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Your Why: Putting it in to practice

Your Why: Putting it in to practice

Today marks the final episode of this series where we’ve focused on uncovering and harnessing your Why. It’s actually been incredibly helpful to me personally to re-visit this process and really dig deep in to what it means to live my Why, what that looks like, and importantly, how to translate that in to personal values which I can apply to every day life.

As I mentioned last week, I’ve sometimes struggled to take my personal Why and use it to help steer me in smaller, more everyday decisions and that’s why I’ve focused on distilling the big picture Why, my eulogy, in to a list of personal values. It’s these values that we talk about today, and after last week I know what my values are. Compassion. Adventure. Responsibility. Today we talk about how to apply them and the ways in which they impact our life.

I’ve spoken about this before, but having our values clearly designated also helps steer us when faced with a difficult decision. We can refer back to our decision or the options facing us and ask if they bring us closer to or further away from our values. Often, although not always, that’s enough motivation to make a decision that we can look back on and be glad of.

And finally, in a dorky kind of way, I also like to put some of my decisions on a values scale. I’ll ask myself, “On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being least compassionate and 10 being most, where does this choice lie?” The helpful thing with doing it this way is that we can see that not everything is going to be a 10. In fact, most things aren’t going to be a 10. But aiming for more compassion over less is a good place to work towards.

This approach means that I’m aware of compromise (I live with, work with and spend time with other people and compromise is always going to be part of that) and embrace the fact that sometimes I’ll fall short. That works for me and helps me to view things through a much longer-term lens, one that allows for tilting and the ups and downs of a life that is ever-shifting.

This week’s action is to nominate one change or decision you can make this week and to place it on your own dorky values scale. Is it more or less of your value? Closer or further away?

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series of poggies on finding your Why. Feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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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:

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Day in the Life

A Day in the Life - Episode 84 of The Slow Home Podcast

I have to be honest, I’ve been super hesitant to record this episode as I thought it would be too boring for pretty much everyone on the planet. But I’ve been asked countless times for more detail into how we structure our days, so this show looks at how a typical day unfolds at our house. 

Well, at least that was the plan…

When Ben and I sat down to talk about what a typical day actually looks like, it took about 3.7 seconds to realise there is no such thing for us anymore. So instead what you have is a wide-ranging look at how we manage our time on a day-to-day basis (we’re unsurprisingly quite different) and how the change in our work situations has impacted the rhythm of our home.

While things don’t necessarily look the same from day to day, during the week I’m a big fan of time-chunking and break my time into different functions:

    • Early Morning: Quiet time. This sometimes means meditation, yoga, going for a walk or writing. Other mornings it means getting some uninterrupted work done and being dressed and ready before everyone else is up (this gives me a ridiculous sense of satisfaction!)
    • 7am-ish: Getting everyone else ready for the day. Breakfasts, lunches, do homework, get the kids dressed and ready, do a load of laundry, clean something, sometimes walk with the kids to school.
    • 9:30-10:30am-ish: Doing stuff. That might be helping out at school, going for a coffee or doing some housework.
    • 10:30am-2:30pm: Work time. I spend these hours recording, editing, writing, creating, working with podcast clients, planning new shows, responding to emails etc.
    • 2:30pm – School Pick Up: Dinner prep, tidy up.
    • School Pick-Up – Dinner: Homework, play, dinner prep, etc. If Ben’s home and I need to work he takes on this time and vice versa.
    • Dinner, Bath, Books, Bed
  • Ben and I Chill: TV, reading, work, bed.

I think this approach comes from having to be across a lot of different areas of life (home, kids, work, personal, family) and knowing I simply cannot give 100% of my energy to all areas at any one given time – or any one given week for that matter.

Ben, on the other hand, simply gets done what needs to be done at that moment and doesn’t need to play too many mind games in order to do so. Which sounds a hell of a lot simpler to me, but I’m pretty happy with the system I’ve worked out for myself, regardless!

We also talk about the idea of tilting, whether we’re more or less stressed than we were a year ago, and whether our life is busy, or merely full.

I actually really enjoyed this conversation, despite my initial misgivings, and hope you do too. That being said, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below: how do you manage to find a sense of peace in your days? Or what areas are you still working on?

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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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Show Notes:

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The slow startup

It’s been a big couple of months here at Pogpast HQ. With Ben finishing up at his job and us starting the new company, the kids both starting school and launching Jackrabbit.FM, there’s been a lot going on.

Not that any of it has been bad. On the contrary, really. It’s just… different. And it’s taken us a bit of time to realise that a different lifestyle means, well, a different lifestyle.

