Together for tomorrow


Q&A: Lesego Ngwane on slow living

by | Jul 22, 2022

Prioritising wellness, self-care, and slow living seem so far removed from our everyday realities that we forget about simple acts that can bring us back to ourselves. Part of sustainable living is learning to embrace slowness in a world of constant speed.  Lesego Ngwane’s Instagram profile is the perfect reminder of this. Lesego is a 28-year-old slow living content creator, data analyst and founder of Lama Organics (self-care products for calm moments). And, she is a mother to her one-year-old son who she calls her “best friend”. Here’s what Lesego has to say.

When did you start your slow living journey?

I started my conscious living journey in 2019 before I even knew that “conscious living” was a term. I started my journey by meditating, gardening, practicing daily gratitude, keeping a journal, and prioritising my overall wellbeing.

What does slow living mean to you? And why do you think it is so important?

Slow living to me means structuring my life around mindfulness and sustainability. It’s about strategically stepping back and doing things at a comfortable pace. It’s about realising that there are times when you will have to move fast and be busy, but there are also times when it pays to slow down. I think it is important to be present and enjoy the things that life is currently blessing you with, because it is so easy to miss the most precious moments by constantly chasing the next dream. This has also helped me manage my anxiety. Slow living helps create opportunities to disconnect and be more present. For instance, I don’t use social media after 8pm and instead dedicate that time to my family.

I always simplify or summarise the meaning of slow this way:

S is for sustainable living

L is for local buys

O is for organic products and

W is for whole foods

A woman meditating

How can we make these ideas more accessible and inclusive?

Self-care looks different for everyone. You can start by having a routine once a week to make time for yourself, choose a day of the week to go offline on a social media detox, or dedicate an hour each day to journaling. The key is to start slowly.

And, there is no “right way” to embrace slow living. For instance, when it comes to meditation, you can meditate in your bed and not in a fancy retreat. Align it with your needs, your lifestyle, and what you can access. It will be just as restorative.

A woman practicing slow living

Are there any misconceptions plant-based diets?

There is a misconception that eating a plant-based diet is expensive. In my experience, a vegan diet can be extremely affordable. Products such as legumes, beans, and whole grains can be purchased dried and in bulk which means they last longer. Fresh fruit and vegetables can also be affordable depending on the seasons. And, you can grow your own vegetables.

What tips can you offer for plant-based meals?

For those curious to try a plant-based diet, I would suggest starting slowly by cooking a meatless meal once a week. You can start with foods that fill you up like chickpeas, beans, and peas. Also, spend some time finding new delicious recipes for meal ideas so that you don’t get bored with your meals.

Tell us about Lama Organics

I wanted to call it Lulama Organics but the name was already taken. Lulama means “get well” which speaks to the purpose of the brand – to bring holistic healing to people and help people slow down. Lama Organics was established in 2021 during a pandemic lockdown. This was a very stressful time for me as I was pregnant with my son and I thought I needed multiple streams of income, because I didn’t know what the future would look like.

I have always been business-minded and have started businesses before. All of them failed because the purpose was not clear. The difference with Lama Organics is that I started a business that I love, selling products that I love. So, it comes naturally.

Wellness products

What is the one book you have read that changed your outlook on life?

‘The Emotionally Healthy Woman: Eight Things You Have to Quit to Change Your Life’ by Geri Scazzero. This book taught me the importance of being able to communicate my emotions. It has also taught me that I will always be enough for the people who are meant for me. It has helped me cultivate more healthy and meaningful relationships.

What key tips can offer for living holistically?

  1. Practice being present. Focus on having a healthy relationship with yourself, be present with yourself, and prioritise your needs first so that you can be more present for the people who are important to you. As they always say, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.”
  2. Go outside when you can and take a moment to appreciate and connect with nature. Hike with friends and have meaningful conversations. To slow down we need to appreciate the little things and enjoy the moment.
  3. Practise patience and let go of your desire to control every situation. This is what I love about slow living. Actively choosing not to constantly be chasing the next dream has helped me, because I used to think that I was a failure if I did not achieve a goal within a certain timeline. Instead of being so harsh on myself, I choose to enjoy where I currently am in life and cherish the things that matter most.
  4. Do more things that feed and heal your body, mind, and soul. That is what holistic living is about.
  • Images supplied by Lesego Ngwane
  • To keep up to date with Lesego and her slow living journey, follow her on Instagram
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