The season 4 interview is here! And I’m so pleased to be joined by the wonderful Madeleine Onstwedder. In this episode we talk about the radical roots of self-care, how we can start to disentangle our sense of worth from our productivity and how somatic work can support our personal growth. I so loved this conversation and can’t wait to hear what you think.
Search for Seedling wherever you get your podcasts or listen here:
Links and further reading
- Madeleine’s Instagram, website and podcast
- Rhonda Magee on personal justice
- The Strozzi Institute
- Riding the Horse Backwards by Arnold and Amy Mindell
- The Art of Somatic Coaching by Richard Strozzi-Heckler
Hello everyone, I hope you’ve all had a good couple of weeks. Today on the podcast I’m sharing my interview episode! Every season I like to include one interview so I can share a voice that isn’t mine and this season I’m talking to the wonderful Madeleine Onstwedder who is a coach supporting those who want to make a difference in the world.
I met Madeleine a couple of years ago in a business Facebook group and I feel like we have a lot in common and share similar values and beliefs. In this episode we chat about her work as a coach, the radical roots of self-care, detaching our sense of worth from productivity and somatic work. So, get yourself a cup of coffee, sit back and enjoy!
Kat: Okay. Hi, Madeline. Thank you so much for joining me today. So before we get into this, I’d love it. If you could introduce yourself and maybe tell us a bit about your work as a coach.
Madeleine: Yeah. Well, thank you so much, Kat, for having me on the podcast. I’m so excited to be here and yeah, for anyone who doesn’t know, I’m Madeline, I work as a self-care coach for social impact professionals. Um, and I got into this work because, so actually, I started my career in art education. Um, so working at museums, trying to make art, especially contemporary art, more accessible to people who have historically been excluded from those places or just something that I did and do still really really care about. But I just noticed that there was such high rates of burnout and stress amongst myself and everyone who I worked with. Um, I think because when you really love and really care about what you do, it’s really hard to separate your like separate your identity from it, but then also do things like set boundaries or yeah, not kind of just take on way too much work, especially cause there’s just a lot of systemic problems like being chronically understaffed, and also underpaid, um, that just led to really high rates of mental health problems and burnout and stress, um, that I experienced myself and I had to step away from that and switch career paths because it just wasn’t sustainable for me.
Um, and that’s when I decided to, uh, pursue becoming qualified as a coach. So last year I completed the courageous living coaching certification program. Um, and yeah, now I work with people who are doing purpose driven work, whether that’s at nonprofits or NGOs. Um, or even in, like, small businesses, people who are really connected to the mission of their work, but maybe kind of struggle to create time and space for themselves because I’ve been there. And I know how hard it is to do that, especially when you really care about what you’re doing. Um, so yeah, I do a lot of stuff around like stress management, managing and preventing burnout, self-care, setting boundaries, all that kind of stuff. So yeah, I hope that, um, yeah, gives you a bit of an idea of what I do and who I am.
Kat: Yeah, Absolutely and it’s, it’s really helpful to hear your background. So your story about how you kind of got there and I do find a lot with coaches, a lot of us we’ve, we’ve been through something ourselves and then we want to help other people with a similar thing. So yeah, it sounds very much like, yeah. So something I was really, really fascinated to learn about when I started listening to your podcast, which is called With Purpose for anyone who hasn’t checked out, definitely do it’s really good. And was the, um, kind of more radical and political history of self-care. So you mentioned there that self-care is a big part of the work that you do and I’d love if you could share a little bit more about this kind of history of self-care for those who might not know, because I didn’t know anything about this and yeah, I just think it’s a really interesting thing to explore.
