March 22, 2022

How long does it take before you begin to feel like you belong in your own skin?

 

by Alison Bale

Once upon a time there lived a little girl who did not like being told what to do. And did not feel she fitted in.

To find where she does fit in has taken many years, four career changes, and one change of continent.

How long does it take before you begin to feel like you belong in your own skin? Mid fifties for me. But I get ahead of myself, so let’s fast backwards 25 years.

To a world I barely recognize as I write.

I used to be the woman on the 6am train, putting on her make up on her way to a consulting job in London. I started in publishing, morphed into communication consulting, and now had a job in the city, with a red sports car and a house in the home counties.

But I wasn’t happy. The crux was that the team I’d joined was based 30 minutes from my house. Then we were moved, and the commute became two hours each way. And I wasn’t enjoying the job. What to do?

I only appreciated with hindsight that moving me to London was the best thing the company could have done. It made me so uncomfortable, it forced me to consider what I did want, and make changes.

Specifically, it gave me the impetus to accept I might have to retrain, and I gave myself a deadline – decide what I wanted to do and get it done by the time I was 40. And as if by magic, I chanced across an article about chiropractic for horses.

When I applied, it was as though everything I’d done in my life, from aged 7 onwards (when I started horse riding), had been about being on the road to being here. The poet David Whyte writes that when we look back on our journey, it’s as though the only way we could have traveled was the way we had come. It certainly felt like that.

But retraining as an adult is a huge leap. I had to go freelance from my job – giving up the regular salary when I was the name on the mortgage and was about to get married (I don’t do things by halves). The funny thing is, I discovered that when you commit to a ‘leap of faith’, the universe moves to support you. I’d been asked to have lunch with a former colleague, who’d gone into PR. I still remember sitting opposite her as she said she had a magazine contract to fulfil and asked if I knew any good editors. ‘I’m going freelance tomorrow – will I do?’

Working for myself suited me and somehow the work kept flowing. And the changes in me had a ripple out effect for my husband, who decided he would train in therapy, too. And found a job he loved and has stuck with longer than any other job he’s had. Another lesson, the things you do can have beneficial consequences for others.

But I digress, four years study and I was a human chiropractor, so onwards to the animal course. Well yes, except I didn’t enjoy the animal work when I finally got to it. Strange that the thing that got me onto the path was not what I wanted when I got there. But that was OK, because I love the human work.

That should have been enough big change, eh? But no. Have you ever had a sense that you must do something, and that however risky, if you do not act, you’ll regret it the rest of your life?

In a nutshell, that’s how I came to move to India. I arrived intending to stay three years then go home. That was in 2006! The roller coaster of the last 15 years has seen lots of travel, and lots of work offering chiropractic care to a population with almost no access to it (eight chiropractors for a population of 1.4 billion.

It has been a much more challenging experience than I could have envisaged. India is a very different culture to the one I grew up in – much more chaotic – and I have changed as a result. I used to be an arch planner – less so now.

I’ve gone through peri-menopause and into menopause in India, and with it has come quite a radical change of thinking. For a while I fell out of love with chiropractic. Combination of joint pain, hot flashes, poor sleep, brain fog – none of which help you show up as your best for other people who are in pain.

But there was also a sense that I wanted to do more – specifically move away from a passive intervention towards one that gave people more control over their own minds and bodies. So, in my latest incarnation, I’m teaching mindfulness. And looking to return to the UK.

There’s a lot of talk today about ‘knowing your why’. Mine is ‘leave this world a better place than I found it’. Once you know your ‘why’, I think you can get through anything to deliver it. But I also think how you deliver it can change over time.

I’m ready for my next adventure, my next challenge. I love learning and growing, and am excited to see where the next version of me goes from her.

I’ll close by returning to the poet David Whyte, who says that

"The person who sets out on a journey, the person seeking, is not the person who arrives "

That’s very much true of me.

#midlifewomen #sharingstories #outofthebubble #lifeafter40 #inspiringwomen #personaljournals #stepoutofthebubble #midlifeblog

 

 

 

 

 

December 29, 2021

Why I’m saying “NO” to New Year, New You

Let's drop the "New Year, new you" narrative.

I’ve already lost count of how many “join my diet” club invites I’ve had literally since Christmas Day morning along with those “New Year, New You” messages.

How about ...You are enough...just as you are...right now!

After years and years of forcing myself to try every diet going I came to realise that they don’t work for me and my mental well-being.

I need to be happy in my own body and to me that means enjoying my life without the punishing diet mentality. I am healthy, love moving and finding joy in being outdoors and that’s enough for me!

I’m all for growth and people deciding to make changes for themselves but this direct hit straight after Christmas can lead to so many women feeling under pressure to change just because we’re bombarded by adverts telling us we need to. Obviously we all want to be the best version of ourselves , especially as we age but that means something different to every individual. The danger is that post Christmas becomes a weapon for those in the diet industry to prey on those feeling most insecure about their bodies. This can lead to even more negative thoughts about our bodies as we are left feeling inadequate for society standards.

