Changeability Podcast: Manage Your Mind - Change Your Life







October 2015
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“I pay no attention whatever to anybody's praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings.” Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Having recently talked about the ups and downs of life and a week when we experienced what might be called extremes of feeling, this week we put feelings in the spotlight.

How are you feeling right at this very moment as you read this?

We all have feelings, they’re an intrinsic part of our human experience, but what are they and what purpose do they serve?

What is a feeling?

How do you describe what a feeling is?

  • Something to do with emotions - an emotional response
  • A physical manifestation of our emotions.
  • A notion about something.
  • A bodily reaction representing our immediate response to a situation - a gut instinct.

Dictionary definitions of a feeling include:

  • “An emotional state or reaction.”
  • “A strong emotion” – like ‘I love you’
  • “An idea or belief, especially a vague or irrational one.” E.g. ‘He had a feeling he was being watched.’

That’s what feelings are but what’s the point of feelings? Why do we have them?

Feelings have a purpose

First thing to recognise is that feelings do have a purpose. They are like a bodily alarm system, alerting us to dangers and opportunities in life.

We can respond to feelings in different ways:

  1. We can choose to act on our feelings,
  2. We can choose to observe them
  3. We can choose to ignore them

But to ignore them disregards a powerful tool in the changeability armoury. To discount our feelings removes some of the meaning from life, as feelings are powerful indicators of our bodily and mental emotions. Taken to extremes, totally repressing our feelings can lead to mental and physical problems.

Feeling skills

Being aware of our feelings, and how we respond or choose to express them, is a skill. A skill we’re not normally taught. But one we think can be taught and learnt, (we would say that wouldn’t we), and developed into a useful tool.

We all have instances when we haven’t dealt with our feelings in a helpful way.

  • It might be the way you deal with traffic jams (Kathryn!)
  • Or how you react when someone cuts you up on the road – is it with feelings of road rage or do you just shrug it off.
  • Someone says something unkind or insensitive and we respond with feelings of hurt, or lash out and retaliate badly.

One of the keys to developing the feeling skill is summed up in the phrase:

“You can’t choose how you feel, but you
can choose how you respond to how you feel.”

Recognising and owning your feelings

The first step is to recognise you’re having the feeling in the first place.

This involves getting in the habit of tuning in to what you are feeling and taking ownership of those feelings.

You can find clues in your speech.

‘I’ not ‘you’

We often express our own feelings by using the ‘you’ word. We might tell a friend,

“You know, you feel really upset when someone doesn’t listen to you properly.”

When what we actually mean is,

“I feel really upset when I’m not listened to properly.”

Such phrases appear like general statements but are really statements about the way we think and feel or the way we believe others should think.

Substitute ‘I’ to make it a statement of your feeling and you

  • Speak for yourself, not others, and take ownership of that feeling.
  • Make a connection with how you really feel – you recognise the feeling.
  • Don’t make generalisations based on what you think you should feel.

Mindfulness and feelings

Mindfulness can help us recognise and own our feelings.

“Mindfulness is the awareness, that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

One popular mindfulness meditation technique is the body scan, where you pay attention to sensations in your body as in your mind you progressively scan your body from the tip of your toes to the top of your head, becoming aware of the sensations in your body but without attaching labels to them.

You can use a similar process for recognising your feelings.

Bring your awareness to your breathing to make a connection with your body. Your body is where your feelings connect, it acts as a channel for your feelings and reflects them.

If you listen to episode 66 of the Changeability we talk you through this but if you want try it for yourself now start with a couple of breaths in and out and begin to observe your body.

What is your body telling you about your feeling right now?

Using the ‘I’ word say to yourself: “Right now, I am feeling …    

You might have said tired, angry, irritated, annoyed, hungry, sleepy, alert, bored, energised – sad – or a completely different feeling of your own.

Typology of feelings

There is a huge range of words to express our feelings but broadly speaking they come under three wide categories of feeling:

  1. Physical feelings: These mostly relate to your body, e.g. thirsty, hungry, tired, warm, cold, etc.
  1. Emotions: These are the root of your feelings, covered by four basic categories of joy, anger, fear and sadness. Emotions can relate to both your body and state of mind.

How do you feel when you watch a really good horror movie? Perhaps a sense of fear, but one related to your body exhibiting characteristics like feeling on edge or a fast beating heart and heightened sense of awareness. After all eliciting feelings is a key driver of a film.

