Kirsty Stewart & Liz Clifton Interview Transcription:
Liz Clifton: Welcome to the wonderful Kirsty Stewart she is a holistic therapist and has a huge and deep interest in the mind and body connection. Welcome Kirsty beautiful lady.
Kirsty Stewart: Oh, thank you, Liz. that's so sweet. Thank you for having me. It's nice to be here. It's my first interview. So I'm like, Ooh, I don't know if I'm nervous, excited. I think I'm a bit of both. Because I love you. I know I'm in safe hands.
Liz Clifton: You're going to be perfect. And I'm so proud of you for taking this step, even just to do your first interview. That is like huge celebrate. So the first question is what does self-care mean to you?
Kirsty Stewart: Ooh, good question. I think with self-care it's effort, I think for me, it literally is my life now. When I was younger, I was really quite reckless with my mind and body. I didn't really. I wasn't in tune with that. I didn't really care about myself. I just wanted to go out and drink and be a little bit wild like you do in your early twenties. And then, when I was diagnosed with tinnitus, like I mentioned on the course, my whole world collapsed at that point because, when I found out was like incurable condition, I thought, wow, it was almost, I had to go on a mission and to try and understand myself. So I could sort of sit and myself and like be okay with myself and sort of accept the condition I had. And then it kind of went and then I kind of went on a bit of a self-care journey.
Kirsty Stewart: So for me, and then what I did is I sought out like a host of wellness practitioners to start with. I had like a psychotherapist who worked with my mind and a coach to work with my future. So I sort of, I worked with my past and I sort of cleared all that out. And then I started working on my future, started implementing goals and started move in slowly. It was a bit it's very slow at the beginning. So I was about like, I was like climbing a mountain once I'd hit rock bottom. and then I become very in tune with like my minds and body and soul. And I was like, they're completely connected. And without self care, this is probably why I ended up in that situation in the first space, because I just was never aware of myself and how important it was to take care of myself and like my house, you know, that my mental wellbeing, physical wellbeing, because there's just so connected and now is like, it is my world.
Kirsty Stewart: I'm like everything itself is like, if there's something wrong with me, if I don't feel right, I know I need to sort of take a step back sort of tune in with myself, be like what's going on at the moment for you Kirsty. And if it's something mentally, if I'm feeling a bit like, like I've got bad now, I sort of just take some time for me. And I sort, I sort of draw back a little bit from friends and family. I used to feel guilty for that in the past because I bought, I'm probably like more of like an empath, but I just always want to give to everybody and take care of everybody. but then I realized I couldn't take care of other people if I wasn't taking care of myself. So now I'm quite honest with people like the closest people to me, they get it.
Kirsty Stewart: I'm not, if I'm having a bit of a rough time, I just say some that I love you. I'm sorry. I can't give you any energy right now. I am here for you, but I just need some me time. So I always sort of just take myself away really and almost like reenergize. And that will be in like numerous ways that I do at wherever it's talking to somebody like a professional. If I feel like I need to, it will be exercising to remove like any negative energy in my body and any tension I've got stored. I get all that sort of moved. And now, I'm really, careful with like the food that I eat. I'm not perfect, but I still eat crap as well. Sometimes like naughty food. I would say I have like a balanced diet. But I do eat like chocolate and crisps if I fancy.
Kirsty Stewart: Yeah. But most of the time when I go food shopping, I'm like, what sort of nutritious value does this food offer me? So, yeah, it was just a journey. Like for me, self-care is a bit of a journey of becoming really aware of yourself, like your mind, body and soul, and just really nourishing that in the best way as you can, because it's just so important because I think if you don't, unfortunately you will probably hit a point in your life where you taught. You have to. yeah. And unfortunately for me, it was a bit of a tough lesson and that's why now I'm like an advocate for like health wellness, because I'm just so passionate about that. And I'm like, why is this not taught to us when we're younger? We're just our mind and a body.
Kirsty Stewart: We don't really look at ourselves. We just sort of see what's in the mirror. But to really understand what's going on inside of us is so important because the most important person you can sort of be with and take care of is yourself. So yeah, I've just, it's been a journey, but it's a really important one for me. And I kind of want to share it with everybody else as well. I know my site take care of everybody. I've been like, come on, like, it's so important to do this. You don't want to sort of get to a situation where you manifest an illness in your body because you never took care of yourself in the first place when you should also. Yeah, for me, it's inspirational it has been amazing.
Liz Clifton: Yay. Thank you for sharing that. And your story say beautiful and it enables you to kind of share your story and inspire the people and that's taking care of them because you're enabling them to rise up and take care of themselves. Rather than you having to run around and literally take care of everyone that you did before.
