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Posts Tagged ‘attitude’

I was on the tube the other day and noticed a girl sitting a few seats away. She was peering intently at her skin in a small mirror picking at a spot on her face. She continued to peer and scratch at the spot, then moved onto another area. She was still engrossed in this activity as I left the train about 10 minutes later.

That used to be me…

As those who read my blog and visit my website will know, I used to suffer from awful acne.

I used to carry a small mirror with me at all times. I would take it out a sneak a look at my skin when I thought no-one was looking. I would have been far too embarrassed to do it in a packed train, but it would have been very much on my mind. If anyone even glanced at me I would be worrying about what my skin looked like, and what the person would have thought.

I used to look in the mirror first thing when I got up in the morning, just before I left the house, immediately when returned home, and countless times in between, just in case my skin had magically healed since the last time I checked. But, no matter what the big companies’ marketing departments say, healing your skin is not a magic quick-fix issue that can be brought about by using the latest wonder-cream.

Spending all of this time focusing on your face is destructive. It’s stressful (and stress always makes a skin complaint worse!), and it’s a constant reminder that you’ve got this acne (or whichever skin complaint you may have) on your face.

The best way to stop focusing on your skin is to simply stop thinking about it so much. I say ‘simply’, but it’s actually a lot harder than it sounds, so here are three steps to help make it a little easier…

Step 1 – Reset you thought patterns

Every time you have a disparaging or negative thought about your skin, or you find you’re thinking about it too much, tell your mind to think of something else.

Tell yourself to be patient, and that you are doing the best you can for your skin. Then change your thoughts to something else, preferably something that makes you feel happy.

I like to think of sitting out in the garden, surrounded by plants and flowers and sweet-smelling herbs, feeling the warm sun on my body.

Step 2 – Look in the mirror less

The little mirror I used to carry around with me had been a gift, and was just beautiful. I loved it. But carrying it with me where ever I went just wasn’t helping, so I gave it away.

If you have any hand-held mirrors, especially the magnifying kind, maybe you should give them away, too. Or at least hide them in the back of a dark cupboard where you can forget about them. If you are finding it really difficult not to check your skin, you could even cover all the mirrors in your house with scarves or binbags.

This may sound like an extreme step to take (and would possibly gain a raised eyebrow from any visiters you may have!), but believe me, it will make a difference. If you really can’t stop thinking about your skin, and can’t leave it alone, then not looking at it is the best thing you can do to clear your mind.

Step 3 – Get a breath of fresh air

As I said earlier, stress can make a skin complaint worse. Being out in nature is one of the best ways to de-stress and improve your well-being. So visit your local park, beach, nature reserve, or whatever is available to you, as often as you can. Even if you arrive in a gloomy mood, I bet you won’t leave feeling the same way!

Take the next step towards naturally beautiful, healthy skin by clicking here to sign-up to the Freyaluna tribe.

I’ll send you weekly inspiration, recipes, ideas, and straight-talking skincare advice to get you on track for your most beautiful skin ever, the natural way!

As a bonus, you’ll also get a FREE copy of my “5 Secrets to Naturally Beautiful Skin” ebook. Join the tribe here!

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Recently, Nigella Lawson was spotted on Australia’s Bondi Beach sporting rather more than your average beach-goer. Yes, that’s right, she was wearing a so-called “burkini”, the modesty-saving outfit designed for Muslim women.

Quite frankly, I am amazed by the fuss this simple family day at the beach has caused!

Naturally fair-skinned, like many of us Brits, Ms Lawson is quite right to be taking care of her skin when out in the sun. Judging by the continuing rise in skin cancer cases in the UK, perhaps more of us should be following her example. I’ve written about the risks of sun damage to your skin in previous posts, so won’t go into it again here. Just to say that you really need to be careful (I know you know that already, I just thought I’d say it again for good measure!).

I too have fair skin, and so understand the fears of skin damage due to over-exposure to the sun. I try to stay covered as much as possible, as well as plastering on the factor 30!

I’ll be honest, I’m not sure I’d go so far as wearing a burkini to the beach, but then, I don’t have the luxury of holidaying in the sort of hot countries that would warrant it.

There are those who say that she wore the burkini in order to draw attention to herself.

Erm… hang on a minute…

Where once a woman had to wear as little as possible (with bikinis now consisting of practically non-existent, barely-there scraps of fabric) to gain attention, now the same can be said of covering up completely?

It would seem we have come full circle!

But let’s think about it a different way…

If Nigella Lawson had worn the de rigueur itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny bikini, we all know what would have happened; images of the curvaceously lovely Ms Lawson would have appeared in certain glossy magazines (you know who you are!) high-lighting each and every wobbly bit and ‘imperfection’.

So, if anything can be gained from this whole blown-out-of-proportion incident, it is the proof that women just cannot win!

To put it simply; we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t.

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International Women’s Day (8 March) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. In some places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, International Women’s Day is a national holiday.

Suffragettes campaigned for women’s right to vote. The word ‘Suffragette’ is derived from the word “suffrage” meaning the right to vote. International Women’s Day honours the work of the Suffragettes, celebrates women’s success, and reminds of inequities still to be redressed. The first International Women’s Day event was run in 1911, which means that 2011 is the Global Centenary Year!

At Freyaluna we strongly believe that women all over the world should be treated fairly and as equals to men. Sadly, this isn’t always the case.

