Category Archives: People

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?

Slow Families – A Deep Dive in to Slow Relationships

Richard Jacobs

“Tell someone you love them, every day.”

It’s week two of our month of slow relationships, and this episode we’re looking at family: kids, parents, siblings, and all those broader relationships (including friends who feel more like favourite cousins) that make up the family tree. Families are not always neat and tidy, and there are countless ways to create one, but hopefully there will be something in this episode that resonates with you, whatever your family situation.

How to slow down family life when you’re a parent to young kids is one of the most common questions we’re asked, so that’s where we begin today’s episode. (Non-parents take heart though! We soon move into other family relationships.) We’ve covered slow parenting in many an episode before and you can find links to a lot of those in the show notes below, but we also share a few important reminders and tools here as well:

  • kids are not slow and living slowly with kids can sometimes feel super difficult (to near-impossible)
  • embrace boundaries around your family’s time and technology to regain headspace and energy
  • drop the expectations of what a slow family life “should” look like
  • don’t be afraid to say no
  • let boredom happen

Relationships with siblings and parents can be one fraught with past hurts, differences of opinion and vast distances, but many of us still crave closer, deeper connections. This usually requires vulnerability and honesty, and in so many cases we’re scared to be the first to take that step. We talk about some ways to start those difficult chats, but come to realise that above all, time is the key. Making and allowing time and creating a safe space for deeper conversations and connections helps to create stronger bonds, and it’s in those moments of turning up for people that we build trust, intimacy and the kind of relationships we crave.

Of course not every family situation allows space for honest, deep conversations, and we also talk about what to do when there isn’t as much connection within a family. Ben talks a lot about resilience, and the importance of being tolerant, open and then resilient enough to always try to end interactions on a positive note, no matter what the difference of opinions might be. This is easier said than done in some situations, but putting love above differences in opinion isn’t always easy, but it’s a choice we can all make.

We finish the episode by getting a little smushy, as we talk about ways to maintain connection when there’s a great physical distance between family, and then share the value of affection within all familial relationships (YES hugs are always on the cards).

So what’s this week’s action? Tell someone you love them, every day. And let us know how that feels – get in touch on Facebook or Instagram and share the love.

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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:

Slow living with kids episodes:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

Recently we hit the mind-blowing number of 4.5 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 Romance – A Deep Dive in to Slow Relationships

Renee Fisher

“Single task your relationship.”

Annnnd we’re back. It’s the first week of July, and while we’re due for a Slow Experiment, thanks to book tour commitments and a tight travel schedule, we’ve decided to keep walking that tilting-into-slow-living walk and take the pressure off. Instead, July will be a deep dive into relationships. Specifically, how we can bring slow to our relationships. Romantic, family and friendships old and new, each week we’ll be exploring ways you can create deeper connections with the people around you.

After Episode 242 was released a few weeks ago, where Ben shared his story and we spoke some uncomfortable but important truths about the past seven years, we received so much feedback and a whole heap of relationship-oriented questions, we could see that this was another area of slow living (and just plain old regular-paced living too) that isn’t spoken about enough. So let’s do it, friends.

This week starts with some smooching and some loving and me using the term “hook-up culture” about 28 times (sorry) as we look at how to bring slow to our romantic relationships. Ben and I talk about our own relationship, and acknowledge up front that our experience of the dating scene is quite old-fashioned. In fact, I thank all the love gods that there was no swiping right back in the early 2000s when we first met.

However, we do talk about the fact that a lot of dating technology doesn’t necessarily support people looking for a deeper, more meaningful connection and offer some suggestions for those of us who are looking to spark connection in other, non-Tindery ways.

We also talk about the importance of entering into relationships and getting to know people with a focus on intention over the endgame, and how presence and time helps to cement trust. The same principles apply to people already in a long-term relationships, and intention, turning up and building trust are where it’s at. Perhaps not surprisingly, we also advocate to drop the distractions and be present with your partner, and truly believe that turning up is vital in building a solid, steady foundation.

In the spirit of Episode 242 we also bring up some of the challenges we’ve faced in our own relationship, talking through some of the biggest obstacles and lessons we’ve faced over the past 18 years (what? 18 years? Aren’t I, like 25?) and finish up with a reminder that romance is constantly evolving.

