Yasmina McGlone is a motivation speaker, blogger and disability advocate who has lived her entire life with a body that works a little bit differently than her peers. In early life, she never thought about it, or even realized it, but by the time she hit high school, Myoclonus Dystonia was impacting her self-esteem and mental health. Listen to this wonderfully self-aware individual talk about her life and how she went from shame to full acceptance and celebration of herself. And also hear how she went from being born in France, to being raised in Scotland to currently living in Australia!
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Naveh Eldar 0:00
There were two points I wanted to make before the interview starts. First, I wanted you to notice how differently Yasmina sounds during the first question, compared to later in the episode. Before I start any interview, I always spend a few minutes chatting with the guest, and just answering questions and kind of getting to know each other a little bit. And as soon as I hit the record button, yes mean, his voice completely changed, her vocal cords tensed up. And she just sounded like a different person. I personally didn't care. And if she didn't ask me to pause, I was just going to keep recording and knowing that she would relax, which she does. I bring this up because she actually speaks about how anxiety and stress impacts her vocal cords in the second half of the interview. And I wasn't even sure what she was talking about it if she was aware that it happened during our talk. And so I wrote her and asked her if it was okay, if I pointed that out. And she actually encouraged me to let let you know. So you saw in real time, that and have understanding of what she goes through at times. And the second thing I wanted to point out was that some of my favorite moments, is when a guest goes from speaking to my podcast audience to just talking to me, this conversation just gets a lot more personal and insightful and intimate. Around the 16 minute mark of the interview. For me, that is when he asked me, you know, went from a guest presenting to a friend who was sharing, and we joked after the recording ended, that I was now a member of her tribe, and you'll understand a little bit about that as you listen as well. But that moment starts after my question about her transitioning to high school. So see if you noticed that as well. And now on to the episode.
Welcome to the landscape, a podcast to shed light on the people programs and businesses that are changing the landscape for individuals with any type of disability. I'm your host Naveh Eldar. Today's guest is Yasmina McGlone, who is a motivational speaker, blogger, and disability advocate living in Australia. Yasmina is one of the most self aware guests I've ever spoken to. And she talks about her life and how it was impacted by having a body that works a bit differently than most of our peers. It wasn't until she was an adult that she was finally diagnosed with myoclonus dystonia before the interview starts. If you are new to the landscape, please subscribe, recommend to others, and leave a review on Apple podcast. Today's episode starts with Yasmina explaining how she was born in France, grew up in Scotland, and now lives in Australia.
Yasmina McGlone 3:20
My dad's family and my dad, the French Algerian and so my mom Scottish. And so yeah, we were living in France when I was born, then my parents separated and also rotund ones. So we move back to Scotland, and I left with my mom. So I was raised in Scotland, and then at 21, my parents and my mom and stepdad, but we are a one way ticket to Australia. But it was my idea, or was it just them? Like, here's
a ticket go to Australia, it was
like, we spoke about it. And yeah, like it's really one that was about a lost soul. I guess I just didn't know, like, we're all fat in the world. And I wanted to change. I wasn't happy. And I didn't like thinking on that road I was going to own and so yeah, I thought I need to try and do something different and see if I can get like a different outcome. So yeah, so I haven't touched Julia. And the plan was to move to Estonia, or basically just you know, grew up with that and become a bit more independent. And so yeah, I turned 21 and then jumped in a flight test.
Naveh Eldar 4:34
So I don't know how easy it is to move to Australia. But I know you could have moved like anywhere pretty easily in in Europe so so what made you go to Australia?
Yasmina McGlone 4:45
I think it's funny like when I was I remember being younger and always known. I just always had this I'm a big believer in like that gut feeling and intuition always had this feeling that I wasn't going to live and Scotland's and so that was looking like kind of like fantasize about different countries. I think for Australia, there was like, you know, a few people had a friend that was coming over. And so I think that was probably the biggest thing. Like, I was like, Oh, I knew one person that was doing it. So I'd have like that. Like, I'd have someone over there. And then yeah, and so like, you know, my stepdad had family, a family left there. So it wasn't like Australia was this big, unknown country. And yet to honest, I didn't really think about it. Like, I actually didn't have much awareness of how far away it still was. And basically, how bigger Stewie was, I probably went, and my favorite that I didn't do too much pre m, like, you know, research, I'm very much if I have like a feeling I just go and do it. And then people are like, why you did not like I don't know, I just got a feeling. So I just kind of take the action and think, think about it
Naveh Eldar 5:49
later. Gotcha. And so what were you supposed to do for that one year? Like you had a very set plan? And so what was your plan for that? One year? I didn't have a plan actually. I came.
Yasmina McGlone 6:03
I came out with 2000 Australian dollars saved no money, no job. And yes, a lot of money. But yeah, not a job or experience or even have a clue. So my friend, I cannot just followed hot, like, you know, like where she was going to fart. So she was a mugger. I was like kill going my grandma. And then my friend and her cousin were going up to broom. So I was like, uh, go up with them to broom. But what I didn't realize is broom is big on hospitality. So all the jobs, they are the main jobs were like waitressing bartending, which I'm not able to do because my hands aren't mysterious, and that people like to have, you know, the drinks or food like you know, on their plates and not on top of them or you know, on the floor. And so like I get to brim and I'm just like, oh my goodness, I don't know how I'm gonna get a job here. And so I remember setting that say, at the backpackers because I still had a lot of like social anxiety up just because I had like a lot of anxiety full stop. I was very good at masking over and sage and gather so much I struggled with like being in backpackers I really struggled with speaking to people. So I remember sitting outside my bedroom and I had like that, like, I don't know what it was like a phonebook. Just trying to like, look at places I could apply for jobs is like a cleaner. I was like anathan I'll take anything. And they Yes. So I remember the first couple months I was thinking Have I made a massive mistake. I was on the phone, somebody might be crying. Because I was like I mess home and then also didn't want to go home. I felt like if I went home after two months, I'd be a failure. Sure. So yeah, so there's no plan. And it was it was actually in one. I think it was like I was two months and my $2,000 it doesn't really go that far when you're paying for food. I was paying for like the backpackers accommodation. And I had no idea when I was going to get a job. And then I had just applying for like nanny jobs. Like I have a lot like oh, done babysitting since I was young. And then I volunteered and skills from the age of 18 until 21 until I left for Australia. So I've always been passionate about working with children. And so I was applying for nanny jobs. And then one day I remember just getting this call from a man called Aberdeen tea. I was like, Oh, I'm a single dad. I've got two kids. Would you come to South hedland and a nanny? And I was like, Sure. So yeah, we took a chance on each other because none of us knew each other from Adam. And
Naveh Eldar 8:39
Yasmina McGlone 8:39
Yeah. And that was my first job in Australia. and South hedland actually ended up being seven hours away from broom. I can't even remember applying for the job. But when he called me with the job, I was like, I'll take it I roll and he was just like, make sure he has children in the car before
you get in the car. Yes.
