Monthly Archives: May 2016

Meditation #5 – The Slow Home Experiment

Meditation #5 - The Slow Home Experiment

We’re just about wrapping up this month’s Slow Home Experiment, with only a couple of days of meditation left, so Ben and I talk about the experience and whether we’re going to create a routine out of this particular habit.

I also talk about some of the excellent advice and encouragement we’ve both received over the past few weeks (thank you all who’ve taken the time to email, comment or participate in the Slow Home Experiment group on Insight Timer – it’s been invaluable!) and you can find a list of all the resources you’ve provided in the show notes below.

Also on this episode we hold a Pity Party for one (Ben is host) after which we discus the June experiment of getting 8 hours of sleep every night. I do have a feeling there will be no Pity Party for Ben this month though, as he’s something of a sleep expert already!

Essentially the rules are very simple:

  • get 8 hours of sleep every night

That’s it.

Of course there will be nights that sleep won’t want to play along, but we’ll be doing our best to set up routines and make changes to our rhythms to give us the best possible chance to get a full eight hours.

Do you think you’ll be joining in for the June experiment? We plan to keep a tab of the hours we get every night starting on June 1, feel free to join in and share your experiences!

Also, don’t forget, you can play along with us by tagging your social media posts with #slowhomeexperiment and sharing your experiences. Hit us up on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and let’s get experimenting!

Enjoy!

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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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Show notes:

This is a free-form list of resources, tips and suggestions I’ve been given over the past month from some of our lovely listeners. I’m sure I’ve missed some so please leave a comment with your recommendations and I’ll add them in.

Thank you all so much for sharing in this experiment – it’s been a game changer for me!

  • Sonesence meditones (via Karen)
  • YogaEasy.de for those looking for a resource in German! (via Stephanie)
  • Opening the Mind guided meditation on Insight Timer. “Really made me think about how narrow we can be in our vision and thoughts.” (via Nic Avery)
  • “Consider “what is left when there are no problems to solve”. My mind was always so busy during unguided meditation and this phrase is the one thing I’ve found which gives me a sense of quiet, stillness and space, it’s amazing! The thoughts still invariably creep back but it works better then anything else I’ve tried to date.” (via C)
  • Start Here Now by Susan Piver
  • Headspace App
  • Jack Kornfield’s meditations
  • Tara Brach’s podcast

Kathryn dropped some amazing knowledge nugs (holla!) that I wanted to share with everyone. These are the different types of meditation I couldn’t remember during the poggie:

  • Zazen meditation, which is from Zen Buddhism and is basically just sitting and coming back to the breath. If thoughts come I do a few things: label them (“thinking”, “worrying”, “planning”) and let them go, picture whatever it is floating away in a balloon, or imagine them floating by.
  • Concentration meditation, which usually means counting in time with the breath. I count along with each in-breath up to 10 and start over. If a thought interrupts me, I start over at 1.
  • Metta meditation. Its more of a sending good wishes kind of meditation. You start by sending good wishes to yourself (May I be peaceful, may I be happy, may I bee free) then to a loved one, a neutral person, a difficult person, then out to the world. I like to do this one before bed. My kids like doing it before bed too.
  • Tonglen meditation. This comes from Tibetan Buddhism. I do this when I’m hurting over something happening in the world, so when I hear of a terrorist attack or when my friend was diagnosed with cancer. You breathe in their suffering, try to connect with it and breathe out peace and relief and imagine sending it to the suffering person. It sounds heavy on the woo, but its a nice way to feel like you’re doing something when things feel out of control.

Also from Kathryn:

  • The teacher I have worked with is called Michael Stone and he’s a Buddhism/Yoga teacher. He also has an app with guided meditations that I really like as well as podcasts.
  • One thing that he said in a course I took with him is that the more you meditate, the more crap comes up. Meditation brings down all those walls and defenses we set up for ourselves. It’s really common for people to feel MORE anxious, for things to come up from the past. As someone said above, without support, it can be difficult to work through these things. Its a good sign though, it means meditation is allowing you to see things as they really are and connecting with yourself.
  • If it keeps up though, maybe contact a meditation teacher and see if they can help you through it?

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.

Most important of all, thanks for being here!

The Live (Not Live) Hostful

Episode 76 of The Slow Home Podcast

I usually like to be a few weeks ahead of the posting schedule when it comes to our Thursday shows, but when Ben and I thought, ‘Yeah, let’s do a live Facebook video for this month’s hostful – it’ll be fun!” we weren’t expecting our horrible internet speeds to thwart us yet again.

But thwart us they did, and for that reason we found ourselves recording this month’s Q&A at 5:30 yesterday afternoon. Not particularly slow or intentional of us, I have to admit.

