Friday, 5 April 2013

Back to Basics - Slow Living..

Ben and I decided at the start of the year, that we wanted to make changes in our lives. Not just the usual resolutions that only last a few weeks, but big changes in the way we were living day to day.  We realised we weren't living with as much awareness as we could have been.  We were busy, too busy and not making time for what was really important.  We saw our move to Brisbane as the perfect opportunity to get back to basics and although it might seem a little strange that it's taken us moving from the country to the city to find balance in our lives, we are loving every moment of our new direction into slow living. For a great definition of slow living, pop over to the wonderful blog, Little Eco Footprints.  For me going back to basics really meant, being more aware and mindful of my choices and becoming more sustainable and ethical in all aspects of my life. 



At first making the changes can seem a little overwhelming, particularly because there are so many choices to consider.  So we decided to start small, do some reading and work our way slowly towards the lifestyle we wanted.  Four months in, I can honestly say that slow living in the city is not only achievable, but has been really life changing. Here are a few of the simple changes we've been making..

Growing our own herbs and veggies and baking our own bread
These have been on my to do list for so long, but honestly in the past we just didn't make the time to make it happen.  Now rather than a some day, the simple pleasures of baking bread and planting and harvesting veggies have become an important part of our week.  Purchasing organic and local produce has also become an vital aspect of our food routine.  

Purchasing second hand, local, eco-friendly and upcycling what we already own
For me this has been a really wonderful challenge this year, especially as I document my daily outfits, I am made accountable for my decisions about what I wear and what I purchase and what it took to make those items of clothing.  I'm looking forward to sharing more about my thoughts on the inspiring slow fashion movement in a future post.

Switching off the TV and reading inspiring literature 
Switching off the TV really happened to us by accident in the beginning, as about twelve months ago, our TV broke and we never replaced it.  It has not only given us more time together, but also the opportunity to spend our evenings reading great books and blogs (I've listed a few links below) and working on ideas, dreams and goals for the future.

Decluttering and reconsidering the essentials
As a avid collector, this one was hard, but it has become so much easier as we have spent the past six months living with our bare essentials, while the rest of our 'things' are in storage. This process has made us so much for aware of what we really need and consider essential in our lives.  So now decluttering is on the agenda and a grand garage sale planned for the near future.

Taking slow adventures
One of our favourite ways to spend a Sunday afternoon is to take a walk the beach or through the local city farm, to reconnect with nature, discover beautiful new places to explore, enjoy the moment and take things slowly.  Even if we have a full weekend, taking an hour to unwind, fossick and connect makes such a difference to our week.

We are really only just beginning to scratch the surface of our own adventures into the slow living movement. There are so many amazing people working towards more sustainable, meaningful lives who inspire us daily. I'm looking forward to documenting our journey and taking a look at different areas of slow living, including food, fashion, travel, creativity and communication. 

A few links to read and explore
Slow Movement
Rethink: the way you live
Extra Curricular - Issue 10 
Slow Fashion
Little Eco Footprints
Peppermint Magazine
Whole Larder Love
Eco Store
Biome

Are you feeling like life is getting too fast? I'd love to hear about what you love to do to slow things down.

Happy Friday!
Much Love
xxx

21 comments:

  1. Lovely plans Sophie - have you read Down To Earth? Rhonda is Australian, really fantastic. Just wrote a book, and her blog archives are an absolute treasure trove. x

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    1. I'd totally recommend Down to Earth too, it's great.

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  2. Sophie you don't know how much this post resonates with me. Life has been incredibly busy for months now that I am completely burnt out! The good thing is that it has made me take time to really consider what is important and where I want to focus my energies. Getting back to the very basics and slowing the pace is at the top of my list.
    Happy weekend to you :)
    x

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  3. We have adopted alot of what you have posted about since moving to the country 1 year ago, including not watching TV, making bread, growing veges etc. I see you have listed the Eco Store link. I love their products and am currently testing some of their product. They have sent me some goodies and I will be having a giveaway in a couple of weeks so do keep an eye out. Yay for Slow Living! xo

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  4. I'm working the decluttering thing too. It feels so good to look around and see clean surfaces. Sounds like a perfect shift x

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  5. Great links Sophie. Living more sustainably is something I am passionate about, but is really difficult, especially when it comes to food. I have been thinking a lot about where my food is coming from and am jealous of your little food garden! I love reading about what steps other people taking.

