Embodiment for the Rest of Us – Season 1, Episode 5: Nicola Haggett

Thursday, October 28, 2021


Chavonne (she/her) and Jenn (she/her) interviewed Nicola Haggett (she/her) about her embodiment journey. To learn more about her work, follow her on Instagram under the handle @nicolahaggett or find her on her website, www.nicolahaggett.com.


Nicola Haggett is a Body Trust Coach, Mentor, & Facilitator. She helps folks to unlearn body shame, rebuild self trust, and have a more compassionate, connected, and nourishing relationship with their “here and now” body. Nicola is a professionally trained, experienced and compassionately curious Coach, Certified Body Trust® Provider, Intuitive Eating Facilitator, and Open Heart Project Meditation Instructor.


She describes herself as fat (a word she has reclaimed as a neutral descriptor for her body) and her lived experience as a fat person are an important part of what she brings to her work. Nicola believes that it’s possible to nourish, care for, and build trust with your body, despite living in a culture that tells you that you need to shrink to fit in. She sees clients online from her home in East London, where she lives with her husband, Ricky, and their two kids.


Content Warning: discussion of privilege, mention of ableism, mention of neurodiversity barriers


Trigger Warnings:

14:39: Nicola discusses her experience of medical fatphobia during her pregnancies

18:37: Chavonne discusses her experience of medical fatphobia during her pregnancies

24:30: Jenn discusses wheelchairs damaged on flights


A few highlights:

4:40: Nicola shares her understanding of embodiment and her own embodiment journey

Addendum: From Nicola: “I talk about my recent diagnosis with ADHD, and at a couple of points I refer to my kids’ neurodiversity also. As I read more about what this means for both of us I have learned to use the word neurodivergence instead.”

14:39 Nicola shares her experience of medical fatphobia during her pregnancies

29:27: Nicola discusses her understanding of “the rest of us” and how she is a part of that, as well as her privileges

31:34: Nicola shares her daily embodiment practice and her take on the word “resilience”

1:04:57: Chavonne repairs with Nicola in the moment

1:07:34: Nicola discusses body stories and their intersections that come up with body justice and fat liberation

Addendum: Nicola credits Hilary Kivaney and Dana Sturtevant of BeNourished, who shared some of the questions as part of her Body Trust Provider training

1:17:45: Nicola discusses how trusting our bodies is the opposite of the search for a cure or purification

Addendum: Nicola wants to name that she is learning from Disability Justice and particularly Eli Clare’s work

1:31:10: Nicola discusses how perfectionism benefits from our shame

Addendum: Nicola credits Tema Okun’s work in this regard and also credits Desiree Adaway, who first introduced her to the article below about white supremacy culture when she did Freedom School a few years ago

1:35:51: Nicola shares how listeners can make a difference based on this conversation

1:39:29: Nicola shares how to be found and what’s next for her


Links from this episode:


Adrienne Marie Brown

Be Nourished

The Body Is Not An Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor

Body Story

Body Trust

Brilliant Imperfection

Dana Sturtevant

Desiree Adaway

Disability Justice

Eli Clare

Executive Functioning

Freedom School

“Geriatric” Pregnancy

Hilary Kivaney



Kristi Colwell

Medical-Industrial Complex

“The Needy Podcast” episode with Nicola (CW: discusses medical fatphobia in pregnancy)

Niva Piran and the Developmental Theory of Embodiment

Octavia Butler


Sonya Renee Taylor

Strozzi Institute

Tema Okun

Tourette Syndrome

Wheelchairs Being Broken on Flights

White Supremacy Culture Characteristics


Music: “Wheel of Karma” by Jason Shaw


Please follow us on social media:

Twitter: @embodimentus

Instagram: @embodimentfortherestofus


Chavonne McClay (00:00:14):

Hello there. I’m Chavonne McClay. She/her.

Jennifer Jackson (00:00:16):

And I’m Jen Jackson. She/her.

Chavonne McClay (00:00:19):

And this is Embodiment for the Rest of Us, a podcast series exploring topics within intersections that exist in fat liberation.

Jennifer Jackson (00:00:26):

In this show, we interview professionals and those with lived experience alike to learn how they’re affecting radical change and how we can all make this world a safer place for those living in larger bodies and in marginalized spaces.

Chavonne McClay (00:00:41):

Captions and content warnings are provided in the show notes for each episode, including specific timestamps, so that you can skip triggering content any time that feels supportive to you. This podcast is representation of our co-host and guest experiences and may not be reflected with yours. These conversations are not medical advice and are not a substitute for mental health or nutrition support.

Jennifer Jackson (00:01:04):

In addition, the conversations held here are not exhausted in scope or breadth. These topics, these perspectives, are not complete and are always in process. These are just the highlights. Just like posts on social media or any other podcast, this is just a glimpse. We are always interested in any feedback on this process. If something needs to be addressed, you can email us at listener L-I-S-T-E-N-E-R in Embodimentforthe restofus.com. And now for today’s episode.

Chavonne McClay (00:01:39):

Hello and welcome to episode five of season one of the Embodiment for the Rest of Us podcast. In today’s episode, we interviewed the incredible Nicola Haggett, she/her, about her embodiment journey.

Jennifer Jackson (00:01:52):

Nicola is a professionally trained, experienced, and compassionately curious coach, certified body trust provider, intuitive eating facilitator, and open heart project meditation instructor. She describes herself as fat, a word she has reclaimed as a neutral descriptor for her body. And her lived experience as a fat person is an important part of what she brings to her work.

Chavonne McClay (00:02:19):

Nicola believes that it’s possible to nourish, care for and build trust with your body, despite living in a culture that tells you that you need to shrink to fit in. She sees clients online from her home in East London where she lives with her husband Ricky and their two kids. You can find her at nicolahaggett.com, double G, double T, or follow her on Instagram at Nicola Haggett.

Jennifer Jackson (00:02:41):

We are thrilled to have you join us in this conversation. Today’s episode is coming to you with all its wiggles right now.

Jennifer Jackson (00:02:55):

Hi there. We are absolutely delighted to have an incredible human being with us today on the podcast. We can’t wait to be in this conversation and also share it with you. Today we have Nikki with us from London. Hi Nikki.

Nicola Haggett (00:03:06):

Hey Jen. Hey, Chavonne.

Chavonne McClay (00:03:07):


Jennifer Jackson (00:03:07):

Nikki is someone that-

Nicola Haggett (00:03:14):

I’m really excited to be here.

Jennifer Jackson (00:03:19):

Yay. I got excited and already kept going. So Nikki is someone we both feel blows our mind on a constant basis. I’ve listened to all your podcasts, Nikki, all of them.

Chavonne McClay (00:03:26):

Me too.

Jennifer Jackson (00:03:29):

And I just know that there’s going to be so many heartstring tugging moments in minutes coming your way today in this podcast, that we get to share in and share with others. So Nikki, how are you doing today?

Nicola Haggett (00:03:41):

Yeah, I’m good. I got that nice, excited energy. Looking forward to chatting to you both. Because, yeah, embodiment is one of my favorite topics. Yeah, it’s evening here in London, so I’m feeling nice and relaxed towards the end of my day.

Chavonne McClay (00:04:02):

Oh, that’s great. I’m so glad.

Jennifer Jackson (00:04:03):

Thank you for sharing that because I have nervous energy, the sweating that Chavonne and I always talk about and I felt [inaudible 00:04:09]. Yeah, I felt some centering, as you said. You’re feeling relaxed in your evening, so I’m going to join you there.

Chavonne McClay (00:04:15):

Yeah, me too, I’m going to try for sure.

Jennifer Jackson (00:04:17):

Yeah, I’m going to try.

Nicola Haggett (00:04:18):

Come on over.

Chavonne McClay (00:04:24):

Yeah, I like it. Let’s do that. As we start to dive in, we’d love to start with asking a grounding question about these themes of our podcast and how they sit in our bodies. Can you share with us what embodiment means to you and what was your embodiment journey like, if you’d like to share?

Nicola Haggett (00:04:41):

Yeah, I think about this a lot because I think embodiment is one of those concepts that can feel a little bit heavy ironically. And I think when I think of embodiment, I think of it as a continuum. We’re always embodied in some way,. But when I think of positive embodiment for me, or just embodiment in general, it’s living from and with my body. It’s that non-dualistic place of not even separating mind and the body and how I talk about it. So it’s living proud of my body in the present moment, being open to what’s there. Sometimes that’s disrupted by a culture and environment around me or situation. Sometimes I’m in a spaces where that’s enhanced. So yeah, it’s really like how am I open to and what’s my capacity to be present with that and live from there in this moment.

Nicola Haggett (00:05:43):

What’s my embodiment journey? I think I’m still very much at the beginning of that journey. I think I’m going to be on it for the rest of my life. I guess I first became aware of embodiment even as a concept through my own grappling with what didn’t work for me or what wasn’t helping me in feeling at home in my body. So all the ways in which body image work didn’t feel supportive to me. All the ways in which it seemed to further objectify my body or further locate my body as the problem, that I just had to focus on loving it a bit more. And that it felt that didn’t work. And so through that I started to explore other ideas, other concepts. And I’m going to be honest, when I first came across embodiment, it didn’t feel like it was for me, which is why I love the title of your podcast. It didn’t feel like it was for me. It felt like it was, and no disrespect to bindi yoga types, but it felt like it was for bindi yoga types that didn’t look like me.

Nicola Haggett (00:07:04):

And then through my body trust training with Be Nourished in Portland, Oregon, I’d already come across Dr. Niva Piran’s work on the developmental theory of embodiment. And that’s included as part of our body trust training. And so that’s when I first started exploring other ways of connecting to my body that didn’t require me to fix something first, or didn’t require me to kind of fake until I make it. It felt like there was an opportunity for me to increase my capacity to be present with what is, to sort of relate to my body differently. In a way that I could name the wisdom in the ways in which I’ve tried to cope. The ways in which my body has showed up for me, has tried take it well known. Ways in which it made sense for me to disconnect. So my embodiment journey feel like it started from that place of exploring my own lived experiences in my body, and making sense of that. And then figuring out how I want to practice something different, how can I practice connecting and where do I have choice, and how I want to be intentional of my embodiment. Yeah. And I’m still learning so much from there. I’m really influenced by Christine [inaudible 00:08:32]. Really influenced by Strozzi Institute, somatics. I’m not an expert in [inaudible 00:08:39], as I always use that word. In any of this. I feel like this is something I’m journeying with and practicing with. But yeah, that kind of gives you some context as to where I’m at.

