Connection | Personal Growth | The Big Eat Co.

Jun 12, 2024 | 0 comments

Wow! May went by so quickly at Isorropia. Firstly, our apologies for the delay in getting May’s blog post to you, annual leave within the Team means we’re running a bit behind, but we are catching up now!

The weather is getting warmer and the days are brighter, which is such a mood booster! Personally, May was a month filled with new responsibilities at work. It’s been a rollercoaster ride with ups and downs, but I’m embracing it as a learning experience. Every day brings new challenges, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to grow. Of course, there are moments when self-doubt creeps in, but thankfully, I have an amazing team that supports me and helps me find my way. I understand that opening up and being vulnerable with the people I trust is essential for personal growth. However, it’s not always easy for me to do. Despite these challenges, I am gradually learning to overcome them by taking on tasks that challenge and prove my negative beliefs wrong. 

Let's talk about Connection...

Connection is a topic that frequently comes up in our workshops at Isorropia, emphasising the significance of connecting with others. It can be quite daunting if you’re like me and have distanced yourself from people for a long time. When I first joined Isorropia as a member, my intention was to avoid everyone, stay silent, and never form any friendships. If you struggle with friendships, like I have in the past, you might think that isolating yourself is the best way to deal with it, right? How mistaken I was!

Being in the presence of others sometimes frightens me and causes genuine concern, often leading me to withdraw. However, I have come to realise that one of the most crucial aspects of life is connecting with others. As humans, we thrive on connection. One thing I truly appreciate about Isorropia is that we quickly learn in our workshops that we are not alone. I have always placed pressure on myself, thinking “I should have friends,” “why don’t I have close friendships like them,” “why don’t I fit in,” and “why is it so difficult to be liked?”

These have been ongoing struggles for me since childhood. Enduring severe bullying throughout my middle and high school years has greatly impacted my ability to trust, form relationships, communicate, and even like myself. Overcoming these challenges, as well as my fear of abandonment, has been a true battle when it comes to being around others.

I’ve realised during this journey that connection isn’t about forcing ourselves into deep, meaningful relationships. I used to have high expectations for friendships, focusing on how they should appear and feel. However, when I did form a bond with someone, I became overly reliant on them, expecting too much and giving too much, which ultimately led to an unhealthy dynamic and pain when it ended. 

I didn’t realise that by participating in workshops, I was already connecting with people, even if I didn’t speak. Seeing the wellbeing coaches and members each time I attended the workshops was a form of connection. I’ve learned that I don’t have to be best friends with someone to feel connected. Being in this environment has helped me slowly break down some of the walls I’ve built around myself, allowing me to be vulnerable and trust like-minded individuals at a distance that feels comfortable for me.

Since becoming a wellbeing coach a challenge I have faced has been allowing myself to connect with others. However, I started doing it at a pace that is comfortable for me, which is ok! I have understood that liking my own company isn’t a bad thing. I can create boundaries and not put to many expectations on myself or other people, and that’s ok. Slowly, I have built more meaningful relationships with others, and although it’s been a challenge, I have found some great connections. 

This has enabled me to share the challenges I face with people whom I trust. I’ve opened up to them, revealing glimpses of my true self. I’ve discussed my boundaries and comfort zones, and gradually, I’m discovering that I can cultivate genuine and nourishing friendships.

I’ve discovered that true friendship is all about balance, setting boundaries, empathy, trust, respect, and being genuine. Above all, I’ve learned the importance of being in relationships that uplift and support you, where you can grow together – that’s the kind of tribe you should seek out.

Throughout my journey, I’ve had to make some tough choices. I had to end certain family relationships that were not benefiting me, but rather dragging me down and causing me pain. In those instances, I prioritised myself, and it’s important to note that it’s not selfishness but self-awareness. I value myself enough to understand that I deserve to be treated better, and I have enough respect for myself.

“There are three solutions to every problem: accept it, change it, or leave it. If you can’t accept it, change it. If you can’t change it, leave it.”

Author Unknown

“How can anyone like you, if you don’t like yourself first?”

I’ve heard this statement countless times, and as much as I hate to admit it, I find it undeniably true. The key lesson is that in order for others to like and respect you, you must first like and respect yourself. It’s crucial to cultivate a genuine friendship with yourself, being kind, honest, and compassionate towards your own being.

This lesson has been the most challenging for me to learn, but it’s also the most important. The friendship we have with ourselves is the most significant one we’ll ever experience in our entire lives because we are the ones we live with, and when we depart from this world, we depart with that friendship. We don’t take anyone else with us, only ourselves. So, let’s strive to make our minds a positive and welcoming place by learning to genuinely like ourselves first.

Currently, I am focusing on practicing self-acceptance. I have always compared myself to others and tried to conform to everyone’s standards, which is exhausting and makes me feel inauthentic. It’s a gradual process, but I am finally learning to embrace my true self without pretending or hiding. In those moments of doubt, it’s important to show yourself compassion. When you’re ready to embark on this journey, remember that it won’t be smooth sailing, but it will lead to a healthier relationship with yourself and others.

