Busy and slow – can they co-exist?

Can you live slow if you’re someone who enjoys being busy? What if you’re a Type A, go-getter? Or someone who prides themselves on setting goals and kicking them every single time?

In today’s episode (the second-last of the season!) I chat with Elisa, who has spent the past year shedding many layers and self-beliefs, but now finds herself stuck on how to distil the myriad ideas she’s absorbed in to real, lasting change – without reverting to living fast.

It’s a curious tension, this desire to slow down while also feeling the need speed up in order to do so, and Elisa isn’t alone in wanting it. She and I talk a lot about my belief that slow and fast don’t need to be mutually exclusive, as well as the question of whether ‘slow’ is even the right word to move forward with.

Elisa shares the catalyst for making changes in her life before we dig in to the big questions of values and personal identity. As a mum who is just emerging from the parenting very young children phase, Elisa also spends some time exploring the underlying motivations that might be driving her desire to be constantly busy.

I talk about finding contentment in the now, no matter how imperfect, before we’re joined by none other than goals coach extraordinaire, Jacki Carr. We have a very juicy discussion on how to uncover our personal values and design our legacy, and Jacki (a self-confessed go-getter and serial goal kicker) has some incredible suggestions for Elisa to find pockets of slow intention in even the busiest of days. We also talk about how Jacki has reclaimed space for herself amidst the work of parenting, working and living a values-aligned life.

We’ll be back next week with a final hostful for the year, but until then, enjoy!

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Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

As always, thank you for listening!

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The imperfect reality of low-waste living

If you’ve ever tried to reduce the amount of plastic or food waste going in to your bin, if you’ve ever tried to cut back on packaging or unnecessary products in your shopping trolley, or if you’ve ever tried your hand at Plastic Free July and found yourself overwhelmed and frustrated at the lack of realistic low-waste options in your home town – this episode is for you.

Today we meet Amy, who lives in rural northern Maine, where recycling and low-waste resources are limited. Amy has been making progress in lots of different areas of slow living, but now finds herself at somewhat of a frustrating point where the lack of local services is making further progress tough.

She and I talk about the frustrations of living in a system that’s not set up for our success, and the importance of acknowledging when we’re doing the best we can given the situation we’re in. We also chat about the progress Amy has made already and I prove myself somewhat-useful (but mostly wrong) in offering compost advice.

Amy then asks me about another area of slow living that she’s working through at the moment: how to manage working from home/parenting/making low-waste choices while maintaining a semblance of balance. We have a really good chat about viewing life as seasonal, with some seasons offering us time to create new systems, while other seasons will be fuller, only giving us space to live with the systems that are already in place.

I’m then joined by Tammy Logan of Gippsland Unwrapped – an online community and activism platform that offers community-based and creative solutions to living a lower-waste life in rural areas. Tammy has some fantastic practical suggestions for how Amy could reduce the amount she needs to compost, as well as some solutions for those who might not have a typical compost set-up available. She also offers some hard-earned insight in to the pros and cons of making green changes in a small town, which are super helpful not only to Amy but also to me as I start to think more about the changes I’d like to help facilitate in our new home town.

This is an episode for anyone looking for realistic low-waste options, as well as inspiration to rethink what low-waste means. In a word, it’s encouraging!

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:

As always, thank you for listening!

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When slow becomes fast and no is hard to say

Today we have another wonderful listener conversation for you (I can’t believe we’re more than halfway through this season already!) and it features the delightfully intentional Sara.

Sara has found herself in a place many of us can relate to: she has gradually reduced the commitments in her life in order to do more of what lights her up but has found other requests and demands on her time sneaking in and is finding it difficult to create boundaries and say no.

We talk a lot about values and how service is one of the major motivations in Sara’s life, and why that might be creating tension as she looks to spend more time focusing on other areas of life.

Sara is trying to transition to retirement and is finding it difficult to recalibrate her values so we also look at how she might create some boundaries around her value of service in order to hold space for other parts of her life that are equally important.

We also talk about the role of ego in our desire to say yes and feel needed, as well as the feelings of guilt that arise when Sara – who has always put service of others ahead of her own needs – chooses to create and honour boundaries around her time, energy and other values.

