By Sophie Tanner
As a seasoned sologamist, I’ve become immersed in the world of self care and self love for some time now. What’s really interesting for me is seeing these concepts start to filter out into every area of life, and I’m not just talking about the usual go-to wellness activities such as spa treatments and yoga. Some really creative and unique activities are starting to emerge this year, practices that put emotional health at the heart of wellness and focus on feeling great from the inside-out. Here’s a round-up of the central themes, as well as their awe-inspiring pioneers:
1) Cultivating Self Belief in Business
Spirituality and business don’t usually go hand in hand but there is a growing collective of femalepreneurs who actively encourage discovering a deep connection with your true desires and working on your self esteem. There’s a certain magic to believing in yourself, re-defining wealth and making money from something you love doing. The likes of Emma Mumford a.k.a Spiritual Queen, online membership platform, The Coven Girl Gang, transformational teacher, Kitty Waters, and women’s wellness festival RestFest founder Naomi Newland, all focus on letting go of limiting beliefs, unlocking potential and living the life of your dreams – ‘if one woman can, any woman can’. What’s more, as we learn to reframe our needs, we no longer need to fear the existential crisis associated with reaching ‘mid-life’.
2) Rediscovering Ritual
Us Westerners are not reknown for our emphasis on ritual, in fact, some might say we’ve lost the deep sense of fulfilment and personal development that ceremony can bring to our lives. But we can change this – there are some interesting new ways in which we can invite in gratitude and celebration by creating moments of focused self awareness. The new trend of sologamy, championed by Sophie Tanner, sees people taking vows of self commitment in a memorable ceremony, meditation and yoga are becoming increasingly important as daily practices to create space for our minds, including creating personal affirmations which boost positivity, and even such ordinary things like taking a bath can become extraordinary by creating your own goddess bath ritual, as inspired by founder of The Float Spa, Camille Pierson. For those looking for something really different, alchemical Chocolate Practitioner and Shaman, Amanda Waring, offers an empowering cacao ceremony and shamanic drumming journey!
3) Mindful Embodiment
Mindfulness focuses on the power of now. And what better way to concentrate on the present than to listen to our own body and its responses to the immediate environment? There are some truly powerful sensory experiences emerging including: EFT Tapping circles, which can bring about emotional release, sound bathing which can upgrade your energy, Qoya, expressive dance which invites you to expand your body’s capacity for pleasure, Aura-Soma, which uses the power of colour to explore your seven major chakras in your body, Transformational Breathwork, which can help you relax on a very deep level, and Experiential Aromatherapy which can restore inner balance using scent.
4) Menstrual and Hormonal Wellbeing
We often see our menstrual cycle as a hassle and try to pretend it isn’t there. The truth is, our menstrual cycle is our inner guidance system and self-care tool. Sjane Hugo Wurlitzer, of Red School, teaches that getting to know your ‘inner seasons’ will reveal your emotional and energetic shifts throughout the month and learning how to co-operate with these can reap wonderful benefits including a kinder relationship with yourself, heightened productivity and reduced anxiety. Health Coach, Emma Fullwood, looks at how we can prepare our bodies in the ten years before menopause by focusing on nutrition and exercise. You can also improve the highs and lows during your cycle with food, We Are FEED look specifically at how specific ingredients can help balance your hormones. For women who have extra painful periods and conditions such as endometriosis, The Well Woman Project believes there are much better choices than taking medication or opting for surgery – there are natural ways to improve your cycle and become pain-free again.
5) Self Acceptance through Art
As Brene Brown says, ‘Art is an act of loving observation. It has the ability to capture our pain and deliver us from it at the same time.’ There are a number of exciting retreats springing up, such as In-Sight in Brighton and RestFest in Arundel, which allow participants to explore self expression through art. Moyra Scott, of Wild Art, runs ‘Be Your Own’ Icon art workshops to create your own mini Iconic portrait, Vikki Parker’s signature ‘Inner Theatre’ uses storytelling, improvisation and role-play in a fun, therapeutic exploration, Ann O’Keife shares laughter and happiness exercises to help with creative writing, and the Anti Diet Riot Club offer the ultimate body acceptance workshop with their Boob Printing – where you can paint, print and celebrate your breasts in a safe, creative environment.
6) Relationship Repair
It is becoming increasingly accepted that your relationship with yourself impacts the relationships you have with others after all, with greater self compassion comes greater empathy. Relationship coach, Lesley Downs, shows that becoming aware of your own needs can help you to understand those of your partner and resolve conflict. This extends into the physical too of course, Sex Positive Coach, Lucy Rowett, specialises in helping women to overcome their inhibitions and reclaim their sensuality, using Tantra as a framework to connect more deeply with yourself and then with your partner.
Many of these inspiring women will be running sessions at RESTFEST, the bi-annual women’s wellness festival. This year it is on in Arundel on 6thOctober, in 2020 it will be in Arundel on 15th March and Brighton in October. For more information visit: www.restfest.co.uk