“Kyle is slow at everything in life, except running.” — My Mom (maybe 15 years ago)
Thanks, Mom! Well, at this point in my life, I’m now officially slow at everything (including running). So, I guess that finally makes me qualified to write about this topic.
Hi, I’m Kyle.
I’m in my mid-thirties and in the process of moving from a lifetime in the Midwest to Northern California with my wife and our two (bad) dachshunds. If you ever want to see what I’m working on at any given moment, visit my “Now” page.
The “Old” Me: As recently as a couple years ago, you would have found the old me working 60-80 hour workweeks to move up the corporate ladder, consumed by busyness and anxiety, and trying to offset my hard work by telling myself “I deserve this” while buying a sports car and McMansion in the suburbs.
The “New” Me: In 2018, I became a corporate dropout and quit my 9-to-5 job—and decade-long career in marketing and advertising. I’m now downshifting to slow and simple living. And, the house and car will be out of here soon too (house very soon, officially!). It’s a little like this:
The old Chris worked to earn and earned to consume. And my new approach was to work to earn, earn to save, and save to invest, so I could stop working. That’s freedom. — Chris Reining
Why? Let’s back up.
In November 2015, I had an existential crisis. The crazy hours at work finally broke me. This is when the questions started. And I questioned everything—everything I’d ever known, believed in, and thought was true. My crisis lasted six weeks—I gave myself a deep, self-taught, crash course on life.
I struggled every single day with the new information I was learning (awareness/thinking) vs. how I was still living (action/behavior). I felt like I had a foot in two worlds:
Many people who are going through the early stages of the awakening process are no longer certain what their outer purpose is. What drives the world no longer drives them. Seeing the madness of our civilization so clearly, they may feel somewhat alienated from the culture around them. Some feel that they inhabit a no-man’s land between two worlds. — Eckhart Tolle, Spiritual Teacher & Author of A New Earth
Previously, I had no idea there was another way (or a way out) of how I had been living. I had followed the typical path in Western society: go to school, get a job, get another better job that pays more, etc. I followed this path without questioning a thing for over a decade. Sports car and suburb McMansion included. Totally guilty of lifestyle inflation and keeping up with the Joneses—a sucker for the modern definition of the American Dream.
But, more and more things and experiences offered no long-term fulfillment. I was more miserable than ever. Many people already know money can’t buy happiness, but knowing and doing are two different things. I thought I knew too, but it took me doing and living it to really open my eyes.
So, what was missing?
I realized all these things and experiences were really just band-aid solutions. What I really wanted was to own my time and live my newly self-created purpose:
I’ve learned that there is nothing more consistent with unhappiness than spending your time in a way that doesn’t serve who you are. — Scott Dinsmore
While the decluttering and minimalism trends have gained mainstream attention, it’s really only one area of intentional living. And, people often refer to decluttering and minimalism only in the materialism sense (focused on things and money). But, imagine if you did Marie Kondo’s “KonMari Method” on your time?
What would it be like to only have activities in your life that ‘sparked joy?’…it’s a goal to keep in mind as you evaluate your schedule. — Laura Vanderkam
There’s much more to be gained by opening your mind to slow living as well (focused on time and energy). I’m now dedicating my time and energy to sharing the life-changing benefits of simple and slow living with you. Sloww exists to share everything I’ve learned and everything I’m still exploring with you.
For fast-acting relief, try slowing down. — Lily Tomlin
Slow living isn’t about doing everything in life as slowly as possible. It’s about doing everything at the right speed. It’s about saying “no” to the things that don’t add value to your life so you can fully say “yes” to the things that do. It’s living an unbusy life that has space and margin for what’s most important to you. It’s realizing that the constant cycle of more and work/spend/repeat isn’t adding to your life. It’s finding the more in less. It’s accepting and learning to love your own personal definition of enough.
Welcome to Sloww
Life can often feel like a heavy burden: all our things, thoughts, and to-dos weighing us down day after day. Why is that? I believe it’s because we haven’t ever really been taught the art (and science) of modern living—the best ways to be human today:
We don’t mind spending 15 years on education, why not the same to become a better human being? — Matthieu Ricard, Monk, Humanitarian, Author, and “World’s Happiest Person”
It’s true. We spend so much time on other pursuits that we rarely spend the time learning to be better at being human—or just be better at being. For the last decade I’ve put work before life; now it’s time to go all-in on life.
All of these are invisible. Think of Sloww as your bridge between the external/visible world and the internal/invisible world—shifting from a focus on the quantitative to the qualitative:
What matters most in life is often invisible. — Duane Elgin, Author of Voluntary Simplicity
“Humanity can still prosper for 150,000 years…but this depends on choosing a voluntary simplicity…growing qualitatively, not quantitatively.” — Matthieu Ricard
The internet is a big place. My goal is for Sloww to become a go-to resource for you on your journey—your own quiet corner of the web to slow down, think deeply, and create a plan to live better. Simple living may be simple, but it’s not always easy to live a countercultural life:
Simplicity is an advanced course. — Sri Chinmoy
That’s why Sloww’s content goes deep into modern research and ancient wisdom with a dash of my own personal experiences along the way. I do all the homework to give you the highlights—for instance, I may do 10 hours of research on a post that takes you less than 10 minutes to read.
Not only can simple and slow living be transformative on an individual level, but it can be world-changing. Most people have heard the Mahatma Gandhi quote:
Live simply so that others may simply live. — Mahatma Gandhi
You can be part of humanity’s simple living evolution and solution:
Reducing inequity is the highest human achievement. — Bill Gates
Join me in stripping away the superficial to live deeply and meet life face-to-face:
To live more simply is to live more purposefully and with a minimum of needless distraction…To live more simply is to unburden ourselves—to live more lightly, cleanly, aerodynamically. It is to establish a more direct, unpretentious, and unencumbered relationship with all aspects of our lives: the things that we consume, the work that we do, our relationships with others, our connections with nature and the cosmos, and more. Simplicity of living means meeting life face-to-face. ― Duane Elgin
Are you ready to grow consciously vs unconsciously, deeply vs superficially, invisibly vs visibly, inwardly vs outwardly, and qualitatively vs quantitatively?
Start Designing a Lighter Life
The best way to stay in the loop is to follow socially @SlowwCo and subscribe to the free email newsletter.
To get started, you can read a short summary of Sloww’s first 100 posts, or dive into these:
- What is Downshifting? How to Transition into Simple Living
- Slow Living 101: What is Slow Living?
- Slow Living 201: A Deep Dive into Slow Living & The Slow Movement
- Slow Living 301: How to Start a Slow Living Lifestyle
“You were born that way, quiet, thinking, observing the crazy things in life.” — My Mom (today)
Go with the Sloww,
Founder & Writer