Ep 4 - Olympe Bille: Understanding Women’s Health and Suffering — Breaking Free From Negative Spells, Letting Go of What Doesn't Serve You, and Embracing Life Transitions

Episode Description

We enjoy a soul-nourishing conversation with Olympe spanning many meaningful topics:

  • [08:18] Trust in the universe and the process
  • [09:40] Negative spells
  • [14:14] Letting go of what doesn’t serve you - party culture
  • [20:14] The impact of pregnancy - Diastatsis Recti
  • [40:35] Olympe’s journey finding peace after years of intense pressure to have children
  • [50:00] Men’s responsibility in this - the importance of men educating themselves on and listening openly to women's experiences
  • [55:56] Transition to singing and songwriting - living according to your own truth and intuition rather than seeking others' validation

Olympe’s Bio

Olympe is a French spirited soul. Beyond her journey into personal training and relocating to Amsterdam at 29, she is a loving, hyper-sensitive motivator and connector.

She thrives on hyping up people, finding her energy in witnessing the transformative power of self-discovery. Whether guiding others in well-being or through her music, Olympe's passion lies in empowering individuals to choose paths that enhance their quality of life.

Embracing authenticity and fostering connections are the driving forces behind Olympe's uplifting journey. Rooted in values such as Diversity, Inclusion, Love, Passion, and Playfulness, her vibrant personality shapes a path of positivity and genuine human connection.

Olympe’s Socials:

Linktree: https://linktr.ee/Olympe_Wellbeing.Coach

Personal Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/olympe_wellbeing_coach/

Band Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mimo_the_band

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Ben Culpin: Okay, let's give this one a go apologies for any additional sound effects. Um, I'm just getting over a cold can't same feeling, a hundred percent chirpy. But the show must go on. Welcomo ta Dam Kind Conversations. Today, we have the joy of speaking to a friend of mine called Olympe. Originally from France Olympe enriches lives through various practices. She supports women during pregnancy and early motherhood as a pre postnatal optimizer.

[00:00:30] With the belief that movement is life.

[00:00:32] She is also a trainer. And most recently. She's taken to finding and creating meaning through singing songwriting and performing with her band called MIMO.

[00:00:44] Our conversation explores a few topics from breaking free, from negative spells. Letting go of what doesn't serve you. Understanding women's health and the significant suffering. As well, as in brief embracing life's [00:01:00] transitions.

[00:01:02] I must say, I found a moment of grounding in her mantra of living. One day at a time, one task at a time. So take a look, keep a lookout for that in the interview. The dialogue is an open wonderful exchange between two people who are sincerely present. Very grateful for this heartening chat and I hope you enjoy it too.

[00:01:29] Back with just one of the message. Unfortunately, I'm learning as I go. And in this particular episode, my sound, my audio, my microphone. It's not behaving very well. So on behalf of my microphone and myself, I apologize for the imbalance in the audio quality between myself and this week's guest. Thank you for your patience and enjoy.

[00:01:53] Thank you so much for sitting with me today

[00:01:55] Olympe Bille: Thanks for having me.

[00:01:58] Ben Culpin: How are you feeling right now

[00:01:59] Olympe Bille: I'm [00:02:00] feeling good. Yeah. Yeah, I do.

[00:02:02] Ben Culpin: I just had a separate interview with somebody and they had released a book and within their book they had this reference to this idea of rather than asking someone how they are and people often will give like a default. Yeah, good. Yeah, great. Cool. Good moving on It's like how are you really he had this sort of tool of saying "how's the cup?" And you would visualize what kind of cup it is.

[00:02:25] Is it big? Is it small? Is it colorful? How, and then you would add how full it is. We don't have to use that analogy today, but how are you really?

[00:02:35] Olympe Bille: I'm good. I'm much better. We talked earlier this morning. And yeah, I was feeling a bit meh. Because, yeah, a mix of fatigue and a departure coming up next Wednesday. And, I couldn't... Pinpoint the reason why I was feeling like this, but I think it's because I was saying goodbye to my last client, not really last client because [00:03:00] I'm going to continue online, but like face to face client that I said goodbye to that I've been following up for three years.

[00:03:08] Yeah, and it was like my catalyst at the end and he offered me a present and yeah, I was emotional and I cried, now I'm good. I'm much better, the crying, and then after I saw another ex client, we became friends. She has a little family, two kids. And she invited me for lunch, just randomly.

[00:03:30] And her son was just like having a blast talking about all these toys. So yeah, it was good. Connection always yeah, always brings some goodness.

[00:03:42] Ben Culpin: Maybe you circle back to this transitional moment you're in, if you want. But maybe you could. introduce yourself as if no one knows you.

[00:03:53] Olympe Bille: Okay, so my name is Olympe. And I'm French. I've been living here in Amsterdam for [00:04:00] 11 years. I moved here for love. And then I stayed for the love of the city. That's the story I like to tell. I've been working. For over a decade as a personal trainer and then when COVID hit, uh, things have tremendously changed.

[00:04:22] For, there are some good parts. I always believe there are some silver lining in every challenges we are going through. And speed up the process of stopping being personal trainer and becoming a well being coach. And somehow I had more person who were pregnant or postpartum. So I became more specialist in that.

[00:04:46] And ultimately, the same time I was already singing, but I decided to stop dreaming and took action and I made my band. End of October 2020. I like to introduce [00:05:00] myself as working as a well being coach, being a loving person, and I love singing. I'm a singer.

[00:05:09] Ben Culpin: It's amazing. It's a, you do so many things. I was looking at the list earlier, pre, postnatal optimizer, master trainer, Thai masseuse, NLP practitioner, singer, songwriter, storyteller. That's incredible.

[00:05:25] Olympe Bille: Yeah, no limits. I used to compartmentalize myself. Private life, work, and also growing with, our parents. They had one job and they just kept that job all their life. Mostly we belong to a different generation, and I think the younger still even more. Yeah, there's no limit. We're being just, or working as just one thing, or doing just one thing.

[00:05:58] I think it's important to [00:06:00] explore the things we are passionate, interested about. Because at the end of the day, we only have one life. Heh.

[00:06:08] Ben Culpin: Yeah. You talked about the silver lining of. of COVID, that period of time. Can you describe that a little bit more, that articulation of what the silver lining is in that moment of hardship?

