Not Drinking (Alcohol) Today Podcast

Emma Gilmour: Living AF, Parenting and Finding Calm in Midlife

April 14, 2024 Isabella Ferguson and Meg Webb Episode 77
Emma Gilmour: Living AF, Parenting and Finding Calm in Midlife
Not Drinking (Alcohol) Today Podcast
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Not Drinking (Alcohol) Today Podcast
Emma Gilmour: Living AF, Parenting and Finding Calm in Midlife
Apr 14, 2024 Episode 77
Isabella Ferguson and Meg Webb

When Emma Gilmour of Hope Rising Coaching joined us, she didn't just bring a big laugh (and that we did many of!) — she brought an open conversation about her recent autism diagnosis, raising neurodivergent children, perimenopause, giving up alcohol and finding calm in a chaotic world! Sigh... Emma is just awesome.

We talk about parenting children who experience the world differently, how Emma's journey to sobriety unearthed her authentic introverted self, and the ways in which society's extroverted ideals can obscure our true natures.

This heart-to-heart also spotlights the elephant in the room: the PTSD-like stress parenting can impose, and why acknowledging this reality is vital for our emotional health. Emma's insights into the often misunderstood manifestations of autism in women, and the relief that comes with understanding and resources, form a lighthouse for those on similar paths.

In fact, Emma runs a 'Be the Lighthouse', a group coaching program offering support for those seeking an alcohol-free life. We leave you with the understanding that whether you're a parent to a neurodivergent child, re-evaluating your relationship with alcohol, or in pursuit of deeper self-care, this episode stands as a testament to the transformative journeys we're capable of embarking upon.

LEARN MOR ABOUT EMMA

Emma's website www.hoperisingcoaching.com

Emma's podcast Midlife AF https://www.hoperisingcoaching.com/podcast

EMMA'S  ND PARENTING RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THE POD

Socials: 

@Neurowild_ 

@adhd_love_ 

@adhdactually 

@_kristyforbes 

@laura.nd.nurse.consulting 

Websites: 

https://drrossgreene.com/

https://www.kristyforbes.com.au/

https://www.yellowladybugs.com.au/

https://attwoodandgarnettevents.com/about/

https://www.naomifisher.co.uk/

Books: 

Heidi Mavir - Your Child Is Not Broken  

Chloe Hayden

MEG

Megan Webb: https://glassfulfilled.com.au
Instagram: @glassfulfilled
Unwined Bookclub: https://www.alcoholfreedom.com.au/unwinedbookclub
Sober Socialising workshop at Seadrift Distillery: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/confident-and-cozy-alcohol-free-socialising-for-winter-tickets-934198341387?aff=oddtdtcreator

BELLA

Isabella Ferguson: https://isabellaferguson.com.au
Instagram: @alcoholandstresswithisabella
Free 5-Day DO I HAVE A DRINKING PROBLEM? Clarify and focus series: https://resources.isabellaferguson.com.au/doIhaveadrinkingproblemwithisabellaferguson
Alcohol Freedom Small Group Challenge - Register here: https://resources.isabellaferguson.com.au/alcoholfreedomchallenge
The Alcohol Revolution 6-Week Program (Online or Podcast): ...

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

When Emma Gilmour of Hope Rising Coaching joined us, she didn't just bring a big laugh (and that we did many of!) — she brought an open conversation about her recent autism diagnosis, raising neurodivergent children, perimenopause, giving up alcohol and finding calm in a chaotic world! Sigh... Emma is just awesome.

We talk about parenting children who experience the world differently, how Emma's journey to sobriety unearthed her authentic introverted self, and the ways in which society's extroverted ideals can obscure our true natures.

This heart-to-heart also spotlights the elephant in the room: the PTSD-like stress parenting can impose, and why acknowledging this reality is vital for our emotional health. Emma's insights into the often misunderstood manifestations of autism in women, and the relief that comes with understanding and resources, form a lighthouse for those on similar paths.

In fact, Emma runs a 'Be the Lighthouse', a group coaching program offering support for those seeking an alcohol-free life. We leave you with the understanding that whether you're a parent to a neurodivergent child, re-evaluating your relationship with alcohol, or in pursuit of deeper self-care, this episode stands as a testament to the transformative journeys we're capable of embarking upon.

