Monthly Archives: June 2015

Slow Living Workshops – Are You Interested?

Slow Living Workshops

I’m quite introverted. I enjoy my own company, I’m a big fan of quiet and often find social gatherings (particularly large groups of people I don’t know well) incredibly intimidating.

This year, however, I’ve come to realise the importance of connection – the kind that happens in the real-world, face to face, in person.

It started when I met up with blog readers in a coffee shop in Calgary and has continued with my weekly video calls for The Bloom. And since I launched the podcast it’s become increasingly obvious to me that we, as humans, benefit massively from connection. We learn from interacting with others. We gain so much from hearing their stories and listening to their experiences.

There is a great deal to be gained from reading about and even listening to someone else’s experiences. I do it all the time. But it’s not the same as sitting in a room and learning from them, asking questions, getting a sense of who they are and what’s important to them.

That’s one of the reasons I’m launching a series of Slow Living Workshops. The events will give people the opportunity to do just that – connect with myself and like-minded folks and learn what it is to create a slower, simpler life.

In late July, I’ll be teaming up with Cybele from BlahBlah Magazine to hold a half-day slow living workshop in Sydney (more details to come soon).

And in late September I’m hoping to hold a workshop somewhere in the United States. Due to travel and time restrictions there is only time for one event on Sunday 27th September, but I would love your help choosing which city to hold it in.

I’ve put together a very brief (three questions only) survey which you can find at the bottom of the post and would be so grateful if you could take one minute to complete it.

As I mentioned above, I’m only able to hold one event due to travel and time restrictions, but if there’s enough interest I would be very keen to return for a longer trip next year. So even if you’re unable to make the September event I would be grateful if you could complete the survey and nominate your closest city, so I can try to include it in an extended visit in 2016.

Also, for those of us not in North America, there is room to nominate your closest major city as well. I’d love to hear from readers in Europe, Asia, New Zealand and Australia too!

September Event Details:

Date: Sunday 27th September

Time: TBC (Approx 4 hours in length)

Venue: TBC

Cost: TBC (Looking at around $50, including light refreshments)

Please complete the very brief survey below:

For those of you who already answered on Twitter and Facebook – thank you! I’ve taken your suggestions into account and will add your votes to the totals I receive here.

 

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As for the Sydney event:

Cybele and I are working out the final details this week and will be posting ticket information next week, but we will be holding a half-day slow living workshop in late July. I’m so excited at how it’s coming together and can’t wait to share it with you.

Tickets will be limited and available for purchase online next week.

In the meantime, thank you for completing the survey, feel free to leave comments or suggestions for the workshops below and enjoy your week!

 

Donnie Maclurcan talks about a post-growth world – SHP012

Episode 12 of The Slow Home Podcast - an interview with Donnie Maclurcan of The Post-Growth Institute

One of the biggest questions I have of the minimalism movement is a somewhat unexpected one: What happens to the world’s economies if we all bought significantly less stuff?

Like it or not, many of the planet’s economies are built, at least in part, on ever-growing levels consumption, so it makes sense that a decrease in buying stuff would have a big impact on things like wealth, employment, government spending, infrastructure…

Honestly, it’s one of the few questions that make me uncomfortable. Which is why today’s episode of The Slow Home Podcast is such an interesting one. 

In today’s show I chat with Donnie Maclurcan, co-founder of The Post Growth Institute and a vocal advocate for a new economy. He is also an Affiliate Professor of Social Science at Southern Oregon University, author of a brand-new book ‘How on Earth?’ and one of the most interesting guests I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing.

I will admit to feeling intimidated before my chat with Donnie, as understanding in-depth economic issues is…not my strong suit. But he is so good at taking incredibly complex ideas and making them accessible and easy to understand. He’s also incredibly passionate about steering the world into a more community-centric, asset-based era.

During our conversation we look at what that actually means in real terms and whether it goes beyond the current trend of the Uber-esque sharing economy (hint: yes, it does).

I came away from our chat feeling hopeful and light and significantly more aware of the issues our world is going to face in the coming years. There is a whole heap of food for thought in this episode, and I really hope you enjoy it.

Today’s show is sponsored by Audible.com. There you can access over 180,000 audiobooks, including Thrive, by Arianna Huffington. Click here to get a free 30-day trial of Audible and claim one free audiobook of your choice.

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Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Alternatively, you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

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What You’ll Hear About  in Today’s Episode:

    • What we mean by ‘post-growth’ and how it applies to our lives today.
    • Why it goes beyond the idea of sharing, à la Uber.
    • Why my idea of a not-for-profit was almost totally wrong, and what a well-run not-for-profit can bring to a community.
    • Why these ideas don’t just apply to small, artisanal producers but can be (and are being) adopted by large corporations.
  • How community is at the heart of a stronger, richer, more sustainable and more supportive economy.

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

How to Embrace Slow

How To Embrace Slow

We’ve just had an incredible long weekend, although there was really nothing extraordinary about it.

We spent time with family, slept in, watched movies, had a backyard campfire, took a long, slow bushwalk together and enjoyed some beers at the pub. I read a little, wrote a little, thought a lot.

