Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Switching over

Blogging at our new site now but realizing that I kind of miss this blogger style blog too. Creature of comfort? Perhaps. Or is it that Wordpress doesn't allow followers and so I don't actually know if anyone is over there. Come on over there if you can. www.slowfamilyliving.com

Friday, December 5, 2008

We've Moved!

Hi folks, we've created a brand spankin' new site at www.slowfamilyliving.com. Check it out, bookmark it, check back frequently and let us know what you think. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Choose sleep

Sometimes I have to let my kindergartener go into school late. The difference an extra hour or two of sleep can make is mind boggling in how she feels and operates. While the difference an extra hour or two of school can make is nothing. We don't always have the option, nor do we always need it, but when we have the need and the luxury at the same time, that's a healthy choice we feel lucky to make.

Sweet dreams little 6 year old!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Slow Family Living is...

  • Doing things you love
  • Doing things because it feels right for your family
  • Taking into consideration each family member and their stage of development
  • Making your family unit the priority
  • Sometimes taking a stand against the status quo
  • Possibly doing it differently than the way it was done for you
  • Asking yourself, "Is this working for us?"
  • Trusting that what you have to offer your family is enough
  • Trusting that there's no "right way" to do it, just the way that feels right for you and your family
  • Pausing as a unit to stop and take it all in
  • Being present in each moment
  • Trusting that where you are right now is just where you're supposed to be
  • Getting connected to your emotions and to your family members
  • Defining "success" for yourself
  • Being willing to shift gears when you need to

Saturday, November 29, 2008

5 day weekends

It seems to me like our usual 2 day weekends just aren't enough. This 5 day one is feeling rather spacious and luxurious. I think a 3 day one ought to be the norm. In my perfect world that's what it'd be.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

We hope you have a slow, connected and joyful day with the people you love. 

With love and gratitude, 
Carrie and Bernadette

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Question of the Week

What are you thankful for right now?

Bernadette says: Carrie Contey, collaboration, a healthy family, chilly fall days, a five day weekend.

Carrie says: Bernadette Noll, warm wooly sweaters, Thanksgiving with 40 of my favorite friends (almost half of them under the age of 10), non-stop learning,  love love and more love.

OK, your turn. In a comment below, tell us your thoughts.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Naps for everyone!

I knew it! Napping is not just wonderfully pleasant but it's actually good for my brain (and yours, too). Here's the article with the research to prove it. All the more reason to hunker down for a quick afternoon snooze. 

Slow haircuts in the field

I've been cutting my own hair for years. The last time I got it cut by anyone was when I was pregnant with my now 11 year old. Worst haircut ever. 8 months pregnant, $60.00 poorer, I cried the whole walk home.

Just last week I let my now 11 year old cut my hair. She did a pretty nice job. And felt totally comfortable with the act too. It's a little more shaggish than I usually do but I can work with that. I just love that she will feel comfortable with the act of cutting hair and will know that if you've got scissors, you can cut your hair. No big deal

I had my scissors on our camp out a few weeks ago. I cut my friend's hair - I've been cutting his hair for years. He calls it his "Berna-do". While I cut his hair in the sunshine, we came up with the idea for a new business, Nature Cuts. Park your barber chair in a beautiful setting - in this case in a field overlooking the river just this side of a granite cliff. Total goodness.

I think this qualifies as slow living. Without a doubt.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

We're dreaming of a slow Christmas

I know it looks like a sweat shop but really it's a bunch of mamas getting crafty for the holidays in the Ramonster World Headquarters, home of the Future Craft Collective.

Lots of folks freak out at this time of year as Thanksgiving draws near and Christmas comes trotting quickly behind. So much pressure and obligation to do it according to some one else's dictate. Some folks though decide that rather than freaking-out they can make the holidays exactly what they want they want them to be.

If you want to gather and discuss ways to make the holidays your own and leave the obligatory hustle and bustle out of it, check out our class being offered next week. We're dreaming of a SLOW Christmas.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Free range kids?

There's one mom in NYC that's started an entire movement called Free Range Kids. It's in the face of fear-based parenting and she's taking the reins and letting her kids out of her sight and letting life itself serve as the lesson sometimes.

I think kids appreciate a little space now and again.

What do you think?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Total Goodness

Here's Bernadette and I with six of our dearest friends. This picture was taken last weekend on our camping trip.  All of these beautiful women are slow family mamas and brilliant creatives as well. If you have a few minutes, grab a cup of tea, kick back and peruse their fabulous websites and blogs. From left to right: Kathie Sever, Bernadette Noll, me, Barbara Frisbie, Shannon Lowry,  Liz Garton Scanlon, Lynn Hoare, Sarah Bork Hamilton

I sure do love these lovelies.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Worth Repeating

The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.  -Joseph Campbell

When do you feel like your heartbeat matches the beat of the universe? 

