The Wise Why

Episode #42

Episode #042

#42 Sara Southey – Your Health and Happiness

by | 16 Dec,2022

About This Episode

Sara Southey, founder of The Southey Way, friend, and amazing lady, one of the things I love about Sara is she is Not Just a Personal Trainer! For her it’s personal.

Sara will work with you to take control of your health & fitness so you can be healthier, happier, and stronger for longer! When I met Sara, I was blown away by her empathy and enthusiasm for life and we quickly arranged a coffee to get to know each other better.

Sara is a life force of energy, someone who helps you take back control, get out your own way and live life. She cheers with you when you step out of your comfort zone. And when life inevitably throws you a curve ball and you’re forced to make changes she is there supporting and guiding you through. For Sara, any changes you make in your life are personal and individual.

Sara supports you as you adjust and make change, helping you find your way to thrive, empowering you to make the best choices for you, and live a happier healthier life. The way Sara works is incredible, she helps you understand what is going on, supporting you to choose your way to achieve your health & happiness goals.

Since I met Sara, she has been there for me through some trying times and I am amazed by her intuitive kindness.

Watch or listen now to find out how to deal with life’s curve balls and take control of your health & fitness so you can be healthier, happier, and stronger for longer!

Episode #42 : Full Transcription

Sara Southey and Kirsty van den Bulk talk about real life and share life experiences on The Wise Why.Kirsty van den Bulk: Doesn’t seem to want to go yet here we are.

Sara Southey: We’re live. Yay.

Kirsty van den Bulk: I wasn’t sure for a minute because the little circle is going round and round and round. I am joined this morning on The Wise by Wise why? By Sarah Southeast, who is incredible. She has caught me when I have fallen, she has picked me up, she has helped me get back on my feet, and she has supported me through some of the well, quite a lot of, uh, rough times. So enough about me, because as we always say, otherwise, why? The show is not about me. It is about my guest. Sarah, over to you.

Sara Southey: I guess they’re having me on. I’ve got like, goosebumps listening to that. That was really cool.

Kirsty van den Bulk: You have no idea what you have that weekend and obviously Friday, but that weekend I really needed someone, and you and Caroline were there and wow, that’s all I’m going to say as well. Anyway, please tell me what that’s what.

Sara Southey: It’s about though, isn’t it? We are, um, individuals. Nobody knows what is going on in somebody else’s life. And sometimes being with people that you just feel their energy and that’s all you do is reflect and magical things happen.

Kirsty van den Bulk: Well, they have from the minute I met you. There’s no two ways about it. I walked into the Nag’s Head in that I’ve been doing, bumped into this life force, and went, I like you, and I think you did the same to me. And our, uh, love of color and various other things, but also our lives and how they’ve just kind of gone like that. And I’m sure we’ve met somewhere before, but it’s just absolutely beautiful having you as a friendly.

Sara Southey: Thank you. Likewise.

Kirsty van den Bulk: I know, right? We need to go into the business side because otherwise two people are talking about how great they are.

Sara Southey: Awesome. That is why I do what I do. Um, so as a personal trainer, people put me in the personal trainer box. And most people who come to see me, whether it be clients or, um, people who just feel that energy, they come because they’ve got goal. But actually, what’s going on underneath the surface is so much more and can affect their lives so much more. So, what I do is I do the whole helping people thrive and be happy, but it’s always driven by the individual. So, somebody comes in the shed, my shared of strength, named by a client. Uh, if you can’t keep talking about it like it’s just a shed, it’s a magical place, which is so shed of strength, SOS for short, which is quite amusing. Uh, and we deal with the physical side of things, obviously, but also the mental and the emotional side, because you can’t separate them all out and just deal with the one. So, if you want a healthy and happy life and doing the fun stuff and stuff, that really floats your boat and drives you, you’ve got to deal with all of it. Oh, I should have checked. I’m not meant to swear, am I?

Kirsty van den Bulk: Do you know what? All I must do is put on um, YouTube and on LinkedIn that it contains a swear word. So please don’t worry, we’re okay. I have had far worse than that on The Wise Why. So please don’t worry.

Sara Southey: I’m just checking. Moderate.

