Season 1
45 Minutes

Ep. 10 | Dr. Belinda Harris | How Do You Give Birth to a “New You” When You Formally Retire?


Dr. Belinda Harris, 66, is an Academic, Former School Principal, Psychotherapist, just-retired Professor in the University of Nottingham’s School of Education, and the outgoing Chair of the UK Association for Gestalt Therapists. For several years, Belinda worked closely with the world-renowned Gestalt International Study Center on Cape Cod where she co-led their senior leadership program and helped establish an education initiative.

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Belinda Harris  00:00

I think I was frightened to show up fully for a long time because of old stuff. So I could show up on behalf of other people. On behalf of the kids, on behalf of my community, the deck parents, the community, for the guest workers in Berlin, I could show up for other people. But I was struggling to show up for myself. And so I think what I’m giving birth to, is a me that is ready to take her place in a totally different way.

Achim Nowak  00:36

Hey, this is Achim NOwak, executive coach and host of the my fourth act podcast. If life is a five act play, how will you spend your for that? I have conversations with exceptional humans who have created bold and unexpected fourth acts, listen, and to be inspired. And please rate us and subscribe on whatever platform you are listening on. Let’s get started. I am happy to welcome Dr. Belinda Harris, to the My fourth act podcast. Belinda is an academic, a former school principal as psychotherapist and she just retired as a professor in the University of Nottingham’s School of Education, where she served for 28 years. But then there’s also the outgoing Chair of the UK Association for Gestalt therapists. For several years, Belinda worked closely with a world renowned Gestalt International Studies Center on Cape Cod, where she co led their senior leadership program and helped establish an education initiative. Belinda is in a classic transition from being a very highly visible professional in the education field, to looking at what she will do post retirement, especially since she doesn’t really want to stop. I can’t wait to have this conversation with you about how you forge your fourth act. Belinda. Welcome.

Belinda Harris  02:22

Thank you. I’m very honored to be here. Okay. Thank you very much.

Achim Nowak  02:26

Oh, it’s my pleasure. And before we get to the transition that you’re in, which is such a beautiful transition. I always like to start every podcast with this question. When you bill and there were a young girl, a teenager. Who did you think you want it to be when you grew up?

Belinda Harris  02:48

Okay. I’ll be honest, I wanted to be Vanessa Redgrave.

Achim Nowak  02:56

That’s pretty darn good. I just happen to think she’s the greatest actress on the planet. But tell us tell us why.

Belinda Harris  03:03

There was an ethereal quality about her, like she came from another universe. Yes, she has a quality and depth to her. But in that is manifest in her presence. And in her voice. She’s so grounded and values driven, principled. And she just has a magnetic quality to her. I always used to draw. And I just thought God, I’d love to. I guess what I saw in her was somebody who was really living, living her truth, who had the courage to live her truth, who’d say no to roles that were not right for her, who took on roles for women’s roles that were really challenging. And at that point in time when I was younger, very unusual for women to inhabit. I was brought up a very strong Catholic girl. I’m no longer religious. Catholicism was a very big and important part of my childhood. And she played anberlin in man for all seasons. Yes, one of my favorite films. Such a difficult role to play and she was magnificent. So that was the first time I ever saw her.

Achim Nowak  04:20

What strikes me also I admire all the same qualities and Vanessa Redgrave. But you also allude to the fact that she was not afraid of controversy. And she was willing to speak her truth. You spent a good 2030 years in the edge before you started teaching at the university, in in education, from what I understand in some challenging not easy environments. You were at one point is school principal. I have done a lot of teaching work in schools as well. So I know how challenging that can be. So if you say That period and I know we’re painting in really broad strokes. Yeah. If you had to think of a moment or two that stand out where you go with this is why I did that work, no matter how challenging it was, this is what kept me showing up. But perhaps you also have moments where you go, Why the heck am I doing? This is too hard. What What stands out for you.

