Our International Women’s Day Heroes

Let’s raise a glass to the amazing women in our lives, better yet, let’s tell them how much they mean to us, recognise their achievements and thank them for the guidance & inspiration they’ve given our lives.

We’ve decided it’s time we started acting on this with a bit more conviction, it’s time to wholeheartedly support & empower each other, because in the words of Beyoncé…

Who run the world?

Girls!So to celebrate International Women’s Day we've asked some legendary woman-kind ambassadors that are leading the charge a few questions, starting with a couple of our incredible We Are Feel Good Inc. Co-Founders.

Oh, and we also wanted to hear what the future generation of men think about femininity & power, so we asked our National Sales Manager, Caitri Jones's, 12-year-old son, what we thought where tricky questions, but he answered calmly and with no hesitation.

Aeron Paterson, 46yrs old.

We Are Feel Good Inc. Co-Founder.

If you were standing in front of a room full of women right now, of all ages, sizes & backgrounds, what would you say to them?

Look inside at the person you are, friend, mother, sister, daughter, wife, boss, worker and if you are truly content/happy and live with no regrets at being the best you are able to be then that is all that matters. Not what you look like on the outside and what you think others may be thinking about you.

We’re passionate about living life on our terms, but that’s not always easy, creating a balance between loving the beautiful femineity within us whilst maintaining power within our chosen fields & lifestyles can be a huge challenge. Do you agree?

I totally agree and struggle daily with this dichotomy. I have yet to master it and constantly remind myself of my inner values as mentioned above. 

What is your proudest achievement?

My children no doubt, even when they annoy me and I think I have failed in my job. In the space of 2 seconds, I can turn around and go “wow look at them, they are amazing”

Who is your biggest inspiration?

All women who manage today's life expectations of the perfect mother, businesswoman and housewife by realising that it is not necessary or possible, just be who you are and do the best you can, you can’t do it all on your own and it's ok to say no.

If you were standing in front of a room full of men right now, of all ages, sizes & backgrounds, what would you say to them?

You can’t do it all so why do you expect women to be able to?Katrina Lodge, 48yrs old.

We Are Feel Good Inc. Co-Founder

If you were standing in front of a room full of women right now, of all ages, sizes & backgrounds, what would you say to them?

Whilst we celebrate women's achievements (and rights) for International Women's Day, it makes me ponder the road that lies behind us, where we stand right now and the road that lays ahead.  Opportunities for women (in the Western world) are now many and varied, thanks to the women who came before us.  We have come so far and yet we still have so far to go.  Gender inequality still exists; job opportunities, corporate management roles, equal pay rights, political positions, the portrayal of women in media, the expectations of a woman’s domestic role all still need better representation. We need to continue to be confident in our desire for change, to stand united (men and women alike) to ensure women's rights become seen as human rights, all over the world. 

We’re passionate about living life on our terms, but that’s not always easy, creating a balance between loving the beautiful femininity within us whilst maintaining power within our chosen fields & lifestyles can be a huge challenge. Do you agree?

Not really!  I prefer to think of it as reminding myself that I need to be my own ideal, not someone else’s.

What does femininity & power mean to you? 

 Actually, I am not too keen on the word “power”.  Too often it evokes a negative response.  I prefer to use the word “empowered”.  I feel empowered when I have knowledge and understanding, when I embark on a new project, when I have fueled my body well, when I sit with my loved ones, when I feel supported by those around me.  I feel feminine when I am looking at my children, when I am deep in conversation with my girlfriends, when I am nursing a rescued kangaroo, when I am in the dirt assisting my horse with a difficult foaling, when I light a candle in my workspace.  These moments when I can nurture or be nurtured are when I feel the most feminine. 

What is your proudest achievement? 

My children! Always my children, yet there are many professional achievements I am proud of.

What mindset do you need to be in to achieve your goals?

That I have the learning (or access to it) to achieve what I set out to do.  That I am organised and have the resources in place.  And knowing that I can ask for help and support from my peers when I lose my way.

To date, what has been your biggest life challenge?

Managing an anxious mind that fuels a necessity to be too busy much of the time.  It’s an ongoing life challenge!

What has been your biggest life lesson?

Learning to relax my grip. That letting go is so very hard but essential in order to grow.

What’s next for you?

I am always working on something in the wings!  Right now, I am focused on taking my time rather than rushing.  That there doesn't always have to be something next!

Who is your biggest inspiration? 

In the context of International Women's Day, Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s PM.  She embodies everything I admire in a woman: a razor-sharp mind, strong opinions, a compassionate, caring, honest and resilient leader, a working mother with humility and a good sense of humour.

