Cover Image: Seeking Slow

Seeking Slow

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Member Reviews

Seeking Slow is a well-rounded and practical guide to slow living – whether you’re curious about getting started or just need some inspiration.

Many of us want slower and simpler lives as an anecdote to the multi-tasking and busyness of today. But to actually infuse those values into our everyday lives is a different story.

In her new book Seeking Slow: Reclaim Moments of Calm in your Day, Melanie Barnes argues that it’s not about doing everything slower or having loads of free time. It’s about setting priorities so the less important things don’t end up taking over. And it’s about making space for what matters most.

Seeking Slow offers a holistic approach to slow living that looks at everything from how we travel and spend our days, to what we buy or do for leisure. Because this all adds up to either an intentional life or a life filled with anxiety and overwhelm, Barnes says.

GEOFFREY AND GRACE

Barnes is the writer and photographer behind the blog Geoffrey and Grace and the popular Instagram account @geoffreyandgrace. Her beautiful photos have long inspired readers to appreciate slow moments and daily pleasures.

Though Barnes also has 15 years of experience in well-being. She’s a trained yogi, meditation teacher and massage therapist. And this background makes her book a more practical and realistic look at slow living that’s rooted in experience.

Barnes began to explore slow living after the birth of her daughter. She realised as her daughter was growing up that time – and her daughter’s childhood – passes so quickly. And she didn’t want to miss out.

WHAT IS SLOW LIVING?

Slow living means being present in the moment, appreciating the little things and taking time to enjoy life, Barnes says. In our modern age, we come up against the glorification of busy, materialism, consumerism and constant online connectivity. So we must re-evaluate our values if we want a slower life.

“By altering our definition of success, we will naturally slow down the pace of our days,” Barnes writes. “By being realistic about what it means to be busy and by learning to relish the small, simple pleasures along the way, we can all find more meaning and joy in our lives.”

Understanding the darker forces brings awareness which can also help change our mindsets, Barnes says. Tracing the consumer culture back to the 1920s advent of PR, for example, makes us realise that consumerism is a recent innovation. It’s not a universal law we’ve always lived by – and we don’t have to, either.

“Having an awareness of the industry and how we are marketed to gives us the understanding to make more conscious choices,” Barnes writes.

HOW TO SLOW DOWN

I don’t think slow living is possible if we’re checking our notifications every hour.

And Barnes devotes an entire section to digital detox and simple strategies to ensure that Internet time doesn’t take over our lives – and that we have space for wholehearted moments.

“We must not underestimate how being intentional with our time is instrumental in slowing down,” Barnes writes.

Seeking Slow offers tips on working smarter to be more efficient and reduce stress. From focusing on what’s important and resisting the trap of multitasking, to defining your priorities and batching similar tasks together.

A section on self-care looks at the guilt we often feel about taking time for ourselves, especially amid long to-do lists. Barnes suggests we redefine what’s essential and look at ways of slowing down from gardening to enjoying an unhurried cup of tea.

Barnes also looks at the importance of self-compassion in slow living. She says self-compassion isn’t often a trait that’s valued in Western societies and it’s seen as weak. We often feel we have to be hard on ourselves to stay motivated and that we have to be tough to succeed. Self-compassion can be regarded as indulgence or laziness.

Barnes makes a convincing case for how the opposite is true. Self-compassion actually makes us happier and more motivated. She suggests asking yourself: “What do I need?” and then treating yourself like you’d treat a dear friend.

FACTORS IN SLOW LIVING

Seeking Slow also looks at the importance of boredom as a way of making space for inspirational ideas that can only come with free thought uninterrupted by notifications.

There’s also a chapter on the body – an essential part in slow living that doesn’t often get much attention. Barnes stresses the importance of listening to our bodies and how they can tell us what we need. The benefits include better health, increased intuition and a better understanding of stress. This self-awareness leads to greater happiness and confidence.

A section on home looks at how our surroundings impact our well-being, and lists ways to make our homes more comfortable by getting rid of clutter and organizing.

Barnes lists activities for each season with lots of ideas for kids like making beach mosaics from seashells in the summer or garlands of popcorn or orange slices for Christmas. Many of these activities will get you out into nature to experience its calming effects.

