How can you get your family on board with a slower life? How do we engage with our community and make a difference in the world? How can we better spend our time with family and friends? And why does it matter?
“What we need now more than anything is more compassion and grace.”
Season 5 has thus far been a pandemic-free zone (mostly because all episodes previous to this one were recorded before the world turned topsy-turvy) but that changes today.
After having a couple of weeks to process some of the changes in our own lives and the world at large, Ben and I spend the first half of this week’s episode chatting about where we’re at right now, and the huge shifts in pace and productivity that have happened. Ben shares the impact the crisis has had on his business while I talk a little about trying to work around home-school responsibilities, heightened anxiety and a new normal.
There is no doubt that slow living has given us a lot of tools over the years, many of which have been helpful in the first weeks of the pandemic and lockdown, so we dig a little in to what they are and how they’ve been helping. We also discuss:
The impact the crisis has had on Ben’s business
Working from home while also trying to keep on top of home-schooling responsibilities
What’s helping us the most right now
Why limiting inputs of news and social media is so important
How we’re allowing ourselves to ‘feel all the feelings’
Why single-tasking has become more important than ever
The second half of the episode resumes normal transmission with the final catch-up with a guest from Season 4. And honestly, what a way to finish! I catch-up with Elisa who shares some of the changes she’s implemented in her days, before going on to shed some light on one of her biggest ongoing challenges.
One of Elisa’s children has medically-complex needs and working out how to apply intentional living to those additional requirements is something she and I discuss in-depth. Through all of this Elisa reminded me of the power of resilience, and the strength in being able to encompass the messiness of life and the warrior of motherhood – and everything in between.
“The roots of self-care was born in underserved communities that recognised that no-one else was going to care for them.”
Today’s episode is another one we recorded PP (pre-pandemic – more on that below), but just like last week’s chat about technology, it’s a pretty timely conversation. Ben and I dive deep in to self-care, a movement that’s been commodified and stripped of its true intention over recent years, but that is going to prove incredibly powerful for all of us over the coming months of uncertainty and challenge.
Slow living and self-care have kind of become synonymous in the mainstream, featuring a lot on Instagram and in books and blogs and magazines. There is undoubtedly a lot of crossover between the two, but there is also a lot of consumerism and privilege tied up in the modern-day vision of self-care. We kick today’s show off with my thoughts on that, as well as a brief look at the roots of the self-care movement and why it has very little to do with face masks.
Ben and I then talk about what we each think self-care is, how it applies in our lives and why it’s so important. We also talk about:
The origins of self-care as a movement and how society defines self-care now
What it means to advocate for yourself
How we each manage self-care
Where the words ‘want’ versus ‘need’ fit into self-care
How important exercise is within our own self-care
The enemies of self-care
What self-care looks like for us in practical terms
The second half of the episode features our Season 4 friend of the show, Amy, and we follow up on her waste-reduction efforts in beautiful rural Maine. Amy shares how she’s taken on board a lot of the changes and experiments we discussed in our last chat, including some composting ideas (and what she learnt attending a composting conference!), and the ways she’s finding balance between working from home and spending time with her family.
I really hope you enjoy this episode, as I think there’s a lot in it that will be helpful in our current challenges.
Also just wanted to let you know that following lots of listener requests, the final couple of episodes of Season 5 will feature more discussion about the Coronavirus pandemic as well as a lot of practical talk about home schooling, working from home and managing anxiety amidst massive disruptions to normal life. We’re also working on a few other projects, as well as Season 6, which I hope will bring some more light and practical advice to your ears over the coming weeks and months.
“Values help unravel problems and tricky situations. You look at things differently when you look at them through the lens of your values.”
In this week’s episode we talk about community – that sense of rightness or home or belonging that strikes when we truly feel seen in a place.
In part this episode was prompted by our own experience of searching for and finding community, and in part due to the many questions we’ve received about how and why we settled in our new community after travelling for 18 months.
