Storytime from the year 2000
You’re listening to ifeelforyou - a podcast that loves you down and hopefully encourages and inspires you to do you, embrace your excellence and all the glorious spaces in between.
I’m Dionne, a creative coach that works with good people 1-1 as well as in events like retreats, workshops and community classes, i’m also a yoga, movement + meditation teacher, who is doing her best to keep challenging ridiculously exclusive stereotypes, and instead break down barriers and encourage more inclusivity around the wellness scene.
Babes im even cringing saying “wellness”, you know what i mean? I mean, we have a problem, right?!
But that’s another episode coming your way very soon. Anyway.
As well as navigating the tricky labels of the world in my work, I’m also a dj and writer, a “polymath” if you will, hoping to share useful resources and encouragement without ignoring the difficult stuff. Cause you know, that’s also part of this here life we’re living right? And we all want to feel equipped to navigate that stuff as gracefully or perhaps disgracefully as possible right? I’m thinking about my darling muse Eartha kitt right now. What a woman.
Ok. so. Darlings, thank you so much for joining me. In today’s episode we are talking about the year 2000. I know. Way back when - cause there’s some ground to cover!
I wondered if you might be interested in hearing a little bit about my journey? Which includes many fashion faux pas. Trust me daddy! Expect as usual, abundant pop cultural references. Some cringe moments. And a journey of discovery that i hope will, in some way, entertain and inspire you to trust yourself and your own journey a little more.
And there be shownotes, of course, always peppered with some audio-visual treats (a nostalgic crème brûlée) 🍮, so don’t forget to head on over to gobble them up eh?
So before we dive in, a mini moment for a NEWSFLASH in case you don’t subscribe to my Digest which is my newsletter loveletter, you might not have heard that we have announced a new Brighton Summer Retreat my darling!
And there’s an early bird offer too - say whaaaat?! Which runs until 15th January 2019. So if you fancy joining me by the seaside for our 8th yoga, movement + creativity retreat and you can find all the info and book your spot now via this link. I’m already beyond excited. Like, extra.
Oh and if you did want to subscribe to my weekly Digest there’s a link in the shownotes for you too!
I feel for you podcast.com and this is episode 27 (can you believe?!)
Also i wanted to take a moment TO GIVE PROPS
Thank you so so much to everybody who has left me 5 star reviews and deliciouso comments about the podcast. I can’t tell you how much it means and how grateful i am for you! From my rotund bulbous heartspace to yours: THANK YOU. Your listening and sharing and rating and reviewing this podcast truly means the world, it’s why i keep showing up and rolling out this unhinged cake mess each week. I appreciate you.
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And i love to hear from you, requests for show topics, thoughts, kitsch music videos, musings and so on, so please reach out to me, all the links will be in the shownotes.
Ok official business out the way, let’s get into this episode, which i’ve adapted from an old old blog post and spiced up its life! I hope you’ll enjoy taking a trip in my time machine!
……Why am i like this?
STORYTIME FROM THE YEAR 2000 🤖
My first yoga class was in the year 2000. The year wasn’t how Pulp said it would be by the way... I was on the tail end of wearing second hand bootcut jeans with chainmail handkerchief tops as featured in various excellent music videos of the time including:
Ricky Martin's Livin' La Vida Loca
Toni Braxton’s - He Wasn’t Man Enough
And later, in 2001 with Aaliyah (Babygirl) - in the chic eleganza, Try again
- but in my mind, i was channeling the best disco elements of my fave style era (1970s fyi)
....I’m not sure why i shared all that but it felt relevant.
Silver, gold and metallics and hope for this futuristic new decade was lived out through my (questionable) style choices.
Yep i wore screw-in jewels in my hair - remember those? Plus had a penchant for wearing vaseline or clear lip gloss on my eyelids. ...Realise i was on my own with that one but i don’t know, i just liked the look. But mates, don’t try this at home when you have a fringe cause it gets super annoying.
Also, i wore glitter *everywhere* - although not much has changed to be fair! Except number 17 products don’t do the iridescent glitter gel that i lived for! But you can of course, make your own. I digress...
