Habits & Health episode 73 with Rachel Beanland, a Public Health Doctor, coach, yoga & meditation teacher. Rachel supports women in medicine using evidence-based tools, and lives in an amazing cooperative neighbourhood in the Pyrenees.
In this episode we discuss:
- How doctors are trained and how that might be improved
- Meditation & yoga
- Living in a cooperative community in the mountains
73 – Rachel Beanland
[00:00:00] Tony Winyard: Habits Health episode 73.
[00:00:13] Tony Winyard: Welcome to another edition of Habits & health podcast. We give you ideas on ways you can change your behavior to improve your health and my guest today, dr. Rachel Beanland. She’s a public health doctor, a coach, a yoga and meditation teacher, which is quite an unusual combination. She supports women in medicine who are committed to personal development and looking to create mindful and sustainable change and using evidence-based tools. And she guides him to find balance when building their career. To live a life that they’re really wanting to live. So that’s this week’s episode with Rachel Beanland. Hope you enjoy this episode. And as usual, if you know anyone who would really enjoy some of the information that Rachel shares, please do share the episode with them
Habits & Health. My guest today, Rachel Beanland. How are you, Rachel?
[00:01:04] Rachel Beanland: I’m good. Thank you. Thank you so much for inviting me.
[00:01:07] Tony Winyard: It’s great to have you here. And you’re in, I was gonna say an exotic part of the world, would you consider it exotic?
[00:01:14] Rachel Beanland: Wow.
Um, I’m in the French. Pyrenees up in the mountains. It is very. in nature, I would say is the way to sum it up so I can see out of my window now I’m can see forests for quite some way and mountains and yeah, for me, that’s very grounding. This is the place that I find myself.
[00:01:35] Tony Winyard: was that a deliberate intention to move there?
[00:01:38] Rachel Beanland: Yeah. Yeah. So we moved to France eight years ago, mainly because we were spending more and more time here. And we were really drawn to the mountains. So even in the UK actually, which is where I’m from, I spent a lot of time, in north Wales going up to the lakes up in Scotland and yeah, for me, the mountains really allow me to feel grounded and centered.
So even in France, I’ve been drawn to spaces in the mountains. And then here we’re in the areas. Like a very rural part of France. And our intention here is to be able to live very closely with the land. So what we have is a sort of small kind of eco farm and we’re trying to produce most of our own veggies and fruit and.
Living in a bit of a, what some people would say alternative. I feel like it’s probably the way that, that the majority of people need to start thinking about living, being more respectful of the environment and thinking about what we’re doing every day and being more conscious, really.
[00:02:36] Tony Winyard: I think there’s some things we can explore there later in the episode. That sounds very good. A question for you. Who are you?
[00:02:43] Rachel Beanland: Wow. That’s a big question. Who am I okay. So I suppose I would say that I am someone who is trying to live this life that I’ve been given in the best way that I can to be able to make potentially an impact in the world that I live in. But at the same time, be very aware of my space, and I think that’s why I’m attracted to the mountains, cuz in a way the mountains remind you of how small you are.
And I think that, yeah, as a person, I really try to think about what I am, compared to, the people around me, the beings around me, nature, everything. So that’s who I am at the core, a very traditional answer. That would be what I do, but I like to try and separate myself from what I do and what I am as a being, I think.
[00:03:46] Tony Winyard: And it’s fascinating to hear how people interpret the question. And how different would you say you are now from say 10 years ago? 20 years.
[00:03:56] Getting in flow
[00:03:56] Rachel Beanland: Wow. Okay. Very different. I think. Although I think some of the things that I find myself. Enjoying now, that real joy. I suppose we talk about flow a lot. Don’t we, that sort of thing where you find yourself into that flow. Those are probably the things I did really enjoy, in my sort of early childhood, later childhood, but it’s quite funny cuz 20 years ago I’ve graduated from university.
So I’d qualified as a doctor and that was when I’d finished. I think my vision of the world was quite Different. My vision of what I could do as an individual was probably very different because I’d been trained to think in a certain way. And at the same time, I think for maybe the first 10 years of my career, I really struggled to try and feel like I could be myself in my role.
And I think a lot of us really struggle with that. Don’t we, it’s something that it does take time to really feel like you can be authentic and to find those environments where you feel like you can truly be yourself. So yeah, very interestingly probably quite different, I think from yeah, 20 years ago.
