|My cat, who teaches me about slowing down!|
I begin teaching a new Psychology course at the Mary Ward Centre, London next year called 'The Psychology of space and time'. I have started doing some reading and research for my lesson planning and resources. I came across this Ted talk Carl Honore Praises Slowness which I hightly recommend watching. Not only did it give me a great subject for one of my classes it gave me some food for thought for myself.
Carl Honore is a journalist who has researched and written a book called In praise of slow: how a worldwide movement is challenging the cult of speed which I plan to read but have not yet. He realised that he needed to slow down when he found himself rushing through bed time stories with his son. He's not alone. The slow movement believe that what we are missing by rushing through life is connection - with each other, with our surroundings, with our environment. And so now we can have slow food (where we grow our own or at least turn the TV off while we eat something that we have cooked from scratch); slow cities have started up in Italy; even slow schooling - all designed to help us connect.
And it did make me think about my life. I live outside London, UK and work in London. I currently have four jobs! One of them full time. I also teach in the evenings in two different education institutions. I make jewellery which I sell on Etsy. I travel for long periods of the day, usually at least two hours fifteen minutes. I eat a lot of take away. I rarely cook in the evenings after work. Everything I do is fast. I get annoyed when people walk slowly in front of me! But recently I have come to question why. Does this behaviour really serve me? So, this week I am starting to make changes. I am going to cook meals and pack lunches (I live on my own and after my commute each day a ready meal or take away is a bad habit I have). I am going to take my lunch hours. I am going to really think about whether I need quite so many jobs! And what to do to extricate myself from the situation I have crafted for myself.
I'll keep you posted on my progress. In the mean time I highly recommend Tom Hodgkinson's books How to be idle and How to be free.
Please comment below. I'm really interested to know what you have done/plan to do to slow down too.