Are you stuffocating? Is experientialism the answer?

Materialism is hurting our health and happiness. Instead of feeling enriched by the things we own, we are stifled by them. Having more stuff is no longer better, it’s worse.

Are you suffocating? Is experimentalism the answer? Minimalism, Decluttering, Stuffocation, Experientialism, James Wallman

We are in the grip of stuffocation. That’s the conclusion of James Wallman, in his book by the same name. The good news: the age of materialism is on the decline, to be superseded by an exciting new age of experientialism.

Experientialism, as espoused by Wallman, involves finding happiness, living a more meaningful life and expressing status through experiences, rather than material possessions.

Stuffocation provides an entertaining exploration and analysis of research from the fields of anthropology, psychology and economic history on the predicament we are in, how we got here and how a focus on experiences over things can make us happier. But it’s not just all stats and facts, woven throughout the book are the stories of everyday people seeking to live less materialistic ways. Heavy meets light in a charming and convincing way.

Stuffocation is not a how-to book – although it does offer seven habits of a highly effective experientialist and recommends three steps towards implementing experientialism in your own life.

Continue reading “Are you stuffocating? Is experientialism the answer?”

Taking your first steps to slow living in the real world

slow living, minimalism, busy, ban busy, busy boycott, slow down, productivity, simple living

So, you want to slow down? Where do you start? What does slow living even look like in the real world? You’ve got commitments and responsibilities! Don’t worry, slowing down doesn’t mean you’ve got to ditch everything and park yourself up in a hammock.

My approach is “slow not lazy” – slowing down doesn’t mean doing nothing. In fact, slowing down can help you to achieve more of what really matters.

My commitments and responsibilities used to leave me feeling worn out and overwhelmed, but today, I thrive on them. What changed? A lot, but the most important thing was my mindset.

“Everyone’s rushing around, and look at you – sitting there all calm!”. I was at a women’s networking breakfast in the lead up to Christmas. The meeting was due to start and everyone was rushing in flustered and fussing around as they took their seats. When a colleague leaned in and made this remark to me, little did she know the burst of pride and empowerment I felt.

I was calm. Not because of my schedule, commitments and responsibilities, I was calm despite of them. I’d just dropped my son to preschool. I had to leave the breakfast meeting early to tutor a class for a sick colleague (swinging past home on the way to pick up my husband who needed the car). After finding a ride back to my office, I had an hour to finalise my work for the year before back-to-back meetings until it was time to collect my son. It was one of those crazy days. Days like these used to leave me a frantic, frazzled mess. But there I was – calm, focused and present. Surrounded by a tide of busyness, I felt its presence, but it didn’t sweep me away. This is slow living in the real world. Continue reading “Taking your first steps to slow living in the real world”

Mindfulness and me

Mindfulness is an essential component of what slow living means to me. I’m excited to be featured in the Mindfulness and Me series on Mission: Mindfulness .

Mindfulness, Meditation

I’m no expert, and mindfulness certainly hasn’t come easily to me. Overtime, I’ve developed a set of practices that work well for me that I share.

You can read about:how I suck at meditation (I’ve been a beginner for 10 years!); how I make mindfulness part of my day; how it benefits me; and my tips for anyone trying it out for the first time.

One of the questions Hayley asked me was, “Do you have friends or family who use mindfulness techniques too?”. I realised that I had no idea, but I wish I did. With that in mind …

Do you use mindfulness techniques? What works for you?

5 easy steps to master your to-do list

When things get busy, do you feel like a slave to your to-do list? Are you ticking things off, but don’t feel like you are getting anywhere? Or maybe the list is so long you’ve ditched it completely?

I’ve been there and I’m happy to say it doesn’t have to be that way! You can take control of your to-do list and achieve more of what really matters – without the stress.

Continue reading “5 easy steps to master your to-do list”

Slow not lazy

slow living, simple living, minimalism, simplicity, simplification, slow down
Slow not lazy – my theme for 2017

New Year resolutions are so last year (phew, I suck at them). Rather, the trend is to set yourself a single word, theme or intention to guide your year. My theme for 2017 is “slow not lazy”. I could have chosen “slow”, but I didn’t. Here’s why.

Continue reading “Slow not lazy”

How to slow down when you’re busy

No matter how packed your schedule, you have control over the mindset with which you approach each moment.  Even when you can’t slow down, you can slow down.

Busy, slow living, mindfulness, #slownotlazy

Are you feeling rushed and overwhelmed? That used to be my default setting. Nowadays, I live a consciously slower lifestyle. Despite this, I still experience crunch times, times when the heat is on, when I’m under the pump. Slow doesn’t mean lazy. I still want to get things done, and that means that sometimes I’m busy!

What I’ve learnt is that slow and busy don’t have to be mutually exclusive. By bringing a slow mindset, I’ve transformed the way I think, feel and act when I’m busy, and you can too. Continue reading “How to slow down when you’re busy”

My must haves this Christmas

Christmas – you’ve probably noticed that it’s approaching fast. Here in New Zealand, we don’t have Thanksgiving and we don’t really have Halloween, so the shops have been waiting for Christmas since Fathers’ Day in September.

Warning: This post DOES NOT contain affiliate links. My holiday essentials aren’t something you can buy in a shop.

My Christmas Must Haves

Some people love Christmas, some people hate it. I oscillate between the two. Generally, I enjoy Christmas day, but can’t stand all the hoopla of the whole holiday season. I’m not Christian (or religious at all), so it can be a challenge to find meaning in Christmas beyond consumerism – gifts and food, and lots of them. Not to knock gifts and food, but if you’re looking for real joy in Christmas, gifts and food alone isn’t going to do it.

Christmas is a challenge to my more minimalist and anti-consumerism values. But that’s not a bad thing, because preparing for Christmas prompts me to pause, reflect and clarify my intentions. That leads to my must haves for mindful and meaningful Christmas. Continue reading “My must haves this Christmas”