Simon Blake OBE returns for a second series of Just About Coping.
This series we're looking look at a new campaign by MHFA England; My Whole Self. To create mentally healthy workplaces, people need to feel safe to be their ‘whole self’ at work. So how can we create workforces, wherever that may be, where everyone has the freedom to do this? To find out, Simon has gathered leaders from across the worlds of business, sport, and more...
This week's guest is workplace culture strategist Adah Parris. Adah describes herself as a futurist, storyteller and artist. Having worked with the likes of Google, the EU Council and the BFI to transform their workplace culture, she was a perfect guest to explore the themes of bringing your whole self to work. Simon and Adah chatted about;
And much, much more!
As always, we'd love to know what you think. If you could take a moment to rate and review wherever you get your podcasts we would very much appreciate your feedback. You can do this on most platforms including:
Don't forget to get involved on social media using #JACPodcast and check out all the My Whole Self fun on our website.
More on Adah: adahparris.com/the-four-freedoms
The ten principles of Burning Man: burningman.org/culture/philosophical-center/10-principles
More on Simon: twitter.com/Simonablake
Simon Blake OBE is the Chief Executive of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England. His mission is to improve the mental health of the nation and help build an inclusive and society where attitudes and behaviours around mental health are normalised. Simon received an OBE in 2011, is Deputy Chair at Stonewall, and enjoys running, equestrian eventing, and walks with his dog.
More on #JACPodcast:
MHFA England: mhfaengland.org
More on #MyWholeSelf: mhfaengland.org/my-whole-self/
I'm sorry, Blake, and this is just about coping. Firstly, a huge thank you to everybody who's joined in without hope. My whole self campaign and shared your fabulous. My whole selfies has been really encouraging to see so many of you embracing the message and showing a bit more about yourselves, how you'll stay connected and how you support each other. Remember this, um, useful tips about how to look after yourself and support your colleagues while you're working from home during this period. Please do cheque them out on our Web site and make your face England dot fog. Also do this know how you're getting on you, Khun. Tweet me at Simon A. Blake and use the hashtag J C podcast on my whole self. What are you doing to look after yourself during this extraordinary time? How are you helping each other and staying connected? We'd love to hear it from you and hear your tips. So on to this week's episode, which is my conversation with Adam Harris and was a workplace culture strategists on, describes herself as a futurist, storyteller and artist. Way had a fascinating conversation about being human, about identity, about shifting personas in different contexts about mother finding her voice and her activism about going to burning man on applying the 10 principles of the gathering into her everyday life. I hope you enjoy it. Welcome, mother. Thanks very much. Coming into my office, talk to me about my whole self and meant health and wellbeing.
Thank you for having me.
So just to kick us off the easiest or the hardest question depending on how you think of it, if you had five words or five phrases to describe yourself, what would they pay?
Oh, um, the first would be human. Uh, enthusiastic. Um loyal, curious activist.
Okay, So human was your 1st 1 a bit more about what you choose Human.
I think that we have got to a place where we have so many different labels for people, for identities on DH, it feels like we are. I was describing to a friend. It feels like we're trying to slice a wrestler up in the idea of these multiple identities. And I think it's important that people are able to self identify. But I think that sometimes is too much emphasis. There's too much pressure sometimes for people to live up to a particular label or to try and fit into thes societal idea of what that is. But at the very heart of everything, we're all human. And so I go back to that point of the most basic level of anything. I'm human.
And so how does that linked to your activism? So it's Katya less the last word.
So activism to me is not necessarily about just going on protest marches. It's the belief in something bigger than myself that there is there. There's something that I want to change in a societal way on DH. It's also about finding my voice on DH, knowing and being able to speak my truth, but also then finding the others to be ableto help come together as a movement to amplify that. So activism for me is that whole process off believing in something bigger than myself, using my voice and finding the others an amplification of the message
on DH. We've obviously this is the first time that we've met, and it's a real pleasure meeting you. And within the 1st 5 minutes I discovered that you've done one of my bucket. This things, which is that you have been to burning man on DH. I guess when I think of Burning Man on my own experience, going to class debris, that was my experience. Going to go through is part ofthe realising that I had a voice and wanted to have a voice. And I get the sense from a very short conversation at Burning Man that it might also connect into activism in somewhere.
actually do want to help people. Burning man.
