Slow Down with Carl Honore – The Fascinating Pandemic Workshop – Tiempo Justo – Cyclical Time – Gili island Home of Slow

In a world addicted to speed, slowness is a superpower- Carl Honore

Slow down with Carl Honore – The Pandemic Workshop 


Have you heard of Carl Honore? 


He wrote the book #SLOW, which still to this day remains the person that guided me into realizing that Slow is not just a name, but it’s an entire movement.


Youtube Channel “From Slow to Flow”, Secrets with Julie Spark: watch here


Podcast Channel “From Slow to Flow”, Secrets with Julie Spark: listen here



Carl got there because he needed to, he was a very fast person, every moment of his day was a race against the clock. He was just rushed all the time, and he knew that it was wrong, but he couldn’t stop.


When you get stuck in fast forward, it often takes a wake-up call, that makes you realize that you are living way too fast. 


There is a light that goes on and says: that’s it, I cannot do this speed anymore, and you get burned out or fall sick. 


Carl didn’t have that, he started speed reading Snow White to his child, he became an expert at turning multiple pages at once hoping his child didn’t notice.


When he picked up a book that said the “one-minute bedtime stories”.  His first reaction was, I need that book now! 


His second reaction was a lightbulb going on thinking, am I really in such a hurry that I am prepared to send my son to bed with a soundbite, instead of a story?


He had an out-of-body experience and could see himself from above. He realized he was racing through his life, instead of living it. He pushed pause and stopped. He had hit rock bottom and began to change. 


He began reconnecting with his inner tortoise. 


In his TED talk, in praise of slowness, Carl says even instant gratification takes too long. 


We are always trying to do everything faster and faster. Fast is often good. But if we start offering speed yoga?! Saluting does the sun in less than five minutes? Aren’t we a little ludicrous?


Drive through funerals? Before Covid! It’s fast but it’s not really a funeral is it? 


Listen to Carl’s inspiring TED talk:


Carl loves fast, but not always. The Slow revolution is about doing things at the right speed. As musicians say, the Tiempo Giusto, Slow is a #mindset: 


  • Quality over quantity

  • Being present in the moment

  • Doing one thing at a time

  • Doing everything not as fast as possible, but as well as possible


Everything gets better, from the way you make love, to the way you work, you exercise, the way you eat,…


You supercharge everything by slowing it down, and that’s kind of the delicious paradox. Because we live in a society that places speed, activity, and business on a pedestal.


The truth is by slowing down, or bringing a slow spirit into your life, you do everything better, and often you do it faster— you are more efficient.


Carl’s #slowsecrets, or daily routine to get in touch with his inner tortoise is:


  • The secret is simple, it’s just slowing down

  • Arrive every morning thinking how can I live this moment fully?

  • Not how can I live this moment fast!

  • It’s the shift from moving from the living fast to the living fully.

  • Conscious and present.


If Carl and I can do it, everyone can do it!


Let us inspire you to master the art of doing nothing.



In two hours I am able to complete all the things that I am meant to be doing in a day. When I was supposedly “ faster“. I wasn’t faster, it is the illusion of speed.


Since Covid hit I have seen a huge shift in my friends, in the more “developed” countries, they have been forced to slow down. Carl too has seen this huge shift. Because the pandemic has lasted so long, he believes it will last. People have experienced deep, long, and lasting changes, behaviors,… and that’s enough for a permanent change. Many people have used this time to pause, and reflect. 

We’ve had a re-encounter with ourselves.


Asking ourselves existential questions:

  • Who am I?

  • What is my purpose here?

  • What kind of life is the right life for me?

  • How can I make the world a better place?


All these questions can get lost when we get stuck in a fast-forward. Do you want to go back to the life you had, before the pandemic?


I know I don’t…


Everything has changed…


Big tectonic changes that we usually avoid, because it’s easier to obsess about little things. That is what fast is, it is superficial. Slow takes you deep, it takes you down to the essence of who you are and what is important. That is what the #pandemicworkshop has been about. I don’t want to go back to the office five days a week, I want to work from home. Why should we sit in traffic morning and evening polluting the planet? We will not go back to what it used to be, too many people have tested the #fruitofslow. Slow is deeper, richer, more meaningful. People want to have a life worth living.


In the western, industrial modern world, we have a deeply neurotic, and unhealthy relationship with time. Time is money! We feel as if it always running away from us. A non-traditional view is that time is cyclical, it keeps flowing back to you, like the tides. I don’t have to rush every moment. Because more moments will come.


Do you want to count the minutes and seconds instead of savoring them?


Forget to clock and be in the moment. I don’t even know what day it is. You forget to clock and remember to live. Did you sometimes wonder what day it was during the pandemic?

Carl wants to make Gili Air into the home of Slow. 

What do you think?


When you are in one moment fully, everything is going to become more vivid, because you are there! Stop multitasking yourself through 15 moments at the same time. Gili Air is a haven of Slow, yet you can be Slow everywhere, Carl is in volcanic energetic London. He lives slow, he never feels rushed, he can enjoy everything he does fully, he doesn’t feel overburdened, distracted, overstimulated and he lives in a big metropolis. Nature, being in green spaces reduces stress, and shifts us in a slower mode— Island life is not for everybody.


Tree action points from Carl:


  1. Do less, pick one thing a day, the least important thing, and drop it.

  2. Technology, turn them off. “Airplane Mode”, daily! All notifications are permanently switched off! Put up a firewall between you and the web.

  3. Incorporate an activity that fascinates you against the virus of hurry; sketch, play music, join a pottery class,…



  1. Nature!

  2. Be kind with yourself, always do your best. Slowing down is not a punishment, don’t beat yourself up. Slowing down is Slow. We do our best, and your best is good enough.

  3. If it makes you happier do more of that.


Anything worth doing it’s worth doing slowly— May West.


Next time I speak with Carl, we hope it will be face-to-face in-person in Gili Air.


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