Monthly Archives: April 2018

Slow travel, fast kids and making counter-cultural choices

“Slow living is kind of this weird duality of being prepared, organised, systems in place, knowing what’s coming, managing expectations, and being flexible and fluid and understanding that life happens.”

The hostful is back, baby, and this one is big. We’ve got a personal and travel update, a heap of excellent listener questions, and we reveal the new Slow Experiment for May!

It’s been a while since we sat down and answered listener questions, and it feels like something of a homecoming. Your questions never fail to inspire me, and I often find myself thinking about them for days and weeks after. This episode is no different as we talk a lot about flexibility versus rigidity, spontaneity versus organisation, and expectations versus reality, not only in answer to your questions, but also as we do a deep dive on what the past few months have taught us (some of it has been rather uncomfortable, if I’m being honest).

On a similarly uncomfortable note, the North American release of SLOW is fast approaching, and with the official release date being July 10 and pre-orders now available, it’s feeling very real. As Ben and I discuss early in today’s episode, plans for tour events are coming together and I can’t wait to share them, but we’re also going to need your help. A cross-country book tour is no joke and if there’s any possible way you think you might be able to help – venues, media, logistics, bulk food, grocery and restaurant recommendations (seriously!), must-see stops along the way – let us know via email. One thing I’ve learnt about myself over the past few years is my tendency to take on all the jobs and then slowly wither under the pressure, so this is me getting honest and telling you that I can’t actually do that.

This provides a really beautiful link to some of the questions we answer in today’s episode, as a number of them revolve around the theme of expectation – both our own expectations of what we believe life “should” look like and the expectations we feel from external influences such as friends, family, social media, marketing, advertising etc.

A number of the questions ask specifically about slow living with young kids:

  • How is it possible to live slow when kids are fast and noisy and endlessly curious and messy?
  • Is there a way to extricate yourself from the busy-ness of young kids (activities, birthday parties, etc) without upsetting people?
  • How can slow living apply to families with one or more kids who have additional needs?

Then there are some questions that relate specifically to slow travel:

  • How did we know it was time to pull the trigger on our trip? What signs were there to show that we were ready for a huge change?
  • How are we managing the day-to-day of slow travel? What does that look like?
  • What has surprised, challenged or delighted us most about our trip so far?

Peppered throughout the entire episode is the theme of going against the norm, or making counter-cultural choices in the face of resistance. I think this is at the heart of all of slow living, whether you’re making changes at home with young kids attached to your knees, if you’re travelling the world, both, or somewhere entirely different.

Ben and I talk about the idea of living against the grain, the emotions it has brought up for both of us, the fears it awakens and the rebellious joy it brings too. There is something so liberating about removing the blinkers from the ‘shoulds’ of life, asking the big questions and then living in alignment with the answers, but I also understand why it is so scary. It’s my hope that talking about the ups and downs makes it more accessible and realistic, rather than some unattainable, romanticised version of life that nothing will live up to. It’s hard work to live against the grain, swimming against the flow, but man is it worthwhile.

Towards the end of the episode we also reveal the May Slow Experiment, which is all about daily creativity. If you listened to the March experiment you may have heard us talk about the impact of time in nature on our creativity (we spoke about it a lot in Episode 5 of the experiment). Following our nose, this seemed like the most obvious continuation of our experiments and we’re both really excited to see where it leads us. to As always, we want to keep the experiment flexible and accessible to as many people as possible, so the rules as such are very simple. We’re committing to an act of creativity every day in May, and we’d love you to play along too. That’s it.

Now, for those of you thinking you lack the basic creativity required to take part in this experiment, I’d encourage you to look outside the box when you consider what ‘creativity’ entails. It can be the traditional arts and crafts, writing or knitting, of course, but the way we view the world, the way we solve a problem, get dressed in the morning or choose to view things from a different angle can all be acts of creativity too.

To get you started, and to keep you motivated for the month of May, I’ve created a simple PDF for you to download and print out, and it has some suggestions on creative acts you can try throughout the month, as well as a colouring chart for every day you create.

Personally I’m excited to see what, if any, impact a daily creative practice is going to have on my:

  • problem solving
  • mindfulness
  • paying attention to tiny details
  • focus
  • creativity in work

and I can’t wait to hear the impact it has for you too. We’re getting started on May 1, and as always, will be using #slowexperiment over on Instagram to talk about our progress. Feel free to join in and share your experiment too!

In the meantime, 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!

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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 4 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!

Jocelyn Glei on fast tech and slow work

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When it comes to the fast pace of modern life, one of the biggest culprits is undoubtedly tech. Research now suggests that, in America, phone owners spend as much as five hours per day on their mobiles (FIVE HOURS) with just over half of that spent on social media apps.

It’s little wonder then, that we don’t feel like we have enough time for things like creativity, relaxation, mindfulness, downtime, meditation or reading. In fact, by far the most common excuse I hear from people who want to slow down but can’t, is, “I don’t have time.”

Life is undoubtedly busy, and technology is here to stay, but in today’s episode of the poggie I chat with Jocelyn Glei about how we can harness slow living and use it to better navigate our hyper-connected, fast-paced world without having to opt out completely.

