Hi, I'm Emily and want to work with you so that you can fall back in love with your body, feel grounded and glowing and feel sparkling about who you are and what you look like. Here's why.
After falling out of love with my body after hurting my back in 2010, living with chronic back pain for over 2 years and then having a baby in 2013, I felt disconnected from myself, from my body, from other people and from the universe. I spent a lot of time feeling apathetic, zoned out and numb. I felt like I didn't fit in or belong... anywhere. I didn't feel sexy and I didn't feel alive. I was scared to dance, in case I hurt myself or looked stupid, and I was scared to dress in a way that expressed who I was. I didn't really know who I was, what I liked or what I wanted from life anymore. In 2015 after a lot of soul searching I knew I had to find a way to reconnect with my body and with myself again. I tried to think back to a time when I felt truly present and 'in' my body and I remembered a time when I was swimming underwater as a child, and I swam in an undulating fishlike way. It had felt so natural! I had a spark of inspiration! This was how mermaids swim, and I was going to set up a Body Positive Mermaid Playground.
Of course I didn't know where to start, but luckily I shared my spark of inspiration on Facebook and someone put me in touch with another Brighton mermaid, called Ang, who took me along to her freediving club, Notanx. Freediving is the art of swimming underwater on a single breath.
Through Notanx, I fell in love with the feel of swimming underwater with a monofin. There's an amazing strength and power to the finning technique and the sense of relaxation whilst holding your breath is akin to meditation.
I met Polly, The Forest Mermaid through Twitter and took her mermaiding with me, and loved teaching her how to swim like a mermaid. Together we started the hashtag #bodypositivemermaids to celebrate mermaids of all shapes, sizes, colours and configurations. We wanted to show that anyone can be a mermaid, it's about how you feel while mermaiding, not fitting into a certain stereotype of how mermaids 'should' look.
After a year of exploring freediving, I still wasn't much closer to making my Mermaid Playground dream a reality. I took a chance and messaged Carla of Runaway Days to get some mentoring on how she launched her mermaid business, and met a friend for life! Carla encouraged me to 'just do it' and invited me on an awesome #bodypositivemermaids photoshoot with Megan from Bodyposipanda and Joely from TheVagaggle and we spent an amazing day on the beach being photographed by Grace from Photography by Grace Hill. This was such amazing experience and the response we got form little girls on the beach made me realise that showing people that mermaids have diverse bodies IS really important!
Something was still holding me back. I couldn't quite envision what my Mermaid playground was FOR.
I got in touch with with the wonderful Ebonie Allard, to kickstart my business and help me identify my values that drive what I do, and I found them! My values are CONNECTION, SPARKLEFORCE and GLOW. and they inform the whole ethos behind my mermaid business. CONNECTION is my purpose in life, the thing that I'm put here in the world to explore. SPARKLEFORCE is the feeling of excitement, flow, power and playfulness that bubbles and sparkles in your chest when you anticipate doing something amazing and life-changing. GLOW is a safe, deeply grounded sense of calm, confident strength that you get when you snuggle up with your family, or meditate, or drink a cup of coffee on a sunny step. When these last two values are in balance then CONNECTION is experienced.
Through the playful yet grounded feeling of mermaid swimming I really want to share my experience and help you sparkle with excitement, glow with inner calm and confidence and find that connection with your body that so many of us have lost.
Every step on my journey has required a little leap of faith, to reach out and connect with someone who I thought was amazing, shared my values and was doing something I was fascinated by. It felt scary at first, but when I think back to how I felt before I started freediving and mermaiding, and that I could still be there now, I'm glad I took the plunge.
So come dive in, the water's lovely!