Poppy Jamie knows a thing or two about living well. The mental health advocate, entrepreneur and bestselling author of the book Happy Not Perfect has dedicated her career to exploring how people can change their thoughts and behaviours to improve their mental, physical and spiritual health.
But it’s on her podcast where the magic really happens. The series – titled Not Perfect – sees Jamie sit down with a different expert, scientist, author or thought-leader every week to learn more about their work, and discuss the tricks, tools and wisdom we need to live better.
Covering everything from self-sabotage to the power of kindness and the benefits of aromatherapy, the podcast is an 87-episode strong treasure trove of advice and life lessons from some of the world’s most fascinating people – and it’s given Jamie plenty of tips and tricks which she’s applied to her own life.
So, to celebrate the release of the latest series, we asked her to share five of the most important life lessons she’s learnt so far from the guests on her show. Here’s what she had to say.
1. Disagreement is often the route to progress
“Genelle Aldred is incredible. She’s the author of Communicate For Change, and the one thing she highlighted to me is the fact that no one teaches us how to disagree, so if we disagree with someone we’re immediately like ‘it’s conflict, they have an opposing view’. And her book is actually all about how disagreement is often the route to progress and growth, because only when we can hold space for someone’s opposing view can we learn more and stretch our own mindset and outlook. I just thought that was amazing.”
2. Emotions are necessary, but they’re not intelligent
“Tai Beauchamp is a kind of spiritual leader, and her great advice was that emotions are necessary, but they’re not intelligent. I thought this was fascinating because a lot of my work has been looking at how we can value our emotions and accept our emotions. But knowing that they’re not intelligent is so important because, yes, it’s crucial that we allow ourselves to experience emotions, but we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be completely led by them.
“Knowing that they’re necessary but they’re not intelligent I think also helps us to build a relationship with our emotions, so that they can help us to navigate the world, but so we’re not too driven by something that is inherently quite primitive.”
3. Fear is just the past informing our future
“During his time on the podcast Peter Crone spoke about our route to mental freedom, and how that is really about breaking through fear. He says that fear is just our past informing our future, and actually the present moment has the ability to disarm the past.
“He was a huge inspiration for my book, actually, because of this idea that when we take a moment to pause and move out of reactionary mode, where we’re just jumping to conclusions and assumptions and thinking that this meant that, and we pause to collect the real evidence of the situation, we get to choose how we want to respond, and we’re not being driven by past triggers.”
4. Curiosity has the power to totally change how we’re feeling
“What I learned from Byron Katie is the art of curiosity and why curiosity has the ability to totally change how we’re feeling. She talks about ‘the work’, which are these four questions you ask yourself when you have an unhelpful thought: is this true? Can I be 100% sure this is true? How does this thought make me feel? And who would I be without this thought?
“What I really realised from her is that the root of our suffering lies within thoughts that are usually not true, and when you stop to be curious and question your assumptions you are able to move yourself out of that state of beating yourself up.”
5. Letting go of our narrative is good for our mental health
“I always ask at the beginning of every podcast for the guest to share a quote they return to often and why; what’s the life lesson you’ve been reminded of and how did you find happiness. And Laurie Gottlieb, I remember the Joseph Campbell quote she gave: ‘We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.’
“In her episode she talks about how we are so caught up in our narrative and these storylines we’ve imagined for ourselves, but when we are willing to let go of them, so much better mental health awaits.”
Image: Getty/Not Perfect Podcast
As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and work. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time.