Yes, So Burning Man is a what started out as a counterculture gathering. I wouldn't say it's a festival. I think it's a gathering. Some people looking as a retreat. Some people call it home, going home. I think that's how I refer to it. It is a gathering off, I think nearly 90,000 people in the desert in Nevada, where you build a temporary city, Andi, only things that you can buy our ice and coffee. And so you have this. There are 10 guiding principles, as if I could remember many of them. Radical self expression, civic responsibility, participation, communal effort. Ah, immediacy. So there's a few of these things on DH. I remember the first I've been three times in a row. On the first time I went, there was 17 of us and we built our own camp on DH. I learned that next time I will definitely taken an air mattress. But the things that mattered to me was the fact that when I first went, you know, everybody who goes is supposed to embody and live to the 10 principles. Andi, I remember thinking that first was Oh my God, it's costume in radical self expression, it's costumes. But actually and I went out and bought loads of stuff and thought, right, I'm gonna wear this and that when you get out there. And the most beautiful thing is that you are surrounded. It was the first time I can honestly remember I'm getting goose bumps about it. Honestly. Remember being surrounded by people who would just freely expressing themselves on DH? There was no measure off comparing us after anybody else. And so that's the radical self expression that there are. You know, if people want to walk around naked, they can. If people want to wear a little suit, they can. It was this whole process of being free, too. Express your whole self for me. I did it three times in a row on DH. What happened, Wass the first time? Yes, you arrive and it looks like Mad Max something else of Mad Max and you're completely blown away. Your whole reference completely changes, but it's also expensive on DH. I spent an average of £3000 a time to go, and that was cheap doing it on. I have a degree of mass and I was three grand a time to spend one week of the year being completely myself. The math does not add up. So I decided that I'm going to take the 10 principles off the player and apply them to my life. And so that is how I've started applying it to my life. In my business,
that sounds amazing. And I think we can make sure we get the 10 principles in the notes to this podcast. So it sounds like my next question therefore needs to be on. What has it meant to start applying those 10 principles into your life and into your work life?
Well, the I came back on, Dhe realised that I hadn't been being my full self. I think they were levels of anxiety about, you know, I think that we all as humans have multiple personas. You know, on DH, I was brought up Catholic convent school, but I'm an artist on the hippie and all these different things on what we tend to. What I find we tend to do is we tend to persona switch, depending on which environment we're in. So, you know, with my family, you know, my family, I was one person. Well, one version of myself and with in the office I was another version of myself with friends was another version of myself. And so that switching is exhausted on DH, realising that the common denominator of all of that is me, there's only one version of me. And so I taken theirself up. The idea of radical self expression was working around taking off. The Prior was working to understand. How can I be all of those different things? What's the what connects all the dots of all those different things of who I am? And then how can I take that and step into every single environment with that? But what that means is I'm taking the essence of all of them on the characteristics of all of them. And this is where being self aware comes into it being in different environments. It may be that I'm not going to walk into a corporate bank bank and start acting like a with a burning man, you know? But there are skills on DH characteristics that off that version of myself that could be useful.
You, without me even asking you to take us right to the heart of what the my whole self campaign is about. And I guess before I just talk a little bit more about that, can you tell us about your professional journey? So far, we've learned you're an activist. You've got a maths degree, a hippie. Your culture change first, and what you're doing is fine finding yourself. So tell us a bit about your professional journey.