Kirsty van den Bulk: Yeah. No what you were just saying though is true. Because when you’re out of alignment and everyone knows this year has been particularly tough on a personal level for me. It’s not been tough on a professional level. In fact, the business has gone like that. But personally, it’s been really challenging on a lot of levels and that juxtaposition was difficult for me to deal with. And you caught me. That’s what I mean by you were there. I didn’t realize how out of alignment I was probably until Friday but now I do. Um I’m going to laugh on that one forever. But that’s key, isn’t it? It’s about balancing because you’re going to get injured. Surely if you are out of alignment you’re carrying the weight of the world, you’re personal m and you’re professional and it’s out of alignment, surely people get injured or I’m not a personal trainer, so I’ve got no idea.

Sara Southey: Anything that affects you mentally, physically, or emotionally can cause injury and um is amazing actually. The brain is such a complicated thing that if you’ve got stuff going on in your head it can manifest physically. So, it might not actually be a physical injury per se, but the cause can be from the brain. I mean let’s face it, the brain is a physical thing. We always think about uh mental health and those as it being like um a separate thing. But actually, our brain is a physical organ. So, I started doing what I do because of my journey and because there was nobody there to help me to catch me when I was going through it. So, I guess it might be useful to kind of since it’s the wise, why do I do what I do?

Kirsty van den Bulk: I think that would be great.

Sara Southey: So, a little long story cut short hopefully is I had um a really successful career in coaching, in corporate way back when in my twenty s. And I gave all that up. We moved to America with my husband’s job, and I wasn’t allowed to work over there. So, my mental health suffered quite badly. I mean let’s face it, anybody watching Jerry Springer back-to-back has got a little bit of a problem. And while we were over there, we were over there five years. I had two children and two miscarriages, and I was on my own. So, while hubby was working, I was basically doing all this stuff and coping, and I like to call it like functioning depression. As in, nobody knew anybody meeting me would see this person that can cope and did stuff and all that kind of stuff. So, we moved back after five years. I had a two-and-a-half-year-old and a four-month-old. And, um, the decision was made under discussion between the two of us that I would stay at home and look after the children because a, couldn’t afford to do my job and pay childcare, and b, if anybody’s going to screw up my kids, it was going to be me, right? So, it seemed like a logical choice to make. However, I wasn’t a natural. And what I found over the course of the next ten years is I lost myself completely. And I got so bad that I thought I was failing life. And I got really bad depression, really bad anxiety. So much so that I couldn’t literally the only time I left the house was to take the kids places. This functioning bit was really important. Don’t let anybody know. To, um, cut a long story short, even shorter, I got to a point, um, where there was a fork in the road. And I could see that if I took this path, it wasn’t going to end well. And I didn’t know what this path meant, but I needed to choose it, because this one was not going dead end. Let’s just leave it there. And I remember looking for somebody to help me get me out of this pit. And I’m quite a feisty bird. And even through all the depression, I was still quite feisty. I don’t like being told what to do. Uh, so I looked for somebody that was going to support me doing it my way. And I couldn’t find anybody. I mean, I remember googling all sorts of solutions and I couldn’t find the thing. So, over the next eight years, I did it myself. And it was a really rough, hard journey. I mean, physically, I literally targeted myself each day to walk to the next lamp post. That was all I could do mentally, just resolving to find one glimmer of hope every day that I could hold onto in Positivity. So, I took my time, and I got to the point about eight years after the fork in the road moment, when I realized that actually I’d found myself again. I was in a really great place, and I was now in the position to be the person that I’d been looking for eight years ago. And, um, within 24 hours, I was a garden designer. Then, random, um, within 24 hours, I’d given my got literally just given my garden design business to a close friend who is also a garden designer and set up the Southy way. And the Southey Way is called the Southey Way because I did it my way, and I help other people do it their way. Because at the end of the day, we’re all individuals. There is no cookie cutter approach to our happiness. We’ve got to take the responsibility and we’ve got to drive it, but it doesn’t mean we have to do it alone. And, um, that is my purpose in life, is to help people do it their way so that they get to live this amazing life rather than just staying in this little box, the comfort zone. Um, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re happy. Just as soon as you lift the lid just a little bit on that box, you realize your own potential, your ability to just go out and do fun stuff, which surely is what it’s all about.