Madeleine: Yeah. It’s such a fascinating topic. Um, and it’s definitely something that I’m still letting more about. Um, but I’ll share you what I do know. So self-care, as a term was first used very much in a medical context in I think it was like the 1870s or something. Don’t quote me on that. Um, it was used to describe like patients being able to care for themselves autonomously and that being a part of that like step towards recovery, especially after things like strokes and things like that, but then it was actually first used in its current, like modern, I guess like how we think of self-care now, when it’s like doing things to replenish yourself and nourish yourself, um, it was actually first used by the Black Panthers in the US who a really important part of the civil rights movement and Black liberation in the US um, and they used self-care as part of their platform for building health clinics and free health clinics, for Black Americans.
They noticed that especially diseases like sickle cell anemia were really, really under, under researched underrepresented in the medical space because it predominantly affected Black Americans and so they wanted to create spaces for people to get the treatment that they needed and deserved, um, and also have health clinics available for preventative care as well. And they, um, used self-care as an important, like part of this platform of building free health clinics across the country. I think they built like 13 in total. Um, and yeah, so then they use self-care as a part of like going along with that, the fact that it was actually a really radical act to say, we are deserving of care. The government may not think so, the like racist society that we live in may not think so, but like we deserve this care, we deserve to be looked after and if the society, as a whole is saying that that’s not the case or acting like that’s not the case, that was a really radical thing to happen.
Um, and other activists in the movement like Audrey Lorde. Um, and I think Erica Huggins as well, I don’t know if I’m remembering that name correctly. Um, but they both like promoted self-care as well when they saw it as a really integral part of the movement, because it’s obviously really, it can be really psychologically damaging or harmful to be constantly surrounded by like really difficult circumstances and obviously like oppression, whether that’s racism or sexism or homophobia or transphobia, ableism has really big impacts on people’s psychological wellbeing. And so people in the activist space are really burning out and not being able to fight this fight in the long term. Obviously social change happens slowly. It doesn’t happen all at once, unfortunately. Um, and so it was really important for people to not be yeah, to not be burning out and, and becoming so depleted.
And so they would do things like helping people to practice yoga, um, and having, like, group sessions and things like that. Um, again, as a way of showing that, like we matter, like we are important, we matter, we deserve to be cared for and we are going to care for ourselves. And that I think is a really, really powerful, um, powerful statement and yeah, and I think that any marginalised group has kind of been told that they’re less important, um, less worthy and kind of, so I think self-care has these origins of being a radical, like reclamation of no, that’s not true. I do matter. I do deserve to be cared for.
Um, yeah and, and it’s really one of my, like, pet peeves, how much self-care has become so commodified and watered down and it’s so often used as a marketing tactic. Literally yesterday I saw on the Wayfair website, a section that was self-care essentials and it was a bunch of, like, fake succulents. And I’m like, really, this is essential to your self-care buying plastic succulents? Like if that is something that you want to do, great, more power to you, like, that’s awesome, but saying that that is essential, like it is essential that you have to spend $60 on this thing to practice self-care I just, oh, I hate it because self-care is so much more powerful than that and it doesn’t have to be expensive, it doesn’t have to be based in consumerism. I don’t think that it should be being used as a marketing tactic, especially when it has this really radical history. Anyway, I could go on such a long rant about that. So I’m going to stop. Yeah.
Kat: No, no it’s, it’s so interesting and I think that is, that’s kind of what got to me, I was just so surprised at where it all came from and as you said, how it’s changed so much over the years and what it’s kind of become now, and it’s, it’s amazing to come back to those roots and I love that your work does go into that and it does try and bring these roots back and saying like, especially if you are fighting for a cause if you are trying to make a difference in the world, then you have to remember that you are part of that you are part of that world and you need to not only care for the causes that you’re, you know, you’re working towards, but also for yourself, if you want to continue on the fight for whatever it is you believe in, you need to be taking care of yourself.
Madeleine: Definitely, definitely. Um, and there’s actually an activist and law professor, her name is Rhonda Magee and she talks about this concept of personal justice and basically like, how can we treat ourselves as kind of, uh, like testing out how we want everyone in the world to be treated. So like, how can I treat myself how I want the rest of the world to treat me too? Um, and kind of seeing that as she calls it like a first approximation to what justice might look like in the world. So, like, how can I treat myself with the, with the justice, with the respect, with the equality that I think that every human being is worthy of and yeah, I think that, that is so, so powerful.
