inner fire for your life.

JOIN ME! You are invited. Register now for the upcoming Brave Yes Visioning Workshop. We’ll be spending 90 delicious minutes helping you dust off your inner fire and SEE your life more clearly. You’ll want to block off your calendar for this one and bring a journal and plenty of ink for journaling. During this workshop, we will focus on your personal vision as a creative, changemaker or leader. And we are ALL creatives, changemakers and leaders.

💥 Strategic & soulful coaching for creative entrepreneurs & changemakers
🦚 #UnshakeableResilience
🎙 Host: Brave Yes Show
🌈 #blm #translivesmatter
🌞 linktr.ee/BraveYes

On Designing a Foundation of Resilience In Order to Be a Changemaker and Leader

On Designing a Foundation of Resilience In Order to Be a Changemaker and Leader

When life and business are precariously stacked to work against each other, the best thing we can do is restack it all again and again.

On a retreat in October 2019, I began studying resilience and stumbled into a metaphor for a more resilient life.

Rock cairns — a group of stones carefully and often precariously piled on top of each other to create a tower.

I had heard of rock cairns and even stumbled upon a few randomly in my hikes along creeks. But it wasn’t until this several day retreat and sitting in silent meditation that I realized that our lives can be designed as a foundation of resilience just like these beautiful rock towers.

Designing a Foundation of Resilience is essential for living and leading more boldly and bravely. If we want to change systems and disrupt the status quo — as we should all be doing — we need to have the emotional resilience and physical energy to do so. 

But designing a foundation of resilience is not something we’re taught. We often figure it out too late — once a storm has hit.

In my work as a coach, I have created a foundation of resilience model that works like a charm. And the model reminds me of the rock cairns — towers that when built right are strong enough to handle anything. But when they are built incorrectly, they don’t stand a chance. 

When just one rock is misplaced, it can throw off the balance of everything else and our lives  — or our mindset — can fall apart.

When the wrong rock is chosen, we can feel less confident, and less sure of ourselves.

But when the just-right rocks are selected and stacked just right a solid foundation that can endure nearly any storm is created. 

When we can build a life with the wrong tools we can feel out of alignment. We feel shaky. Wobbly. Out of sorts. 

But when we build our lives — and businesses — based on intentional, purposeful decisions, our foundation is solid. We feel grounded and firm in who we are and what we are about, we feel strong and we can handle any storm that comes our way.

Rather than choose the wrong rocks that won’t create the right foundation, we must be intentional with each and every rock we put into our lives that create the ground we stand on each day.

What are 3 Elements to Consider when Designing a Foundation of Resilience?

JOYFULNESS

Every rock you choose should bring you joy. If it doesn’t, your foundation will be out of alignment and not stable. Rocks of negative energy will disrupt your flow and your creativity. If joy is at the root of every decision you make, you can’t help but create a foundation of resilience.

MINDFULNESS

The rocks of your life should bring more presence than drama, more calm than chaos, more relaxation than stress. Rocks that bring too much friction and choppiness will always cause shaky ground. Operating with mindfulness at the heart and soul of everything you do will create radical presence so you can listen and learn about what is working in your life.

STRENGTHS AND VALUES

The rocks of your foundation should be based thoroughly on your deepest, strongest values and strengths. As long as you always come back to what drives you and reflects your most moral obligations, you will always feel aligned. As long as you operate in flow and in your zone of genius, you will feel aligned and resilient.

Shawn Fink (she/hers) is a coach for creators & changemakers ready quit self-sabotaging & take up more space in your life, creativity and business. Host of The Brave Yes Show podcast. Learn more here.