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Make Peace with the Mirror: A Workshop

Most of us have stood in front of the mirror and criticised what we see. Some of us have a hard time even looking.

So was the case for holistic beauty expert and entrepreneur, Sam Sargent, the inspiring woman behind 100 percent natural skincare brand, Be Genki and online beauty marketplace, BeNaturallyou. At just 21, she had decided she could no longer make sense of her life and attempted to end it.

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But, thankfully, Sam’s story didn’t end there. She went on to not only live, but lead the life of her dreams, travelling the world and inspiring thousands.

Now, Sam wants to give back and support others who may be struggling with stress, depression and an overwhelming sense of “wondering what it’s all about”.

Sam’s half-day workshop, Make Peace with the Mirror, will be held in Sydney on Saturday, May 5.

“It is for anyone who may be finding life a little challenging, or needing a little helping hand to make happy and healthy changes, or looking for inspiration from someone who did a complete 180 degree turn from definitely not wanting to be here to creating a life of their dreams,” she says.

I caught up with Sam to find out more.

(If you would like to register for Make Peace with the Mirror, click here)

What inspired Make Peace with the Mirror?

When I was 21 years old I tried to kill myself. At that point in time, I thought that the world would be better off without me; and that there was no possible way I could cope or fit in. I was desperately hoping that there was more to life than what I was experiencing but couldn’t see how it was possible. My ’round peg’ didn’t seem to fit in to any of the ‘square holes’ of the society I was living in. So I swallowed a box of sleeping tablets washed down with a glass of methylated spirits and wrote a letter.

Making Peace with the Mirror sprung from my desire to reach out to anyone who is finding life a little challenging, or needing a little helping hand to make happy and healthy changes, or looking for inspiration from someone who did a complete 180 degree turn from definitely not wanting to be here to creating a life of their dreams.

My ’round peg’ didn’t seem to fit in to any of the ‘square holes’ of the society I was living in.

What amazes me today, is that anxiety, worry and stress are on the rise. As a culture, we’re not coping. And I can relate all too well to this, as I certainly had no idea how to cope. My desire is to show people how I learnt not only to cope, but to thrive in this crazy thing called ‘life’.

I don’t have the answers for anyone’s life. But what I do have, are tools that I was given by others that helped me get through various challenges. The biggest one being, to make peace with the person looking back at me in the mirror.

Self-judgment was what once crippled me. And sure, I still have my ups and downs, and am far from perfect. I stumble. I trip. And sometimes I fall oh so fabulously flat on my face. But to wake up each morning excited about the day ahead; having a healthy relationship with my body; enjoying a beautiful complexion; being in a kind and nurturing relationship; being able to handle everyday stressors without freaking out; and being able to rest my head on the pillow each night ready for a peaceful nights’ sleep, was once a far fetched dream. Today, it is my reality.

It can be for anyone too.

How hard is it to talk about what you went through?

Now, it’s not difficult, as I’ve made peace with it. But for years I avoided talking about it, as I didn’t want it to define me. And I certainly didn’t want to make it significant. And then there’s the self-judgment. But as the years have ticked by, it’s evident to me that suicide, anxiety and depression is more common than I ever thought, having had far too many calls from loved ones sharing tragic news, or observing people suffering in silence with a “brave” face.

What helped you get through that dark time in your life?

Seeking help, and never giving up. I was determined to create the life that I so desired. I just didn’t know how to do it. So I experimented. The turning point for me, was when I connected with a lovely man, who was a recovering alcoholic. He was the first person that “got” me and understood the turmoil that I was going through in my mind. It’s amazing how such a simple connection could then unlock all the next steps that followed.

How much do you think hormones play in our self-love journey?

A huge amount. Everything contributes to our mental health and ability to love our selves. And by everything, I mean EVERYTHING. The air we breathe. The food we eat. The drinks we drink. The environment we live in. The people we hang out with. The intimate relationships we have. What we choose to engage with. The amount of sunshine we enjoy. The TV programs we watch. The way we talk to ourself. The exercise we do or don’t do. Our self-care practices. The satisfaction we get from our daily job, or role in life. And many of these have an effect on our hormone balance.

From my point-of-view, focusing on one aspect of life isn’t the answer. You’ve got to get to the root cause, as opposed to applying “band-aids” to the symptoms. I know, for me, that my life truly took a turn around for the better when I got the foundations (as mentioned above) in balance.

It’s such a journey learning to love and fully accept ourselves, inside and out. How did you make peace with who you saw in the mirror?

By never giving up. Not taking myself too seriously. By letting go of the expectations that I was placing upon myself. By getting a better understanding of ‘what’s true for me’ so that I could create the life I desired, as opposed to ‘buying’ in to the ‘norms’. And by practicing the art of not giving a f**k what others think about my life choices. I haven’t yet mastered this one completely. Most of the time I have good days, and sometimes I have not-so-good days. Hey, what can I say, I’m still learning.

What can people expect from the workshop?

Something different. No BS. No airy-fairy waffle.

Practical steps that I took to change the things in my life that weren’t working so that I could enjoy a life that I wished was possible.

A possibility to let go of what you ‘think’ you should be doing, so that you can find out what’s true for you. A possibility to let go of all the stress from un-met expectations in life. A chance to find out that perhaps you’re not as messed up as you think you are.

A possibility to let go of what you ‘think’ you should be doing, so that you can find out what’s true for you.

This is NOT a “you should do this, that and that” kind of workshop. It’s a judgment-free space to learn new tools and tips that you can experiment with, if they feel like fun for you.
What tips can you offer to someone can get started making peace with the mirror straight away?

You don’t need to suffer alone. Please start looking at “what is” as opposed to the illusion or delusion of “what you think it is”.  If what you’re currently doing isn’t working for you, then perhaps it might be time for a change.

Anything else you’d like to add?

What if you’re not as f**ked up as you think you are?
What if you simply haven’t been given the tools to create the life that you desire?

    @shannondunnwriter