Guest: Claudine Nightingill-Rane
“I am a body image and blue health coach, helping those who identify as women make peace with their bodies and change their mindset not their appearance, using the healing power of blue spaces (natural water). I had a difficult relationship with my body, and my quiet disposition for years, and discovering it didn’t have to be this way opened my eyes to a liberating perspective on my body and on myself. I managed to shift my mindset, I started to respect my body for what it could do, I started sea swimming all through the year, and the sum of these parts meant I knew I could do anything I put my mind to, the blocks were created by me, so could be smashed by me. I am a life coach, NLP practitioner and hypnotherapist, specialising in body image, and Blue Health, combining my two passions; the power of the ocean in healing, and the importance of accepting ourselves as we are: mind, body and soul.”
In this episode we are joined by Body Image Coach, Claudine Nightingill-Rane from Seascape Blue Coaching. We’ll be exploring the link between body image and self-worth and why loving your body might not feel achievable or be the best goal for you, and (good news!) it doesn’t have to be, as Claudine explains.
We’ll be diving into what confidence is, and isn’t; talking about things that can get in the way and how our confidence levels can fluctuate in different areas of our lives – and Claudine shares her own valuable experiences and lessons here.
As Blue Health Coaches, we touch on the ripple effect of spending ‘blue mind’ time in, on or near water, and also how overcoming a challenge such as embracing cold water swimming can have a profound impact on the way you feel about yourself and how you show up in your life.
Claudine also offers you a wonderful body kindness meditation as a free gift, which you can download from her website here.
Hayley Stanton: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the Quiet Connections podcast. I’m Hayley and in this episode, we are joined by body image coach Claudine Nightingill-Rane Claudine Nightingill-Rane. We will be exploring the link between body image and self-worth and why loving your body might not feel achievable or be the best goal for you and (good news!) loving your body doesn’t have to be the goal as Claudine explains. We will be diving into what confidence is, and isn’t, talking about the things that can get in the way and how our confidence levels fluctuate in different areas of our lives, and Claudine shares her own valuable experiences and lessons here too. And of course, as Blue Health Coaches, we touch on the ripple effect of spending ‘blue mind’ time in, on, or near water; and also how overcoming a challenge such as cold water swimming can have a profound impact on the way that you feel about yourself and how you show up in life. Claudine offers you a wonderful body kindness meditation as a free gift, so do you make sure that you listen to the end for the link to download that free meditation. And in the meantime, grab a cup of tea and enjoy this episode.
[00:01:22] Welcome to the podcast Claudine.
[00:01:27] Claudine Nightingill-Rane: [00:01:27] Hi, thanks for having me.
[00:01:29] Hayley Stanton: [00:01:29] Could you please begin by sharing a little bit about your story and how you can relate to that sense of I’m not good enough or feeling socially anxious that a lot of our listeners might be feeling right now?
[00:01:40] Claudine Nightingill-Rane: [00:01:40] Yeah, I think I grew up with feeling all the types of not enough, you know, As a child I didn’t feel pretty enough. I didn’t feel well behaved enough, in my teens, I didn’t feel Bubbly enough. I felt like that was a real pressure. And because I didn’t feel as attractive or pretty as friends, then the kind of compensation would have been to be more bubbly. That was the, kind of the phrase of the right kind of personality to have. And I wasn’t that either. So I often felt, I just wasn’t, it wasn’t anything enough. Really cool enough. Outgoing enough. Funny enough. All of the things I guess. So I remember being told I was quiet and not just, you know, as soon as that’s pointed out, it just kind of makes you want to withdrawal even more.