LEARN MOR ABOUT EMMA

Emma's website www.hoperisingcoaching.com

Emma's podcast Midlife AF https://www.hoperisingcoaching.com/podcast

EMMA'S  ND PARENTING RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THE POD

Socials: 

@Neurowild_ 

@adhd_love_ 

@adhdactually 

@_kristyforbes 

@laura.nd.nurse.consulting 

Websites: 

https://drrossgreene.com/

https://www.kristyforbes.com.au/

https://www.yellowladybugs.com.au/

https://attwoodandgarnettevents.com/about/

https://www.naomifisher.co.uk/

Books: 

Heidi Mavir - Your Child Is Not Broken  

Chloe Hayden

MEG

Megan Webb: https://glassfulfilled.com.au
Instagram: @glassfulfilled
Unwined Bookclub: https://www.alcoholfreedom.com.au/unwinedbookclub
Sober Socialising workshop at Seadrift Distillery: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/confident-and-cozy-alcohol-free-socialising-for-winter-tickets-934198341387?aff=oddtdtcreator

BELLA

Isabella Ferguson: https://isabellaferguson.com.au
Instagram: @alcoholandstresswithisabella
Free 5-Day DO I HAVE A DRINKING PROBLEM? Clarify and focus series: https://resources.isabellaferguson.com.au/doIhaveadrinkingproblemwithisabellaferguson
Alcohol Freedom Small Group Challenge - Register here: https://resources.isabellaferguson.com.au/alcoholfreedomchallenge
The Alcohol Revolution 6-Week Program (Online or Podcast): ...

Speaker 2:

Are you trying to drink less alcohol, but need some extra motivation? Maybe you've tried moderation, but you keep waking up disappointed and hungover.

Speaker 1:

Are you curious about sober life? Or maybe you're like us, have been alcohol free for a while and are in it for the long haul. Well, you're in the right place.

Speaker 2:

I'm Meg and I'm Bella, and our Not Drinking Today podcast is an invaluable resource to keep you motivated and on track today and beyond.

Speaker 1:

We are this Naked Mind, certified coaches who live in Sydney and love our alcohol-free life and last but not least, if you enjoy the content of our podcast, please rate, review, subscribe and share it.

Speaker 2:

It really is integral to getting the podcast out to those that might need it.

Speaker 1:

So grab a cuppa and let's get started.

Speaker 2:

Hello everybody. Today I just want to extend a huge welcome to Emma Gilmore of Hope Rising Coaching. Emma, I've had the pleasure of meeting quite a few times. We met because we're both this Naked Mind coaches, but also we've met just through the sober community, on Instagram and just getting to know each other along the way. A big, heartfelt welcome to you, emma.

Speaker 3:

Thank you so much for having me here and welcoming me so lovely. It's really lovely to be here with you. Thank you for having me on your poddy, your lovely poddy. We've had so many great guests. I feel quite honoured to be here.

Speaker 2:

Oh, thank you. Well, no, we're the lucky ones because, emma, after sort of meeting you quite a few times, it struck me when I was preparing this morning that I actually don't know too much of your history. I'm sure that you know there's something to do with alcohol there which has led to you helping others now to break free from alcohol. But how about we start there? You know what caused you to really want to give up alcohol?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it's an interesting thing, isn't it? And I know that for a lot of us it kind of comes over a few years. It's not something that's sort of like suddenly you're like, right, I'm giving up, and it's come out of the blue, I've made the decision. It's sort of like this few years of, oh, this doesn't feel quite right, oh, this isn't. You know, this isn't going quite well, and you're still trying to convince yourself that it's all okay. Oh, yes, it's fine. You know, it's fine to keep drinking the way. I probably was in so much denial about it that I probably wouldn't have even contemplated. I think it's that whole we talk about in this naked mind, that sort of asleep, aware, awake, alive and asleep. Is that unconscious you? You know you're just drinking and it's just part of what you do, completely unaware of anything that might be difficult about it. And then there's the aware, which is the kind of like the worst period, which is when you start to wake up. Don't you To the fact that it's not really something's up?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, Too many embarrassing moments and hangovers and yeah what's going on.

Speaker 3:

That's it, and mine sort of came to light. I think really about 40, in my mid-40s, probably just early to mid-40s, yeah, and prior to that I probably wouldn't even thought about it too much. To be honest, I did drink a relatively large amount, but not more than particularly. The more the more uh drinky kind of my friends. Um, but a few things happened. I think I probably was unknowingly going into perimenopause, because we know perimenopause kind of runs for the 10 years leading up to menopause. Menopause on average is age 52. And so for many of us we're kind of unaware that we're having all this hormonal changes and often, you know, if you look at the hormonal charts between a teenager going through puberty and a woman going through perimenopause, they are very, very, very similar and so our hormones are all over the place.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, um, for me I had a number of different things that had happened, but I was in corporate, I was working. I had two kids who I didn't realize when you're a divergent at the time. Yes, I was working sort of not 8 30 till 6 they were. I was dropping them in at daycare before and after school. I was trying to keep my house tidy. You know the normal stuff that we all do, right? Yes, and I was finding it really hard.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

I didn't really realise I was finding it really hard because I think I was drinking, to kind of stop me from realising that I was finding it really, really, really, really hard.