Kirsty van den Bulk: It is. And thank you for sharing that, because that is why we became firm friends, because we both did it our, uh, way. You know, I remember packing up my car in Edinburgh and just driving, and I had no idea. And I remember coming back home to my parents and saying, you know, trying to be a daughter and not knowing how to be a daughter again after so many years away and trying to fit into a hole and fit in that box and lifting that lid and then moving to London and running multiple jobs and then coming all the way back. And then somewhere, uh, along the line, like you, I found myself, and then I met my beautiful husband, and life has been completely different, but, you know, and that’s I remember sitting in your garden and us going, oh, my goodness, oh, my goodness, we’ve got to go. We’ve got clients. We’ve got to hang out. We’ve got to hang out more, because that road that we’ve both walked on is lonely. And as we all know, there are points where you suddenly get a memory that comes up, and it’s and that’s where you’ve caught me quite a few times, where one of those has come to the surface, and it’s like, Whoa. And you are or the word that people use now is triggered, but you’ve been triggered. And thank you for catching me. And that is something I will say if Sarah catches you. And it is important. And I can’t wait to have the money to come to your shed. Although can we talk about your chair that I’m not allowed to sit in.

Sara Southey: The chair that I am currently sat in, otherwise I would be able to show it to you. Uh, is a really comfy little armchair, which is a random thing to have in a gym for most people. It’s like having a hug. So, when we do chats, sometimes people come into the shed, and I might have written something on the board to do physically, the exercise piece of, uh, the Southern way. And sometimes I watch people walk up the path, and I go, yeah, we’re in the chair today. And the chair is a place where people can feel in their own space. Safe, supported, um, hugged. Hugs are very important. And, um, be allowed to just be in their own minds and let some of that stuff that sits spinning in your head let it out. And that’s often where the magic happens. I’m not a counselor. I’m not a therapist. Most of the time, people need to have space. There’s nothing wrong with us. Life just happens. And the more we live in our own heads and don’t let it out, whatever way that works for you, the more, um, it gets bigger and bigger and bigger. It turns into a whirlwind. Yes. So, the chair is a really special place for most people. And it will be. It’s just obviously not your time to sit in the chair yet.

Kirsty van den Bulk: Obviously not. But that’s okay. I quite like the fact that when it’s my time, and that’s very much how I live my life, when it’s my time, it will happen. Um, I love the fact that everyone else could sit in it, but it tells me to get out, which I just think is hysterical.

Sara Southey: And what is one person, the only person that’s gone to sit in the chair and it’s ejected? Weren’t you? It’s a real symbol because only you can make change. Only one person can make the change, and that is us as an individual. And no matter how much you see out there, until you’re ready to just do the one step, then don’t beat yourself up about it. Don’t force a change because it will never be as successful as when you’re ready. And you know what? Our, um, guts, our minds have a way of telling us we just need to be able to listen.

Kirsty van den Bulk: And I’m probably as feisty as you are. So, it’s probably like, oh, no, you’re telling me to do something. I’m not going to do that. I’m not going to do that. So, it’s probably an awful lot to do with that feisty survival because that functioning depression. I know it. I really know it. And I’m sure many of the listeners today are currently going, absolutely. I know that functioning. Because as moms, it’s not easy. I’m just going to touch on it for a minute because Christmas is coming, and I don’t know about any other moms who are out there, but right now you’re juggling. Oh, you’re juggling so much. I mean, Elf on the Shelf has got to move, and then I’ve got to make sure that the food is right for Hubby, but also for her, because she’ll only eat beige now with a bit of tomato. The Christmas cake that I would normally decorate is going to be decorated in stages, so she can do bits because she’s got to come into it because she’s sick. So, you’re juggling and juggling and juggling. You get to Christmas Day and you’re like, I just want to go to bed.

Sara Southey: Yes, but it’s everyone. So this year has been probably one of the most challenging years because during the two years of, uh, the lockdowns, et cetera, everybody had to put everything on pause. It was such an extreme situation, physically, emotionally, mentally, and then it was almost like a release this year. And everybody seems to have gone out of the blocks and gone, right, now I’ve got to do this, now, I’ve got to do that, now, I’ve got to get the business up, uh, I’ve got to get the house sorted, I’ve got to see all those friends that I haven’t seen in years. I mean, the accumulation of all that means that come this time, everybody’s exhausted and yet still trying to do. And um, one of the things that when you look at the world, the pressure is to always be on it always be doing, always be moving forward. And actually, one of the biggest gifts we can give to ourselves and those around us is the gift of time and space and taking the breathing time so that you can then, um, choose rather than react. And I think that whether you’re male, female, kids, no kids. I’ve got an old dog at the minute that is causing quite a lot of extra stress in my life. she’s fine, she’s just old. She’s riddled with cancer, blind death. She’s got doggy Alzheimer’s. So, it basically means every time we need to get her outside, it takes about 15 minutes with the door open. So, we are heating the whole of Mountain in a minute. When you’re in a rush, that’s less.