Kat: Oh, that sounds really interesting, I’m going to have to check out their work, that sounds, yeah, I love the idea of personal justice. That’s such a great term. I love that.
Madeleine: Yeah. Yeah. Especially because I think like self-care and activism are so intrinsically linked and, but like self -care, this is something I often think about – like, self-care is something that we do for ourselves, but it isn’t something that we have to do by ourselves, um, is like changing the way that we treat ourselves does change the world in a small way and that can really ripple outwards and create a really big effect over time, especially when, you know, maybe especially if you’re like a prominent figure in a, in a movement or an organisation, modelling caring for yourself can set a really powerful example for everyone around you that then means that everyone is treating themselves with greater respect, greater care, greater compassion. And I just think that that is so, yeah, so wonderful.
Kat: Yeah. I totally agree. In fact, I think that’s in my intro to the podcast or something is about the fact that I believe that change starts with us and then it kind of ripples out to the world. Like we can change society if we change ourselves. So yes. Hard agree there, hard agree. Um, so with this all in mind, I know a topic around this that we’re both really passionate about is breaking the link between productivity and our sense of worth. So I would love for you to talk us through a little bit about why this can be such a problem for so many of us.
Madeleine: Yeah. Oh, so many reasons this is such a sticky, sticky topic, but I’m so glad that we’re talking about it. Yeah. I think that it really comes down to, like, toxic productivity, which I always think of as kind of like the belief that your work defines who you are and your work is more important than your wellbeing. Um, and I think that we’re often taught this from a really young age. I mean, how many of us can relate to the idea of, like, being praised for working hard and being scolded for, like, you know, playing too much or being distracted or like procrastinating on our homework? Like, I definitely feel like I was like, as a kid, you know, I was praised for doing things, even if it was detrimental to my own wellbeing, but praised for working really hard, being super productive, um, getting a lot of things done, you know, doing way too many activities at school, even when it left me with no time for myself.
But then I was like, scolded or kind of felt like I was looked down on for, you know, savouring my free time or for, like, watching a TV show instead of doing something more quote, unquote productive. Um, and so I think that it’s really, it’s an idea that we’re taught from such an early age and it’s so prevalent in society. And I really think that a big part of that is like capitalism and especially the industrial revolution, um, that really started seeing like in, during the industrial revolution with the rise of, like, factory work and things like that.
Um, oh my God, this is why my background in sociology, I studied sociology at uni, this is where it could really come up. Um, but one of my favourite sociologists talks about, um, like the forms of alienation from work and how, like, alienating the human being from the work and from the product actually does us a huge disservice because it values what is being produced over the person. And it views the person that’s being replaceable. And if you think of, like, a huge factory line, like one individual in the mind of the like, you know, factory owner, whatever one individual can be replaced, which is horrible. But I think that that has completely continued in the world of work now, um, what’s kind of seen as like, if you’re not, you know, pro like contributing to the company’s bottom line, then, like you don’t matter, it’s this idea that like, what really matters is your productivity. Like how much, how much money you’re making, how much you’re doing, how much you’re getting done rather than who you are, what you care about, what lights you up, what you’re passionate about, um, all of the amazing things that make you, you. So, yeah, I, I really think a huge part of it comes down to capitalism, but also the ways that, that infiltrates every part of our society, even when it comes to like teachers and, and parenting, because you know, we’re all taught these ideas and they’re just all around us, all the time. I think that’s why, part of why it’s so hard to disentangle ourselves from that, because it’s just everywhere.
