You might have heard the inklings about the ‘Slow Food Movement’, pioneered by Carlo Patrini of Italy, whereby the cultivation of appreciation, mindfulness, and awareness is suggested as an antidote to the poison of our frenzied, ‘fast food’ (and fast everything) culture.
In other words, with the Slow Food Movement, you replace ‘fast food’ and ‘eating on the go’ with an attention to eating fresh, local food that is prepared at a gentle pace at home and enjoyed, perhaps, in the company of loved ones.
Or, you simply allow the time to cook yourself a fresh, lovely meal and eat it as if it was a meditation.
The more I read and learned about the Slow Food Movement, the more I realized that it mirrored the principles that I have endeavored to explore and share through Ivy Sea, and that I researched and wrote about in Big Vision, Small Business.
The primary difference is that, where Carlos Petrini is talking about ‘slow food’ and mindful agriculture and eating, I’ve been talking about ‘slow business’.
What would Slow Business look like?
When we hear such a thing, we might immediately associate ‘slow’ with something negative. This would be an automatic response that comes from an indoctrination in the ‘fast is better, bigger is better’ culture.
Yet when we think about it, mindfully and heartfully, we know that our frenzied, urgency-worshipping, fast-everything culture is not optimal; in fact, we have plenty of evidence — perhaps even in our own experience and life — that ‘fast’ and ‘urgent’ are often unnecessary and harmful.
With ‘Slow Business’, as with Slow Food, we simply become more mindful, more aware, more skillful.
We have a greater sense of why we’re doing what we’re doing, and that ‘why’ is linked with heart-centered intuitive guidance about our own purpose, deep values, and ‘right livelihood’ than the old way of externally defined ‘should do, or I won’t be successful’ thinking.
With ‘Slow Business’, we emphasize connection, in our actions as well as our vision or mission statements. We embody and demonstrate a true respect or valuing of the opportunity we have to share our gifts, skills, and ‘pearls of experience’, and to express our vision and purpose through our livelihood.
We extend this respect to all beings: in our way of relating to other people within and outside of our business or organization; in our decision-making, where we reflect on the ripple-effect and consequences of our actions, intending that they be positive and life-affirming.
We seek to explore, embody, and express deep values and the principles of ‘holographic business’.
We approach our work as a master-craftsperson approaches his or her art; we’re artisans of business (or livelihood), creating a work of art in and through our organization or business, whether we’re a larger group or a one-person enterprise.
In ‘Slow Business’, we weave a tapestry of positive connection and collaboration, seeing plenty and potential in the opportunities to co-creative with others on behalf of, and for the benefit of, others as well.
‘Slow Business’ simply means slowing down, and visioning and acting from our center of being, our hearts, our ‘Divine Essence’ (whatever you might choose to call it), and making choices from this center, rather than ‘fast business’ where you’re simply reacting and making hasty choices regardless of their ripple effects or consequences.
With ‘Slow Business’, you’re experiencing joy and plenty and creativity right NOW, even as you ‘create forward’, versus the frenzied ‘always trying to catch up’ that marks ‘fast business’ and ‘fast life.’
And oddly, though we’ve been conditioned to fear being ‘left behind’, we all remember the story of the race between the turtle and the hare, where the turtle’s deliberate, steady, mindful pace outruns and outdistances the fast-hopping hare every time.
Slowing down can seem frightening, but that’s just old conditioning talking. In reality, a greater mindfulness and awareness yields better choices and far-better outcomes.
And you get to enjoy your life and livelihood along the way, instead of constantly placing that enjoyment ‘out there’ somewhere in the distant future, where it never arrives but you keep on running.
Take a breath; explore slow. There’s no need to catch up, since you’re always here, now.
This article was originally featured at Ivy Sea Online and is reprinted with permission.