[00:05:03] Tony Winyard: but in a way, if you weren’t quite different, then that wouldn’t be good. I don’t think would
[00:05:07] Rachel Beanland: No. And I think that is the joy of life. Isn’t it for me, life is about adventure and exploration. I’ve lived in different countries. I love meeting different people. I think that’s the joy of online life really, isn’t it, in the world we’re in now you can connect to people all over the world, you and I are having this conversation through an online platform.
And I think without that sense of exploration and being inquisitive as. What if, what’s that about? I think life could feel quite I don’t think dull’s the right word, but I just feel like that is part of life learning, learning and trying. And sometimes things don’t work and you have to reassess and try again.
But yeah, I think if I was, if I hadn’t changed over 20 years, I’d probably be, want to know why
[00:05:55] Tony Winyard: When you first decided I’m gonna move to wherever, did you find it an easy decision or was that quite difficult?
[00:06:05] Rachel Beanland: I think I’m someone who makes decisions quite solidly. So sometimes it appears quite quick, I think, to other people, but they’re always thoughts that have been in my mind. And the idea of living in a different environment for me, whether that’s a different country or even a different city. Yes, there’s an element of unknown.
Isn’t there, there’s an element of like uncertainty, but I think in all of those moments, I’ve always tried to turn that on its head and just let the excitement of it take over the unknown. And yeah, I think I even now, when I make decisions about moving in places, it’s very much like that, I, and I think some of.
Confidence with my decision making comes from a sense of being confident about how I can be in a place.
So I’ve always thought of home really as more of not where you are, but how you are. So for me, that involves, my husband, the two of us being together and creating that sense of home,
Space obviously is a choice, but it doesn’t create that sense of home for me.
[00:07:18] Tony Winyard: And where were you before France? Okay.
[00:07:20] Working around the world
[00:07:20] Rachel Beanland: So I came from the UK before France, but very early on in my career, I spent some time in Honduras, so in central America, and then I also a little bit later on spent some time in South Africa. So I was always excited by these opportunities and just saw them as ways to see what was going on in the world and understand diversity of people, diversity of illness, diversity of life, really.
And I think, I don’t know where that necessarily came from, but it was something that I always found very interesting. Trying to understand things I suppose, from other people’s perspectives. And I think that’s really enriching, isn’t it? Particularly in the world we live in now where we’re so divided, it can sometimes be very difficult to think about other people.
And we often end up in our little tunnels of influence we, but I think the more you can see different things, the more it opens your eyes to be considerate and open to other human being.
[00:08:24] Graduating as a doctor
[00:08:24] Tony Winyard: You mentioned that you graduated as a doctor. I know that now you do much more than just, I wouldn’t say simply a doctor because that’s amazing as it is, but tell us about all the other things that you do apart from being a doctor.
[00:08:36] Rachel Beanland: Yeah. So I suppose my career as a doctor, I got super excited about global health and like the health of other populations. I really wanted to try and use my skills to help people everywhere, really not just in the UK. And so I trained in public health in the UK after I’d worked in hospitals for a period of time.
And that’s really given me that ability to look at prevention of illness, as well as the treatment side of things. And within that, now I work with global organizations. So I still do that. So I still go in my doctor role if you like for some of the time, but my own sort of journey of exploring. What I wanted to be like.
[00:09:16] Adding yoga and meditation
[00:09:16] Rachel Beanland: And, being more reflective led me to yoga and meditation. And that is where that side of my life started to become really important to me. So I would say probably over the last 15 years, but really heavily over the last 10 years, I started to build up a really regular yoga practice. And then that sort of expanded once I explored the philosophies and the kind of understanding around it.
So I trained to be a yoga teacher and a meditation teacher. And now I combine both of my worlds to support other doctors who are trying to transition into different careers, because I’ve been able to find my sort of own little path through a career, which can feel quite fixed and rigid.
A lot. I believe a lot of that has come from what I’ve learned from yoga and that approach to life. So I now combine that with my coaching, with other doctors to support them through a lot of their transitions, to be able to get more control of their time, find that work life balance that they might be looking for.
[00:10:22] Tony Winyard: Yeah, because doctors it’s crazy from the get, go from the initial studying they’re expected to work ridiculous hours. The whole thing about being a doctor is helping people be healthy and the training that you’re going through and those hours that they’re having to work is not healthy in any way that it’s it’s setting people up with the expectation not to be healthy yourself.