Kat: Yeah, that’s so true and I’m, I’m learning a lot more about the capitalism side of it and as you said, the industrial revolution, um, and as you say, it’s just, yeah, we’re just taught it from a young age. I remember as well, kind of being told, you know, the amount of homework we had sometimes just blows my mind. Like, obviously I’ve not been in school for a very long time, so things may well be different now, but I remember being so stressed out. That’s when my anxiety started for me when I was back in school. I used to get headaches. I used to get chest pain back then it wasn’t identified as anxiety, but now I know it was, and a lot of it was because of a huge amount of work that I was doing. And yeah, it’s just so interesting to look back and see all of that.
And it’s definitely an area that I’m still working on. Um, I’ve definitely done a lot of work on it and I know a lot more about it than I used to, but I’d really love to hear your thoughts on how we can start to break the link. And I know it’s a huge thing, we’ve just talked about the fact that it is everywhere and it’s kind of entrenched in our society, but have you got any thoughts on the ways that we can start to detach our sense of worth from how productive we are, or ways that you’ve started to do it and how it’s helped you?
Madeleine: Yeah. Yeah. I think a really, really huge thing for me that I also talk about a lot with my clients is really intentionally cultivating a sense of identity and worth and purpose outside of your work. I think, like, how often is it that someone asks you to introduce yourself and the first thing you say is your profession, or like what you do for work and it’s kind of the norm, like, that’s kind of how we’re expected to answer that question. Um, and so I think a really powerful step can be to think about who am I outside of my work? What is my identity outside of what I do to make money? Um, and, um, with this, I think it can also be kind of tricky cause sometimes that toxic productivity that we feel with regards to our work, we can also feel with regards to our hobbies.
I know that for me, um, this has been a huge struggle when it comes to art because I did art in school, but then, you know, because I was doing art A-level and like art GCSE and art A-level, I had to, you know, fit to the mark scheme and have that very like productivity oriented mindset and that was what, what was expected of me. So now, even though I would love to have an identity as an artist it’s still so caught up in that productivity, um, like chasing mindset. And so I think that’s another thing to notice. Um, also, sorry, there’s a siren in the background, so I’m not sure if you can hear that.
Um, uh, so yeah, to just like pay attention to what are the, where are the places in your life where you feel that, um, toxic productivity mindset coming up and then figuring out identities that you have outside of that, because that toxic productivity can definitely come up in work, but it can come up in other areas too. And so it’s probably not a great idea to be focusing on, even if it’s hobbies, but they’re still, like, mired in that productivity, or like accomplishment is really important, then that might not be the healthiest thing. So something that I’ve been doing recently and over the past few years is trying out some, a combination of trying out different hobbies. So like I got really into knitting a few years ago and now I definitely see myself as a knitter and as a creator, a crafter, um, it’s something that I, I really love.
Um, and then also connecting with hobbies that I had when I was younger, but don’t have that same expectation of, oh, you have to be super, super productive. You have to be accomplishing something all the time. So for me, that’s meant seeing myself as a musician, I’ve played flute for the majority of my life, I think since I was six or seven. Um, and I think, like, learning to see myself as a musician, even though it’s never something I’ll do professionally and I don’t want to do it professionally, is really important because it gives me a sense of identity outside of my work. Um, and it gives my life a sense of meaning outside of my work.
And this can look like so many different things. Maybe it’s volunteering for something that you really care about. Maybe it’s playing video games or board games, maybe it’s baking, I love baking, um, maybe it’s, like, cooking or drawing or like a sport that you really love. Um, I think having something where you can say, like I do this thing and that makes me who I am, um, that has nothing to do with your work, it has nothing to do with your productivity, I think can be a really, really powerful step in that direction.
Kat: Yeah. I absolutely love that. And I can definitely relate, it’s something I think it can be difficult when you make your hobby your job, it’s like you were saying about art how that kind of changed for you. For me, writing has kind of, kind of changed, I do still journal, but I don’t necessarily write for fun as much as I used to because I do, that is still slightly entrenched in the toxic productivity for me because I do it for a job. Every day I’ve got to write and I do it as a lot of part of my work and I still love it, but I do sometimes struggle to do it for fun.
