Monthly Archives: January 2018

Sarah Wilson on sucking at meditation (and doing it anyway)

Photo by Kalen Emsley on Unsplash

Hello, and welcome to the Slow Home Summer series! For 5 weeks over December and January we’ll be revisiting some of our favourite episodes from 2017, so we can walk the walk and slow down during the Christmas break. Also it turns out podcasts, just like fine wine, really do get better with age. Whether you missed them the first time around, or are having another listen, we hope you enjoy these poggies as much as we did!

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The conversations I’ve had on this podcast have been some of the biggest highlights and most electrifying moments of realisation of my life. The opportunity to talk to people and pick their brains about simplifying, or intention, or making cool stuff or living according to their Why is amazing and I’m really grateful for it. But can I tell you something? I get so nervous. Every single interview has me tied in knots before I begin, hoping I’ll do it justice, worried I’ll sound like an idiot. Once the first question is out of my mouth I’m golden, but until that happens I’m a jittery, sweaty mess of half-formed ideas and the vague notion I’m about to make a fool of myself.

So let me tell you that I was very excited and a little [lot] nervous before I sat down to chat with my guest today. Sarah Wilson is someone I’ve admired for years – not only for the work she’s done to promote the notion of drastically cutting sugar in our diets and her more recent work in preventing food waste – but also the way she goes about that work. She is honest and open, prepared to stand for something regardless of whether people agree with her, and she’s also funny and smart and good at not taking herself too seriously.

Since the release of her most recent book ‘first we make the beast beautiful: a new story about anxiety’ my admiration has kicked up a notch. In it she talks honestly and beautifully about her own story of anxiety, depression and being diagnosed bipolar. She writes about the highly uncomfortable and life-affirming experiences involved in facing her anxiety, learning to move through it, live with it, and eventually embrace it as a vital and valuable part of herself. And she writes about the ways she has learnt to live most comfortably with it – through meditation, exercise, mindfulness, bush walking, learning, recalibrating, building awareness, simplifying life and understanding the importance of slowing down.

In this conversation we dive deep in to this topic of anxiety and how Sarah slows down in order to both strengthen herself against its more harmful side, and simultaneously go deeper in to it. We talk about the discomfort of true reflection and her growing boredom with shallow conversations and external grasping (and why cocktail parties are the worst example of this!) We also talk about the idea that it’s not necessary or even helpful to slow down simply for the sake of slowing down, but rather aiming to slow down in order to be or do something meaningful.

As an avid bush walker, Sarah talks about why she chooses to head off in to the bush every second weekend (more if possible) and what the rhythm and solitude of solo hiking provides her that other exercises can’t. Sarah shares her cure for insomnia and why one of her two major tenets of slow-ness is to simply walk. She also introduces me to the French idea of ‘flâner’, an urban wandering, and why sometimes it’s enough to simply walk through our own neighbourhood, noticing, paying attention, watching people and observing the comings and goings that surround us.

We also talk about meditation and why it’s the second key tenet of slow-ness for Sarah, and why it’s not only OK to suck at meditation, but why it’s actually incredibly useful to be bad at it.

I so often finish my conversations by saying that I could have spoken to my guest for hours and it’s the case here too. Sarah is a fascinating, open person and I loved chatting with her. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! 

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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:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

Recently we hit the mind-blowing number of 3.5 million downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! This is all 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!

Tim Silverwood on circularity and saying no to plastic – Summer Series

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Hello, and welcome to the Slow Home Summer series! For 5 weeks over December and January we’ll be revisiting some of our favourite episodes from 2017, so we can walk the walk and slow down during the Christmas break. Also it turns out podcasts, just like fine wine, really do get better with age. Whether you missed them the first time around, or are having another listen, we hope you enjoy these poggies as much as we did!

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Tim Silverwood is one of my environmental role models. He maintains that he’s just an ordinary guy who somehow found himself at the forefront of environmental activism in Australia, but his passion and knowledge means that while he may be an ordinary guy, the impact he’s having on the growing environmental movement in Australia is anything but ordinary. As one of the founders of Take 3 for the Sea and a powerful voice in the movement away from single-use plastics, Tim is having a massive impact both in Australia and around the world.

In today’s episode we talk about the Plastic-Free July campaign and why it’s so important, but we also go back to the catalyst for Tim’s shift to environmentalism. Perhaps not surprisingly, Tim’s passion for protecting the ocean started in his passion for the waves and like so many people now heavily invested in protecting our wild spaces, Tim was a surfer who used his love of the ocean to drive changes in his own life.

We also talk about the importance of small steps, and why Tim believes it’s the only way to convert the apathetic in to the passionate, but also why these small steps are only the first part of creating global change.

One of the beautiful themes that kept emerging in our conversation is the idea of connection – both to each other and the environment we all live in – and Tim specifically talks about the ways in which we’re all connected to the health of the oceans. It’s far too easy to think the issue of plastic pollution isn’t one we’re part of, and Tim gets very passionate as he talks about the different ways our actions can have an impact – both positive and negative.

We also talk about the problematic issue of recycling and why so much of what we think of as ‘good recycling’ is actually exacerbating the problem, and why the circular economy and circular design is the way of the future.