It seems to me.
[00:10:44] Rachel Beanland: I think that can be a real challenge for people actually, because if I look back at some of the jobs I did, where I was doing, really intense shifts, it’s a real privilege to be in that position as a doctor, you’re really caring for people and often you are supporting people through really traumatic periods of their lives, but you need the energy to give to other people.
So if you don’t have that internal energy yourself coming from a healthy place, eventually it can be very draining. And I did find that for myself, I found that it was, I would often give, and I wouldn’t be really be looking after my own. Be it, my physical health or my mental health. And I think a lot of people can fall into that trap where they are.
[00:11:23] Reflecting on priorities
[00:11:23] Rachel Beanland: And I suppose that’s also a lot of other caring professions who people give a lot and don’t have the energy to really sit down and then reflect on what is the priority. But I do believe that, we all can improve our own health by doing very simple things. And by doing that, we have so much more to be able to share with people and for doctors, that means that you can then be a role model for your patients, for your community, for society in general.
So I do think there’s a sort of two aspects to it. There’s one there’s that sort of as an individual being the healthiest you can, but then actually. The more we can do that as doctors, the better we can be for our patients.
[00:12:08] Changes Rachel would make to how doctors are trained
[00:12:08] Tony Winyard: Talking about studying to be a doctor. If you were given the powers, some fairy, godmother, whatever gave you these powers that you could change the way that people study to be a doctor in the UK. What changes would you make?
[00:12:22] Rachel Beanland: That’s a wonderful question. I think I would really try to readdress the balance between looking at illness and looking at health and maintaining health. Because when I studied, the amount of time we spent on thinking about prevention and thinking about maintaining wellbeing was so small, it was like, maybe a sort of eight week course with one folder.
Sorry. I went too diversity before laptop, so I just realized a lot of people listening, thinking, oh, should talk about a folder, like a ring binder. And I, I guess now we live in a world where there is so much available to us. There’s so much information out there that there is a lot of things that we do in our lives that can be detrimental to our.
There’s also so much information and evidence to show us what to do and what not to do. So we have all of this at our fingertips, but I think that we all need that support to be healthier, to be in that state of wellness. So I think that’s what I would bring in if I could really. And I think it is better these days.
There’s a lot more movement towards lifestyle medicine and thinking about, different aspects like sleep and stress and movement and how that affects you. But I think really getting doctors to think about prevention of illness and not just the treatment aspect of it. Obviously we need drugs.
We need research into good drugs. And the treatment is essential and surgeries, et cetera. But without the other part of it, we are not gonna be able to increase the overall health of the population in any country.
[00:14:06] Tony Winyard: So the way you work now, you mentioned that you are training other doctors. Have you got just general patients as well? I What, how is it? You
[00:14:16] Rachel’s work model
[00:14:16] Rachel Beanland: So all my public health work is very much a sort of research level policy level. So I don’t see patients one to one anymore. So all of that is done completely remotely. Occasionally I go to big meetings and things, but most of it’s done remotely. And I work because I always had an interest in infectious diseases.
So I work a lot at the moment, a lot with COVID. But my expertise really is in HIV and TB. So I work a lot with organizations that are looking at policies and guidelines for those illnesses. And then. Yeah. When I work with doctors, I do a lot of one to one work because I’ve realized that really helps people to move through some of their challenges and barriers that they’re facing and break down some of those beliefs that might be holding them back from making a change that they really want to do.
And the delight of that is that I can do that online as well. That really allows me, to live where I want to live, where I feel most nourished and which is here with the, forest and the mountain.
[00:15:10] Getting into breathwork
[00:15:10] Tony Winyard: So when was it that you got into the yoga, the meditation, the breathwork.
[00:15:15] Rachel Beanland: I’d always been really interested, but I felt very intimidated by actually. So even at university, I can remember doing a few classes here and there. When I was doing lots of work in hospitals, I would sometimes see classes, but I’d always be super busy. So sometimes I’d book a class and then I’d cancel it, or I wouldn’t go.
Cause I was really not very good at prioritizing, my own wellbeing at that point. And then when I had took a shift out of that setting, and then I did a research post, so I had a bit more of a kind of, nine to five job for a period of time. I was able to then start doing some of these things.
So I started to go to a class regularly. And I think that was about 15 years ago, that started for me. And it just, yeah, it’s just started very gently, really. And for a long time, it was much more of a physical practice. So I would just go to classes or do videos at home. And then my meditation practice was part of my yoga, but my meditation, then I would say probably over the last five years.