I’m then joined by Cark Honore, who talks about our innate desire to feel relevant as we get older, and how to move through the fear of losing our identity when letting go of work, relationships or activities that used to help define us. We also have an interesting discussion on the trajectory of slow living and how it’s come to reflect different things now that it’s a mainstream idea.

If you’ve ever found yourself questioning how to establish stronger boundaries or how to more evenly weight the scales across all your values, this is a really thoughtful conversation. Plus, if you’re anything like me, you’ll feel all kinds of inspired listening to Sara talk about the work she does and the many different ways she serves her community. She’s an absolute gem.

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!

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Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

As always, thank you for listening!

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Can you live slow in your 20s, or is burnout inevitable?

Something I’ve been asked about quite a bit over the years is whether slow living truly has any application to people in their twenties. And while I believe that slow living has positive applications for everyone, no matter their age, work or family situation, I think it’s a fair question because so much of the information about slow living is presented from the perspective of people in their thirties and forties who are well-established in their lives and are making changes in order to slow down (usually after burning out or reaching a crisis point).  

So I’m really excited to bring you today’s episode, which features another courageous and honest listener, Lauren, who is in her mid-twenties and wants to know whether slow living is something you need to ‘earn’ by hustling and burning the candle at both ends, or whether there are things she can do now to help “build the right foundations for a slow life from the start of my career, rather than course-correcting later?”

Lauren also wants to know what specific things she might want to prioritise now in order to set herself up for an intentional life and I just want to hug her because the fact that she’s even asking these questions tells me a lot about the kind of person Lauren is. She’s intentional and thoughtful and willing to do a lot of self-reflection. In short: nothing like I was in my twenties.

Lauren and I talk about what success looks like to her, and why it’s important for us all to develop our own definition of it, as well as how to reframe the sense of overwhelm that comes when faced with so many opportunities and options in your mid-twenties.

I also try to offer Lauren some suggestions on how to better get to know herself and her values, and provide some super practical ideas on how to develop boundaries at work, how to cope with self-doubt and how to practice present-moment awareness when the world is so full of distractions.

Happily I’m then joined by Jocelyn Glei, host of the podcast Hurry Slowly and author of Unsubscribe: A modern guide to getting rid of email anxiety, who shares her own experiences of figuring out what living with intention actually means (at any age) and how to view the mistakes and challenges of your twenties as essential learning experiences rather than failings or mis-steps.

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!

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Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

As always, thank you for listening!

Love Slow? Support the show!

How to make a difference

When we look around and see the myriad environmental crises facing the world it can be easy to slip in to despair, as we wonder, “What difference can I make? I’m only one person.”

In today’s episode we meet Georgi, who has made massive strides in changing the way she lives as an individual but is now looking at the bigger picture and wants to know:

“What are some bigger things I can do, outside my own home, to make a real impact?”

What follows is a really wide-ranging chat where Georgi and I look at both the highly practical changes we can make in our personal attempts to live a more sustainable life, as well as the broader issue of how to work out what we have to offer our community and how to begin delivering it.

A big part of this conversation is about acknowledging that we, as individuals, cannot fix every problem, and to constantly berate ourselves about that fact is a disservice to what we can offer. Georgi and I use this as a jumping off point to talk about the importance of hope and vision – of taking the time to visualise a better version of our community – and to use that as motivation for change.

We also look at the different ways we can make change in our communities. We can, of course, create new programs or services or conversations ourselves, but we can also lend our skills and gifts to those that already exist by way of financial support, volunteering, facilitation and spreading the word. Community isn’t just a place or a group of people, it’s also a way of connecting with those around us and coming together for a common purpose – we don’t need to go it alone.

After farewelling Georgi (hopefully armed with a whole heap of questions and ideas that will help bring her clarity on what comes next), I’m joined by another wonderful special guest. This week it’s Sarah Wilson, author of First, We Make the Beast Beautiful, who talks about the importance of starting where you are and using what you’ve got in order to make change.

We also talk about the current duality of online communities (ie you’re either with us or against us) and the problem with imagining that same division to be present in to our day-to-day conversations. Sarah also brings up the importance of hope, and reminds us that while our individual voice might not feel like it matters much, change can only happen when we join our voice to those around us to make a noisy, beautiful chorus.

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!

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Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

As always, thank you for listening!

Love Slow? Support the show!