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Rachel Jonat on the Joy of Doing Nothing

Nanda Green

Three-time guest Rachel Jonat of The Minimalist Mom is back! This week brings some real-talk to the topics of slow living as a family, as we catch up on the changes in Rachel and her family’s life since she was last on the show, as well as talk about her new book, The Joy of Doing Nothing.

You might remember way back in Episode 30, Rachel and her family had just moved to Vancouver from the Isle of Man, and she and I talked about the ways city living and slow living tied in together. That conversation had a big impact on my understanding of slow, simple living, as previously I’d always imagined city living in opposition to slow. But Rachel shared the multitude of ways that city living actually made simple living easier (public transport, closer community, smaller living spaces, less home maintenance, easier access to farmer’s markets) and the reasons it worked for her family.

In Episode 93, the talk turned more specifically to kids and slow living, how Rachel managed to declutter and simplify with three young kids, and the expectations vs reality. For anyone who has a young family it’s a realistic, helpful, practical episode that I’d highly recommend.

In today’s episode we flip the script entirely though, as Rachel and her family have recently moved away from the city to a small town.

The decision to sell their condo in Vancouver and buy a house in a small town in the mountains of BC was a well-thought-out one that aligned with the needs of Rachel’s family, and also her and her husband’s values. She and I talk about the reality of making this decision, what led up to it, and how the change in location has impacted her family’s lives.

Rachel talks about the shift in pace from city to small-town living, which, given her new book, The Joy of Doing Nothing, is utterly relevant. She was working on the book right before she and her husband made the decision to leave Vancouver, and felt inspired by what she was writing about to try and find a life that gave her the time and space she wanted. The book is about slowing down and simplifying, but rather than being about stuff, it focuses on simple, actionable ways to create quiet time for yourself to really unplug and just be. It’s not an extreme approach in any sense, but it definitely taps into that fear so many of us have of not being entertained, distracted or scheduled, and encourages us to hit reset a little more often.

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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:

Recently we hit the mind-blowing number of 3.5 million downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! This is all 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!

Welcome to the great experiment of 2018

A belated Happy New Year to you and yours, my friends. I hope the holidays were good to you (as forever ago as they may feel) and that 2018 is off to a great start. We’re coming at you from the amazing Rocky Mountains in Canada, just over a week in to our year-long experiment, and in today’s poggie, the first new episode, we talk about the past couple of months and all they’ve entailed.

Since December, we’ve sold our house in the Blue Mountains, given away the vast majority of our belongings, packed up all that was left, said goodbye to family and friends, and flown off to the great unknown. And even as I write those words it seems surreal. As though I’m still imagining those things rather than living them.

In this poggie Ben and I go deep in to everything that’s happened over the past couple of months since we last recorded. First we talk about the head, heart and hard work that went into selling our house, moving out, saying goodbye and getting on that plane. The amount of energy and emotion involved caught us by surprise, and at times Ben found himself in a really stressful place, potentially taking tilting a little too far. We talk about the role that planning and organisation played in getting through that stress relatively unscathed, and the fact that so often we overlook the importance of the unsexy administrative and logistical work in living a slower simpler life, instead favouring the big, showy changes.

We also talk about the specifics of what went down during January, including our garage giveaway, having a super slow New Year’s Eve, the emotions involved with leaving our house (specifically the garden) for the final time, packing and the difficulty of saying goodbye (especially to our dog).

It’s been a big few weeks, with some really big emotions, but never once have we questioned whether we were doing the right thing or not. Two days in to our big adventure and we really are living in the unknown, doing the experiment.

And speaking of experiments, as we mentioned at the end of last year, the slow experiments are back! They’ll be happening every second month, and the first one will kick off in March, so stay tuned.

In the meantime though, thank you for your patience as we took some time to settle in to our new situation, and for the wonderful support you’ve given us this year already. I’m so excited to share our discoveries, mistakes and realisations with you over the coming months, but also wanted to assure you that the poggie is not going to become The Slow Travel Podcast! Starting next week we’ll be back on deck with some great interviews with people who have embraced a slower, simpler way of life.

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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:

Recently we hit the mind-blowing number of 3.5 million downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! This is all 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!

Sarah Wilson on sucking at meditation (and doing it anyway)

Photo by Kalen Emsley on Unsplash

Hello, and welcome to the Slow Home Summer series! For 5 weeks over December and January we’ll be revisiting some of our favourite episodes from 2017, so we can walk the walk and slow down during the Christmas break. Also it turns out podcasts, just like fine wine, really do get better with age. Whether you missed them the first time around, or are having another listen, we hope you enjoy these poggies as much as we did!

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The conversations I’ve had on this podcast have been some of the biggest highlights and most electrifying moments of realisation of my life. The opportunity to talk to people and pick their brains about simplifying, or intention, or making cool stuff or living according to their Why is amazing and I’m really grateful for it. But can I tell you something? I get so nervous. Every single interview has me tied in knots before I begin, hoping I’ll do it justice, worried I’ll sound like an idiot. Once the first question is out of my mouth I’m golden, but until that happens I’m a jittery, sweaty mess of half-formed ideas and the vague notion I’m about to make a fool of myself.

So let me tell you that I was very excited and a little [lot] nervous before I sat down to chat with my guest today. Sarah Wilson is someone I’ve admired for years – not only for the work she’s done to promote the notion of drastically cutting sugar in our diets and her more recent work in preventing food waste – but also the way she goes about that work. She is honest and open, prepared to stand for something regardless of whether people agree with her, and she’s also funny and smart and good at not taking herself too seriously.