Naveh Eldar 8:57
Yasmina McGlone 8:58
He did. He had children everything. Yeah, amazing experience. That was the that was the start of it. Really?
Naveh Eldar 9:06
We're not gonna spend much time on this. But how long did you end up marrying for him?
Yasmina McGlone 9:10
And so I ended up there for seven months. Okay, yeah, it has him tensed up already, but at the time has girlfriends and she moved in and we became amazing best friends. The three of us were like The Three Musketeers. And I love Jay snow actually, unfortunately, Anthony passed away a couple years ago from pancreatic cancer. So I was scared a tough time. A jest of a we've hurt our friendship has just grown from that from when we first met him years ago and legacy we're loving together. No. So yeah.
Naveh Eldar 9:51
It's always difficult to lose somebody especially to something like that, you know. So we're actually going to go back and work our way forward to Australia. So let's go. Let's go on back to Scotland. Obviously, you spoke about not wanting to do waiting jobs or anything like that, because your handshake, and we're going to get into all of that. And obviously, my show was around disability issues. But I was you have some really good content on social media, and you write a blog, which we're going to get into. And I know that you said, You didn't even realize that something was different about you until you went to school. And so what happened when you went to school that made you realize that and then how did it impact you? And how did it make you feel?
Yasmina McGlone 10:39
Yeah, I think for me, it's funny, because I only realized when other people realized, obviously, for me growing up, so for me, it's just my body, like, this is my body. And I work with it. Like I don't, I've never, it's funny. I think like being young, I don't have the best memory when it comes to really early childhood. However, I don't remember thinking there's something wrong with my body. However, I remember going to school, and then it's definitely start school. It's not, it's like you have to like, right, you have to set and the group. So you have to set new chairs, and you have to write and so I do have some memories of sitting in my chair, really awkward positions, trying to stay in my muscles. So I could like, you know, do the right and, and because obviously, it was new for me in so I find that sometimes, you know, because my body is a bit more sensitive. And so it just, it's just responding to like, you know, like what's going on externally or internally. And so right, I remember right, and when I was really young, and yes, and like just yeah, and these possessions, and for me, it was just like I'm just walking with my body have I remember getting a letter sent home one time, and my mum read in it. And in the letter, it seemed like I was spoke about me not speak sitting on my chair properly. I couldn't even tell you like who wrote the letter, what premiums and but I just remember hearing my mom read the letter to me that the teacher approval and the thinking or so I'm not meant to be moving around. And so I think that's when I you know, then I started to think oh, like, you know, there's something wrong with me. And then I think obviously as you go on, like, you know, kids start to like when you know other kids start to know. So I was like I wasn't bullied, I that like I grew up, I was kind of lucky because when I started school, my mom and stepdad had kina they started the relationship around the same time. So my stepdad also had a daughter the same age as me. And the nice, someone, and we all went to school together. So it was like, when I started, we all started at the same time. So it was always really like I had like, you know, I had family there, my sister was a year above as well. So I think that helped with not being like completely isolated. However, like I do remember, like, they'd be like comments or just sometimes like, you know, they'd be like jokes me throughout my like, you know that I would to go around the school the wrote my experience. And then I think as well for me, it was just looking around and seeing how the other kids could control the body. And I just couldn't under just use the bat for me. I remember looking at children and thinking how can they stay sort of stealth all the time, I just in my head what the week is I was looking at the world through my lines, and then we my body works and because I've only ever known my body. And as a as a young child, you know, we don't have that same self awareness of taking ourselves out of our body, you know? So I just look around and was just confused. Because for me, I was the normal one. I was like, how did they do that? Like, that's strange. So they're looking at me. Hey, does she move all the time? How can she not be stellar? And I'm looking at them thinking, How do you stay still, and I was so weird. Able to hate your nerves and hate all of you know, because for me, I cannot like my body just communicates my emotions like and so it's a blessing. It can also be sometimes I'm like cancer and body are giving too much away. Okay, we're trying to play cool.
Naveh Eldar 14:08
Wow. So there is no hiding from especially people who know you well. They're like, Oh, she's angry with me or
Yasmina McGlone 14:16
like they can say like a wart. And but it's different because one thing I think I've learned is like, because people might attach their assumptions. So the thing is, like, I could get it from even if say someone says like, something and it's like, like evokes an emotion. My body can be like, oh, like, it's like something that's just kind of like being mobile. It'd be like, Whoa, however, I always think it's important though, for other people not to make assumptions on what they think my jokes mean. Because, you know, yeah, not attaching a story to it. Because I know like, sometimes it's just like, yeah, people like oh, like what does that mean? Or and I'm just like, why does this all mean something? You know, I've got a sensitive body. It's just, you know, yeah, because sometimes it's like I've had it would have been in relationships and see like, you know, they're gonna kiss me or they're gonna hug me but like, nobody's really like walking on my face. I swear, I want you to kiss me like this. I want you to hug me like, I love all that stuff. My body's just like, you know, it just needs a bit. It's just a bit more sensitive. You know, it's like your covenants and must be my body's like, Are we safe here? This this person, dude. I'm like, No, we're cool.
