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Submerging Back into Myself

So, Ten days ago me and my friend and business partner, Ky set off on an adventure to The Lake District to film some promotional videos for Herbalism for Hair. If you haven’t heard about Herbalism for hair yet, it’s a movement, a revolution and a rebellion against an industry that is heavily chemical, unethical and punishing our planet and bodies, something I am immensely passionate about; but lately, I have to come to realise that while campaigning for other people to nourish and care for themselves, I had gradually started to neglect the most important person of all…myself. While talking through the campaign ideas for Herbalism for Hair, we discussed making this amazing video, set in vast, unspoiled nature and in the very place we forage all of our ingredients from. This included filming someone immersing themselves in a gorgeous natural lake. Ky was keen for me to be this person. I am the creator of these products and ideas so it would be more personal. I agreed, but as I sat nodding my head, everything inside of me screamed no. My inner voice kicked straight into its sabotaging strategy and began to reel off all the reasons why I was not good enough to be the face of this campaign; you’re too fat, too old, you’re a mum, no one wants to see you do this. A month went by and with each day that brought us closer to the campaign shoot, the voice was getting stronger and stronger. An internal battle between my strong mind and this inner saboteur raged on. The day came, me, Ky and our families set up camp at Windermere and we started to get ready for the shoot. The destination was a 2-mile hike away from camp, I started to pack my bag, and still – I was constantly telling myself I could not and should not do this. At this point I was there, there was no turning back – I had to suck it up and get it done, I couldn't let my kids see me bow out. I was filled with dread, nervousness and tension, worrying about how my body would look, how I would feel and what people’s reactions would be. Every step of this hike, that horrible inner voice was there. So, here I was, this amazing shimmering lake was there and as I started to strip off into my costume all I could think about was how my body was not allowed to do this. It didn’t look the way it should to be part of something like this. These thoughts pulsated through my entire being until the moment I stepped into this cold, cleansing water – then, silence. Every single doubt, bad thought, worry, self-conscious feeling was washed away. I felt free, I felt alive. The videographer then asked me to float as the drone flew over. I lifted my feet, and as the water lifted me up, I felt my body leap into action. Now I can't stress how cold this water was, it was like ice – and so, my body, quickly jumping to my defence, started to react. Every cell was protecting me, every part of this amazing, beautiful body was working to protect me. I was overwhelmed. After years of treating my body like crap, eating poorly, constantly telling my body to change, to look better, to shrink, complaining at it for looking stretched or imperfect (or what we’re told is imperfect) – this body still had my back. Emotion washed over me, I felt guilty, I felt like something inside of me had been blocked and now I was free. Free to love my body how I should have always, free to treat it and talk to it with the love and respect I give to others. Yes, I am a woman. Yes, I have given birth to four amazing kids, I have had cesarian sections, I have breastfed, I have lost weight, I have gained it, I have eaten well and I have eaten, not so well. But my body is fucking amazing, and still, after everything, loves me unconditionally.  After the trip, I reflected on this amazing awakening. I have worked in my industry for over 20 years, even before social media I was constantly bombarded with images of impossible beauty, impossible because it's not real. It's professionally lit, it's manipulated, the list goes on – and now we have social media, which (as we're all becoming more aware of) is so dangerous. Normal people carry ring lights to take the odd snap of a day out, beautiful people are airbrushing out freckles and wrinkles that show us who they are, that show us that they’ve lived. I realised just how much of an impact this has had on me, and it was devastating. I feel like I’m free, and now I want as many other women as possible to feel the same. We are beautiful. We are good enough. We should be seen. We should be seen for ourselves, for our children and for each other. I solemnly swear to treat my body with unconditional, beautiful love… who’s with me? (See you all at Crosby beach for a swim then?)



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