[00:06:20] Olympe Bille: Yeah, the, for me, the silver lining is all the gems that came to me. All the great encounter experiences, opportunities as well. I had a lot of opportunities work wise. I tried some things, some certain things didn't work. But yeah, I had a great thing. It's like I was living on my own when COVID hit, when we had to close everything in the first lockdown.

[00:06:49] That was really tough. But then when, I don't know when it was, but it was, I think it was spring. And then my friends would [00:07:00] meet once a week because even if the circle of friends was quite small, for me it was important to meet people. Every Wednesday, that was my friends and they are living here.

[00:07:11] And then another time of the week, there was another friend. Yeah, there was yeah. We are, I think we are completely social animal. We cannot live isolated. Yeah, this was one of the silver lining as well, this like small support system. And also my friend happened to leave their apartment for a bigger one.

[00:07:34] And I had the oppo the opportunity of moving in the apartment and literally one week before, a friend of mine was telling me oh, I, my landlord, my roommate just stopped the contract without telling me. I have to quit the apartment in three weeks. I had an apartment, I had a friend who needed a house, I proposed to her to live together and that's what happened.

[00:07:59] And it just [00:08:00] worked like organically, I wasn't looking for it, it just came to me. So that's one of the gems as well. And I lived there for three years and it was great. I had so many good things and the band as well.

[00:08:15] Ben Culpin: Do you believe in signs and signals?

[00:08:17] Yeah, I'm very spiritual. I think that I really believe in when we stop controlling things, letting go, and it's not easy because we are living in a society that tells you that you have to plan everything and prepare for everything, but we never know, we can stop tomorrow, I, when we let go.

[00:08:41] Olympe Bille: And trust the process. I trust the universe. I really believe that things come to you. And, of course, I think that when we, yeah, when we follow what we preach for, it's also, yeah, [00:09:00] important, for instance I do believe that words are spells. Insults even talking to myself negatively, it's not good, it's not going to be good for my health, but everything, I do believe that I create negative how you say like energetic negative thing and it's going to act like a magnet.

[00:09:24] And and same if I talk to myself positively, I definitely think around me is gonna be more positive.

[00:09:33] Ben Culpin: What kind of spells do you tell yourself? What are the either the positive or the negative thing?

[00:09:38] Olympe Bille: Ah, positive now.

[00:09:39] Ben Culpin: Always?

[00:09:40] Olympe Bille: Yeah, always. And if I almost catch myself sewing, because, if for instance, the other day I almost fell in a step and I almost said that I was stupid and I was like, no, I am not. I'm just a human being, happens. And also I was carrying too many things [00:10:00] in my arms. I said, lesson learned.

[00:10:02] I will not carry so many things in my. So when I almost catch myself saying Oh, I'm stupid. No, I'm just a human being. And it happens. Now I know the next time I will not take the steps with too many things in my arms. Yeah.

[00:10:18] Ben Culpin: What kind of, if I may ask, I don't wish, is it okay to ask you this question? What kind of negative things would you normally have said to yourself in the past?

[00:10:29] Olympe Bille: Oh, you're stupid. Yeah, I'm so stupid.

[00:10:34] Yeah.

[00:10:35] Ben Culpin: Yeah.

[00:10:36] Olympe Bille: Or, and that's a French thing, that je suis con, ah, je suis con. A lot of people say it, ah, je suis con means I'm stupid, and I don't say it anymore. And when people tell me, ah, je suis con, I say no, you're just a human being.

[00:10:51] Just this and that, yeah, we all forget things and that doesn't make us stupid.

[00:10:57] Just human being. Yeah.

[00:10:59] Ben Culpin: How did [00:11:00] you arrive at this place? Where you're able to catch yourself? And able to be kind to yourself?

[00:11:08] Olympe Bille: Um, I think it was a combination of a lot of things. My journey of healing, and it's not finished, I'm still on it, and it will be all my life. I was aware I had the anger management issues from, the schooling. We, I grew up in a family where there were a lot of love um, arguments. And sometimes mean words, and then there will be no conversations, so no talk, so be passive aggressive, and, or sometimes like teasing until, the person explodes and then shout and cry, and then once it explodes, finally, Oh, I'm sorry, and then, oh, we make peace.

[00:11:57] But we don't really talk about what was [00:12:00] wrong and stuff, but it's, now it explodes, everything goes back to normal. So that was my schooling. I was aware of, there was something off, especially when you start living with someone. So I moved there for love and I was living with my boyfriend and yeah, we had a lot of disagreement.

[00:12:18] There was some good stuff, but I had, yeah, issues, relationship and so I started to, I went to a therapist and I started like this, yeah.

[00:12:28] Ben Culpin: So just, patience uh, therapy.

[00:12:33] Olympe Bille: Therapy and also I was already on my fitness journey as a fitness instructor slash personal trainer. So I was already touching some of being, health what you eat is like your, that's the first medicine. I never really took drugs as well.

[00:12:53] partying, yeah, maybe, but when you are sick taking like [00:13:00] automatically paracetamol and stuff like that in France, it's a lot. And I stop that. And so I already had a little bit of a knowledge in wellbeing and also a little bit of meditation because I used to teach body balance, which is a fitness concept, but that's the only way I discovered meditation.

[00:13:22] And then also working in gym here, there was some yoga classes. So I was already in that environment. And yeah, I started to pursue that with Sport, I've always been a very disciplined person, and implementing new habits so yeah, I'd say therapy, and then self development with books and yeah, exchanging with friends

[00:13:48] Ben Culpin: What do you think was the underlying motivation there? Because I remember when I first met you, not when I first met you, but I remember some of our early memories together where we would be [00:14:00] like, we would be like, Pride or something and there's no, it's normally a circumstance when people will drink a lot, take drugs and in a party.

[00:14:09] But you and I both weren't at the time, I think. But I remember you specifically being like, nope, don't do that. Not doing that now. I've chosen not to do it. And then you left at a good time and you were like, I'm going to go home and have some sleep. Yeah. What's the motivation there? Because I think people aspire to be able to do that, but in the moment you get caught up in the moment, not to, I'm overusing the word moment here, you get lost or caught up in the excitement of the event and may lose touch with your primary goal.

