Rituals: Brain Dump

Rituals: Brain Dump - Episode 136 of The Slow Home Podcast

You know those days where there are too many thoughts, too many ideas and too many tasks zooming around the confines of your brain, all wanting your attention but never sticking around for long enough to be acted upon? Those days where the competing thoughts, ideas, projects, problems, grocery items, packing lists never stop rolling around your head, leaving you tired and prone to procrastination?

I’m no stranger to days like that, and what I’ve discovered is that the low-level anxiousness that accompanies this overwhelmingly active brain is one of the biggest obstacles to slow. When we can’t stop, we can’t think, we can’t act – we can’t slow down.

This is where the poetically named Brain Dump comes in. This week, as we continue to look at some of the everyday rituals we can use to create a little slow in our days, it’s all about getting it out on paper.

The Brain Dump is a ritual I use to great effect whenever I’m feeling a little overwhelmed, and in today’s episode I talk through exactly how I use it (not daily, but whenever I feel that familiar quickening of my thoughts) and how it helps me to calm down, find clarity, get mindful and start getting things done.

Essentially, it’s about getting everything out of your brain and on to paper, so you can restore some clarity and simultaneously free up a whole lot of mental energy, creating space where there was none previously. And it’s in this freeing of space that the Brain Dump helps us to find little pockets of slow in our days.

As always, we end the episode with an action we’d love you to try and this week it’s very simple: try the Brain Dump ritual once and see if it impacts your ability to slow down, get mindful and start moving forward again.

——

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 1.7 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 simple art of meditation with Kevin Janks

The simple art of meditation with Kevin Janks - Episode 135 of The Slow Home Podcast

Back in May 2016 Ben and I completed a month-long daily meditation experiment, which proved to be a massive game-changer for me. Before we started I had in mind that meditation was this complex, highly spiritual ritual that was vaguely intimidating. What I actually discovered was that it didn’t need to be complex at all, and the benefits of spending even a few minutes a day in meditation were too good to overlook. Ever since, meditation has been a regular (or mostly regular, some weeks) part of my daily rhythm.

Over that first month I also started to see the impact meditation had on other parts of my life – specifically (and surprisingly) my confidence and clarity of mind – as well as the sense of calm I carried throughout the day.

When I talk about meditation though, there are a handful of common responses from people:

  • they’re skeptical of its usefuness
  • they dislike the religious or spiritual connotations of the practice
  • they don’t have time to meditate daily
  • they’re scientifically minded and want proof of its effectiveness

Knowing how transformative meditation has been for me, I want to work to disprove some of these ideas, but as an amateur, I’ve never had the experience to back it up, so when I met Kevin Janks at an event recently and got talking to him about meditation, I knew he was the person to talk to.

Kevin used to struggle with anxiety as a result of a fast-paced, hectic, successful life, and was introduced to meditation by his partner. Initially very (very) skeptical, Kevin eventually conducted his own meditation experiment and couldn’t deny the positive benefits after only a day or two. Since then he’s travelled to India to study many elements of meditation, and in 2015 opened Centred Meditation – Sydney’s first drop-in meditation centre, right in the CBD.

He now spends his days helping stressed, overwhelmed professionals learn the process of meditation, and sees daily examples of the power of simply being present.

We had such a great conversation and speak about his entry point to meditation, the benefits he personally has experienced as well as the changes he sees in clients who practice at the studio. We talk about the difference between cynicism and skepticism when it comes to meditation, the value of mindfulness techniques in addition to (or instead of) a formal practise, and the way meditation has impacted both his relationships with others and himself.

I hope this week’s episode convinces you to give meditation a try, and I’ve included a list of resources below that could help you get started.

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!

——

Check out after listening:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

You may have heard that we recently hit 1.6 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!

Rituals: Unplugging

Rituals: Unplugging - Episode 134 of The Slow Home Podcast

Last year an Australian study found that we spend more than 46 hours per week on a screen, and just 6 hours with family and friends over the same period. Another study revealed that Brits will spend over 3 years of their adult lives updating social media – only marginally less than the three years, two months they spend on holidays. Americans, meanwhile, spend more than 10 hours a day attached to a screen of some description – a full one hour more every day than was revealed in a similar study a year earlier.

All this to say – we spend a lot of time attached to a device of connection. Smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops, video games… we’re constantly being beeped at, notified of or vibrated at and it’s taking its toll.

While much of our online life is necessary and part of the modern workplace, we also allow it to impose on our downtime, with many hours spent watching TV, scrolling social media and falling down endless internet rabbitholes. Not only does it stop us from doing other things with our time, but the blue light of smartphones and tablets also impacts our ability to go to sleep – and stay asleep – meaning we’re more tired and more wired than ever.