Naveh Eldar 15:23
And so people who are listening may be very confused and going, Okay, what is your body doing? So why don't you give us an explanation at this point, on on what you're, and I think it is best before we get into the name of it. And I think it's good that we don't give the name of it because you went through most of your life without a diagnosis. So we'll talk about that. But so tell us what does your your body do? And has it changed over time?
Yasmina McGlone 15:50
So I get shark's spasms and our body can request a bit sore. Yeah, and so but the main grown up the main thing was like the more like the rapid jocks which I would get a lot of my my upper body My sister was more of our for body was impacted or made was more my upper body. So that was why things like right and, like controlling that torso was or challenging her for he, as a child, I always found were comfort and being active. So things were I had to stay stable was like, for me was oh my goodness, it felt like the impossible task. Whether it's my sister was better at staying still. And she struggled more with things that were actually about be more active. And so yeah, so basically Yeah, for me, I got like I would get in my body just like jerks and just kind of like it's almost like you know, when you get like a fright. So everybody experiences those, like my clinic drops when you like, oh, like something frightened, you're startled to my bodies, I get those just you know, I just don't need afraid to get on my computer. And that triggers something. And it's, my body's been quite consistent up until at sea of reason. And I've started to my body started to get some more extreme as probably am. I don't like to label like my pet, like what happens is like good or bad for me like because I think I just try and get. And so for me at the moment, my body is, I would say just being a little bit more sensitive. And so I've had to just really, for me, like it's for years, I was like working against my body. Like I hated my body. I hated myself for having a body they were definitely. And now like I have such a different mindset. So now like it's like, Alright, my body's doing some new things that are out of the normal for for me. So I've just really had to spend the past couple months getting to learn because it's like I'm getting more just pronounced jarc some that look a bit more like Tourette's. So like something's behind me waving my neck jokes back. And it's some days we are here like it's, I'm getting more so before I was always dark squares now I'm getting some more like Tex. And like, you know, like tremors Harper Yes, I've just been working working with that. And just lucky I've got like amazing friends. And for me like humor has always been a big thing for me. And I think realizing like I'm not alone. I know that other people out there like that go through similar experiences. So I'm not sitting thinking, like, I'm so alone. Because I know that I'm not what I was, when I was a kid, I actually thought that me my sister could be the only person in the world experiencing it. And so as a child, I feel very alone. And I didn't really want to talk about it either. Because I didn't want to bring any attention to it saw because I had a lot of shame attached. I was very, like, ashamed of being different. And so, yeah, but now I'm just like, yeah, as well as.
Naveh Eldar 19:08
So let's talk about that. Because I think that that's the part that can help. Not just kids, you know, a lot of times I'll speak to people and I go, you know, when you speak, you're helping a young person that's going through what you went through. But it's not just young people, not everybody gets to where you are right now some people stay in that pattern of being, you know, unhappy with their bodies are ashamed of their body. So, so take us to that, that space that you were in and I believe just be like I said, because I've seen you speak and and watch some of your things before that. It was especially the teenage years for you. So So take us through, you know what you were going through, you know, why did you go from in elementary school it sounds like everything was fine and you have friends and you're stable, mentally to like really struggling so so why did that shift happen? And then and What did it look like for you?
Yasmina McGlone 20:02
so honest, I think since school, it was kind of like, as I progressed through school, my confidence decrease, decrease, because I think a big part of school is wanting to fit in. And I think often we think to fit and we have to be like our peers. So we don't recognize the beauty in, like our differences. And the fact that what makes the world so beautiful is that we get to learn from each other's unique perspectives. So as a child, I think going like, you know, going through primary mice, my confidence that you know, declined to claim to claim, however, I've always had a very bubbly exterior. And so I've always been very good at, like, internalizing what's going on and not showing it to the outside world, because I just didn't want to bother in my head. I was like, I don't feel like I was worth the effort. And so, yeah, like, I think, you know, going through primary, you know, you're still kind of like, you still got a lot of that naiveness to me. So I basically, I convinced myself that I thought it would just disappear one day, I thought I would get to like an adult, and it would just be gone. Because to me, it doesn't really make sense. Like, as I grew up inside to see other bodies worked. I questioned myself. And so when I started high school, you know, you start to think about what I want to be when I grew up, and I just kept thinking, well, I can't be anything with this condition, because I can't see anybody else out there, like me. So does that mean I don't belong? And so going through high school, like, you know, like seeing people getting in relationships, and, you know, wondering, and you know, cuz I'm still going to appointments behind the scene as well. And I just started to get really discouraged because I was going from neurologists, to neurologists, and I was desperate for someone I saw myself as broken as I was desperate for someone's affects me. And as I grew older, like that hope of someone, you know, being able to, you know, change my body was like that hope of that side to grew? I bet them are. And so yeah, just grown older and just watching that could be like all the people and just yeah, I think it just became, yeah, I think it was just getting older, I just became more tired. Like, tired of pretended and tired of being different and tired of just having to be okay with being different, you know, because there was simple things. Remember, one time, I think it was around 17 and want to go and donate bloods. And because I didn't have a diagnosis, they wouldn't take my bloods. And as a small thing, however, I remember after running to the toilets, and cry, and I bumped into a friend there, she tried to cheer me up, and she was like, Oh, that's okay. It's just the blood. But it was for me when I made that mean. I mean, that means that I was like, that's alien. You know, I remember thinking, well, like, you don't even want to my blood. Like, I just want to help people. I want to donate my blood, like, take my breath. And, and so just meet me once again, like, oh, like even my blood stained teeth. And so it was almost like, like I say, I wasn't bill eat. I had friends, you know, there be calm, obviously, um, where like, people made comments like, my body was different. Yeah, I think it was just the small things over and over and just looking around and just look around the world. And then can I don't know, if I'll, I don't know if I'll be accepted. I don't know, court old and I think it really came down to was I couldn't accept myself. Because the thing is, like, when you're born, like, the thing is, like, even for my mom, it's not like you're given a manual. Like, you know, my mom done the best she could, she took us appointments, and she, you know, my mom raised me like, you know, to believe that I can do anything, I can go to uni. And so, from my mom's perspective, she never saw me saw me my sister's any different, which is creepy. I mean, my mom had this conversation. That's what the one thing is, so you're going to all these appointments, but no one really checks and like on your mental health. So the whole time, like we're fixated on the movements of the body, however, what was causing the biggest the biggest damage to my health wasn't my movements was actually my mental health. And so yeah,
Naveh Eldar 24:21
that's, that's really key. And I'm gonna come back to that. I have a quick question before we get to that point, which is so you were masking this and you were on the outside? You were bubbly and smiling. Did you did you show your true self to anybody like your sister because she was also going through things or your mom or were you like even to them? You were smiling, bubbly?