Belinda Harris  05:24

There were many moments, I felt like I had a very privileged privileged experience in in education. But I guess the most challenging school I worked in was an inner city school, very multiracial school. It was a failing school, it was seen as in a neighborhood where nobody wanted to go and be. And it was a neighborhood that I’d lived in, when I first came to this part of the country. And I’d loved it. And I loved the diversity in it. It was black, brown, yellow, white, pink, grey, everything was a very vibrant community. But it was a no go area. For many people. For many white people, particularly It was a scary place to be, allegedly, when I first went to that city, I didn’t have any option because I didn’t have any money. I was waiting, trying to find out where to live. And it was the only place I could get. So I became very fond of it. And then I moved on somewhere else. And about three years later, a job came up in this school. And at the time, a very important person in my life, who I’d went to school with was dying of cancer, I decided that I would take this job in the school, in order to be able to spend more time with her. What can I say about that school. It was a school where everybody was unhappy. Where there was a sense of us as a school teachers, absolutely committed to doing the best they possibly could with kids. And yet, not having any real engagement with the community. The community was kind of out there. And they all drove in, in their big cars parked up and then drove out at night. So I went on a bit of a mission. And we embarked on lots of activities in school, we did race awareness training, all the teachers had to go out and spend 30% of their week working in the community doing valuable work. And we began to change their understanding and the connection. Suddenly, the school became a place where the parents came in, where the teachers knew the parents where parents came in and learn with their children in the classroom. And I remember we decided to set up something called a community council, where parents would come in and have a say over the school, how the school was run. And that was just the first one. And then we set up a number of Community Councils for different aspects of the school’s work. And I remember being in this meeting, and the members of the community, just really taking the teachers on and the teachers not getting offended, coming back. And then really, us all working together to push through the differences that we had, in order to make this council somewhere where everybody belonged. I

Achim Nowak  08:39

have a sense that what drives you, or what drove you then is more than the education of young people, you understood that there is a much larger context and your desire to have a bigger impact beyond a limited view of what a teacher does, and that that’s the key driver for you. Is that correct?

Belinda Harris  09:03

That’s absolutely right. Yeah. And I’m a linguist. So I was given the job that I had, I had two jobs at school, one as a community development officer. The other was as a language, his teacher was teaching French German, can you believe it? The kids had absolutely no interest in French. I didn’t play. I did not blame them. So we found a way around, we found a way around that but it was through getting to know them. That my whole whole view of what education was about shifted, but also that had happened to me as a child that teachers had seen me as a child who was struggling who was behind who had been missed, and gave me a lot of time and attention and helped me to see myself as a human being who was worthy and capable. And I just wanted to do that. That’s that’s what drove me into education in the first place. And that was The school where that really became a very live, powerful issue for me. And it was much more than what I could do as an individual for the school. It was about how we could build the school into a community. And for me, school was a sanctuary. When I went to the school that changed my life, it was a sanctuary, it was a safe place, if visible, seen, respected, included, was an amazing difference from the education I’d had before. And I wanted that school to do the same for every child, but also for every family.

Achim Nowak  10:37

Two things strike me one is, again, you have this very holistic view of what his school community is. And it’s an expansive view. And by having a holistic view, we can elevate all have that community. But the other thing that struck me and I want to point this out, may we talk about it, because it’s, I think, very relevant to all of us who are examining our for tax, what I heard you say is part of your journey at the time was feeling worthy of what you were doing, and claiming your worthiness and owning your voice and finding your voice and having the courage to speak with that voice.

