TGGC #90: Cultivating digital mindfulness and finding peace in the city with Clare Barry

Clare Barry is a Londoner, writer and founder of Urban Curiosity - a creativity and wellness company that helps busy people slow down and see things differently. Clare writes about creativity and human connection in a digital world and London in the real one. She leads international retreats and Urban Curiosity Walkshops in her hometown; these two-hour sessions are are part digital detox, part creativity class - on foot.

By changing her lifestyle after experiencing burn out, Clare fell back in love with London and found solace within the hustle and bustle of the big city. I loved talking to her about ideas for navigating a busy, overwhelming city in a slower, more mindful way, being mindful of when and how we use our smartphones, and periods of consuming information vs. periods of creation.

 

In this episode we discuss:

  • How rediscovering her passion for creative expression, chronic pain, and grief ultimately led Clare to transform her life
  • The changes that Clare made that led to her falling back in love with London
  • Ideas for navigating a busy, overwhelming city in a slower, more mindful way
  • Being mindful of when and how we use our smartphones
  • Being in periods of consuming information vs. periods of creation
  • Learning the rules so that we can decide when we want to break them

Where to find Clare:

TGGC #89: The magic of trauma-informed herbalism with Kirsten Hale

Kirsten Hale is a trauma-informed herbalist and witch working to unspell the patterns of personal and collective trauma.

She talks regularly to plants, makes potions and serves her kitties.

She lives on the colonized territories of the Multnomah, Clackamas and other indigenous peoples in Portland, OR with two cats and a crow.

In this episode we talk about what trauma really is, the link between trauma and anti-oppression work, the role that herbs can play in addressing anxiety, and trauma and beginning your own relationship with herbs.

 

In this episode we talk about:

  • What it means to be a trauma-informed herbalist
  • Taking a client-led approach to healing/helping work
  • Understanding what trauma actually is
  • The link between trauma and anti-oppression work
  • The role that herbs can play in addressing anxiety and trauma
  • Kirsten’s journey to becoming a herbalist
  • Whether we need to consult with a trained herbalist or can begin experimenting with herbalism ourselves

 

Links mentioned:

Where to find Kirsten:

TGGC #88: Why healing is valuable work with Shivani Seth

Shivani Seth is a South Asian American queer woman and the child of 1st generation immigrants from India.

She’s a long-time writer, but a new publisher. I loved her article, Healing is Valuable Work and that’s the very topic we dive into in this episode.

We chat about how she restructured her life after burn out, how we can come to be more generous with our definition of “work,” and the cultural beliefs we have to undo in order to see the true value of taking care of ourselves.

 

 

In this episode we talk about:

  • Exploring the connection between caffeine and anxiety
  • The impact of warming foods and drinks on our bodies
  • Shivani’s experience of burn out and how she restructured her life as a result
  • Her transition out of social work and into freelance writing
  • The Rest for Resistance project
  • Creating a more generous and inclusive definition of “work”
  • Self-care as a deposit in “the bank"

 

Links mentioned: 

TGGC #87: Exploring BDSM and kink with Veronica Yahns

Veronica Yanhs is on a mission to empower women to unapologetically live their lives through kink and BDSM.

To her, kink and BDSM are vessels that take people on a transformative journey to become their most confident, empowered, and enlightened self. 

She sat down to chat with me about the basics of what BDSM and kink are, what it looks like for her to live in a 24/7 dominant/submissive lifestyle, the myths about BDSM that she’d like to dispel, and the transformative power of BDSM and kink.

 

 

In this episode we talk about:

  • Veronica’s journey with BDSM and kink (which began at age 4) and how it led to her business Desires Laid Bare
  • The basics of what BDSM is
  • What kink means and whether or not everyone is at least a little bit kinky
  • What it looks like to live in a 24/7 dominant/submissive lifestyle
  • Where Veronica’s desire to be submissive comes from and what it looks like in her relationship
  • Myths about BDSM that she’d like to dispel
  • The transformative power of BDSM and kink
  • Veronica’s advice for dipping your toes into BDSM and kink

 

Links mentioned:

 

Where to find Veronica:

TGGC #86: The lowdown on acupuncture & dissecting the myths around fat and fertility with Nicola Salmon

Nicola Salmon is a fertility coach, acupuncturist and naturopath.

She was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome at 16 and told she would never have children.

She made small tweaks to her health whilst she was training as an acupuncturist and having babies was easy for her.