[00:02:26]So yeah, I kind of grew up with that, took that through my teens, I guess. And then as soon as I kind of discovered alcohol was a way to sort of numb some of those feelings of Not feeling good enough out there, enough, outgoing enough then drinking was kind of a way of counteracting that, and then I kind of overcompensated, I think when I was young and drinking alcohol, I would be the the other extreme. So, you know, verging on cocky and bolshy, some of those words that have been used to describe me So, yeah, I guess I learnt a lot more about myself in my twenties and did a lot of growing up but still had this idea that I should be more outgoing, should be more confident. Should belouder, I should have a loud voice. And it’s interesting. So in, in my twenties, I remember I was working in a job where I worked in the prison system. I’d go into prisons and support the prisoners in there with the release plans. And I was asked to do some training for the prison officers. And I was absolutely terrified both at the idea of doing training to a group of people, which I’d never done at that point. And the fact that they were prison officers, and they’ve got a reputation of not being the most welcoming of audiences. So I went on a course called public speaking for scaredy cats, and it was really, really helpful. I learnt a lot of mindset stuff as well as tools and techniques. And funnily enough, I went from that kind of place being absolutely terrified to creating a career out of training and willingly standing up in front of groups of people. And yeah, talking to them about it. A lot of it was conflict resolution and different things like that. I’ve noticed over the years if I’m given the platform and I know I’m going to get the platform, I can feel extremely confident and I can really get in my flow and deliver what I need to deliver and help people interact and facilitate conversation. But when I’m put on the spot and feel the pressure to come up with something useful, insightful, intelligent that puts me into complete freeze mode. And I just feel like everyone around me is complete experts and I’m not.
[00:04:41]Hayley Stanton: [00:04:41] What do you think that is?
[00:04:44] Claudine Nightingill-Rane: [00:04:44] I think, I think part of it is the whole comparing my, how I feel inside to how everything else appears outside. So sitting in a meeting, for example, you just look around the room and assume everybody knows exactly what’s going on and totally understands every element of it. And you’re the only one thinking. Not sure, not sure what’s going on here. And like I said, yeah, the pressure that we put on ourselves to know everything and be able to respond in the moment. And I think some people are just better at thinking on their feet and coming up with stuff instantly in that way. A lot of the time I’d walk away from those sorts of meetings and go, oh, I know what I should have said. I should have talked about this, that and the other that would have been brilliant. I can’t think of it in the moment.
[00:05:26] Hayley Stanton: [00:05:26] Yeah. So it sounds like you’re a little bit more reflective.
[00:05:30] Claudine Nightingill-Rane: [00:05:30] Hmm, definitely. Definitely. Yeah.
[00:05:34] Hayley Stanton: [00:05:34] So would you consider yourself to be more introverted?
[00:05:38] Claudine Nightingill-Rane: [00:05:38] Yes, definitely. So then I’m different in different situations, in different groups. So if I’m with my people, the right kind of people who bring out the best in me and I feel completely comfortable with them complete can be myself. I can kind of be the life and soul, quite funny and witty and stuff. But those situations and those people, I think quite few and far between. So a lot of social situations, even with people I know I’ll absolutely not be like that at all. And yeah, getting to know myself all the time, it’s a constant learning journey isn’t it? Life and knowing that it’s okay to be like that. I used to put expectations on myself to be able to be that more outgoing type of me in any situation. I know that that’s not the case and that’s absolutely fine.
[00:06:26] Hayley Stanton: [00:06:26] Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So you’ve gone through this journey of feeling like you’re not enough in so many ways. So what changed for you?
[00:06:38] Claudine Nightingill-Rane: [00:06:38] What changed? I was thinking about this. I was thinking. So a lot of people have a light bulb kind of moment, and then something really significant happens and that light switch goes on. But for me, I think the last, I can’t believe it’s only the last five or so years. Really. I think it’s been a gradual process even before that, but I think the big changes have happened over the last five years. And rather than it being a sudden light bulb going on, I kind of think of it as a dimmer switch, kind of being turned on a few years ago and then gradually turning up. And I think a bunch of things happening. I had a real serious burnout about five or six years ago, really, really struggling. Awful lot of stressful situations were happening in my life at the same time. And it was one of those, you know, as soon as this is sorted, things will be alright. And then circumstances got better. And I didn’t. I felt I was really, really struggling. And I think that was the start of me really beginning to listen to myself, accept myself, treat myself with care because I’d done the usual thing of becoming a working mum had two children quite close together. Self-employed and pressurizing myself to work really hard and be an excellent career woman, as well as an excellent mother and, you know, keeping the house together, renovating a house completely top to bottom as you do, and trying to do all the things perfectly.
[00:08:06] Yeah. I learned the hard way that that’s not possible for most of us. So counseling and coaching and those different kinds of things over the years just help me. But yeah, the biggest thing is self-compassion and self-kindness and stopping holding myself to expectations of others. The standards, I think I should be applying to myself because that’s what people around me and my parents and others told me to and hold themselves to, and actually, you know, knowing I can set my own standards on it. That’s okay. I’m an adult. I’m allowed to do that.