Yasmina McGlone 24:44
I tough moments with my mom. So my mom, there'd be moments where I'd be a member in the kitchen and just be breaking down to my mom, because when I think when when I got so tired of wearing the mask, there'll be moments where I was I would just be like so long. Like why do I have to be different Like, you know, I just had as a child legacy, like that self awareness piece hadn't really fully come in yet. And so I just, I couldn't understand it. And then my mom, she'd always try and comfort me the best she could. But it was really hard because my mom at that point, she was like, you need to accept yourself. And it's true. I've come back to known as, like self acceptance has been a big piece. But I wasn't, I wasn't really there. I don't know how, like I didn't have the tools to and so yeah, there'll be moments where I would just be crying to my mom. And yeah, and I think that was the only time I never, I never showed it to my friends. I never, I never really let people and to help. Because I think it was this idea. Like, I really painted myself out to be like this villain in my head almost. So even speaking with my sister, because we were on such different journeys, as well. And so the way it impacted us was different. And we my sister had completely different personalities also. So because I think, I know, like, I do have a very, like, good personality and want to go out and explore the world. And, and so back then, like having those like deep desires, but then also mixed in with thinking I'm never going to achieve anything. Right? Yeah, so I just had this idea that some people were born and would be happy. And some people were born just to almost just to be other people's support people. So that's, so I would try and pride myself on being like a nice person, a good person, such that this idea like, you know, I'll just just have to slog it out, but, and just keep smiling. Yeah.
Naveh Eldar 26:40
And then I know, you can tell me exactly what age but I know, it was like either late teens or early 20s, when you were diagnosed. And so you finally got a name and an explanation for it. And at that time, you know, how did you feel? And did you feel like, maybe now I'll be fixed because I we know what it is?
Yasmina McGlone 26:58
Remember going back to so when I was 18, that mask I was wearing really started to become really hard to put on and I remember actually starting to start to cry a lot more writing the scenes, and I think more with my mum, as well. And so my mom pushed for us to go back to neurologists and was like, because by that point was like that point, I'm leaving school. Everyone's choosing unis. And I'm just like, I can like, I can go out there, I thought that this would disappear. So we went to neurologists, and we were starting to go on a medication. And that was my that was my fees. I'm trying to fix myself. And what's the medication that we didn't have the official diagnosis, however, they can kind of like pinpoint. And we're just like, they were kind of like, that was a speculation. I think for me, I was like, I don't even care. By that point. I was just I don't care what the diagnosis is, I just take just make my body like everybody else. And so I started different medication. And I would just take it regardless, I wouldn't read side effects, I just take the medication. And if it didn't work out, come off have our remember one, like I did have a lot of side effects. And I didn't share it with my family. I remember, like relax my muscles, but mentally feeling just the way with it. Yeah, completely completely away with it. And I was still young as well. So probably then I was only so started taking medication at 20 up until I was 21 to before I left for Australia. And so probably I wasn't like responsible or quite mature. But how I handled that because I was coming from this place of like knee defect. So I've come off some medication called Tarkin. And I've been like, you know, 10 times worse. And then I try a new one. And I wasn't really interested and looking at like my body is a whole system, like what's taking care of my main body. So it was just like, I need to fix my body. And so my condition results, alcohol been like, relaxer when I would drink alcohol miralax no muscles, and I wouldn't jokes or, you know, I'd want to party more or be worse the next day. So it's like, even at that point, when they kind of knew I didn't have the official diagnosis. However, I was just like, I don't care. Just like see in my head, I was broken, and I just needed and I couldn't understand. I was like, you know, all these neurologists, all these doctors, like how, how no one could just like give me the answer. Um, I found that very, very frustrating. Because I was just like, surely my body can't be that complex. Like, you know, I was like, and the idea of having to live with it my entire life at that time. I was just like, No, I was like, because this is the thing holding my head. I was like, this is the thing holding me back from London. So actually when I got when they actually confirmed that it was my conus dystonia, but that point I'd actually moved to Australia when they'd like them now official diagnosis This part of me was just like, oh, okay, that's what it is. And so, because, you know, sometimes people look at you, and it's just like all like, especially when it's movements, you know, there's that like I like people look at and thinking, we can control it, you can stop it. And so I'd also put that pressure on myself, because I was thinking, Oh, this is me like, I'm, yeah, like, see, I'm just broken, like, you know, of everyone else. And, yeah, by the time I got the diagnosis, it was probably quite irrelevant for me, because I just realized I was just like, this has been my focus my whole life. And I need to actually focus on other things. Because it was an unhealthy obsession.
Naveh Eldar 30:42
In So you went off of medication, because you were tired of trying to go through the cycle of fixing yourself, you were like, I don't need to fix myself, I'm fine the way I am you eventually you get to this point, obviously, this didn't happen overnight. And so how did you get there? How did you get from literally torturing yourself, trying to be normal, quote, unquote, normal, have body movements, like everybody else, get a job, the same job that anybody else can get all those things to being like, you know, my body is fine. And this is what it does. And that's fine. You do things to you know, you may have some thoughts, you may have some anxiety yourself, you know, everybody's different. So how did you get from point you, you didn't go from A to B, you went from A to Z. So how did you how did you arrive there?
