The 12 pillars of a gentler pace

Plus one damp dog!

Happy Sunday! It’s a gorgeous and sunny November day here in Derbyshire. I hope it’s lovely where you are.


A Gentler Pace was being created even before I became aware of it. Back in April 2019 when I left my then day job to pursue a different way of life, I had no idea where it was going to take me. I originally started this incarnation as Seed to Source but not for long!

The clues were there, and the ideas formulating in my head.

I wrote it all down

When Seed to Source was still the mere hint of an idea, I knew that I wanted to create something whose focus was on slowing down, travelling at a gentler pace yet still having time to watch the world go by or to smell the roses and the coffee, and nurturing the spirit leaving a trail for others to follow – should they wish.

I wanted to step away from the conventional 9-5, Monday to Friday and carve out a more unconventional niche of my own, exploring the possibilities of building an online business that could sustain me yet be more aligned to the seasons of the natural world rather than the self-imposed commercial and industrial rhythms.

… and then I headed off in a different direction.

But everything comes full circle and the journey we’re taking was always bringing us to this point.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it means to live at a gentler pace. I’ve known for a long time, in various jobs, that the relentless hustle and crushing it wasn’t for me. I did it nonetheless. I remember days when I scarcely saw any daylight. Early starts and late finishes. Planes, trains and automobiles. Jobs where you could never plan ahead because last minute late night requests were unpredictable. There were many times when I thought, is this it?

We’ve been in Derbyshire for four weeks. One week in Ashbourne and three weeks here, in a small hamlet. Another week and then we move on to a farm, (where I hope they count cows among their livestock). It’s been great to have this down time. With the majority of our possessions in storage and no claims on our time, we’ve caught up on sleep, chilled out, eaten good food, walked, got lots of fresh air and slowed down. Without the everyday distractions I’ve started to see what life at a gentler pace could look like.

I’ve noticed that my creativity is returning. I’m waking up with ideas running through my head, excited to get cracking. I’m reading and writing every day. Journaling. Jotting down notes. I’m working on an eBook and the next podcast series, as a precursor to the eBook. I have the headspace again.

I don’t want my creative flow to only be a luxury of this in between time before we move into the new house, but something I can fully incorporate into my life. This is how I want to live every day. So, I’m contemplating how that can be possible. What are the pillars that need to be in place to support living at a gentler pace? This is what I’m working on.

The 12 pillars equate to 12 podcast episodes and 12 chapters of the eBook.

My renewed creative spark means that I’ve been enjoying Instagram more, recently, too. After a bit of a hiatus over the Summer, I’m loving documenting my days again and sharing photos of our walks around here. I’ve been experimenting with the new Guides which I think have great potential.


Alison Blackler is a Transformational Mind Coach. The author of A Path Travelled, published earlier this year, Alison took the plunge 10 years ago to leave her role at the NHS and set up in business on her own.  

We talk about the early days of self-employment, the transition from working full time, and what Alison learned along the way about growing a business.  

Alison also shares the process of writing her first book, on and off, over 8 years. We discuss the purpose of challenges in our lives and how these can move us forward.   

Like many others, Alison has had to pivot her business this year, taking her services online and offering remote support, both to individuals and other businesses, including a 12 week masterclass based around her book.  

We covered a wide range of topics including Alison's transformational work in prisons using creativity, how to manage working from home, and being inspired by the stories behind people's lives.

Click here to listen


Today we headed to Heritage Wood - a woodland that has been planted on an ongoing basis since 1988. We found it but the car park was cram jam full so we’ll visit another day. It looks lovely. Instead we went to Dovedale, where the car park was also pretty full. It’s the location of well known stepping stones which provide the access across the River Dove. The water was running quite high and, after Chris’ shenanigans a week ago, we decided it was asking for trouble trying to get us all across without falling in! Bamber did have a paddle though.

We’re starting to feel a little bit more like locals now. I don’t need to use the satnav all the time, I even gave someone directions this week, and we’re getting known at the farm shop. I think that’s mostly down to Bamber as his reputation precedes him. He is still being spoiled rotten there and he absolutely loves them.

This week I’ve been walking with Bamber, exploring the public footpath accessible from the lane, watching the season change from mid Autumn to late Autumn, shopping in a very deserted Ashbourne, and feeling blessed every time I gaze out onto the landscape. Every night we hear owls and this morning I heard a cock crowing too.

This time next week we’ll be in situ at the farm. Hopefully, I’ll have more of our adventures to share with you.

Until next time, thank you for reading.

Nicola