Category Archives: People

How can you get your family on board with a slower life? How do we engage with our community and make a difference in the world? How can we better spend our time with family and friends? And why does it matter?

An interview with Ben

“Living at the edge of your comfort zone is not going to be comfortable, but that’s where you expand, that’s where you grow and learn and change.”

Today’s episode is a little different. After some 200-odd episodes of the poggie, where I’ve shared so much of my own journey, so many of my own struggles and discoveries and lessons, we were well overdue for an episode where the focus was solely on Ben.

Over the years I’ve been asked many times about what this whole slow living thing has been like for him. What it’s like for someone who works in the corporate sector, for someone who worked long hours, someone who didn’t have the privilege of taking a few years to find out what was important and then gradually put it at the centre of his life. For someone who is married to me.

So today, I ask him all those questions. And honestly, it gets a little raw.

I’m not going to tell you any more about it because it really is worth a listen, but I do want you to know that this was a really enjoyable, uncomfortable yet comforting, healing, illuminating conversation for both Ben and I, and I’m genuinely thrilled to be able to share it with you.

Thank you for being here. xx

——

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 4.5 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!

 

Rob Greenfield on the enormous power of small changes

“Radical transformation doesn’t happen overnight. It starts with one small change, and then another one, and then another one.” — Rob Greenfield

Over the years I’ve found that one of the biggest obstacles to making positive change is a sense of hopelessness. What can I do? What difference will I make? Why does it matter? Who cares what one person does?

I’ve asked myself those exact questions countless times as I’m faced with the impotency of my own efforts. Whether it’s reducing plastic consumption and waste, making ethical clothing and food choices, supporting organisations trying to make a difference or showing kindness in the face of anger or aggression, I so often falter when I realise that me and my changes are merely a single drop in a very large ocean. I may pat myself on the back for avoiding plastic for an entire day, only to walk home and see hundreds of straws and cigarette butts littering the street. Boom. Demoralised.

In today’s episode I explore this issue with my guest, the inspiring and change-making Rob Greenfield, a self-described ‘dude making a difference’, and someone with a fascinating perspective on what is required in order to have a positive impact on the world.

Rob is an activist, environmentalist and legend, and is very good at raising people’s awareness of an issue by doing big, bold things to grab our attention. In 2016 he collected the amount of rubbish the average American creates in a month, strapped it to his body and wore it around New York City like a big old swollen trash suit. It’s a sight to behold and certainly succeeded in gaining attention to the massive issue of plastic waste.

But on the flip side, he’s also been the person making small, consistent change in his own life and in today’s conversation we talk about why that’s such an important lesson to learn, and one which will often lead to bigger changes down the line.

10 years ago Rob was living what he calls a “typical American life”. He was driven by money and ideas of success, obsessed with his car and didn’t consider the impact of his choices on the planet or the people around him. As he began to travel and broaden his horizons Rob began reading books and watching documentaries about the state of the world, and the more he learned, the more he realised he had to change.

So he did. Slowly, one step at a time. Rob talks about the fact that making positive changes in your life is a has a snowball effect, and we both agree that while this slow steady approach might seem frustrating or overwhelming at first, it really is the only way to go.  He breaks down the changes he made, and how these eventually fed into the big, bold experiments and projects he’s become known for.

We also talk about how he communicates these changes to the people around him, the idea of comfort zones, change and societal norms, as well as the need to practice compassion and get good it at, just like building any other muscle or skill. He shares an amazing story about a man named Guitar Johnny, that has stuck with me for many months and is such a simple and beautiful example of what it looks like to live with compassion and forgiveness.

It’s incredibly inspiring to hear Rob share so honestly about his life, and is a much-needed reminder that we can all make choices in our daily lives to have a more positive impact on the world.

I’m also really excited to see how Rob goes with his next project – growing or foraging 100% of his food for a whole year, and I’ve linked to this project in the show notes below.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this episode and take solace in the knowledge that every single change matters. No matter how big or small.

