Imagine if you could follow your ambition without drowning in it

... how much more fulfilling life would be?

That’s what Pause Purpose Play is all about – finding balance over burnout by setting you free from needing to be perfect, so that you can take action and get started with what matters to you, instead of getting stuck in procrastination and holding yourself back with self-limiting beliefs your inner critic tells you.

In this podcast, Michaela Thomas, Clinical Psychologist, Couples Therapist and founder of The Thomas Connection, shares bite-sized learning around psychology of performance, habits, self-confidence, stress, anxiety, perfectionism, parenthood and couples relationships.

The podcast will mix solo episodes with guest interviews; diving deep into their professional zone of genius and learning about how they have found pause, purpose and play in their life and in their work.

Welcome to Pause Purpose Play

Welcome to this new podcast. I hope you’ve tuned in because in one way or another, you’re looking for some more pause, purpose and play in your life.

This trailer covers what Pause Purpose Play is all about – finding balance over burnout so you can follow your ambition without drowning in it. 

The Secret to Getting Ahead, is Getting Started

It’s hard to get started. When we fear something, we are more likely to procrastinate. The inner critical voice shows up and has an opinion. It’s fearful of failure, so naturally it would show up when we’re trying to do something new. Something which means stepping out of the comfort zone.

Power Thoughts with Natalie Costa

In this episode, Natalie Costa, performance coach, author and founder of Power Thoughts, talks about how we support our children’s emotional wellbeing, to build greater confidence and resilience by noticing their inner critic and also sitting with their big feelings.

Stop the struggle (or This too shall pass)

A tricky lesson from Eastern philosophy is about the impermanence of things, of how everything changes rather than stays the same. This is a hard pill to swallow in the Western world, where we focus so much of our time and efforts around chasing and clinging onto happiness.

Dream it and do it, with Nicky Raby

In this episode, I talk to actor, personal branding coach and host of Dreaming and Doing podcast, Nicky Raby, about her career, how we find the courage to pause and reflect on what we want from our careers. We touch on making mistakes in business and finding play through flexibility. And we finish with Nicky’s one piece of advice for you.

Productive Problem Solving

This episode focuses on how a lack of problem-solving can get you stuck going around in circles in your life, and your relationship, but even if you’re not in a relationship, this episode is still for you. I will tell you about getting started, continuing and completing problem-solving, guiding you through a step by step approach to productive problem solving, if you stay with me to the end of the episode. I know you have lots to do, but if you keep addressing your problems the wrong way, you’ll have even less time to do those things. 

Banishing burnout, with Nicky Lowe

In this episode, I talk to Executive Coach and founder of Wisdom for Working Mums, Nicky Lowe about when her body told her in no uncertain terms to pause. She experienced burnout in a corporate career, following her high standards and need for striving. 

Are you a people pleaser?

In this episode, I talk about the problems that come from trying to please all the people, all the time – and how this is especially problematic in your relationship. 


Self-care for tough times, with Suzy Reading

In this week’s episode, I talk to Suzy Reading about self-care in tough times. Suzy is a mother of two, an author, Chartered Psychologist and Coach. She specialises in self-care, helping people manage their stress, emotions, and energetic bank balance. It was her life experience of motherhood colliding with the terminal illness of her father that sparked her passion for self-care which she now teaches to her clients, young and old, to cope during periods of stress, loss and change and to boost their resilience in the face of future challenges.

Busyness kills productivity

In this episode, I’ll talk about how busyness kills productivity and how flexibility saves it, through softening rigid rules and SHOULDs into softer COULDs.

I discuss the different reactions I hear from clients to a full to-do list, and three actions you can take to find a more sustainable pace in your work.

Post-natal wellbeing with Clio Wood

This week I’m talking to Clio Wood, a Women’s Health and Sex Positivity Advocate, and the Founder of &Breathe – award-winning wellbeing and fitness retreats for pre/postnatal, parenthood and peri-menopause. Clio created &Breathe following the birth of her daughter in 2014 and her experiences with trauma, postnatal depression, and painful sex/pelvic floor issues and is passionate about helping other women be their best selves.

