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Slow the Fuck Down, People!

Be Here Now in scrabble letters.

How would your life be different if you made one minor adjustment?

You slowed down.

I mean, really.

Slowed the fuck down.

Joined the slow movement.

Let’s face it. We live in a culture that promises satisfaction by hurrying. The faster we go, the harder we work, the more we accomplish, the happier we’ll be. This message is all pervading. It’s embedded in our psyches like a virus gone rogue. We’re guaranteed that the cure for our dissatisfaction is found in acquiring more money, more stuff, more power, more wealth, more friends, more meds, more exercise, more youth, more you fill in the blank.

What’s your more?

And what would happen if you stopped believing that something outside of yourself will bring you to the fulfillment of your deepest longing?

Be honest. What is your deepest longing?

From Wikipedia: “The slow movement advocates a cultural shift toward slowing down life’s pace. It began with Carlo Petrini’s protest against the opening of a McDonald’s restaurant in Piazza di Spagna, Rome, in 1986 that sparked the creation of the slow food movement. Over time, this developed into a subculture in other areas. The ‘slow’ epithet has subsequently been applied to a variety of activities and aspects of culture.”

The slow movement is not about moving at a snail’s pace. It’s about taking the time to examine our relationship with pretty much everything.

Through fundamentally revaluing quality over quantity and engaging life at the right pace, a transformational shift is possible. When it comes to eating, slow food folks reclaim an intimate relationship with the land and her resources, our rich culinary ancestry, our interdependent farming communities, and the health of our physical bodies. Proponents take into consideration the way we harvest and farm our food, the methods we employ to prepare our meals, the manner in which we serve a meal, and the quality of our gathering as we share in the beauty and the nourishment. In the slow food movement there’s not a move backwards to, for example, horse plowed fields or hunting and gathering — though some may choose these. Rather, there is a thoughtful inquiry into which farming advancements and technology will support a quality of life within all the aspects outlined above.

If we can successfully slow down regarding food and completely reorient our relationship to that which keeps us alive, what if we were to do the same with spirituality or that which gave us life in the first place?

Selfistry is a bold attempt to approach spirituality in this vein. Reframing religion in more modern and simple terms is not a task I came to readily. As a disciplined spiritual practitioner, sincere and learned contemplative philosopher, and heartful ponderer on the meaning and purpose of life, I searched for a suitable platform that would carry me into a quality rich spiritual lifestyle and hold me in good stead. I didn’t find a satisfactory framework, teacher, or community.

Just as the food industry in modern culture has stripped our bodies of vital nutrients and a connection to the earth, for many, the existent forms of modern religion have done the same to our souls.

Selfistry’s philosophy doesn’t advocate disregarding or obliterating tradition, ritual, or established religions, any more than slow food supports the destruction of tractors or greenhouses. Selfistry encourages each individual, with their unique life circumstances and dispositions, to engage in a thoughtful inquiry into the nature of their existence.

How does Selfistry do this?

First, we slow down.

We take stock right where we are.

We start by being ruthlessly honest about which values presently run our lives. We commit to individually and collectively examining our intentions, beliefs, and actions in order to unearth and investigate the internal governing forces guiding our choices and decisions.

Slow spirituality can be viewed as a form of artistry of the spirit or soul, striving towards mastery. Rather than a specific method or prescribed belief system, Selfistry is a lifestyle. It is a way. A way of becoming and belonging.

Some things take time.

Becoming a mature human seems to be one of them.

When we begin to engage in a slow spirituality, we open the pathways to genuine inspiration and insight. We begin to find our way into an authentic engagement with the questions of life’s meaning and purpose, thus cultivating a true appreciation and enjoyment of being human. This can happen because we now are actually awake to the journey and not following some rote pattern.

Just as the slow food movement attends to every detail of an edible life, the slow spirituality movement tends to the depth and breadth of a truly devout life. It’s not that we attend a few meditation retreats or read books on mindfulness and we are good to go. That’s not the point. The point is to slow down and enjoy the journey, to be present in this moment while staying connected to the inherent mystery of all that is.

And really, folks, it’s not that difficult to do.

Just slow the fuck down.

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