On the Couch with Sandi Phoenix

Sandi-Phoenix-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Sandi Phoenix?
It depends who you ask. And what day it is. But for today, I’m founder of The Phoenix Cups Framework, co-author of The Phoenix Cups: A Cup Filling Story, and co-host of a new podcast about them, Cupify This!, with my husband Chris.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I can’t even imagine doing anything differently for work. But I wish I’d learnt to surf in my teens and twenties. I am a salt water / coastal Aussie, I’d love an excuse to spend more time at the beach.

Who inspires you and why?
Jacinda Ardern. Many women talk about becoming a leader and making a difference. Jacinda just did it. She’s understated, humble, generous, compassionate, and just gets it done. I’m inspired by the way her leadership is authentic and driven by advocacy.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I want to make information about wellbeing and behaviour accessible to everyone. I want to ensure people have access to ideas and theories that will benefit their psychological wellbeing and their ability to do the best they can as parents, leaders, teachers, partners, and colleagues.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I’m in one of them as I write this, taking a couple days off in Palm Cove after a job in Far North QLD. Byron Bay is another favourite, as is Bali. Anywhere with sun and sand. There’s something about the smell of the sea that instantly relaxes me.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Stradbroke Island. We live on the mainland, a stone’s throw from Straddie. And I don’t visit anywhere near enough now that I’m well and truly swept into the world of adulting.

What are you currently reading?
Lots of journal articles on Positive Psychology as I made the crazy decision to return to some post grad study. I’m also listening to the audiobook of Lost Connections by Johann Hari. It’s brilliant, and forcing me to unlearn a lot of what I was taught in my psychological science degree. And I’m carting around a copy of Flow by Csikszentmihalyi in my carry-on luggage, with the intention of reading it again.

What are you currently listening to?
Right now, 90s grunge, as I’m with my husband, Christopher, and it’s the only music we agree on. He finds my music preferences physically painful. When I’m on my own I love a good acoustic cover from some random indie band or whatever my Spotify ‘Discover Weekly’ list throws at me. I’ve adored Alanis Morissette since the 90s and love her new stuff just as much. And I gave my son Lennon’s middle name due to my obsession with The Beatles.

Happiness is?
Elusive, fleeting, underappreciated. I just realised I’m spending too much time with my cynical husband. It’s actually having your needs met (full Cups), and using skills like gratitude to keep them full. It’s understanding your needs and the needs of people you love, and making time to ensure they’re met. It’s realising that happiness is not an end point, or a goal to attain, but a moment, that you must not ever take for granted.

What does the future hold for you?
I’ve given up predicting this, as I’ve rarely been right. But I hope it holds a lot more of the same of the way my life is right now, but without a global pandemic.

Sandi is the co-presenter of Cupify This! – the latest offering from the creators of the Phoenix Cups® psychological framework. For more information, visit: www.phoenixcups.com.au for details.

Image: Sandi Phoenix (supplied)