Last night’s event at the mid-Manhattan branch of the New York Public Library was an incredibly humbling experience. People from China, the Ukraine, France, Puerto Rico, Latin America and North America assembled to talk about time abundance. Since several audience members had heard my speech the week prior at the National Arts Club of New York, I varied some of it to make it interesting. Eighty people showed up. I was astounded at the level of interest and the yearning for permission to slow down in this 24/7 world of ours. Young and old,  foreigners and citizens gathered together in the most extraordinary way.

This week has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. May we all embrace the slow and in doing so realize how connected we truly are.

Pig-tailed and wide-eyed, I see my 11-year-old self sitting under that oak tree in my mother’s front yard. I am holding a clipboard whose metal clamp is adorned with a puffy sticker and goggley eyes. I am writing my very first story about a girl on the prairie who can only save her sick father by riding in a magic balloon. It is decades before Balloon Boy reaches that frontierless stretch of Internet pedantry. Delving into the rich, dreamy nature of prose, I escape to the home of my soul.

Today is a rich blessing of achievement, but much more than that it is a moment in time in which I can say I have thought up, and now lived, the American Dream. From scrunch-nosed tween to full-blown woman, I have become that which I have always wanted: a published author with a New York publishing house.

The Power of Slow: 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World (St. Martin’s Press, ISBN: 978-0312570484) offers a deep journey for all who choose to say yes to themselves in our spin-out-of-control world. From Japan (where the book is already reportedly amongst the top 300 in business life books) to the shores of Massachusetts, from Germany to India, from South Africa to Finland, I embrace each and every one of you who wants to read this book. It is about mindful living, about taking a moment to step back at the Big Picture of your life, and find out what is truly important to you. By embracing a positive relationship with time, you can do just that.

Chances are you will find your true self amongst its pages. And when you do, share that self with others. And maybe share the book, too, so that they too can discover themselves just as you have.

My humblest blessings upon you all. May you live the American Dream no matter where you are in the world.

 

Sunshine Days

October 26, 2009

The weather has been unexpectedly spectacular since I have been in the States. New York hit 70F on last Thursday. It stayed warm even when it rained the following day. Boston’s weather has been the same. Today the sun warmed our faces as we smiled at the sky while walking about Davis, Porter and Harvard Square.

I met Stever Robbins face to face today. It turns out he is a fellow Macmillan author who is putting the finishing touches on his final chapter before handing in his manuscript on November 1. His Get it Done Guy podcast focuses on productivity. He is as witty in person as he is on the air.

It was a slow day of talking and walking and carving pumpkins with friends. These are the moments we remember most. Remember to bring the blur of your days into focus with experiences like these. It is well worth the time you spend cultivating the garden of your life!

Last night’s kick-off event at the National Arts Club of New York was incredible! I was humbled by people’s yearning to reset their personal metronome to the beat that works for them. Stress-induced speed kills creativity, imagination and our circadian rhythm. That is not to say you cannot go fast. The irony is the more you engage in the power of slow, the more efficient you become.

My heartfelt thanks to Guy Frazier for organizing the event and for all of you who came. May the spirit of slow embrace you on your life’s journey this day and always!

Slow Thought of the Day

October 22, 2009

It occurred to me that while fast might be sexy for some, it’s  just not sustainable over time. Digging through data in the Animal Kingdom, I got curious about life expectancy and the like. Did you know that the average life expectancy of a domesticated rabbit is 8 to 12 years? And the average life span of an American Box Turtle? 123 years.

How would you rather be?

The National Arts Club of New York is hosting my book launch party this evening at 8 p.m. They’ve changed the room to accomodate a bigger crowd. Let’s rock the house in that slow flow way. So looking forward to it!

California State Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill into law last year banning hand-held cell phone use while driving. Yet even his wife, Maria Shriver, finds it hard to adhere to the rules. CNN.com reports she was caught on film several times as she drove while chatting on her hand-held device.

It appears no one is immune to the multitasking temptations of our Digital Age.

Predicto Mobile CEO Eyal Yechazkell says break the habit by switching off the device altogether or, if in some cases, even find a support group to help.

It has come to this. We are our own worst enemy ~ pretty soon our hyperconnectivity will have serious consequences, yet no one seems to really take the issue seriously. Even Ms. Shriver has fallen prey to the allure of chatting while cruising.

My concern is people are starting to defend their right to carry (and use) cell phones in the car as many are about the right to bear arms. I’m not sure where this conversation will end ~bans themselves do not appear to be working. We need a collective dialogue about what is safe…and what is not. Until we raise our consciousness about these matters, the culprits will still be on the road in full-time distraction. Fasten your seat belts, people. We may be in for a rough ride until then.

Retrevo, an online gadget shop, came up with a neat survey whose results are not that surprising. The 35 and under crowd is clearly in love with its mae westPDAs. In fact, 36% of those surveyed said they updated their social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter immediately after sexual intercourse. A most upsetting 40% admitted to doing so while driving (updating, that is!).

Whether they are driving an automobile or their love life, clearly a large number of younger folks have shifted their focus from a hands-on approach to a more digital one. Virtual worlds are starting to trump their real ones.

I can’t help but think of Mae West who once offered up a great slow quote well before the days of digital devices in the boudoir.

“Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly.”

The next headline might very well read: More people engaged in social media than to each other. But who needs an engagement when you’ve got post-coital tweets to keep you warm at night?

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