There is a school of thought that bigger, faster, newer is inherently better. This way of thinking overtook us in the mid to late 20th century and has become a factor in just about every aspect of life. We don’t even realize how this mindset influences us most of the time. What if we slowed things down a bit? What if we stopped feeling the need for the newest of everything? How would life change if we adopted a Slow Life approach?
I make a hot breakfast every weekday morning for my two teenaged boys. Sending them off to school with fuel for their bodies and brains is important to me as is eating natural and fresh foods. One of my sons likes steel cut oatmeal. If you are an oatmeal aficionado, then you know this is a time-intensive food to prepare. Trader Joe’s, a well-known mid-size national chain of whole food markets, sells a quick version of steel cut oats which only takes five minutes to cook versus the twenty or so minutes for traditional steel cut oats. Faster. Definitely a plus for early weekday mornings when getting three people started for the day can be hectic.
However, recently when I was grocery shopping the quick steel cut oats weren’t in stock and I decided to try the traditional version instead. I made sure it was one of the first things I got going that morning so there would be enough time to cook and eat it and was surprised to find that actually, it didn’t require that much extra effort. After getting the boys off for the day, I sat down with my bowl of oatmeal and, as I ate, I noticed a depth to the flavor and better consistency than I had tasted in the quick version.
And this got me to thinking.
My mental wanderings went from breakfast food to life in general. We are bombarded daily with messages from the marketplace and our culture that bigger, faster and newer are the better options. If we get something bigger, we’ll have more. If we do something faster, we’ll do more. If we have whatever is newer, we’ll be more. More, more, more.
In my quest for convenience and saving time, I was missing out on a better quality of oatmeal. And, ultimately, the slower, traditional oats really hadn’t “cost” me that much extra time. I certainly hadn’t needed to get up any earlier; I just needed to reorganize my time a bit. What else was I missing in my life by pursuing bigger, faster, newer? I began to see the subtle ways in which I had allowed this way of life to overtake me. It’s everywhere! We don’t realize how our lives have been invaded by this unstainable way of living. I decided to look for ways I could “slow things down a bit” in my life.
The 7 Graces of Marketing teaches us that ‘more’ is not sustainable. It’s not sustainable in the marketplace or on the planet. But even more, it’s not sustainable emotionally and spiritually.
What is the alternative? Less? Less feels like SCARCITY (one of the ‘7 Deadly Sins’ of marketing in 7 Graces model). It triggers our fears of lack, poverty of pocketbook and of our needs not being met. Ick. This either/or polarized thinking gives us two unpalatable options – ‘bigger, faster, newer’ or ‘less’.
There is a third way: the middle way of “enough”.
In 1986, in Italy, a grass roots movement began called Slow Food. Its purpose was, and is, to counter the rise of fast food and fast life. It came from a concern about the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how their food choices affect the rest of the world. Since then, it has become a worldwide organization and movement, connecting people with the food they eat and the company they keep when they eat it, inspiring locally grown food initiatives around the world, inviting people to experience the abundance of food choices that are available, and creating collaborative ventures in the marketplace and amongst growers and consumers to build sustainability as well as appreciation of the richness in regional food traditions.
Slow Food is about the practice of “enough”.
Just as Slow Food has been a pioneer in reconnecting us with the land and food we need to sustain us physically, Slow Life can be the means to reconnect us with the rhythm and flow of life that we need to sustain us emotionally and spiritually.
What does this have to do with the 7 Graces and with marketing? Everything. How we practice our livelihoods, design and grow our businesses, and engage in sustainable marketing that nurtures those livelihoods and businesses is the same way we nurture and grow our lives. The 7 Graces of Marketing are the 7 Graces of Slow Life.
Connection. Inspiration. Invitation. Directness. Transparency. Abundance. Collaboration.
When we take our eyes off the shiny baubles being dangled before us in the unsustainable marketplaces of commerce, developing technology and globalization practices and, instead, embrace a more deliberate, thoughtful, experience-the-process approach to our lives, we make space for the 7 Graces to inform our lives and not just our businesses.
I leave you with these questions and invite you to spend some time with them. One of the ways to begin to practice the Slow Life is to live with the questions instead of rushing towards the answers.
What if I stopped looking for the shortest, fastest way to finish whatever I’m doing?
Who would I be if I weren’t this person who is hurtling through time and space each day? What would I see? What would I feel, taste, touch?
Ethical marketing with the 7 Graces can be a bold and daring adventure, forging ahead into new paradigms. Ethical living can be the same bold and daring adventure. I’ll look for you along the way.
Please leave your comments below and let us know how you intend to begin to practice Slow Life with the 7 Graces.
26th February 2014
PAULA TARRANT is a certified spiritual life coach and licensed Profit from Your Passion Coach who specializes in helping women who seek to live and work with more creativity and authenticity. She is known for her signature blend of spiritual, practical and creative principles that provide the framework for moving beyond self-doubt and fear and designing, instead, a life and livelihood that’s built around your natural gifts and passions. She is a graduate of the 7 Graces Foundations of Ethical Marketing course, and is currently on the 7 Graces Applications of Ethical Marketing certification programme.
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Find out more about how changing the paradigm can help make the world a better place:
The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sell, by Lynn Serafinn, where you can learn how the 7 Deadly Sins and the 7 Graces impact the world through media and marketing. Brit Writers Awards Finalist eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian & Ecological Social Issues
Tweep-e-licious: 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically by Lynn Serafinn, which can help you learn how to create meaningful collaborations through Twitter and other social media. eLit Book Awards Bronze Medal in Business and Sales.
Get instant access to a free 90-minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com
The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Successful Blogging: An Effective, Creative & Ethical Way of Marketing for Visionaries & New Paradigm Business Leaders. To receive an update when that book is available, just click here. As a thank-you gift for showing your interest, you’ll get instant access to an exclusive, free 5-page PDF revealing the exact same blogging template we use with our clients and we teach to participants on the ethical marketing training courses at the 7 Graces Project.
LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She also received the eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs, as well as the Bronze Medal in Business and Sales. Lynn’s eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors.
Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project CIC, a not-for-profit social enterprise created to train, support, mentor and inspire independent business owners to market their business ethically, serve society and planet, and restore all that is best about humanity.
(not just for Londoners, as we meet also on Skype)