My purpose, my inspiration, my ‘why’ for the Women of Spirit movement.
I was delighted to be on BBC Radio Gloucestershire’s Anna King show a few weeks ago – click the play button above to listen to the interview. Joined by Heidi Clutterbuck and Shirley Billson, we discussed the importance of sharing our stories and the Women of Spirit movement.
Thank you to Anna King for this opportunity, and to Heidi and Shirley for being there with me.
By Amy Wright.
What is the most powerful tool we have as humans? Is it something that we have created by hand, or constructed with machinery? Is it only available to a select few? In my eyes, no – it is not. To me, the most powerful tool we have is the ability to share stories. Our lives would not matter without it; we would be made up of nothing – stories are what makes us who we are and show the world how we wish to live in it…
“In the end, we’re all just stories. Stories are what our lives are made up of. Stories are how we remember people, and stories make us feel a little less alone in the world.” – Andrea Gibbs.
For thousands of years, humans have been telling stories; they are now an intrinsic part of our society and culture. In fact, storytelling is one of the many things that define and bind our humanity. We do it without even realising it, every day.
But how is this so powerful?
Well, stories can influence the way we see the world, change our perspective, connect with others. You don’t even have to have met someone to know their background, their opinions, or their life. The written word is, and always has been, a precious gift. And to help someone else, simply by sharing your story, is the most powerful gift of all.
“We can’t always choose the stories we have in our lives but if we take a risk, and we show that we’re human, and vulnerable, then that’s where the best stories lie.” – Andrea Gibbs.
It can be a terrifying prospect to share something that is perhaps very personal. But, in the knowledge that doing so could provide comfort to others, to help them feel less alone, the act of telling this story suddenly becomes more achievable.
Stories aren’t always fictional. One study found that reading fiction significantly increased empathy towards others, especially people that the readers initially perceived as ‘outsiders’ – for example people of a different race, colour, or religion. We know that truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. Some of the stories in Women of Spirit – well, you just couldn’t make them up. So if fiction has the effect of increasing empathy towards others, how powerful might reading the stories in this book be?
It is our vision to share our stories with women who need support and inspiration.
That’s why Women of Spirit exists.
If you’d like to share your story, whenever you feel the time is right, please contact Susie.
By Amy Wright.
I was thinking, earlier this week, about where I am in life right now – what chapter I’m living. I’m 21, a university graduate, living back at home with my parents. It’s a strange feeling, as if I’m in ‘limbo’; I haven’t yet completely adjusted to life without education, without assessments, and without the apprehension of starting a new academic year in September.
I’m at a point in life where there is a lot of change. For some, this can be very unsettling, however, working with Susie on Women of Spirit has been a gift to me – I have a purpose, and I’m already working and carving out my career. This is my chapter. It’s a new one, and I’ve barely turned the first page, but it’s also an exciting one.
The importance of reflection and appreciation for ourselves has become apparent to me since working with Susie. Through her work, she aims to help give women the tools to be their true selves, to practice self-love, and to feel empowered. I have become more self-aware, taking conscious time to think about myself in a positive light. This isn’t always easy, but it makes a difference. Thinking about my ‘chapter’ of life is uplifting, in a way, as I realise there will be more chapters to come – some highs, some lows – and that each will be temporary. Two phrases that Susie has learned and passes on are helpful: “Trust the process” and “this too will pass.”
Susie’s book, Women of Spirit, has four chapters: The Road to Self-Love, Failure is Not an Option, Perfect in My Imperfections, and Death does Not Define Me. Each contain stories from real women who have faced adversity and won. They each tell such inspiring stories, from heartbreak to abuse, mental illness to physical illness, each woman has risen from their hardship. They found their ways to cope, to live, to thrive, not simply to survive. Their chapters are so uplifting and so inspiring.
