8 Hours Sleep – The Slow Home Experiment

8 Hours Sleep - The Slow Home Experiment

This month’s Slow Home Experiment sees us trying to get 8 hours of sleep every night, and unsurprisingly, Ben’s nailed it so far.

While this experiment plays very nicely to Ben’s strengths (sleeping) I’ve been getting 6-7 hours sleep a night for years and genuinely thought I’d been getting enough.

When we started slowing down the rhythm of our lives, one of the first changes I made was to get up early in the morning and have some quiet time to myself. Over the years I’ve had good and bad runs at making this happen, and sometimes it’s been used for work while other times it’s been more about self-care rituals like writing or exercise.

The past week has seen me get 8 hours sleep every night, but I’ll admit, it’s been due to me sacrificing those early morning hours, rather than going to bed earlier. So I can already see that it’s not going to be an ideal arrangement long-term and I’ll need to start getting my extra hours earlier in the night rather than the mornings.

The biggest problem I’m having with that though is that by 8:30pm (the time I’d need to get to bed in order to be asleep and get a full 8 hours for my 5am alarm) I’m just not that tired. It might be because I really do need less than 8 hours sleep, or it could be that I’m simply not tiring myself out enough every day.

So this week I’m going to be more physically active (walking every day on top of yoga/rock climbing) and see if that helps me to feel sleepier at 8:30pm.

It’s certainly not an experiment I’m loving so far, although I will say that the extra sleep does have me feeling less weary so I’m sure there’s wisdom to be had in getting the extra hours!

Also, don’t forget, you can play along with us by tagging your social media posts with #slowhomeexperiment and sharing your experiences. Hit us up on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and let’s get experimenting!

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Show notes:

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Most important of all, thanks for being here!

Caring more and caring less with Erin Loechner

Caring more and caring less with Erin Loechner - Episode 78 of The Slow Home Podcast

Slow living is a curious mix of being prepared and being prepared to let go, and while I’ve always spoken about that duality I’ve never really been able to articulate it very well. Until, that is, I sat down to chat with today’s guest – the delightful Erin Loechner.

Erin has been a fixture in my life for a long time – since back in my jewellery-making days actually – and it’s been amazing to see her focus shift over the years in many parallel ways to my own.

We talk minimalist wardrobes, slow renovations and the delicate art of sucking at meditation.

And we chat about her move from fast-paced LA to a much slower, roomier lifestyle in the Mid-West, what that actually looks like in the day-to-day, and her advice for those whose partners have a very different approach to stuff.

She also goes deep into what’s important to her, and how she now cares less about a lot of things – in order to care more about those that truly matter. As someone who struggles, still, with the idea of letting things slide, this was a genuine lightbulb moment for me and I’ve decided Erin and I will be fast friends (even if she doesn’t know it yet!)

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did (in spite of the less than excellent sound quality which is totally all my fault!) and be sure to check out Erin’s new book, Chasing Slow, available for pre-order now.

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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:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

If you 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 important of all, thanks for being here!

 

Meditation #5 – The Slow Home Experiment

Meditation #5 - The Slow Home Experiment

We’re just about wrapping up this month’s Slow Home Experiment, with only a couple of days of meditation left, so Ben and I talk about the experience and whether we’re going to create a routine out of this particular habit.

I also talk about some of the excellent advice and encouragement we’ve both received over the past few weeks (thank you all who’ve taken the time to email, comment or participate in the Slow Home Experiment group on Insight Timer – it’s been invaluable!) and you can find a list of all the resources you’ve provided in the show notes below.

Also on this episode we hold a Pity Party for one (Ben is host) after which we discus the June experiment of getting 8 hours of sleep every night. I do have a feeling there will be no Pity Party for Ben this month though, as he’s something of a sleep expert already!

Essentially the rules are very simple:

  • get 8 hours of sleep every night

That’s it.

Of course there will be nights that sleep won’t want to play along, but we’ll be doing our best to set up routines and make changes to our rhythms to give us the best possible chance to get a full eight hours.

Do you think you’ll be joining in for the June experiment? We plan to keep a tab of the hours we get every night starting on June 1, feel free to join in and share your experiences!

Also, don’t forget, you can play along with us by tagging your social media posts with #slowhomeexperiment and sharing your experiences. Hit us up on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and let’s get experimenting!

Enjoy!

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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:

This is a free-form list of resources, tips and suggestions I’ve been given over the past month from some of our lovely listeners. I’m sure I’ve missed some so please leave a comment with your recommendations and I’ll add them in.

Thank you all so much for sharing in this experiment – it’s been a game changer for me!