A survey carried out by Second Nature showed that 90% of people give up on their new year diet just 12 days into January, with 83% going on to gain back more weight than they lost, leaving people feeling worse about themselves than when they started.

If you’re struggling with the post Christmas pressure try and focus on the things that keep your head in a good space, protect your boundaries.

Here's a few ideas that might help-

  • Getting outside for a long walk, fresh air and nature always give me a boost
  • Spend time with those friends that always leave you feeling happier
  • Switch off from social media
  • Get lost in a book.
  • Keep a journal
  • Meditation, even just for 10 minutes every morning can really help
  • Focus on the activities that you love
  • Be kind to yourself, we don't have to be self improving every day. It's ok to have a down day and allow it pass.

What works for you?

Just remember “You are enough.. just as you are…right now!” ❤️

#embraceyourbody #youareenough#ditchthedietrules #bodyconfidence#newyearsameawesomeme#midlifewomen #confidenceandcurves#lifeafter50 #fiftyandfabulous#loveyourcurves @bridgemodels 📸 @jamesmelia

Rachel Peru model- James Melia photography

You are enough..just as you are..right now

October 19, 2021

Silver & Sassy- Grey Haired Women Are Not Invisible

Men are silver foxes but women are letting themselves go if they decide to ditch the dye?

When Annie Stirk first came to me with the seed of an idea to celebrate grey, white and silver haired women which we'd planned to be part of York Fashion Week 2019 I completely got it.

Silver & Sassy

I started going grey as a teenager, not really a shock as my grandmother was completely white at a young age.  Dyeing it every colour of the rainbow, from Navy Blue, Blonde, Bright Red and Plum , the list goes on.  I don't really remember anyone batting an eye.  Fast forward to age 45 when I decided to ditch the dye and embrace my grey hair and people suddenly had an opinion. Comments , which all came from women, included "You're too young" , "Don't let yourself go" and "it will make you look older".

I'm sure it's too do with societies conditioning around the fear of ageing. Grey hair is another sign along with wrinkles that we are ageing, and to be honest thank God we are lucky enough to still be here to show them when so many others aren't! There is still so much fear around the whole subject. We wanted to create an uplifting fashion event that challenges those outdated stigmas  and celebrates women embracing their grey hair. Reminding women that may be feeling a bit lost that we are most certainly not invisible!

The event, held at the beautiful Goldsborough Hall, involved 13 models who all volunteered to join Annie and I on the catwalk. These women had never done anything like this before but completely embraced everything we threw at them. With a fabulous styling team; Sara Anson and Trudy Fielding, behind us showcasing 7 brands from small independents to well loved high street names. It was important to Annie and I that not only did these women leave feeling more confident about themselves but so did our 90 guests. After the last 18 months there was a really positive energy coming from the audience and their support for every women that stepped out was palpable.

Our models ranged from late 40's up to 77 and indeed our oldest model Heather Sandler often stole the show with her sass and personality.

Why we need better representation in the media and fashion industry.

Although we have started to see more older women included in media and advertising campaigns they are still token gestures and  yet to be included in fashion campaigns on a consistent basis. Deciding to ditch the dye often comes at a time of great change in a womans life, children leaving home, adjusting to an empty nest, caring for older parents, the menopause. All these can have a huge affect on your body confidence. Add to that the lack of visibility in the images we are bombarded with daily and it's no wonder that women often feel invisible and lost.

When you consider that the over 50's spending power is one of the largest and fastest growing in the UK it makes you wonder at what point will brands start really listening and learning how to include us in their marketing. We were delighted to have high street brands John Lewis Leeds, Figleaves swimwear, Fenwicks and Jigsaw in York involved in the show alongside independents Copper & White, Cabi Clothing, My Vintage Beau, Natalia Willmott jewellery, Molly Titfer hats, The Yorkshire Handbag Company and Yorkshire Eyewear.

Seeing our models of all shapes, ethnicities, heights and at different stages of their grey journey really felt like a powerful statement. The women in the audience clearly enjoyed seeing the clothes on women they could relate to as they enjoyed shopping after the event after being inspired by what they'd seen. This seems to be a perfect way to shop and target the older market and perhaps we'll see more in person fashion events as an after effect of the pandemic. I really do hope so! I’d love to see more brands creating live fashion events to really connect and understand their midlife customers better.

Is the tide turning?

It does feel like the tide is turning with celebrity role models like Helen Mirren, Andie MacDowell and most recently Dawn French embracing their grey hair in the public arena. You often hear women described as being brave for going against the ‘normal’ and these women are under so much scrutiny in the spotlight but owning it. I completely agree with Andie MacDowell when she told Vogue she’d never felt more herself,  able to embrace where she is right now and completely comfortable in her skin,  I feel exactly the same and its freeing.

I’m sure that comes with age as much as embracing the grey, I’ve started to care less about what other people think of me. Deciding to ditch the dye can be a very positive experience and so many women find it liberating, stepping out of your previous fashion comfort zone can be a real part of that change.