She’s passionate about helping other women get pregnant just as easily.

We talk about what acupuncture is and how it works, the power of knowing our cycles, the myths that are perpetuated around fat and fertility, and a whole lot of other goodness.

 

In this episode we talk about:

  • The systems Nicola has in place in order to run her business with young children at home
  • Her journey of being diagnosed with PCOS and thinking she couldn’t have children to conceiving naturally and eventually helping women with their fertility
  • How understanding our cycles can empower us when it comes to conceiving but also in planning our lives more generally
  • What acupuncture is and how it works
  • The myths that are perpetuated around fat and fertility
  • Why feeling comfortable in your own skin can help improve your fertility
  • Nicola’s advice to anyone who is struggling to conceive right now

 

Links mentioned:

Where to find Nicola:

TGGC #85: Balancing creativity alongside your day job with Kait Fowlie.

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Kait Fowlie is a Toronto-based writer who is interested in wellness and the writing process.

Kait and I talk about balancing a day job and creative projects without working all the time, diving deep into journaling as tool for healing, and using archetypes to understand your present mindset and situation.

 

 

In this episode we talk about:

  • Balancing a day job and creative projects without working all of the time
  • Kait’s decision to transition into a day job after being a freelancer
  • Making space for her writing during the evenings
  • Kait’s journey with journalling
  • Using journalling to understand where you are in your life
  • Tips for going deeper with your journalling practice
  • Managing anxiety with journalling
  • Using archetypes to understand your present mindset and situation

 

Links mentioned:

Where to find Kait:

TGGC #84: Redefining cool and embodying empathy with Kerrin Smith

Kerrin Smith is the founder of Cool & Thoughtful, an initiative to shift social values from hyper-individualism to empathy by redefining cool as generosity rather than rebellion.

I’m completely obsesesed with this concept!

We had the most amazing conversation with Kerrin about how meditation can help us process our feelings, blending action & faith when it comes to reaching our goals, and what it looks like (and feels like) to redefine cool for ourselves.

 

In this episode we talk about:

  • Kerrin’s exploration of interfaith work and how it led to her meditation practice
  • How meditation can help us feel, process, and learn from our emotions
  • Blending action and faith when it comes to reaching our goals
  • Where Kerrin draws her faith from
  • The Cool & Thoughtful project she has created aimed at imagining what the world look like if we understood "cool" as generosity instead of rebellion
  • Kerrin’s personal journey from the traditional definition of cool to redefining it as empathetic and thoughtful
  • Practices for exploring the idea of cool and thoughtful in your own life

 

Links mentioned:

 

Where to find Kerrin:

TGGC #83: FAQ: finding your girl gang, managing your anxiety, & taking a break from writing

Today’s episode is a special FAQ episode with me again! It’s the last episode before I go on maternity leave but don’t worry - I’ve pre-recorded interviews and we’ll just be switching to publishing them every other week rather than weekly. I’ll be back to recording in the autumn. I’m talking about finding your girl gang, managing your anxiety, moving to a new city, why I haven’t been writing for the past month, what I’ve learned from pregnancy and a lot more.

In this episode I talk about:

  • The biggest lesson pregnancy has taught me
  • My experience of body image during pregnancy and how I’ve coped with body image issues in the past
  • Find community in my new city
  • Managing the stress of moving
  • Taking your sense of home with you wherever you go
  • The practices I find the most grounding when I’m overwhelmed
  • How I deal with anxiety
  • The process of creating community online
  • Putting yourself out there, even when you’re scared shitless and don’t feel ready
  • Why I haven’t been writing for the past month
  • Meeting new friends and finding your girl gang
  • Whether I think it’s appropriate to call grown women “girls”
  • Finding a balance between being ambitious and being gentle with yourself
  • Creating intimacy with myself and with my husband
  • The thing I’ve found most surprising about pregnancy
  • What I feel I need as I step into motherhood

Thank you so much to everyone who sent in questions; I had so much fun answering them!

 

Links mentioned:

TGGC #82: The healing power of playing with your inner child with Laura Jane Williams

Laura Jane Williams is the author of Amazon bestseller BECOMING: Sex, Second Chances, and Figuring Out Who the Hell I Am and forthcoming ICE CREAM FOR BREAKFAST: How rediscovering your inner child can make you calmer, happier, and solve your bullsh*t adult problems.