[00:14:38] Yeah. So what was your motivation to start making this

[00:14:41] Olympe Bille: Because I did party before. I did drink a lot. And taking drugs too. And it never served me. The days after, I was miserable. Really miserable. Depressed. And I was like, what's the point? [00:15:00] For just a little, fireworks, and then even a firecracker. And then after, the whole thing that follows?

[00:15:09] I'm like, no. No. No. I choose, no, I know that it's, it doesn't serve me. Or maybe I'm gonna have fun in the moment. And I also, because I was more and more aware of my who I was, I'm a very loving person. I'm a very sensitive person. I can sense things and I think before I knew that it was, I was too overwhelmed by it.

[00:15:38] So I needed to cover it up to deal with people. And and yeah, just like drinking. I was, then I was like, yeah, I'm the fun Olympe. And, but deep inside I was like, yeah. And now and yeah, going that direction of getting to know myself and doing things that really [00:16:00] brings me goodness. Then I was like, no, I don't need it.

[00:16:04] I don't need it anymore.

[00:16:06] Ben Culpin: That's an interesting, there's two ways to go here, but That idea of, I can relate as an introvert who can go out and be social at times. Recognized myself in the past where, can have drinks and, party. The recent, I now can see that a lot of it was to do with covering up a nervousness.

[00:16:32] Olympe Bille: Yeah, of course.

[00:16:33] Ben Culpin: In the first place, or not nervous just because there's big crowds, but because you're like maybe in a big circle with friends and you're, you can see all the micro, uh, behaviors, the way someone's like kind of holding their arm or looking, scanning somebody else. And. It's hard to hold a conversation when that's all going and the music's too loud and [00:17:00] whatever else is happening.

[00:17:01] So where am I going with this? Maybe a dead end where I just say I feel you and I understand. And making those choices to do something different is interesting, what were those things that better served you? That you started to move towards? Yeah

[00:17:19] Olympe Bille: Yeah, I was training quite a lot when I was still working at James. But yeah, I believe that movement is life, of course, Some people are limited, but I think that even if they get helped to move their body when they cannot do it by themselves can really help feeling better.

[00:17:43] And so movement I believe in this for a very long time. Before I was really just fitness, but then when my, Yeah, more and more, my approach was more and more holistic, so not just fitness, [00:18:00] because what's more is movement, so when it comes to dance, or just doing whatever, movement of mobility, a lot of different things are into that spectrum.

[00:18:11] And then, also, breath work that I discovered I was already doing that a little bit with body balance and yoga, but then I got really into it yeah, I think it was maybe in 2019 or so, uh, with the Iceman Wim Hof uh, then also signed up with App, which is Insight Timer, so it's an app where you have a lot of teachers with some courses, sometimes some challenges around different topic and it covers so many things like affirmation, or prayers, or, um, yoga, sometimes stretches so many.

[00:18:54] Insight Timer. Yeah, so you have many other, I think there was the [00:19:00] Calm as well that I was using before that. And Headspace? Headspace? Yeah, so I tried them all, but I think in Insight Timer is my favorite, yeah. Because you have so many different type of meditation so it's a way of discovering different technique and how to, I can implement them for my day to day life.

[00:19:26] Certain things talk to me more than others. And I like to have the choice. But now, there's so many things, sometimes it can be overwhelming, so now I'm staying just with the teacher that I like and I create my own little let's say, bookstore, bookshelf on the app.

[00:19:47] Ben Culpin: Yeah, I see here you say massage movement and mind Could I just zoom in a little bit on these individual things that you are that [00:20:00] It's a pre post natal optimizer could you Focus in on this part of the Olympe that you are and tell me a little bit more about it.

[00:20:12] Olympe Bille: Yeah. For pregnancy, create comfort. And also preventing uh, preventing what is going to happen after postpartum. So having back complaints on the upper body lower back also the Diastasis Recti, so it's when your six pack muscle is divided in two parts, left and right, and you have a gap.

[00:20:39] That can be quite wide, so we usually measure it with the fingers. And if the diastasis recti is too wide, you can have trouble later on. You can prevent that already during pregnancy. So to be able to carry the baby with the pelvis instead of the belly. You will see a lot [00:21:00] of pregnant women putting their hands like this. The kind of like the stereotype of the pregnant woman standing up, you see the hands going like this and back arching a lot. And so it's more carrying the baby with the belly. So the exercises are just, yeah, creating new data for that person to carry the baby with a pelvis and also doing some stretches to do the stretch vertically on the belly because when a baby grow, can stretch horizontally.

[00:21:37] So then automatically you'll have a bigger diastasis recti. So if you have some stretches to do. Vertical stretch all along the pregnancy can prevent the width of the diastasis recti. There are some exercises to open up the, to help making space because the baby is going to push or you're going to feel the ribs.

[00:21:59] The ribs, [00:22:00] they get widened. The pelvis as well, and these things can create discomfort and pain sometimes. For instance, your pubic bone, It's a joint actually. It's in two parts. So when you're pregnant, because you create, you your body is naturally creating hormones that makes your joints looser, so then to give birth, then it's easier.

[00:22:26] Big. That's the, yeah. That's the natural way. All the joints are looser. And then it can happen that the pubic bone can be super painful. Those things are moving. During the pregnancy, you can have pain just on your pelvic bone because the joint is moving, can have pain on your back or so the tailbone.

[00:22:49] A lot of complaints and yeah, of course there are some movement who don't have any complaints all along the their pregnancy, but some they do. And [00:23:00] why suffering in silence, just saying, oh, that's part of it. No, yeah, of course you can have some trouble, but you can also have solutions to be a little bit more comfortable.

[00:23:14] That's the thing as women we learn quite early to suffer in silence, so it's part of it. This shall go. Oh, it's just I'm suffering, but I'm just gonna not say anything. No. You have some tools that makes you, can make your life a little bit. Less difficult. And then postpartum is the postpartum,

[00:23:37] I always say that it's important to, to prepare it before 'cause very often the person who is pregnant is gonna think of just the pregnancy and the birth, and then the rest, we'll figure it out postpartum is no joke.