[00:08:42] Hayley Stanton: [00:08:42] Oh, that’s beautiful. You mentioned your career there and I know that you felt a difference in your career and your personal life. Can you talk us through that a little bit?
[00:08:52] Claudine Nightingill-Rane: [00:08:52] Yeah. So I started created a training career and then I was running my own training business for about 15 years and I guess I became an expert in my field, quite well, known, widely known, and got into quite a comfortable groove of delivering the same kind of topic of training to lots of different people, lots of different industries and areas and all the rest of it. So yeah, given that platform to share my knowledge and skills massively boosted my confidence, I guess. It’s that kind of the whole kind of developing those signups as, and with the repetition and yeah, just feeling very, very capable in those areas. And, and in contrast, I guess in my personal life yeah, just mixing socially with new people, different people just felt very different. But actually, as I say that, I remember that it’s not it’s not just about new people. It’s not just about, you know, a lot of people find it intimidating and difficult to say, walk into the pub to meet friends or walk into a party where they don’t know many people. Those things fill me with dread. Which I know they do for a lot of people, but even time’s going and meeting my friends of 20 years could read, could fill me with dread as well. I remember one particular time, a few Christmases ago, and I never really did figure out what the issue was, but I lived down in Brighton. I was supposed to be going up to London to meet a bunch of old friends. I was really looking forward to going, and I just found myself feeling extremely anxious about every element of it, the journey there; crossing London, being in a busy pub, even seeing them. And like I say, really people I’m comfortable with. And I got to a point where I decided I couldn’t go and I spoke to one of the friends I was meeting and she gave me the best advice I’ve ever heard. She said Take each step each, each bit of it, one step at a time, which I know is common, but she kind of really broke it down. She said, look, get changed, get your makeup on. You don’t have to leave the house. If you leave the house, walk to the station, you can turn around and walk back home again. If you get on the train you can go all the way to London and get back on a train and come all the way back home again, it’s just giving myself the permission of the out every single time and every single moment. And I did it and I got there and I had a wonderful night and was so glad and so proud of myself for pushing through. And it’s that thing of how, when do we push through things like anxiety and when, and it’s great if you can do that, but it’s also okay if I had said that day, I’m not going to do it. I haven’t got the strength, emotional strength to push through and I’m not going. And that’s okay. The thing that’s the difficulty is when you do you make a choice like that and then beat yourself up for making that choice.
[00:11:36] Hayley Stanton: [00:11:36] Absolutely. I really love that, that way that you just shift the expectation of yourself. And so in our groups, we know that when people come along, even making contact with us in the first place is a huge step, let alone getting through the door. So just make that your goal, that small little step, rather than like, get there and talk to people and have a good time. Don’t put the pressure on yourself and go back to the smallest step. I really love that. Thank you.
[00:12:03] Claudine Nightingill-Rane: [00:12:03] Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.
[00:12:06] Hayley Stanton: [00:12:06] So tell me, what does the phrase quiet confidence mean for you?
[00:12:13] Claudine Nightingill-Rane: [00:12:13] I think quiet confidence equals confidence. And what I mean by that is that I think often we mistake the kind of loud you know, really in your face kind of outspoken confidence as, as being true confidence and the only way to be confident. And yet, you know, the most outgoing people sometimes that are verging on kind of arrogance are. Often like that because they’re covering up they’re masking that lack of confidence underneath or low self esteem, things like that. And I think true confidence is -it can be more spoken, I’m not saying that everybody that’s loud and bubbly and outspoken has low self esteem. Not saying that at all, but I’m just saying it doesn’t have to be like there. I think Some people who are really quietly confident who are willing to listen to other people, make mistakes, have a conversation about things, don’t have to be right all the time; I think those sorts of things to me are confidence; knowing yourself and accepting your abilities and your flaws as well.
[00:13:16] Hayley Stanton: [00:13:16] Yeah, I really love that. It is about aligning ourselves with who we really truly are, which I think I’m hearing in what you’re saying about whether we’re louder or quieter. It’s about really accepting that.
