Monthly Archives: July 2017

Do men and women do simplicity differently?

Do men and women do simplicity differently? Episode 182 of The Slow Home Podcast

A few weeks ago I was part of a really interesting conversation on Twitter, where a handful of people were talking about the fact that most popular minimalism writers are male. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t noticed this trend and Ben and I have often talked about why it might be the case.

It’s true that I don’t often talk about minimalism as such anymore, and I’ve spoken about the reasons why a few times on the poggie. But there are so many parallels between slow living and minimalism, and many of the key tenets of both movements are the same. So while I wouldn’t call myself a minimalism writer, I think it’s safe to say I work in the same sphere.

Which goes back to the question of why I think the majority of popular minimalism writers are male (at least in terms of best-selling books on Amazon). For me (and it’s important to to note that these are all in my personal experience) I think there are a few reasons:

  • confidence
  • fear of judgement
  • learning style
  • teaching style
  • perspective
  • the kind of problems we’re trying to solve

Confidence and fear of judgement: I add a million qualifiers to my writing before giving my opinion or point of view because I’m nervous of being called out for being judgemental or ignorant of others’ circumstances. So I include lots of options, lots of disclaimers, lots of clauses as to why my words may not reflect your reality. In turn, this makes my writing less punchy. There are fewer pronouncements. Fewer hard and fast rules. I’m OK with that, and it’s not a criticism, but it is something I’ve observed. I’ve also noticed a lot of male writers don’t do this. Their opinions or advice are laid out squarely on the page, and as a reader we’re free to take from it what we want.

Learning and teaching styles: We learn and teach in myriad different ways, and I think that also impacts the way we write about a particular issue. For example, I like to offer questions to readers, and lead them towards their own answers and solutions, as opposed to offering a readymade one. I don’t often provide a one-size-fits-all solution because in my experience, they very rarely do fit all. Again, neither approach is wrong or right. But again, one makes for punchier, more confident writing while the other is softer and more open to interpretation.

Perspective and the kinds of problems we’re trying to solve: This is probably the most stereotypical, broad brushstroke answer I have but I do think there is a lot of truth to it. Women are often looking for practical advice on specific issues – how to create a simple wardrobe or a rhythm to their mornings, for example. As a result, women often write about these kinds of problems. Men, on the other hand, are often looking at things from a 50,000 foot view. They’re looking for big solutions to life-wide issues and as a result, write about things from that perspective. In general, these 50,000-foot view pieces of writing are more inspiring, more aspirational, more likely to attract attention. And that’s not to say there isn’t value in both the very specific practicalities and the big pronouncements on living a good life. In fact, they’re both really important – without a balance we’re either going to get stuck in the details or never actually get down to them at all – but again, one kind of writing makes for more popular content than the other.

I’m not entirely sure what we were hoping to bring about in the conclusion of today’s episode, other than to hopefully allow ourselves to consider simplifying from a broader range of perspectives. I think it’s important to look at it as an opportunity to shift every area of life, and having a wider sphere of influence can help us do just that.

I know my reading takes in the entire range of opinions and voices in the simple living sphere – the masculine, feminine and everything that falls on the spectrum between and I’ve learnt so much from all of them. As always I think a balance is the key, as well as an awareness of your own needs and an intention to go in the direction required rather than any desire to stick to the ‘popular’ writers in the space.

As Fleetwood Mac says: go your own way.

I’d also love to hear your thoughts on this too – do you think men and women approach simplicity, and learn about it, in different ways?

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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:

You may have heard that we recently hit 2.7 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!

 

Tim Silverwood on circularity, connection and saying no to plastic

Tim Silverwood on circularity, connection and saying no to plastic - Episode 181 of The Slow Home Podcast

frank mckenna

Tim Silverwood is one of my environmental role models. He maintains that he’s just an ordinary guy who somehow found himself at the forefront of environmental activism in Australia, but his passion and knowledge means that while he may be an ordinary guy, the impact he’s having on the growing environmental movement in Australia is anything but ordinary. As one of the founders of Take 3 for the Sea and a powerful voice in the movement away from single-use plastics, Tim is having a massive impact both in Australia and around the world.

In today’s episode we talk about the Plastic-Free July campaign and why it’s so important, but we also go back to the catalyst for Tim’s shift to environmentalism. Perhaps not surprisingly, Tim’s passion for protecting the ocean started in his passion for the waves and like so many people now heavily invested in protecting our wild spaces, Tim was a surfer who used his love of the ocean to drive changes in his own life.

We also talk about the importance of small steps, and why Tim believes it’s the only way to convert the apathetic in to the passionate, but also why these small steps are only the first part of creating global change.

One of the beautiful themes that kept emerging in our conversation is the idea of connection – both to each other and the environment we all live in – and Tim specifically talks about the ways in which we’re all connected to the health of the oceans. It’s far too easy to think the issue of plastic pollution isn’t one we’re part of, and Tim gets very passionate as he talks about the different ways our actions can have an impact – both positive and negative.

We also talk about the problematic issue of recycling and why so much of what we think of as ‘good recycling’ is actually exacerbating the problem, and why the circular economy and circular design is the way of the future.

This was such an exciting and inspiring conversation and I hope you walk away feeling as hopeful as I did.

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!

——

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

You may have heard that we recently hit 2.7 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!