For more on self compassion and journaling with compassion please have a read of my February blog.

Our workshop on building healthy relationships is an excellent opportunity to delve into the dynamics of both unhealthy and healthy relationships. Additionally, our workshop on effective communication will provide valuable insights into expressing your needs more effectively. The workshop on confidence and self-esteem aims to assist you in recognising and addressing any negative beliefs you may hold, while also empowering you to enhance your self-esteem.

Meet the Team: Becky

Becky, our neurodiversity lead and exceptional senior wellbeing coach, is truly one of a kind. She exudes kindness, intelligence, and compassion, always putting others before herself. Becky’s warm personality and funny quirks make her a beloved figure in the office, where she never fails to make everyone feel at home. Her wealth of knowledge on neurodiversity studies is truly impressive, making her an invaluable resource for all of us.

Job Role

Senior Wellbeing Coach

What is your favourite workshop?

Effective Communication

What keeps you well?

 I have a lot of tools I use to keep me well, one of them is taking time for myself to recharge my batteries, it is so important for me, I get very drained socialising, so I have to make sure I have me time in between. This can look like, walking in nature, I do this every single day (when I can) on my own, listening to an audio book, through a forest or marshland. Making sure I schedule in ‘quiet times’ where I cannot be around people and just be alone (with my cats!). 

Even sitting in the car for 10 minutes once I’ve parked up, if I’m pushed for time can really help. 

What is your favourite quote?

“This too shall pass.” – King Solomon.  

About Becky

I have 2 children and 3 cats, I enjoy walking anywhere that’s open and green, love a ramble through a forest or sludging through mud! I love Pokémon Go, I’ve been playing since 2015. I love Marvel, science and reading. I am passionate about all things Neurodivergent. I enjoy raising money for charity and try to get involved where I can. 

More than anything I love helping and supporting people who may be struggling with their mental health or wellbeing. 

Connection is a tricky one for me, I have struggled with this for as long as I can remember. I found it hard to connect with people as I always felt different from others, I always felt like an outsider, I could never quite fit in with my peers. So early on I discovered that if I changed who I was, and made myself more like them, I was more accepted. I did this for many years. However, I began to realise that by doing this, I wasn’t being me, no one knew who I really was, and I felt very lonely. I also realised that at times, I was going against my own morals and values just to fit in. It was exhausting and I began to wonder if my ‘friends’ only liked me for who I was being and would they even like the authentic me? Another big question I had was, is it a real connection if it’s not the real me? I struggled with this for many years. 

Then in my mid-thirties I found out I was Autistic, I learned what Masking was and realised I’d been doing this since I was a child. I decided I wanted to try and unmask, at least a little, to let people see me. This was harder than I thought, it wasn’t even something I was consciously doing, and I had no idea how to stop. 

3 years ago, I came to work for Isorropia, straight away I saw there was no judgement here. People were so accepting and so caring. Very slowly I began to notice that I could show parts of me I’d kept hidden, I could talk about Pokémon and cats passionately without being laughed at. I could reel of facts and figures from the latest studies I’d read, I could show my more vulnerable side without judgement. I could share my intense need for routine and be understood. I could voice when I was overwhelmed, and I could use fidget toys in front of people for the first time. (These are a lifesaver for me, I can’t do a workshop without them!) Not only was I accepted but I was liked, I felt real connection with others and was able to be my authentic quirky self. This has helped me with a very important connection, the connection with myself. Its helping me to connect to who I truly am, under the mask, as I haven’t really known for a long time. This Is just the start of a long journey but one I am excited about. 

Journaling for Reflecting on Social Interactions

  1. When was the last time you genuinely listened to during a conversation?
  2. Share an interaction that left you feeling full of joy.
  3. Which topics do you find easy to discuss, and which ones do you find more challenging?
  4. Describe a recent encounter where you felt completely at ease. What contributed to that feeling?
  5. Reflect on a recent conversation that didn’t go as planned. If you could change something about it, what would it be?
  6. Recall a time when you felt proud of how you handled a social situation.
  7. Describe a recent moment when you felt a deep connection with someone. What factors contributed to that bond?
  8. Do you notice any recurring patterns in how people react to you? If so, what are they?
  9. Think about a time when you assisted someone else. How did it make you feel?
  10. Have you ever received a compliment that stayed with you? What was it about?
  11. Can you think of a time when you misinterpreted someone’s actions? What did you learn from that experience?
  12. Recall a moment when you shared laughter with someone. What was the catalyst for that laughter?
  13. Write about an interaction that prompted personal growth or a new understanding.

Personality Types

The team recently participated in an awesome activity exploring our various colour personality types. I’ve included a link below where you can try it out yourself. I had a blast taking part in it and found it fascinating to discover the different personality types within our office. I’m curious to know what colour you are, and let’s see if anyone can guess mine! Click HERE to check it out.

Introducing the Big Eat Co.

