Life at a Snail’s Pace

UPDATE: Please go to this link to read how I have recovered my health using The Dynamic Neural Retraining System (DNRS)! 

“Slow is the new fast.”
-Carl Honoré

In 2005 Carl Honoré, a Canadian journalist working in London wrote In Praise of Slowness, which became an international bestseller. In it he describes how life in the West, in particular, is characterized by ever increasing speed, and how slowness is viewed as either laziness or stupidity. But the “slow movement” (a global movement begun in Italy) is trying to recover the beauty and power of slowness by promoting a slower lifestyle – slow food, slow parenting, slow work, slow cities, slow sex, slow exercise.

The point is to make meaningful and significant connections with yourself, those around you, and the earth on which we all live. The point is to actually live our lives instead of racing through them. The invitation is to be present to what the moment is offering us instead of rejecting or ignoring the moment because we are living in the future.

But it’s excruciatingly difficult to live this way, isn’t it?

Mariah and I read this book to each other shortly after it was published, and we loved it. But loving it in theory and living it in practice are two very different things!

I was reminded of this book again this morning while I went for a walk through a state park near our house. The trail ends atop a hill that gives breathtaking 360 degree vistas of the ocean on one side, and the green, rolling hills of California’s central coast on the other, the two scenes divided by the sprawling cliff-dappled coast.

I was, of course, hurrying to get to the top because I had overslept. But a trail coursing horizontally across the path and a bright spot near the path’s edge caught my eye and stopped me in my tracks.


The symbol of slowness, the snail was just doing what it does, going at its own pace, not fretting or hurrying, but content to get across the path when it could. They are actually rather beautiful creatures (if you can get past the sliminess factor), and it stood (squatted? shimmied? what does a snail do?) as a parable for our life over the last several months, and really the last 13 years.

Version 2

The healing we so desire for Mariah to experience has not come on like a cheetah or a fighter jet. It has moved at a snail’s pace, and it continues to do so. We believe we are in the right place, and that her healing will continue to come, but it will move at a snail’s pace. Our challenge and our invitation is to accept that pace, and to celebrate it. To ask “what invitation is our life making to us today?” or “where is God in this moment?” or “what would I miss out on if I raced through this moment?”

We are so grateful for your support and your excitement about finding our house and Mariah being positioned to begin healing in earnest. Will you walk with us at a snail’s pace?

I filmed this video to see how long it would take for the snail to get out of the frame. It was like watching the sun dip beneath the horizon at sunset. Let watching it be an invitation to you to slow down today, to appreciate the beauty around you and within you, and to remind you to go at a pace that will increase your joy and contentment instead of competing with it. See if you can stop for long enough today to watch the video all the way to the end. 🙂

With love and slowness,
Travis and Mariah

UPDATE: Please go to this link to read how I have recovered my health using The Dynamic Neural Retraining System (DNRS)! 

Categories: Reflections on Life


  1. Dear Travis and Mariah,

    Thank you so very much for your faithful updates. I have been very quiet, observing, listening and praying. I am so glad that you have settled into a home in Morro Bay! We’ve been there before with Jim’s family as we are both from California.

    I recently had a chance to spend a week with my son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter in Austin, Texas. Agata has struggled with many different illnesses, and is currently experiencing significant pain in her heels and is unable to walk. She has been encouraged by your emails, and we were able to talk about your journey.

    Please know, Travis and Mariah, that you are missed, and are in my thoughts and prayers.

    In His love and grace, Janet


  2. Thank you Travis and Mariah for helping us trust in the slow work of God with you. You are loved and I continue to pray for health, hope, and grace on this difficult journey.

    Miss you both,
    Carol Ann


  3. I love this post (and need it…goal for the week: watch your snail video to the end…). I thought maybe you’d enjoy Josh’s new podcast — I know it’s hard on Mariah to be near electronic devices, but maybe there’s a way to play it from across the room? — in which he reads from John Ortberg: “Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life…”

    Blessings and love from the mitten,


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