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  • Writer's pictureRachel Pierman

Why do a Podcast? That is the question...

Updated: Jan 29

Hello, lovely reader! Thank you so much for checking in and reading this blog post! This is my first post of many (I hope) where I'll share my thoughts and musings about this thing we call life. Today, I thought I should start with why I created the Breaking the Blocks podcast.

It all began with a conversation I had with one of our students (and now friend), Benjamin Edmonds, about a year ago. "Rach" he said, "why don't you do a podcast?". My first reaction was, "oh no, what would I talk about?" "Loads! Just start talking, you'd be amazing at it, I'd listen!" I used to have a strong inner voice that overpowered me and always said 'I wasn't good enough', and I should stay in my 'comfort' zone. These days, the more I challenge myself, the more that voice is becoming quieter and quieter and I'm overcoming it. I'll share how maybe you can overcome that voice in another post.

So, the seed that Benjamin planted started to grow in my mind. I let it just sit there for a while, germinating. I think if we jump straight into things immediately, especially after hearing the voice that says, 'you can't do it', the fear can just get louder and overwhelm you. We almost have to trick the ego (the bit that says, 'stay where you are') into believing we're not doing anything, we're just listening to a suggestion. I believe the universe (or life if you prefer to put it that way) always sends us messages about the path we should follow. I think it's important to be open to those signs and messages and to be guided by them. After that conversation with Ben, a couple of other people happened to mention how much they enjoyed what I said in my Instagram lives, or on our YouTube channel, and how I should "express myself more and show more of myself, not just the amazing artists I was working with". You getting the picture here? Ding Ding the bells were getting louder. Do it Do it Do it!

I started noticing podcasts everywhere. Was it my brain looking for patterns or was I actually being guided by a higher power/purpose? Who knows, but something was happening! In September last year whilst watching a presentation by Sarah Hibbert and Nicholas Ball on their favourite sewing items and books, and seeing the delight on peoples faces as they listened to their stories, I decided it was time to start my podcast, I wanted to spread that joy to more than just the 50 people in that room! I had already thought about a name many months previously for the pod, "Castaway Quilts,". Interestingly, Sarah's presentation with Nicholas, was also called "Castaway Quilts"! The same name I had! We hadn't shared podcast ideas, co-incidence or another sign from the universe maybe?

So I launched an account on Instagram, but a friend who's also a lawyer warned me that the format was a little too similar to a BBC Radio 2 program called Desert Island Discs, where guests choose their favourite items to take to a desert island. I didn't fancy being sued by the beeb, so I changed the name. I thought about artists I worked with and the challenges they faced. The words 'writers block' came to mind, but I wanted my podcast to reach more people than just those who make quilts or are artistic. We all face 'blocks' in our lives, (I just mentioned one - the voice that told me I wasn't good enough) so, how do we break these blocks? AHA. Bingo! @Breakingtheblocks leapt to mind. Back to Instagram I went and changed the name! You see, the journey doesn't have to be set in stone or perfect, you just have to start!

Since forcing my own hand (not giving my fears a chance to change my path) by opening an Instagram account to announce my podcast before I even knew how to host/make/record one, I haven't looked back! The first episode (with Veruschka of Pride and Joy Quilting) was terrifying! Not because of anything to do with her, she is the most wonderful, easy guest in the world to interview and she has so many great things to say. It was because 2 hours before recording, I was still struggling with the software, I didn't even know if the interview I was about to do would record. I was literally quaking as I opened my window to her and said "hi lovely to have you here!". 'Fake it till you make it' as they say!

So, I encourage you to do that thing that scares you. Obviously make sure you're safe, I'm not suggesting you jump off a cliff and see if you can fly (highly unlikely unless you're a seagull.) What is the worst that can happen? If you try something and it doesn't work out, at least you have tried and you will have learned valuable lessons along the way! If you don't try it, whatever 'it' is that you're thinking of, you may have to live with the regret of not knowing how things could have worked out if you had tried. That regret can linger for many many years. Regret is a deeper, far more painful emotion than fear, fear is fleeting, regret lasts, "I really wish I had..."

Look out for the signs, listen to your inner voice, listen to the other voice that tells you "you can't do it", thank that voice for alerting you to the possibility you can't and then tell it you're going to do it anyway! Cast away those doubts and Break Those Blocks! You will feel so much better when you do. I promise.

Much love to you.

Rachel x

ps The picture is of my fathers watch I now wear, he died in October 22, and that's another reason to face your fears and do things; we don't have much time left, he didn't achieve a lot of his dreams, sadly in some cases due to his own fears. Life is fleeting so make the best of the time you have.

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