[00:13:26] Claudine Nightingill-Rane: [00:13:26] Yeah. And I think this is a bit about not having to prove it, knowing who you are and accepting that and not having to prove it to anybody.
[00:13:33] Hayley Stanton: [00:13:33] Yeah. Yeah. I think we’ve covered it a little bit, but what has gotten in the way of your own quiet confidence in the past?
[00:13:41] Claudine Nightingill-Rane: [00:13:41] Yeah, I guess, going back to those points about the pressure, that pressure that I have put on myself over the years and comparing myself to others. And I think the standards that society, that the amount of the society values that the confidence and the outgoing personality and extroversion, far more than introversion I think.
[00:14:04] Hayley Stanton: [00:14:04] Absolutely.
[00:14:04] I think we’re constantly receiving messages when we are a quieter, more introverted person that we’re not good enough in some way. There’s a lovely introversion coach on LinkedIn that I follow and she made a comment the other day about how extroverted kids are taught to sit still and be quiet. But us more introverted. People are not taught how to gently stretch our comfort zone and speak up in public and do the more outgoing things that they do. But it is just expected of us.
[00:14:35] Claudine Nightingill-Rane: [00:14:35] Absolutely. But just as you’ll think saying that, thinking back to school times when, you know, things like having to read aloud from a book being really, really anxious that so, yeah, the quieter ones are pushed to be, not in a necessarily a helpful way, pushed to put themselves out there. Aren’t they?
[00:14:52] Hayley Stanton: [00:14:52] Absolutely. Yeah. I would really love to see just a gentler comfort zone stretch process for kids. Like do your presentation in pairs or in a small group before working your way up to doing it in front of the whole class. But. Well, I never got that opportunity. And as far as I can see that it’s still not there. It’s just kind of expected of us and then you go up and you’re red faced and you’re struggling to get your words out, forgetting what you need to say, and it’s a bad experience and you expect the next experience to be just the same.
[00:15:19] Claudine Nightingill-Rane: [00:15:19] Absolutely. And that becomes that self perpetuating cycle. I think one of the other things to me is the comments, I remember a few occasions. People commenting how quiet I was. I don’t know what people think that I’d actually achieve by doing that. But I remember a particular gathering with friends. I must have been in my early twenties and a friend of a friend said something along the lines of what’s the point in you being here if you’re not even going to join in? Which just made me feel like yeah, why am I here? Yeah. And again, that was linked to right, well, the only way I can join in and be more be more engaged in the conversation is if I drink a load of booze and yeah, yeah. That’s my, that’s the way I can do it.
[00:16:05] Hayley Stanton: [00:16:05] I tried that too. And I found that, I was showing up just in a way that really wasn’t me. And then without the booze, I’m feeling bad. And also feeling like I’ve just created a huge expectation for me to live up to. And that was really hard.
[00:16:18] Claudine Nightingill-Rane: [00:16:18] Absolutely. Yeah. So true.
[00:16:21] Hayley Stanton: [00:16:21] So your work is all about self-acceptance. So growing that self-worth and self-esteem and you work mainly around body image. So do you want to talk about the relationship between body image and self worth?
[00:16:34] Claudine Nightingill-Rane: [00:16:34] Absolutely. I call myself a body image coach. And when I first started out in this work, I talked about being a body positive coach and I’ve, I’ve moved away from that terminology because I think unfortunately the term body positivity has been kind of co-opted and turned in some circumstances into kind of toxic positivity and the idea of Oh just love your body, you know, just love your body. It’s wonderful. You’re all beautiful. Embraced your flaws and yeah, we’re all gorgeous and let’s go get on with our lives. And I think that is just unrealistic. Unhelpful for a lot of people. If people are in self-loathing and body loathing. Just telling them to love themselves. It’s not going to work. It’s going to be way too far off. And it doesn’t even have to be the long-term goal. People accepting their bodies and starting to respect them and care for them can absolutely be more than enough for lots of women. Like I say, if they started, especially as that starting from real self-loathing. So I think that the parallel absolutely fits with self-worth generally, you know, somebody’s really not feeling good about themselves telling them to love themselves.
