• They say all good things must come to an end ...

    And while this episode isn't necessarily the end of Let It Be forever, it's the end for now. With that in mind, Kelly and Brooke take the opportunity to bring listeners up to speed with everything they've been up to in the six months since last recording. Hint: they've been rather busy!

    This is a wide-ranging conversation that covers:
    The realities of dreams coming true
    How exposed one feels when they have a new book out, much less two
    The consequences of making hard decisions
    What to do when you're a self-improvement writer who is struggling to meet their readers where they are


    Want to stay in touch with Kelly and Brooke? Brooke and Ben will continue to produce the Slow Your Home podcast while in Canada (yes, they're moving to Canada) while the Straight and Curly podcast Kelly co-hosts with Carly Jacobs will continue on into 2018.
    Slow Your Home: https://slowyourhome.com/
    Straight and Curly: http://straightandcurly.com/
    Twitter: @kellyexeter @brookemcalary

  • In the final episode of this season, Kelly and Brooke answer some cracking listener questions.   

    After putting a callout in the Facebook group, the girls have been inundated with a whole heap of excellent questions – some of which leave them squirming a little.  

    In this episode Brooke and Kel do their best to answer the following:  
    What sort of things, big or small, wind you up to the point that all the theories to deal with it go out the window? 
    What tips do you have for staying present and in the moment? 
    Do you have any ideas for stopping self sabotaging? 
    Doyou have any routine, rhythm or ritual tips for people who don't work a 9-5, Monday to Friday type job?  
    Do you think you would be so successful without the support of your husbands? 
    What’s your take on the intersection of MBTI and Gretchen's 4 tendencies? (Obviously this one is for Kelly because Brooke has NFI.)  
    What are your top podcasting tips?  
    What is one quality you admire about each other? 
    What is the one simple/intentional living thing that you struggle to maintain? 
    What is the one thing you feel guilty about? 
    What is one thing you wish you had done/attempted 5 years ago?? 
    I would love to hear your strategies for self compassion. How do you recognize your standards are too high?   
    What would a perfect/ideal day be?

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  • In this episode Brooke and Kelly talk all things minimalism – what it is, why they’re a bit sick of it and what some of their most cherished items are. 

    Brooke and Kel are both minimally-minded. Both have less stuff than they used to, both like empty space, both like to keep clutter to a minimum and both have spent a long time considering their belongings. But both of them are completely fed up with the most recent iteration of minimalism, and in this episode they discuss why.  

    Minimalism tends to have two sides – the aesthetic, design-driven minimalism, and the lifestyle minimalism – and recently those two ideas have merged in to one. Upon hearing the word ‘minimalism’ many people now immediately think of Scandinavian style rooms with very little personality, or living out of a suitcase, or owning 15 items of clothing. And those things can absolutely be a part of a minimalist life, but they don’t have to.   

    Brooke highlights her biggest frustration with minimalism – it’s not about stuff at all, yet that’s what many people focus on when deciding the “rules” of minimalism – and why moralizing based on our level of ownership is a surefire way to alienate people.  

    Kelly also talks about the snobbery of the “experiences over stuff” movement and why, as someone who loves being in her home and sees it as an experience-giving place in itself, she often feels weird about loving stuff so much.  

    It’s a really interesting look at the changing face of minimalism, from two people who are advocates for simpler living but aren’t interested in the “must haves” and “how tos” of the currently popular idea of minimalism (much to the surprise of some!)  

    Head over to http://www.letitbe.fm to learn more about Kelly and Brooke and subscribe to the show! 

  • In this chat Kel and Brooke talk about the concept of being ‘broken’ and why there is freedom in the acceptance of our genuine selves regardless of how ‘normal’ we are (or aren’t).

    In life we’re often told there’s something ‘wrong’ with us that needs fixing. We need to fix our anxiety, our weight, our self-belief, our compassion, our relationships, our mental health… On and on and on until we find it difficult to name a part of ourselves that is completely fine as it is. On and on and on until we realise most of our headspace is occupied by thoughts of trying to be better, trying to be worthy, trying to be good.

    But after coming across this idea a lot recently Kelly wanted to look at the flip side of all this fixing – that is, what if we all decided we weren’t broken? What if we stopped trying to fix ourselves altogether and just accepted ourselves as we are? How would we feel in life? What would that look like? Would we stop achieving? Would we be happier? Would we feel more content, or would we feel like we were wasting our potential?

