Monthly Archives: February 2019

April Hepokoski on creating a zero-waste, nature-based classroom

“Children learn best through play and exploration in nature.”

April Hepokoski, Founder of The Little Barnyard Preschool and zero-waste campaigner

One of the most common questions I get asked from poggie listeners is about how to raise children in a slower, more mindful way. Undoubtedly it’s a difficult thing to do given how fast-paced our world is, and how much pressure is being applied at all levels of education. But that’s not to say there aren’t people looking for a different way.

In today’s episode I’m joined by one such inspiring change-maker in April Hepokoski. April is an early-childhood educator and founder of The Little Barnyard Preschool in Duluth, Minnesota, where she has created a learning centre focused on time spent in nature. April also founded a zero-waste living group on her local community, where she shares tips and tricks for living with less waste as well as lobbying the city council to make changes in her town. (See? I told you she was a change-maker!)

April and I speak about nature-based learning and the parallels it shares with slow living, as well as the positive impact that more time in nature has not only on her young students but also their families and the community in general.

We also talk about the power of grassroots change, and as someone who has recently set up a community group for zero waste living, April has some fantastic insights in to what works and the challenges she’s faced in establishing such a group.

Questions featured in this episode:

  1. How did you structure a localised zero-waste living group?
  2. What is the philosophy or mission of The Little Barnyard Preschool?
  3. What caused you to combine child-led learning with nature-based learning?
  4. What does nature-based learning look like on a day-to-day basis?
  5. What benefits and differences do parents see?
  6. How can people begin to bring this philosophy into their own home if there are no nature-based learning offerings in their area?
  7. What can educators do to start to bring nature-based learning into their school? Any resources or recommendations on how to start the conversation?
  8. Do you have any tips for bringing zero-waste principles into the classroom?

——

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:

As always, thank you for listening!

Love Slow? Support the show!

Jojo Hogan on why the Slow Post-Partum Movement is so important

“We were never meant to parent our children in isolation, but instead to have nurturing, loving support at arms reach.”

Jojo Hogan, Founder of the Slow Post-Partum movement

The conversation you’re about to listen to was recorded towards the end of 2018, and it’s a conversation I have returned to many times over the past few months. It’s a conversation that opened old wounds, and brought up feelings of powerlessness and shame, hope and compassion.

As you may know, I was diagnosed with severe postnatal depression after our second baby was born, and that horrible, tumultuous, vulnerable time is the reason I’m here today. It’s what introduced me to the idea of slow living in a very roundabout way, and I’m actually incredibly grateful for it now.

But what today’s conversation highlighted to me, and that I’ve found myself coming back to over and over again since, is the crushing isolation so many new parents feel and that I’ve felt in some capacity for every single one of the last ten years.

It’s a vulnerable time, where literally everything changes, and yet we’re bombarded with messages that we simply need to work a little harder, bounce back, and carry on as though nothing much has changed except that now we have a baby. I can only write about my experience, but this is what, in very simple terms, made me feel so deficient as a new parent, forcing me to turn inward even more, searching for strength that I didn’t have, convinced that I wasn’t trying hard enough.

What I now realise, and what I hope today’s episode highlights, is that we need to encourage ourselves and the new parents in our lives to look outward. To develop a network of people who love us and want to support us, to allow ourselves to be vulnerable enough to say the words, “I need help.”

If you’re deep in the trenches of new parenthood right now (or any big life changes for that matter), I’d encourage you to lift your head up and see who is near you, see who will help, and see what a difference it can make to realise you don’t have to shoulder the burden alone. And if you don’t feel like there is anyone you can turn to, call on a professional. Speak to a GP, call a mental health hotline, find a counsellor who will take a Skype session with you. Just know you’re not alone.

(This website lists mental health hotlines globally by region).

With all that being said, today’s episode is truly wonderful, and features a heartfelt discussion with Jojo Hogan: founder of the Slow Postpartum movement, yoga teacher, aromatherapist, massage therapist and doula.

Jojo has been working with expectant mothers for many years, and now specialises as a postpartum doula, providing much needed support to mothers after giving birth. There are so many beautiful intersections between slow living principles and the postpartum care practices that Jojo provides and educates around, and I can’t wait to share them with you.

Because if my postpartum experience is anything to go by (and I know I’m not alone in any of it), the wisdom that Jojo shares is becoming increasingly important as we lead frantic, disconnected lives. It’s all about learning how to build that village, you know?