She was Grazia's "single girl" columnist until February 2017, is Marie Claire's #BREAKFREE from fear ambassador, and has written about dating, lust and her feelings everywhere from The Guardian to RED to Buzzfeed, The Metro, Stylist, The Telegraph and more. She blogs at Superlatively Rude and is currently writing her third book.

This is her second time on the podcast and in this episode we discuss her experience with burn out, why she decided to take a break from writing to become a nanny, the experience of writing her second book, and her considerations around having a child on her own.

 

In this episode we talk about:

  • How Laura prioritizes and chunks down passion projects so that they actually get done
  • Recognizing the early signs of burn out
  • The non-linear process of healing from burn out
  • Laura’s 3 rules to Tinder dating and how she ended up with a national dating column
  • Considering the option of becoming a single mother
  • How Laura’s experience nannying three girls turned into the subject for her new book
  • The difference between writing her first and second books
  • The tiny changes Laura has made to her life after experiencing burn out

 

Links mentioned:

 

Where to find Laura:

TGGC #81: Combining magic with business and finding your flow with Chris-Anne Donnelly

Chris-Anne Donnelly spends her days creating sacred space and road-mapping potential, branding soulpreneurs and mixing an intoxicating blend of intuition and strategy.

She's also the genius behind the Sacred Creator oracle deck - a favourite spiritual, entrepreneurial tool of mine. 

We had a beautiful conversation about setting firm boundaries around our time, combining work and magic, finding the flow within your day, and the evolution of her manifestation process.

 

In this episode we talk about:

  • Setting firm boundaries around our time
  • Chris Anne’s journey to finding spirituality and starting her business
  • Why she doesn’t always use contracts in her business
  • Combining business/work and magic
  • Getting out of the hustle
  • Finding flow within your work day
  • Her process of creating the Sacred Creator Oracle deck
  • Working through “second novel syndrome” to get back into your creative flow
  • Chris Anne’s manifestation process

 

Links mentioned: 

 

Where to find Chris-Anne:

TGGC #80: Taking a humane approach to personal growth with Sarah Kathleen Peck

Sarah Kathleen Peck is a writer, teacher, and connector. She writes a popular newsletter about about personal development, behavior change, and leadership.

She's currently writing a book called Startup Pregnant about how working in tech while pregnant opened her eyes to new ways of doing message.

Sarah and I had a conversation that left me absolutely buzzing. We share some real talk about pregnancy and early motherhood. We also chat about the need for multiple ways of showing up for work and life - rather than pushing all of the time, the need to be more intentional and precise with our language and commitments, and grieving even positive life changes.

 

In this episode we talk about:

  • How having a child forced Sarah into a more structured routine
  • Taking a sane, humane approach to changing patterns and forming habits
  • Grieving happy life changes
  • The monthly report Sarah creates for herself and how she chooses her monthly mantra 
  • Using doodling as a meditation practice and finding other ways to quiet the mind
  • Startup Pregnant, the book Sarah is currently writing
  • The need for multiple ways of showing up for work and life - rather than pushing all of the time
  • The need to be more intentional and precise with our language and commitments
  • The difference between “nice” and “kind"

 

Links mentioned: 

 

Where to find Sarah:

TGGC #79: Staying politically connected with Amanda Duarte

Amanda Duarte is the creator and host of the monthly show Dead Darlings, in which artists present work they’ve had to cut or abandon, at Judson Memorial Church in New York City.

She co-created the meme and movement #PussyGrabsBack, is the co-host of the new Cafe.com podcast Girl Friday, and is a regular at comedy and storytelling events throughout NYC.

Amanda and I do a fair bit of ranting about American politics in this episode but we also talk about what she’s learned about the creative process from hosting Dead Darlings, how we can take tangible action towards political change, and turning off the news as an act of self-care.

In this episode we talk about:

  • The Dead Darlings show that Amanda hosts, in which artists present work they’ve had to cut or abandon
  • What she has learned about the creative process as a result of the show
  • The #NotMyPresident hashtag
  • The tangible ways that we can stand up politically and help to create change
  • Lots of ranting about the Trump administration
  • Turning off the news and social media sometimes in order to recharge

 

Links mentioned:

 

Where to find Amanda:

TGGC #78: Getting clear on your values and living in integrity with Jenni Brown

Jenni Brown is a Type A Creative and a Co-Founder of Prim'd Marketing, where she's the resident creative-brain/web & branding strategist helping business owners look and sound like the best version of themselves.

