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

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

March 29, 2020

Top 10 Podcasts by Inspiring Women

How’s everyone coping with being at home? I’m trying to keep busy and plan each day with some structure to help keep me motivated. I’m a huge fan of listening to podcasts and now is the perfect time to catch up on some of those missed episodes. There are so many podcasts out there now and I’m glad to see so many female content creators.

I can guarantee there will be a podcast covering almost every subject you can think of, from finances, death and divorce to love and fashion, detective and thriller stories to gardening and cooking. I think there’s something special when women come together and have a good chat; quite often, listening to another womens’ story or experience can make such a difference to your day and leave you feeling inspired.

Here are some of my favourite podcasts to keep you going and hopefully help fill the odd hour or two each day.

Get ready to start downloading now!

How to Fail

Elizabeth Day switches things up a bit by celebrating the things that haven’t gone right. Weekly podcast where guests explore how their failures taught them how to succeed better. Famous guests share their failures candidly and you will be surprised to see how many of them you can relate to.

Conversations of Inspiration

I’ve only recently discovered this podcast with Notonthehighstreet and Holly & Co founder Holly Tucker, I have binge listened so many episodes. Holly really is a woman to be admired after spending the last 15 years building small businesses and helping empower so many others across the UK.

Conversations of Inspiration sees Holly invite founders of small businesses to share the highs and lows they’ve encountered whilst building their business.

Hashtag Authentic

Sara Tasker’s podcast was the very first one I listened to and I’ve been hooked ever since. If you are a creative person this is the podcast for you. Hashtag Authentic is a weekly podcast exploring the secrets to online success for dreamers, makers and creatives. With practical tips and inspiring stories that will leave any small businesses, bloggers and online creatives feeling inspired.

The Capsule

Keeping it local with the lovely Leeds based actress and presenter Natalie Anderson who has built a successful lifestyle brand called The Capsule and has now launched her own podcast to talk all things Fashion, Beauty, Business and Wellbeing.

Natalie is joined weekly by The Capsule editorial team Fashion Editor Anna Mewes and Travel Industry Expert Lyndsey Thomas. Series one has just finished, and I thoroughly enjoyed listened to the variety of guests.

Happy Place

I’ve always been a fan of Fearne Cotton and I’ve loved watching her career change direction.

Fearne is not one to shy away from any subject as her guests talk honestly about their lives, love, loss, and everything in-between as she reveals what happiness means to them.

In The Dark

If you love serial investigative journalism, then this American APM podcast hosted by Madeleine Brown and a team of reporters will get you hooked.

Investigating murders, kidnapping, following trial and re-examining evidence is fascinating.

I’m Absolutely Fine

If you’re not familiar with these two ladies who formed The Midult then I definitely recommend you look them up. Annabel Rivkin and Emilie McMeekan founded The Midult back in 2016 and provided a refreshing change to what’s been put out there for grown up women and really celebrate the power and potential of women. The podcast looks into the glamour along with the indignity of being a grown up.

The Naked Podcast

I recently had the pleasure of joining BBC Radio Sheffield hosts Jenny Eells and Kat Harbourne for their latest Naked Podcast series and it’s a brilliant idea. Hosts and guests strip off and enjoy honest and topical conversation; it’s surprising how liberating it feels!

Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations

Oprah’s podcast is a firm favourite of mine. Full of insight, food for thought, clarity and inspiration. At a time like our current one I think this is the perfect podcast to help you keep grounded, sane and calmer.

Out Of The Bubble

I hope I can be forgiven for including my own podcast in this list as it’s something I’m very proud of and am enjoying the opportunity to share some amazing women’s stories. Women who have re-invented themselves in later life, overcome hurdles, changed directions share their journey and leave you with inspiration and motivation.

Start downloading now!

Keep being fabulous
Rachel x

More from the blog

Social Bubble - On Instagram

OUT OF THE BUBBLE

Out of the Bubble champions women who are embracing life and leaving a trail of inspiration along the way. Inspiring others to become more confident in body and mind.

We all have a story to tell.
 

STEP OUT OF THE BUBBLE FACEBOOK GROUP

If you looking for a safe space to share and feel part of a community of women all finding their own way through midlife then come and join the group.

Join Now
 

SIGN UP TO OUR NEWSLETTER

Please wait...

Thank you for sign up!