This is something I never thought a non-conformist fond of change and exercising creativity like me would admit – routine is important. More so if no one else (such as an employer) is providing the structure for you.

I had overlooked just what effect waking up every morning and being able to what I wanted, when I wanted, would have. I guess I had assumed that I would get to work 9-5 just like before but in a different location. Boy was I wrong.

What are the implications of a lack of routine? Read More

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Slow emphasises connection between people. This can be pretty straight-forward and obvious in the context of verbal exchanges; for example being quiet long enough to hear what someone else has to say and really listen. But human beings establish connection with each other primarily non-verbally.

‘Free Hugs’, a social play activity where you offer hugs to strangers in the street is not only fun, but also amazingly instructive in how we connect with others. Not only that, hugging and laughter are wonderful tools for healing and overcoming loneliness, depression and stress. Our fast-paced modern life threatens such practices by encouraging disconnection. Slow seeks to address this.

Here are 7 reasons why you should take part in Free Hugs:

1. Oxytocin

Hugs 20 seconds or more spark release of the hormone oxytocin. Read More

As I make my own Slow transition, I have been reflecting on just how thin I had been spreading myself, the detrimental effects of this, why it occurs and how to correct it.

Along the lines of my habitintention and routine blog posts, I’ve had to face the fact that trying to do everything, no matter how awesome those things are, leads to only half doing everything. which is frustrating at best, and can be depressing. Carl Honore describes this as doing everything hurriedly and nothing well, a symptom of Fast culture.

Slowing down in order to regain a sense of control [1. I mean internal locus of control, not the need to control everything. Much research about this, see for example http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-real-story-risk/201212/control-freak-or-healthy-sense-control] and mastery [2. Refer to Seligman’s latest happiness model, PERMA, where mastery features as part of Achievement.], both fundamentally important to health and happiness, was certainly one of my motivations for the project. Here is a saying that has stuck with me for years:

“Happiness is simple, simplicity is difficult”

Life is amazing and there’s so much cool stuff to do! Yes but spreading yourself too thin leads to half-finished tasks, multitasking (which is not actually multitasking it is dividing and losing your attention) hobbies you never master and stay stuck at the ‘beginner’ level, not being able to fully get in the moment with these activities, and grass is greener thinking which leads you to switching activities in case something else is better, and the cycle continues.

Remember this: if you don’t have attention, you don’t have time [3. thanks Tim Ferriss for that gem of wisdom] Read More

Here I am,  dedicating myself on a project aimed at spreading the Slow movement. Funny thing is I’m not yet ‘slow’ myself.

Last year as I zoomed into a co-working space for a meeting with our Fremantle Wind Farm volunteer group a friend said to me, ‘Claire you’re always rushing from one thing to another, you should just put a wind turbine on your head and generate electricity from that.’ It has struck many people as strange that someone like me, someone who loves intensity, tries to squeeze every inch out of their day (resulting in chronic sleep deprivation), would offer themselves to spruik the Slow movement.

But it makes sense, I promise.

I have always been the kind of person who does everything. In my naive (er) younger years, I really thought I could. In my last year of my undergraduate I was doing a double degree, finishing my honours, got my second dan black belt in karate, working and still managed to go on a road trip for a festival a week before my honours was due in. And I felt on top of the world.

It wasn’t until I was in my first professional job that my ‘can-do’ attitude combined with my idealism turned around and bit me. Read More