Wild Within Interview with Angie Northwood

Angie is founder of Spirals of Wellbeing; Spirals offers women pathways to re-claiming and re-wilding the true nature of who she is, through learning the art of self care and love.

Spirals Website

 

Time: 33:26 minutes

Jessy: Okay, so we are now recording and this is a Wild Within Interview with the beautiful beautiful Angie. And Angie, I’ve met through a book writing process which I think, did we start last year? I think last September?

Angie: I have no idea.

Jessy: No. I think at the minute dates and timing and yeah, are out the window. But anyway, book writing process and I just love Angie. All your wellbeing kind of videos that you do, your moon meditations. You’re so in touch with who you are and when I think of Wild Within, you know, you really come to mind because I think you are the kind of the embodiment of it. And of course, you’re one of my beloved soul sisters and unbound soul sisters, and I don’t think I could have survived this year without your support and the support of the group and things but yeah, did you want to take a moment just to introduce yourself and yeah, I know you do a lot more than kind of what I’ve said.

Angie: Yeah. That was a very beautiful description. I’ll accept that very gratefully. Thank you. So, yes, so I’m Angie. And I’m 59, approaching 60, which is very exciting. And I’m also proud to call myself Crone being postmenopausal. And as you know, my work at the core of my work, well really is wound wisdom. And part of that wound wisdom is most definitely the alchemy of menopause. And that’s what my second book that I’m writing now is about. I live in beautiful rural West Wales, with my husband, Rob, and our two adult children, Jake and Molly. And I love where I live with all my soul and all of my heart, and it is what nourishes me. And we’ll be talking about this as you ask me the questions. But being here is absolutely what has aligned me to who I am at soul level.

Jessy: Oh, I love it. I love it. And when you share images of where you are, and oh gosh, that just fills my heart. You know, just nature and, you know, at its core, at its best.

Angie: Yeah.

Jessy: Really

Angie: Stunningly beautiful.

Jessy: Oh, definitely. So, tell us about your journey. Kind of what sort of got you to this point, what had you been doing before? And kind of, I guess, kind of what life were you living? Like what expectations were you trying to live up to and conditions and things?

Angie: It’s such a wonderful question, because it really has allowed me to follow that part of where I’ve come from to here. And it is something that I talked about in my book, which I know you’re yet to read. And so really, I suppose the kind of power moment happened when Rob and I were working at a festival in 20, ooh, gosh, what was it 2011, something like that. But before that, before I come to that, I was living in Brixton. We were all living in Brixton, which I loved. We’d lived in the house that we were in for nearly 20 years, which we love. We had a fantastic community. I worked within the heart of Brixton as well and it was fabulous. However, the work that I was doing, I ended up becoming very depleted and had a period of depression. And my body, bless my body had been trying to tell me for a long time that I needed to rethink what I was doing. But I ignored it for a very long time. Hence the depletion. Hence the depression. But I did eventually listen. And I chose to leave the job that I was doing, because I understood at that point, having had some counseling that something you know, that needed to change, I could no longer do that. So, that was a big decision to make. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do at that point. But I looked to my partner, my husband, Rob and he had been a massage therapist already for a number of years and he loved his work and he had a pretty good life balance. I thought yeah, I’m gonna try that. So, I trained to be a massage therapist, and I was creating quite a good business for myself working from home. And then we were at the festival, both doing our massage treatments. Well, no, that’s a fib Rob and Jake were doing it. I was going to, that I got a really bad cold virus literally the morning of leaving. And so, I couldn’t work. And that was just such a beautiful gift from the universe because actually, I needed to stop and to do some really deep listening while I was there, which I did. And what opened up, what came in was a really clear message saying, you have to move now. It is time. Because Rob and I had thought about doing the move from the city to the countryside for a number of years on and off for many, many years. But this message came in, boom, it’s time. And when I shared that with Rob, he was like, Yes, let’s do this. And within seven months, we were living here.

Jessy: No way. That quick.

Angie: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It was yeah, we’ve made the decision. Let’s do this.

Jessy: But that’s so you though as well, isn’t it? It’s what I’ve seen of you in that like the past year. It’s like you make a decision. And then that’s it. It’s almost like you have the whole universe behind you. And it just happens. So that’s lovely.

Angie: Yeah, I definitely said there yes, yeah, there is that I do have that force when I yeah. Yeah. Which largely works for but sometimes that I have also learned within that, that actually, it’s quite good sometimes to step back and just kind of take a breath before I launch into something. But yes, but that was the moment where I absolutely knew, you know, that the alignment came in, and I you know, it didn’t need to be thought about and seven months later, we’ll sorry,

Jessy: Sorry, there is still a lag, but we’re talking over each other. They’re just gonna say just so important to have that pause and actually listen to what your body is saying to you. Because that’s messages, isn’t it?

Angie: Yeah. And interestingly, when we moved here it was my body again, that was you know, it was my womb, I discovered I had a uterine fibroid. And it was my womb saying, okay, you’re here now, this is where you need to be. Now, do your work, your inner work.

Jessy: Wow.

Angie: And that was also aligned to me becoming perimenopausal. So, everything was just, it was coming in. And you know, at the time that felt, oh, my goodness, it felt turbulent. It felt like you know, I was really in the eye of the storm, which you know, menopause is at that particular stage and phase. And so, I discovered I had a uterine fibroid. I was starting my menopausal journey and we connected in quite quickly to home education group, because we had been home educating Molly. And there was some wise women within that group who directed me to a woman who kind of became my mentor for the following five, six years. And she held sacred circles for women. And within this and I went to those circles every, how often did we do them, probably every month for about five years. And that was the container in which I was held, which was so potent and so powerful. And it really allowed me, enabled me to experience my menopause and my healing in safety, and with love and allowed me to deepen my connection to myself, to my soul, to who I no longer was, who I was becoming. Yeah, so that yes, that is the container in which I started the journey, I was held in the journey and

Jessy: Still your body was still almost like informing the way forward and you know, I love the work you do on menopause. Because I mean, I focus more on sort of, like perinatal mental health and that transition of when women become mothers and that in itself is a huge transition. But very few talk about menopause, and that side of it, even when they do it’s so negative and seen as kind of dry and grumpy and, like horrible. But I love when you say that, you know, I wear crone is a badge of honor aromas its brilliant.

Angie: Yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely. And it’s yeah, I mean, this second book that I’m writing, I’ve interviewed 10 women who are at some point in their menopausal journey, because we’re not hearing women’s voices to tell the story themselves. Other than that narrative that you’ve just described, which tends to be about hormonal replacement treatment, we’re washed up, we’re no longer relevant, you know, we need to be quiet and get into the background, please. And that’s the narrative that needs to be changed dramatically. And you know, it’s no accident that that’s what we have been led to believe it is, you know, we were burnt at the stake many years ago. Well, and actually, women are still, you know, in some parts of the world, women are still put to death for being a wise woman, or just for being a woman. And so, you know, and we will fill that in our bones, you know, which is another reason why we are resistant to becoming menopausal. So, you know, we have those different things going on, we have the ancestral piece, you know, that is in our bones that, you know, we know, subconsciously, that we were burned at the stake and ostracized for being the wise woman, that wasn’t acceptable in a patriarchal society. We then have the narrative that, as you say, you know, we’re dried up, we’re irrelevant, you know, all of that nonsense. And so, of course, we’re going to be scared of the menopause. And of course, we’re going to resist it. And of course, we’re going to say, yes, give me HRT, and I just, you know, I’ll pretend that it’s not happening. And, that needs to change for us because actually, the menopause is the most incredible, most magnificent, most beautiful transformation that we undergo. You know, it is that part of our lives, where we can really step into our authority, our power and our potency, in order to then give that back out into the world. I mean, it just makes me shiver and tingle every time because it’s just, I mean, how amazing is that?

Jessy: Yeah, and the way you say it, just with so much beauty and love and compassion in it, it’s like, it’s nothing to be feared, it is actually a stage we go through, where we can step into our power and almost like, shed all the years of, as a woman, this is what you have to do. And, you know, we don’t need to take that shit anymore. We’re not quiet women who we’re going to quiet our voices; and our bodies do inform us and lead us on this fantastic journey. But the modern society we live in, it’s just so kind of removed from that, isn’t it? And this is what I talked about with Wild Within we need to connect to us.

Angie: Yeah. Then as you say, yeah, absolutely. And of course, you know, it’s not just menopause, that we’re told to suppress that, and, you know, just don’t allow that to come up, you know, it happens. From when we’re little girls, you know, we’re, you know, told to zip it and don’t be too much. And, you know, and then when we start to bleed, you know, we’re ashamed about that. And, you know, we’re ashamed about our sexuality and what we desire and, you know, heaven forbid, that we, you know, we get pleasure from who we are as women. Yeah, I mean, [crosstalk at 14:14] the extremes and, you know, of course, many of us women experience beautiful things as we grew up, however, underlying in that are those negative things about being a woman. And part of my process of healing and being able to experience the menopause as I have, was because I looked back at those other parts of my life, I mean, menopause demands that you do that. It absolutely demands that you do that. And so, you know, looking back at my first blood, looking back at being a young woman, looking back at becoming a mother, looking back at my working pathways that I took all helped me to let go of false beliefs, to let go of what wasn’t mine and to reclaim, actually, you know, through ritual or ceremonial rites, you know, whatever way suits each individual. But to reclaim those moments, for the significance of beauty and the power that they give us to get to this point.

Jessy: I love it so much. But it’s so true, isn’t it? It’s, and you were talking about how, like, we know ancestrally, you know, we were burned at the stake and stuff. But also, you know, it’s like, women have been going through this process since the start of humans. Do you know what I mean? And that is a, I believe we’ve almost got that memory. We remember that. But we forgotten how to access it.

Angie: Yes, yeah. But to activate it and to access you’re absolutely right. Because, you know, there was a point in history or herstory, perhaps we should call it that. You know, we were revered you know, crone was revered. Crone was meant wise woman. Now it means a has been, you know, an ugly woman, a haggard, well, you know, all this nonsense, which is why I’m reclaiming the word crone because it means wise woman and women that were revered, so you know, red tents where women gathered together to celebrate their bloods, and within the red tents with the elders of the communities who shared their wisdom. And you know, that is happening, you know, red tents are popping up, and have been around all over the place. You know, there’s a reemergence of the potent powerful woman in relation to our blood and our transformations.

Jessy: And I think especially this year, it’s almost like 2020 is a year of clarity. And it’s been disruptive for absolutely everybody, but it’s also shown us there’s a different way of living. And this kind of modern, materialistic consumeristic way of living is just not right. For us as human beings. We’re not designed to live like this. And your journey is really showing that. You know, just the pressures we put on our bodies, the way we work, the way we live. So, your move to the countryside is kind of my dream. That’s where I want to be in time. So, what kind of things do you do? Because it’s not easy, is it? To kind of overstay on this path? I mean, perhaps easier for you being in the countryside and things but what are your practices or strategies to stay aligned to your true self, to your Wild Within?

Angie: Well, you know, this year as you say, you know, has been, it is an awakening. And has been deeply challenging. And it’s been interesting because staying aligned and keeping myself well and vibrant, in the sense of my creativity, and just being aware of my needs has been challenged this year, of course. And every time I come to a place of, I mean, I was saying before you started recording, you know, in the last couple of weeks, I felt stagnant and stuck and resistant to those things, no, to writing my book, those things that I know actually align me to who I am. And so, in answer to that, really, it’s always coming back to nature, you know, coming back to nature. And I know I’m surrounded by it all the time but one can still, you know, become disconnected through the other stuff that comes in.

Jessy: Exactly. Yeah

Angie: Nature always. And sisterhood always.

Jessy: Yes.

Angie: Yeah. You know connecting to other women, being with other women. And of course, you know, we haven’t been able to do that in person and that’s what my work largely was. You know, part of what I did before lockdown was holding space for other women in person. And that hasn’t happened. We haven’t been able to do that, you know, doing it online. Which of course, is deeply valuable in what that does, but it is different. And so, you know, this year, it has been even more important to nurture that and to maintain that. And for me personally to learn to connect through this medium. You know, I can’t do it in the other, I can’t do it in the live medium. So, I’ve been relearning how to use my energy, but also protect my energy because of course, you know, being online and there was a period where there was so much going on, which I got drawn into, because I think, you know, well, I’ll only speak for myself, but I was feeling sort of a, almost a desperateness to maintain that connection.

Jessy: I hear you. Yeah.

Angie: And it became overwhelming. So, there’s also been learning how to protect myself from too much of that, because, you know, it saps our energy, you know, all this electronic.

Jessy: Massively.

Angie: So, I guess it’s been, you know, in this last year, very specifically, it’s been a balance of being within containers of sisterhood.

Jessy: Yeah.

Angie: I do not want to be without, I cannot be without. And staying in connection with nature, which is, just so deeply nourishes me.

Jessy: It really, nature just reminds you of source, doesn’t it? Kind of where you’re from, what we’re made of, just everything and I mean, we’ve only got a tiny garden compared to your countryside. But I get so much just from being in the garden and almost like obsessively growing one thing but to see it grow from seed or being outside like when it’s windy or raining and it’s just like nature is there to remind us, really, isn’t it?

Angie: Absolutely and when I was still in the city we had a garden and that was absolutely our oasis, you know, that is where we stayed connected to soul. And it helped us to balance out the layers of, you know, because the layers of protection that I needed in the city, I didn’t even know I had until I came to the country side.

Jessy: Exactly.

Angie: Until I came here and I suddenly went, boy did I have layers. And of course, we do because there is so much going on in built-up environments.

Jessy: Yeah definitely and I love what you say about sisterhood. I mean, I feel so grateful that we were able to meet last February, this February. Time is just a concept that’s gone out of my head as well. Yeah in February for that writer’s retreat. That in itself was just so magical. And I hear what you say about the in-person connection because like we did the most magical book ceremony and I know we did one recently online but it was different. Being in person is just so so different, isn’t it? And your words that you said about sisterhood and honoring, oh, that poem was just so heartwarming. And I think it’s on your website now, isn’t it?

Angie: It was. I’ve actually noticed it’s not at the moment. Because I’ve been playing around with my website

Angie: Yeah, but it will definitely be in the book. And I’m happy, you know, if you want to use it within the context of these recordings, Jessy.

Jessy: Fantastic. I think I’ll put a copy of it. Because it just completely moved me. And I’ve written a little bit about my personal journey about not fitting in and sisterhood and that kind of connection. But your… is it okay to call it a poem? Was it a poem?

Angie: Yeah.

Jessy: That just really moved me, it touched something, within yeah, oh, there was so many tears at that ceremony. So, it’s not

Angie: I remember. Yeah. And that is the beauty for me of being in person in circle because there is and you know, and we did it over several days, of course, you know, that deepness. Is even more potent, isn’t it? And interestingly, I too am so grateful that we had that in February just before everything went tits up, because that actually has continued to nourish me throughout this period of time. You know, I do refer back to that kind of energetically and from my heart and from my soul. And for me the poem as well because that was a real channeling and you know, perhaps an awareness of what was going to be coming for all of us and yeah.

Jessy: Yeah. And it’s so true isn’t it? It’s almost like a sensitive people we kind of, but we were saying this, then weren’t we? That society needs to change, things need to change because, you know, as a society we’re kind of ill with depression, anxiety, all sorts because we’re just not connected to ourselves and the simplicity of that connection. You know it is there. It’s just the case of we need to do it, don’t we?

