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    This month I caught up with my friend and local legend Charlotte Bell to chat Movement, Mental Health and Meditation. 

    Movement is great for your muscles and your mind, it "Fuels The Soul".  I hope Charlotte's interview inspires you to take some time out, focus on yourself, move and perhaps even helps to love yourself a little more.

    If you or anyone you know needs help, please reach out for it: 
    HERE and HERE  

    What inspired you to begin teaching yoga, practising breathwork/meditation and start your website as an advocate for Mental Health?
    I started practising yoga when I was 15. I started learning from a YouTube video series in my bedroom. I’m pretty sure it was called something ridiculous like ‘Yoga for Weight Loss with Sadie Nardini’. I did the same sequence every day for a whole summer. 

    Right from that first day, I felt this incredible sense of freedom and joy in my body. I played intense sport at a high level at the time and the contrast to my rigid training schedule was so great. 

    I loved the way my body felt and I loved learning to use my breath properly. There was a massive knock-on effect from the practice and I’ve been doing it ever since.

    I think I knew I was going to teach one day, when I was ready. And in 2021, it finally felt like the right time.

    In the beginning, my practice was always very physical and asana focused. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to understand the value of the more subtle practices like meditation and pranayama (breath work). I love teaching Breath classes that focus on balancing and restoring the nervous system. 

    The decision to start sharing my writing about mental health was a really difficult one. I was so worried about what people would think… “Was I attention seeking?” “Is this too heavy for people to read?” “What will my boyfriend's family think of me?”

    But I kept thinking back to the people who had helped me through really difficult times. They were writers brave enough to share their stories. 

    When I was 24, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Type 1 Disorder. This was an intensely difficult and lonely time for me. 

    I took great comfort in the books I read, the Instagram accounts I followed, the podcasts I listened to. They provided a sort of faraway community. Me, a silent, anonymous member. On the outer of that community. 

    Comparing notes and finding comfort in words on the pages of memoirs from people like me. Living, battling, surviving, managing their mental illness.

    As I’ve lived on with this illness, what has become apparent, is the need for representation.

    For people feeling hopeless, desperate and alone, like I did, and at times, still do.

    Now, I feel it is the time for me to introduce myself to the community I’ve silently clung to. To share my experiences, what I’ve learned and what I’m learning. 

    And that’s what I intend to do.

    Best advice you have ever received when feeling uninspired and unmotivated?
    ‘Think small, not big’ I know this doesn't seem massively inspiring. But it is so useful if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Especially when anxieties about the future are running riot. “Think small” as in, let’s look at what can be done today. I think about this when I’ve lost perspective on what is important or what can realistically be done depending on my mood or energy level. It’s also great if I’ve spread myself too thin with obligations and I’m feeling scattered. It allows me to break things down into achievable chunks.

    The other piece of advice is equally as simple, but really useful in terms of grounding myself. ‘Get back to basics’ 

    Construct a routine
    Get enough sleep
    Keep moving
    Eat regularly
    Stay connected 

    Depression or anxiety can bleed us of all motivation, enthusiasm and joy. The hopelessness we’re left with can send all self-care rituals out the window and sometimes, they’re the hardest things to get back.

    When you don’t feel like doing anything, it’s beyond frustrating to be told to “get up and get on with it.’

    But, sometimes that’s what we need. It’s the best place to start when we need to rebuild.

    Favourite quote?
     “You must go on. I can’t go on. I’ll go on”. - Samuel Becket

    This seems pretty dark. But I say it to myself when I feel blocked or overwhelmed. When things seem too hard, acknowledging that it is hard, acknowledging that I want to stop and overriding those doubts and making the decision to keep moving forward.

    My physical health has been pretty poor over the past year and when I've felt upset or frustrated with this, I repeat to myself “I’ll go on.” and I do.

    Samuel Beckett was a writer who played with themes of existence and the difficulty of life and coupled it with black comedy. Saying this little phrase to myself is like a little reality check and helps me to shrug off doubt and disappointment with a smile.


    Why do you believe people need to move their bodies?

    I’m currently reading ‘The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel A. van der Kolk. It’s been a really great reminder of the inextricable link between mind, brain and body.

    I think on a physical level we need to keep moving our bodies so we can age well. Movement, for me, is about enhancing our quality of life, not about aesthetics. 

    We move to look after our bone density (especially as women), our strength, our joint mobility, our balance and proprioception (knowing where our body is in space) and learning to make peace with uncomfortable sensations associated with difficult emotions. 

    Shifting the perspective from movement being solely for a physical benefit is really motivating and keeps me wanting to move my body. I use movement to physically shift discomfort or painful experiences from my body.

    Training my mind to acknowledge uncomfortable sensations and what emotions and feelings they’re associated with takes the fear away. It soothes anxiety, frustration, anger and panic. It helps me process things faster and if I tune into my breath whilst doing this, it’s even better. 

    None of this is about aesthetics. But I guess as a by-product, when we move our bodies more, our posture, muscle tone and overall glow is stronger. We notice it, and other people notice it, regardless of what body shape we have.

