with Avery Thatcher and Birgit Livesey
Birgit is the creator & host of the Living on the B Side podcast, a place to showcase the power of music through people’s stories. She has been a music lover all her life and in 2018 took the leap to give her passion a voice in the world.
Going from an introverted teenager in Switzerland to a confident Podcast host currently living in Melbourne/Australia, she wants to share her (and others’) journey through life with the help of music.
When she isn’t on the ‘B Side’, she spends time with her hubby and senior cat Richo, enjoying nature and diving into all things personal development.
In this episode, Avery and Birgit discuss the power of music, its healing effects, and its significance for introverted and sensitive individuals. The conversation dives into topics such as the challenges faced by introverts, and the importance of self-acceptance.
By exploring Birgit’s personal experiences and her passion for music, the episode delves into the role music plays in processing emotions and providing comfort during difficult times. Birgit shares how music became her best friend, enabling her to express herself and navigate through the challenges of her introverted nature.
The episode also touches on the power of self-identification and understanding one’s own traits. Birgit discusses how discovering her introverted nature later in life brought clarity and helped her let go of feelings of loneliness, shyness, and insecurity. The conversation emphasizes that labels, although not definitive, can provide a framework for self-understanding and serve as a tool for personal growth.
Here’s a glance at this episode:
[04:15] Avery didn’t initially think about labels when discovering their introverted tendencies, as it was more important to understand how they function and improve. However, later on, they found labels helpful when discussing with other introverted females.
[11:50] Birgitexpresses uncertainty about where they would be without music as a companion to help them process their emotions, as they have an invisible friend that understands what they are going through.
[15:27] When asked about her favorite song, Birgit replied that she don’t really have one, but she does have a theme song of the year,
[17:58] Birgit initially didn’t want to expose herself or put herself in the spotlight, but eventually decided to create a podcast about music and its impact on people’s lives, which has been successful with nearly 50 episodes so far.
Hi, I’m Avery Thatcher and I believe that we can’t solve a problem with the same mindset that created it.
That’s why on this podcast we combine ancient, Vedic, and doused wisdom with our modern lifestyle and latest research to show high achievers like you, how to recover your energy and optimize your habits so you can elevate your impact, and prevent an epic burnout experience.
Because burnouts a bitch in hindsight’s an asshole, so rather than let them win, let’s dig into the truth about burnout.
Today we’re going to be talking with someone that I can really relate to on a lot of different levels.
She really talks about how music can be so powerful and so healing, especially for those of us that identify as being introverted or more sensitive, and I would just really love to introduce you to Birgit.
She is the creator and host of The Living on the B -side podcast, which is a place to showcase the power of music through people’s stories.
She’s been a music lover all of her life and in 2018, she took the leap to give her passion a voice in the world.
Going from an introverted teenager in Switzerland to a confident podcast host currently living in Melbourne, Australia, Birgit wants to share hers and other’s journeys through life with the help of music.
And when she isn’t on the B -side, she spends time with her hubby and senior cat Rico, enjoying nature and diving into all things personal development.
And our conversation is really neat, just in the different ways that we take things and I’m really grateful for Birgit’s vulnerability.
So let’s get into it.
Okay, I am excited to talk to Birgit today because she and I had talked on her podcast a little while ago about the importance of music and I know that we’re going to dig into that a little bit today too, but yeah, there are so many other things that we’re going to be talking about.
So welcome, Birgit.
Oh, hello everybody.
Thanks Avery for having me on your podcast this time.
So I’m sure people are like, oh, there’s an accent there.
So can you tell us where you are in your corner of the world and sort of what you’re working on right now?
I’m currently Melbourne, Australia, so I’m down under, but I’m originally from Switzerland, so there might be a little bit of a German accent in there for anyone that’s really good at picking up accents.
So it’s a bit of a mix, but yeah, I’m in the land of Dan Andor of Kangaroos in Koalas right now.
I just was chatting with somebody this morning that joked that you had a pet wallaby named Pickles just to see if the group that we were in thought that all Australians had a pet wallaby and I was just like, I don’t think so, but okay.
So pet wallaby?
Well, no, I wouldn’t say a pet wallaby, but we’ve got several possums in our backyard that turn up every night and then they come like an extended family.
So if you look up Australian possums, look up the brush tail one and then you’ll see which one, what kind of, yeah, visitors we have every night.
Oh my goodness.
Okay, I’m going to put a picture of that in the show notes now because that’s adorable and they are adorable.
I love that you have those little friends that stop by.
Yeah, and they’re different to, for example, the possums in obviously the States.
So that’s why I said, look it up because there’s a bit of a difference there.