We’re still working out how these changes fit in with our goal to live a slow, simple life but the first month has shown us there are going to be pros and cons to this new situation. It’s obviously been something a lot of you have been curious about too, as we’ve received many questions about slow living, self-employment and the workload involved in starting a new company.

So in today’s hosts-only pogpast (Episode number 50! Happy Golden Pod-iversary…?) we start by answering a couple of listener questions about our newly self-employed status. After that we answer two really excellent questions I know a lot of people struggle with:

    1. When simplifying life and buying less stuff, we’re often told to buy the best quality we can afford in order to make our purchases last longer. What happens when we become overwhelmed by the choices on offer and find ourselves paralysed by the options? How do you get around this desire to find “the best”?
  1. I’m following along with the Slow Home Experiments and appreciate that you’re only taking on one change at a time, but will you continue those changes once the month is over? And how do you stop that from becoming an increasingly overwhelming amount of change as you continue to add new or different behaviours every month?

Both of these are really great questions that go right to the heart of slow, intentional living, and we very much enjoyed being able to sit down and mull them over. Hopefully you enjoy listening! 

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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:

Love Slow? Support the show!

How to Embrace Slow

How To Embrace Slow

We’ve just had an incredible long weekend, although there was really nothing extraordinary about it.

We spent time with family, slept in, watched movies, had a backyard campfire, took a long, slow bushwalk together and enjoyed some beers at the pub. I read a little, wrote a little, thought a lot.

When we slow down, we give ourselves time and space to really think about things, to be present, to embrace what’s happening right in front of us, as opposed to flitting from task to task, never quite spending time in the now.

I tried to think about how it’s come to be this way for us, how it’s come to be easy to slow down and enjoy the moment. And I realised two things:

1. There are no rules that apply to everyone.

2. You can’t wait for a perfect time to slow down.

If we waited until the house was immaculately tidy and work was quiet and the kids were perfectly settled and we had no stresses, then we would still be waiting for permission from life to slow down.

It doesn’t happen like that. Life is messy and layered and there are always things going on. It requires constant tilting.

This weekend could have been stressful. The kids have been sick, work is very busy and there are always (always) things to do at home.

But instead of waiting for those things to not be an issue anymore, we simply embraced the opportunity to slow down anyway.

Chores? They’ll be there tomorrow.

Kids unwell? Take it easy and enjoy the opportunity to watch Star Wars and Jurassic Park. (Side Note: It’s such a happy day when the kids start requesting something other than sugar-soaked animated films.)

Work stresses? Don’t check in over the weekend. It can wait ’til you’re back at your desk.

It’s amazing what comes to the surface when we slow down and stop cramming stuff in to life. Ideas, thoughts and memories come bubbling up alongside realisations and discoveries.

We think clearly. We pay attention to the moment. We learn things. We come away feeling rested and rejuvenated and at peace, because we’ve spent time living in the now.

That’s the feeling I have this morning as I sit with my coffee and write these words. Peace. Because I can look back at the time I’ve just spent with my family and can see that I truly spent my time with my family. I was all there.

And while the emails need to be answered, the lunches made, the floor mopped, the meetings attended, it’s these times of being present, of living slow, of paying attention that will be important.

 

Slow is boring.

Slow is boring.

In today’s hectic, win at all costs, strive for cheaper, higher, faster, louder world, slow gets a bad rap.

Slow means saying no. Slow means missing out. Slow is lazy. Slow is boring. Slow is beige.

And yes, there is bad slow. (My internet this week, for example.)

But since adopting a slower pace, my life has become immeasurably more interesting. It’s become more active. I’ve said yes to more incredible things than I ever thought possible. My life has become anti-beige.

Really? Ask the nay-sayers.

How can slow – plodding, ponderous, lagging, sluggish, leaden – be anything but boring?

But slow is the precise shade of lavender in an incredible sunset.

Slow is noticing the smell of wet earth after the rain.

Slow is committing to memory the sound of my kids playing.

Slow is having time for long conversations.

Slow is having the energy to help others.

Slow is saying yes to Sunday afternoon bushwalks and siestas.

Slow is putting the phone down when I’m talking to someone.

Slow is making time for yoga.

Slow is tilting.

Slow is out of my comfort zone.

Slow is establishing what my comfort zone looks like and happily dwelling there sometimes.

Slow is time in nature.

Slow is saying yes to adventure.

Slow is travelling and learning and really seeing new places.

Slow is stopping to notice.

Slow is making space for the things I love. And then enjoying them.

Slow is understanding that life is fast and time is precious.

Slow is making the most of both those things.