Cait Flanders on her year of less, and why consumption isn’t just about stuff

Photo by Kelsey Johnsen on Unsplash

In today’s episode I chat with the awesome Cait Flanders, mindful money extraordinaire, author and slow living advocate. The last time Cait was on the show was way back in episode 22 in 2015, so we had a bit to catch up on!

Excitingly, Cait’s first book The Year Of Less is about to be released (on 16th January 2018). I’ve had the pleasure of reading it, and can only describe it as life-changing. At first glance it might seem to be about a woman who stopped shopping for a year, but it’s actually about so much more. Cait did complete a year-long shopping ban from 2014-2015, and while the book is about that, the ban also provides a framework for her to talk about a lot of other things – drinking, relationships, money (of course) and more. The book is deeply personal and honest, so a lot of excavation was involved in the writing. In today’s poggie Cait speaks about the writing process (including self-imposed isolation and extended Airbnb stays) as well as the feeling of finishing her biggest creative project to date.

As a huge fan of experimentation myself, I also asked Cait about her own year of slow experiments, undertaken throughout 2017. Cait explained the motivation behind them – that she felt overwhelmed by the classic #newyearnewme self-improvement messages, knowing she’d have a lot of work to do in the new year with her book. But at the same time there were some small changes she wanted to make – things she wanted more or less of in her life. And so the year-long project was born, featuring all the fun of trying something new without the pressure of a challenge. Every month (bar two) had a theme, and rather than setting goals she created intentions, which meant more room for fluidity and flexibility and less feeling bad for not ticking a certain box every day.

She kicked off with slow mornings in January, and in a beautiful act of synchronicity, is finishing in December with experimenting with slow evenings. Her favourite experiments were the slow travel and slow food (delightful and delicious!). Throughout the year Cait realised that anything that makes you stop and think about what it is that you’re doing, in whatever aspect of your life, is a good thing. She and I talk more about that in terms of being overwhelmed with choice, feelings of FOMO, changing slowly, being compassionate and asking for help when we need it.

Cait’s overall goal with her book was to encourage people to pause and think about what’s going on when they feel the need to consume more or binge on whatever it is – shopping, drinking, eating, social media etc. And this mindfulness really permeates throughout all her work, and the way she lives her life. I think Cait is awesome and am so incredibly proud of her and her beautiful book.

Enjoy!

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Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

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Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

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Support the Show:

You may have heard that we recently hit 3 million (!!) downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! Not only does that fact blow my mind, it’s also thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

If you do love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!

 

Slow by name, slow by nature

Johan Desaeyere

When I first started down the path towards a slower life I wanted to race to the end of it. I was going to be the fastest person to ever arrive at slow, and I was going to do it perfectly too.

Except… well, slow doesn’t really work that way.

Recently I’ve had a lot of conversations with people who’ve come to the same realisation I eventually did – that meditation or mindfulness aren’t going to stop us from experiencing stress or busy times, but they do offer us ways in which we can better deal with those periods of stress or busy-ness.

And while slowing down, simplifying, and living a more intentional life can remove a lot of the excess stress and busy-ness (the kind that we find ourselves amongst as a result of mindlessly following along rather than actively choosing where to put our attention and energy) it also comes with its own set of lessons to learn.

I remember feeling so incredibly frustrated that I couldn’t do it all, be it all, slow it all down right now  and I recall just how much that challenged my idea of success. Which was kind of the point. Which, really, is kind of the point of slow.

In today’s poggie Ben and I talk about this idea of “slow” being, well, slow. We discuss the annoyance and impatience we’ve faced as we’ve learnt to slow down our efforts, as well as some of the lessons that only tend to reveal themselves as a result of that frustration. I also share a recent example of softening in to impatience, and hopefully highlight the fact that we’re just out here learning and making mistakes and trying to pick up some lessons as we go.

There is no there.

Enjoy!

——

Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.


Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

——

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

You may have heard that we recently hit 3 million (!!) downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! Not only does that fact blow my mind, it’s also thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

If you do love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!

 

It’s a Hostful, and it’s Live!

After an impromptu mid-December break where Ben and I tilted heavily in to getting our house ready for sale ahead of next year’s big trip (thank you for allowing us to walk the slow living walk) we are back with some fun new poggies for the rest of the year.

We’ve just wrapped up our first ever Live Life Simply Online Retreat, which was wonderful, and Ben and I both realised how much we enjoyed doing Facebook Live videos as part of it. We thought it might be fun to record one of our hostful episodes live on Facebook and give y’all the opportunity to actually see our awkward nervous-laughing ways* rather than just listen to them.