We also invite you to be aware of your expectations in your relationships this week, and to explore finding joy and depth in the ordinary, everyday moments because in our experience, those ordinary, everyday moments are the bread and butter of a relationship. Finding joy in them means finding joy in every day.

Also: here’s to more loving.

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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:

Recently we hit the mind-blowing number of 4.5 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!

 

An interview with Ben

“Living at the edge of your comfort zone is not going to be comfortable, but that’s where you expand, that’s where you grow and learn and change.”

Today’s episode is a little different. After some 200-odd episodes of the poggie, where I’ve shared so much of my own journey, so many of my own struggles and discoveries and lessons, we were well overdue for an episode where the focus was solely on Ben.

Over the years I’ve been asked many times about what this whole slow living thing has been like for him. What it’s like for someone who works in the corporate sector, for someone who worked long hours, someone who didn’t have the privilege of taking a few years to find out what was important and then gradually put it at the centre of his life. For someone who is married to me.

So today, I ask him all those questions. And honestly, it gets a little raw.

I’m not going to tell you any more about it because it really is worth a listen, but I do want you to know that this was a really enjoyable, uncomfortable yet comforting, healing, illuminating conversation for both Ben and I, and I’m genuinely thrilled to be able to share it with you.

Thank you for being here. xx

——

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:

Recently we hit the mind-blowing number of 4.5 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!

 

Rob Greenfield on the enormous power of small changes

“Radical transformation doesn’t happen overnight. It starts with one small change, and then another one, and then another one.” — Rob Greenfield

Over the years I’ve found that one of the biggest obstacles to making positive change is a sense of hopelessness. What can I do? What difference will I make? Why does it matter? Who cares what one person does?

I’ve asked myself those exact questions countless times as I’m faced with the impotency of my own efforts. Whether it’s reducing plastic consumption and waste, making ethical clothing and food choices, supporting organisations trying to make a difference or showing kindness in the face of anger or aggression, I so often falter when I realise that me and my changes are merely a single drop in a very large ocean. I may pat myself on the back for avoiding plastic for an entire day, only to walk home and see hundreds of straws and cigarette butts littering the street. Boom. Demoralised.

In today’s episode I explore this issue with my guest, the inspiring and change-making Rob Greenfield, a self-described ‘dude making a difference’, and someone with a fascinating perspective on what is required in order to have a positive impact on the world.

Rob is an activist, environmentalist and legend, and is very good at raising people’s awareness of an issue by doing big, bold things to grab our attention. In 2016 he collected the amount of rubbish the average American creates in a month, strapped it to his body and wore it around New York City like a big old swollen trash suit. It’s a sight to behold and certainly succeeded in gaining attention to the massive issue of plastic waste.

But on the flip side, he’s also been the person making small, consistent change in his own life and in today’s conversation we talk about why that’s such an important lesson to learn, and one which will often lead to bigger changes down the line.

10 years ago Rob was living what he calls a “typical American life”. He was driven by money and ideas of success, obsessed with his car and didn’t consider the impact of his choices on the planet or the people around him. As he began to travel and broaden his horizons Rob began reading books and watching documentaries about the state of the world, and the more he learned, the more he realised he had to change.

So he did. Slowly, one step at a time. Rob talks about the fact that making positive changes in your life is a has a snowball effect, and we both agree that while this slow steady approach might seem frustrating or overwhelming at first, it really is the only way to go.  He breaks down the changes he made, and how these eventually fed into the big, bold experiments and projects he’s become known for.

We also talk about how he communicates these changes to the people around him, the idea of comfort zones, change and societal norms, as well as the need to practice compassion and get good it at, just like building any other muscle or skill. He shares an amazing story about a man named Guitar Johnny, that has stuck with me for many months and is such a simple and beautiful example of what it looks like to live with compassion and forgiveness.

It’s incredibly inspiring to hear Rob share so honestly about his life, and is a much-needed reminder that we can all make choices in our daily lives to have a more positive impact on the world.

I’m also really excited to see how Rob goes with his next project – growing or foraging 100% of his food for a whole year, and I’ve linked to this project in the show notes below.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this episode and take solace in the knowledge that every single change matters. No matter how big or small.

——

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:

Recently we hit the mind-blowing number of 4.5 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 travel, fast kids and making counter-cultural choices

“Slow living is kind of this weird duality of being prepared, organised, systems in place, knowing what’s coming, managing expectations, and being flexible and fluid and understanding that life happens.”

