How can moments of slow living create an island of peace in our daily lives?
How can moments of slow living create an island of peace in our daily lives? Jodi Grubbs is a slow living advocate and host of the Our Island in the City podcast. Here are some of the ways we can slow down and connect in the midst of our busy lives.
Transcript (click to open)
Kay Helm 0:05
This is Episode 61 of the life and mission podcast. I’m Kay Helm. And today My guest is Jodi Grubbs, host of the our island in the city podcast. And Jodi was just a real joy to talk to we talked about slow living. And man, doesn’t that sound good? Being able to relax, just wherever you’re at, just to kind of slow down and find, as she says, your island, in the city, wherever you’re at, how do you do that? Well, that’s what we’re going to talk about in just a minute. But before we get to the interview, I want to thank Katie Horner for sponsoring the podcast for this month of April. She’s got a virtual business retreat going on, and I’m gonna let her tell you a little bit about that right now. And then we’ll be back with my interview with Jody grubs.
Are you stuck in your office spinning your wheels? Is it time for you to get away from your business so you can focus on the business, maybe a retreat. I’m Katie Horner of the four year success podcast. And though my husband and I started out in full time ministry, living well below the poverty line, our six figure business now gives us ministry opportunities that far outweigh the ones we had in full time ministry. Join me and my husband tap on April 30. At the get out of the boat, Christian business virtual retreat, to recharge your batteries. And let us show you how fun it can be to walk out your faith in your business with joy and confidence. Because doing the business that God created you to do can be your best worship. To get out of the boat. Christian business retreat is April 30, from 11am to 7pm. And you can attend from anywhere online. We can’t wait to see you there. You can get all the info and register for your ticket right now at get out of the boat.com.
Kay Helm 1:55
Well, HI, JODI, welcome to the live admission podcast.
Hi, Kay, how are you today?
Kay Helm 2:03
I am very well. Thank you. We were just laughing about how our homes and our offices are situated between firehouse on one side and train tracks on the other. We have the same situation.
We sure do. That was so funny to find out.
Kay Helm 2:20
Yeah, podcaster problems. Right. Jodi, you’re the host of the Our Island in the City podcast. And you are a gather of people and stories. You are a former island girl, which is where the name of that podcast comes from. But I know we want to kind of see how all of that fits together. Can you tell us a little about yourself? Sure.
Thank you, Kay. So I’m Jodi and I live outside of Raleigh, North Carolina. I live in a small restored bungalow with my husband and teen daughter. And we downsized A few years ago, we just wanted to keep doing this simpler, slower lifestyle. And that was our next step. But I wasn’t Island girl for 16 years on the island of Bonaire, which is in the southern Caribbean, the West Indies, about 80 miles north of Venezuela. And so I always like asking people were so quiet place that you find you can settle down if it’s at home or near your coffee shop or a park. And so I thought, yeah, that that’d be a great title, our island in the city, just trying to bring that island vibe to our busy lives. And my husband’s actually the one that sort of came up with that hashtag. And then I turned it into my podcast title.
Kay Helm 3:39
Love it. Yeah. So you can create an island basically, anywhere you’re at is that what you’re saying?
Absolutely. That is always my my question. And my challenge for everybody, because we all can wait, we can talk about that a little bit more.
Kay Helm 3:55
Oh, yeah. Yeah, so definitely do that. A lot of times, we’ll find on podcasts that it’s about productivity and getting things done and all the hustle, right, and all the things we can do in our business and in our life, and we’re accomplishing so much and all this pressure. But really, there’s a need to slow down, there’s a need for a place for rest for restoration. And so when I heard you use the phrase slow living, I had to find out more about what gap was,
Well, slow, loving can mean a lot of things to a lot of people, but I think especially after we’ve gone through this whole year demmick You know, I think a lot of us are more open to saying okay, well what does that mean personally for me? And so for me slow living is a lot about just making time for stillness and being present. So when we when we practice those two things, we have to slow down Whether it’s present with a project we’re working on, or with our child or a partner, or a neighbor, really anywhere, when you pause, reflect, sort of open hands for what’s next. And I don’t want to use the word anti hustle. But that’s kind of the idea. Is this this unhurried pace of life, it just gives an opportunity for us to really live well. So it’s not this idea of sitting on the couch and, you know, checking a nap or eating bonbons. It’s kind of an old, old theory. So now it’s just how do I live my best life? And usually it means slowing down so that you can do your next your next thing? Well,
Kay Helm 5:48
I know my brain works better when I have at least time. In slow you know, there’s a time for there’s a tie. I think the Bible says that is a time for hustle and a time for slow and something like that.