Claudine Nightingill-Rane: Talking about self-love is just, it’s just too foreign. It’s just too far away. And I think we can get so much from whether it’s self acceptance or, or body acceptance that we can feel great. And I always say to my clients I don’t advocate self-love and I don’t look in the mirror every day now I’ve done all this work and now I share this work with others, I don’t look in the mirror every day and go, whoa, I’m so hot. Some days I do, some days it’s okay, fair enough. Let’s, let’s focus on things that are more important than my body and how I look.
The parallel between self-acceptance and body acceptance is I think really clear. And I think which comes first to me is chicken and egg. For some people I work with their self-esteem is low and that has an impact on their body image and for other people, the core problem or difficulty is they’re struggling with their body image and that has a ripple effect onto all areas of their life.
So women struggling with their bodies, how they feel about their bodies, being kind of disconnected from their bodies or really being uncomfortable. It can hold them back from so much in their lives. You know, we think of it as just kind of the focus is being on the aesthetics and they just feel a bit rubbish in their clothes but it can stop people walking out the door cause they don’t want people to look at them. It can stop them being intimate with partners or it can stop them looking for a partner if they’re single and they want a relationship, it can stop us trying to progress in work or careers. It can stop us taking on hobbies where we might feel that we’re going to be looked at and disapproved of. Our social circles, all of it, it can affect every single area of our lives.
Hayley Stanton: Absolutely. I remember as a 16 year old, I was going around breathing in and I was actually quite slim, but I didn’t see that at the time. And I was just breathing in, you know, not breathing into my gut, like we need to be to access that courage within us. And even now, only a couple of weeks ago, I had a meltdown because I was like, I have to get into my wesuitto go and do my Marine mammal medic course and I did not fit after lockdown and I hadn’t realized that this weight was creeping on throughout lockdown. And then suddenly there it is, bamb, it’s really clear in my face and it’s brought to light that actually, this is a bit of an issue for me as well. It’s something that I struggle with personally. Are you seeing more of this now that lockdown is over?
Claudine Nightingill-Rane: Yeah, absolutely. And you know, there’s that handful of people who got so unbelievably fit and created home gyms and all the rest of it during the lockdown. But the vast majority of us weren’t motivated to get out there and exercise and move that much. We might’ve done our walks most days. I just think there’s so much worse that has come out of the pandemic for so many people. Gaining some weight, you know, if people have survived it with the health, physical and mental health intact and their careers, home lives, families, etc. Then brilliant. Let’s not focus on having put on a bit of weight. Our bodies are naturally meant to change. They go up and down and that’s okay if it’s not your natural body size at all, it’ll come off. And if it doesn’t, that’s okay as well. And yeah, combined with the time of year and especially a few months ago and the whole kind of get your beach body ready. We’ve gotta be ready. We’ve gotta be slim for the, whatever it is supposed to be 21st of June when restrictions lifted. And why I just start saying to people, you know, if you’re worried about the people you see in real life for the first time in a long time judging you because you’ve put on weight, then sounds really harsh but are those the people you need in your life. If they’re not just happy to see you and be able to have a hug then yeah. Why don’t you care? What they think?
Hayley Stanton: Yeah. Focus on, focus on the good stuff. Focus on why you’re connecting in the first place. And for me, I really noticed that I had a choice to either continue thinking those negative thoughts about myself and I very easily could have spiralled down. Or I could have shifted my attention onto what really mattered. And so I chose to focus on why I was going; what was important about that for me. I borrowed a man’s shorty wetsuit and on the drive there, I gave myself a pat on the back for just letting go of the expectations that I had for myself and my worries about wearing the right thing to fit in and just focused on doing the course because I wanted to and that was really an achievement to be celebrated for me.
Claudine Nightingill-Rane: Absolutely.
Hayley Stanton: So what has been your most significant comfort zone stretch in your life?
Claudine Nightingill-Rane: Hmm, tricky. I think quite a few things. I mean that example I gave already about the Christmas gathering in London. Yeah, it’s interesting that that would have been something that I on many occasions, I traveled up to London to meet the same group friends in a noisy pub and had no issues, but the comfort zone stretch was doing it when I was feeling that real overwhelming anxiety doing it. So I guess that would be one thing. Things like throwing myself out of a plane with a parachute…
Hayley Stanton: what was the gift or the lesson in taking on those and overcoming that fear.