Kirsty van den Bulk: Easy to do, right? Yeah.

Sara Southey: Breathe. There’s nothing, I can’t change that. So, I stand there, and I do my breathing and I come and I take this moment. Okay, this is just a moment while Molly is trying to get out of the house. It’s five minutes for me. Here we go. And you can choose then, m, how you cope with that stress. And I think that is something when we’re busy, we forget.

Kirsty van den Bulk: Yeah, I love that. I love that we can choose. And I think people forget that. You get stuck and you’re talking only about being at a crossroads. And I’ve been there, and you choose. I remember sitting at the crossroads, there were three roads in front of me and I didn’t know which one to take. And I sat in that space for about two years, just breathing. Now, the road I was on was uncomfortable. It was rocky. I, um, was feeling marginalized, not listened to on a lot of different levels, but I still had to sit in that space and breathe. And I said it was about two years. And then a big crazy volcano erupted in my life, which then catapulted me onto a different road that I wasn’t expecting and then threw me onto the central road. So, there’s a bit of a big thing three years ago, and then I’m on the path I should be, but it was a bit like a big volcano and jump and the jump, and then, oh, I’m supposed to be here, and hence why I now run my business. But if I hadn’t taken that two years to breathe, I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing. So, if anyone is listening, there is that point. I was talking to somebody, uh, last night and I was saying, what about you? You’re doing all of this, and you’re looking after them, and you’re supporting them. Where are you? And people forget to refill their cup, don’t they?

Sara Southey: Absolutely. And that is the magic of the Sudbury Way, because each week, there is a space that you can come for an hour to reset, to spend however you want it to look. That’s what we do in the shed. It’s a safe space where you don’t have to add everything. You could just pick one thing that is just really bothering you at the minute, and you’re allowed you can give yourself permission to just let go, um, to just allow the feelings to happen. Because I think one of the things in our busy lives is that we feel like we shouldn’t feel any of the negative stuff. I’m very proud of myself for not swearing there.

Kirsty van den Bulk: Who am I?

Sara Southey: Because we’re all like, yes, we got to be happy. And it’s about thriving and absolutely, life is for living. But it’s a big sphere, and some of that sphere is full of anger and frustration and depression and hate and all these very different emotions that, uh, are just as valid as happiness and contentment and all their good feelings. But you don’t get to have just the good feelings, this fear. It’s important to acknowledge that this sphere is there to help you cope with stuff. So, when you feel anger, uh, or frustration, sit with it. It’s really important not to squash it down. It’s really important to be in a space of your choosing, whether it’s in my shed or elsewhere, but find that safe space and allow these feelings to process, to just go through you, because it will teach you something. You’ll learn where your next step towards the happy feeling is going to come from. And if you are jumping roads, you talked about three, the one that you’re on might make you happy right now. But roads have the ability to evolve and change direction, and you can go off the beaten track into the undergrowth and see what’s there. And if you like it, you can beat a path that way. And if you don’t, you can always come back. And I think it’s really important to look at all the feelings that you feel and allow them to be, because it’s not just about being happy. It’s about being a complete person.

Kirsty van den Bulk: Brilliant. Honestly, brilliant, and wise. Word. I am doing the same thing currently with our daughter. So, I’m really pleased. You’ve just made me feel like I’m an okay mum. Because, um, she’s still alive, she’s not.

Sara Southey: Hungry, she’s got a roof over her head. And you know what? All these severe feelings that we feel, it’s really important that our kids see them and recognize that us as parents are not perfect individuals. You’re allowed to lose your temper with your kids.

Kirsty van den Bulk: Uh, so we’ve got a review afterwards.

Sara Southey: That makes the difference if you can go back to your child and go, look, um, I overreacted. I’m very sorry. However, the underlying point was this that is a great learning thing for children. And we can tell them until we’re blue in the face what they should and shouldn’t do, but actually, what they learn is what they see.