I've had a very interesting journey mentioned masseria uni I did pure black mass, but I was training to be a primary school teacher, didn't quite like the education system in this country, So I decided that actually was more important to me is to understand how people learn on DSO changed so did educational studies and Mass came out of union needed the job had some really interesting ones. Document storage company, that me with a fax machine in the warehouse. I mean, people remember what fax machines are my age, you know, it's been these kind of journeys of First job was document storage company, then wass a mechanical copyrights, spent six years working at London Business school, initially as a secretary helping to put together the marketing but of the MBA programme. On my natural curious statement, I read everything on, then eventually went on to their scent marking the divan programme. So got into marketing communications wanted to work in advertising, but never an agency. So so gettinto advertising. I went and worked at the Institute of Practitioners and Advertising, which is the membership organisation for agencies started. There is researcher, and they used to run lots of committees on DH again. Maybe, and I've got to doom or I've got to do more and this is the in the child Might in the child leaks out a lot of the inner child and wanting to learn. I volunteered to look after lots of their committees, fear their committees and I chose direct marketing strategy, business, communications and ethnic diversity. On I ran those for the UK advertising industry. Andi ended up moving over, helping to build the community's team build a summer school which became the industry's graduate programme from there, got recruited, head hunted, met this amazing guy called Mark Lewis, who was re launching something called the School of Communication Arts, which is a advertising creativity school that is a set up and run and party funded by the industry. So I left a full time job to go to what was essentially a startup. People thought I was mad, but the school has been running for 12 years. I don't have any birth Children of my own, but I have 12 years of cohorts of young people of people coming through that Who are my Children, who call me mom Andi. It's one of my biggest achievements from there I went off to Burning Man. That was the start of it, came back and went to work for Telefonica, um, to help build their accelerator programme Wira. So Technology accelerator programme then started doing because I have been talking about my experience is a burning man on identity on DH being very clear with people that and by that time I was running my own business very clear that whenever I need to have the summer off, I need to have July and August off or the end of it, because I need to go to Burning Man because that's my therapy. That is my you know, People say no, you can't do that. You've hired me to be the person I am. And if you want me to maintain and continue to be that person that I need to do, the stuff that feeds me on. So it was very unusual for people, Tio, you know, But it wasn't all my agreements that if I'm going to do this, I have to have that time on DH. They agreed to it. And so then. But what also happened then was that people say, Oh, how did you build your personal brand? Because you are able to go into coots and go into these different places, but still run off around the desert at Burning Man with a headdress and you know, after an art car and so started doing a lot of workshops around personal brand identity but also still into tech, moved into something on the organisation called the Friday Club, where it brings technology startups to get with marketing people on my role, then became a futurist because I understood the tech. But I still brought my hippie spiritual human side into it. And so whenever I was organising the event, say, on trans humanism or Blockchain, I would say here. But what about the human? How is it impacting the human? And that's where I started to look at the ideas of human block chains and all sorts of stuff.
Well, I mean I mean, I'm sure lots of people will be listening to that in the same way, and I just have, and the next question has to be. How do you hold yourself through all of those things you started by talking about the essence of you, and I'm just fascinated about you. Is it a snowball that's gathering as you're doing all those things? There are some things being sheds. How would you describe the essence off you through that journey?
I think what drives me is this innate sense of curiosity on all I make sense of my surroundings by really engaging my senses of what's the smell and what's the taste? What's the flavour and all of that? And I think that sometimes that's how people perceive a child. But actually, we're all like that. And I think that we shut that off. All we have educated out of us all, we have this going back to the idea of labels and trying to live up to them that we feel are we can't be like that in the office. We can't do that. And, you know, I think I made the comment earlier that my inner child leaks out. She does on DH. So there is that, Dr. However, the flip side of that is that I have had to burn outs and I say half because I caught myself. I recognised the signs.
Yeah. Yeah, it is interesting, isn't it? That sense of curiosity. Yeah, And on DH, you talked about the bits which leak out. Yeah, they're not If everything's not not allowed and I guess I would just be interested in your sense about what being your whole self means in the context. Off work.