Speaker 3:

Moved to Australia from the UK. That puts a little bit of added pressure because we didn't have family then, so we didn't have any sort of like people to help out with the kids at the weekends or anything like that or you know, if one of us was sick or whatever. But I think for all of my life, life and I will talk a little bit more about this but I I was saying to Isabella, I've recently been diagnosed as autistic. Prior to that, I was diagnosed as ADHD. Um, and that all came about because my children, who went through puberty as female, assigned at birth human beings, discovered, we discovered that they were autistic and ADHD, which is often the way that women in midlife find, that find out that they are.

Speaker 3:

But at the time I had no inclination of this and so the sort of routines and rituals that we used to have to go through to get out more in the morning with my children were beyond ridiculous. And now in retrospect I'm like well, of course, everyone's autistic. That makes total sense. Everybody's ADHD, autistic. But at the time I was just like.

Speaker 2:

What are we doing wrong? Can I pause just to really emphasise that I'm so glad that you're raising this as a topic, because you're the very first person on this podcast that's really raised this issue of both the impact on your life and perhaps alcohol comes into cope with having neurodivergent kids then how that also impacts the whole mix there when you discover that you yourself have certain diagnoses as well. So this is wonderful. So I just want to say a huge thank you, emma, because I'm not going to ramble on too much, but just to say that there are so many mums out there that are drinking to cope with the added layer of stresses involved in their daily routine, because their kids are beautiful and they're loved, but they present a few difficulties as well. That takes a lot of their energy. So I would love to talk about this, emma. So sorry for interrupting, but how was that all impacting you?

Speaker 3:

So I think it's really a nervous system situation and I think that's a lot. Whether or not you're neurodiverse, your kids are neurodivergent, or you've had trauma, or some people consider themselves to be highly sensitive people. Our experience of the world is such that it takes a lot out of us and many of us. This was my experience. I spent most of my life in fight or flight. I didn't realize at all, no idea. I thought that was just how everybody lived and in fact it probably was how my mum and how my granny lived, trying to do everything and, you know, with that resentment as well. Yeah, and I hear a lot of resentment with women who drink too. There's a lot of like I'm doing everything for everybody else, I'm putting everybody else first, but I'm actually angry.

Speaker 2:

But I'm not allowed to be angry so you're drinking is a bit of a vent, isn't it? Or a middle finger or a? Uh yeah, I'm not being seen that's right.

Speaker 3:

It almost feels like well, screw everybody. And it's actually well, and we, we talk about it, don't we with our clients? It's like well, actually, the only person that you're hurting in this rebellion is yourself yeah but we think we're saying fuck you to the world, but we're not no no, thank you to us when you said you were operating on flight fight and freeze, probably through the entirety of the day.

Speaker 2:

um, can you just remember? That feeling was like sort of almost a foot on your chest, and it starts in the morning, doesn't it? When you wake up? Yeah, and you're already probably registering a you know nine out of ten on the scale of stress, and that continues, doesn't it? Throughout the whole day. How did we do it? How did you do it?

Speaker 3:

I know, and that's exactly right. It's like you, the minute you, you wake up, you're sort of like right, okay. And that's why women say so often, don't they? It's like I need to drink to escape my thoughts. Yeah, I need to escape to escape my to-do list. I need to be able to give myself an excuse to sit down and relax. Um, but for me, I, I have an on button and I, I'm very much like an ever ready bunny and I think it's a. It's a, you know, it's a learned behavior.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it's a coping mechanism. And I think now in retrospect, I look back and I think, well, actually it's because my processing skills are slightly slower than other people's, because what I've read recently is that neurodivergent humans, or certainly ADHD, because there's so many other different types of neurodivergency but ADHD, autistic humans um, it's not just that we are. It's not necessarily that our processing skills are slower. It's that we take in more information, so we have a lot more to get through. If that, makes sense.

Speaker 2:

Yes, that was explained really well. I had gosh.

Speaker 3:

So exhausting and distracting and there's a lot exhausting, distracting and just that sort of kind of you know, and I've talked to my clients about it and they say you know, someone said to me last night in group it's like you've got this pressure and this balloon and it's getting higher and higher and the balloon is getting tauter and tauter and tauter and it feels like the only way to make it stop and to have that grounding feeling of landing and not being caught up in all of this stuff is to have a drink. Yeah, that's what it feels like, doesn't it?

Speaker 2:

And Emma. How does that impact somebody that might be autistic or have ADHD? How does the drinking then interact with that person?

Speaker 3:

I think. First of all, it seems like a really great place to be.

