August 18, 2008

Top 5 Ways to Slow Down for Summer.

Top Five Ways to…Slow the @”#$%Y&^’!*? Down This Summer.

There’s nothing like the heat of summer to make you want to slooooow waaaaaay down and park it on the beach, a creaky rocking chair or a soft pillow on a fire escape. Here are a few of our favorite resources for stopping the speed of the everyday routine and fitting in some quality slow time:

    1. Downshift
Even in summertime, we workaholics sometimes need convincing to pry our fingers from the keyboard.  This site includes testimonials and tips for taking a break, from people all over the country. Carl Honoré (a recent visitor to one of our fave Slow Food spots) has written a book, and now keeps a blog, devoted to “The Slow Movement.”

    2. Throw a Dinner Party
Slow Food was Europe’s (Italy’s, at first) reaction to the immigration of American chains like McDonald’s into towns long obsessed with the value of quality local food. Check out elecolumnist Peggy Markel’s Slow Food Dinner Party 101 and to create an oasis of tasty relaxation.

3. Grab a Cushion
The ultimate in coming to a full stop in the present moment, the shamatha method of meditation taught by the
Shambhala lineage of Tibetan Buddhism and others trains you to find moments of rest in the midst of chaos. I’ve found that 30 minutes each morning drastically changes the pace of my day, even when my schedule is packed. Pema Chodron and Sakyong Mipham, leading American Buddhists teachers, say even five minutes each morning can put a roadbump under our neurosis. Shambhala Training weekend workshops are the perfect intro for beginners, or you can treat yourself to a somehow fun week-long or even month-long (it’s called a dathun” in Tibetan) retreat.

    4. String up a Hammock
There’s nothing like hanging in a hammock on a summer afternoon, with a cold drink and a cheap paperback. Twin Oaks’
Envirope hammock is one of our faves, made from recycled pop bottles.

    5. Take off your shoes
It’s a pain. And that’s just the point. Pause. Slip off
shoes. Then enter. It not only curbs indoor air pollution (which is often much worse than outside), but pausing at the door before entering creates a moment of space for your brain before you jump into…whatever’s next.


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