When we slow down, we give ourselves time and space to really think about things, to be present, to embrace what’s happening right in front of us, as opposed to flitting from task to task, never quite spending time in the now.

I tried to think about how it’s come to be this way for us, how it’s come to be easy to slow down and enjoy the moment. And I realised two things:

1. There are no rules that apply to everyone.

2. You can’t wait for a perfect time to slow down.

If we waited until the house was immaculately tidy and work was quiet and the kids were perfectly settled and we had no stresses, then we would still be waiting for permission from life to slow down.

It doesn’t happen like that. Life is messy and layered and there are always things going on. It requires constant tilting.

This weekend could have been stressful. The kids have been sick, work is very busy and there are always (always) things to do at home.

But instead of waiting for those things to not be an issue anymore, we simply embraced the opportunity to slow down anyway.

Chores? They’ll be there tomorrow.

Kids unwell? Take it easy and enjoy the opportunity to watch Star Wars and Jurassic Park. (Side Note: It’s such a happy day when the kids start requesting something other than sugar-soaked animated films.)

Work stresses? Don’t check in over the weekend. It can wait ’til you’re back at your desk.

It’s amazing what comes to the surface when we slow down and stop cramming stuff in to life. Ideas, thoughts and memories come bubbling up alongside realisations and discoveries.

We think clearly. We pay attention to the moment. We learn things. We come away feeling rested and rejuvenated and at peace, because we’ve spent time living in the now.

That’s the feeling I have this morning as I sit with my coffee and write these words. Peace. Because I can look back at the time I’ve just spent with my family and can see that I truly spent my time with my family. I was all there.

And while the emails need to be answered, the lunches made, the floor mopped, the meetings attended, it’s these times of being present, of living slow, of paying attention that will be important.

 

Hostful Episode: Dealing with Judgement – SHP011

The Slow Home Podcast - Hostful Q&A

Nerdist is one of my favourite podcasts in the entire world. It’s funny and insightful and sometimes rude, and it was the first non-business or productivity podcast I subscribed to.

Occasionally the boys do a Hostful show, which is an episode without any guests, where they chat about life and what’s happening and try to make each other laugh. They’re some of my favourite episodes, so when Sparky and I sat down to work out the next few episodes for The Slow Home Podcast, we decided to throw our own hostful into the mix.

That being said, I don’t think it would be quite as entertaining listening to us talk about life for 45 minutes… “Have you paid the insurance yet?” “What time is your meeting at preschool tomorrow?” “Do the kids need new shoes for winter?”

So our hostful episode is all about you, and today I try my best to answer three listener questions:

    • How do I deal with the negative judgements (both internal and external) that come with slowing down and simplifying my life?
    • How can I integrate nature and the outdoors into a slower, everyday life?
  • What books have helped in your journey towards a slower, simpler life?

I also may or may not end with a small rant about the personification of our stuff and why it’s harming our ability to let go.

The episode’s format is a little different but I hope it’s something you enjoy. We certainly had fun recording it!

Want to submit a question of your own for the next Hostful Q&A?

If you have any questions about slowing down or simplifying life, I’ve created a page for you to submit them either via email or voice recording. Head over here to ask your questions – I’d love to answer them in the next Q&A show.

In the meantime though, enjoy today’s episode and, as always, feel free to leave your questions or suggestions in the comments below.

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Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Alternatively, 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:

Constant Outrage is All the Rage

There is a lot of outrage to be found on the internet.

We’re outraged by a reality TV drama.We’re outraged by a photoshopped Instagram picture. We’re outraged by the existence of Justin Bieber.

Difference of opinion? Outrageous. Not doing things my way? Outrageous. Making counter-cultural choices? OUTRAGEOUS.

Constant outrage – particularly vented on social media – has become an epidemic, much like slacktivism.

With the click of a few buttons, a sprinkling of hashtags or sharing of links we can appear knowledgable and well-rounded and opinionated, all without leaving the comfort of our homes. All without doing a lot.

Look, I’m partial to a good rant myself.  But constantly looking for things to be enraged about is exhausting.

  • It’s OK to not have opinions on some things. Really.
  • It’s OK to just keep scrolling.
  • It’s OK to not engage with people looking for controversy.
  • It’s OK to simply ignore the comment designed to rile you up.
  • It’s OK if you aren’t overly concerned by the latest drama on MasterChef.
  • It’s OK if you don’t watch football and therefore really don’t care about the Big Game so, please, for the love of sanity, stop talking to me about it…

It’s also OK if you really care about things and get upset and do something about it.

There are many, many issues worthy of our attention and outcry and action (think bigotry, violence, prejudice, corruption, abuse of power).

But when it comes to the small stuff, why are we always looking for something to be angry about? Why are we sniffing around for a hint of controversy? Why must we be up in arms or hashtagging the hell out of a faux pas?

Constant and empty outrage is pointless. It’s just noise.

Why not slow the outrage and buy yourself some inner peace?

Keep scrolling. Shake it off. Ask yourself if it’s really important to you. Question if it will matter in one day, one month, one year.

Accept that there are things you can’t change. Accept that there are things you can’t be bothered changing. And change the things you can.