Treating yourself as you would a friend

In this episode, I expand on a metaphor for how we all cope with stressful times differently – as we are all sailing on the same stormy seas right now, but we all do so in differently equipped boats. This can help you step out of blaming and shaming yourself for your reactions to our current circumstances. 

Stepping up without burning out, with Katy Murray

In this episode, I’m speaking to leadership coach Katy Murray (Katy Catalyst) about how to step up to your ambition, passion and potential – without burning out. 

Rush less, pause more

Notice how hard it is to slow down, in a world which promotes rushing. We are caught in an illusion that rushing saves us time, makes us more productive and wins us greater success – in fact, it’s the polar opposite.

In this episode, I’m going to bust some productivity myths around rushing and set you straight on why it helps to rush less

Perfectionism, overachieving and not feeling good enough, with Mandy Lehto

In this powerfully vulnerable and honest episode with Mandy Lehto, we explore the ongoing journey of healing from overachieving and not feeling good enough. Mandy shared her own experience of this work in progress, of trying to no longer base her worth on achievements and praise, and instead on feeling worthy for being who she is, imperfections and all. 

Calm the overwhelm

Do you recognise the signs of overwhelm in your life? Do you know what to do to slow down? Do you know what’s getting in the way of you taking better care of yourself? 

In this episode I explore the physical and mental signs that you might be suffering from overwhelm, and with the help of a visual metaphor, the stress bath tub, discuss methods to cope with stress without reaching the point of overwhelm and burnout. Helping you to follow your ambition without drowning in it.

Balance and purpose for entrepreneurs, with Polly Lavarello

Do you dream of working for yourself, but procrastinate starting or thinking you won’t be good enough?

In this episode I talked to Polly Lavarello about the struggles and benefits of entrepreneurship as a ‘company of one’, and how perfectionism used to hold her back from finding freedom, balance and purpose.

Letting go of rigid rules

Are you a rule follower? Thinking you ‘must’ or ‘should’ do things?

In this episode I consider the ways in which rigid following of self-imposed rules can harm ourselves and others. Then I suggest a loosening of the rules so that they serve you, rather than you serving them.

The pressure of the patriarchy, with Dr. Rebekah Shallcross

In this episode, Dr Rebekah Shallcross and I tackle some big questions – what is the antidote to the oppression of womxn, what is a true ‘choice’ vs what we do because of hitting upon the barriers set up by white heteronormative patriarchy, and how does the pressure of the patriarchy impact womxn’s mental health? Although a tough topic, we also bring some light and humour to this, considering how to break the ‘good girl’ narrative through allowing ourselves the permission to be non-productive and rest.

Lessons on life and love from 2020

2020 has been a tough year, with so much tension on our shoulders. 

In this episode, I reflect on a few things I have seen in my clinic over the past year, some of the lessons on life and love I have heard my clients come to. The main thing being things being the space to reflect on what really matters when the busyness and engagements in the diary have been dropped. 

Recovering from mental illness, with Jo Love

In this episode, I talk to Jo Love, an award winning Mental Health Advocate and campaigner. She shares her experience of mental illness including depression, anxiety and burnout alongside evidence-based strategies that helped her recover and go into a career of helping others feel less alone in their suffering. 

Intimacy after kids, with Catherine Topham Sly

In this episode, two couples experts get together talking about the hardship of having sex after having had kids, with the sleep deprivation, change in roles, breastfeeding, exhaustion and possible resentment getting in the way. Don’t worry, we lift you up by also providing hope around how you can reconnect again sexually, with emotional and physical intimacy.

Be Connected in your relationship with Dr. Tracy Dalgleish

In this week’s conversation I talk to Dr. Tracy Dalgleish about how our attachment styles affect our relationship dynamics, and how we can change the patterns we fall into with our partner.