Claudine Nightingill-Rane: So just that we can do hard things and each time you do a hard thing. Then yeah. Gives you more confidence that you can do it next time. One thing I was thinking about as a comfort zone stretch, so I’ve been cold water swimming for the last three years, all year round. And I remember the way I started was it was, in March, I picked the coldest time of the year in the sea again, why not really, really push yourself. And I was jogging along the sea front and I, as always, was admiring the swimmers coming up in March and freezing conditions. And I decided to go and just say hi to some of them, which even that in itself was pushing myself out my comfort zone. And I just had the urge to do it on this day. And walked up to them and said I just really admire you guys are doing this in the winter and I wished I could do it. And they all turned around pretty much simultaneously and said, why can’t you?. And I was like.. huh? I’m not sure I’ve got an answer for that. It was a real lesson in what’s stopping me: just me. The only thing stopping me is me, my head, my mindset, my inner critics saying that’s not for you or you’re not that type of person or you wouldn’t be able to do that. So after a couple of weeks of persuasion, I got myself in and I’ve barely been out of the water since, it’s amazing.
Hayley Stanton: I know cold water swimming is really beneficial to our health. So do you want to talk a little bit about that?
Claudine Nightingill-Rane: Absolutely. So it’s beneficial for our bodies, for our minds. It’s the whole blue mind thing, the meditative state we can get in when we are on or in or near the water can just be really, really, really calming and give us a real sense of wellbeing. I know there’s lots of benefits around being in an environment that’s close to the water. Like people who live near the coast for example, are generally more healthy, physically and mentally healthy there’s elements of social connection that we get by being at the sea. And it’s just a lot of science out there now that proves all these things that people have just known for ages. Like I went pass the hospital in Brighton the other day. They’re doing massive building works, and the original building was built as a hospital and it’s something to do within the Victorian times, people coming down from London and other parts of England to get in the sea as a form of medicine and a form of therapy. Even back then.
Hayley Stanton: It’s incredible. Isn’t it? It’s ancient wisdom. We’re just coming back to it now. So you are a blue health coach like me and I know that you bring this into your body image coaching work. So do you want to explain how those two things work together?
Claudine Nightingill-Rane: Absolutely. So in practical terms, I get people in the sea if that’s something they want to do. I meet a lot of women. A lot of my clients come to me through the swimming world. Or they have a desire for swimming and they’ve done what I did three and a bit years ago, watch people going in thesea going I wish I could… Can only get in, in the middle of July weather when it’s like glorious like this. So I help people I work with getting the sea if that’s what they want to do. And then we kind of connect all those things about how it’s, like I said about myself, it’s a mindset thing. It’s only ourselves holding ourselves back and we kind of, entwine that within the whole building self worth and self esteem stuff around body image as well. Some people come to me for coaching and they’re already experienced swimmers and they love it. So we actually do our sessions in the sea. Sometimes we do our sessions at the beach. I’ve got a friend’s beach hut which I borrow, So if the weather’s terrible, we can still sit in the beach hut with the doors open, but sheltered from the wind and rain and we’d look at the sea and incorporate it into my work as much as possible. I talk about how things like when we work on body appreciation and gratitude, I do a lot of work around getting people to really think about what their bodies do for them. So I do exercises like think about every single thing your body has had to do to get you here today, to get you in the sea and to keep you in the sea, keep you floating, help you swim, all of those sorts of things. Warm you up after you get out And then also using the seascape as as metaphor as perspective, you know, sitting and looking at the horizon and kind of reflecting on opening our mind to the infinite possibilities that are out there, all those sorts of things. And then I do some work online as well. So then I bring as much of that as possible into the online work and encourage people to get into their own water in whatever way that can be. So for some, they have no interest in cold water swimming at all, and it might be about advocating cold showers because we know they can be really beneficial to our mental and physical health as well.
