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The Art of Slowing Down

Italian Holiday

The Art of Slowing Down

Lana Hawk

One of the big motivations for our trip was the chance to slow down and reconnect with one another and ourselves. As I get older, I continue to be amazed at how intentionally hurried and busy we are. We want to go, rush, get this, do that, compete. Compete with one another, our past and strive forward into our future. Always striving. I often find myself hurried. Looking around, comparing myself, and then joining in the rush. Looking at others, their careers, clothes, and thinking that should be me. So I join in the hustle. The game. Until I get a bit of sense slapped into me by an event, realization, or my husband (not a literal slap of course).

A few months ago, I read a quote by one of my favorite artists, Charlie Mackesy. He is just enough crazy and a lot of brilliant with a side of wit. I heard him speak at Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB) in London back in 2007 and have been hooked ever since. I occasionally pick up an HTB podcast just to hear him tell his stories. He posted a quote on Twitter a few months back and it struck a chord with me.  It came at a time when Adam and I were dreaming up our holiday "what ifs" and it just stuck.

"Odd that when asked how we are, often 'busy' equals validating and good. And not busy feels like a failure. Man as set out at great pace to go nowhere."    -Charlie Mackesy.

"Set out at great pace to go nowhere." Isn't that the truth sometimes? Maybe most of the time or always? When I look back on my life, I want one rich with love, experiences, stories, and people. Long chats over coffee. Dinner parties with lifelong friends. Laughter shared over the table and games. Hikes in the mountains. Exploring new places. Soaking in art and music and culture. Not stuff. Not late nights at the office. Not hours watching television. I want to make my own stories, not watch others act out a fake reality or worse, present a biased portrayal of reality. 

So when it came down to it, Adam and I chose a break. A step back to reset and find what we want individually and together. Moving forward, what matters to live a rich, intentional life. We are learning to slow down, breathe a bit, enjoy EXPERIENCING LIFE together, not just a schedule or to do list or project. Not everyone can run away to Italy for 7 weeks, but everyone can take a step back, press pause, breathe, evaluate. Get inspired and engage in what matters. Say no when you need to and start saying yes to areas in your life that need a bit more space. So as we continue our journey, this is what I am processing. The intent of this blog is to share this journey in Italy and continue processing back in the States in the new year. Until then, ITALY!

For some inspirational reads to get you in the intentional living mindset, may I suggest:

  • Daring Greatly (Brene Brown) - to help with intentional conversations with others and yourself
  • Present Over Perfect (Shauna Niequist) - to engage in intentional, life-giving experiences
  • Simple Matters (Erin Boyle) - to simplify your life and possessions to make space for things that matter