Category Archives: Simple

This Season’s Must-Haves.

This Season's Must-Haves?

Isn’t it great when magazines, blogs or TV shows share with us This Season’s Must-Haves? Aren’t you grateful for the heads-up?

Because – and this would be embarrassing – if we didn’t have these Must Haves, we’d be viewed as poor, uncool, un-hip or just plain boring.

Thank goodness we have other people here to tell us what we Must Have.

Or, perhaps, we could look at the meaning of “must have” and suggest that a striped t-shirt or a lavender suede mini skirt isn’t as much of a Must Have as, say, water.

Perhaps gold Birkenstocks are not really a Must Have, at least not when compared to, oh, you know, shelter.

And while my sarcastic and reductionist tone isn’t really helping anyone, I would like to offer my own list of Must Haves for this season and see if they don’t fill a gap a little more significant than the white skinny jeans-shaped hole in your wardrobe.

This Season’s Must Haves:

Kindness: Nothing looks better than an open heart and genuine warmth shown to others. Bonus: it suits all hair colours and face shapes.

Responsibility for your own actions: You will look (and feel) so fashionably empowered when you realise that the potential for change is in your hands. You get to choose how to act, what to prioritise and what is important.

Perspective: Almost everything you’re worrying about now A) is simply not important, B) will not happen at all or C) will happen, won’t be as bad as you fear and will not matter in five years time. Either way, perspective is a must-have this season. Get some.

A backbone for things that are important to you: It turns out that your spine isn’t just good for supporting that sharp navy blazer you’ve been coveting, it’s also really good for helping you have an opinion on things that matter to you. Keen to stop climate change? Do something. Angry about unethical clothing manufacturers? Act on it.

Generosity: Not just about passing on last season’s Must Haves to those less fortunate than yourself, generosity is an important part of a well-rounded life. It comes in many styles and colours – time, money, knowledge – and, I’m quite certain* it makes you look younger.

An aversion to needless outrage: Being offended is very fashionable. But what feels better? Constant outrage or an ability to let go of those things that aren’t important to you? This season’s Must Have: the ability to scroll on by.

Acceptance of our differences: Can you imagine how boring and monotone our world would be if everyone was the same? Or, even, if everyone wore the same cropped boyfriend jeans? Variety is the spice of life, my friends. Accept it. Embrace it.

A sense of humour: Honestly, it mostly isn’t that bad. And even if it is, maybe a giggle might just help.

Gratitude: Your clothes may not be on the list of This Season’s Must-Haves, but you do have clothes. And access to electricity and water and food and medicine. There is breath in your lungs. Your heart beats in your chest and your brain ticks over inside your head. You are a freaking miracle. There are friends and family who love you, there are dreams and ambitions and potential for joy. There are sunsets and smiles and books and red wine and camp fires. Life is incredible and gratitude is one of the best ways to embrace it. Plus, it looks good on everyone.

Finally, go check out this Louis CK clip. (Unless you don’t like sweary language. Then you should probably avoid it.)

 

(*Not actually certain.)

Katie Clemons on Tiny Homes, Flying and Journalling – SHP008

Episode 8 of The Slow Home Podcast, with Katie Clemons of Gadanke

Do you dream of living in an unconventional home?

A yurt? A campervan? A tiny house? A converted barn? I dream of living in a canvas tent one day – a little like Oriel Lamb in Cloudstreet but with more nature and fewer ghosts.

My guest in today’s episode of The Slow Home Podcast lives in a tiny home… built inside an old airplane hangar.

Katie Clemons is a pilot, writer, journal-maker, mother, wife and all-round lovely human, and today we chat about the impact simple living has had on her life over the past few years, as she has become a mother, moved halfway around the world and started a new business.

We also dig in to the time she and her husband spent living in Germany and look at how Katie’s training as a pilot has impacted her life in very unexpected ways.

Enjoy!

