The lost art of slow is a theme I’ve been thinking about exploring and bringing into light for awhile. The inspiration for this post came to me from a few sources but also because I began to realize a few ways in which I incorporate slow living into my lifestyle and ways in which I wanted to evoke it even more.
To me, slow living means giving appreciation to old traditions, customs, ways of life. Bathing with bar soap versus body wash, letter writing through cursive writing, having your clothes made for you or taking the time to properly care for and wash your garments, cooking with locally sourced products and getting to know the farmers. There are many ways one could do this and I will begin to explore them through this practice where we will also become a little more conscious of the items, energies and stories we bring into our lives. For this installment I want to start bold, Year of the Fire Rooster is running through my veins so let’s dive into the more sensual ways we can evoke the lost art of slow.
Soap is actually where the inspiration for this post came from. My love affair with bar soap began through cleansing during my routine marathon baths. I began keeping a collection of soaps in a large apothecary jar which looked beautiful on display but also began to tell a story. I would pick up soaps from different makers and in my travels, when friends traveled I would ask them to bring me soap from their adventures. I’ve had soaps from Canada, USA, Chile, Portugal, Germany, Egypt, UAE, Lebanon and Kenya. And picking out which new soap to use from my jar is always an appreciative moment for me as I contemplate which to use next. It was through using a new bar soap of nectarine scent from Chile that I realized my deep appreciation for the craft of soap making and how body wash has unfortunately become more popular as we rush through our lives. Comparing something from a bottle versus something you can hold in your hand is quite powerful for me and I deeply appreciate the history and craft of soap making. I would hate for it to become a thing of the past.
For my soap brands, I don’t necessarily have a favourite as I have enjoyed brands from all over the world though one that particularly comes to mind is Filthy Farmgirl from Maui. The names of their soaps are catchy and risqué but once you open the package, their scents are strong, I have enjoyed Rose Butter scent the most. I always look for this brand when I’m in Hawaii. I also loved the soap company Product of Science and Art which I originally found at my farmers market before the creator moved away. They know their stuff when it comes to soap making, perfecting both the science behind the ingredients and formulations that it felt like I was in the presence of distinguished scholars.
Another source of inspiration for this post came from the words and photos that I often find myself lost in from Libertine Fragrance which creates unisex scents. I’ve been into the art of perfumery first from My Daughter Fragrance and now from Libertine, both happen to be made in my city on the prairies of western Canada. The perfumes we buy at the department store are so chemically induced and mass produced that they are in the foldouts of every magazine. That is not the sensuality or the emotions I want to evoke in what I put on my skin or the inspiration that I want to bring into my life. I want to know that someone studied each and every scent mixed in and did so with my good intentions in mind and even if we’re strangers I want the product to be sold to me like it was made exclusively for me. When I wear the product, I want to stop people in their tracks – which has happened to me before and always made me feel like a mystical being, that’s what perfume should be.
Through the discovery of slow, what has also transpired for me has been the art of ensuring our undergarments receive the same care and attention as what we put over them. Even if we don’t necessarily show our undergarments, we must ensure that all areas of our dressing are well taken care of. You can’t have one without the other. These are the littlest pieces, the most delicate of fabrics that make the most difference and perhaps lace and silk are the most powerful of fabrics after all. This applies to men as well as women, our under dressings cross all borders, when you begin to care about them, they change your whole aura – you feel better, your clothes fit better. I also recommend going through your current collection regularly, letting go of anything that is warn out, torn or from our past selves – these fabrics actually hold a lot of energy and you instantly feel a cleansing release when you let them go. This practice also allows you more freedom to go shopping for new undergarments which sometimes can be a rare practice but much needed when we do it.
Lately, I’ve been into discovering some smaller, locally sourced, ethically and eco friendly lingerie companies such as Year of the Ram, Sokoloff Lingerie and Mary Young or curator Azura Bay. Like everything else we cultivate through the art of slow, nothing is more conflicting than mass factory produced lingerie from big name companies. Plus, I like how in the marketing of smaller brands, they don’t use models of one standard size. Embracing the beauty of all our body types exactly as they are.
Keeping soap, perfumery and undergarments in mind, there are still many more ways we can bring the art of slow into our lives. The world is a busy place but if we take a moment to stop, appreciate and cultivate the little things, our lives will be much grander for it. How do you evoke the art of slow?