He discussed the ‘slow movement’ and the links it shared with minimalism. You can find Carl @carlhonore
Chatting to Carl after the talk (which was organised by another minimalist in London who can be found at @Simple_Minimal) we discussed our plan for the weekend: a trip to Wales to a place with no TV, mobile phone reception or Wifi with our friends, another couple. A perfect opportunity for us to test out the principles set out by Carl.
The challenge was set: try and spend the weekend without using mobile devices or the internet. A mini digital detox if you will.
Carl’s talk struck a chord with me on a number of issues but reducing our reliance on devices was one that really interested me as it’s an easy way for us all to trial a ‘slow’ life and discover the benefits.
We didn’t realise it but we’d already made small changes into a slow life by leaving our phones outside of the bedroom instead of charging them by the bed (with meant email checking last night and first thing in the morning). It was a small step but it makes a big difference as both of us spend the day glued to a computer screen.
Being disconnected for a whole weekend was the next step.
How did it go? Well, the lack of reception helped but when we went for a walk into town I didn’t feel the sudden urge to check my emails or send people pictures of the great time we were having.
Instead, by being more mindful about keeping away from my phone, I was able to connect with my friends and enjoy the simpler things that I would have missed with my head in my phone. We went for a long walk (not my favourite pastime as Michelle will attest to), cooked proper meals and chatted and played board games.
The lack of other distractions meant I connected with my surroundings and my friends better, I appreciated a particularly beautiful sunset and gazed at the stars, had more interesting discussions. and also opened up than I normally do (despite writing in this blog I’m quite a shy person).
Coming back to reality and mobile reception on Sunday was sad as not only were we going to miss our friends but also I wasn’t ready to plug back in.
The mini digital detox did me good. Over the past few days I’ve not been desperate to go online, I’m happy to sit with my thoughts and absorb what’s around me. I had to get the bus as opposed to cycle and I didn’t have the urge to get my phone out straight away. Instead I enjoyed the view as the bus went through London – small change but one that was noticeable from a couple of weeks ago.
Will I still live life in the ‘fast lane’ or have I converted to the ‘slow lane’? I think it’s inevitable that living in London means life will have a faster pace but I’m going to take the time to make sure I find ways to slow down where possible.
I would be interested to hear what others do to slow down and how do you find a balance in your life?
PS. The picture is of some wild horses we encountered on our walk