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To celebrate International Women’s Day, we surveyed women across the U.K. to discover what occasions and behaviours make them feel the most empowered in 2019. From acts of courage to compliments and beauty treatments, we found* the top ten things that are lighting the ladies up:
1. A productive day (54%)
2. Saying ‘no’ to things they don’t want to do (45%)
3. Keeping up with their healthy habits (28%)
4. Doing something that scares them (27%)
5. When their friends root for them, helping to build confidence (22%)
6. Making time to focus on themselves (21%)
7. A beauty treatment (20%)
8. Compliments from another woman (18%)
9. Compliments from the opposite sex (18%)
10. Cooking a nutritious meal (17%)
So what really empowers the fierce females we know? We caught up with some of our resident women warriors to find out what makes them stronger, wherever life takes them.
"First and foremost, I find empowerment every day in other people's motivation and strength. Seeing our clients achieve their goals and change their lives for the better gives me and our entire team at CYC:D a deep-rooted sense of satisfaction—supporting others is key and together we can achieve so much more!,” says Faye Walton, Founder of MINDBODY studio CYC:D. “For me, empowerment is also about taking control. Facing my fears, setting and achieving my goals and finding time within my hectic work/life schedule for my own self-care are all at the cornerstone of my own personal empowerment. We all have different values we live by but here are few of mine which lend them self quite nicely to the subject of empowerment. Be kind, always, learn to love yourself, take risks and never pass up an opportunity as you never know where it may lead."
“Finding the space in a day to breathe and move is what makes me feel empowered. Allowing ourselves to take time out can often feel indulgent but recognising the after effects and benefits of yoga or exercise reminds me that we can achieve anything when we put our minds to it,” says Zoe Bertali, founder The Refinery. “We can be strong when we are able to let go of what we are holding on to, be it physical or emotional tension. Creating space in the mind and the body is like a daily declutter which has such a powerful effect on our well-being. Make sure to take the time every day to be good to ourselves”.
"As a mother and business owner I wear multiple hats each day and feel such a sense of achievement knowing my body and mind is so strong and powerful,” says Catie Miller, founder of Xtend Barre. “I wake up with happiness and pride knowing I am exactly where I need to be— alive and moving! No day is the same, and this is what excites me for 2019!"
“I am beyond privileged to do what I love and I am beyond grateful and inspired by my clients on the daily," says Ashley Verma, founder of Define London. "Creating a business in a new country as a women takes courage and a massive support network, especially in a male dominating sector. I'm a firm believer that you surround yourself with people that will motivate and lift you up and you will be unstoppable... I take great pride in knowing I have an incredible Define London team that does exactly that."
“Empowerment is about women giving themselves the permission to remove 'should' from their vocabulary. So much is based on what we 'should do' and what we 'should have done' or that we 'should be thinner,' says Ali Moore, Life and Business Coach. “When really, we 'need' to embrace who we are and what we want to achieve and feel confident to do this in order to get reconnected to what is actually important to us. The liberation of letting go of the word 'should' in life allows us to focus on the ‘can’… if we choose.”
Remember: You do you! It's clear from our research—and the female powerhouses that we have interviewed—that empowerment comes from within, and in so many different forms. So, it’s time we stop putting so much pressure on ourselves to ‘keep up,’ complete tasks quickly or push ourselves to our limits.
Whether it’s trying a new fitness class on MINDBODY, smashing a health goal or even saying the occasional ‘no’ and enjoying the benefits, discover what makes you feel empowered and happy!
*Research from a survey based on 1,001 female respondents on January 1, 2019, by 4media.
For the first time ever, the globe will be watching surfing take center stage at the 2020 (postponed to July 2021) Olympics. People from all over the world will be appreciating the sport, many for the first time.
This symbolizes the surfing community breaking through centuries of negative stereotypes. Though conditions play a big part in the sport, the biggest hurdle the athletes will have to overcome to see success is mental. The winner will be the one who chooses their waves wisely with their understanding of the conditions and ability to intimidate and therefore overcome components. Meanwhile, they will be challenging themselves to emerge from crashing barrels, fly into the air, and land on the shifting surface gracefully. No big deal.
You’ve probably heard the invention of a wave pool, which creates the perfect man-made wave. In 2007, Kelly Slater founded his wave company with a passion to build the perfectly rideable wave at his surf ranch. It was debated whether the Olympics should be held in the ocean or on a manufactured wave, with many differing opinions on what would be right. The decision was made, and the event will take place in the sea, at Tsurigasaki Beach in Japan, about 40 miles east of Tokyo, where the rest of the 2021 games will be hosted.
As you watch, take a moment to reflect on the century of effort for this to happen. This initiative can be traced all the way back to the 1912 summer games that took place in Stockholm. Duke Kahanamoku, known as the father of modern surfing, won three gold medals in swimming, and while accepting his medal, he expressed that it was his dream to see surfing be added. To add fuel to the fire, International Surfing Association, recognized as the surfing world's governing authority by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), began lobbying for the inclusion of surfing in the Olympics in 1955.
Surfing is a multidimensional sport unlike any other. Nothing compares to paddling out to the serene silence that awaits beyond the breaking waves. Once you get out there, you immediately escape the many annoyances ingrained in everyday life—the constant notifications on your phone and laptop, your back-to-back schedule, answering to other people. You’re no longer on the time that your watch reads, you’re on mother nature’s time. You’re also no longer in control of your surroundings. Now, all you can do is surrender and wait for the next set to come, while trying to position yourself for when it does.
The high from catching the perfect wave is so addicting that surfers would fail on one hundred in a row just to catch that one. After you catch that perfect one, you replay it in your mind for the rest of the day.
A successful session is reliant on so many factors of mother nature—a force way bigger than us. For ideal conditions to exist, a good-sized swell must approach from the right direction, the wind must be flowing offshore, and you have to time your session right with the ebb and flow of the tide.
The sport is always teaching you life lessons. It is humbling, even if you’ve been practicing it for many years. One reason why it takes so long to master is that the conditions are going to be different every time you get out there. You might have caught a million yesterday, but today makes you feel like a kook because you can’t land one decent wave.
The community of people that you become a part of when you surf is special. A shared obsession with the ocean that brings you to dive into the water at dawn to get a session in bonds you quick. When you’re out there, you’ll find yourself interacting with people of all ages and backgrounds. People enjoy sharing the stoke of the sport. When you see someone out there teaching somebody new, you’ll encounter them cheering at the top of their lungs when they catch a good wave, and as you look around, you’ll see smiles all across the lineup. The other day, I caught a long wave in to be met with a cheering crowd of locals who frequent the spot that I do. When I got to shore, a local showed me their secret stash of hot packs to access in case I, or someone else, gets stung by a stingray when they aren’t around.
Being out in the ocean and abiding by her rules gives surfers a deep love and connection to nature. It’s common to see sea animals out there, like dolphins, stingrays, and fish. When you have an encounter, it’s a reminder that we are invading their territory. It sucks when you see trash floating in the water, or on the sand in its route to the water. It’s a sad reminder of the negative impact that humans can have on natural environments. It inspires you to pick up trash and advocate for sustainability so that we, as a collective, can take care of the beauty that we are lucky to have access to.
Tune in to see surfing break into the biggest international sporting event in the world beginning on Saturday, July 24th.
Do you live by the ocean? Paddle out with an instructor.
Don't live by the water, but still want to train for your next surf trip? Consider these classes.
If your location isn't listed above, browse Mindbody to see if they are available in your city.