Angie: We need to learn how to do it because we’ve forgotten. We, you know, we’ve been made to forget, we’ve been taught to forget. So, it’s relearning.

Jessy: Yeah. It’s almost like a brainwashing of, actually, no, the latest bone is more important than catching your breath, you know. Yeah. But no, like, I love your work, and I hope that in time you can do in-person and retreats again. Because, you know, I’ve certainly signed up for that, and I’m waiting, right. It will happen, but just when, exactly. When you know, we leave it to fate, won’t we?

Jessy: Well, you know, I think it’s more than that.

Angie: I think we’re weaving the web for, you know, for that to happen. It’s, you know, with all of the work that each of us is doing is creating the change that needs to happen and you know, and that’s happening all over. There’s so much of that happening. And that’s what we need to stay in touch with. Because all the other stuff is fear mongering.

Jessy: Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

Angie: Which keeps us disconnected, quite deliberately keeps us disconnected.

Jessy: Oh, of course, it’s a good way of control isn’t it? Keep you disconnected so you don’t know what’s going on.

Angie: Yeah.

Jessy: So, as a last cheeky question, if you were an animal, what would you be and why?

Angie: I would be a wolf. Yeah, I’d be a wolf. I work with spirit of wolf. And I love how they are as a pack. The way they care for their young and their elders.  And I don’t know if you’ve ever seen that beautiful film footage of A Pack of Wolves, and the eldest is at the front, and they all go at the pace of the eldest. And as you know, for me, you know, kind of that type of inclusion, you have a whole tribe of the whole community is also what needs to change for us. I mean, that’s a whole nother conversation. So yeah, so a wolf and they’re just such beautiful, majestic, powerful, but I also see, you know, the gentleness and again, I think they’ve been much maligned, haven’t they, in what type of creature they are. So, I’d be happy to be a wolf to come back as a wolf.

Jessy: Oh, I could so see you as like the alpha female keeping an eye on the whole pack. And just, like, the nourishing, the loving and I mean, I think already, it’s like, we come to you anyways. Like, you even said it, it’s like, mother with a capital M. It’s like, you know, you hold such a beautiful space for it. And I could so see you as embodying the essence of wolf. And you know, I’m crazy about wolves as well.

Angie: I know. Yeah.

Jessy: Kind of a lot of the similar reasons that you said. But as, you know, their complexity in the pack and of the family, I think that that’s the main thing, isn’t it? But the nourishing

Angie: Yeah, yeah, yeah for sure. Absolutely. Yeah, yeah. And I’ve also, you know, when I’ve journeyed, I’ve also spent many, many moments just snuggled into a wolf, you know, just lying by a fire with a wolf. And it’s yeah, I can’t beat that really.

Jessy: Definitely not. I mean, I’ve got like, second best I’ve got my dogs who are the equivalent and you’ve got your

Angie: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely.

Jessy: But it’s true isn’t? It’s that understanding of actually, and you know, what animal is and we’ve got that in us as well and the way we can communicate with animals. Actually, we don’t need words and things they know. They’re more connected to the deep knowing than we are. And, you know, that’s why I asked this sort of cheeky question because it tells so much about a person as well and I love you anyway but I love you even more now your wolf.

Angie: Oh, I love it.

Jessy: The wolf in me resonate with the wolf in you

Angie: *howling sound*

Jessy: Oh gosh. Are we going to start howling now *laughter* I’ll get the dogs going if I do that.

Angie: I sometimes end my women’s circles with a howl

Jessy: Oh, I love it.

Angie: You know when we do a full moon circle, we’ll end with holding hands and we’ll just *howling sounds*

Jessy: Fantastic. Did you hear that Alfie? We’re howling. He’s asleep?  Brilliant. Thank you. So, is there anything at the moment that you want to promote or that I can add to the video?

Angie: Well, I’d love to direct people to my book, Take Off Your Armor and Have a Cup of Tea, which tells in more detail some of that which I’ve spoken about today. So, being a mother of a disabled child and the menopausal woman and how those two stories for me are inseparable, because the learning of being a menopausal woman, the creation of inclusive community, that’s all bound together. So, you can get that on Amazon, to Amazon but, you know, that’s where it’s getting. But you can also get them directly from me, and I’ll sign it for you. So, if you go to my website, which is www.spiralsofwellbeing.co.uk you can get in touch with me and order a book directly from me. And it also of course tells you about the work that I’m doing and what I’m offering here and online. And I also do a monthly menopause wisdom online circle, which you can connect to through my Facebook page as far as a well-being.

Jessy: So, I will go through the recording again and put all the links around it. So, there is a copy. I’ve been scribbling away but I probably can’t read my writing.

Angie: And just to say on the website as well. I do a free 20-minute consultation. So, if anybody is interested in having a conversation with me, you know, having a chat about all things woman, womb, menopause, Wild Within, you know, rewilding, as I call it, then just put that up. I’d love to talk with you.

Jessy: Oh, fantastic. Brilliant. Thank you so so much, Angie.

Angie: Thank you Jessy.

Jessy: Wonderfulness in your wolf mama magic.

Angie: I love that.

Jessy: Oh, thank you so much for the interview.

Angie: Thank you so much Jessy. It’s just so great to be activated by a sister, a soul sister, a circle sister, a writing sister. So, thank you.

Jessy: Oh, I will stop the recording now.

Angie: Okay, my love.

Jessy: Take care.

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Wild Within Interview with Tonia Gaudiuso

Tonia is a dear friend and a money coach with heart.

Tonia offers easy help for your financial woes. Walking through the four phases to financial flow, she gets you on track to your goals for your life and finances.

Demystifying the money myth so you can live a life full of JOY.

Website: www.toniag.com

Facebook link

Instagram

Time: 18:50 minutes

Jessy: There you go. So, we’re recording now. And welcome to another Wild Within Interview, and I have the lovely, lovely Tonia with me. And we are writing our books together at the minute, which is great fun. A lot of heartache, but a lot of fun as well. And Tonia, I’ll let you introduce yourself in a second. But Tonia does amazing work around money and abundance and love and connection. But yeah, I’ll pass it over to you, my wonderful friend. Tell us about you, what’s your journey been to this point?

Tonia: Yeah, so just I mean, what I do in a nutshell is like, I am a money expert. And I specialize in working with people who like personal finances, and like small businesses. But really what it is, is just taking people’s money pain, and just turning it into a life well lived, and integrating it into joy and freedom and liberated them from all of that. And so, you know, it’s integrating also, like, the logical side of money and the intuitive side and bringing them both together, because that’s where the balance and the harmony exists. And it very much so represents my journey. Like, you know, it’s interesting how it was logical first and intuitive came afterwards. Because a large bulk of my journey, like I am very logical engineering mind. That’s why I chose numbers and did everything that was like an accounting or bookkeeping. And so, I loved numbers, because they were very sensible, like, one plus one is two, and no one could dispute that. And so, I just loved the absolute of the numbers. And it wasn’t till years later that I started to organize. I started off my business as a Professional Organizer. So, that was even just the beginning. And I just allowed the journey to kind of take me along. And so, as a Professional Organizer, I would go into people’s homes and I would just see mails stack up. Yes, this is when people certainly got like mail instead of everything in their inbox. And I would see duplicates of things, things with tags, because I would be going into their closets. And I would just ask questions. Yeah, I love and I still love organizing, like color coordinating. All of that, it’s like my jam. But I would hear them complaining that they didn’t have money to save, or they didn’t have money to do things that are fun. I’m like, well, my mind, like I said, works very uniquely, it adds things up. It just sees things. Its solution based. So, instantly, I’m like, well, if all of this disorganization is costing you, and if you use it the right way, you could actually have everything that you wanted. And so, I would ask, you know, what your numbers are? Do you know what your expenses are, your income, and they put it. And so, that led me into creating personal budgets for people and just organizing. It’s really financial organization. You know, in doing it that way, I would give them a dynamite plan, right? Everything they wanted budgets, I would come back a month later. And then I’m like, so how did it go? When they’re like, oh, I didn’t follow it. Why not? You know, and like me super type A, you give me a plan, like hell or high water, I’m getting it done. Like there was no intuition in my life. They were just to do listing goals, and you check them off and that’s how we operate in life. It’s very much fun that way. Like, no, I didn’t do it and like, okay and so, that’s when I realized that it’s not so much about the money of things in the plan, that there’s emotions that run in the background, and that there’s belief. The story is that deeply affect the actions. And so, I started to dive deeper into that and realizing that, yeah, mindset work has a lot to do with how we operate in life. And then that took me on to a spiritual, you know, doing a non-yoga teacher training, and then just learning about the law of attraction. And all of these other things that people work with. The thing that I was recognizing is like, when I was in the spiritual world, there was all positivity and all like, try to stay away from your anger and try to stay away.

Jessy: Almost like bypassing it all.

Tonia: Yeah, so like, I like my anger. My anger has fed me my entire life, like I get pissed when at work, because I want to change my situation. And it almost felt like a piece of me was cut off when I was told that so I was like, wait, so in order to be spiritual in a way, like I have to not acknowledge that side of me. Something didn’t feel right. And so, took years later to recognize that it’s the combination of the shadow and the light, that you don’t cut off anything. It’s the balance of everything. And then I saw that with money as well. And so, that’s what I teach now is like, there is this money, pain, it’s real, it exists. It has stops people from doing things.

Jessy: Yes. And like debt, and things like that aren’t necessarily about money. It’s about the mindset and how we kind of, because money is energy, isn’t it? And it flows. And it’s us and the conditions and our thinking that kind of almost like, stop that in its tracks, isn’t it?

Tonia: Yeah.

Jessy: And I love that how, you know, that you’ve had, you know, when I talk about conditions and like expectations and things, it’s more in the traditional sense, but you kind of went into the spiritual world, and you were like, well actually, no, you’re putting conditions on me too. So, that was amazing.

Tonia: Yeah.

Jessy: What kind of things do you do to almost like, get past that? I mean, I know, you’re a strong woman, you can’t be told what to do.

Tonia: No, I do. Like, that was part of, you know, the journey along the way was also realizing I would take things as absolute, you know, like, if I was in its teachers, I’m like oh well, if they’re teaching this and here, I go, again, I must be wrong. I always made myself wrong, or oh, I see, here’s something again, that I’m not good. Like I always made up that I wasn’t good at school. And then I learned like, I’m an experiential learner, like the way they teach things in school. Actually, I’m not good at memorization, and all of that I need to be in it. And then I remember things, and I don’t ever forget them. And so, it took me a while to realize like, the teachers don’t mean that they know something more than anyone else. It’s just information and I am at choice. I guess I just never realized in my life that I was at choice. I also went to public school, and from that, so it was very much so like, they’re telling you that like obedience, like they were higher than you in a way. And so, it must be true what they’re saying.

Jessy: They must be right.

Tonia: Right. And so, then if they’re right, and I’m wrong, if I don’t agree with it. And so, there was this right or wrong versus no, they’re teaching you something, and I now get to cherry pick the things that work, like I get to decide what works and some things are gonna resonate, and some things aren’t. And so, it took a while to get there and just recognize like, no. But now there are things from the spiritual that I absolutely do take in and like the non-yoga like, this just happened to me yesterday. A lot of stuff coming up and I felt the emotions coming up, and I could feel them and they were not, I went for a walk. Like these are certain things, I do Reiki in the morning, meditated, I went for a walk and then not just stayed in my stomach. I am just not going to sit here and do this what I’m gonna do. I’m like, oh, I took my yoga book and I did breath work. Like I also know the breath moves things through. So, I did like a three-part breath. And it kind of just moved it right out. And so, there was a bunch of things that I’ve learned now to kind of keep me, really what it does is keep me in tune with my trigger that I’m walking in. You know, knowing that I’m taking some information and some works, and some doesn’t. But I get to determine what works best for me.

Jessy: Well, that was actually one of the questions I had just like, how do you stay connected to your inner self? And you’re just like, I’ll just answer it straight away. I love that because you are just so but your own person. And you know, you say you cherry pick things, but this is what it should be. And essentially, the basis of it all is that we trust ourselves, we trust our intuition. And that I think is going in society, isn’t it? Because we’re told all the time, especially like religion, school, family, do it like this. We are right. And then if you don’t agree, the assumption is, oh, I’m wrong. There’s something wrong with me. But it’s not the case at all, is it?

Tonia: No. And it’s teaching people to think for themselves or just like it’s using the word like experiment. Play, like, there is a plan, but it’s okay if the plan doesn’t work. Sometimes you get something better by allowing yourself to deviate away from it, but like and following. And this is I mean, and it doesn’t have to be called intuition. I know, it could be a scary word for people. But I remember in the business world too like people like your gut reaction, like people use that sometimes they’re like, oh, there’s no evidence of it like, well, my gut is telling me this so and I’m going to go with that. And so, it’s not intuition. It’s that inner knowing. It’s that knowing of following that truth, and going over that.

Jessy: Well, I say that what you know, we are part of the animal family. And as humans we have that knowing. It’s those instincts. There’s really primal instincts that you know, have kept us alive since caveman days, do you know what I mean. So, it’s like it is there within everybody. It’s just whether or not we connect with it, or give ourselves permission to connect with it.

Tonia: Yeah.

Jessy: Yeah. Oh, no, it’s fantastic. Brilliant. So, yeah, I’ve got a little cheeky question at the end. And it is very short interview. But yeah, it’s sort of like if you were an animal, what would you be and why?

Tonia: Hummingbird comes to mind.

Jessy: Hummingbird Really?

Tonia: Yeah. And I read. Yeah, I didn’t think that, that was going to be it. I kind of want to think that it would be like a cheetah or something like wild. But I’m like no a hummingbird because they are just magical. Like, they look like fairies when they fly.

Jessy: Yeah.

Tonia: Also, when they fly have the ability to go backwards.

Jessy: I didn’t know that.

Tonia: Yeah, they could stand still and seem like they’re not moving. And when it rains, they have like this coating on them. But the rain actually doesn’t make them wet. So, they can actually fly in. So, like the level of freedom that they have is absolutely crazy. So, I think that, that is why I would choose them. And just because of how, when I look at them, I think they’re magical. And so, I’m very much now just connecting to the magic of life. And even though I know things are bad right now, and there’s always going to be chaos, there’s always going to be craziness. But I feel like that’s the whole point, that I do my routines in the morning is like and nature still wakes up and acts the same way. Flowers still bloom, the cycle still goes. And so, it’s really about staying tapped into, you know, the abundance of life. And this is what I get now with the spiritual world, what they were trying to say about positivity is the choice of staying in the light versus being a victim. It just, you know, comes off a certain way, but I get it now where like, I’m at choice with what I choose to put my focus and energy on.

Jessy: Yes, yes, definitely. But you know, when we do go through bad times, it’s quite easy for people to become victims, isn’t it? And you know, it’s a hard life. And like you said, the minute we’re going through a very, very hard time. But it is you know, it’s like when I work with clients as well, it’s kind of like, okay, to balance things out, look at the positive as well. I know, you’re not going to an easy time. But you know, it’s all about the balance, isn’t it?

Tonia: The balance and it’s like gratitude. I feel like that’s always such an easy tool to just feel like, you know, there’s always an analogy like, you know, someone always has it better and someone always has it worse. So, it’s always just acknowledging where you’re at. And there’s nothing wrong with saying that it sucks. Okay, I’m definitely not about being like, oh, well, you know, I did break my leg. But at least I have my other one. Yes, that’s great to realize that but there’s nothing wrong with also seeing like, this really sucks and I’m in pain. Because I feel like our emotions have messages for us. That’s why they come up. So, you know, to acknowledge that, but then also to then see that it’s to serve us, you know, and it’s difficult when it comes in the form of painful experiences.