[00:23:55] You, first of all, depends how the birth it's going. [00:24:00] Because sometimes it doesn't go as expected and sometimes it's also because they were not really informed. There's a lot of work to do still yeah, especially in a medical part not everybody has the means to have a doula and a coach and so I think it's really important to talk more and more about that, but yeah, postpartum is no joke.

[00:24:26] Birth can be really challenging, it can be traumatic, really traumatic, depending on the medical team you have around you. I heard some crazy stories. And afterwards, the 40 days that follow giving birth, even if you had a C section, first of all recovering the C section, And the whole process of giving birth.

[00:24:50] So if you chose your C section, it's one thing. If you haven't chosen your C section, it's also another thing. If you wanted to have a natural birth and you end up having a C section, that can be [00:25:00] traumatic as well. and just not recognizing your body. The body has changed. You can pee your pants. You cannot hold sometimes the poop.

[00:25:10] It's just I can't, I don't have any control of my body. And then I have to take care of a new human being. And I don't know who I am as a mom. I have to handle my couple life as well. Sometimes the partner, there's a lot, especially, and plus, if you're an expat, you don't have family.

[00:25:29] It's tough.

[00:25:31] Ben Culpin: Where do you slot into that? And how did this come about this specialization?

[00:25:37] Olympe Bille: When I was a personal trainer, as a female personal trainer, I knew, I had more female clients. Or, I had some guys, but not many. And I had also trans clients. But I knew that most of my clients, might fall get pregnant and so I wanted to learn more because I realized when I moved [00:26:00] here I was doing for two years I was doing this bootcamp for women and it happened quite some, many times that some newcomers would come at the bootcamp and ask me, hey I just gave birth, few weeks ago. Do you think I can do it? I am not a doctor. I don't know what you've been through I don't know how was your birth, and in France we do Perineal re-education. So the perineum is the muscle. So when you want to pee and there's no toilet you're squeezing something, right? We all have one Also, you guys, you do have a perineum and this muscle is a part of the core, actually.

[00:26:46] And this muscle can get pretty shattered from the pregnancy, from the birth. If you had an episiotomy, if you've been cut if you had some stitches, and so what [00:27:00] should she was, they were asking me, how can I do it again? I'm like, but have you done the perineal re rehab, re education?

[00:27:07] They were like, what is that? I was like, what? How can you not know?

[00:27:11] Ben Culpin: So what is it exactly?

[00:27:14] Olympe Bille: It's training that muscle that can help you holding your pee, holding your poop if you haven't trained it properly after birth, you can have tremendous sting. You go on a trampoline, you pee your pants. You run, you can pee your pants.

[00:27:32] Ben Culpin: Physically speaking, help me connect with my own. How am I saying? How do I say it? Perineum.

[00:27:37] Olympe Bille: Perineum.

[00:27:38] Ben Culpin: Perineum. Help me connect with it so that anyone listening to this could, in this instance, understand exactly where it is.

[00:27:45] Olympe Bille: It starts on the anus. This one you can feel it.

[00:27:48] Ben Culpin: Located.

[00:27:50] Olympe Bille: And then it goes all the way to the front. So for women, or if you have some female parts it goes towards the [00:28:00] clitoris. Men, I'm not sure exactly, but it's linked to the penis and the balls as well. Because actually training it can help you prevent prostate issues later on.

[00:28:15] Yeah so, hi, didn't know, huh?

[00:28:17] Ben Culpin: I wasn't aware of the specific details of the benefits for men in that way. I also think it's interesting that, because I think, Dutch healthcare, they, is, again, I don't have children and I've not been through a pregnancy here, but I'm aware of this It's the sense that it's quite good to have, easy to have children here because you have this What's this service called when someone comes into your house?

[00:28:43] The kraamzorg. The kraamzorg, afterwards. Anyone listening to this who's not in the Netherlands.

[00:28:47] Olympe Bille: Yeah, but they come for one week.

[00:28:49] Ben Culpin: It's a service where a, is it a doula or a midwife?

[00:28:54] Olympe Bille: No I would say it's uh, they learn some some practice. They [00:29:00] learn certain things like changing changing the how you say the... Plaster? Plaster? When you have something to change if you have an injury or you just had a surgery. So they know how to do that. They can help you taking your shower, but they can also cook for you.

[00:29:18] They can take care of your baby, help also for the Breastfeeding sometimes. It depends on kraamzorg. Yeah, it's in between a midwife, they have a nurse knowledge a little bit. But yeah it's very specific to Netherlands. It's great, but there's so much work so much more things we can do, to prevent, I mean it's, it has changed because there are more and more physios that are doing now re education of the perineal area that can help you. They are really specialized in that now. But back then, back in 2013, all the women died. First of all, they don't really go to the, many women here, they [00:30:00] don't go to the gynecologist.

[00:30:01] In France you go once, twice a year at least. So it's a different way of approaching women's health, I would say. So that was the reason why I decided to go to... I talked to a friend of mine who happened to be a doula for a very long time in Nice. And I told her, I said, hey, that's so weird here, they don't do the perennial re education.

[00:30:28] It's just like nonsense and they go back to sport. They don't ask their doctor. I'm like what? She was like, but take into Consideration that natural birth is a little bit more. It's less medicalized than in France much more medicalized. So the body has hard time to go back to is to its functions Because of the drugs, but even if it's, you don't have so much drugs, sometimes, [00:31:00] it really depends on how the burst went and stuff, sometimes it's hard to get back in touch with your body, to have some clients that have numbness, they can't feel anything uh, and it takes time.

[00:31:13] So yeah, that was the reason why I was like. I want to have more knowledge and help my client if they get pregnant and after. And so I went to Paris. I went to this institute that my friend Doula suggested me. And they are pretty well known in France. The Gasquet Institute and Bernadette de Gasquet is actually a woman who she had three kids, uh, and she was doing yoga for a very long time.

[00:31:48] And through her three pregnancies, she was like, something is not right. And Yeah, with all the things, giving birth when you are sitting, when you are lying on the [00:32:00] bed with your legs up, it's not natural. Because then, as I was saying earlier, your joints are super loose when you're pregnant.

[00:32:10] And so the, the tailbone. All this area, the sacrum and tailbone, it becomes loose as well. And if you lie on it, it can't move. So depending on how the baby is coming, it's going to be harder. So the birth is more for the doctor to be comfortable with the birth. And the mom, the woman is pretty passive.

