Category Archives: Mindfulness

Slow down and find contentment in the moment, just as it is. Learn more about meditation, getting out in to nature, paying attention and mindful movement.

Chelsea Pottenger on depression, healing and creating mindful workplaces

Xavier Massa

This week is Post Natal Depression Awareness Week, and while that wasn’t something I was aware of when I first sat down to chat with today’s guest, it does not surprise me in the least. The more I chatted with Chelsea Pottenger the more parallels I uncovered between her story and mine, and the more I realised that our experiences of post natal depression and the resultant changes in the way we lived were an important part of that story.

Chelsea is now a mindfulness practitioner who works with large corporations to create a culture of productivity, self-care and strong boundaries in the workplace. She is also currently studying a Doctorate of Psychology and Neuroscience, as well as a Diploma of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing. Chelsea is an advocate for meditation and self-care, an ambassador for both the Gidget Foundation and RUOK day, a business owner and a mum. And while she now has created a life that allows her to find flow and long-term balance, it wasn’t always the case.

In this episode Chelsea and I talk about her life pre-PND, the hectic nature of her work, the ways she self-medicated to deal with stress, the perfectionism and comparisons that drove her to constantly work harder and strive for the next level of success, and the inevitable crash. We get pretty deep in to Chelsea’s experiences, and while it may be difficult listening for anyone going through a similar struggle, or anyone who has experienced mental health issues before, I also think that shining a light on these experiences is one of the most important things we can do.

Chelsea talks about the changes she made in learning how to be present, to meditate, to let go of the expectations and shoulds that used to drive her, and the benefits of living a more values-aligned life.

We also talk about the practicalities of her own time management, and how she strikes a long-term balance across work, family, health, community and down time, and why it may not be “slow” but it certainly is intentional.

As a workplace mindfulness expert, I also ask Chelsea about how we can incorporate mindfulness practices in to even the most cynical of offices, and she has some wonderful, practical tips on what to do in your own day-to-day that will help create pockets of slow (yes, even on the busiest of days).

This is such a great, practical, honest conversation that really does cover a lot of ground. I loved Chelsea’s honesty, as well as her endless optimism in the face of incredible challenges.

I’d also encourage anyone who is struggling with their mental health to get in touch with the organisations Chelsea mentioned in today’s conversation. Specifically, The Gidget Foundation and RUOK Day. These organisations have some incredible resources, and are a great place to begin when you know you need support but don’t know how to go about getting it.

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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 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!

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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 2.9 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!

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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!

 

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.

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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 2.9 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!

The Check Up


Simon Matzinger

It’s been a couple of months since we announced our plans to head off in to the wild and spend 2018 travelling, and quite a lot has happened since then. So we decided (somewhat foolishly, perhaps) to sit down, hit record, and just… talk. No notes. No plans. No idea.

I think honesty and vulnerability are important, but this episode? I’m not going to lie. It makes me nervous. I don’t know if you remember the historic and completely accidental release of the unedited poggie back in April 2016 (I still can’t figure out to laugh or cringe when I think about that) but this is like that, only we’re doing it on purpose.

Despite my misgivings though, I really do want to put this episode out in to the world because I think, in an attempt to be succinct and helpful, we sometimes present ourselves and the decisions we’ve made with a clarity that isn’t real. Or at least, it isn’t the whole picture. We sound like we know what we’re doing more often than not, when the reality is that we don’t. As we continue to make changes and grow and evolve, we struggle and stumble and question ourselves, and I think that’s normal. I welcome it.

We start out a little slow, given that both Ben and I were heartily jet-lagged at the time, but begin by chatting about the book and the vulnerability hangover I have at the moment, knowing people are reading the book and learning things about me that I’ve only previously ever thought about in the privacy of my own head. I’ve also started to receive some beautiful feedback (which means the world to me) and some not-so-beautiful feedback (which feels less horrible than I expected) so we talk about that a little too.

We also talk about the logistics of the upcoming 2018 adventure and the very handy way we’ve continued to procrastinate rather than tackle anything on our massive to-do list. (Although to be fair, we’ve since done a lot in preparation for the trip – bring admin things, house repairs, researching the rental market etc. And when I say we, I mean Ben. He’s the captain of that particular ship and for that I am very glad!)

The past few months have been massively busy for us as we went through the process of closing down our podcast network, Jackrabbit.FM, and we talk about the stress and worries that came along with that process, as well as the importance of boundaries now as we shift in to a new period of work and life.

It’s not a bad conversation – in fact, Ben actually told me after listening back to it that he really enjoyed it the second time around, but he also mentioned that this is the loosest we’ve been in a long time. I guess I’ll leave it up to you as to whether or not that’s a good thing…

Please tell us though – do you like these more off the cuff style episodes occasionally? Would you like more of them? Or less? Let us know!

——

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!