With award winning presenter Christine Talbot as our host we knew we were in safe hands and it was a pleasure to have Jayne Mayled, founder of White Hot Hair and Tricia Cusden from Look Fabulous Forever as our guest speakers to share their pro-ageing wisdom too.( I have to say our award winning hair and make-up artist Sonia Schofield and her team did an amazing job enhancing all the models natural beauty using Look Fabulous Forever make up).

There’s never been a better time for women to support women and this event really showed that as we also raised money for the York based women’s charity Kyra.  The event was kindly sponsored by York Gin and Figleaves.

Enjoy a few of the images of all our gorgeous models, all at different stages of their own grey haired journey, different shapes, sizes, ethnicities and ages but all Silver & Sassy!

 

 

 

Annie and I are already planning what's next for #Silverandsassy and we want to reach as many women as we can with our positive message. The icing on the cake came from being featured on ITV Calendar and then going national on All Around Britain.   (watch from 31 mins in)

We are Silver & Sassy!

Huge thanks to everyone behind the scenes who helped make the day the success that it was.

All images @Olivia Brabbs Photography

February 14, 2021

Stepping Out of the Bubble with the ‘Queen of podcasting’ Anna Parker Naples

Out of the Bubble with Anna Parker Naples

Anna is a global bestselling author of ‘Podcasting with Impact’ and ‘Get Visible’, both books of which I can highly recommend. She's also the host of an no.1 international podcast ‘Entrepreneurs Get Visible’. Anna has developed a real passion for helping ambitious entrepreneurs and coaches get seen and heard.

Out-of-the-Bubble-podcast-with-podcast-queen-Anna-Parker-Naples

Who is Anna Parker Naples?

Good afternoon, Anna. Thank you so much for joining me. I feel slightly under pressure today because I do have you on the pedestal of podcast Queen.

So, no pressure. I didn't give myself the acronym, that title, but it definitely works to help kind of position yourself in a field. I didn't ever set out to help people with podcasting. It's just one of those wonderful things that's unfolded as I've uncovered the things that I'm really good at.

You have had quite a journey, which I'm really looking forward to sharing today for people that don't know you. How do you describe and Introduce yourself?

I help ambitious driven entrepreneurs who feel that they have an important message to share, work out how to be heard and get more visible.

The being heard part is about helping you to have a podcast that's a powerful front end for your business. The get visible part is about how you pull together all of the authority pieces so that someone might see you on social media. They might read your email. They might come across you because you've written a book.

How do you pull all of that together so that you can have greater impact and influence on people so that we can affect more change? So that's the kind of really long title, but I help people impact different people. Purpose driven people to reach more ears. I love that this is what someone wants to try to do with the podcast and encourage people to find their passion and purpose.

The Journey to Success

You’ve definitely found your passion and purpose, but it has been quite a journey hasn't it?

Let's take a few steps back to how this all started.

Right now, Rachel is looking at me and I'm sitting in what looks like a very posh, proper recording studio. I've got all of the padding on the walls. I've got a very posh microphone and what I'm actually sitting in is in the center of my house, in what used to be a long time ago my airing cupboard. This airing cupboard actually has a lot of meaning for me.

If I take you back about 11 or 12 years ago in my final pregnancy. When I was pregnant with my son, I suffered some complications and they told me to expect that I would never walk again.

That's pretty devastating, but I had three very young children, a newborn on the way.  I had always expected that after I had this third child, I would return to acting and stage, which is what I’d been doing before my pre-children life. I felt that everything had been snatched away from me.

I was massively resentful, bitter, fairly twisted and in a really, really dark. I have a natural exuberance and a natural energy, so for me to go down for me to go down that far and hit that hard. It was quite shocking for people around me, but I always, even then, when I was really dark and depressed, I still felt a responsibility to put a bright face on it.

My bright face actually was full of bitterness. You know, the jokes we make about ourselves, the things we try to lighten with humour that actually are really just quite depressing and sad. I basically got to a point where I knew I had to do something about it.

Overcoming life changing hurdles

I went to see a hypnotherapist, who was also a neuro-linguistic programming professional NLP.

It was my first kind of experience into the whole world of mindset and personal development. That day, that decision to go there in my wheelchair at a point where I hardly ever left my bed helped me suddenly realize that there was way more to me, there was possibility, there was future.

It started a massive, massive journey for me.

I’ve heard you say that it was your positive mindset that really helped you change physically.

 What I want to say. It's not just positive mindset, as in, I'm just going to pretend everything's happy.

That's not actually positive mindset for me. It was about undoing a lot of the damage that I was doing to myself over and over again with the things I was saying about myself. I came to realize that, and this didn't just happen in one session. This was a period of unraveling things I had been telling myself for a long time.

There were things I couldn't do because I was now a mum that I couldn't be an actor and be a good mum. I couldn't be a good mum and make money I could. And on and on and on these justifications for why I'd left my acting career behind five years earlier that were full of. I mean, to be honest, it was just rubbish, but where had those limiting beliefs come from?

