Monthly Archives: January 2016

Pretty minimalism with Stacey Roberts

Pretty Minimalism with Stacey Roberts - The Slow Home Podcast

The first non-McAlary podcast guest of 2016 is the delightful Stacey Roberts of Veggie Mama fame, and honestly, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend an hour on a rainy Friday morning than chatting with this lovely, open, honest woman.

Stacey and I talk about how negative relationships drove her to learn about mindfulness and what she’s discovered from a decades-long meditation practice. We also talk about the negative thought patterns both of us have had to break free of and how living a simpler, more intentional life has helped.

One thing I’m asked a lot is whether trying to do all the simple living things actually makes a simple life more complicated, and Stacey has some insight into that and why it’s far more important to do what you enjoy rather than what simple living “should” look like. We also talk about the importance of saying no, having fun and what she means by ‘pretty minimalism’.

Don’t forget that next week we start publishing two shows a week (I know! Exciting!) and next Monday we kick off our first month-long experiment by giving up sugar. If you want to play along with us, head over to Facebook or Twitter and tag your posts with #slowhomeexperiment.

Until then though, enjoy my chat with Stacey!

Today’s show is sponsored by Audible.com where you can access over 180,000 audiobooks, including Matilda, The Twits and James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl. Click here to get a free, no strings attached, 30-day trial of Audible and claim one free audiobook of your choice.

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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!

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Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

If you 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.

If you love the show and want to support it by continuing to subscribe, listen, share with friends/family or leave a review on iTunes, that’s awesome too!

Most important of all, thanks for being here!

PS: It’s not too late to join A Simple Year, 12 months of guided simplicity. Registration will be open through the end of January. Learn more here. 

How to find your rhythm in 2016

How to find your rhythm - Episode 41 of The Slow Home Podcast

Welcome to 2016!

Hopefully you had a restful break over Christmas and New Year, and are ready to get back into the swing of things?

This time of year is always ripe with possibility and most of us will be doing some deep thinking on what we want 2016 to bring – both in terms of our priorities and any changes we want to make to our day-to-day lives. But maybe you’re struggling to get back into your rhythm, or perhaps your circumstances are different this year and you don’t know how to create a flow that works for you?

In today’s show Ben and I talk about rhythms and why this time of year is the perfect opportunity to hit the reset button, rethink our priorities and recalibrate our time.

For us, it’s super important to reset this year, as over the holidays we made some huge life decisions that are going to see pretty much everything change. We talk about what those decisions are and how we’re both feeling in the face of such massive shifts, as well as what some of the challenges might be.

We also acknowledge the fact that all these changes might not seem very ‘slow’ of us, and how we make it work within the framework of living a slower, more intentional life. This is actually something I’m asked about a lot and I’m slowly learning that my personality isn’t particularly inclined to slow living, but it certainly benefits from it. It might seem like a paradox but increasingly I’m finding that it works for me!

In other exciting news, on February 1st we start publishing two episodes of The Slow Home Podcast every week! One show will be hitting your ears every Monday and the regular show, as normal, on Thursdays. Monday’s shows are going to have a different format and we talk about that, our monthly experiments, what we’re trying first and how you can get involved.

In the meantime though, enjoy today’s episode! And let us know what changes you’re making in 2016 too – we’d love to hear about it.

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

 

Alternatively, 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:

If you 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.

If you love the show and want to support it by continuing to subscribe, listen, share with friends/family or leave a review on iTunes, that’s awesome too!

Most important of all, thanks for being here!

Here’s to a simple year

A Simple Year

While I’m still technically offline until next week, I wanted to pop in briefly to wish you a Happy New Year!

I’m not really one for resolutions but I always find this time of year really exciting. Possibilities are refreshed and hopes are new and there’s just something wonderful about the potential fizzing just below the surface, don’t you think?

More often than not though, this feeling of excitement and possibility disappears before January is behind us. We find ourselves stuck in old habits. Revisiting old issues. Battling the same old piles of clutter and mess, and feeling the same old sense of overwhelm as we realise we don’t know where to begin.

That was me for years, until I discovered the delight of living with less. Less stuff, less stress, less pressure, less comparison, less shopping, less debt, less clutter.

I’ve spent the last five years learning that having less stuff actually gives you a lot.

It gives you the opportunity to focus more on the people and important experiences in your life.

It gives you more time, more energy, more care and more compassion.

It means you can focus on experiences over things. Travel instead of trend-hopping. Memories instead of souvenirs.

Over the past five years as I’ve slowly learned to pare back, find what’s important and live (mostly) according to those priorities, life has become easier. Simpler. Sweeter.

  • We have afternoon naps on the weekend
  • Cleaning up takes minutes, not hours or days
  • I spend less time dusting and organising
  • There is more time together on the weekends
  • We entertain more
  • Our horizons are expanding and we’re travelling more as a family
  • I worry less
  • I compare our life with that of others far less
  • The overall feeling of life is that of contentment
  • In other words, life is good.

Not to say that living a simpler life makes things perfect. It doesn’t.

Our kids fight. We get things wrong – alot. We make poor spending choices. We get impatient. There is still the annual influx of gifts at Christmas (although this is much less than it used to be).

Simplifying life just makes it easier to deal with this. And to me, that is the single biggest benefit of living a simpler life – over time it just makes living life easier. The daily tasks, the constant stresses, the annual pressures – these things become easier to deal with when there is less stuff cluttering up your home and your head.

The difficulty, I would say, is in getting to that point. How do you actually create that simpler life, when right now everything feels so complicated? When you feel so overwhelmed? When you don’t even know where to begin?

A Simple Year.

There are literally thousands of places to find simple living information and inspiration, both online and off. This blog and many others similar to it have hundreds of suggestions on how to start, where to begin, how to declutter and what to do once you’ve finished. And they’re all great sources of information. In fact, that’s how I came to discover simple living and finally get started on my own journey.

But if you’re looking to make 2016 the year you create a simpler life, you might be interested in joining A Simple Year.

This is the third year I’ve been lucky enough to be part of this course and I couldn’t be prouder of what we’re achieving.

Rather than having to work through the process of simplifying by yourself, A Simple Year is an interactive online course created by some of the best known writers in the simplicity movement (and me). Leo Babauta, Courtney Carver, Cait Flanders, Colin Wright and Tammy Strobel (among others) have come together to create something amazing. Each month you focus on a new area of simplicity by working with one of the simple living advocates mentioned above.

  • January – Clutter
  • February – Busyness
  • March – Travel
  • April – Cooking
  • May – Digital
  • June – Work
  • July – Money
  • August – Self-care
  • September – Mindfulness
  • October – Eating
  • November – Relationships
  • December – Gratitude

If you’re looking to make 2016 the year you simplify your life, I can tell you that our 2014 and 2015 members have had incredible success and this year is going to be just as transformative.

There are already hundreds of people signed up to take part, and registrations close at the end of January. Check out simpleyear.co for a full outline of each month’s module and to register.

In the meantime, we’ll be back to regular podcasting (and maybe the occasional blog post!) real soon.

Happy New Year! xx