“A film is - or should be - more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what's behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later.” Stanley Kubrick

  1. State of mind: These are more to do with your attitude towards the thing you’re thinking about. These are often more complex attitudes towards a situation, that give your life a higher purpose, such as a sense of fulfilment, motivation, inspiration, purpose and also a sense of the morality of a situation, e.g. a feeling of guilt, shame or responsibility.

Quantifying your feelings

Once you’ve identified, recognised and owned your feelings you can take it a step further by quantifying the strength of feeling using a simple process like red (for very strong) amber, green – or assign a number from 1-10.

Remember to focus on the whole range of feelings, not just the more negative ones we’re sometimes more aware of but also feeling happy, joyful, thankful, excited, exhilarated.

Episode 66 The Changeability Podcast

Listen to the episode 66 of the Changeability Podcast to hear us talking about all of this and more and join us next week to explore what we do next in ‘dealing with feeling’.

Say hello

We have a new feature this week here at – voice mails! Yes you can very easily send us a spoken message – for free – and we’d love to hear from you.

Why not humour us by trying it out and letting us know who you are, where you live, and something you like about listening to the Changeability Podcast or the website – go on, we’re waiting for your call!

Direct download: CA066.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 1:18pm UTC

“I really want to help people to be the best expression of who they’re made to be. And often I think we need people to call that out of us” ― Luke Strickland

Our guest this week is Luke Strickland of The Potting Shed Podcast who joined us in the studio to help us with exploring creativity.

About Luke Strickland

Writer, thinker and dreamer Luke Strickland, is the host of the The Potting Shed Podcast, an eclectic exploration of a variety of topics helping you to be the person you’re created to be. His warm, engaging style is like a chat with a supportive friend.

In the best Potting Shed traditions, it is nurturing - nurturing and guiding with honesty and humour as he shares his struggles and successes along life’s way.

Join us as he talks about exploring creativity in his life and how you can do the same in yours.

Episode 65 of the Changeability Podcast

In this week’s episode, we explore:

  • Why Luke named his podcast ‘The Potting Shed Podcast’ and what he gets up to in it
  • How to make space for your dreams
  • Releasing personal creativity and freeing ourselves from constraints preventing us achieving our full potential
  • How to think bigger
  • How we are all ‘works of art’ called upon to make a masterpiece of our lives
  • How are weaknesses are our strengths
  • How Luke uses metaphors to structure stories to illustrate life
  • How to find the best expression of who you’re meant to be
  • How life is about leaving behind the things you are not
  • How we are all unique individuals
  • Being authentic and why it’s ok to be a ‘work in progress’
  • The dangers of perfectionism
  • How to see yourself in a different light – and Luke’s Damascus Road moment!
  • The value of accountability
  • Immersion song-writing and how to write 20 songs in a day!
  • The value of momentum
  • Ways to find your own creativity
  • The value of a community in exploring your creativity
  • Playfulness and creativity
  • Exploring different senses to open up your creative juices
  • The value of collaboration and community
  • And more

If you like what you’ve heard please leave us a review on iTunes or Stitcher.

If you’re wanting to make changes in your life or business we invite you to sign up for our Changeability Starter Kit - a free video course delivered to your inbox - and start getting clear about what you want.

Thank you for reading and listening and we look forward to being with you again next week.



Direct download: CA065.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 7:30am UTC

“Life has its ups and downs. When you are up, enjoy the scenery. When you are down, touch the soul of your being and feel the beauty.” ― Debasish Mridha

This week we’re talking about the ups and downs of life and how we react and deal or cope with them.

True to say partly spurred on by the week we’ve just had.

It’s included the normal ups and downs of everyday life but on top of that there’s been some heightened ups and downs.

In today’s episode (64) of the Changeability Podcast we share a couple of major events that happened to us this week and use them to think about the highs and lows, ups and downs of life generally, together with suggestions of things we can do to help us cope with them.

“The unpredictability of life sucks. One minute you’re riding high with the wind whipping through your hair and the next minute you’re flat on your ass with a face full of gravel.”  Alison G. Bailey

Life is full of ups and downs

It might sound obvious but ups and downs of life are just part of life.

However calm and stable someone’s life appears, a closer look will reveal ups and downs. We all have them because they’re part of the human experience – a condition of our humanity. Whether of our own making or down to circumstances outside our control.

This week we’ve experienced both.