The hostful is back, baby, and this one is big. We’ve got a personal and travel update, a heap of excellent listener questions, and we reveal the new Slow Experiment for May!

It’s been a while since we sat down and answered listener questions, and it feels like something of a homecoming. Your questions never fail to inspire me, and I often find myself thinking about them for days and weeks after. This episode is no different as we talk a lot about flexibility versus rigidity, spontaneity versus organisation, and expectations versus reality, not only in answer to your questions, but also as we do a deep dive on what the past few months have taught us (some of it has been rather uncomfortable, if I’m being honest).

On a similarly uncomfortable note, the North American release of SLOW is fast approaching, and with the official release date being July 10 and pre-orders now available, it’s feeling very real. As Ben and I discuss early in today’s episode, plans for tour events are coming together and I can’t wait to share them, but we’re also going to need your help. A cross-country book tour is no joke and if there’s any possible way you think you might be able to help – venues, media, logistics, bulk food, grocery and restaurant recommendations (seriously!), must-see stops along the way – let us know via email. One thing I’ve learnt about myself over the past few years is my tendency to take on all the jobs and then slowly wither under the pressure, so this is me getting honest and telling you that I can’t actually do that.

This provides a really beautiful link to some of the questions we answer in today’s episode, as a number of them revolve around the theme of expectation – both our own expectations of what we believe life “should” look like and the expectations we feel from external influences such as friends, family, social media, marketing, advertising etc.

A number of the questions ask specifically about slow living with young kids:

  • How is it possible to live slow when kids are fast and noisy and endlessly curious and messy?
  • Is there a way to extricate yourself from the busy-ness of young kids (activities, birthday parties, etc) without upsetting people?
  • How can slow living apply to families with one or more kids who have additional needs?

Then there are some questions that relate specifically to slow travel:

  • How did we know it was time to pull the trigger on our trip? What signs were there to show that we were ready for a huge change?
  • How are we managing the day-to-day of slow travel? What does that look like?
  • What has surprised, challenged or delighted us most about our trip so far?

Peppered throughout the entire episode is the theme of going against the norm, or making counter-cultural choices in the face of resistance. I think this is at the heart of all of slow living, whether you’re making changes at home with young kids attached to your knees, if you’re travelling the world, both, or somewhere entirely different.

Ben and I talk about the idea of living against the grain, the emotions it has brought up for both of us, the fears it awakens and the rebellious joy it brings too. There is something so liberating about removing the blinkers from the ‘shoulds’ of life, asking the big questions and then living in alignment with the answers, but I also understand why it is so scary. It’s my hope that talking about the ups and downs makes it more accessible and realistic, rather than some unattainable, romanticised version of life that nothing will live up to. It’s hard work to live against the grain, swimming against the flow, but man is it worthwhile.

Towards the end of the episode we also reveal the May Slow Experiment, which is all about daily creativity. If you listened to the March experiment you may have heard us talk about the impact of time in nature on our creativity (we spoke about it a lot in Episode 5 of the experiment). Following our nose, this seemed like the most obvious continuation of our experiments and we’re both really excited to see where it leads us. to As always, we want to keep the experiment flexible and accessible to as many people as possible, so the rules as such are very simple. We’re committing to an act of creativity every day in May, and we’d love you to play along too. That’s it.

Now, for those of you thinking you lack the basic creativity required to take part in this experiment, I’d encourage you to look outside the box when you consider what ‘creativity’ entails. It can be the traditional arts and crafts, writing or knitting, of course, but the way we view the world, the way we solve a problem, get dressed in the morning or choose to view things from a different angle can all be acts of creativity too.

To get you started, and to keep you motivated for the month of May, I’ve created a simple PDF for you to download and print out, and it has some suggestions on creative acts you can try throughout the month, as well as a colouring chart for every day you create.

Personally I’m excited to see what, if any, impact a daily creative practice is going to have on my:

  • problem solving
  • mindfulness
  • paying attention to tiny details
  • focus
  • creativity in work

and I can’t wait to hear the impact it has for you too. We’re getting started on May 1, and as always, will be using #slowexperiment over on Instagram to talk about our progress. Feel free to join in and share your experiment too!

In the meantime, enjoy!

——

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:

Recently we hit the mind-blowing number of 4 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!