Why I DON'T ask for help... #worldmentalhealthday

Today is world mental health day.

I shared two vulnerable posts on my personal Facebook page in the last couple of days and felt they were worth sharing here as a combined blog post since the space they created for comments to open up off the back of them were beautiful.

We so often read posts about reaching out and asking for help, so this morning I took a moment to reflect on how this shows up for me... why I reach out and why I don't.

I have so many wonderful people around me who I know I can call on for support and often I do. I have no trouble with the principle of asking for help, I'm willing to be vulnerable and don't see it as a sign of weakness BUT often I DON'T ask for help and here's why...

  1. I can't articulate what it is I need. A feeling is often hard to put into words and when I can't do this, sharing jumbled thoughts has often led to jumbled feedback/advice reflected back at me. Or I ask for help for something and later realise that isn't what I needed. It ends up feeling more confusing and messy than if I didn't ask at all.

  2. I don't realise I needed the help until i'm out the other side. Often when in the grip of loneliness, overwhelm or feeling low, I don't recognise it until I am on the upswing to feeling good again, by that point the moment when I needed help the most has passed. It isn't that I wouldn't have reached out, but simply that I didn't recognise I needed to.

  3. I need to work through it on my own. Sometimes I simply have a sense this is something I need to sit with. Not judge, question, work out, fix or analyse or share... just sit with and allow to pass through and catch the lessons learned along the way.

As I reflect further, I notice that in my mind 'helping' is associated with an act of 'doing' something. Yet so often asking for 'help' could simply be asking for space to 'share' or space to 'be' in the company of another.

There is often no 'doing' on the part of the helper. I think this is the part I most need to remember, both as the helper and the one asking for it.

How about you, what stops you from asking for help when you might need it?

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This is the post that preceded the one above. This one is super vulnerable and sharing here is throwing up all sorts of fear of judgment that as a coach I should ‘have it all sorted’ (which I do know is ridiculous and totally not true!) I think it also touches a little on why many times I haven’t asked for help… fear of feeling even more confused than I started maybe?

Ok I’m gonna get super honest.

I’ve been in a weird space for much of this year.

Whilst on a technical level my abilities in my work and the passion and clarity behind my message have grown significantly, my self-confidence has taken a major dip seemingly out of nowhere.

It makes no sense, a total contradiction and putting it bluntly it’s screwed with my head! As someone already prone to overthinking, it’s really not helped the situation, ha ha.

I’ve found myself holding back, creating ‘more things’ as a distraction from myself, spending more time on my own and feeling the grip of loneliness on more than a handful of occasions.

I say this not for any kind of sympathy vote, but simply to share openly so that you can see this can affect anyone in any season of life.

From the outside I know I might like I’ve got it ‘all sorted’. On paper my life looks incredible, and I know it totally is... I do work I love, I have great health and I have the total freedom to live and travel whenever and wherever I want...

So why the low confidence? To be honest I have no idea.

So many times I’ve beaten myself up with “how dare I feel this way when I have so much going for me”. But I’m no longer judging it, I’ve stopped questioning it, I’m allowing the feelings and I’m trusting this is all part of the bigger picture of my journey. Acknowledging that out loud feels good.

I went for a walk with my mum along the beach earlier this week. There was a beautifully smooth area of sand calling at me to write on it. This was the word that came to my mind.

I think each and every one of us could do with a little extra courage in some aspect of our lives, to live that bit bigger and bolder, and we all know it only comes from digging deeper within.

I often talk about finding ‘the magic in the messy’ and this year has been a test for sure!

So I’m calling on my courage over these next few weeks as we rapidly head towards the end of the year, to live that little bit bigger and that little bit brighter.

How about you, where could you do with a little extra courage in your own life?

There are less than three months before the end of the year, we are now rolling well into the last quarter of the year, and of the decade- whaaaat!

Take a moment not to reflect on all the things you haven’t done but to ground yourself in the reality that there is still time to take those tiny steps on the way to becoming who you want to be. It takes commitment and courage, and you have both of those things right now. Trust me.

I hadn’t planned to add a link here, but it feels right. If it calls to you, I am hosting a co-working retreat for women working on a personal passion project or business venture and could benefit from the support, technical expertise and safe space of an intimate co-working environment in beautiful sunny Andalusia. Two spaces remain to join me. Full details HERE.