So that’s exactly what we did (and if it turns out you enjoy this show we’d definitely consider doing some more live hostful recordings in 2018). 

We start the episode with a brief catch-up on where things are at with the house sale and getting ready for the end of the year, as well as sharing a big announcement about the future of the podcast and what it’s going to look like in 2018. Then we dive head-long in to some excellent listener questions, including:

  • When it comes to “going fast in order to go slow” do you have a ratio of fast to slow that works for you?
  • How can I find pockets of slow while hosting family over the holidays?
  • Have you made any plans to keep your waste low when you travel next year?
  • How can I find out where you will be speaking when you come to the US?
  • Any big names that your interviewing next year?
  • How do you juggle the demands of work and kids? I always feel like I’ve got a million balls in the air. I’m at work thinking about home stuff and at home thinking about work stuff…
  • Do you have any specific fears about the trip next year? And if so, how are you working around them?

As always, these questions were fantastic and I hope we went some way towards answering them well for you. Our hostful episodes never fail to get me thinking about things in a deeper way, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to answer your questions. I particularly liked doing them live as some of our answers came more quickly than they would have if we had time to consider them, but I think that means we’re even more open than normal. 

Either way, please let us know what you thought of the live format!

*OK. I’m the only awkward nervous laugher of the two of us. It’s true. There’s even a bad iTunes review to prove it.

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Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.


Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

——

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

You may have heard that we recently hit 3 million (!!) downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! Not only does that fact blow my mind, it’s also thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

If you do love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!

 

Slow Holidays: Our Christmas Traditions

Jerry Kiesewetter

While it’s still almost one month til Christmas, the craziness/silliness/festiveness has well and truly begun. This is the last episode in our Slow Holidays Monday series, and in the spirit of trying to find pockets of slow in these full and exciting weeks, today we talk about the importance of holiday traditions.

I’m a big, big advocate for traditions and growing up was always the one adamantly enforcing merriment and light-hunting with my family. And while Ben and I both agree that traditions are really important, especially at this time of year, we do have some, uh, differing views on what is a good tradition and what is not. Either way, we both acknowledge that traditions change and evolve over time, and that there’s no need to stick to something that doesn’t serve us.

Ben challenges me about a couple of our holiday traditions (getting a real Christmas tree every year and decorating the house with what he terms “clutter”, much to my dismay) and asks if those traditions still align to our values. I don’t necessarily see the same issues that he does, and absolutely love the tradition of hanging out with our kids on the first weekend in December, going to get a tree and listening to The Beach Boys while decorating. I get what he’s saying, but to me it’s more about the time spent together and the joy in the doing rather than the tree or decorations themselves.

This week’s action? Look at what you do at this time of year and the traditions you love, and why you love them. See if there are any traditions that need to evolve and start having those conversations. What small shifts can you start to make to ensure your traditions sit comfortably with your values? And most importantly, don’t forget to embrace the fun and soften into the season!

PS Keep listening all the way to the end for some blooper shenanigans.

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Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.


Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

——

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

You may have heard that we recently hit 3 million (!!) downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! Not only does that fact blow my mind, it’s also thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

If you do love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!

 

The Check In: Part 2

It’s been a few months since we shared our 2018 plans with you and we thought it was time for an update, because HOO BOY things have changed. Head back to Episode 193 if you’re curious to hear all the previous details, but in a nutshell next year we’re packing up our life here in the Blue Mountains and heading off on an adventure. First stop will be Canada for a few months before heading to the United States for a book tour to celebrate the release of SLOW, and after that, we really don’t know. (That part, at least, hasn’t changed).

Up until recently the plan was to rent out our house here in the Mountains, work remotely and home school the kiddos while attempting to travel in a slow way, living like locals wherever possible. It was going to allow us to travel, experience the world and still have somewhere to come back to at the end of the trip.

Now? Some of those plans have changed and some of them have become clearer, and in today’s episode we give you a big old run-down of what we think things will look like now. We talk about why we’ve decided to sell our house, why we’re giving away all our stuff, and why 2018 is really, at its heart, all about experimentation and asking the question, “What would happen if…”.

Honestly, I’m equal parts excited and nervous to share this with you. This is a big freaking deal for us and the looseness of this conversation is probably a good indication of just how nervous we are. So, here she is:

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Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.


Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

——

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

You may have heard that we recently hit 3 million (!!) downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! Not only does that fact blow my mind, it’s also thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

If you do love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!