[00:32:39] Especially if you have drugs and then you're in a position you can't really... So then it for more for the comfortable, to give a comfortable position to the doctor, but the person is not, the person who should be at the first position of this moment should be the [00:33:00] person who is giving birth. So well, depends if you have, if you don't have drugs, then you can stand, you can go on the deep squats, you can go on the fourth, you can just lie on the side.

[00:33:11] There's a lot of different positions. But not on the bed with the legs like this. So she explored this and she decided to take back her study. She became a doctor and she's really specialized in that and she created her own method and she now trains midwife, nurse even doctors I can't remember the name, those who are specialized in giving birth.

[00:33:36] They, she also does training for them.

[00:33:39] Ben Culpin: So what did your training look like? And how do you get, you come in going, Hey, I'm a OIympe, I'm a personal trainer and I want to, how does it work? Do they serve, do they educate people like yourself that are.

[00:33:51] Olympe Bille: Yeah. It's for like people who are already more or less in health. People were with me, they were already either in the fitness industry.[00:34:00] I remember there was one fireman who wanted to become a trainer. They were already all working in yeah, either medical or fitness wellness industry.

[00:34:13] Ben Culpin: So what kind of principles did you learn there? And I'm curious. How would I say this? If you feel or, it seems that this is a,

[00:34:31] Kind of blind spot of consideration for people going through a pregnancy. What are the kinds of things that you learn, but also how are you, how do you specifically help people on this journey? And what should they be looking out for as they go through their pregnancy?

[00:34:52] Olympe Bille: Yeah, what I've learned, it's, it's, uh, for prenatal, it's three days, and [00:35:00] postnatal, it's three days, so it's not like I've done a one year study or two years or whatever, but I already had some knowledge from my experience as a personal trainer, so we go through anatomy, we go through physiology, how the body works during pregnancy and also after pregnancy and what are the po position that can really give comfort and how you can continue being strong while you are pregnant because you're pregnant when you're not sick.

[00:35:31] But there's some ways of some movement to avoid, some other movement you can do. And yeah, comfort and prevention as well. and then depends on the person. So I always work on the spot with the people. I always do like a... intake to see what, if it's the first pregnancy, second pregnancy or more how they feel what kind of complaint they have on the day.

[00:35:59] [00:36:00] And then I adapt my session to what they, so I always talk like five, ten minutes with the person, then I work with it.

[00:36:07] Ben Culpin: It also sounds like from what you were saying earlier that you're You see that there's a recurring issue with I'm not going to use the right words, but you described this sort of like opening of the.

[00:36:17] Olympe Bille: Yeah, diastasis it's quite common it's... A lot of women, many women have it and it's quite normal, you, as a baby you've been growing in your belly for nine months or sometimes less. But that's quite common, but we can prevent it to be less important uh, that's possible.

[00:36:39] Ben Culpin: So I feel like I could zoom in on all of these things that you are, but we would be here for maybe four or five hours. I can already feel this going down like a tunnel. I could just keep asking questions about pre and postnatal. What do you, [00:37:00] what's your primary focus right now?

[00:37:04] Olympe Bille: Um, I, as I'm going back to France next Wednesday. I'm taking a break from work. It's a semi sabbatical because I still have a few clients online. So I'm gonna continue taking care of them. They are not pregnant. One is postpartum plus two. So her daughter just turned two years two years old and I'm taking care of her husband actually, because before I was specialized in postural alignment rehabilitation after injury or surgery preventing for people who have like chronical issues like back issues, shoulders.

[00:37:49] So that was my Specialty. And while she was pregnant, her husband had a wake up call and was like, I want to be able to [00:38:00] play with my daughter. And so I started following him and it's been two years, two years and a half, maybe almost three, that I've been following him, uh, for that to just be more functional.

[00:38:17] Have less back issues, more mobility, and the progress is, pfft, is tremendous. He is really happy about it. So happy that when his mom was visiting from India, he wanted me to also follow her, and I did. So I did one session with a little program. And same, she hasn't been going on the floor for 25 years.

[00:38:44] Just lying down on the floor, she was scared of going down on the floor. The first day I saw her, I managed to make her going down on her back, and standing up on her own. She was super scared. First, [00:39:00] the first attempt, we've done it together, I was holding her arms, but I showed her techniques, really easy techniques to use the couch or use a chair, and breathing, and she managed to do it.

[00:39:12] And she was so excited, she was doing it ten, ten times in a row, I was like, yeah, and then so that's really, yeah. It was great. So anyway, so I'm following these clients and another client who is pregnant. She's pregnant due end of December.

[00:39:32] Ben Culpin: If it's okay, I just want to pick up on something here that's happening energetically.

[00:39:36] Olympe Bille: Yeah.

[00:39:37] Ben Culpin: You talk about taking a sabbatical and going back to France and I sense fatigue. But when you talk about these moments with your clients, you are animated.

[00:39:49] Olympe Bille: Yeah, I love it. I'm passionate about it. I love helping. It's not just helping people, it's just bringing them comfort, they, they feel [00:40:00] so much better and it's giving them tools. That can be reused then when I'm not with them. For me, it's so important that people learn uh, being in touch with themselves.

[00:40:12] Because we are working together, but I don't want you to depend on me. I want you to learn for you, so then you can walk on your own. And yeah, I love it.

[00:40:21] Ben Culpin: But I sense that there's some healing to be done for you.

[00:40:24] Olympe Bille: Yeah, for sure.

[00:40:26] Ben Culpin: Would you mind telling me a little bit more about that? That choice, zooming in on why you're going home.

[00:40:33] Olympe Bille: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:40:34] Yeah, you know already, the, the reason why I stayed here is because I felt like there was still, I felt home, and I still feel home, but something is missing. And I felt, I tried to plant my roots here uh, but I feel this, I really felt the soil wasn't [00:41:00] nutritious enough. And yeah, I just miss being in Nice.

[00:41:07] I miss being with my mom with my cousins. I miss I'm a very family person. The reason why I came here was for love. I thought we would be together for a longer period, and having kids. This also was really a tough thing to work on. And I... And I think the reason why I ended up taking care of prenatal and postnatal was very therapeutic for me.