Yeah, the time to dance at a time to mourn. Yeah, those things. Yeah.
Kay Helm 6:08
Yeah. And, and a time, I think gathering is in there too. And that’s another part of what you do is you gather people and stories.
Absolutely. For me. So I grew up on this island, and I was a missionary kid, a third culture kid, and my parents were big into hospitality. So we were always having people over. And so it was just a great chance for me to see a little bit about slow living and gathering. So that was a little girl. So I just feel like everyone has such an amazing life story. But until we slow down, and listen, and just sit, those things aren’t gonna come up. So I love encouraging people to have just one on one interaction, whether it’s at a coffee shop, or maybe on a zoom call, you know, a virtual but I think if we take time to slow down and gather with somebody will be amazed at their stories, and we have a lot more in common than we think.
Kay Helm 7:09
Yes, absolutely believe that. We talked about finding your voice and telling your story. And so when you are doing that gathering, and you’re listening to someone story, sharing stories, what are the most important elements of that to you?
So I think the most important thing is listening. And it’s taken me a while to really understand that I’m going to put a plug in for Adam s. McHugh. He has a book called The listening life. And it really just encompasses this idea that when we slow down and listen, we’re actually just honoring the person in front of us. And I think that’s when the stories start coming out. Because the person feels relaxed. They feel like they can say, Oh, this reminds me. So I don’t know if that answers your question. But that’s probably one of the top things. Well, that’s
Kay Helm 8:08
one of the things I think that comes across in your podcast. It’s very conversational. You have folks on and you pick up on that.
Oh, thanks. I know, people have a lot to say. And it’s amazing when you just give someone space. What comes out?
Kay Helm 8:29
So this is true. Yeah, yeah. And in this past year, where we’ve all been so separated distance, whatever you want to call it, isolated, all of these the feelings that come with that, we need that connection. And we’re having to be creative about new ways to create that connection.
Right? Well, some of us are a little bit more open to maybe it depends on where you live, like if you can, if you some churches are open some, you know, coffee shops, so I’m realizing when I talk with friends all over the country in the world, everyone’s in a different place. My husband has co workers in Ireland now and they’re completely shut down. But then we have other friends say in Florida, who are able to go out right now. So I think wherever you’re at making the effort, and initiating is the big thing I learned that when I was little is just don’t be afraid to initiate. Because usually, I would say 80% of the time, you’ll get a positive interaction with someone they really do want someone to listen, they want every one of us wants to be seen and heard. And I think that when we make time for somebody else, that starts happening, and then it’s just kind of a ripple effect. So I would say, you know, to people don’t be afraid to initiate something. Yeah, that’s
Kay Helm 9:57
true around Christmas. I I was having a good hair day and decided to videotape some just some, hey, I love you, I appreciate you messages and send them out to some people. And the result was people called me people texted people sent him there was just this response of want to have a conversation, it was just this connection. I think delight is probably the word that I heard most or the feeling that I got that the reaction from that just trying something a little out of the box, it was a hard, you know, pick up the phone and point it and say what, what’s on your mind. And it’s more of a connection than if I had just sent a text or call even called I mean, the calling actually is more intimate, because it’s two way. But the video really helps to initiate a call that jumped immediately into a really great conversation.
I’m so glad you did. That was a great idea. So you were you were bringing others delight, but in turn, it probably made you so happy that you could do this right?
Kay Helm 11:19
It did it did. It just sparked like I said it sparked a response, there was a response from most of the people that got these videos.
Unknown Speaker 11:26
Kay Helm 11:28
It’s just a neat, really neat experiences something I probably need. It’s been three months since I did that I probably need to do it again.
My my word for the year K is delight. So when you said that just now I thought oh, yeah, delight comes in so many different forms. But I think it’s a word, we just have to keep pulling into 2021 with us to, to make it through some continued dark times right now. And that’s why we need each other. That’s why we need community.
Kay Helm 11:56
Well, it’s kind of like, you know, you said pulling it in and creating it right there where we’re at, even in the situations, kind of like what you’ve done with our island in the city. So you’re in a city. So what you said Raleigh, so my first when I found out that’s where you were, I thought there’s no islands there.