To then be in this situation where, well, what if I never walk again? I can't have that life that I thought I was going to go back to. But realizing its kind of more than that. So then starting to tap into, well, as an actor, what did I, what did I really want? What was that all about?

He said to me, well, what would happen if you could be globally recognized for your work and earn great money and be at home with the kids and be disabled, what would that look like? I just remember saying to him, well, that's not possible. He said, well, what if it was? What if over the next month you thought about how it was possible?

It was like something just shifted in my brain from this door being completely closed to all of a sudden there's all of these opportunities and the opportunities that came up for me, whether I could work from home as a voiceover artist, initially doing commercials, and then later specializing in radio drama and audio books and video games.

The Road to Recovery

I started on that path quite quickly from bed learning how to edit, I'm not a techno geek. I don't love all of that stuff, but I learnt it all because I had to, to get my voice out there. I ended up becoming one of the UKs leading British voice actors and going on to be a finalist in Hollywood, seven times with the best of the best.

I was fully recovered, and I really believe the reason I recovered was because I changed how I felt about myself.

Changed how I felt about myself and by throwing myself into something which was audio, where I could express myself. Alongside this I trained and became a master NLP practitioner, and I had this massive breakthrough, a kind of awakening moment as I was completing that training. It coincided with my final award in Hollywood, where I'm standing on the red carpet in Hollywood, in a pair of heels, the most glamorous I've ever been within six years. In that moment when I’d thought it was all over and I felt in that moment, Rachel, I have to get this out there. I don't know what it looks like, but I have to reach other people like me, who somewhere deep inside of them thinks and know on some level they're supposed to be doing something more and show them that it's possible.

Dealing with Limiting Beliefs

It's amazing. During that time, did you struggle with imposter syndrome because you were reaching these highs of getting all these accolades in quite short space of time?

I absolutely felt like I could own it.

It's such a huge thing and what we uncovered from going back into some quite traumatic things that happened in my early years when I was 16, I was brutally attacked by a gang of girls and it was arranged by my best friends. So that sense of not being able to speak up, I told my truth.

I told my version of the truth, and then this awful thing happened to me. I had to have surgery on my face and all sorts. At that point I had kind of limited myself.

It's understandable why I did that, but I'd been limiting myself. I think once you realize those limiting beliefs you've created; you can then do anything.

I'm not waiting for anyone else to give me permission. If I give myself permission to be the best, I can be not the best in the world because that's not even achievable, but the best I can be and achieve whatever I want to do to the 9th degree.

What happened next?

I remember flying home and my dad saying to me, well, what next? People around me could see I'd just been on this massive trajectory.

I started with a couple of clients at home in my office, but the light bulb moment came in the February.  I remember having this moment of, I have to create an online business that could have global reach and I want to inspire people. I want them to understand some of the stuff I've understood. What am I going to do?

Female Leaders Rising

I actually think Rachel that there's more and more female leaders rising, and I think it's a really powerful time to be a woman. We have all the things that used to be barriers that, how do you run a business when you were at home? Well, we now have social media. We now have podcasts. We can reach anyone.

It's exciting to see so many more powerful women realize their own potential and start to achieve it and then reach down and help other people up that mountain. The podcast became a way of doing that.

I actually started my first podcast when I launched that Inspiring Mummy Club business, because somebody said to me, you should do a podcast, so I went okay.

I’d never listened to a podcast, but I knew I could recreate one, I had no understanding of the mechanics and even three and a half years ago, podcasting isn't like, it is now. Now it's a major vehicle. Over 50% of the world's population, regularly tune into podcasts.

What makes me tick is the idea that someone somewhere could listen to your podcast or one of my client's podcasts and you don't know what life that's going to touch. You don't know what difference that's going to make.

Celebrating the Wins

How good are you at celebrating your wins, acknowledging them and allowing yourself space to celebrate your wins?

That’s been slightly more challenging during lockdown. Two or three weeks after I launched my second book Podcast with impact, which gained 37 number ones globally was just insane.

That week I was high as a flipping kite all week, even now, I'm still just getting back in touch with people to say, thank you for supporting me. I couldn't do a thing that week, but then comes the crash. I think that's normal as well to acknowledge that if you're going to have highs and you're going to celebrate that hard, there’s going to be a lull as well.  I had at a bit of an energy crash rest, I can't be bothered. What am I doing? But that's part of it too.

It's not always going to be easy and it's not always going to be plain sailing. There's going to be days where you cannot be bothered and there's going to be days where you think, how could I do anything other than this? It's the ebbs and the flows.

If you could pay yourself one compliment, what would it be?

“Anna you are doing more than enough. That's probably as far as I'm going to go. “

It was great to hear Anna’s, honesty, sharing how she's got to where she is now. It’s not always plain sailing, but we can all learn from that. Hopefully Anna’s own story can give you some inspiration because if you are struggling, it doesn't mean to say that's a fixed state. You can't get past this and work towards your goals.