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Ep. 8 : Lasts Create The Space For The Firsts

Today's podcast is a celebration of ‘lasts’.

It can sometimes feel melancholy, when we realise that things we've become so familiar with have now become memories. Yet, the beautiful realization for me was that with the ‘lasts’ become a space creation for a whole new host of ‘firsts’ as we embark on a new chapter.

I'd love to hear what comes up for you as you listen. Does this resonate with you in your own life?

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Listen below or via your favourite podcast platform…

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Celebrating the 'lasts' and the 'firsts'...

It's funny how quickly we fall into routines and habits. So often subconsciously, that you only realise you built them when it's time to move on.

I spent the last eight months house sitting for my friend’s parents as they travelled Australia and Canada and I hadn't realised how much their place had become like home. I've now moved on to another housesit and this morning as I woke up, I lie in bed waiting for the first grandfather clock chimes of the day.

They would always chime at 7:15.

But this morning, they didn't come because I'm no longer in the house with the grandfather clock.

So often when I was working from home in the silence of my own company, the quarterly chimes of the clock would be my solid companion. It was so comforting to know it was there, the backbone to my day.

I'd even say good morning to the clock every time I came down the stairs into the hallway. Other small rituals too, walking into the conservatory throughout the summer months, sitting and gazing out into the garden as I sipped my lemon water.

Those little things you don't realise you'll miss until they're gone.

But the beauty of leaving somewhere is that you get to appreciate all that you had.

It heightens your awareness of these moments in life.

When I woke up this morning and flicked through Facebook. I was reminded of a memory from this day last year. It was the day I left my childhood home that I'd lived in, other than when I went to uni and short stints with partners, for most of my life. I’d spent 28 years in the house and I’d spent all my life in that town.

I'd written a post that turned into a poem on my last morning of waking up in that bed.

All the 'lasts' I would have the final chance to do.

The last walk to my gym.

The last awkward flush of the dodgy toilet and the upstairs bathroom.

The last glance through my bedroom window to the houses opposite

The last click of the gate where the postman hadn't shut it properly and it jiggles on the latch.

The last time I crouched down at floor level to look in the fridge whilst making my lunch.

I remember that feeling of melancholy, of losing, of missing of almost clutching to these memories. But in that same moment, I realised that with all these lasts, comes the appreciation of those memories but also it's the 'lasts' that make the room for new 'firsts' to take their place.

I love that reframe. Because without all those lasts, without that awareness, appreciation and forward momentum of moving into a new chapter. There is no room for whole host of new firsts and that's such an exciting and beautiful anticipation.

What 'lasts' can you honour and what new 'firsts' can you create in your world today?

Silly selfie taken on the lawn at my old house a few weeks before I loved last year…

Silly selfie taken on the lawn at my old house a few weeks before I loved last year…

As an additional note, I thought I’d share with you the poem I wrote on leaving day from the childhood. home. I remember the moment I wrote this poem. I’d just woken up, I hadn’t yet got out of bed, I was lying on my back and my notebook was by my bedside so I reached over and grabbed it.

Reflecting on all the memories that had come before in those 28 years, this poem evolved.


Moving day dawns
I find myself noticing the ‘lasts’
The last nights sleep in this bed
The last gaze at sunlight hitting my curtains as I open my eyes
The last awkward flush of the dodgy upstairs toilet
The last turn of the stiff shower handle
The last morning mug of lemon water stood in that kitchen looking out at the birdbath
The last time I walk barefoot across that garden
The last time I handstand against that garage wall
The last clink of the garden gate that the postman didn’t shut
The last time I hear that landline ring
The last time I take those stairs two at a time and hold the banister to jump down the bottom three
The last time I cycle to the gym just around the corner and cut through the woods
The last time I crouch to stare into that fridge whilst making lunch
The last time I hear the cats scamper down the stairs as my mum prepares their food
The last time I hear bikes rattle down the bridle path running alongside the house
The last time I smell the scent of my childhood
The last time I maneuver my car out of the driveway on autopilot
The last time I pause to check for traffic at the top of that road as I pull away

The last time...