Jessy: Of course, yeah. Because then we almost like go into this whirlwind of emotions, but it is very much, like today, I was just talking to someone and, you know about anxiety. And it’s like, well, if you think of anxiety, like a dog that’s barking, you need to pay attention and be like, what are you trying to tell me? Why are you barking at me? You know, and that’s what it is. But we do get lost in the kind of I’m feeling anxious and that side of it. So, you know, the next step is kind of like, face it, ask it, what is it trying to tell you. But you’re right, there’s so many messages.

Tonia: And what’s hard to hear them or to suppress them or to not.

Jessy: So, the dog starts growling.

Tonia: But that’s exactly it. Like, if you look at animals, and the other thing I say, to look at too is like even children, you know. Because they’re wild, they are very unconditioned, and they scream, run, like they express it. And then it’s

Jessy: Fully.

Tonia: Fully, yes. And you know, just with conviction, and then they’re done. And so, it is just about being that free, you know, just wild and just letting it out versus, you know, being worried about what people gonna think. And it’s just like, you know, I kind of feel like that’s what wild is. It’s just animals don’t care. They do what they need, and then move on.

Jessy: Well the need exactly and the need, then you kind of sort of connect with that in yourself and then sort of ask you what do I need, and then trusting those instincts. And I love what you said about gratitude because especially tied in with money. We’re in such a society where we’re almost like, I’ve not got enough. I’ve got to do the next thing. I’ve got to earn this.

Tonia: Let it out. Let it out. They know it’s true about money.

Jessy: Let me pause it. I’ll come back.
Right. So, we start recording again. That’s hilarious. That’s so funny. I forgot what I was saying now to run to the door. To answer the door. And, yeah, money and that feeling of not being enough.

Tonia: Yes, I love that you brought up money again, because this I mean, part of what my whole reason of like writing the book and everything is to just put out to the world that like money is a way for us to say thank you. It’s been given so much power that it doesn’t have, it’s just a tool. Like, that’s all it is just a tool like a car is. And when you learn how to use money, like you learn how to drive a car, it takes you from one point to another. The problem is like, you know, financial literacy isn’t taught. And so, I don’t try to bypass that either. I actually teach what you need to know about it, how to manage it, and really just how to organize and use it practically. Because if you read an advisor’s book or like, I actually got a C in my accounting class and had to take a class over, because I almost failed it because I was like, what are you teaching? Like, this makes no sense.

Jessy: It’s going to apply to real life, isn’t it?

Tonia: No, it has nothing to do with it. It’s just you know, so also that it’s teaching people how to practically use it. And I feel like, you know, so many people walking around with the shame, but it’s like, well, who told you otherwise of how to use it like. We didn’t know any better in a way like, you know. So, just to be gentle and forgive and that putting out a message of like money is just a way for us to say thank you for something. Like that’s really what it is.

Jessy: Well, it is. It’s an exchange, isn’t it? Like in the old days. It was you would barter goods. Wouldn’t you instead of money? Yeah. And then now it’s all the focus is on money. It’s like how much you earn? Can you make a living? And it’s like, we’re focusing on the wrong things here people.

Tonia: Exactly. That’s that’s why I named my book The New Commodities.

Jessy: I can’t wait. I think it’s gonna be amazing. It really is.

Tonia: That’s a journey. But I think that, that’s what it is, is like, I think we got it all wrong, you know. And pandemic is showing us too. Like how it has to sometimes take crisis in order for us to recognize that the simple things in life really are the riches, and the luxuries and everything else.

Jessy: For sure. Definitely. Brilliant. Well, thank you so, so much. And, you know, just to end is there anything that you want to promote at the moment?

Tonia: Yeah always want to, well, my book will be out, I’m not gonna say that there’s a deadline yet, I’m still in process of writing, but I would say by the end of the year that will be there. So, if anyone just wants to find out more about money, and just creating a healthy money story, like they could just go to my website, and everything is there. So, the website is www.toniag.com. And yeah, just go on there to see and if you want to sign up for my newsletter, and I have, you know, what events and things that I do so like, all the information is there.

Jessy: Brilliant, and I’ll put the links around this recording somewhere.

Tonia: I’m here to be in service for anyone who wants to just be free of like, their money pain and just be empowered around it. So yes. Please send me out.

Jessy: And I’ve got to say, you know, connecting with Tonia, you’ve been amazing. Because you were the one who was just like, come on, Jess, you got to be more visible. And I was like, no, I don’t want it. But you did it in such a loving way. But yeah, you called me up on that. So, be forever grateful to you for that and just being on the book journey with you as well.

Tonia: Oh my god, it wouldn’t have been, it’s what makes it fun. Like being in community and sisterhood and everything. And yeah, I feel blessed just doing this interview with you. So, like, yeah, please keep being visible.

Jessy: Fantastic. Thank you. Thank you very, very much. So, I’m gonna end the recording now.

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Wild Within – Interview with Ali Roe

Love Ali’s descripltion: Weaving curiosity, imagination, depth & self-expression into soulful creativity. Lifelong learner🔥 curious creatrix💫impassioned introvert ⭐️wise woman

www.aliroecreative.co.uk

Transcription of interview

Time: 36:35 minutes

Jessy:  Fantastic well, welcome Ali to this Wild Within interview. So, part of these interviews is to talk to other people to learn about, you know what helps them stay true to themselves and to connect with the wild within. So, Ali is a lovely, dear good friend of mine that has helped me so much, and I’m so blessed to have in my life. So, Ali is a soul inspired by creativity, stories and nature and ideas, and you’re a visual artist, and writing your first book, yay. And what I love about your work and everything is that you use creativity to kind of nurture these very deep connections as a way of kind of expressing yourself and in turn, enabling us to express ourselves as well. So, I absolutely love your work and everything that you do, it’s absolutely brilliant. Andi t’s almost like giving that permission for us to give it a go, like just be, everyone’s creative. Just have a go. Brilliant. So, did you want to just tell us a little bit about yourself, what’s made you want to be on this path? Just tell us about you really.

Ali Roe:  Okay. Yeah, it’s, wow, what an expansive question. Yeah, it’s basically the place to start is, but I’ve had a really interesting journey with myself to this point in my life that, you know, I can see is, it’s going to be an ongoing path of learning and development and change and mistakes. And you know, and that I haven’t always been, although I firmly believe that I have a soul that is creative, wild, natural, imaginative, and deep. I haven’t always allowed that. And I took quite a different path in the earlier part of my life in that I loved school. I loved learning. And so, I followed a traditional route of A levels, University.

You get sucked into this sort of funnel I think of, this is what’s expected. And if you don’t do that route, this is what you do. And all the way along right through to finishing my degree. I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do when I grew up. And still don’t think I’m grown up.

Jessy:  The say growing up is, no, yeah, sort of becoming old is, you know, you have to do it. But growing up is optional.

Ali Roe:  Yeah, that’s great, exactly. We have age, but growing up, yeah, no, I love that, it applies for me. So that whole, I chose the university course based on subjects I love doing. It wasn’t about what am I going to do as a job. And you get sucked into this funnel at the other end of university or certainly at the time. I mean, we’re talking late 80s when I finished so it’s rather a long time ago, it may be different nowadays. Harder, I think for younger people and coming out of university. You go down this huge route of graduate interviews and graduate jobs and graduate traineeships and I just fell into that without really kind of consciously thinking does this suit me. And, cut a very long story short ended up in a, after a couple of years doing other things and realizing they didn’t work out including a trainee accountancy based at a big accountancy firm and starting after a year going, what am I doing? This is not me.

Jessy:  I can’t imagine you as an accountant.

Ali Roe:  Oh, exactly. I mean, it was so really boring, stuffy people really horrible, very, very patriarchal and male. I mean, they were trying to get more women in but you just knew if you were a woman, you were gonna have to fight twice as hard as anyone else to get anywhere, you know, and, oh, the whole thing just makes me shudder now. As you can see, I’m physically doing that. But I did it for a year and I learned a lot about myself, but then I fell into another graduate trainee scheme in human resources after doing a year of postgrads training in human resource management. And that’s where I established my career. And I suppose it’s a long way of saying, I went into management, I went into business, I went into the whole graduate, you know, right, earning money, ambition, get promoted, move here, get a car, do this do that and without actually consciously knowing if that’s what my heart and soul really wanted.

Jessy:  Wow, yeah.

Ali Roe:  And so, in my early 30s, combined with some sort of stuff around fertility and children and other issues that were coming up at that point of my life and struggling with my hormones, which was also linked to the stress of my situation at work. I had a burnout and serious sort of medicated depression.

So, in my early 30s, and that was my first big awakening to Whoa, life, you know, life is not what I expected. And I made some choices that have got me here. And, you know, what am I doing? And so, really a big enlightenment moment, that still wasn’t the final piece of the jigsaw of realizing what my inner self wanted. But, you know, that was a big part of my journey and why I’m doing what I’m doing now.

Jessy:  But that’s it, isn’t it? It’s Like we? What we don’t know, do we but as kids, we sort of think, Oh, this is what we, this is success. This is what we’re aiming for. And this is kind of part of all the conditions that are put on us. Actually, you know, we need to be married with kids and, you know, it’s like that. This image is sold to us all the time. This is happiness. This is acceptance.

Ali Roe:  Yeah.

Jessy:  But then, you know, and you’re not the only person. So many people get to a certain point and you have a breakdown because it’s almost like we’re feeding the ego when the, almost like the physical body, but not the soul. And that’s what’s missing, isn’t it?

Ali Roe:  Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.

Jessy:  That is massively what’s missing, yeah.

Ali Roe:  Absolutely. And it’s like when I look back now, what I see more of is how I was up till about the age of 10. A wild yeah, what was called then, and I’m not sure I like the term but it’s the best one I’ve got, a tomboy. I would always have scraped knees. I always had bruises. My hair was longish but so tangly that my mom actually carted me off to the hair dresser’s one day and said, “right, I warned you often enough, it’s all coming off,” which, as we can see, it also is now. You know,

Jessy:  This is your choice though; we have to say.

Ali Roe:  I was, you know, I was a, I wasn’t a girly girl. I loved nature and I loved going out to look at tadpoles and things with dad in the ponds. And so, when I, you know, this kind of period of disconnect between what happened you know, when I do ask myself that question, What on earth happened between the ages of 10 and the age of around about, you know, 18 to 21, enjoyed University at that time, but then after that what happened.

Jessy:  How do we get on?

Ali Roe:  Yeah. What taught me to forget, and to repress and to ignore all of those childhood excitements, and yearnings and doings, you know, that actually inform.

Jessy:  Desires and passions.

Ali Roe:  Yeah, those inform me of who I really am. And what happens to us in between, to force us into these very narrow channels of this is acceptable, and this is what you must do. And I fell for all that hook line and sinker, I’m not blaming anyone.

Jessy:  And anyone else, yeah.

Ali Roe:  I fell, I thought, Oh, yeah, I could have a company car. I could have this. I could have that. But it’s all an illusion and the kind of first, the burnout and the first period of depression I suffered woke me up to some of that. That’s now nearly 20 years ago, and I’m still learning. I’m still on that journey of recovering from that whole process, very fascinating.

Jessy:  It really is, isn’t it, but then it’s almost like it took you 20 odd, 30 odd years to get to that point.

Ali Roe:  Yes.

Jessy:  It’s not going to go away in a year. Well, I was gonna say an hour, but you know, a year. It’s gonna take almost as long, isn’t it?

Ali Roe:  Yeah, yeah definitely.

Jessy:  It’s not only learning a new way, it’s unlearning. So, it’s like getting all those conditions.

Ali Roe:  Oh, absolutely and if I’m honest Jessy, No, I haven’t, I haven’t unpacked all of it. And I’m not sure I ever will. But it’s kind of now, you know, seeing it as cycles of learning and spirals.

Jessy:  The spirals, like yeah, you know, I love the spirals.

Ali Roe:  Your beautiful picture behind, yeah, I do see it as that and that you learn something, and you integrate part of it. But the truth for me is that I only ever integrate part of anything really at any one time. And then I might circle around again and have to learn a little bit more and a little bit more. And actually, I’m learning to love that process, really, I’m learning to love myself going through that process.

Jessy:  Fantastic and you do it so gracefully as well, from what I’ve seen, but I always think that, with these kinds of things, I mean, the spiral is perfect for it. It’s almost like, each time you come round, you’re that much wiser, that much stronger, so you can handle the bit more. So, it’s always like, if you’re sorting the loft out or something, you can’t do it in one go. That’s kind of what I compare it to. You can only do it a box at a time, and then you need a break from it, don’t you? And then you go back and you’re stronger when you go back. So, tell me who or what inspired you to kind of go down the creative route? Because I mean, HR, to. I mean I know the breakdown had a massive part of that. But yeah, kind of what were your inspirations?

Ali Roe:  Well, yeah. Isn’t that a fascinating question? And there isn’t one, there isn’t one answer. There isn’t anything that pops into my mind that says, well, this was the moment or this was the person or this was the thing. I think it’s been a gradual reawakening and reclaiming of who I was always meant to be.

Now I don’t, I don’t have an any religious or particularly strong spiritual beliefs or faith. But I do have this sense that there is a core me, and the best word I can use for that is Soul. And that it’s almost like it’s so strong in me that, that is what influences me to reclaim and come back to myself and reawaken to myself all of the time. So, there have been different things along the path, different books that I’ve read or sometimes films that I’ve watched, or people that I’ve met who sort of share something or something comes from that, that I can add another piece to the jigsaw of healing if you like.

But there isn’t, there isn’t honestly one thing other than to say, you know. I just think it is that kind of gradual process of reclaiming and reawakening to what was always really meant to be me.

Jessy:  So, the one thing is actually, You, it’s your soul talking to you.

Ali Roe:  Yeah, it’s, yeah.

Jessy:  It’s not external, you’ve kind of turned around and looked inwards. And it’s like, oh, actually, I do know the answers, It is all here. And it is just the case of, not just a case of, but process of connecting with it. So, what kind of.

Ali Roe:  No, no, it’s just that I mean, it can sound a little bit. Yeah, I don’t want that to sound arrogant at all. But actually, you know, the truth is, that we all have that, that inner core, it’s about finding it. And things have influenced me, as I say, there’s been a lot of different influences over time, in any particular moment, or for periods of time where I’ve been particularly inspired by somebody say, like, Elizabeth Gilbert, the writer. Her work, for example, has helped me and supported me. But those things are not like something I would say is Oh, my only inspiration, it comes from everywhere, and it comes from nature, and it comes from something I might read on social media, and it just clicks. And so, it’s all these tiny, tiny pieces that are helping me to reclaim Me.

Jessy:  Yeah, but no, it doesn’t sound arrogant at all, because this is what I talk about, as well. It’s that we have a deep knowing inside us. We are the experts in our lives and its sort of like, why do we take on external messages to kind of define who we are. And then and then it does end up where our soul or like what I call our wild within just screams at is like, No, I don’t want to do this anymore.

Ali Roe:  Yes, Stop!

Jessy:  And it turns out as illnesses, as you know in my work, I work with a lot of depression, anxiety, you know, things like that and this is it because we’re so disconnected.

