Former Psychologies Editor Suzy Walker talks big leaps, heart leaps, meditation and more as she shares her ideal and actual self and Self care practices

TO FOLLOW

Transcript

Hi, I'm Eve Menezes Cunningham and welcome to The Feel Better Every Day Podcast, helping you connect with and take better care of yourself and create a life you don't need to retreat from.

SPEAKER 3

Welcome to episode 14 of The Feel Better Every Day Podcast.

Today's guest is my friend Suzy Walker, formerly Suzy Greaves.

She was editor at Psychologies and now runs Heart Leap on Substack.

She's a phenomenal human and she is talking about her journey with journaling, meditation, Buddhism, leaping from heart to life.

She's the author of The Big Leap, obviously.

and her journey from head to heart and becoming more embodied and also to learning to ask for help which is an often forgotten element of self-care we often think we have to do everything ourselves so that's what i'm going to ask you to ponder as you listen and hopefully enjoy today's episode when did you last ask for help and how might you ask for help today

Welcome Suzy Walker, thank you so much for joining me.

Hello, hello, lovely to see you Eve.

And I still can't really believe I know you.

I met you when you were editor of Psychologies magazine and my book was being published

I was so scared about sending you an email asking for an endorsement and I was scared about everything but I remember emailing Oprah asking for an endorsement and I never heard back from her but it gave me the courage then to like it's like I did that I can maybe email Suzy and I love it when you're putting Oprah in my name in the team

it felt like that it's like well but and you were so kind to me and we became Facebook friends and I've got to know you much better and I was so delighted that you said you'd be a part of this and Suzy Walker is an author and former editor of psychology she runs the gorgeous Heart Leap group on Substack author of The Big Leap so the whole leaping element consistent very inspirational

one of the UK's best-known coaches and how long have you been doing this Suzy?

SPEAKER 1

Goodness I've been well I became a journalist when I was about 26 so I had a kind of normal job in in Leeds and one day I just had the moment of I can't do this anymore and I was sort of fantasizing about crashing the car because I was like I hated the

So you've been leaping for a long time and

SPEAKER 3

and I really believe that is any kind of pain that you're saying like you were fantasizing about killing yourself essentially but you used that as a this situation is intolerable I'm going to leap to something that's going to bring more joy that's going to be more on purpose but what are you working on at the moment?

SPEAKER 1

So I'm most excited about my Heartleap soft stack so Heartleap is my new kind of brand that I'm working on which is about

creating a life that makes your heart leap so whether it's the stories that you write whether it's the stories that you tell yourself so as a writer I encourage people to write and find their own voice but also as a coach it's about how do you have the courage really to live a life that literally makes your heart leap and it does take courage every day it's not something that you make one leap and that's it

I think that's the mistake I've made in the past in my own leaps is that thinking that there is a you'll do one leap and then everything will be different it is literally creating a life where every decision you may get decision points you kind of going does that make my heart leap no it doesn't I love that absolutely love it and can you tell me a bit about

SPEAKER 3

What your ideal morning routine would be in terms of self-care and also uppercase self-care so that highest wisest truest wildest most brilliant joyful and miraculous part of yourself?

SPEAKER 1

Oh such a lovely Eve that's so lovely you know well I think in a way I think everything that I'm trying to do is pointing to the uppercase at the moment I suppose to

I've got to a point in my life I'm sort of 55 now and I've chased kind of external success for a long time and you know looking outside of myself for a validation and success and I'm really very much on a spiritual path right now I became a Buddhist last year and took my precepts and so meditating and and kind of finding

a relationship I call it with the force yeah it's probably my my major focus right now and you know I meditate I've just started meditating every day publicly on my Heartly Substack and I think I think with my spiritual journey I've tried many many things and you know

I've talked about the universe and I kind of even when I was young in my 20s I knew that that was the answer yeah but I kind of reaching for all the external stuff because it's in a way easier and and that's the way of the world is it I'm not yeah absolutely not going to beat myself up for that but um I think now it's like I do know what the answer is and I really just need to commit and

The Feel Better Every Day Podcast episode 14

My two practices which help me I'm an extrovert so I process out loud yeah most time in my life I'm also living on my own so I've been bringing up my son I'm a single parent so I've always had another person in the in the in the room with in the house with me so it's

And even though he was my son, we still processed things together, just like me.

And we process out, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh.

And, you know, when I used to work at Psychologies, my team would go, are you just processing out loud or do you want me to do something with that?

I'm like, no, no, I'm just processing it out loud.

I just need to say all that to understand what I'm going to do next.

Yes.

But that's quite difficult when you live on your own.

So I've really thought, oh, how am I going to do this then?