    In this episode Brooke and Kel talk through both sides of the idea of broken-ness, and how they both manage the tension between kindness and acceptance of themselves with the desire to strive or improve or achieve.

  • Kelly and Brooke answer a listener question about how best to maintain positive changes in life, when things start getting complicated. 

    In this episode Brooke and Kel answer a question they received in their Let It Be Facebook group recently:  

    “I just took a 3 month sabbatical and the difference it has made to my self-awareness, daily mindfulness and overall happiness is indescribable. I think it was the mental space created by such a massive change in routine that made everything I've been working on feel like it's finally coming together. Any advice for maintaining these positive changes - in particular the changes to my mental habits - on my return to daily life and the stresses of work?" 

    This is a big topic for both Kelly and Brooke, as they discuss in this show. Those well-worn tracks of habit and behaviour patterns are well-worn for a reason, and it’s often when life gets busy or difficult that we find ourselves treading the old familiar path again before we even realise what’s happening.  

    Brooke talks about the importance of awareness, priorities and patience, as well as remembering to be compassionate as we learn how to negotiate these new paths, while Kelly shares her experiences in self-sabotage and how she now manages her behaviour to limit those regressions.  

    The other really important thing to remember, that both Kelly and Brooke agree completely on, is to give ourselves credit for the improvements we make, rather than lambasting ourselves for perceived ‘failings’. It’s somewhere in this delicate balance between willpower and gentleness that maintenance lies. (Which makes it sound easier than it is!)  

    Head over to http://www.letitbe.fm to learn more about Kelly and Brooke and subscribe to the show! 

  • Kel and Brooke have skirted around this topic for many months, but they think it’s time. Time to talk about privilege.

    What is privilege exactly? And why is it such an important concept to understand? Brooke and Kel both talk through their own understanding of privilege – from their initial defensiveness towards the idea, through to acknowledgement.

    It’s a topic that’s often met with resistance or outright anger, and they both talk in-depth about why that is. Kelly talks about the fact that we feel uncomfortable ever acknowledging our own privilege as it challenges the notion that “the harder I work, the luckier I get.”

    Brooke talks about a Toby Morris comic that gave her a lot of clarity on what privilege actually looks like (and it’s not necessarily about being born in to wealth – it’s far deeper than that) and how it gave her language to articulate privilege without needing to feel guilty or defensive.

    For Brooke, privilege is essentially about opportunity, while Kel posits it as headspace. Either way, this is a fascinating chat that will hopefully lead to a deeper conversation about the privileges that we are blind to, and those that are glaringly obvious to others.


    Why Poverty is Like a Disease (https://longreads.com/picks/why-poverty-is-like-a-disease/) – Christian Cooper
    Toby Morris’ comic strip, ‘On a Plate’: http://www.upworthy.com/a-short-comic-gives-the-simplest-most-perfect-explanation-of-privilege-ive-ever-seen

    Head over to http://www.letitbe.fm to learn more about Kelly and Brooke and subscribe to the show! 


  • This week Kel and Brooke talk about energy levels – specifically, how they manage theirs and why it matters to maintain a decent amount of energy when living a simpler, slower life.

    Over the past few years Kelly and Brooke have both worked hard to create space in their lives and to give themselves room for less doing and more being, but there’s a really important part of the conversation that’s often missing - that it takes energy to both create, and maintain this space in life.

    In today’s episode they discuss their thoughts on this, and why it’s been vitally important for both of them to figure out their own energy needs, what works, what depletes them, and how to fit enough of the good things in to life in order to provide enough energy to keep creating the life they want. Both Kelly and Brooke talk about the importance of good sleep and nutritious food, and Brooke talks specifically of her need for a good breakfast!

    Kel also looks at the impact of her introversion on energy levels, and why high-intensity exercise is her non-negotiable when it comes to boosting energy. They also both talk through their experiences in having energy vampires in their lives and how they’ve managed to either let those relationships go or renegotiated the way they spend time with particular people as a result.

    Head over to http://www.letitbe.fm to learn more about Kelly and Brooke and subscribe to the show! 


  • Kel and Brooke chat about their own personal experiences with depression and anxiety in this episode that’s slightly heavier than normal.

    Recently Kelly and Brooke hosted A Simpler Way in Sydney, alongside their mate Alexx Stuart. As part of Kel’s presentation at the workshop, she shared her story of anxiety and depression – something that has had an enormous impact on her life for many years. Considering that Brooke has also openly shared her experience of post natal depression and that both ladies believe it’s important to speak freely about these issues, they decided to chat about it today.