Jennifer Jackson (00:08:54):

Ooh. Thank you for that. Nikki, you and I met at a body image workshop, so I was actually sitting with that. We were sitting next to each other at a body image workshop. So I was sitting with that. Both how new that was to me, to even consider it as a body image concept, even that phrase. And also the language in that workshop and what you and I shared out loud in that workshop, made me feel very connected to you because it often had this feeling of beyond. Like In this workshop and also beyond. What’s beyond this? What’s beyond? What applies to privileged White, thin, heterosexual bodies, cisgendered bodies? Just thinking about what’s beyond was so present in that room. There were a lot of people saying things like that. And I got to sit next to you and we got to chat in between and these other things. And I was just kind of sitting with that.

Jennifer Jackson (00:09:50):

At that time, something that occurred to me is that body images is a process as well. So it’s more like body imaging. It’s an active thing. And just now as I was hearing you talk, I was thinking, yeah, an embodiment is the moments of that and being connected to that. And also body image or imaging, whichever one I choose, has never felt like it was for me. And when you were talking, embodiment also did not feel like it was for me from the beginning. So I [inaudible 00:10:22]. I have ADHD and a lot of body image and embodiment conversations require interoceptions, sensing our internal signals, and proprioception sensing what’s outside of us. Two things which are not easy for me. And so it felt like I don’t have access to being able to do this. Like, “How close can I get? What are my words?” So part of Embodiment for the Rest of Us is what if embodiment is also accessible to me, and in which ways, and how to look at it differently, like you said.

Jennifer Jackson (00:10:48):

I was just really hearing all of that in what you said. It was just really beautiful.

Nicola Haggett (00:10:53):

Yeah. Oh my God, I totally forgot that that’s how we met. And you’re right, something that really stood out for me from that workshop. I got so much out of that workshop. It was really, really… Met me where that moment. And also what stood out for me was those moments where we could share our stories as the two only fat folks in that workshop. That piece where we could name what gets in the way. And so I think for me, when I’m speaking of embodiment, it’s that piece of what have my lived experiences been and how can’t I situate myself in the wisdom of that? Right from being a little kid, the ways in which I went from being at one to then learning that my version of embodiment, the way that my embodiment showed up for me wasn’t okay, or it wasn’t allowed or it was too much. I’ve talked briefly to you, Jen, about navigating recent diagnosis of ADHD as well. So we have that in common. And the ways in which I think about Embodiment for the Rest of Us.

Nicola Haggett (00:12:07):

And I think about how we privilege certain forms of embodiment and then it’s so high that then doesn’t leave space in our stories for what our experiences have been. So yeah, really situating ourselves in our story and our loved experience, I think, is a really big piece of this for me.

Chavonne McClay (00:12:28):

The word that keeps coming to mind in your definition or your explanation of embodiment is accessibility. I think when you said that embodiment in the past seemed like a concept for bindi yoga types. I think that in order to really dig into embodiment and work on one’s own embodiment, I’ll speak for myself, there has to be a level of accessibility. And I think that’s one of the reasons I was so interested in doing this podcast with Jen, and also so excited to talk to you, to learn from you. And everything I’ve read from you about you, there’s a lot of discussion of creating this aspect of accessibility around embodiment. And it makes me think, yeah, it’s often the idea is kind of lofty for a lot of people, but I love bringing it down to a level where everyone can access it. So that’s really sitting with me. So thank you for explaining it that way.

Nicola Haggett (00:13:31):

Yeah. And I think that that’s something I’m still feeling my way into. Where embodiment is our birth right, like being fully embodied. And how often our level of access to positive embodiment, it’s not the same for all of us in all contexts. And so how can we hold that? And then also how can we introduce some element of choice for ourselves? What are the practices that help us to do that? Yeah.

Jennifer Jackson (00:14:10):

I’m just really sitting with that in my body. Actually, that was my noises.

Chavonne McClay (00:14:13):


Jennifer Jackson (00:14:14):


Chavonne McClay (00:14:14):

Me too. Me too. So I’ve given birth to two kiddos. And one of podcasts that I was listening to you, you talked about medical fatphobia that you experienced during your pregnancies. Do you feel comfortable discussing that and how did it affect your journey of embodiment? Furthermore, how do you feel medical fatphobia impacts embodiment?

Nicola Haggett (00:14:39):

Yeah, yeah. Thank you for checking if I feel comfortable. I do. Wow, there’s so much in there. I think in a lot of ways that was one of the biggest ruptures I had in terms of my own sense of safeness and feeling at home in my body, was that experience. So it’s been super interesting to me to look at it. At the time, I didn’t have language to put to my experience. I guess I want to say that. Both pregnancies that I had, I was in a morbidly old word, [inaudible 00:15:19], and I didn’t have language for stigma. I didn’t have language for trauma even at that time. So it’s really only been looking back that I’ve been able to think, ” Wow.” Maternity care represents one of our longest exposures to medical anti-fatness for many folks, but we don’t really talk about it much or name the impact of that. And for me certainly, it was all these different factors of being labeled high risk from the beginning, and then what did that mean for the number of different interactions I had? What did that mean for my risk of experiencing more microaggressions? And frankly awkward experiences of anti-fatness.

Nicola Haggett (00:16:13):

And when I think of it in the context of embodiment, it really came across all of the areas I think about when I think of positive experiences with embodiment. It really cuts across that for me. It really positioned my body as the problem right from the outset. And it also situated my body as a site that wasn’t safe for me or for my babies. So that piece of agency was really ruptured. “You don’t have a choice. These are the options we are going to put to you now. There’s different rules for you now.” You don’t get to care in an attuned way for your body. I was put on diets in my first pregnancy. That sense of positive embodiment that I actually had at the beginning of my pregnancy when I really had this moment of feeling, “Oh, I can really…” Even when I think about rubbing my tummy and feeling that connection to my kiddo in there, at the beginning that sense that here was my body was actually working for me. That there was a wrong way for that to happen. That there was a wrong way to be. That fat pregnancy is somehow not normal or that shouldn’t happen.

Nicola Haggett (00:17:40):

Yes. And just when I think about it, all the ways in which being reduced to a BMI objectifies you, and all ways in which the pathologizing and the medicalization and the interventions and the naming of risk, just all of it layers on to really interrupt the possibility of feeling safe or feeling grounded or feeling centered and connected. And it was only when I was working with a therapist years later, because it wasn’t offered to me at the time, and we really started to name it as a trauma response. And my experiences as being trauma, that I started to be able to make sense of that. But yeah, it’s definitely been a really defining experience of what is not a positive embodiment for me.

Chavonne McClay (00:18:38):

Yeah. Oh, that’s really powerful. Listening to you talk about it in another podcast and even just now, just feels really powerful. I absolutely have the same experience in that, just the idea of being pregnant at the size that I was, was already a affront to the medical establishment that I was going to. And additional tests, additional appointments when my body was doing exactly when it needed to do. And I hadn’t even thought of it being the longest term of medical involvement in my life. Yeah, absolutely. I haven’t gone to the doctor for years before that because of medical fatphobia and not wanting to expose myself to that, but then I had to, because I had these tiny humans growing inside of me. That was just the expectation. But I think it is a really big defining moment for birth givers, the way that you are exposed to the medical industrial complex no matter what your size, but especially if you’re living in a fat body and trying to bring this new person into the world.

Chavonne McClay (00:19:45):

One thing you said about when you felt this baby inside of you, I had that same experience feeling him. I have two boys. So Bug was the first one. Feeling him inside of me and feeling like I was doing something wrong by even letting him exist inside my body, the size that I was. It was a really painful experience back then. So just thank you so much for speaking to that. It feels really validating to hear it wasn’t just me. I’m sorry it happened to you clearly, but it’s also really validating to hear it wasn’t just me who experienced that.

Nicola Haggett (00:20:16):

Yeah. And I think it’s one of those, obviously not everyone has a negative experience of fat pregnancy. I think from what I’ve read and from talking to other folks, it really is all too common. And I think there’s this kind of paradox, I don’t know if paradox is the right word, [inaudible 00:20:38] sometimes elements of it being positive, elements of it being for the first time, I’m really allowing myself to rest perhaps, or I can really have this different relationship with my tummy or my shape. But then on the other hand, it’s kind of been just interrupted and disrupted by, yeah, you named it, the medical industrial complex. Yeah.

Chavonne McClay (00:21:07):

Yeah. [inaudible 00:21:08]. Go ahead.

Jennifer Jackson (00:21:09):

No, no.

Chavonne McClay (00:21:09):

No, no. Go ahead. Go ahead, go, go, go.

Jennifer Jackson (00:21:14):

I apologize. It’s jumping over each other with excitement, that’s a thing you raise. I say that all the time to Chavonne.

Chavonne McClay (00:21:20):

She does.

Jennifer Jackson (00:21:21):

So I have not given birth to any children from this body. My sister has, someone I’m super close to. And so all I can say is really observational and also being in a room with someone else who was experiencing medical fatphobia while being a fat person also in the room. But in that experience, two things really stuck out that I think you both touched on, that feel related. And the first one is, you were talking, Nikki, about agency, and autonomy was also coming to mind. How we’re allowed or not allowed to navigate a system that’s supposed to be the same for each of us? And what choices are we actually allowed? The phrase that was coming to mind was that’s not trauma sensitive, which most of the medical establishment is not trained in being, trauma sensitive at the very least, much less other levels of that.

Jennifer Jackson (00:22:12):

When you said, “Here are your options,” but not the options, but here are the options we’ve selected for you that you can choose from. Not because of human limits of the people on the other side of that, but because they will not be offered to you, is really how I heard that. And it was really just making me think about the word antiquated. How antiquated our systems are that we have to rely on really what feel like old-fashioned, inappropriate, misogynistic, oppressive notions that we should all meet, be at the median. The BMI, we talked about the racist history of that and why it doesn’t really apply to people. It’s because this researcher was like, “You know what, whoever’s in this one middle spot, that’s the ideal.” For no other reason other than it’s in the very center of a bell curve. That’s it. That’s the only logic. I was thinking about that as you were talking and it was reminding me of the phrase geriatric pregnancy.

Chavonne McClay (00:23:10):

Oh, I did that.

Jennifer Jackson (00:23:10):

That was my sister’s category as well. And it’s this, the data… Now I always get this number wrong. It’s either the 18th century, which is the 1700s or the 1800s. I know it’s the number 18. So I’ll put the link in the show notes for this episode because I cannot remember right now. But it’s based on data. When we were at two thirds of this lifespan and even half of this lifespan, was the period of time of this data. And so geriatric at that time meant that your risk of death was extremely high. A risk that still exists in Black and indigenous and people of color populations, because of the way they’re treated. But not for White people anymore. Now if we add fatness into that, yes, because of the way they’re treated like we’re talking about right now. So as I was thinking about that and kind of letting that swim in my head, I was really thinking, again, how antiquated this is. The data isn’t anywhere near now. And in fact, if you use data from now, it’s an irrelevant conversation.