To me is like really, really important.

and because I'm just I can sort of unpick things that something's come up and like what does that mean and and then but I do a lot of like make it making it into a person so okay that sounds like this angry so let's give angry a brilliant um patience what are you gonna say and my god it's fantastic because you give your emotions a voice yeah

brilliant and I do that all the time I literally I think I don't know what's going on here but I'm feeling very angry or resentful or envious or whatever it is and I bring it to stage and they I mean I had a Mrs Angry the other day she's like I've been shut up for so long you've been trying to be so nice and sweet let me out yeah brilliant oh okay

so it's good I like an imaginative way of connecting with my emotions yeah part of my practice now the bit that I really struggle with so I then I go oh and then I'm going to do my seven minute exercise or my yoga and I've been trying to do I've been told that muscle building is really yeah 55 and that's a bit I never do so when I'm walking so I when I'm walking my dog

uh so i bought my dog four times five times a day so i'm literally walking two hours a day brilliant so i do get that kind of dental exercise which is fantastic but in terms of yoga my yoga practice i mean i fantasize about becoming a yoga teacher i really do but then my friend when i told her that she laughed and she said well but you don't do any yoga suzy and i'm like

What I kind of do in my head but that's part of the journey you would do more as you like just because you don't now doesn't mean that you couldn't no I know but I think I think for me what I'm learning with the meditation and when you when you commit to something is it's very much a feeling of I'm in my head a lot I mean I don't know how many of us are but I think because

As my job as a writer and maybe as a coach, we're looking at thoughts and we're looking at, I mean, I know feelings are in the heart, but my journey is from the head to the heart, I suppose.

And talking to you for our interview for Metro.

I found that really inspiring and very um it was really uh this idea of embodiment yeah I heard someone I don't know you had just heard about it recently and I was like what do you mean I didn't understand because I was like no no it's all about processing things intellectually or maybe emotionally but in terms of actually grounding myself in my body I think I've been so far away from that so I think my ideal

morning practice would be a way of grounding myself in in my body in my breath you know one of the one of the things I'm trying to do is not have a coffee first thing yeah you know I mean sometimes I can have up to six coffees a day and it keeps me in a adrenaline state and I what I notice is that I like that buzz

it's a real it's a kind of almost like I mean I know people are addicted to caffeine but I think it's it's more than just a physical addiction it's that that sense of whoa come on it keeps you going and then yeah when you stop I can actually feel quite down yeah so and I think the the root into that is this grounding and trying to find some contentment in my body

Thank you for joining us today.

SPEAKER 3

I think I need to focus off but I avoid and you're I'd argue already doing that to a degree like in psychosynthesis we work with subpersonalities all those different parts of ourselves you're already addressing the angry part of you the scared part of you by noticing the emotions that are coming up for you each day and by being curious about how they're trying to help you and that's amazingly and to make it more embodied you might notice where do you

yeah I think I think I get kind of scared by it

SPEAKER 1

I think there must be some kind of trauma somewhere it's like when I I think because if you feel it in your body it I think it's something to do with you feel like it will overwhelm you so I think keeping up here yeah it almost feels like I'm trying to control it yeah and I

SPEAKER 3

So before doing that, ground, press into the soles of the feet, press into whatever you're sitting or lying or standing on, remind yourself that you've got the earth holding you, that you're safe,

and that whatever you feel you're already feeling it you're just making it conscious that you and your body right now are safe but we've all been disconnected from our bodies hundreds of years of religious oppression and disconnecting people around the globe from those inherent embodied practices that were part of life and now more and more people are coming back to that way of being but there is fear involved yeah

SPEAKER 1

yeah and I can't it's interesting actually talking about it I've actually said that out loud and that's really interesting because it's it's how we what are we afraid of what am I by feeding into my body and I suppose maybe it's addressing what's going on do you know what I mean like oh really I don't want to look at that we all know that we we know that feeling of not wanting to address something and blah blah blah but

SPEAKER 3

and what you described in your early 20s you wanted to crash your car that was something you felt in your body so desperately and when we attend you're already attending to your breath you're coming into your body through your breath it's more gentle it doesn't have to be a roller coaster the more we do it we listen to those whispers before they become screams or yeah

SPEAKER 1

I think for me you know I so I lost my parents when I was a teenager and so they both died of cancer very early and so I think you know obviously yeah and then you know I was I had no tools yeah yeah I didn't know and then you're kind of

and because I was in that weird age you kind of practice and say oh she's all right now she's at university she'll be all right and then you kind of left just to get on with it and that's why I'm so passionate about the self-development world yeah thank me because that's the thing that I grabbed hold of and like oh okay hang on this is this is what I could do but I think I grabbed hold on a lot of the cognitive stuff so yeah I was Anthony Robbins and it was Robert Carr and