I was have an uncomfortable reaction to the language of my whole self. Especially, I think, when it's in this kind of corporate world environment, because what does that mean? What? I think it means different things to different people, and it feels like sometimes workplaces air trying to package up humanity on DH. Maybe the uncomfortable ity comes from question. The motivations, the real motivations behind. Why those? Question what? Why those questions being asked on DH? Why now? Why it went they done in the first place? Um, on DH, who is going to decide what hole really means?
So I think for me, the whole issue in this is that absolutely We are all human all of the time. But sometimes we're expected. Teo shared half of ourselves at the door. Whether that's the issues which are going on at home for us parts of our identity. Yeah, which you know we can't talk about. We know 62% of people go back into the closet in their first job, having been out previously. Some people feel as though their work isn't credited. Women of colour. That's a particular issue. Some people are talked over on DH, not recognised in meetings and their eyes, thie ideas taken careful and some people just going to purr. Self preservation going in. So for me, it is very much that sense off, actually, if we're self protecting, if we're hiding, if we don't feel seen, if we don't feel heard, we can only do part off what we're able, Teo. And you think about your journey, the power and innovation and creativity that didn't come presumably in places where you felt squashed.
Yeah. Yeah. Thank you for your honesty and open answer. Um, I think that what a lot of what you're talking about is also the idea of diversity inclusion on DH. I again, that's something else I find really interesting as a conversation base. Because on a microscopic level, we as humans would not exist without diversity. Inclusion in the world would not exist without it. So it is fundamental to life on. I think that we spend so much time focusing on Is diversity inclusion good? Or is it bad? It's fundamental. So we don't I think that we should. It's rather than trying to unpick that, especially in the workplace, when we're talking about mental health and some of the stuff that you've been speaking about. I think that our focus needs to be on. What is the impact on those who have been others constantly in the work environment? What happens to their psyche off having toehold all those things back? It's not just creating spaces. What already has been the impact, the longer tail impact of people have got to this space on DH. They threw their life experiences, not just in the office. You know, a black woman in this world. The first thing that people see is my colour on. So it's not just when I walked through the door of an office or with a client that that's that's where they see it. So I am bringing all of that with me. That is part of my whole self.
Andi, I guess there's something isn't there in what you're saying, absolutely thie argument of why the diversity and inclusion is a bad thing or good thing justice.
Well, I think that eager I think that our ego is what gets in the way, you know are eager off. I'm going to decide that we are going to have a great diversity policy, and I'm going to decide that we're going to do all these things. That's where the the divide comes. What's what's the impact of that on me? What's the impact of changing and creating a truly systemic diversity policy? I mean, the fact that you have to create one is an interesting one over. It's something the other day that there's going to be, I think in America they're going to make it legal for this or discrimination against hair. And the fact that you even have to do that tells me
There's a great book by Emma Debris. Yeah, don't touch my hand. Sure, yeah, about black people and hair,
discrimination. So people get this
work for you
in the workplace, In schools, people of colour, especially with Afro headed your way, are discriminated against even in the workplace. I have it. I usedto have dread logs on DH. Yeah, I had dreadlocks on DH. I was in a work environment where I had been working there for a while on DH. I went for I was recommended to go for a promotion in another department on DH. The person who ran department really wanted me to work for them on DH. They said you'd be great. You just need to go through the job process, go and have a conversation with HR on DH. I went Teo, and at that time my dreads were quite small, and eventually they got down to hear the bright red. But
for those who couldn't see that, pointing to the elbow
pointed to my opus. But I went for this interview with HR on DH. The HR person said to me, I walk in and everybody knows that you're great. It's just you're a little bit your style is a little bit too exotic. And, you know, maybe if you had one of those straight hairdos, then you could be representative of the place. Yeah, I, um, took a breath. Watertown went and called the Black Claw Society to find that we're stood on DH, then sent an email for clarification on DH. That's a whole another storey, but it has, ah, happy ending in that I made choices about how I was going to deal with that. But when you're talking about whole cells on diversity policies, these aerial the things. That's how do you put that into a policy about somebody's head yl religious attire or belief systems or cultural things, Because you Teo, you can't write everything down. Yeah, but it's the people still need toe feel that they know. And I even feel they need to know that they are accepted on DH, that they have a voice. And it's not just for the sake of congratulating themselves and saying We've got a diverse group,