Yasmina McGlone 31:33
It's funny, because I know some people they see me now. And when I share these stories are like, what? And that was, that didn't happen overnight. Like I'm not gonna delude people and say, Oh, you know, what I done, I meditated one time. And then I just saw, like, you know, there was a lot of tears, a lot of thinking, I can't do this. Have I really studied when I was just like, right? When I came to Australia, I was like, if I'm going to be in and really give this a goal, like I need to be all in, which was difficult, because it meant face, and a lot of my demons are facing a lot of my shadows. And I think that can be it was very scary, because I had to actually look at the way that I speak to myself, and how do I see myself and that was, it was very confronting, because when you're present, and you're away from home, I had no more security blankets, you know, all I had was my family at the end of a phone watch. And that was basically like just highlighting every single insecurity. And I had options, like, I felt that insecurity, I felt the fear, like it was very real, and my body was responding to it. However, I chose to take, make different choices, I was cool, I can respond to this, and keep feeding into that server, I know what that path looks like, it just looks like me trying to suppress my emotions, through different bases. And so I just started to really feel into that. And so make the choices. So you know, like, being out and being in the backpack, I was like, still, you know, attempting to talk to people and making those small steps and, you know, getting that boss job, and meeting Jason how these, like, you know, these are more potential and me as well. So the people met along the way also, like, been like, yeah, as you've got more to offer, like, I like people that were like, they were trying to hold up a mirror to me. And there was definitely things I remember. I got my friend Jess a spoke about so she one day she was like, I've got your job, she was like, I could get your job in a cafe. She was working, she was a manager. Now and then obviously, for obvious reasons. She was like, you don't need to serve coffee or make coffee, but she was like, maybe it can be a good opportunity for you, you know, really overcoming those thoughts. And I've done it. I remember one day like and I was doing the tells because my vocal cords like with like, anxieties race, like they can like really like cramp up and make it difficult to speak and have an accent on top of that. And so be like, I remember one day seven people and I had a great day, you know, I was like, oh my muscles were cam. I felt like I'd done everything. Everything well, then I had a day where I struggled to speak and I made my shakes and spasms got so bad I couldn't finish I couldn't finish serving the customer and I left the tells Creighton and I felt I was I told myself that that was failure because I was just like oh like you know you put yourself out in the field but then I you know I think feeling that having that experience and then getting back up again just like right, we had a moment. Why does and I think it was just like you know and so like getting back up and then just over an order and then as I moved my way through Australia, just continuing to throw myself out. They are
It was just like those small things over and over. And every opportunity that came my way like seeing, saying yes to things and rise into it. But yeah, but the Lacy, the first thing was just really like, see my shadows like, What is it? What is that I'm telling myself that it means to have a body that works differently. And the story I told myself was, alright, I've got body watch, definitely, that means I'm not good enough. I don't deserve happiness. And then thinking, well, is that actually true? Or is that just a story I've told myself, because the reality is, we're all we all have experiences. And then we decided to attach a story to that experience, when the experience is just an experience. Like, you know, and so I started to realize that I can actually choose what it means to I'll do the quotations live with a jerk. Maybe like, I can reframe that. And so for me, it was a it was yours, because it wasn't like I had, like, you know, some, you know, some guru teaching me the way. I was literally just following these breadcrumbs. So for me, it was it was through the year. So I've been in the studio for eight years. And I still continue to work on myself, always, because I think it's an ongoing task for all aspects of our life, you know, I want to continue to grow, and then it was a human. And so it was like yours just kind of like, natural, just like feeling into things taken opportunities. I started, when I started to study when I came to Melbourne, I remember I got to Melbourne was like, I had this feeling of coming home, I was like, I'm gonna make this my home. When I got to Melbourne, I'd started my second visa, second year visa, I once again had no money, no new one, I didn't know anyone in Melbourne. So my favorite thing to do is throw myself in the deep end with nothing, and see if I can make something. And then yeah, and so I was just like, I'm gonna make this my home. And so having that, like, I was like, I just had this belief. And I was just like, and I knew that that mean, doing what, like, you know that it was gonna mean, once again having to rise up and not like, because before I used to think I was going to spend my life Hayden in the background, not not be noticed. And then so yeah, so I remember starting to study, and I was thinking, this is an opportunity for me to challenge myself on the speaking in public, or speaking in front of people, because it's skill, I had so much anxiety around that, like, I think it's a very common thing to be scared of public speaking. And then for me, at the same time, I also have to combat my muscles that are moving and just like, it can be exhausting. And so I remember starting starting this course, and I was studying disability, and then went on to study communicate services, and we're like, okay, we need someone to come up the front and just do it was just, like, act out one of the demonstrations. And so I went up, and was new to this class didn't know anyone. And so I'm like, you know, act now. And then suddenly, like, you know, the feelings of nerves are kicking in, and like, the body's responding to the nerves, and next saying, I can't speak. I like start. I'm sweating, and sophistry deeds. And I was just like, I go up, and tears and walked out of the classroom. And yeah, and I remember, like, once again, it was just like, ah, and then the next day, I got back, and I was just like, this cool, reset. And so I remember the teacher was like, right, we need a volunteer to come to the front, I put my hand straight back up, because I was like, I'm not going to let fear that fear, anxiety and stress, dictate my life anymore and make my choices like I'm done with that way of living. Yeah, it's not fun. I want to have fun. And so everyone in the classroom was just like, the girl that just walked out the classroom crying yesterday, I was at the front. I was just nominated to go back up there. She crazy. The answer is yes, I am crazy, aren't real.
Naveh Eldar 39:03
That seems to be your, your secret, right? Like when you when you look at you now. It's, it's almost it's become a practice, to force yourself into uncomfortable situations. It's like, I have to learn how to deal with that comfortable situation. And it's like reassuring to yourself that you don't have to be perfect, right? Like you don't, it's okay. If you break down in tears in the classroom crying. Like that's okay. Like the world doesn't come to an end. I'll be back in class tomorrow. Try it again and see what happens. So I have to know did you did you make it through the first of all, did he call you to the front? Or did he say no, I'm gonna call somebody else. And then did you make it? No. Yes.
