YOUR STORY: It's a great time of year to spend the day preparing and slow-cooking a melt-in-the-mouth beef casserole. And then to enjoy the delicious comfort food over a long, slow meal with family and friends.
That's "slow food," right?
Well, no, not really. The Slow Food movement is not so much about slowly cooked and eaten food, as it is about linking the pleasure of eating well with a commitment to local communities who produce food in a sustainable way and without exploiting people or the environment. This is a progressive step, driven by a desire to be more responsible consumers.
Slow Food is just one of many groups that comprise the Slow Movement, a cultural revolution that advocates a shift toward slowing down life's pace to allow time to re-evaluate current practices, consider local and global ramifications, take personal responsibility and make connections with people. These are aims and activities not always done at such a slow pace!
There is Slow Education, Slow Gardening, Slow Media, Slow Travel, Slow Parenting, Slow Ageing, Slow Church, Slow Counselling, Slow Fashion, Slow Goods, Slow Science, Slow Technology and Slow Medicine. And that's just a sample.
These groups challenge the status quo. And it seems they are having a positive impact.
Could their stance help to bring a new awareness that good isn't necessarily a finite resource but can be made available for everyone, as we seek more meaningful outcomes?
This is what I have found in my own experience. And I have learned that there's no real progress in any field unless it leads thought in a more thoughtful, spiritual direction. In relation to healthy ageing, for instance, the importance of spirituality, joyous pursuits and beautiful surroundings are gaining acknowledgement as being integral to health throughout our lives.
"Every step of progress is step more spiritual," writes the discoverer of scientific Christianity, Mary Baker Eddy. And she is not alone in thinking that.
Dr Michael Finkelstein, in his 2015 book about integrative - or "Slow" - medicine wrote about our need for a model of healing where the objective is not to end a particular symptom, but to modify the entire mental, emotional, psycho-spiritual, and social system. He found, like Eddy had before him, that when he added the metaphysical or spiritual aspect of health to his treatment, it helped his patients in ways he'd never imagined. He found that thought, or consciousness, had to change first to affect healing.
That makes sense to me. Increasingly valuing intelligent decision-making over thoughtless reactions lead us from a restricted, lowly, self-centred universe to one of unlimited, more loving, possibilities.
Here's a few ways you can prove the health benefits of "Slow:"
"THE TIME FOR THINKERS HAS COME" (Mary Baker Eddy)
I've found that becoming conscious of the spiritual idea of universal goodness and divine Love can rest me more than hours of extra sleep, and relaxes me more than time in front of the TV. And it can be healing! Last week, dwelling on these prayerful thoughts coincided with the sudden cessation of a cold that had been hanging around for a while.
When we feel connected to our neighbour - whether at the football stadium, in traffic or even watching parliament - we also feel a sense of wholeness. Jesus implied that our connectedness with others is inseparable from our connection to a universal source - divine Life, Truth and Love - and so cherishing that divine connection can lead us to right connections with others.
As if to acknowledge the new model of medicine evolving, on July 7 the renowned medical publication, the Lancet, launched a series of articles on the relationship of faith and spirituality to health for the very first time in history. Over many years I have consistently found that faith which leads to spiritual understanding has helped me take better care of my wellbeing.
By slowing down our lives in this way, we can emerge gently from the limited view of health as purely physical, to a better view of ourselves and our universe as spiritual and essentially good. You can become the boss of your health!
A milestone for me, while still a young woman, was the healing of destructive criticism of myself and others that had kept me downbeat for many years. "…when your eye (your conscience) is sound and fulfilling its office, your whole body is full of light;" Jesus said. (Luke 11:34)
The "Slow" revolution encourages us to do "everything as well as possible, instead of as fast as possible". That's sound advice. As we take some "slow" time to more thoughtfully and spiritually weigh our actions we'll surely find a healthier, happier planet emerging into view.
My own spiritual practice of Christian Science has helped me so much, I'm curious to see how the elements involved are being recognised and implemented in society www.health4thinkers.com