If you were standing in front of a room full of men right now, of all ages, sizes & backgrounds, what would you say to them?

How much we need them and how much we admire them!  We see them too.

Aimee Jan, 34yrs old.

Free Diver. Water Photographer.

If you were standing in front of a room full of women right now, of all ages, sizes & backgrounds, what would you say to them?

Women are the true warriors of the world. I do believe we are all equal though. We all deserve love. We all deserve to speak our truth. This world faces a lot of battles; whether it’s loss or war, the most important thing we can do is recognized we are all the same and in this together. “When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace”. Jimi Hendrix

We’re passionate about living life on our terms, but that’s not always easy, creating a balance between loving the beautiful femininity within us whilst maintaining power within our chosen fields & lifestyles can be a huge challenge. Do you agree?

Absolutely! It’s all about balancing our masculine and feminine energy. Knowing when we need to stand tall and get our hands dirty, but also finding time to enjoy being girly, whatever that may be for you. I know for me I don’t mind hitting something hard at boxing but then coming home to a cup of tea and my sewing machine.

What does femininity & power mean to you?

It’s the balancing of energies. Yin and Yang. Nurturing and protecting. Hunting and gathering. Surfing and sewing. It doesn’t matter how we do it in the world, all that does matter is that we are doing what we love with honour and respect.

What is your proudest achievement?

Getting offered a job as a swim guide/photographer for sperm whale tours in the Caribbean.

Surfing waves. Somewhere.

What mindset do you need to be in to achieve your goals?

Consistency, believing in yourself and not being afraid.

What has been your biggest life lesson?

Whatever path you take, will always be the right one.

What’s next for you?

Swimming with more whales. I mean, ALL the whales.Cait Miers, 27yrs old.

Professional Photographer.

We’re passionate about living life on our terms, but that’s not always easy, creating a balance between loving the beautiful femininity within us whilst maintaining power within our chosen fields & lifestyles can be a huge challenge. Do you agree? 

Oh yeah, 100%. I struggle with this every day. I feel like I’m pretty independent in my work, but put me in a relationship and I’m like the opposite person. I also struggle with sharing my own femininity, I show other peoples through my work, but when it comes to me, I tend to hide it. Lots of self-work going on! There’s softness in femininity and that softness is more powerful than anything, so that’s what I’m striving for. 

What does femininity & power mean to you? 

It’s so interesting because they used to mean two completely opposite things to me. When I was a child I viewed femininity as being weak! Which is wild to think now, but that’s what I thought. So I suppressed that within myself. Until I reached around 20 years old and it started changing for me. Power is so funny because I think society has a strange way of viewing power. Like you need to be egotistic, loud and overbearing to be powerful, which is actually the worst kind of power. I like to think ‘power’ comes from being on your path, your purpose, and knowing what you need and want. 

What is your proudest achievement?

Inspiring other women through my photography!

What mindset do you need to be in to achieve your goals?

Self-belief, hard work and resilience. You have to make sacrifices and be really committed to achieving your goals. But if you have the feeling of ‘yes I can achieve this’ then anything is possible. 

To date, what has been your biggest life challenge?

My parents divorcing when I was 18 and navigating through the aftermath of that. 

What has been your biggest life lesson?

I’m still very much learning it! Haha. For me it would be sticking to my purpose in life and knowing that’s the right course for me, sometimes sacrificing things that other people haven’t. And self-love, always working on that too. Oh and to not to drop everything when I get into relationships! 

What’s next for you?

I’ve got huge plans for my business The Clique (@theclique_photo) where I’m doing workshops, online photography courses and building up a membership platform. Watch this space for 2020!

Who is your biggest inspiration?

My mum, she’s super brave and lives her life in the most meaningful, beautiful intentional way. I’ve watched her completely transform, she’s done so much self-work and growth, it’s insane. The way she views life and what she’s taught my brother and I is priceless and I’m so thankful and lucky to have that.

If you were standing in front of a room full of men right now, of all ages, sizes & backgrounds, what would you say to them? 

I’d say the same thing as I’d say to the ladies although I’d probably be a little more intimidated! I’d say be kind, be soft and be gentle, and find your strength in softness. To be a ‘big strong’ man doesn’t mean physically, it means to hone into your strengths and weaknesses and own up to yourself. Oh and show sensitivity! That’s where true strength lies, by being able to be in touch with your emotions and facing them. Maddie Jones, 28yrs old.

Professional Skier.

If I was standing in a room full of women of different ages and backgrounds etc what would I say?

“Aren’t women great??”

What is your proudest achievement?

Well in the realm of skiing, it would be doing the first naked backflip by a female on skis. I’m proud of it because it shakes up the standard and isn’t the norm. Which I love. It’s a little bit shocking and a little bit cheeky, and I love women like that.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

I get inspired by lots of different things! I love seeing ladies crushing it in other sports like gymnastics and diving and skating. I love seeing a woman working in a male-dominated field and crushing it. I love watching my female friends ski. I get inspired all the time!

What’s next for you?

I want to go and do something to help my fellow man. I’ve spent so many years just on myself, I’m excited to focus that energy on others who need it!

What would I say to a room full of men?

I hope you’re all supporting the ladies in your life and on the street. They need it and we love it when you do. The sexiest men I’ve met are the kindest and most supportive.

Sophie McCulloch, 21yrs old.

Professional Surfer.

If you were standing in front of a room full of women right now, of all ages, sizes & backgrounds, what would you say to them?

BE KIND TO YOURSELF and do what makes you feel good inside and out. Surround yourself with people you love (and who love you) and don’t be afraid to ask for help or support, open communication is key. Always respect others, have a sense of humour and be able to laugh at yourself.

What mindset do you need to be in to achieve your goals?

A determined mindset will drive you to achieve goals in all aspects of life, with determination you are able to push yourself, seek advice, and stay open-minded towards all the different opportunities that may arise in order to help you get to where you want to go. Determination will also allow you to approach losses/fallbacks with a learning mentality.

To date, what has been your biggest life challenge?

Developing an understanding of the voice inside my head that says ‘You’re not doing enough’.

What has been your biggest life lesson?

If you spend too much time inside your head (worrying/planning), you will miss what is right in front of you.

What’s next for you?

I am competing on the 2020 World Surf League Qualifying Series with the intention to qualify for the World Circuit Tour. I am also continuing part-time study in a Bachelor of Marketing and Biomedical Science. My next string of events is 4 competitions throughout March in Newcastle, Manly, New Zealand and (on) the Gold Coast respectively. 

Who is your biggest inspiration?

I cannot narrow down a single person who is my biggest inspiration. There are people close to me whom I will always respect, and look up to. There are current sportsmen and women, such as Ash Barty (tennis), Michelle Payne (horse racer), and Julian Wilson (surfer) who I believe are great representations of individuality and sportsmanship. But I also look to history for inspiration, for example, Louis Zamperini, War Veteran and Olympic runner, a true example of perseverance and overcoming adversity.

If you were standing in front of a room full of men right now, of all ages, sizes & backgrounds, what would you say to them?

The exact same thing I would say to a room of females.Lana Rogers, 23yrs old. 

Professional Iron Women.

We’re passionate about living life on our terms, but that’s not always easy, creating a balance between loving the beautiful femineity within us whilst maintaining power within our chosen fields & lifestyles can be a huge challenge. Do you agree?

Women are fierce, strong and powerful. We can do anything or even two, three or twenty things that we set out minds to. From my own personal experience, being able to have a healthy work and life balance can be a challenge, but planning out goals & focusing on how to concur those goals really helps. I like to make sure my routine includes making time for myself and time to kick butt at those work goals!

What does femininity & power mean to you? 

It means loving yourself, being proud of who you are. I think women who rock that kind of confidence are total rock stars.

What is your proudest achievement?

Definitely winning the Coolangatta Gold this season in my sport. I did a lot of preparation of growing mentally and as well as physically so this race will always hold a special part in my heart.

What mindset do you need to be in to achieve your goals?

I firstly decide what the goal is that I want to achieve, then write out the steps to get there. I have learned to think more about the process and planning of the goals rather than just focusing on one big outcome.

To date, what has been your biggest life challenge?

Believing in myself. Growing up I was always a kid who had an outgoing personality, I always had a smile on my face, but never really felt confident on the inside. I was always second-guessing myself. But I’ve grown up a lot this past year and finding out who I am has really shown me that it is okay to feel good about yourself and back yourself, no matter what you set your mind to.

What has been your biggest life lesson?

That God works in strange ways.

What’s next for you?

I am at the back end of my season now and currently preparing for the Australian Titles in late April. After that, it is hitting the books and focusing on university in my break before training starts again.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

I would say my coach Sharlene Kelly, she goes above and beyond for anybody. She has made me believe in myself in and out of the sporting world so I am truly grateful to have her.

 

And to finish off, some answers from a 12-year old boy;

What does femineity mean?

Something about women.

What does power mean?

Like, being able to say what you want, being strong.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

My mum.

What do you love about your Mum?

Um well, she understands what I am saying & what I mean.

She’s caring about what I do.

What's the difference between boys & girls?

Not much really.