Thank you for joining me your host Liz Clifton and my wonderful take34u Self Care Series: Creating Calm Confidence Guest Stephie Guy as we share selfcare secrets, top tips and stories of our experiences.

It's an absolute pleasure to support you with your own self-care journey as you take34u and enjoy our chat below:

Stephie Guy & Liz Clifton Interview

Stephie Guy
Coach behind Thoughtful Paws, Transformational Calmness Coaching for Sensitive Dogs, Easy to Follow, Fast and Focused Training.

Connect with her here: www.thoughtfulpaws.co.uk

Stephie Guy & Liz Clifton Interview Transcription:

Liz Clifton: Oh, okay. Yep. Yep. Okay. Woo. Welcome. It is my absolute great pleasure and honor to welcome the wonderful Stephie Guy, Coach behind Thoughtful Paws, Transformational Calmness Coaching for Sensitive Dogs. Welcome Stephie, and thank you so much for joining us.  

Stephie Guy: Thank  Stephie Guy: You. It's awesome to be here. I'm so excited.  

Liz Clifton: Amazing. So we'll kick off. What does self-care mean for you?  

Stephie Guy: For me it means taking time out of my busy day to make sure that my needs are met. Because I spend all of my time making sure that my client's needs and the dogs of the client's needs are met. That, I need to make sure that I take time for me as well. And it can be a short time. It can be a long time, but it needs to be sometime it's actually scheduled into my day. Yeah.  

Liz Clifton: I love that. So you speak about scheduling it into your day. So do you actually have it on your calendar?  

Stephie Guy: I  do. I do. And, Mikel and I go out for a really long walk every morning. We're out in nature and we sit down during that walk. So his needs get met to start with on that walk and then partway through, we sit down and that's where my needs get met. So I just do maybe some meditation or something in the woods. I've got my coffee, decaf coffee with me and we just sit there and chill, maybe 10 minutes, 15 minutes. But that's, that's me time while away from work, while away from the family, just me, dog's mooching around. I know he's okay. There's nobody else in the woods with us. So yeah, that's, that's it. Yeah.  

Liz Clifton: I love  that. It's really beautiful. And so that's every single day.  

Stephie Guy: Yes. Every single day.  

Liz Clifton: Perfect. And obviously, you know, the family, they're all aware that that's, what's going to be happening in the morning. You're all going to be heading off. Yes.  

Stephie Guy: And it's an escape, it's an escape from the daily work that office, the looking at clients videos, all of that stuff is just an escape. Right. I can just go and be me for 10 minutes. Yeah. 

Liz Clifton: That's beautiful. And I think, you know, like you said, sort of away from the office, especially where so many of us have been working from home, that it's really important to have that kind of boundary between so that you do get your time for you too.  

Stephie Guy: Absolutely. Yeah. Cause it was always, you could spend all your day in these four walls looking at a screen. Yeah.  

Liz Clifton: Not good.  Liz Clifton: So you mentioned about, meditating. What's your experience been of meditation over your whole sort of meditation journey?  

Stephie Guy: So,  my very first experience of meditation was just, wow, what, what this stuff can do for you. I was, 17. I was going through a lot of, issues with my, my elder brother who was very ill at the time. He was actually dying. And, that was really difficult for me to cope with. And, there was this really great guy in the school system who did some meditation with me. It was lovely, just really time to just, you know, not think about what was going on at home. And, it, you know, it sounds really strange, but I felt during the sessions, I felt like I was turning into a marsh mallow. How bizarre is that. It was just wonderful. So soft and you know, relaxed. Yeah. Amazing. So from there, I guess I've just sort of, I think my next actually, after, after all of that, that it never goes away.  

Stephie Guy: It's always with me that. But after that, that cause, cause you know, you've got, I have survivor's guilt, he was 24. So I have that and I carry that with me and I have to deal with that all the time. So, but I guess my next big experience with meditation was probably when I was pregnant. It was my next time, you know, when I was, okay. I need to remember how to do this stuff. And it's not something that I've done every day, all the time. It's kind of like dipped into it, gone out of it, dipped into it, gone out of it. And it's even now I don't, I, I don't follow a formal path. I just sit down and I empty my mind. That's it. Yeah. It's just clearing out all the junk and just giving yourself time and space, giving myself time and space to just be. Be empty and think of nothing. Yeah.  

Liz Clifton: Oh, that's beautiful.  Thank you so much for sharing so openly with us really appreciate it. And I know that as we share our experiences, you know, we support so many others who perhaps are feeling that they're the only people feeling these things and going through those things. yeah. So thank you. Thank you so much.  

Stephie Guy: That's  why it's so important to talk about it. Isn't it so important  yeah. 