Jennifer Jackson (00:24:11):

They don’t factor in the harm that’s done by weight stigma by doctors and other people that are giving us our version or their version of access to this care. And how will we keep things old-fashioned, antiquated, misogynistic, patriarchal, that we lose agency and autonomy. It’s making me think of people in disabled bodies as well. Like that when they get on a plane, it’s possible for the airline to destroy their wheelchair and they end up on the other side without what they need to do, the basic activities of living. And that that’s really what I’m hearing in this conversation, in this look at a time, as you both said, that has so much exposure to us by the medical industrial complex, that it would also be so full of stigma, shame, lack of choice, and therefore, as I say all these things out loud, not allowing fat people who are pregnant to be a person, is what I’m really sitting with right now. It gave me bad chills to say that out loud actually.

Jennifer Jackson (00:25:21):

So yeah, I just thank you for letting me be a witness to this. Something I don’t have personal experience with. I have a bit of a knot in my stomach just thinking about how prevalent this must be and how I’d like to really sit with that more. Because that really made it have a different impact to me, that it’s something that’s so much time seemingly without choice.

Chavonne McClay (00:25:45):

Yeah, absolutely.

Nicola Haggett (00:25:48):

And I thank you for naming that piece of agency and autonomy. And I think it’s what I really like about the developmental theory of embodiment, so that’s Dr. Niva Piran’s research and why it’s for me being more helpful for the clients I work with frameworks and body image. Which also, not to say that’s not helpful, but it includes within it this piece of agency. And not just agency in terms of our voice and feeling like what we’ve got to say matters in clients, but also agency in terms of the work that we meet, when we leave our [inaudible 00:26:28]. Like this piece of what it’s like to navigate this world? And higher experience of embodiment is either enhanced or disrupted by the agency we have from a functional perspective. We greet that world, I’m just, in small and in big ways. Like you said, when I go into spaces, are they designed with me in mind? Are they designed with all bodies in mind? In what ways does it make sense for us to have to disconnect different environments in order to navigate them?

PART 1 OF 4 ENDS [00:27:04]

Nicola Haggett (00:27:01):

In order to navigate them. Even just recently when I was over in Ireland visiting my family, just being reminded and any fat person will be aware of this, but it’s been a while since I’ve been out in the world in this way. So just all that stuff and navigating the airplane and the seats and all the ways in which I’m kind of preparing myself for that interaction and then bringing myself back down again afterwards. And then we stayed in an Airbnb just for safety to minimize contact. And just in there, the shower was one of those split shower doors where you open half of it and I couldn’t get my body in. Look, I happen to physically hurt myself to get into the shower and then getting the bath towel that literally covers one half of me and I’m laughing. And the chairs have just been reminded of that again. This is not designed of me in mind and I have a lot of body privilege. I know that.

Nicola Haggett (00:28:03):

But yeah, I think that’s agency and embodiment that’s like, it’s really hard to be positively embodied in a world that tells us so often that there’s some space for us to hear that we’re not okay here, that we don’t belong here so I just wanted to name that piece of it. I think that’s why this idea of accessibility and what’s embodiment for the rest of us is so important because so many of the constructs we come across don’t include these pieces of safety and agency and trauma stigma within them. They have to be kind of bolted on or adapted. It’s not kind of situated in the mindset so that’s something that always sits with me. That’s a big piece when you talked about the norm, a lot of body image, a lot of intuitive eating where, a lot of non-diet where, has this norm and then the rest of us are outside of that [inaudible 00:29:03] included right from the beginning.

Chavonne McClay (00:29:09):

Absolutely, absolutely. That leads me to our next question with thinking about the rest of us, what does the rest of us mean to you? And furthermore, how do you feel you are part of the rest of us and because we always want to name it within our podcast, what are your privileges?

Nicola Haggett (00:29:28):

Yeah, yeah. I think for me, the rest of us as anyone that’s outside the kind of mythical norm of then white, cis, het, man able-bodied, and, and, and and, so really it’s kind of everyone that is adjacent to or moving away from that norm, that’s the rest of us for me. And when I think of myself and my positionality within that as a white, cis, het woman who’s financially secure, educated, those are my privileges when I locate myself within that. And then when I think of where I am and the rest of us, I’m naming my fatness. And even within that privilege as a mid to large fat woman, I’m also living with chronic illness and a newly navigating ADHD diagnosis, which I’m still trying to sort of integrate and sit with. But I think of those three aspects and how that complicates my access to embodiment, I guess, that’s where I fit with the rest of us.

Jennifer Jackson (00:30:50):

Thank you for sharing that with us and it’s thinking about the rest of us and also something that you said earlier, which is I’m curious if you have a daily embodiment or even a pleasure practice, sometimes I can have both names or one or the other. And also in thinking, just in answering that, I’m curious if it feels like, a word like resilient, the context in which this usually comes, which is a practice so that you are resilient. I’m wondering how the word resilient describes what you might get out of a practice if you have one or is it a word we should be considering carefully or more carefully?

Nicola Haggett (00:31:35):

Such a good question. So to answer the first bit, I do have daily embodiment practices and does change all the time. So I think I have at the moment, a daily practice of centering myself into, I guess, my own embodied experience of moments of aliveness and connection. So really starting my day by centering into a particular moment or memory when I felt really connected and alive and living out my purpose and really grinding into the felt sensation of that and my body. And I have a phrase that goes with it, which is, “My body, my home.” And that’s something that I really sink into.

Nicola Haggett (00:32:27):

I’m connecting to that shape of that in my body as a play of resourcing or resilience. And so yeah, we can talk about that word for sure, but for me it’s a place to grind it, to center into, just so I can practice, number one, grinding into that place rather than those moments when we wake up and everything feels off or I feel like I’m in a shame spiral or something’s going on. It gives me not a way to override that, but it gives them a different place to move from. And also just the more I connect to that experience and that shape, the more I can connect to the moments when I’m activated or taken away from myself.

Nicola Haggett (00:33:16):

So at the moment, that’s a practice I have. And then I have other practices or practices, other activities, things that I do that I try and work into my day as much as possible, which I know helped me to be with in my body. And sometimes that’s going for a walk, sometimes it’s just sitting out in my backyard and feeling the sun. My friend called that sun flyering, sitting head up and just like, I’m turning my head towards the sun and feeling it sink into me like little moments of that. And for me, I use the word resilience, but it’s a word that I’m newly coming around to.

Nicola Haggett (00:33:57):

I think like, that word… I think, we use whatever words feel supportive to us. I think, resilience can feel like assimilation. It can feel like so much research and funding is put into resiliency practices and what makes us more resilient and what helps us kind of bounce back from adversity, if you like. In there, often, it’s missing this piece of the adversity between the oppression that we experience or the way in which the more we put focus on resiliency, it can feel like individual responsibility. It can feel like it’s all on me and it can feel like why do I have to be? It could really take away.

Nicola Haggett (00:34:43):

So I’m starting to think of what are with resiliency practices that bring me back into connection, that help me stay with joy and openness and curiosity alongside the suffering I have versus where am I in survival strategies. And not to make those wrong, those are also places of wisdom and coping. But kind of naming the distinction between those resiliency to me, feels like choice and openness and possibility. So how can I expand my capacity for that in the face of what’s going on without making myself wrong for the time so much I’ve had to survive.

Chavonne McClay (00:35:24):


Nicola Haggett (00:35:24):

Through other kinds of strategies. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but that’s kind of what comes to mind when I think of that.

Chavonne McClay (00:35:30):

That answer blew my mind. It made so much sense, it is. Wow, ooh. Oh, that’s good. Again, the word agency just came to mind again, having this resiliency and how you… I got really… Well, maybe I’m too blown away because I can’t think of what I’m saying, but that was really good. Sorry, sorry.

Jennifer Jackson (00:35:56):

This was reminding me actually of the podcast that we recorded last week, the previous episode, and also a conversation that I’ve been having with myself for this entirety of this pandemic, which is the direction in which the language that we use leads to who has the responsibility. So just as you were talking, it’s like resilient is asking the person who is affected to do something else, they’re already dealing with something and now do more. And if I was to turn it around, this is the only word I have thought of so far, if it’s in this space, I’ve done a lot of writing and reflecting and yet this is all I have so far, which is thrive, which as soon as I said it out loud reminds me of liberation. In other words, like justice is still within a system or about a system, it’s reactionary. Thinking about all these public deaths of Black and brown people in the last year, particularly Black people, which has already been happening, but really acutely in the pandemic because we’re all at home looking at it at the same time.

Jennifer Jackson (00:37:06):

That we keep talking about justice, justice, justice, justice, but their bodies and the person are no longer with us is when we’re talking about justice. And so it makes me want to choose different language like liberation. What if we’re still alive getting something? What if we’re thriving? What if we’re able to be liberated? What if there isn’t an affront? I’ve forgotten said that earlier, I love that word. I think it was huge bunch, an affront to our agency, autonomy, embodiment, access, all of these words or things we’re trying to do with our power of choice. What if there were words that we used that expanded instead of contracted is something that I’m really sitting with.

Jennifer Jackson (00:37:47):

So all of this, first of all is more than I’ve ever written to myself. So I’m really glad I’m saying it out loud and I get to this place about thrive because we talk about living and surviving a lot when it comes to health at every size when it comes to intuitive eating, when it comes to body trust, when it comes to even positive embodiment, especially in its use with eating disorders. There’s a lot of live and survive. And what about thriving? It’s just really something I’ve been sitting with a lot and as you were saying, feeling on the beginning of an embodiment journey. I feel like it’s going to go somewhere, but I’m at the beginning. But it feels really important to name that the direction of language is so important. Not just language, not just literal logical words, but the direction where that intention and impact is actually going. Where is it pointing? It seems really important.

Chavonne McClay (00:38:36):

And I love the word resilient. I think it’s something we talked about maybe two episodes ago, maybe three. I think I agree with you Nikki, that we use the words that feel most supportive for us. When I hear the word resilient though, something in me goes, “Oh, I don’t know. I don’t know.” Because it makes me feel really aware of my privilege, I was able to be resilient through certain events because I’ve had this privilege of having a supportive family, money to pay for therapy, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. I don’t even know thrive is the word for me either but I love the idea of just being really aware, the directionality of words like that. I don’t have a word either. I’m probably going to have to go right a bit too.

