When I met Suzanne (online) in 2019 she was a journalist, living and working in a city, but longing for a simple, slower life, a more meaningful substance. She was one of the first women I began to chat with when I opend my Instagram account, as we conected over a shared desire to enrich our reality with content closer to the heart. This is why I decided to open this series of conversations with her inspirnig story. She has since moved to the country, taking on a part-time job to open up more space for what matters, which is where her path of heart began unravelling.
Today Suzanne is a writer, herbalist, and mother, living in Minnesota (the northern U.S.). She writes for a plant-focused business, makes potions for the local farmers market, and runs a witchy winter support course called Magic of the Dark Season. Her journey has been, as she describes it – winding, but inspiring even through the challenges, which she reflects on in this open share. In her story, I find a beautiful testimony on how the choices we make shape our reality and our mindset to a point we might have never even considered, had we not been courageous enough to follow that inner voice and – try.
In Suzanna`s own words…
…If a slow life is the feeling of having time to spare, I’m definitely not living it. But if it’s creating a life where you enjoy sinking into the individual moments, even if your to-do list could stretch down your favourite walking trail, I think I’ve arrived. That’s not to say every moment of every day is wonderful. Not in the least. But I’m able to steal moments of appreciation. I’ve prioritized walks outside and lots of sleep, which are essential to my version of slow living. For someone else, the essentials might be baking or sewing.
That said, I’ve had some fundamental shifts in philosophy as it relates to slow living. For a long time I thought that if everyone “slowed down” — bought less, helped each other more, enjoyed nature and simple pleasures — we could create a society that fulfilled people’s needs without the toxic impacts of consumerism on the planet and each other.
I still think finding balance is imperative — in our individual lives and as a collective.
But I realized that my divestment from capitalism wasn’t really working. I was barely able to meet my own needs, let alone help others or invest in a vision of a better world with actual dollars. I also saw that my lifestyle of deprivation hadn’t changed anything, really. People with money still had money. And they were investing in the kind of world they wanted to see — funding the campaigns of politicians who would allow businesses to externalize costs and walk away with even more in their pockets.
The only way to slow down is just to DO it
Then I saw something else: a group of young women unafraid to make mad cash and teach others to do the same. I’ll admit, I judged them at first. Thought they were superficial and shallow. But when I looked at the long-term potential of what they were doing, I saw a future with wholehearted people sharing knowledge and skills, funding one another’s dreams, lifting each other up in abundance — and investing in social justice and earth-centred causes. This is already happening, and I’m excited to see it grow.
I’m still trying to figure out what slow and simple living really is. Since moving to this former farm in 2014, I’ve cultivated a small garden of medicinal plants. I’m still dreaming of a much bigger medicine garden, of chickens and beehives, and cooking from scratch. And I believe I’ll figure out how to make it all happen, but it’s certainly been a winding journey.
I can see how the isolation would get to someone. And honestly, if we hadn’t met some lovely souls out here I would have left by now. You give up a lot when you leave the city. I miss walking to coffee shops and getting a really well-made latte. I miss well-crafted cocktails and riding the subway. But I love knowing my son will grow up understanding that he’s innately connected to nature.
Maybe the slow life has been overly romanticized. No matter where I’ve lived, the only way to slow down is just to DO it. Protect those slow moments. Make time to enjoy meals, and the walk from here to there. Look at the stars when you take out the trash. We can sink into those slow moments anywhere.