[00:41:36] Because for, since I was 32, I was obsessed of having a kid. Yeah, I was really obsessed. But why? Because before coming here, I went to the gynecologist. Gynecologist, if I go against a gynecologist, I think I will go... Really, I have [00:42:00] to listen to my intuition. Anyway, that person told me that I had fibroids.

[00:42:05] So fibroids is like a tumor in, can be inside the uterus, can be outside the uterus, vagina. And so I had multiple fibroids. And this very delicate doctor told me that my uterus looked like a cauliflower. And if I wanted to have a kid, I better hurry. Then I had a higher risk of having a miscarriage.

[00:42:32] And the later I go, the less chance I'll have to have kids. I was traumatized, really. I was. I was really traumatized by everything that he told me, and I went out of the practice, I was crying so hard, and from that moment, I was obsessed of having a kid, I was scared of not being able to have kids, yeah, it [00:43:00] was tough, and then of course, with my ex boyfriend, it was not always, it was not the moment, never the moment, but, didn't happen and I believe it wasn't supposed to happen and it's good and then after being single and then again, even if I'm I don't believe that I follow completely the social stream for many reasons, but there's still the influence sometimes, oh, I turned 40. Oh my god, I'm going to turn 40. I still don't have kids. I really want to have kids. I even explore having a kid with a friend. Didn't happen. I even explore the fact of having a kid on my own. I talked with friends who went through that journey, and... No. Because, again, I felt I don't, my family's not there with [00:44:00] me.

[00:44:00] I don't feel like having a kid on my own here. Some people are doing it. And it's really good on them, and it's really a personal thing, but I... I was like, no. I, and I made peace with it. I really made peace with it. Now I'm like, it didn't happen. Maybe it will happen. If it does, it's good. If it doesn't, it's okay.

[00:44:29] But I don't want to be miserable in between. And chase it. Now, it has been for like over a decade, to be like, oh, obsessed with the idea of having a kid. And, oh, you're getting old, all your eggs and everything, and I'm like, leave me alone. And taking care of women during this journey of being pregnant, moms, and it was really healing for me.

[00:44:57] Yeah, during COVID, I had more [00:45:00] clients. First of all, some of my clients got pregnant. Yeah, I was really excited about it. And and then I had more clients that came to me. They were in postpartum. And, yeah, it it went like this. And then when I don't know, because...

[00:45:19] Ben Culpin: I'm wondering, if I may jump in, I imagine if I'm in your shoes, and if I was you, which I'm not, but trying to explore this with you, That if I was in a place where I was very much wanting to have children and felt the social constructs of our world putting that pressure on me, and then I am with clients who are getting pregnant, that, the way I feel about it would be, that's going to be hard for me.

[00:45:53] Triggering. Triggering, and I'm seeing something I can't have, uh, or I don't [00:46:00] have right now. Yeah. hoW is it healing? How did you choose that way to look at it?

[00:46:07] Olympe Bille: The thing is I think that I've always had the capacity of being happy for someone, even if I don't have that thing.

[00:46:24] Yeah, I, when I love people, I just wanna be happy, but when they are going through something amazing, I'm like, yay! I'm gonna hype them. And that's, it's something that has been always part of me, I think, to hype people since hype people really like always I'm a connector and I'm a motivator and that can you, you can recognize in every part of what I do with the music and with friendship.

[00:46:59] I'm [00:47:00] like this. So it's part of me. And then when my client, they got pregnant, I was really happy for them and I didn't feel like, how, how about me? Yeah, of course I had this, but not like in comparison with my client, I could Yeah. Step away from that. Yeah. And I. Even if I wasn't experiencing it myself, I just love going, seeing the evolution and how I was able to bring comfort.

[00:47:38] Every time we do a session, Oh, I feel much better now. Oh, thank you. And I'm like, yes that's my mission. Yeah, and then, last year, I was already back in 2020 some a person with who I was working then, she said, oh, this person used to come to our [00:48:00] class, and she's opening her own thing, and she's looking for a place.

[00:48:06] But it was 2020, so then everything changed. But then we reached out to her because she then opened her place called the Labour Department. And it's all around, parenthood uh, pregnancy, postpartum but also sleeping for the baby, the food, there's a therapist as well. It really covers a huge spectrum around parenthood.

[00:48:30] And so I reach out to her and she proposed me to do something. And I didn't want to have a class. Anymore but I wanted to propose a shorter thing, like a course, like four weeks course, and we started like this. And yeah, and then it evolved to six week course. And yeah, it worked really well.

[00:48:54] And I loved it. The new moms could bring their babies or not. And [00:49:00] I've seen so many babies. I love babies. I love kids. Also, when I was a kid, I already loved babies. Yeah. I'm a natural with kids and, so yeah, for me it was, and I never felt sad the opposite. It was really like comforting to see that I could help these women, have a good time with them, seeing those little babies, they're very cute yeah

[00:49:29] Ben Culpin: I don't know if this is the right thing to say or not, but if one cannot have something in the way they thought they could, but they can still participate, that can sometimes be enough.

[00:49:40] Olympe Bille: Yeah, exactly. And, since I've, those past, I'm gonna say, yeah, three years, having kids is great, but it's no joke, man. It's yeah. Now I really, now seeing all [00:50:00] this, and of course it wasn't, it's not my journey, but seeing all this now, I'm really, it really made me really reconsidering the fact of, do I really want to have a kid?

[00:50:12] Do I really want to have a kid on my own? No. No..

[00:50:17] Ben Culpin: I don't want to go backwards in our conversation, but there's something I'd like to just circle back to, and it's about the doctor. And I don't wish to connect you back to that place emotionally, but As you tell me about it I get uncomfortable. I feel, and it's not about me, but I'm trying to get to my point here.

[00:50:40] I feel uncomfortable for you going through that experience, but I also feel uncomfortable as a man, that a man said that, those things. So it's Yeah. What could he do differently and what, this is [00:51:00] maybe a terrible question, but what can men do in society that would be better in this circumstance?

[00:51:05] Olympe Bille: Educate themselves.

[00:51:09] Ben Culpin: Yeah, that's a pretty good point.