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  6. This is so inspiring, Sophie! I loved reading this post. I'm always decluttering and we don't have a telly either, although we do watch a lot of films. I'm all for baking your own bread and growing things. I look forward to reading more about your adventures. x

    http://chiakicreates.wordpress.com/

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  7. We're on our way too, and it feels great. Life seems more simple that way. :)

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  8. I'm so glad you posted this because little by little, this is what we're working towards too! I'm so glad to know that it's doable! I've bookmarked this pst for inspiration :)

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  9. Really inspiring. Working on the "turn of the TV"-thing at the moment. Have to take it one step at the time I guess, lovely to get a list to follow, thank you! :)

    www.thishouseblog.wordpress.com

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  10. We have been on this journey for a while now and while sometimes it is challenging it is very rewarding. You could try the simplicity collective for some more reading: www.simplicitycollective.com. Good luck on your path!

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  11. I always feel like I'm simultaneously trying to speed my life up and slow it down! I want to work on my blog, social networking, and more projects after work, travel, hang out with my boyfriend and friends, try new yoga forms, go to new events in my city (new york), etc. But I also want to slow things down too. I love your suggestions and goals above. One way I slow down is by taking long solo walks when I have a few free hours on a Saturday or Sunday. And I'm also going through a spring decluttering phase - in my apartment and on my computer!

    Living sustainably is important to me as well, but in order to do it you really need to make a conscience effort, and I applaud yours. (And hey switching off the tv is another way to live sustainably by the way. I wish everyone would spend less time in front of their tvs and computers and more time connecting with people, nature, or a good book!)

    Thanks for the links, those are some good ones. And sorry for the long comment, but your post really inspired a reaction in me. ;)

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  12. Love this post!! I've found that with every change i've made towards slow sustainable living I have become so much more happier with myself and my life as I have found such great value in it! I no longer have things and stuff getting in the way of life and it's opened up and made room for what really matters.
    I am personally addicted to up-cycling, recycling second hand, re-using, mending, and making eco-friendly, organic shopping choices when its comes to my wardrobe and style. It challenges me to be more creative and have fun as well as really treasure and connect to the new styles I buy. Great blog xx

    http://ecobirdstyle.blogspot.com.au/

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  13. A wonderful post Sophie! I dream of baking my own bread and planting my own veggies one day as well...
    I also think that de=cluttering and stripping one's possessions down to the essentials can be incredibly 'cleansing' and liberating!
    Ronnie xo

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  14. Thanks so much for sharing this post Sophie - it's exactly what I need right now!!

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  15. Love this post :) Checking out some of those sites there now... We've had not TV for 12 months too and loving it! :)

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  16. love this post too, your changes sound wonderful, it is one of the reasons I became vegan(the main one being how can I love some animals as pets but eat others as if their life isn't important too)we not only don't need meat or fish or dairy but the energy used to feed and water one cow and then have it slaughtered is more than running a car for a whole year!!! It's THE biggest change each of us can make to make a difference in our lives and for the Earth and also make a difference for others as the resources for massive factory farms and feedlots could be used to grow wonderful life sustaining crops and feed millions of starving people

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  17. Great post Sophie, this is something that I will be posting about also.

    Since moving into our new old house almost two years ago, I have been gradually making changes to how we live. I feel that with each step that we take,my soul feels lighter. We now have a veggie patch, are about to get chickens and instead of driving to the shopping centre where the supermarket is, I walk with my hard rubbish find granny trolley to the local organic shop which has everything we need.

    I have just finished reading a great mag "Green Lifestyle" which I found to have interesting articles. I was also motivated by an article I read in "Peppermint" Summer 2012 about Tim Silverwood, to make even more changes to reduce my plastic consumption.

    Well done.

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  18. Hi Sophie,

    This is something I'm working on too – thanks so much for the inspiration, and for including Extra Curricular in your great list of resources!

    Ellie

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  19. Sounds like you are making some wonderful changes Sophie. I especially like the idea of sow adventures. Thanks for the link love :-)

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  20. such a beautiful post <3 at this point of my life, travelling around for about 6 years, I feel like settle down, start to grow my own food, work on my own, make volunteer work more often and do whatever makes me happy.

    Society now a days makes you think YOU HAVE TO work 40 hours a week, in a place you dislike, with co-workers you don't feel comfy, doing something that doesn't make pleasure. You have to work to get Money to buy a house, a car and nice clothes. really? F*** the system! I'm out and happy :) Don't care if people call me hippie or homeless, in the end I'm HAPPY, smiling and celebrating life every second.

    Hmmm just to say I found out about your blog yesterday, and I'm enjoying a lot Reading you. We have a lot of interests in common :)
    Love and light*

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Thank you for stopping by! ~ I just love receiving your comments! I'll be sure to pop by your place too. Much love ~ Sophie x