A timely reminder that we mustn't let our fear of failure stop us from trying, because that fear of failure can often stop us from just getting started.

You can listen to the full interview here-

To find out more about Anna please visit here website www.annaparkernaples.co.uk 

You can also follow Anna. on social media- InstagramTwitter and Facebook.

Keeping being fabulous x

 

 

 

 

 

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February 12, 2021

Midlife Inspirathon- Spreading midlife positivity

A 13 hour live marathon day, interviewing inspiring women, spreading some midlife positivity.

Wow what a day to remember!

Where the idea came from

When I first had the idea to celebrate the launch of the new Out of the Bubble podcast series  I never imagined it would grow into such a big event. During the last 14 months my modelling work had obviously dwindled due to the pandemic,  so having the podcast to keep working provided me with a sense of purpose.

I knew I wanted to create an event where I could give something back, as women supporting other women, is at the heart of my personal brand, so creating a fundraising event seemed like the perfect fit.

What is a Midlife Inspirathon?

The Midlife Inspirathon is a full day of live interviews. over on my Instagram page , interviewing 22 women all with inspiring stories to tell, whilst raising money for two women's charities to support.

Women Supporting Women

The Motherwell Cheshire charity, CEO Kate Blakemore has become a familiar face on the podcast.  I am constantly blown away by Kate and her teams dedication to help girls and women from all ages and backgrounds offering a wide range of services.

Last year I started to build a relationship with the Smart Works Leeds charity after joining them as a guest on body confidence panel so I was delighted to have the chair Helen Oldham join me for an interview.

Who joined me?

What a pleasure to interview 22 women all with inspiring stories, live on Instagram starting at 8.30am and finishing at 9.30pm. From midlife body confidence activists, authors, midlife mavericks and every day women all with amazing stories to tell. The message that age is not a barrier to following our dreams, reinventing ourselves and finding new passion and purpose was loud and clear. I was left feeling inspired for the next decade and motivated to keep stepping up and removing my self made barriers to make sure I achieve so much more.

 

 

 

 

A celebrity line up-

When women support one another incredible things can happen.

I was so grateful to have everyone join me and for celebrities , including BAFTA winning television and radio presenter Katy Hill who is now stepping in to a new arena after training as a personal development and empowerment coach supporting the event.

Well known Atomic Kitten Natasha Hamilton who has also had a successful solo career, along with actress, singer, presenter, podcaster and founder of the lifestyle community The Capsule Natalie Anderson.

Sally Carman interrupted her busy Coronation Street schedule to talk to me about her role as an ambassador for the Motherwell Cheshire's Believe project. A project that supports women who find themselves in a vulnerable position, often homeless, with children whom are taking way from them into care or placed for adoption. Sally took up the ambassador role after her character Abi Franklin had a very similar story line.

All the interviews are now available to watch on IGTV here

Thank You!

The event has raised £1380 so far and I have say a huge thank you to all the sponsors as without them it wouldn't have been possible.

In no particular order-

Bridge models, Clair Mackenzie, The Business Revolution, Clockface Beauty, Copper & White, Susan Esco, Dye2befree, Mandy Taylor- founder of Charity Angels, Cloud9, Nima marketing, ChocolatePR, Jacynth Bassett, Jo Cusden, Audrey, Annie Stirk, Wear My Freedom, Yourbody.love

Final Thoughts

We can not allow our fear of failure stop us from pursuing our dreams in this next chapter of life.

All the women I interviewed are grabbing hold of midlife and making sure that they are certainly not invisible.

There's a real sense of midlife community, women who are supporting one another and reaching down to others who may need a hand up. I only hope we can build on this and hope that the media , fashion and advertising companies start to truly reflect the real power of women over 40 who are shining brightly later in life.

Don't forget you can also find lots more inspiration over on the Out of the Bubble podcast.

I'm just getting started!

Keep being fabulous x

 

 

January 22, 2021

Woman of the Week- Michelle Sparman the founder of FIT SW11 Apparel

Sharing my woman of the week whose left me with that #feelgoodfriday feeling.

My women of the week is the fabulous Michelle Sparman.

https://fitsw11.com

Michelle is a fitness instructor and personal trainer based in London and the creator of this fantastic initiative. I love that she's seen the need to help other women have free access to fitness gear that might otherwise not feel they can get out there and be active right now.

This week has been a hard one, the grey, wet Yorkshire weather hasn't helped but seeing some blue skies really lifted me this morning. I couldn't wait to get outside and get some fresh air and exercise.

I came across a fantastic new initiative called FIT SW11 Apparel which helps women access free good quality, second hand fitness clothes to empower training. It's such a great idea so I had a good clear out and headed to the Post Office happy to donate. How many pairs of leggings do we really need to have in our wardrobes?

It always feels good to do something positive and help support others. Women supporting women is at the heart of my Out of the Bubble brand so I definitely got the #feelgoodfriday feeling.

