Living a life true to yourself

In this episode we discuss the phrase ‘making your outsides match your insides’ that Kate read in an email from Nicole Antoinette. It’s a phrase that feels very aligned with the work we do here at The Good Space, supporting you to live a life connected to your true self. Listen for us sharing about our past selves, our journeys with becoming disaligned from ourselves and our current and continued journey back into alignment.

  • Our journeys with working towards being in alignment with our true selves
  • The parts of us that feel like the true authentic part, and how we apply these to our lives
  • Reflecting on our own personal stories and the little things that bring us pleasure
  • ‘Guilty’ pleasures
  • Ideas for small things to bring about change

This discussion was inspired by an email from Nicole Antoinette. You can find her website here.

Ellen mentioned the podcast she recorded with Giulia Mazzola You can listen to that here.

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Ellen and Kate x

Living a life true to yourself

[00:00:00] Ellen: Welcome to create shift where we have conversations to encourage and inspire positive change hosted by me, Ellen Carr, 

[00:00:11] Kate: and me Kate Banks. Together we run The Good Space, a place for alternative learning and radical wellbeing. 

[00:00:17] Ellen: If you’re ready to rip up the rules and create a life in which you can thrive then this is the podcast for you. 

Hello, create shift listeners, create shifters. That’s my new name for you. In today’s episode, Kate and I chat about a phrase; making your outsides match your insides, which is something that Kate came across in an email that Nicole Antoinette sent and we’ll link to Nicole’s website and other things so you can have a look at their work further, but it’s an interesting phrase that felt very connected to the work that we do here at The Good Space and the work that we support you to do, which is really. Yeah. Living a life that is in alignment with who you really are. And I think so many of us go through our lives. It goes through so much of our lives, not in alignment with that. And, and it doesn’t feel good. Um, and it’s really sad when we think about it or when I think about it, it’s really sad to see so many people suffering. The kind of suffering that is disguised as living normally, because that’s what we’ve come to see as the norm in our society.

And, and so, yeah, I’m just really glad that you’re here listening to this, that there are people who are starting to want to do this work and that I get to support, um, people like you wanting to do this work along with Kate. And that’s really what we really want to do. Um, because we believe that if more people lived in a way where that outsides match their insides, The inside. Yeah, that’s the right way round. Then the world would be a better place. And, and if you were here listening to this, then I imagine that you might believe that as well. So I hope you liked this episode. It’s a bit, uh, rambling and tangential for me as, as often. Talking a lot about teenage years and past selves.

Um, yeah, so you get to learn a little bit more about Kate and I and, and our past as well. And, and hopefully it will inspire some thought and some, maybe some action for you as well. And as always remember that Kate and I are here to support you on your journey to living a life that is connected to your true self connected to others and to the natural world around you.

And if you feel like you’re needing some support with that, come into our newsletter community. Drop us an email, uh, have a look at our creative collaborative coaching. It was, is it creative? Yeah, I suppose, but collaborative coaching, um, offer that we’ve got at the moment and we would love to, to see you in the, in The Good Space community in whatever way you want to be there.

And we’d love to work with you. So for now, I hope you enjoy this episode and, uh, hopefully connect with you soon. Yes. Making your outsides match your insides. So that’s a phrase that you introduced me to you from Nicola Antoinette. 

[00:03:15] Kate: Yes. She, she wrote a really lovely email about the process she went through in order to start kind of living on the outside, what her, what she felt on the insides and a lot about how growing up she was made to look a certain way and act a certain way. And the process she’s been going through to kind of really find herself and to live that, you know, a lot more truly to how she feels on the insides 

[00:03:46] Ellen: And I like that she talks about. That includes things like what clothes she wears and how her hair is, and like everything and, and, and, and, and she talks, doesn’t she about how it’s actually previously thought that thinking about caring about your appearance was just like superficial and like, judgemental about that, and then kind of reconciling with how actually that can still be part of, of how we make our outsides match our insides.

So it doesn’t just have to be. You know, the ID, this work cause it’s really connected to, you know, to touch on what we spoke about in the previous episode. Like my values that like I’m really a value driven person who, you know, that, that it can be fun and pleasurable and, um, light as well. 