It's really powerful, isn't I think when you first said hair, I was thinking, How how can you legislate for her? But as you describe that, what we really took me is what do you actually need to shift in our culture and understanding and way of thinking and way of believing in order to ensure that people both feel on DNO? Andi believe yeah, yeah, all of those of those things. It's, um
well, because I try not to use the word minority. I talk about people who've been other because I think that that can then open up people's thinking about what that actually me. And so it then helps people Teo relate to that a little bit better, so a little easier, not ever, so that you can then start the conversation from that place of familiarity
and what I just move you into orbit is thinking about organisations and cultures within organisations. And you obviously work with organisations about their culture, about helping to make their choices and about getting the right behaviours in place. If you think about the the journey, whether you come in right at the very beginning or before the beginning sometimes or part of a three. What is that journey of improving the culture of an organisation so that everybody feels welcome and included?
Well, culture to me is about collective storytelling. Then we can then have many manifestations of that. So art or music or what have you also culture? But we have often when we're talking for the purposes of this organisational culture is there tends to be a gap between the external projection of what that culture is. This is our strap line. This is our vision. These are shiny brochures that we have. But internally there's something different happening on DSO. There tend to be that gap and what I do is help people to work out what that gap is on. Look, att. How do we then start to bridge that gap on DH. I have developed a framework called the Four Freedoms, which is why I tend to use as a guiding principle. So the full freedoms are the whole purpose of it is how do you get to this place off creating an ecosystem or a culture that is inflow the four freedoms our identity? Culture, economics, sneaker systems identity is how do you bring your full self? That's what you're doing. How can you be unapologetically yourself? What have you, however you see that, But what's your personal storey? So a lot of the stuff we've spoken about already culture is what's the gap between the external storey and the internal behaviours on bridging that gap? And that's where sometimes diversity inclusion comes into that language. Economics is not necessarily about money, but it's about the measure of success. But it's also how do you make the whole system sustainable, so production consumption impact how you make that sustainable? But what happens is if you work on identity culture in economics, the fourth bit the ecosystems change because people recognise their potential. They have a better sense of their potential because your measures of success should also be human
and from taking people through that process. So I suspect everybody here is going. I'd love to and some people would be going. But what have you learned from that sort of from working with organisations about how it can really change things for the better.
So one of thie unintended consequences off that process is that sometimes you will have people who suddenly I need to leave because they realise that that is not the place of them. And I think that's a good thing as well, because the whole process is about festival, recognising who you are and what's important to you and was your values and all those things on DH. What's the bigger storey? And so that's an unintended consequence. But I think that that's also healthy on going through that process as an organisation when they come out the other side. What tends to happen is that there's a ni, a renewed sense of pride and connexion to the bigger vision. People recognise why they are the best person placed to be doing the particular role that they are on DH. There is a sense of autonomy that people will volunteer because of their outside skills, interests or what have you They reconnect with that volunteer too? Take on a new initiative or to lead it or to get involved in things. And so it fundamentally can change that sense of belonging and engagement.
Thank you, Andi. I guess they just take us right back to herself. You don't belong in an engagement. I wonder if you could talk us through a time that you either felt like you really belonged on people wanted all of you or or actually, there was bit of playing the game and didn't feel able to tell you herself the impact, positive or negative off either of those scenarios. Thinking specific about workplace
because my, you know, my first ball was not the way s
So you're just a moment to clarify.