So something I started last summer was to start drawing and it was just a couple of botanical illustration classes on Skillshare, something I’ve always liked the look of. I never thought I was very good at drawing or very good at art and I’ve just really enjoyed it and I’ve just taken to it, and I don’t worry about how good it is or how many I do or make sure I do it a certain time of the week or anything like that. It’s just something I can lean back on and have as something fun to do now and then, so yeah.
Madeleine: Definitely. Yeah. That’s why I think it can be so fun to like, just try something new and especially because then there’s no expectation that you would be good at it because I oftentimes hear this advice to like, think about what you enjoyed as a kid and then do that. And that can be really a really, really wonderful thing to do. That’s what I’ve done with music and playing the flute. But sometimes, and this is how I feel with art, I’m constantly comparing myself to how, like, good I used to be. And I’m like, oh, I used to be able to draw so much better than this. Um, and it’s just not very enjoyable, whereas starting something new because you don’t have any expectations of, oh, I should be good at this because well, it’s new, it’s something different. And I think that can be really freeing.
Kat: Yeah. That’s funny you’ve actually just reminded me of something that I tried as well. When I was younger, I used to horse ride. I rode for like seven years, and then I stopped for a long time. And when I was at university, I thought, oh, I’ll take this hobby back up again. And I joined the riding club, but exactly the same as you were saying, I started it and I was so mad that I wasn’t as good, cause I always used to be really good, I used to get the first rosettes, I used to be the one that the teacher like pointed out as really good in the class. And when I did it, I felt like a beginner again and I, I kept comparing myself to past me and to other people in the class and I just didn’t enjoy it. I did a couple of lessons and then I thought, you know what, actually, this just isn’t enjoyable for me anymore. It’s not something I can pick back up. So yeah, that’s a very good point about not necessarily going back to what you used to be good at, because it might not be good for you anymore.
Madeleine: Yeah. Yeah. And it’s a bit of, like, trial and error or I always think, my math teacher used to call us trial and improvement. I like, like you can, yeah. Like you can try something on and if it doesn’t work out, that’s fine. You can try something new, like the decision to, you know, try horseback riding again. Or to do, like, drawing classes again, like it’s not permanent, you can always say, eh, this isn’t for me right now, and that’s fine.
Kat: Yeah, exactly, and then explore and find something else that does work for you, but it’s just about finding something outside of work. And it’s interesting how you said at the beginning there about when people ask you, what do you do? I was at a wedding recently and it was the first question every person asked me who I had not met before was, oh, what do you do? Um, and it’s so it’s just so interesting that we do that. And I’d love to think I’d love to have an answer for like, who are you without immediately going to a writer, a content creator, self-worth educator, all of these things. And I think that’s what I’m still working on, but yeah, it’s a journey, isn’t it?
Madeleine: Oh yeah, definitely. Definitely. Yeah and I think something else that I think could be really important when it comes to cultivating that identity outside of work is also redefining, like, success in those hobbies. And instead of success being like reaching a certain level or accomplishing something maybe succeeding after is just enjoying yourself. And for me with music that has been so key because when I played music, when I was younger, it was always like, oh, you have to do these exams, do these grades, like I did grade eight and then even a diploma after that, so I was always very exam focused and now I’m like, success is just being able to play music that I love and enjoying it. Um, and that has made me feel more like a musician and more like, um, like I am someone who plays music that is a core part of my identity, but it is so much easier to tap into that when actually what I’m doing is enjoying the process of playing music and not thinking about, oh, I need to reach a certain milestone or reach a certain goal.
So I think, yeah, with any kind of identity that you’re cultivating outside of your work and outside of what you do professionally, um, figuring out how you can maybe re… rethink success or even let go of needing to pursue success, um, in that area. I think that can be, that’s a really important part of it as well.