Belinda Harris  11:23

I need to go back a little bit, again, because I really found my voice when I was a student in Berlin. Working with the so called guests, arbeiter guest workers, Turkish guest workers, who at that point in, in Germany, were doing work that other people didn’t want to do, they’d been brought in, in order to work, but they weren’t integrated into the community. And actually, there was a lot of racism and they had a very difficult time. I only know about Berlin, I don’t know how it was in other parts of Germany. But I did a lot, I volunteered with that community and supported people. And I didn’t have I had never had a voice up till then I was very quiet, very shy, introverted, child and young person. Mainly because I had a lot of shame. I always felt I wasn’t good enough. And there was something radically wrong with me. But when I went to the police station to help them get their visas or to get their work permits, or to support them, and met kind of generic German bureaucracy at the time, and which is very similar to British bureaucracy and American bureaucracy. I’m not singling the Germans out, it could be anywhere in the world. And I just remember thinking if I don’t speak, this person is going to get away with talking to somebody like that. And that is not okay. I just knew it was wrong. So maybe it was the little bit of Vanessa Redgrave MP, I don’t know, her influence. But I started to speak and say no, sorry. Please listen to her. She’s got something important to say. Or that was not okay. The way you’re speaking to her. Now, I was very kind about it and gentle. But I wasn’t prepared to allow that to happen. And that enabled me to slowly build more confidence in speaking out against injustice.

Achim Nowak  13:26

Well, there’s something very beautiful about what claiming our voice by being a voice for others, right, this is, which is what you do as an educator as well. I you spent a big chunk of your professional life teaching at the university and your other I assume connected passion is Gestalt psychotherapy. And we both are no the place in Massachusetts on Cape Cod, which is an exquisite place to learn and study as an adult.

Belinda Harris  14:01

It is a sanctuary,

Achim Nowak  14:02

it is a true sanctuary in a very special bucolic setting. Yeah. I want to get to the transition urinal. But for us to understand the importance of navigating it is to understand the degree to which you were in your you were and are involved in, in the academic world and the Gestalt world. So if you let’s start with a Gestalt. And we could have two hours just on that, I’m sure it’s I’m being incredibly unfair as a podcast host. But for a listener who, who maybe doesn’t understand how, what’s special about Gestalt as a form of psychotherapy, and as a form of framing our understanding and meaning making the world what is it that you love about yourself?

Belinda Harris  14:52

I think for me when I came across cashed out if I’m perfectly honest, I fell in love with it because it was a German word. You know, and it’s kind of I loved it. And I thought, Oh, that’s interesting. I wonder what that’s about. Then I found out that it started in Berlin. So that was another plus for me, because I’m a bit of a file. I love Berlin. And, and but mainly, I think when I really went into it, it’s because it’s not about fixing the individual, like a lot of psychotherapy is very individually focused. And I respect all of that. I see the worth in that. But the problem with that is that then the individual takes responsibility for things that don’t belong with them. So the thing that’s magical for me that still maintains its magic now is that it’s, it’s about the relationship between the person and the environment, and how they interact with their environment. How facilitative in there is their environment, how punishing is that? How inclusive? Is it? How exclusive is it? And how does this person bring their own unique gifts and qualities and experiences to that environment? In order to make meaning of their life? Yeah. And so for me, that’s been that was a revelation, because that enabled me to come out of my shame, to appreciate that it wasn’t all my fault. And that, yes, I’m, you know, I’m not a perfect human being, I don’t know anybody who is I have my limitations. But it wasn’t all about me. And I thought everything that was wrong was my fault. I automatically thought that. So then I began to that also helped me to question the environment. But it’s helped me particularly with the kind of young people and communities that I’ve worked with as a teacher and an educator. Because they, they are communities that typically do get pathologized. It’s their fault, there’s something wrong with them. They don’t work hard enough. They don’t they don’t apply for the jobs. That’s why there aren’t very many black people in those jobs, because they just don’t apply them because they’re lazy, or they’re this that or the other whatever’s excuse comes in, without ever looking at what does the environment do for them, in order to be accessible to be inviting, to include them? There’s a two way thing. So for me, that is who I am as an educator, it is who I am as a therapist, it is who I am as a coach, that’s always looking at the power dynamic between the individual and their environment. And thinking about their responsibility in that and the environments responsibility, and where there’s a lot of environmental responsibility, then how can I support them in order to impact that environment? If I can’t, with children, as a teacher, I could. But I can’t do that sometimes with my co cheese. My clients, it’s not my work, that’s their work. But it’s a relief for people to think of themselves in that context. They don’t have to hold so much negativity towards themselves, which they’ve swallowed from the environment.

