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.

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?

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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:

As always, thank you for listening!

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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?

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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:

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!) 

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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.

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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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40 Ways to Slow Your Holidays

Catherine Zaidova Cue the jazzy Christmas tunes – it’s our final episode of the year! Welcome to the very festive, very fun, very crowd-sourced holiday special, where we share your tips for staying slow in the silly season (and throw in some of our own). Thank you so much to everyone who got in touch – we loved reading through your responses, and hearing all the different ways you not only cope with, but truly enjoy what can be a stressful time of year. We’ve got more than 40 tips from listeners on how to bring a little more slow to your pretty much every area of your holidays, including:
  • holiday traditions
  • gifts
  • finances
  • food
  • time with family and friends
  • decorations
  • environmental impact
There’s so much goodness in here, and definitely something for everyone to consider for both this year and next. Whether it’s sipping a candy cane martini every Friday night like Steve (shoutout to Steve! Ben wants to be you when he grows up!) or getting organised with gifts, I hope you’ll find a little knowledge nug that resonates with you. But if you’re already feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin, I’d encourage you to step back from all the plans, all the to-dos and all the pressing engagements, just for a few minutes, and ask yourself what your priorities are for the holidays. How do you want the holidays to feel? What do you want to look back and remember after the rush is over? That’s a pretty great place to start from because it re-centres your attention on the things that are most important to you (and chances are they’re not really things at all, but people and time and connection and sharing a meal with people you love.) And that’s a wrap (pun intended!) Thank you so much for your support throughout this weird and wild and wonderful year, it means so much and is why we do what we do every day. Ben and I wish you a safe and happy holiday season, and all the best for 2019. We’re looking forward to more slow times ahead and will be back in your ears with our annual Summer Series, kicking off on Jan 3. See you on the flip side fam! xx PS. If you want to learn more about our new year-long, five-minutes-a-day slow experiment, head over here and check out 365 Days of Slow.

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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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Mindful Moments (Journaling) – A Slow Experiment

Steven Houston It’s the last Slow Experiment episode for September! For the final week of Mindful Moments, Ben and I look at journaling as way to bring a pocket of slow and mindfulness to a busy day (and our days certainly were busy during the book tour). It’s no secret that Ben is not the biggest journaler alive (see: the great journaling experiment of 2016), but by the end of the episode even he is convinced to give it another crack. Maybe. On the other hand, I am a big journaler, and have used it as a tool to manage anxiety, give shape to my mornings and help me find slow moments in everyday life for many years. I found during the book tour that the busier life got, and the more I had to strip back my morning rhythm and self-care, journaling was a thing that stuck, and kept helping. It gave me immediate relief on anxious days, was portable and easy, could be as big or small a task as I needed and I felt the effects throughout the day. (If that’s not a testimonial to the power of the journal, I don’t know what is.) We then share a few ideas for ways to bring journaling into your day, from my ideal scenario (Julia Cameron-style, 3 A4, handwritten, stream-of-consciousness morning pages over a cup of coffee) to the reality of some days (a couple of bullet points quickly jotted down). We also share some other techniques floating around, including Gretchen Rubin’s one sentence a day and the movement that is Bullet Journaling (abbreviated to bujo, apparently!) The key takeaway here is that whatever works for you is the way to go. I also talk about some research I discovered about the impacts of journaling on physical and mental health. Studies have shown that journaling can help:
  • strengthen your immune system
  • people who journal regularly heal more quickly and get fewer colds/flus and viruses
  • reduces levels of stress, anxiety and depression
  • influences our emotional intelligence and our ability to identify and solve problems in relationships
Join us this week and experiment with a different kind of journaling. Feel free to share your efforts over on Instagram, using the hashtag #slowexperiment.

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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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Love Slow? Support the show!