Chavonne McClay (00:39:15):

But I want to go back to your embodiment practice, in your pleasure practice, I love that it feels really resilient for you. When you said, “My body, my home,” my whole body just like, “Ooh,” it just felt so good and just so comfortable and so loving to say that. I can’t remember, again, we prepared for these interviews and I was listening to you, I believe it was the needy, when they asked what your body is to you, he said, your body is belonging to you. So just felt really comfortable and really, really lovingly self-supportive to think of it that way. I love that. I really, really did. I’m going to start saying something like that, that’s beautiful.

Nicola Haggett (00:39:53):

Thank you. And I think it’s super interesting to link that to what you were saying Jen, around what’s something different that’s not just in relation to how do we survive in the current systems. I think for me, something I’m playing with and something I’m practicing and exploring is this piece of not just being with what is, but sitting with what if. What if my body was home, what might that look like? And for me, my body, my home is my piece, but for someone else it might be what if there was joy or what if there was peace? And that story’s changing all the time. So this piece of, “What’s the new story, what’s the new story and how we practice our way there?” I mean, I love Adrienne Maree Brown. I have this quote that I keep circling back to, which is, “Envision a new story, practice it into existence.”

Nicola Haggett (00:41:03):

And so, not this kind of magical thinking, fake until you make it kind of, I’m going to just jump right over to some idea of body love. If body love doesn’t feel like the story that’s already wanting to be named within me, but what’s that edge and how can I start to be intentional about practicing a way to work something new in some moments, in some places. And I think when we can do that, it can have this feeling of expansion because there’s not just one story anymore. There’s something else alongside it, so I love that.

Nicola Haggett (00:41:40):

How can we practice something different? It’s not within reference to the old story or the existing systems and I know that can be a really hard place to access for a lot of folks, but I feel like it’s a place that I’m really learning from at the moment in other collective liberation spaces and learning from Black feminists who are doing that work and learning from futurism. Where can we radically reimagine something? Not because we’re kind of expecting that to exist right here in this moment, but how can the imagining of that open up the possibility for something different that we can start to practice our way towards now? So yeah, I think that’s the piece I’m playing with.

Jennifer Jackson (00:42:32):

How can we create space for the what if and what isn’t yet?

Nicola Haggett (00:42:38):

Yeah, because… Look at the what if wants to emerge, what if that kind part of us has already experienced. So for me, my body, my home, often the people I work with and I don’t know if this is truly for either of you, they can’t imagine something different. They kind of know that I can’t keep being here, but I don’t know what something different looks like. Yeah, I don’t know what’s possible. We don’t have enough models of possibility of what it looks like to thrive in a fat body. We don’t have enough possibility looks like to thrive in a fat, queer, disabled body or fat, Black, queer, disabled bodies, and, and, and we don’t have many of those models.

Nicola Haggett (00:43:23):

So in a way, we kind of have to join with other people who are the rest of us who are doing that imagining as well and share our stories. And from that, you know what we can hear the truth of a what if for us, I don’t know if I’m making any sense here. But for me certainly, the collective piece, when we’re in collective reimagining, I think that that’s where there’s a lot of healing that can happen. That’s where we can do a lot of moving towards something different together rather than when we’re on our own just working with our own story and our own experience.

Chavonne McClay (00:44:02):

Yeah, it feels really expansive to think of it that way. Really joyful, joyfully expansive is what keeps coming to mind. Just like, “Oh, just the model of possibility,” that’s really powerful.

Jennifer Jackson (00:44:15):

I really love that, Chavonne. And listening to both of you, I love this conversation that it gets through between three of us. There’s always something I get from each of the other people. I’m like, “Oh wait, hold on.” I was hearing almost a what if about the collective level, which is what if the possibilities lie within being witnessed in a collective? Heard, held, witnessed that allows for agency and autonomy. It feels like I have to add all these caveats to that so I’ve made a complicated what if, I’m already imagining it. I already feel held in a collective that I’m not yet in, that that would be a place where there would be some genuine listening and noticing because of the relatedness in those spaces of a collective. And that’s making me feel very hopeful, hopefully expansive. They’re all [inaudible 00:45:14].

Chavonne McClay (00:45:14):

Ooh, I like it, [inaudible 00:45:15] joyfully. That’s good, I like that.

Jennifer Jackson (00:45:19):

It also is reminding me of loss, body grief and how processing what is not possible and processing what is not for us creates a space. And this is one of the first times I’ve heard something I would like to go in the space that’s created. Because it can be filled very quickly with things that don’t really serve us, that’s an almost immediate reaction in ourselves. But to have the practice of clearing that space, dealing with the loss and grief and also a collective imagining of what could be feels like that space could be filled with expansion, who can feel so contracting. I was just feeling that in my person that there could be a space that doesn’t even have to contract perhaps with enough practice. Although I think that some of my privileges talking that it feels like I would never contract again so I think I’m going to retract that part. But yeah, just really sitting with, not just places where my body can be supported but also who I am to be supported in that. My inner workings as well is feeling really present right now.

Nicola Haggett (00:46:27):

Yeah, I think embodiment is not just about those positive joyful experiences, it’s also being able to be with and increase our capacity to be with as much as we watch is it supportive, the discomfort and grief. And I think, thank you for naming that. I think that grief is such a huge part of my story and I [inaudible 00:46:59] do, and it’s a big part of body trust work and really it’s kind of muddy in the story of thickening the story so that there’s the grief in making space for it and there’s what else is possible alongside that.

Nicola Haggett (00:47:17):

And I don’t think personally that we move through the grief that the grief goes away. I think that it can still come up with the same intensity. And when we don’t name that, I think that people can feel like they’re doing it wrong or they haven’t, “Oh, I thought it was past this.” I’ve definitely had that. But I do think that the periods of which we experience it can become much shorter and they can become interspersed with other different experiences. But yeah, that’s something that stood out to me as you were talking is this piece of community.

Nicola Haggett (00:47:50):

Finding communities where it’s possible for us to center different elements of the rest of us so that we have those spaces where we haven’t got as much disruption or we don’t have to perform versions of ourselves or we don’t have to disconnect or be hypervigilant just to be there when we have those spaces where we can just de-armor and center into what’s here. Then, I think that that is a big part of that what if, because we get a moment of that what if, like a micro moment of it in certain spaces. And I think that’s why, for me, in my rest of us finding spaces that are fat explosive has been a really healing journey for me because then there’s places I can just feel my whole body exhale and I think, “Oh, what if I could feel,” I don’t know, “joyful and sexy and capable in my body all the time.”

Nicola Haggett (00:49:02):

And I mean that that’s not always available, but it’s like where there’s places where what if is already true. I don’t know if that makes any sense with what already is true in some small place. And then that helps me to kind of, I don’t know, have more choice. I keep going back to choice, have more choice in agency. These moments when I’m taken away, I have this evidence, I have this story, I have this felt experience that was different that I can kind of connect into. I don’t know if any of that made any sense.

Chavonne McClay (00:49:36):

Oh, that makes so much sense and it was so lovely. No, that was lovely. And one thing that you were saying that really stuck out to me about taking this body armor up, de-armoring, I feel like that goes back to the definition of the rest of us. If we feel like we have to wear this armor just to exist in the world, I believe that makes us part of the rest of us because I think people who aren’t othered in some way don’t even have that experience, don’t even understand what that could even mean. So I feel like we’ll be defining embodiment and the rest of us forever. I think it’ll keep expanding and constricting in ways that it needs to. But just thinking about the fact of de-armoring makes me even think of that’s what the rest of us needs. People who feel they can’t de-armor in a lot of fears.

Nicola Haggett (00:50:28):

Yeah, and that makes me think of the pandemic and why… It was such an experiment. It was like we had this experience of other people suddenly having their sense of agency and safety and feeling that kind of disruption that many marginalized folks are experiencing all the time already. And sudden, if we talked about this a great, it wasn’t. It was just suddenly that more people suddenly had an experience of not having that sense of safe, that sense of safety or agency that maybe was more available to them suddenly being like, “Oh, I’m walking out in the world and I’m having to be hypervigilant,” or “Oh, I’m not sure if this is safe to me.” And they were getting a little bit of a sense of that, which so many people were already living with, already to varying degrees.

Jennifer Jackson (00:51:28):

It’s also making me think of where we are in the pandemic right now that there’s… In the UK and in the United States, we have a level of privilege of having access to vaccines, of having lockdowns and these other things and thinking about other areas of the world that still don’t have those things or they don’t work because of what’s required of them in their lives to continue to be able to survive that they have to be unsafe anyway, it’s not their personal choice. And just thinking about, as you were talking Nikki, I was just getting, thinking about people who are home bound for one reason or another, chronic illness, disability that we’re already experiencing this before the pandemic. And then when there were things like lockdown, stay at home orders, whatever they were phrased wherever we are, that people had to access the same services that those people had been trying to access this whole time, like grocery delivery. And they were now competing with people who already struggle with this because everyone needs the same services. And it took a while for them to expand. And I don’t think… And as lockdown has eased, some of those services have gone away, following a same sort of rhythm of only if things are closed are these available. And when you were talking about, I also really glued in on de-armored and I was thinking, “Ah, like taking off your mask,” but of a different level. Masking reminds me of personality or I like to steam to make myself feel comfortable, stamping my feet on the floor, dancing to music before a TV show starts. Those things center me so I could mask those. But thinking on a different level of that, thinking about armor like I was getting present too as a fat person, how I have to prepare for a doctor’s appointment or accessing the system in any way.

Jennifer Jackson (00:53:27):

I actually jokingly but not jokingly, like funny, not funny. All I can do is laugh, that’s all I have actually, so I laugh. That I have to armor myself as if I’m some sort of consultant for my own medical care without getting paid, right? I have to pay my dues of this effort, of this labor to access the system and even be considered in a way similar to someone in a thinner body or is just not viewed the same by our systems. And I was just really getting present to that. Aside from my current therapist, which is a privilege to have one who matches me so well.

PART 2 OF 4 ENDS [00:54:04]

Jennifer Jackson (00:54:03):

Aside from my current therapist, which is a privilege to have one who matches me so well, our affect, the way she supports me, the trauma informed way.

Jennifer Jackson (00:54:09):

But it’s a privilege that I don’t have to be armored all the time with everyone. Now I have one person I don’t have to be with. I’m just suddenly very aware of how much I have to armor myself everywhere else, still. And it’s something I share with clients, and I give them lots of resources, and I use the same ones for myself.