[00:51:11] Olympe Bille: Having conversations, open conversations. Yeah, because, And I think it's changing, but it is very slowly. But, yeah, having open conversations. Not trying to interpret what we are saying, as women, when we say our experiences, or, oh, what you mean by that? It's this, right? No. Don't mansplain me what I'm feeling!

[00:51:44] So yeah, having conversations and educating themselves, because nowadays, there's so much ways of... learning, and when it comes to other things that we, like periods and stuff, some men sometimes, ah, it's [00:52:00] not me, it's or when a women get raped, oh yeah, but it's not me, I am not like this, but yeah, you're not like this, but some are like this.

[00:52:07] So how can you change this? The locker room conversations. You hear some things, but you don't say, it's off. Yeah. This, for instance, having conversations educating, having shared conversations with women and trans people and, yeah, to open up and at least listen, not necessarily understanding and then when the awareness is there, also having conversation between men.

[00:52:41] I had this conversation once with a colleague of mine. Who is, who defended himself to be not homophobic and accepting everybody but then he witnessed a conversation between some guys, but I wasn't [00:53:00] there some colleagues were explaining that, and they didn't say anything. He didn't say anything.

[00:53:10] I told him, as a man, you, you have the responsibility because they, those guys, they look up to you. You're like the male, will represent what, what's being a man for them. As you have this awareness and knowledge, it's your responsibility to share this with them. To maybe crack open something and put a little seed in their brain.

[00:53:36] And maybe start changing, having a different... Look at it. But if we don't talk. Yeah.

[00:53:45] Ben Culpin: I certainly agree with everything you're saying about having conversations and educating yourself and also taking responsibility. For a wider net than yourself. [00:54:00] And maybe I'm over, over like stressing trying to get an answer. But it's but if I had even an idea that you were going through this moment where you want to have children and that it's not happening for you.

[00:54:17] How I can have that conversation with you in the first place. Because maybe I'm terrified to even bring it up.

[00:54:26] Olympe Bille: Yeah, of course. Yes, it's scary. It's very personal things. I think something that I learned with my coaching is less is more sometimes. You don't necessarily have to ask questions. You can start having a conversation and then when you don't... Talk much, people open up more and more, if they feel comfortable of course.

[00:54:53] But yeah, having open conversations and sometimes [00:55:00] just being a listener. And not necessarily finding a solution or something that makes you feel, because it's true sometimes as friends we want, oh my friend is in pain, I want to help, I want to do something, but sometimes We'll never be able to have the tools that they need.

[00:55:23] I do believe that we all have the tools and the answers we are looking for. Most of the time, we, I, and I think people, need to speak. And by speaking more and more, sometimes answers come to them. So as friends, sometimes we don't need to give them the help and just the support of listening and being there.

[00:55:52] That's already a big thing.

[00:55:55] Ben Culpin: So,

[00:55:57] [00:56:00] In some instance, I want to pivot slightly here, because there's this other part of you I want to discuss, and what you're sharing with me now is this idea that maybe it's just creating space for someone to express internally what's going on. So this is a bit of a, clunky transition to talk about you expressing yourself as a singer songwriter.

[00:56:23] Olympe Bille: I always loved singing. And actually when I was younger, I wanted to be a singer. I even sent back then when I was in my 20s I sent a, because back then there was a videotape. A videotape to apply for a a TV show like a real TV show where you can become a singer. So I, I send a videotape back then. So I always wanted to be a singer. But I was scared and I wasn't as confident. I I didn't love myself[00:57:00] as I do now. I Was scared and yeah. There was judgment. And also... People, family or people around, yeah, you need a real job, this is not a real job.

[00:57:20] And yeah, I think self trust, self confidence, um, that was lacking. Yeah. And so when I moved here... Because before coming here, I had few stuff I did back singer for Reggae Singer on his album, I had featuring with a rapper I had few bands and before coming here I was punctually doing back singer for event weddings, bar mitzvah.

[00:57:53] And then when I moved here it took two years for me to feel home. And I stopped singing. [00:58:00] I even stopped singing. But then when I started feeling home, I started singing again. And I was like, I want to take some classes. Because I never really had a coach. And I started having a coach. So I worked with her for three years.

[00:58:19] And then she, she proposed me to start writing my own song. That's my own song. And I always loved writing as well, on and off not really going in depth with that. I used to have also a rap band with my cousins for two years when I was a teenager. So we were writing songs. And I like to journal as well.

[00:58:40] I do writing. So I was like, okay, let's, it started like this. So I started writing songs in collaboration with her. And then, already when I was taking the singing class, I was like, I want to have a band. I want to have a band. I want to have a band. Okay, but what are you doing here? What are you doing about it?[00:59:00]

[00:59:00] I said, ah, I want to have a band. Okay, but what are you doing? And then COVID. It's just the earthquake I needed, so I was already on those groups on Facebook, Musicians in Amsterdam Musicians, For some time. But I never dared to. And that time I did. I said, fuck it. I had one song that was recorded, Which is Fast Food Love.

[00:59:26] I put in the link was on SoundCloud. So I put an announce on those groups, I put the SoundCloud link, I said, okay, I wanna do covers, And then... Eventually writing stuff, but let's see. And then I had a lot of answers and yeah. And then the rest is history. The band was born.

[00:59:48] Ben Culpin: This is a selfish question, but maybe it'll, yeah, I want to ask it anyway. I'm just starting this project early days. It's quite a lot of [01:00:00] emotional energy to put myself out there. What would be your advice to to, anyone who has an idea for something, but hasn't yet started.

[01:00:11] Olympe Bille: Um, that we have one life. And we only have one life, and we are so lucky, and the thing is the awareness of being so privileged, in a country at peace, to be healthy, I don't have any health issues. I always had a house. I can eat whenever, I don't have limits. I consider myself a very rich person.

[01:00:47] Even if I, if you look at the compass of the society, I'm not rich, but I am super rich. I'm very well surrounded and loved. And I always loved music. [01:01:00] And. Let's do it, of course there will be some quacks and... But that's how you learn. That's what, when you do things and, Oh, this doesn't work.

[01:01:11] Oh, I don't like this. But then, but if you don't do it, you'll never know. You can just have some ideas right now. And yeah. Just listening to the gut. And not listening to people, because I even loved ones sometimes, and I'm like, Are you sure about this? But what about this and that? My truth.

