• five questions with melanie barnes

author of book Seeking Slow and blog Geoffery and Grace

 

 

What would happen if we lived our lives at a slower pace? If we occasionally paused for a thought? If we simplified our lifestyles, and created space for moments of stillness?
 
Author and blogger Melanie Barnes has answered these questions in her new beautifully illustrated book, Seeking Slow. 
 
We’ve followed her Instagram account @GeofferyandGrace for years, and called upon her a few times to create some beautiful content for us. When we saw that she was launching a book on the topic of slow living, something that’s very close to our hearts, we got in touch to ask her a few questions on her recent launch.



 

 

 

QUESTION ONE What made you decide to share your story and thoughts in Seeking Slow? 

Prioritising my well-being and listening to my body has always come quite naturally to me — I’ve been writing about slow and simple living on my blog and Instagram page, Geoffrey and Grace, for several years now. 

However, I realised that not everyone approaches life this way. Through sharing our experiences with slow living I can encourage others to slow down, feel better and get more joy from life.

 


QUESTION TWO
For people seeking a slow lifestyle, what’s the first, easiest step you recommend (apart from buying your book)? 

Set some time aside to think about what you already do in your week that helps you feel calm and breathe a little deeper. It might be listening to music, or taking a bath, going for a walk, baking, or another hobby you wish you had more time to do. 

Whatever these activities are you need to be able to identify them as your ‘slow moments’ and then make sure you sprinkle them throughout your week. That way, each day, you have a little pocket of calm and restorative time just for you. 

This time is essential for our wellbeing and sometimes there needs to be quite a big mental adjustment to make sure we prioritise our self-care in this way.




 

 

QUESTION THREE One of our favourite quotes in your book is “the art of living slow is not how much free time you have, but how intentional you are with that time”. Do you believe that with a little bit of time management everyone has the ability to carve out some time for themselves? 

Absolutely, I wholeheartedly believe that by being more intentional with our time anyone can feel the benefit of slow living. By adopting this approach and making the most of our time we can make sure we focus our energy on the meaningful things in our lives. 

There can be many misconceptions about who slow living is suitable for and whether it’s a realistic lifestyle, but whether you are retired, or a working mum, it’s possible to take the aspects of Seeking Slow  that work for you, and adapt them to help you get more moments of calm in your day.



 

 

QUESTION FOUR You’ve got a successful Instagram account with over 37k followers. How do you stay engaged with your followers and build a community while on a digital detox? 

This is a tricky one to balance. You can’t build an online community whilst on a complete digital detox. There have been times when I have taken a long break because that is what has been needed for my mental or physical well-being, and as a consequence I haven’t been able to engage and grow my community as quickly. 

However, sometimes it’s been necessary to be gentle with myself and prioritise my well-being above all other things. I think if we can regularly take little digital breaks and set clear boundaries with our social networks, then this is a great place to start.

For example I have notifications switched off for everything, that way they can’t distract me. I also have whole days every week where I hardly pick up my phone. For me, to authentically live slowly these boundaries are key. 




 


QUESTION FIVE
We are trying to help people enjoy a slow Christmas this year - where they spend more time with family and friends, and less time worrying about shopping and making everything perfect. What are some ways you will be enjoying a slow Christmas? 

Lots of family days without planning much so we have time to do what we feel like. There will be lots of walks, then coming home and warming up by sitting in front of the fire, playing board games, reading books, and a bit of Christmas crafting, whilst listening to Christmas albums. 

Hopefully lots of good food and long family lunches, and finally, one of my favourite things to do at Christmas is to snooze on the sofa in front of an old film, whilst the fire crackles away. 


enter Melanie's competition for your chance to win a copy of Seeking Slow 



 

 









5 bonus quickfire questions 

1. favourite relaxation app? insight timer.

2. What do you prefer writing - letters or postcards? letters.

3. Best type of person to gift Seeking Slow to? Anyone really, as slow living is suitable for everyone and we can all benefit from slowing down. However, we all have those friends who seem to rush around and need to make more time for themselves - it would be a perfect read for them.

4. The best thing about winter is… Sitting in front of an open fire and long winter walks.

5. What will be on the top of your tree this year? We didn’t actually put anything on the top of our tree last year and we have been on the look out for something. I found a hanging star this year and am hoping I can craftily attach that to the top.