Jennifer Jackson (00:54:27):

But it doesn’t land the same for me when I talk to me. I still have to have the armor, where I feel like I encourage something different in my clients, more of a liberation approach, more speaking for yourself, and just getting present to that. These clients are also in smaller bodies. It’s something that’s not lost on me in this moment.

Jennifer Jackson (00:54:48):

You said centered and de-armored, and thinking about that there, I just realized how often I am trying to be centered, and I still have armor. And no wonder it feels like a struggle. Just thinking about the basics of meditation and groundedness, I have always struggled with that, which also being newly diagnosed with ADHD in the year 2021, I’m like, “This explains a lot. And also, what if there’s more to it than just that?”

Jennifer Jackson (00:55:21):

What if meditation is hard when you have to be armored all the time? Because it’s even an armor about getting grounded, about being present, about being embodied. I’m just really sitting with these things. I’m actually feeling some tension in my body right now just thinking about how real this is for me, what I’m saying, and how vulnerable it is that I’m realizing it and sharing it at the same time.

Jennifer Jackson (00:55:44):

And it feels really important, because I’m going to listen to our podcast. And just right now, it’s like, I really can’t wait to listen to myself talk about this, and this piece of this conversation very, very specifically, and see where this conversation can evolved and transform to for myself or for anyone else, because it feels really important to notice these things that are ands, but they’re not…

Jennifer Jackson (00:56:09):

It’s like dialectics, like holding two truths. But also, what if one of them could change? I’m actually sitting with that altogether. Thank you for sharing that, and thank you for creating this space, because that’s a pretty powerful realization I just had just sitting in it. Thank you.

Chavonne McClay (00:56:32):

Yeah. Yeah. Thank you so much.

Nicola Haggett (00:56:32):

That’s just sparked off all this stuff in my head as well and in my body, Jen. Yeah. Thank you. And it makes me think also of the ways in which we don’t want to turn embodiment into another binary or another kind of place we’re striving for.

Nicola Haggett (00:56:50):

And also, that piece about meditation and about, I’ve shared with you, one of my kiddos has Tourette’s syndrome and other kind of coexisting forms of neurodiversity. And I’m really having to sit with and explore with him the ways in which we have a world that privileges stillness, and this idea of that groundedness is like this stillness, or the absence of something.

Nicola Haggett (00:57:23):

And the ways in which for him, as he explains it to me, that’s not an experience that he finds resourcing or finds grounding, actually. For him, sometimes running up and down a room, touching a certain thing, is his way of grounding.

Nicola Haggett (00:57:49):

Even touching things is a way of stimming that he does in order to create a certain sensation that is helping him in some way to feel more kind of… just naming that so much of these concepts, like meditation and different things, can be a resource, and not making ourselves wrong if something else is what sort of works for us.

Nicola Haggett (00:58:19):

I think so many times, we have these kind of checklists of journaling and meditation and whatever, even yoga, going back to yoga. I say to my class, “Yoga is not always an embodied form of movement.” It’s not. It can be a way to be with and in our body, and it can be really confronting and really deregulating. Is that a word? I’m going to say it’s a word.

Jennifer Jackson (00:58:44):

Yes. It is for me.

Nicola Haggett (00:58:48):

It is deregulating. Deregulating.

Chavonne McClay (00:58:49):

It is for me. Yeah. Definitely.

Nicola Haggett (00:58:57):

Yeah. I don’t know. Just thank you for naming that. That’s…

Chavonne McClay (00:58:58):


Jennifer Jackson (00:59:01):

Oh, regulation. That’s such a, excuse the expression, a meaty word. So meaty. It’s like coregulation. The three of us here doing this podcast, there’s a form of regulation together. When you’re talking about in a community, there’s a form of regulation together.

Jennifer Jackson (00:59:22):

When we think about being with ourselves in different moments, including this one, also regulating with myself, what do I need? What does your son need? What helps? What doesn’t help? What’s workable and effective for you and only you today and only today?

Jennifer Jackson (00:59:39):

I find that there’s this idea, phrases like, “Just be positive. Just go meditate. Just eat your vegetables.” That doesn’t help anyone do anything. Oh, thank you so much. We’re not feeling relaxed when they’re like, “Just relax.” It’s like, “Thank you so much [inaudible 00:59:57].”

Chavonne McClay (00:59:56):

Oh, everything’s solved now. Now I know. I didn’t know that’s all I had to do.

Jennifer Jackson (01:00:00):

Yeah. That never occurred to me. I have never tried it before. You’re right. It’s like that magical thinking you were talking about earlier, that when someone has been through a process and a practice and has landed in a different place and is also still on a journey, that they would look at someone else from that place and say, “Just come over here where I am.” Like it was so easy for them to get there.

Chavonne McClay (01:00:21):


Jennifer Jackson (01:00:22):

Even the most privileged of people have pain, trauma, struggle. Things are not automatically easy. It was also reminding me of the phrase “executive function,” and I was just thinking, even that phrase is also directed at people from how they should function. But what if we all just have a different function, including how we meditate or not, including how we sit with ourselves or not, including how we engage in healthcare or not? All of these things.

Jennifer Jackson (01:00:49):

What if we just all have our own way? Which can sound like, “Let’s have everyone just do their own way with no structure or anything like that.” And also, what structure works for people that doesn’t feel restrictive, that doesn’t feel constricting? Where they have to make themselves…

Jennifer Jackson (01:01:08):

Earlier when you were talking about the shower with the half door, I was just thinking, some houses in New Mexico have very, very small doors, because the people who first came and already lived in New Mexico were much shorter in stature and smaller in body size. Just having to walk sideways through a doorway.

Jennifer Jackson (01:01:26):

And all these phrases, the just, just, just phrases, which makes me think about magical thinking and fantasy, something that you said earlier. How can we all imagine that we can all be like the thin white woman at the end of this, kind of thinking?

Jennifer Jackson (01:01:46):

We’ve talked about what ifs and all of that. And I’m just really sitting with, I don’t know if this is a word either, I’ll just say microaggressiveness. I don’t know if that’s a word. What I mean is it’s not just microaggressions. It’s emphasis on the aggressive part of this, aggression.

Jennifer Jackson (01:02:06):

But it’s like this thoughtless, conditioned place where we microaggress. Again, I don’t know if that’s a word. Perform or do microaggressions, is what I’m trying to say.

Chavonne McClay (01:02:17):

I like microaggress.

Jennifer Jackson (01:02:18):

Okay. Okay. Then we do that to each other, and that’s what comes out in these just phrases. It’s something I want to pay attention to, because I’m realizing how interested I’m in in these collective thoughts that you’re bringing up.

Jennifer Jackson (01:02:32):

What if we were witnessed? What if we had people we related to around us? What if that was the conversation, where the rest of us get to be not othered, but yet recognized as the rest of us together?

Jennifer Jackson (01:02:46):

I’m just really sitting with how interested I am, as I said, in the collective. And therefore, is that the direction I’m going? Earlier, I was talking about direction, but I’m just realizing I want to make sure that I’m going in the direction of the collective too, not just what works for me and my embodiment, but really more in a collective sense, including not doing microaggressions, even though that’s what we’re conditioned to do. It’s often the first thought, especially as clinicians, just really sitting with that, with my own humanity and the humanity of others in that space.

Nicola Haggett (01:03:19):

Yeah. Yeah. And I think we’re part of the collective, so I think we could pivot between this place of our own healing. We get to include our own healing as part of that. And how do we sort of not stop at that, kind of at our own healing story? Which I think is the bit for me that really is not included in the conversation.

Nicola Haggett (01:03:49):

We talk about our own personal liberation, which is not to say that’s not an important part of this, because we’re a brick in that wall. I think it’s Sonya Renee Taylor that talks about the wall and the bricks. Maybe I’m misremembering that.

Nicola Haggett (01:04:03):

And also, Sonya Renee talks about the ladder and it not being about us accepting our place on the ladder or getting more comfortable with our place on the ladder. That’s that piece of maybe it’s possible for me, with my [inaudible 01:04:19] to do enough work to get comfortable with my place on the ladder.

Nicola Haggett (01:04:25):

But actually, what would it be to step off of it and join in this [inaudible 01:04:31] world and move towards something else, build something different? That place of dismantling the ladder versus getting more comfortable with our place on it. Yeah. Thank you for naming that. I think that’s-

Chavonne McClay (01:04:43):

Oh, yeah.

Nicola Haggett (01:04:43):


Chavonne McClay (01:04:46):

Dismantling the ladder instead of being comfortable with our place on it. Oh, I love that. I love all kinds of ideas around dismantling, so I just, I love that idea.

Nicola Haggett (01:04:55):


Chavonne McClay (01:04:55):

Yeah. Absolutely.

Nicola Haggett (01:04:55):

Me too. And that is Sonya Renee Taylor [inaudible 01:04:59].

Chavonne McClay (01:05:00):

Absolutely. Absolutely. [inaudible 01:05:02].

Nicola Haggett (01:05:01):

No credit to me there.

Chavonne McClay (01:05:03):

Yeah. Absolutely. Can I go ahead and say something really quickly? Jen and I have talked a lot about repairing in the moment as things happen during these podcast interviews, and I wanted to repair it.

Chavonne McClay (01:05:18):

I don’t even know if you noticed it, but I wanted to apologize for laughing when you talked about your trip and not being able to fit in the shower and things like that. And I didn’t want you to think that I was laughing at your experience. If anything, I was laughing in commiseration, because I’ve definitely been there.

Chavonne McClay (01:05:32):

I didn’t want you to feel like I was laughing at your expense, is all I just wanted to just repair in the moment. I think, like you said, Jen, sometimes laughter is the only thing I have, and I didn’t mean to make you feel any type of way.

Chavonne McClay (01:05:43):

Or even if you didn’t hear it, I still feel really bad about that. I’ve had that experience. I probably will have that experience as I’m traveling next week. I just wanted to repair that in the moment. I apologize for that.

Nicola Haggett (01:05:55):

No. Thank you, Chavonne. And I totally got from your whole embodiment that you were sympathize, not sympathizing, empathizing with me on it. Yeah. Thank you for checking in anyway. Yeah.

Chavonne McClay (01:06:12):

Thank you.

Nicola Haggett (01:06:12):

I love that [inaudible 01:06:12] repairing in the moment.

Chavonne McClay (01:06:12):

Yeah. Definitely.

Jennifer Jackson (01:06:12):

It’s important to us in this podcast.

Chavonne McClay (01:06:14):

It is.

Jennifer Jackson (01:06:15):

And we’re also leaving reflective time at the end of a season and the beginning of a new one that we consider these things that we’ve said or have not said, and what we’d like to do about them and incorporate so that they don’t happen again or that there is an awareness of transparency so that it has the potential to have less harm.

Chavonne McClay (01:06:35):


Jennifer Jackson (01:06:36):

That’s important.

Chavonne McClay (01:06:36):

Absolutely. Yeah.

Jennifer Jackson (01:06:38):

As we’re talking about this, I was just sitting with two things that I already wanted to ask, one of which we’ve already answered. What’s left that I wanted to make sure that I asked is, in your practice of body stories, as part of body trust and also what I know is important to you, investigating and exploring your body story and those of your clients, I wanted to ask if there is a connection between that and things that come up as intersections of body justice and fat liberation.

Jennifer Jackson (01:07:13):

And what I mean by that is having not explored our body stories from the past, I don’t know if they have a present and future element, but I know of the past, if that’s what comes up, are these intersections with body justice and fat liberation? Is that the potential of what we can uncover through them? Or is there something else?

Nicola Haggett (01:07:35):

Oh, I’m not sure I’m 100% getting your question, but I’m going to have a go at it, and then if you can let me know if there’s somewhere else you want me to wiggle towards.

Jennifer Jackson (01:07:46):


Chavonne McClay (01:07:47):

Oh, I like wiggle. Oh, I like that. I need to start using that word more. That just made me happy inside.

Nicola Haggett (01:07:53):

Yeah. No. Let’s wiggle there. For me, body stories are lots of different things. It’s not like one exercise. I don’t know. Sometimes people think of body stories like a timeline or something, and that can be one entry point into exploring our relationship with our body or our story. But there are lots of ways to look at it.

Nicola Haggett (01:08:18):

And I think for me, it starts with, what has my lived experience been in my body? What has each person’s been? Of course, in there, there’s going to be different intersections, because our lives are intersectional. I’m going to use me as an example, because that feels like… I’m not bringing in any of my clients.

Nicola Haggett (01:08:42):

But when I think of my body story, in there, there is growing up in the Troubles in Ireland. And what did crossing a border to visit my granny and having checkpoints and very much a hostile police presence and a sense of not safeness in my body, how is that part of my body?

Nicola Haggett (01:09:07):

And also, how does growing up in that context as an Irish person living in Northern Ireland, where I was taught to, who was I in relation to the others there, which were British colonizers as well. And where’s my relationship?

Nicola Haggett (01:09:27):

But that’s all part of my body story. My fatness is part of my body story, the ways in which that identity has impacted by experience of the world, the ways in which me being someone that was assigned female at birth has impacted my experience in the world, intersecting with body justice and choice and reproductive rights and how that intersects with my experience as someone who’s raised to be Catholic. And how did that impact my sense of body shame or my sense of agency in my body?

Nicola Haggett (01:10:03):

How did me moving over to England impact it, and my experiences of mental health challenges, and my neurodiversity, and having a baby, and all… Really, it’s kind of like, what have been my lived experiences in my body? What stands out? And where has that enhanced and disrupted my experience of embodiment?

Nicola Haggett (01:10:28):

And from there, the threads can unravel. I think for me, the intersections are there. And then also, I think that for me as someone who perhaps the main barrier, I think, to movement is my fatness, it varies at different times actually, but I think that there is a lot to be said for organizing around a specific experience and then also being in coalition with other movements as well.

Nicola Haggett (01:10:59):

For me, there’s this intrapersonal journey where I’m looking at all these intersections, and then there’s kind of not stopping at my own experience, and then being in coalition with other movements and in community with other movements and learning from and taking that back.

Nicola Haggett (01:11:18):

And so the whole thing is interlinked for me. Did that answer your question? Or were you looking to wiggle somewhere else with it?

Jennifer Jackson (01:11:26):

That was wonderful. My brain exited halfway through my question, and so I kept going anyway. But you somehow still got exactly what I was saying, so that’s wonderful. No. No. I was thinking about how body stories are, and I wanted to hear from you, which I just did, that they’re not static, that they’re dynamic.

Jennifer Jackson (01:11:47):

A timeline, it feels so static to me. And yes, that can be a tool, but it’s more like, what are… This is something I say all the time. Sorry, people listening to the podcast. You’re going to hear me say this over and over and over and over. [inaudible 01:11:58] us from the past all live within us. I love that you phrased that as-

Nicola Haggett (01:12:04):

Yeah. What’s here now?

Jennifer Jackson (01:12:05):

Yeah. Lived experiences. I almost heard that as a Rolodex, a compilation, a drawer, a place where we can go visit. Body stories is a place to go visit ourselves, not just the self of now, but all the other selves.

Jennifer Jackson (01:12:20):

And even in this what if, imagining space, I could see how this experience, I often think of how we accidentally misfile past and future things into the present drawer were this is happening now, but it really happened somewhere else.

Jennifer Jackson (01:12:37):

And I was just hearing you talk, and I was actually having this visual of filing things in the past drawer, in the present drawer, in the future drawer. Actually having these conversations with all the versions of ourselves keeps things in a space where they can play with each other. They’re not just fighting with each other or competing or some kind of thought like that.

Nicola Haggett (01:13:00):

Yeah. Oh, I love the filing thing. And for me also, the way I described it perhaps there is a little bit in that kind of catalog-y place. But I think another part of this is that place of, okay, what’s here right now? And we can almost look at where that shit made sense, where that embodiment that I’m going into habitually in this moment, where that made sense in my body stories.

Nicola Haggett (01:13:30):

And I think when we name our stories more from a place of being the author rather than a place of this happened to me, it creates that space to kind of take it out and look at it and muddy it and say, “Is this true? Was this true? Do I want to burn that contract, if you like, that I somehow entered into at some point?”

Nicola Haggett (01:13:58):

And I think it’s this space of not making old versions of ourselves wrong versions of ourself. You know what I mean? The ways in which we coped in the past or what we did to survive or what was the best that we had to do, not making that wrong, but being able to look at it from a different perspective.

Nicola Haggett (01:14:15):

And from there, it could be a choice in the present moment to kind of lessen the attachment to that, because I think that so many times, that old embodiment, that old shit that we’re inhabiting, that shame story or whatever it is, can show up now, and because it’s become habitual in the culture that we live in.

Nicola Haggett (01:14:37):

And so for me, body stories, yes, they are a lot about looking back, but they’re also about what’s here right now. How does that make sense given my lived experiences? And you talked about the future. What’s the what if I want to try and practice in this moment? And I can increase my capacity for that.

Nicola Haggett (01:15:03):

For me, stories are an embodied experience. They’re not always. We can tell them in a way that feels very not. But I think that if we can be embodied, we can pay attention to what’s the new story that wants to be said?

Chavonne McClay (01:15:20):

Oh. Oh, that’s good. That’s really, really good. I don’t know what I wanted to say. I just wanted to say that was really good.

Jennifer Jackson (01:15:25):

I’m just sitting with the story that wants to be said.

Chavonne McClay (01:15:30):

Yes. Yes. And the idea of a story not being static, that’s really sitting with me. And something you said earlier about what aspect of your identity is most prevalent right now. Maybe it’s this right now, but at another time, it might be this. For me personally, it’s about my, what’s prevalent is my body size, and another day it might be my Blackness.

Chavonne McClay (01:15:52):

It’s just like it’s all of the moving parts, and not having to make it this very static thing with, this is my story. This is what it is, and this is what I live with. I just really love that. I really love that idea. Yeah. But body stories. Ah.

Jennifer Jackson (01:16:08):

Just realizing how many past versions of me said things like, “I’m just loud,” without having an understanding of what that means for me. Or just earlier, I was reflecting that people are like, “Just do this.” And I’m realizing that I can be vulnerable to saying that to myself too. It’s the same conditioning. I’m just loud.

Nicola Haggett (01:16:27):

Me too.

Jennifer Jackson (01:16:28):

Deal with it. But I’m just honest, but also, maybe I was being cruel. There’s really time to look at that. I’m going to sit with that one.

Chavonne McClay (01:16:38):

Yeah. [inaudible 01:16:39].

Nicola Haggett (01:16:39):

We do so much justing and shoulding on ourselves. Just thinking how many times I say, “That’s just my personality.” And I’m just curious about what’s personality and what’s been a trauma response? And what’s been a way of coping? And all of that. I’m picking it, but also not making myself wrong for being where I am right now. Yeah.

Jennifer Jackson (01:17:00):

That’s beautiful.

Chavonne McClay (01:17:06):

Yeah. Giving yourself permission to acknowledge that this was a trauma response, but also not using it as a reason or an excuse for some behavior that might have been harmful to yourself or to other people. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, that’s great.

Nicola Haggett (01:17:23):


Chavonne McClay (01:17:23):


Nicola Haggett (01:17:23):


Jennifer Jackson (01:17:25):


Chavonne McClay (01:17:25):


Jennifer Jackson (01:17:27):

Yeah. I want to dance about that a little bit.

Chavonne McClay (01:17:29):

I had to dance for a minute. Okay. There’s lots of dancing on this podcast. Can you describe how trusting our bodies is the opposite of the search for a cure or purification? Which is really a violent part of our collective world culture.

Nicola Haggett (01:17:46):

Yeah. It’s something that I think about. Again, coming back to my experiences of both, I guess, chronic illness and also fatness, the idea of a cure for being fat, and then the complications, I don’t know, the complexity is the word I’m looking for, of chronic illness and this idea of body trust, or the idea of feeling at home in our bodies, and how can you explore that, not from a perspective of locating the problem within our body?

Nicola Haggett (01:18:34):

I think sometimes when we talk about magical thinking or hope or all the ways in which we cope with being in a body that we hope is temporary, how that in itself can be an act of violence against ourselves. And I don’t want to minimize the very real experience that navigating chronic illness in an ableist culture, the high ideas around body trust might not feel accessible to everyone.

Nicola Haggett (01:19:10):

I think there’s something [inaudible 01:19:11] how can we work with what’s here, not in a way of… What am I trying to say? Not in a way that feels like apathy or feels like stuckness, but also not in a way that outsources our living to some point in the future.

Nicola Haggett (01:19:36):

It’s really like, where can we kind of locate the problem outside of us, to culture, to medical industrial complex, to systems of oppression, and locate ourselves within our body in a way that feels resourceful to us within that? Sometimes that might feel like numbing, distracting, and self preservation. And that’s okay.

Nicola Haggett (01:20:02):

But I think, I don’t know. It’s something I’m open to [inaudible 01:20:04] but definitely how the idea of a cure can be both helpful but also can really disconnect us from the present moment. And maybe that makes sense sometimes, but where does it perhaps position us separate from ourselves? And how can we kind of play with that and locate the problem outside of ourselves?