Speaker 3:

So, it seems really great and for a very long time I thought what a great solution. And so did my body my body's, like this is a great solution, so did my body, my body's, like this is a great solution. This works really well and, of course, until it doesn't, and a lot of the time with adhd, autistic women, when we go through perimenopause, that's when our um, often some of our symptoms become enhanced right and become larger than perhaps they were because of all the stuff that's happening with hormones and stuff. So anxiety can get very, very um elevated, along with other things. But it's I don't know necessarily. How does it interact with us as neurodivergents, differently to neuro normies? Yeah, I don't know the correct word for that I just made. I just think I may have made that up.

Speaker 3:

It's more that the experience that we're having of life is very large, and so the um, the impact of the alcohol is quite, it's very attractive, which is why you find that the numbers of people who have problematic alcohol use in the neurodivergent community is very, very high right especially for women, because women often I mean one of the things I was talking about recently and I hear this so often with clients and you probably hear it too, bella is, yeah, we have a baby and suddenly all our coping mechanisms which we managed to to to use to kind of camouflage and to mask and to hide what was going on for us. We could, we could hold those all in place when it's just us bring in some other little people into this world who need us, who mean that we can't actually, or it feels like we can't escape, we can't say no, we can't go off into our room and put our headphones on and go la la, la, la la la.

Speaker 3:

The noise and the intensity of that, the emotional dysregulation for women, and that's not just for neurodivergent women, I think it can be for everybody to a certain extent as well, and particularly if we've had, you know, little t trauma in our lives as well and we're just more sensitive humans and we need downtime. And so many people I don't know if you find this too, Belle, but so many people who drinkers, drink to be or drunk to be extroverts this is my experience and then actually find out they're actually introverts and actually humaning takes a lot. And that pressure to always be that extroverted human being and to be sociable and to be going to things and stuff, that obligation that we should all love parties and weddings and networking and speak to most people once they've stopped drinking they're like, oh man, I really actually didn't realise, but I actually hate doing that.

Speaker 2:

Yes, yeah, god, you're bringing back all these memories of all the things that I was trying to be and do all through my 20s and 30s, emma. With all of that going along, my eldest son was diagnosed with autism and I can remember that playing a large part in my dysregulation, my stress and my lack of coping. And I know, yeah, I know now in hindsight that that was a large part, played a large part of why I was drinking in the evenings to numb out and cope.

Speaker 3:

it's so hard, though let's not underestimate how hard it is being a parent of neurodivergent kids and let's not disregard them, or to, or? You know people can be like oh, I can't, you know, don't say that because it's, but it's, you know, there's, there's scientific evidence that parenting neurodivergent kids is the equivalent to being, you know, in PTSD.

Speaker 2:

Because it's like being in a zone. Is that right, emma? Yeah, and it does make sense.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's kind of operating in survival mode. And then I guess, if you're adding on financial stress, maybe if you're a single mum as well, that's a heck of a lot on your plate, isn't it?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it is, and that's not to say, you know, just before it comes in, oh, I'm glad you've got a kid. Yes, yes, yes, yes. And it's really hard because that's the other thing is we don't let ourselves have this, our culture. We're not allowed to have our experiences. We've all got to sort of like suck it up and be grateful for everything, and it's like I love great. Being grateful is such a great resource. Yes, but also part of the reason why so many of us drink is because we've not been allowed to have our, our experience, and our experience can be quite hard yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2:

When um you were diagnosed, I guess you were already on the other side of alcohol. Is that right?

Speaker 3:

yes, it's so amazing, is it because it opens up? You like you stop drinking and then you find out all this stuff. It's like all the stuff you've been hiding and not not being able to access or um, you just haven't had the clarity to be able to see in yourself and then suddenly your brain's clear and it's like, oh so, and I started watching um neurodivergent women, particularly autistic women like Chloe Hayden. I read her book Different, not Less Bloody amazing. And then I started listening to her and I've forgotten her surname. But her name is M and her surname begins with an R. She was a radio DJ. Now she's quite a spokesperson in autism. I can't remember what her name is I'll have to look it up afterwards but these people started coming out and speaking about female autism and how different it is to what's traditionally been based on young boys as a definition of autism.

Speaker 2:

How is it different, Emma?

Speaker 3:

It's really different because women, particularly, are very, very skilled and this may well be an intergenerational trauma thing at masking Ha-ha. So until they get to. So most females get diagnosed now, when they hit puberty, and that's because that's when all the hormones go and everything they've been able to hide to fit in because the rules.

Speaker 3:

we're very good at learning the rules of the world yeah women how to fit in, how to, you know, be part of things, because it's so important to us, right connection, being part of the tribe fitting in. Then suddenly they go into high school and it's so unsafe in comparison to being at primary school. You're not in one classroom most of the time, you've got all these other places to go and there's all these people, and suddenly it all just goes. Ah, this is too much, I can't do this anymore. And that's what happened to both my kids.