Kirsty van den Bulk: So, I’ve got a funny story for you, just because it’s the perfect time to bring it in. So, when, um, B gets all hyper and, uh, she gets a bit her energy goes out. And we say, there’s a Dan Hughes technique, which is, your brain is up here and just bring it down. So, it’s about a year and a half ago, I was having a very bad summer holiday. In fact, it was when she was in reception year. So, um, a really bad summer holiday. I felt overwhelmed. I felt that I didn’t know where I was. I was trying to juggle too many balls. And I lost my temper in beautiful style. And she came running up the stairs and she went, Mummy, I’ll tell you, as I slid down the wall, I felt humbled, uh, but grateful that my daughter could do that to me, because.

Sara Southey: It was incredibly proud.

Kirsty van den Bulk: I was so proud. But it was exactly what I needed to see, because it was that visual thing of just breathe. And I’m so pleased you shared. Talking about the negative, I won’t swear, but the negative feelings that they are valid and they’re important. So, I want to talk about if it’s okay about the starfish, because you inspired me to actually go and buy a starfish for someone.
Sara Southey: My purpose being this whole helping people to help themselves. Um, I was doing a talk, uh, back two years after I started the Sudbury Way. There was about 30 people I, um, love, as you can probably tell, doing talks. And I do get an awful lot of engagement people. You know, I’m a bit marmite. People are either going to love me or hate me, but they definitely feel something. And I remember being stood at the front of this big, long table, and we’d had a bit of banter. Ah, and I got into my story, my why, which you’ve already heard this morning. And, um, it all went really quiet. And in my head, while I’m still talking, I’m thinking, m, they’re all really quiet. Maybe they’re hating it. And the little bit of self-doubt starts kicking in. And I’m like, well, we had a bit banter. So, they’re not hating me, even though they’re just really listening intently. I’ll wait and see what happens after I finish the talk and I carry on. And after I finish the talk, there’s a queue of people waiting to talk to me. I’m, um, like, oh, I guess I was all right then. And I noticed this one lady who keeps moving herself to the end of the queue. And I’m like that’s curious. So, I’m chatting to these people one at a time. People are just being really grateful because I’m quite open about my story in La La. Um, and it really resonates with people. Anyway, I keep watching this lady and eventually, after about an hour, she gets she’s last person standing, and she gets to see me. And she thanked me for sharing my story and said that it resonated. And for me, that is truly a precious gift. But then she said to me, I know why you wear the starfish. And, um, I born this starfish for about 14 years because my kids bought it for my birthday. It was the first present they ever chose and bought for me. So, I’ve worn it every day ever since. And I know that story, but there’s no way she could have known that story. I said, oh, really? Why do I wear the starfish? Um, and she said, I’ll send you the poem, okay? So, by the time I get back home, there’s an email from her in my inbox with the poem. And it’s a story about a storm. And after the storm and there’s this little boy, um, on the beach, miles and miles of beach and, um, washed up are, ah, hundreds and hundreds of starfish. And he’s picking up a starfish and he’s placing it back into the water. Picking up another starfish and placing it back into the water. And this elderly gent comes up to him and says, why are you doing what you’re doing? Look, there’s hundreds of them. You can’t save them all. And the little boy picks up another starfish and he put it back into the water and he says, yes, but I help that one. And as soon as I read that poem, I knew it had to be my brand because that’s exactly what I do. I help people, one person at a time. And you know what? The ripples that go out from each and every person are, uh, immense. Once one person is valuing themselves, looking after themselves, living their life to their full, they can then help so many more people. So, in my own little way, I’m changing the world, one person at a time. And that’s why it’s a starfish.

Kirsty van den Bulk: Thank you. Thank you. I didn’t tell you I was going to ask you that, but I so wanted you to share it because you told me. And then, um, I saw it on LinkedIn, and I went, oh, my goodness, I really need to read that. And I know people need to hear that story because we forget. So, thank you. So, I’m going to ask you, who has inspired you?