Has really developed into a tool, which for me now is probably even more important than my movement practice.
[00:16:26] Tony Winyard: And did the breath work come around the same time as that, or was that later?
[00:16:30] Rachel Beanland: Yeah, I would say the breathwork came a similar time to the meditation in its depth. But interestingly, I’d been exposed to breathwork during some of my work, actually. I was based in leads for a period of time and we were involved in this small study where we were looking at. Nurses health I in the hospital there.
And as part of it, someone came in and they were teaching some mindfulness techniques and they taught a really simple breathwork technique, which is, the square breath where you hold your breath and then breathe out and then hold again and breathe in. And. I just adopted it without really thinking too much about it.
And it was something that I’d often just go back to if I got really stressed, I’d just think about this breath and just try it. So I was doing it without really linking it to breath work and But I think over the, probably, yeah, over the last five years, that’s become, I suppose I’ve learned more about it.
I’ve learned more in term when I did my yoga teacher training, I was very fortunate to be sharing that with teachers and being taught by really teachers who are very keen on parts of breathwork and incorporating that into yoga. So that, that those aspects have really developed much more strongly for me in the last five years, I’d say.
[00:17:43] Tony Winyard: You said they’ve developed more strongly for you in the last five years, would you say more doctors have a greater awareness of the power, or how beneficial breathwork can be in the last few years as.
[00:17:54] Rachel Beanland: Yeah, I think so. I I think a lot of these holistic tools and approaches have probably become more. I don’t really like the word mainstream, but I guess there’s an element of, there’s more talk about it. There’s more conversations about it, I think the power of some of the social media platforms helps, YouTube is an amazing platform for all of these techniques, really, for trying different parts of it.
So I do think in general, people are much more aware of these things and yes, there is definitely a proportion of doctors who are now looking to bring in some of those holistic approaches, particularly I think a lot of GP’s who see patients coming back to them a lot of the time and realizing that there are aspects of maybe stress, anxiety that are contributing to how a patient is feeling, that the benefit of some of these techniques can be really fantastic for people because a lot of the time they’re free. And they have very few side effects and they can be things that people can learn for themselves and implement every day. And so I think that increasingly there is a proportion of the sort of medical world that’s starting to try and incorporate these things.
I know that there’s a lot of talk, particularly in the states as well, but I think in the UK around the sort of healthy prescriptions, prescribing some of these, the lifestyle things, it’s a bit like The park runs. I know that there’s also that element of giving people opportunities to try out different approaches that they can use themselves.
I think that could be quite empowering for people.
[00:19:27] Tony Winyard: Mm. So you talked about that when you first started discovering meditation and breath work and so on. And was that cause of a health issue that you went into that did you have some health issues yourself previously?
[00:19:40] Controlling anger
[00:19:40] Rachel Beanland: No, not really. I think for meditation I didn’t really have any health issues, but I think I always felt quite angry, which strange thing to say, but I used to yeah, I I was a very calm person externally, but internally I always felt a little bit angry I
[00:19:56] Tony Winyard: with yourself or with the world.
[00:19:58] Rachel Beanland: I think, with the world.
Yeah. And sometimes with myself and I think the meditation, I was starting to do my yoga teach training. And one of the yoga teachers that was training me was really heavily into meditation. And it was actually a form of meditation that I don’t practice now, but it started to show me the benefit of being still and just coming into that sort of state of observation and real kind of being rather than doing.
So that just suddenly opened something for me. And it was like someone had just pulled the curtains really to just give me this sense of space, because I think I always used to run around a little bit, hoping that someone would press a pause button for me on life and that I could catch up and then I discovered meditation and for me it just, it really gives me that sense of stillness and peace and grounding. And I just started to add it into my day. So very small amounts to begin with, are just five minutes a day. And then that’s built up over time to now I practice about half an hour a day sometimes more than once a day, but it is interesting. You talk about health issues because last year, I had a, quite a traumatic accident and I fractured both my wrists and one of my vertebrae in my spine. So it was really interesting for me to see immediately after I had done this accident, the first things that came into my, my were mind were breathing and trying to get into that state of meditation to be able to come into, and it was that stated acceptance really of what was going on. But I also found it incredibly helpful for pain relief and just in general for sort of overall healing and taking that time to really get back to the level I wanted to be at. So it’s been interesting to see, cuz I always had this sense that, and I tell people this all the time, that the more you practice these things, the more they’re there for you when you need.