Speaker 2:

Probably very similar to me as well. The signs were there with my eldest throughout primary school, but it was when he and we're kind of avoiding the inevitable. Yes, they were counseling throughout just for separation, anxiety and certain things like that yeah throughout primary school.

Speaker 2:

Oh, I often say it on the podcast. I really can remember just like being in my suit and my heels and peeling him off me oh, me too. Kindergarten and year one and trying to get to court on time and crying the whole way Me too. Thankfully, he adjusts, he's quite resilient, he's quite amazing and in lots of ways he's really easy because he's such a rule enforcer. You know he has some and his empathy and you know there are so many other things that are his superpowers when it comes to being diagnosed with autism. But it was when he got to high school where you know he wouldn't wear the summer uniform, only winter uniform, even on the hottest of days, where we thought, oh, we need to sort of give you some skills here. Yeah, Then we went through it. But, yes, it was just really when they got older that we noticed.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and the hardest thing about it, I think, is until you realise what the situation is and until you realise, like there's a brilliant guy I'm sure you've heard of him called Ross Green. Have you heard of Ross Green? No, you've heard of him called ross green. Have you heard of ross green? No, amazing psychologist or psychiatrist. He's written loads of books. One of them's called the explosive child, um, and he has a saying which is I've got it just written down here. Hold on a second, I've got it on a book.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it's something like if they, if they could, they would yes, which makes it attitude and once and it's a different attitude and once because what happens and I think this is one another reason why parents of neurodivergent children drink so much is because there's all this societal expectations of how people should behave and everybody's so fucking judgy right, absolutely.

Speaker 3:

And they're so happy to tell you what they think you should be doing. Yeah, what they think you should be doing, it's just incredible. It's like being a pregnant person. You know when people are like, oh, I think you should be. It's like, well, I'm just doing all the business, what I'm doing, get in your own lane, mate. But they do that with children and people get sort of really, really enjoy a bit of judgy, judgy on your neurodivergent children and it makes you as humans, as adults, we feel so bad, we're like it's my fault and we make all these judgments about ourselves. And letting go of that is such an important part of being able to parent a neurodivergent kid. But that's part of the reasons why we drink is because a lot of the time we're like, especially before they're diagnosed, we're like what the fuck is wrong with us? Yeah, why can't we not get out of this house into that car?

Speaker 2:

Why can't we get out of the house?

Speaker 3:

I remember that, why I've done all the stuff, I've done all the rituals, I've put somebody on a rug, I've covered them in three towels, I've given them a stroke and then apparently, I've done something wrong. I missed one particular element of the process and now we're back to the beginning and everyone's back in bed. How the fuck did that happen? I'm supposed to be at work.

Speaker 2:

I know I used to have to remember we had to plan about two hours in advance. All right, we're going to leave now. Oh, it does tend to get easier, doesn't it? Ever, in looking back in hindsight, you know when you're in a query no know when you Sorry, that was a bit wary. No, no, no, no, anything goes, anything goes. When you got the diagnosis, was it as relief?

Speaker 3:

or what it was. Really. I am a big believer in, for me and for our family, getting our diagnosis. Now that doesn't necessarily mean you have to get a medical diagnosis right, because that is a. They're really difficult to get. They cost a lot of money. If you do them on the health service they take ages.

Speaker 3:

So, as far as the neurodivergent community is concerned, you are whatever you decide you are, because if you think you are, then you are um. So you know it's really important to not. It's not just about getting a actual formal diagnosis, it's about recognizing that the traits that that particular um set of of neuro ways of working is is feels like it's you. But for me we got official diagnosis because we wanted to get some help from the NDIS and that is one of the main reasons to get an official diagnosis if you can, because that's the way to access funding to help around disability. But for us it explained everything and a bit, like you know, when you realize you'll be the same better as me, when you start doing doing the mistaken mind work and you realize that you weren't the problem ah, yes, nicely said, emma, it's just the way it is, yeah and it's not you're.

Speaker 3:

You know everything you've been struggling to do that's so hard. It's hard for a reason. Yeah, it's hard for a reason, and it's because the world is not created for us to thrive. And actually, what the most brilliant thing about more I've learned about neurodiversity is, in both adults and children, is if we could make our world more palatable is the wrong word, but it's the only word that's coming to my head. Yeah, yeah, we're divergent humans. We make it better for all humans, so everybody benefits, and you know this bow, but yeah, everybody benefits from this. There's nobody who doesn't benefit no one misses out.

Speaker 2:

That's right.

Speaker 3:

It can only enhance the way we all operate together, because it's like you know changing ways of teaching so that you know you're going for all different types of ways of learning. You know everybody learns in different ways. We've all got different ways of learning. Same with you know making things so that you know people can not feel overwhelmed by their environment. That's helpful for everybody, right?