Right, we we bought our little bungalow when we feel like this is kind of our little sanctuary. And so it’s been fun to just talk to people over the months. And it’s been almost three years now. And just find out. Why are we so drawn to having, you know, an island in the city. And I think it’s just this respite from the noise, the buisiness of the world, it might not be as evident today, because life seems quieter all in so many of our cities. But one thing I tried to pull in is just the quietness and nature that I experienced on the island. So it was very small, small island, I think 24 miles long by, by 15 across. And it was just this beautiful nature area from snorkeling to bike rides and cactus. And so I feel like if we can pull in something that has to do with Island living, then it helps and community was a really big thing there. Actually everybody knew each other. And what a funny story is if you know, the roads are small, and so if you’re behind somebody in your car, and they get out to talk to someone, if there’s not a good way to go around them, then you just need to sit for a few minutes and let them have their conversation. We don’t do that in Raleigh ticket. But that’s just a funny story. But really, in even whether you’re live on a farm or you live in a big city, I think we can find pockets where we live, whether it’s a park nearby, I encourage people just you know call someone and see if they’ll go have coffee with you. You know, sometimes you have to sit outside or other times you can go on upstairs, but those are just little ways. So yeah, can I ask you Hey, where is your island in the city?
Kay Helm 14:19
Oh, well, I’m looking forward to getting back to my island in the city. I’ve just had foot surgery in January. So it’s been as we’re recording this, we’re in the middle of March and I’m just learning to walk again. But when I’m comfortable walking on uneven surfaces, I’m going to go to Colonial Williamsburg and walk down Duke of Gloucester Street. And that’s my I just relax when I’m down there. Oh, so that’s the colonial you know, it’s a it’s a colonial street used to be the colonial capital and You know, it’s just a really nice environment there.
That is so nice. Yeah. It’s been years and years since we visited, but it’s it’s beautiful. I can see how you would feel that there. Yeah.
Kay Helm 15:12
Yeah. Water around too. And so sometimes I just go park my car and one of the little, little pull offs and sit and look at the water. Yeah, even in the winter, and you can’t even get out.
Right? Well, in some people who don’t have water nearby, or a park nearby, you know, what I encourage people to do is you can also mentally go there, where’s your island in the city. So for instance, if you have a special memory, from when you were in college, a trip you took somewhere and you came across this beautiful waterfall, go back there in your mind, let that be your island in the city. And I’ve had to do that. Maybe at a dentist appointment or something like that, where I’ve just tried to relax myself or I’ve had a really busy week. And I just need to sit in my sunroom and say, Okay, let’s go there. So mine is this yellow raft that was anchored out in the ocean, on the island. And so we can always find our island in the city.
Kay Helm 16:18
That’s great. I really liked that idea. It reminds me of I listened to your podcast episode where you had a friend, read your children’s book that you wrote about the island. And it was it was really great, because you describe the water and the reflections of the sun on the sea glass and different things. And just, you could picture it happening. And it was it was relaxing. It was it was really cool. Sorry.
Thank you. I yeah, there was a cove of sea glass, that it’s not there anymore. But I would play there. And you could literally just kind of take your hands and scoop up breakup glass and stones. So is there a crackly sounding? And it was gorgeous. So yeah, that’s another one of my island in the city. places I can escape to.
Kay Helm 17:13
Yeah. So yeah. So think about that. Where Where is your? Where’s your island place? That’s good. I love the idea of recreating that in our minds. And I was thinking it’s something I do as a writer, sometimes what if I can’t think of what to write about? It’s something I do to get over writer’s block and not trying to slide into productivity mode here. But you can do this to relax to just think about a scene and describe it in detail.
Unknown Speaker 17:45
Kay Helm 17:46
what’s the water? Like? What’s it like when it comes over the rocks? What sound does it make? Does that make you feel that all of that you just interview yourself?
That’s a great exercise, Kay, because that is completely slowing down. Letting your heart and your mind and your soul just pause for a little bit. So pausing and reflecting
Kay Helm 18:10
is so important. It really is it’s it’s life giving to slow down like that. But how do we resist making slowing down another item on our to do list?
Oh, that’s a good question, Kay. And I know that’s come up in conversations that I’ve had with people. So I think going from doing to being is a really good way to think of that transition in our minds. And probably not writing down on your to do list slow down, right. But just when you have something done and take a break is it sounds crazy, but I think most of us don’t take enough breaks. And so you and I talked about this before we recorded you know even if we have a big project, if we get some raster even just put it away and get up earlier the next day, or put it away and maybe we have a burst of thought at night and we can keep going. It’s amazing how things come together. And so I think that our mind needs more rest than we realize. But going back to just your question of not having it be on our to do list. I think you’ve heard of rhythms people just adopt rhythms of slow living that help so for me sitting down often during the day for five or 10 minutes and I don’t set my phone. I don’t say eight minutes but little little rhythms. So for instance at our bungalow, we don’t have a dishwasher. We are the dishwashers. So even just taking that time and it is productivity but warm water soapy water over my hands looking out my window I have a window at my kitchen sink and just slowing down to do that. out and not multitasking. So not say, Okay, I’m gonna have something in the microwave, I’m gonna have my coffee going, I’m gonna be listening to a podcast, like, maybe just one thing at a time helps you be present. So I think just being present to whatever you’re you’re doing, whether it’s a task or whether it’s on a break, we’ll just really help you through the rest of your day.
