2023: The Year of Slow Living

Audrey Cheng
3 min readJan 9

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The beauty of our calendar year is the opportunity to take stock in and refresh the expectations and hopes that have piled up over 365 days and start anew. The lessons learned in 2022 have helped me recalibrate what matters in 2023 and where I need to focus to live a happy, fulfilled and authentic life.

2022: The Year of Discovery and Change

2022 was a year of incredible change where I…

  • went back to my university for a quarter
  • became a certified life and leadership coach
  • finished a Masters/certificate program which opened my eyes up to emerging entrepreneurial ecosystems (Cairo, Miami, Boston)
  • wrapped up my Year of Discovery
  • tested 5 new business ideas
  • celebrated the marriage of three friends
  • started a new role/job
  • moved back to the US
  • ended a long-term relationship
  • built new communities
  • explored Latin America (Mexico, Brazil, Chile) for the first time.
One of the most magical trips in 2022 was hiking through the mountains of Torres del Paine in Patagonia, Chile

Looking back at 2022, what stands out more than the external changes is how I felt on a day to day and my internal well-being. The reality is that in all of the change, I dealt with the grief of loss over and over again in letting go of a certain path I was on and changing direction to embrace a new one. Every month, I had to embrace a feeling of being unanchored and take the data I had accumulated about myself and my life and decide what to do next. The pressure I put on myself to make the right choices, let go of certain parts of my identity (girlfriend, entrepreneur, emerging-market-based) and be able to gracefully take on new identities accumulated into periods of crippling anxiety.

The end of 2022 was one of deep reflection where I realized the focus on my external world outweighed that of my internal and something needed to change. Energy flows where attention goes and I knew I needed to shift direction from outside to inside.

2023: The Year of Slow Living

Post-Moringa, I’ve allowed my curiosity to guide me as I understand more problem spaces. Clear themes that have come up in my exploration include ideas that…

  1. support people to flourish through investment in their mental health, spiritual development and community/close human connection
  2. create a more equitable world (through increasing the access to opportunities through education and the distribution of wealth and decision-making to workers).

The most meaningful solutions we build are the ones we’re seeking ourselves. Supporting others to live healthy and happy lives cannot be truly achieved unless I do the work myself and my internal world is flourishing.

When my anxiety permeated throughout my life in 2022, I knew I had to change tactics and strategies. My default was to power through or distract myself from the tightening feeling but it only delayed the inevitable reckoning.

Upon deeper reflection, I realized my anxiety stemmed from the belief in the importance of productivity and using my time ‘wisely’. To challenge this belief, my theme in 2023 will be “slow living” focused on inner well-being, praxis (merging theory and experience) and patience. I’ll attempt to consistently adopt practices to create a healthier foundation for my inner world, engage in wise communities that foster health and wellbeing and act with confidence and sustained faith in myself.

Concretely, I’m putting into practice new habits that slow down my thinking, feeling and doing. These include daily practices in performing tea ceremonies, breathing (through seated meditation and during ‘active’ life), reading the Tao to ground myself in wisdom, writing and building a community with a similar set of values. The practices are also situational, where I’ll train my mind and heart to see reality with clarity, to understand the impermanence of triggers, thoughts and feelings and to engage with my source of suffering instead of escape from it.

Moving forward, this blog will serve as a space for honest reflection on these new habits and what I’m learning in the process. I’ll continue to share learnings that I synthesize generally as well. Please do share your journey in slow living as well!

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Audrey Cheng

Taiwanese American. Curious about ideas and solutions that support human flourishing.