Mm, fair, fair.
Well, very interesting.
So I always bring people here that are open to sharing a story of transition and transformation and yours is really interesting because I’ve actually talked to somebody recently that had a similar experience and I wonder how many people are out there that discovered their highly sensitive nature
much later in life than when I knew.
So I just would love to hear a little bit about that.
So when did you realize that you were a highly sensitive person?
Well, that’s actually not so long ago.
I’ve walked more than half of my life around this planet, not realizing that I’m an introvert.
So it was about three, maybe four years ago when I heard term introvert for the first time and that was a massive revelation for me and so many things just clicked into place.
So that was about, yeah, about four years ago when I finally found some answers for why am I the way I am and how I’ve walked through life feeling different to others.
So, yeah, about four years ago.
So you said that a lot of things fell into place, a lot of things made sense.
What were those things?
How my energy management’s different to others, why I’m often alone, why I couldn’t make friends easy, why big crowds, they weren’t scaring me, they were draining me.
A small talk really wasn’t something that I was comfortable with.
I couldn’t do it and I seen other people do it and I’m like, why can’t I do it?
These are sort of the major points.
And obviously from there, you’re going to like a rabbit hole of am I weird, am I crazy, what’s wrong with me, why can’t I do this?
There must be something not quite right, maybe I should go and get help.
And then that then goes into maybe in bullying, things like that.
So it’s a huge rabbit hole when you don’t know.
And then people think there’s something wrong with you because you’re not like everybody else.
So it’s just like a mind field you’re trying to walk through.
And then all of a sudden having this big sign staring into face saying, maybe you’re in traverse, is your answer.
That’s just phenomenal.
When you finally know something about yourself that you didn’t know.
And it sounds like that, I don’t want to say the label because we can’t be labeled and put in a little box.
But that word being able to identify as having introverted tendencies, does that like, how did that change this view?
I’m not too keen on labels, but I think they can be helpful at times.
And honestly, I didn’t really think about labels when I discovered it because that wasn’t important to me at the time.
For me, it was more important to actually know how I tick and then be able to start functioning in a way that helps me.
So the label, I didn’t think about it at all.
That just came a little bit later on once I’ve surrounded myself with more sort of quiet, introverted females especially, when we started talking about labels.
And it’s still going on to this day.
We still have to kind of justify ourselves and explain ourselves a lot.
I’ve hit it a lot still.
And it can be a bit annoying because for me, a label is only a way of describing how someone probably functions in this world and how they can take advantage of that knowledge.
And then the label just goes away.
So that’s really what it is for me.
I really like how you said that.
It doesn’t really make me think of this one example that somebody shared with me ages ago about how we can’t label a human in the same way that we can’t label a tree.
Because we can say that’s a tree, but a popular tree will be different than a pine tree or a palm tree, but they’re all trees.
So it’s still a label that works.
But even within all those things, even just calling it a palm tree, this palm tree is not going to look like this palm tree or this palm tree.
So it gives you an idea, but everybody has to then allow that awareness to expand a little bit to be able to take all of those things in.
But intervention needs to you might be different than what it means to me, actually, likely is.
Because we’re not, there’s not not one of the same.
I mean, there’s twins, obviously, but I even think, and please correct me if I’m wrong here, but I think the twins there will be certain nuances.
They’re not going to be 100 % identical.
So yeah, and that became crystal clear to me when I started surrounding myself with especially female introverts.
I mean, there’s so many different types of degrees of introversion.
And I’m probably one that’s not necessarily, I don’t like to use the word extreme, but that’s really highly sensitive, I would say, that’s really highly introverted.
I’m sort of more poppy on the lower kind of spectrum of data, I suppose.
But it just really helps to get to know oneself and to then use that as kind of your superpower instead of a hindrance.
So yeah, that’s when labels are good in that context, I guess.
So can you talk about how growing up as a child, not knowing that you were introverted, how did that affect you?
And what things did you have to let go of as an adult once you could name those traits?
Well, for me, it was a funny time because my parents divorced when I was 12. So back in those days, divorce wasn’t very common.
So there was already kind of a judgment laid upon me.
And I felt that through school.
And then through introversion into the mix, it’s not a good recipe, I think.
It just threw me a lot of questions my way.
And I just, yeah, I still come back to this, I just could never understand why I am the way I am, why couldn’t I be like Christine over there?
He had many friends and had no problem socializing and just being in this world and just walking through it confidently, I was more the at -home type of staring under window into the sky type of person.
So confusion, I think, happened a lot for me.
Confusion around myself and my world.
And then being judged by adults who should basically know better or should be more interested and curious to find out what really is going on.