Kay Helm 20:24
It’s the small things that make huge differences for us.
Unknown Speaker 20:28
It really is.
Kay Helm 20:29
Yeah, I was thinking about taking a break. When you’re just putting that into a rhythm. I have a rhythm of gal finish something, I’ll get up and I’ll go grab, I’d like to snack on little chocolate chips. Oh, go grab a few chocolate chips. It’s just, but you could do that. With go look out the window.
Yeah, I have a little patio outside of my sunroom here. And two or three times a day, on pretty days. I’ll just go out there and sit in my wrought iron rocker. Just for five or 10 minutes, I’ll just listen to the birds. Another thing I do often is I’ll try and pause. So if I’m working on something on my laptop, now I have nine windows here in my son room. So it is a little different. But I’ll notice a bird just flitting around. And you know, something in us wants to say Nope, I gotta keep working. But I’ve pushed through that, and just paused and watched. And I have had so much to light. And I think a lot of that started, not just when we bought the bond cola three years ago, but I’d have to say during quarantine, that really started for me because things just came alive because it was quieter. So I’ve tried to pull that in into my every day. And if I noticed the squirrel or a bird, I’ll just stop what I’m doing. And that’s, that’s when my break is even though it’s not on my to do list.
Kay Helm 21:55
Yeah, you know, it really helped me I started last year with my desk facing the wall, trying to get more floor space in my room and everything’s kind of in a small space here. But I just was really struggling with getting things done and feeling tired and just a lot and I turned my desk so that I can see out the window while I work. Okay, and it made all the difference. It changed everything, just being able to lift my head up and focus my eyes instead of on the computer to just focus further out at the trees. It’s not I don’t have a particularly lovely view. But there are some trees back there. And there’s a little blue bird that sits on the corner of my neighbor’s roof. And I’m on the second floor so I can see this little blue bird sometimes a nice little surprise out there. It’s beautiful. It’s it brings beauty into the day.
Yeah, right. Sounds delightful. But it’s also neat that you you took the time to see it.
Unknown Speaker 23:08
We had what we have to do you have to Yeah, just oh, I said had to that makes it a to do thing, doesn’t it? Yeah. Oh.
Kay Helm 23:18
Such a habit.
Unknown Speaker 23:23
Oh, God, where can we find you? Oh, well,
I spend a lot of time over on Instagram. I love interacting with people there. So I’m at Jody j ODI dot grubz Let’s Gru BBs. And I I’d love for any of your listeners to join me there. And then my podcast, which is our island in the city podcast and I’m on most platforms, so you can just type that in especially on Apple.
Kay Helm 23:54
And check her out that the podcast is really great conversations. And I’ve enjoyed your you’re wonderful at interviewing people and it’s very conversational. And just it’s I won’t say slow because that sounds that doesn’t that’s not the right. It’s not the right message. But you know, it’s it’s more relaxing than a lot of the things that are out there. It’s it’s a good it’s good for your soul. I was that’s what that’s what it is. Oh, I’m
so glad you said that. Because the whole idea of the podcast is just it’s conversations surrounding the idea that ordinary soul care and deep community come through a shift just lower loving. So that’s what you get from it.
Kay Helm 24:41
Okay. Exactly. See you nailed it. Thank you. Awesome. Thank you so much for being on. Thank you.
I enjoyed the time with you so much. Thank you for asking me. Okay,
Kay Helm 24:54
that’s it for this week of the life and mission podcast and next time, two weeks. From now, I’ll be interviewing Jennifer Harshman about imposter syndrome. So you don’t want to miss that. Hey, if you really enjoy this podcast, one way you can help is to share it with just one other person. If you can think of one person who would really enjoy today’s show, would you share it? There’s usually a little share symbol up there in your podcast app, just hit that thing and send it on head. I would really appreciate it and your friend will do. This is Kay Helm for a life and mission podcast. Find your voice tell your story. Change the world.