I notice a subtle melancholy
An inward celebration
But then the dawn of realisation...
That these ‘lasts’ create the space
For new ‘firsts’ to take their place

A smile creeps across my face

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Ep. 7 David Taylor : Permission To Let Go

"You talk about permission and I see it from another lens. What I notice in own life is that the times that I got what I wanted is not when I've added something in, but when I took something away - things I picked up throughout my life that got in the way, the beliefs and stories. It's permission to let go”. - David Taylor

The Permission Podcast Series : Exploring what it means to give yourself permission to live life on your own terms.

David is someone that I first met back in 2015 when he ran a weekend event called Be The Miracle and it not an exaggeration to say that it was probably one of the most life-changing events in my life so far in terms of it delivering a powerful message at a time when I was ready to receive it.

It was my first experience of understanding what it means to show up with vulnerability and authenticity and I've never forgotten that moment and the spark it lit inside.

I have always been drawn to how David shows and how that has evolved over time in his work as a coach but also more recently his work a powerful film-maker that brings forth powerful inner stories.

Find more about David here: www.extraordinary.coach/home

ep 7 David Taylor.jpg

Listen below or via your favourite podcast platform…

Ep. 7 David Taylor : Permission To Let Go

Show Notes:
Highlights that stood out for me as we talked…

*timings are approximate

1:00 - How we met, vulnerability and it being one of the most life-changing moments of Jo’s life.

3:00 - Deep gratitude

6:00 - A powerful space to draw you in and draw you out.

8:30 - Permission not to ‘do’ something, but to ‘let go’ of something that was getting in the way.

10:30 - How a moment of laughter around the family dinner table fundamentally shaped David's life. "I made a decision in that moment, I'm never going to ask for help again".

13:00 - You can never get enough of what you do not really need.

16:30 - Accepting my identity. “For most of my adult life I really didn't want to have children. I was so isolated as a child, I couldn't imagine creating that”

19:30 - Is it about permission or is it about integrating who I was, with acceptance, which then created possibility?

22:30 - Childhood shame.

24:00 - David's filming process- 'The Stillness Process". No question, no direction, no guidance.

26:00 - The journey to be utterly present to create the ultimate permission.

34:00 - The gap between 'deciding' to do it and 'arriving' in the chair. Step by step moments of self permission. Choosing to share publicly creates self-permission to be seen.

39:00 - Feeling physically sick sharing his own film, then hitting publish and feeling total liberation.

44:40 - The opposite of going with the flow is that at each and every moment making a conscious choice. When we live in a world of choice and permission, that is living consciously.

49:00 - The choice to be uncomfortable.

Find out more and connect with David:

David Taylor is coach who is evolving into a film maker. David noticed that one of the most powerful gifts you can give to someone is a silent presence where they can feel truly heard. To be heard, to know it and feel it fulfils a deep longing. David's use of film can deeply serve clients in a way that coaching and other therapeutic approaches do not always address. The film process is intimate and gentle, and yet can enable the most powerful stories to come forward and be heard. It also enables a rare thing, for the subject to meet with themselves as part of the final result.

Whether it is coaching or film work - David creates a powerful space for deep transformation.

David lives in York with Truda and their two sons Phoenix and Edon.

Find David’s work here: www.extraordinary.coach/films & www.vimeo.com/uncontained

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Ep. 6 Henry Johnstone: Giving myself permission as a daily practice

“I have to give myself permission everyday. I have to do it daily. The way it presents itself is that when I'm giving myself permission, I'm choosing to ignore the way that I was brought up and the values that I was given in the way I should behave” - Henry Johnstone

The Permission Podcast Series : Exploring what it means to give yourself permission to live life on your own terms.

Henry to me, is someone I met about seven months ago and in that time, I've loved watching his journey as a coach, but also as a 'creative'- he is an epic metalwork artist!

What I love most is his willingness to be vulnerable, particularly as a man, and to talk about the deep stuff- the stuff that doesn't necessarily get talked about enough.

I absolutely loved this conversation, and I think my greatest aha moment actually came within the first few minutes - at times when self permission is a struggle, ask someone else to give you it! How crazy beautiful is that?

