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.

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.

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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!

Slow by name, slow by nature

Johan Desaeyere

When I first started down the path towards a slower life I wanted to race to the end of it. I was going to be the fastest person to ever arrive at slow, and I was going to do it perfectly too.

Except… well, slow doesn’t really work that way.

Recently I’ve had a lot of conversations with people who’ve come to the same realisation I eventually did – that meditation or mindfulness aren’t going to stop us from experiencing stress or busy times, but they do offer us ways in which we can better deal with those periods of stress or busy-ness.

And while slowing down, simplifying, and living a more intentional life can remove a lot of the excess stress and busy-ness (the kind that we find ourselves amongst as a result of mindlessly following along rather than actively choosing where to put our attention and energy) it also comes with its own set of lessons to learn.

I remember feeling so incredibly frustrated that I couldn’t do it all, be it all, slow it all down right now  and I recall just how much that challenged my idea of success. Which was kind of the point. Which, really, is kind of the point of slow.

In today’s poggie Ben and I talk about this idea of “slow” being, well, slow. We discuss the annoyance and impatience we’ve faced as we’ve learnt to slow down our efforts, as well as some of the lessons that only tend to reveal themselves as a result of that frustration. I also share a recent example of softening in to impatience, and hopefully highlight the fact that we’re just out here learning and making mistakes and trying to pick up some lessons as we go.

There is no there.

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:

You may have heard that we recently hit 3 million (!!) downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! Not only does that fact blow my mind, it’s also 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!

 

Chelsea Pottenger on depression, healing and creating mindful workplaces

Xavier Massa

This week is Post Natal Depression Awareness Week, and while that wasn’t something I was aware of when I first sat down to chat with today’s guest, it does not surprise me in the least. The more I chatted with Chelsea Pottenger the more parallels I uncovered between her story and mine, and the more I realised that our experiences of post natal depression and the resultant changes in the way we lived were an important part of that story.

Chelsea is now a mindfulness practitioner who works with large corporations to create a culture of productivity, self-care and strong boundaries in the workplace. She is also currently studying a Doctorate of Psychology and Neuroscience, as well as a Diploma of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing. Chelsea is an advocate for meditation and self-care, an ambassador for both the Gidget Foundation and RUOK day, a business owner and a mum. And while she now has created a life that allows her to find flow and long-term balance, it wasn’t always the case.

In this episode Chelsea and I talk about her life pre-PND, the hectic nature of her work, the ways she self-medicated to deal with stress, the perfectionism and comparisons that drove her to constantly work harder and strive for the next level of success, and the inevitable crash. We get pretty deep in to Chelsea’s experiences, and while it may be difficult listening for anyone going through a similar struggle, or anyone who has experienced mental health issues before, I also think that shining a light on these experiences is one of the most important things we can do.

Chelsea talks about the changes she made in learning how to be present, to meditate, to let go of the expectations and shoulds that used to drive her, and the benefits of living a more values-aligned life.

We also talk about the practicalities of her own time management, and how she strikes a long-term balance across work, family, health, community and down time, and why it may not be “slow” but it certainly is intentional.

As a workplace mindfulness expert, I also ask Chelsea about how we can incorporate mindfulness practices in to even the most cynical of offices, and she has some wonderful, practical tips on what to do in your own day-to-day that will help create pockets of slow (yes, even on the busiest of days).

This is such a great, practical, honest conversation that really does cover a lot of ground. I loved Chelsea’s honesty, as well as her endless optimism in the face of incredible challenges.

I’d also encourage anyone who is struggling with their mental health to get in touch with the organisations Chelsea mentioned in today’s conversation. Specifically, The Gidget Foundation and RUOK Day. These organisations have some incredible resources, and are a great place to begin when you know you need support but don’t know how to go about getting it.

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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:

You may have heard that we recently hit 3 million (!!) downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! Not only does that fact blow my mind, it’s also 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!

Mind-full versus mind-less

kazuend

Over the past few weeks we’ve been looking at some of my favourite ideas from SLOW, and I’ve left one of the biggest for last. Mindfulness.

Interestingly, I didn’t really know that the notion of mindfulness was facing a backlash until I started writing this book. It’s such a gentle idea that I couldn’t see how it could be misconstrued or misrepresented, until I started to recognised just how complicated it had become. And when I thought back to my own discovery of mindfulness I realised that I’d had no idea what it actually meant either.

