The first time I heard the term Slow Thinking was in lockdown, when Upswing Aerial in collaboration with Mimbre ran a series of collective, online conversations that responded to the needs of the circus sector. The conversations were fantastic and the phrase itself resonated so much with me. In my fast paced day to day (even in lockdown, my brain was whizzing with pivoting ideas, new engagement projects and finding solutions) I didn’t stop to look up. Scrolling through social media I see these words from two organisations I’m inspired by and respect so much. Slow Thinking. My fast (excitable) head started to slow down a little…
Change can be difficult for many of us, especially when it comes to learning new skills or facing unexpected challenges. However, by embracing slow thinking, we can cultivate a mindset that helps us navigate change with more ease and grace, and helps us ease the pressure we put on ourselves as artists and creatives.
What is slow thinking?
Slow thinking, (AKA deliberate or reflective thinking), is a cognitive process that allows us to process information more deeply and thoughtfully. It involves taking the time to analyse and reflect on information, rather than simply reacting to it (which I am so guilty of doing, always). This type of thinking is associated with better decision-making, creativity, and problem-solving skills.
Not that i’m the expert or anything but I’ve done a bit of digging and found out that It’s rooted in our brain’s prefrontal cortex, the part of our brain responsible for complex thinking and decision-making. When we engage in slow thinking, we activate this part of our brain, allowing us to process information more deeply and thoughtfully.
Embracing Change through Slow Thinking
Embracing change can be challenging, but slow thinking can help us approach new situations with more clarity and confidence. By taking the time to reflect on our experiences and consider different perspectives, we can develop a more nuanced understanding of the world around us.
Here are some tips for embracing change through slow thinking that have helped me over the last 3 years:
1. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness can help us cultivate a greater sense of awareness and focus, allowing us to approach new challenges with more clarity and intention. In lockdown I ran two 66 day mindful juggling courses (the main focus was to break bad habits and find 20 minutes each morning to be mindful of something physical. Go and find them on our youtube and start this journey for you!
2. Embrace Uncertainty
Change often involves uncertainty, which can be uncomfortable. However, by embracing uncertainty and acknowledging our own limitations, we can approach new situations with more openness and curiosity. Switch on your creative switch and go and challenge yourself to do something new today!!
3. Seek Out Diverse Perspectives
By engaging with people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, we can gain a more nuanced understanding of the world around us and approach change with greater empathy and compassion. Talk to people, ask questions, be interested!
At MASH, we now embrace slow thinking in our approach to learning and teaching circus skills. It was always there, but we never recognised it as slow thinking. By taking the time to fully engage with each new skill and challenge, we help our students develop a deeper understanding of the art of circus.
We also use this in our approach with our clients. An iterative process in which we create an ongoing collaboration with our clients where we build shows and entertainment for their audiences, honing in on the history and culture of their organisation and challenging them to think about new ways of working and perspectives in their every day.
So next time you’re faced with a new challenge, remember to take a moment to pause, reflect, and engage with the world around you. With slow thinking, you can embrace change with greater confidence and grace.
@Upswing Aerial. @Mimbre. Thank you for highlighting these two words together and bringing it into my life!