We also talk about 'play' and why we struggle with it, failing magnificently, recognising when you need to stick in your comfort zone and replacing 'should' with 'could'...

I hope you enjoy and I'd love to hear what comes up for you as you listen.

Find more about Henry here: www.henryjohnstone.org

Henry Johnstone podcast episode.jpg

Listen below or via your favourite podcast platform…

Ep. 6 Henry Johnstone: Giving myself permission as a daily practice

Show Notes:
A summary of conversation highlights that stood out for me…

I have to give myself permission everyday. I have to do it daily. The way it presents itself is that when I'm giving myself permission, I'm choosing to ignore the way that I was brought up and the values that I was given in the way I should behave in all situations.

It's a really self loving action, creativity, because I'm giving myself permission to play. But within that there's an anxiety that if I give myself permission to play, then I'm going to stop this 'busyness'. It's like this internal conflict. So if I get caught in that kind of tumbleweed, I simply go to someone else and I say, is it ok if I do this?

When we're growing up play is conditional, and really there's no need for it to be that way to whatsoever.

Being confronted with something that requires no rules and no timeframe... how do I start this? There's a confidence required in that and it's confidence based on one's own belief that whatever step they take forward from now will be the right step. And if it's not, it's okay that they get it wrong.

Whenever I start something, I tell myself I'm just gonna fail magnificently, which means that I'll throw everything up on the wall, some things will stick, some things won't. But who cares. I have to restructure my brain that failure isn't something to be avoided.

I knew that whenever I felt that feeling of 'I don't want to do this', that was the moment where if I did, I would experience the most relief and feel good feelings and therefore, I'm just simply going to do it.

If you don't feel like pushing yourself past your comfort zone that's absolutely fine. Please have a duvet day because we need to have that comfort and that security.

'Should' is so loaded with expectation. "I should be this way", that's immediately sign that absolutely no, you don't need to.

I knew I wanted to find a job that had meaning and purpose and I wanted to help people. I love being useful.

There's moments where I'm like, okay, I feel unhappy. What do I need to do to give myself the love that I'm craving right now?

I think it's quite hard to develop self awareness on one's own, I do believe that it helps a lot to do work with a coach or a therapist so that you can start to get that inner knowledge. In the same way that you experience me from the outside and I only experience myself from the inside out, we need someone else to tell us what's going on that we're missing.

The gold comes when you've got someone in the space asking you how does that feel? What are you feeling? Where'd that come from? You can't get that from reading a book. When you're with a coach or a therapist is not instructional, it's reflective.

Replace 'should' with 'could' and you have a choice.

Find out more and connect with Henry here:

“I help you when you feel hardened, and defeated by life. Together we delve deep into what's stopping you from being where you want to be. Heal your past and move forward with a passion! Get excited for what lies ahead, invigorate your sense of self and most importantly: feel happier. Your time is now.”

Find more about Henry here: www.henryjohnstone.org
FB: www.facebook.com/fearlesslyaman
IG: www.instagram.com/_henryjohnstone_
Podcast: ‘The Inner Warrior’ https://innerwarrior.podbean.com/

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I have launched a podcast! (*incredibly exciting & scary*)

I’ve launched a podcast!

Welcome to “The Magic In The Messy”

Full disclosure, when I first started to use the word ‘podcast’ (rather than just ‘audio recordings ‘ as I had previously called them as it seemed more casual), I felt like a fraud!

I saw people who had their own podcast shows as people who ‘had their shit together’, who knew the ‘proper’ technicalities and best practices and that I was just bodging it together, googling ‘how to…’ every other second, stumbling over my introductions (I will improve!), cringing at my own voice, and quite simply just making it up as I went along.

I couldn’t even think of a good name. I had a long running list in the notes on my phone but nothing ever seemed to fit. It was the perfect excuse not to take action, so the idea simply continued to sit there as a ‘one day’ project…

I’d also told myself time and time again over the last couple of years that I am a writer not a podcaster, since I’ve been blogging since 2011 and having had various articles published that feels pretty legit to me… but to share my voice, to be a ‘podcaster’ well, that kicked up all kinds of dialogue off in my head. Holding me back and keeping me small for too long.

