Monthly Archives: September 2017

Rachael Kable talks kindness

Kelly Sikkema

Last week Ben and I spoke about mindfulness – what it is, what it’s not, and how to bring more of it in to our daily lives without adding ever more tasks to our overwhelming to-do lists. I’m glad we went deep on it, as it turns out this is one of the biggest obstacles people are facing when it comes to adopting a more mindful way of life. By simplifying it down to its essence of paying attention an idea that seemed complicated now seems accessible.

The other side of the mindfulness coin that has always interested me is the idea that self-care, self-compassion and self-kindness (of which the practice of mindfulness is one kind) is the tendency to equate it with selfishness. I had to learn that self-care not only wasn’t a selfish act but, in fact, it allowed me to be far kinder and more present in my external life as a result.

These are ideas I’ve been thinking on for a while so it was perfect timing when I sat down with today’s guest, the delightful Rachael Kable, to talk about all things mindfulness. Rach is the creator and host of one of the most uplifting mindfulness podcasts in the world, The Mindful Kind, and in today’s episode we chat about the meaning of mindfulness and the genesis of Rachael’s personal discovery of mindfulness. We also talk about mindful living and teenagers, a topic I’m asked a lot about, and Rach has some excellent tips on how to bring mindfulness in to the lives of a stressed out, highly connected teenager. 

We also look at the intersection of mindfulness and kindness, which is evident as soon as you begin to listen to the way Rachael encourages not only self-compassion but also the multitude of ways she personally serves others. It’s a really interesting part of the wider mindfulness conversation, and ties in to the idea of mindfulness and more widely, self-care, being selfish. But Rachael believes that it’s vital to fill ourselves up with kindness and compassion in order to turn around and pass it down the line to others. 

Rach has such a beautiful, positive worldview that it’s impossible to walk away from a conversation with her feeling anything other than hopeful and buoyant, and I hope you feel the same after today’s episode.

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 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!

 

Mind-full versus mind-less

kazuend

Over the past few weeks we’ve been looking at some of my favourite ideas from SLOW, and I’ve left one of the biggest for last. Mindfulness.

Interestingly, I didn’t really know that the notion of mindfulness was facing a backlash until I started writing this book. It’s such a gentle idea that I couldn’t see how it could be misconstrued or misrepresented, until I started to recognised just how complicated it had become. And when I thought back to my own discovery of mindfulness I realised that I’d had no idea what it actually meant either.

What I do know is that mindfulness and living mindfully have changed my life. Not because of a specific app or a mindfulness colouring book, but because it has taught me to pay attention. Without it I would have missed out on so much depth and joy and life and love, and for that it is worthwhile pushing through the woo woo stereotype in order to introduce others to the simple beauty of paying attention.

In SLOW I wrote:

Mindfulness. Everyone’s tossing this buzzword around, lauding it as an incredible cure-all for stress and busy-ness, ill health and procrastination. We have apps and conferences, special colouring books, retreats and constant reminders popping up on social media of just how mindfully others are living. (Which begs the question: If a woman meditated on the beach but didn’t take a selfie, did it really happen?)

For years, mindfulness was a Big Idea I wasn’t nearly smart or evolved enough to understand, so I put it in the basket of woo that also held transcendental meditation, tarot reading and crystal bathing. It intimidated me; therefore it wasn’t valid.

The more I explored simplifying, though, the more I heard people espousing the benefits of living mindfully. But what did that mean? How could one live mind-fully? What did it look like to live mind-fully? What did it look like to live mind-fully? To be a mind-full person? I had no idea.

What I did understand, however, was mind-less living. And while I may not have been smart enough or enlightened enough to live mind-fully, mindlessness and I were on a first-name basis. In fact, we’d been intimate for a long time.

How do we bring mindfulness to our daily lives without over-complicating it? What does that look like? And how do we find the time for it when life is already full and busy?

In this poggie Ben and I talk through the ways we both add mindfulness to our days. For me it includes traditional practices such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing or body scans, as well as things that may not immediately strike you as mindful but that allow me to focus in and pay attention nonetheless. This might be barefoot bush walking, rock climbing and photography.

We encourage you to try adding a small pocket of mindfulness to your daily rhythm by setting an alarm once a day and giving yourself 5 minutes (1 minute, even) where you practice being entirely present. That might be a few minutes of deep breathing or a simple body scan technique, or it could be as simple as taking a moment to look around you and notice something you hadn’t noticed before. Look at the clouds or the grass, notice the pattern of light on the floor or the way your belly rises and falls with your breath. It doesn’t need to be complicated or difficult, and the benefits might affect a lot more than just those few minutes – it may just impact the rest of your day.

What things do you do to pay more attention in your daily life?

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 2.9 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. You’ll also be able to join our monthly live video calls where we answer questions and give a behind the scenes look at life.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!

The Mike Campbell Take-Over

Tim Swaan

Today’s episode is a little different. It’s hosted not by me, and it’s not hosted by Ben either. It’s hosted by our mate Mike Campbell from Live Immediately, and in a strange turn of events, he interviews me!

It’s pretty rare that you hear me being interviewed these days, particularly by someone who delights in diving deep like Mike, so when he asked me to be a guest on Live Immediately I thought it might be a great opportunity to flip the script and publish an episode where I’m not the one asking questions.

Mike and I have a fantastic conversation about life at the moment, and how I’m finding the wobbly balance between the busy-ness of launching a book and the importance of maintaining a slower pace of life over all. I also talk about the messy and imperfect process of learning to be emotionally available, why it was so stunningly uncomfortable to do so, and the impact on my relationships, my self-worth and the direction my life has taken since.