——

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 4.5 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 travel, fast kids and making counter-cultural choices

“Slow living is kind of this weird duality of being prepared, organised, systems in place, knowing what’s coming, managing expectations, and being flexible and fluid and understanding that life happens.”

The hostful is back, baby, and this one is big. We’ve got a personal and travel update, a heap of excellent listener questions, and we reveal the new Slow Experiment for May!

It’s been a while since we sat down and answered listener questions, and it feels like something of a homecoming. Your questions never fail to inspire me, and I often find myself thinking about them for days and weeks after. This episode is no different as we talk a lot about flexibility versus rigidity, spontaneity versus organisation, and expectations versus reality, not only in answer to your questions, but also as we do a deep dive on what the past few months have taught us (some of it has been rather uncomfortable, if I’m being honest).

On a similarly uncomfortable note, the North American release of SLOW is fast approaching, and with the official release date being July 10 and pre-orders now available, it’s feeling very real. As Ben and I discuss early in today’s episode, plans for tour events are coming together and I can’t wait to share them, but we’re also going to need your help. A cross-country book tour is no joke and if there’s any possible way you think you might be able to help – venues, media, logistics, bulk food, grocery and restaurant recommendations (seriously!), must-see stops along the way – let us know via email. One thing I’ve learnt about myself over the past few years is my tendency to take on all the jobs and then slowly wither under the pressure, so this is me getting honest and telling you that I can’t actually do that.

This provides a really beautiful link to some of the questions we answer in today’s episode, as a number of them revolve around the theme of expectation – both our own expectations of what we believe life “should” look like and the expectations we feel from external influences such as friends, family, social media, marketing, advertising etc.

A number of the questions ask specifically about slow living with young kids:

  • How is it possible to live slow when kids are fast and noisy and endlessly curious and messy?
  • Is there a way to extricate yourself from the busy-ness of young kids (activities, birthday parties, etc) without upsetting people?
  • How can slow living apply to families with one or more kids who have additional needs?

Then there are some questions that relate specifically to slow travel:

  • How did we know it was time to pull the trigger on our trip? What signs were there to show that we were ready for a huge change?
  • How are we managing the day-to-day of slow travel? What does that look like?
  • What has surprised, challenged or delighted us most about our trip so far?

Peppered throughout the entire episode is the theme of going against the norm, or making counter-cultural choices in the face of resistance. I think this is at the heart of all of slow living, whether you’re making changes at home with young kids attached to your knees, if you’re travelling the world, both, or somewhere entirely different.

Ben and I talk about the idea of living against the grain, the emotions it has brought up for both of us, the fears it awakens and the rebellious joy it brings too. There is something so liberating about removing the blinkers from the ‘shoulds’ of life, asking the big questions and then living in alignment with the answers, but I also understand why it is so scary. It’s my hope that talking about the ups and downs makes it more accessible and realistic, rather than some unattainable, romanticised version of life that nothing will live up to. It’s hard work to live against the grain, swimming against the flow, but man is it worthwhile.

Towards the end of the episode we also reveal the May Slow Experiment, which is all about daily creativity. If you listened to the March experiment you may have heard us talk about the impact of time in nature on our creativity (we spoke about it a lot in Episode 5 of the experiment). Following our nose, this seemed like the most obvious continuation of our experiments and we’re both really excited to see where it leads us. to As always, we want to keep the experiment flexible and accessible to as many people as possible, so the rules as such are very simple. We’re committing to an act of creativity every day in May, and we’d love you to play along too. That’s it.

Now, for those of you thinking you lack the basic creativity required to take part in this experiment, I’d encourage you to look outside the box when you consider what ‘creativity’ entails. It can be the traditional arts and crafts, writing or knitting, of course, but the way we view the world, the way we solve a problem, get dressed in the morning or choose to view things from a different angle can all be acts of creativity too.