Jenni and I are going to be diving deep into the importance of living in integrity with our values, how to get really clear on what our values are, and staying in touch with them on a day-to-day basis.

 

In this episode we discuss:

  • Creating white space and consciously transitioning from one phase of your day to the next
  • Our personal stories of navigating burn out and uncoupling our self-worth from our productivity
  • Defining what values even are and how they’re different from goals
  • Jenni’s journey to getting in touch with her values
  • Four simple ways to get clear on what your values are
  • Looking for the personal indicators or warning signs that pop up when you’re out of touch with your values
  • Creating goals and designing your life to match your values

 

Links mentioned:

 

Where to find Jenni:

TGGC #77: Debunking sex myths and considering activism as self-care with Rachel Hills.

Rachel Hills is a New York-based journalist, activist, and author of THE SEX MYTH.

She is interested in the space where the personal meets the political, or what she calls "the politics of everyday life.”

We’re talking about the toxic myths that are perpetuated about sex and sexuality, not judging ourselves based on our sex drive, being more open about sex, and activism as a form of self-care.

 

 

 

In this episode we discuss:

  • The toxic messages about sex that so many of us have internalized
  • Rachel’s journey of sexual healing and decoupling herself from these toxic beliefs about sex
  • Breaking down toxic sexual messages in our day-to-day lives
  • Not judging our relationships by our sex lives or ourselves by our sex drives
  • How feminism and activism can be tools for self-care

 

Links mentioned: 

 

Where to find Rachel:

TGGC #76: How to bullet journal for productivity and personal growth with Kara Benz of Boho Berry

Kara Benz is the artist and author behind Boho Berry, where she inspires her readers to lead a more centered, fulfilled, and inspired life.

Kara also runs a successful sticker shop on Etsy - Boho Berry Paperie, and is currently creating her very first handwriting course. 

We sat down to talk all things bullet journal! What the system is, her daily routine with her bullet journal, how to start one - even if you’re not artistic, and how her life has changed as a result of this system.

 

In this episode we talk about:

  • The “miracle morning” routine that Kara starts everyday with and her tips for creating time for a morning practice
  • What a bullet journal is
  • Kara’s journey with bullet journalling
  • Her daily bullet journal routine
  • Balancing the creative side of bullet journalling with making it an efficient productivity tool
  • Using a habit tracker to create and monitor habits - and how to avoid beating yourself up on the days you don’t do them
  • Using a time tracker to get a clear picture of how you spend your time and evaluate whether you’re happy with it
  • The biggest improvement she’s seen in her life as a result of bullet journalling
  • How to get started with bullet journalling if you feel intimidated by the system
  • A day in the life of her Etsy business
  • Her love of all things stationery

 

Links mentioned:

 

Where to find Kara:

TGGC #75: Doing the work is the "secret" of being creative with Mara Wilson

You might recognize Mara Wilson from her roles in Matilda, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Miracle on 34th Street.

She’s recently released a memoir called Where Am I Now? and we sat down to chat about the creative process, managing mental health issues, and our obsessions with teen dramas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this episode we talk about

  • The freelance work and creative projects that Mara is spending her time on these days
  • Why voiceover acting is the only kind of acting she wants to do these days
  • What Mara’s creative process looks like
  • How she decided what was going to go into her book
  • The evolution of her love of storytelling and why telling our stories is so important
  • How the media that we consume impacts how we think and express ourselves
  • What makes a great story and how to tell one in conversation
  • The difference between a story and an anecdote
  • Reconstructing your memories in order to write memoir
  • Mara’s journey to being diagnosed with OCD at age 12 and how her diagnosis impacted how she felt about herself
  • Removing the expectation that we need to be happy all of the time
  • How Mara is managing her anxiety within the difficult political climate

 

Links mentioned:

 

Where to find Mara:

TGGC #74: Following your flow and rekindling your creativity with Claire Baker

Claire Baker is an amazing women's coach and writer. Through her popular blog, eBooks, online courses and live workshops, Claire teaches self-care, creative rekindling, how to live life aligned with your menstrual cycle and being kind to yourself and the world.

Claire believes in less stress and more flow and knows that working with our natural rhythms is 'the missing key' when it comes to women's wellness. She’ll have you throwing out the scales, booking the flight, launching the blog – and falling back in love with your life.

We talked about all of those things, as well as her new course Flow. What I think really sets this episode apart is we dive into how you can honour your natural cycles even if you don’t menstruate or if you’re a busy mom or have a 9-5 job and your time isn’t entirely your own. Clare has incredible advice for honouring your own rhythms regardless of your personal situation.

