Hormone Health and Mind Coach

Why did you say yes to this campaign? What was your WHY to participate?

Why not? I’m a ‘go-for-it’ kinda girl! None of us are getting out of here alive so we might as well live fully while we are here. I HATE having my photographs taken so when I came across the campaign, I realised that it would be a great way to challenge (and hopefully change) an old story I have about myself. For me, part of the fun of being alive is rewritng the stories that were imposed on us as children and young adults. The reality is that we can continue to grow, learn and change at any age and stage.

Tell me a little about you and your story:

I grew up thinking there was something ‘wrong’ with me – I was a quiet child and a ‘good girl’ as a teenager. But inside, I was struggling with a mean, internal critic and rules that said I needed to keep quiet and keep the peace (it was Ireland in the 80s). In my twenties, I began to realise that I could decide – what I wanted, how I behaved, and what my goals could be. Since then, decisions have been jugular in my life – from leaving my permanent, pensionable nursing job in the 80s, to leaving my role on the senior leadership team in a pharmaceutical company to set up my own natural health and coaching clinic. Family is everything to me, especially after multiple miscarriages, unexplained infertility and an early menopause. I’m happily married to my husband Eric (I ride pillion on his motorbike and we have great fun doing that together) and we have an amazing daughter Megan, who continues to inspire me to this day.

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

An ordinary, authentic woman who can take life too seriously at times, who works too hard and who’s still learning to go gently with herself and to allow her quirky side show.

Describe yourself in 3 words:

Curious. Brave. Decisive.

Do you feel like you have changed since turning 50?

I LOVE getting older. I’m nicer to myself with each passing year. I know and trust myself more too as well as caring less how anyone else is doing their life. I’m my own ally and friend and have my own back these days. I can also more easily recognise when my mind monkeys are playing havoc with doubt, not good enough or mean internal critic thinking. They’re persistent buggers, especially if we are tired, hormonal or at MAX bandwidth for too long.

What are the most rewarding things about getting older?

Liking myself more. Realising that there’s no ‘right’ way to do things. And spotting that things are usually scarier in our mind than in the real world.

What has been the best life lesson you have learned along the way?

Kindness helps everyone, especially yourself

What advice would you give to your younger self about caring for yourself?

There’s not enough space here to tell myself all I needed to know! But here’s some…

1. Everything isn’t your responsibility – say NO and go home

2. Kindness to yourself should inform Everything

3. You need solitude to rest and refuel

4. Do more of the things that make your heart sing

5. Stop waiting till you ‘get on top of things’ or ‘catch up’. We’ll all die with an unfinished To Do list

What is your favourite quote?

The tragedy of life isn’t that it ends too soon, but that we wait too long to begin it” William M Lewis

What do you love most about your new portraits? Is there something new you discovered about yourself?

I love the variety of images I now have – different looks and different aspects of my personality come through. Some of the images really surprised me – I hadn’t expected them to work or look like me and I was thrilled with how they turned out.

What was your favourite part of working with me?

In some ways, it was the whole experience, from being brave enough to do it (because I hate having my photos taken), to taking time out to travel to Mayo and to the breath hold while waiting to see the final images. Olga was supportive, encouraging and easy to engage with throughout the entire process, making it easier to relax and enjoy it. I’m thrilled with the photos I have – thank you so much Olga.

Would YOU like to be part of this campaign celebrating women in their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and beyond?