How to find your rhythm in 2016

How to find your rhythm - Episode 41 of The Slow Home Podcast

Welcome to 2016!

Hopefully you had a restful break over Christmas and New Year, and are ready to get back into the swing of things?

This time of year is always ripe with possibility and most of us will be doing some deep thinking on what we want 2016 to bring – both in terms of our priorities and any changes we want to make to our day-to-day lives. But maybe you’re struggling to get back into your rhythm, or perhaps your circumstances are different this year and you don’t know how to create a flow that works for you?

In today’s show Ben and I talk about rhythms and why this time of year is the perfect opportunity to hit the reset button, rethink our priorities and recalibrate our time.

For us, it’s super important to reset this year, as over the holidays we made some huge life decisions that are going to see pretty much everything change. We talk about what those decisions are and how we’re both feeling in the face of such massive shifts, as well as what some of the challenges might be.

We also acknowledge the fact that all these changes might not seem very ‘slow’ of us, and how we make it work within the framework of living a slower, more intentional life. This is actually something I’m asked about a lot and I’m slowly learning that my personality isn’t particularly inclined to slow living, but it certainly benefits from it. It might seem like a paradox but increasingly I’m finding that it works for me!

In other exciting news, on February 1st we start publishing two episodes of The Slow Home Podcast every week! One show will be hitting your ears every Monday and the regular show, as normal, on Thursdays. Monday’s shows are going to have a different format and we talk about that, our monthly experiments, what we’re trying first and how you can get involved.

In the meantime though, enjoy today’s episode! And let us know what changes you’re making in 2016 too – we’d love to hear about it.

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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:

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.

If you love the show and want to support it by continuing to subscribe, listen, share with friends/family or leave a review on iTunes, that’s awesome too!

Most important of all, thanks for being here!

Here’s to a simple year

A Simple Year

While I’m still technically offline until next week, I wanted to pop in briefly to wish you a Happy New Year!

I’m not really one for resolutions but I always find this time of year really exciting. Possibilities are refreshed and hopes are new and there’s just something wonderful about the potential fizzing just below the surface, don’t you think?

More often than not though, this feeling of excitement and possibility disappears before January is behind us. We find ourselves stuck in old habits. Revisiting old issues. Battling the same old piles of clutter and mess, and feeling the same old sense of overwhelm as we realise we don’t know where to begin.

That was me for years, until I discovered the delight of living with less. Less stuff, less stress, less pressure, less comparison, less shopping, less debt, less clutter.

I’ve spent the last five years learning that having less stuff actually gives you a lot.

It gives you the opportunity to focus more on the people and important experiences in your life.

It gives you more time, more energy, more care and more compassion.

It means you can focus on experiences over things. Travel instead of trend-hopping. Memories instead of souvenirs.

Over the past five years as I’ve slowly learned to pare back, find what’s important and live (mostly) according to those priorities, life has become easier. Simpler. Sweeter.

  • We have afternoon naps on the weekend
  • Cleaning up takes minutes, not hours or days
  • I spend less time dusting and organising
  • There is more time together on the weekends
  • We entertain more
  • Our horizons are expanding and we’re travelling more as a family
  • I worry less
  • I compare our life with that of others far less
  • The overall feeling of life is that of contentment
  • In other words, life is good.

Not to say that living a simpler life makes things perfect. It doesn’t.

Our kids fight. We get things wrong – alot. We make poor spending choices. We get impatient. There is still the annual influx of gifts at Christmas (although this is much less than it used to be).

Simplifying life just makes it easier to deal with this. And to me, that is the single biggest benefit of living a simpler life – over time it just makes living life easier. The daily tasks, the constant stresses, the annual pressures – these things become easier to deal with when there is less stuff cluttering up your home and your head.

The difficulty, I would say, is in getting to that point. How do you actually create that simpler life, when right now everything feels so complicated? When you feel so overwhelmed? When you don’t even know where to begin?

A Simple Year.

There are literally thousands of places to find simple living information and inspiration, both online and off. This blog and many others similar to it have hundreds of suggestions on how to start, where to begin, how to declutter and what to do once you’ve finished. And they’re all great sources of information. In fact, that’s how I came to discover simple living and finally get started on my own journey.

But if you’re looking to make 2016 the year you create a simpler life, you might be interested in joining A Simple Year.

This is the third year I’ve been lucky enough to be part of this course and I couldn’t be prouder of what we’re achieving.

Rather than having to work through the process of simplifying by yourself, A Simple Year is an interactive online course created by some of the best known writers in the simplicity movement (and me). Leo Babauta, Courtney Carver, Cait Flanders, Colin Wright and Tammy Strobel (among others) have come together to create something amazing. Each month you focus on a new area of simplicity by working with one of the simple living advocates mentioned above.

  • January – Clutter
  • February – Busyness
  • March – Travel
  • April – Cooking
  • May – Digital
  • June – Work
  • July – Money
  • August – Self-care
  • September – Mindfulness
  • October – Eating
  • November – Relationships
  • December – Gratitude

If you’re looking to make 2016 the year you simplify your life, I can tell you that our 2014 and 2015 members have had incredible success and this year is going to be just as transformative.

There are already hundreds of people signed up to take part, and registrations close at the end of January. Check out simpleyear.co for a full outline of each month’s module and to register.

In the meantime, we’ll be back to regular podcasting (and maybe the occasional blog post!) real soon.

