And let’s face it, if we tried to keep up with the fashion of beauty as it’s changed over centuries, we would have been plucking our hairlines in the Renaissance (yes, a high forehead was considered beautiful). In Jane Austen’s era it was all about the ‘stays’ – corsets that helped separate your boobs for the ‘heaving’ effect (and if you don’t believe me, believe the Jane Austen Centre…) A quick look at the last half century would see us doing everything from wearing Spanx to getting implants in our lips and bottoms, to starving ourselves to look like Kate Moss, drawing on that beauty spot that Cindy Crawford charted her career on, and in the past ten years, trying to match that whole so-athletic-but-still-sexy thing that’s all over the gram (you know exactly what I’m talking about). By the time we’re 80, who knows what mad aesthetic will prevail? But being pulled from pillar to post like this trying to anchor ourselves to the current trend is only not bad for our mental health, it’s not that great for our physical health or sense of self either.Read More
Hi I’m Athanae. Welcome to my blog. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved forms of creative expression, including dance and writing. Growing up, I thought I’d be a ballerina…but somehow I ended up at law school instead (!) After a little bit of travel in Europe and a decade of working in the super high-pressure environments of journalism and federal politics I found myself completely disconnected from the person I knew I was as a kid - before I learned what I should be doing; before my perfectionist tendencies kicked in. By my late twenties, I was stressed to the max and suffering chronic illnesses, trying to work a full-time job, run a business (that’s another story), and keep the rest of my life going too. It was impossible. After many, many months of soul searching (that included some very bad drawings in my journal of what I wanted my life to look like…) and a village of family and friends supporting me I gently allowed myself to start coming back to the things I loved doing. I decided to take the first step by going back to movement, starting with training as a barre teacher (it’s kind of like ballet, right?) I subsequently trained to teach yoga and pilates too.
The next few years were tumultuous to say the least. Change isn’t easy: it requires hard decisions and commitment - and not everyone will come on the journey with you. But if you lead with your heart, you can’t go wrong.
I started learning my ‘first’ second language, Italian, when I was five. That set me on a path I’m still travelling today, with homes on two west coasts: Tuscany, and Western Australia. I work mainly as a freelance writer and yoga and pilates teacher - skills I can take with me wherever I go and can find a wifi connection.
I’ve been accused of oversharing my personal life (probably true…) but whenever I publish something heartfelt, or that I know is tapping into a bigger conversation, unmet need or unwanted feeling among the community of women I share my life with (both online and offline), the messages and responses I get tell me I’m doing the right thing. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that we need to take life less seriously anyway…so what’s a little vulnerability between me and all of you?
‘It’s fine,’ I think.
Then I start using my phone too much. It’s just Instagram, you know. But you know, and I know, the difference between ‘it’s just Instagram’ and ‘it’s just Instagram and I’m numbing my brain by scrolling though garbage, wasting my time’. Or worse, I’m looking far too much and too often at what other people are doing, getting lost in intangible world where it’s far too easy to extrapolate and invent stories that are flat out wrong.Read More