Achim Nowak  18:18

Well, then, and just as you’re talking, I’m thinking, the work you did in that school was Gestalt work and maybe before, quite as a Gestalt practitioner. So something you in US drawn and playing in a larger context. I I’m going to get personal when we talk about the academic career, I’m and somebody who I taught for over a decade at a very well known University in New York in New York, and it’s one of the least enjoyable things I’ve done in my life. I chose to not commit to that. I love my corporate work a lot more. I’ll let you know and I’ll have to go into why. So the point is, you chose to play there you just retired there. The university nodding him 28 years you did your graduate work there. What sustained you in being a teacher at that level? And if there were frustrations, what are some frustrations you encountered?

Belinda Harris  19:26

Oh, there’s been lots of frustration.

Achim Nowak  19:29

Oh, please, please share one juicy story about that because I can so identify with that.

19:34

Oh,

Achim Nowak  19:35

God. don’t edit and be polite. Just let us just give us a story.

Belinda Harris  19:41

I guess it’s the for me, Oh, God, I need to be really careful. Don’t No,

Achim Nowak  19:50

No, you don’t. Um,

Belinda Harris  19:53

when I first started, it was a very male environment. It was senior professors. It was very hierarchical. Cole was very male, I was just a bright young thing, you know, and treated like a bright young thing. Deer, deer deer. And I thought I remember thinking, our last six months here, this is Yeah. But the truth was that I just had my I had, I got the job when my second son was three weeks old. Wow. So I went into the interview with milk dripping down my thing, because I literally had to rip him off the breast and pass him to my mother who was sat next to me to go into the interview. My brain hadn’t switched in. And three men, I was the only female candidate of three. But there’s five of us that are being interviewed, I was the only woman. And I remember sitting down in the room and thinking, God, this is a waste of time. And they asked me lots of questions. And I did my best to answer thinking, Oh, that wasn’t very good, or that wasn’t a great answer, blah, blah. And then all of a sudden, it was over and they said, Is there anything you’d like to ask us? And I said, Yes. Could I just go out and come back in and start again? Because I think my brains just want to answer the questions. And they all laughed, and I went out. And I just said to my mum, come on, we’re going home. And so we left. And about three hours later, I got a phone call, why are you at home, you’re supposed to be outside, waiting for them to announce the results. And I said, Look, I’ve got a three year old, three week old baby, it’s clear, I haven’t got the job. Why make me come in. And she said, if you ever want to work in this university, you have to come back and you have to be there when they come out, or else you’ll never be able to apply for another job. I think you should come back. So I came back. And I was suckling him. And what happened, I’d been told what happened was that when the door opened, they would come out, and they would ask the person they were going to offer the job for so I didn’t even look up, I was just, you know, totally absorbed in him thinking I’ve got to get home. And they said my name. But my mother wasn’t there for me to pass the baby to. So I had to take it in and accept the job. And so that kind of did challenge one of my preconceptions, I thought, No way, in this smell environment when I have a place. I guess for me, it’s a very, the pressure to write was just credible. Because I was a teacher, I am a teacher in my bones. I love teaching my salutely love it. It’s I love engaging people in projects where they have to excel, feel things, think things, negotiate things, engage with other people. Learning as an embodied process is all about embodiment. It’s all about making contact with yourself. People and with text, often with text as well, and being able to engage with a piece of writing or something. So it’s a fantastically creative experience, I think learning. And the problem for me in the university was was I was expected to lecture, you know, to stand at the front and lecture, how many other people and then just see them in little seminars where we do a lot of talking about? What do you do about that? So I said, No lectures. So I got through 28 years without ever giving a lecture until lockdown last year, when we couldn’t meet face to face. And all of us are told you have to load your lectures up online. And then you meet your student, give them a week to what be able to watch them and then you you meet them. Right. So that was a bit of a shock to me. So I did gave my first several lectures last year. So the culture wasn’t my kind of education. It was very cerebral rather than holistic. But I managed to get what I wanted. I managed to get classrooms that were circles of chairs. I did it the way I wanted to do it. If I had been able to do it the way I wanted to do it, I would have been out and I was in a fantastic team. And we were all we all fought together. You know, so I think teamwork saved me at the university. I’d never have been able to stay if I hadn’t been in a great team.