Happy New Year! xx

The Best of 2015

{Image courtesy of the delightful Julie Williams Photography.}

{Image courtesy of the delightful Julie Williams Photography.}

2015 was a curious mix of saying yes to new and exciting projects (the podcast! our workshops! The Bloom!) and realising I’d bitten off way more than my slow-living self could chew (taking a long-term blog sabbatical! closing The Bloom after only a few months! succumbing to overwhelm and pnuemonia!)

Personally I’ve found it both incredibly challenging and wonderfully rewarding, and can already see that the things I’ve learnt this year will act as a strong foundation for an even more intentional year in 2016.

I’ve learnt a lot about passion, focus and saying no, and that I need to get better at the last two.

I’ve learnt about the joy of taking a risk and seeing what happens.

I’ve learnt that my personality isn’t naturally inclined to slow living, but it certainly benefits a great deal from it.

I’ve learnt that my challenges and obstacles aren’t unusual and I’m not alone in trying to overcome them.

I’ve learnt that I need to create boundaries for myself, and that if I respect them, others (almost always) will too.

I’ve learnt that The Joneses don’t hold a lot of appeal anymore and many, many people are looking for another way – a simpler, slower way.

It’s been such a big year of discovery and learning and mistakes and finding my feet, and I just want to say thank you for being part of it. I appreciate you endlessly and think you’re ridiculously awesome. 

As far as highlights go, we launched The Slow Home Podcast earlier in the year and have reached more than half a million downloads since May, and this website has connected with more than 1 million people since January. I can’t tell you how crazy those numbers sound to me.

We were also named by iTunes as one of the top new podcasts of 2015, and reached Number 1 in Australia. Again, none of that would have happened without you, so many thanks for reading, listening, sharing and commenting.

I can’t pick favourite episodes of the podcast as they’ve all been fascinating and inspiring to me, but in terms of downloads and comments, some of the most popular episodes have been:

And before I took my long-term blog sabbatical, these posts resonated most this year:

And just for fun, these are a list of some of my favourite things of 2015:

  • Best Book: Sick in the Head by Judd Apatow
  • Other Best Book: Yes Please! by Amy Poehler
  • Best TV Show: The Walking Dead
  • Other Best TV Show: Parks and Rec
  • Best Album: Sing to the night by Shred Kelly

Thanks again for a cracking good year, and here’s to a wonderful holiday season, a restful and safe break, and an amazing 2016!

I’m taking time offline between now and mid-January, but I’ll see you on the flip side.

Much love. xx

A very hostful holiday!

A very hostful holiday - SHP040

It’s hard to believe today’s show is the final episode of The Slow Home Podcast for 2015.

It’s been such a cracking year, and we’re so incredibly grateful for everyone who’s listened, shared, rated or reviewed the show since we launched in April. Without your help and input, the podcast wouldn’t be anywhere near as much fun to make. So, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

We’re rounding out the year with a final hostful, where Ben and I chat about the year that’s been, some of our highlights, some very exciting future plans, and we answer three most excellent listener questions. We also were interrupted approximately eleventy billion times while recording, so if we seem a little crazy – that’s at least part of the reason. The other part is that we’re like that all the time.

The questions we tackle this week are related to:

  • finding a balance between community service and living a slower life
  • how to avoid the ‘all or nothing’ tendency once we start to explore slow living
  • how to balance extra-curricular activities with a slower family life

As always, we discover there are rarely straightforward answers to any of these questions, which is what makes it so juicy and interesting to talk about. And also as always, feel free to share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below, as well as suggestions or requests for shows next year.

Finally, thank you so very much for being part of this show and this community in 2015. I pinch myself frequently when I see what a supportive, smart, like-minded group we’re part of and I just want you to know how much I appreciate you being here.

I hope your year-end celebrations are wonderful and that you embrace the opportunity for some downtime.

I’ve got a couple of bonus blog posts coming out later in the month and early next year, but for the most part I’ll be totally offline from Christmas Eve until mid-January and I CAN’T WAIT.

Much love to you and yours. xx

——

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:

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.

If you love the show and want to support it by continuing to subscribe, listen, share with friends/family or leave a review on iTunes, that’s awesome too!

Most important of all, thanks for being here!

Mindful eating with Ali Wright – SHP039

Mindful eating with Ali Wright - SHP039

Have you ever found yourself eating your way through a block of chocolate, despite the fact you stopped enjoying it a while ago? Or ordered a big plate of hot chips even though you know you’ll feel bloated and heavy and low on energy in thirty minutes?

So why do we do it? Why do we repeatedly eat food that we know will leave us feeling depleted?

That’s what I unpack today with my guest, Ali Wright, a nutritionist who turned her own health around after reaching a crisis point just a few years ago.

What I love most about this chat is it’s not about dieting or following a certain food trend, and it’s certainly not about deprivation. Instead, Ali and I talk about the idea of ‘crowding out’ foods that don’t benefit us, with more of the foods that do.

The focus is also not on weight loss or fitting some arbitrary vision of health and wellness, but rather on eating well to be well. Refreshing, right?

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! 

Today’s show is sponsored by Audible.com where you can access over 180,000 audiobooks, including Walking in this World by Julia Cameron. Click here to get a free, no strings attached, 30-day trial of Audible and claim one free audiobook of your choice.

——

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:

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.

If you love the show and want to support it by continuing to subscribe, listen, share with friends/family or leave a review on iTunes, that’s awesome too!

Most important of all, thanks for being here!