    Quote from ‘The Body Keeps the Score’ “Physical self-awareness is the first step in releasing the tyranny of the past.”

    What is your most loved clothing item, how do you style it?
    Such a good question. I’ve started investing more in my everyday clothes rather than formal clothing.  

    Lots of linen, organic cotton, minimalist colours and classic styles. Tailored pants, straight leg jeans, shirts and Dr Marten sandals.

    And of course, denim. I am obsessed with denim. I run double denim almost too often. I’ve been running the same look since I was about 7 years old.

    I try to avoid synthetic fabrics as much as I can. Which is pretty hard with active wear. I live in my Nagnata biker shorts. They are made with merino and are so comfortable. I wear them when I’m practising yoga but also with an oversized shirt and sandals for a casual look.

    It’s really hard to balance wanting to invest in high quality, sustainably made clothes and not having the money to do it. So, a lot of my wardrobe was bought second hand, I love to buy from Designer Wardrobe, it’s even where I bought those Nagnata biker shorts. 

    What is the best process for someone struggling with their mental health or that needs someone to talk to? 
    I think acknowledgement is the first step. Recognising that you don’t have to live with a certain level of suffering. That you absolutely deserve more.

     A good place to start is with your GP, if you have a good relationship with them. They can point you in the direction of more specialised services and send out the referrals you need to get into those services.

     Also, ask for recommendations! If you know someone that’s been through mental health services, see if they know of a counsellor or psychologist or programme that could work for you. 

     Next, be patient, accept that this may not come right overnight. Be gentle with yourself. Let the people closest to you know what’s going on, what you're feeling and what you're going through. 

    Be selfish! Prioritise what you need and don’t compromise on that. Be ok with not going to every party or dinner, or switching your exercise to more gentle forms.

    One more thing I’d like to say is, don’t be ashamed about taking medication. This was so hard for me and I refused to start medication for years. But, it actually saved me. It re balanced my brain and gave me the capacity to properly engage with therapy. I have been on regular medication for 5 years now. I’ve accepted that I will probably have to take it for the rest of my life and I feel no shame about that. 

    Getting the medication right has taken quite a long time and has been pretty disheartening at times, some just don’t work with your body. So being mindful of side effects and discussing this with your doctor is key. Advocate for yourself! But don’t come off it cold turkey, you don’t need to put your body through that.

    Please remember if you or anyone you know needs help, please reach out for it: 
    HERE and HERE  <3

    Want more?
    You can join Charlotte for a 60-minute private yoga lesson. This hour will be tailored entirely to your wants and needs. Sign up for a full nervous system reset with breathwork, meditation and restorative yoga or a powerful, fluid vinyasa practice. Or somewhere in between. Either way you will take away useful skills and techniques to improve your well being and body. This can be in your space in Christchurch, Charlotte's space in Sumner or via Zoom.

    Please contact Charlotte to discuss pricing options and book here!

    I hope you enjoyed this months By Mary Muse, who's next?
    M x 


    This month for my first ever By Mary Muse I caught up for 5 minutes with Twenty two year old poet and author Charlotte Bekhor. With words and wisdom well beyond her years she has just realised her first ever published book –
    The Beauty and Her Beasts, A collection of modern poetry about loss vs. love.

     Find out what’s inspiring her, what she’s wearing and shop The Beauty and Her Beasts in time for Christmas via my shop here.

    What inspired you to begin writing?  
    I've always loved the way words can make you feel. I used to write songs when I was a little girl about things I would witness from an 8-year-olds perspective. I have always been an observer. I looked almost too closely at things; like how waves so effortlessly rolled onto shores or the way my father looked so lovingly at my mother. As I grew with age, so did my experiences, which eventually turned into poetry about heartbreak, grief and love. 

    Do you have a favourite page or quote from The Beauty and Her Beasts?
    I have three chapters in my book; Bitter, Bones and Beauty. Here is a favourite poem from each...

    'i sit on the sand
    and watch the waves break
    oh how much in common
    i have with you

    'when heaven pulled him close
    and whispered in his ear
    she took his hand
    and pledged to find him
    in every other life time
    eternal love'

    'growth takes time
    and time takes patience'

    What was the last piece of clothing you brought?
    Apart from writing, clothes and fashion let me feel something. Clothes started off as a necessity, but now I view them as powerful. Having the ability to reflect your mood, personality and make yourself known through what you wear is a beautiful thing.

    Hailey Bieber and Matilda Djerf have the most influential fashion on me. The way the two women break societies construction of female beauty by adding masculinity really empower me and the pieces of clothing I choose to buy. The. last two items of clothing I have bought are Pangia flared track pants in three different colourways; pink, grey and white, and the Are You Am I Sunniva Corset in black. Both of these can be styled up or down and are timeless in their sense of durability, sustainability and style.  

    You’re most loved clothing item and how do you style it? 
    This may be a strange one, but my GUESS shoulder bag. I own this in two colour ways; bright pink and beige. It is a very affordable version of the Prada Re-nylon edition 2000. I really believe a statement bag can make you look very put together no matter if you're wearing pyjamas or attending the MET. I recently wore the pink version of this bag to my 22nd birthday with a Realisation Par black dress and it added the perfect amount of colour for a very muted look.

