Stories

Wild Woman Photo Shoot

When Amy asked me to take photos at the first Wild Woman Photoshoot, my initial reaction was ‘yes!’, followed by a small amount of apprehension. I thought it was an absolutely brilliant thing – empowering women to represent themselves as they want to be represented, promoting body positivity, celebrating ourselves and our bodies as they are, encouraging self-acceptance and boosting self esteem. But as someone who has my own particular body confidence issues, I wasn’t sure how it was going to make me feel.

 

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014, at the age of 31. Since then I have had a mastectomy (and opted not to have reconstruction), and have gained over 2 stone in weight due to ongoing medication. So while I was fully on board with what Amy and Soulshine were doing, and very happy to take the photos, there was a small part of me that thought it might make me feel a bit sad, that here were all these women with their beautiful, whole, perfect bodies, and I’d never have the confidence to be so free and comfortable in my own skin, and get in front of the camera like they were.

 

But.

 

Within a very short time of arriving at the first photo shoot, I realised the reality was so far from those doubts and fears that I’d had. Amy and the Soulshine team held the space so beautifully, and I quickly felt very much at ease. I soon realised that the main fear I had – that everyone else is totally confident in their perfect bodies – was completely unfounded. As I photographed women of different shapes, sizes and ages, I started to really see the truth – everybody’s body is different, unique – and beautiful. There is no such thing as the ‘perfect’ body. It’s a myth created by society, the media, whoever. Seeing these women gradually increase in confidence and become more comfortable in themselves throughout the day was really empowering, so much so that by the end of the shoot I was starting to think ‘I could do that – I could get in front of the camera next time!’

The next time came around, and again Amy asked me to be the photographer for the day. I had at the back of my mind that maybe I’d ask someone to take some photos of me at some point, but I wasn’t sure. It was a bigger group than before, and I didn’t know everyone… but I shared a little of my experience at the start of the day, and immediately felt heard and accepted. And again, as the day went on and the Soulshine team skilfully led us through exercises to help us connect to our true selves, to let go of the things that are holding us back, the ‘shame gremlins’ that stop us from achieving all we’re capable of by telling us we’re not good enough/pretty enough/thin enough/etc… I felt it again. That feeling that ‘I could do that’.

 

And so when I tentatively suggested that maybe I could be in some of the photos, it was welcomed with open arms (literally – I’ve never known a group hug like it!) Before I knew it I was wearing just a sarong, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with a group of friends, some of whom had been complete strangers just hours before, with a camera pointing at us – and I didn’t feel self conscious at all. All that shame about how my body looks now just dropped away, with that realisation resounding in my heart – our bodies are all different, all unique – and all beautiful.

-Rachel Wright, Wild Woman Photographer

Summer Solstice Wild Woman Retreat 2017

“The Wild Women retreat gave me an new opportunity to explore the elements again. Over the few days held at Breathing Space, I heard stories, drummed, chanted, journeyed and shared wonderful food with amazing women. Amy and Kate worked really well together, each brining a style that complemented the other.  They created a space in which I felt comfortable sharing my thoughts and experiences. Thanks to them both for making this year’s Summer Solstice special!”- Claire

 

“I have just got back from Amy and Kate’s Wild Woman Summer Solstice Retreat at Breathing Space, Norfolk. Wow, what an experience! Breathing Space is an amazing venue, beautiful, relaxing and amazing food. Amy and Kate showed us various tools and techniques to enable us to reconnect with nature via the elements of water, fire, earth and air and created a space for us to look deeply inward. We enjoyed drumming, singing, meditating, storytelling, a fire ceremony and precious time for contemplation and healing. The solstice was a wonderful celebration of drumming, dancing and singing.

It was a special time in the company of beautiful, strong, caring women.

I would definitely recommend this retreat and look forward to next years.” -Suzanne

Mind, Body & Soul Festival Norwich: Awakening Body Wisdom Workshop

“Following Amy’s workshop I have not only radically changed what I eat, but also how I eat. The way that Amy delivered the workshop with so much passion and energy was contagious. Finally I am listening to my body wisdom and I am eating consciously. After many years of trying to lose excess weight by guilt tripping myself into eating foods that I didn’t want to eat, I am now losing weight. And the best thing is that I’m not following a “diet” or depriving myself in any way. It’s just an increased awareness and it’s very easy. I feel so much better these days with more energy and stamina.  Thanks so much for being the catalyst that changed my whole attitude towards food and eating!!” – Ali Hunn

Awakening Body Wisdom 6 week course 2016 August-September 2016

“Amy addresses weight loss from a position of absolute health and her course and inspiring insights help you to feel a sense of belonging in your own body, something that shaming fad diets and the weight loss industry, including damaging magazines, have taken away from us.  The most important lesson I’ve learned is how to breathe before and during eating and because of Amy’s course I know, scientifically, why this is essential.  Amy leads the course with a warmth, kindness and openness which is truly engaging.  The ‘body image’ session was one of the most powerful workshops I have ever taken.  Thank you, Amy, for an exceptional six weeks” ~ Elizabeth Thacker

“I am a certified personal trainer and have been interested in nutrition for many years. What has been great about this program is that it brings together the psychology of our self-perception and our enjoyment of food. For some time I had been eating what I considered to be ‘healthy’ food but it wasn’t a wholly pleasurable experience. Amy does a great job explaining how to make good food choices and to enjoy the sacred act of bringing nutrients into our body. In addition, she challenges the ideal body of the ego and encourages us to love ourselves for who we are, inside and out” ~ Sam Holder

Check out our events page for upcoming Awakening Body Wisdom dates.

Norwich Premiere of "Embrace" Documentary