The other night I attended a Twitter party. For those of you unfamiliar with such things, it is a gathering on the microblogging social media platform Twitter to discuss a particular topic. This time we were a group of bloggers that convened on Twitter using a particular keyword to follow the conversation for thirty minutes. The topic was, of course, blogging, one of my favorite subjects.

One question the moderators posed was what’s more important: grammar or getting the point across. I have to admit I love grammar and respect all its rules because language is something I highly revere. And I am traumatized even now, thirty years later, by my English teacher Ms. Willis whose smoker’s voice and steely glare still permeate my brain when I even consider saying “There’s two things” instead of saying “There are”.

But language, like anything else, is a compilation of sounds that is fluid and ever-evolving. We bend the rules sometimes to fit the situation. Being a Southern girl, I respect rule-bending. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that, ya”ll. It gives life to new possibilities and ways of expressing ourselves.

You may have noticed I bend the rules on this blog a lot. Suddenly adjectives become nouns. Slow is one example. It is this very juxtaposition that challenges the reader to think in new ways.

So while good grammar is something to be preserved, let’s leave a little room for imperfection. After all, it is in that very place that we grow the most.

P.S. To my embarassment, I wrongly attributed yesterday’s image as Lower Elk Canyon, Arizona. It’s Lower Antelope Canyon. Apologies to all wildlife that has been offended. Imperfection at its best!

Step into Your Mystical-Magical

September 18, 2012

Words touch me like fire and wind. They move my heart, my spirit, my soul. They haunt my dreams, collecting themselves in a line, pushing through my mind to be heard.

So I give voice to them however I can.

In the silence of the forest, I listen to those words whisper their truth in my ear.  They march alongside me like soldiers, stomping their feet in unison.

Whenever I express a particularly deep truth, I am moved to tears by it. Those words, so sincere, caress my very being and I can do nothing but weep. My friend, who is also as tearful as I, recently asked me why he cries so much when he’s with me.

“We step into the mystical-magical, my dear friend!” I told him. We are close to such powerful truth that it can be overwhelming and what is a mere mortal to do but to cry!?

Stepping into your mystical-magical needn’t be that dramatic. It might cause you to smile warmly to yourself as you observe a beautiful moment in time such as a small child delighting in an ice cream cone or the slant of light as it pierces the morning mist. It only requires that you look and listen closely.

Your mystical-magical is waiting for you, too, if you slow down long enough to let it in.

 

Dawn Quiett has had to learn, well, to be quiet and still. As a freelancer and type A personality, she has had to adjust to slowing down and not being so busy all the time due to the economy. But, it has been a blessing in disguise as she has realized she actually can be with the moment, which used to be an intolerable thing.

“I spent my whole childhood, high school and college careers trying to get somewhere,” she told me. “I got there and did what I was supposed to do but because of the economy it did not really matter. I grew up with a mother who filled her time (and still does) with a lot stuff.”

It is hard to break those cycles of busyness, if that’s all you’ve ever known. But Dawn sees the power in slow. “I used to think I had all of these choices at 18, but I realized that my parents controlled it. Now, I have all of the choices. I just have to make them.”

With more time available than she thought imaginable, she has had to learn to like the solace of her days. She has filled them with reading and growing from the inside out.

Can you see yourself, or someone you know, in her story? I sure can!

Join the Smiling Turtle

December 7, 2010

What’s today? Not just Pearl Harbor Day. No, no! Today is the day you can join me, Shirley MacLaine, my smiling turtle and many others to receive a ton of bonus prizes when you purchase a copy of The Power of Slow.

Who is the smiling turtle? He’s the product of my brilliant Webmaster who put together this site www.powerofslowbook.com just for you. Go visit him. He’s a hoot!

How can you benefit from this offer?

Go to www.powerofslowbook.com. Purchase a copy of The Power of Slow (‘Step 1′), put in your amazon order confirmation # by clicking on ‘Step 2′ and receive a free month membership to Shirley MacLaine’s site along with dozens of other gifts from best-selling authors such as Mike Robbins, Stever Robbins, Arielle Ford and more!

I would welcome your participation. Give yourself and others the gift of time this holiday season!

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Twitter. Facebook. LinkedIn.

We hear your siren’s call. You are the social media triumvirate and in less than a handful of years, you have altered the landscape of our modern-day world.

In the face of your trendy existence, slow takes real courage. It is not easy to go against the grain to honor your own slow flow.

Resisting the allure of social media (to get some work done and remember there’s life beyond the digital divide) can be a full-time job.

Writer and blogger Lisa Rivero of The Wild Thyme Unseen says she’s embracing the power of slow to get her writing done. And it seems to be working. Just the other day she proudly reported she wrote 1000 words.

I have had people tell me they’ve cancelled their Facebook accounts because they found they spent countless hours updating, playing Farmville and frittering away their free time with nothing to show for it at the end of the day.

In this day and age, social media and all its buzz have categorically changed the meaning of our lives.  PR professionals (like myself) will tell you that for the sake of our clients’ online reputation, we have to pay attention to the tweeting of public opinion. The key is to dissect what is important from what is not. And therein lies the challenge.

