Our Sea Soul Blessings community: Pippa

I’m launching a series of interviews with members of our amazing Sea Soul Blessings community to deepen the connections between all of us – and to give you some more ideas about how to use your cards. So, I thought it was only fair to start by interviewing myself…!

If you’d like to be featured, I would love that, get in touch and we’ll set it up!

Our Sea Soul Blessings Community interview #1: Pippa

289dc257-5a79-413c-a74e-2e9d44e55fb8Tell us a little bit about you:

I live in Penzance, and I’m the mum of an 8 year old girl and 11 year old boy. I’m married to a surfing location manager, and we’ve been together for over 20 years now unbelievably – I’ve just turned 47. 

I’m the founder of Sea Soul Blessings, and I also work as a script editor on feature films and TV programmes. Plus I support women, mums especially, via Story of Mum, the social enterprise I set up with my own mother.

What does nature, and the sea in particular, mean to you?

Everything! Living by the sea in Penzance, I’m lucky enough to be able to access the sea every day, whatever the weather – sometimes that’s for a walk, sometimes for a swim…

My morning sea swim gives me all that I need – joyful connection to others, healthy exercise, a sense of being part of nature – and it’s almost as effective as coffee for waking me up! It’s my morning ‘prayer’ of sorts. The sea is where I go for peace, a refreshing reboot, a clear mind, a fresh start, reminders of my courage and resilience – in fact, everything that you’ll find in the Sea Soul Blessings cards…

How do you feel on a good day?

Confident, purposeful, seen and heard, appreciated and understood, valuable, helpful, strong and capable.

How do you feel on a bad day?

Self-critical, unconfident, unappreciated, lonely,  anxious, overwhelmed, incapable and unworthy of love, lost and confused, not enough.

Who or what is inspiring you right now?

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Right now, I’m really inspired by all the young people that are taking action on climate change – like Autumn Peltier, Greta Thunberg, Isra Hirsi.

And many others, including my own children, who have taken me on many of the #Fridaysforfuture marches organised by children in Penzance.

And locally, by the work of Rachel Yates at Plastic Free Penzance, a Surfers Against Sewage initiative.

As you can probably tell from my post on Cold Water Sea Swimming, I’ve been inspired by Sarah Thomas‘ four times channel swim too…!

Thinking about how to develop Sea Soul Blessings, I’ve been particularly inspired by the work of Andrea Ranae – she’s an incredible woman supporting others to take positive action to bring about cultural change in spite of our fear and overwhelm.

Some of the constant life and work inspirations in my life over recent years include Hiro Boga, Brene Brown, Hannah Marcotti, Maya Angelou, Kristin Neff, Pema Chodron, Mary Oliver, and JK Rowling (I’m a Hufflepuff…).

I also have many friends who inspire me with the way they live their lives with courage, persistence and creativity – they are constant reminders of the incredible strength, beauty, and compassion of humankind.

What do you worry about on a typical day?

Son pushes dad into the sea: joyful play in wetsuits

Getting my kids to school. Doing my job well enough. The state of the planet. Conflict and hatred in the world. Inequality, my own privilege, and what to do with that. The need for global systemic change and the inability of current commercial systems to support that.

Whether I hung the washing out in time. Whether I’m drinking too much coffee. Whether my kids are happy. Whether I’m a good enough parent, wife, friend, human…

Where do you find joy? 

I find joy in playing with my kids when I can put my work aside and just delight in them as two beautiful inspiring humans. I love morning walks along the prom holding hands with my husband.

Best of all is a combination of both of these – when all of us are playing in the sea together, jumping off the prom and squealing a lot after school.

I love spending time in nature together as a family – and I also appreciate having quiet time there on my own just to soak it all up – whether that’s in the sea, or sitting amongst trees, or climbing to the top of a mountain.

I love writing, reading, and hugging. Eating good food. Travelling (in Northern Spain as much as we can!).

Friends warming up with a coffee after a sea swim

I love deep conversations about life and self development with friends, especially ones that are peppered with laughter and chocolate. And taking those friends into the sea with me.

What do you love to do, read, watch or listen to?