So I used to work for an organisation where and this is where I first I started to find my voice in an organisation. I've been working there for a few years on DH. I had this perception. I think we are not younger, but we have this perception of this is who I have to be in the work environment on DH I you know this is who I have to be. This is how I have to behave. And I've always been a person that smiles a lot of laughs a lot and laughed like a folk Poland. But it's in this building. I've got really quiet. And this is how I have to be. But not saying anything. Andi, I felt that I couldn't because Well, whom I They're not going to listen to me. I've just started here, and, you know, they've been working here for how you know they've got all these titles and what have you on DH? I had to take some responsibility for that because I was putting other people on the pedestal on forgetting that they're actually just human as well with their own vulnerabilities. And what have you But they're wass amazing woman who worked there. I will give her shelter at Marina Columba. Um she says me, you've got a voice. Use it. I can see your brain ticking away with a ll these kind of conversations and you don't necessarily agree b and not saying anything. So just say it. Just don't be afraid to say it. Just ask the question or what have you. And so I was like, Oh, I've gone. I write I can do this so bit by bit, I would start Teo asked questions or I mean, my heart was pounding. My hands were sweating, but it was this. Okay, So it could you clarify this point, or actually, I disagree with that because of this, Um, on DH, the more I did that, the more people Oh, wait a minute. Okay? Actually, I just got a point, and sometimes, you know, I was wrong. But what I also found was that I was sometimes asking the question other people in the room wanted answer in it then built a level of trust in me in my opinions in the fact that I could challenge what was being said but not doing it in there. I disagree with you, but actually is more yes, on DH type approach to that on DH, I would say that it was linked to the fact that I then got promoted and was given more responsibility and more outwardly facing rolls on DH. You know, eventually, I was able to kind of just run with things so it built, trusted, built it also built my confidence
on what was lovely. Just watching what happened as you described that is your social stature grew for about 30 seconds as you described your shoulders. Went up your hands with your face beaten. Yeah, just you. So I guess there that reminder the power of an ally and helping people Teo find their voice. And
then I can be anywhere finding what two sides finding and being an ally for people is more powerful than I think. Some people recognise
you, And I also always remember when a person first me said to me, Don't ever put anyone on a pedestal. They can only fall And that's not fair on them. Yes, just you. And you're the other side of that too. The role of technology The road of social media is one of your credit matters. Present, Butters. Andi, you obviously are passionate about our relationship has human beings with technology. Do you just want to tell us a bit about them?
For the last five? If years I have been I mean initially for myself just looking at our behaviour around the use of tech because what I saw was that the way that we used technology is as if we're looking for a new religion the way that I described it, we're looking for something bigger than ourselves. Technology is just a tool, and I think that what tends to happen is that people put this kind of it's tech is going to save us. We are the ones that are designed in that on. So we also have to take responsibility and accountability for what we build into that on the effects of all of that. And that's a whole different conversation. But our behaviour around the use of tech has become more more ritualistic on DH we so down to how people use social media. I was doing a talk once, and I met a young woman who had ended up in the priory, the clinic, because she became addicted to likes on Instagram. She's a social media and influence on DH that became a whole persona the whole life. And so she disassociated from who she really wass and became this version of herself that she felt that she had to live up. Tio Andi affected her mental health, but it's a real thing,
course course. Can we just do a dotted line. Yeah, I guess. A cross for a moment you taught earlier about two and 1/2 burnouts. Just be interested to hear a bit more about that and any lessons from the experience that you would be generous enough to share with people.