I've been fortunate to have worked on some fantastic fitness and healthy lifestyle campaigns and with that came the added bonus of keeping some of the fitness clothes on a regular basis.

From Tescos FF Active wear with Davina McCall, Rohnisch activewear and most recently Sweaty Betty. It's a real luxury and it's easy to take for granted that I have access to lots of different fitness wear.

 

So many people are struggling financially over the last 12 months because of the pandemic and buying new fitness clothing will definitely not be a priority. We all know the benefits on our mental well being that being active brings. Not having the appropriate clothes to wear can be a huge barrier for some women and really knock their confidence.

Next time you're clearing out your wardrobe why not take a look at Michelles Facebook page or you find FIT SW11 Apparel on Instagram.  

Women supporting women is the future!

 

January 20, 2021

Midlife Inspirathon- 12 hours of midlife positivity

Sending out a positive midlife message with 12 hours of live interviews, raising money for two women's charities.

Join me on Monday 8th February over on Instagram where I will be hosting a live Midlife Inspirathon of interviews. Twelve hours of sharing a diverse collection of women, all with inspiring stories to tell.

I have been busy preparing for the launch of the 2021 Out of the Bubble podcast and I can't tell you how much I have appreciated all the women that I've interviewed over the last year. Like everyone else I have been missing that human connection and I gain my energy from being around people so zoom interviews have been a huge boost to my daily routine.

Why?

With this in mind I knew I wanted to give something back as I'm hugely grateful to the women that I get to talk with, who share their stories with such honesty. To all the women that listen and support the show. Women supporting women is at the heart of my Out of the Bubble brand so what better way to show this than to organise a fundraiser, doing what I love and raising money to support two women's charities.

 

Midlife Inspirathon with Rachel Peru

 

Who?

We have seen a huge increase in women finding themselves out of work during this pandemic and Smart Works is a national charity which supports women from all backgrounds get back in to employment. Providing coaching to give them confidence and self belief to succeed in the workplace. As well providing high quality interview appropriate clothing which can be a real financial barrier for some women. I am raising money for the Smart Work Leeds branch.

Please visit their website to find out more-https://smartworks.org.uk/leeds-smart-works/

After interviewing the CEO Kate Blakemore on the podcast I was blown away by her and the whole teams dedication to helping women of all ages and backgrounds through a wide range of services. Offering a safe place , free from judgement to often vulnerable women. Supporting them to re-find their confidence, improve life skills and access the services they need.

Please visit their website to find out more-https://motherwellcheshirecio.com

You can listen to Kate's interview here.

Stepping out of my comfort zone!

To be honest I'm half excited and half daunted at the thought of being on Instagram live from 8.30am until 9.30pm and it's definitely taking me out of my comfort zone. I've committed to going on Instagram Live every morning just for 5 minutes so I can become more comfortable using it and get used to the set up so if you see my name pop up please come and say hello! As Out of the Bubble is all about encouraging others to step out of their comfort zones I am determined to practice what I preach!

I don't know why the whole IG live thing feels uncomfortable , especially as I more than happy joining others and interviewing women from all walks of life that I've never met before. From listening to other women it seems we are good at hiding behind others and keeping ourselves out of the spotlight and I think I have been guilty of that with the podcast. It's much easier to shine the light on my guests each week than place myself their when the time is needed. Perhaps it's something we've been taught from an early age, not to be show too much confidence for fear of being called a show off or seen as seeking attention. I've come to the conclusion at 50 that if we don't blow our own trumpets no one is going to do it for us!

What are you working towards that takes you out of your comfort zone? I'd really love to know.

You can always email me at rachel@outofthebubblepodcast.com or leave a message on the Facebook page @stepoutofthebubble

 


Who will be joining me?

Luckily I have some amazing women joining on the day that will keep me company and my energy levels high. Here's a little taster of some of the guests who will be joining me-

Natalie Anderson- Actress, presenter, podcaster and founder of the lifestyle brand The Capsule.

Natasha Hamilton- Singer, podcaster and founder of Live Better with Natasha

Jo Gardiner- Contestant in Series 2 of Race Across the World

Misba Khan- Adventure walker and explorer who was part of the 2018 12 woman expedition to ski the last part of the North Pole http://www.euroarabianexpedition.com/

Stephanie Hirst-  Award winning and one of the UK'S biggest radio stars and BBC Radio Leeds presenter

Katy Hill- Well loved television presenter , Personal Development Coach, Speaker, Podcaster, Broadcaster and Writer.

and so many more surprises! #watchthisspace

How you can donate?

I have set up a Just giving page so if anyone feels they can donate, no matter how small, every penny matters to these charities right now.

(Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving - they'll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to the charity. So it's the most efficient way to donate - saving time and cutting costs for the charity.)

I hope you can come and take a listen and watch the show, please drop by @rachelperu1 and say hello. You're support on the day will be hugely appreciated!

 

 

 

December 28, 2020

Stepping in to 2021 with Mood boards and ditching New Years Resolutions.