Achim Nowak  24:37

Well in everything you’re saying. And we’re going to talk about the current transition. You’re in what really strikes me You just end with the work. I think community matters to you. Being in community. The Gestalt Institute is a community And you’re, you’re 66 years old now, I didn’t make it didn’t make you any older than you are, you’re 66 you are, you are, you are letting go of two very prominent professional roles in communities that greatly mattered to you. So that is a big transition. You and I spoke last fall. And I remember, you use this wonderful analogy. And, and maybe this is a good way to start talking about your fourth act, you said is I’m about to give, give birth, it’s a nine month period. And I’m giving birth to something new. And I’m going to just throw a few questions out. Because when we leave, there’s pressure to keep doing the same thing, because we’re really good at it. So people will call us because they know us for stuff we’re really good at. So the metaphor of giving birth to something new is powerful to me. So how’s that going for you so far? The lesson? Oh, well, it’s

Belinda Harris  26:12

a good job. Were talking this week this month rather than last?

Achim Nowak  26:16

Well, I’m glad I got you in a good week. Okay.

Belinda Harris  26:21

I, it was very scary, actually giving up. Giving up the role. I have to honestly say that I haven’t missed it. Possibly, because the last few months were locked down. Anyway, so I was working from home that really helped me to leave. We went into lockdown in March, I left at the end of September. So for that period of time, all the work was being done from home. So it was a very different job and a job that I found less satisfying and less enjoyable. Although we all made the best of it that we could and tried to support the students as much as we could. Yes. Since leaving, yeah, well, the university has had me back to do more teaching because they forgot to take my modules off the catalog. And there wasn’t anybody else to teach them. So I kind of I had said to them, if you ever need me call me. And they did. So I ended up teaching two modules, schools, society, mental well being as schools, society and mental health and wellbeing and a module on grief and loss, which is very pertinent

Achim Nowak  27:47

at the moment, if we can channel Vanessa Redgrave for a moment. And here where his where I’m going with this one? Did you say yes to coming back to teach? Because? Well, that’s what a good girl does? Or did you say yes. Because the content is actually kind of cool. Did you say yes? Because, gosh, I’ve given them 28 years, I can’t say no now like, help us understand? Was it easy to say? Yes. What How did you work that one out for yourself?

Belinda Harris  28:25

It wasn’t an easy decision at all. The school society mental wellbeing module, I have a very dear colleague who actually has started at the University on the same day as me, ended on the same day as me. So we’re both there for the same 28 years in the same team. And he and I, he, he and I had taught that module together. So it was a are we going to do it. So neither of us wanted to do it on our own. So we we ended up having a conversation on a part in the freezing cold in November to decide whether we’d do it. And we decided we’d do it for ourselves, because would give us another chance to work together without the constraints of being in time roles. Yeah. And I love him dearly. And because it was a challenge to move the module online, because it was such an experiential module How the hell are we going to do it? And then we thought, well, that’s a nice challenge to have to have to create something different a new it’s not just Same old, same old doing it again. So that was that and the grief and loss. One was a bit of a good girl moment I’m ashamed to say. But I did do it differently in that I really negotiated a good rate for myself as an outsider. And because says you know, academic life is very poorly paid.

Achim Nowak  30:04

Yes, I was Bravo one that negotiation word from your sponsor. That’s me, I invite you to go to the website associated with this podcast www.my. Fourth active.com, you will find other equally inspiring conversation with great humans. And you will also learn more about the my fourth act mastermind groups where cool people figure out how to chart their own forex, please check it out. And now back to the conversation. I want to go a little deeper on this because it It sounds on the surface kind of easy and obvious, which is I’m going to I’m letting go responsibilities so I can explore some new things for myself. You used a word earlier in the conversation alella, which is the what the word magic and magical and what’s magical and magic for you. Yet at the same time, you know, we carry decades of embodied wisdom that’s also there and wants to be honored. So how do you how do you honor that? And create space of discovering something new that maybe you don’t even know what it is? How, how is that unfolding for you.

