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Slowing Down

With the fast pace of life, slowing down can feel like an impossible task. Writer and priest Malcolm Doney explores how applying the brakes even slightly can improve our wellbeing.

Writer and priest Malcolm Doney ponders how his move from a busy, city working life to the peaceful countryside has brought about a new, slower pace that’s changed many aspects of his daily life and outlook.

Malcolm explores the pitfalls of our fast, “roadrunner” culture - from not having time to nurture important relationships to our tendency to lack patience. Malcolm learns of the ‘slow movement’, an organised resistance to our culture of speed that spans several decades, driven by those producing ‘slow’ cinema, cooking and fashion. He examines the ‘slow art’ and ‘slow music’ of James Turrell, Brian Eno and Danny Hills.

Waiting, doing nothing - although going against the norms of our culture - has its virtues, given that God doesn’t work to human beings’ impatient timetable or on demand. So how can we best slow down and be patient, especially during life’s more chaotic and stressful moments? Malcolm takes tips from Michael Palin on finding peace, and free-diver Kimi Werner on resisting panic.

Malcolm concludes that slowing down allows us to place value on everyday moments, even small things like drinking tea, and encourages us to give slowness a go.

Presenter: Malcolm Doney
Producer: Sera Baker
A TBI production for BBC Radio 4

22 days left to listen

28 minutes


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Today’s programme was presented by Malcolm Doney.

The producer was Sera Baker.