JOMO – The Joy of Missing Out

JOMO - The Joy of Missing Out - Episode 180 of The Slow Home Podcast

Most of us have heard of (and experienced) FOMO at some point. FOMO is the Fear of Missing Out and it strikes at the heart of modern life. We do things, attend things or buy things in order to avoid it, but there will always be things we miss out on, so why do we struggle with it so much?

A couple of weeks ago a friend of ours (Mr Andy McLean – friend of the show – you may know him from such episodes as Episode 124 of The Slow Home Podcast) sent us a photo of the above Leunig poem. It’s about as relevant to us as anything possibly could be, so Ben and I thought this would be a great topic to chat about on today’s poggie.

JOMO is the Joy of Missing Out and the antidote to FOMO. It’s the utter delight that is saying no and doing less and choosing to not compete in the Busy Olympics. JOMO is a breath of fresh air when it feels like we’re choking on the idea that in order to be successful we need to be constantly in motion, striving and chasing the life that will make others envious.

JOMO comes from a place of abundance (everything, right now, is enough) while FOMO comes from a place of scarcity (I’m scared that this will never be enough) and I think there is a very real and deep life lesson hidden in these dorky acronyms.

Ben and I talk through the difference between fear and joy in today’s episode as well as the many ways we can apply it in life. JOMO doesn’t only apply to the highlights we see of other people’s days, as they appear on Instagram or Facebook. JOMO can also apply to our stuff, busy-ness, excess, social media, comparisons, keeping up with the Joneses… In all of those areas of life we can joyfully choose to see that we have enough, after which saying no becomes a relief.

We also like to end most of these episodes with a thought or an action, and this week we encourage you to embrace the idea of JOMO. Rather than worry about what you don’t have or what you’re missing out on by saying no, dive head-first into it!

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!

——

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

You may have heard that we recently hit 2.7 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!

 

Making mindfulness simple again with Linda Esposito

Making mindfulness simple again with Linda Esposito - Episode 179 of The Slow Home Podcast

Meiying Ng

My favourite psychotherapist, the lovely Linda Esposito returns to the poggie today after last chatting with me way back in November 2015. Linda can always be relied on to cut through the BS that occasionally attaches itself to conversations about health, mindfulness and wellness, and I never fail to walk away from our conversations with a new perspective.

Recently Linda posted on Instagram about the overcomplification of mindfulness and why we need to bring it back to its simplest form, and we talk about that idea in today’s episode. Personally I worry that the over-engineering (and the commoditisation) of mindfulness is turning people away from an idea that, at its core, is incredibly simple and powerful, and Linda has some advice on how to adopt a simple kind of mindfulness for those of us who feel overwhelmed at the sheer volume of information out there.

I also ask Linda question I’m asked a lot: As we begin to make positive changes in our lives, as we begin to live more mindfully, why do we so often find ourselves feeling better in some ways but worse in others? Why do we feel more aware of the discomfort and overwhelm in our lives, when we’re actively trying to reduce these? And, importantly, what can we do about it?

Linda and I also talk about boredom and why it’s so important, and the benefits and value in not doing. We chat about meditation and the impact it has on our cognitive functions, as well as its far-reaching benefits.

Enjoy!

(Be sure to check out the links below to connect with Linda, and for more information on the live Patreon-exclusive video call early next week.)

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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 2.7 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 time is now

The time is now - Episode 178 of The Slow Home Podcast
Alessandro Sacchi

On last Thursday’s episode Ben and I went pretty deep in to some BIG changes we’ve got going on at the moment (if you haven’t listened to it yet, Episode 177 is where we share all) and before we get in to today’s poggie I just want to say how completely blown away we’ve been by your support and generosity as a result. From emails and travel suggestions to guest introductions and offers of accomodation, it’s been incredible. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. 

In today’s show we talk briefly about that support, before diving head-first in to the underlying philosophy that has been part of many of these changes – that we can’t wait for things to be perfect before we act. The time is now. 

I recently shared one such thought over on Instagram when I wrote about a morning spent at the beach and my desire to go swimming rather than sit on the shore and watch from afar, and we decided to use that post as the basis of today’s poggie.

Here she is:

On this particularly spectacular winters day in Byron I could have sat on the sand, watching from a distance as my kids and husband splashed in the surf, I could have worried about my pasty legs, my soft tummy, my lack of swimming costume. A few years ago – hell, ONE year ago – I would have done exactly that. But on this particularly spectacular winters day in Byron, I stripped down to my undies and tshirt, ran down the warm sand, and dove in to the surf. I swam, I jumped, I played and I couldn’t give two glittery shits about my legs or my tummy or my swimmers. And on this particularly spectacular winters day in Byron, I was rewarded a thousand fold by the laughter of my kids, the salt on my skin and the pod of dolphins that emerged from the surf not 10 metres away from us. It was a damn good day.

A post shared by Brooke McAlary (@brookemcalary) on

Not surprisingly, this personal philosophy all stems back to my eulogy. Who do I want to look back and see? The person who sat it out or the person who was gleefully splashing in the water with my kids?

Turns out this idea of legacy is central to so many of the shifts we’re currently in the process of making, and in today’s episode we encourage you to start tapping in to your own personal legacy whenever you’re faced with the tension of wanting to do something, but not wanting to be uncomfortable. (In my experience, the discomfort is almost always worth it). 

Let us know your thoughts and be sure to check out the links below for info on the books and the live Patreon-exclusive video call later in the month.

——

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 2.7 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!