Liz Clifton: Completely. And I love the marshmallow. I love it. And I want to feel like a marshmallow too. Marshmallow moment. Yeah. There's a thing I'm going to do a marshmallow movement meditation. Oh yeah. That's excellent. So that's how you take yourself out in the morning. And like a day to day, do you find that you check in with yourself like emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually, or does that kind of vary on a day to day?  

Stephie Guy: It varies. And I have to remind myself that, that I'm here. Not just that everybody else needs serving because I'm a supporting analyzer. I really strongly support people. And and so I have to remind myself to support myself as well. And I do have to check in, I have to make myself stop. And I can find, you know, I can be doing something and I can get really frustrated. And I just like throw all my toys out the pram. I'm not doing it. This is too hard. Can't do it. And then just walk off. And that's when I think when I reached that point and then I walk off. That's when I thought, I think, okay, let's just take 10 minutes and then I'm ready to come back to it and I can do it. Yeah.  

Liz Clifton: Yeah, of course you can. And we all can, you know, we, we all have that strength and that power in us. And you can tell just by looking at everything that we've all been through through our lives. You know, we are strong and we are powerful. And it's just reminding yourself that you have that strength in you. And yes, you can do anything. Absolutely. Anything you would totally totally good enough.  

Stephie Guy: Absolutely. Absolutely. And I think that's something that you've helped me to, to push through as well. It's like giving me some techniques that I can use to refocus reground. You know, I am here. I am important giving me some tools that I can use to get through that as well. It's been fantastic. Really good. Yeah.  

Liz Clifton: Aw. I love it. So when you're taking those moments and you're emptying your mind, you're getting in touch with yourself. Do you have like a support group of people that you can go to, if anything arises that you think. oh, do you know what, I get to be a bit supported, you know, with working through there.  

Stephie Guy: Yeah. So it depends on what it is and you know, what area of my life it's in. So I have, I have some very supportive friends that I can go and just vent to about things that are going on. Personally. I have a really supportive group of people that I can go to if it's something dog-related. And  I have you as well. And you are just amazing.  

Liz Clifton: Oh, thank you. That's perfect. Thank you so much.  And so we've spoken about, meditating, have you had experiences of journaling as well Is that something that you've had a go at?  

Stephie Guy: No,  it's not. Well, yes and no. I mean, I am a, I'm an artist as well as a dog trainer. So I also, I, I paint portraits, pet portraits, building portraits, I paint memories. and I do them on a tiny scale and I do them on a big scale and I love it. I love it. And so you would think that I'd be great at journaling and I am absolutely not. I think I'm rubbish at it. I think I just get too hung up. So what I had to do actually, and I have it right here next to me, I have a little book, little sketchbook and I just take it out and, and, you know, sketch things. Whatever feels, whatever feels like I want to sketch. So this, this here is my two budgies and this was, a trip we took to see my son. And that's my husband and my father-in-law in a punt on the river cam. And I did that actually in the boat. I just sat there and drew it in the boat. So that's my, that's my best way of journaling because it's small, it's portable can take it out with me and I can just play with it, but I don't journal feelings. I journal memories. So the feeling thing I find difficult yeah. Find really difficult to write about. Yeah.  

Liz Clifton: I think that's beautiful. And looking at those sketches as you called them. I mean, they're amazing as works of art. They're beautiful. but I can feel your emotion in it. So rather than writing your emotion, your sketching and sort of painting, you know, and adding that colour in there. So I think, I think journaling, it, yeah, it does feel like it has to be words. And I think that's such a beautiful example that it doesn't.  Our self-care and just releasing our emotions gets to be whatever works for us. It's just that creative kind of outpouring, into the, you know, the universe as it were for you. You that are, and that's beautiful for me, that was full of emotion.  

Stephie Guy: Yeah.  I hadn't thought of that. I hadn't thought of that because I am, I love writing, writing about dogs, look like writing tutorials about how to paint something. Love it, writing about my emotions. I'm not going, I can't do that.  

Liz Clifton: Oh, but you can, you can do anything.  

Stephie Guy: Absolutely. I can.  

Liz Clifton: Oh, I love that. It's what feels good for you. So you can see, you know, and that there's little sketches that, that does feel good for you because it's natural and it's you. And, and that's how it flows. And I feel you know, for self care, that's a huge part of it. It's what feels good for you right now. And that can be different at any moment.  

Stephie Guy: Yeah I am drawn to draw. If I go to a wedding, you know, when we were allowed to go to weddings, the last wedding I went to was in, I think it was 2019. And, I was like, I am not taking any sketching stuff with me to this wedding. Cause I always take sketching stuff. And I'm like not doing that. I'm going to go. And I'm going to enjoy this wedding for the wedding. And at the wedding, I was looking for things to draw and I was like, do you have a pen, can I have your napkin.  So funny.  

