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.

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.

——

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!

——

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! 

——

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!

Annie Raser-Rowland on the art of Frugal Hedonism – Summer Series

Photo by Simon Migaj 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!

——

You know those conversations that change things? The ones that act as a delineation point? The ones you look back on and realise that, as a result of having them, your worldview is different? Ben and I had one of those early in 2017 when we sat down to chat with the utterly wonderful Annie Raser-Rowland.

Annie was actually recommended to us as a poggie guest in light of The Art of Frugal Hedonism – the book she co-authored with Adam Grubb – and I’m so grateful to have had the chance to chat with her about life and pleasure and scarcity and ego and many other things.

One of the things I noticed about Annie almost straight away was the way she uses words. They have weight and meaning and feeling to them, and I sat across from her for an hour with an enormous, goofy grin on my face and simply listened to her. It feels like the way Annie speaks is very similar to the way she moves through life. Things are considered, but they’re also felt. Life is experienced, explored, meaningful, soaked up and revelled in.

And that’s what I love about this notion of frugal hedonism. There are many practical ways to start adopting it in to your life, and Annie and I cover some of those in our chat, but even more than that it’s about experiencing things, paying attention, giving yourself space and time to spend afternoons immersed in cloud-watching or 10 minutes eating an apple in the sun. It’s about deciding what’s important to us and putting those things at the centre, even if that means we give up on lots of other things along the way.

We also talk about envy and comparisons, and the role these have in the constant striving to keep up, the impact of advertising and social conditioning (and social media for that matter!) on our desire to fit in, and where Annie’s drive to simplify stems from.

In short, this is such an inspiring conversation that I hope you enjoy as much as we did.

——

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!

Slow by name, slow by nature

Johan Desaeyere

When I first started down the path towards a slower life I wanted to race to the end of it. I was going to be the fastest person to ever arrive at slow, and I was going to do it perfectly too.

Except… well, slow doesn’t really work that way.

Recently I’ve had a lot of conversations with people who’ve come to the same realisation I eventually did – that meditation or mindfulness aren’t going to stop us from experiencing stress or busy times, but they do offer us ways in which we can better deal with those periods of stress or busy-ness.

And while slowing down, simplifying, and living a more intentional life can remove a lot of the excess stress and busy-ness (the kind that we find ourselves amongst as a result of mindlessly following along rather than actively choosing where to put our attention and energy) it also comes with its own set of lessons to learn.

I remember feeling so incredibly frustrated that I couldn’t do it all, be it all, slow it all down right now  and I recall just how much that challenged my idea of success. Which was kind of the point. Which, really, is kind of the point of slow.

In today’s poggie Ben and I talk about this idea of “slow” being, well, slow. We discuss the annoyance and impatience we’ve faced as we’ve learnt to slow down our efforts, as well as some of the lessons that only tend to reveal themselves as a result of that frustration. I also share a recent example of softening in to impatience, and hopefully highlight the fact that we’re just out here learning and making mistakes and trying to pick up some lessons as we go.

There is no there.

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 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!

 

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.

——

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!