hi and thank you for finding your way to the girlness project...
girlness began with my own transition from teen to womanhood; a journey filled with learning, mistakes and magical moments that together shaped who I became. My teen years presented an incredibly challenging time and I developed a toxic relationship with my body and food...now recognised as body dysmorphia and disordered eating but at the time, something I experienced in silence and isolation. My obsession with the body and beauty, influenced by decision to study Fashion at University which led me to launch my career in Beauty PR. I was consumed by an overwhelming sense of not feeling/looking 'good enough' and on reflection, it’s easy to see how these industries amplified my own insecurities.
To many girls, my world looked picture perfect. I worked for one of the most famous beauty brands in the world, I worked at Fashion Week for consecutive seasons and I had every single beauty product I could dream of at my fingertips. But inside, my daily struggle with my body was crippling; no matter what size or shape I was. It began to impact every aspect of my life...my relationships, my social life and my work. It was a sad existence for someone so young and full of potential.
Fast forward a few years and the landscape started to change. At 23, I decided I had to make my wellbeing (my health and happiness) a priority in my life and embarked on a yoga teacher training - a practice I had returned to on and off since my teens. If you’re thinking how zen that experience must have been, I thought that too…it turns out, my two year training was about to be the most emotionally and physically demanding undertaking I had ever undergone. Less lotus flower, more getting stuck in the mud A LOT. It was a process that required me to be 'in my body' - something that I had fought very hard not to do.
As my internal world started to shift, my external world shifted too. Experiencing my body as a safe place to be started to pave the way for a more compassionate and loving version of myself. I transitioned careers to teach yoga full time and my life became flooded with the most inspirational women. These women were prepared to be both vulnerable and strong, open yet boundaried, honest but fair. They celebrated and valued all of me, inside and out. Perhaps most importantly they encouraged me to be even more of myself. To stop hiding and to start showing up. I was unable to shy or hide away anymore. These women served as true mentors in every aspect of my life and are now some of my closest friends. Without them, the girlness project simply wouldn’t exist.
The more I turned my awareness inwards (yoga, meditation, journaling, reading) the more I started to learn about what I need to do to look after myself and I also observed the many ways in which I don’t (being distracted by social media, controlling my food and exercise, comparing myself to others). I have worked with hundreds of women of all ages and I have been comforted yet heartbroken to learn that I wasn't alone in my struggles. The sad truth is, many girls and women struggle with negative body image and low self-esteem and the pressure is continuing to mount. I believe we have a responsibility to nurture the development of girls of all ages by learning how to self-regulate and develop our awareness by learning the skills to ‘turn in’ through reflective practice. By doing this, we set the foundations for confident, inspired girls to flourish. girlness is born out of a desire to create a community that I know I would have benefited from at every stage of my development and continue to do so today. This community spans oceans and I hope it will continue to grow around the globe.
I understand that sometimes the body can be a difficult place to call home. My hope is that the girlness project will form a community where you can express who you are (all of you)…somewhere that will support you to feel rooted in the very essence of your being.
My intention is to help you see that your body can be a continuous source of inspiration and information. I hope you will start to get curious about what it means to be ‘embodied’ and recognise that your very existence is a great gift to this Earth.
Through community, conversation and consciousness - here’s to rising together.
With love for your body and soul,