Seeking Slow also includes tips on meditation to make us more thoughtful, focused and calm. Meditation can help us deal with daily stress and be more present.

“Meditation allows us the space to return to a neutral mind, helping us to not become fixated on or attached to negative thoughts and emotions,” Barnes writes. “Learning to be present in the moment helps when challenging situations arise; we find that we don’t have an emotional knee-jerk reaction but are able to take a moment to mindfully react, so generally we are able to remain calm and act with more compassion.”

CONCLUSION

With its well-rounded approach to slow living, Seeking Slow is an inspiring read with beautiful photos. But it’s also a practical guide to slowing down and not letting the years pass us by.
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This is a beautifully crafted book about slowing life down and taking time for yourself in a world where we seem to be running on empty these days because we never switch off.  Worth reading it
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Love this book! Slow living, slowing down, such a benefit to everyone. To be devoured by lists, activities, commitments....so many of us are in this never-ending wheel. The premises in this book are invaluable in this busy world of ours. It is easy to speed through life, but slowing down is beneficial and relevant to us all.
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Seeking Slow is a lovely book with beautiful photos. It is full of many wonderful tips and ideas to help live a more mindful and meaningful life.
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Wow! I absolutely loved Seeking Slow! I have really been trying to slow my life down, practice mindfulness, and eliminate the sense of being overwhelmed by the everyday life of being a mom to a very busy child. This book gave me the confiidence to keep going on the road to slow living. There are a lot of practices in this book that I was already doing which confirmed for me that I am on the right path. From little things like turning notifications off so that we're not constantly interrupted by social media, to taking time to enjoy the wonders of nature around us. Social media seems to force upon us the need to be busy, as though if we are not constantly doing something then we must be lazy. This is not the case, we need to slow down and enjoy the little moments. Relaxation and even just doing nothing is so good for our mental wellbeing. We need to take time out and just enjoy the moment. It also impresses upon the reader that we all need to be practicing self-compassion. This is something I have struggled with as it feels like we are being self-centred when we take time our for ourselves, but we need to. Just like we are compassionate and understanding with others, we need to do that for ourselves as well. There are so many great ideas and practices within is book to get you started on, or continue your journey to slow living. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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A beautiful book with lovely photos that really encourages you to sit, slow down and take your time browsing its pages. 

Filled with lots of practical tips to help you start leading a more mindful lifestyle and touching on the reasons why this is of benefit to us all. 

In a society where productivity and being busy are seen as signs of success, this book challenges that norm and shows us ways to come back to ourselves.

**Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
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A great book to add to a busy persons book collection. Great for helping with mindfulness and just to "seek slow" in our busy lives.
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I cannot believe how lovely this book is. It’s so genuine and really teaches you to take a step back and look around you to not miss out in life and to learn how to slow down and relax in a world with fast paced expectations. This book taught me to start looking at the world around me and stop trying to do everything at once.
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Are you reflecting on your life being to busy and feeling like you cannot control your day ? This is the perfect book to slow you down and help you reorganize your life. I loved the beautiful photographs and the calming techniques the author offers from meditation to mindfulness, to  resting quietly looking within to looking honestly at your schedule and what takes up your days.  The author discuss openly the psychology of slowing down and the health benefits. Today's society pushes us to exceed our abilities and if you feel that pressure I recommend this book quite highly.  This is a great read for those that utilize self help books and need to recapture control of slowing down our lives to appreciate every quiet moment. 

Thank you with gratitude to the publisher and to Net Galley.. My review opinion is my own. Posted across review platforms.
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A comfortable look at slowing down, about learning to appreciate your life more, about living more in the day-to-day. I learned some stuff and it reinforced some other stuff!
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A beautiful pretty book suggesting ideas for slowing down.

In this frenetic world we tend to multitask and consume constantly.The book suggests tips to relax,practice mindfulness and nurture in nature.
👌🏽👌🏽👌🏽👌🏽
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Like so many of us I feel the need to slow down things in my life.  I'm tired of busyness and this is a great inspiration for making that change.
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Everyone is "busy" these days. That seems to be the fashionable response and is nearly necessary to keep up with the demands of modern life, but most often leaves us feeling stressed, unfulfilled, and like we're unable to keep up. 