Since the release of her most recent book ‘first we make the beast beautiful: a new story about anxiety’ my admiration has kicked up a notch. In it she talks honestly and beautifully about her own story of anxiety, depression and being diagnosed bipolar. She writes about the highly uncomfortable and life-affirming experiences involved in facing her anxiety, learning to move through it, live with it, and eventually embrace it as a vital and valuable part of herself. And she writes about the ways she has learnt to live most comfortably with it – through meditation, exercise, mindfulness, bush walking, learning, recalibrating, building awareness, simplifying life and understanding the importance of slowing down.

In this conversation we dive deep in to this topic of anxiety and how Sarah slows down in order to both strengthen herself against its more harmful side, and simultaneously go deeper in to it. We talk about the discomfort of true reflection and her growing boredom with shallow conversations and external grasping (and why cocktail parties are the worst example of this!) We also talk about the idea that it’s not necessary or even helpful to slow down simply for the sake of slowing down, but rather aiming to slow down in order to be or do something meaningful.

As an avid bush walker, Sarah talks about why she chooses to head off in to the bush every second weekend (more if possible) and what the rhythm and solitude of solo hiking provides her that other exercises can’t. Sarah shares her cure for insomnia and why one of her two major tenets of slow-ness is to simply walk. She also introduces me to the French idea of ‘flâner’, an urban wandering, and why sometimes it’s enough to simply walk through our own neighbourhood, noticing, paying attention, watching people and observing the comings and goings that surround us.

We also talk about meditation and why it’s the second key tenet of slow-ness for Sarah, and why it’s not only OK to suck at meditation, but why it’s actually incredibly useful to be bad at it.

I so often finish my conversations by saying that I could have spoken to my guest for hours and it’s the case here too. Sarah is a fascinating, open person and I loved chatting with her. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! 

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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:

Recently we hit the mind-blowing number of 3.5 million downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! This is all 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 and saying no to plastic – Summer Series

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Hello, and welcome to the Slow Home Summer series! For 5 weeks over December and January we’ll be revisiting some of our favourite episodes from 2017, so we can walk the walk and slow down during the Christmas break. Also it turns out podcasts, just like fine wine, really do get better with age. Whether you missed them the first time around, or are having another listen, we hope you enjoy these poggies as much as we did!

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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!

——

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:

Recently we hit the mind-blowing number of 3.5 million downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! This is all 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!

Rebecca Sullivan wants you to embrace your inner granny – Summer Series

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Hello, and welcome to the Slow Home Summer series! For 5 weeks over December and January we’ll be revisiting some of our favourite episodes from 2017, so we can walk the walk and slow down during the Christmas break. Also it turns out podcasts, just like fine wine, really do get better with age. Whether you missed them the first time around, or are having another listen, we hope you enjoy these poggies as much as we did!

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I came in to my research for today’s episode with Rebecca Sullivan, founder of the Granny Skills Movement, expecting to spend a significant amount of our chat focusing on her beautiful, most recent book ‘The Art of the Natural Home’. We’d talk about the importance of bicarb soda and the utter delight that is making your own ferments, why we’re seeing a return to the traditions of our grandparents and how it’s been co-opted in to hipster life. And we do discuss all of those things in this poggie.

But what became apparent real quick is that Rebecca is also a woman whose passion for tradition, heritage and intergenerational connection goes way deeper than any riff on green cleaning or sauerkraut could begin to touch. So we dive head-long in to a discussion about her recent pilot program that placed grandparents in local high schools, who then taught students home economics, wood working and other traditional skills. I loved hearing about the impact of this program on not only the kids, but also the grannies who were doing the teaching. It speaks to a significant issue in our society currently, where older people are often marginalised, lonely or left to spend their later years in nursing homes, their wealth of knowledge disappearing as they do.

Granted, that seems heavier listening than a discussion on vinegar and bicarb, but it’s an important one, and something I want to continue exploring over the coming months.

We also talk about the importance of failure, and the liberation that comes once we accept and even embrace our own screw-ups. As a keen balcony gardener, Rebecca shares her best hits for container growing, including some of the Australian native edibles that are most likely to survive some light-to-moderate neglect.

Rebecca and I talk about the point of view that says ‘chores’ are something we need to dread, and the mindset shift we’ve both made (usually) that sees tasks such as making, mending, growing, cooking, cleaning, preparing and experimenting as something more purposeful and fulfilling rather than a drudgery to be suffered through. We both freely admit that Netflix and convenience play a regular role in our lives too, so it’s not all bad news, but this mindset shift is actually an important one to think on.

This is a genuinely delightful conversation with a genuinely delightful woman who I have decided is my newest firm friend, whether she knows it or not. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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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:

  • warndu.com
  • The Art of the Natural Home
  • Connect with Rebecca:  IG  |  Facebook
  • Learn more about Simple Year 2018 – a 12-month guided simplicity program featuring contributors such as The Minimalists, Cait Flanders, Courtney Carver, Jules Clancy, Marc and Angel Chernoff, Tammy Strobel, Colin Wright, Anthony Ongaro, Erin Juenemann and Rachel Macy Stafford. 

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

Recently we hit the mind-blowing number of 3.5 million downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! This is all 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!