But I had, going through something like that makes you really realize that, that I think that is really true.
[00:22:17] Being rather than doing
[00:22:17] Tony Winyard: For people, maybe who aren’t into meditation, you mentioned just now, about getting more into the being rather than the doing. And some people might not understand that. So could you elaborate.
[00:22:28] Rachel Beanland: Yeah. So the way I see meditation is really taking that time to be still that stillness we’re our heads are always so full of thoughts, and most of us live either in the past where we’re rethinking things that have happened, or we’re starting to think about the future, making lists about what we must do in the, the afternoon or the day ahead.
And I think what meditation allows us to do is to come back to that present moment, to be really in that present moment and to sit with whatever is going on. And that’s what I feel that being is about, which isn’t always comfortable. And I think that is something that sometimes people can find with meditation that, their thoughts may still come and go.
But it’s about being accepting of that state and allowing things to come up. And for me, that is the real beauty of it because, sometimes I meditate and it’s, I have millions of things that are coming in and I have to, it sometimes feels really hard. Other times it’s really easy, but afterwards there’s always a sense of clarity and the benefit continues for the rest of the day.
Really. So I would recommend anyone who’s interested to, to just try, because there are so many different types of meditation that there is really something that I think that people can find that works for them that might look very different for different people.
[00:23:52] A tip for to make meditation a habit
[00:23:52] Tony Winyard: What tips would you give people who do want to start? And they’ve struggled for whatever reason.
[00:23:58] Rachel Beanland: So one of the things I find really helpful is to create a very small ritual attached to it. So for me, that’s just the same place that I go to. And the same cushion that I sit on and it is no more complicated than that, but by doing that, I think it prepares you, so it prepares you to have your moment and for people who have got, busy households or families, and they’ve got lots going on, I think finding that space where you know that you can be undisturbed can be so helpful. And the other thing I think is really important is not putting that huge expectation on yourself that you’re gonna do an hour every day. It’s so easy to start like that. Isn’t it with anything with it? Oh, I do an hour every day. It’d be brilliant, just start with something that’s really simple a minute, just start with a minute.
It and by doing that, see, start to see how it feels and start to see. What you enjoy about it, what you don’t. And then I think you can start to look at different types of add it in, but really start simply and just get that regularity of that habit coming into your day.
[00:25:07] Benefits of a regular yoga practice
[00:25:07] Tony Winyard: And what about for yoga? What benefits? So maybe someone’s listening who’s dabbled or maybe never done yoga. What benefits could a regular yoga practice give them?
[00:25:20] Rachel Beanland: So I, I think it, again, really goes to that state of meditation and breath because the practice of yoga moving is really about connecting to the body and listening to your body, which is a thing I think a lot of us have lost that ability to do yes, it can be a very powerful practice. It can be great for getting stronger.
If that’s something that somebody wants to do, it can be really good for flexibility as well. But. Actually, what I see as the benefit of it is that time for yourself to connect to your body, to feel what your body is like. And by going through these postures and breathing at the same time, I think it can really help with underlying stress underlying anxiety and just give us that space again.
So for me, it’s when I roll that mat out, it’s this is me. This is where I am at this minute. And I try to forget everything else that’s going on and just be present with my mat and give myself that time to really tune in. And I think the more you practice it, the more you can really understand what you need.
And then some days maybe you need to just, lie down and do, Chava the end of the practice, where you’re just lying flat on the floor and that can be really restorative for you. Other days, maybe you really need something that’s energizing and that gives you a sense of, you know, activity and giving you more energy for the day ahead.
So I think again, it’s about exploring and we are so fortunate that there’s so many yoga teachers and there’s so much out there to try. It’s just really I found it quite intimidating to begin with. I think people can feel like it’s what are these people doing? It’s just getting over that initial, worry about that I think.
[00:27:02] Why people can feel they’re not meditating correctly
[00:27:02] Tony Winyard: And I guess it’s partly the media presenting these images of people sitting, for meditation sitting cross-legged and being perfectly still. And so that kind of increases people’s stress out. I’m not doing it right. Or it’s I can’t do that.