Speaker 3:

So, it's one of those funny things that people can get quite funny about. Oh, we don't want to make it all for the special needs people. It's like, well, why not that's?

Speaker 2:

right, that's right. I do have a question, Emma when you know, as part of a daily practice that supports drinking less, which ultimately is connected very much with keeping your nervous system regulated, recognising when it notches up how to notch down, what is the greatest thing that you do or need to do? Just to kind of keep track on that, Because I guess that's pretty key.

Speaker 3:

Definitely to do, just to kind of keep track on that, because, yeah, I guess that's pretty key, definitely, and it's one of the things that, because you know, I do go into burnout regularly, fairly regularly, because I am a neurodivergent mum of neurodivergence yes, it sounds strange, but so there are times where I just do need to rest and I found as I've got older, I've had less choice about that. So I might find that, particularly if I've just been through quite a busy time with everybody, I think I might need to take a bit more rest than I would normally. And that's where one of the things that is a really important part of self-care for me is allowing myself to do that and not being like, right, you need to get out on a walk now and go for a swim. And it's like, actually, do you know what you need more than anything else? To sit on that chair and read your book yeah, yeah that's what you need.

Speaker 3:

So that would be a really big part. But for me, when I'm in, when I'm okay, when I'm not, um, a bit burnt out, which is most of the time um, for me it's walking in nature, going for a swim, breath work. I do breath work twice a day, 15 minutes. Really important for me. Okay, can I ask what's your go-to breath work? I do breath work twice a day, 15 minutes really important for me.

Speaker 2:

Okay, can I ask what's your go-to breath work? Because I know people love hearing. You know, everyone says breath work or meditation, but what you know, then they say well, what do I do? Where do I go to?

Speaker 3:

Well, I do a particular and I'm on my second round of it at the moment. A particular called the presence process by a guy called michael brown. It's absolutely phenomenal. If you haven't read it, yeah, I highly recommend it.

Speaker 3:

Um, I got hold of him through when I was training under gabriel marty which I just finished um, but he, gabriel marty, read this book and he, he used it as a basis of what he does. Um, and basically all it is is 15 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes in the evening of continuous breath, and continuous breath is in and out through your nose without pausing. So it's Yep.

Speaker 2:

For those that can't see Emma's continuously breathing you can hear my slightly slotted nose going breathing you can hear my slightly slotted nose, but I get it.

Speaker 3:

And what does that do? Is that just well, with you read the reader book as part of it and the book's got like you read a page of each book every day. Well, that's what I do and it's got really interesting concepts. And then when you're doing the breath, you breathe in and out and you say I think it's like I am here now in this and that's so for each breath, I am here now in this, and you can go as slow or as fast as you want. The main thing is that you're not pausing at the end like it's a continuous thing and the kind of it's almost like a mantra, the I am here now in this. It kind of keeps you focused and in the present.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, what I found really amazing about this particular process and I've done it with my group we did it as a 10-week process and then you take a break and another 10 weeks and take a break. What I found it particularly good for is processing on unprocessed emotions. So things that has been hanging around for you for a long time, reasons that you get triggered by stuff, reasons why things bring a really big emotional experience to you. It lets you work on those and work through them, and the idea is, at the end, you're less reactive. It's that responding rather than reacting? Yeah, and it's. It's just a great process. I really recommend it to anyone who hasn't?

Speaker 3:

it's a bit out there oh well.

Speaker 2:

No, it sounds in alignment, though, with a lot of the um, the recommendations out there, just to try and sit with yourself a good solid, you know, 20 minutes each day, or twice a day, even better, so that you're at least checking in. It's like you're releasing the stress valve. You're sitting in the present moment.

Speaker 3:

And don't we hear so often from women. You know the reason why we drink and I have clients who've been sober now for or sober, I don't say an unusual word for it to use but have been alcohol free for a significant amount of time. And then, when they reflect back on it now, they say the reason I drank was because I didn't have any space.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 3:

And we drink, don't we? Like I've heard people say and I used to do this I drink so I can get some alone time in a room of people.

Speaker 2:

Something I can relate to, and when you say it, it's such a bizarre concept that we feel like we need to hold a glass to get that green light to pause. I think in one of my groups as well we were talking about this, and sometimes it can come from not being brought up in a household that really respected downtime and that sort of you always had a list of chores you always had to get through. Them never remain idle, so there's sort of a negative twist on being a bit calm and bored.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I totally agree. I think that's exactly what it's from and boundarylessless, like in my home growing up, it was weird to go off and sit in your room like everybody was expected to be in the back really yeah, yeah.