We want to help where we can, so for every item sold during March, Freyaluna will donate 10% to WOMANKIND WORLDWIDE.

This charity has helped millions of women and their families in 71 countries across the world, but as you can imagine, there is a long way to go, and always more to do;

70% of the world’s poorest people are women and girls

One in three women is beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused

Women account for just 17% of all parliamentarians worldwide

You can find out more information about the work WOMANKIND WORLDWIDE do around the world, take a look at their website – www.womankind.org.uk, or take a look at the short video below. The video is presented by Sandi Toksvig, who has been a patron of the charity for fifteen years.

While there are always little complaints to be made, I am fortunate to live in a country where I am free to do what I want to do, when I want to do it (within reason!). At Freyaluna we really want to help those women who are not as fortunate, and we hope you can help us in our quest. Freyaluna products are available to buy here.

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Last night I started reading a most enlightening book; The Beauty Myth: How images of beauty are used against women, by Naomi Wolf.

The premise of the book is that the quest for “beauty” is a psychological constraint devised by men in order to keep women in their place.

Now, bear in mind that I have only read the first couple of chapters, so am perhaps not in the best position to offer an full overview or fully-formed opinion. However, I think it is fairly safe for me to say that this book is quite the eye-opener. As soon as I started reading, I had a strong urge to find a brightly-coloured marker pen and heavily highlight certain passages that I couldn’t help but identify with. To be quite honest, I have found some of the theory to be a little far-fetched and exaggerated, but other parts have a distinct ring of truth to them.

Here, Wolf introduces the idea of The Beauty Myth…

“During the past decade, women breached the power structure. Meanwhile, eating disorders rose exponentially and cosmetic surgery became the fastest growing medical speciality… [Now] more women have more money and power and scope and legal recognition than we have ever had before; but in terms of how we feel about ourselves physically, we may actually be worse off than our un-liberated grandmothers. Recent research consistently shows that inside the majority of the West’s controlled, attractive, successful working women, there is a secret ‘underlife’ poisoning our freedom; infused with notions of beauty, it is a dark vein of self-hatred, physical obsessions, terror of aging, and dread of lost control.

It is no accident that so many potentially powerful women feel this way. We are in the midst of a violent backlash against feminism that uses images of female beauty as a political weapon against women’s advancement: the beauty myth. It is the modern version of a social reflex that has been in force since the Industrial Revolution. As women released themselves from the feminine mystique of domesticity, the beauty myth took over its lost ground, expanding as it waned to carry on its work of social control.”

That description of the current state of “woman” certainly rings true for me. Never before have we had so many legal and moral rights, and so much control over our own lives… But, coinciding with this, never before have we had such an obsession with our physical appearance.

So here’s the question…

Is it all a male conspiracy?

Do men have nothing better to do than keep us women ‘down’?

Or are men really very afraid of the power that women could posses if we were to become truly equal with them?

A thought-provoking book, if nothing else.

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As you can see, Freyaluna’s mantra is “Love yourself, naturally”.

By this, we not only mean to love yourself by using natural products and not adding unneccessary chemicals to your skin and your life, but we also mean to love yourself as you are in the here and now!

All too many of us have the idea of an ‘ideal body’, and believe that meeting this goal will mean happiness. We think ” I’ll be happy when I’ve lost these few extra pounds,” or ” I’ll be happy when I can fit into my old jeans again.”

Ask yourself this question… Will you? Is that really what you need to make you happy?

Ok, so we’ve all seen the stick-thin models on the catwalks, in magazines, and on the TV… They seem to be everywhere! Sitting in your living room and seeing all of these beautifully slim women parading before your eyes every time you turn on the telly or open a magazine, you start to look at yourself in a negative light, thinking that you must be abnormal because you’re not the same as these ‘goddesses’!

Time for a reality check…

The average British woman is 5ft 3in tall (as opposed to the sky-scraper heights of the catwalk models), with a 40 inch hip measurement (size 14).

So isn’t it time we got over this obsession with the ‘ideal body’? To silence your inner critic remember these points;

If we look back over the years we can see that ‘beauty’ has been a fluid notion throughout history, and that many features make people appealing, not just their size. Look, for example, at the Venus of Willendorf, a prehistoric carving of a female figure. The Venus is not a realistic portrayal but rather an idealisation of the female figure. She has exaggerated curves, large breasts, a bit of a pot belly, chubby thighs, and much-rounded hips. Perhaps not today’s idea of beauty, but in prehistoric times such a figure suggested that a woman was well-fed, and fertile. And the ‘ideal body shape’ has changed many, many times since then.

Carry out your own reality check… Take a piece of string and mark off how much you think you need to encircle your waist. Then wrap the string around your waist and note the difference: the string is invariably too long as most of us over-estimate our size.

Learn to silence that niggling voice… Listen to how you talk about yourself. If you find yourself thinking negative thoughts, turn it around by talking yourself up. For example, while you may not be physically ‘perfect’ you have features (like slim ankles, toned arms, or beautiful hair) that are objectively good. Concentrate on these points instead of focusing on the negative.

Enjoy the sensation… For example, enjoying how your body feels when you dance shifts the emphasis from your appearance to how you experience your body, which, in turn, enhances appreciation of your physical self. So opt for the well-being choices you can make every day – like resting when tired, walking when stressed, eating well, or simply finding a bit of ‘me time’ and taking a long soak in an aromatic bath.

I can recommend some lovely products for that last one!

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