Valeria Hinojosa, a private banker turned eco-conscious creator, shares her insights about cultivating mindfulness and slow living in everyday life. Moving slowly is an act of rebellion in today’s rapid society. And for those who are climbing the corporate ladder or building businesses, it’s important to find simple ways to find mind-body-soul connections.
The world we live in seems to constantly remind us of the need to rush, grow fast, compete with each other, and earn more. This noise and culture make slow living seem so distant, especially as an entrepreneur, and even more so as a woman.
I experienced the hustle mentality as a private banker, a conscious content creator (once I quit banking), and even as a small eco-entrepreneur. I left the financial industry to create a life aligned with my passions, and to be able to have my own schedule. However, I found myself working around the clock, putting my mental and physical health on the back burner.
This exhausting routine made me lose my curiosity, enthusiasm, and desire to learn new things while pushing me to choose convenience and comfort. Ordering food instead of cooking, buying products online instead of visiting a small business, or trying to make the things I needed, became part of my life because they were quick and easy.
Something society fails to share with us is that this fast-paced and stressful routine, if not combined with at least an inch of mindfulness, has the power to exhaust our nervous system, take a toll on our immune system, and leave the door open for physical aches and diseases. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened to me and why I decided to redesign my life once again and walk towards slow living.
It’s been just over a year since I gave myself permission to go at a rhythm completely different from the rest of the world. 371 days since I began looking at life with softer eyes and using gratitude as my daily fuel. Many things have changed with it.
Let’s start with the basics. What is “slow living” exactly?
- It means choosing your own rhythm and understanding the importance of listening to your spirit to finally establish a mind-body-soul connection.
- Giving yourself space to be present—simple acts such as consciously sipping your morning coffee or cacao, instead of chugging it before rushing to work.
- Taking a few minutes of your day to breathe deeply, reconnect with your creativity, and feel.
- Allowing yourself to inquire and understand the balance of the feminine and the masculine in each one of us.
- Living slowly allows us to connect profoundly with nature and our surroundings, reminding ourselves we don’t just live in a wonderful universe, but that we are an integral part of the universe.
Going slow, in other words, is an act of rebellion in today’s rapid society. And, no, you don’t need to be rich, successful, or privileged to live more slowly. It has nothing to do with the physical, bank account, status, or location. Slow living is a state of mind and spirit. It revolves around creating the space to go deeper, waking up with intention, and ritualizing life.
How do we start?
Here are five actions you can take to start practicing slow living:
- Begin with small steps. Find gaps of time in your busy schedule, whether five to ten minutes or two hours, to have an honest internal conversation. Check on yourself. Sit in a comfortable position and in a quiet space. Close your eyes, and breathe deeply. Focus on your inhales and exhales while examining how you feel. Analyze every inch of your body, and listen carefully to what it’s trying to tell you.
- If you have the chance, use those moments of solitude and silence to connect with nature. Go to a garden, park, forest, beach, grass, or a tree. Take your shoes off and place your bare feet on that soil. Nature is known to have the highest frequencies and nutrients. Simply spending 10 minutes “earthing” every day helps us absorb this energy and nourishment, which transforms into physical and spiritual healing.
- Cook for yourself. Make time to smell the fruits and vegetables. Try new spices. Learn new recipes. Be there. Present in every move, even when you are making a tea or herbal infusion. Make it sacred.
- This one is my favorite: choose a corner in your home and create an altar. Go to it every day for elevation or grounding. Breathe deeply, set your intention, and trust.
- And lastly, create a home that mimics the rhythm of your heart. Create a sanctuary that reminds you how beautiful life is. Whether you live in a small apartment or a big home, use it as your canvas to dream and connect. Add medicinal herbs to your kitchen, start an organic garden, and redesign what doesn’t feel right. Make it a place that helps you let go and regenerate.
Rethinking your routine can be challenging and scary. Be patient with yourself. Stepping outside our comfort zones is difficult, but it is needed to discover new corners within ourselves that will guide us towards blossoming in the most beautiful ways.
If this resonates with you or if you wish to learn more, check out our podcast “Casa Earth”. My husband and I talked about “Slow Living” in Season 2. We also organize Slow Living Retreats around the world.
About the Author
Valeria left the banking industry 9 years ago to create Water Thru Skin – a platform with tools and information on sustainable and slow living. Since then, she has not only become an influencer, but a force in environmental activism through public speaking in both English and Spanish, advising over 100 brands, and using her platforms to raise and donate over $200k to help her home country of Bolivia battle the wildfires.