Monthly Archives: April 2017

Your Why: Why start with Why?

Your Why: Why start with Why? - Episode 150 of The Slow Home Podcast This year our Monday shows are focused on small, bite-sized actions that will help you move towards living a slower, simpler life. The past few episodes were about the very practical tasks of green cleaning, so the next few weeks we’re going to look at things from a different, bigger picture perspective: your Why. The notion of Why and living a life aligned with it is something I’m asked about a lot – not only how to uncover it, but specifically what to do with your Why once it’s been uncovered – so Ben and I have decided to spend the next few weeks exploring the idea of Why, and why it’s so important in creating a simpler, slower, more values-based life. In today’s show, we explore two main ideas about Why and while they may seem very basic to anyone who has given this values-based stuff any thought, we wanted to go back to the beginning and discuss: what actually is a Why, and why is it so important to have one? We talk about the ways in which our personal Why is at the centre of everything we do, how it adds clarity and confidence to our decisions and how it helps us to stay on track when things get difficult. Essentially, having a Why in place, even a general idea of one, helps in so many ways. Your Why can:
  • provide a foundation on which to build the kind of life you want, supporting it and giving it strength over time
  • help make decisions simpler (not easier, necessarily)
  • direct your choices and actions
  • help you to recognise that you stand for something, you’re not merely existing or being a passenger in life
  • provide you with reasons to give and the confidence to give them when someone questions your choices
  • help support you when you feel overwhelmed or wrong or conflicted
  • act as a touchstone in your life – by checking in regularly you can stay connected with your Why and feel sure of the reasons for your choices and actions.
We also talk about the fact that your Why can (and will) change over time, which is perfectly OK! In fact, that’s where we find ourselves at the moment, and while it’s a little uncomfortable it’s also important to understand that as people we change and evolve so it’s fair to expect our Why to evolve too. As always, there is a brief, simple action we’d love you to try this week too. Just start thinking about your Why. What do you think it might be? What do you want it to be? What lights a fire in your belly? What is at the centre of your life already? Then just write these things down on a blank piece of paper. Mindmap them, don’t censor anything, don’t judge your answers or thoughts, and simply sit with these ideas for the next few days. In the meantime, have a wonderful week!

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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:

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How to meditate with Kevin Janks

How to meditate with Kevin Janks - Episode 149 of The Slow Home Podcast

A few weeks ago I sat down to chat all things meditation with Kevin Janks – the founder of Centred Meditation in Sydney. It was fascinating to talk to Kevin about his journey from skeptic to practitioner and the benefits of meditation that he’s experienced personally, as well as those he sees daily in his clients and students at the studio.

What I failed to do though, was ask him how to meditate. (Quite the oversight, really!) When I realised that and started getting lots of questions in follow up to our chat, I knew I needed to sit down with him again and go back to basics.

In today’s poggie we talk about his definition of meditation and why it can be much simpler than we expect and he takes us through the simple process they teach at Centred Meditation. I also ask him how long we need to meditate for in order to start feeling the benefits and what kind of words or visualisations we need to practice.

I then had the chance to ask Kevin some of the most common questions I’ve received since we first spoke, including:

    • What equipment do I need to start meditating?
    • What apps does he recommend in order to learn meditation?
    • How can I avoid falling asleep when I start meditating?
    • Is there ever any reason to not meditate?
  • How can I maintain a regular practice of meditation?

Then, blissfully, Kevin closes today’s episode with a simple guided meditation I think you’re going to enjoy a lot – I know I did as I sat and listened!

I’d also love to know your experiences with meditation – what you like about it, what’s challenging, what works, what doesn’t, why you’ve developed your own practice, or why you want to. It’s been one of the single most transformational practices I’ve adopted over the past few years and has been instrumental in many of the changes I’ve made, and I’d love to hear your stories too.

Thanks again to Kevin, and enjoy the episode (and the meditation at the end!)

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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:

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Slow Home: Cleaning Rhythms

Slow Home: Cleaning Rhythms - Episode 148 of The Slow Home Podcast

In the final of our cleaning related episodes (I know many of you have found these really helpful, which is awesome, but I’m not going to lie – I’m looking forward to not thinking quite so much about cleaning again as of next week!) Ben and I look at our rhythms. Specifically the rhythms we’ve developed at home that allow us to stay on top of the home maintenance and ensure things never get overwhelming.

It might seem like over-engineering, but I’ve been using a version of this rhythm for years now, and while it’s changed as circumstances have shifted and the kids have gotten older, it’s served me incredibly well and it means we can minimise:

    • the amount of time we spend thinking about cleaning
    • the overwhelm that strikes when there’s a build-up of jobs that haven’t been done frequently enough. (A bathroom left for a month takes much longer to clean than a bathroom that’s cleaned once a week, for example)
    • the stress and willpower factors involved in cleaning – I don’t need to think too much about housework at all, but simply go through the rhythm that’s in place
  • the chance of things ever getting truly out of hand which in turn means cleaning takes less time, less energy, less product, less of everything.

In order to work out our rhythm, I simply wrote down all the weekly housework tasks and split them up over the days of the week that make sense for us. For you it might be a matter of doing all the housework on a Saturday morning or a Thursday afternoon because your schedule doesn’t allow for it to be split over days. Whatever works is the order of the day here!

And, despite the fact that I feel like this is very dull, I’ve been assured that this stuff is interesting to some of you, so I’ve written a simplified version of our rhythm below, to give you an indication of how this actually looks in practice:

Monday

    • Clean kitchen (15 min) – tiles, bench tops, microwave, cupboard doors, fridge door, stove top
  • Wipe bathroom vanities with towel and change towels (2 min)

Tuesday

    • Change bed sheets as needed
    • Wash linen
  • Laundry

Wednesday

    • Clean glass (10 min) – shower screens, back doors, mirrors
  • Admin/bills

Thursday

    • Clean toilets
  • Dusting

Friday

    • Clean bathrooms
    • Vacuum
  • Mopping as needed

(Almost) Daily Tasks

    • Wipe kitchen benctops
    • Wipe bathroom vanity
    • Sweep
  • Laundry

Less Frequent

    • Oven
    • Fridge
  • Pantry

This week’s action is simple: write a list of all the home maintenance tasks you need to do each week(ish) and then spilt them up in a way that works for you. Delegate and schedule as needed, then stick to the plan for a week and see if it reduces stress/mess/cleaning time. And let me know how you go with it – I’d love to hear!

Enjoy!

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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:

Love Slow? Support the show!