Monthly Archives: August 2017

Slow Learning – Collaborate

Stephan Wieser

This week we continue our look into the different types of learning and how understanding our personal learning styles will help us develop ways to adopt even more slow-ness and mindfulness to our lives.

Today’s poggie is all about collaboration – probably the most well-known type of learning. I personally identify a lot with this kind of learning (though during today’s episode I stat to wonder whether it’s the most helpful for me!) and think a lot of you will identify with this mode as well.

Collaborative learning is all about collective intelligence. This podcast is a great example of collaborative learning, or learning of one another in order to benefit the whole. I don’t know if I realised it when we started out more than two years ago, but essentially we’re building a community of like-minded people, and it’s one of the most valuable things I’ve ever been a part of. In fact, it’s where I want to focus more of my efforts over the coming months, developing this rad group of people and seeing how we can create a stronger community together.

But I digress! There are so many ways you can tap in to collaborative learning when it comes to slow and simple living. There are:

  • Online forums, chat rooms
  • Facebook groups
  • Mentoring groups (like the one Ben is involved in at the moment)
  • Live calls (like our Patreon monthly catch-ups)

The key here though, as I realise throughout today’s episode, is that if you identify with this type of learning it’s important to acknowledge its limitations. Often I find myself getting overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information available, as well as the breadth of opinions and advice. It can feel completely defeating when there is literally an opinion for every option, so the key is to also apply a little discernment. Find an entry point that works for you and only go looking for additional information as and when you need it, rather than bathing in the infinite pools of opinions online!

It’s also been helpful for me to realise that I sometimes use this tendency towards collaborative learning as a way to procrastinate while still feeling productive. It’s great to understand a lot about a topic before making changes, but it becomes counter-productive when that learning stops us from doing.

And it’s in the doing that we learn.

Katy Bowman on nutritious movement and slow living

Katy Bowman on nutritious movement and slow living

Rita Morais

I was first introduced to Katy Bowman’s work when I started to explore the idea of barefoot bushwalking earlier this year. Katy writes a lot about removing the casts of modern life (shoes are just one of them) and unlocking the benefits of movement, and for me, barefoot bushwalking was the perfect introduction to that idea.

The first time I walked Red Hands Cave track barefoot was a revelation to me. Not only did my feet feel incredible while I was walking, but it also really forced me to slow down and truly pay attention to where I was headed, what I was doing with my body and how it made me feel. Interestingly, I rode a wave of euphoria for days after too, as my feet had a looseness, a lightness and a vitality I didn’t know they could have. Now I keep my feet bare as much as possible. (A pair of thick wooly socks are my dearest friends in winter!)

In today’s poggie I speak with Katy, a biomechanist and movement advocate, about the curse of convenience in modern life and what it is costing us in terms of movement, the food we eat, our health, our relationships and the larger structure of our society in general.

We also talk about the infiltration of technology into the lives of both adults and kids, as well as some really practical ways of lessening the impact technology has on our days, and how to deal with the inevitable complaints from kids (and maybe some adults) when they’re forced outside. We also talk about the massive benefits of spending more time outdoors and why Katy is lobbying for outdoor exposure to be classified as a nutrient.

Katy shares her families journey towards minimalism and why it began with letting go of their couch, and how the root of their simplification lies in a desire for more movement rather than less stuff.

I was struck by so many things talking to Katy, but one of the biggest was her intention. There’s meaning and choice and reason behind each of her actions, and for me that’s one of the biggest connections between nutritious movement and slow living – paying attention, asking why and living accordingly.

I also came away from this chat determined to add more intentional movement to our days and will be serving breakfast outside as often as I can!

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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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!

Slow Learning: Personalised

Paul Gilmore

The current Monday episodes are a bit of a departure for us, as we’re talking about a topic that sits more at the periphery of slow living rather than the centre of it. We’re talking about learning, and  last week we began by talking about how we learn and the impact it has on how well we make changes to our lives.

One of the most common issues we hear about from our listeners is not a lack of information on certain areas of slow living – in fact sometimes there feels like there’s too much! – but a lack of strategies on how to actually put those changes in to action and stick with them.

We’ve been trying to rectify that this year with the practical takeaways at the end of most of our Monday shows, but we wanted to really dive in to learning and why we might be better served by taking the time to understand how we best learn, and what we can do to make ourselves better learners.

Ben is incredibly passionate about the different ways of learning and is definitely the expert in this series! And in today’s poggie we focus on and examine the traits of a personalised learner, which, coincidentally, is what Ben identifies himself as.

A personalised learner is the champion of their own destiny. They are highly individualised in the way they like to learn, preferring one-on-one coaching or tailored courses set up to deliver learning expectations that are unique to their own needs and circumstances. They don’t often thrive in communal learning situations or online courses aimed at a broad range of people, instead preferring their learning to be, well, personalised.

For example, Ben has struggled a lot with developing a meditation practice, and he thinks it’s partly to do with the fact that he can’t find a program or app that is specific to his needs. He would be better off working one-on-one with a coach for a few weeks, get the specific information he needs, and then using that to establish his practice.