    They begin by sharing their personal experiences of anxiety and depression, as well as the process they each went through in recognising that there was an issue greater than ‘exhaustion’ at play. Brooke shares her experience with medication and treatment in the early days, as a mum of two little kids, as well as the management strategies she uses on a daily basis now.

    Kel shares what the early days were like for her, how she reached out for help and why she always advises people who are suffering to talk to someone. Kel also talks about her current strategies and what happened when she found herself feeling the grip of anxiety again earlier in the year.

    Interestingly, Kelly and Brooke both look at the initial dark period as a catalyst for some incredibly positive changes in their lives and as a result are far more aware of the impact stress, poor health, sleep deprivation and overwhelm has on their mental health today.

  • In the first episode back after a few weeks’ break, Brooke and Kel tackle the topic of quitting. They both have some experience in this, as both Kel and Brooke have shuttered businesses in the past which, on the face of it, were quite successful. Today they discuss what lead them to the moment of quitting, what it felt like to make the choice and whether they’ve had any regrets in the years since.  Brooke also makes the distinction between intentional quitting (in her case, a positive thing) and simply giving up on something because it was hard (not such a positive thing) and why her mantra is now, “We don’t quit on bad days.”  

    Kel talks about the cost-benefit analysis she walks through when considering whether to push on with something or not, and offers some insight into how she’s let go of something she’d invested so much in.  

    There’s a fine line between the good kind of quitting and the bad, and hopefully this honest conversation about both sides of the coin will give you some food for thought if you find yourself wondering what would happen if you simply walked away.  

  • In the final episode of this season, Brooke and Kelly look at what it means to be OK with being just OK.

    Spurred by a comment in the Let It Be Facebook group, Kelly and Brooke wanted to talk about the idea of simply being mediocre in life. That not everything is about striving and bettering and being at the top of your game, and not surprisingly, they have both similar and different views on this.

    Both Brooke and Kelly are strivers in certain areas, but Brooke is a more go with the flow person in general, whereas Kel likes to do things as well as humanly possible all the time. It’s part of the reason she’s so successful in everything she does. Interestingly though, they both understand the importance of living a life with contentment, not using striving as an excuse to be unhappy.

    The Facebook comment also touched on the idea of selfishness – is it selfish to not use our talents and strengths to their fullest capacity, thereby starving the world of our gifts – or do we not owe the world anything?

    Living a Small Life – via A Life Less Frantic 
    It’s OK to Live a Mediocre Life – via Nosidebar 

    Head over to http://www.letitbe.fm to learn more about Kelly and Brooke and subscribe to the show!

  • What do you do when the burden of responsibility feels too heavy? How can you reduce that weight without running away from everything and everyone who relies on you?

    In this episode, Brooke and Kel look at the idea of responsibility and why, at times, it feels so incredibly, exhaustingly heavy. They discuss what those responsibilities look like for each of them, when they feel heaviest, and how they can tell that the burden is getting a little too heavy.

    Importantly though, they also talk about how to deal with that feeling without resorting to the oft-dreamed-of solution of running away and living in a cabin, and how they both manage responsibility by utilizing strategies such as taking a break, creating or protecting their whitespace and learning to be OK with the seasons of discomfort or overwhelm. They also chat about the option of simply doing fewer things and working out whether the responsibilities are real or imagined.

    Brooke talks about the subtle but important mindset shift that happens when she acknowledges her choice in bearing most of her responsibilities, that regardless of how heavy it feels and how tough the day is, there is a choice in turning up. And while that doesn’t necessarily make it easier, it does help in owning the decision to turn up – even when we don’t want to.

    Head over to http://www.letitbe.fm to learn more about Kelly and Brooke and subscribe to the show!

  • A little reprieve from the deep, existential conversations we know and love, this week Kelly and Brooke look at their current reading lists.  

    Both Kel and Brooke are avid readers, never without a book (or three!) on their bedside table. This week they take a look at what they’re currently reading, as well as those books they’ve recently finished which have struck a chord.  

    Kelly is probably more likely to read a good non-fiction than Brooke, with a good business or self improvement book often in her list. The ones she’s read recently include Sarah Wilson’s First, we make the beast beautiful, Kate Toon’s Confessions of a Misfit Entrepreneur and Brooke’s own  Destination Simple.  

    Kel also loves a good fantasy or science fiction read too, and has just finished Hugh Howey’s Beacon novel and Brandon Sanderson’s The Final Empire.  