What I do know is that mindfulness and living mindfully have changed my life. Not because of a specific app or a mindfulness colouring book, but because it has taught me to pay attention. Without it I would have missed out on so much depth and joy and life and love, and for that it is worthwhile pushing through the woo woo stereotype in order to introduce others to the simple beauty of paying attention.

In SLOW I wrote:

Mindfulness. Everyone’s tossing this buzzword around, lauding it as an incredible cure-all for stress and busy-ness, ill health and procrastination. We have apps and conferences, special colouring books, retreats and constant reminders popping up on social media of just how mindfully others are living. (Which begs the question: If a woman meditated on the beach but didn’t take a selfie, did it really happen?)

For years, mindfulness was a Big Idea I wasn’t nearly smart or evolved enough to understand, so I put it in the basket of woo that also held transcendental meditation, tarot reading and crystal bathing. It intimidated me; therefore it wasn’t valid.

The more I explored simplifying, though, the more I heard people espousing the benefits of living mindfully. But what did that mean? How could one live mind-fully? What did it look like to live mind-fully? What did it look like to live mind-fully? To be a mind-full person? I had no idea.

What I did understand, however, was mind-less living. And while I may not have been smart enough or enlightened enough to live mind-fully, mindlessness and I were on a first-name basis. In fact, we’d been intimate for a long time.

How do we bring mindfulness to our daily lives without over-complicating it? What does that look like? And how do we find the time for it when life is already full and busy?

In this poggie Ben and I talk through the ways we both add mindfulness to our days. For me it includes traditional practices such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing or body scans, as well as things that may not immediately strike you as mindful but that allow me to focus in and pay attention nonetheless. This might be barefoot bush walking, rock climbing and photography.

We encourage you to try adding a small pocket of mindfulness to your daily rhythm by setting an alarm once a day and giving yourself 5 minutes (1 minute, even) where you practice being entirely present. That might be a few minutes of deep breathing or a simple body scan technique, or it could be as simple as taking a moment to look around you and notice something you hadn’t noticed before. Look at the clouds or the grass, notice the pattern of light on the floor or the way your belly rises and falls with your breath. It doesn’t need to be complicated or difficult, and the benefits might affect a lot more than just those few minutes – it may just impact the rest of your day.

What things do you do to pay more attention in your daily life?

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:

You may have heard that we recently hit 2.9 million (!!) downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! Not only does that fact blow my mind, it’s also 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. You’ll also be able to join our monthly live video calls where we answer questions and give a behind the scenes look at life.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!

The Mike Campbell Take-Over

Tim Swaan

Today’s episode is a little different. It’s hosted not by me, and it’s not hosted by Ben either. It’s hosted by our mate Mike Campbell from Live Immediately, and in a strange turn of events, he interviews me!

It’s pretty rare that you hear me being interviewed these days, particularly by someone who delights in diving deep like Mike, so when he asked me to be a guest on Live Immediately I thought it might be a great opportunity to flip the script and publish an episode where I’m not the one asking questions.

Mike and I have a fantastic conversation about life at the moment, and how I’m finding the wobbly balance between the busy-ness of launching a book and the importance of maintaining a slower pace of life over all. I also talk about the messy and imperfect process of learning to be emotionally available, why it was so stunningly uncomfortable to do so, and the impact on my relationships, my self-worth and the direction my life has taken since.

We talk about softening in to the unknown, and the importance of allowing ourselves time to come to decisions. Mike also talks about some big possibilities he and Inga are weighing up at the moment as well as his (very sensible) approach to making those big decisions. That is, once a choice has been made, it’s made, but until then it’s OK to not know. It’s OK to revisit and marinate in the possibilities because that’s a necessary part of the process.

We chat about our upcoming Newcastle event on September 27 (details here) and I’m excited to talk some more about our travel plans for 2018 (Mike and Inga were a huge influence on us taking the plunge in 2018). We look at the logistics, the planning and the not planning!

It’s a deep and heart-felt conversation and I loved every second of it. I hope you do too!

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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:

You may have heard that we recently hit 3 million (!!) downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! Not only does that fact blow my mind, it’s also 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!