I could it was all about kind of almost feeling high and happy yeah and I think part of the part of the journey for me is definitely also being able to acknowledge all the the darkness the sadness the grief and it maybe has been a little bit backed up with so because it was so horrible to feel all my dark feelings then because it was overwhelming it's kind of um maybe it's it's

it's just a memory of that that I'm avoiding but actually it might just be that I'm cross that you know uh I somebody annoyed me or something do you know what I mean it may not just be just that kind of memory of oh don't go to any don't go to the dark side because it's going to feel overwhelming so yeah and yet you're doing it you're

SPEAKER 3

I think I'd love to know also about like you've mentioned walking the dog four times a day and what about an ideal winding down routine I'm hearing you've got so much lovely energy and the caffeine as well helping you what helps you unwind what helps you prepare for bed what helps you prepare for as good a night's sleep as possible

SPEAKER 1

Well, my ideal is when I moved into my new apartment in Northumberland, so I moved from London back up north, one thing that I splurged on was a bath.

I got myself a beautiful roll-top bath.

So for me, you know, I use these oils called Aromatherapy Association.

So, you know, as an editor, I've been given so many beautiful things over the, you know, over my, I've been very privileged, but these are the ones I actually buy for myself.

And it's like, it's better than anything that I've tried.

So I've put those in my bath and I have a bath and that is a really great routine.

But for whatever reason, I can drink as much coffee as I want and I can still just crush out.

SPEAKER 3

Yeah.

SPEAKER 1

So, but, so I haven't really got, I mean, I'm very blessed.

I don't have a sleep issue.

I just fall asleep.

Yeah.

What I often do is I've got millions and millions of apps of things so I'll do a yoga nidra in bed.

SPEAKER 3

Lovely.

SPEAKER 1

You know so if I am buzzing with something that's what I'll do as I listen and I bought myself some of those earphones that stick in.

SPEAKER 3

Uh-huh.

SPEAKER 1

My always my challenge in the morning is where have they gone because I just bought them.

I've got a thing in my armpit so it could be worse but yeah.

SPEAKER 3

so um thank you so much what do you wish that you had known earlier like you've been on such a journey but when you think about like kind of 16 year old you 17 year old you what do you wish she knew I think I really wish um that I knew that I could reach out to people and that there was kindness in the world and that I I just didn't reach out I didn't ask for help because that's a

SPEAKER 1

I just kept on going and that became quite a kind of a thing that I learned not to do and I think it took me a long time to reach out for help and when you do reach for help it's there and people can help you and support you but I did it a lot through books and podcasts and all of those things I think again I think I was just scared of being asking for help is a vulnerable act absolutely I think I was afraid of that

so I wish I'd known that because I think it would have been more fun and more easier for me if I'd had to yeah and that's why I think it's really lovely to support others but also support myself now and to do that to be on that journey of supporting myself through self-care and that's why I love I think that's probably why I loved your book when we were busy in the office and when M&A who's our beauty and well-being director gave it to me and said you've got to read this and

so it came from her as well as from you amazing very fussy oh thank you I think I think deep down that kind of people think self-care can just you know it is just about having fun but it goes yes the profound it's a profound courageous act to look after ourselves

SPEAKER 3

yeah and you're doing it in so many ways throughout the day you are connecting with yourself you're listening to yourself rather than being told what to buy or do or like i i love thank you so much for sharing all of this where can people find you well come and see me on heartlink soft stack because that's the place i'm most excited about because i'm doing all sorts of new things i'm experimenting i'm

SPEAKER 1

writing articles I'm interviewing amazing people but all basically I'm you know I'm committed to sort of creating this heartbeat life what does that look like and encouraging other people to come on the journey with me

SPEAKER 3

so there'll be information about that in the show notes um thank you so so so so much really appreciate it and um thank you for being such an inspiration thank you and keep on doing what you're doing because you know you don't know who you're touching and with your work you what i love about your work is it's a menu it's like what i used to do at the magazine

SPEAKER 1

Thank you and I hope you know how many lives you change and touch.

Thank you for listening to this episode of the Feel Better Every Day Podcast

SPEAKER 3

As you listened, I hope that it encouraged you to maybe come back to a meditation practice, journaling, to wonder for yourself whether you are grounding before attempting to become more embodied or whether you're feeling unsafe around it.

Do you get in touch to let me know if you've got any questions?

It's so important to honour our bodies, honour our nervous systems.

I'd also love to know if you reflected on how you might ask for help maybe today maybe this week what does it bring up for you how do you feel in your body as you even contemplate asking for help let me know and also if you haven't already please rate review share comment subscribe it's a small independent podcast and I'd love it to get bigger

and I look forward to sharing next week's episode with the wonderful another friend Gill Fennings.

Thanks again for listening and have a delightful week.

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