Nicola Haggett (01:20:28):

That’s just something I’m playing with at the moment and making sense of my own chronic illness and how ideas like joyful movement aren’t always accessible to me. But also, where is there still room for joy at times? And if I’m living too much in the hope of something different, where do I miss out in something here?

Chavonne McClay (01:21:00):


Jennifer Jackson (01:21:02):

My goodness, Nikki. This is-

PART 3 OF 4 ENDS [01:21:04]

Nicola Haggett (01:21:03):


Jennifer Jackson (01:21:03):

My goodness, Nikki. I am like-

Nicola Haggett (01:21:07):

Did that make any sense?

Jennifer Jackson (01:21:09):

It does. No, no, no, no.

Chavonne McClay (01:21:09):

Oh, it does. It does. It does.

Jennifer Jackson (01:21:10):

It absolutely does. Sorry. Let me explain myself. First of all, it’s having me sit with the next question already in this context, which makes me really want to ask it in this context actually. There is a lack of permanence in what you’re saying that reminds me of radical acceptance of each moment or as close as we can get to that for ourselves, of being in the now, and allowing for the future, but not just fast-forwarding to the future, and thinking about the what ifs we were talking about earlier, releasing to open space.

Jennifer Jackson (01:22:02):

I can’t even remember who started saying this. I’m pretty sure I saw this on Instagram. I will try to find the original person that I saw this from, but someone who talked about ifformations versus affirmations, that an affirmation is like, “I am a goddess. I’m an all-knowing being.” These sorts of fantasy kind of thinking is what affirmations with an A tends to be like to affirm a reality that doesn’t yet exist, but does not necessarily consider if it’s possible for us.

Jennifer Jackson (01:22:32):

I don’t mean that people should keep themselves from thinking about even what feels maybe beyond the realm of possibility, but more that it’s like a glossing over of things that requires some depth that might be missing. Not requires, but it might be helpful to have more depth. And a way in which I consider that depth is ifformations, which are just what-if statements.

Jennifer Jackson (01:22:53):

Ifformations tend to be like, what if I can or am or something else… For example, what if I can be as proud of myself as my therapist, is something I use as a what-if statement for myself all the time. What if I can see myself the way my partner sees me even if only for a moment? That the grandness of affirmations and also that they center manifesting and other things that are really actually about privilege. That gives an opportunity for moments.

Jennifer Jackson (01:23:37):

The word breath is almost coming to mind. In the space of a breath that I might be able to have a moment of joy may be my personal revolution. That’s what I have access to versus being positive all the time, which could just be a mask, like something that feels more related to me.

Jennifer Jackson (01:23:58):

It’s making me think of the word reclaim. I was thinking about that while you were talking, especially the word fatness or I am fat, and how that can be healing, and how that can be a reminder even to myself that my lived experience is valid right now and the other lived experiences and these body stories, and also that I get to determine things for myself. I don’t just have to show up and meet a definition or a distinction. I get to determine these things.

Jennifer Jackson (01:24:34):

Something you and I have talked about before, Nikki, and I’ve been thinking of is that the word reclaim can also feel static or like we’re in a news cycle that we didn’t mean to be in. It’s sometimes a trap, just like thinking about manifestation and words like that and privilege that kind of get thrown around. If we don’t have the accessibility or the ability within ourselves to do something, it can feel like reclaiming something can also be a trap, or at least that’s how I’m thinking about it. I’m wondering how that sits for you.

Nicola Haggett (01:25:07):

Yeah, I think I kind of like resilience, like reclaim, a reclamation. I have different relationships with it that sometimes can feel positive, and other friends cannot. I think it’s okay to have both, have that plurality exist. I think for me, reclamation can be resourcing to me when I can think of it as naming what’s my birthright, naming where I… agency is… I am sovereign, for example. I’m always sovereign. That can feel important to name.

Nicola Haggett (01:25:51):

And where I think it can feel sticky for me, and I’m still kind of navigating, is where it sometimes can imply that we’ve got to get back to something or that we’re almost racing what’s happened in between. It’s like the word healing, isn’t it, or recovery or any of these things, and the relationship with hope? I think that they can be really resourcing when it feels like it’s helping us with an action towards from where we are. But it can feel not helpful when it feels like we’ve got to get to somewhere in order to start to live or to start to kind of…

Nicola Haggett (01:26:42):

Yeah, it’s both/and. For me, it’s a both/and. I think also this piece of imagination for me, I’m really… And it’s something I’m really starting to lean into now and project I’m working on around radical re-imagination. I’m really baby-stepping my way into other spaces that are using these practices. So any way that I explain it that is perhaps missing stuff is all on me, is what I want to say there.

Nicola Haggett (01:27:15):

When I think of the power of fantasy, and I think of Octavia Butler’s work, and I think of places where we can imagine and play, and imagine not because we’re trying to create that, but imagine because it takes that stuff to our brain, and it can really be resourcing in that place. I think what I want to be intentional about is not trying to bring that all in, but it’s kind of like where is the possibility in that for something different?

Nicola Haggett (01:27:48):

Because I think what that does is it takes us away from the problem, as the location of acting away from the problem. It can almost be a place to… If we can find spaces to imagine the what ifs and the fantasy in a place, where it’s not in a world where we’ve changed or we’ve been fixed or we’re cured, but a world where it’s different and it meets us fully as we are in that… What if that? If I can bring a tiny bit of that and think, “Okay, what’s possible for me now here? What’s here?” Like you said, what’s my own in my context tiny thing that’s stirred in me, and what’s that story that I want and try to move towards?

Nicola Haggett (01:28:38):

It’s connected, but it’s not the same. I don’t know if that makes sense, but I’m really playing with what is… We often demonize magical thinking and fantasy, and I certainly have been there. What I’m playing with is the magical thinking that feels like I’ve got to be different to fix versus what’s the resourcing in reminding myself that this is somebody’s framing, this is some lens of a worldview or whatever that we’re living in, and that actually there could be something different. I think that, I don’t know, there’s something there that I’m learning from others about at the moment. Yeah.

Chavonne McClay (01:29:23):

I’m sorry. It’s more of a global magical thinking than an individual magical thinking, it sounds like maybe. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Nicola Haggett (01:29:30):

Yeah. Well, I think it’s that thing of I think we really have a crisis of imagination, don’t we? Because it’s hard to imagine something different because it’s always within reference to what’s wrong. We get imagination conditioned out of us. I think of my kids and the stuff they come up with just like, “Wow,” and remembering I had that.

Nicola Haggett (01:29:56):

Whereas now almost immediately, there’s, “Oh, but that wouldn’t work because of X, Y, and Z or because of this.” So align ourselves to imagining for the sake of imagining rather than because we then have to, it’s only our job to create that in the current world, but because it opens up something within us that it’s like a tiny shift. Yeah.

Chavonne McClay (01:30:24):

Nikki, there was a podcast episode on The Needy podcast, and there’s a quote that you said that really has stuck with me since then. I’ve texted people about it. I’ve been talking about it kind of nonstop since then. But the quote is, “Perfectionism is buying into a system that benefits from my shame.” I love that. I find that so powerful and so helpful in a lot of different ways.

Chavonne McClay (01:30:51):

So I wanted to ask you, how do you recognize when perfectionism is affecting you? How do you recommend that someone practices self-care? Because I think there’s so much perfectionism around. So how do you practice it in a way that isn’t focused on what’s “right” or what’s perfect?

Nicola Haggett (01:31:12):

Yeah. I think I want to give credit for that quote. I mean, I think I’ve put together two different things that I’ve been sitting with. To name Sonya Renee Taylor, who’s such an awesome teacher, she talks about not buying into systems of oppression that benefit from our shame.

Nicola Haggett (01:31:34):

I think for me, there was a big recognition when I was able to identify perfectionism as one of the hallmarks of white supremacy culture. In a lot of the great teachers that I’ve had, we’ve been able to name that and going, “Oh, perfectionism is part of that, and when I’m in that place of perfectionism, then I’m buying into that system of oppression that benefits from my shame.” Yeah.

Nicola Haggett (01:32:11):

How do I recognize it? Oh my gosh. Perfectionism… I don’t know that I always recognize it. I think that for me, I notice that if I’m in a place where it feels like I’m striving or grasping or I’m making myself wrong or I’m trying to follow some kind of rules. So it feels like a very binary place to be in. There’s something that I’m trying to get to, and it feels in my body like a very inflexible place. It doesn’t feel expansive and like there’s space for me to pause or to rest or to try something different or to be curious.

Nicola Haggett (01:32:55):

I think when I’m in a place of perfectionism, then I’m not curious. I’m not compassionate with myself. I’m often a little bit stuck, and grasping, and frustrated. So I think how I notice it is from that place of checking in with my body and being like, “Ah, what’s here right now? I notice that I’m feeling there’s something that I’m doing wrong. There’s something that’s missing or I’m somehow not enough here. What’s that about?” So paying attention to what’s here and naming it.

Nicola Haggett (01:33:36):

Then I guess trying to resource myself, and split something different from a more grounded place, from a more centered place, and acting from there. It’s certainly a practice because, I don’t know, perfectionism just seems to pop up. In that same podcast, I remember Mara Glatzel talking about it being like Whac-A-Mole. I do feel like perfectionism Whac-A-Mole is in my life, for sure. Yeah, I try and notice it, name it, and then ground myself in a more resourced place. That’s a place that is more compassionate, more resourceful, and more curious. Yeah, I try and move from there as much as I can.

Chavonne McClay (01:34:21):

I love that idea of, I use the word indicators a lot in the work that I do, those indicators. If I’m feeling like I’m grasping or I can’t be compassionate to myself, that can be a really good signal, I like the word signal too, that perfectionism is popping up. It’s Whac-A-Mole head. Yeah, I love that.

Jennifer Jackson (01:34:41):

Like a-

Nicola Haggett (01:34:42):

I love that, indicators. Yeah.

Chavonne McClay (01:34:43):

Yeah, I use that one a lot. Yeah.

Jennifer Jackson (01:34:45):

Yeah, like a sacred message that feels like we should be listening to it, and even if that’s hard or even if we first feel like we shouldn’t do that, pay attention to it.

Nicola Haggett (01:34:57):

It’s so inconvenient. Yeah, yeah, but also, it’s another way that we disconnect, where our sensation is telling us something different, and we’re like, “No, no, no, no, no, no. We’re going to override that, and we’re going to move to here because you know where we’re at’s not okay,” or, “It’s not good enough,” or, “We need to be somewhere else.” Yeah.