Kirsty Stewart: Yeah, definitely. Yeah, because I don't think that, does you any favours you, if you are doing it from the kindness of your heart to try and take care of everybody else, everybody does. They don't want to burn out. Nobody does, but it's not till that point. You think, wow, I should have took care of me first before I could give that energy to other people. And every time you give to people, you know, you just have to take a step back and recoup until you can give again. It's not like a constant flow of energy that you can just keep giving. Cause that's when it sort of like it becomes empty and then you kind of suffer. So yeah.
Liz Clifton: Yeah. And I guess that's the mission, isn't it it's to find that constant flight so that we can be given to us ourselves and then it's flowing out like easily an asset let's say to everyone else.
Kirsty Stewart: Definitely. Yeah. And I just think it's so important that people invest in themselves. Because I think like sometimes I've been guilty of it myself, like years ago. I wouldn't think twice about going shopping and spending a couple of hundred pounds on clothes and shoes. And if someone said to me back then, that are you going to have reflexology. Because I was anxious. I don't know. I'd rather just go out and have a drink and just like mask my problems. So now I'm like, I'm an advocate for like, it's so important. Don't be ashamed. Like if you need help, reach out for it because we all need help. We all need support like a support system. And that's why like I have wellness practitioners around me as well as being a wellness practitioner, because if I'm given, I know that I need to receive to like recoup my own energy and like keep myself rebalanced.
Liz Clifton: Yeah. I left that and say, what's your favourite like rebalancing thing for yourself?
Kirsty Stewart: Oh, I've got to, to be on ass. I feel like I should definitely say my first one is read by. So allergies. I do have a reflex solid Jess and she's amazing. And she increased that hot stone massage as well. So that really is for me just so, and sometimes I'm quite an emotional person, so I don't realize how much I keep inside of me. And so I actually go for my appointments and then I have a huge emotional release afterwards. And at first I'm a little bit nervous, but we've got such a wonderful relationship. Now. I know I can just have a little cry if I need to. And I just know it's, whatever I've sort of pushed out has had to come back up again and just that release in itself, free emotions, man. I just feel so wonderful. And I just, yeah, I just feel so realigned.
Kirsty Stewart: And when I walk out of her treatment room, I'm like, oh, I just feel out the whoa, she's dropped off my shoulders, you know And I just, yeah, I feel love, but I do have enough awhile, which is craniosacral therapy and that's quite like energy work, but also like body work. So they're working with the actual physical body as well as like energy body as well. and for me, I have massive transformations through that work too. I think some quite sensitive be in, I really feel my body doing what it needs to and I just get so in tune with my practitioner and yeah, just oft was, I'm just like blown away and yeah, I'm just floating on clouds and I'm just so happy. So yeah. I just absolutely love them.
Liz Clifton: Thinking back to like your really fast experiences yourself. Kat, can you remember the first thing that you did to actually start taking care of you?
Kirsty Stewart: Yeah, definitely. It was when I had tinnitus and I remember thinking I was in such a bad place and I just thought I need help. and I'm like, I didn't really know what to do at that point. So I hadn't trained and reflexology or anything. I wasn't really open to anything like that start with, I started researching like wellbeing and then a psychotherapist come up and also a reflexologist. Somebody mentioned a reflexologist to me. Most of us, I'd never heard of it before. And I thought, wow, just give it a go. and I was a bit apprehensive. I didn't really know what to expect. I was nervous because naturally I'm quite anxious. I was like, oh no, first kind of thing. But I went and after having like a couple of psychotherapy sessions of sort of removing my mental baggage alongside having the physical work with reflexology, I really noticed a difference in my body.
Kirsty Stewart: And I just couldn't believe it. How enough has only just something that feels like so small had made such a huge impact when nine I four, I literally felt I was at rock bottom. And then all of a sudden I felt like I had a way out because I had these people support me and it was really working on my minds and body. And that's when I started to realize like, there's really something in this, you know, like this is not to be underestimated. And when I would talk to people about reflexology a couple of years ago, everyone would be like, oh, he's such a hippie and all this kind of stuff. And I've got to say, I used to take it to heart. And I used to be like, why can't you just be a little bit more open-minded you know, but as I've like grown, like with my own personal growth, I'm so confident and who I am as a pass and I, my support system and how I live and I'm happy I can confidently say, but genuinely I'm a happy person because I've worked myself.
Kirsty Stewart: It doesn't bother me if people want to say, oh, that's a little bit weird. That's a little bit out there a little bit. I'm like, yeah, it's cool. I like it. So I'm not bothered saying, yeah, that was my first experience. And yeah, it was, it changed my life that much. I was then admin. Like I have to go and train as a reflexologist because I need to help other people. Cause it made me sad to think that although the NHS system is wonderful when they do their backs, unfortunately their resources are not always great for certain ailments that we have in our life. So to look at alternative and complimentary therapists as well to sort of merge together was massive for me, like a big break for, and I was like, this is everything like what people are not educated on this. So now yeah. Like you said, I'm like an advocate, like you have to know about this stuff. Like it's so amazing. Yeah. So I'm just so passionate about it.
