The Slow Home Podcast with Brooke McAlary

The Slow Home Podcast with Brooke McAlary

Australia

We live life in the fast lane. We race to keep up with The Joneses. We are over-worked, over-committed and over-stressed, and we compete on how busy and important and sleep-deprived we are. But we don't need to. There is an ever-growing group of people who are saying no to life lived at 110%. They are opting to slow down, simplify, say no and focus on the things that are truly important. Brooke McAlary, founder of SlowYourHome.com, is one of them, and in this podcast she chats to others who have adopted a similar approach to life - slowing down, opting out, saying no. Learn what makes people change, how life is different, and what their advice is to anyone looking to get out of the fast lane.

Episodes

Same, same but different with Andy McLean  

One of the things you requested from our recent listener survey was that Ben take the reigns and do more poggies featuring conversations with other men. 

The good news is, you’ve spoken and we’ve listened! 

Following his chat with Dr Arne Rubinstein earlier in the year, this week Ben sits down to have a chat with freelance content creator, ocean swimmer, meditator, Dad, Shakespearian tragic and business magazine publisher Andy McLean. 

Ben has known Andy for eight years first as a co-worker and have since become great friends. In this pogpast Ben and Andy talk about the similar trajectories their lives have taken them over the best part of a decade with Andy too taking the leap and starting his own business this year. 

Andy and Ben talk about the themes of mentoring, balance, mindfulness, feminism and the importance of passion projects as well as their love of pogpasts (Ben and Andy were trailblazers having recorded their first podcast together close to seven years ago).

It’s not often men get to talk about such themes in such a public way and hopefully you will get a lot from the discussion.

Head over to http://www.slowyourhome.com/124 for links and resources mentioned in today's episode.

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If you're enjoying the show and want to know how to best support it, leave a rating or a review in iTunes or head over to the Patreon page to help support the show financially.

And thanks so much for listening!

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Play #4  

This has been an unexpectedly challenging experiment for Brooke, and while she and Ben originally chose the theme of ‘play’ as a respite from the previous month’s decluttering work, this one has proven to be much more taxing in ways they hadn’t expected.

Brooke, admittedly, has been feeling the pinch of some big deadlines, and getting sick mid-month certainly didn’t help matters, but as she discussed in this week’s episode, having the idea of playfulness in the back of her mind over the past few weeks has seen some really simple, beautiful changes in her daily actions.

Things like giving a funny reply to her kids when it would otherwise have been neutral, dancing around the kitchen, listening to music in the car and having a ready laugh have all helped in small but significant ways.

They also talk about the final experiment of the year, and why they changed it at the last minute - given how overwhelmed they were feeling at the mere thought of another thing to do at what is one of the busiest times of the year.

Truth be told, it seems like the end of year shenanigans are starting to take their toll on Brooke and Ben (in a good way!)

Head over to the blog for a list of suggestions for finding moments of slow in the busy season of the holidays, and in the meantime, enjoy your week!

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If you're enjoying the show and want to know how to best support it, leave a rating or a review in iTunes or head over to the Patreon page to help support the show financially.

And thanks so much for listening!

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From the City to the Bush - The Realities of a Tree-Change with Bele Masterman  

Bele Masterman returns for her fourth appearance on the poggie, and this week she and Brooke sit down face-to-face and talk about the realities a very big tree-change. 

Having recently moved from a large family home in the inner-city to a tiny cabin on riverfront acreage, Bele talks about the process of moving, the challenges and pushback she's had to overcome, and the surprising benefits she's discovered as her family has settled in to what is a very different life. 

They also discuss the pros and cons of documenting such a big life change on social media, and why it so often feels like the documenting of life is actually the robbing of presence. 

As has been a theme lately, both Brooke and Bele talk about their personal Whys and how knowing their priorities in life helps them avoid slipping in to comparisonitis (too often). 

Such a great chat. Head over to the blog to find Bele's earlier episodes and social media links. Enjoy!