Speaker 3:

And I remember my husband coming around to us for Christmas and saying I'm just gonna nip, I'm just gonna go off and sit in our room for a bit. I need a bit of space. And I was like what do you mean? What's wrong? What's wrong? I don't think you're being rude and you don't like her.

Speaker 2:

We all have to sit here and be attentive.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, in a seething sweaty drunk.

Speaker 2:

Sounds delightful.

Speaker 3:

No wonder we all reached for them.

Speaker 2:

We all drink. Yes, you're right. It's like I dreaded those Christmas days uh, not, not with my family, mum, if you're listening, but you know even just my own, as, as I had my own family because there was that dreaded time when, ultimately, the food was done and then we all had to sit there and just sort of look at each other. I hate those moments. That's probably I used to drink my way through them. But if there's a walk on the beach, if there's a walk outside, if there's a hike, I'm fine.

Speaker 3:

I'm fine. Yeah, just sitting around, and especially growing up in England, for me it was like we were all inside with the heating on.

Speaker 2:

Freezing With no one allowed to sneak off to the bedrooms, everyone sat in their Christmas hats.

Speaker 3:

Visual of sin. Oh God, you make me laugh, emma, I love it. Inappropriate comments from grannies and granddads yes, comments from grannies and granddads.

Speaker 2:

Now, emma, you do a lot of one-on-one coaching and you also have a beautiful practice that brings together people, so you kind of harness the force of the team, the group, to kind of help motivate them through. Tell me a little bit about how you work and how all of that operates.

Speaker 3:

In terms of group. Yeah, the group. Yeah, so I have a membership group called Be the Lighthouse. Who are these? Are people who are wanting to stop drinking for longer. They're no longer in the am I, aren't I going to drink? Ah, yes, so they're in there. So we're not having those discussions anymore. It's more like now we're not drinking. How are we going to keep this going? And we still you know, people still have data points or whatnot, but we learn from them and we move forward, you know.

Speaker 3:

So I have that group, beautiful humans about 10 of those and that is is really special. That's who I do the presence process with. So we've just started off a second round of the presence process together fabulous reading texts, breathing and then commenting on what's come up for us, and then we meet once a once a week and have a coaching session. And then we also have Marco Polo, that app as well. You know that you can support me on and that's a lovely, lovely group, very, very supportive, really like friendships, like a place you can go and talk about alcohol when you're because nobody else is really interested. Yeah, when you're still with them.

Speaker 2:

No, no, and that's quite welcoming in some respects when friends just don't notice and don't care, but sometimes you need to really you know, talk about you want to be, you know. Talk about the successes and you know, get a pat on the back with for those, but also sometimes you need to really talk through the big issues and the sense of loss that you've got and often it is things like you know, how do I ask for what I need?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, because often we find that that's the reason why people are drinking because they're having to do things they don't really want to do or they're not able to ask for what they want. And so that's what we talk about in Be the Lighthouse. And then, prior to that, I have a group which is not about stopping drinking, which is based on this Naked Mind great Aussie alcohol experiment, which is much more wherever you are, wherever you want to be, and that's a 30-day small group coaching. Every night we do breath work and we do grounding to learn how to be with difficult emotions. That's fantastic. It's every night, emma, every night. How fabulous. Every night for 30 emotions.

Speaker 2:

That's fantastic. It's every night, Emma.

Speaker 3:

Every night. How fabulous. Every night for 30 days. There's the option you don't have to it's not like compulsive yeah, yeah, yeah, To come on and do small group coaching. So we'll do breath work and learning to be with difficult emotions, working out what we actually really need when we think we need to drink, and then the other part of it is. Then we work on those beliefs. You know all those different beliefs that we have around alcohol, like it relaxes us, it makes us fun and all the rest of it. So that's really that group and that works for 30 days. And some people decide to go on and be part of Be the Lighthouse and other people just go off on their merry way.

Speaker 3:

How fabulous you know wherever they want to be with alcohol going forward.

Speaker 2:

Oh, emma, it just sounds like you get the full circle kind of coach through you, where a bit of the cognitive but a lot of the grounding, and the breathing too.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that's so important, isn't it? The body stuff, yep, the bodily stuff that gets us to drink as much as the brain, and the brain has an impact on the body. Yeah, we have a thought and we have a physical reaction to the thought, absolutely.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, Emma. What do you have on the horizon? What have you got in store in terms of your coaching practice for 2024?

Speaker 3:

I've got some exciting things.

Speaker 3:

Oh, I'd love to hear oh I'm actually thinking of doing and again, um, if you want to come and talk on this, that would be cool too. Yeah, um, it might be something you're interested in, might not? I'm going to do a summit on alcohol and menopause and menopause, and I'm going to invite speakers to come and talk as part of that. So it's really going to be inviting amazing humans in to come and talk, because I'm not an expert on this stuff and I talk about it, but I barely remember the names of the different. You know, hormones and stuff and where they're going what.