Liz Clifton: I love that. Yeah it's so beautiful. Like that, that's the expression of you and what you're seeing in the moment. That's really fun. So thinking about, you've spoken about the woods, what others areas bring you complete joy, like your favourite happy places?  

Stephie Guy: Places. it's always outside, always outside. I have a, a 15 year old dashi, 16 year old now touring caravan. It was my, it was my parents and it still smells off them. So that, that is one of my favourite places as well. You know, like just to take my caravan out into the middle of nowhere. You know, obviously a proper place to park it and stay, but yeah, love it. And just to go and when I go and check on the caravan every now and then, because we don't have space to store it here. So it sends storage, just going in, opening the door and smelling. That  you know, this is what my parents' house smelled like. I love, like just takes me right back. I love it.  

Liz Clifton: Thank you for sharing. And what I'm kind of picking up is that you're very sensory. So it's the smells and the feels and yeah, really beautiful. And a completely different way of being and just to be so open to their senses. And so in tune with them. Yeah, it's really good. And so if the people that I come in at self-care for a first time, how would you kind of suggest that they begin?  

Stephie Guy: So the very first time that I remember just going and sitting in nature and doing nothing was, we were on a guide camp. I was probably about 11, 10 or 11, and just being sent off on my own to go to this spot sit and listen. And do nothing, but listen to what was going on. And I was allowed to make notes. So, so to focus myself on, on what I was listening to. But you don't have to, you can just go and sit and listen, listen to the birds, listen to the tractors in the distance and just pick out all those different things. The bees and humming the flies buzzing around you. That was the very first time I ever went, just went and sat in nature and basically emptied my mind. And it worked really well for me. I'm not, that is actually what I do now. Just go and sit and I'll listen and I smell as well. He just like, sit, listen, smell. Yeah, I don't smell.  I hope I don't smell.  

Liz Clifton: I'm sure you smell just as beautiful as you look. Oh, I love language.  

Stephie Guy: It's great isn't it. 

Liz Clifton: So  you do your walk every morning, if anything was to get in the way of that walk in the morning, how would you adapt your routine to be? Is there flexibility within that?  

Stephie Guy: Well, I'm out for a long time. I'm out for two hours. And so far I haven't been called back for, for anything. I guess if I, if I was then it would be an emergency. So I would just kind of like, okay, that gets shelved and we deal with the emergency. I don't know really, I suppose if it did, if I did find that I couldn't do that, then I would just do it later in the day instead. So I would just move it and make space for it later. Yeah.  

Liz Clifton: Yeah.  I  love that. You know, it's because self care and our time for ourselves gets to be a priority. Yeah.  

Stephie Guy: Yeah. I  know myself, if I don't do it, I get really grumpy. Yeah. And if I'm grumpy, everyone gets grumpy.  

Liz Clifton: Yeah. I resonate with that.  

Stephie Guy: Yeah. My husband used to share it with the kids were little. If mom's happy, everyone's happy.  If Mum's not happy uh oh.  

Liz Clifton: It's so true. It's so true. And you know, and that can give you in itself the incentive and the motivation to actually take yourself care because, you know, as you raise sort of your vibration up. And you're happier that it's going to raise the happiness of everybody else.  

Stephie Guy: Yeah, absolutely. I know that. And I know as well, but if I'm not calm, then I can't serve my clients. And I can't help them to get help that dogs to be calm because I need to be calm in order for that lot to work.  

Liz Clifton: Yeah. So important. Thank you. Thank you for sharing. So I'm coming towards the end of my questions. How do you celebrate your wins and accomplishments?  

Stephie Guy: Oh not as well as I should. Yeah, I probably don't. That is probably one thing that I don't do.  

Liz Clifton: And so what could it look like if you were to celebrate them?  

Stephie Guy: Do you know.  I don't know. That is a really good question. Yeah. I mean, I, I sometimes talk about them. I definitely talk about them with my family. I'll go off and I'll be like leaping around the house and tell them. I'm not it's celebration, isn't it? So, yeah. That's, that's what I did. I just took this thing. This worked really well. Yeah. So yeah, I do do that, I guess I do. Yeah. But outside of the family circle, I don't really.  

Stephie Guy: Perhaps that's something I get to look at.  

Liz Clifton: Yeah. I love that. But, and like you said, you know, though that, woooo, you know, that counts, that is celebration. And I think one of my favourite things is like a song on and just have a little dance, you know, just little personal celebration, you know, that can count.  

Stephie Guy: Yeah.  

Liz Clifton: Yeah. And, you know, I tend to an extra, like little bit of snuggle time with Mikel. You know give him a little doggy massage, you know, and, and celebrate. It's, whatever feels good for you. There's things that just really bring you joy and you get to do them in relation to all those like wins. Because we have so many little wins every day. And as we acknowledge them, it makes us feel happier. So it makes everyone else feel happier, you know. And it's, yeah. It's just taking that time for me. That's like another part of their self-care is really celebrating all those things that you are doing amazingly.  

