by Gilly Page
How to live 'in the now', embrace our true selves - and ultimately be, a little more like, Sally.
How often do we as women, mothers and mothers to be, subject ourselves to so much self inflicted stress, striving to be the ‘perfect’ mother, partner, working mother? I know I have and sometimes still do!
So much energy wasted on a daily basis causing us emotional stress aspiring to something that doesn’t actually exist! Nothing or no one is perfect!
Sally, my spiritual sister and the inspiration for Sally’s Sunflowers suffered with facial Cancer for 15 years, which as time progressed impacted on her speech, her ability or eat and drink and left her increasingly disfigured - harrowing for anyone but particularly for women.
Our appearance is perceived as being such an important part of being a woman, as we as women are often judged on the way we look by others as well as ourselves - striving for perfect skin, the perfect dress size, perfect hair, causing us emotional stress and impacting on our well being - shocking, unfair but sadly very often true
When I had my boys, emotions a go go and worried that I was struggling to breast feed, not losing my baby weight, struggling to keep all the plates spinning, the need and anxiety to be ‘perfect’ became more and more important to me and as my boys grew older the same stress and anxiety was still there but this time about different things - to bake the perfect cake for the school fair, make the perfect costume for World Book Day and the list goes on! I'm sure this sound familiar.
Sally however, instead of hiding away from the world, self conscious of her appearance, she never let the challenges she faced take away her confidence or impact on her mental wellbeing - instead of asking ‘Why Me?’ She always said ‘Why Not Me?’ and with this outlook on life she celebrated each and every scar as it meant that she had survived another day, month, year to spend with her precious son.
Sally was the most brave, funny, fearless, optimistic, hopeful, grateful and grab each day and squeeze every last drop of life out of every day person I have ever met - Perfectly Imperfect in her own special way.
Sally’s favourite flowers were Sunflowers and she always turned her face towards the sunshine in search of the light just as Sunflowers do and spread sunshine wherever she went.
Sally’s Sunflowers is a celebration of Sally’s outlook on life, designed and created to Spread The Sunshine and put a smile on your face with everything in the Sally’s Sunflowers Collection based on things she loved as both a woman, mother, friend and wife. Comfy, relaxed clothing for standing on the touch line cheering on her beloved boy at his Rugby matches, walks on the beach and in the countryside with her dogs, camping trips with family and friends, a great coffee in a big mug, cake, lots of cake and baking the most amazing cakes even though she struggled to eat them due to the fact that she was restricted to a liquid diet - so she blitzed them up with cream and had a cake smoothly instead!
She was never defeated by the limitations imposed on her!
Sally loved the social element and the joy of coffee shops, restaurants, pubs and rugby match’s with friends and family even though she was unable to eat off the menu, but that never stopped her from going, because for her it was the joy she derived from the people she was with and her surroundings. Sally absolutely did not let her illness and the physical restrictions that resulted from it take away her zest for life and enjoying every moment of everyday and relishing every single second.
I will be forever be in awe of the way in which she faced her illness, never complaining and very often in pain she was very accepting of her situation and regarded herself as lucky to have lived the life she did .
I have learnt so very many lessons from having had the privilege of having her in my life, the most significant being, to always make the most of every day, acceptance, gratitude, appreciation, self care and self love of the body that we have, whatever shape or size because we are all Perfectly Imperfect in our own special way.
Sally’s Sunflowers is so much more than a collection of jewellery, clothing and accessories but an attitude to life of turning your face towards the sunshine in search of the light, even when the dark clouds are gathering overhead and spreading love and sunshine to others as well as yourself.
So please promise both me and yourself that next time you feel the anxiety creeping in and the search for perfection knocking on your door be more Sally and embrace your Perfectly Imperfect S
self with love and gratitude.
Sending you love and sunshine
I’m Gilly, a designer maker, mother, wife and friend. I founded Sally’s Sunflowers by Gilly Page Jewellery inspired by my best friend of 36 years, Sally who was also a mother, wife, friend and true Inspiration, who always turned her face towards the sunshine in search of the light, just as Sunflowers do and who spread sunshine wherever she went.
When I was having a crisis of faith with my first business, Gilly Page Jewellery, Sally made me promise that I would never give up on my business hopes and dreams.
Sunflowers were Sally’s favourite flower and in memory of her I created little silver Sunflower charms and donated 100% of the profit to Primrose Hospice Children’s Bereavement Team, supporting children and teenagers dealing with the loss of a loved one, as it was her greatest wish that her beloved son should receive professional help and support to help him deal with her loss. Primrose Hospice looked after Sally in her final days.
From that original little silver Sunflower the seeds for Sally’s Sunflowers were sewn and Sally’s Sunflowers by Gilly Page Jewellery was born!
A collection of eco silver jewellery, responsibly sourced and organic cotton clothing and accessories designed to Spread The Sunshine, put a smile on your face and give something back, not only to each other, but to the environment too - inspired by all the things that Sally loved and we as women and mothers can relate to.
I also believe that the creation of Sally’s Sunflowers was her way of making sure that I never gave up on my creative dreams.
A packet of Sally’s Sunflower Seeds is included with each purchase to Spread the Sunshine wherever you are and help the environment, as Sunflowers' huge smiling faces are giant landing pads for Bees and other pollinating insects.
20% of the profit from each purchase from the Sally’s Sunflower Collection is also donated to Primrose Hospice Children’s Bereavement Team supporting children and teenagers dealing with the loss of a loved one.