Hayley Stanton: It’s absolutely mind blowing just thinking about what is our body doing for us just to get somewhere or just to get up in the morning. It’s amazing what it does without us even thinking about it. So many things we take for granted and we’re just focused when they go wrong. So much that we can appreciate. So can you tell us what is inspiring you right now? You know, maybe you’re reading or listening to something
Claudine Nightingill-Rane: I’ve always got several books on the go. I’ve just started the book more than a body by Lindsay and Lexie kite who run the beauty redefined program. And they are all about recognizing that we’re worth so much more than how we look and we’re put on this earth for far more than being objectified by others and by ourselves. And actually that just makes me think of I’ve put a post on Instagram earlier on about, so the Norwegian handball team, I think it is, in the Olympics have just been fined because the women refuse to wear the bikini bottoms and want to wear still quite short cycling shorts with their bikini tops, and that’s not regulation and they have to wear these tiny skimpy bikini bottoms and yet the men can wear shorts that are down to four inches above their knees. And Lindsay Lexicata had actually posted stuff about how objectifying that is and you know, who makes these rules, why the rules different for men and women and what is that rule all about? It doesn’t make you a better handball player to wear a tiny skimpy bikini than if you’re wearing long leggings and a long sleeved shirt, for example. And then they quoted all this research about how people, women particular, when they are forced to wear things that they feel self-conscious and uncomfortable, they perform differently. Even to the extent of there was an experiment with women split into groups, some asked to wear bikinis or swimsuits, and the other’s wearing baggy jumpers and then asked to do something like maths problems and the ones wearing bikinis and swimsuits didn’t do as well as the ones wearing sweaters and covering themselves up more. And it’s just fascinating. This thing about how we feel in what we are, either forced to wear or we put pressure on ourselves to wear can have an impact on so many things. I find my clients inspiring just the shifts that they they talk about and they often say, oh, it’s only a little thing, but, and actually that little thing really represents something that is a huge mindset shift for them. So I believe the more and more they can celebrate those, recognize those and make those connections and see them as more than a little thing, the more those new neuro-pathways are being built and the more that changes look more like to be sustainable and stay with them. I find them really, really inspiring.
Hayley Stanton: Have you got a special story about how someone has overcome that fear of getting in the water or the cold and then that’s translated into their everyday life?
Claudine Nightingill-Rane: Yeah. I mean, it’s kind of ongoing really. So on my current program, I’ve got somebody who had no real interest in cold water swimming, you know, it wasn’t even, I want to do it and I daren’t. It was not really bothered about that. And then she’s been doing my program where we’re on week nine now of 10 weeks. And a few weeks in I do a session on blue mind, specifically in blue spaces and what I do is I set a challenge and I set the theme of the challenge and they choose a challenge that is specific to them. So it’s really tailored and she just decided right I’m going to go and book a session at my local reservoir just to see what it’s like, might hate it. And she is absolutely hooked. And it’s just given her this huge confidence in, I didn’t think I could do it. So I think when she said I wasn’t interested in doing it, it was actually an underlying, tiny, tiny speck of a desire, which she pushed down because she didn’t think she was capable. And now she knows she can do stuff that’s hard. And it’s just getting so much confidence in every other area of life. It’s just incredible.
Hayley Stanton: Beautiful. I think we do that so much to ourselves. We keep ourselves in this little box where we think, you know, I’m this, this type of person and therefore I can’t do this sort of thing. I kept myself in this little shy box and I wouldn’t speak up and stuff, and if I ever felt like I did want to say something, I was like, well, that doesn’t fit with who I am, so I didn’t want to try it.
Claudine Nightingill-Rane: Absolutely. Absolutely. And sometimes when you feel shy and you feel, you know, as soon as you open your mouth, you feel everybody staring because they’re so amazed that you’re speaking.
Hayley Stanton: Yeah. You get more comments. So what’s your advice to listeners who are navigating their sense of low self-confidence and body image confidence?
Claudine Nightingill-Rane: I think for me, the number one thing above everything else is self compassion, self kindness. And setting realistic goals like we were talking about at the beginning, you know, just not saying I have to go from 0 to 60 and love myself by a week next Tuesday. Setting those really small, manageable bite-size goals, looking to see what parts of yourself you can accept. And I’ve got a really nice body kindness meditation, which is like a body scan, but it’s actually going through and encouraging people to think about, you know, what does my head do for me? What does my head enable me to do when it’s got eyes in it to see the world, it’s got ears that enabled me to join in conversations. It’s got a mouth that enables me to speak and taste. My nose to smell the roses and all that sort of stuff. And going down the whole body. So even if we don’t like what we see in the mirror, we start to develop this acknowledgement and gratitude and acceptance for our bodies, and the more we start to accept and be grateful and appreciate them, I think the more we treat them better and that has a positive impact on our wellbeing and how we see ourselves. And it can just start to snowball into like a really positive image of ourselves, I think.