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If you're enjoying the show and want to know how to best support it, leave a rating or a review in iTunes or head over to the Patreon page to help support the show financially.

And thanks so much for listening!

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Play #3  

Three weeks in to this month's play-centred Slow Home Experiment, and yet again, Brooke and Ben get a little emotional.

Brooke has had a tough couple of weeks and talks a little about the reasons she's feeling burnt out, as well as the realisations she's arrived at during this month's experiment. Ironically, it's turned out to be one of the most challenging they've ever done, when it was initially chosen as a light and easy reprieve after last month's decluttering experiment. 

After watching the 1991 classic film Hook (well, classic to them, anyway) both Ben and Brooke also reflect on the lessons they learnt about people, priorities and happy thoughts. BANGARANG! 

And enjoy! 

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If you're enjoying the show and want to know how to best support it, leave a rating or a review in iTunes or head over to the Patreon page to help support the show financially.

And thanks so much for listening!

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Coping with news and social media overwhelm  

It might have been the after effects of a tumultuous, emotional week or possibly the fact that they had to record this episode twice (no word on whose fault that is, Brooke) but this hostful gets a little emotional. 

As usual, Brooke and Ben answer some listener questions about various elements of slow living, but considering the events of the past week and the subsequent media frenzy, this hostful comes at a super opportune time as Brooke and Ben talk about the role of social media and news in a slower paced life. They also talk specifically on how to avoid overwhelm when faced with an excess of opinions dressed as news, and the different strategies they each use to keep oversaturation of 'current affairs' to a minimum. 

The conversation get quite emotional when answering a question about their personal Whys, as both Brooke and Ben examine the reasons for change and what they each stand to gain by choosing to slow down and simplify. 

Thankfully, there are also some less emotional questions regarding books (which Brooke is delighted about!) recovering from a busy or stressful period, and the negatives to slow living. 

As always, these questions get the brain juices flowing, and hopefully some of the answers and strategies in today's pogpast will be helpful to you as you continue to slow down and simplify. 

Enjoy!

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If you're enjoying the show and want to know how to best support it, leave a rating or a review in iTunes or head over to the Patreon page to help support the show financially.

And thanks so much for listening!

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Play #2  

This is the second full week of the November Slow Home Experiment of daily play, and in today’s episode Ben and Brooke talk about their progress.

Brooke’s been feeling a little insecure in her attempts this week as she’s not naturally as playful as Ben and has been wondering if she’s doing it ‘right’.

Her and Ben talk about the things they have been doing, including more play with the kids, choosing to laugh and joke more freely, listening to funny things instead of serious things, hunting for rainbows and throwing the ball around. But what Brooke can’t really shake is the feeling that this is a job.

They chat about habit change and whether the ‘job’ feeling is part of making a lasting change, as well as the problem with comparisons.

This is another experiment that’s open to everyone, and it’s never too late to join in. Feel free to tag your social media posts with #slowhomeexperiment and have a cracker of a week.

Enjoy!

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If you're enjoying the show and want to know how to best support it, leave a rating or a review in iTunes or head over to the Patreon page to help support the show financially.

And thanks so much for listening!

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Ethical Fashion with Melinda Tually of Fashion Revolution  

In another deep-dive episode, Brooke chats with Mel Tually, the co-ordinator of Fashion Revolution in Australia and NZ. 

Fashion Revolution was started in response to the 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building in Bangladesh, where more than 1,100 garment workers perished. The tragedy shone a bright light on the garment industry and the substandard conditions many of them are forced to endure, in the name of cheap, fast fashion. 

In this episode Mel and Brooke talk about the importance of ethical fashion and the transparency that is starting to appear in many well-known labels around the world. But they also talk about the importance of being intentional with the choices we make, opting for quality over quantity (or brand name, for that matter) and simply buying less fashion. 

Mel also has some fantastic advice for those of us who feel completely overwhelmed by the problems facing the fashion industry, and the inevitable paralysis by analysis when we begin to look a little deeper into the clothes we wear. 