So it threw a lot of stuff my way, which when I started this whole introvert journey, and I’m still unpacking it, it’s like an onion layer, there’s always something else coming up.
But it explained a hell of a lot once I’ve started to dig into that, looking back on this particular phase of my life from like 12 years onwards, it really explained so much for me.
And I was able to identify all that and say, okay, you know, you’re not that kid anymore, you now have answers, you can now work through that.
And you know, this shyness, this insecurity, you can kind of let that go now, because why would you have to be like that?
Of course, it’s not as simple as that, but these are sort of the answers I got.
Yeah, and I don’t feel kind of lonely as such anymore.
You know, when you sort of the 12, 13 year old, you want to have friends, you want to have a good time and being alone, that’s why music was like my best friend at that point.
That’s the perfect transition, because I wanted to say, what is the central piece that helped you move through this transition, knowing that your answer is music?
So why don’t you tell us a little bit about the role that music has played in your life?
Still, last to this day, it blows my mind sometimes how it comes in sometimes like it even comes into my dreams, believe it or not.
But it was just my go -to thing, because back in those days, we didn’t have the internet didn’t exist.
So I relied heavily on the radio or cassette tapes and then later on CDs.
And for me, it was a world I could get into and process my emotional state, what I was going through.
And it felt like these artists and songs were telling the story of how I was feeling.
And it really did help me to process a lot of the stuff.
I was going through.
And I’m a huge musical, I’m all a variety of music.
So it can be hip -hop, it can be rapid, it can be pop, it can be rock and be heavy metal, even a little bit of death metal thrown in at times.
So there was always something that resonated with me.
And that just was such a nice companion to have.
There was always this invisible friend that I’ve had that could understood what I was going through.
And just having that.
I’m not quite sure where I will be today without having it.
So that’s how important it is to have music for me.
Yeah, I can definitely relate to that.
We talked about when I was on your podcast, it just unlocks a different level of processing that I think nothing else can touch.
So which song is your go -to song for when you need to just process?
And I know I put you on the spot to take a minute.
Yeah, you have.
I guess it depends on what I’m struggling with.
So for example, if I’m struggling to love myself or accept myself, there is this two songs I really like listening to.
One is from, I’ve got a hope I pronounce her name correctly.
I’m so sorry for doing it.
It’s Haley Steinfield.
I think it is.
And the song’s called, is it love?
I love myself or love yourself or something like that.
I can’t remember it now.
It’s got a blank moment there.
And then the other one is I want to, oh God, I’m having a huge blank here.
I’m usually so good at remembering song titles, but now it’s Megan something rather, I want to be me too or something like that.
That’s just two really cool songs there.
Oh yeah, Megan Trainer.
You want to be, yeah, yeah.
Thank you very much.
God, I should know.
Yeah, it’s one of those things for you, like as soon as you hear it, you’re like, oh, that’s the one, but it doesn’t always fly off the time when you’re put on the spot on a podcast like this.
So that’s all good.
We will link to those in the show notes as well.
So these are the two songs I really love because one, the kind of an upbeat song, it’s not a sad song.
And also the lyrics are really like, I love myself and I really don’t need anyone else.
I’m absolutely enough.
So that’s one for self -love and then there might be others for other sort of moments in time, but yeah, that’s just a couple of examples.
Those are great examples.
Now, when I was on your podcast, you asked me which song sort of sums me up, which song is sort of my song?
going to throw that question back at you.
Which song is yours?
That’s a funny thing.
I don’t think I really have one.
What I do have though is I have a theme song of the year.
So every year I pick a theme song and a word that I try to hold up in like a corner and work towards to and with.
And this year it’s from the greatest show, Mendes is me.
Such a powerful song.
And it’s not just a song, but also, and I’ve talked about that with someone else in my podcast about, there is a YouTube clip of, I think it’s her name’s called Kira.
I’m so bad with names sometimes.
And she’s actually performing the song in like a test setting before they actually get the go ahead to do the movie.
And she always stood behind this little podium and she was too afraid to literally go out and just belt that song out, even though she’s amazing.
And in that moment, it just kind of clicked in her head and she just went out from behind that little podium and she just belted it out.
And that literally, I think for me personally, I feel like that was the moment when people were like, okay, this movie has to be done.
Just for that song alone.
And then obviously, it’s thrown the lyrics of it.
And just the music how powerful it is.
I thought, yeah, this is what I want to live by this year.
I want to be true to myself.
And say, this is me, accept me.
I accept myself.
You can accept me if you like.
And if not, that’s okay too.
But I’m here.
And I want to show a little bit more of myself to the world.