 

 

 

 

 



 

 

five questions with melanie barnes

author of book Seeking Slow and blog Geoffery and Grace

 

 

What would happen if we lived our lives at a slower pace? If we occasionally paused for a thought? If we simplified our lifestyles, and created space for moments of stillness?
 
Author and blogger Melanie Barnes has answered these questions in her new beautifully illustrated book, Seeking Slow. 
 
We’ve followed her Instagram account @GeofferyandGrace for years, and called upon her a few times to create some beautiful content for us. When we saw that she was launching a book on the topic of slow living, something that’s very close to our hearts, we got in touch to ask her a few questions on her recent launch.



 

 

 

QUESTION ONE What made you decide to share your story and thoughts in Seeking Slow? 

Prioritising my well-being and listening to my body has always come quite naturally to me — I’ve been writing about slow and simple living on my blog and Instagram page, Geoffrey and Grace, for several years now. 

However, I realised that not everyone approaches life this way. Through sharing our experiences with slow living I can encourage others to slow down, feel better and get more joy from life.

 


QUESTION TWO
For people seeking a slow lifestyle, what’s the first, easiest step you recommend (apart from buying your book)? 

Set some time aside to think about what you already do in your week that helps you feel calm and breathe a little deeper. It might be listening to music, or taking a bath, going for a walk, baking, or another hobby you wish you had more time to do. 

Whatever these activities are you need to be able to identify them as your ‘slow moments’ and then make sure you sprinkle them throughout your week. That way, each day, you have a little pocket of calm and restorative time just for you. 

This time is essential for our wellbeing and sometimes there needs to be quite a big mental adjustment to make sure we prioritise our self-care in this way.




 

 

QUESTION THREE One of our favourite quotes in your book is “the art of living slow is not how much free time you have, but how intentional you are with that time”. Do you believe that with a little bit of time management everyone has the ability to carve out some time for themselves? 

Absolutely, I wholeheartedly believe that by being more intentional with our time anyone can feel the benefit of slow living. By adopting this approach and making the most of our time we can make sure we focus our energy on the meaningful things in our lives. 

There can be many misconceptions about who slow living is suitable for and whether it’s a realistic lifestyle, but whether you are retired, or a working mum, it’s possible to take the aspects of Seeking Slow  that work for you, and adapt them to help you get more moments of calm in your day.



 

 

QUESTION FOUR You’ve got a successful Instagram account with over 37k followers. How do you stay engaged with your followers and build a community while on a digital detox? 

This is a tricky one to balance. You can’t build an online community whilst on a complete digital detox. There have been times when I have taken a long break because that is what has been needed for my mental or physical well-being, and as a consequence I haven’t been able to engage and grow my community as quickly. 

However, sometimes it’s been necessary to be gentle with myself and prioritise my well-being above all other things. I think if we can regularly take little digital breaks and set clear boundaries with our social networks, then this is a great place to start.

For example I have notifications switched off for everything, that way they can’t distract me. I also have whole days every week where I hardly pick up my phone. For me, to authentically live slowly these boundaries are key. 




 


QUESTION FIVE
We are trying to help people enjoy a slow Christmas this year - where they spend more time with family and friends, and less time worrying about shopping and making everything perfect. What are some ways you will be enjoying a slow Christmas? 

Lots of family days without planning much so we have time to do what we feel like. There will be lots of walks, then coming home and warming up by sitting in front of the fire, playing board games, reading books, and a bit of Christmas crafting, whilst listening to Christmas albums. 

Hopefully lots of good food and long family lunches, and finally, one of my favourite things to do at Christmas is to snooze on the sofa in front of an old film, whilst the fire crackles away. 


enter Melanie's competition for your chance to win a copy of Seeking Slow 



 

 









5 bonus quickfire questions 

1. favourite relaxation app? insight timer.

2. What do you prefer writing - letters or postcards? letters.

3. Best type of person to gift Seeking Slow to? Anyone really, as slow living is suitable for everyone and we can all benefit from slowing down. However, we all have those friends who seem to rush around and need to make more time for themselves - it would be a perfect read for them.

4. The best thing about winter is… Sitting in front of an open fire and long winter walks.

5. What will be on the top of your tree this year? We didn’t actually put anything on the top of our tree last year and we have been on the look out for something. I found a hanging star this year and am hoping I can craftily attach that to the top.







 

 

 

 

 



 

 

  • Author avatar
    Candace Hill