But that’s the truth of it. It is only dialogue, (boring) stories I am telling myself to prevent me from sharing my voice in a way that feels meaningful to me, and in doing so may just reach someone in a way my writing won’t.

At the start of this year I set my intention to ‘share my voice beyond my platform’. My original intention had been to explore more speaking opportunities, more interviews with others and writing for other publications and platforms beyond my own blog (all still true- so if you are reading this and have a platform hot me up!)

But what equally came through - as a shout by now, no longer a whisper - was the desire to share my private audio recordings. My raw. vulnerable, unedited thoughts that I have been capturing on my phone for at least 18 months but had never officially shared with the world in a big way.

That coupled with a renewed drive to write my book (on the topic of permission and creativity), and the interviews I am hosting on that theme all made so much sense to package into a podcast.

It felt hugely scary and exciting as I finally got out of my own way…

Within three weeks I thought of a name, designed all the artwork, I book a decent mic (though the nature of many of my notes are that they are recorded raw in the moment on my phone), I painstakingly taught myself the technicalities of how to create a podcast, I interviewed my first guests, packaged it all together, submitted my feed to all the major podcast platforms, got approved and so now…

I still cant quite believe I’m saying it but I’m officially launching a podcast, full of raw vulnerable thoughts and conversations!

In this moment, I have no idea where it will lead me, or how it will evolve, but I am excited to find out and to be sharing this journey with you… beyond words on a page!

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For the official launch, so that you have plenty of content to get stuck into and explore, I have published five episodes ready to go. They have their own separate pages with show notes linked below, but you can also listen to them all directly via your favourite podcast platform. Enjoy!

Apple Podcasts / Spotify / Stitcher

Music Credit

NOTE: The episode list shows the most recent first, so scroll down to listen to first one!

Why “The Magic In The Messy”?

This podcast began life as a series of raw unfiltered and totally unedited 'brains dumps' recorded as simple voice notes on my phone as an outlet for processing my own thoughts on what it means to dig beneath the surface and live life on my own terms.

The lesson that I was bumping up against time and time again, in my own life but also in conversation with others is that, in order to reach the magic in our lives we need to be willing to embrace the messy along the way!

It’s been a huge process of surrender for me. Of leaning in and trusting the process. Now I'm finally ready to share it all with you too.

I'm Jo Hodson and I invite you to jump on board, subscribe, and embrace the #messymagic

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Ep. 5 : "Get Ready For The Meltdown"

“The caterpillars 'dissolve' before rebuilding themselves into a beautiful butterfly! It felt like a powerful metaphor to me; that in order to undergo this incredible transformation, first we have to have a 'meltdown'."

Today's podcast comes from my archives and this was first recorded in the summer of 2018. Yet it's one of my favourite audios to date, not necessarily for quality of recording but for the message it shares, and one I have since shared with a number of clients.

We look at the transformation that comes from a caterpillar to a butterfly. But with a slightly different spin on things... This is about the meltdown, the inevitable meltdown that we go through in that process of transformation and and an acknowledgment to the protective elements, the container, we need to put in place that fully serve the process of our deep inner work.

I hope it resonates for you, too.

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Listen below or via your favourite podcast platform…

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Ep. 4 Simon Crowe : The fire hydrant of infinite potential

“This is where I give my self permission to not be focussed on the small separated me, but to focus on the big fire hydrant of infinite potential. Developing practices to take me there rather than having to fight my way through the spiders web.” - Simon Crowe

The Permission Podcast Series : Exploring what it means to give yourself permission to live life on your own terms.

I have connected with Simon a number of times over the last few years, and as I share in the introduction to this conversation, for me Simon always embodies a deep sense of presence and purpose. I love how his energy allows me to really drop down into my body and really ‘feel’ the conversation.

I loved how we start with an ‘uncomfortable’ silence, once in which I found myself not knowing quite what to do with… who would be the first to break it! A courageous start for a podcast ;-)

We talk about permission showing up in everything. The inherent courage in giving ourselves permission and the willingness to be uncomfortable.

We discuss what leaning in to uncertainty looks like and how curiosity is an antidote and how through clarity of vision and intention the school project in Liberia is coming to life.