Hayley Stanton: Yeah, absolutely. That sounds like a wonderful meditation. Is that accessible?
Claudine Nightingill-Rane: Absolutely. You can just go to my website, which is seascapeblue.co.uk. And it’s on that front page, pop your details in that, and you get sent the meditation.
Hayley Stanton: Oh, fantastic. I’ll pop that in the show notes for people to go and download. So finally, what would you say to your younger self?
Claudine Nightingill-Rane: Oh, crikey. I was wondering what I could say to my young self that I would actually have listened to. I didn’t think anyone had anything worth listening to, I just felt quite misunderstood I guess. Therefore, most things that most adults in particular would say, I would think they didn’t get me. They didn’t know what it was like to be me. What I’d want to say is that you’re okay. And you’re okay exactly as you are. You don’t need to change; people who are pressuring you or making you feel like you want to change aren’t really your friends. If they want you to be different to how you really are, then they’re not your friends. And you will find friends and as hard as that would be to hear, cause that’s all we’re desperate for, we just want to be liked as a kid, as a human, we just want to be liked and to be part of the tribe. So I ended up clinging onto people who were very unhealthy for me in many ways. So yeah, if they want you to be different then they are not your people. And they don’t deserve you, maybe.
Hayley Stanton: We so often do cling on to those people who just aren’t very good for us or do you want us to be different and then we experience more criticism and also more inner conflict as well. So what would you say to those people who are really worried about what other people think?
Claudine Nightingill-Rane: So I think I’d say that we always think we can read people’s minds, don’t we? And we think we know what they’re thinking about us. I think the majority of the time people are so worried about themselves, how they look, how they’re coming across, what they’re doing, that they don’t even notice us. They might be looking in our direction, but they’re not looking at us. Maybe they are looking as they’re admiring or dress or lippy or whatever it may be. And maybe that tiny, small proportion are looking at us and judging and yeah, we put so much emphasis on the thoughts and the opinions of complete random strangers. And why do we give it so much value when actually it’s one of the hardest messages that I’ve kind of learned over the last few years, it’s none of our business what other people think of us. If we can kind of, it’s hard, like I say, but if we can get our heads around that, it can just be so liberating. Why do we care what a bunch of randoms think of us. Really?
Hayley Stanton: Absolutely. I read that people judge in areas where they feel the most shame as well. That can be helpful to think about.
Claudine Nightingill-Rane: Yeah, definitely. I mean, especially with the body stuff, there’s so much trolling goes on online of people who choose to show themselves as they are, and they might not have what society calls a perfect body. And I think a lot of that trolling is from people who are scared. Maybe they’ve got that perfect body and they probably have to work so hard to keep it and they’re so scared because society has told them that that is their value and if they don’t have that perfect body, they won’t be loved. They won’t be desirable. They won’t be as worthy and all the rest of it. So yeah, that hate that comes out actually comes from a place of fear.
Yeah, absolutely. So just remind us where we can find you please.
So on Instagram, on Facebook, I am seascape blue. The titles that reflect where I feel myself most happiest and do all my work, get all my inspiration. And my website is seascapeblue.co.uk. I’d love to have you come along. As I said, the meditation is on there that you can download . Hook up with some of the listeners, I’d love to.
Hayley Stanton: That’s a wonderful free gift. Thank you for sharing. And yeah, hopefully we have inspired some people to get out to the sea today.
Claudine Nightingill-Rane: Absolutely. Well, any body of water or get in a cold shower. If it’s as hot as it is here then you might get the sprinkler out. That’s another one that brings joy to most people getting the sprinker out if you have one.
Hayley Stanton: Well, thank you so much for joining us Claudine.
Claudine Nightingill-Rane: Thank you for having me.
Hayley Stanton: And thank you to you for listening to the podcast, please do help us to reach more Quieteers in the world, by ratingand sharing the podcast. And for this episode’s show notes, please head over to quietconnections.co.uk/blog. Please do stay connected with us on all platforms and we will be back next week with a brand new podcast episode.