From down to up

Kathryn had the pleasure of giving a presentation to 150 Shell employees at a conference at Canary Wharf, London. Talking about how to thrive in times of change, it was a privilege to share the agenda with Baroness Susan Greenfield and VPs from Shell, Microsoft and Cisco.

The whole experience went from a down point of being outside the comfort zone and a fear of uncertainty prior to the conference, to the up of meeting fantastic people, delivering an adrenaline fuelled performance and accompanying sense of accomplishment, boosted by lovely feedback.


“There would be no cloud-nine days without rock-bottom moments left below.” ― Richelle E. Goodrich

From up to down

Following the conference Kathryn returned home from London to the news that Julian’s father had taken a turn for the worse, and he sadly died a few days later.

The death of a loved one is the ultimate downer or low point, but is still a bittersweet experience. A mixture of ups and downs even within the low points.

A slight sense of relief for the release but shock at the dawning realisation of the finality of the situation.

Thankfulness and gratitude for the relationship and the memories you find yourself talking about together in the time spent preparing for the rituals and ceremonies accompanying this time.

“Transformation is a process, and as life happens there are tons of ups and downs. It's a journey of discovery - there are moments on mountaintops and moments in deep valleys of despair”. Rick Warren

That’s been our experience this week which got us thinking about some of the ways to help cope with the ups and downs of life. Here’s 20 of them.

20 ways to deal with the ups and downs of life

Life is not linear; you have ups and downs. It's how you deal with the troughs that defines you”. Michael Lee-Chin

  1. Acknowledge that life has ups and downs and it’s a normal part of the human experience.
  2. Enjoy the ups and celebrate the wins. Make the most of them because although we know they don’t last, that’s part of their beauty.
  3. You cannot have the ups without the downs or the highs without the lows. They can’t exist in isolation because there would be nothing to compare them with. It would be a bland sameness with no curves.
    The highs are great but let’s think about the opposite, because these are of course by their very nature more difficult.
  4. Accept there will be downs, rather than fighting them or asking “why me”. It helps maintain perspective, depersonalises a situation, and makes it easier to accept.
  5. Look for the positives.
  6. The down times help us grow, become more rounded as individuals and develop empathy for others who’ve been through similar experiences, e.g. grief or illness.
  7. Use the lows to gain a greater understanding and knowledge of yourself and others.
  8. Look for the lessons challenging time teach us and use them to help change. The ups and downs can be times of transformation, even though you often only see it as you look back and join up the dots.
  9. Use the experience to make you more resilient. You’ve been there before and have survived and can do it again. Resilience is this thing that helps you bounce back and the more resilient you are the quicker you bounce.
  10. Focus on the good, even in the downtimes – look for the opportunity that might be lurking there amongst the challenges.
  11. Remember the good times because you’ve been there before and will be there again, even though you’re not feeling it now and don’t know how you will again in the future. But you will at some point, even if life is never quite the same. It might be different but there will be ups.
  12. Focus on what you appreciate now. It might be regarding something in the past but you’re thankful for it now.
  13. Turn your attention on the now. Don’t worry about an unknown future, because when we experience the lows of life we’re often fearful of what might happen in the future.
  14. Practice mindfulness. Don’t fight what’s happening but give it your attention and let it be.
  15. Allow yourself to feel, but without judgement.
  16. Just go with it – accept what you can’t change and change what you can.
  17. Be forgiving of yourself, the past and others. Forgiveness is a release.
  18. Look after yourself. Be kind to yourself not hard on yourself.
  19. Give yourself time and space.
  20. Finally remember that everything passes in time.

“The sun will set and the sun will rise, and it will shine upon us tomorrow in our grief and our gratitude, and we will continue to live with purpose, memory, passion, and love.” Brent Schlender

Episode 64 of the Changeability Podcast

You can hear us talking about all of this and more on episode 64 of the Changeability Podcast.

If you like what you’ve heard please leave us a review on iTunes or Stitcher.

If you’re wanting to make changes in your life or business we invite you to sign up for our Changeability Starter Kit - a free video course delivered to your inbox - and start getting clear about what you want.

Thank you for reading and listening and we look forward to being with you again next week. 




Direct download: CA064.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 5:37pm UTC

If you ever wondered how to start and finish anything in life, then you can’t help but be inspired by Tom Boother’s story.

“Become the thing, complete the challenge!” Tom Boother

Tom Boother studied politics at the University of Leicester. And on graduating he did what all graduates do and sought to become a racing driver. Unfortunately, however, racing driving did not seek him and he was unsuccessful in securing the necessary funds to race at the level he wanted.