Kat: That’s a really good point and yeah, definitely something for us to all consider. And I think the point that we’re making is work can be part of your identity, I think to a degree, because especially if you care so much about what you’re doing, if it’s something you’ve created, but as long as it’s not the whole thing, as long as you can find something else. And as you said, you can find joy in the process. That’s something I’ve been talking about a lot recently is enjoying what you’re doing, not necessarily the outcome, um, and yeah. Defining your own version of success. And as you said, that, that’s, you know, to be happy and enjoy something, then that is brilliant. I love that.
Madeleine: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, you summed that up so perfectly
Kat: Amazing. So the other thing I wanted to talk to you about was somatic work, which is something you mentioned within your content as part of the work that you do as a coach. And I’d love it. If you could break this down for anyone who might not have come across it before, might not have heard about it before. So what is somatic work and yeah, how can we use it to support us in this work?
Madeleine: Yeah. So somatic work is basically anything that is looking at the connection between the body and the mind. So how I use this in coaching is really, um, using the, the information that our bodies can give us, the wisdom that our bodies can hold and using that as a way to better understand our emotions. And I think, especially for people like myself who are chronic, um, perfectionists and overthinkers, um, learning to get out of the mind and into the body can be a really, really powerful way to start changing some of those ingrained full patterns that can be so detrimental when it comes to things like toxic productivity or tying your self worth with your productivity and, and things like that.
Um, so oftentimes what I do, if I’m like just introducing somatic work to someone, um, I think this is kind of the simplest way to describe it, but if you, and you can actually do this now, if you want to, but if you think about a time when you were really, really excited to do something like you had, a, a decision to make and you were like, oh yeah, this is the thing that I want to do.I’m so stoked. I can’t wait to get started. Like just taking a moment to feel that in your body. And like, even as I’m sharing that I feel this like bubbly excitement in my chest. Um, I feel like I want to, like, move around a lot more. I feel pretty animated and energised and then you can contrast that with, okay, think about a time when maybe you said yes to something that you didn’t really want to do. Maybe that was like taking on board, another project at work when you already had too much on your plate, maybe it was like an obligation to a friend or a family member that you kind of felt like you had to say yes to, or you didn’t have an option and think about, okay, how does that feel in my body?
And to me that feels really, like, slow and lethargic. I’m kind of like, Ugh, kind of heavy. It’s like my whole body kind of wants to slump a bit, um, and understanding that difference between, okay, what is a true yes, what does a true yes to something feel like? And what does a kind of, ‘I’m saying yes, because I have to,’ what does that feel like?
You can then use that if you’re making a decision about something, let’s say you’re making a decision to, about whether or not, um, you need to, like, set a boundary with someone at work, or set a boundary around your like social media usage or like using slack or something else. If you’re having that feeling in your body that is kind of like, everything feels kind of heavy and like, you just want to slump down and it feels kind of lethargic then maybe that’s a sign that, yeah. Something really isn’t right there, you feel kind of drained as, like, a, maybe you’ve, like, been saying yes to some things out of obligation and that boundary really needs to be shifted.
But on the other hand, if you feel that energy, that excitement, that kind of bubbly feeling or whatever that feeling is to you, because it’s different for all of us, then you know that, okay, no, this is, this is really good. You’re, like, heading in the right direction. Um, I think so often we are taught that, um, and this is definitely massively impacted by the patriarchy. So I could go on a whole other rant about this, but I think we’re often taught that there is a right way to think about things and that is being objective and rational. And I mean, spoiler alert, there’s not really anything as true objectivity. Everything is subjective to a degree.
And also being rational, like being rational is just a tool. You know, it’s just a tool, it’s not right. It’s not wrong. It’s just a tool. Being emotional is also like just a tool; it’s neutral. Um, and there is power in our emotions, in our emotional experience of things in our gut feelings. I think so often we’re taught to ignore those to the extent that we actually can’t hear them anymore. And that’s why somatic work has been so powerful for me because I used to be in a place where I really couldn’t… Oftentimes if you would ask me what I was feeling, I was like, I know that I’m having emotions, but I don’t know what they are. I don’t know why it feels so bad. I can’t describe it. I can’t talk about it because I don’t have the, words, It doesn’t fit into this very like rational, um, fact-based thing that I’ve been taught is the right way to talk about things, but then learning actually, oh, this shows up in my body, there are feelings in my body has just given me so much more freedom to experience emotions and to understand that emotions aren’t like the enemy.