    Brooke is an unapologetic fiction lover, who is enamoured with Stephen King’s Dark Tower fantasy series at the moment. She’s up to book four – Wizard and Glass – which is her favourite to date, and Kel is happy to learn that King’s books aren’t all zombie cats and murderous supernatural clowns.  

    Brooke’s also recently finished Hannah Kent’s The Good People (beautiful and disturbing), Alex Miller’s Journey to the Stone Country and the wonderful, wonderful Skylarking by Kate Mildenhall. Thrown in the mix was also Sarah Wilson’s newest book (which is very very beautiful and raw and smart and wise).  

    It’s a really fun chat between two massive book nerds, and Kel and Brooke have a great time discovering new titles and discussing the reasons they love the books they do.  

    Head over to http://www.letitbe.fm to learn more about Kelly and Brooke and subscribe to the show!


    In today’s episode, Brooke and Kelly talk about the idea of acceptance, and why it’s not necessarily the same thing as giving up or giving in.  

    Kelly is a relatively new convert to the idea of acceptance – particularly in the way she views it in terms of control – and shares how learning to live with the idea of acceptance (sometimes, at least!) has helped her to let go a little of worries and future problems. 

    Brooke also shares her thoughts on the idea of acceptance and why sometimes it’s a positive thing to roll with the punches of life, while other times it can be an easy excuse for not fixing things that could be fixed, and perhaps even should be.  

    As always, the girls discover it’s a delicate balance that looks different to everyone, and the level of acceptance that works in one part of their own lives won’t be applicable in other areas. It’s also worth exploring what we do and don’t have control over, as this is a good place to begin to understand what we have to accept, and what we’re able to change if we want to. 

    Head over to http://www.letitbe.fm to learn more about Kelly and Brooke and subscribe to the show!

  • Change is a topic that comes up a lot on Let It Be, and both Kelly and Brooke are advocates for embracing change, but what happens when it feels like life is constantly in flux?

    We can view this as a frustration, that we need to be constantly on the lookout for changes in our attitude, behaviours or circumstances OR we can view it as simply part of life. That is, we change. We evolve. We learn and grow and become different. As a huge fan of change, this is something Brooke feels really positive about and it’s interesting to hear Kel talk about her own experience of growth vs fixed mindset.

    Kel and Brooke also talk about the difference between regression, recalibration and falling off the horse, concluding that change is part of life and while there are times that we will slip back into habits we’d prefer to move beyond, it’s OK to recalibrate regularly. In fact, it can lead to amazing things.

    Also check out the details for A Simpler Way in Sydney on April 30 over at asimplerway.com.au

    Show Notes
    Come join us in the Let It Be Facebook group
    Say hi on Twitter and IG #letitbepod
    Subscribe via iTunes

  • Kelly and Brooke could have gone a few different ways with this week’s topic, but they decided to focus on giving up on bad things. Specifically, how to do it and when to know it’s time.   

    There are a few parts at play in giving up on the negative things in our lives. Firstly, we need to figure out what they actually are. And while some are obvious (bad relationships, unhealthy habits) others are very ingrained into our daily behaviours and may not even seem negative to begin with.  

    Kelly and Brooke talk about the ways in which they’ve identified negative things in their lives, and the roadblocks we often throw up in our own way in order to stay in the comfort zone (regardless of how uncomfortable it actually is).   

    They then talk about some of the negative things they’ve given up over the years, if it was difficult (it was) and why they think it’s tough to give up on things we understand to be negative in the first place.  

    At its core, many of these changes come back to awareness. That is, paying attention to how different elements of our lives are making us feel, and then having enough understanding of ourselves, our motivations and our actions to know how to start moving away from the negative.  

    Head over to http://www.letitbe.fm to learn more about Kelly and Brooke and subscribe to the show!

  • Kelly is often credited as being a highly disciplined person, but lately has been wondering – is discipline over-rated? 

    While it may well be true that Kel is a disciplined person, Brooke has never been accused of the same thing and has spent many years telling herself that it’s just who she is.  

    But as the girls chat it through, it becomes clear that discipline can mean many different things and while it’s now synonymous with a highly routine, spreadsheet-wielding way of getting through the day, it actually doesn’t need to be such a rigid thing. And once that becomes clear Brooke starts to see she may just be more disciplined than she thought.  

    This is specifically tied to the idea that a disciplined person makes getting things done look easy, but it’s the getting things done that matters. It’s often still ugly or hard or not a whole heap of fun, but discipline is what causes the gears to turn regardless, and this is a big mindset shift away from the idea of there being ‘disciplined people’ and ‘undisciplined people’.  