——

Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Alternatively, 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:

——

Just a final reminder too, that Founding Membership to The Bloom closes at midnight on Friday 15th May (AEST). If you want to join a brand new community of like-minded people building slower, simpler lives, and if you want to get a 50% discount off your first three months, head over here to join.

Curious to know more? You can learn more about The Bloom and how it will help you create a simpler life here.

 

Don’t be impressed with busy-ness. Be impressed with intention.

Don't be impressed by busy-ness. Be impressed by intention.

As you may have seen last week, I quietly opened the doors to my new community site, The Bloom.

The Bloom was created to support you through the process of simplifying, slowing down and living the life you crave, and dozens of members have already joined. Last Thursday night we held our first live coaching chat and I can tell you that the community we’re creating is something very special.

Membership for Founding Members will be closing at midnight this Friday 15th May (AEST) and the 50% discount for the first three months will be closing with it.

If you want to join The Bloom and gain access to our private forum, weekly coaching calls, video courses, handbooks, interviews and checklists, head over here and sign up today.

——

 So many of us wear our busy-ness like a badge of honour.

“Ugh,” we sigh. “I’m just so busy. I’m so tired. I never feel like I’m finished and there’s no time for things I enjoy and I never have down-time and everyone always wants something from me.”

This is code for:

“I am important. You should be impressed.”

And you know what? You are important. But not because you’re constantly busy and tired and over-committed.

What I find impressive is someone who’s intentional in how they spend their time. Someone who doesn’t say yes to everything and complain about being busy. Someone who says no, even if they’re saying no to me. I find that impressive.

Impressive in the sense that it makes an impression on me.

“Huh,” I say, as though it’s a new idea that people can say no.

Maybe they don’t have time, or maybe they don’t want to, but when they say no it feels more honest and authentic and intentional than saying yes to everything and then bitching about how busy they are, or saying yes and doing a half-arsed job.

Part of the reason we are overwhelmed with life but find it difficult to change is because those changes are uncomfortable.

It’s uncomfortable to sort through your cluttered home and let go of the excess.

It’s uncomfortable to decide which sentimental items are no longer serving you, and it’s uncomfortable letting them go.

It’s uncomfortable to revisit your priorities and realise that the way you’re living is not in keeping with the life you want to look back on.

It’s uncomfortable saying no.

Uncomfortable doesn’t mean undesirable though.

Having a clutter-free home is worth it. Not feeling the weight of those heavy sentimental items is worth it. Readjusting your life to fit with your priorities is worth it. And saying no? Absolutely worth it.

Please don’t mistake what I’m saying.

You can be both busy and intentional. Being busy isn’t really the problem. I personally like being busy – to a point. I also really like down-time and the fact that this weekend I spent two hours in the hammock reading comics.

But how do we say no?

Start by understanding what you want from your life. Knowing your Why helps you say no and keep your priorities front and centre when there are tough decisions to be made.

Then commit to living by your Why. Ask yourself whether this commitment, this responsibility, this event, this piece of furniture or item of clothing is going to help you live according to your Why, or if it is going to take you further away.

Don’t put your self-worth in busy-ness. Don’t fall for the myth that constant action equals importance. Don’t buy into the endless game of busy-ness and martydom because no-one wins.

Instead choose to live your life with intention and make an impression on yourself.

 

 

Fighting the Resistance

Resistance - via Slow Your Home

I’m very much a yoga novice. I take a class twice a week and practice most days, but I’m not much more than an enthusiastic beginner.

When I’m in a pose or a stretch I find difficult, my body does this weird thing where it resists the movement. It actively works against itself to stop me from going all the way into a stretch.

Recently I’ve learnt that breathing into it, letting go, releasing the resistance and relaxing helps. A pose I don’t think I can get into (mermaid, anyone?) often becomes easier when I mindfully choose to release the resistance and breathe into it.

(As an aside, that’s one of the things I’m loving so much about yoga – it’s such a mindful practice. No matter how preoccupied I am when I walk in to the class, my mind is clear of everything except yoga for those 60 minutes. I come away feeling mentally light.)