We do, however, answer some excellent listener questions, and cover topics including:

  • our thoughts on homework and after school activities
  • how we manage to find time for the experiments while also living a slower life
  • how we cope on those days that are just tough and nothing is going well at all
  • an insight into our daily rituals and routines
  • how to merge two households into one when there are vastly different approaches to “stuff”
  • why I stopped writing on the blog

Honestly, recording at 5:30PM on a Wednesday isn’t ideal, but in this largely unedited podcast we do give a pretty authentic view of what it looks like to balance work, family, self-employment, passion projects and slow living, and sometimes, it ain’t pretty!

For the most part though, I wouldn’t change a thing (except our internet speeds) and I really hope you enjoy these more candid conversations – interruptions and all!

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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:

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.

Most important of all, thanks for being here!

 

Meditation #4

Meditation #4 - The Slow Home Experiment

In last week’s episode I said that this meditation challenge has already been a life-changer, so it’s actually tough to top that pronouncement. Much like the sugar-free month back in February, this has already shifted from being an experiment, to a thing that I’m doing simply because the benefits are too great to ignore.

Ben’s experience, on the other hand, hasn’t been as clear cut. He’s battling time constraints and motivation, so in today’s episode we talk about the obstacles he’s been facing in daily meditation.

We also talk about what I actually see when I’m meditating, what I focus on and how I visualise the letting go of my thoughts. Keep in mind though, I am a huge novice so there may not be much wisdom there!

Before we wrap up the experiment next week I’d love to put together a list of resources, books, tips and suggestions for meditation, so if you have anything to share please pop it in the comments below and I’ll include it in next week’s wrap-up post.

Also, don’t forget, you can play along with us by tagging your social media posts with #slowhomeexperiment and sharing your experiences. Hit us up on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and let’s get experimenting!

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!

——

Show notes:

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.

Most important of all, thanks for being here!

Slow Tech with Janell Burley Hoffman

Slow Tech with Janell Burley Hoffman - The Slow Home Podcast

One of the biggest tensions for me in slowing down is how to live mindfully with technology. Part of me feels I need to be anti-tech in order to do slow and simple “right”, but completely eschewing modern tech simply doesn’t appeal.

And the reality is that I wouldn’t have a job without modern technology. I wouldn’t have met some of my best friends. I wouldn’t have connected with so many of you, or heard the incredible stories you share, or be able to watch The Walking Dead. There wouldn’t be medical breakthroughs and sustainable energy and the ability to travel the globe. Modern tech has its issues, no doubt, but giving it up seems… extreme. And not realistic. And not fun.

In today’s episode I talk with Janell Burley Hoffman, an author, a technology coach and the creator of the Slow Tech Movement, and she drops some wisdom on me in how to shift from living mindlessly and in constant contact with technology, to living mindfully alongside technology.

We talk about establishing tech boundaries both for ourselves and our family, as well as creating time and space for play, nature, real-world connections and conversations and the mundaneness of life. Janell also has really practical insights into how to establish your family’s iRules and why these are just as (if not more) important for the adults in your home.

This episode is packed with practical advice, inspiration and a good dose of “do what’s right for you”, that will help you figure out the best approach to tech for you and your family.

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!

——

Show notes:

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.

Most important of all, thanks for being here!

 

Meditation #3

Meditation #3 - Episode 73 of The Slow Home Podcast

We’re only halfway through our meditation Slow Home Experiment and I’m calling it: this one is a life-changer.

I know that last week I mentioned how challenging I was finding the experiment, and how I felt like I’d been getting worse at meditation as opposed to better. But so many of you have been in touch to explain that this is quite normal and to encourage me to work through the frustrations, that my mindset shifted a lot this week and I am now loving even the most challenging parts of the experiment.

Rationally, I’ve always understood that meditation is good for us – taking time to just be, focusing on the breath, finding pockets of stillness – but practically I just never got into it. This experiment has given me an excuse to make time every day, and the benefits are already incredible.

No idea if this is related or not, but my skin is clearer, I look like I’m getting more sleep, I have way more energy and my mood and patience have improved significantly. Also, our home feels peaceful in a way that it hasn’t for a long time. The kids are content, there’s not as much sniping and complaining, we’re all going to bed earlier and sleeping better…

Again, this could all be coincidental or the result of a confirmation bias, but the reality is the last few weeks have been just so chill that it makes me wonder.

In this episode, Ben and I talk about the past week – what we did and didn’t like, what we’ve discovered and some of the wonderful tips you guys have been sending through.

I’m really, really enjoying the silent meditation using a timer and bells. In fact, I’ve been adding 5-10 minutes of it on the end of the guided meditations we’ve done this week simply because I’ve felt the need for some quiet mindfulness as opposed to the noise of a guided meditation.

This week I’ll likely do more of the silent meditations and fewer of the guided and see if my experience remains the same, while Ben is keen to mix it up some more.

I’d love to know how you’re finding the experiment too. Is it a positive experience? Are you finding it easier or harder than you’d anticipated? Do you prefer guided meditations or the silent ones? Let us know!

Don’t forget, you can play along with us by tagging your social media posts with #slowhomeexperiment and sharing your experiences. Hit us up on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and let’s get experimenting!

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!

——

Show notes:

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.

Most important of all, thanks for being here!