There are also fire hydrants, spiders webs and cups of tea!

Find more about Simon here: www.simoncrowe.com

ep 3 simon crowe.jpg

Listen below or via your favourite podcast platform…

Ep. 4 Simon Crowe : The fire hydrant of infinite potential

Show Notes:
A summary of conversation highlights that stood out for me…

*the silence!*

How everything we ever do is the result of the permission we give ourselves and the role of courage to do things we've never done before.

There is so much about 'doing', but a lot of self-permission is also sitting with the 'being'.

Creativity is simply the space between knowing and not knowing. Creativity is as simple as just giving yourself permission to sit for five minutes or have have an idea or write something or draw something. Trust that if you have a blank piece of paper in front of you, something is going to happen that leads to a process of action. It's also giving yourself permission that a thing you might initially draw on a piece of paper is not necessarily going to be a thing of beauty, but it's where that takes you.

Jo talks about quitting her architecture career and the permission needed to do it even thought others might not 'get it'. The permission part in that process was entertaining the idea in the first place. "I could leave". That was the permission process - actually putting the option on the table and once the option was on the table and I sat with it for long enough, it got to the point where it was shouting so loudly, it was just the only option.

Every day is created through intention, desire and inspiration. I'm giving myself permission, because there's no one else to ask for it. I also give myself permission to our source tasks that we don't like doing in our business.

We discuss what leaning in to uncertainty looks like and how curiosity is an antidote. " I don't need certainty if I'm curious".

Leading with curiosity through clarity of vision and intention, Simon shares his real life example of the school project out in Liberia where curiosity is unfolding with a knowing that it will happen, conversation by conversation.

Stay open to the process but not to attached to it happening in a particular way. If you get too attached it reduces creativity and reduces opportunity.

Keep asking questions and having conversations.

There's a massive difference between understanding something an intellectual level, and then really dropping down into it at a grounded heart level. That's where are the 'shoulds' falls away.

Being comfortable with being uncomfortable. It's necessary for growth. I've been working quite tirelessly at creating a series of practices and behaviours that when the curiosity does go behind the cloud, how do I get beyond the clouds? How do I get back into that flow of creativity?

Don't be passive and wait for that mood to shift. Use tools to take action to step back into the flow of creativity. It's incredible empowering.

Stopping the battle with resistance and stepping beyond the spiders web.

I give myself permission to not be focused on the small separated me, I instead focus on the big fire hydrant of infinite potential.

Most mornings I wake up feeling anxious and nervous. What's going to happen today? And I think, right, okay well, I've got a choice. It's my responsibility.

We don't have to believe our own thoughts. It's the permission to not stay stuck, permission to feel differently.

How we frame our language, even to ourselves can be the difference of curiosity or resistance.

What's just one small step that I could take right now? It's not even so much about the step, it's the realization that you can take the step. You're not the emotion, you're the observer of it.

A cup of tea as a mechanism for shifting state.

Creating an internal shift. From that place you've got a completely different set of choices.

Start to develop some strategies and some processes to support you stepping out of that stuck space. A habit of doing something creative everyday uses a different part of your brain, uses inspiration and curiosity. An intentional practice creates the choices.

Give yourself permission at the small 'day to day' level. It's not just about the big things. Its the same muscle being worked.

We're being run by our habits all the time. Being in a crap mood is a habit. We talk neuroplasticity and how we can change the brain simply by having a different thought.

The centre of the brain, which is responsible for fear and nervousness, is the same part of the brain that is responsible for excitement and anticipation. When I feel nervous or frightened about something I tell myself I'm excited about it. Because it's the same feeling, it's just the story I tell myself about the feeling.

When everything looks shit, there's still something which is good. We fall into polarised thinking but it's rarely those extremes absolutely. Develop the ability to a little bit more nuanced. Allow yourself to be present to the spark of possibility.

Our experience is always a result of the choices that we're making and we can always give ourselves permission to make a different choice.

Find out more and connect with Simon here:

“I help successful people to understand their true purpose, so they can experience greater levels of happiness and fulfilment, often in a single conversation.”
W : www.simoncrowe.com
FB: www.facebook.com/simoncrowecoaching
LI: www.linkedin.com/in/simoncrowe

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