We talk about the pros and cons of this mode of learning in today’s episode, and I realise that I probably need to do a little more of this kind of learning, rather than continue to fall in to the well-worn grooves of past behaviour. Ben, on the other hand, can recognise that by only learning in this way, he’s missing out on a huge range of benefits.

Do you identify as a personalised learner? Someone who wants to pay for the coach or look for the tailored plan? Do you think it’s helpful in learning to slow down and simplify? Or what are the limitations for you? I find this fascinating as it’s totally different to me and my natural mode, so I’d love to hear from you!

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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 sharing economy in action with Justin Morrissey of Toolo

The sharing economy in action with Justin Morrissey of Toolo

Adam Sherez

Way back in the day I used to run a blog called The Lavender Experiment. It wasn’t very interesting and I think approximately 6 people read it, but it holds a special place in my heart nonetheless. I can’t remember if it was on The Lavender Experiment or somewhere else, but I wrote a post many years ago about creating a tool sharing co-op. A place where people donated their under-used tools and appliances and, as members, could borrow from all the items in the library whenever they needed to.

It was an idea I first tapped in to after listening to Rachel Botsman’s TED talk, where she spoke about the average life span of a power drill, and how, on average, that drill might be used for 10-12 minutes. Ever. I loved the idea of pooling and sharing resources, but I had no idea where to begin exploring it, let alone how it would be received. Plus, I had two babies and no time, so the idea stayed in my head. BUT, fast forward a few years and that future is now.

Today I speak to Justin Morrissey, the founder of Toolo, the Blue Mountains’ first tool library and co-op, and I couldn’t be more excited. A huge part of slow living is based in community and environmental stewardship, and tool libraries are a big step in the right direction.

In this episode Justin and I get really practical, as he explains to me how he began the library (and what drove him to do so in the first place) as well as his advice for people who may want to start a library in their own community. We also look at how the organisation is structured and the work that went in to it before launching, as well as the vital role that volunteers play in its ongoing success.

We also talk about the issue of convenience, and why our mindset needs to shift from one of immediacy to one of preparation (we can’t expect these resources to operate in the same way as the local Bunnings or big box store) and how learning to let go of the ego of ownership is a big part in the change too.

If you listen to today’s episode and want to know more about starting or running a tool library yourself, I’d really encourage you to get in touch with the team at Toolo, as they’re a wealth of expertise and are happy to work with other communities looking to make the change. And if you live in the Blue Mountains, sign up and support Toolo! They need to make it to 150 members by 2018 in order to keep running and that means it’s on us to support them.

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 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!

Slow Learning

Slow Learning - Episode 184 of The Slow Home Podcast

GoaShape

We’ve got something a little different lined up for the next four weeks, and while at first glance it might not seem to be too closely related to the practicalities of slow living, (Ben had to do a little convincing, if I’m being honest) anyone currently struggling with certain areas of slow living is going to benefit from it a lot. Me included!

So, the next few weeks we’re going to explore slow learning.

Growing up, being seen as a slow learner was a negative. It suggested there were things we struggled with, and that was something to be ashamed of. I am a very slow study myself. I take a long time to grasp a new idea or action, waiting until the heavy click of things falling solidly in to place before I can exclaim, “Ahh, I get it now.” The benefit to that is usually once I’ve got something, it’s well and truly got (gotted? gotten?).

What I’ve realised is that absorbing information is only part of the picture, and the experiments we ran in 2016 taught me that in order to actually learn, I needed to do. This is what’s called experiential learning and Ben and I talk about this in today’s episode.

One of the common obstacles people face in learning to slow down and simplify is the one-step-forward, two-steps-back dance that often accompanies it. There is so much information available for us as we try to establish what approach works for us, and often we simply immerse ourselves in as much of it as possible. The problems arise when either we don’t spend our time in the doing, or when we try to learn in a way that doesn’t work for us personally.

That’s exactly what I did when I first discovered simple living, and threw myself headlong in to the the archives of Zen Habits, Becoming Minimalist and Be More With Less. I tried learning as much as possible about becoming a minimalist, decluttering and letting go. But the problem was, I didn’t do much with that information. And when I did, the changes I made often wouldn’t stick.

I’ve realised this was because I was trying to learn everything, and often learn it in ways that didn’t come naturally to me.

This is why it’s so important to understand what kind of learner you are, and that’s what we’re going to focus the next few weeks of Monday shows doing.

Today, Ben goes through the three different types of learner (do you recognise yourself as one in particular?):

  • Personal learner – every form of learning needs to be personalised to their unique needs and circumstances. The personal learner doesn’t want to learn unless it’s a challenge.
  • Collaborative learner – learns through others and their actions. The collaborative learner critically analyses the behaviour of others and tailors that behaviour to themselves and their own situation. As a kinaesthetic learner, these people have to do in order to learn.
  • Informal learner – will learn anywhere/anytime. Online learning is a great example of an informal learner and is in many ways opposite to institutionalised systems of learning such as degrees and other formal qualifications.

The key takeaway of this week’s episode is very simple. We’d like you have a think about the various types of learner and ask yourself which sounds most like you. After you know this, it will be easier to establish the strengths of that type of learning, as well as any potential pitfalls and how you may be able to bolster them using other strategies. From there, everything opens up! 

——

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!