Why I won't be setting any New Years resolutions but looking forward to 2021 with mood boards and visualisation.

Ditch the New Years Resolutions

I couldn't believe how many 'join my diet' group invites I've received, since Christmas morning. The pressure from other women seems relentless. We need to change the narrative around the diet culture. When these invites randomly get sent they don't really know the individuals personal experiences or thoughts about their own body. It has the potential to be very damaging for some recipients.

Why is it ok to allow someone else's body insecurities to be pushed on to others?  I have tried every diet going over the years and spent endless January's beating myself up about over indulging. It's a hard habit to break but it's a cycle that we can change and step away from.  I noticed a difference when I started to focus on all the positive things I was enjoying in life. I am fit and healthy,  I love being outdoors exercising and the weighing scales play no part in my self worth.

Looking forward with Mood Boards

Instead of placing unnecessary resolutions on myself I choose to look forward to all the things that I love doing. The challenges I thrive on and the things that I'm passionate about. Creating a mood board reminds me of all my goals and aspirations. It's a much more uplifting and positive way to welcome in the new year.


Visualistaion/Moodboard 2021

It's simple to do. You can create a mood board using cut outs from magazines, look for things that inspire you and words that resonate with you. This year I'm going to step out of my own way , I've been doing a lot of self-development work with the amazing Dani Wallace.

My office mood board carries words like " Make it Happen" and "What you put in to life is what you get out of it". I've also included images of inspiration and reminders. It may sound corny but placing this somewhere that you see it every day really can make a difference. I find it very therapeutic creating them and it really helps to clarify my goals for 2021. I have big plans to achieve next year including finishing my book and seeing it published. Some of my aspirations may seem too big right now but I'm a firm believer that if you don't put it out there the you will never get it.

If you're more of a digital person why not create a mood board screen saver, I used Pinterest and Canva to create this one and it I like the idea that I can keep adding to it and change things around as the year goes on.

It's always good to look back and reflect on the year that's gone and see which parts of your visualisation and mood board came true. You might be surprised! Dream big!

November 21, 2018

Out Of The Bubble podcast with Jo Moseley (HealthyHappy50)

Episode 1 of Out Of The Bubble podcast is out and I got to talk to the inspiring Jo Moseley otherwise known on social media as HealthyHappy50. Here are some of the best bits!

I've known Jo for about 12 years, our children went to the same primary school together and then we both went through similar lifestyle changes, also known as divorce. I've been quietly watching and admiring the work Jo has been doing and her journey. She has grown and changed over the years and I have full on admiration on how she has transformed her life and what she has achieved so far, although I have a feeling she has only just getting started.

How do you describe yourself?

I still describe myself as a mum first and foremost and as a single mum that will always be my biggest thing. I have a very normal day job. I'm developing an interest in adventure, little adventures, environmental aspects and all the things about wellness and well-being around being outside and doing fun little adventures.

You say 'little adventures' but some of the things that you've done to date I wouldn't class as little. Can you tell everyone what your first challenge was and how you got started.

The first challenge was probably the biggest. In 2013 my mum died of Lymphoma, four days before Christmas and I decided to do something in her memory. The only real sport I did at the time was indoor rowing so I rode a million metres and a marathon, which basically means rowing 10,000 metres every other night for 8 months. We raised just over £10,000 for the MacMillan charity.It was a great way to honour her memory and it was great for me to help work through the grief and turn it in to something positive. So I started with something big and now I do lots of little adventures, wild swimming, paddle boarding, running, picking up litter and surfing.

How did you start indoor rowing in the first place?

A few months before I had been crying in the supermarket, with my sons when I just had one of those moments when I put my bags down and said I just cant do this anymore.I wasn't sleeping, I was really stressed, mum and dad were going through chemo, a friend lent me a rowing machine which really started to help me sleep and it started from there.

So most people might do a challenge and then think okay I've done it, that's fantastic and then go have a cup of tea and put their feet up. You didn't do that did you?

No I think I realised how much better I felt, I was 48 and i think some of the crying wasn't just life overwhelming but it was the early stages of the menopause but I didn't realise it.  I never asked my mum about the menopause, it just wasn't talked about. The symptoms were creeping up on me without me knowing so I did some research and realised these symptoms, crying, aching joints, not sleeping, feeling more anxious were symptoms of the menopause.I realised exercise had really helped me feel better and it would be silly of me not to continue.These self care routines to get me through the day became more enjoyable so once I was swimming, running and eventually paddle boarding they were activities that were so much fun, why wouldn't I want to do these things on a daily basis.

How did you get involved in the This Girl Can, Sport of England campaign?

The first time was after completing the Great North Swim and I took a picture with these really huge goggles on and they had this thing where you could upload an image and choose a slogan , one of the slogans was 'Damn right I look hot'. So there is me a 50 year old woman with massive goggles and a yellow cap and they saw it and chose me, I did a little bit of radio interviews and they were just broadening it out to fifty year old's and moving way from focusing on younger women.