And so the first thing I would say about their announces that just from lots of conversations, I've had people of all the feedback that I had initially was that people thought that really you only have a burner if you're working for somebody else. My burnouts happened when I only happened when I was working for myself because I put more pressure on myself. Teo succeed, but also because you don't have the security blanket off that regular sustainable income. I mean, we've got this. We've got the Corona virus. Now, as somebody who is, you know, runs my own business, I'm seeing the impact that that is having on individual business on this. I know because it impacts travel. It impacts all sorts of things that impacts a lot of the ways that you operate. So mine came the 1st 133 years ago, 34 years ago, working really hard doing. It was around doing a lot of the personal brand identity stuff, running workshops and coaching and then all sorts of stuff. And it was this constant. Okay, I need to do better. I need to find more clients. I need to do all this stuff on DH. I generally don't necessarily neither A lot of sleep. I know. You know, there are statistics that you actually need more seats. But my body if I sleep too long that my body starts on I need toe. I've recognised as that's also not probably healthy, but what happened? Wass on. Generally I was sleeping most nights, Fri four hours for five hours. I got to the point where we sleep in two hours on DH. Yeah. No, I can do this. It's fine. Sleeping too. How is I'm I'm you know, I'm smashing through it. I am working really hard. I've got these goals on working towards that. I stop socialising on DH. I stops anything that wasn't focused on me. Trying to achieve these goals was somehow scene is a waste of time I'm taking. I'm taking time away from what I need to be doing, and I just need to keep pushing for on DH. I flew to Berlin to go and I was running a I had designed the personal workshop for a client executive This guy who runs his own business and he wanted intensive coaching. So I had designed the personal workshop for him. I was there for two days on DH. I felt a bit wobbly. Maybe I'm coming down with something I don't know. I just don't feel right. But I've got to be on form and I've got to get through this and so did the first day session smashed it. It was great. Went back to that it to the apartment. Just he's asleep. But I was still quite ansi. I don't know why I feel like this, but I had friends in Berlin. I said something like, I've got another day work and I'm gonna be here for the weekend. Let's go out on DH did the second day and I was still it felt like a my friend describes it. It felt like a nuclear reactor going off inside of me. It was this bubbling up and I've never had depression, you know, I think we all have the blues sometimes, but this was different. It wass this level off anxiety on DH Physical shaking on DH Can't make any decisions about anything on DH. So I did. The session got back to the apartment. I went. OK, I'll do it. I'll do some yoga. I'll do. But again, it's the I can't hours too long to take out to do yoga. So I'll do five minutes of yoga. I'll do hit. You got high intensity yoga because I could manage five minutes without taking away from what? And so then I was getting ready, right? I'm gonna get ready to go meet my friends and I got ready on DH. I was about to go out the door and I open it all and I couldn't stand for it. Andi, I was just kind. What's wrong with me? I love going out. What's wrong on DH? I just burst into tears and I just couldn't stop crying. And I was shaking on Di didn't want Teo tell my friends or anything, but what I did is I actually rang my best friend on DH. She just allowed me to cry, and it wasn't to someone. It was this big physical shaking and crying and and I just went, Oh my God, something's wrong. Something's wrong. And so I then started to look into the symptoms and spoke to people on DH. I realised that I had been out, and so it was a long process of actually kind of coming back from that. What I did was I said that I need Teo remind myself if I'm If I was coaching a client, I would give them all the advice in the world. So you know about Porta meeting in your diary? That is for you. If you especially you other people have access to your Dr Phil Calendar, create a meet in annual diarrhoea. That is for you. That is just as a meeting. Nobody else needs to know who is for And so I had these kind of meetings in the diary. I mean, the 2nd 1 was not as bad, but it was again getting to that point of going on, pushing, pushing, pushing, and then just went, Oh, I've done again. And then the half time was that I recognise straightaway that some oils I recognise that something was happening because I was I wasn't sleeping as well on DH. I was saying to my friends on to busy until busy to catch up and or I don't have time to exercise. I don't have time to meditate, which is bonkers, because if we can't take even an hour a week for ourselves, something is fundamentally wrong.