In today’s episode Ben and I look at a very simple daily ritual that can help you break the habit of constant connection. Learning to unplug regularly not only breaks the social media/procrastination loop, but it also turns our attention elsewhere – to the people nearby, the conversations, the trees, the light, the breeze, the feelings, the sensations. It can also help us sleep more soundly, wake up more refreshed and minimise the lost moments in the morning where we accidentally check every news website and email account before jumping in the shower.

We talk about the benefits of having a screen-free bedroom, as well as how you can actually harness technology to help you become more mindful and to schedule in pockets of disconnection throughout the day.

This week’s action is to set an alarm each evening for 30 minutes before bed time, and use it as a reminder to disconnect from the phone, the computer, the TV. Try to use this time to unwind from the day and prepare yourself for a good night’s rest, and simply see if it has an impact on your sleep after doing it for a week. It’s simple, I promise!

Hit me up on Instagram or Facebook and let us know how you go after a week of ritual unplugging. In the meantime, enjoy your week!

——

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 1.7 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!

How to take time off as a self-employed person

How to take time off as a self employed person - Episode 133 of The Slow Home Podcast

Since launching the podcast almost two years ago (time flies when you’re having fun, that’s for sure!) one of the things I’ve learnt to love the most are our hostful Q&A episodes. I used to face them with a little trepidation because I was afraid of not having a good enough answer. But what I failed to see was the opportunity to learn from your questions, rather than worry about getting the answers ‘right’.

Today is the first Q&A of the year and, as always, you’ve asked some incredibly insightful questions:

  • Do you find you are more sensitive to others people’s cluttered homes now you have simplified yourself? Any tips for dealing with clutter intolerance in other people’s homes and even our own homes at times?
  • As I search for my first job after college, I’m noticing most companies lack a work-life balance. Taking care of myself and living a slow life is important to me. Do you have any advice about maintaining a slow living value while searching for a job in a world that operates at a very high speed?
  • Does slow living apply to how you eat? Do you eat simple meals? Any tips?
  • I own my own business and your vacation sounded so relaxing. How do you just unplug or set those boundaries to spend time with family without thinking if someone needs something with your business?
  • I love the sound of your holiday in Japan, and my husband and kids would have an absolute ball. I’d love a lot of it too, but I’d end up spending most of it alone as I have adrenal fatigue. How would you approach this challenge? My ideal holiday right now would involve long, lazy days and plenty of rest, but the kids (7,10 & 11) would be bored silly. How do you think we could find adventurous and fun ways to spend time together that suit all of us?

We had so much fun answering these, and it gave us the chance to talk through topics we’ve not really discussed on the poggie before. So to everyone who submitted a question – thank you!

We couldn’t get through them all today so will keep answering your questions next month. If ever you do have a question for the hostful shows, feel free to post over on the Facebook page or in the comments here on the blog.

This week’s episode is sponsored by, well, you actually! For everyone who has ever contributed to our Patreon account, we just want to send you a big hug! It makes such a difference to us and helps us to cover costs such as media hosting and website fees. If you want to support the show financially you can head over to our Patreon account and either leave a one-off or regular contribution there. Thanks gang! 

In the meantime, have a lovely week!

——

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!

——

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

You may have heard that we recently hit 1.5 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!

Rituals: Single Tasking

Rituals: Single Tasking - Episode 132 of The Slow Home Podcast

Welcome to the first Monday show of the year! As we mentioned last week, these Monday episodes are going to be a little different in 2017 as we move away from the month-long experiments and into something more accessible and actionable.

So much of slow living is about small, consistent changes as opposed to large-scale shifts, and while the experiments were such an amazing way of transforming our lives, they took a huge amount of energy to implement, which wasn’t the “small, consistent changes” approach we were going for. Plus, Ben and I both agree that recording and creating shows in real-time wasn’t the best example of slower, simpler work practices either!

Every week we’re going to cover one simple, easy, accessible slow living idea that will either give you something to do, or something to think about in the days after. We want to give you opportunity to act on these without feeling overwhelmed, so there will sometimes be a suggested action or change at the end of these episodes too.

Which brings me to today’s show, where we talk about the idea of single-tasking.

This is one of my favourite ways to introduce productive mindfulness to people who are too busy to meditate or take time for quiet reflection, as it allows us to keep doing, albeit in a much more mindful way than the overwhelming approach that is multi-tasking.

We talk about what I actually mean when I talk about single-tasking, why it’s necessary and how to practice it. 

We also want to finish each of these Monday shows with a takeaway or action for you to try, and this week it’s to try single-tasking once a day for the next week. Then simply observe yourself and see how it makes you feel and any changes – no matter how small – you may notice over time.

I really hope you enjoy this new style of show and that it brings slow living back down to a level where we can always find a small step forward, no matter how overwhelmed you may be feeling. In the meantime, have a wonderful week!

——

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 1.2 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!