[00:27:16] Rachel Beanland: Yeah. I used to think that about people meditating. I did a small piece of work in Nepal once and it was amazing to watch the monks sitting for long periods of time. And I think it stuck in my head so much that I just could. I thought how at earth can I sit still for that long? There’s an absolutely zero way I can do that.
Cuz I was always someone who was, busy. . But actually interestingly, once I started it then became really attractive to me to understand what it was like to sit for much longer periods of time. And so I have done some silent retreats where you really do sit for the day. So you’re sitting for, hour, two hours at a time meditation, and it’s really in, it’s very interesting.
To see how your body responds to that experience. So for me, it’s been a very intrigue. It’s also intriguing. I still like to try different approaches because I think that’s the, like we were saying before, it’s the joy of life, really, to continue to see how you respond to things and learn from trying out different approaches.
[00:28:14] Using yoga and meditation to help with anxiety, stress
[00:28:14] Tony Winyard: In, especially in the last couple of years with the whole COVID thing, a lot of people are much more anxiety, more, got more stress in their lives. Adding a daily yoga meditation practice can only help surely with those, the stress and the anxiety and so on.
[00:28:29] Rachel Beanland: Yeah. I think it is there’s studies. So, you know, There’s research studies to show that it really does make a difference. So it doesn’t have to be a huge amount in your day. It could be 10, 15. but these practices, what I think, what they all do is they give us that time for our nervous system to calm down if you like.
So if we think about what happens when we get overly stimulated, whether that’s just scrolling on our phones or whether that’s, picking up calls or the time or being frantic or work, or having demands for whatever you’re being asked to do, you’re constantly in. Sense of responding. So your heart rate always elevated your nervous.
System’s kind of on edge. You’re like thinking what’s next. And we’ve all been in that really across the time with the pandemic, because there was so much uncertainty that we were, you worry about loved ones. You worried about when you’re gonna see people, you worried about your own health.
So these practices, which really calm down our nervous system are not just beneficial for the moment where we’re doing them. But they’re also beneficial for the time when we’re not doing them. And I think that’s the real positive for me with some of these practices, because like I said, they, there are very few side effects of doing these practices.
Yes, obviously you don’t start doing a really active yoga class. If you don’t do a lot of physical activities, try something that’s very gentle to begin with, but most people can probably find a yoga teacher and explain to them. Explain to the yoga teacher, what you’re looking for and make sure that what they’re offering is the right thing for you.
And I think that’s the beauty of things, find a beginner’s class, find something simple where other people are gonna be learning alongside you.
[00:30:09] Resources for yoga
[00:30:09] Tony Winyard: And you’ve got some resources around that as well haven’t you?
[00:30:13] Rachel Beanland: Yeah. So I’ve got a really nice little PDF, which has got six simple exercises that you can do in the morning. And it’s really about energizing. It’s all based on the spine. So it’s like the six different movements of the spine. So it’s just really simple way to start getting connected to one part of your body without thinking, like you said that you need to be able to do some dramatic pose.
To be able to do yoga. So yeah, I will definitely give you the link for that, that you can share with your listeners.
[00:30:40] Tony Winyard: And going back to talking about working with clients and. I think you said you’re mostly working online, but do you still work one to one with people as well?
[00:30:49] Living in a cooperative community
[00:30:49] Rachel Beanland: I sometimes do yoga one to one at the moment. I find that’s very different to what I’m doing online because that’s within my community here. So yeah, we live in a community that is very rural and there’s also a lot of exchange going on in the community rather than monetary value to things.
So I do teach one to one with some people in our community, which is, gives me that ti chance to continue helping people move in that environment. I. As much as I love doing things online, it is different to be in person with people as well.
[00:31:23] Tony Winyard: It’s fascinating when you just said about the kind of exchange, are you talking about like in a kind of bartering system?
[00:31:29] Rachel Beanland: Yeah. Yeah, we, it’s I would say it comes from a sense of taking away value to something, but valuing everything, but not in a monetary. So for instance, our neighbors will bring us Kott plants to plant in the garden. We might share some of our produce with them. Our other neighbors would bring their goats down for, to eat some of the grass here.
We might go and help someone for a day to chop some wood. It’s part of the reason we moved here because it does really show you the. Benefits of what I suppose is that social capital of that social interaction and that sense of community, which I think is so important on your wellbeing and it’s something I’ve always sought really in places that I’ve lived and often really struggled to find.