The end of May marked the start of the Big Eat Co. offering delicious lunch options at Medina Valley Centre!

It’s off to a great start! Mark at the Big Eat Co is doing a wonderful job providing amazing meals and drinks. I would recommend the lemon cheesecake it’s delicious!

With over three decades of culinary experience, Mark, the brains behind and owner of the Big Eat Company, is transformaing catering with his innovative, flavour-filled approach. His focus on sustainability and ethical eating shines in every dish, using local ingredients and supporting the low food mile movement. The result? Plates that taste great and promote environmental responsibility.

But don’t take our word for it, come down to Medina Valley Centre and try it yourself!

Operating Hours

Drinks: 10:30 - 13:00

Lunch: 12:00 - 13:00

Monday - Friday

Sample Menu

  • Sandwiches, Wraps, Baguettes – £3.00
  • Salads – £5.00
  • Homemade sausage rolls, crudites, hummus, and a daily selection of snacks.

 Beverages:

  • Flat White, Espresso, Cafe Latte, Machiato – £2.50
  • Selection of Teas – £2.00
  • Kombucha – £2.75
  • Soy, oat, and coconut milk avaliable.

The Medina Valley Centre

We feel incredibly fortunate at Isorropia to be situated in such a stunning location, with breathtaking views all around. Our site is a haven for a variety of delightful creatures, ranging from the charming swans, ducks, and rabbits to the playful squirrels, birds, and butterflies. Occasionally, we are treated to extraordinary sights, just like Becky and Hannah experienced during their lunchtime stroll last week. When the local heron dropped a live eel in front of them, Becky bravely put the eel back in the river and was greeted by a Beautiful seal!

Independant Arts

Our team recently met with the lovely Matt from Independent Arts. He explained what they offer on the island and it really sounds amazing, easy to access, and fun!

Who are Idependant Arts?

Independent Arts is an Isle of Wight charity, established in 1987, using the arts to improve wellbeing, quality of life, and to reduce social isolation. Independent Arts believe that art is for all stages of life and deliver vital services to all ages, across the Island, mindful of the range of needs. 

Contact Information

01983 822437   |   info@independentarts.org.uk

https://independentarts.org.uk/

 48/49 High Street, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 1SE

What does Independent Arts provide?

  • Singing workshop  
  • Dance workshops 
  • Creative café 
  • Make and create. 
  • Wellbeing café 
  • Meet and make. 
  • Youth arts lab
  • Mindful moments
  • Peer support 
  • Helping hands 
  • Chess craft.

Isorropia Social Groups

The summer social groups have started off with a bang, thanks to the incredible Vicky, who organises the community groups for our members. 

If you’re interested in joining the social groups, you can find all the information on our Facebook page and book your place through the BookWhen link provided when you join as a member.

Our members have been incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to visit Mottistone Manor Gardens and Osborn House this month. Your feedback on the social groups and the connections you’ve made through them has been absolutely wonderful!

Up and coming social events at Isorropia

Ventnor Lawn Bowls

Tuesday 11th June @ 10:00 – 12:00

67 Mitchell Ave, Ventnor PO38 1DP

No 3 Bus stops right outside. Leave plenty of time to find parking as this is Ventnor.

Introduction and playing a game of Lawn Bowls by kind donation of Ventnor Bowling Club.

Please meet at Ventnor Bowling Club for a 10am start. Flat soled shoes must be worn (No trainers).

Recommend booking on book when. Any questions regarding bowls or attire please call Ventnor Bowls on 01983 855490.

Morris Dancing Taster at Medina Valley Centre

Tuesday 25th June 10:00 – 12:00

Our wonderful staff member Tom has years of experience Morris Dancing and will teach us a dance or 2! If you like it you can join a local Morris Dancing group. We’d also love it if you show off you newly learnt skills at our Isorropia Members’ Wellbeing Day in July. That’s optional of course!

Arrive at Medina Valley Centre in relaxed clothing for a 10am start. Sticks, hankies, and bells supplied! No experience necessary.

Booking recommended via BookWhen. Any questions regarding the event please call us on 01983 217791.

Wellbeing Activities are exclusively for Isorropia members. All graduates (members who have completed the workshop programme and are now part of our wider community) are welcome to join as well. Members who are taking part on the workshop programme need to be attending workshops regularly in order to participate in Isorropia’s social activities.

Volunteer Applications

Isorropia Foundation recently advertise volunteer positions for mentors and minibus drivers. I’d like to wish the applicants all the best!

After completing my own journey with Isorropia as a member, I took a bold step and became a volunteer mentor role. It was both thrilling and nerve-wracking, as putting yourself out there can be challenging! However, by applying, you have taken a courageous step outside of your comfort zone and believed in yourself. That is something to be proud of. Remember to stay true to yourself, be honest and open, and embrace the journey. Most importantly, always remember how far you have come!

If you are interested in future volunteering opportunities, please let us know. You’ll be added to our email list to be the first to learn about future positions.

Karleigh x

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