Yasmina McGlone 39:50
Brought back up the front and yeah, and actually, you know, I done really well of course, like, you know, I was doing we'd done things like him, you know, like it would be like learn and like You know, with counseling and working with people. And I think one thing that happened, the more I started to not let myself be led by fear and anxiety actually started to see some of but allow someone like my natural talents to shine through. So working with people, like I love to work with people, I love to connect with people. I love hearing people's stories, you know. And so once I kept, you know, put myself out there and like, you know, the level of the fear and anxiety would reduce, reduce, reduce, and actually be able to get into a floor. And what was really cool. And so from that, like, you know, I remember sometimes like doing like, at the front of the class, and like, you know, working through my fate counseling session with. And I remember one time, the teacher been like, that was amazing, she was like you had like, she was because you had like a fake scenario that you had to support your client through. So they come with you in what their current situation and then you had to give them like the gains access to services. And after that, she was like you gave, she was like, if someone came to you with that she was like you, and that one session you gave you would allow them to walk away with everything they needed. And I was just like, well, I feel and so yeah, so that has been my my life is just like no become a series of feel the fear into it in a way cuz Yeah, the truth is, like, when people ask me, you know, how'd you get there? It's just like, you need to be willing to feel that discomfort you need to be willing to like, I mean, I've I spent a lot of time crying in my bedroom, you know, on the floor thinking I can't do this. And then my friends are like, yeah, yeah, he can.
Yeah, but like, Okay.
I'll get back up. Even myself, I've had to do it to myself, you know, like, I think building that self awareness has been a massive piece. And recognizing that we all have things that live in the shadows that doesn't like we think that are shadows are, like, you know, bad, they're not bad. They're just in the shadows, because we're not willing to own them and work with, when you bring what's in the shadow and bring it up to the light. It means that it doesn't have as much power or control over you. And so yeah, like that idea of like, a bedsheet, like, you know, that big pieces, I'm so ashamed of my body, like, and so having to look at that, like, what have I made that mean? And then it's like walking. So when I brought that up, you know, I couldn't have changed the way I saw myself, if I wasn't honest about how I was viewing myself, you know, if I just started to do affirmations, like, Oh, I love myself, I love my body, I wouldn't be affected because, you know, you have to really feel it. And everywhere. So it's like, first I had to be like, knowledgeable, if I'm honest with myself. I don't like the fact that I'm different. And that was like, far so hot, too hot to accept that because I was through myself a PE party. You know, I was very for years. It was like, Woe is me. And no one knows when it's like, you know, like the story I fed myself. And so once I allowed myself to actually voice that be true, it's just like, right, okay. And I was just like, right? Okay, if that's true, what's the worst thing that can happen? It's like, Alright, people laugh and they look at you. They'll look at me, and it's just like, Okay, what next? Am I gonna disintegrate? No. So it's just like, once you tell yourself, what's the worst case scenario? It's just like, Alright, people can't, you know, I've had people, you know, laugh at me. That is something that's happened to whoever I get to choose how I respond and how I view myself. And I think that's been a big piece. I don't give my power away to other people. No, it's just like, I could go out and have a day. And I found that because I'm so confident in myself, I don't have those experiences. I don't know if it's just because I'm just not looking or, like, my awareness is just not switched on to that, that I have amazing interactions with people. Like I was, I remember, I was on public transport one day. And my spasm, I was like, really packed up, nothing to hold on to my bags, and my spasms start to kick in. Because obviously, it's everyone does, like you know, you're constructed. So, you know, everyone's got the bodies or that communicate with them in different ways. So mines communicates with me in my way that you know, it's uncomfortable. And so those people around me that saw so there's a lady in front, she's like, Oh, do you want my seat? And I was like, do you know what I was like, that would be amazing. And the person to the right of me, it was like, Oh, you want me to take your bags? Or you get to your seat because they can see I was struggling? And I was like, Yes, that would be amazing. And on this trip, like this tram was like, you know, it was jam packed, like, you know, but people were making people were like moving so that I could get to the seat. And so for me, it was just like, it was a simple thing. But it was really beautiful. Because at the same thing, those people didn't need to do anything. So I mean, it could have just been like, that's that girl's problem. Whoa. However, they went out of the way they made that space to meet that room even though it was like you know, it was really busy. I got to that seat. And then yeah, like sat down was quite comfortable. And once upon a time, I'd have been like having that experience of like, intense like having more intense jokes, I would have thought, or everyone's judging me laughing at me. However, when I stopped thinking that everyone was like, when I stopped assuming I knew what people were thinking about me. It's like, I mean, like I've been, yeah, I've been pleasantly surprised by people, it's just been really beautiful.
Naveh Eldar 45:28
That is, we all need to one, we all need to have a little bit more faith in each other. But then we also need to learn how to be more understanding of people's needs, and everybody has different needs, right? So then, eventually, you started blogging and wanting to share your story and educating people, whether that's to educate others, you can tell me your motivation. I don't know if you just wanted to educate other people. Or if you are wanting to do outreach to people who may have been feeling alone, that we're going through any kind of difference, really, because I think that you seem to have a cute understanding that there are people who feel different, that maybe don't have any kind of a disability like me, but it's something else. And they're also but they can also be in that, that mindset that I'm different from other people and suffering from that. So tell us about the blog, and you have to tell us about how you came up with a name for it. If it was somebody else's ideal you need to give them credit.
