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What is Slow Living

Today I recorded in studio with Tiffany from Itty Bitty Bake Shop and we were talking about mom life, Cleveland life and all the things- when a really interesting takeaway for me (sans the rest of our conversation) came up. I recognized the growth I’ve made in the past five years as a mom and the why behind that change in me.

What is Slow Living?

Tiffany and I talked about our perfectionism (not our favorite tool) and love of list making (which we love.) And at the same time, I noticed the words kind of tumbling out of my mouth, sharing how I’m doing things differently than I used to. And the why behind that I really think is slow living.

Photo x Bianca Lea Morra

To me, slow living is adopting a mindset of doing less, going more slowly, taking time to breathe, being intentional and aware of our actions and experiences, asking why and living life mindfully, by design.

Every day I’m surprised by the contrast between the previous me:

  • An “empire builder” (not that I’m not now)

  • A “hustler” (definitely not now)

  • An overachiever (I am but differently now)

The truth is that stress and pressure were running that show before.

Now, I am doing less, going more slowly, taking time to breathe… and it’s been really confronting.

I think about it more and more, especially since I’ve let go of Instagram/been using it differently. The space that it’s opened up for me has been exciting because of all the things I say I want to do.

Photo x Bianca Lea Morra

And also, like I said, confronting because I am a person who has always packed my schedule with lots and lots of things. And I almost wonder if it’s to keep me away from the present and the uncomfortableness that comes up sitting in our worthiness of just being.

My Slow Living Journey

Photo x Bianca Lea Morra

Slowly but surely, I’ve integrated slow living into my mindset, first and foremost by doing less.

I’ve always been one to simplify and be more minimalist. And that’s definitely part of a slow living lifestyle:

  • Having less

  • Doing less

  • More on the being

I’ve talked about this in my “As Is” recording, but I think that can be really tough because then we go back to, well, are we enough with less? Where does our worth fall, in that?

That’s a lot of the internal conversation I’ve had while embodying a slow living lifestyle. So very specifically what that has looked like for us is: our schedule has a ton less. We’re unschooling our kids and so that just automatically looks different.

Our days can be less jam packed and really focus on only a few things that we’re doing.

My Slow Living Schedule:

slow living family with kids playing in yard
Photo x Bianca Lea Morra
  • I’ll wake up in the morning and I might get a little bit of work done while Jack is watching his iPad.

  • Then Sophia gets up, and I’ll shower and walk our dog, Henry.

  • We’ll start our day and the kids will play, and I might clean up and eat my breakfast and all of that.

  • Around 9:30 we end up doing snack time and books, because it seems to be a lull in the day where they need a centering practice, if you will.

  • Now that it’s getting nicer, I’m trying to incorporate more outdoor exercise so we’ll head out for the day around 10/11.

  • Then we’ll come back and sometimes it’s a day where our sitter comes and I head to the studio for 1.5 hours to work or sometimes it’s just more time that we have for another activity.

But at the end of the day, we’re really only doing a handful of things and I’m not rushing to anything.

“We’re never in a rush”

slow living family with kids playing in yard
Photo x Bianca Lea Morra

I think that’s the other component of slow living. It’s you do less, and the things you do, you do with more intention and focus and awareness and presence- all without rushing from one thing to the next.

It’s become one of our family mottos: we’re never in a rush. And I think a lot of my life I was. I was in a rush from one thing to the next. Always focusing on that next goal or milestone.

I remember specifically one time when I had the mobile boutique. I was cleaning up and I was just frustrated because it wasn’t a great show and it felt like it was a “waste of time.” (And so then my perfectionist side was like, how could I have “wasted” this time?) I was rushing and one of my racks fell over and the woman next to me looked and said, slow down. She didn’t say it meanly, but it’s always stuck with me.

And I wonder if I couldn’t accept what I heard then but know now, which is that: we can go slow and more happily and easily get where we want to go.

What is Slow Living? It's about asking why…. a lot

When I live slowly, I start to notice more and question things. like-

  • Why do we do XYZ?

  • Why do we rush through our day?

  • What’s really going to happen if we are a couple minutes late?

Nothing. They’re going to miss out on a couple minutes of gymnastics class. Okay, big whoop. Or when I’m rushing from the grocery store to then go to the library with them, or I’m rushing to get something done in my business, I just keep stopping and asking myself, why?

It takes a lot of awareness with slow living and a willingness to open up and be aware of what’s going on in your world. Which really takes being intentional and mindful, but also a lot of deconditioning and detoxing.

So I mentioned Instagram is a space that I’ve really detoxed from, and it’s opened up a lot for me. I think when I look at the narrative of the traditional ways everybody is doing things, I recognize that I want to opt in to what I want to do, and that I don’t have to be on the conveyor belt.

Relaxed woman in backyard
Photo x Bianca Lea Morra

I can stop, have an awareness of what’s going on, ask the question of why, and then intuitively figure out what works for me, and then intentionally and mindfully make decisions and take action.

What is Slow Living? Living Intentionally

Another piece of slow living that has really resonated with me is that it is very much about being meaningful, having purpose in everything that you’re doing, and really bringing your vision to life.

That’s what slow living feels like to me. I get to intentionally choose what’s happening and actually do it without a rush behind it.

And I think the another thing with that is experiences over things. I’m trying to sit in the moments and be present and experience what’s happening around me while kind of romanticizing what is happening in my world, recognizing the little things, again, that awareness. Giving myself space to really tune into those things.

What is Slow Living? Expanding in Gratitude

Photo x Bianca Lea Morra

The last thing that slow living has really given me is gratitude. I’m really trying to, like I said in the As Is post, truly see the abundance that’s around me and everything that’s around me and feel really grateful and a sense of contentment.

Not that I’m not striving for more, but I think before when I wasn’t living slowly and I was living more in the hustle, go, go, go culture, I was always on to the next thing. And so shifting back and trying to sit in the present and be content has been a shift for me that I think slow living provides in a very positive way.

It’s crazy to me to think about. There’s a moment in college I specifically think about, (that I know my dad will laugh because he thinks about it too) where I was very much in this hustle/grind. Where he has always been more on the slow, lifestyle side. And so when I think back to those changes that I’ve made in a relatively short amount of time, I am very grateful.

Minimalism in Business

woman sitting in storefront for Verbena
Photo x Bianca Lea Morra

It’s fun to look back to on this evolution because it’s actually not the first time I’m talking about this topic. I didn’t have the full awareness of what slow living was, but two years ago, I actually posted a podcast episode on my minimalist business philosophy.

When I reread that article (I haven’t even listened to it yet but as I walk home from the studio, I plan to) a lot of those same principles apply.

And so I think there really is a strong intersection between minimalism (because that’s all about being intentional and there’s no added fluff) and slow living (kind of same thing) and feminine business too.

I’m going to do a separate post on what feminine business is and dive into that a little bit more deeply, but it really is the same lifestyle philosophy applied to your business.

It’s really cool to see the growth and the intersections over the years. And at the end of the day, to see: the core of who you are and what you really know to be true is here if you’re willing to open up to and accept it.

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What is slow living
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