There are some amazing listener questions featured in this episode and Mel lists whole heap of resources to help you learn more about the people behind the clothes. Head over to http://www.slowyourhome.com/118 for a full list. 

Enjoy!

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If you're enjoying the show and want to know how to best support it, leave a rating or a review in iTunes or head over to the Patreon page to help support the show financially.

And thanks so much for listening!

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Play #1  

A new month rings in a new Slow Home Experiment, and after the fairly heavy workload of last month’s decluttering experiment, in November Brooke and Ben have decided to go for something more playful. In fact, as they explained in last week’s episode, they’re experimenting with daily play! (Or random silliness, playfulness, wonder, non-task-oriented things, call it what you will.)

Unsurprisingly, they’ve both had lots of fun this week, but Ben and Brooke talk about the fact that he is much more naturally playful than she is, and that this week has been more challenging than Brooke expected. They look at why that might be, plus how Brooke is choosing to remind herself to lighten up every day and rediscover her inner child.

One thing they both wanted to make clear is that this experiment is definitely not just for those with kids at home. Everyone has the opportunity to be more playful, and while kids perhaps make it more obvious that play is available at every turn, play can be anything that’s just for fun. There are so many ways we can re-engage that sense of child-like wonder in our days, and Ben and Brooke talk through some of them in today’s poggie.

Head over to http://www.slowyourhome.com/117 for a full list of play ideas.

This is another experiment that’s open to everyone, and it’s never too late to join in. Feel free to tag your social media posts with #slowhomeexperiment and have a cracker of a week.

Enjoy!

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If you're enjoying the show and want to know how to best support it, leave a rating or a review in iTunes or head over to the Patreon page to help support the show financially.

And thanks so much for listening!

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Fermenting: A Thousand Year Old Food Trend with Jaimee Edwards  

In today’s episode Brooke chats with Jaimee Edwards, who, as a professional fermenter, has one of the coolest job titles ever.

Fermenting is having quite the resurgence in popular culture now - think kombucha, miso, kim-chi and sauerkraut - but in today’s chat Jaimee and Brooke talk about food trends and why some disappear while others grow and shift, becoming movements that appeal to a far greater audience than just the French-basket wielding, farmer’s market crew.

Jaimee talks about her experience in bottling 100 kilograms (yes, kilograms!) of tomatoes one afternoon and how it proved to be a turning point in not only her career, but also her relationship with food. She and Brooke also talk at length about what life is like when lived elbow-deep in good bacteria.

Head over to the blog for links to Cornersmith and the books Jaimee recommends in this poggie. 

Enjoy!

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If you're enjoying the show and want to know how to best support it, leave a rating or a review in iTunes or head over to the Patreon page to help support the show financially.

And thanks so much for listening!

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Decluttering #5  

Today marks the final day of the October Slow Home Experiment of daily decluttering, and the big question is - how did they go after last week?

Brooke and Ben talk about their final efforts, what clutter they let go of and whether they made the #minsgame total of 497 items each. 

They also talk about the upcoming November experiment of playfulness, and why they decided to go with something that felt a lot less like work.

Enjoy!

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If you're enjoying the show and want to know how to best support it, leave a rating or a review in iTunes or head over to the Patreon page to help support the show financially.

And thanks so much for listening!

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How to Live a Good Life with Jonathan Fields  

This week's episode is such a treat, as Brooke sits down with Jonathan Fields - founder and host of The Good Life Project, author, father, life-long learner and all-round wonderful human. 

Brooke and Jonathan talk about what it means to live a good life, why the power of choice is a game-changer in how we choose to spend our days, and the hugely traumatic event that led Jonathan to question his definition of 'a good life'. 

They also chat about the delicious irony of advocating a slower, simpler way of life when in the midst of a busy season (Jonathan is in the midst of launching his new book and all the work that entails) but also why it's not necessarily a bad thing to experience the busy-ness some times. 

