Monthly Archives: September 2017

De-own. Don’t just declutter.

Chris Lawton

Joshua Becker was the first person to introduce me to the idea of de-owning, and initially I found it quite challenging to understand. Surely isn’t decluttering the same as de-owning? I’ve let go of these things, I no longer own them, therefore I’ve de-owned, right?

Not quite.

In SLOW I write about this realisation:

When Ben and I first decluttered, we did a fantastic job of recluttering almost immediately. We’ve made space! Great! Let’s fill it with better stuff. Stuff we need. Stuff we’ve always wanted. Stuff we deserve. Stuff that will identify us as successful and thoughtful. Stuff that will tell others we’re creative, mindful and intelligent.

Why did we do this? Why did we declutter, only to spend the next few months slowly recluttering? Why were we convinced that we deserved shiny, fancy new things? Why did we find it difficult to maintain the space we worked so hard to create? For us it was a combination of:

    • convenience

 

    • ego

 

    • expectation

 

    • habit

 

    • boredom

 

    • discontent

 

    • comparison

 

    • advertising

 

    • status

 

    • aspirations

 

    • identity

 

  • insecurity

Honestly, it doesn’t feel great telling you that. It feels shallow. But it’s also the truth. And until we were able to wrap our heads around de-owning, not just decluttering, it was going to remain our truth.

We spent time slowly letting go of our need to own things, and throughout the rest of today’s episode we walk through different ways you can gradually de-own, as well as declutter.

It includes sharing, hiring and borrowing things, and thinking outside the box when it comes to our needs versus our convenience.

Tell me, do you have a crew of friends or family who you share things with? Perhaps you’ve got a local tool library or a library of things that you use? I love this idea of the sharing economy and would love to know how you’ve learnt to de-own too. Let me know.

Enjoy!

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

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The Check Up

Simon Matzinger

It’s been a couple of months since we announced our plans to head off in to the wild and spend 2018 travelling, and quite a lot has happened since then. So we decided (somewhat foolishly, perhaps) to sit down, hit record, and just… talk. No notes. No plans. No idea.

I think honesty and vulnerability are important, but this episode? I’m not going to lie. It makes me nervous. I don’t know if you remember the historic and completely accidental release of the unedited poggie back in April 2016 (I still can’t figure out to laugh or cringe when I think about that) but this is like that, only we’re doing it on purpose.

Despite my misgivings though, I really do want to put this episode out in to the world because I think, in an attempt to be succinct and helpful, we sometimes present ourselves and the decisions we’ve made with a clarity that isn’t real. Or at least, it isn’t the whole picture. We sound like we know what we’re doing more often than not, when the reality is that we don’t. As we continue to make changes and grow and evolve, we struggle and stumble and question ourselves, and I think that’s normal. I welcome it.

We start out a little slow, given that both Ben and I were heartily jet-lagged at the time, but begin by chatting about the book and the vulnerability hangover I have at the moment, knowing people are reading the book and learning things about me that I’ve only previously ever thought about in the privacy of my own head. I’ve also started to receive some beautiful feedback (which means the world to me) and some not-so-beautiful feedback (which feels less horrible than I expected) so we talk about that a little too.

We also talk about the logistics of the upcoming 2018 adventure and the very handy way we’ve continued to procrastinate rather than tackle anything on our massive to-do list. (Although to be fair, we’ve since done a lot in preparation for the trip – bring admin things, house repairs, researching the rental market etc. And when I say we, I mean Ben. He’s the captain of that particular ship and for that I am very glad!)

The past few months have been massively busy for us as we went through the process of closing down our podcast network, Jackrabbit.FM, and we talk about the stress and worries that came along with that process, as well as the importance of boundaries now as we shift in to a new period of work and life.

It’s not a bad conversation – in fact, Ben actually told me after listening back to it that he really enjoyed it the second time around, but he also mentioned that this is the loosest we’ve been in a long time. I guess I’ll leave it up to you as to whether or not that’s a good thing…

Please tell us though – do you like these more off the cuff style episodes occasionally? Would you like more of them? Or less? Let us know!

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

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Care more. And care less.

Teddy Kelley

To celebrate the release of SLOW in Australia and New Zealand this month, we’re spending the next few Mondays diving in to four central ideas in the book. It’s a way to share some of my favourite parts of SLOW with you, but also a way to say thank you for all your support over the past few years. I know not everyone will be able to get their hands on a copy, and it won’t be out in other parts of the world until next year, so share the love, I say!

In today’s episode Ben and I talk about a notion I first came across while chatting with the delightful Erin Loechner. The importance of both caring more and caring less.

It can be really easy to become overwhelmed as we begin to walk the path of slowing down, with every blog, every podcast, every book telling us different things we need to focus on in order to do life ‘right’. And the hard part is that none of them is wrong. The key is to figure out what matters to you, and what doesn’t, then spend time learning how to care more about the former and less about the latter.

Ben and I talk about our personal take on this duality of caring, and what I call my Barometer of Caring.

Being able to plot out the things I actively care about as opposed to those I don’t has been really helpful when working out how to spend my days. Before I knew what those things were I spent a huge amount of my time working on or worrying about things I really didn’t care about, and far less time on the things that really mattered to me. Using my eulogy and plotting those things out on a piece of paper means I’ve basically flipped the picture and now spend my time on things that are important (to me).

We also talk about how you can learn to care less about the things that don’t matter but that might take up an inordinate amount of time. You can do this by monitoring your inputs. That is, look at the utter BS stories we’re sold via media, social media, TV, shoulds and expectations of others, and ask yourself how you would feel if you cared a little less about those stories.

It’s not an easy task to do, and probably won’t happen quickly, but as always we like to end these Monday shows with something practical for you to take in to your week, and this week it’s this:

Nominate one of those things you want to care less about. It can be really small if you’d like – a TV show or a social media profile you follow but find yourself frustrated by – and actively let it go. Unfollow it, write the idea on a piece of paper and burn it, whatever you need to do to signal to yourself you no longer care so much. And then just see how you feel.

And a quick and massive thank you to everyone who has bought a copy of SLOW over the past few weeks – I can’t tell you just how much it means to me, and I’m stoked that the ideas of slowing down are starting to spread. Here’s to more slow!

Enjoy. xx

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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!