And it’s interesting cuz we are in a very rural place here. So some of our neighbors are, half a kilometer up the road. Yeah. I feel more, a more sense of community here than I did maybe when I was living really close to people in a city or a town. And I think, yeah, we know that sense of community can be so important on your wellbeing and the things like loneliness and happiness levels and things.
So it is really interesting here to see how that plays out in different.
[00:32:53] Tony Winyard: It sounds amazing. And did, were you aware that was a situation before you moved. Wow.
[00:32:59] Rachel Beanland: Yeah, we were. So this area is very known for being it’s very into sort of organic food, organic ways of farming. And so I suppose, yeah, over the last it’s also about 15 years, but we, myself and my husband just became more and more interested in what we were. Eating and how that was linked to the environment.
And also we’ve become more and more aware of our, how our activities impact the environment. So it was really important for us to try and find a community where other people were also aware of those things and also doing things that we feel are positive to try and create a better community, a better.
A better planet, if you like, instead of living somewhere where that we felt very different and it was always harder to do those things that we wanted to do.
[00:33:56] Rachel’s balance between working as a doctor and a coach
[00:33:56] Tony Winyard: Your work now, are you more coaching or more still practicing as a doctor? Where is the balance now?
[00:34:05] Rachel Beanland: I would say the balance is about 50 50. So even my week probably looks like that. I do about 50% of it with coaching clients and then 50% of it I will do on public health work. Sometimes that changes in the seasons. If I get, depending on what’s coming up, But it’s a nice balance for me. I think I was always, I’ve always been someone who likes quiet time and then likes interaction.
So actually I get the best of both worlds, really having those two different aspects to my work.
[00:34:37] Tony Winyard: What do you get from doing a coaching? Why do you enjoy that? What aspect of it
[00:34:41] Rachel Beanland: I think some of that is that sort of one to one, which I guess is why I was really drawn to medicine. I really loved that interaction with a patient. So I suppose that part of it is that listening to someone and seeing someone. And being able to help them to get through their challenges and see their way forward is very fulfilling.
I think, and knowing that I can do that for my peers
Is I just feel is, you know, I’ve got this experience that I’ve been through. So to be able to share it with them, feels like a privilege, really, cuz I do think in this world, there’s very little that we invent isn’t there. Most of the time, it’s just things that someone else has taught us that we are teaching.
And I think that is part of I suppose our legacy in life really is that we keep teaching other people and sharing our experiences and doing what we can to support other people’s lives as.
[00:35:36] helping people with behaviour change
[00:35:36] Tony Winyard: And when you are coaching, how easy or difficult is it to help people change behavior?
[00:35:41] Rachel Beanland: Yeah, I think it can be, it’s really challenging. I think all of us know that behavior change can be challenging. I think it can be hard if also it comes along with. Beliefs that hold you back. And I find that with a lot of my clients, is that because the biggest part that they want to change is often parts of their career to look at different jobs or to explore more holistic approaches, maybe in the way that they’re looking after their patients.
It’s very. Scary for them to step outside of what they perceive as stable, what they perceive as normal and what they perceive as what they should be doing or looking at those expectations that they may be placing on themselves, or they perceive other people placing on them. So it’s definitely can be a challenge, but I think it’s about working to try and uncover what.
Beliefs are and why they’re there. And to really also focus on where people want to get to, because I think the more clarity you can have on your vision and what that feels like for you, then you’ve got a real motivator to make a change. And I think that can be the bit that really helps people move from one place to another.
And then the other thing which I think is really key about all behavior change, making those steps and actioning it, but making it really small. So we are not trying to jump ahead into big change without really just breaking it down into much smaller chunks, to be able to feel positive about what we’re doing. And I also think like increasing the positivity rather than focusing on the negativity. I think that’s something we often do with Habits. it’s very easy to think, oh, I don’t want to do this. And I wish I didn’t do this, so I’m gonna try not to do that. It’s all very negative. Whereas if we can spin it to a positive of, I’d like to bring more joy into my life.
I’d like to be more present for my family and my children. I want to nourish myself more. There’s a real positivity there. And I think that can really help bringing those positive things into your life. Usually by doing that, the negative things will step.
[00:38:02] Tony Winyard: When you’ve been working with people, whether it be in a coaching capacity or as a doctor and people find out more about your, what sounds like an amazing location and the neighbors and everything. It, I wonder, has anyone actually been tempted to move there because it sounds so good?
