056 How Do We Hold On
Release Date: 04/09/2020
Inside My Wardrobe
If you think that stepping into your Queendom alludes you, have a listen to this episode. A story of dogged determination, poor health advice, employment rejection and then a wonderful turnaround thanks to dogged determination and refusal to sit on the shelf! Serena Gay has spent her entire life as a broadcaster but then along came menopause, coupled with a major relocation and everything seemed to hit brick walls - until she decided that she wasn't done yet, she had plenty to offer and that "no" wasn't good enough! Serena's story highlights the importance of self esteem, awareness and a...info_outline 079 Beyond The Bleed
Inside My Wardrobe
In this episode with @themenopausepsychologist we talk about navigating the impact that hormones have on our psychological state and subsequent mental health. We discuss the 3 stages of being a woman, from childhood, to puberty through to motherhood and into what has the potential to be our most fulfilling years, post menopause. Until now, hormone influence on our lives really hasn’t been discussed or understood much at all. They affect us from our teen years and learning how to recognise what happens and manage ourselves around our cycles is something that you may or may not have become the...info_outline 078 Knowing & Navigating the Symptoms of Menopause with Diane Danzebrink
Inside My Wardrobe
Our hormones have for many years been subjected to shameful jibes however, they are immensely powerful and the driving force behind so much of who we are, hence the title of this episode. The thing is, they also change as we transition into the next phase of our lives around our mid/late 40s and when they begin to change, we can find the impact on our emotional, mental and physical health to be a huge shock to the system if we aren't informed about what to expect. If we can understand what’s going on, and manage the change with support, the next phase of life has the opportunity to be even...info_outline 077 Stop Pleasing Start Living 3/4
Inside My Wardrobe
In part 3 of our people pleasing series we discuss the importance of boundaries and saying no. Having solid boundaries is fundamental to not being a people pleaser and the cornerstone to good mental health. You don't need permission to like what you like neither do you need to justify yourself. Boundaries are the lines that define who we are and what matters to us and people will take what you give to them so be sure you're wanting to give what's being taken - if you're feeling burned out and running on empty, sure as eggs is your boundary lines need firming up! So, with World Mental Health...info_outline 076 How To Eat And Be Happy
Inside My Wardrobe
This week we talk about recognising the patterns that potentially lead to, or already point to an eating disorder which is a complex mental illness, often misunderstood because of media portrayal. Anyone, can develop one, no matter their age, gender, or background. There is no single cause and people might not even have all of the symptoms for any one eating disorder. Earlier this week we saw Freddie Flintoff’s documentary about his 20 year battle with bulimia in which he began to lift the lid on some of his personal battles (25% of people who suffer with an eating disorder are male) and of...info_outline 075 Ways To Find Yourself
Inside My Wardrobe
Following on with the theme of people pleasing and discovering who we are so that we can have the courage to be our true selves, today’s episode is brimming with ways for you to peel back the layers and release the real you who has been slowly disappearing behind the layers of life that often result in us losing touch with ourselves and what matters to us most. It’s not mid-life crisis, it’s a wonderful time of enlightenment that can be hugely liberating if we are brave enough to go on the journey. Gayle Johnson talks with me during this episode about how writing, as an an act of...info_outline 074 Stop Pleasing and Start Living 2/4
Inside My Wardrobe
How to feel good about yourself, accept compliments wholeheartedly, feel confident in your decisions and free from the need to be liked. In this episode we talk about how to establish your values and avoid the need for validation from others, or the feeling of being invisible or not important - you are enough as you are!! This is some fundamental life changing stuff - I hope you enjoy! Click here for the COPYRIGHT 2020 PIPA GORDONinfo_outline 073 Stop Pleasing and Start Living Part I
Inside My Wardrobe
Fed up with people pleasing and feeling like you're not on top of your own life? Constantly scrolling through social media and feeling like you aren't where you should be? The days of following the crowd have to be numbered if we want to embrace and live our own lives and to do that we need to go right back to the beginning and get to know ourselves for who we were born to be. As we come out of lockdown, how do we reintegrate with life and establish a new sense of normal without falling back into our old ways and habits? No amount of self help books and podcasts will help any of us if we...info_outline 072 A Beginners Guide To The Menopause and HRT
Inside My Wardrobe
What is the menopause? When does it start? When does it finish? Is HRT as dangerous as they once said or is it true that the majority of the information was misinformation? We go right back to basics in this episode with Dr Zoe Hodson, GP and menopause specialist who works with Dr Louise Newson on training GPs in how to recognise, diagnose and treat the menopause and more importantly, the peri-menopause which takes up a huge chunk of our lives impacted dramatically by hormone deficiency. I have a feeling we will revisit this topic again but this episode is jam packed with information and...info_outline 071 I May Destroy Me
Inside My Wardrobe
Dealing with self sabotage and overcoming our negative narrative .... Books mentioned: Untamed by Glennon Doyle Women Don't Owe Your Pretty by Florence Given All my links are available on Please do join ourinfo_outline
A marathon runner trains for the long race both physically and mentally and when we are in the midst of the marathons that life throws our way, such as the corona virus lockdown, there are some tools that help. So like a long distance athlete, we can find ways to keep going, with a sense of hope, peace and belief in a world that heals.
I think we are at that stage where for many, its beginning to hurt. We’ve all put our best foot forwards and embraced this newness but the feeling of weariness is beginning to set in. How do keep going and hold on?
- There are thousands of key workers keeping the country going, daily putting their own health and the subsequent health of their families on the line
- There are families stuck at home within the same 4 walls who no doubt at times the patience with each other is running thin
- There are those who live on their own who really are done now with peace and quiet, even though Zoom, facetime and skype have all been a tremendous support
I could go on – the reality is, whatever stage of life we are at, however this has effected us and will continue to effect us going forwards, as I mentioned last week, the not knowing can be exhausting, IS exhausting
Lots of people are watching more TV, ploughing through box sets and reading books but even those eventually become tiresome ….so then what …
There are many tales we can draw on – I’ve a few friends who run marathons and so did a bit of research on how they cope with the boredom, the exhaustion, the pain, the fear of not making it and have found some really great tips that can help us as we pace ourselves through any period of difficulty, especially right now as so many are in isolation
- Get your language right – safe at home, not stuck at home or I hope I don’t get ill – I’m glad I am well, this is hideous / this is an opportunity for something new
- Visualise good things – when we imagine something, we fire up the same neurons in our brain as when we are actually experiencing it – so close your eyes and go somewhere different – relive a party, remember a holiday or an adventure, revisit some of your favourite memories – your body will enjoy it!
- Find your routine – the body functions best with routine and pattern. I talked about the circadian rhythm a few months ago and how the body has patterns for feeding and sleeping, hormone production, cell regeneration and loads of things that help it function well – having a physical routine in place helps us function so try not to fall into the trap of not having to get up for the school run or going to work, but instead, get up anyway – do something with that extra time that you might have spent in the car or elsewhere
- Set small goals – not anything crazy but small things that help you feel that the day hasn’t been wasted – clean the bathroom, sort a cupboard, do some exercise – if we feel we have achieved something with our time, we feel good
- Embrace the process, not the outcome – winners don’t think about winning, they think about putting in a winning performance – so winning this for you will look different for me and so forth –
- Find a way to block the bad thoughts – there are times when diversion is an excellent life skill! I find music and dancing ALWAYS lifts the mood, it might be painting, or cooking, cleaning or gardening – having a project that you see growing – maybe changing a room around, sorting the loft or the garage …
- Look up and look around – get off the screens!!!
- Smile – when we are happy, we have more energy, the synapses in our brain fire better when we feel good, our bodies function better
And during those days when you feel that this is going on for ever, remember
Terry Waite was in captivity in Beirut for 5 years in the 80s, and spent 1,736 days in solitary confinement, often blindfolded, not seeing a single soul – sometimes under ground, sometimes in bombed out buildings which his captors blocked all the light, chained up to the wall for most of the 5 years, for the first nearly 4 years no books or papers or communication with the outside world, basic bread or rice and beans to eat ..
Aung San Suki – under house arrest for 15 years
Nelson Mandela was kept in isolation for 27 years, no family, no luxuries – held on to hope and vision
These people all not only survived their isolation, but rose to become leaders, voices of authority and right now, their stories all show us a common thread. They kept going by holding on to hope and vision
Interview with Terry Waite – decided that looking after his inner health would help protect his physical health….
- Coming to terms with the fear, worry and anger by trying to live for now, trying to make the moment as full as possible …. He did that by mentally adjusting to the situation, with nothing, he began to write in his head, ….things have a habit of turning out ok and for the majority of us it will be fine, but we need to find the capacity to accept it as it is
- One day at a time – taking the positives – we are SAFE at home, not STUCK at home
- Keep your dignity, take pride in your appearance – mentally it helps …he used to fold his trousers
- Form a structure for the day …we are surrounded by books, papers, have access to the internet and so can use the time creatively
Ultimately, and most importantly, I that holding on to hope is the most powerful and over arching thing we can do to keep us going – whatever it is that you are hoping for, all these other things that we have talked about will give you the strength to keep holding on, keep going and keeping hoping – we can and we will get through this because we, as humans, have been through it before and will no doubt go through it again.
1k million lives were lost through TB
Smallpox 300 million 1900-1980
Measles 200 million lives in the last 150 years
Spanish flu took between 50-100 million 1918-1920
…war, natural disasters and so on
So we know this is part of the human experience, and we know that the other part of that experience is coming out the other side – as we talked about last week in episode 55
So for me, also embracing the fact that there is more to life than what we physically see, also gives me hope, also gives me peace and helps me feel joy – episode 39 joy
Brene Brown says “gratitude will enhance your ability to enjoy life and experience joy without fear” and right now we all have so much to be thankful for -thankful for our health so that we can love and give to others, thankful for all the care staff, doctors and nurses who are looking after those who need medical help, thankful for all the key workers who keep the country going as best as they can, keeping provisions available for us and looking after those who are more vulnerable ….on a more personal level we can be thankful for our homes, our books, our loved ones, our friends, our future, our past, and our moment right now …
You know my story, I come from a horribly abusive and neglectful background, I went into care for a time and was pretty broken for a long time. I had experienced a LOT of pain and loss over the years but it’s in that loss, in that darkness, you realise that it’s not all about you, somewhere along the line, we twig that there is more than what we see with our physical eyes and I think once we start to go deeper into that thought process, deeper into the belief that there is so much more than just us and our experience, that we start to have the ability to look further, to feel deeper and to hope for longer.
I prayed on my igtv earlier this week, it’s not something I tend to do on social media, I’m more used to praying myself or if its public, then in church but I really felt that it was the right thing to do. My peace in the fact that there is more to life, and that there is purpose to be found in every situation, comes from my faith and I wanted to share that and I’ve had so many responses off the back of it from people who felt that peace too - what a gift!
This obsession with self and achievement is skin deep, it serves very little greater purpose and so to try to grasp the bigger picture and lean into the fact that there is more, there is a higher purpose and an unconditional love that stretches way beyond the mistakes we make, our imperfections and our darker moments is what gives me hope. By believing in a greater essence that allows us to fully know and feel a life of love and connection.
So at this time when we might be feeling as though our wings have been clipped, we lean in to hope and we lean in to love – and also perhaps loving ourselves – maybe you’ve been so busy over the last few years that you’ve not looked after yourself properly? Maybe during this time of learning how to really live in the moment, its your chance to make friends with yourself again because actually, loving yourself is of utmost importance – not because Loreal says we are worth it or because you want an excuse for a new handbag, but because those around us, deserve the very best of what we have to give. We take care of ourselves so that we are able to take care of others. We put them first by putting ourselves first – its not linear, its love, true love in action
I’m not sure that life was ever given to us to be ours, I think we are way more connected than that, that life isn’t mine to own, instead, it’s mine to give, as it’s been given to me. There is no greater joy than we find in giving ourselves through love, unconditional, unscripted, unashamed, undivided and whole hearted love.
So when things get hard, when pain sears through your heart, when fear courses through your veins or sadness weighs so heavily that you can’t stand, hold on to the hope and belief that this is not all there is ….
Lily posted a quote from Harry Potter today – Albus Dumbledore “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light”
In many ways, darkness could be considered as being the beginning. The beginning of a new day comes from darkness, the world coming into being came out of darkness, we’ve talked before about spring following winter ….and indeed with this time of the corona virus we too will come into the light …we just don’t know when that is + – when we look at figures such as Aung San Suki and Nelson Mandela, Terry Waite and others – we can do this, we can hold on to hope for a new day, a new era, a better society and a healthier planet.
So, may peace be with you, may joy lift you up, may you smile, sing and dance knowing that it will be ok again soon. …..and if you want to share your smiles and joy, which we all know are infections, please keep in touch, you can find all my social media links via my website