The Millennium Bug hadn't taken us out as predicted. Our computers - cumbersome Windows 98 (not sponsored) contraptions- seemed to function ok, which was a shame cause I was working in a corporate office at the time and it might have made for some exciting stuff. I was in that office because two years earlier i’d decided to take 3 years out before university, which is another story.
Y2K aesthetic was real!
Kookai doing their version of the Gucci vinyl pencil skirt and matching boob tube!
Liquid silver clothes. Not actual liquid you understand but Silver - everything!
Obsessing over Parachutes in cars - the Coldplay record obviously
Diamanté chains as belts around your jeans and chokers around your neck and -why not?!- diamante hair clips too?
Friends episodes that were “events”
My first mobile phone (Nokia 3310)
Friday nights hanging out at Blockbuster video….
it was... a special time.
Hope this is in some way setting the scene.
At that time, I lived in a place where 80% of the population went to the gym. I made that percentage up but you get the gist. It was a new city, all shiny and soulless, and very much focussed on the outer layers.
How you looked.
What labels you wore.
And what car you drove.
I didn’t meet any of the quotas (nor did i want to fyi) until my boyfriend at the time told me my “tummy was a bit paunchy” and bought me a gym membership for my birthday....thanks…
...Yeah i know. I mentioned he was my ex, right?
Well, i suppose some would call it a blessing in disguise, cause i sure as hell found gym culture in that shiny place boring as hell. The grunting and stunting wasn’t for me.
Also, i’d revived a dormant eating disorder which wasn’t excellent as i wasn’t eating very much at all, then caning it upon some strange ski-action cardiovascular contraption that promised to “burn your fat” which, fyi, is never a good idea.
So after my second episode passing out at the gym, again, not recommended, i sought out more fun things to do with my body.
Of course, i went to your average "Bums and Tums" classes (cause obvs, as that was a hangup for me at the time) and Step and Salsa classes (Zumba wasn’t a thing back then, we were still coming out of the 80s aerobic legacy), and these were all fine if you were into it.
I preferred classes to the apparatus and feeling self conscious in a room of people pulverising machines.
I must say, at this point, that of course, my body had been giving me signs all the time that it was unhappy. By then, i had been experiencing panic attacks and anxiety for two years, and was very well acquainted with my good old friend, insomnia. And if you’ve ever experienced any of those things, you’ll know how much you yearn for a good night’s sleep and ease in your bones.
I was getting desperate. Being in an environment that at the time only seemed to deem someone “healthy” if they had a 6 pack (a misguided hangover from the mid-1990s) and isolating focus on very specific and particular body proportions was so uninspiring and soul destroying.
I was very lucky at the time to have a patient and kind doctor. He was the one who gave my panic attacks a name. It was a “very new” thing to diagnose apparently, and that was clear because trying to talk to anyone about them proved fruitless. However, there was one book i managed to get hold of from the states about them (obvirously Amazon and online delivery didn’t exist so this was quite a feat - shoutout to libraries and library staff!)
The book was called Understanding Panic Attacks and Overcoming fear by Dr Roger Baker and he recommended trying yoga to help with symptoms. (I know! All that reminiscing of 90s and 00s paraphernalia to get to that!)
Sidenote: at that time, i’d also started meditating without knowing it. Which i’m grateful for now, cause i didn’t have the hangup of labels and strange codes and conventions to contend with. I was just hanging out in the music section of my library, and a “relaxation” cassette tape caught my eye, which was intended to help people with insomnia get some sleep. So i decided to try it cause, you know, if you have anxiety, chances are sleep is one of those things that signifies when you’re experiencing a flare.
Also, i’m not ignoring that i’m ancient now: cassettes. And that was an interesting part of the experience too right, especially if you’re really into the meditation session, then abruptly having to switch sides and kill your vibe. Ahh, those were the days….!)
I had an idea about what i thought yoga was (people often do of course!), om-ing and cross leg stuff, perhaps some weird culty business and possibly wearing purple hemp clothing, but i was always a curious child, and when i saw my gym had classes at 8.30pm on a Wednesday evening, i decided to try.