Jonathan explains the difference between mindful living and practicing mindfulness, and has some incredibly practical tips on using technology to live more intentionally - flipping on its head the idea that technology is only good for distraction and faux-connection. 

Such a wide-ranging and beautiful conversation, that is certain to leave you feeling inspired and motivated to continue the quest for your own version of a 'good life'. 

Head over to the blog for links to Jonathan's manifesto, his new book and The Good Life Project. 

Enjoy!

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If you're enjoying the show and want to know how to best support it, leave a rating or a review in iTunes or head over to the Patreon page to help support the show financially.

And thanks so much for listening!

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Decluttering #4  

This month’s Slow Home Experiment is proving to be quite the emotional roller coaster for Ben and Brooke! After a strong start and a shaky Week 2, last week felt good, while this past week has been a real stretch.

Brooke tries to talk Ben down from his decluttering-related tantrum while remaining stoically upbeat, but even she has to admit this week has been tough.

It’s also important to Brooke that this doesn’t become a different kind of obsession with stuff (the letting go as opposed to the holding on) as Ben shares the fact that he’s actually feeling unpleasantly obsessed with decluttering at the moment.

It’s not all bad news though, as they have some big areas to tackle during the final week of the experiment (and Ben has some “Trump decluttering” to do) which will offer up clutter they haven’t considered yet, but it’s certainly going to be an interesting time as they try to make the total of 500 items by October 31.

Head over to the blog for a full run down of the week’s efforts and a hilarious journey through the month so far (in gif form!)

Enjoy!

It’s never too late to join in on this month’s experiment, so feel free to tag your social media posts with both #minsgame and #slowhomeexperiment and play along.

Enjoy!

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If you're enjoying the show and want to know how to best support it, leave a rating or a review in iTunes or head over to the Patreon page to help support the show financially.

And thanks so much for listening!

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Grow Just One Thing with Kyrstie Barcak  

Brooke chats with the wonderful Kyrstie Barcak - a passionate gardener and educator - about the slow living benefits of growing even one edible plant, and why her personal goal is to see every home growing one thing they can incorporate in to their cooking.

Kyrstie and Brooke talk about information overwhelm, garden comparisons, time and the steep learning curve of growing your own food, and why starting small is the best way to slowly find a level that works for you. Brooke talks about her own experiences with gardening, and how, even though she didn’t realise it at the time, it was actually a practice in mindfulness which helped her recover from post natal depression.

Kyrstie also has some great advice for people who want to grow just one thing but don’t know where to start - including some suggestions for hard-to-kill starter plants and her never fail tips on caring for your plant once you’ve got it in the ground.

Head over to http://www.slowyourhome.com/112 for links to the awesome resources mentioned in today’s episode, as well as links to Kyrstie’s blog and book.

Enjoy!

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If you're enjoying the show and want to know how to best support it, leave a rating or a review in iTunes or head over to the Patreon page to help support the show financially.

And thanks so much for listening!

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Decluttering #3  

In last week’s episode Ben and Brooke spoke about how tough they’d been finding this month’s decluttering experiment, and how they’d gone from confident to concerned in the space of a few days. This week sees them back in confident mode after a significant shift in their attitude towards their stuff.

Brooke realised she’d been making a lot of assumptions about the things they’d held on to over the years, but as she started viewing their stuff with a more dispassionate eye this week, it became clear that they really were just assumptions and there was a lot they could let go of.

They also talk about the areas they decluttered this week, Ben talks about his trump card for the final few days of the experiment, and the absolute glut of clutter they uncovered in the office.

Head over to the blog for photos of everything they let go of this week, as well as links to some relevant decluttering posts.

This month is already proving to be a really fun experiment that lots of you are joining in on, so please feel free to play along (it’s never too late to start!) and tag your social media posts with both #minsgame and #slowhomeexperiment.

Enjoy!

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If you're enjoying the show and want to know how to best support it, leave a rating or a review in iTunes or head over to the Patreon page to help support the show financially.

And thanks so much for listening!

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How slow living can save you… in a zombie apocalypse  

In last week’s hostful, Brooke and Ben answered some excellent listener questions about birthday presents, advice for their 20-year-old selves, and how they manage to balance home duties while also working from home. But the question that got the most feedback was one about zombies.

As big fans of The Walking Dead and other zombie/apocalyptic TV and movies, Brooke and Ben had a lot of fun briefly discussing their chances of survival in a post-apocalyptic zombie world, as well as establishing which weapons they’d be most likely to pick up if the undead came for them.

But it also got them thinking about the different ways slow living could actually impact your ability to survive (and perhaps even thrive?) in the apocalypse, and in a discussion over on Facebook earlier this week, a lot of people weighed in on the question: “What is it about slow living that would prepare you for a zombie apocalypse?”

So here it is - a possibly-slightly-ridiculous but-very-well-researched episode that addresses the incredibly serious issue of how slow living could save your life if ever you find yourself living through a zombie apocalypse.

Enjoy!

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If you're enjoying the show and want to know how to best support it, leave a rating or a review in iTunes or head over to the Patreon page to help support the show financially.

And thanks so much for listening!

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Decluttering #2 - The Slow Home Experiment  

Brooke was feeling quite optimistic at the beginning of this month’s decluttering experiment, certain she could find 500 items to let go of between the beginning and end of October… Turns out she might have been a tad over-confident.

Ben and Brooke talk through the past week and their efforts in continuing the Slow Home Experiment, and while so far so good, they’re both concerned at what the latter part of the month will look like.

It’s proving more difficult than expected for two reasons. Firstly, they don’t have as much stuff to let go of as they used to, and secondly is the stop-start nature of the experiment. Needing to shift in to a daily practice of letting go is proving a challenge, but definitely a positive one that will see both Brooke and Ben let go of sticky, sentimental or invisible clutter as the month goes on.

For links and resources mentioned in today’s episode head over to the blog http://www.slowyourhome.com/109.

This month is already proving to be a really fun experiment that lots of you are joining in on, so please feel free to play along (it’s never too late to start!) and tag your social media posts with both #minsgame and #slowhomeexperiment.

Enjoy!

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If you're enjoying the show and want to know how to best support it, leave a rating or a review in iTunes or head over to the Patreon page to help support the show financially.

And thanks so much for listening!

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Birthday Parties and the Zombie Apocalypse  

Today is another hostful episode and Brooke and Ben try their best to answer some cracking good questions. Including:

I'm a 20 year old university student and a big advocate of slow living, but I feel like a lot of the content out there is targeted towards a different age group. What advice would you give to your 20 year old selves regarding slow living and what would you have done differently at that age if you'd been introduced to this idea sooner? Can you talk about school holidays and your thoughts on structured activities for your kids versus encouraging them to find their own fun? How do you navigate birthday parties? With sport friends, school friends, parent friends with their kids .... it can turn into a party every weekend! Kids love parties and being invited so much so that I think saying a flat out 'no' is almost cruel. And if you go and celebrate one child's birthday, then isn't it nasty to say no to another child? I’d also love to hear your thoughts on actually hosting a party and the gifts and the lolly bags etc. I am working from home and find myself distracted by laundry and dishes...I'd love to hear details about how you get work done. Specifically, your daily rhythm, how you set boundaries around work/home management etc. If the world were presented with a zombie apocalypse, do you think it would still be necessary to live a slow life? How well do you suppose you both might fare in that situation?

Turns out Brooke has some very real thoughts about birthday parties and zombies (not necessarily together) and Ben has some really excellent insights into how he breaks his work days in to chunks that allow him to get a lot of work done without getting overwhelmed or becoming distracted.

For resources and links mentioned in today’s episode, head over to the blog.

Enjoy!

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If you're enjoying the show and want to know how to best support it, leave a rating or a review in iTunes: or head over to the Patreon page to help support the show financially.