    Of course, it ties very closely to the notion of habits and willpower too, and as a self-confessed habit junkie, Kel talks about the ways discipline can lead to habit building and vice versa.  

    Such an interesting chat about the systems and beliefs that essentially drive both Kel and Brooke to action every day.  

  • One of the most common ideas Brooke and Kelly talk about on Let It Be is the importance of self-awareness, and why a high level of self-awareness makes the goal of “less doing and more being” a much simpler one to work towards. 

    What does it actually mean to be self-aware, though? And if one isn’t a self-aware person, how can they possibly work to improve their level of awareness?

    Brooke believes that all self-improvement stems from self-awareness and in this episode talks about her own understanding of self. She looks at her experience in mindless living – the years where she was the exact opposite of self-aware. She also shares how she began moving away from this mindlessness, with slow steps towards paying attention, and how the gradual emergence of her own awareness has changed virtually everything in her life in the years since.

    Kelly also talks about the importance of self-reflection and why cultivating a network of people who you can rely on for feedback as you begin developing your self-awareness is such an important part of the process.

    As is often the case, Brooke and Kel also come back to the idea of being OK with discomfort throughout the process of becoming self-aware. It often brings to light elements of ourselves, our behaviour and our choices that make us uncomfortable. But instead of giving into that discomfort, both Kel and Brooke encourage that we embrace it because on the other side of discomfort is growth.

    Links mentioned in today’s episode
    Carol Dweck’s book: Mindset 

  • You know that overwhelmed feeling. The one where everything feels too big, too complex, too hard, too much. It’s a feeling that everyone has experienced on the odd occasion and today Kelly and Brooke talk about how they deal with it.  

     In an ideal world we would head this feeling off before it became a big issue, but so often we find ourselves doing the opposite – avoiding the problem and focusing on busy-work instead. Kelly shares a recent experience of this kind of self-sabotage and Brooke shares how gardening becomes her go-to avoidance technique when she’s feeling overwhelmed.  

    But instead of giving in to procrastination, how can we avoid or minimize overwhelm in the first place? Brooke and Kelly both have some really practical strategies that will stop that spiraling feeling in its tracks, as well as some encouragement to simply accept that life sometimes happens that way.  

    They also talk about what causes this overwhelm in the first place – ego, expectations, obligations, a lack of realistic time management – and why it’s so important to begin to recognize those tendencies in ourselves so that we can stop overwhelm from becoming a constant companion.   

    Be sure to join the Let It Be Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/letitbepod/) and head over to http://www.letitbe.fm to learn more about Kelly and Brooke! 

  • Recently, a listener asked a question in the Let It Be Facebook group about how to maintain a positive attitude when faced with relentless negativity:

    “I'd like to hear what you'd say about staying positive and zen in the midst of high-strung coworkers and friends. People are constantly complaining about how hard it all is and it's awkward to not agree with them. What do I talk about if I can't complain about being too busy? How can I have more positive conversations? How can I talk about what I'm grateful for in my life without seeming like I'm bragging? I'm taking your advice but I feel like I'm in constant battle against the negative tide of all small talk.”

    In this episode, Kelly and Brooke discuss their personal experiences in dealing with a resident Debbie Downer, as well as some practical strategies in dealing with negative people. They also talk about the value of therapy, learning to compartmentalise the negativity and also meditation in dealing with this kind of situation.

    They also talk about the common problem of maintaining our personal positive outlook, without sounding like a Pollyanna or a braggart. Brooke’s straightforward advice: you don’t need to own their negativity and similarly, you don’t need to own their reaction to your positivity. Be you!

    Be sure to join the Let It Be Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/letitbepod/) and head over to http://www.letitbe.fm to learn more about Kelly and Brooke!

  • Brooke and Kelly have very different approaches to how they structure their days – Kelly is a big fan of structured routine while Brooke embraces the more fluid idea of rhythm – but as they discover in today’s conversation, both approaches deliver them to essentially the same outcome.

    They discuss the difference between a routine and a rhythm, why they’re helpful in living a more intentional life and whether there is a big difference between them or if routine/rhythm is really the same idea with a different name.

    They also talk through some of their personal rituals – from the simple act of noticing nature to waking up with birdsong – and why these tiny moments form the basis of their mindfulness practices, even (or especially) on a busy day.

    Be sure to join the Let It Be Facebook group and head over to http://www.letitbe.fm to learn more about Kelly and Brooke!

    Links and Resources:
    Destination Simple