We talk about softening in to the unknown, and the importance of allowing ourselves time to come to decisions. Mike also talks about some big possibilities he and Inga are weighing up at the moment as well as his (very sensible) approach to making those big decisions. That is, once a choice has been made, it’s made, but until then it’s OK to not know. It’s OK to revisit and marinate in the possibilities because that’s a necessary part of the process.

We chat about our upcoming Newcastle event on September 27 (details here) and I’m excited to talk some more about our travel plans for 2018 (Mike and Inga were a huge influence on us taking the plunge in 2018). We look at the logistics, the planning and the not planning!

It’s a deep and heart-felt conversation and I loved every second of it. I hope you do too!

——

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!

 

Disconnect to reconnect

Aaron Burden

Technology is an inevitable part of even the slowest of modern lives. This podcast, news sites, social media, blogs, forums, videos… even if you’re being intentional it can (and will) be overwhelming at times.

This week Ben and I talk about what we stand to gain by disconnecting regularly and why it’s so important to reconnect with what matters, without the distracting blare of notifications and devices vying for our attention.

In SLOW I write:

Modern connection technology has delivered us a paradox. We have more connection and less humanity. We’re hyper-engaged and increasingly isolated. We have more information and less critical thought. We see more tragedy and have less empathy. We enjoy more privilege but are less satisfied. We are sensitive to personal offence and desensitised to the suffering of others.

The connected world offers us so much – so much to learn, to see, to share, to do. But hyperconnection brings with it a steep downside.

Slow living provides an opportunity to step back, pay attention and question the ways we use technology, to recalibrate our relationship with the constantly switched-on, logged-in world. It offers us an opportunity to disconnect, in order to reconnect.

The biggest question is how?

Firstly, it’s important to keep in mind what we stand to gain by having more in-person connection:

  • more time – connection technology steals minutes and hours a day, and we barely notice
  • more humanity – screens can create a sense of distance between us and others, and the internet can harden us
  • more action – when we waste time procrasti-scrolling we not only lose those minutes but we also lose the opportunity to do something with those minutes. Just because we’re doing something doesn’t mean we’re being productive
  • more peace and quiet – the stimulus and noise is incessant when we’re connected constantly
  • more ability to think and reflect – when we let the noise abate and learn to sit in the silence we give ourselves the ability to think more deeply, and it’s in these moments that some of our best ideas come forward

And then it’s a matter of establishing some boundaries and sticking to them, knowing what’s at stake if we don’t.

Some of the simple boundaries we have in our home include:

  • screen-free bedrooms
  • no screens at the table
  • pockets of screen-free time every day (the first and last hours of the day, for example)
  • we try to find places where there is no wifi and revel in the peace it brings

It’s an evolving set of boundaries that continue to expand as we find the joy in disconnection, and if ever I find myself slipping back in to those old patterns of overconsumption or hyperconnection all I have to do is look up and see what I stand to gain by switching off.

How do you manage connection technology in your home? What boundaries or rules work for you? And what do you find challenging? Let us know in the comments or over on Facebook.

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 2.9 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. You’ll also be able to join our monthly live video calls where we answer questions and give a behind the scenes look at life.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!

Slow travel with the World Wanderers

Leandro Gándara Mendez

A few weeks ago Ben and I flew over to LA to speak at a podcasting event. It was a whirlwind trip that gave us an opportunity to hang out together and do fun things like go to the baseball and sneak in a little trip to Disneyland, but it was also super worthwhile as a podcaster too.

We learnt a lot about our show and what we can (and will) be doing better, and we also got to nerd out with fellow podcasters, including today’s guests. Unbelievably, Amanda and Ryan of The World Wanderers live in Canmore – our home away from home and one of our favourite places in the world – and as soon as we discovered this, it was a given: We were going to be fast friends whether they wanted to or not.

Ben had the distinct pleasure of sitting down to chat with Amanda and Ryan (I was called away on book launch duties at the last minute) and got to dig deep in to their love of travel, how it got started and what life looks like now that they effectively no longer have a home base.

As Ben and I start to consider the implications, obstacles and potential pitfalls of our own long-term travel next year it was also really interesting hear how Ryan and Amanda manage the expectations of family, friends and colleagues, and the work they’ve had to do to convince people that travel isn’t just a ‘bug’ they’ve caught but a valid lifestyle choice that works for them.

They also discuss what happens when a trip – particularly a life-changing one – comes to an end, and when is the right time to come home. Travel is also becoming increasingly complex with ever-changing immigration and visa regulations so Ben asked about how they deal with issues such as visas, money (obviously) and when to pull the pin on a trip that’s not working out.

Amanda and Ryan travel in a similar way to us – they’ve tried the fast-paced backpacker style where every day is a new city, but now prefer a slower way of travelling that allows them to live like locals and even start to put roots down. Also a lot like Ben and I, Ryan and Amanda use travel as a way of learning more about themselves and as a vehicle of growing and strengthening their relationship, and they share a few of those lessons and why you don’t want to travel with a hangry partner.

Ben also asks about the challenge of combining work and travel, as this is something else on our mind as we prepare for our 2018 adventures. Ryan and Amanda recently travelled and worked throughout Asia and found the biggest challenge to be buckling down to work when all they really wanted to do was explore a new city.

Such a fun conversation – I hope you enjoy it.

——

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 2.9 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!