And thanks so much for listening!

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Decluttering #1 - The Slow Home Experiment  

It's the beginning of a new month, which means the start of a new Slow Home Experiment. In today's episode Brooke and Ben talk about their decluttering experiment, why they wanted to go back to their simple living roots, and the rules of the #minsgame they're following this month, as a motivator to let go of some of the clutter that's crept in over the past year.

Essentially though, they're letting go of clutter every day. October 1, they each let go of one thing. October 2, two things. October 3, three things, and so on, all the way to the end of the month. Ben does some impressive arithmetic to work out how many items that is, but suffice to say, it's going to be a challenge! 

Both Brooke and Ben talk through their first three days worth of clutter, the strange emotional attachment we form with things - particulalrly when they're tied to important moments in life - and the freedom and lightness that comes with letting go. 

Brooke talks about the importance of simplifying and the impact decluttering the family home had on her recovery from post-natal depression, as well as the massive ongoing benefits that letting go of the excess has provided over the past few years. 

For links and resources mentioned in today’s episode head over to http://www.slowyourhome.com/107

It's going to be a really fun experiment that anyone can join in on, so please feel free to play along, and tag your social media posts with both #minsgame and #slowhomeexperiment.

In the meantime, have a cracking week! Enjoy!

Enjoy!

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If you're enjoying the show and want to know how to best support it, leave a rating or a review in iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/slow-home-podcast-brooke-mcalary/id985005895?mt=2 or head over to the Patreon page www.patreon.com/slow to help support the show financially.

And thanks so much for listening!

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Conscious Capitalism with Carolyn Tate  

Last week you heard the first part of Brooke’s chat with Carolyn Tate - founder of The Slow School of Business and founding member of Conscious Capitalism Australia - and today she returns for Part 2!

In this episode they go deep into the issue of hyper-consumerism and whether Carolyn feels a sense of ownership of it - considering her background as a marketer. This leads into a really interesting conversation on conscious consumption, what it looks like and how to know if a brand we’re supporting really is ethical, as well as the important accompaniment to conscious consumption, which is conscious capitalism.

Brooke and Carolyn also share a whole heap of resources so head over to http://www.slowyourhome.com/106 for all the links.

Enjoy!

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If you're enjoying the show and want to know how to best support it, leave a rating or a review in iTunes: (https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/slow-home-podcast-brooke-mcalary/id985005895?mt=2) or head over to the Patreon page (www.patreon.com/slow) to help support the show financially.

 

And thanks so much for listening!

 

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Random Acts of Kindness #4 - The Slow Home Experiment  

“You will never regret being kind.”

Turns out, not only is this an internet-friendly quote thrown around online a great deal, but it’s also actually true! This month’s random acts of kindness experiment has been both eye and heart-opening for Brooke and Ben, and this week they talk through some of their favourite moments.

They also talk about the vulnerability of kindness, and how much easier it’s started to come, the more they’ve practised.

As this is the last Monday show for September, it’s also time to reveal next month’s Slow Home Experiment, and in October Brooke and Ben are going back to their decluttering roots and playing the Minimalists Game.

In this episode they explain exactly what that means and why they’ve decided to spend October letting go of some of the excess stuff that’s accrued over the past 6 months, as well as how you can join them. It starts easily enough, with decluttering one item on Day 1 of the month, and two items on Day 2. It starts to get a little tougher as the month wears on though, and you’re letting go of 10, 15, 20 items a day.

So while this is going to be a challenge, it would be a fun one to join in on too. Head over to http://www.slowyourhome.com/105 for the details, feel free to play along, and tag your social media posts with #minsgame and #slowhomeexperiment.

In the meantime, have a great week!

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If you're enjoying the show and want to know how to best support it, leave a rating or a review in iTunes: (https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/slow-home-podcast-brooke-mcalary/id985005895?mt=2) or head over to the Patreon page (www.patreon.com/slow) to help support the show financially.

And thanks so much for listening!

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