We talk about:

  • the pillars of postpartum care that cultures around the world share
  • the importance of deciding your parenting values before baby arrives
  • how women can create their own villages to support them after birth
  • ways to bring more slow and presence to a stressful time

Questions featured in this episode:

  1. When did your own journey of slowing down and simplifying begin? What prompted it?
  2. When did you begin working with new parents?
  3. What does a slow postpartum look like?
  4. What’s something realistic that a new parent can do to bring some slowness into those early days post-birth?
  5. How can we approach the ‘stuff’ that often comes with having a baby with a slower, more conscious mindset?

——

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:

As always, thank you for listening!

Love Slow? Support the show!

A Listener Chat with Xan Holyoak

A Listener Chat with Xan Holyoak - S2 E2 of The Slow Home Podcast

One of the (many) things I love about slow living, is that it looks different to everyone. It’s not about following a set of rules or embracing a particular way of living, it’s about figuring out what is important to us as individuals and gradually letting go of things that aren’t that.

Back in 2016 and 2017 I did a series of interviews with listeners, where I was able to dig deep in to what it looks like to live a slower, simpler life in circumstances different to my own, and they were nothing short of a delight.

I loved the opportunity to examine the real-life realities of slow living, away from what can sometimes feel like the commoditisation of the whole movement, and this past year, as we travelled and tilted heavily in to a different way of living, I realised I missed those conversation. So, when I was putting together the new season of the podcast, I knew that I wanted to make space for listener chats again.

This week I’m thrilled to welcome back the listener chat, as I sit down to talk with Xan Holyoak. Xan is a listener of the show, a writer, a single parent and a slow living and nature loving woman.

We first hit it off when Xan emailed me after last year’s Great Outdoors Slow Experiment, and immediately bonded over our shared love of wild places, journalling and digging in to the sometimes messy business of living with intention. As we exchanged emails back and forth and Xan shared more of her story, I knew I wanted to have her on the show to share her own hard-fought wisdom with all of us. So here we go!

In today’s episode we talk about the genesis of Xan’s own slow living journey, why she started writing about it on her blog, how her life changed after her husband passed away in 2015 and how she lives slowly now as a single, working parent. There’s a wonderful thread throughout the conversation of the importance of values, journalling and developing boundaries, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Questions featured in this episode:

  1. Where did your journey to slow living/simplifying start?
  2. Why did you start your blog?
  3. How did your efforts to live a slower, simpler life change when you unexpectedly lost your husband in 2015?
  4. How do you make life work now, as a single parent, working mum and someone who still values time in nature and a slower paced life?
  5. How do you use journalling as a self-care practice?

——

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:

As always, thank you for listening!

Love Slow? Support the show!

Jacki Carr on redefining balance (and making room for failure)

“My definition of balance has failure in it.”

Jacki Carr

Welcome to season 2 of the Slow Home Podcast!

This week I sit down with goals coach, co-founder of Rock Your Bliss and incredible public speaker/human, Jacki Carr.

As you might remember, I did some heart/head work with Jacki last year before embarking on the Slow book tour and I loved experiencing the joy with which she helps people uncover their values and place them at the centre of their lives. The work Jacki and I did had an enormous impact on my time on the road, both in terms of how confident I felt living so far out of my comfort zone for months at a time, as well as how I was able to share my story and worldview with hundreds of people.

So, given the fact that we can’t seem to escape the ever-present ‘New Year, New Me’ vibes of this time of year, and that I knew Jacki would have some things to say about goals, resolutions and making shift happen in our lives, I thought there’d be no better way to kick off our new episodes for 2019.

In this conversation Jacki and I focus on:

  • resolutions and creating change
  • defining and committing to goals
  • uncovering our personal values
  • what balance actually looks like
  • developing a community of like-minded people
  • how to use social media as a tool for connection rather than a crutch

Questions featured in this episode:

  1. How do you help people define their values?
  2. How do you encourage people to keep re-centering on their values even when life keeps getting in the way?
  3. Have you intentionally developed a crew of people in your corner to support you in living with your values?
  4. What are your thoughts on balance?
  5. Do you look for ease in situations, or always look for expansion?
  6. When did developing in-person communities become important to you?
  7. Do you have any tools you use to help social media be a way to connect rather than a crutch?

——

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:

As always, thank you for listening!

Love Slow? Support the show!