 

In this episode we talk about:

  • The power of moving first thing in the morning
  • How Claire’s illness changed her relationship with her health and her body and eventually led to her work as a women's coach
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine practices that she used to build vitality in the body after coming off the contraceptive pill
  • Claire’s decision to move to London and what her experience of moving across the world has been life
  • The journalling practice that Claire uses in sync with her menstrual cycle
  • Following the flow of your menstrual cycle within the constraints of a day job
  • The blocks Claire sees women experiencing around their creativity
  • The first steps to rekindling your creativity

 

Links mentioned:

 

Where to find Claire:

TGGC #73: Cultivating slowness and a desire for less with Erin Loechner

Today’s interview is with Erin Loechner. Erin has been blogging and speaking for more than a decade on her website Design for Mankind and she’s now released an incredible book called Chasing Slow.

Now nestled in a Midwestern town, Erin, her husband, and their toddler strive for less in most areas except three: joy, grace, and goat cheese.

Erin is one of the friendliest, most open people I’ve ever spoken to and I loved chatting with her about minimalism, slowing down our lives, finding our golden hours in order to be more creative, and what she learned about herself from writing her new book.

 

 

In this episode we talk about:

  • Erin’s routine of getting up at 2am to write and work
  • Finding your “golden hours” to do your best creative work
  • Her journey of blogging over the past 16 years
  • How Erin’s views on minimalism and slow living have changed over time
  • Navigating the tension that occurs when your family members hold different beliefs than you
  • Approaching parenting as a minimalist
  • Transitioning back to work after having a baby
  • The realizations and lessons Erin learned from writing her book

 

Links mentioned:

 

Where to find Erin:

TGGC #72: FAQ: Spirituality, rituals, time management, writing, & moving to a new city

In this special FAQ episode I answer your questions about anything and everything! The topics range from spirituality, rituals, and routines to writing, activism, and moving to a new city. I hope it will give you a chance to get to know me better and learn something new in the process.

 

In this episode I talk about:

  • The decision process we went through to move from London to Liverpool
  • Rituals that have been game changers for me
  • Putting the sacred back in Sunday and treating it as a time for spiritual connection and self-care
  • My best time management tips
  • My writing routine
  • My activism past and present and how that fits into my personal development and self-care
  • How I go about creating an altar in my home
  • Creating boundaries around work, life, and home
  • Clearing the path for opportunities
  • How pregnancy has impacted my work as an entrepreneur
  • Balancing the spiritual and strategic sides of my business
  • How I take care of myself mentally while running a business

Links mentioned:

TGGC #71: Recognizing your intuitive voice & getting clear on what you believe with Vix Maxwell

Vix Maxwell is an intuitive Tarot + Angel Card Reader + Fairyologist certified by Doreen Virtue, Holy Fire Reiki Level II, Celtic Reiki Mystic Master, Headmistress of Woo Woo School and the creator of New Age Hipster. Phew - that’s a mouthful, innit? That’s because Vix is one awesome lady! Sent here on a divine mission to kick open the musty old spiritual wardrobe, she is all about bringing the new age into the now by making spirituality accessible to whoever wants in! We have a conversation where we embrace all things woo and talk about stuff like learning to recognize our intuitive voice and getting clear on our own spiritual beliefs.

Vix Maxwell is an intuitive Tarot + Angel Card Reader + Fairyologist certified by Doreen Virtue, Holy Fire Reiki Level II, Celtic Reiki Mystic Master, Headmistress of Woo Woo School and the creator of New Age Hipster.

Phew - that’s a mouthful, innit? That’s because Vix is one awesome lady!

Sent here on a divine mission to kick open the musty old spiritual wardrobe, she is all about bringing the new age into the now by making spirituality accessible to whoever wants in!

We had a conversation where we embraced all things woo and talk about stuff like learning to recognize our intuitive voice and getting clear on our own spiritual beliefs.

In this episode we talk about:

  • Becoming a morning person
  • Calling on your angels and guides for spiritual guidance
  • Distinguishing between intuitive guidance and your own thoughts
  • Learning from our fear
  • Vix’s journey of building her spiritual business
  • What it means to be a fairyologist and how Vix tunes into fairy energy
  • Wading through spiritual information and getting really clear on what you believe

 

Links mentioned:

 

Where to find Vix: