Smiling pretty: Hypnotherapist Claire Benson
Welcome to Part 1 of Meet The Women Who Want To Make You Beautiful. InnerBellissima is on the hunt for women who are actioning change against false beauty beliefs woman tend to harbour. Each week I'll be bringing you free links, downloads and offers from these professional women who want to turn you into the beautiful woman you deserve to be in this world.
Our first lady of the week is Claire Benson The Hypnotherapist: her Hypnogogo programmes (available on iTunes) centres around blasting false paradigms when it comes to weight, fertility, confidence and abundance. But, it was her Hypnogoslow: Release Your Inner Beauty ( http://www.unstuck-thinking.co.uk/mind--body/promotions/hypnogoslow-release-your.html) that caught out attention here at InnerBellissima. In this interview, Claire speaks about her journey to finding her true beauty, gives advice on how you can think yourself beautiful and the hurdles we women face on our journey to becoming the beauty we truly are.
What is your programme about?
As a hypnotherapist I work with clients to improve their confidence in a way that's bespoke to them and help them on their own personal journey. This is particularly important when dealing with confidence, self-worth and self-belief issues as no two people are the same. Often problems are grounded in childhood and it's important to respect, heal, as well as encourage positive change that's right for the individual.
I run a six-session weight-reduction programme that helps and supports women while they change their eating and exercise habits as well as dealing with any underlying issues that may have led to them gaining weight. This programme encourages women to start loving and respecting their body, treating it as if it were a good friend rather than an enemy. And while feeling good on the inside makes you beautiful on the outside I also believe that looking good on the outside can make you feel good on the inside too.
What makes you want to inspire women to uncover their beauty?
I love the idea of world full of self-assured, confident, strong women, don't you? When you inspire these qualities in women not only do they become more beautiful so does the world in which we live.
Do you think we can think ourselves beautiful?
Yes, I believe that our thoughts create our realities - that whatever shows on the outside of you - your habits, your values, your beliefs and the way you look - all started off as thoughts. I love this quote from the Buddha, it sums it up perfectly:
"Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words for they become action. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits for they become character. Watch your character for it becomes your destiny."
What does inner beauty mean to you?
Inner beauty is about confidence, self-belief and self-love. It's also about happiness and feeling good - think about how you glow when you are happy and feel good it's as though your energy vibrates at a totally different frequency.
Tell us about your journey on finding your beauty
My inner beauty (aka confidence) has become stronger and more powerful as I've got older. I believe in myself now in a way that I didn't as a younger woman. I take plenty of time to look after myself physically, emotionally and spiritually because I think I deserve to be looked after. I think you do too!
What do you think are the main hurdles women face when dealing with
accepting their beauty?
I think in English culture we have a strange perception of what beauty means and this isn't helpful. We aren't particularly supportive of strong and confident women. We portray female role models in a very odd way, worshipping celebrities over and above intelligence & intelligent contributors who are women just don't feature enough in our media.
As for how women look: I believe we don't like our women in a public office to look their best, as if slovenly dressing demonstrates that you're better at your job (it doesn't, note how fantastic Christine Lagarde always looks). And yet if you don't dress your best you are vilified too. I think this puts women in a no-win situation and that's a massive cultural hurdle.
In your opinion, how can we begin to help women have a healthier
image of themselves?
Firstly by encouraging women to accept and love themselves as they are. Then from this startpoint of love and acceptance consider what personal journey each woman would like to follow (if they choose to). They might want to get better at doing a particular skill, learn something new, grow their confidence, find love, be a better parent, get fitter, be happier or whatever. This personal growth could be physical, emotional or spiritual.
I believe that we are all lifelong learners and that learning stuff is a great way to build confidence. I myself have just started playing the bass guitar. I might look like an aging rocker, but it makes me feel more beautiful! I think having a sense of humour is important too, because smiling and laughter is always beautiful.
You can learn more about Claire Benson and her latest programmes at http://www.unstuck-thinking.co.uk/