simplicity book

Slow Living Series (Part 2)

How slow living has helped my family.

Slow Living with kids

Moments. 

Our whole life is compiled of moments.

And, the most precious moments are made with the ones we love. 

But, what if we aren't present during those important moments. What if we were distracted? Stressed? What if our life passed by and it's too late before we realized that we don't get a do-over. What if we blinked and our children were adults and we missed the extra snuggles and light lisp of their toddler voice? What if our significant others felt unloved or unimportant because we didn't take the time to just sit and listen and BE?

Most of my favorite memories are simple moments. The ones where I felt truly connected to another human being.  And my favorite human beings are my family.

When I embraced Simplicity and slow living I found myself savoring these moments so much more. I made my family a priority and I vowed to honor them by being present. What do our children want most out of life? To feel loved. What do our children need the most? Time with us. How do we strengthen our relationships with the person we love? By showing them we care by being present.

Yes, life has demands such as jobs and errands. That said, how much of what we do can be eliminated? Saying yes to too much, trying to please others can inadvertently dishonor our priorities. 

My mindset shift evolved slowly. I started doing LESS. Saying no more. Stopped the frenzy to keep up with the Joneses. I was driven to pursue my books but no longer desperate to out earn or out succeed the competition. I did things on my own time.

Instead I sat and watched. I put down my phone. I let the dishes sit in the sink and enjoyed my kids. I had long, leisurely dinners with my husband. I have days where we have absolutely no commitments and we do what we want. And sometimes that's nothing! What has it done for my family? Well, my kids are HAPPY, truly happy and tell me all the time. My husband and I have been together for 10 years and are stronger than ever. We aren't perfect of course, but our relationship is solid. 

At the beginning, living in the moment can be stressful. You may want to check your phone, you may worry about missing out (FOMO), you may worry if you are doing "enough". You are. Honoring your family priority.

I get that the idea sounds good in theory but may seem impossible. Start slow like I did! Take a few things off your calendar. Politely decline. Cancel if you have to. Put an alarm on your phone that says family time each evening. Pretend your on vacation and have no worries in the world and sit and look at your significant other and listen to their day. The laundry can wait. Better yet, delegate work if you can. 

Unhurried time with family is the BEST time. 

I strive to be an available member of this family. Here with them, present in the moment. I never want the people I love to think the phone, computer, self imposed deadlines, activities, or housework is more important than them. Nothing else matters.

Happy Slow Living!
Gretchen

Read more about slow living here: Slow Living Series Part 1

To delve deeper into embracing a Simple lifestyle and WHY, order my book Simplicity

Maximizing Your Day

gretchen stewart maximize your day

Yesterday I was invited to speak on a Maximizing Your Day Panel with Erica Castner of thequeenofresults.com. It was a great local event in Ft Myers, FL with powerful women business leaders in the community. I was honored to be on the panel with these incredible women.

Since it was a private event, I'm sharing below a snippet of my answers.

  1. How do you have the energy for so many projects?
    I put my health first. After a long illness and battling debilitating fatigue I learned that I had to put my oxygen mask on first. I sleep 8-9 hours a night, eat healthy, take my supplements, rest when I need to and say no to things that sap my energy.

  2. Where do you find the confidence to do what you love?
    Once I simplified all aspects of my life, I was able to see things clearer. I have a book coming out this fall called Simplicity which dives deep into this but to summarize: eliminating other people's opinions and expectations is one way I grew confident. I stopped revolving my life about perceived societal expectations. The less I consumed other opinions and quieted my mind, I gained clarity and perspective. The fear of being 100% authentically me dissipated. I started living life on my own terms.

  3. How do you choose your power team?
    Two ways. After embracing Simplicity I was able to cull the people in my life that were energy suckers, rubbed me the wrong way or had too much negativity. I carry that over in business as well. Also, I took a test called Wealth Dynamics which was one of the most insightful personality tests I've taken. It shows where you are on the spectrum and what to look for when picking a team to grow your business. I'm a Creator and I need detail oriented people, deal makers/negotiators, networkers to help grow my business. If I put too much energy into the things I'm not strong at, I get burned out. We all do. It's about balance and finding the people that compliment your weaknesses because we can't do it all

  4. How do you have the TIME for all of your projects?
    I take baby steps every day. I intend to grow my businesses but also enjoy my life. I put my health, family and creativity time over anything else. Each day I take some quality, uninterrupted focus time on one project. Multitasking saps our creativity and lowers our IQ. Short bursts of intense focus then I let it go. I do not burn the midnight oil. I do not lose quality sleep. I just chip away. Some things I move fast when I'm on a creative run and other times I slow down if I need to. I'm no longer in competition with anyone else. I'm only driven by my creativity (Simplicity mindset I talk about in my book) and passion so my projects have become FUN.

  5. How do you take action on your ideas? Once I know I have an amazing idea, I just move forward before I have all the answers. I let myself be a little ignorant because over research is paralyzing. One day I called my lawyer and told her I wanted to form a publishing company. I did it before I had my business plan. A few weeks ago I called her and told her I wanted to form a nonprofit. I just do it. And then I slowly chip away at the details, I get people on board to help me. Don't think, just do. Have you read the War Of Art? It's about taking ACTION. The most successful people in life aren't necessarily the smartest or most organized...they are the ones that take action then tweak, adjust, learn and perfect.

Gretchen Stewart Panelist

Gretchen Stewart

Was this helpful? Please reach out to me for any questions, concerns or comments. What has helped you maximize your day??


With love, Gretchen