Sara Southey: Who has inspired me? My children. Absolutely. My children. Part of my story, um, and my purpose. When I was going through those black ten years, I would look at my children and they were my why, they were what kept me going. But I noticed that they were spending more and more time in their rooms. They were spending more and more time not socializing with friends, not going out. And it wasn’t until I started to get my act together again, no swearing, very proud, uh, that I noticed their behavior change. And it really was whatever I did, whatever ownership I took for my actions, I could literally see reflected in my children. And for me, they inspire me because they are such children are such, they’re not children anymore. They’re 21 and 19, but they’ll always be my babies. And um, people, but especially children, are such sponges and they absorb so much that they don’t know what to do with half the time. So as individuals and, um, as a parent, I believe it’s my role, my job, my driver, my whole responsibility to give them as many tools as I can to help them be well balanced, independent, empathetic, considerate human beings. And again, that is why I do what I do. Because my kids are my absolute, just delight. I mean, m, they annoy the crap at me sometimes. Most of the time I’m really properly proud of them.

Kirsty van den Bulk: So, you should be. So, I’m going to ask you, because I know you’ve done that. We’ve got some lovely, amazing comments this morning, so I will come on to those in a minute. But I wanted to touch on you do an awful lot of stuff for charity, don’t you?

Sara Southey: Well, I’m not sure that I am. Um I am very connected with the whole mental health thing because of the journey that I’ve been on. When I set up the subway, I did a whole series of road shows called Lift Your Mind with the connection between the physical and the mental. Um I do what I can. I wouldn’t consider myself a big charity person, but I support a lot of people who do that. And I think that is my contribution. I have to be very careful about where my energy goes because I have to give so much in the shed. But that is a way that I can give back. So, for instance, there has been more than one occasion where I’ve, um, taken, uh, somebody into the sudden way that can’t afford it or they need the space and you never know what’s going to happen when you do that. My mom and dad, um, they run a charity that they set up for refugees. I, um, remember growing up that we had the Vietnamese boat people as they. Were called, um, in our house when I was, like, knee high to a grasshopper. And so, they’ve always done this stuff. And when, um, I think it was 2016 or something, they set up this charity, and it’s the most amazing charity. And I remember having this conversation with my mum, um, and she said, you know, it’s really hard work. And I’m like, I really wish I could help more. But, you know, I’m, um, up to my eyeballs. And she said, no, but we can. So long as you’re supporting us, we can carry on doing what we’re doing. And that’s kind of my approach, is you never know the impact that one gesture is going to have on somebody’s life. And that’s what I do. I wouldn’t say that really, a charity fundraiser like that, because I’m not quite.
Kirsty van den Bulk: That’s amazing because you are following your parents. It’s really wow. You are an inspiration. You really are. I’m so glad you’re my friend. Now I’m going to make sexy glasses on. They are very, um, proud of these because I bought them at the company, so well, not out the company, but I bought them at my wages. So, it’s very important I like them. So, um, it was about the same as mine. So, we’ve had Kimmy join us and she says, good morning. Annette has just, like, agree with allowing someone, or indeed us, to have space. Self-care is mega important. And she says, I really love this, Sarah. And so powerful. Uh, Mike joins us and said, love the shed. Love the chair. I’m jealous, Mike. I really am. Uh, so I will get in your chair at some point, and it won’t kick me out. This is the moment where the tables turn as she says her glasses. And I’m being very serious now. You get to ask me a question. I’ve got no idea what’s going to be, and I am not prepared. So, with you, who knows me quite well, I’m a little worried if.

Sara Southey: I get to ask you anything about anything.

Kirsty van den Bulk: Yeah, pretty much the only thing. There’s one subject I don’t talk about. Um, but yes, anything about everything. If it’s that subject, I will go now. I don’t talk about that, but anything about anything.

Sara Southey: If you could change one thing about your life right now, what would it be?

Kirsty van den Bulk: Really good question. And you’re going to be surprised by the answer. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Um, I am the luckiest, most blessed woman in the entire world. I am surrounded by love, by amazing friendships and support. My husband is the most incredible man that I have ever, ever met. My daughter is just stunning and beautiful and growing into the most incredible lady. I must pinch myself every single morning because I cannot believe how lucky I am to live this life. So, I’m going to absolutely say absolutely nothing. I am grateful every single morning to wake up and look at this world and go, how lucky am I? Absolutely nothing. And, uh, I can look back to 20 years ago and I can look at it and go, wow, that was a dark place. And I can look at how I crawled out of that hole and how my life has turned around and evolved and where I stand today and go for the first. When I met Dennis, I got rooted in Oxfordshire. How lucky am I to have roots? Because I didn’t have any. And how lucky am I to live this life? So, yeah, that’s a really special thing.

