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Photographing a goddess

How our very own Accounts Supervisor took part in Made for Life's Inner Goddess Calendar.

This year, Amanda Barlow, Managing Director of Made for Life Organics and Founder of the The Made for Life Foundation, and her team, put together an Inner Goddess Calendar.

The purpose was to celebrate women in the spa industry who had experienced cancer, and to raise funds for the foundation, which provides holistic support to anyone who had a cancer diagnosis, as well as the SATCC, which sets the gold standard for spa therapist training in oncology touch treatments in the UK.

Amanda wanted to include women from the spa world who had experienced cancer. She said:

"What I love about this process is seeing the impact of having these photos taken on the women who take part. We asked each woman to think about who their inner goddess was. They chose how they wanted to be, selected their clothing and things that were meaningful for them. Each woman also made an affirmation, which you will find on their calendar pages. It's about showing that cancer is not an exclusive thing. Here are people in our industry who have been affected and who help people who live with cancer. Look at how amazing they are, and take it as a reminder to celebrate who you are."

Read Amanda's interview about how spas are helping people with cancer

Amongst them was's very own Accounts Supervisor, Susanna. Here's what she had to say.'s very own spa goddess

I had breast cancer about 10 years ago just before I turned 40. When this photoshoot opportunity came up, I was a bit reluctant because it's not my sort of thing, but I thought it would be a positive experience for a good cause.

They asked us to choose our own clothing, which I think was a nice thing because it reflected my personality more, and I could see that other people brought things that represented them as well. It was interesting to see what people felt represented their 'goddess'.

Initially I was going to bring my sari-style wedding dress as I got married in Sri Lanka, but at the last minute I remembered I had this cerise dress that felt right for the occasion, and happily it still fitted so I wore that.

The people involved on the shoot were really interesting, especially the lady who did the make-up, who was really dedicated to promoting inclusiveness in spas and making sure all body shapes, ages and sizes feel welcome. Then we went out into the beautiful gardens at Coworth Park, the spa that was hosting the shoot, to take the photos.

Being photographed was quite a strange experience, but it's an interesting process seeing the result. With the make-up on it feels like a different version of me. At the end they asked everyone to write something about their experience with cancer - a piece of advice that someone experiencing it now might find helpful. I thought that was lovely because everyone’s experience is so different and it’s interesting to know that.

I realised as I was writing mine that just saying 'it will be ok' isn’t necessarily true for everyone, and that was a sobering realisation, which really made me think. I came to the realisation that the best advice I could have been told at the start was to trust the experts and your support network to guide you through your journey.

We were also asked to include an affirmation, and mine, which I had before my cancer journey is: 'Life is a journey not a destination'. I’m always planning for the future and I have to remind myself to live in the moment.

You can purchase the Goddess Calendar here using the discount code goddess.

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