Celebrating the women of Chartered

Chartered women, both clients and staff, are celebrated each year in August. Despite lockdown, we decided to continue with this tradition and hosted an online event focusing on self-love, growth and wellness.

Our first guest, Sylvia Lampe, spoke about and guided us through some calanetics exercises. Calanetics is a system of exercise involving frequent repetition of small muscular movements and squeezes, designed to improve muscle tone.

Our second speaker, Sally Williams, delighted us with her story as to how Sally Williams nougat came about. Sally is living proof that age is merely a number, especially considering that she started her nougat business in her 50s. She is also the epitome of courage and determination, as she never gave up, despite numerous obstacles along the way.

Our final guest, Patricia O’Hare, a retired psychologist, shared how, despite being an active person by nature, during lockdown, she went into contraction mode. Her outside world had to contract as a result of COVID, but unbeknownst to her, she also started to contract psychologically. Her world, her thinking – everything contracted, and anything that took her out of that safe-haven, she rejected.

She encouraged us to be open to new experiences, innovations and opportunities no matter how uncomfortable, especially during lockdown. The older we get, the more rigid we become- both physically and mentally, but this lack of flexibility, especially in our thinking, is harmful to our mental health and our overall sense of happiness.

Another way, she suggested, to get out of this contraction prison is to be perpetually curious and interested in the people and events around you. She has seen so many older people who have allowed their worlds to become so small that they lose perspective of the bigger picture- they become the main feature of a very small screen instead of a single unit in a vast panorama. Self-absorption reigns supreme but at the same time increases isolation.

Each of us has a story, and now is the time to reflect on that story, become aware of misconceptions and inaccuracies and put them right. We can’t change the past, but what we can change is our reaction and attitude to the events of the past. Viktor Frankel said that everything you have could be taken from you, but the one inviolable freedom is your freedom to react or relate to the event. You are no longer a victim but an observer who changes your reaction and are thus a director rather than an actor with a given script. Consciousness and awareness are critical elements of this task. Eric Erickson in his theory of the eight life stages said the main task in the final stage was to achieve integrity – integrity or wholeness of your being, incorporating the black and white, the yin and the yang, to make a meaningful whole. Lack of success in this task leads to despair!

In conclusion, she shared a mantra with us, one that encouraged us to tell us ourselves daily– I am light, I am bright, I am beautiful, I am strong, I am kind.

As we continue to face the challenges and uncertainty that lockdown brings, let’s remember that mantra, we are light, we are bright, we are beautiful, strong, kind, and we are brave.

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