Jennifer Jackson (01:35:23):

So thank you for being with us today, Nikki. We’ve talked about a lot of systemic and interpersonal things in this chat we’ve had with each other. What do you think we can all do listening, Chavonne and I here, to make a difference from what we’ve talked about today?

Nicola Haggett (01:35:42):

I think-

Jennifer Jackson (01:35:44):

It’s not a big question or anything. No big deal.

Nicola Haggett (01:35:52):

It’s not a big question.

Chavonne McClay (01:35:52):

No. Don’t worry about it.

Nicola Haggett (01:35:53):

Thank you for naming that. I think maybe there’s a couple of, I don’t know, starting places depending. I think, first, to name that I’m not in any way a teacher or expert in any of this staff. I’m practicing it here alongside. So there’s lots of awesome people that I would recommend checking out that we’ve talked about.

Nicola Haggett (01:36:11):

I think just a piece of this is maybe playing with your body story. What have your lived experiences been in your body? How has your body, just as it is, has helped you to survive? Where did you first learn that your body was a problem? We’re talking about the body there like an object almost, but that’s because that’s the culture we live in. So it’s like when did that rupture happen or where did it make sense?

Nicola Haggett (01:36:35):

So it’s being curious about that from a place of not pathologizing or making it wrong, from that space of locating it outside of ourselves, locating the problem outside of ourselves, and putting it where it belongs in those cultural messages, those societal messages that we get that kind of feed into that idea that we’re not enough, that we’re not okay as we are.

Nicola Haggett (01:37:05):

Then another thing might be to… okay, two more things. One might be to find spaces where the rest of us are centered and lifted up and those voices are lifted up rather than the spaces where the dominant norm is lifted up. So where can you find spaces, both where you can be witnessed and held, and also where you can… because you named we typically heal in relationship with other people.

Nicola Haggett (01:37:35):

It’s those communities where we can validate the wisdom and the ways that work, and what’s helped us, and what supports us. I think find those places, look out for those people, listen to those people. There’s so many amazing teachers out there, including Sonya Renee Taylor. I want to say has a Patreon and The Body Is Not an Apology, but lots of other folks.

Nicola Haggett (01:37:58):

Then the third piece I want to add is maybe practicing a little bit of a centering. If that feels accessible to you, when is a moment when you felt a real sense of aliveness, and connection, and… I don’t know. I don’t want to say at-homeness because that’s not always accessible. For me, it’s a sense of aliveness and connection in your body that you had that at-oneness. Can you just practice bringing that memory to mind, feeling the sensations in your body, and grounding into that?

Nicola Haggett (01:38:42):

I know that that can be a big ask, and we might sometimes feel like we’ve got to titrate our way there, but kind of playing around with what’s your version of what if that might be wanting to be heard at the moment and knowing that that’s going to change, and shift, and evolve. But it’s not one story we’re trying to live towards. Those would be my three things. That’s cheating, I know.

Chavonne McClay (01:39:01):

No, that was great.

Jennifer Jackson (01:39:01):

That’s right.

Chavonne McClay (01:39:03):

Yeah, I would agree with all of that, except when you said that you’re not a teacher. You absolutely have taught me so much, and it’s been such an honor and such a gift to learn from you today and other times that I’ve learned from you. So thank you.

Nicola Haggett (01:39:18):

Oh, thank you, Chavonne. Yeah, I’ve learned so much just chatting to you two as well.

Chavonne McClay (01:39:24):

So thank you so much for being here with us. As we close out today, what would you like everyone listening to know about what you’re up to and how they can find you?

Nicola Haggett (01:39:33):

Yeah. No, thank you so much for having me. I really enjoyed this chat and all the places we wiggled into together. I guess what am I up to? I’m not the most visible person online. I’m going to be real there, but you can find me on Instagram at Nicola Haggett. Probably the best place to find out what I’m up to is signing up to my newsletter on my website. Quite sporadic, but I do send stuff out when I’m up to stuff.

Jennifer Jackson (01:40:06):

It’s so good.

Chavonne McClay (01:40:06):

I think it’s great.

Jennifer Jackson (01:40:06):

It’s so good.

Nicola Haggett (01:40:09):

It’s very sporadic. But I am at the moment working on a few things. I’m going to be doing some in-person Exploring Body Trust groups in London. So for anyone from London, that’s coming up. I’m hoping for one of those groups to be fat-exclusive. It’s something I’d really love.

Nicola Haggett (01:40:26):

I’m hoping to be joining with some folks in some unlearning circles, some other professionals, where we can be in the unlearning together rather than some more peer facilitation. The third thing is I’m hoping to do a rewriting your body story expressive writing little e-course thing with the option of being witnessed in groups. So those are three things I’ve got in the works, but-

Chavonne McClay (01:40:59):

I want to do that.

Nicola Haggett (01:41:01):

… probably my newsletter is the best place.

Chavonne McClay (01:41:04):

Okay. Can you tell us a little bit about the unlearning marathon that you’re a part of? Jen told me that you’re doing something called that.

Jennifer Jackson (01:41:11):

If you want.

Nicola Haggett (01:41:12):


Chavonne McClay (01:41:12):

If you want.

Nicola Haggett (01:41:15):

Yeah. It’s something I’m really just, oh, at the beginning of now. So I wanted to really journey with this question of how do I embody body liberation with some other folks that are working towards collective liberation in different spaces. I really wanted it to be a UK experience so I can really connect into other movements that are bridged over here, as well as all the amazing discussions I have with folks in the US.

Nicola Haggett (01:41:47):

Yeah, my learning marathon is a peer-led learning journey where we’re all journeying with a question. It relates to radically reimagining change and in a way that we’re kind of practicing our way there in a very embodied sense. So figuring out what are the ways in which I embody this in my life personally, in my business, and also with other people, and what are some other ways that I might want to lean into. So I’m very much at the beginning of that, and I’ll be finished it at the end of this year.

Chavonne McClay (01:42:23):

Oh, wow.

Nicola Haggett (01:42:24):

Something is going to come out of it, which is not going to be a kind of, “Here’s how we embody body liberation,” because that would not come from me, but maybe with some entry points for exploration based on, hey, here’s some of the places where I have… I’m going to use the wiggle too because that seems to be coming up. Here’s some little places I’m with and at, and here’s some of the teachers I’ve had, and here’s some of the practices that have helped me and I’ve learned from other people. So kind of as a free resource that other people can take, and pick up, and run with in their own way. That’s at the really early stages, but that’s something I’m doing.

Chavonne McClay (01:43:03):

That’s so exciting.

Jennifer Jackson (01:43:03):

I can’t wait.

Chavonne McClay (01:43:04):

Yeah, cannot wait. Cannot wait. Then Jen told me that you’re thinking about starting a podcast of your own. Is that true or what about? Tell me all the themes. Yeah, sorry.

Nicola Haggett (01:43:19):

I would love to. I think, yeah, that might not happen. I don’t know. I think I don’t want to center my voice in it, but I want to maybe have a podcast, which is more about practicing body liberation, and chatting to other folks that are practicing their way towards something different, and how can we collectively practice our way there.

Nicola Haggett (01:43:47):

Yeah. So there might be a podcast. I’m just trying to figure out, yeah, what that might look like. Rather than it be about me talking about how I’m practicing, how can we have a shared discussion about it? You folks are already doing that here, so maybe I could just listen to your podcast instead.

Chavonne McClay (01:44:06):

I would love to listen to your podcast. Yes.

Jennifer Jackson (01:44:15):

Oh, I’m going to hold space for that. I’m just going to hold it. I’m just holding it for you.

Chavonne McClay (01:44:18):

I love it.

Jennifer Jackson (01:44:21):

Thank you for sharing-

Chavonne McClay (01:44:26):

Makes me want to wiggle since that’s my favorite word right now.

Jennifer Jackson (01:44:29):

Yeah, wiggle.

Chavonne McClay (01:44:29):

Can’t stop saying it in my head. It makes me so happy. Sorry, go ahead.

Jennifer Jackson (01:44:29):

I’m going to take that with me too.

Chavonne McClay (01:44:30):

I know.

Jennifer Jackson (01:44:31):

I’m really interested in wiggling.

Chavonne McClay (01:44:33):


Jennifer Jackson (01:44:37):

I can’t believe that you were here with us. I am so excited. I got so much out of this.

Chavonne McClay (01:44:43):

I know.

Jennifer Jackson (01:44:43):

And I feel a lot percolating up that I’m going to keep sitting with, and I think people are going to get so very much out of listening to your really compassionate-centered wisdom. So I’m just excited, and I don’t want to end it, but I have to because it’s the end.

Chavonne McClay (01:45:09):

I know. Just stay with us forever.

Jennifer Jackson (01:45:10):

So I just want to tell-

Chavonne McClay (01:45:10):

We’ll just have to have you back next season. That’s all.

Jennifer Jackson (01:45:11):


Chavonne McClay (01:45:12):

We’ll see.

Jennifer Jackson (01:45:15):

Yeah. For people listening, I’m raising my arms in the arm, pointing around just like mentioning it.

Chavonne McClay (01:45:19):

She’s wiggling.

Jennifer Jackson (01:45:23):

Well, thank you so much for being with you. We’re so excited… Oh, being with you?

Nicola Haggett (01:45:26):

Thank you.

Jennifer Jackson (01:45:26):

Thank you for being with us. That’s exactly the energy I have here at the end. No need to edit it.

Nicola Haggett (01:45:34):

It was so much fun.

Chavonne McClay (01:45:35):

We can edit it out, yeah.

Jennifer Jackson (01:45:41):

Thank you for bringing a light-

Nicola Haggett (01:45:41):

Yeah. No, it was so much fun.

Jennifer Jackson (01:45:41):

And thank you for bringing a lightness to this, a focused look at it, and a lot of permission to just be with ourselves. Thank you.

Chavonne McClay (01:45:50):

Yeah, yeah. Thank you so much. We really appreciate it.

Nicola Haggett (01:45:52):

Well, thank you for this too. Yeah.

Jennifer Jackson (01:45:55):

Thank you for listening to Season 1 of the Embodiment for the Rest of Us podcast. Episodes will be published every two weeks, wherever you listen to podcasts.

Chavonne McClay (01:46:03):

You can also find the podcast at our website, embodimentfortherestofus.com, and follow us on social media on Twitter @EmbodimentUs-

Jennifer Jackson (01:46:10):

… and on Instagram at Embodiment for the Rest of Us. We look forward to being with you again next time in conversation.

PART 4 OF 4 ENDS [01:46:25]