This was such an exciting and inspiring conversation and I hope you walk away feeling as hopeful as I did.

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:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

Recently we hit the mind-blowing number of 3.5 million downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! This is all 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!

Rebecca Sullivan wants you to embrace your inner granny – Summer Series

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Hello, and welcome to the Slow Home Summer series! For 5 weeks over December and January we’ll be revisiting some of our favourite episodes from 2017, so we can walk the walk and slow down during the Christmas break. Also it turns out podcasts, just like fine wine, really do get better with age. Whether you missed them the first time around, or are having another listen, we hope you enjoy these poggies as much as we did!

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I came in to my research for today’s episode with Rebecca Sullivan, founder of the Granny Skills Movement, expecting to spend a significant amount of our chat focusing on her beautiful, most recent book ‘The Art of the Natural Home’. We’d talk about the importance of bicarb soda and the utter delight that is making your own ferments, why we’re seeing a return to the traditions of our grandparents and how it’s been co-opted in to hipster life. And we do discuss all of those things in this poggie.

But what became apparent real quick is that Rebecca is also a woman whose passion for tradition, heritage and intergenerational connection goes way deeper than any riff on green cleaning or sauerkraut could begin to touch. So we dive head-long in to a discussion about her recent pilot program that placed grandparents in local high schools, who then taught students home economics, wood working and other traditional skills. I loved hearing about the impact of this program on not only the kids, but also the grannies who were doing the teaching. It speaks to a significant issue in our society currently, where older people are often marginalised, lonely or left to spend their later years in nursing homes, their wealth of knowledge disappearing as they do.

Granted, that seems heavier listening than a discussion on vinegar and bicarb, but it’s an important one, and something I want to continue exploring over the coming months.

We also talk about the importance of failure, and the liberation that comes once we accept and even embrace our own screw-ups. As a keen balcony gardener, Rebecca shares her best hits for container growing, including some of the Australian native edibles that are most likely to survive some light-to-moderate neglect.

Rebecca and I talk about the point of view that says ‘chores’ are something we need to dread, and the mindset shift we’ve both made (usually) that sees tasks such as making, mending, growing, cooking, cleaning, preparing and experimenting as something more purposeful and fulfilling rather than a drudgery to be suffered through. We both freely admit that Netflix and convenience play a regular role in our lives too, so it’s not all bad news, but this mindset shift is actually an important one to think on.

This is a genuinely delightful conversation with a genuinely delightful woman who I have decided is my newest firm friend, whether she knows it or not. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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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:

  • warndu.com
  • The Art of the Natural Home
  • Connect with Rebecca:  IG  |  Facebook
  • Learn more about Simple Year 2018 – a 12-month guided simplicity program featuring contributors such as The Minimalists, Cait Flanders, Courtney Carver, Jules Clancy, Marc and Angel Chernoff, Tammy Strobel, Colin Wright, Anthony Ongaro, Erin Juenemann and Rachel Macy Stafford. 

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

Recently we hit the mind-blowing number of 3.5 million downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! This is all 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!

Annie Raser-Rowland on the art of Frugal Hedonism – Summer Series

Photo by Simon Migaj on Unsplash

Hello, and welcome to the Slow Home Summer series! For 5 weeks over December and January we’ll be revisiting some of our favourite episodes from 2017, so we can walk the walk and slow down during the Christmas break. Also it turns out podcasts, just like fine wine, really do get better with age. Whether you missed them the first time around, or are having another listen, we hope you enjoy these poggies as much as we did!

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You know those conversations that change things? The ones that act as a delineation point? The ones you look back on and realise that, as a result of having them, your worldview is different? Ben and I had one of those early in 2017 when we sat down to chat with the utterly wonderful Annie Raser-Rowland.

Annie was actually recommended to us as a poggie guest in light of The Art of Frugal Hedonism – the book she co-authored with Adam Grubb – and I’m so grateful to have had the chance to chat with her about life and pleasure and scarcity and ego and many other things.

One of the things I noticed about Annie almost straight away was the way she uses words. They have weight and meaning and feeling to them, and I sat across from her for an hour with an enormous, goofy grin on my face and simply listened to her. It feels like the way Annie speaks is very similar to the way she moves through life. Things are considered, but they’re also felt. Life is experienced, explored, meaningful, soaked up and revelled in.

And that’s what I love about this notion of frugal hedonism. There are many practical ways to start adopting it in to your life, and Annie and I cover some of those in our chat, but even more than that it’s about experiencing things, paying attention, giving yourself space and time to spend afternoons immersed in cloud-watching or 10 minutes eating an apple in the sun. It’s about deciding what’s important to us and putting those things at the centre, even if that means we give up on lots of other things along the way.

We also talk about envy and comparisons, and the role these have in the constant striving to keep up, the impact of advertising and social conditioning (and social media for that matter!) on our desire to fit in, and where Annie’s drive to simplify stems from.

In short, this is such an inspiring conversation that I hope you enjoy as much as we did.

——

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:

Recently we hit the mind-blowing number of 3.5 million downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! This is all 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!