Thank you for sharing that generously. And I think it is. Yeah, that first bit, isn't it off All the things which you mean? May said this Anu escapes My granny would be like eight hours work a as rest a house play. Yeah, it's been a long time dead. So this is wisdom which all of us could if I But of course, our lives get busier on DH that bitter eventually Whether it's an hour, two hours, three hours is taking the time
way. Forget that time is a man made contact. Oh, human made concept that we say that I don't have time and you know time's running away with We can pull that'll back. Just prioritise now Why did My practise is now is I have and unfortunate Well, yeah, in some ways unfortunate enough to be able to do it but I think that is really important to my own mental health is that 80% of my time in my diary is work currently because I'm building a business. 20% is social. Is butt off that social. It doesn't always have to include other people. So I take myself on dates. I love it. I will take myself off. There's an exhibition I want to go, Teo, rather than waiting for someone you know, dress up whatever. You and I will go to the exhibition and I'll go on the date with myself because that also teaches you to be comfortable with yourself. You go in space. I sometimes have what I call mental rest days. Oh, mornings where I just I'm not gonna go on social media. I'm not going to talk to anybody on DH. I'm just going to sit with my own thoughts. And I generally have a notebook or something at the side in case an idea pops up, but I don't examine it. So it happened this morning. I've been thinking about something for ages, and it just wasn't getting the element. You know what? I'm just goingto have a bit of a lie in. Let go. Andi just before decided, I need to get out. Suddenly these ideas started popping into my head. Wait. Oh, yeah. Okay. And that I'm making these lists on DH. Actually, we forget that by pushing ourselves so hard, we are actually pushing ourselves down the narrow tunnel. And we need to have that space to connect the dots in everything that we are on. Get inspiration from different places. I
couldn't agree with you more. I remember the first time my assistant here said, Why have you got blocks in your diary saying home that because otherwise somebody will take the slot. You suggest that sense off? Yeah, We need to rest and dub brains need to join things for ourselves rather than being forced stating from the email You're responding to other people's agenda rather than how your own creativity.
But when I did women, when I look back that time that those times when I used to say to clients I need to go to burning man, that was it. But what I was doing it was I was saving all ever up for that one time, and actually that's not healthy either, that I think that we need to find create balance on DH. Do not be afraid. Especially when you're working in the work environment. Not be afraid to say that. I just need to think about this. I think sometimes people just feel that they have to give an answer. Now I have to respond. Now I've got Tio. I'm actually just taken sometimes taking that timeto step back and consider. And okay, let me just process this. You can actually move further forwards. By doing that,
you've said a bit about some of the rest that you take and taking the time for yourself. My question was gonna be How do you do? Self care. But I think what I've heard is going your dates. Yep. Create time for yourself. You have a lie in
Be creative, be creative. So I make crazy headdresses. There was a slight Yeah, kind of a side household is a 1,000,000 there. You know there is a mindfulness and it activates a different part of our brain when we go and do something creative. But we I need to change our environment. And so that's what I do. I deliberately choose to change my environment or my the way that my brain operates, because it then find it richer.
Well, I've really enjoyed talking to you. What journey? What will a storey and thank you for sharing it with us on DH? I know that other people enjoy this news much. I have. Thank
you. It's Yeah, I've really enjoyed it.
So thank you very much for listening to this conversation with Adam. I continue to be envious that she has been to Burning Man. And I will be taking a look at the 10 principles of burning with myself before we go, just to say a huge thank you for tuning in. These are difficult times for everyone. And I really hope that the podcast is a bit of light relief. An opportunity to think about some other things in Amongst everything else is going on. Please don't worry. The 1st 5 episodes were recorded well before the outbreak of covert 19 in the UK, and we haven't been risking anything. We are taking full notice of the social distancing advice and guidance. Any further episodes will be done remotely. Just as I'm recording this outrage from my kitchen table. Please do remember to subscribe rate on review. Let us know how you're enjoying the second series and let us know how you're taking care of yourselves and each other in these extraordinary times. We'll be back next week. But for now I'm Simon Blake and thanks for coping with us.