Technology: A Slow Living Deep-Dive

If only all screens had a view like this…

“Look beyond books, podcasts and movies and find time to focus on what slow living means for you.”

Carl Honore

Is slow living anti-tech? Is it possible to have an intentional relationship with tech, when virtually all of our interactions use some form of it? And what about kids? How can we show them what mindful tech looks like if we are still struggling to find out for ourselves?

In today’s episode Ben and I dig in to one of the most requested topics for this season of the podcast – our relationship with technology. Or more specifically, in a phrased coined by Ben (and repeated at least ten times this episode) what is the impact of connect-tech on our well-being and slow living at large?

We’ve spoken before about our tech strategies and boundaries but as our work has shifted and the kids have grown, our approach has changed over the past couple of years and I think it’s important to talk through the good, the challenging and the uncharted waters so that we can all realise no-one has all the answers and no-one is walking around feeling like they’ve got it all sorted. In this episode we talk about: 

  • The elephant in the room  – is slow living anti-tech?
  • How we make technology work in a way that feels slow
  • What we actually mean when we talk about tech
  • The mindset we adopt when managing our relationship to connect-tech
  • Tools we use to develop and maintain tech boundaries for ourselves while working
  • Other ways we manage tech use with the kids and ourselves when not working
  • How important it is to be a role model when it comes tech (and how challenging that can be)
  • Whether we feel good about our relationship to tech or if there are things we’re still working on (hint: yes, there are many things we’re still working on).

I then have a wonderful chat with Sara from Season 4 who shares not only some of the shifts she’s made since we last spoke, but also some of the feedback she received from family and friends in her community as a result of our conversation back in 2019. We talk about lifelong learning, finding awe and the ways Sara is supporting her community through her slow living efforts (not always in the ways you might imagine).

Sarah also shares some of the discoveries she made on a recent trip to Italy (pre-Covid-19 obviously) where she walked her way through Umbria, away from social commitments and technology. We talk about awe and tilting and prioritising downtime, and how to let go of the guilt that some of these things often bring out in us, being so counter to the norm of busy-ness and rushing.

I hope you enjoy the episode and walk away with some practical ideas on how to change your relationship with tech, or how to reframe what slow living means to you.

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!

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Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

As always, thank you for listening.

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Community: A Slow Living Deep-Dive

Ah, Bangor ME. How I love thee.

“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.

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!

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Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

As always, thank you for listening.

Love Slow? Support the show!

Reducing Waste: A Slow Living Deep-Dive

“It’s not until you bring people together that change actually happens.”

In what feels like a natural progression from last episode’s theme of Stuff, this week Ben and I dig in to the efforts we’re making to reduce our waste. From food, to clothes, to cleaning, we discuss where we started our waste reduction journey and where we find ourselves now.

As we mentioned in last week’s episode on stuff, our philosophy has shifted somewhat away from our initial efforts to declutter and simplify, towards living more sustainably. We’ve been asked about it a lot so thought this week would be a good opportunity to dig in to what that actually looks like, in what we hope is a really practical way.

None of this is perfect, and as we discuss today, there is always going to be more we can do, but it’s really important to understand that we live within a system that is not necessarily set up for our success. So not only are we making changes against a lifetime of convenience, we’re also swimming upstream, against the food and packaging industries, governments and massive supermarket chains which all benefit from the current system remaining in place.

We talk a lot about food waste, given the statistic from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation which states that, “If global food waste was a country it would be the 3rd largest global greenhouse emitter,” but there are also lots of other kinds of waste to turn our attention to.

In today’s episode Ben and I dig in to the changes we’ve made, those we’re trying to make now, and the areas we feel overwhelmed by. We also discuss:

  • Where our shift from simple living and decluttering to reducing waste and being more sustainable came from
  • How we first started to reduce waste
  • Whether we believe we do ‘enough’
  • Where we’ve found new opportunities to reduce waste and what those opportunities look like
  • How we capture our plastic waste
  • Other than food, what other kinds of waste we’ve been trying to reduce, and how we’re going about it 

I then speak with Georgi from Season 4, who shares the practical and inspiring things she’s done since we last spoke. Not only has Georgi engaged with the communities she’s part of, but has also begun a conversation with her council to explore what changes they can begin to make in her local area.

Excitingly, Georgi also shares the project she’s working on – a handbook for action and optimism, written for young people – which she’s filling with practical and tangible (and accessible!) tips. I’m genuinely blown away by the progress she’s made over the past few months and walked away from our chat energised to keep making connections, keep working, keep creating.

There’s a lot of inspiration – both practical and heart-centred – in today’s episode, and Georgi shows us how much progress can be made when individuals step up and connect with their local communities. 

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!

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Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

As always, thank you for listening.

Love Slow? Support the show!

Stuff: A Slow-Living Deep Dive

Experiences over stuff 4eva.

Since returning to Australia and moving in to a new home, we’ve found there’s a lot of curiosity about our stuff. Or more specifically, whether we’ve accumulated a lot of it since settling down.

So in this episode we decided to dive deep in to our current relationship with stuff and how we view the accumulation or letting go of it through a slow living lens. We also answer some of the more common questions we receive about the things we own, including:

  • How has our relationship with stuff changed?
  • Have we rediscovered any old belongings since settling back in to a normal life? 
  • What sort of stuff have we bought?
  • Has our approach to buying things changed?
  • Have we have continued to declutter and if so, how we do it now?

Running through this entire deep dive is also a more general discussion of how we’ve moved away from a ‘traditional minimalist’ mindset to a more ‘lower waste living’ philosophy, as well as some thoughts on why we don’t really associate with a minimalist approach to life anymore. 

In the second half of the episode I then have the pleasure of speaking with Nancy from Season 4, who had been struggling to find her happy place on the socialising/slow living spectrum and was worried that living a slower life was causing her to feel lonely.

In this catch-up Nancy shares some of the incredible progress she’s made since her and I last spoke, and includes an epiphany all about hummus. (Yes, really!)

Nancy has come so far along her path of intentional living and it’s pure joy to hear her share the changes in her self-confidence, self-esteem and ability to embrace discomfort.

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:

As always, thank you for listening.

Love Slow? Support the show!

Rhythms: A Slow Living Deep Dive

“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! 

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!