Jocelyn created and hosts Hurry Slowly, a podcast that explores the intersection of modern life, slow living, work and creativity, and many of her guests work in the extra-speedy realms of tech and entrepreneurialism, so their conversations often take place through the lens of work. Because of this, Jocelyn and her guests often discuss the question so many people are asking, “how can I work in my fast-paced industry but still live a slow life?” And what’s more, they offer advice and really accessible insights in to how to do so.

We talk about how best to manage email and stop it from becoming all-consuming, as well as the pleasure and power of introducing more analog into your life (pencil and paper forever!)

We dive deeply into the relationship between mindfulness and creativity, and the importance of creating space for both rest and boredom. Here’s a hint: that’s very closely related to our upcoming May experiment, but don’t tell anyone.

I also ask Jocelyn about the connections between technology, risk-taking and meaningful human connection, and the way tech use impacts the way we form memories. It’s a really juicy conversation, full of insight and interesting ideas, and I’ve found myself thinking really deeply on this conversation over the past few weeks.

I’d also definitely recommend you check out Jocelyn’s podcast, Hurry Slowly. She is a wonderful interviewer and asks deep questions of her guests. Do yourself a kindness and check it out!

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!

——

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

Recently we hit the mind-blowing number of 4 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!

Elise Bialyew on the science of mindfulness

Christopher Burns

One of the most incredible parts of our trip so far has been the constant opportunity to dive deep in to time. Finding those little moments of mindfulness has been important (vital, actually) to me and my mental health since I started recovering from post natal depression back in 2011, but removing some of the additional layers of life over the past few months has opened my eyes to just how many chances we have to pay attention – every day.

Despite increasing research in to the benefits of mindfulness, it still sometimes suffers from an aura of woo, and while I’ve known and experienced the impact of it for years, a lot of people are still looking for proof.

So if you’re a skeptic, or even mildly curious about the science behind mindfulness, today’s poggie guest has got you.

Dr Elise Bialylew is the founder of Mindful in May and author of a brand new book, The Happiness Plan, which is about all things mindfulness, meditation and the science behind it. Coming from a background in psychiatry, as well as being a parent of a 2 year-old, Elise offers a blend of deep understanding of the science behind why mindfulness works with a real-world approach to practicing it in your daily life. Her passion for the topic shines through this conversation and her work, which is such a delight to hear.

Elise talks about how and why she started meditating, and how interaction with scientists like Richie Davidson (doing groundbreaking work on mindfulness and its impact on the brain) as well as her own personal experience at a silent meditation retreat really flicked the switch for her. As a doctor, she felt like mindfulness was the missing piece in the well-being and brain health puzzle, and it’s been her life’s work to educate people about the nature of the mind ever since. She and I go on to talk about her own personal practice (and how that’s changed since becoming a mother), the connection between mindfulness and compassion, the developments in brain science, how much meditation is enough and more.

If you’re feeling inspired and excited to try creating or continuing with your own meditation or mindfulness practice, be sure to check out Elise’s Mindful in May program. It’s a wonderful way to dip your toe in and start (and stick to) a healthy habit, with a real sense of community, accountability and support as well as inspiration and experimentation. The science behind the practice is made accessible, and daily emails, guided meditations and interviews with experts will provide you with all the tools you need to find a practice that suits you and your life, as well as an understanding of what’s going on and why it’s so valuable.

——

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 4 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!

Florence Williams on the importance of getting your nature fix

“We don’t have to think of nature as being pristine, we don’t have to think of it as being a wilderness area. That just makes it kind of unattainable in terms of our daily connection. I think that we can find nature where we are – we have to find it where we are.” – Florence Williams

In the perfect follow-up to March’s Great Outdoors Slow Experiment, today I chat with Florence Williams, author of The Nature Fix. Whether you’ve been reading the book or have never heard of it, you’re in for a treat. Florence is an epic researcher and communicator, and the studies and anecdotes she shares today are both informative and inspiring.

Kicking off, Florence shares her favourite definition of nature: Oscar Wilde’s generous statement that it is “a place where birds fly around uncooked”. She believes nature doesn’t have to be wild or pristine to have an impact, which makes it so much more accessible, especially to urban dwellers. She and I talk about the importance of prioritising and valuing time spent in nature, as well as sharing some concrete tips for engaging in nature once we get there.

Then we dive into the benefits. Florence shares what she found while researching and writing the book, from the way spending time in nature makes us feel more connected and be more civic-minded, to the impact on creativity, productivity and mood. She also touches on the relationship between nature and technology, encouraging kids to get outside, how she gets her own nature fix, research on the minimum recommended dose of outside time and so much more.

This conversation only further convinced me of the importance of spending time in nature – it’s not a ‘nice-to-do’, more a ‘need-to-do’. And as I discovered during last month’s Great Outdoors experiment, I truly believe there are so many positive changes to be made simply by spending more time in nature, encouraging others to do the same, and raising a generation of kids who grow up both knowing and loving time outside.

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!

——

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

Recently we hit the mind-blowing number of 4 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!