  • Sonesence meditones (via Karen)
  • YogaEasy.de for those looking for a resource in German! (via Stephanie)
  • Opening the Mind guided meditation on Insight Timer. “Really made me think about how narrow we can be in our vision and thoughts.” (via Nic Avery)
  • “Consider “what is left when there are no problems to solve”. My mind was always so busy during unguided meditation and this phrase is the one thing I’ve found which gives me a sense of quiet, stillness and space, it’s amazing! The thoughts still invariably creep back but it works better then anything else I’ve tried to date.” (via C)
  • Start Here Now by Susan Piver
  • Headspace App
  • Jack Kornfield’s meditations
  • Tara Brach’s podcast

Kathryn dropped some amazing knowledge nugs (holla!) that I wanted to share with everyone. These are the different types of meditation I couldn’t remember during the poggie:

  • Zazen meditation, which is from Zen Buddhism and is basically just sitting and coming back to the breath. If thoughts come I do a few things: label them (“thinking”, “worrying”, “planning”) and let them go, picture whatever it is floating away in a balloon, or imagine them floating by.
  • Concentration meditation, which usually means counting in time with the breath. I count along with each in-breath up to 10 and start over. If a thought interrupts me, I start over at 1.
  • Metta meditation. Its more of a sending good wishes kind of meditation. You start by sending good wishes to yourself (May I be peaceful, may I be happy, may I bee free) then to a loved one, a neutral person, a difficult person, then out to the world. I like to do this one before bed. My kids like doing it before bed too.
  • Tonglen meditation. This comes from Tibetan Buddhism. I do this when I’m hurting over something happening in the world, so when I hear of a terrorist attack or when my friend was diagnosed with cancer. You breathe in their suffering, try to connect with it and breathe out peace and relief and imagine sending it to the suffering person. It sounds heavy on the woo, but its a nice way to feel like you’re doing something when things feel out of control.

Also from Kathryn:

  • The teacher I have worked with is called Michael Stone and he’s a Buddhism/Yoga teacher. He also has an app with guided meditations that I really like as well as podcasts.
  • One thing that he said in a course I took with him is that the more you meditate, the more crap comes up. Meditation brings down all those walls and defenses we set up for ourselves. It’s really common for people to feel MORE anxious, for things to come up from the past. As someone said above, without support, it can be difficult to work through these things. Its a good sign though, it means meditation is allowing you to see things as they really are and connecting with yourself.
  • If it keeps up though, maybe contact a meditation teacher and see if they can help you through it?

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Most important of all, thanks for being here!

The Live (Not Live) Hostful

Episode 76 of The Slow Home Podcast

I usually like to be a few weeks ahead of the posting schedule when it comes to our Thursday shows, but when Ben and I thought, ‘Yeah, let’s do a live Facebook video for this month’s hostful – it’ll be fun!” we weren’t expecting our horrible internet speeds to thwart us yet again.

But thwart us they did, and for that reason we found ourselves recording this month’s Q&A at 5:30 yesterday afternoon. Not particularly slow or intentional of us, I have to admit.

We do, however, answer some excellent listener questions, and cover topics including:

  • our thoughts on homework and after school activities
  • how we manage to find time for the experiments while also living a slower life
  • how we cope on those days that are just tough and nothing is going well at all
  • an insight into our daily rituals and routines
  • how to merge two households into one when there are vastly different approaches to “stuff”
  • why I stopped writing on the blog

Honestly, recording at 5:30PM on a Wednesday isn’t ideal, but in this largely unedited podcast we do give a pretty authentic view of what it looks like to balance work, family, self-employment, passion projects and slow living, and sometimes, it ain’t pretty!

For the most part though, I wouldn’t change a thing (except our internet speeds) and I really hope you enjoy these more candid conversations – interruptions and all!

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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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Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

If you 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 important of all, thanks for being here!

 

Meditation #4

Meditation #4 - The Slow Home Experiment

In last week’s episode I said that this meditation challenge has already been a life-changer, so it’s actually tough to top that pronouncement. Much like the sugar-free month back in February, this has already shifted from being an experiment, to a thing that I’m doing simply because the benefits are too great to ignore.

Ben’s experience, on the other hand, hasn’t been as clear cut. He’s battling time constraints and motivation, so in today’s episode we talk about the obstacles he’s been facing in daily meditation.

We also talk about what I actually see when I’m meditating, what I focus on and how I visualise the letting go of my thoughts. Keep in mind though, I am a huge novice so there may not be much wisdom there!

Before we wrap up the experiment next week I’d love to put together a list of resources, books, tips and suggestions for meditation, so if you have anything to share please pop it in the comments below and I’ll include it in next week’s wrap-up post.

Also, don’t forget, you can play along with us by tagging your social media posts with #slowhomeexperiment and sharing your experiences. Hit us up on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and let’s get experimenting!

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!

——

Show notes:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

If you 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 important of all, thanks for being here!