Seeking Slow by Melanie Barnes offers an antidote; intentional living. This beautiful book lays out ideas for how to step back from the busy and offers suggestions to incorporate slowness holistically in many facets of life. There are ideas for how to be mindful about consumerism, social media, and technology, but it acknowledges these things as a useful and necessary part of living in the 21st century. The book also discusses how to not mindlessly feed into consumerism or multitasking and encourages noting the difference between important and urgent tasks, practicing self-compassion, and taking time to engage in mindfulness and meditation. 

I love this book, from the gentle manner in which the information is presented to the accompanying pictures and graphics that add to the sense of calm within the pages. I found myself taking notes on many of the topics mentioned here and can see myself referring back to this book regularly as I too am seeking a deeper, more meaningful, and consequently slower way of life. 

This is a great guide for anyone looking to be more connected with themselves and the world at large and who seeks relief from the chaos that comes along with the fast pace of the world today.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Rock Point Publishing for the advance copy.
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I tried with this book but I just couldn’t get along with it, I’m afraid. It is beautifully laid out with lovely images, but I didn’t find anything new or compelling in the text.
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I loved reading Seeking Slow by Melanie Barnes! I felt like I was sitting with a friend and chatting over a cup of tea.  This book is full of practice advice to slow down all areas of your life. I learned about the importance of slowing down and how it will benefit me and my family in the long run.  This is a great book for anyone who is looking to slow down and simplify their life.
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Seeking Slow: Reclaim Moments of Calm in Your Day is a new tutorial and philosophy handbook by Melanie Barnes. Released 24th Sept 2019 by Quarto on their Rock Point imprint, it's 128 pages and available in ebook and paperback formats.

Almost everyone I know has a more or less frenetic life. We race from place to place and overbook our time to the minute. Our society has become one where being a workaholic is a good thing. Most of us are overconsuming and have a throwaway philosophy concerning everything from phones to relationships. This book provides some good arguments for why we can (and should) slow down and take control of our time and recapture calm for psychological and physiological health benefits.

I liked the layout of the book. The introduction (~10% of the content) covers 'what, how, and why' for slow living. The following chapters cover these whats hows and whys in more depth and in specific situations (work, social interaction, prioritizing time use, recapturing time from our schedules and using it wisely, and more). I especially liked the tips for being more aware of how much time electronic devices use up of our days. I think most people have experienced planning to only check their social media quickly to be surprised that an hour (or more) has disappeared.

Tips and techniques are often set into sidebars for focusing readers' attention to the info. The book is generously illustrated with crystal clear illustrative photos and the text is easy to read and accessible. Information is grouped into logical chapters so readers can find and easily access the info they need, a la carte. There are a number of wide-reaching subjects covered here, from meditation to decluttering. The info is presented objectively and well.

Four stars, well written, accessible, sensible, and useful.
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Wishes were granted and I got the opportunity to read this lovely book.
Well laid out, beautiful photography and practical tips and ways to seek slow, be slow and actively change your mindset from busy rules, to slow feels better.

Thank you for the opportunity to read and review.
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Thank you NetGalley for a free copy of this book. 

Seeking Slow is a small book and easily read in one day, but don't let the size fool you. This book is beautifully crafted and provides useful information. It is well organized and I liked that each section had takeaways and main points to focus on. The content provides a lot to think about and the images are stunning.
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A great overview of the "slowness" movement by author Melanie Barnes. Brief essays on topics such as self-compassion, minimalism, and mindfulness offer nothing groundbreaking, but are still a great reminder of their importance. For those new to these topics, this offers a perfect introduction without overwhelming.
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This book came at a time when I really needed to carve out some “me” time in my life. I had just started a full-time job after years of staying at home with my sons and then working only part-time through their early school years. I’m finding that the transition has been exhausting! I am tired just trying to get through  Monday to Friday and running all weekend to play catch up on things I didn’t get done during the week. 

This book offered suggestions for so many areas of life that are beneficial to me, from ideas for self care to some thoughts on decluttering.  There are even suggestions for seasonal living that were a surprise to me, but another area I appreciated that the book covered. I also really liked the authors soothing voice that shines through in her words, and the occasional photos that added to the ideas in the book. 

I really needed this book, and I am very grateful for the suggestions that are improving my life.
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