Open Book
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slow mornings

According to CNN, Forbes, the New Yorker and other observers, the next new-big-thing comes to us from Norway: Slow Mornings. It’s a counter movement to our high-tech, hectic, 24/7 over-scheduled lives. Practitioners dedicate a chunk of time every morning for … nothing.

Rising early they begin their day with quiet solitude, free from interruptions and deadlines. Practitioners claim
Slow Mornings provide a foundation for productivity—a calm and focus that sticks with them throughout the day. The Institute of Slowness claims the fastest way to a good life is to slow down. “Don’t live as if you’re afraid to be late to your own funeral,” says founder Geir Berthelsen.
For most people mornings are a sprint out the door. To slow down Mr Berthelsen advises spending at least twenty minutes each morning doing nothing. “If you wake up stressed that you’ll be late to work, your whole day is really destroyed.” Mr Berthelsen spends 25 minutes meditating before sitting down to breakfast with his wife and two children. (Is a workday sit-down family breakfast still possible?)

Practitioners set their alarm clocks for 6am, 5am or earlier. But they don’t pick up their smart phone until their
Slow Morning routine is complete. Doing nothing gives the brain a break from multi-tasking and technology. “If you have too many interruptions you become absent from yourself,” opines Geir Berthelsen. “Technology isn’t bad, but we have to find ways for it to serve us better. Interruptions are probably the biggest loss of productivity.”

Slow Mornings brings to mind my friend Eddie Castro’s practice of morning devotions. He advocates making time at the beginning of each day to read the Bible and meditate on it. Then talk with God about what you read. Most importantly, make time to quietly listen—God just may have something to tell you.

Making time to read and meditate on the Word of God is essential for those who accept
John the Baptist’s challenge: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.” God desires to impact your world. He wants you as His agent. But we’re unlikely to know His desires, unlikely to recognize what God is doing if we are unprepared—if we do not make time to read the Bible, and meditate on it, and thoughtfully discuss what we’ve read. ~

Dan Nygaard