Stephie Guy: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. I had just hadn't hadn't twigged that just going and telling everybody in the family and like dancing around is part of celebrating.  

Liz Clifton: Yeah, absolutely.  Because it's, it's sharing it, you know, with other people. And then the, like the dancing around it's like it's a physical share, you know, you're using that sort of celebratory movement.  

Stephie Guy: Yeah. It's that  energy  you've got to get rid of that energy haven't you. That energy's got to come out. Yes.  

Liz Clifton: Yeah in a good way.  

Stephie Guy: Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah.  

Liz Clifton: I love that. And then it's also sort of like thinking of, things that can kind of nourish you extra. So it might be a really sort of delicious, healthy, you know, kind of piece of cake or foods, or, you know, like a drink it's or even visiting one of your favorite pieces. And it's just kind of having that sort of less do almost of joy for the experiences. And then when you've got those causes to celebrate, you can just pick off them. And it just, it just makes life more fun.  

Stephie Guy: Nice. Yeah. I like a list and I love a plan.  Excellent so plan and a list. So the plan is to make a list of joyful things and then to start ticking through them as you're celebrating your wins. Yes.  Fantastic.  

Liz Clifton: Well, thank you so, so much. Is there anything extra that you would like to share with the audience at all?  

Stephie Guy: Ooh. I think, that's it, that's a question. That you've floored me on that one. On the subject of self care I think we've covered that really, really well, but what I would like, oops, I've just bashed my microphone. What I would like is to, to, to think about your dog self care as well. So how can, how can we help our dogs to be feeling the same calmness that we can get from that self-care is to pass that onto our dogs. So giving them those mindful experiences too, and, and really listening, listening to the dog. Listening to what the dog needs, making sure those needs are met as well as our own needs. I think that's, that's so important.  

Liz Clifton: Yeah.  

Stephie Guy: And we can do that by, it doesn't have to be difficult. We can do that by giving them maybe a, an enrichment course. So we've had people in the dog world have heard about enriching your dog's lives.  So it's not just all about taking them for a walk. It's also about giving them things to think about and things that they can, you know, maybe different smells and it can be really simple. You can just go out on a, on a walk without your dog, gather up some different smells, bring them back and let them have that. You know, that, that mindful time of just oh investigating all those different smells. Can really help them to be calm, can help them to empty their minds as well. And, because sometimes if you find, if you've got a sensitive dog and you're out in nature, you can find that they can't empty their minds because they're just too hyped up about what was going on. But you can bring it back for them and then they can, they can have that experience of smelling those things in a, in a place, a space that is safe for them and give them that experience too. A little bit of meditation time for your dog.  

Liz Clifton: That's beautiful. and any sort of any housebound sort of animals, I guess, you know, obviously that smell, because we had our beautiful cat and she was, had to be sort of kept in the house because, you know, she could pass stuff on to other cats. And, you know, just having those things gives them that extra experience, even if they are kind of stuck inside.  

Stephie Guy: Absolutely. Absolutely. We do it for all of our animals. I do it for my budgie, I go out and I collect him things. He's the smallest creature in the house. That's the biggest room in the house. He's replying. He can, he can come and go around that room. As he, as he pleases, he's got his corner and he's his all, he was things up in that corner and I do this, I go out and bring him things in from outside and just put them in. It's an in his space, I wouldn't call it a cage. It is a cage, but it's open. It's got no lid on it. So it's just things to hang stuff on for him. So that he can get not as well, because he doesn't have a choice in this. He's in my house. He never, we've never asked to be bad. At least I can do is bring things in for him. 

Liz Clifton: There and it, it's just creating that space, like as natural as it can be and in a, for that, for our animals. And then for us, it's getting back out into nature because naturally as we can be. Because that's how we all find that balance. Yeah. Yeah. That's beautiful. Thank you so much again for your time. I so appreciate you sharing with us.  

Stephie Guy: You're so very, very welcome. Absolutely. And if anybody would like to, to talk to me more about getting your.com, just visit my website and click on there's a big purple button. You can't miss that, just click on that button and, and book yourself a call in with me it's completely free and we can have a chat about how you can get that calm time for you, for your dogs as well. Yeah. Oh my website, www.thoughtfulpaws.co.uk. That's how you get me.  

Liz Clifton: Perfect. And I'll put thatabove as well so that people can just click on the link.  

Stephie Guy: Fantastic.  

Liz Clifton: Thank you so much again, Stephie.  

Stephie Guy: Thank you for inviting me along. It's been really good. Really enjoyed it.  

Liz Clifton: Thank you.