Did your weekend contain any Slower Pace activities? Or was it just like your week, except maybe minus job responsibilities? And with today’s face paced world and the noose of technology and communications, your weekend might be just a mirage because there are still on call phones, coverage schedules, and time/location shift work arrangements.

No matter what your weekend is — Saturday/Sunday or a non-traditional weekday cluster — it is important that you take time to recharge. While vacations are the big times to recharge and renew yourself, every weekend should be a time for a “mini-vacation” — time you can take for yourself to replenish the energy you spent over the last week. I encourage you to view weekends with that mindset, and not just as an opportunity to work harder for another boss or project.

I struggle with that same mindset so I have been trying to be more deliberate with my weekend activities. I have a couple of “YES” criteria when someone suggests an activity for the weekend. If the activity includes one of the components below, it has a much higher “YES” factor and will more likely make it onto my calendar.

Is the activity:

  • Outside?

  • Electronics free?

  • Family inclusive?

If any of those are “YES”, there is a likelihood I will be doing it.

Below is a snapshot from this weekend’s activity — canoeing. It met 2 1/2 components on that list — yes, I brought along my phone (for emergency purposes) and yes, I did pull it out to snap some pictures like the one below. But the majority of the time it HAD to be in the waterproof storage on the canoe so that worked out nicely.

CanoeingBallooning

If you cannot tell, that object in the sky in the middle of the picture is a hot air balloon that was landing in the field beside us. Five went by us and one was close enough for us to talk to them.

Canoes and hot air balloons — now THAT is A Slower Pace.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

 

One of the slowest forms of cooking food is smoking. It uses low temperatures and wood smoke to turn raw meat into deliciousness. However, it takes time, it takes patience, and it takes skill. Not the kind of things that are in abundance in our microwave culture today. But if you have ever had a great smoked brisket sandwich, a fall-off-the-bone rack of smoked baby back ribs, or a wonderful piece of smoked salmon, you already know the tasty rewards of waiting for this method of cooking.

BBQsmokerLast week I was able to finally inaugurate the smoker I have been building in the back yard. It is a part of a larger smoker – wood fired pizza oven – BBQ grill project I have been working on for quite a while. The baby back ribs smothered with my Dad’s and brother-in-law’s dry rub were a hit and will be replicated again soon.

I look forward to putting this smoker to use and really enjoying the all day smoking process, especially this summer while the weather is nice. Drop me a note and let me know if you are pursuing similar cooking escapades.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Patriotic9

I missed my Monday post because I was coming off from serving a youth ministry weekend. And I went right into a week of vacation where my folks were visiting from out of state and preparing for our 4th of July celebration — Thunder Over Finchville.

In an effort to keep with my intent on posting Mon, Wed, Fri, I am sharing the beautiful sunset that washed across the sky this evening after a summer storm rolled through.

KYsunset2014-07-02…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Last week, the practice of stillness came up as a topic. While I have not integrated it into my every day routine, I have been able to stop several times since that post and just be still. Today I am sharing a pic of one of my favorite locations — for prayer, for thinking, and for just being still.

stillnessplace

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

 

 

Today is my son’s birthday. As a family, we are excited to celebrate it. Birthdays, like anniversaries and celebratory dates, are important because they are milestones in our path of life. They are natural spots that allow us to pause and reflect back on certain aspects of our journey. Think of them as “lookout points” on your Slower Pace hiking trail where you should pause, reflect, and look back upon your hike.

Soak in the view.

Catch your breath.

Realize how far you have come.

Enjoy your accomplishments.

lookoutpoint2

 

Why is it that during an actual hike we take advantage of these physical lookout points and scenic spots, but we don’t do the same in our hurried lives?

I encourage you to take a look at your calendar, identify the next milestone in your life, and make plans to pause, reflect, and enjoy the view.

And for my son — Happy Birthday, D! I love you!

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

With summer now officially here, it might be good to take advantage of the season and warmer weather and identify some Slower Pace activities for enjoyment and fulfillment. Below are some from my list:

  • buy some Bomb Pops (red, white, and blue popsicles) for the freezer to pull out on a really hot day
  • sit by the pool under the umbrella with a good book
  • take the kids to get some ice cream
  • take a walk outside right after a summer rainstorm
  • sit on the porch and watch the lightning bugs
  • get up early in the morning and just listen to the birds and watch the sun rise
  • take the family to a baseball game
  • lie on one of my wife’s quilts on a clear night and watch the stars

I’m sure y’all have some of your own. Please add them below in your comments.

What’s on your Slower Pace bucket list this summer?

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

KYsunset2014-06-20

Tomorrow is the first official day of summer. Spring sure left us with a beautiful sunset to say goodbye.

It was a nice Slower Pace evening outside  with the family after a thunderstorm.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

On my drive home last night I listened to a very informative podcast (putting into practice one of my Slower Pace principles of dual use-ing time — to be discussed later in another post). This was a podcast by Michael Hyatt on stillness. He was promoting the practice of stillness — the act of just being still. Not praying, not contemplating, not meditating — just being still.

I know what you are thinking — because I was thinking the some of the same things.

  • I don’t have time for that.
  • That is not productive.
  • I can’t find a location or time of day where I won’t be interrupted.
  • I can’t sit still for more than a few minutes.

But as Michael continued promoting the practice, also admitting he was still a beginner, I was taken back to some times where I had unintentionally engaged in the art of stillness, interestingly most often on vacation. I can remember a time last October sitting on the beach just mesmerized by the waves, the salt air, and the sound of the surf. Another time was at a local camp sitting by the pond, tossing in pebbles, and watching the ripples enlarge outward. Surely you can imagine a time or two when you engaged in the same act of stillness.

Unfortunately for most of us, it is not frequent enough for us to #1) get good at it and #2) realize its full potential.

Over the next week, I want to challenge each of you to engage in the act of stillness for 10 minutes a day. I will do the same and loop back in a blog post. It is my hope that it can be used as another tool in our Slower Pace toolbox.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

 

P.S. – here is the link to Michael Hyatt’s blogpost and podcast — http://michaelhyatt.com/098-how-to-regain-interior-margin-through-the-practice-of-stillness-podcast.html

Back2Nature

This is right in line with one of my top 7 ways to lead A Slower Pace life. Drop me an email — Dan at aslowerpace.net — to get the entire FREE list of great suggestions to slow the pace of your life.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net