But there was surely some resistance. I would peer into the class, trying to understand what was going on. I was intimidated that i didn’t know what might happen, or if it would be really cliquey and weird. No one in that room looked like me. In fact, in all the research about this yoga thing, i only saw very particular types of people with very particular types of bodies:
White. Slim. Bendy.
Long story short - i decided to go in. And it wasn’t what i expected. And at the end of class i was out cold. Proper snooze-fest. Couldn’t believe it. And so, the seed was planted.
...Shoutout to my ex, i guess…😒
What’s the point of this strange story, you might wonder?
Well my friend, i guess it’s about exploring the stuff that holds us back and instead embracing what flows.
It’s of course, about a few things.
Here, I’ll make a list:
1. If anyone tells you that you’re “paunchy” in any way, ditch them. Srslsly.
2. Love your belly. In every way. Whatever shape it is. It houses your guts. Your guts are everything. Trust them.
3. Don’t be afraid of your questionable style choices. It all comes back around! ...Well, perhaps not vaseline eyelids but you know...
4. Do your own research on things. Make your own decisions based on that research (sidenote: FEELINGS count as research!)
5. Look for the signs, always in all ways.
6. If you are dealing with an eating disorder, panic attacks, anxiety or other, please seek help because you deserve to feel better and you really can, i promise. And if you suspect someone you care about is struggling with the above, talk to them, even if you simply let them know you’re there.
7. Can i say “do your own research on things” again? I mean, especially with regards to “health” stuff. Especially when someone tells you what’s “healthy”. Cause what’s healthy for them might not be for you. And yeah, i’m referencing food, exercise, hobbies and yoga in all of that :) :) :)
8. Be open to your own explorations. (That will probably come from your research in point 7) This culture we live in nowadays has me eyerolling far too much at how thirsty folks get for power. You will gain so much more by being inquisitive. Asking questions. Trusting those lovely guts i mentioned above.
9. Fitting in is boring. Do you. Vaseline or alternative balm - and all!
10. Appreciate your body right now and everything it can do. Talk to yourself nicely. It’s cliche but for good reason: Your body is your friend.
I hope there is something here of value, even if it is only to reminisce about the quality music videos of the time, Livin´ la vida loca and Toni Braxton’s He Wasn’t Man Enough and subsequent influences Aaliyah in Try Again in 2001, Babygirl, we miss you here….
Anyway, come wander with me in my r&b cavern, you don’t have to call - ok long time Usher fans, i see you!
Find me at ifeelforyoupodcast.com and check out the shownotes for a special treat!
So dassit my friends. But of course, before i depart, a reminder that i LOVE to hear from you! Which means, i’m going to need you to get in touch to let me know:
What did the year 2000 teach you?
Are you old enough to remember far too much like me?
Or was there a different life lesson you experienced in that time?
I’d love to know! So, you can leave me a comment if you want, via the shownotes, or perhaps reach out to me on the socials. Instagram’s a good bet!
What would be tremendous though, is if you left me a voicemail. Because i want to hear your voice. You can find the link to my voicemail in the shownotes. I feel for you podcast.com I can’t wait to hear from you!
Also, if you fancy meeting up with me in person, i’ve just announced a new retreat! Yes! This summer in Brighton! Feel like taking some days for deep and dreamy self care? You can expect a spacious itinerary of feel good. You’ll have the options of heaps of yoga, movement and meditation sessions with me, food that will have you making sounds of pure pleasure, good people, real people that are so vibey i can’t even... and you’ll stay in a sweet warehouse with yours truly, high end babes, excellent bedding, excellent mattresses and facilities and access to the best parts of Brighton. It’s what some might call an “urban” retreat but isn’t it weird that “urban” became code for black?
Anyway, if you fancy a getaway to the seaside this summer, you can read all about it right here. And just to let you know, we’re limiting the numbers to 8 this year and as always, payment plans are available. Really hope you can join us!
So dassit my loves, really it!
I love you though, know that in your bones and tissues and so on.
Thank you so much for listening.
I appreciate you.
I feel for you.
++++++ ....here's a special Y2K playlist on Spotify for you as well: