It’s not often that you meet someone with a cv as rich and varied as this month’s guest on A Simple Path. We are delighted to be joined by Kamin Mohammadi, whose many talents are outlined below, along with her thoughts on the importance of meditation, the slow living Italian-style and her beloved slipper collection. Kamin managed to turn her life around, from a point of feeling overworked, overwrought and lonely, to living a life of fulfilment and peace in Tuscany.
Prepare to be inspired. Here’s Kamin’s Simple Path:
Can you tell us what you do and how you came to be doing it?
I am a writer, a journalist, an editor, a broadcaster, yoga teacher, Reiki healer, massage therapist, olive oil farmer and organic skincare producer! I have always wanted to write and been passionate about words and communication, working in magazines for many years until I was brave enough to go freelance and then tackle my first book. As a journalist I started commentating on the radio, noticed I liked it. After publishing my first book I was asked to present a Radio 4 show I had appeared on as a guest. All the other stuff has happened organically, born out of my various interests, passions and studies. I love to keep educating myself.
If you had one piece of advice or wisdom to pass on to your younger self, what would it be?
Don’t waste so much energy on angsting about men! And START MEDITATING NOW!!
What is it about slow living and the simple life that you find appealing?
(Image by Olivia Rutherford)
I have always been a super-fast city girl, very impatient. At the same time, I am an artist and need a lot of solitude to digest the experience of every day otherwise my creativity can’t flow, and I go a bit crazy! So over the years, in order to write my books and create my products, I have had to slow down. There is a lovely way of putting it in Italy – being essential. I think it sums it up: it’s about that paring back, letting go of excess and uncluttering – be it the house or the mind. It is out of the simplicity, the quiet, that new ideas are born. My latest book Bella Figura: How to Live, Love and Eat the Italian Way (published by Bloomsbury, more info here) is my attempt to share what I have learnt about the delights of slow living, the Italian way.
How can we counter the pulls of content-sharing and curating images of our lives with the need for being in the moment?
I’m not sure I have worked this one out yet but I suspect the answer lies in that magic word – balance! Social media is wonderful and seductive. But my goodness, can it ever replace a great face-to-face conversation with a good friend? I don’t think so.
Who inspires you?
My husband, for his energy and zest for life. My mother, because of her strength, elegance and generosity. My editor Alexandra Pringle because she is the perfect mixture of heart, soul and brain, and has given me a writing family to feel part of. My yoga teacher of the past 20 years who embodies love and devotion in action.
What are your essential homeware items/ things you couldn’t do without?
Ah, my silk pillow cases – my agent’s gift to me when I turned 40, an anti-ageing tip that I love! My moka coffee maker comes with me wherever I travel, and I always need lots of incense burners because I’m crazy about Nag Champa. I treasure my Persian carpets passed down through my family, especially the Kurdish kelims of my grandmother – I terrorise people who try to walk on them in their shoes! Which brings us to my big and varied slipper collection…
What would you like to be doing in 10 years’ time?
More of the same please! Just expanded, with new experiences added in.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever done?
That’s hard! Maybe going to Italy for 6 weeks not knowing a soul, without a word of Italian, with no income or home, but staying 10 years (and counting)?
We are beyond delighted to be joined for A Simple Path this month by writer and outdoor artist (more on that in a mo) Tanya Shadrick.
Tanya is someone whose life and work embody the values of simplicity and slow living. She is both a writer and an artist, finding ways to connect with people in new and meaningful ways through words and her physical presence. We think you’re going to love this interview: read on to hear about how a vandalised tree changed Tanya’s life and career, the lessons she learnt from her frugal, resourceful grandmother, and for her incredibly inspiring outlook on how we can live more connectedly and happily.
Put the kettle on, pull up a blanket – or better still, in the spirit of Tanya, take this outdoors to read under a big sky – and dive into Tanya’s thoughts on slow living, art and family.
It’s hard to stay cool at this time of year. Whether on a long journey or the daily commute a refreshing facial spritz, or mist, can be the perfect way to lower your body temperature and keep your skin feeling clean. To give your laundry and house that fresh-from-the-fields feeling you can also use scented waters. Spray onto linens before ironing to release their delicious fragrances, or spritz around the house.
Herbs and botanical scents can also help you relax. If you’re finding it hard to sleep, spray some lavender water on your pillow or eye mask for a soothing aroma that will help you drift off.
We’ve got a simple DIY for you, with step-by-step instructions, so you can make your own. Just throw a bottle into your bag, suitcase or purse and you’re good to go – wherever your summer adventures take you.