As we travelled through Canada and the US in 2018, we found ourselves creating a list of traits we’d like to have in the place we eventually settled. We loved the access to nature and wild places offered by some of the smaller towns we visited in the Kootenays. We loved the energy and like-minded people we found in the foothills of the Rockies. We appreciated the local and sustainable focus of cities like Bend, Oregon and Austin, Texas. And above all, we simply appreciated the sense of community these places possessed. So we made a list, a collage if you will, of traits we valued and wanted in our own community when we settled back into our ‘normal’ lives in Australia, never really knowing if we’d find a place that fit with that list.
It’s funny to see now that we kind of did, but the community we’ve settled in looks nothing like we expected it to – which is proof that while we can be intentional in our choices we also need to be flexible in our expectations. To focus more on how we feel rather than how it looks.
We also discuss:
How we’ve previously struggled with the idea of community, and what it actually means to us now
How our idea of community has changed over time
Whether slow living has anything to do with community and if it’s possible to create a slow living community
How we were forced to rethink old beliefs, patterns and boundaries as our experience and ideas of community has changed
What the ultimate slow living community might look like
How you can find community in your work
Whether it’s possible to find one community the delivers on all your needs
I then have a wonderful follow-up chat with Lauren from Season 4 to see how she went with her values exercise and whether she was able to experiment with a slow living media ‘fast’.
Lauren shares how her values exercise played out and how the values she was able to zero in on have helped her make big changes already (new job, new city) as well as sharing some of the really practical shifts she’s made over the past few months (gratitude journalling and weekly review). No doubt, Lauren took her homework seriously and shares some insights that will be helpful to not only those in their twenties, but people at all stages of their lives who are looking to live more intentionally.
“It’s much better to have five minutes of discomfort by saying no, than having months of resentment.”
Welcome back to another season of the Slow Home podcast!
As we mentioned in last week’s sneak peek, Season 5 of the poggie has a new format that I’m pumped to share with you. Each episode comprises of two parts, the first which will see Ben and I diving deep into an area of slow living that you’ve told us you want to know more about (think topics like self-care, waste reduction, tech and our relationship to stuff). The second part will feature a follow-up with guests from Season 4 to see how they have been tracking since we last spoke and whether they’ve implemented any changes.
Having recorded a couple of these catch-ups already, I am so excited to share them with you this season. I knew my guests from Season 4 were amazingly insightful people and what these follow-ups are showing is that they’re also not afraid to put in the hard work of showing up, making changes and living a life aligned with their values. It’s incredibly inspiring and I’m grateful to every single one of them.
Ben and I kick the season off with a deep dive in to rhythms (as opposed to routines), which is a topic we’ve discussed a lot on the podcast before. Establishing rhythms is a slow-living strategy I use a lot to ensure life runs smoothly enough to feel slow, but not so rigid as to feel stressful, and today we talk a lot about what they are and how they can be applied to real life to create a sense of right-pacedness amidst the busy-ness.
Some of the questions we answer include:
What exactly are rhythms?
How do we apply rhythms to different parts of our life?
What do rhythms look like since settling into our new town?
What have we discovered about rhythms and how they best work for us?
Is there room for flexibility and fluidity within our rhythms?
How do we set up and maintain rhythms?
I then catch up with my Season 4 guest, Kate, who you might remember was struggling with the question of whether slow living might actually be robbing her of ambition.
Kate shares how she has embraced the ‘messy middle’ and has started to get comfortable with the unknown since she and I last spoke. She also talks about how saying no to things has given her energy, and shares a few examples of opportunities she would have previously said yes to, and the power she felt by saying no instead.
In a word Kate has slayed the last few months and our conversation is testament to the power of choosing to be present and mindful. There’s so much inspiration and practical slow living ideas in this episode and I hope you enjoy it!
Every Thursday in January we’ll be revisiting some of our favourite podcast episodes while we walk the slow living walk over the summer break. Also it turns out podcasts, just like fine wine, really do get better with age, so whether you missed them the first time around, or are having another listen, we hope you enjoy these poggies as much as we did!
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:
Why do you
think so many of us have a broken relationship with food and our bodies?
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?
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?
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?
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
You highlight mindful eating as a way to begin to
heal our relationship with food, but what actually is it to eat more mindfully?
How can we
begin to eat more mindfully? What’s the first step?
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
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?
we do to help ourselves and our kids move through that?