They’re not a bad thing, even when they’re really unpleasant emotions, like they’re all part of being human, and especially as someone who has struggled with depression and derealisation and depersonalisation, like being able to connect with my body and with my emotions and my like sensory experience of being alive has been a really wonderful experience. That’s why I think, um, yeah, that’s why I think somatic work can be so great because it’s just like, it’s just another tool in your toolkit. You know? Like, I can’t think of, I can think of so many times where I’ve made a pro con list about a decision and I’m left with the answer and I feel so confused. And then I don’t know if you’ve ever had this experience where you, like, you make a pro-con list and it tells you that, you know, X is the right decision. And you’re like, oh, but now, like, I know that I want to do Y you know, and it’s like, and you’re like, huh, my brain is telling me one thing. But like my heart and my body is telling me that this other thing is the right thing to do. I think that’s where somatic while it can be really, really helpful. It’s just giving you more information and a different type of information that you can use.
Kat: Absolutely. It’s like when you are asking someone their opinion on something, but you already know deep down what your answer is, and you’re just hoping that reflect it back to you. And if they say the other thing, you’re like, oh, okay, well, I’m still gonna do what I said anyway, because I’ve decided, But that, that is so interesting. And I think the mind-body connection is something, I, I’ve learned a lot more about since I started getting quite bad anxiety, um, a few years ago, because yeah, that led to depersonalisation, I think. Yeah. It’s when you kind of feel a bit outside of your body and my body was just coming up with all these different symptoms and I couldn’t tell you what was wrong. Like, my, I didn’t have any of the typical anxiety, thoughts. I wasn’t, you know, feeling particularly stressed or anxious in myself, but my body was kind of reacting for me. And that kind of taught me something that was wrong. And then I could, I could kind of connect a bit deeper and figure out what was going on. And, and yeah, it’s, it’s just so interesting.
I’ve done some of this work with, through neuro-linguistic programming, um, training, where they taught us about thinking about when you made a bad decision, I’ve done that before, but I’ve never done it with the right decision. So I like that. I think that’s really nice because then you can compare and contrast the two and use that.
Madeleine: Yeah. Yeah. And I think also, like, I think in some ways, even though emotions that are talked about as like negative emotions are in some ways, like, you’re not really supposed to feel them, but in some ways in society, I think we’re not really taught to feel our positive emotions very deeply. Like how often have you had the experience of like, I don’t know, feeling like it’s not cool to be really excited about something, you know, which is like, it’s so horrible because it’s such a, like, if you’re so excited about something that’s amazing, like that’s so, so wonderful. But sometimes it’s seen as, like, not cool or it’s like, you know, it’s more cool to be, like, a bit cynical and detached from things. Um, and I think that actually learning to experience our positive emotions more deeply and more fully is really, really amazing.
And, like, bringing that back to self care. I mean, self care is all about feeling better, right? So, like, part of feeling better is feeling more of those wonderful emotions. Like, what does it feel to, like, what does the feeling of fulfillment feel like in your body? Or, like, what is the feeling of joy for you and where does that live in your body? And also for some people, maybe if you’re more, like, visual or auditory, maybe that’s like a really strong image that it brings up, or maybe like the feeling of joy has a certain sound to it or a certain color, a certain smell. Um, I think, yeah, somatic work can really mean anything that is engaging your senses. And I think it just helps you to experience things more deeply, including the positive things.