The second time recently I wrote to them and told them my story thinking they wouldn't necessarily be interested but it was more about me being brave. I had this idea that if I wrote to people , the more I got no's the less it would worry me and they said yes.They put it out there and so many women said thank you for sharing the tough times and being so honest, I realised the more honest I was about the crying and difficult times and being injured the more normal I was, the more relatable I was the more It inspired people.

Were you sporty when you were younger?

When I was little up to secondary school age I was doing all the things i'm doing now, I didn't think they were sporty , I was called a tomboy, now I would have been called a sporty girl.I would be out climbing trees, throw myself in to the sea, try and skateboard, ride my bike. I've got a picture of me on my Chopper looking cool in my Bay City Roller tartan trousers but then when I got to school it was all very formal and that just turned me off.I loved gymnastics, doing headstands and cartwheels but school stuff just turned me off. From my late twenties to my late forties I did just about nothing, maybe one 5k walk and I did the Moonwalk when my marriage was collapsing.So its always been in me but for many years it was dormant.

So after all these challenges you've now discovered this real passion for paddle boarding , is that your main love?

I think I love all of them, I love anything to do with the water.Paddle boarding is easy in the sense that I live near a reservoir so I can do it in my everyday, whereas surfing and body boarding I have to go to the sea.

One of the things I don't think you realise is the impact your social media posts have on other people, I see your posts out running, picking up litter being outdoors it makes me want to get out and do something.I think social media for the over 40's is a really inspiring place. How do you find social media?

I love Twitter because everyone was so supportive, it's quite quick and you can learn lots of news things about conferences and events. Instagram is very pretty and very supportive and kind. You can curate a really kind environment and I've made loads of friends that I've actually met. You can't make friends over night but this is a different group of friends built upon shared goals and dreams and that brings them alive. I've not met anyone that I've then gone away and thought I'm so glad I met.

I would say it takes a lot of confidence to get out there and meet new people, have you always had that confidence or has it come with everything you've been doing?

I think I've had it and lost it. I think babies, marriages, miscarriages, divorce, grief, they dampen who you are, it's just a case of excavating through all those difficult situations and revealing who you probably are. I am more in my fifties like I was aged 9 or10 than I have ever been.I'm totally cool with the idea that I'm uncool. I'll never be the one who walks in to a room and they'll think wow she's so glamorous, they'll probably think when did she brush her hair but I'm cool with that just as I was when I was at nine or ten without the angst of teenage years. There's a real liberation now. I think your thirties and forties are really difficult because you are establishing who you are and there's a lot of keeping upness which if I was back there again I would say don't even try, follow your own thing. Don't worry about what everyone else is doing, it's just not relevant to your life and I still have to say that to myself sometimes.

Do you still get scared when you are doing new things? How do you over come it?

God, yeah.

I think i've learnt you only have to be brave enough to do the next thing, you don't have to climb the mountain just take the next step. You've just got to believe in yourself and see what happens. I'm going to give it everything I've got but not necessarily attach it to the outcome.

You've got quite involved in litter picking, plogging and environmental issues. Can you tell us more about it?

I have always loved the sea, my dissertation was about the environment back in the 1980's, I've been more aware of the problems with plastic and like most people watched David Attenborough. It's just been a rediscovery of something that I was interested in when I was younger. At the beginning of the year I decided to do a litter pick or beach clean every day and post pictures and see if anyone else would join in. The first thing I got invited to talk about what I was doing was at a running festival, it was just one of those relationships that I had built on Twitter. It always amazes me that people are watching you from a distance without you realising in a good way and thinking she's quite consistent about the subject, then someone comes along and says would you like to be involved in this, I never imagined it. It's interesting because at the beginning of the year I had written a list of crazy goals for the year,when I looked back a lot of them had come true, even if from a slightly different angle.

Do you think you've found your purpose other than being a mum and a daughter?

Yes massively. In fact I see the link between the environment and well-being is the link I want to share with people. Particularly at our age there is so much about our own well being, going through the menopause, the mental changes and there are so many things that we can do with a purpose to help bring everything together. So much of the environmental and adventure world is dominated by younger people and I just want to say look actually we have a contribution and we can have these little adventures that can be hugely enjoyable.

What's your current challenge and what's next?

I am running a 1000km this year, so I'm currently on about 750km. I'm thinking of doing a longer run next, possibly picking litter. Maybe there is one big thing in me when my boys have left, we'll see!

What song motivates you?

This Is Me from The Greatest Showmen by Keala Settle

What book inspired you?

Playing Big by Tara Mohr or anything written by Brene Brown

Who inspires you?

Taryn Brumfitt, founder of the Body Image Movement

You can follow Jo over on Instagram and Twitter @healthyhappy50 or on her website www.healthyhappy50.com

To listen to the audible podcast please click on the podcast link or visit

I'll be back in two weeks when I talk with Zoe McNulty from School Of Strut.

In the meantime...keep being fabulous x

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