I tend to listen to factual audiobooks while I do jobs around the house, I’m listening to Seth Godin at the moment, and it was Gretchen Rubin, Reni Eddo-Lodge and Naomi Wolf before that.

My current spotify playlists seem to have a mix of Bjork, Stereophonics, Maggie Rodgers, Santigold, Chase and Status, old musical film scores and the Trolls soundtrack!

With the world in such a mess, I most enjoy watching hopeful escapist feel-good movies (hence the Trolls soundtrack and the musical film scores…)

What makes you cross?

Being ignored; politicians and corporations inciting hate: the kids refusing to get out of bed; my husband criticising my washing up technique…

How do you look after yourself?

IMG_3635Looking after myself used to be much harder – this was true before kids when I overworked to avoid getting anything wrong – and in the early days of motherhood, when I felt I needed to be present for my kids all the time.

But I’ve learnt how to do this so much better over the past few years.

I know now that looking after me allows me to be so much more effective and loving in the world around me.

That’s why I sea swim any morning that I can, all year round. I do yoga and zumba once a week (well, I haven’t done zumba since I broke my foot and ankle, but I’m still hoping to get back there when I’m fully healed…!)

I try to mostly eat and drink stuff that’s good for me. I’ve learnt to ask for what I need – including help – without guilt. I’m honest about what I’m feeling, and tend to myself with self compassion when I can.

What would you most like to change about your life?

IMG_0663In my own life, not very much to be honest – I feel like I’m doing OK right now!

I’d like to continue getting better at self compassion and at motivating myself with kindness, and continue to heal some physical problems I have – it would be lovely not to have arthritis and dodgy knees.

I’d like to have a tidier house, but I’ve come to realise that this isn’t very realistic in a tiny terrace house with two of us working from home, two kids, and too much stuff… so I’ll settle for clean-ish instead.

Most of all, I’d like to change the bigger picture, the world I live in – and of course, that includes the environmental threats that we all face. I’d like us all to find more peaceful ways to resolve national conflicts like Brexit. All of those would help me to worry less about the future for my children.

What have you learnt about life that you wish you’d understood earlier?

Self care is vital when you’re looking after everyone else. Circles of women are incredibly powerful. Trust your instincts – listen to your gut as well as your heart and head. If someone doesn’t lift you up and make you feel stronger, move on.

Woman balancing on crutch on beach in bikiniDon’t waste any time criticising your appearance, or comparing yourself with others. Look after your body, it’s precious – appreciate everything that you can still do with it right now.

Smile when you pass people, start conversations with strangers and build human connections, when you’re in the mood – look for what we have in common, and the stories we have to share.

It always feels good to be kind – and it’s still worth doing, even if people aren’t kind back.

Time in nature always helps – with absolutely everything.

How would you describe Sea Soul Blessings in 3 words?

Peace, compassion, hope.

How do you use your Sea Soul Blessings? What do they help you to change?

Well, I use them every day, often more than once… so I think I’m a pretty heavy user!

First, I pull a card to share with our online communities on instagram and facebook. I might choose to use that card for myself that day too if it resonates – or to pull another one for myself if I have a particular question.

square layout of cards

I’ll focus on the message of the card throughout the day, whenever I need a moment of grounding.

If I’m in a moment of crisis or overwhelm (like a kiddy meltdown in which I haven’t behaved as perfectly as I’d have liked to, or a stressful work situation, or a nit-picky argument with my husband…), I’ll draw one to help me stop, and focus.

It gives me something simple to consider instead, helps me to release emotions, be more compassionate towards myself, and offers me a useful way forward.

Similarly, if I’m not sure of a way forward in a situation – trying to make a decision of some sort –  I’ll draw a card to guide me. I’ll also draw a card to guide me at the start of a meeting or coaching session.

If someone was thinking about trying Sea Soul Blessings, how would you encourage them?

I’d say that if you want to feel held and supported in lonely and anxious moments, to deepen a connection to nature, and remind yourself to pause and reflect on what you want and need, these can help.

If you would benefit from a little bit of extra encouragement and support – and from practicing greater self-compassion instead of being mean to yourself – then I know from experience that these simple little cards can help you with that too.

Also, I recommend jumping in the sea!

If you’d like to get yourself some Sea Soul Blessings, you can do that right here.

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