[01:01:36] It's mine. No one knows better than yourself. Yeah. Stay stuck to... Sticking to your truth and your intuition, and also what really drives you what you love in this.

[01:01:53] Ben Culpin: It's hard to do that sometimes when you're stressed or tired [01:02:00] or having a moment of self doubt. It can have a ripple effect on everything you do.

[01:02:04] So

[01:02:09] I'm aware of the time. Yeah. Okay. So there's, okay, cool. There's so many, gosh, we're going to need a part two here.

[01:02:18] Okay.

[01:02:21] Maybe we're going to come be a great excuse to cut the Nice. Hey. Okay. So there's a lot that you do a lot of things here, but I'm curious to, if you just take a step back from all of these disciplines you have and think about healing as a concept. How would you define healing?

[01:02:43] Olympe Bille: yeah, because, yeah, having either a coach or a therapist. Asking for help, talking with yeah, being surrounded, or surrounding ourselves by, um, [01:03:00] by people that lift you up. And people you can talk to openly. And then Yeah developing a love relationship with one's self.

[01:03:20] My way of having my love relationship a certain way, might not be the same for any other people. My way is to take time in the morning and having a breath work, connecting with my body, doing some meditation. Not watching horror movies. Not watching violent stuff anymore. Although, I used to watch more investigation, serial killers.

[01:03:48] I, because I still enjoy investigation things. But I, I rather go for happy stuff, funny stuff, funny things. Yeah, no horror movies. Yeah. [01:04:00] I don't watch much news as well. Time to time, but there's so much input. I'm aware of what's going on in the world, but I also intentionally don't fall into the rabbit hole of the horror happening.

[01:04:19] There are some horrible things happening. Yeah. It's great to read some self book self help book, books. I don't think to have like external person, professional, a therapist or a coach. yeah, you can really, at least for me, I could really go in depth with things, explore and... Also, create my own tools to cope with with things, to cope with my, my own emotions.

[01:04:52] Because before I was really into positive, always positive, even no, I'm positive. So it was like [01:05:00] just pushing away the other emotions. So when I was, angry or sad, I didn't like it. I don't want to be sad. I just want to cover it up. No, now no, I feel like this. It will pass. Then it's also exploration.

[01:05:17] Okay. What triggered this? Why am I feeling this way? Or letting be and knowing that it's like a wave. But I think having a coach really helped me having this developed coaching. Therapy was good but... At least what worked best for me was coaching. I don't know, I felt like the exercises we were doing were more like, straightforward.

[01:05:50] and maybe I was also, at that time, more ready, also. Yeah, I really developed I acquired some [01:06:00] more tools to cope with what life brings. I have my down moments. I sometimes feel like, I don't want to be on the couch. And it's also okay. Before I would feel guilty of feeling that way. That's even worse.

[01:06:19] It's just What? Yes. Feeling guilty of feeling this way. You know, it's like, Yeah. And I still sometimes have these moments, and it's try, operate, try again. It's not oh, I found the way, now I'm good. No, it's just,

[01:06:42] Ben Culpin: yeah there's something, I'm really glad that you're sharing these moments because one of the reasons I wanted to start this project was just to create space for that kind of vulnerability.[01:07:00] I think often we just see the end results, the triumphant moment and not The moments of futility, that we're like despairing and feeling terrible and feeling bad about feeling bad.

[01:07:16] I

[01:07:20] Olympe Bille: they have their own place.

[01:07:23] Ben Culpin: Also what you said though about just experiencing all the emotions, allowing yourself to go through the range.

[01:07:34] As a final question what do you trust in?

[01:07:42] Olympe Bille: Um, I trust in the universe. I trust in the process. I trust in myself. Yeah, I trust myself.

[01:07:59] And of course [01:08:00] sometimes I can be overwhelmed by things. Like this morning that I was feeling meh.

[01:08:10] And after having a session with my client that we say goodbye, we hugged, I cried. It was liberating as well. And then, on my bike, I was, before, yeah, before going to the session, when I left here and going to my session, I was feeling meh. And then I was like, okay, one task at a time, one day at a time, one task at a time.

[01:08:39] One day at a time. And then I remind this, and then already arriving there I was feeling better. And then I did the session with my client. Enjoying it. And then after we said goodbye. And then I said We, we said the goodbye, I cried. Then I understood why I was feeling also partly, meh. [01:09:00] So yeah. Yeah, the one day at a time, one task at a time, it's has been, it's really helpful when I feel uncomfortable, stressed, or overwhelmed.

[01:09:14] I also practiced that during the moving before packing and stuff, I couldn't see the end of it. Sometimes I was laughing, sometimes I was crying, I was panicking. One day at a time. One task at a time. One day at a time. It really calms me. Yeah.

[01:09:35] Ben Culpin: That's a really wonderful way to describe, trusting in yourself, trusting in your process and your own intuition and kind of having this patience with yourself. Just as we're coming to the end here, you're at this like pivotal moment where you're leaving behind a city and a community and [01:10:00] moving.

[01:10:00] Back to your own culture, in your own city. What do you... What do you...

[01:10:12] What do you seek? That you currently do not have?

[01:10:16] Olympe Bille: Just simple things. Hanging out with my mom. Eating my pambanha. Pambanha is a traditional sandwich from Nice. Just eating my pambanha on the beach. Go for a walk. Along the beach just walking in the city, being on the bike there seeing my family, my cousins, my old friends. As well. Just that. Yeah.

[01:10:54] Very simple.

[01:10:57] Ben Culpin: Yeah, [01:11:00] I think we're just, we're going to end this conversation on that sort of loving, wonderful, yummy space that is. And if anyone is listening to that, I hope that you can just connect with that feeling as you move forward. . I'm so glad that you made time for me before you leave

[01:11:18] Olympe Bille: Yeah. I'm

[01:11:18] glad we had this

[01:11:19] conversation. Yeah.

[01:11:21] That was good.

[01:11:22] Ben Culpin: Pleasure.

[01:11:23] Olympe Bille: Thank you.

[01:11:25] Ben Culpin: Please come back sometime.

Ben Culpin

Researcher, Strategist, Film and Photography Documentarian, and Podcaster.

All disciplines centre around an innate need for perspective, a sensitivity to the world.