Liz Clifton: Yeah, and it shows, and like you said, that confidence and that passion that you've felt through your own experiences, it kind of shines out if you.
Kirsty Stewart: Yeah, definitely. If you had met me maybe 10 years ago, I was a shadow of myself. I didn't know who I was. I think that's quite common probably in your early twenties. I think everybody's on a bit of a life mission off. Oh, you told to go and get a job. It's all about jobs for you all. And you have to do this to be successful and all this kind of stuff. And so you get a little bit lost, I think. And for me I'm more purpose driven. So for me, it's not about the job title. It's about having a purpose in my life and that serving others and helping other people, which fills me up.
Liz Clifton: Yeah, Yeah. Have mission. Just share this with everyone.
Kirsty Stewart: Definitely. Yeah. I feel like it kind of overtakes me like when someone talks to me about it and they're like, I've never known you to be so passionate because I've sort of gone in and out of different jobs when I was younger, just because it was just a job to me. It didn't mean anything. It was just, oh, it's just paying my way you, but now I'm just so yeah, I'm so passionate and I truly believe is so transformational for people that I have to be like kind of a vehicle to get out to the lounge, to share my experience and to be like, you can't miss out on this, you know, there's, there's just so many wonderful therapies now that therapists and practitioners that have trained because they are so passionate about helping you. And I just don't think enough people know about
Liz Clifton: Yeah, absolutely. I'm still proud of you for all the things that you're achieving.
Kirsty Stewart: I am quite proud of myself. Yeah. Sometimes I still all sit myself down. When I think about what I've done and how far I've come. Sometimes I get still a bit stuck in the, future ready case. And I want to do this. I want to do that one. You just want to do that where I'm trying to set more in myself now and be like, hang on a minute. What have you achieved? Be proud of what you've achieved and be happy with what you've done to now. Because all we have is the present. We just have to try and find happiness and what we have now. And, but yes, still to have goals for the future. That's really important. But yeah, I'm really practicing on being in the present moment rather than so future pacing and always thinking far ahead, which is quite hard.
Kirsty Stewart: I think when you feel like you're a high achiever, you want more, you want to do that. You want to do that. It's, it's finding that balance. I think it's, it's just like, a journey forever, I guess in ourselves. For me, I feel like my personal growth, my journey will probably just be for the rest of my life. Now. I like to just grow as a person, become more wiser, help, more people get more experience. I just think that's what life is all about really, is making nice connections. Isn't it, it's like human connection and sharing love and kindness and just let it ripple out to everybody. So it just it's like a constant ripple effect. So it thins out all the bad people. It gets rid of the bad and energy because we don't like bad people.
Liz Clifton: Soak them in the loving energy and that negative energy flows right out of them too.
Kirsty Stewart: Yeah. That's a really nice way to put it.
Liz Clifton: And so on like a day-to-day basis now, do you find that you check in with yourself regularly on you know, your mind, body, and soul, or does that kind of vary day by day?
Kirsty Stewart: I definitely think it's varied. I think, you know, I was saying I'm such a sensitive being, I genuinely can feel it in my body, if anything changes. And I don't know if it's, since I have my tinnitus, I've so sensitive because it was like learning to adapt again to everything, to my hearing and my body to my environment. But it's a good thing. I see it as like a, like a miracle. Nice because it's, it's allowed me to do what I've done now, but, yeah, I definitely would say daily. I really do check in and I know instantly really if I've woke up and so it's not quite right, I think had one I'm and now I'm in a bit of a off-ish mood. Something's not right. Or if it's in my body, I can, like, I went to work out this morning, and I've just got over a tooth infection, which was really annoying.
Kirsty Stewart: But it put me out of exercise for a couple of weeks and I could really feel the tension really building up in my body to the point I was getting pulsatile tinnitus, which is like tension all around my neck. And then unfortunately it just affects my tinnitus and I thought blimey, it's only been like two weeks, but I can just feel the tension sort of filling up in my body. But as soon as I went and worked how it was gone again, it's just like a huge release. Yeah. So, yeah, I'm very sensitive. I definitely think I can really check in with myself every day. if I have a feeling like I'm falling off the bandwagon, like a bit when we were studying, I think I was so focused on studying and I sort of lost myself a little bit in my wellness. It's trying to find a balance. Isn't it and then that's when I suffered with a little bit of burn out afterwards. And I thought, I wasn't checking in with myself and unlike taking care of my knees, I was so focused on achieving my goals, which is a good thing. But at the same time, you have to find that balance that you have, but am I actually okay. You know, is my minds and body okay. With how fast I'm sort of go in and yeah. So I do try Liz every day. I'm not perfect.