That’s why I’d like you to take a moment, right now, to think about your chapter. Where are you in your life? Reflection can provide perspective; the importance of knowing that the hard times are only temporary, and the good times can get even better, is essential. Having a greater understanding of how your emotions affect your thoughts can lead you towards self-acceptance and self-love. Accessing your sub-conscious mind and recognising your conditioned beliefs can have an impact on your actions. So, take this moment to think…
The Road to Self-Love isn’t always an easy one, yet once you know how, you can learn to thrive and live the life you want to live. Think about these questions: Are you emotionally resilient? Do you feel in control and confident about your abilities? Or, do you feel stressed, overwhelmed and unfulfilled, as if your life is on pause with no end to this chapter?
First, if you answered yes to the last question, then know that with the right techniques, you can transform to become the best version of yourself. If you haven’t already, please join our Facebook group to receive support from others.
Second, if you wish to learn to embrace the awesome power of self-love, then Susie’s workshop may be of interest to you. She and her colleague, Helen Courtney – award winning Female Empowerment Coach – will empower you to change negative self-talk and beliefs into authentic and lasting self-love. Gift yourself a day of self-awareness and healing, align with your true self, and achieve fulfilment in all areas of your life, including your relationships, career, health and wealth.
A one-day retreat at the Stone Manor Hotel in Kidderminster, this workshop could be life-changing. If you wish to ‘turn the page’ and begin a new chapter, then click here for more details and to secure your place.
Thank you for reading, and for taking the time out of your day to think about you. Just stopping and appreciating yourself can have an impact on the way you think. If you take one thing away from this post, let it be this:
“The most powerful relationship you will ever have, is the relationship with yourself.” – Steve Maraboli.
By Amy Wright
It’s a warm, sunny Wednesday in the Cotswolds. The skies are blue, the sun is beating down, and the grounds of Barnsley House and Spa are looking stunningly beautiful. Already, I’m enjoying my afternoon here, sitting out on the terrace overlooking the gardens. I’m waiting for Susie Mackie’s presentation to start, sipping a glass of iced water next to other attendees, all of whom are wonderfully dressed and lovely to speak to.
Twelve noon, and Susie announces she is ready to start. So, we all gather in The Potager restaurant, sitting at a long table of fifteen. Each place is set with a napkin folded neatly with a sprig of rosemary on top – a little touch that didn’t go unnoticed by anyone. Next to it are copies of Susie’s new leaflets, wonderfully designed and expertly put together.
Once everyone is settled, Susie begins her talk. She is calm and collected, standing comfortably in front of her audience. First, she introduces who she is, and how she’s come to be where she is now. Her words are thought-provoking and everyone is captivated by her story.
She moves on to talk about volume one of her book, Women of Spirit, briefly covering some of the stories told by inspirational women. Some are heart-breaking, some are saddening, but all end on a positive. Each story is accompanied by a portrait of its author, photographed by Susie. She has captured the essence, the true spirit, of every woman.
Her presentation also includes an interactive element, where we are asked to turn to the person next to us and offer a compliment. Susie explains the importance of just replying with a simple “thank you”, rather than trying to deflect someone’s praise or nice comment. Although some of us have never met before, we all feel safe and relaxed enough to take part.
Once we’ve all given and received our compliments, Susie goes on to talk about her work as a boudoir photographer, and how she aims to help give women the tools to love their bodies, and to feel self-empowered through embracing themselves and their appearance. It’s truly inspiring and moving to learn that boudoir photography has helped many people overcome certain things – one client even said that it should be prescribed to treat depression!
A round of applause concludes Susie’s presentation, followed promptly by a two course lunch. The food at Barnsley House is absolutely delicious, not to mention the wine! Everyone talks to each other warmly, and Susie makes sure she chats to each of us.
If you wish to feel empowered, to learn about the journey of others, or to meet like-minded people, Susie Mackie’s presentations are the perfect way to do this. I leave with a smile on my face and a new sense of confidence I haven’t felt before. What a perfect way to spend an afternoon.
Read the full post at: https://motherhoodtherealdeal.com/parenthood/celebrating-the-strength-of-a-woman/