[00:38:17] Rachel Beanland: I suppose the way we are living here is. For some people feels very different and interesting. So I think we get lots of people wanted to come for retreats or holidays to dip into it, which is wonderful because we also really believe that it’s important that we share what we are trying to do. We don’t have all the answers by any means.
We’re just trying to try different approaches to whether that’s energy use or water or food or whatever it is here. No one’s moved yet, but who knows? We’ll see, see, with our summer visitors, we’ve got friends coming in their camper events from the UK who knows they might not go back.
[00:38:57] Tony Winyard: I remember I lived in quite a few countries one of the places I lived in Indonesia. And there were so many people who came out there just to visit friends and just never went back. There were so many people.
[00:39:09] Rachel Beanland: Come with their one backpack and stay for years. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:39:13] Tony Winyard: yeah. Changing the subject is there a book that’s moved you for any reason that you can think.
[00:39:20] Book recommendation: Will your way back – James H Osborne
[00:39:20] Rachel Beanland: Yeah. So this book, which is called will your way back is written by a guy called James Osborne. And I read this last year when I was recovering from my accident and he. Tells his own story of a very freak accident, which is, most accidents are they’re things that just happen to us, but it’s very much about his recovery from a spinal injury.
And he was a very physical person who was very into sports. So it’s his recovery. And I think what’s inspiring to me. And the reason that it moved me is I think it shows the sort of tenacity and the determination of him. At the same time, there were so many moments in his recovery where things changed and he had to adapt and he had to find that sort of sense of inner resilience to keep moving forward.
But at the same time, except also what was difficult and challenging. And I think that’s got a lot of lessons that it was really helpful for me to read in my own recovery, but I think it can. Really inspiring for people when they’re going through any challenges. It doesn’t have to be a physical challenge necessarily, but I think some of those lessons can be really helpful to give people the motivation to keep going.
[00:40:37] Rachel’s contact details
[00:40:37] Tony Winyard: So if people want to find out more about you or maybe work with you, where would they go to?
[00:40:43] Rachel Beanland: So my brand is called resilience, yoga. My website is www.resilienceyoga.fr cause I’m in France and I’m also on Facebook. So I’m Rachel Beanland on Facebook. So if people want to contact me, they can contact me through my website and it’s easy to send me a a little message there or they can DM me on Facebook and it’d be happy to chat with anyone who wants to find out.
[00:41:02] Tony Winyard: We’ll include the resources you mentioned before about the meditation and stuff. They’ll be in, in show notes. So if anyone’s looking for that along, obviously with a transcript and everything, so just before we finish, is there a quotation that you particularly like?
[00:41:16] Rachel’s favourite quote
[00:41:16] Rachel Beanland: Yeah. So the quotation I’m gonna share with you is a quotation from Andrew Zali. So Andrew Zali is really I dunno whether people will know him, but he does a lot of sustainability and global impact initiatives. So his quote is sustainability aims to put the world back into balance and resilience looks for ways to manage in the imbalanced world.
So the reason that I’m sharing that with you is that For me resilience. And obviously I’ve called my brand resilience yoga, but resilience is really, I think something that we should all be looking at in terms of the future of what the planet looks like and how we as individuals and communities can be more resilient to the things that come our way, whether that’s the things in our personal life or the things, in the world around.
But for me, that quote really, brings home that sense of trying to find that balance.
[00:42:13] Tony Winyard: Did you come across that quote before you’d named your company? Or was it after. Yeah,
[00:42:18] Rachel Beanland: Afterwards, but yeah, my husband actually shared the quote with me. So yeah, it was after I’d already named the company. So it just really, yeah, I suppose it, what it does is it pulls together all the different aspects of my life, really in how we’re living, what my work focuses on. So it’s, yeah, it’s a nice, it’s a nice create that I like to.
[00:42:39] Tony Winyard: it is a nice ride. Rachel, thank you. Thank you very much for your time. And best of luck for the.
[00:42:44] Rachel Beanland: Thank you. Thank you so much for inviting me. It’s been so nice to chat to you.
[00:42:49] Tony Winyard: Next week Mark Young episode 74, who joined the Zona health team in 2016. With the purpose of making zona plus a household name. So we’re going to find out what is zona plus and who are zone health? What is it? They do? They’ve do a lot of things that help people. They’ve got passion for education.
They improve people’s health. And education is the real key to how they help improve people health. So that’s next week episode 74 with Mark Young.
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