Speaker 2:

What's going which direction? What's going what?

Speaker 3:

that'd be like the example of my breath work, where I'll be like. So that's what I'm going to do. That's my next project is to organize that probably towards the middle of the year.

Speaker 2:

Oh, that sounds absolutely incredible and absolutely needed because it is the 40s. There's something about the 40s when we all realise we can't keep drinking the way we do and we're being hit with menopause and our kids are teenagers and becoming more argumentative. Yes, you're all being hit. So, yeah, yeah, exactly so that's probably my next thing.

Speaker 3:

I don't have a name for it yet, but by the time I think your podcast comes out, hopefully I will have and I'll be able to share that with you as well oh, thank you, emma, so absolutely fabulous.

Speaker 2:

Um, and I just love finishing with a question, which is you know what? What would you say to gosh a woman that is finding alcohol a struggle? They they're drinking too much. They're probably trying to cut down, you know, spitting all the plates in the air and just wanting to break free you know, yeah, where should they start?

Speaker 3:

First thing I would say is it's not you, it's not your fault, and second thing I would say is it is too much, because often we don't realize it's too much, do we? We're like oh my god, I can't do this, is something wrong with me, like no, no one's supposed to do this, it's madness yeah um, and then I guess the main thing would be just just bringing that greater awareness.

Speaker 3:

You know, if nothing else, just notice and I say just that's very dismissive, sorry, I shouldn't say that um, but if just starting to notice, just starting to take notes, starting to be mindful about what and why and how and when you're drinking, and what it does for you or what it doesn't do for you yeah, I would say that's probably the first step. Um, for me that was kind of what I started to do ah, thank you, emma.

Speaker 2:

Um, is there anything else that you'd like to say on anything that we've spoken about?

Speaker 3:

no, not at all. But if anyone has, you know, if anyone is struggling with, you know, having neurodivergent teens and thinking that they might be neurodivergent, there's some brilliant resources out there. I'll send bella, yes, some books and some. There's a brilliant company called um yellow ladybirds, but this is particularly for female assigned at birth human beings, um, and that's because that's what my family is, so that's probably where I have more interest, because the yellow, yellow ladybugs, they're absolutely amazing and I've got some beautiful books as well. So I'll send that to Bella to put in the show notes.

Speaker 3:

Because reading and understanding how different it is as a female, um autistic person or ADHD person, and how it shows quite differently to what the world like things like eye contact, you know, yeah, often autistic um like things like eye contact, you know, yeah, autistic women can have eye contact. You know, neurodivergence and autism um is such a spectrum. You know, some autistic people really need and very organized and ordered. Other people complete shambles, like myself and my kid it's. We have these stereotypes of what it is and we think, oh, I can't be that person because I don't do this. Yes, spectrum, you know, it's not just this sort of uh, rayman-esque type character that we've all been led to believe an autistic person is.

Speaker 2:

It's not the situation at all it's a whole range of ways of being oh, thank you, we will get those resources and whack it in. And I was just reminded just of a conversation I had with someone recently oh, lisa G, lisa Greenberg, who is just so dynamic and fabulous and just sort of reminded because when you are in that mode of caring for a family, you're in the flight fight mode, you're in that mode of caring for a family, you're in the flight fight mode, you're in survival mode that it can be really important. Just to put you first, there's that word sober. I was going to say sober first, or your alcohol-free goal first, almost before family first, absolutely, deal with you and family and whatever you need to do to nourish your nervous system first, then family.

Speaker 3:

And I think you're right, and I think that's one of the things that women find the hardest. That's when you see people struggle the most is because of that sort of fight, internal fight of you know. It's not okay for me to put my needs first.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely.

Speaker 3:

And women thinking we don't have a choice. And yes, sometimes we don't have a choice, but we have a lot more choices than we think.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, emma, thank you your Insta handle and website.

Speaker 3:

HopeRisingCoachingcom is my website and Hope Rising Coaching is my Insta handle.

Speaker 2:

Awesome If you're out there and you're needing a fabulous coach. Look, Emma up.

Speaker 3:

Thanks, emma, thanks gorgeous, thanks for having me.

Speaker 2:

I really appreciate it. If you don't already know, in addition to our podcasting work, we are each sobriety coaches with our own separate businesses helping people to drink less.

Speaker 1:

If you or a loved one want to take a break from alcohol, we invite you to have a look at our individual websites.

Speaker 2:

Meg's is glassfulfilledcomau and Bella's is isabellafergusoncomau, so take the next step that feels right for you.

Breaking Free From Alcohol and Stress
Parenting Neurodivergent Children
The Presence Process for Emotional Healing
Supporting Neurodivergent Teens and Self-Care