Occupation: Actor, Presenter/Host, Life & Business Coach, Psychotherapist, Educator
Why did you say yes to this campaign? What was your WHY to participate?
Life is a meandering journey with lessons at every turn. The apparent obstacles we meet along the way, are not designed to get in the way; they are the way!
Our self-talk is pivotal to our health, growth and restoration, depending on how we respond to our environment. The Eternal Grace Campaign embodies the essence and beauty of gently maturing women, within and without, which is directly correlated of course, with the stories we tell ourselves and live by. When you can reframe the hard stuff, as lessons in the super-classroom of life, life’s lessons don’t make you hard.
As within, without!
Tell me a little about you and your story:
As an educator for thirty years, re-training in recent years as a psychotherapist, provided personal and professional development, as much as it positioned me for advancement, when the time was right. Life and business coaching, with a particular focus on performance enhancement, through emotional needs auditing, with respectful feedback for the growth and expansion of all, is a model I love to work. It serves individuals and teams alike. Self-love is a practice not a mandate. We need to show up for ourselves every day and do the work, in order to maintain homeostasis. Narratives are like a playlist in your brain, maintaining balance is about knowing when we need to tell ourselves a different story. Story stewarding to this end, is a huge part of my practice and my person.
I’ve recently had the opportunity to take my inner child out to play, as I made my debut onto the small screen earlier this year, in an Irish-language TV drama, called RosnaRún. I play the role of a sassy but very endearing lady with a passion for family as well as commendable business acumen. It’s like everything I’ve done to date was the apprenticeship for this amazing experience.
The story of my life is beautifully unfinished and I’m loving the ride.
What do you see when you look in the mirror?
When I look in the mirror I see someone that I love, respect, understand and cherish. I feel so empowered by my capacity to shine brightly without feeling the need to extinguish the flame of others. The movie script of my life, depending on the lens through which I might choose to capture it, is as sad and tragic in places as it is happy and exciting.
When ‘I’ looks at me in the mirror, I see whatever I’m offering vibrationally at any given time in my life, reflected right back at me energetically, and in form.
Whatever you’re broadcasting, is exactly what you’re getting back, physically, mentally and emotionally, in tangible and intangible manifestation ‘all ways’.
When I look in the mirror, I look for what I desire to see, and I make sure I see it.
If and when I find that difficult, I do an emotional needs audit, address how I’m using my innate resources to access the nutriment I need in my environment, more healthily, and go about pressing reset. Life is a journey, not a destination!
Describe yourself in 3 words:
Authentic. Enduring. Kind.
Do you feel like you have changed since turning 50?
Chronological age really is only a number to me. Biological age is the marker by which I measure my health, growth and restoration. I’m honestly happier, healthier and more grounded with the passing of time. Wisdom is a memory, with the emotional arousal turned down. I feel blessed to be able to take a steer for tomorrow, from the lessons of yesterday adaptively, for my own, and the higher good. When pattern matches are negative and have the potential to weaken my reserve, I know I need to slow down. Do less to achieve more.
Maturation is a choice. Age has very little to do with it, other than the obvious passing of more time and therefore more likely opportunity for growth and development…if and when you choose to lean into it, own it and fly!
There is a freedom waiting for you, on the breezes of the sky
You ask What if I fall?
But my darling, what if you fly? Erin Hanson.
What advice would you give to your younger self about caring for yourself?
Sleep, Exercise and Nutrition are the key components in healthy and balanced living. I would teach my younger self to get hygienic sleep, exercise moderately and manage insulin with consistency. We need to be careful what we practice regularly as our bodies commit that which we practice regularly, to reflexive behaviour. I choose what I repeat, wisely. The mere repetition of a behaviour causes our nervous system to believe that the specific actions involved, and the context in which they are embedded, are important, for better or for worse. My younger self would benefit from clarity in the area of how easily habits form and how to leverage the neurobiology of that for healthy, happy, wholesome living. Consistency is key, and trumps exertion.
My younger self was very anxious, self-loathing and lacking self-worth. I would teach my younger self about disruptive breathing as well as other practical, cost-free protocols to manage anxiety and mitigate overwhelm, with all its unfortunate and unhelpful consequences. My younger self would have benefited from knowing that it all works out in the end, coz if it doesn’t, it’s not the end!
What do you consider self-love?
Love in all its shapes and forms has to be the ultimate reason for our existence. Self-love is the set point for our attachment style, our wellness and our successes. The converse is also true. The extent to which we can accept and love ourselves determines the boundaries we set with others, consciously and otherwise. When we know how to belong to ourselves, we know what boundaries to strike and how to observe them ourselves, as much as we expect others to rise to them. Self-love can be and ultimately should be, unconditional. The more we live authentically, the closer we get to that sweet spot of unconditional self-love, and therefore the more love in its purest form we attract into our lives from others, romantically and otherwise.
Self–love requires regular check-ins; an emotional needs audit is key, and reconciliation of unmet needs, healthily, to re-establish homeostasis. Self-love is way more than bubble baths and face masks, its even more than mindfulness practice and massage therapy. Self-love is coming to every moment in innocence, practicing acceptance, forgiveness for self and others and trusting in the process of life!
What do you love most about your new portraits? Is there something new you discovered about yourself?
The hullabaloo of life veils, albeit lightly, an infinity, a space in time in which miracles are recognised as the small and bigger wonders of this existence, that are happening all around us, all the time. These pockets of wisdom along the way, are where the glimmers outweigh the triggers and however briefly, everything makes sense. Right time, right place, right company! When I saw the beautiful portraits that Olga produced from our photoshoot, I accessed a soulful presence within me, the closing of a circle. I saw the essence of me in my eyes, I empathised my vulnerabilities and I refueled on the strength of spirit I saw pouring out of every picture. This was more than a photoshoot; it was a cathartic coming of age. Prompted by the ideology of The Eternal Grace campaign, I have given my soul a hug by loving ‘my lifelines, all of my lifelines’, which I wrote a few words about to accompany in particular, the photograph of me that captures the very undulating terrain of my tummy. Not an easy choice as the glossy-magazine bikini shoots and social media photo dumps of today’s digitally disrupted world, make very little space for apparent imperfections such as these. I choose embrace my lifelines, all of my lifelines as the atlas of my heart. Be the cartographer of your own life. Embrace your lifelines, they are soulfully intended to show you the geography of your best life.
What was your favourite part of working with me?
Working with Olga was an honour and a pleasure. There’s such a vulnerability in posing for photos. The uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure in such a personal and important experience, be it for private and/or professional reasons, could be anxiety provoking and could accentuate insecurities. When your photographer is a master of their craft, a creative and is as invested in the process as you, a photoshoot can actually be an opportunity to feed your sense of self and grow your self-esteem.
I had such an experience when I worked with Olga Klofac. The Eternal Grace Campaign is such a compassionate and sensitive initiative, its stewardship requires a caring and empathetic champion. Olga pours the best of her beautiful self into her work. She is as warm, welcoming and kind as she is innovative and professional.
I’ve had an amazing day and I look forward to going back soon for some family shots.