Belinda Harris  31:40

So that’s happened, you know some of this because I joined your first mastermind group did. And I was delighted to be invited to join that group, having just joined you for a taster session. And I couldn’t have, I couldn’t be where I am now without the support of that group. I think so I’m a sociable person. I love contact, I love dialogue. I can also withdraw and let things settle in myself,

Achim Nowak  32:16

give us a little bit of a taster or preview of what’s being birthed that maybe wasn’t in your consciousness even last summer right before you were retiring from the university.

Belinda Harris  32:29

And I guess through my role as chair of UK GP. In a way, I’ve been bringing my educational experience to my leadership work to that role. And I think I inherited a wonderful organization from an amazing woman. So I haven’t done all of this, she had already been sowing a lot of seeds with the group. I have a fantastic team of people. And we’ve been building a very strong, strong organization that’s very community driven. And my big effort has been to link us to Europe because of Brexit. So we now have so all our members can now work in Europe, and we’re connected through the European associations. That was

Achim Nowak  33:18

Bravo, that’s beautiful.

Belinda Harris  33:20

I feel that activism has been very important to me. And in order to, to do that work, I have had to really learn how to ground myself and be present, to be calm, and to get people to listen to me. I have been really trying to embody Vanessa Redgrave that I and I could never be her because she’s got, you know, so many amazing qualities. But I don’t do bad for me, you know, I’m me. So. And I think the notion of presence has just become more and more and more and more important to me. And I’ve realized the power of it. The power of being fully able to what a very good colleague of mine and friend says is to show up, you know, and I think I was frightened to show up fully for a long time because of old stuff. So I could show up on behalf of other people. Yeah, on behalf of the kids, on behalf of my community, that deck, parents, the community, for the guest workers in Berlin, I could show up for other people. But I was struggling to show up for myself. And so I think what I’m giving birth to, is a me that is ready to take her place in a totally different way. And I want to teach other people about and work with other people on what I call embodied presence. Which is the idea that was birthed in the mastermind group or through a weekend of teaching that I did as a trainer?

Achim Nowak  35:10

Yes.

35:12

And

Belinda Harris  35:14

I feel really, really excited about that. Because I think it’s fundamental for quality, quality of contact, quality of being and quality of work and quality of output, if you’re really there.

Achim Nowak  35:30

And if I, if I just can expand that for our listeners, I think one of the opportunities we all have, as we get older, is to more boldly embody fully who we are, perhaps with less of the pressure is real or not to present ourselves differently, because we think that’s what we need in the job. Or when we’re younger, this is what I need to keep my partner happy or know all those ways in which we dis embody ourselves. And the beauty of what you’re saying is that the more fully embodied we are with what we know what Spirit tells us and the wisdom of the decades, you know, our impact in the world just changes. Yeah, yeah. I,

Belinda Harris  36:29

and why should we make an impact on the world? Yeah.

Achim Nowak  36:34

I, you mentioned something earlier on that I want to go back to because it’s, I think, so emblematic of what, and I include myself, you and I are essentially the same age and you spoke about the school and you said, Well, I took the job, because it also allowed me to take care of somebody that was important to me who I think was dying, or in that process. I know you’ve had some important losses in your personal life, people that matter to you. Yeah. And I know you’re, you’re being a daughter to an aging mother, who requires some attention. I am I’m paying attention to my 96 year old mother in Germany, and it’s a powerful process. How are you making emotional space for all of that as you’re transitioning into doing more embodied leadership work, being a voice for that? Paying attention to the needs of your mother who does not live with you? All of us figure it out in our own ways. I know there’s no recipe but how are you figuring that one out for yourself?

Belinda Harris  37:48

Um, I i’ve been resourcing myself quite significantly since I left work. And my I’ve done some shamanic training, which has been incredibly helpful. And I’m, it’s Irish, Celtic. shamanic training

Achim Nowak  38:10

is awful.