Ali Roe:  Absolutely and I think just to add there, and another part of the story is that, about 11 years ago, now, my husband and I gave up our career jobs in response to some of that learning that I’d done and we relocated but then I had another episode of depression. So, I was in what was meant to be my perfect life, my redefined lifestyle, you know I’d made deliberate, we’d made, deliberate conscious choices to change how we live, to work for ourselves. All these things that were meant to be the right thing. And I had another serious depression, that saw me spend probably around six weeks pretty much living from my bedroom. And so, that was another piece of this jigsaw of Oh, well, this is meant to be perfect now, what the hell is going on?

And something was still not right. So, that was another example. I think of what you said you know. Illness, some kind of internal mechanism is going on to communicate with you. That’s certainly how it felt to me that.

You still haven’t quite got all the pieces in place here Ali, there’s still work to do. And that, if I’m very honest, was as much if not more of a shock to my system as the first burnout and depression had been. Because life was meant to be perfect. That was meant to be my I’ve done it all now, this is okay, this is what I want.

And I think is really where I latched on to the whole creativity piece. Because after I’d recovered from that, that’s when I decided, right, I’m going to art college. And that’s when I allowed the creativity to start to lead me, and I started to feel into that as right that’s where I really need to express myself. It took the second episode of illness to kind of wake me up to, you’re still not quite there yet girl.

Jessy:  So, it was almost like the illness pushed you didn’t it, into really finding your soul purpose in a way? Yeah. And again, it’s almost that expectation, we put this that Oh, okay, I’ll do X, Y, and Z, that’s going to cure it. I don’t believe it’s about curing it, It’s about really connecting with it, isn’t it? Is that we can’t run away from it.

Ali Roe:  Yeah.

Jessy:  It’s facing it isn’t it?

Ali Roe:  Yeah, it is, isn’t it? Yeah, facing it and stopping repressing. Actually, that’s been a keyword for me lately, realizing I was still repressing, so that real physical, putting down the desires and the needs and the methods of expression that I want and I’m still not quite there, I’ll be honest, you know, I still.

There’s still stuff to work on in terms of fully allowing myself to be as creative and free and expressive as I want to be but I am getting there. And oh, yeah, I just feel like I kind of know so much more about myself. And I’m so much more, happy to stand in my own truth. And know that some of what seems right for other people isn’t for me.

And own that and live that. I really feel that strongly that that’s, I mean, I’m in my early 50s, now, you know, and that feels like it’s also a life stage thing. But I’m kind of able to say well, okay, maybe that’s your script of what I meant to do. But Nah, that’s not for me

Jessy:  You’re too wild to fit in anyone’s script, and I love what you posted the other day about what was it? Creativity that’s not allowed out, sort of turns into illness or something along those lines.

Ali Roe:  Yes, it was a Brene Brown quote that one. Yeah, she’s I mean, she’s another, you know, amazing researcher and writer that I, has influenced me. Yes, and her quote was about unexpressed creativity is not benign. And she says something along the lines of it metastasizes, like a cancer and fills us with grief, rage, shame, anger. And I thought, you know, I really connected with that quote, because I have experienced all of that over such a long period of time. And I actually think that’s what the depression was trying to tell me. That I was grieving what I wasn’t allowing myself to be. And I was, yeah, I mean, shame has been a big one for me since my childhood. That’s a big button, a big script for me that I’m still working on. And so, I really identified with that quote when I saw it, and realizing how, and you know, I define creativity so broadly. It isn’t just about art, and drawing and painting, we can be creative in almost infinite ways.

Jessy:  That is what I love about your work, because it’s almost like, I’ve always had this thing of, I’m not creative.

Because It’s like, I can’t draw. I mean, my stickmen are just hilarious. But you know like the other day when I just sat out there, and I was playing with the gravel that we had in the garden, and I mean that’s creativity.

Ali Roe:  Yes, you’re creative. Your photography as well Jessy, your beautiful photography, that is, in fact, creative expression.

And, you know, yeah, yes, I call myself, one of my labels for myself is visual artists. But, you know, I actually, I can’t do perspective and depth, and my brain just doesn’t work that way. So, my drawing skills are patchy at best. But I challenged myself to go to art college and to reveal all of that vulnerability, which wasn’t always easy. And to kind of defy the whole, I need to be able to draw to be creative. And it’s what’s helped me broaden out that definition. Creativity can be how we dress, how we talk, it can be through dance, it can be through cooking, it can be the way we decorate our homes. So, yeah

Jessy:  How, how we do our hair? And we’ve had this conversation before, haven’t we that, that permission to be creative Is a sort of, such an expression of the soul. Like everything that we do around us, that is who we are and that’s what we need to kind of get out there. And like images or a piece of art or anything that is, you know. What is it? An image speaks 1000 words?

Ali Roe:  Yes, yeah.

Jessy:  That just captures it. Just in one essence, and I love that. I love that. And I love that you give us permission to, do that. And, you know, like the things that you’ve run the last few months. And it’s sort of like, well, actually, yeah, I’m gonna try this thing. And, you know, it’s almost like, you can’t get it wrong. And it’s like, whatever you create is an expression at that time. So, how can you get it wrong?

Ali Roe:  Yes, yes, absolutely. And what one of the other key, you know, the key traps that I have fallen into in the past is the comparison trap of, Oh, my art’s not as good as that, or my, this isn’t as good as so and so on. And so, this whole philosophy around creativity, having such a broad definition, is also attached to that whole don’t compare, because if you’re comparing, actually, you’re not being creative, probably because you’re trying to copy or imitate what someone else has done before you. So, go ahead, do your own thing. And it kind of goes back to what we were talking about earlier around the whole script were given.

Right. Why don’t you just try deviating from that script, just a bit of ad-libbing in your life and don’t think you’ve got to have your garden look exactly the same as someone else’s. You can be creative in your flower bed in your this, in your that. You don’t have to do it, how the book says or how someone else does it, for me that’s other side. The other element of creativity is yes, you can do it in many different ways. But you’re, it’s about your personal expression, and therefore you can’t get it wrong. It’s impossible to get it wrong if It’s expressing you. And the only way you get it wrong is by comparing it to something or have, even if that comparison is the expectation of what you had in your own mind. This is how I wanted it to look and that’s how it looks and uugh, but actually, it is wrong because it’s got to come out and maybe I need to do it again or practice again to get it nearer the image I had in my head but that doesn’t mean the original was wrong.

Jessy:  Yeah. Oh, I love that. So, it is really about the kind of expectations like externally, internally, all of that, it’s like letting go of that, yeah.

Ali Roe:   Internal as much as external I find. Yeah, that whole you know, you build yourself a script don’t you of what it should be like, so yeah.

Jessy:  So, what kind of things do you do to kind of stay true to you and your soul? And I mean, I know you said you flip the script and think like that. But have you got any kind of strategies or things that you?

Ali Roe:  Yeah, you really have made me think there. Well, I think it for me, it is just about diving in. It really is just about saying, Okay, well, what does it feel like today, what wants to come out? And then diving into, do that. Now I, again, I don’t always do this. And I’m actually yeah, funnily enough in a cycle at the moment of not allowing myself to do that, which is probably why it’s coming up as the first answer to your question. Dive in, and just have a go. What I often find is when I do that, something different emerges than I was thinking would come or I go completely off the script, sometimes. But what comes out is very often, something even more amazing or fun than I could have ever imagined. Or it’s, you know, telling me something that I hadn’t even realized I needed to hear or see. So, I think yeah, one of those strategies is dive in and just do it don’t think too much. Because I can, you know, my mind gets too over-involved in everything. So, like with writing the book, and you and I have been on this journey together around writing the book, more often than not, when I get blocked, it’s because up here is got too involved and I’m not just sitting down with pen and paper or keyboard and doing it.

Jessy:  Brilliant, yeah. So, it’s really kind almost like coming out of our heads and really just getting into the, like, embody it. And then the messages from the soul will come out, won’t they?  And there’s so much better than we can think really.

Ali Roe:  Quite, yeah. And that’s the point, you know, if you just get on and dive in, and not working too much to a plan. I mean, I wrote that very thing in my journal this morning about my writing process, was right, the more I think I need a framework and a plan. The more I’m, and I wrote these words, the more I can put myself in a prison cell. And I haven’t got the freedom I need to create if I’m trying to do it from a plan and a framework up here. So, what I’m learning on the unbound writing mastermind with Nicola Humber is the freedom of the unbound way of just allowing yourself to write and then at some point in the future, I’ll come to the realization I’ve probably got enough there to put a book together now. What should we call it? What should it be? You know, and it’s that, it’s totally the other way around how I ever expected.

Jessy:  I think the writing mastermind has been the other way for all of us as an as we do have these expectations of, oh, a book… chapter one… that isn’t. our soul doesn’t, we’re too wild it not work like that does it?

Ali Roe:  But yeah, that’s right. For us unbound women, us unbound writers it doesn’t suit us does it to do that. It is too much of a cage. I mean, I’ve used prison cell in my journal, but a cage, and we are wild, wild women, wild beings that do not enjoy being caged. It’s that mental image of myself as the caged Tiger going up and down. And you know, oh, you know, that feeling of the power that wants to come out, but isn’t being allowed out because it’s caged.

Jessy:  Oh, gosh, that is so powerful. And, and it’s almost like we get into this point, we’ve been uncaging ourselves from all sorts of things haven’t we, like jobs and family and idea of creativity.

And now it’s sort of, well, we’re at the point of this idea of actually what a book should be and actually, we can’t get it wrong because it’s our inner selves talking. It’s our soul to speak out, isn’t it?

Ali Roe: Yeah, absolutely. And I think the recognition as well, that probably means it won’t be for everybody. And that’s something I’ve you know, really had to try and come to terms with and I’m still not quite over that block and barrier of fear yet of so, this ain’t gonna suit, everyone, how am I going to deal with the people who don’t like what I’ve done or don’t receive it well. But you know, that that comes with that, I think. That wildness comes with some elements of not everybody’s going to like this because not everybody is able to see that, the joy of that freedom. They’re still choosing perhaps to be more confined within the script.

Jessy:  Yeah, yeah. And you know, it’s fine, it works for some people, and they can live quite happy lives kind of being that that’s absolutely fine. It’s when we find ourselves feeling ill and unhappy, that’s when we do need to kind of almost like, connect with our inner selves, and, you know, like you do it through creativity and I do it through photography. You know, all that side of things. It is so powerful, isn’t it?

Ali Roe:  It is, I mean, I’ve realized I can’t happily live any other way. You know, and sometimes it’s not, it’s not always easy. When I’ve tried to kind of do it a bit more to script, I can do that for so long, and I can bring so much energy to that, and then I burn out. And then, illness will follow and because I’ve gone through that cycle two or three times, I know enough now to know that I have to allow myself that freedom. Even if that means earning less than my potential may have otherwise had, having less than some of my peers who have chosen a different route. But that’s okay with me. I’m really happy to give those things up to have the level of freedom of both lifestyle and expression that I have. I’m happy to give up some of the material things and actually realized, you know, the last five to 10 years, I don’t actually even want them.

Jessy:  Well, we don’t need them, we don’t need half of it do we?

Ali Roe:  Exactly, it’s not just about wanting is it, I do not need or want those things. I’m getting a real feeling of “enoughness” I make up my own words.

Ali Roe:  I love your words.

Jessy:  It is isn’t it? Like we get to a point I think, and I find is like the goal isn’t happiness, it’s contentment. And it’s like, I’ve got enough, yeah, and it’s fine what I’ve got, my own good thing and this trend is good. But we are fighting daily messages of, ah, you’re not enough because you’ve not got the latest car, the latest phone or, and it’s like well, actually I’m quite happy where I’m at I content with what I’ve got, it’s not like, I don’t know what top of the range or

Ali Roe:  Yeah.

Jessy:  Super expensive, but

Ali Roe:  Yeah.

Jessy:  It doesn’t need to be because it’s like you say, the soul expression and that kind of freedom. That’s worth any amount of money really.

Ali Roe:  Absolutely, and contentment to me is such a deeper thing than happiness. Contentment, to me, is an inner state, whereas happiness is a temporary outer state. And I find that if you chase that whole, I’ll be happy when I have…

Jessy:  Exactly.

Ali Roe:  X, y, z, you know the new phone, there’s always another one of those coming, because that’s how other people make their money from you. And so, to me turning inwards to find actually what’s the truth of what makes me content and those for me of very simple things. Peace and quiet, freedom, nature, intimate connection with one or two friends and people, I don’t need loads of friends, I don’t need loads of socializing. I’m introverted so, I don’t like to go out a lot. I’ve kind of worked out over these 50 years what makes me deeply content and luckily, you know, I am lucky, I do appreciate how lucky I am to not have that challenged too often. I’ve got those things, there in my bubble, and I can hold on to most of them, most of the time, and I am very grateful for that. But that comes from within as well. Yeah, it’s totally a thing within its, and happiness to me is often I mean, yeah, I want moments of happiness, but they’re often related to things external to me, and then they go as quickly as they come.

Jessy:  I love that, that’s brilliant. Okay, so lastly, my cheeky question, if you were an animal, what would you be and why?

Ali Roe:  Oh wow, wow, gosh. I’ve always had an affinity to predatory animals, I don’t know what that says about me! But, well birds of prey.

Jessy:  Brilliant.

Ali Roe:  And so, I love owls.

Jessy:  Yeah.

Ali Roe:  Birds of prey but I mean, I think oh, my soul answer. And this goes back to I’m thinking I can see the image of a book or the cover of a book that I had as a child, Tiger. It’s the Tiger all the way for me and whilst one of my animal guides is a fox, no, for me, it’s the Tiger.

Jessy:  Wow.

Ali Roe:  There’s something so regal and self-possessed to me about the Tiger and secretive and you know just that air of mystery and wonder and power. Yeah, yeah it’s got to be the Tiger.

Jessy:  That kind of that confidence, that kind of I’m here, that presence that goes with it.

Ali Roe:  You know sometimes that’s, a lot of that is in the background hidden away, doesn’t need to be overly showy, but oh gosh it’s there, that majesty, that power.

Jessy:  I love it that is SO you and I can just imagine you kind of also curling up kind of having a nap when you need to. Oh yes, spending most of my time asleep, yes, on the jungle floor, absolutely. For definite Yeah, I mean, I love, you know how I love cats. So, I think the whole feline thing is a thing for me. But the tiger for me is the epitome of that felineness.

Jessy:  Oh, I love it. I love it full-on wildness, be really cool with it.

Ali Roe:  Absolutely.

Jessy:  Oh, well. Thank you so much Ali for your time.

Ali Roe:  Jessy it’s my pleasure I’ve loved it.

Jessy:  Brilliant and always for your friendship and connection as well, fantastic. Well, thank you.

Ali Roe:  Thank you.

Jessy:   I’ll stop the recording now, take care.

Ali Roe:  Thank you, Jessy, goodbye

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Wild Within Interview with Jacqui McGinn

Jacqui is a Hypnotherapist, Energy Healer, Japanese Teacher, Writer and Fabulous Networking Group Leader

Pieces to Peace Facebook Networking group 

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Transcript of interview
Time: 26:03 minutes

Jessy:  There you go. Okay, so we are now recording. So, welcome to this interview with Jacqui, the wonderful Jacqui. And so, I’m doing these Wild Within interviews to get to know how other people manage to stay in touch with their wild within. And also, it’s an excuse to get together with my friends.

Jacqui:  It’s always a good excuse, isn’t it?

Jessy:  So, Jacqui, I’ve known you for, goodness knows, it’s been a while hasn’t it? Yes, we’re talking years and years. And Jacqui does wonderful Theta healing. Did I say that right? Theta healing.

Jessy:  And you do some amazing, amazing work. I think we connected years ago when you were working on your Pieces to Peace and we connected and we talked about narcissism and the effects of that. But also, you’ve been a wonderful friend and you’ve supported me in so many ways, especially trying to get me to be more visible, which is absolutely petrifying. But you’ve done it in such a loving way.

Jacqui:  Your photos are amazing as well.

Jessy:  I know but you keep saying show your face. I’m like, No. I don’t want to show my face.

Jacqui:  Yeah. Like plants and stuff.

Jessy:  I am getting braver. I’m trying. I am trying.

Jacqui:  You are. You are.

Jessy:  So, did you want to say a little bit about yourself? Like, you know, what’s kind of made you decide to come on this path and just a little bit about yourself?

Jacqui:  Yeah, well, for me, it all kind of started with a breakdown. Like you know, most of us have some kind of really messy spiritual awakening and you know, Jung talks about, Carl Jung talks about kind of like will do. Humans basically do like really crazy stuff to avoid facing their soul. And yeah, pretty much a breakdown with my way of like avoiding pain, because it was easier to go to the edge of sanity, than it was to feel pain.

Jacqui:  A very natural human reaction really, isn’t it?

Jacqui:  Oh, yeah. Yeah. And, you know, I look at it now. And it’s kind of like, yeah, the breakdown or physical illness was the only options available at the time because it didn’t have any tools. Dealing with everything that was happening. And then kind of at the end of that breakdown, it kind of abruptly ended with a thought of like I have to end my life. And another part of my mind went, whoa, that’s not me. And then I kind of vowed to find out what happened. Well, I initially I thought it was to stop other people going through the same but now I realized that what happened to me, is to help people complete what’s been started in my experience. And yeah, the name pieces to peace came to me after a talk by Robert Holden in 2014. And it’s just like a living thing that has just taken me down all these different explorations. And yeah, I’m it’s slave.

Jessy:  It sounds so powerful, but it is, I mean, whenever you talk about it. It’s like, you know, you get your pieces that are You to get to the point of peace, which is kind of everything that we’re striving for. Isn’t it?

Jacqui:  I think one of the things, kind of like, the visions were quite vague for it. It was kind of like a symbolic vision that I was seeing of a person who’s got like a central core and then they’ve got kind of like all these lights around them representing pieces. And then another person who’s the same but when their pieces a little bit windy the elements are joining in. The worst situation, well what we really want to get to is kind of like coexisting. Being kind of like two complete whole people coming together. But what often happens especially with like, you know, narcissistic relationships, domineering, controlling relationships is like one person’s kind of, you know, they kind of so stuck together that there’s no space for either of them to like, be who they really are. And it takes a lot of work to recover that kind of spot like that sovereignty, that kind of being who you are, and being in relationship with people, as well. It’s a challenge.

Jessy:  Gosh, what a journey you’ve been on, honestly. And I know for a fact that, you know, what you have been on has helped so many other people. I mean, I know when we chatted years ago, it really helped me.

Jacqui:  Oh good.

Jessy:  What kind of things have you done to almost say, get rid of the conditions that have been put on you? I mean, I talk about Carl Rogers, you talk about Jung, so it’s quite interesting.

Jacqui:  Yeah, I guess you find you find your mentor, you find the work that resonates, I mean, I see it that there’s multiple levels to it, that we’ve got to work on. And so, it’s like, the Theta healing aspect. It’s basically a form of psychic healing. So, it’s kind of like dealing with that level of it. And often, at the heart of it all its trauma. Yeah. But it’s kind of keeping problems like that in place. And I know, like, I was looking for the magic bullet, you know, because trauma happens like that. You expect that the healing is gonna happen like that as well, but it doesn’t. It’s because it’s just like a huge, that’s why I am saying it like a bolt of lightning. It just kind of goes through your entire being. And to kind of reintegrate yourself after that bowl of lightning is a big task, and your body holds the truth, your emotions show you the way. And it’s about kind of learning their language. They’re never there to trip you up and they’re never there to be a problem. They’re there to help solve the problem. And then, you know, the kind of beliefs that are going on, that are going on that kind of went along with the trauma. And I know with my own journey that, actually before I had the suicidal thoughts, I experienced the trauma the night before. And, you know, like they say, all the experiences that happened at that time all get wired together. So, it’s been this process of unpicking and what was going through my mind because it got so deeply, you know, wired together. It wasn’t actually anything traumatic that was happening. It was the story in my head, in a kind of trance state. Just got so strongly wired in. That’s why it took ages to actually find the root of it. And then to kind of like unpick all the things that were going on around it. But yeah, I think it is. I see it now as like six elements of like, so the earth the physical body, the water the emotions, air or wind the you know thinking mind, fire kind of like the imagination creative psychic mind. And then making peace with the void, the nothing that fit. And then I see that the storm is that sixth element because you can’t avoid the storms of life. You know you have to learn, life comes with storms. It’s the resilience of like, if a lightning strike comes. Being able to deal with it.

Jessy:  Yeah. Wow. And it ties in you know, because I talk about kind of Wild Within which is our primal instinctual self, and it feels like it ties, I mean, we are all pretty much saying similar things aren’t we? But in different language if you’d like.  And I love that because it’s so true. It’s sort of like we have so many different elements to us. And the bit about feelings. We hide away from feeling so much, don’t we? But really, they come with messages, but in a very uncomfortable way that we’re like, oh, I don’t want to deal with that. Thank you very much.

Jacqui:  Oh, yeah, yeah, and because emotions have been demonized and pathologized. It’s just kind of like, oh, well, if you’re feeling there’s something wrong with you isn’t there. And then kind of like, you know, and if anger comes, or even rage or hatred, which have valuable messages for us, when you know how to work with them. But, you know, they’re seen as problems. And so, if you’re experiencing them, oh there’s something wrong with you, but actually, like, look at the state of the world and things that go on. If you’re not accessing those emotions, you’re out of touch with reality. Obviously not feeling them all the time.

Jessy:  But we all sell this image, aren’t we, that we have to be happy all the time. And it’s sort of like, you know, smiles and happiness all the time. And it’s like, why should we? That isn’t reality. Reality is we go through these kind of roller coasters, you know, throughout our lives, even maybe throughout the day. And it’s a case of kind of, okay, you know, they’re like visitors, but they’re not here to stay maybe but they just come here like the postman. You don’t bring the postman in the house and kind of hold him sabotage. Do you? Hostage I mean not sabotage. Hostage. So, what kind of things do you do to kind of stay to your true self, you know, and have your own true voice?

Jacqui:  That’s probably a work in progress. But I do kind of daily like check in when I spot patterns, and I, you know, just had a big one that I spotted, like overnight basically. The pattern of kind of allowing everybody else’s insecurities to take over what I know I need. Like letting other people’s insecurities be louder than my faith. And because insecurities breed noisy behavior, don’t they? So, it’s, you know, it’s the compassion and the curiosity. I think are kind of like the superpowers that help you navigate the kind of like okay, right this problem’s come up. What’s going on there? What’s really lovely about Theta healing is like, theta healing really takes you into space of love. And that’s, you know more and more, that’s one of the things that I’m really appreciating about it like the goal is unconditional love. And initially you kind of learn it but you see it outside of yourself. But the whole goal is to really gradually realize that it is you, you know, that love is you. And so I find you know, I’m trained in hypnotherapy as well and so when I’m working with clients; when I trained in it, I kind of was taking them, because hypnotherapy you kind of take people down, and theta healing. Usually, like the practitioner is the one that kind of goes into the trance and does the work, but I tend to take my clients in as well. And I find that by taking them up into the space, they know they’re supported in love, compassion while we explore the root of whatever it is that’s causing their difficulty.

Jessy:  They need a safe space to be able to kind do the hard work because like you just said you can’t do anything from the space of trauma because then you’re just kind of you go into yourself and you shut down and there’s that yeah, you need you.

Jacqui:  You need like that bigger you, don’t you? To be able to like look at the hard stuff.

Jessy:  And almost like the collective You because we’re not in this on our own, are we? As I’m sure you found with everyone that you work with, it’s you know, similar things come up and you start seeing patterns and that’s what I call our basic kind of reactions to things, our instinctual reactions. Gosh that sounds so powerful. So, what kind of grounding things do you do to keep yourself in a well grounded, I guess? Get my words in.

Jacqui:  I should do more. You know there’s a thing wrong. Well we could all do more.  Yeah, I do like to kind of go for walks and you know, the old hippie, walk on the grass and bare feet.

Jessy:  Why is that hippie? I find that fascinating. To me, that’s just normal. I never used to wear shoes. It was just like awful.

Jacqui:  Oh really.

Jessy:  Yeah, because it was so hot. I would be barefoot pretty much the whole time. So, for me, it’s not a hippie thing that’s just

Jacqui:  No, it’s just normal.

Jessy:  Yeah, it’s just too cold in the UK.

Jacqui:  I think that, you know, there is a really interesting thing about kind of this whole image of a hippie. That a hippie wants, like peace and love. When actually peace and love are hard. But not kind of like floaty, like smoking pot kind of peace and love. It’s peace and love are hard…whack.

Jessy:  But it’s not even a hippie thing. I think it’s just like, from a very basic kind of human need, animal need. We want that balance. We want that kind of, peace, equilibrium, whatever you want to call it. And does it have to be hard? Do we make it hard? Do we overthink things?

Jacqui:  I think when I do see us getting to a point where it won’t be as hard as it is now, I think the trouble is that Western society in particular, has got so disconnected from our true nature. This is the Wild Within, isn’t it? Kind of like your true nature is in connection. I’m sorry, my Internet’s unstable.

Jessy:  Oh, no, you’re coming across fine to me. Yeah.

Jacqui:  Our true nature is balance, is connection with nature, like we’re part of a bigger ecosystem. And because it’s like we’ve got a traumatized humanity at the moment. And the trauma’s, kind of blocking the awareness of that connection that’s already there. And so, I know there’s more and more awareness of trauma. And like adverse childhood experiences, and the effects that it all has on behavior and how we treat each other, how we treat the earth. And I think this kind of growing awareness of and how complex it is, that we can naturally heal trauma. But it does take lots of different approaches to do it. And it’s recovering these natural abilities that we have to heal, to find balance and equilibrium and moving away from the distractions. Because it’s so easy to distract yourself. It’s a lot easier to kind of like scroll through social media, binge watch TVs and TV programs and it is a lot easier to do that than it is to kind of face the stuff. The liberation comes from going through this stuff doesn’t it?

Jessy:  Yes, yes. And this is exactly it, isn’t it? That we, we almost dive into the distractions. Anything to numb us so we don’t actually feel because it’s uncomfortable. And it’s challenging and difficult to go through these feelings. And I always say it’s like with physical health where we’re almost taught from day one, oh, this is how you brush your teeth, this is what, you know, you were taught all of these things, but with mental and emotional health, it’s almost like, like you say, we go through a breakdown and then it’s like, I need to do something. You know. So, I think

Jacqui:  Yeah and often I think it takes to break down to see the need to do anything, isn’t it?

Jessy:  Exactly, exactly so it’s almost like as a society, especially in the Western world, we are so out of touch and out of sync of kind of what we need as humans, as animals. You know, we work, I don’t know, stupid hours and you know, we were looking at screens the whole time. Half of us don’t even go outside in the natural air. And I’ve got my window open as you could tell with the wind. But you know, is that a lot of the time you’re in offices that the ventilation is fake as well and the lights are fake and all of that. What does our animal side then do with that? You know what I mean. Brilliant. So, if you were an animal, this is my kind of cheeky, fun question. What would you be and why?

Jacqui:  Oooh. Ah. Oh Crickey. It’s making me think of like, Northern Lights and a demon.

Jessy:  A demon. Oh, I like that.

Jacqui:  And it’s interesting because one of my students when I was teaching Japanese in College, we were talking about Northern Lights and like what would your demon be? And ahe told me like I think yours would be a deer cause you’re graceful. I never saw myself as graceful so it’s just really odd to kind of see somebody else but yeah, maybe it would be a deer like the kind of wandering around, munching on bushes and trees and being cute. And then being really really fast and running away.

Jessy:  Brilliant. And it makes me think of like that magnificence, you know, Scottish Highlands and then you just see the deer up there. Yeah, fantastic. Actually, when I think of you, it’s almost like a phoenix. So again, like, maybe not demon ish but that kind of mythical creature type of thing.

Jacqui:  I was gonna call my book, Living Phoenix for a while.

Jessy:  No way. Fantastic.

Jacqui:  I had a whole metaphor around it, but yeah, then let it go. Pieces to Peace was coming through too strong. That’s my name. You’re not changing it?

Jessy:  Yes, yes. And it’s been that for years hasn’t it? Pieces to peace.

Jacqui:  Year 2014 is when that name came, but it has been like an exploration of like, what the hell is it like, you know, cause it’s been quite vague. This is my journey of like discovery. And like, Elizabeth Gilbert’s idea, like an idea will come along. But it’s like it’s had to shape me into the version it needed to do it justice when I share it.

Jessy:  Brilliant. It’s like Wild Within it just you know, because it was like, right, and I’m not gonna write a book. And then it’s sort of like, no, this is what it is. This is the name, you’ve got to do it. And I’m like, but I can’t at the minute. So, I totally get it. It’s like when the idea downloads it could, I was going to say controls, but it takes you on this journey, doesn’t it? And its sort of like, this is what you have to do. And we’re almost like, okay, then take us on it. But what a journey hey,

Jacqui:  Yeah. Oh, God. Yeah.

Jessy:  And I’m just so grateful that I’ve got people like you to be on this journey with because you get it as well. Don’t you?

Jacqui:  Yeah, it would be a bit much on your own. Wouldn’t it?

Jessy:  Definitely definitely okay. So, we’re just coming to the end. So, is there anything that you wanted to promote or anything you wanted to share with anyone who’s watching?

Jacqui:  So, at the time of the interview its being set up but the plan is, by the time this is out the Pieces to Peace network will be up and running more, which is kind of like a way for people who are on this path, people who are interested like whether it’s Wild Within, Pieces to Peace, this idea of kind of being the whole of who you are, and listening to the whispers of the universe and listening to the whispers of your soul coming together and networking, not business networking, but kinda like soul networking, like connecting. How can we help each other move forward and then in that kind of like quiet, connected space, okay, what’s my next step? The getting quiet in connection with others, honoring the wholeness in each other and that we’re all on a journey, that kind of networking, meeting and additional kind of like, you know, intention setting action taking sessions as well reflection sessions following synchronicity, all of these kinds of things.

Jessy:  Sounds so powerful. I can’t wait. I can’t wait for it. But obviously, I’ll put the link around the recording somewhere. But yeah, we’re recording this in, well, it’s the last day of July, but the plan is to have them go live maybe September, October time and that’s going to come around in the blink of an eye, isn’t it? I

Jacqui:  Oh yeah.

Jessy:  It’s going. So, I will put the link to that around.

Jacqui:  2020 quite the year.

Jessy:  Well I keep thinking its clarity, though, isn’t it? It’s almost like right. This is it. You’ve got it. It’s got to be clarity around everything. Let’s cut through all the bullshit, all the layers. This is the truth. Yeah, that’s how I’m seeing it. And it really is. It’s making us face those uncomfortable, challenging feelings and thoughts that we’ve been hiding from all these years. It’s needed though isn’t it?

Jacqui:  Oh, God yeah.

Jessy:  Yeah, definitely. Brilliant. Well, thank you so so much, Jacqui. As always, such a pleasure to connect. Okay. Fantastic. Well take care and we will see you soon obviously. Bye

 

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Wild Within Interview – with Nicola Humber

Join me in this Wild Within Interview with Nicola Humber.

Nicola Humber is mentor to unbound women. She activates recovering good girls to embrace their so-called imperfections and shake off the tyranny of ‘shoulds’, so they can be their fullest, freest, most magnificent selves.

Nicola is the author of two transformational books, Heal Your Inner Good Girl and UNBOUND. She’s also the founder of The Unbound Press, a soul-led publishing imprint for unbound women.

Get your 100 writing prompts here

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Transcript of interview:

Time: 29:19 minutes

Jessy: Okay, so we are recording now and I just wanted to say a huge huge welcome to the beautiful gorgeous Nicola Humber, Author of Heal Your Inner Good Girl and Unbound, running all these amazing writing projects for us mere mortals to write our books.
I’ve known Nicola for so many years and she has been the most supportive, wonderful mentor, friend, angel, I don’t know whatever words you want to put in there you can do.
I just wanted to take this opportunity to introduce Nicola, interview you and know how you got on this path, you know, what you’ve been working on.
And actually, it was from your words, I think it was from Unbound where you talk about your Unbound Self, your wild self. That was the seed that was planted and has put me on this journey. So, did you want to spend just a few minutes just introducing yourself because I know I’m not great at introductions.

Nicola Humber: That was a brilliant introduction and I will say I am definitely a mere mortal. I’m definitely a human being.

Jessy: Well then, you’re absolutely perfect for this because that’s what Wild Within is about.

Nicola Humber: Exactly it’s all about being in our humaneness. So, thank you, Jessy for lovely introduction. And I’m so grateful that we’ve been connected for all these years and like to, to see your journey and to have you kind of coming along on my journey as well, has just been a complete blessing. So, let me try and introduce myself, I don’t find it easy!

 

Jessy: You’re doing so much, I can’t keep track.

 

Nicola Humber: It’s really quite simple. It feels a lot simpler now than it was for many years. When I started to walk this unbound path, and I guess it was like, you know, you would call it almost like a rewilding path, I guess. And I didn’t even realize that that’s what I was doing. You know, at the time. But for many years, once I moved away from what I knew, I didn’t want to do anymore, which was kind of following that good girl path of working in a corporate environment and being in an office. You know, I knew I didn’t want to do that, so, I made a decision to leave and initially retrained as a Coach and a Hypnotherapist. And I thought, okay, that will be it. That’s what I’ll do. For the rest of my life, I’ll be a Hypnotherapist and have a Hypnotherapy practice. But actually, that was only the beginning of the journey. And it’s been a really twisty turny path which I’m sure many of us can resonate with. Sometimes it feels like we’re going back from ourselves. And for a lot of years actually I didn’t really know who I was or what I was here to do. Whereas now like through writing my books, like you, said Heal Your Inner Good Girl, with someone the other day thought was kill your Inner Good Girl. She was introducing me and she said Nicola Humber, Author of kill your Inner Good Girl. It could be you know, but it’s a bit harsh.

 

Jessy: We’re not murderers.

 

Nicola Humber: It’s a bit extreme. I’m all about accepting different parts of you. Particularly through writing Unbound, I kind of feel like I’ve received the opportunity to work with other women to help them write their books and create the Unbound press. And so, now that’s what all of my work kind of revolves around is my own writing, and helping other women to write. So, it feels very simple to me. But it might not look like that from the outside.

 

Jessy: I think because I knew you when you were doing, you were focusing on the money side of things and those kinds of Live Your Gift, the Money Mastery programs and all. I’ve been with you for a while! Just thinking, yeah, we’ve done a lot.  You have helped me massively, and especially your book Heal Your Inner Good Girl. Wow, everything I’ve done with you has transformed something. But, you know, that was the beginning and then Unbound. Like I said, it just planted that seed and now, you know, you’ve put me on this, no you’ve not put me on this journey, but I’m on this journey with you.  Actually, no, because it was really, I had no choice, did I? Because you sort of invited me to write this book. And I was like, no, no, no, we can’t do it. And I was in a place, you know, my head was sort of saying no, no, no. And then my heart was just like, you’ve got to do it. You’ve just got to do it. And I downloaded the Release Your Wild Within and I was just like I can’t not do it.

 

Nicola Humber: It’s like a calling. You know, I think we experience and I definitely experience that. And it is it’s, well, we can try and say no to it, but it will just keep kind of calling to us.

 

Jessy: Definitely, yeah. So, you said a little bit kind of what your path has been but what made you decide to change everything? You know what was at the core of that?

 

Nicola Humber: I was thinking about that Jessy, and it’s interesting because I can really remember the time. When I got to this point, I was kind of mid to late 30s. Working in finance, and for a few years I’ve known, this is not what I want to do with my life. I had no clue what to do. And I’d taken six months out to go traveling and I thought, well, maybe I’ll find the answer then but I didn’t. I came back, went back into my job as a financial planner. And then I got headhunted by another company. And I thought, Oh, well maybe this is it, maybe I’m just meant to work in a different company. And whereas I’d been working in a very kind of male dominated company before, this was a company that had been set up by two women, so it’s like, Okay, this is something different. But as soon as I found myself in that new office, and actually the day I kind of started there was, I think it was about day one of the financial crash of 2008. Everything was going crazy, and I had literally just started. But I was working in this little office at the top of this old building, and I literally felt a kind of caged animal. It’s like, I can’t be working in this environment anymore. The 9 to 5, having to be there every day and sit at this desk. It makes me feel quite sick thinking about it now.

 

Jessy: You’re saying it is making me go uugh.

 

Nicola Humber: You know, and if you’re doing work you love then Okay, maybe that’s okay. But it wasn’t, it wasn’t aligned with me, who I was, with my soul. And I used to go out in my lunch hour every day and either sit in the park when the weather’s good enough.

 

Jessy: Yeah

 

Nicola Humber: Go to a coffee shop and I was just asking the question that what can I do? What am I meant to do? And then I went for a weekend away with my sister at a health spa, I saw this demonstration by this hypnotherapist, and I’d never had hypnotherapy before. And she was quite eccentric. She was definitely connected with her Wild Within, like a crone, she was doing it in our own way.

 

Nicola Humber: I don’t know it just kind of clicked within me and I knew that this is what I’m meant to do, so I followed that because I knew I just couldn’t stay

 

Jessy: Brilliant

 

Nicola Humber: and caged in that environment anymore.

 

Jessy: Yeah, fantastic. So, what kind of, this is a really huge question, but what were your processes of kind of letting go of all the conditions that were put on you all those shoulds, all those kind of, your idea of what you should be? What did you do you let go?

 

Nicola Humber: It’s a continual process I think, you know, you’ll identify with this Jessy, we’re continually coming up against this conditioning. It’s so strong, and it shows up everywhere. Like in our families, our friendships, our work, in society, in general, these ideas about who and how we should be.

 

Jessy: Yeah.

 

Nicola Humber: This is certainly, you know, one of my first experiences with that, was kind of doing my hypnotherapy training. And that was just such a personal journey of discovery for me where I could see all these ways that I’d been kind of conforming and trying to fit in and holding back. So, you know, that was an amazing training, in order to be able to work with other people but also you know, for myself personally, and I’ve just been through so many different modalities. I did a two-year Gestalt counseling diploma, and again, that helped me to unpick it, so many more layers. And now I’m just, I guess I have quite a few different practices that I use, like journaling, writing is one of them because I naturally love to do.

 

Nicola Humber: But then a lot of it comes through, interacting with others, like when I’m speaking, maybe with a client or in a group, like whether I’m holding space for that group or I’m part of the group.

 

Nicola Humber: I just, I think we learn so much by being with each other. Stuff gets reflected back to us. And we learn so much about ourselves through that.

 

Jessy: And when you’re talking, it’s making me think of the spiral.

 

Nicola Humber: Yeah.

 

Jessy: You know, I love spirals because it’s like, every time we think we’ve let go of things. But we come to it again. And it’s like, we shed another or it’s like the snake, isn’t it? We shed another layer of skin.

 

Nicola Humber: Yeah.

 

Jessy: And then it’s like, okay, I’ve UN-become more and stepping into kind of your true self a little bit more each time. But it’s amazing how many layers of conditioning there are on us, isn’t it?

 

Nicola Humber: Yeah, yeah, it is. And, that’s why I think it’s really important that we are kind to ourselves and not judge ourselves. Like if this stuff keeps coming up, I love, absolutely the spiral. That’s why, I wanted the spiral to be like the logo for the Unbound press and a really messy spiral as well.

 

Jessy: Yes. Which is why I wanted to go with it.

 

Nicola Humber: I know. I know. It is it’s messy.

 

Jessy: Yeah.

 

Nicola Humber: And we do keep coming around to the same thing.

 

Jessy: Yeah.

 

Nicola Humber: But from a different perspective. You know, and I think that’s what’s important. And, you know, like I said, to be kind to ourselves in that process, and I know, we all have moments where that frustration kicks in, I’m not saying I don’t have that. But the more I experienced this, the more I’m able to just be more curious about it and go, oh, okay, this is back again. And have more of a kind of playful approach to it.

 

Jessy: And it’s a different perspective, but also,  you’ve gathered more, well what I call you gathered more tools along the way and you’re stronger in a different way, and I always think things aren’t sent to you that you can’t deal with, even though it might not feel that you can deal with at the time but you know, it’s that you are stronger and you can cope with it much better can’t you?

 

Nicola Humber: Absolutely. Yeah, exactly, exactly. Every time you come around to it, you’re more resourced in different ways. In order to be able to move through it or whatever you need to do.

 

Jessy: Yeah, definitely. So, who kind of or who or what influenced you along the way? So, you already said about your, you know, seeing the hypnotherapist and so I expect you’ve got a long list of people.

 

Nicola Humber: Yeah, I have. It will be like the Oscars when they tried to kind of get us off the stage. And they go

 

Jessy: I want to thank so and so. But like the main influencers, what do you think?

 

Nicola Humber: Yeah, there have been so many. I mean, how I came to work with the word unbound initially was through Danielle Laporte’s desire map process where she helps you to identify your core desired feelings. And that was a real kind of turning point for me. Like coming into contact with that word. I don’t know if I’d ever used that word before. But when I was working through the desire map, one of my core desired feelings initially was freedom, but it just didn’t feel, it felt a bit wishy washy. It didn’t feel, I always know if something is kind of resonating with me because I feel it in my body. And I think that’s quite an animal thing.

 

Jessy: Yeah. That’s the, the instincts that we need to trust.

 

Nicola Humber: Exactly. Yeah. So, freedom wasn’t doing it for me. So, I was looking up different words, that meant something similar. And as soon as I saw the word unbound, I was like yes.

 

Jessy: Got goosebumps you just saying that again.

 

Nicola Humber: Yeah. Because, you know, well, one of the definitions was without a cover or binding, and I love that now, like in relation to a book as well, it’s just like, yeah. But it’s also that kind of suggestion or that knowing that something has previously been bound. And, like you’re freeing yourself from it. You’re UN-binding yourself from it. Just felt really powerful to me.

 

Jessy: It still feels really powerful.

 

Nicola Humber: Yeah, yeah. I still love that word. I must say it so many times every day.

 

Jessy: Do you challenge yourself, how many times can I say it?

 

Nicola Humber: I know, sometimes I’m like Nicola come on, can you use a different word? You know resonates still with me and I know it resonates with so many others, particularly women who have felt this way. It’s got a really potent energy and sometimes it can be quite unruly. Usually it’s quite unruly you know, since I’ve started working with that word it certainly hasn’t always been smooth sailing.

 

Jessy: And in your book, you’re sort of saying how when you first connected with your Unbound Self, you were scared of her. And it makes me think of, I don’t know if you’ve watched the movie Life of Pi, when he’s on the on the boat and he’s with the tiger and that’s essentially his Shadow, Self and

 

Nicola Humber: Yeah.

 

Jessy: You think cause that is like, first of all, you’re scared of that.

 

Nicola Humber: Yeah, yeah.

 

Jessy: Yeah.

 

Nicola Humber: Absolutely. You know until we’ve integrated more of our, you know what I call the Unbound Self or the Wild Within, it can feel scary and it was when I was writing Heal Your Inner Good Girl, I created these meditations to connect with that Inner Good Girl and then the Unbound Self. So, I thought, okay, I’ll do it for myself, and listen to my own

 

Nicola Humber: Meditation and yeah, my Unbound Self. I mean, she was very dark and witchy, there was a lot of rage. She was like this kind of ball of dark energy. And she was just moving around really quickly, and it was on a wild and windy beach and I thought, Oh, my goodness. I kind of want to put her back in the box. I don’t know if I can handle that. Yeah, but I’d suppressed a lot of rage and a lot of anger over the years because we’re taught that we shouldn’t show that it’s not acceptable.,

 

Jessy: Especially as women.

 

Nicola Humber: But yeah, that’s it. And so, your Unbound Self is always going to show you any parts of you that you’ve been suppressing or holding back.

 

Jessy: I love that. I love that. And throughout your journey, you know, you’ve talked about visualizations and how you kind of connect with your body. That felt sense. How easy or difficult and like what practices do you use to stay connected to that and listen to your instincts?

 

Nicola Humber: I tend now to go straight to the body actually, like I used to because my trainings in hypnotherapy there was a lot in that, We’re trained to work with people who you know, who would maybe or not so kind of visually oriented. A lot of it is visualization. So that was initially what I would do. But actually, I tend to experience things much more as a felt sense. So, what I will do now is, if something’s coming up for me that I want to check in around, I will just tune into my body and notice any physical sensations and literally just ask my body, like maybe a specific part of my body, what do I need to know right now? What do you want me to know? And I think the key thing, because the answers are always there, but we don’t always trust there. When I used to have my hypnotherapy practice clients would often say, oh, wow, you know, I’m not sure if I’m just making this up. And it’s like, no, it kind of doesn’t matter because it’s interesting that you’re making that specific thing up. That’s coming from your subconscious anyway.

 

Jessy: Yeah.

 

Nicola Humber: You know, the key piece is, is to trust it and listen to those answers you would say.

 

Jessy: Brilliant. So, you’ve spent so much more time really connecting to your true self, to those kind of what I call the animal instincts, the very basic instincts and really tuned into how to listen to that. So, the journaling, the asking your body. I love that. That’s brilliant. It’s so simple. I think this is a problem. We overcomplicate it. We think too much about it all.

 

Nicola Humber: Oh, my goodness, there’s so many different ways, out there, that we can connect with our true selves. I’ve tried so many of them and yeah, they can be amazing and powerful. But I just think the simple ways are always the most powerful.

 

Jessy: Yeah, definitely. Look at animals. They don’t complicate things. They don’t sit there going, hmm I wonder. They really just trust their instincts, don’t they?

 

Nicola Humber: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. You know, the more we can kind of drop out of our minds and into our bodies, the better, I think.

 

Jessy: Brilliant, I love it. I love it. And yeah, so I mean, very cheeky question. If you were an animal what would you be and why?