[00:04:44] Kate: Yeah. And it’s a real layering act as well. It’s looking, you know, what do you look like? How do you act, what you do, what you say, how do you feel? And it’s, you know, all of that complexity, all added up to match how you’re feeling on the inside. 

[00:05:00] Ellen: And I think when they’re not doing that, it feels really hard. But not always immediately. Like I think sometimes we can not even know that that’s what’s happening and yet we might be getting signs from our body, from our emotions that, that we’re not in alignment, I guess just, I guess this outsides matching the insides is what I call being in alignment with our true self.

And yeah, I guess I’m just curious about maybe like your journey with this and kind of sharing that of our own. Cause I know I’ve got definitely a journey with that. 

[00:05:47] Kate: Did you want me to go?

[00:05:52] Ellen: Uh, yeah, so I guess like, for me, I’m thinking a lot recently about how I feel like, in many ways at the moment I’m coming back to how I have been in the past. Um, I think I’ve shared with you before. The image of that I’m kind of like that, I’m like steering a ship and that I’m coming out now have like some big storm clouds. And so I was sort of on this path or this journey in my ship.

And then, and then suddenly I went through loads of storms all the time and getting lost and going different ways. And I feel like I’m coming back out of the storms to continue the journey. And, and yet I’m also bringing all the skills that I’ve. I’ve aimed through the storms and the things that, that I’ve, I’ve learned and things.

So I feel like trying to give this more practical examples. Um, there are many ways that I feel like I used to be as a teenager and as a young adult, I feel like I slowly lost. Sort of through, my twenties, and now I’m in my early thirties. And. Um, so things like, even like, you know, I used to be really interested in fashion and, and, and I used to really enjoy putting outfits together and that I just kind of lost that, I think similar to like what Nicole Antoinette talks about and that like, maybe judging that or realizing that I cared about sustainability in that fashion wasn’t sustainable and that, you know, or, or things to do with money and how I spent money and all these different things started to intersect with that.

And I kind of, you know, I got rid of a lot, so many clothes that I regret kind of now in a way. Um, and now I’m having to like rebuild a wardrobe that actually feels good to me because I realized, you know, sort of in the last few years that actually I had basically zero clothes that felt good to me to wear. Um, and I think a lot of that was sort of a kind of fitting in and I could try and look a certain way or feeling like I had to look or dress a certain way.

Um, so that kind of thing, or, um, the theatre side of the work that I do, like that used to be everything to me. And then, uh, it sort of felt like I lost it a little bit. Uh, over the years, I think there was that I could losing of confidence in myself, uh, like a belief that I had that actually I sort of inherently did know I was doing got lost as I progressed through more adult life.

And it’s kind of like returning to that. And then, and even with kinda The Good Space, like the way that that came about was me sort of going, how can I be all of myself in my work instead of feeling like I have to segment myself, um, So, yeah, I, I guess I kind of forgot how I go into that, but, um, I guess that’s just kind of been my journey is that I felt like I’m returning and in some ways to how I, I was maybe a decade or more ago, but, that’s not that I’m exactly the same as I was at that.

[00:09:25] Kate: And I think that’s a really important distinction, isn’t it? That, you know, life does change us and we can’t go back to exactly how we were, but it’s taking those parts of us that really feel like the authentic, true parts of ourselves and apply them on to where we are now in our lives. 

[00:09:43] Ellen: Yeah. And I guess, I guess it’s interesting that I’m reflecting back on a lot is sort of me as… I can hear your dog, that’s Kate’s dog everybody!.

Yeah, new feature, 

[00:09:54] Kate: it must be a postman or something outside 

[00:09:56] Ellen: exciting times. Um, I guess, yeah, the, if I’m reflecting on how I was a teenage and I know teenage years are difficult in many ways for many people, but I guess it’s also a time when we really are expressing ourselves. And experimenting with that.

Uh, and so, you know, sort of like, you know, I often return to this question, I’ll ask people this question. Like, what did you do for fun when you were kind of a kid? Cause that often points to things that we really love. And I guess there is that thing about returning to, to that to kind of go, this is something that’s always sort of been inside of me and I’ve as an adult, I’ve kind of started to let that go because it doesn’t fit in with what we’re told we need to be or how we need to be, or whatever. Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:10:49] Kate: I was just gonna say, it’s interesting you reflecting on the teenage years part because it’s an interesting time for our lives, isn’t it? Because we suddenly get a lot more freedom to make our own choices, choose your own clothes, you know, do the things that we want to do, but equally it comes with a whole ton of judgment and societal beliefs about, you know, you should be behaving in a certain way and doing a thing, and don’t you need to be working for your degree or thinking about what job you’re going to get.

It comes with a whole big load of guilt and judgment on that, which, you know, I guess is, you know, some people I know I did, then that leads me to, you know, want to conform and to live up to other people’s expectations and grow into the adult that I should be in order to succeed. 

[00:11:36] Ellen: And I think that’s interesting because I don’t think I did really have that experience the same.

I think I’m lucky actually. I think. Uh, I had a really great time from the age of like 15 to 18, it was brilliant. And I know that’s not the case for everybody. Um, and I think there was definitely, I guess I’ve always been a high achiever and, you know, so it was always getting good grades and that, I think I’ve always, I don’t think I needed anybody else to put that pressure on me actually, I had enough putting it on me, myself. So I think there was that. But I was always very clear that I wanted to be an actress. Um, and so that was what I was always gonna do. I was always gonna go to drama school. Um, and I don’t know. I don’t remember having anybody saying, do you want to consider doing something more sensible?

Maybe that, that did kind of happen afterwards. And I, you know, that’s kind of another story. I went to drama school and then I left and then I went to uni and stuff. And that story actually is in another podcast episode, the kind of, one where Giulia interviewed me. And so we can link to that. I’m just looking at the transcript.

It’s popping up, live on the side and it’s, it says. Judea interviewed me, which is… she’ll love that! Um, anyway. Yeah, that’s another thing, but yeah, I think for me, I think this, that’s why I, right now I’m returning to a lot of stuff. Like I used to read on this as a teenager or whatever, because that was a good time for me.

And I felt really safe to wear what I wanted. And I, I wore some crazy shit. Like, and it was fine. And I. I liked that. So that’s, I mean, that’s a lot about clothing stuff, but also like, I was really, I wasn’t like a super confident person, I wouldn’t say. And I was pretty like quiet, uh, until I was in the right group of people.

But I always had a belief in my abilities when it came to theatre and that carried through to like my twenties, um, when I started my theatre company and then it gradually started to dwindle and. But anyway, what about you?.

[00:14:00] Kate: So I think, um, so as a young kid, I was pretty confident wore what I wanted was pretty kind of content with life, but I started getting bullied really badly, um, probably around the age of eight. And I think that’s, that was the big thing. And the, the main thing I got bullied for to start with was the clothes I wore and the size I was.

So, you know, my body shape and my clothes. So it was the visible stuff. And that continued. You know, for most of my school life. And that really led to many, many years of just wanting to fit in. So I just learnt the skills of how to be invisible or how to stay quiet. So I, you know, I used to like speak up in assemblies. I used to be the narrator in the school plays and I stopped doing all of that and just existed in the shadows really. I didn’t say anything or do anything that would put me in the spotlights. I would wear clothes that other people wore or that were just nondescript really. So there was no points, no excuse for anyone to pick on me.

And interestingly, you talked about 15. Cause I think probably around that stage, I kind of rebelled against it all, and I really got into my music and I then started wearing some really weird and wacky stuff and I loved it. And. I had a few years then of just really kind of being happy in myself, went to a lot of live gigs and that was just kind of my life and what I really enjoyed and interestingly that’s the thing that I now bring, you know, to use to bring myself back. I’m going to see live music and listening to music in the car and things. Um, but again, when I started work, I found that I didn’t fit in and you had to fit in. I worked, um, as an engineer for all my corporate career and being a woman in that male dominated area. And it was, it was quite traditional when I first joined and people wore certain things. There was a very strict dress code. And as a woman, you had to almost look, you know, you had to be more male. You had to act like the men and dress like the men I wore like trouser suits. I hated them. They didn’t suit me at all, but it was the thing that I wore for a long time and shirts, um, and just had to exist to be like everyone else.

And probably about 10 years into my career, I decided I was going to just ditch all that stuff. Cause I hated wearing it. It was really uncomfortable. It didn’t fit well. And I went out and bought some dresses and skirts and I got teased endlessly for weeks. And it was that reconfirmation as an adult that you have to fit in.

But actually the decision I made was not fit in at that point and that I was just going to stand out and I think that was. Oh, no, the slippery slope back into myself and it’s been a lot easier since I’ve been working for myself because I’ve got no one telling me what I can wear and what I can do and what I can look like and what I can think.

Um, so that’s, I think given me the freedom to really tap into what means something to me at the moment. And, um, again, in the email she talked about, um, starting to get all that tattoos that she really wanted. And that’s something that I’ve been doing over the last couple of months that I decided, you know, first of all, in my career, we weren’t allowed tattoos.

Yeah. You wouldn’t be employed if you had tattoos. Um, and then I got to a point where I was like, oh, I’m too old. I’m like a mum. I can’t have tattoos. It’s like not a thing that you do when you’re over 40. And then at the end of last year I was, like, 43, gotta get a tattoo. And so on number two now, and that, and that’s one of the things that it kind of makes me feel a bit more like me to put that on the outside.

[00:17:49] Ellen: And does that feel pleasurable? That, does it bring you pleasure? 

[00:17:54] Kate: Yes, I love, so I love my tattoos. Um, I’m quite sad that it’s so cold at the moment and I’m having to wear lots of clothes because they’re both on my arm and I just can’t wait till the summer so I can wear vest tops, but I loved them because they both are very meaningful to me and they remind me of some really important things. And so I love looking at them. 

[00:18:13] Ellen: I’ve just been thinking as we’ve been talking about pleasure and I was, you know, I’ve, I think I’ve written this on our podcast ideas. Talking about pleasure and how it’s anticapitalist. So that’s something for another time that’s big, but I just swallowed funny and I’m like choking, um, perils of audio stuff.

Um, I, uh, yeah, I’ve been thinking about pleasure a lot. I guess it was, it was my word for the year of last year, but I’ve actually still got it written on my little Blackboard behind me. Uh, and because I find it hard to engage with. And I think I know people that we talked about pleasure and sort of instantly, you’re going to think about like sex and I don’t know, I don’t know why I’m thinking of drugs. You think about hedonism and maybe you were like, you know, um, but it’s, you know, it’s more than that. And I think, I think this really, this letting your outsides match your insides is really about and letting yourself have pleasure. And I’m what different people find pleasurable is different. So, you know, if you love listening to, what am I going to say? I don’t know, eighties rock, I guess? I was, I want to try to think of something really obscure, but that’s what came into my head. So that’s fine. So if you ever listen to eighties rock music, but you haven’t been listening to it, like, you know, for whatever reason or you think it’s not cool or whatever, but you just end up doing that then like when you put that on, that’s pleasure for you, you’re going to feel pleasure from that.

And I guess it’s that, it’s following the pleasure, but the true pleasure though. 

[00:20:07] Kate: Yeah. Those weird little things that make your heart sing. 

[00:20:10] Ellen: Yeah. It was just like, this is amazing. Like, I dunno. 

[00:20:16] Kate: Yeah. I just always find there’s those things like certain films or songs or places, you know, you know, things like standing barefoot on the damp grass. It’s just amazing. And it, it’s just those little things that really light us up and mean something to us. 

[00:20:34] Ellen: And I think, you know, what the phrase guilty pleasures just came to my mind. Cause I was thinking, what do I find really pleasurable? And I love watching teenage films. Right? So whenever my partner is away, like I said, when I go away, he watches action movies.

And when he goes away, I like watch all of the teen films on Netflix. So he was away last weekend and I watched The Kissing Booth one, two and three, and it was amazing. And I’ve watched it All The Boys I Loved Before all of them, like several times, I’m now reading the books. I was like, huh, I just like really love this stuff. I dunno. I don’t know why, but I, I do. I really enjoy it. And I guess that’s what people would call a guilty pleasure, but I don’t believe in the phrase guilty pleasure. 

[00:21:19] Kate: Yeah. That’s what I was going to say. Why do we call them guilty, I guess, but actually it’s capitalism. You can’t make any money out of it or they shame the pleasure.

[00:21:27] Ellen: It’s the thing that, oh, it’s not a society like condoned pleasure. So I guess, whatever your guilty pleasures are, that’s your. That’s you, that’s your truth. So doing more of those things and not calling them guilty. Yeah. 

[00:21:43] Kate: Um, because I don’t need to be massive, big things. Do they? It is just like sitting down and watching something that you really enjoy. Or I know just, just doing that thing for five minutes that you love and I love a bit of car karaoke and it just sets me up for the day 

[00:22:00] Ellen: and like, yeah, I love kitchen dancing and, and I guess it’s also letting that be expressed in what you say, like when you talk to people, can you really talk about what you really care about and what really lights you up? Because you can tell when somebody is talking about that stuff and it’s amazing. Um, and, and the same, I, you know, to go back to the external, appearance and stuff, Yeah. You get pleasure, I got this new jumper. I’ll show you. Nobody else can see it. Um, yeah, so it’s, it says it’s blue sparkly and it says, make believe on it in like a kind of handwritten font.

[00:22:42] Kate: Oh, I can’t see the sparkles, that’s making me sad.

[00:22:47] Ellen: Thin glitter kind of weave. I’m just showing Kate just to audio describe what I’m doing so sparkly and it says, make believe. And I’ve been spending, spending a lot time on Vinted. Cause like I said, I’ve always been trying to remake my wardrobe so that I’ve got things that feel pleasurable to me.

And this is great when I saw it, I was like, I’ve got to have that because I love stories. I make theatre. I like make believe that it’s just like a big part of my life, I was like, I’m just going to have it. And I love it. I’m like, I love this. It’s great. It feels really playful. Um, and I am quite playful as a person and I think allowing that out then means that I can choose playful wardrobe items and like express myself in a way that feels really pleasurable.

And it’s like hee hee, look at me. Yeah. Anything else that we want to say on this? No, I think that’s it.

Yeah. And I guess people can start small, right? I guess anyone listening who’s feeling like. Oh no. I’m not matching my insights at all with my outside that you can start really small. Like you could buy a, ring that’s like really cool. 

[00:24:04] Kate: I was going to say I have a favourite mug. Yeah. I have a mug that I love and every day I make tea in it, it’s the first thing I do. I make a cup of tea in my favorite mug every day. And that brings me joy. I love it. 

[00:24:14] Ellen: You can start small and then as with everything. And I think that’s something that we both um, really share. And when we, when we coach, when we run courses and stuff, we’re really about the small changes, because they make a huge difference.

So you can start small, you could buy some fun socks. If you realize that you used to wear fun socks and you’d love them, and now you just wear black socks, then you, but I’m going to get a pair of fun socks. Again, even if you work in a workplace where you got to wear a uniform or whatever you can be like, but I’ve got my sheep socks on.

Or some pants or whatever, I dunno say, okay. I hope that was helpful in some way. And we’ll be back again soon with another episode as always. We love to hear from you. You can email us on hello@thegood-space.com. You can sign up to our newsletter that we send out weekly, sometimes more, sometimes less, but it’s a good place to be if you like an inspiring content to support you to live a life that is aligned with your true self and connected to others around you and connected to the natural world. And of course we’re available to, to run collaborative coaching and available where we do collaborative coaching, we’re available to work with you if you are interested in kind of having support on your journey. So that’s where you get coached by, by Kate and I, rather than just one person. And we’ve got all the details on that on our website. We’ll pop a link in the show notes, and if you’ve got any questions, just get in touch and we will see you.

You will hear us next time.

Thank you for listening to Create Shift. We hope you found it inspiring and supportive. 

[00:25:58] Kate: If you’re enjoying this podcast, please consider taking a moment to leave us a review and a rating. And to share the episode with a friend. 

[00:26:06] Ellen: For more from us, and to sign up to our newsletter, head to thegood-space.com.