Kat: Yeah, you’re so right. I think we definitely don’t get taught to do that. And I know sometimes I can, like, try and dampen down sometimes if I’m feeling really good for fear of, like, upsetting someone else or worrying that somebody else might be jealous or things like that. So it’s so interesting. I’d love to know. Do you have any, um, like reading, uh, advice for anyone who wants to look into this more? Are there any great books or anything that you’ve read or, um…
Madeleine: Yeah, so I would say the, um, I think it’s called the Strozzi Institute has a lot of stuff on their website about somatic coaching. Um, there’s also the book that we read for my somatic coaching, um, like training in my coaching program was called riding the horse backwards by Arnold and Amy Mindell. Um, and then there’s also a book called I can’t remember the author, but it’s called the art of somatic coaching. Um, and yeah, these are all, some really great examples of, like. ways you can understand that.
Kat: Oh, amazing, I’ll pop the links to those in the show notes, so if anybody wants to check them out, because yeah, it’s definitely an area I’m interested in so that sounds really cool. Thank you. Well, thank you so much for sharing all of this amazing wisdom with us. It’s been really, really interesting to talk. Um, I’d love to know what’s coming up for you in the last quarter of 2021. Have you got anything on the horizon for the last few months or is it just kind of a rest and recoup before the next year starts?
Madeleine: Yeah, so I actually, um, I actually just had a conversation with, um, a business coach I’ve been working with yesterday about a new idea that I’m really excited about and very much in the beginning stages. Um, but I think at some point in the last quarter of this year, I’m going to be launching a, like, I guess like a group membership program where it will basically be a chance for people to connect with others who are working in the non-profit world or doing purpose driven work to kind of talk about some of the like personal wellbeing challenges that they face as individuals and they face in their organizations. So I think there’ll be like monthly Q and A’s and online hub where we hang out, not on Facebook because I can’t stand Facebook. Um, and yeah, maybe some, maybe some group coaching calls, so definitely keep an eye out for that. Um, I don’t know exactly what it will look like yet, but I’m pretty excited about it.
Um, and then I’m also looking for some beta testers, um, for a one-on-one program that I launched recently, that is it’s called find another way and it’s all about structuring your time and your planning in a way that really puts your emotional and mental health and wellbeing like front and center. Um, so yeah, I’m offering some, some spots for beta testers to try that out at a reduced price so I can get some feedback and improve it. Um, so yeah, those are the two main things that I’ve got going on at the moment and coming up soon.
Kat: Oh, amazing. That sounds so exciting. I love the sound of the membership. I think having that community aspect, especially with this kind of work is so important, so that sounds amazing.
Madeleine: Definitely. Yeah it can be really isolating to feel like you’re going through it alone or don’t have anyone who really, like, understands that. So yeah, I’m, I’m really excited about it.
Kat: Amazing, so if people want to find out more about that and just connect with you in general, where can they find you online?
Madeleine: Yeah, so I think the two best places would be Instagram. So I’m @madeleineonstwedder. Both of my names are difficult to spell!
Kat: I’ll put a link in the show notes!
Madeleine: Okay, brilliant! Um, and then my website, madeleineonstwedder.com and you can sign up for my newsletter there, which is where I share kind of like, yeah, monthly or maybe twice a month, um, newsletters and emails about what I’m getting up to. Um, if there’s any, any new information and also just sharing tips about how to prioritise your personal wellbeing a bit more highly. Um, yeah. So I think those are the two best ways to get in touch with me.
Kat: Oh, brilliant. Thank you so much.
Madeleine: Yeah. Thank you so much for having me on the podcast. I’ve really, really loved that discussion that we’ve had today and really enjoyed all the topics you’ve spoken about.
There we go, I hope you enjoyed listening to that as much as I enjoyed recording it! And if detaching your sense of worth from productivity is a topic you’re keen to learn more about, keep your eyes peeled for a joint workshop from myself and Madeline on the topic in the future. Make sure you’re following us on Instagram to stay up to date, I’m @katbluejay and Madeleine is @madeleineonstwedder.
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