Finding my body beautiful.

By Hildy Harland

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I have struggled my whole life with how I look. I have always had issues with my weight, my face, size of my head, how much body hair I sprout, having an uneven upper lip, having skin tags, dark skin pigmentation and so much more. I have spent years letting these imperfections and insecurities keep me down, but recently I have become more aware that in not embracing what I am naturally, I am holding myself back. This is MY body and I am responsible for it and the way I feel about it, so I made the conscious decision to stop hating it and decided to try and love it instead. I’m not saying I always feel great about myself because I definitely don’t but allowing myself to accept my imperfections and embrace them as a part of who I am, has honestly changed my life.

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I feel like I have been on this quest for so long, I tried to change myself so many times to  fit in with what the world sees as general beauty. As a performer and in particular a dancer, society tells me I should be thin and traditionally good looking, often tanned skin and definitely make up clad and I shouldn’t have body hair (or much of it at least). With these standards set for us how are we ever supposed to just enjoy what we are and be who we are? It’s difficult to override the standards and expectations that have been imposed on us by society and start to enjoy and appreciate our bodies for what they are. There is always a bit of a backlash to people being “proud” of certain aspects of their body, so let me be clear that I am not talking of pride in appearance but more of an acceptance, love and above all care. I have found in being an overweight person almost my whole life that hating myself and what I look like has got me nowhere and in fact has made my situation worse. In dark times of self hatred I have began to not care about myself and that is where things deteriorated both mentally and physically.

What I propose is that as a collective (in particular women but men are not excluded) we begin acceptance and re-focus our efforts on how we make ourselves feel and how we treat our bodies, trying to align with ourselves and our natural strengths rather than focussing on how weak, bad and wrong we think we might be. Positivity if shared can be an amazing travelling gift which I am hoping to pass on to you today in writing this blog

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My journey to finding myself beautiful has meant changes but not the changes I always thought they would be such as weight loss, hair removal, permanent make-up or keeping the perfect beauty regime. It has been a change within me to accept what I am and decide to care for it and love it, stop telling it that it looks wrong, stop thinking it is bad and stop using it as an excuse not to enjoy my life to it’s absolute fullest.

 I wanted to write this particular blog to emphasis the strength of accepting your body and yourself as they are, because as I have witnessed first hand within myself, it is only after that acceptance that you can start to move on to truly be our best self. So if there is anything other than a spot of self indulgence you can take from this b post, please let it be this, don’t waste time hating your body and how you look, it’s not worth it, don’t let it stand in the way of anything you want to do, it might be hard and scary but you can honestly make a difference not only to yourself and your own life but those around you.

Let’s be brave together and please do feel free to use this post to start conversations with myself an others!

Hildy’s Health Adventure: Hypnosis with HUMMINGBIRD Mind Therapy.

I have been having a bit of a life overhaul of late. Trying to figure out how I can make everything work together, work-life-money balance is something that I have always struggled with as an adult. Because I am so passionate about my work it seems to often take over my life and at the moment the ‘sitting in front of my laptop’ side of things has really had a negative effect on me. I have been stuck doing so much admin and social media trying to get Dance Culture North East up and running that I have hardly had time to train and be the physical person that I once was. Over the past few months I have realised how much this has made me unhappy with my body and that is now effecting my confidence as a performer. It can’t be good for my health either. 

So I have decided to set myself a little quest over the next four months I will endeavour to change my bad habits and lead a healthier life. Not just looking at diet and fitness, but delving into my mind to discover how I can make realistic and positive changes that will stick. “But Hildy” I hear you cry “I thought you were a body positivity promoter and believe that you don’t have to be skinny etc to be happy”. Well, yes I do believe that, but when you aren’t looking after yourself  properly and your health, both mental and physical is effected it’s really time to make changes! I didn’t want to be alone on this journey, so I thought I would blog about it and bring you all along for what I’m sure will be a bit of a roller coaster ride! Over the next four months (May-August) I will be exploring different therapies, workouts, nutritional advice, classes and workshops to try and find my work-life balance and generally improve my health, happiness and wellbeing.  

Hypnosis with HUMMINGBIRD Mind Therapy

I Began my journey on 1st May with a session at Humming bird Mind Therapy . I opted for the Wellbeing Package which consists of three sessions that I will be attending weekly. I must admit my main aim for these sessions are some self control where food is concerned, I want my diet to give me more energy setting me up for those really busy weeks, address some confidence issues as well as break some really bad (hard to banish) emotional eating habits to gain some self control and strength. 

Before we started my first session we did a short video to introduce what Hypnosis is all about! Want to know how it all went and if it worked? Come back on MONDAY to find out………..

 

Happy 2018!

Image by Michael Ash

A belated happy new year to you all!

So another year has begun and boy what a year we leave behind! A year that a lot of people are glad to see the back of where politics and international and national happenings are concerned. Not a great year for a lot of reasons.

However as you may have noticed I am ever the optimist and for me 2017 has had it’s ups and downs but I can’t help leaving it feeling proud, positive and hopeful for the year ahead. 2017 was my first year as a fully self-employed artist and I feel proud that I made it this far and have actually lived to tell the tale.

I’ve done so many fun jobs around the country and each one has taught me something new, built up my confidence and given me the inspiration to plough on through.

As I haven’t blogged for a while so I have lots to share with you all. I will begin with this little experiment. I used my mobile phone to make a very short film about a day in the life of a dancer, it’s a bit of a slice from my inner thoughts and feelings too as I don’t really have a single day that is the same.

Here it is enjoy!