Belinda Harris  38:12

And it is really beautiful work. So a lot of journeying, a lot of connecting with spirit. I have a special connection with horses, which I’ve had since I was a very little I was very lonely and a bit traumatized as a child and my freedom was getting on my bike, and cycling out into the countryside because we lived on the edge of town. So it wasn’t dangerous. There’s hardly any traffic or anything to a field where there was a horse. And I told my horse this, it was my horse didn’t I don’t know who sort of it was. For me it was my horse. And I talked to that horse about everything. And much later on and through the shamanic training, and I realized that I have a horse spirit guide that is and the shamanic training is really connected me to that energy and to that part of myself in a powerful way. I mastermind has been a support for me very much. I meditate every day. I walk every day. I’m in a choir. So we sing. Unfortunately, not at the moment. But because we are so connected as a group. We do meet in pairs. And so when we’re allowed to me we meet and we have fun and we we do sing together although we’ve you know, shouldn’t Yeah, and my you know, I have two amazing children. I have a you know, a great family. I just feel very nourished, very privileged. With all the friendships and all the people that I have in my life, and I,

40:06

yeah,

Belinda Harris  40:09

I couldn’t be I wouldn’t be where I am without all the wonderful people who have come into my life and, and seen me and said something to me that really opened the door. And I’ve had the courage to walk and the wisdom to walk through the door. Up. And I I trust that even as I age, those people like you will keep showing up, and more doors will open. So I just have a this journey is I don’t know the end. I don’t know what the end point is. But I don’t know the route. I just trust that the right people will be there and and that is a resource to me.

Achim Nowak  40:56

I so appreciate you mentioning the shamanic training, I’ve, I’ve had my own initiations of that sort, where suddenly, in my whole being in my whole body, I know that I am more than I thought I was. Yeah. And the connection to the world is bigger than I thought it was. And it’s humbling and liberating at the same time to know that. If you if you take a moment right now, and based on what you know, right now, if you could whisper some advice into young Belinda’s ears when she’s a young girl, a young Catholic school girl. What would you like to say to her?

Belinda Harris  41:50

Yeah, I like to say to her, trust yourself. Trust yourself, keep learning, keep growing. Keep connecting, you know, keep? Yeah, that’s it, I think, yeah.

Achim Nowak  42:13

If he were to give any, any guidance, and I know, it’s some people CAUTI like say, That’s not what I do as a psychotherapist. I don’t give anybody guidance. But but just in the, you know, in the US, you know, mastermind, you know, we just take the leap. And we say that, and if you were to offer any guidance to folks who listen to us who are in their 60s, just retired, not ready to stop, want to explore some more, but maybe not sure of how to explore or where to go. But what would you say to them from your own experience, and also your experience as a psychotherapist.

Belinda Harris  42:55

I would say, make time to slow down, enjoy slowing down, really listen to your body, listen to your sensations, stay joined up in yourself, and you will find your way. Beautiful, everybody’s ways their own way. So and I don’t know what’s right for anybody else. But I know that that’s slowing down. And that staying with me, has helped me to get clear about the next step. And then the next step, and then the next step.

Achim Nowak  43:30

That’s a beautiful note to end on. Before before I say goodbye, if any of our listeners want to learn more about you and what you do, what’s the best place to find you in the virtual world and get more information about you?

Belinda Harris  43:49

Okay, well, by the time this podcast comes out,

Achim Nowak  43:52

yes,

Belinda Harris  43:53

I am a member of my wonderful mastermind group will have finally got my website up and running. www.belindaharris.co.uk

Belinda Harris  44:11

Yeah, by the time you put this out.

Achim Nowak  44:13

Yes. Wonderful. And congratulations on on that commitment. It’s recorded now. Linda, thank you for being you. And thank you for the gift of this conversation. I just enjoyed our chat so much.

Belinda Harris  44:29

Thank you. I have so enjoyed it.

Achim Nowak  44:33

Like what you heard, please go to my fourth act calm and subscribe to receive my updates on upcoming episodes. Please also subscribe to us on the platform of your choice. Rate us give us a review. And let us all create some magical fourth acts together.

44:56

Ciao

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