What influences our decision to pay attention to something or not? For a glorious two days I went offline (not without a few communication bumps that were ironed out at last). When I hopped online to check an urgent email, I noticed the news aggregate showed worse news following bad.It left me feeling vacant and reluctant to reenter the online world.

To a great degree we are driven by negative news stories. After resettling into an online focus, I realized how often we seem to pay attention to that which contains shock value versus real value to our lives.

To my online addict friends, I say untether yourself. It’s really okay. If people can’t reach you via instant message, they’ll get over it.

So if I missed a few bits of buzz during my 48 hours end-of-the-week hiatus, so be it. The power of slow says live an artful mindful life and remember to uphold what is important to you. Matching yourself against the grain of popular opinion won’t make you happier and chances are you’ll spend a lot of time chasing something that you already have within.

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Open Spaces

July 23, 2010

Photo Courtesy of Amy L Morton

New ideas need room to grow. Although it is risky to make a change, change is inevitable. As we attempt to keep pace with our rush-rush world, we notice that space is something of which we have little.

So last weekend I tossed old magazines, university papers and files that no longer fed into my ultimate purpose. Did I really need to have that spiral bound notebook “Introduction to Literary Theory”? I dumped fifty pounds of paper in the recycling bin the very same day.

You will notice when you leave room for new things, they inevitably walk into your life. It may take some time to readjust to the unusual spaciousness of your new existence, but I promise that with every change comes a new opportunity.

Take an opportunity this weekend to clear some space for yourself. Maybe it is just one drawer that contains the key to your liberation. Free yourself by giving stuff a toss. Then watch how you experience a shift as you see the magic unfold…

Mridu’s Snail Tales

June 14, 2010

Starting the day off with a giggle is a great thing to do!

Actually, my day started off with a slow wake-up (Germany played its first World Cup soccer match so brilliantly, we couldn’t get to sleep until well past bedtime), then the usual breakfast routine you-are-so-not-wearing-make-up-to-school-my-dear-daughter and a quick jaunt to the mechanic’s in town. Switching cars in the lot, my husband pressed 60 cents into my hand and said ‘Have at it.’ A breakfast roll was all I could afford at the country store.

But the giggle ~ the giggle got my day off right as I plunked down to sift through my inbox for anything delightful that might have transpired over the weekend.

And there it was. An email from my writer pal Mridu Khullar who has decided to blog about The Power of Slow and how she’s implementing the tips and tricks to a richer, slower life.

She’s calling it her snail tales. She’ll be giving away a few copies of The Power of Slow so swing on over this week to her blog, leave comments and have a conversation about what pace of life works for you.

Slow tip: Find something to laugh about today. Share it with someone else. Then share it with us here, too!

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Boredom births Beauty

April 15, 2009

Ask any kid who’s run out of ideas the second week into vacation, and you’ll boredomsee boredom written all over his face. My son took on the typical “I’m-not-leaving-your-office-until-I-am-no-longer-bored’ stance, thrusting his entire frame onto an empty office chair and wheeling around in circles.

“I’m bor-ed!” he chanted to the beating of his own chair whipping. I cast him my most purposeful ‘I’m-not-your-cruise-director’ look, and he disappeared while exhaling the entire contents of his lungs.

Twenty minutes later he raced back into the room.

“I just wrote my very first song. Want to hear it?” and he proceeded to rap the most eloquent text a seven-year-old could possibly muster. Cocking his baseball cap just so, he beamed with pride. I took a step closer, then sniffed.

“Yup. It’s official. You’ve caught the writer’s bug. Welcome to my world!”

Boredom is the best for birthing beauty.

Unslow days viewed slowly

February 18, 2009

I had anything but a slow day. The difference this time was I noticed as my day unfolded how unslow it felt. Instead of immediately getting wrapped up in the frenzy, I took things as they came, and made room for a twenty-minute power walk through the snow and sun to get some fresh air. It was in between phone calls, homework help and shuttling kids to and from destination A, B, and C. Through it all I kept thinking “This is going to be over soon. It will be! Then I’ll take a bath and unplug.”

I managed to take the bath I had promised myself yesterday after being in the cold all day in Munich. It was divine.

Want to know another irony? I sent my fully corrected manuscript via DHL (for tracking purposes -honest!) on Monday. They said it might take two days. It arrived exactly 24 hours later on my editor’s desk in New York. It went from Munich to Leipzig to New York in that time.

And I swear the delivery guy looked just this one!

dhl

The power of intention!

Slow going

February 9, 2009

If you have ever tried something new, you know how slow going it can be. That is perhaps one reason why we procrastinate. Vacuuming the home office floor is ultimately more appealing than facing our inner demons. blubThat’s when you create a plan in your head. Bite-sized pieces make your progress seem more visible.

I’ve started thinking about a screenplay idea. In fact, I have so many ideas they seem to be a jumble in my mind. So I’ve written the ideas down to clear my head for the most creative thoughts possible. You have to get rid of the junk to get to the jewel. The writing process can be slow going, especially if you don’t have the practice. Since I’ve never written a screenplay before, I have to amass lots of knowledge first, and pay attention to the ideas by writing them down on colorful cards.

What types of projects have you always wanted to start, but never had the patience to finish? Perhaps it is time to dust off that idea and go for it. It’s amazing what energy you can unleash when you do.

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