To get you started, and to keep you motivated for the month of May, I’ve created a simple PDF for you to download and print out, and it has some suggestions on creative acts you can try throughout the month, as well as a colouring chart for every day you create.

Personally I’m excited to see what, if any, impact a daily creative practice is going to have on my:

  • problem solving
  • mindfulness
  • paying attention to tiny details
  • focus
  • creativity in work

and I can’t wait to hear the impact it has for you too. We’re getting started on May 1, and as always, will be using #slowexperiment over on Instagram to talk about our progress. Feel free to join in and share your experiment too!

In the meantime, 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 4 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!

Florence Williams on the importance of getting your nature fix

“We don’t have to think of nature as being pristine, we don’t have to think of it as being a wilderness area. That just makes it kind of unattainable in terms of our daily connection. I think that we can find nature where we are – we have to find it where we are.” – Florence Williams

In the perfect follow-up to March’s Great Outdoors Slow Experiment, today I chat with Florence Williams, author of The Nature Fix. Whether you’ve been reading the book or have never heard of it, you’re in for a treat. Florence is an epic researcher and communicator, and the studies and anecdotes she shares today are both informative and inspiring.

Kicking off, Florence shares her favourite definition of nature: Oscar Wilde’s generous statement that it is “a place where birds fly around uncooked”. She believes nature doesn’t have to be wild or pristine to have an impact, which makes it so much more accessible, especially to urban dwellers. She and I talk about the importance of prioritising and valuing time spent in nature, as well as sharing some concrete tips for engaging in nature once we get there.

Then we dive into the benefits. Florence shares what she found while researching and writing the book, from the way spending time in nature makes us feel more connected and be more civic-minded, to the impact on creativity, productivity and mood. She also touches on the relationship between nature and technology, encouraging kids to get outside, how she gets her own nature fix, research on the minimum recommended dose of outside time and so much more.

This conversation only further convinced me of the importance of spending time in nature – it’s not a ‘nice-to-do’, more a ‘need-to-do’. And as I discovered during last month’s Great Outdoors experiment, I truly believe there are so many positive changes to be made simply by spending more time in nature, encouraging others to do the same, and raising a generation of kids who grow up both knowing and loving time outside.

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 4 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!

The Great Outdoors: Part 5 – A Slow Experiment

“Let go of your expectations – what you think it should look like. Let the benefits flow as and when they will.”

I’m going to say this right now: this month’s experiment has been a game changer for me. Really, truly, honestly world shifting. I thought spending time in nature every day would be impactful, I even thought the benefits might exceed the wellbeing buzz I’ve come to associate with time outside. But I didn’t expect it to be quite so powerful.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I even started the experiment by reminiscing on my recovery from post natal depression, and the role nature played. My garden was the place I slowly remade myself, one tiny discovery at a time. I’ve known the power of nature for a long time.

In today’s poggie Ben and I wrap up our experience of the experiment, and chat about the wonderful (truly, wonder-full) final week of the experiment, which included birthday hikes, soaking in natural hot springs, snowball throwing playtime, skiing and discovering icy cold natural springs virtually in our backyard. I also had a timely reminder to let go of the “shoulds” and expectations of what these outdoor experiences would look like, and simply enjoy them for what they are.

We also look at the increasing number of studies finding a strong link between time outdoors and improved mental health. I wanted to steer clear of this conversation for most of the month as it’s always problematic to start throwing around the idea that certain activities and substances can cure mental illness, simply because there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution, but given the mental health crisis we’re facing in Australia and so many other countries, it’s a part of the conversation that needed to happen here and needs to continue happening.

 

It’s been such an incredible shift for both Ben and I, and I’d love to know if you’ve found it as transformative. Let us know over on Instagram using the hashtag #slowexperiment, or comment on Facebook. And also a massive thank you to everyone who’s joined us in the experiment – we’ve loved seeing your posts, and your passion and honesty in sharing has been inspiring. We’ll be announcing the May experiment later in April, so be sure to stay tuned for that too.

In the meantime, 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 4 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!