Yasmina McGlone 46:28
So that was my nose getting credit for that one. Okay, I'm pretty proud of it's my baby. And so it's funny, I think when I first decided that I wanted to share my story, I told myself, the reason was I wanted to reach out to other people, and it still is very true. I wanted to connect with other people. And I wanted people to know that you're important alone, because I know what it feels like to go through life and think that there's not a place for you and feel that that darkness and I just kind of wanted to be that person that was at least shining that light on that person that's in the darkness and been like, you know, you you can do it like you can come to like, you know, you can come into that in like that space. Like it doesn't it doesn't need to always be dark for you like there as opportunity there as like there to have a and that's that's pretty true. And that was one of the reasons but when I look at it, the actual main reason, and I know believe was for sure it was actually for myself, because I had never even up until so I think it was around 23 when I shared my blog, even up until that point, I was still in a space of not fully owning it. And I didn't really and that entire time like growing up I had never seen Oh, by the way, guys, I have a body that works differently. It was like, you know, I'm just like, like, okay, let's all just move on. No, no, no, that they are. And so it was like people knew, however, no one had really heard things from my mouth. And because like I see there was that like piece of like sheen. And so for that team, it was almost just like, do you know what i'm done? I am done. Hayden, I'm done in line two to myself, or I just I was I was just this big piece. Like, I want to want to just scream it out. And then just like be like, oh, kill like, I just wanted to be honest about my experience. And yeah, and be honest about you know, having a quirky little body so that I could just, you know, just go out and live life and be like, Oh, that's Yeah, so really, it was like, I was doing it for my younger self. Because I think one thing I've realized is when we actually choose to heal ourselves and lead by example, that's, that's when we have that biggest impact and life because we've asked that permission piece for other people to do the same. And so yeah, that was the big thing for me was just like, I think, you know, like, at first it was very, like, I need a very like external like, I want to help them want to do it. And so like, you know, for other people have are actually coming back to myself and been like, what do I need? Like, what do I need to do for me to heal. And so writing was a healing process, I was actually sitting down and looking at my experiences and give me an opportunity to acknowledge how strong I was. Because even like as a kids, like grown, I look back and I actually started to have a lot more respect for myself because when I first came to show y'all, that part of me was running away. I wanted to leave that version of myself behind. And I got to this point when I was sharing I'm just like, why am I you know shaming myself for like, you know, those my early years in life. So I was just like, actually a moment for me to stop, reflect, look back and be like, you know what, I was strong because even though I had those feelings of shame Those feelings of like wanting to give up, like I didn't give up, and I kept going. And if it wasn't for all those versions of myself, I wouldn't be where I am right now. So it was actually an opportunity for me to share and just really distantly heal also, and turn has made a difference to, you know, other people as well, which is really, really beautiful. And yeah, that means a lot for me too. Because, yeah, to be, like, I see that people see, you know, you can't be what you can't see. And so, like, for me, I want to make an effort at being seen. So that person, that younger person, or people, you know, like myself or whatever, as that person is going through and knows that it's possible to live a happy life and that they deserve to live a happy life. Like, we don't need to air and happiness. Like just by being born. we all we all deserve to live a happy life and to be an our Phil expression.
Naveh Eldar 51:01
And, you know, it's interesting, because, you know, so many times we we were speaking to our younger self, right, or we're filling a gap that we had ourselves and and you said earlier in this interview that you were looking at the world and you were like, I don't see anybody like me that's doing anything that I want to do. So it's so now you want to be that you want to be like, well, there's somebody out there who feels like they, they can't travel. And here I am. I'm living in Australia, right? completely away from my family. And I'm thriving, right? So so that's amazing. You haven't said the name of it. And I want to know, when you came up with it.
Yasmina McGlone 51:36
It's funny, so obviously, I cannot I think I'd written it first. And I was just like, ah, I was literally just lying in bed. And I remember I had a whiteboard in my room and just honestly just came into my head living with a jar could just pop right there clear. Like, I wasn't even trying to think of anything. I was just lying there like blah, blah, and 11 with a joke popped into my head. And I was like, That's amazing. Yeah, it's like sale five on the blog, and I just knew, like, you know, I think sometimes when when, you know, there's like, when you are sure of something, it's just like in your body just like 100% Yes, it was just like there was not like a shadow like, oh, shoot that be the name. I was just like the Ortez and, yeah, just lying to my bedroom. Just came into my head and wrote in the whiteboard. And then yeah, here we go. Love them with a dark,
Naveh Eldar 52:25
great, Greatest Name ever. I'm telling you and I know you you have like, you have swag. You have like shirts and cups, right? Did you have Is it true? And I think I saw this the other day or the other week Did you had a friend who wore that shirt to work living with a jerk and I got in trouble for
Yasmina McGlone 52:42
as she got pulled into the office. manager was like, You can't wear that top. It's, it's offensive. And she said, Well, it's actually supporting my friends cause and she realizes, she was like, first of all, she raises awareness for people with a bodies that work a little differently. And I don't know if he was so understanding of seeing what she was talking about. He was just seeing, you know, you're calling someone a jerk. And she's like, no, because the movement. Yeah, so that was really fun. And I just, I am very lucky. Like, I have like, I think an important thing in life is finding your tribe and finding your people like, and I have amazing tribe around me like all around the world, like even from back home to here or to people I've met along the way a, which just makes life or for me, it's really what life's all about is creating those memories with those people. You know, and but yeah, so just the support I have from people I'm very very grateful and very very lucky.
Naveh Eldar 53:50
And so we've gone through this whole conversation we're gonna be wrapping it up soon cuz I'm not trying to keep you like all day it's It's evening here in the United States. And this morning there. It's wonderful to talk to somebody so so far away. What are you doing now? Like what what job do you have right now.
Yasmina McGlone 54:08
So I'm so I've just decided life I just want to keep my goal is just being you know, my job is just rocking up and be myself and do whatever as I can share. So as a better combination, I have a more a game changer for our organization called sport, release and disabled. And then it's about there's this program raising the bar. So it's really going into skills changing that came up once working to change that ame stereotype, stigma attached to disability and also sharing what's out there and what people with disabilities are actually capable of doing. And also be not like, you know, being visible for other for other people out there so that they know so that we can kind of like him. Sure, there's community there support the sport, you know, there's all the things that you need to thrive as well. So yesterday we went to a school The school wanted us to come and do different little power sports because they had a little boy and their pet clubs with cerebral palsy. And so they wanted to get the other students an understanding of what things might be like for their fellow pupil. And so we came and we had like the wheelchairs, and we had the gobble set up, and we had the butcher set up, and we took 60. Throughout the day I was brought there, we're broken up into groups where we had 6060 students throughout the day. And so that's some of the work we do i do public speaking and skills or sharing my story, which is more about, I just want to see people excited for life and Freeman bag and realizing that all that they have, like their skills and talents, like it's all within them, and just like, you know, letting that like shine through so that they can live a life that's, you know, filled with passion. So I love going and speaking to kids in schools so that they can realize how amazing they are. And something that do some support work as well. Yeah, I'll go where the wind blows me at the moment. I'm working with Sport Relief, AFL Victoria and a few other amazing people at bringing wheelchair EFL to Queensland, because it's not here yet. So that's exciting as well. I just cannot follow the things that light me up.
