inspirational women

today is officially named international women’s day to celebrate equality for women, from simply being more appreciated, respected and loved to acknowledging economic, social and political achievements – i think that every day should be like this whether you are female or not –  so many women are undervalued, especially the role of a mother.

i admire that quite a few of my girlfriends have changed their careers and now are amazing therapists – nutritionist, osteopathy, pilates, hygienist, psychotherapist and  acupuncture – plus i get to learn more about natural therapy and am treated to more alternatives to standard medicine!

i love that women are not challenged by anything – dont ever think that you are too old to start something new!  i was inspired by the fact that Julia Margaret Cameron started her photography career at 48.  I have changed my career so many times and each one has been fulfilling and challenging but also full of good memories.  since the beginning of lockdown in March 2020, I have been learning and teaching Qigong to my friends – it really has grasped me and I spend a lot of my spare hours studying and practising more moves, and getting to understand what the philosophy of Qigong is about.  for many years, I have thought it a gentle exercise for very old pensioners, like my mother, but I have now realised its power to build strength and suppleness, not only to the body but to the mind too. If your mind feels balanced and in control, then your body naturally responds to this harmony and keeps stress at bay – stress is renowned for being the cause of a lot of health problems. If you feel stressed, it is difficult for your body to recover; qigong is not a miracle cure, it just helps relieves stress, lengthens the ligaments and keeps the joints moving, and hence allow the Qi (energy) and blood to run more smoothly through the body. I have also been combining the Qigong with watercolour classes – and this has been very well received by the local community in Suffolk. I am self taught with watercolour, but with a few simple techniques, you can learn, it’s not about achieving something professional, more about allowing yourself to be creative and explore. watercoloring is so loose, but it also has a meditative quality. what it means is it’s never too late to start a new hobby, passion or career. I am now feeling confident to hold these classes in London – confidence is something that has taken me 60 years to gain, but the great thing about getting older is that you lose all those self conscious worries and wanting to share the good things in life becomes more important.

Still I Rise’ by Maya Angelou

The incredibly prolific and inspiring American poet, author of seven autobiographies, actress, civil-rights activist, producer and director passed away in 2014, leaving behind a huge volume of work celebrating black beauty, the strength of women, and the human spirit. In 2017 her life was celebrated in the documentary Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, which featured interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Hilary Clinton, Quincy Jones and Maya Angelou herself.

‘You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.’

here are a few of my inspirational ladies who have allowed me to photograph them….

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