 

Nicola Humber: Again, thinking about this or like feeling into it because I kind of don’t want to choose one.

 

Jessy: Who said it’s one? You’re unbound!

 

Nicola Humber: I know I know. Actually, it’s interesting because at the end of last year, I was working with a mentor of mine and she was taking me through this process. And like the hawk came through for me very strongly. And a couple of days previously, we’ve had a couple of experiences with a hawk near where we live. Like there’s hawks actually catching animals and it caught a squirrel and dropped out onto the path in front of my face. So, there was a lot of hawk kind of medicine coming through, quite extreme. But when it came through in this process, there was just something about, like just being able to see really clearly and that focus. It was at the end of 2019, so it was like qualities that I wanted to bring through in 2020. The hawk came up for me again, recently, when I was pulling my animal cards, then the hawk came and it just, yeah, at the moment, there’s something about its fierce, and that kind of clarity and focus. So that’s the animals that feels most present at the moment.

 

Jessy: Yeah. And also, for me, you saying that it’s coming up that you’re the kind of person who, once you have a focus, you go and you get it, you’ve got that kind of determination.

 

Nicola Humber: I think that comes from trust as well actually. And that hasn’t always been there. But I’ve learned to trust life and also now, to check in around ideas. Like earlier this week, I was out for a walk and I had an idea drop in about something I could create and offer. And my initial thought was almost like, share it immediately, like almost when I was out for my walk, I’d like to go to Instagram stories and just kind of say about it. And it’s like no. So, just give yourself a minute to check in and is this something you really wanted to do? And I recognized very quickly, no. Because like spaciousness is really important to me right now. But I’ve learned to like trust if something feels right to go with it, even if it doesn’t feel like it makes sense, but to yeah.

 

Jessy: I love that so much and I think that’s the essence of it, isn’t it? We need to trust ourselves because the Western World we’re in, it’s so much of all these conditions and shoulds and things that we completely forget who we are. And really, if we step into who we are, like Tonya said to you, at the retreat, we had a writer’s retreat that we went on. You stepped into your calling, you trusted that and you’ve helped so many of us along the way. So, trusting ourselves isn’t selfish. It’s actually, you’re creating something for everybody then.

 

Nicola Humber: Yeah, exactly. Like each one of us. Like, look what you’re doing Jessy in your community like it ripples out.  I’m always looking to do and like each book with the unbound press, is to activate others, like to connect with their own and their true selves and their true purpose. And so, when we’re able to do that, it can’t help but activate lots of other people around us so it’s just ripples out and out, and it’s such a magical thing.

 

Jessy: It’s beautiful. Thank you. Thank you for stepping up. I keep saying this to you because I think I would not have been on this path and the book writing process in itself. My goodness. It’s not just ‘I will write a book’. You live it, don’t you? Absolutely. You live it and the shifts that have happened and changes and everything. I feel like a brand-new person now, it’s amazing.

 

Nicola Humber: Yeah.

 

Jessy: It’s not just a book. Its life changing. It really is.

 

Nicola Humber: Yeah.

 

Jessy: And you’ve written two

 

Nicola Humber: Well I’ve written three now. Get the new ones out in October. Yeah. And each time, you know, I think you become more who you’re here to be.

And I love that. I do think I should maybe kind of, warning at the beginning of the process, I do say it’s gonna be transformational. But you can’t, like I said, until you’ve kind of gone through it. You can’t kind of appreciate exactly how transformational it is. But that’s what makes them so powerful. You know, when they go out into the world. They have such an impact because you’ve allowed yourself to experience this transformation as you were writing it.

Jessy: Yeah, definitely. Definitely. Oh, thank you. Thank you so much and I won’t keep you much longer but you know, is there anything that you kind of wanted to promote or invite people to or anything that you’re working on?

Nicola Humber: I mean, I think if somebody is watching this and they’re interested, like even writing a book or just connecting more deeply with themselves, then I’d recommend my Unbound writing prompts. And the link to that is nicolahumber.com./unbound-writing-prompts. I think.

Jessy: I will put the link somewhere around the video.

Nicola Humber: Don’t rely on mine but that gives you 100 different writing prompts. Some are about kind of you’re Inner Good Girl. Some are about your Unbound Self and the different principles of living unbound. And they can help you like if you’re wanting to write a book to give you inspiration for that or just if you want to use them for your own personal process. So, that’s the main thing. But yeah, or just come and connect with me like on Facebook or Instagram, drop me a message, I’d love to hear from you.

Jessy: And I highly recommend Nicola. So, you know, definitely. And I love the prompts as well because, you know, even if you’re not wanting to write a book, just that journaling aspect, it’s such a deep connection with yourself as well isn’t it, so cathartic and healing

Nicola Humber: Yeah, and sometimes we need somebody else to ask the question. So, you know, they are really a series of questions to help us reflect back more deeply.

Jessy: Fantastic. Well thank you, thank you so so much for agreeing to do this with me. And just as always thank you for just being because you’ve helped me so much with everything. So fantastic. Brilliant.

Nicola Humber: Thank you, Jessy. Thank you for inviting me and thank you for the work you’re doing in the world. It’s so very needed. I really appreciate it.

Jessy: Bless you. Oh, well, thank you so much. So, yeah, that’s the end of the interview. Take care.

Jessy and Nicola Humber: Bye

 

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Wild Within Interview – Judi Craddock, Body Confidence Coach

Join me in my interview with Judi, Body Confidence Coach and hear her amazing personal journey and strategies she uses to keep connected to her True Inner Self and honour her needs.

“I’m a Body Confidence Coach who helps women accept & respect their bodies. I help them stop wasting their life chasing the ideal body and get back their time, energy and head space for the things that matter most to them. Helping women stop chasing the perfect body and embrace the one they’re in.”

Buy your copy of Little Book of Body Confidence from Amazon – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Little-Book-Body-Confidence-ways/dp/1975906632 
Watch the 35 min interview here:

To get your copy and to get the odd email from me (monthly at the moment), please sign up on the following link: Sign up for Release the Wild Within

Transcript of the interview:
Jessy:  Okay, so welcome to this interview with the wonderful Judy. Judy is a body image coach. I have known this wonderful lady for so many years. She works with women who are fed up with wasting their life trying to achieve this perfect body image that we’re sold. And she helps them accept the body they’re in. So, they have more time and energy and headspace for actually what is important and what matters to them. This ties in very nicely with the book that I’m writing; Release the Wild Within. Because that is very much about stripping away the conditions that are put on us and being our very true selves in a sort of human form, rather than what we think we should be. So yes, welcome, Judy. And thank you for doing this interview with me.

Judi:   Thank you so much for having me, Jessy. It’s great to have an excuse just to chat with you.

Jessy:  I know. I do love our chats. We do them far too infrequently. We need to do it more frequently.

Judi:   We do, absolutely. So, this is perfect to chat with you.

Jessy:  Wonderful. I’ve always loved your work though.

Judi:   Thank you.

Jessy:  The first moment we met and you were talking about body confidence and body image and I think at the time I was doing photography things and,

Judi:   That’s right.

Jessy:  Yeah, really connected, didn’t it?

Judi:   Absolutely, yes. And you were doing some wonderful photography with women to help them feel more comfortable in their bodies, you know? Sort of getting them familiar with looking at their bodies and just kind of recognizing the beauty that they have also within themselves as much as what you kind of see on the outside so. I remember a beautiful photograph that you had of a lady’s tummy and she had a little, I don’t know, maybe even been you I’m not sure, but you had like a little heart, right around the belly. And I think you allowed me to use that…

Jessy:  Yes, yes.

Judi:   On one of many websites that I had. I always remember that one.

Jessy:  This is brilliant. Yeah, that was I think I did the jelly bellies project and sort of the bellies after childbirth, because that’s something that’s just not very public, sort of, after giving birth, kind of what happens to the bellies and things like that. So that was one of the moms I’d photographed and she’s done a heart on the belly. I forgot about that, too.

Judi:   I always remember that you know, that. To me, it encapsulated what you did at the time, so yeah, yes.

Jessy:  Yeah.

Judi:   Wonderful.

Jessy:  Brilliant. So really, this interview is more about you, because what’s always struck me about you and the way you work is, you’re very much your authentic self. You come across very true to sort of what work you do in your videos and your messages. And like the other day I caught the video of you talking about body hair. And…

Judi:   Oh yes.

Jessy:  Obviously as animals, we have body hair. When you look at dogs and cats, so things like that. So, what kind of got you onto this path? And tell us a little bit how you kind of got into this?

Judi:   Yeah, that’s a great question. Well, I mean, I sadly struggled with my body image from quite an early age. So, I was bullied in primary school from quite a young age on my appearance. And so, I kind of grew up thinking that there was something unacceptable about the way that I looked. I was a bit weird. I was ugly and I you know, I was unlovable. And, that sort of carried through into a part of my adult life. Until I reached a bit of a turning point at the age of 30. I think I was 35. And I had just come out of a relationship which was emotionally abusive. And that was a turning point for me and at that point, I was fed up feeling, you know, unlovable, not good enough, and unworthy. I really decided that I wanted to do something about it. And my ex-partner had been very critical of my appearance, and he’d kind of been feeding off all of the insecurities I already had. And so, it left me in quite a difficult place, of a very low place. Um, it was around about that time that I discovered coaching and I went. I had some coaching myself, and I did a lot of research into coaching. And then I decided to train as a coach myself, but it was really that process, of being coached and learning about coaching myself, that enabled me to begin to transform how I felt about not just my body, but also myself. And so, the journey that I went on is the same one that I really want to help other women to embark on themselves. Because I just think and I see this with so many women. you know, women in my community and the women that I work with that, you know, life is just it really is too short to spend it, kind of hating your body and holding yourself back from doing all the things that are really important to you. In a nutshell, that’s my story of how I kind of got to become the body image coach if you like.

Jessy:  Yeah, fantastic. And like you, say it’s not only about body acceptance. It’s those feelings that are coming up of being unworthy, unlovable, and, you know, it’s so much deeper than just the physical side of things, isn’t it?

Judi:   Absolutely.

Jessy:  There’s a lot of external kind of conditions that have been put on you there and, you know, with your ex and all that. So, what are your processes of letting go of those stories or those external conditions?

Judi:   Yeah. Well, I really feel like again, it comes back to the coaching. And, I really feel that in some ways, it really saved me. And it enabled me because I learned, it enabled me to understand that actually just because I think something about myself, it doesn’t make it true.

Jessy:  Thought aren’t facts!

Judi:   Thought aren’t facts. And also, I realized that a lot of the things I believed about myself didn’t come from me, they came from outside of me. And, and those coaching tools, they kind of teach you those principles. It was a complete revelation to me that I could control what I thought. I didn’t have to believe something about myself just because somebody else said it. And even my own thoughts weren’t necessarily, I mean, coming from me.

Jessy:  Exactly.

Judi:   So it’s a truth I learned through coaching and that process of working through and understanding what are those beliefs that hold you back, and being able to let them go and in their place and decide what you want to believe about yourself instead, and put in place more empowering beliefs that are going to support you in your life rather than hold you back. So, for me coaching and that process of letting go those limiting beliefs was just, well, I don’t know what I would have done without it. I think coaching saved me from a lifetime of believing all this shit that I’ve been put on me from by other people and just through general life experience.

Jessy:  Exactly.

Judi:   It’s what I am still doing today, you know? You know, you’re 40 years old and you suddenly realize that oh my goodness, I believed all this horrible stuff about me what’s taking you 40 years to get there? It doesn’t just go away. It’s a constant process of releasing it and…

Jessy:  Yes.

Judi:   creating new beliefs. But, you know, I’m a firm believer anything you can learn, you can unlearn it. And also, a bit of a science geek as well. And so, I love the whole area of neuroscience and that totally supports. That is the case because we’ve a lovely little concept called neuroplasticity, which means that our brains…

(dogs barking)

Jessy:  Ignore the dogs.

Judi:   It’s, you know, our brains can rewire to create different beliefs about ourselves. So yes, I think the coaching really got me on that path of challenging those unhelpful beliefs and deciding that I can choose what I believe about myself so that I can lead in a much calmer, more fulfilling and happier life.

Jessy:  Exactly. And I love when you say all these things, because it resonates so much with kind of what I say and what I think this is why we’re friends because you know, our values and ethics are so similar. And I love that you’re a science geek and you just roll those kinds of science-y things off your tongue. But it is, isn’t it? It’s a proper rewiring. You know, I call it as, you know, like when you’re hacking your way through the jungle, you know?

Judi:   Yes.

Jessy:  You’re making new sort of pathways in your brain, aren’t you? Is that right science geek?

Judi:   It is. It is something similar. I talk about walking through like a field of like wheat or something and you thread it over time it gets trodden down. But it takes a while for it to kind of grow back again and sort of disappear. And then you can create another path through this similar kind of metaphor for it. Yeah.

Jessy:  Brilliant. So, you know, who’s kind of influenced you? Or who’s helped you make these changes or what has helped you make these changes? And then you’ve covered it a little bit. Yeah.

Judi:   Well, I mean, that’s an interesting question, because I was kind of thinking about how did I kind of get into coaching and understanding those principles in the first place? And actually, I can remember reading this book called Be Your Own Life Coach by Fiona Harrell. And I read it in the early 2000s which at that point you know, coaching wasn’t and its concepts weren’t totally mainstream. It was still kind of on the periphery. And I think somebody where I worked recommended it to me and I read it. And it really had a profound effect on me and the way I started thinking about things. Fiona Harold, who was kind of, I suppose she was one of the coaches, first life coaches that kind of gained any degree of prominence. And she wrote several books. And so the ideas that she came up with were quite influential. And, you know, she helped me realize that actually, we can take responsibility for our own lives and that we can actually achieve anything we want to we just have to believe that we can do it. And again, it comes back to those limiting beliefs of the things that really hold us back. So, she was very influential in me sort of wanting to make a change. But I just also think that obviously life experiences can be a catalyst for change and a real influence, can’t they? And for me, I actually think the more painful experiences have been big catalysts for change then sort of the happier experiences in life. So, for me, you know, splitting up with my ex who was emotionally abusive, that was a huge catalyst for me to change. Because I kind of felt like I hit rock bottom. Once you hit rock bottom, you kind of left I felt like well, I can only really go up now. So now is the time to make things so yeah, there’s life experiences, which at the time don’t always feel very pleasant and can be quite painful, can sometimes actually create a catalyst for amazing change and transformation.

Jessy:  Yeah.

Judi:   So, I have to thank him. Even though he was a bastard. So, thank him for that.

Jessy:  Well, this is it, isn’t it? You know, when we’re going through those difficult times, well, your life is literally being pulled apart, isn’t it?

Judi:   Yes.

Jessy:  Your insides feel like they’re falling apart and like you say, you hit rock bottom. But then, there’s that motivation of, I can’t stay here forever and needing to make that change. And I’m glad you, you did. Because well, in a way, yes, thanking him because without you going through that experience you wouldn’t now be helping other women, you know, nipping it in the bud before they get to the point you got to even.

Judi:   Yes.

Jessy:  You know?

Judi:   Absolutely and like because sometimes women don’t feel good about themselves, and they have poor body image, they can find themselves in these particularly horrible relationships because they don’t think they deserve any better. So, before you know it, they’re in, I mean, I was in an emotionally abusive rather than a physically abusive, which, you know, they’re both not great. They’re both bad. But yes, I mean that that can happen because you don’t feel like you deserve any better. So yes, absolutely, if you can get to them before, you know, they get into those situations, but that’s an amazing thing to be able to do.

