Positive Psychology Practioner
Why did you say yes to this campaign? What was your WHY to participate?
I have been researching & creating wellbeing courses on making a ‘Midlife Catalyst’ and ‘Positive Ageing’ and this campaign was so aligned to what I am trying to put across, I felt impelled to Walk my Talk!
Tell me a little about you and your story:
I returned to university at 48 to study a masters in applied positive psychology (happiness, wellbeing & optimal living). This was the start of a real awakening for me. It was the best decision I ever made and I feel it enabled me to make my own mid-life catalyst, which is what I am now committed to helping others of all ages to make.
What do you see when you look in the mirror?
Have to admit as much as my area of expertise is the inner critic, I was not feeling very confident on my way up to Mayo. If I’m honest, in the days before the shoot, I was really wishing I could get out of it. I was berating myself for not having lost the weight I had planned to lose & just felt old & self-conscious. I hardly told anyone & really didn’t plan to. I felt totally different leaving the shoot & even more empowered when I saw the sneak peek photo. Olga is gifted at what she does, more so than just her creative ability, she is truly an ambassador for positive ageing, she makes you feel relaxed, comfortable in your own skin and dare I say it confident!
Describe yourself in 3 words:
Compassionate, authentic & eager to help others
Do you feel like you have changed since turning 50?
According to so much research there is a golden opportunity to have a mid-life catalyst around the age of 50, to rewrite your self-story and create a wonderful second act. I feel this has certainly happened for me and I am thrilled to be on a mission to empower others to do the same.
What advice would you give to your younger self about caring for yourself?
Relax, be real, mind yourself & mind your company! You have got this, don’t sweat the small stuff, focus on your strengths & opportunities not your faults & failings. Stand out of your own light & allow yourself to flourish. Just like everyone else you are ‘perfectly, imperfect’ – flawed but fabulous! Follow your heart, and reach out for that dream, you only have this one precious life…live it fully, love those you love fully & settle into your own skin.
What do you consider self-love?
I have learnt the value of self compassion, which led me to become more acceptant of my ‘perfectly imperfect’ self. I still have wobbly days where I struggle with self-doubt, but I recognize them now & know how to deal with them (for the most part)! For me self love is accepting one’s flawed self, that we are like every other human perfectly imperfect, all just struggling along trying our best in our perfectly imperfect world. Self love is about being able to transcend our self-doubt & care for ourselves as we would a beloved child or friend.
What do you love most about your new portraits? Is there something new you discovered about yourself?
I love the way I am now embracing ageing, letting go of all of the temptations for Botox, fillers etc. I love the way I didn’t mind the wrinkles in the photos and felt acceptant of them (unlike the Covid tyre which has to go)! I love that the pictures depicted me, older, wiser (I know about time) and more comfortable in my own skin. And I really love that I will have this box of portraits to remind me who I am when my inner critic causes me to forget.
What was your favourite part of working with me?
I loved that you love women, understand vulnerability and are so real. I also love that you called me out on focusing on my faults. As far as I have come in this self-acceptant journey – you reminded me it will always be a work in progress – ‘and that’s ok’. (My current motto)!
It has been such an emotional journey but so revealing, I have learnt so much about myself & others. The whole experience is enabling me to help others that struggle with self-doubt on a deeper, fresher level!
Thank you Olga from the bottom of my heart, this work is incredibly valuable.