Oh, if for sure, Jaz, and I’d love the idea of having a theme song of the year.
I think that’s absolutely a practice I’m going to adopt.
I am going to create a theme song for the rest of this year, just to get me through until January.
And then yeah.
And yes, I got chills just remembering that video of her stepping into it.
And you’re just like, oh, there it is.
It just couldn’t see anybody else in that song when she stepped out.
So we’ve hinted at it a little bit.
Not only hinted, we’ve just set it right out, but you have a podcast.
So what led you to create that?
Yeah, that’s that’s for me, still an interesting story.
I’m sort of not confused, but I’m impressed by it.
How it all came together.
The name of it is Living on the B side, which has two meanings.
Well, my name is Berge or Berge or Beaget, whichever way you want to say it.
And obviously the B side is my life, how I walks through life.
And then the other meaning of the title is the the B side of a record of a vinyl.
What could set tape as well?
So I found that combination really cool.
And I just got that thrown at me one morning when I woke up.
And for a long time, I could not make sense what it should be.
So I just left it on a mental shelf.
one day I realized I won’t have a personal blog about music and artists and songs I love and why and just express myself through that.
I guess it was a little bit of a security blanket as well.
I don’t have to expose myself completely.
I can use it through lyrics.
But in the end, a business coach of mine picked me up on it and said, look, what are you doing with this?
Because this is a really cool idea.
What are you plans?
And I’m like, I don’t know, typical introvert.
I don’t know.
I don’t want to expose myself.
You know, I don’t want to put myself in a spotlight.
And eventually through a little bit of brainstorming, I decided to do a podcast about it and just ask other people what their take is on music and how it impacted their lives.
And yeah, nearly 50 episodes in, I’m still going strong.
So that’s really the short nutshell version of how it came to be.
I love that.
It seems like such an interesting way but a safe way for people to talk more about themselves.
Because again, like you said, they’re sharing it through the lens of this song so that it helps soften the vulnerability, I guess.
Yes, but it’s also so powerful.
I mean, I’m sure every one of your listeners probably has a song that they remember either fondly or they have a memory where they were really hurt or broken.
So everyone has it.
And using that to just tell a story and inspire others, I think is such a cool and incredible way.
And there’s just so much, you know, I could go into about like yourself when you came on my podcast.
That just inspires me.
You know, it gives me hope and gives me strength just to hear others talk about it.
So it’s this really community feel as well that comes through it.
I just want person sharing.
So that’s, yeah, I just love that.
I have goosebumps every time I do something with other people or have an episode or whatever.
It’s just incredible to me.
Oh, I love that.
So we will definitely link to that in the show notes.
It’s such a beautiful podcast.
I’ve listened to so many episodes and gotten so many new songs from my playlist, which has been great.
Yeah, and I just love the conversations that you lead people through.
I just think it’s so beautiful.
Thank you very much.
That’s great feedback.
That’s my aim.
That’s what I want to achieve.
I feel from my perspective, you are nailing it.
Oh, thank you.
That just made my day.
Oh, there you go.
Starting off your Wednesday is strong over there.
Well, thank you so much for sharing all this and sharing your story.
Is there anything else that you’d like to leave our listener with before we let you go?
I think the only thing that I really would love for people to do is become more conscious of how music can support you in your daily life.
It’s free and cost you anything and it can make you feel so freaking good if you let it.
So that’s kind of the only thing I want to say.
I love that challenge.
So you listening right now, that is your goal for today is just to look at how music is playing into your life today.
Don’t just change anything.
Don’t have to search it on a particular song.
Just note it.
Thank you so much.
This was such a wonderful conversation.
I appreciate you.
Oh, thank you so much for having me.
And yeah, I love all of our conversations and this one was so good.
Thank you so much.
Thank you so much for listening.
I really hope you found this episode helpful, validating, and maybe you even got a few ideas to try yourself.
If you did enjoy this episode, I just ask that you share it with someone that you think might also benefit from listening to this podcast.
In doing this, you’re not only helping those that you love, you’re also helping me get this podcast into the hands of more people.
Together, we can really make a difference.
And before I let you go, do you know your default self sabotage style?
There are four main self sabotage styles that ultimately lead to burnout and knowing yours can make a really big difference in your ability to prevent burnout from taking over.
Awareness is the first step and the second step.
What you can do with this awareness of your default self sabotage style, I will send you some ideas for what that second step could be after you complete your quiz results.
So are you ready for this quick quiz?
Go to becomingavery.com/quiz to try it out for yourself and take the first step on your intentional burnout recovery journey.
Becomingavery.com/quiz for that self sabotage style assessment.
That’s it for now.
See you next week.