Naveh Eldar 56:22
And so I know that you're really into sports. Were you were you in a sport, too? You're in Scotland, did you? Did you get it? Did you find it when you got to Australia? When did you and then what's your favorite sport to participate in?
Yasmina McGlone 56:34
Yeah, I've always been more active, like I've naturally had like good strength and good physical fitness. And I didn't really pursue anything in particular, back home. And I'm not sure if I was just, you know, like, if it was a confidence piece for me. And then again, it was coming to show I actually got involved and wheelchair sports, as well as I didn't even think some someone like myself could play wheelchair sports, because obviously I can still walk like yeah, I get drugs and things in my legs, and it doesn't pack my legs. And I've learned that with extreme fatigue can impact my legs a little bit more. Or I have our I just went watching my friend to support my friend who was playing wheelchair, EFL, which is on all the sport Originally, I think they also have an America too. But AFL as unique to a studio. And I just went to watch them and after they were like, Oh, do you want to come to the wheelchair, AFL draft and then I'm sitting over here so that I wasn't in a wheelchair and they're like, No, no, you don't need to be it's different people with different disabilities and even people that don't have a disability could get involved as well. And so I went for the D. I was terrible still got drafted. And so I was really hard. And then yeah, I started to play for Richmond football club and that was kind of the start and then it was just Yeah, I was hooked. I say to train like a minimum three times a week and a bag drawn for me was a community like this. I was having so much fun so for me and the biggest I didn't realize how good I would you know we get have our upper me it was just lots of fun so I was just going and training because I was really enjoying that. And the results have been around for me like fun such a high value for me like having that fun and laughter So if there's fun laughter they're like you got me and so I was just going for that and then what started to happen was like weeks after weeks like people were like guys, you're getting good like How did this happen? Oh boy I don't owe myself Yeah, and then that side my head journey into wheelchair sports. I was 2018 and yeah, I know play like wheelchair basketball. And so I love that like sport has become this place where I like so a different side of my personality like I'm very fiery and yeah, is really awesome if you've seen some of our pictures obviously of the action shorts and me and les let you know that it's just like I'm all smiles and stuff. But if you've got the ball I'm coming for you. I don't care what size you are obviously I play with as max makes gender so I don't care who I'm coming up against. You know, I don't have any fear on the court. Yeah, so love sport. It's been at school actually one of the things one of the many things along the way that's helped me grow in confidence. When I got into sport I was surrounded with people that had different work and bodies and suddenly it was just like oh cool. And just being able to have people that we could just like you know banter with about that as well was really was really amazing. And it really helped me with that acceptance piece also.
Naveh Eldar 59:52
And I know we were talking before we started recording that you're looking very forward to the Paralympic Games as I'm I can't wait Let I always end with some fun questions. Although having all these questions been fun, I'm joking, you're not supposed to answer. So I end with some fun questions. And one of them. I'm changing because I always end with two. But as as you were talking at the beginning, it made me come up with a different one. You said, Did you watch a lot of TV shows as a child? What was one of or your favorite TV show?
Yasmina McGlone 1:00:26
Do you know what one that I remember watching? Really? I think it was called jungle run, where it was these kids would go and it was like it was like it was a competition actually. And they had like these like mazes. I cannot I love problem solving. Or like, you know, like this escape rooms that you have to Yeah, super fun. And so actually, I remember watching jungle run. And it was like, yeah, the kids would go and it was almost like that. They had to, like, do these tasks. And at the end, if they won, they got all these prizes. But yeah, but along the way, was kind of like it was jungle theme, but basically like an escape room. It's funny because I didn't even remember the name of that until now. It just came up naturally there. I was like, I remember watching jungle run and loving it when I was really young.
Naveh Eldar 1:01:08
And then my last question is, what is what is a fun goal you have for yourself that you haven't done like it could be parasailing or scuba diving, what is something that you really want to do? somewhere down the line?
Yasmina McGlone 1:01:24
Something I am very someone that just wants to kind of experience art, so they will know me I'm obsessed with humpback whales. And so it's a small thing but like I really would like so here they actually come to Gold Coast. So my most recent thing that I'm super excited about as just going out you can do where you go out on the kayaking and he can go by being in kayak out on the water and just be like, like yeah, see like the humpback whales? Yeah, like I I'm obsessed with him by girls. I love them so much. And my friends are listening to this stuff. But like of course, she found a way to bring humpback whales and to networkers like I went to everything and uncle was that they hadn't done it. So
Naveh Eldar 1:02:14
you have to do that. And you have to post some pictures so I can see it. First of all sounds amazing. So if I ever come to Australia, we can do it together, we can go kayak humpback whale watching, because that's, it sounds almost spiritual, doesn't it? It's I can't imagine kayak which I love kayaking, by the way, but usually I'm in a river when I do it. But I can't imagine kayaking on the ocean and some huge humpback whale just surfaces next to me. So I really want to thank you for your time. You know, I really love your content, I will put all of your information and links in the description of the show. And I just want to thank you for your advocacy and for your honesty, and for sharing just you know, you're such a self aware person, and I just really appreciate the work that you've done on yourself.
Yasmina McGlone 1:03:05
Thank you so much. Now I appreciate that. Like I just love like opportunities to get to speak with people like yourself and just yeah, it just makes it all exciting. No obviously like when you put in labor like I'm here for a good time. And so it's always good to hear stories people.
Naveh Eldar 1:03:27
find links to yasmeen as link tree, which includes links to her blog, living with a jerk, as well as her merchandise. Make sure to follow the landscape on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. My next episode, I have something special planned. So you'll just have to wait to see what that is. So make sure to tune in then. Bye