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?
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!)
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!)
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.
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.
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.
What drives us to quit? And what is the difference between quitting with intention and simply giving up?
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?
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.