So he returned to college to study Law, at the College of Law in London. It was whilst here, and with no athletic ability that Tom literally stumbled into the bizarre world of Ultra running.

Ultra Running is an extreme form of running where runners typically cover large distances over rugged and challenging terrains.

What’s a large distance, we hear you cry? Well, the official definition is anything over a marathon, though in reality the distances are considerably longer and the ground significantly rougher!

Using the metaphor of Ultra Running, Tom now speaks on how to start and finish anything - including big challenges and projects in life and business. It’s a unique slant and his stories though sometimes literally bloody provide valuable insights and illuminate how we can start big challenges, become the person who is capable of completing them and embrace the pain necessary to complete them.

“We’re always on a journey and that journey is what we want it to be. Running summarises that (journey), rather nicely.” Tom Boother

And it’s this starting and finishing which is so intriguing. Why do some people achieve what looks to others as impossible? And do we need challenges in life for fulfilment.

At the heart of it all, Tom outlines three key components needed to complete big challenges and in this order:

  1. Do it – To do something worthwhile in our lives we need to actually do it. To experience it first hand and discover if we actually like it. The like part, Tom would say, is critical because through liking it – some might say, having a passion for it – we are more likely to see it through and complete it.
  2. Become it – In the second phase, we transition from doing something to becoming something. Tom talks on how he became a runner in other people’s eyes and more critically his own, though this could equally apply to other disciplines – becoming a pianist, for example, or a social media marketing expert.
  3. Write a plan – Perhaps untypically, in our corporate worlds of business planning, this is the final stage. With the experience gained, write your plan, based on the pain or cost required to complete the task.

Business typically spend a huge amount of time writing plans and setting corporate and employee targets. Tom’s refreshing relook, emphasises the need to get in there and do it, exploring the overall importance of doing tasks to ascertain if we like them, perhaps prototyping them and learning what is needed to succeed prior to then formalising this in a plan of action.

“I look at the plan in terms of pain, which can easily be transferred to cost.” Tom Boother

Fascinating stuff.

Episosode 63 of the Changeability Podcast

Hear about all of this in episode 63 of the Changebility Podcast and discover:

  • Gory tales from running long distances
  • How running illuminates life
  • Becoming by doing
  • Winning the inner game
  • Rewards in achieving
  • How to overcome boundaries and reach for stretching goals in your life
  • The effects of sleep deprivation
  • When to quit
  • And if you have the capability of doing anything in your life


  • When not to go to hospital
  • Jelly babies or Marshmallows?
  • The film and book character that Tom is sometimes likened to
  • If Tom can run the equivalent of up and down Everest
  • Details of Tom’s craziest challenge yet
  • And more. It’s a cracker of an episode.

Links mentioned on today’s show:

What’s next for you?

If you’ve been inspired by Tom’s story let’s us know in the comments below. What lessons have you learnt? We’d love to know.



Direct download: CA063.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 11:01am UTC

Following on from their recent success of winning best self-help podcast at the UK Podcasters Awards ceremony 2015, Kathryn and Julian were invited to the BBC to take part as guests on Lesley Dolphin’s afternoon radio show.

‘On the Sofa with Lesley Dolphin’ – is a BBC Radio Suffolk feature interviewing local people about their lives and successes.

So with the tables turned and the spotlight glare firmly on Kathryn and Julian, we sat down for a warm-hearted discussion and interview about Changeability, winning an award and life – ‘On the sofa with Kathryn Bryant and Julian Illman’

Episode 62 of the Changeability Podcast

On today’s podcast discover:

  • Behind the scenes at Brilliant Living HQ and the Changeability Podcast
  • How the show came into being
  • The motivation behind starting an award winning podcast
  • Life lessons learnt from podcasting
  • If mindfulness is just a trend
  • How Changeability is not just about the big changes in life
  • Tales from Kathryn and Julian’s youth
  • Royal connections and a tantalising secret past
  • Life before Brilliant Living HQ
  • Details of Kathryn’s new podcast show – Podcast Divas
  • And if there really is a sofa at the BBC

Links mentioned on today’s show:

What’s next for you?

As always, thanks for listening to the Changeability podcast. We would love it if you could take a moment to leave a review on iTunes or Stitcher of our show – we read them all and it might be yours we feature on our next show.

Alternatively if you’ve learnt something new about us, we’d love to read your comments below. Bye for now.


Direct download: CA062.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 4:44pm UTC