We are thrilled that the wonderful Jen from Little Birdie is joining us this month for our A Simple Path interview series. Jen is a freelance writer and photographer, originally from Scotland but now living in Yorkshire with her husband and son. Her work encapsulates all we are trying to do on this blog: celebrate a slower, more mindful way to live, whilst acknowledging the realities of everyday life.
Jen’s work is honest, beautiful and authentic. She understands the pressure we can all feel to have the ‘perfect’ life and tries to support and encourage rather than portray an unrealistic version of her world. She loves to write about, and photograph, nature, food, her gorgeous home and the simple, slow moments in life. Reading her posts is like being surrounded by a waft of fresh air. We think you’re going to love this interview.
Welcome, Jen. Thanks so much for being here.
With summer fast approaching it can be tempting to wish away the time between now and your vacation or the start of the school holidays. When you work hard and have a busy life it’s natural to yearn for a chance to slow down and take a proper break. But it doesn’t have to be like that. You can take advantage of the warmer weather and longer days, building in moments of calm and restorative peace wherever you are. Here are 6 tips for a slow living summer that will ensure you are ready to catch any chance to switch off and unwind, even in the midst of the hurly burly of everyday life.
At work or play, these are 6 simple ways to boost your wellbeing and start enjoying the whole of the summer, instead of counting down the days until your vacation.
We are thrilled to be joined by Leslie Carrington this month in our series of interviews exploring slow living and how to live a more simple lifestyle. Leslie is CEO of HolistiCitiLyfe, a company that organises wellness vacations designed to help you feel more balanced, healthy and happy. Leslie and her colleagues create tailor-made itineraries for a client’s trip, with a focus on restoring and rejuvenating both mind and spirit.
And the wellness is not purely intended as a holiday treat. HolistiCitiLyfe offers support for people once they get home and land back in the busyness of their lives, so they can continue to reap the benefits of a holistic approach to life. We think this chimes perfectly with what our A Simple Path series is all about: thinking about how slow living can all help us lead happier, more fulfilling lives.
Here are Leslie’s thoughts on having a ‘non-cookie cutter approach to wellness’, and her advice for her younger self. Think of her interview as a mini-retreat where you can escape out of your day for a few precious minutes.
Thanks so much for joining us today, Leslie Carrington. Can you tell us what you do and how you came to be doing it?
My name is Leslie Carrington, and I’m a licensed Social Worker, Life Coach and Founder of HolistiCitiLyfe (HCL). I created HCL from my passion for wellness and love for curating events and travel retreats. These two ideals collided and are now at the forefront of everything that I do and curate for my very special clients, community and travellers.
By changing my own life through clean eating, physical activity, meditation and the incorporation of ancient practices, I help others change their lives and enjoy a rejuvenation of mind, body and spirit.
With many of us heading off on vacations this month, we have a special secret to share with you. When planning for a two-day drive across Europe in an over-packed car with four children (aged 5-12) we devised a simple yet sanity-saving way to keep the kids happy on the long journey. And because we know how difficult travelling with kids can be, we thought we’d share it with you here.
Introducing: ‘The Bag Of Fun‘! (And you need to say this as if you are introducing a celebrity on Strictly Come Dancing or America’s Got Talent)
What is the Bag Of Fun (BOF)?
With the ever-increasing pace of modern life, many of us are turning to the outdoors as a way of slowing down and enjoying simpler pleasures. Wild swimming is becoming an increasingly popular way to connect with Nature and enjoy a different way of being outside. We thought we’d see what all the fuss is about.
What is wild swimming?
The loose definition of wild swimming is any open water swimming, whether a lido or an ocean, but different people have different takes on the precise requisite for a stretch of water to be classed as ‘wild’. Basically, if you are under the sky, not a roof, you are wild swimming.
In the summer you want easy-to-wear, comfortable linen clothes that work with lots of things in your wardrobe and that don’t need lots of special care. Simple, unfussy, hard-wearing items that you can throw on for a trip to the beach or a picnic, or just for pottering around the house. Linen really comes into its own in the warmer summer months. It’s lightweight, cool (it regulates your body temperature so you stay comfortable all day), easy to pack for vacations, easy to care for and looks great on its own or layered on chilly evenings.
If you are looking to add some linen garments to your capsule wardrobe, or need some beautiful linen clothes, linen dresses or linen tunics for an upcoming holiday, here’s our edit of essential things you will love this summer.
If you like to listen to something while you commute, relax in the bath, travel or do the washing up, we’ve got 9 brilliant podcasts that are just the job. On a range of subjects, from books to architecture, there is something for everyone in this list. Episodes range from short bursts (perfect for listening to while you’re folding the linen) to longer segments that really delve deep into a topic. Wherever you are, you will want one of these to hand.