Liz Clifton: You're doing amazing. You do, you are. Remove the try. Say it.
Kirsty Stewart: I am going to say read confidently. I am doing it every day. I love it thank you Liz.
Liz Clifton: You're welcome. And say, thinking about if someone's coming at self care for the very first time, how would you suggest they begin?
Kirsty Stewart: Ooh, that's really hard. You know, because a lot of people, they're not aware of it. So you have to give them little nudges, I think, but especially some of my clients, they sort of come to me and they've never done it before. So I'm sort of just nudging them generally with how important it is. So I just think I would probably check in with them and just be like, how are you and let them talk really. And I'd probably pick up on certain areas in their life. Maybe there's some go in and goings on that could be addressed. And yeah, I would just probably make some suggestions from my own experience. and also with like NLP and stuff with like their mindset, and body work and exercise. I'll just say it's like a gradual thing. Like nobody's perfect. And a lot of women, which is a shame with exercise, I always say it's so important to exercise.
Kirsty Stewart: And I think they focused on it for the wrong reason. Unless like they genuinely are really overweight and they need to lose weight for the house. But a lot of women they're so beautiful just how they are. And they concentrate on working out to have the best body and to look incredible when actually, if they just go a bit more in touch with themselves, they could probably just walk a little bit more on their mindset and just use exercise to release whatever tension and energy they've got going on in their body. And then to have a nice body afterwards just becomes a bonus you know. Rather than that cycle of, oh, I must have done good. I must do this. And it's not a stressful cycle. Really. It's not really an enjoyment. So I noticed that with a lot of women and like my friends and stuff, I try to like reframe that for them and just be like, can, you know, just a little exercise for your wellbeing.
Kirsty Stewart: And then the body comes afterwards, rather than well, then kind of like pressurize yourself. So yeah, it's quite hard to give people nudges because I think people get so set in their way and they have certain beliefs from their parents and yeah, it's definitely something it's quite hard to crack those programs and beliefs that everybody's running with because it's all they know. So yeah, I think it's just slight nudges here and there about their self-care and how important it is. And when I talk to people open and honestly about my own experience, I think that hits home with them a little bit. So like what you were actually just like perfectly fine and all of a sudden you had an incurable condition. And I was like, well, yeah, I thought I was just living a life of, I thought I was fully fine, but I wasn't. Because I was suppressing absolutely everything that was going on in my life and in my past, and I just wasn't dealing with anything.
Kirsty Stewart: And then it manifested and it turned into a physical illness, but showed a lot of doctors and scientists would talk about now and say, like stress does manifest in the body and it has to come out in one way or another. And yeah, that's why self-care is so important. So yeah, I'll try, do, try and get them like little nice nudges. I don't try to be too full on because I think people get really resistant to being told what to do. I think people like to make their own minds up. So it's kind of just given them that little bit of nice sort of, sort of a nice nudge in the right direction. And then if they, if they take my advice lovely. And if they don't, I let go of that now. Whereas in the past, I'd really hold on to that and I'd be like, why don't they listen to me? And why aren't they taking care of themselves? And why don't they realize it's important? And I've let go of that. Now. It used to be easy to really bug me, but yeah, I'm just like, do you know what I can't control that. I can only be there for people and the people that want the help will come and get the help. But yeah, say you make me excited Liz, so, yeah, I try.
Liz Clifton: You do, you do, you do. You do good.
Kirsty Stewart: I do I do I do. I've got to stop saying try. Cause that sounds half arsed. I do.
Liz Clifton: And you even said it yourself when you share honestly and openly your own story that does break through people's perceptions because it's different and because it's so honest and heartfelt and passionate, it's really powerful.
Kirsty Stewart: Oh, that's nice.
Liz Clifton: You're welcome.
Kirsty Stewart: And I hope people learn from my experience. I just think it's a shame that people get to that situation a bit like I did myself just because I had no awareness. I had nobody telling me how important it was. There was no one around me that invested in their health and wellbeing. So I just didn't do it myself because it was something I didn't know. So I just think now if I can just give them some ideas and spread some of my knowledge, maybe they might start investing.
Liz Clifton: They will . You will and you'll light that way for people. Yeah I can see it, I can feel it, it is so.
Kirsty Stewart: I fell that it's like a huge determination. I felt like, I always say someone's behind me. And I feel like someone's like just pushing me like this and like this I can't stop. I'm not, it's just so important to me. I feel like it's really, really important. And I'm just so passionate about and yeah, I just think, I just want to help humanity. I feel like it's just a purpose driven way that I have about me, I guess, or I just want to help people. Yeah.
Liz Clifton: Well thank you so much for sharing your time with me and congratulations.
Kirsty Stewart: Yay. Did it go ok.
Liz Clifton: Yes amazing.