Cait Flanders on her year of less, and why consumption isn’t just about stuff

Photo by Kelsey Johnsen on Unsplash

In today’s episode I chat with the awesome Cait Flanders, mindful money extraordinaire, author and slow living advocate. The last time Cait was on the show was way back in episode 22 in 2015, so we had a bit to catch up on!

Excitingly, Cait’s first book The Year Of Less is about to be released (on 16th January 2018). I’ve had the pleasure of reading it, and can only describe it as life-changing. At first glance it might seem to be about a woman who stopped shopping for a year, but it’s actually about so much more. Cait did complete a year-long shopping ban from 2014-2015, and while the book is about that, the ban also provides a framework for her to talk about a lot of other things – drinking, relationships, money (of course) and more. The book is deeply personal and honest, so a lot of excavation was involved in the writing. In today’s poggie Cait speaks about the writing process (including self-imposed isolation and extended Airbnb stays) as well as the feeling of finishing her biggest creative project to date.

As a huge fan of experimentation myself, I also asked Cait about her own year of slow experiments, undertaken throughout 2017. Cait explained the motivation behind them – that she felt overwhelmed by the classic #newyearnewme self-improvement messages, knowing she’d have a lot of work to do in the new year with her book. But at the same time there were some small changes she wanted to make – things she wanted more or less of in her life. And so the year-long project was born, featuring all the fun of trying something new without the pressure of a challenge. Every month (bar two) had a theme, and rather than setting goals she created intentions, which meant more room for fluidity and flexibility and less feeling bad for not ticking a certain box every day.

She kicked off with slow mornings in January, and in a beautiful act of synchronicity, is finishing in December with experimenting with slow evenings. Her favourite experiments were the slow travel and slow food (delightful and delicious!). Throughout the year Cait realised that anything that makes you stop and think about what it is that you’re doing, in whatever aspect of your life, is a good thing. She and I talk more about that in terms of being overwhelmed with choice, feelings of FOMO, changing slowly, being compassionate and asking for help when we need it.

Cait’s overall goal with her book was to encourage people to pause and think about what’s going on when they feel the need to consume more or binge on whatever it is – shopping, drinking, eating, social media etc. And this mindfulness really permeates throughout all her work, and the way she lives her life. I think Cait is awesome and am so incredibly proud of her and her beautiful book.

Enjoy!

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2 Responses to Cait Flanders on her year of less, and why consumption isn’t just about stuff

  1. Hi Brooke, I was listening to this podcast and thought how much you would love the book I’m reading called “WE: A Manifesto for Women Everywhere” by Gillian Anderson and Jennifer Nadel. What you were talking about in this podcast is a lot like Principle 1.

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