The way I viewed time change in 2008. The year I packed all my belongings and moved 1,000 miles down south to London with Khushi.
I arrived in London with only one main intention: to start my life all over again, away from everything and everyone – escaping my old life, my old self.
Immersed in a new lifestyle in a new country, raising a child – all on my own, hustling learning, growing, failing, hitting breaking-point and more, I felt as years went on, that something was missing. 6 years into my life in the UK, I was done rushing through life. All I had been doing these years was rushing and hustling to settle down in a new country, to make ends meet, to get validated by others that I was enough, to build a good life for us.
As I finally felt ‘happy’ in my life, I realised so many years had gone by and I had missed out on life, I had missed out on the most important ‘thing’ in my life – Khushi’s childhood. Suddenly she was 10 (she turned 4 a couple of days after we moved to the UK). My focus had been reaching my goals, the end result and NOT the journey of who I was becoming. When I look back at it now, going through all that I did go through had a big part in who I am today – and truth to be told, I wouldn’t change anything about my life.
Now, 13 years later – I am the woman I always desired to be. I learn, grow and evolve every day – to become my best self, however, becoming your best self isn’t about fixing you. It’s about evolving into the next stage of who you already are and living up to your potential.
The thing is; Your life is a sacred journey. And it is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way. You are on the path… exactly where you are meant to be right now… And from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, and of love.
If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ll know we moved to the seafront of St Leonards-on-Sea in mid-April last year (amidst Covid and national lockdown). If there’s one thing 2020 taught me, was to slow down, to live life at a slower pace. To live it more intentionally. to make my every day meaningful and to make my days count. To feel that I actually lived and did things that made me feel alive – these are very simple things such as having a good cup of tea, walking on the beach, sit and meditate at my favourite park, cook nourishing and comforting meals, journal, read, spend time with my loved once and more.
In the beginning, I really struggled to slow down as the lifestyle and mindset I was used to, found nothing familiar about this. Wasn’t time money? Wasn’t the purpose of one moment often to propel us to the next? Not this time. I honestly felt SO guilty about not being productive all the time (and I still do at times).
Then towards the end of last year. I (finally) discovered ‘ESSENTIALISM’ which honestly changed my life.
Here are two lessons I’ve learned about slowing down since moving to St Leonards-on-Sea. I return to them often when I catch myself moving too quickly through life.
1. Our Mindset can Set our Pace
The words we say – to ourselves and others – have neurochemical implications. Positive words increase neurotransmitters while negative words deplete them.
Give it a try. “You’re out of time – hurry up!” activates different brain areas than “You have all the time you need.” You can choose to tell yourself either. The second allows you to keep moving forward without hijacking your nervous system.
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2. Intentional Connection is Grounding
The Spanish put an emphasis on enjoying life. They intentionally partake in what fills the soul—a lengthy conversation, good food or wine, a daily siesta.
If I’m feeling rushed or spread too thin, pausing to connect with loved ones, whether over a meal or simply morning tea (these days it’s video calls), helps me recenter. I focus on nothing more than connecting with that person and experiencing the moment. Savouring the tastes, breathing in aromas, listening and sharing. I find this slows the mind and fills the soul every time.
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Author Marc Chernoff said “Never be too busy to make room in your day for the ones who matter most. Truly being with someone, and listening without a clock and without anticipation of the next event, is the ultimate compliment.”
It took me nearly a year immersed in this new lifestyle to understand the value of slow living. To realise that a life marked by hurry was a life that was lacking. I’m thankful I learned this lesson when I did.
Because when I look back on life someday, I want to be able to say that I didn’t rush through it, just skimming the surface. But instead, I want to know without question that I lived it deeply, focused on who and what mattered most.
Slow culture isn’t only about being where you are right now. It also takes a long term view on what’s best for you, and for the planet, in the future by encouraging slow and sustainable travel, fashion, food, love, wellness, work and money. It contributes to your happiness both today, and tomorrow, and helps to ensure future generations have a viable planet and world economy.