Jessy:  Yeah… yeah, definitely. And, you know, what practices do you use? Or, you know, what do you do to sort of stay connected to your true self and to keep that voice? You know, having been in such a relationship, you know, I can imagine you’ve gone through so many processes and things but what strategies kind of would you share with others?

Judi:   Yeah.

Jessy:  Good question isn’t it?

Judi:   It is. I have to admit. Clearly there was a time when I wasn’t tuned into my inner voice, or even if I heard it, I didn’t pay any attention to it. I tried to push it down and actually with my ex, that’s one example of a time I didn’t. Because I know very early on there is a voice inside of me saying there were these little red flags. I just chose to ignore them and push them away.

Jessy:  So, your instincts were shouting out to you really.

Judi:   They were. At the beginning of the relationship, they were there and just before ended it, they were screaming at me.

Jessy:  Wow.

Judi:   And at that point, my voice was screaming so loudly that I did something about it. But one of the things that I have been really trying to do over the last few years is find a way to connect to that inner wisdom, that inner voice, my true self and really discover who that is. And one of the things I’ve been doing recently and really enjoying and finding useful is doing more journaling to kind of almost connect with, you know, my soul and what does it need me to know. What does it need me to be or what does it need me to do? Like it’s whispering to me, what is it saying? And I’ve also started using which I really love and I wouldn’t say I’m generally someone who’s all that woo but I’m loving using a beautiful deck of Oracle cards just to help pick one and then journal on that. The conversation started and I feel like it’s fine to make me have a conversation with my inner true self.

Jessy:  Yeah.

Judi:   And so, I’ve really been enjoying doing that.

Jessy:  I love that you say the cards are woo.

Judi:   Yeah, I think they do. Like people say about it but I actually read. I’m so into it now. And like if I don’t pick one every day now, I feel like it incomplete, There’s, something missing from my day. So, I love doing it now.

Jessy:  Brilliant.

Judi:   But I know that that inner message has always been there because it’s the me and this is what I tended to ignore as a very, it might have been a voice but it’s also a very physical feeling.

Jessy:  Yes!

Judi:   And I realized that my tummy or my gut is a very good guide of whether I should be saying hell yes or hell no to something. Because it’s that physical feeling, you know, is it excitement. Yeah, let’s do that. And this is good, or is it like that sort of sick feeling that feeling of dread, like no. And that was what I wasn’t good at listening to. But now it’s kind of my initial reaction. I’m like, Okay, I’m going to trust that. Because something is either. Yeah, that’s really good. Or that’s, that’s not right.

Jessy:  Brilliant. And that is kind of what my message is, as well. It’s that sort of, you know, we’re almost trained in society to just ignore those messages. But really, that is where the truth is.

Judi:   It is.

Jessy:  And like you say it manifests physically and, in your gut, and you know, I’ve got that as well with had so many conversations about this. You know, when you’re not in a good place you can quite physically get quite poorly can’t you? If you’re not listening.

Judi:   You can. And I think that’s why people end up with you know, I guess if that physical feeling for them is in their gut, they keep ignoring it perhaps that’s why they get conditions that relate to the guts. I don’t know whether that would be ulcers or you know, some kind of irritable bowel syndrome because they’re just not you know, listening to what their body’s telling them when the body is very efficient at going right, If you’re not listening to me on, I’m shutting shop or I’m doing something so you have to listen to me because I’m gonna make you have to lie on the sofa or on the bed knock it up.

Jessy:  Exactly.

Judi:   Until you listen.

Jessy:  And I love your journaling. You know, because this is what I say as well is that connection with your inner self, your soul, and your prompts are fantastic. Because, I mean, I use cards as well. And, you know, my family tease me because they’re quite logical scientific people but it’s about having that connection to something bigger, isn’t it in a way.

Judi:   Absolutely. And that is so useful because I think especially if you do it first thing in the morning before you dive into anything else. Because it just kind of makes you realize the bigger picture.

Jessy:  Yes.

Judi:   You know, like any sort of niggling worries you have. It’s like well no, you’re part of something bigger and you know, the universe has got your back and it. I don’t know. To me, I just find it very settling.

Jessy:  Yes.

Judi:   Way to get into the day. So, I love that.

Jessy:  Love it because what journaling is, it’s a minefield in itself, isn’t it? There’s so many different ways you can do it. But you know, essentially it is about that relationship with you and getting those messages from your soul. Absolutely. Fantastic. And is that a practice that you kind of stumbled upon or you know, how long have you been doing it for?

Judi:   I mean on and off. I’ve been doing it for quite a long time, but not consistently and it’s only bizarrely and maybe not bizarrely, but during lockdown. I don’t really know what happened, but I became a lot more introspective and a lot more focused on trying to listen to the whispers of my soul. And so, I have been doing it very consistently. And like I said, if I don’t do it now, I feel like I didn’t do that today and something doesn’t feel quite right. And I want to go to my Oracle cards and pull one out and, you know, sit down and write about it. So, it’s something that I have maybe done in the past when I’ve just got to the point where I feel like my head’s gonna explode, or I just need to get all this out. And so, it’s kind of taken over my headspace so much. And it’s something that I’ve always said to clients to kind of journal about their feeling just to help them let them out. They don’t want to come out, but I haven’t always been great, you know, taking my own advice. But yeah, the last the last few months I’ve been very consistent with it and I love it.

Jessy:  Brilliant.  Have you felt the change in that, in being consistent? Have you felt any shifts or any difference in that?

Judi:   Yeah, absolutely. I do feel like I’m a bit more in tune with me and what Judi really wants. And actually, I’ve never been great with boundaries. So, I can let people’s energy or their needs and wants to kind of invade my own. Sometimes when you work the sort of work that we do and you’re working with people and you really want to help,

Jessy:  Yeah.

Judi:   It’s easy for those boundaries to kind of be stepped on or invaded or however you want to word it. And I feel like doing that journaling and tuning into what I want and having that time is actually made me a bit more like, No, I have this boundary for a reason. And I’m kind of standing up for it a bit more than I would have done. So, I can see that shift is happening.

Jessy:  Wow.

Judi:   Because if you know what you want, and you need more, you’re more likely to stand up for it, aren’t you? And to create and make sure you honor that boundary. But if you don’t know, then it’s very easy for other people’s stuff to come at you from all sides. Before you know it, you’re completely overwhelmed.

Jessy:  Definitely. So, the journaling sounds quite simple, doesn’t it? But it’s really made you connect with your true self, your inner self, or wild self as I call it. And really have that clarity of what you stand for. And then that means that you know, the boundaries are coming easier because it’s sort of, no because I’m standing for this…

Judi:   Yes.

Jessy:  And you need to protect that and have that sort of clarity and vision not being stepped on or interrupted or anything and fantastic. Gosh.

Judi:   Absolutely. I mean, I can’t in all honesty say what would happening up in a heist situation where like, somebody needs something. Yeah, definitely. I feel like there is a shift taking place.

Jessy:  Wow.

Judi:   Well, I think you know, I’ve been on this planet for 49 years. So, I really want to get better at boundaries before I get too much older.

Jessy:  Really, it’s all about working at your pace isn’t it? And the right things come at the right time. So, you know, your journey has been such a font of learning hasn’t it you know? From that relationship to accepting yourself to having a voice and then helping other people. So, this feels like the next step and I think boundaries is something you know, I talk about that as well in my book but it’s something that I think we’re all learning all the time about boundaries and then do people kind of do different things at different times. And so, I think it’s a forever learning thing, anyway.

Judi:   Yeah, absolutely. I think you’re right. And the other thing about boundaries is, and I think, I don’t know who said it, but it kind of was during this business mentorship with Katherine Walking. Selling from the heart is her business.

Jessy:  Yeah.

Judi:   And she talks about the only thing you need to do is really to take care of yourself. And I think boundaries is a huge part of that because if you don’t protect yourself, you can’t be there for your family, your partner, your clients, your friends.

Jessy:  Yeah.

Judi:   I know. It’s kind of a revolutionary thing to me. It’s like, what my main job is just to look after myself. It’s like, Yeah, because then you’ve got the energy and the, you know, and you’re kind of fired up to do things. Because you’ve taken care of yourself and your own needs. It’s like, wow, that’s a revelation.

Jessy:  I know. And this happens when I talk to my clients, and they’re like, what self care? You know, but that selfish. So, it’s even that idea isn’t it? Again, it’s so simple, isn’t it? But extremely powerful. But like you said earlier in the work we do, we give so much of who we are, we need to look after ourselves. Well everyone and it’s not selfish, you know? Self-care element is massive. Because that is meeting our needs on a very basic kind of on an animal kind of level, isn’t it?

Judi:   Yes.

Jessy:  Yeah.

Judi:   Yeah. And actually, if you look at animals, I know that their brain is set up very differently to ours and the way that they approach things is very different. Because I guess they’re operating more from the lower level needs of like survival.

Jessy:  Yes.

Judi:   But actually, the way they behave I guess we could describe it as selfish but it’s not. They’re just doing what they need to do to survive and take care of their young and all the rest of it. So, it’s interesting.

Jessy:  Don’t you think in modern society we are pretty much in survival mode? A lot of the time, aren’t we?

Judi:   We are, yeah. We are because actually, we’ve been thrown so much information. And actually, I think there’s been some it’s probably not just one piece of research, but there’s lots of research to support that our brain is not designed to cope with the volume of information we get and so we go into that fight or flight mode, just because we’re overwhelmed with information and then we do like we’re trying to do survive all the time.

Jessy:  Yeah.

Judi:   To so many plates to spin and so many expectations to meet and it just becomes way too much. So, it’s hardly surprising if a lot of us feel like we are surviving rather than thriving.

Jessy:  Yeah, definitely. Oh, I love it. Brilliant. So, I won’t keep you too long. But one last question. if you were an animal, what would you be and why? We’ve got to get into the animal theme here.

Judi:   I mean I love animals so it’s difficult to pick one but actually, it would definitely be something that is feline. So, whether it would be just for domestic moggie or a more wild cat, big cats. And interestingly, I can remember doing I think it was on one of Nicola Humba’s workshops a few years ago when she was still in Southampton. And I went along to that, and she did a visualization and I saw myself as this tiger and I just loved it. And what I love about all types of cats is, they kind of stand in their power. They’re unapologetic,

Jessy:  Yes.

Judi:   They’re not trying to impress anyone, they just are what they are, and they’ve kind of got that strength and poise about them. And they’re very independent as well, which I love about them. And I’m not saying that I am standing in my feline power by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s definitely an aspiration.

Jessy:  Oh, I think you are. You’re standing in your power brilliantly. You do it so well.

Judi:   I mean I might just be like the sort of the Tabby stray at the moment, you know. Even they’ve gotten lots of poise for that. So, I’m getting there. I’m haven’t quite earned my tiger stripes yet. Something about the feline and one of my favorite songs, pop songs is Roar by Katy Perry. I love it. I don’t know if you know it.

Jessy:  Yeah.

Judi:   I love the lyrics and it’s all about, you know, being heard and having a voice and…

Jessy:  Yes.

Judi:   You know? I guess not allowing people to trample all over you and, you know, to sort of invade and push down your boundaries. So, yeah, I think that sums up to me why I want to be a lot more cats.

Jessy:  And it sums up your journey as well, isn’t it? Because you were kind of held down and you were just like, no, this is not happening. And then you came up with a roar and,

Judi:   Yeah.

Jessy:  Sharing that roar with everyone else. So, so yeah, if you are right, I’m sure those tiger stripes are there. You just need to look.

Judi:   I’m getting one in my hair now. Like I’m getting a silver stripe there so I am getting there but they’re just silver rather than black ones so.

Jessy:  Maybe that’s the human form of tiger stripes.

Judi:   Could be like if I start getting stripes along all through my hair, I will figure the universe is definitely trying to tell me something.

Jessy:  It’s when you start getting the gray hair in your eyebrows and then you think oh gosh, okay, this is a new chapter for sure.

Judi:   Those are your wisdom hairs.

Jessy:  Is that is what is called, is it?

Judi:   Yeah, that’s your wisdom for sure. It’s the sign that you know you are this wise, wise woman. You’re always a wise woman. We’re just getting wiser.

Jessy:  Well, we’re stepping into that power. We’re stepping into that wisdom just by simply the self-care and you know, connecting with ourselves and just listening to those instincts. I think that’s the core message. You know, certainly that I’m saying and you’re saying as well as isn’t it? It’s that acceptance of who we are and trusting our messages.

Judi:   Absolutely. And just honoring who we are and what we need and not trying to be something that we’re not or something that you know, doesn’t really fit with us.

Jessy:  Yeah.

Judi:   You know, I don’t have an unlimited amount of energy. So, I have to really honor my energy levels and kind of just make sure I do everything I can to minimize overwhelm and getting too tired. And I used to kind of beat myself up about that, but now I’m like, well, I’ve always been this way. You know, it’s something I’m going to work with, I need to honor myself and take care of myself. So, I guess that’s what happens is you kind of step into that wisdom.

Jessy:  Definitely

Judi:   Though I certainly wasn’t doing when I was 30 something. I’m just pushing against it all the time.

Jessy:  Yeah, no, definitely. And this is it, isn’t it? I think this is the change that almost needs to happen is that we need to go through that bit to get to the wisdom, in a way.

Judi:   Yeah

Jessy:  Fantastic.

Judi:   It’s there. We just have to tap into it, don’t we?

Jessy:  Brilliant. Yeah. Just look at animals. They’ve got it in buckets, haven’t they? And we just get distracted by media and all these messages of we’re not good enough. And we have to do X, Y and Z to have the perfect body blah, blah, blah. But actually, none of it matters, does it?

Judi:   It’s like you imagine cats going oh, well, you know, you look like you put on a bit of weight…you fur is not very shiny, is it? I mean, you imagine it’s just ridiculous.

Jessy:  I love that. That would be so funny. I wish they could talk, it would be amazing.

Judi:   I know what would they say?

Jessy:  I know, brilliant. So, are you kind of wanting to promote anything at the moment? Are you working on anything that you want to kind of let everyone know about?

Judi:   Well, I mean, I’ve actually got my book here which is The Little Book of Body Confidence, 52 Ways to Feel Good in Your Body, which is a nice introduction to body image work. It’s very accessible. It’s very simple. It’s got 52 simple yet effective strategies to help you just feel more comfortable in your body. And you don’t even have to read it cover to cover if you don’t want to. You can just look up the chapters and go with a couple of strategies and contents and go Okay, what do I fancy trying today? And so, they’re short chapters with little coaching questions at the end. It’s very accessible. So, there’s that really the best sort of introduction to my work. And if anyone wants to know more about me, they can go to thebodyconfidencecoach.co.uk find out more about everything else and how my coaching work.

Jessy:  Fantastic. And I’ll pop the links somewhere around the video as well. So, if anyone is interested that would be an easy way to find you. As ever, thank you so much, Judy. I love connecting with you always.

Judi:   Pleasure, likewise. So nice if we could make it like all afternoon, that would be great.

Jessy:  I know. It would, wouldn’t it? Well, I’m sure we’re gonna have so many more kind of connections and interviews and whatnot. But I think for now, if we close this, it’s a good place. And yes, thank you so so much for your time and wisdom and gorgeousness.

Judi:   Pleasure. Thank you for having me. Lots of love.

Jessy:  Thank you. Take care

 

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