Category Archives: Mindfulness

Slow down and find contentment in the moment, just as it is. Learn more about meditation, getting out in to nature, paying attention and mindful movement.

Beth Kempton on the slow way of wabi sabi

Image via Holly Bobbins

“The wisdom we need now is buried in history.”

Beth Kempton

There are so many things I’ve loved about this season of the poggie. The guests, the hostful questions we’ve received (more on those next week), the way each episode has been infused with hope and positivity.

I’ve also loved that this season has been an exploration of slow living through a variety of different lenses, looking at what constitutes ‘slow’ from new perspectives.

Today’s episode, the second-last of the season, is no different as I chat with author and Japanologist Beth Kempton about slow living through the lens of Japanese culture. Or more specifically, through the lens of wabi sabi.

Complex to define, wabi sabi is an exploration of acceptance and contentment. An acknowledgement of the true nature of life and as such is a really powerful way of shifting our worldview.

Beth introduces me to the complex nature of wabi sabi and we discuss how the idea of perfect imperfection can impact the way we purchase and consume things, the way we connect with people and the environment around us, and how it’s a welcome respite in a world that calls us to constant comparison and competition.

We also discuss whether wabi sabi, or any personal philosophy really, has the power to change the world, as well as the beauty of creating and honouring pockets and rituals of slowness in a busy life.

We talk about our favourite experiences from our time spent in Japan and I can’t help but talk about the joyful time I’ve spent in onsens with my daughter. I know I’ve spoken about it on the podcast before, but onsening has had such a lovely impact on my life, both in terms of the ritual of bathing and being intentional throughout what is often treated as a mundane part of life, but also the acceptance of self that comes with the experience. It’s truly been one of the best discoveries of my life.

This ties in to wabi sabi in a way I hadn’t expected, because (from my very limited understanding) wabi sabi seems to offer self-compassion and grace where I’ve previously had self-loathing and discomfort. And if we’re in need of anything right now – in a world that profits off our comparing and competing – it’s probably a little more self-compassion and grace.

Enjoy!

Questions featured in this episode: 

  • What is wabi sabi?
  • Wabi sabi is the opposite to many of the things harming people and planet – mass consumption, convenience, keeping up with the Joneses etc. Do you think it has the power to change the world?
  • You write that wabi sabi helps us to seek meaning beyond materialism. How does it do that?
  • Do you think that contentment – as opposed to outright brilliant happiness – is something worth striving for?
  • What are some small rituals that we can adopt in to our lives now that help us to bend and stretch time, slowing it down and making it feel abundant?

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!

Kali Gray on body positivity, mindful eating and living counter-culturally

“Life’s too short to worry about the size of your thighs or the calories in a latte.”

Kali Gray

Is there a link between the rise in consumerism, the endless advertising messages that assault us thousands of times a day and the increase in body image issues? According to today’s guest, the answer is a resounding yes.

I’m so excited to bring you today’s episode because it brings yet another perspective to this season’s conversations on what it is to live a slower life and the myriad ways we can apply the ideas of slow.

Today I chat with Kali Gray, a body confidence expert and a “non diet” dietician who focuses her work on helping people heal their relationship with their bodies and their food.

In this episode we discuss the the relationship between food security and body image issues, while also looking at the crossover between my work in slow living and Kali’s work in reframing our perspective on food, self-care, self-worth and the food we eat.

So much of what Kali teaches is centred on self-compassion and self-care, and how those things can help us to heal those relationships, which is where I think it most closely links with slow living. In order to learn self-compassion and self-care (particularly in a world that profits from our self-loathing) we first need to slow down and pay attention.

Pay attention to the stories we tell ourselves about our bodies and the role food has in our lives, pay attention to the way media messaging, advertising and social media are keeping us in a negative relationship with ourselves, and pay attention to how we feel when we start making changes to our thoughts, habits and actions.

Kali also turns the interview tables around on me towards the end of the episode, which sparks a conversation on how all of these changes take time, and no matter how well-versed we are in consumerism, health, wellness, body image and food, there’s always going to be part of us that requires a little extra love and empathy.

Questions featured in this episode:

  1. Why do you think so many of us have a broken relationship with food and our bodies?
  2. Capitalism and consumerism are both linked to our dissatisfaction with ourselves and our bodies. How do you encourage people to recognise that and make changes so that we get to decide what is good and right for us individually?
  3. It’s counter-cultural to teach and encourage people to love themselves and accept themselves as they are, particularly in the face of a society that teaches us to find fault in our bodies from a very young age. Is that something that comes naturally to you?
  4. We both encourage people to ask the question WHY? Why do we do what we do? Why do we buy what we buy? Why do we eat what we eat? Do you find that once we begin to uncover that why, it becomes simpler to start making changes?
  5. As a process, this asking why and digging deep is uncomfortable. How do you encourage people to accept that this is outside their comfort zone and move through regardless?
  6. You highlight mindful eating as a way to begin to heal our relationship with food, but what actually is it to eat more mindfully?
  7. How can we begin to eat more mindfully? What’s the first step?
  8. There is this beautiful undercurrent of awe in all you do, and that means you frame your work in the idea that every body, right now, as it is, is a miracle. What is the reaction from people when you ask them to pay attention to the miracle of their body? Particularly if they have grown up not knowing how to like their bodies?
  9. Young kids have no issues with accepting their bodies as they are, but as they get closer to puberty this changes, and suddenly they’re seeing all that’s wrong with them. Why do you think this happens?
  10. What can we do to help ourselves and our kids move through that?

——

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!

Florence Williams on the importance of getting our nature fix

Hello, and welcome to the Slow Home Summer Series (AKA Winter Warmies!) For all of January we’ll be revisiting some of our favourite episodes from 2018, so we can walk the walk and slow down during the New Year 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 and that they keep you company on the beach (or the slopes!) 

——

We’re kicking off the Summer Series by heading back to my absolute favourite experiment of 2018, and an episode that came just after it: my chat with Florence Williams, author of The Nature Fix. In this episode Florence shares why time in nature is so important, tips for how to make it happen and some of the mind-blowing benefits she’s found in her research. This conversation only further convinced me of the importance of spending time in nature – let us know if it made you feel the same way! Head over to Instagram and share your thoughts. To read the full blog post and for a full list of all the links and resources mentioned, head over here.

——

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!