I'm a writer, Youtuber, photographer. and old-fashioned romantic in love with celebrating the simple joys of daily life. I appreciate timelessness, the natural world, and a slow life lived with simplicity and intention. When I'm not photographing families or  slowly traveling the world and writing about it in a little notebook, I'm happily grounding myself in nature and cozying up with my sweet husband.

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Helena Woods interviewed on the Airy Fairy Feminist Podcast about slow living and simple joys

My Podcast Interview

Hello my friends! I was recently back on the Airy Fairy Feminist podcast with Charlotte Kay, and in this episode, we talk about how slow living and noticing the simple joys can actually bring us more happiness, ease and peace on a consistent basis.

To listen to my interview on slow living and simple joys, click here!

But What is Slow Living? And How Does it Bring Us More Joy?

Living slowly and simply is neither laziness nor inaction. Slow living is essentially the opposite of a fast-paced life. It’s one that savors moments and finds happiness in the simple things…or “simple joys” as I like to call them. Not only is a slower life physically slower and far less busy than our typical ambitious modern-day life, but slow living is not about status or career or image. It’s not about where you went last night or where you’re traveling to next. Slow and simple living is being rather than having. 

And slow living not only means doing less but also caring less.

When we choose to live a life that is slower than what is typical of our current day and age, we are forced to care far less of what people and our society think of us. When we choose to consciously live a slower pace of life, we have to essentially reject what our peers and societal expectations are. This isn’t at all to rebuke those who enjoy living a fast-paced ambitious life, but it is to deny it for ourselves because it doesn’t align with our own inner-most values.

Slow Living is Based on Connection

A slower life is based on connection with the environment around you and is also more old-fashioned. Slow living is connected with simplicity, and that can often look like connecting with the arts and crafts, with the process of making and with the art of living well on less.

Instead of opting for a night of Netflix or a night out in the city, I choose simpler ways to spend my free time like playing card games, writing letters, collecting wildflowers, making crafts and things with my hands, talking peaceful walks in the woods, making a homecooked dinner with simple wholesome ingredients at home, having picnics with friends. It’s far more cozy and hygge! And I am able to save more money for things I would deeply enjoy like traveling, hiking and camping trips, and stationary!

 

Helena Woods blogger about slow living and the simple joys

Brings Presence and Awareness

What I love most about living a slow lifestyle is the presence and awareness I consistently feel on a daily basis. I notice simple joys more when I live slower, for I have time to notice them! And when simple things bring joy to your daily life, then everyday can have sweet moments. Everyday becomes special. When I started noticing the simple joys and feeling more presence, I noticed I was consistently happier everyday. 

“Too many people turn away from small wonders. I find there is so much more potency to be found in detail than in generalities, but most souls cannot train themselves to sit still for it.” – The Signature of All Things⁣

Slow Living is Based on Our Values, Not on Outcomes and Results

When we live a slow life of simplicity, we celebrate the value of making just for the pure joy of it! We have freedom to create without boundaries and restrictions. We create just like we did as children – just because it’s fun. 

And when we show up to create because it’s fun and we enjoy it, doors effortlessly open for us!

When we live slowly and simply, we let go of focusing on results or outcomes, achievements or accomplishments. By being a maker, a creator, an artist, I am able to find a sense of joy, fulfillness and intrinsic pleasure for the simple process of creation. 

Helps Us Appreciate Our Lives

Living a simple life brings us closer to the truth. It brings us closer to the subtle beauties and simple joys. And when we notice and appreciate the sweet mundane, the simple joys all around us, we feel more gratitude. And as I’ve written countless times on this blog, gratitude and appreciation for what we presently have, is (I believe) the secret to lasting and consistent happiness.

Why complicate our lives? When we complicate matters in our lives, we get emotionally caught up in the constant duality of living. Life can be a struggle, it’s no doubt about that! Life is filled with contrast and duality. The duality of good and bad, pain and pleasure, gain and loss. But when we place our focus on appreciation, life just feels easier and more wonderous. 

To hear our conversation on slow living and simple joys, listen to my podcast interview here!

“Helena’s philosophy is to do less and care less. She shares her story transitioning from a fast-paced life in New York to a simpler one in France. She walks us through what a typical day looks like for her, which includes connecting to her intuition, fun photoshoots, bike rides into the city, and picnics with lots of locally made cheese.  We recognize that many of you are struggling through recent changes due to the spread of the Coronavirus. Helena offers her best advice on embracing the situation in a way that honors our values, maintains mindfulness, and leaves space to simply ‘be.’”

Subscribe to the Simple Joys Youtube Channel here!

I share a video on slow living and appreciation on the Simple Joys youtube channel every Thursday! My goal is to inspire and uplift others to finding the simple joys in their day-to-day. I enjoy creating wholesome content on how you can integrate a more simple, natural and slow lifestyle. By slowing down, grounding ourselves and finding the appreciation in the simplicity of the moment, it is far easier to be more engaged and connected to life! We can just “be.” I love to explore topics such as values, mindfulness and intention-setting. In the busyness of our ambitious modern world, it is my hope to connect others who may also feel more at peace with a slower and simpler life. Thanks for stopping by, friend!

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Why Slow Living and Appreciating the Simple Joys Bring More Happiness (Plus, a Podcast Interview!)

April 9, 2020

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I'm Helena! As a creative storyteller, I document magical, emotionally honest family and children's portraiture. A lover of childhood, fairytales and natural light, I photograph families across the world. I'm the ultimate Disney nerd, and I'm obsessed with cats and expressing my love for the simple joys of slow, daily life.

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Helena Woods is a destination newborn and family photographer based in France and New England and travels worldwide. She is known for her natural light, modern classic, and emotive photography style.

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