Parenting Beyond Birth, with Sophie Burch

In this week’s conversation I talk to Sophie Burch about taking care of our mental and relationship health before and after birth.

Procrastination and perfectionism, with Alexander Rozental

In this episode I speak to Alexander Rozental about procrastination and perfectionism.

Alexander Rozental is a Licensed Psychologist in Sweden, with a PhD from the Department of Psychology at Stockholm University, and he is presently a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Centre for Psychiatry Research at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. Alexander has published research and a book on the subject of procrastination and perfectionism. 

Connecting to your body, with Dr Sula Windgassen

How connected are you to your body?

This week, I’m excited to welcome Dr Sula Windgassen, who is not only my guest, but also the newest member of The Thomas Connection.

Nourish yourself, with Sara Campin

Do you take time for you, to nourish yourself as a mother?

This week, I am speaking to Sara Campin. Sara is a mum of two, a personal development coach and founder of Nourish, a new wellbeing app for mums offering bite-sized wellbeing & calm in your pocket. 

Compassion for anger, with Russell Kolts

Do you get angry? We all do, it’s human. If you are hard on yourself for your anger, or want to find ways of relating to your anger differently, tune into this episode with Dr Russell Kolts. 

Changing your habits with kindness, with Shahroo Izadi

Have you tried to make changes to your life? Drink less, get into shape, or other things to improve your health? How often have you berated yourself when you can’t keep it up, when you fail to reach your goal?

This week, I’m speaking to Shahroo Izadi about how kindness is key to achieving our goals and changing our habits. 

The lasting connection podcast

What is Love?

What makes a relationship last? Basically, if you can own your own stuff, and tolerate your partner’s stuff, you’ve got a pretty good start. 

In this episode, I ask ‘what is love?’ And discuss why love is not enough, you need compassion too, in order to have a strong relationship. 

Glowing Embers

In this episode, I discuss how different couples have different levels of ‘flammability’. Understanding how flammable you and your partner are,  and what your triggers are, can help you to nurture your relationship towards the glowing embers stage – where you can roast some marshmallows instead of burning your relationship house down. 

Compassion and connection

In this episode, I talk about the strains on connection that modern relationships experience, including hardship, pressure to be perfect and globalisation, and the antidote to all this disconnection – compassion

The make or break of relationships

In this episode, I talk about the characteristics that make or break a relationship. I invite you to consider which attributes your current or past relationship has, and to examine your intentions to help you move forward with strengthening your bond.

Mindfully awake and aware

In this episode, I talk about how practicing formal or informal mindfulness can help you to calm your time-travelling brain, connect with the world around you in the here and now, and connect more deeply with your partner.

Understanding your emotions

In this episode, I talk about how the Threat, Drive and Soothe Systems impact on your relationship, and how you can work with your responses to deepen your connection with your partner.

The Compassionate Part of You

In this episode, I talk about understanding the different versions of your “self'” that show up in your relationship, and cultivating a compassionate self.

Compassion flowing out

In this episode, I talk about cultivating a garden where you and your partner can grow into the best versions of yourselves, by letting compassion flow out from yourself.

Fulfilling my childhood dream

In today’s slightly more vulnerable and personal episode, I’m celebrating pub day! It’s finally here – my new book, The Lasting Connection, published today!

Compassion Flowing In

In this episode, I talk about understanding the different versions of your “self'” that show up in your relationship, and cultivating a compassionate self.

Compassion for yourself

In this episode, I talk about the distinction between self care and self compassion, and how we need acts of self-care to be driven by a compassionate motivation in order for them to be helpful, not harmful. Looking after yourself out of fear or disgust is not driven by self-compassion. 

Compassion for the inner critic

Are you hard on yourself for mistakes you make?
Do you beat yourself up for your shortcomings?

In this episode, I explore why we listen to our inner critic, what function it serves for you, and how we can calm that voice inside ourselves.

Compassion for every part of you

In this episode, I talk about learning to accept the darker parts of ourselves and our partner, learning to be compassionate towards every part of you.