Sara Southey: To be able to say.

Kirsty van den Bulk: It’s incredible because I didn’t have them for so long. Every six months, my old life was moving, it was recreating, it was desperately looking for validation. And I don’t do any of that right now. So, yeah, I’m really lucky.

Sara Southey: Um, because I think that’s a really rare thing to be able to say. Do you think you appreciate it so much more because of the past?

Kirsty van den Bulk: Yes, I think when you’ve been divorced, lost everything, spent what, you’re not quite homeless because you got a tent, um, and you’re living in it. Um oh, and then you’re moving to a VW camper van because, hey, you’ve done it up and you’ve managed to buy it for 600 Quid. Um, so when you’ve been where I’ve been, and then you look at life and you go, wow. Yeah, I think if I hadn’t seen the stuff I’ve seen, I wouldn’t be so grateful. I wouldn’t appreciate what I have because I wouldn’t know what it’s like to lose everything. And I’m going to put it out there because it is Christmas, but we are only two steps away from being homeless. And that is exactly what happened to me in the millennium, was two steps and I had yeah, it was two steps and there I was with a tent. And it wasn’t necessarily homeless because I had addresses, I could use, but I didn’t have any roots. So, yeah, what I went through in the millennium 22 years ago gives me the gratitude to have what I have now, um, I’ve ever shared that.

Sara Southey: It also gives you the incentive to live every moment oh, completely and utterly.

Kirsty van den Bulk: Maybe I shouldn’t drink more than those two glasses of wine, but anything more than wine and I have to laugh at myself. But that’s also something I learnt was anything over two glasses of wine and I’m in danger territory.

Sara Southey: Well, I am a firm believer, uh, that we make our choices for a reason. And sometimes the choices, we don’t know why we’re making them, but that’s our choice that we make. And a lot of people worry that by approaching me, I’m literally going to tell them how to live their lives. And that is so far from the truth. Um, they expect me to say, all right, cut the alcohol, chicken, and rice, go, and work five times a week blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And life. No. Just know, if that’s not what floats your boat, that’s not going to make you have that feeling that you’ve just described, then don’t do it. Unless it’s got a purpose, don’t do it. Literally, the shed is in my back garden, and we have a brewery in the front garden for me to stand Up and go, yeah, alcohol is bad. Um, alcohol is a choice. Our culture pushes it, but it’s a choice. And we choose to do with it what we want to do with it. Right? Some buyers will come in here and literally pick up their beer on the way out.

Kirsty van den Bulk: Which reminds me, I need to pop over, which is a great moment. You need to give me your opening hours, drop me a text, because I need to pop over for the Christmas for my husband, because he, uh, really likes the beer. Apparently.

Sara Southey: It’s really good beer.

Kirsty van den Bulk: I love the smell of beer. I can’t drink beer, but I love the smell of it. Not the next morning, but I do like the smell of beer. But, um, the taste of it. No. But I will have to pop over next week and get a, uh, supply for hubby.

Sara Southey: It’s the Love beer Christmas fest on the 22nd from 01:00. Live music, beer wrap, uh, up warm. Come pick up your beer.

Kirsty van den Bulk: Okay, I may just I might try and drag my hubby across to you, because it isn’t even a walk across the field. Sarah, what a brilliant 40 minutes having a conversation with you. I think we could chat for hours while we do so, everybody, we really do. Let’s, um, get that drinking, and let’s get a, um, road trip down to Avebury.

Sara Southey: Oh, yeah. That’d be awesome. This has been so much fun.

Kirsty van den Bulk: Thank you for having me. I, uh, remember asking you, saying I want you for my last show of the year, so thank you for waiting. Patient it was worth the wait. It really was. Thank you so much.

Sara Southey: Thank you.

In this episode:

00:00 Welcome to The Wise Why
00:36 Sarah Says hello
02:43 The shed my shed of strength
06:30 Functioning depression
09:22 Helping others
12:15 The Shed and the chair of support
15:19 Motherhood, Christmas and Covid
20:38 Dealing with big negative emotions
24:55 The Story of The Starfish
29:14 My Children Inspire me
31:35 Charity work
35:33 Most blessed woman.
37:31 Divorce and homeless
39:56 Love Brewery

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Mentioned in this Episode:

The Southey Way

Love Brewery

The Nags Head

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