beginning slow journeys: an introduction

Slow journeys in the same direction is a phrase I have found myself often using to describe my life.  Some people seem to get to where they want to be very quickly, but not me.  In some ways, it’s taken more than twenty years to arrive here.  There have been many countless experiences and challenges along the way,…

1 Take your time, go slow

“If you want your dream to be Build it slowly and surely. Small beginnings, greater ends Heartfelt work grows purely. If you want to live life free Take your time, go slowly. Do few things but do them well Simple joys are holy. Take your time, go slow echoes these words from Donovan Leitch’s “Little Church,”…

2 wandering the world into being

Outside a hostel in Cowgate, Edinburgh, a neon sign clarifies for us: “NOT ALL THOSE WHO WANDER ARE LOST.” For many, wandering is a choice, a way of being able to see more. Wandering finds expression in different forms in many cultures: faith pilgrimages; native Australian songlines; the labyrinth for pilgrims not able to undertake…

3 time for some mindful dawdling

Have you ever been told not to dawdle and to hurry up? We now need to learn how slow down in a hurried world. Doodling derives from the word dawdling, connecting slow images and slow walking. There are many forms of slow walking.  In his book The Lost Art of Walking, Geoff Nicholson introduces his…

4 introducing the protagonists

Every engaging story has one. The protagonist is the person in the story who needs something and will not give up until they have it.  It begins with an instigating moment – usually within the first ten to fifteen minutes of a movie – either our protagonist comes to the realisation that something must change,…

5 we are fearfully and wonderfully made

This is the first doodle I drew for the book.  It’s where I wanted to begin and it’s message is simple. We are a species capable of being amazed and amazing. This is how it is with every child but something takes this away as we grow older. Once upon a time we asked hundreds…

6 into the thin|silence

Our lives are speaking to us all the time. They are telling about what we can do really well and what it is we want to do with our lives to make a difference, somewhere, and the decisions we need to take towards this.  Often these things come to us as whispers.  Almost too quiet…

7 you don’t have to attend to the status quo

The status quo looks after itself.  As long as we’re unquestioning, disinterested and disengaged, or feel helpless to act, nothing changes. In mindfulness, this state is referred to as autopilot, life goes on without us stopping and looking more closely, reflecting, or changing direction.  Theory U refers to it as downloading: we simply hit “repeat”…

8 observe observe observe

In Mindset, Carol Dweck includes a page containing eight portraits arranged in pairs.  The left hand drawing in each of the pairs looks as if it’s been completed by a child, the right hand looks to be drawn by adults with reasonable art skills including proportioned features, and light and shadow. It turns out, though,…

9 and these are a few of my favourite things

Look closely enough and you will spot brown paper packages wrapped up with string, blue satin sashes – as well as bees and their stings, and dogs and their bites.  The Sound of Music is one of my favourite things. I love to watch this film and, with my wife Christine, have been on the…