March 14, 2011
What if you were to spend fifteen minutes outside every day? Would you slow down?
Rebecca P. Cohen, owner of Rebecca Plants, LLC, says you will.
She conducted an experiment with her kids after finding how harmonious they all were as they walked outside one New Year’s morning. Armed with her knowledge of the outdoors as healer, she set out to spend at least 15 minutes outside with her kids every day. A former member of Corporate America, Rebecca used to rush inside every day. After fifteen years, she decided outside was a better place to be. Thus, Rebecca Plants was born.
The result of her year-long experiment was her book, Fifteen Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids. And I tell you, her ideas are really doable! Even with one of my kids who’d rather watch a decade of TV than set her toes in the grass, I have managed to wave the book in front of her nose and say, “Come with me!”
With deep gratitude and even a touch of reverence, I asked to chat with Rebecca to share my success with her. She graciously sat down for a phone chat with to talk about trees and time and total focus when we dally amongst the songbirds and such.
The great thing is anyone can do it~ young or old, native or foreign, athletic or couch-bound. We can all be outside and breathe.
Give Rebecca’s wisdom a listen (9 minutes). And leave a comment with any questions, comments or nature stories of your own!
March 9, 2011
The pen is mightier than the sword. That’s a saying that struck a chord in my young mind so many years ago. Words can kill. Words can heal. Words are beauty and grace and love. Words are ugliness and dishonor and hatred. Words can move mountains or slay you with a single utterance.
BeliefNet just published a series of inspirational quotes from some amazing women who have found profound words to express their own experience. This one particular quote rang so true for me that I’m sharing it with you.
“Your own words are the bricks and mortar of the dreams you want to realize. Your words are the greatest power you have. The words you choose and their use establish the life you experience.” ~ Sonia Croquette
So if you say “I am out of time,” you are right. If you say “I have more than enough,” you are right again.
If you live within the abundance of the moment, even the most painful, darkest ones, you will know that you are living full out and that you are the creator of that moment by the mere choice you make in how you wish to interpret it.
Today’s slow action: Take a moment to say something kind to someone. It could make all the difference in the world.
March 6, 2011
The other day I sat down for a Skype chat with educator Kendra Delano, an expat first grade teacher living in Mexico. While she wore a sleeveless blouse, I froze in my long-sleeved Germanic garb. Such are the differing lives of two Americans living elsewhere.
As you all know, the Power of Slow was born in an ice cream parlour with a mind-boggling assortment of flavors. I made the choice to walk at the pace of an ice cream-licking three-year-old when I saw that rushing created unhappiness (not to mention indigestion!). It got me to thinking about all things time and space and child-like wonder. The next thing I knew I started to question all kinds of things, including how our contemporary pace of life isn’t sustainable.
Same Day, Different Choices is a Web site and book dedicated to teaching children (and those who love them) how to make powerful choices. We all can. At any age.
Think Sliding Doors for kids. Haven’t seen the movie? Rent it. It’s a classic demonstration of how your life can take a different twist, depending on the choices we make. In the end the truth comes out, regardless of choice. The question is, which path will you take to get there?
Fast or slow. Anger or compassion. Chocolate or vanilla. You choose.
Give my brief chat with Kendra a listen. Then let me know what you think.
The Internet is an addictive force. Even GoogleChrome is getting in on the act by creating toolbars courtesy of Quickrr to limit the amount of time we spend on pre-determined URLs (any Angry Bird fans out there?). It seems odd to mention Quickrr on a blog about slow, but in this case, quick(rr) is slow!
JZ Knight offers a refreshing perspective on our self-flagalation (I must close Facebook; I must stop tweeting!). She doesn’t think Internet addiction is the real issue. She says it’s the platform for a countercultural shift in thinking.
JZ Knight (www.Ramtha.com) is a leading self-help and spiritual expert who has become a respected advocate for self-empowerment, helping thousands worldwide to overcome trauma, depression, and addiction and to accomplish extraordinary feats while reaching high levels of success. She has worked with people from all walks of life and has offered guidance to such notable personalities as Salma Hayek, Shirley MacLaine, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Linda Evans. She’s also appeared on The Larry King Show and MSNBC.
And today, she appears on The Power of Slow for you, dear readers.
Please listen to my chat with JZ Knight about the Internet, consciousness and the future of virtual living!
March 2, 2011
Something’s foul in the state of our schools.
In her most recent episode, Katie Couric examines chronic fatigue in high school students who are buckling under the weight of academic performance on her CBS Webcast @KatieCouric.
Tiger Mom might growl at this one. Vicki Abeles, director of the documentary “Race to Nowhere,” talks about the high levels of stress and fatigue in U.S. schools and how bettering school systems could improve the lives of kids and young adults. Some of the touch points in this segment include:
- Lack of down time
- Never being outside
- Too narrow definition of ‘success’
- Always looking to the next step instead of being present
- Quantity-driven model (as if more is, well, more)
- Evaporation of knowledge (cramming and forgetting)
- Stigmatizing failure
Why is this happening?
“For starters, it’s coming from our pressure-cooker culture,” says Vicki. But she also points to parents, college admissions and the media as further factors leading kids down a path of depression and ‘checking out’ because they can’t handle the pressures placed on them in our post-information age society.
Another aspect that has led to these issues is teachers having to ‘teach to the test’ instead of fostering critical thinking that moves beyond regurgitation.
“This isn’t just about our education system,” Vicki admits. “Our schools are a microcosm of our greater culture and we’ve just gotten so afraid.”
Sustained fear, as we know, is the greatest energy blocker. It is what holds us back from taking that leap of faith.
“We need to look at the very unhealthy culture that exists in many of our schools,” Vicki continues. “We need to remember that our teenagers’ bodies and minds are still growing and developing. That’s the wrong time to give them our unbalanced adult lives. They need the time and the space to develop all the skills that will later serve them.”
What if we lived in a world in which adult lives were balanced, too? What if we lived in alignment with our truest purpose, going for what makes our heart sing, not sink?
As with our time abundant versus time-starved attitude, it is going to take a collective mindshift around what a ‘good education’ means. A sleep-deprived teen isn’t going to live up to his or her potential.
Power to the Students! Power of Slow to the people!
March 1, 2011
How can we move the world to a day of yes? You know. When all is in flow? It starts with each of us b/c the world is in us all.