Friday, November 14, 2008

Top Ten Reasons to Go to Park Day

Slow Family Movement Park day is this weekend Sunday 11/16 2-4 p.m. at Austin's Butler park near Town Lake and the Long Center.

1. Connect with your family
2. Spend time outside
3. Connect with other families
4. Walk the labyrinth
5. Lie on a blanket and take a rest in the sunshine
6. Play in the fountains
7. Meet new people
8. Introduce your kids to new people
9. Celebrate being a family
10. No agenda other than hanging out and playing

Come on out and play!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Daily Decelerant

Our friend Adam Butler, marketing genius extraordinaire and super slow dad, inspired the idea of offering a Daily Decelerant to help families slow down, connect and enjoy life just a little bit more. 

So here it is...

Add "rest" to your to do list.

What's your idea of a good rest?

Park Day

Make new friends and meet up with the old at Slow Family Movement's Sunday in the Park. Bring a ball, a bike, a blanket and whatever else you need to spend an afternoon hanging out with friends and other families.

Who: Anyone that wants to join us for a non-agendaed gathering
Where: Butler Park, Austin, TX (near Town Lake and the Long Center)
When: Sunday 11/16 2-4 p.m.
Why: To find your people, create your community, celebrate your tribe

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cancel that appointment

An article I found on the Children and Nature Network's website talks about the overscheduling of kids. It's a question asked regularly by parents, "am I doing enough?" Perhaps we ought to ask ourselves instead, "are we doing too much?"

After you read this, cancel that appointment and get to the greenbelt instead.

Slow weekends. Ah.

Camping is slow. We just had 3 nights and 4 days with 15 kids and 13 adults in 9 tents and a 20 pound brisket and a few cold beers and one amazing private group site in a Texas State Park perched right on the Lower Colorado River. Cold nights. Colder mornings warmed by the sun hitting our little valley right as the morning's embers were reignited in the firepit. Clear spring fed pools of water just cold enough to get in and make you run back to the firepit pronto.

No telephone connection. No electronics. No need for any kind of entertainment other than hiking, wading, sitting around the fire and singing, singing, singing. Loved, loved, loved it!!! Can't wait to do it again soon. My cup totally runneth over.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

What I learned

This week I learned that when we are spacious in our time we all get along better. Of course that seems like an obvious thing to have taken me 11 years and four kids but it hit me this past weekend like a lightning bolt. It was a Saturday that held a few errands and a few friends but there was beautiful spaciousness to it all and because of that it all felt easy and it felt too like there was time for a lot of yesses where otherwise there might have been no's.

Now that I have touched and taken this lesson I will try to remember it always. I will remember it when people ask me to volunteer for just one more committe, when we are invited to parties, when we are asked to come and play, when we are taking on projects and whenever we are making family plans. I will say no to the invitation on a Saturday afternoon if there is already something on the calendar for Saturday morning. I will schedule family on a Saturday morning and I will put it on the calendar on occasion so that our time together isn't dismissed as non-essential. I will try not to bite off more than we can chew and I will try to allow ample time for everything that I do bite off. I will try. I will try. I will try.

It may bug my kids on occasion at the time the decision is made. But they get over that quicker than they get over having a freaked out mom. And I may sometimes have no choice in having busy days but there are days too that even when I think I have no choice, I realize that actually, I really do have a choice.

Spaciousness so there is time to see each person. Aaah. Lessons. I love that they just keep coming.

Friday, October 10, 2008

We're getting ready to launch...

...so stay tuned. We're busy creating a series of ebooks and other tools on ways you and your family can intentionally and mindfully slow it all down. Keep your ears peeled and your thoughts tuned to slowing it down one step at a time.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The official Manifesto

The Slow Family Movement is a revolution in the way we think about, embrace and implement family living.

It was born out of our belief that family life is being hijacked by society’‘s messages that more is better, faster is greater and that you and your children are at risk of being left behind, unless you buy in NOW.

It is about allowing family life to unfold in a way that is joyfully and consciously connected. This means slowing it down, finding comfort in the home, and creating the space to see and honor the family as an entity, while simultaneously keeping sight of each member as a unique and valuable individual.

We believe that family life can serve as the incubator for deeper compassion, creativity, love, harmony, humor, appreciation, respect, fun, ingenuity, conflict resolution, peace, friendship, growth, communication and, perhaps above all else, true, unending and powerful joy.

As we intentionally give value and space to family life, we are thereby creating a force — with a sum greater than its parts — that can then flow out into the local and the global communities.
We hold this as truth, that the peace and the harmony we want to exist within the world, can be created within the family first, by bringing it home and lovingly, consciously and intentionally slowing life down.

Family life is not fast. When it becomes so, slow it down.