This weekend, as I was doing the washing up, trying to listen to music, hearing the kids squeal and play, thinking of all the stuff I had to do before going out later in the day, I could feel my shoulders get tense. I could feel the muscles of my back crawl up my spine as I continued to resist life.

I didn’t want it to be noisy, I didn’t want to be washing up, I didn’t want to go out that afternoon.

But I realised that resistance was coming from me, not from the circumstances I found myself in. I was resisting those not fun parts of my morning. I was resisting the things that needed to happen. I was resisting life. The everyday, mundane, not fun parts of life felt like something I wanted to fight against.

Of course, the reality is that I can’t. And I don’t really want to.

I don’t live in a vacuum, and there are things I need to do simply because I would be a jerk if I didn’t. There are parts of daily life that aren’t amazing, so it’s best I quit resisting and soften into it.

Standing at the kitchen sink, my shoulders climbing higher up my neck, I took three big deep breaths and told myself to quit fighting and enjoy the moment, in all its mundane normalness.

And while this sounds like typical bloggish hyperbole, the truth is that my shoulders dropped, the fuzzy feeling in my head disappeared and I felt peaceful. even amongst the everyday noise and chores and life stuff.

When it comes to mindfulness, I feel like I’m pretty much an enthusiastic beginner, much like my yoga practice. But I have learnt enough over the past few years of slowing down and simplifying to recognise the benefits of releasing this kind of resistance.

I feel happier, more content, more present, more at ease with wherever I am in life. I feel less stress, less anxiety, less strain, less distraction. Simply by not fighting the resistance.

(Which sounds like some kind of Star Wars reference. But, really, I’m not that clever.)

——

I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who listened to The Slow Home Podcast last week. The number of people who tuned in blew my mind (well over 20,000 people at last check) and the feedback I’ve received has been amazing, so thank you.

I also received a few emails asking about the blog now I’ve launched the podcast, and I wanted to reassure you I will still be writing blog posts here every Monday. I think much more clearly when I write, and I also know there are a lot of people who would prefer to read than listen, so the written posts aren’t going anywhere.

Every second Friday 6,000 people also receive my newsletter, which includes an exclusive post (for subscribers only) and a list of Five Things For Your Weekend – a collection of links, thoughts, challenges and other tidbits. If you want to receive the newsletter, you can sign up here.

So the good news is you can now get your Slow Home inspiration three ways:

Rhythm, Baby – SHP005

Rhythm, Baby - Episode 5 of The Slow Home Podcast

When it comes to routine versus rhythm, it’s rhythm all the way for me.

In today’s show (another solo outing to round out the big podcast launch week) I talk about the difference between rhythm and routine, and why it’s important to apply the friendlier notion of rhythm to our days.

Shifting into a rhythmic approach has been one of the best changes I’ve made to my life over the past few years and I feel like I actually get more done (most days) than if I was to apply a regimented routine to my days.

Later in the episode I also take a look at what my morning rhythm looks like at the moment, why my alarm is set for 4am and what I manage to get done before other members of my family wake up.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the first week of the show as much as I’ve loved bringing it to you! After today’s episode I will be releasing a new podcast every Thursday morning (Australian time) so be sure to subscribe to the show so you don’t miss out.

If you’ve been enjoying the show, I would be so grateful if you could take one minute to subscribe and leave a rating or a review in iTunes. Apparently this gets the show pushed up in the iTunes rankings and will help other people discover the podcast who otherwise may not. One of the biggest reasons I’ve created the podcast is to help share the ideas of slow living with a wider audience, so any help you could offer would be amazing.

With that in mind, grab a cup of something tasty and dive in to today’s episode.

——

Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Alternatively, you can listen to the show directly from the blog, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

——

What You’ll Hear About  in Today’s Episode:

  • The difference between rhythm and routine
  • Why I think rhythm is a better option, particularly when trying to create a slower, simpler life
  • Why I choose to get up at 4am
  • Why this approach may not work for everyone
  • What my mornings look like and how I have created a rhythm that helps me get a lot done before my family wakes up

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...