    If you could meet any famous author dead or alive who would it be? 
    Hands down Rupi Kaur, she’s the kind of women id want to sit on a park bench with and observe everything beautiful around us. She is a huge inspiration for me, my writing and my goals. 

    How do you practice self-love and what do you do to make yourself feel good?
    I really believe in gratitude, every night I write down three things I am grateful for, whether that be small or big. I believe this has a huge impact on our self-awareness as well as having good outweigh the bad. I even wrote a poem on this! 

    'when you see the great
    as greater
    in return
    the worst becomes
    nothing but
    blind to you'  

    I hope you enjoyed my first ever By Mary Monthly Muse, 

    Mary xx


    maryoutram.com is back with a new look, new feel and new burst of energy.
    A place of monthly inspiration, creativity and education through vision, blog posts and everything stylish.

    I'm also so excited to announce the arrival of some new goodies made by other local NZ babes to my online Shop... with other new arrivals and pieces to come very soon + some exciting collaborations and plans for 2022.

    Thanks for stopping by, M x


    I sat down with Aimee to chat so she could understand my style, personality and a bit more prior to creating my dream race day look. 

    I couldn't be happier with the beautiful dress we created and am still obsessing over it, thank you so much for helping me make the dress of my dreams while understanding my style and wants and becoming a friend. 

    All the details from her questions she asked me below + the DRESS!
    M x 

    MARY x LOVE AIMEE - Interviewed By Aimee 

    What does a typical day in the life of you look like?
    Monday to Friday I am on the grind, I work full time for NZME in my Media job which I love. After work each day at 5 I go to either pilates or head to the gym for a quick workout then its straight home to work on my own business projects & website. I spend up to a few hours working on my business every night, replying to emails posting out any orders from my online shop & general updates & social media admin. By the time I finish my day its usually around 8pm, I have dinner if I haven’t already and then I’m into bed early to try & chill out before zzzz.

    Do you dress for comfort or style?
    Straight away I yell STYLE in my head…. but I guess the weekends & when I am in active wear which is lots I most definitely am dressed for comfort. I do own my fair share of uncomfortable shoes & pants to tight though... and if I think something is stylish I will just make it work. 

    What is your current go to look?
    So I have a couple… (outside of active wear which I love haha).  Boots with everything! I don’t really wear heels to often being 6foot tall already, I love wearing ankle boots with any look so definitely boots and a mini dress + they are so comfortable especially to go out in.
    Secondly sneakers & pants… so many cool pants around at the moment, I am loving wearing sneakers with a pair of dress pants, again comfortable as.

    How would you describe your style?
    I think everyone has parts of their body they love more or things about yourself you like or don’t & we dress to suit these. Mine is definitely my legs, I like having my arms covered & legs out & not wearing anything too tight around my waist too often so I definitely buy to my body & what I feel best in but my style is kind of forever changing. I would say hmmm I guess that my style is classic & clean a lot of the time but then sometimes a bit salty… I like to wear things differently or something random just to show people how you can pull something off. I also like to mix designer pieces with affordable as well, it’s not all about the price tag & if you put items together well this can reflect that. 

    Who is a woman that inspires you?

    I am going to stick to keeping this about fashion…  so Danielle Bernstein (@weworewhat on Instagram).   She is fashion blogger/ style icon who is from New York & I really find her business accomplishments & of course her style so inspiring. She’s the same age as I am & I find her both relatable & inspirational.
    Also my Mum… can I slip her in there (her patience & heart inspires me).

    What is the biggest risk you have taken that has paid off?
    Really has to be starting my own business. Quitting a full time job to do something not many people understood at the time (when I started Borrowed By Mary clothing rentals in Chch no one was doing it and people didn’t quite understand renting as a service). I lived with my Mum at home & invested all of my savings which was a big risk & it has paid off. I have learnt a lot along the way & it hasn’t been easy and even though I am not yet where I want to be with my business I am able to connect with so many people through my social channels and website/ shop/ rentals which is extremely rewarding.

    How would your parents describe you?
    A little crazy haha but in the good way! Also very driven, hardworking and I think Mum would say I am an expensive child with expensive taste.

    What do you feel most proud of?
    My friends.  I have a very strong, supportive & amazing group of ladies around me / in my life that I feel so proud to call my best friends. 

    What hobby would you get into if time and money wasn’t an issue?
    This is such a hard question, I don’t know if it’s a hobby but I would love to do something around helping Animals. So maybe I would like buy a big island somewhere & then adopt a whole bunch of unwanted animals or less fortunate animals, you know save them from animal cruelty situations around the world & then fly them all out to this island sanctuary to live out their lives. Yes I like this idea, that’s what I would do for sure.

    What are some things you’ve had to unlearn?
    You can’t do everything yourself, its ok to ask for help instead of taking on too much.  Also a phrase I really like is… ‘You can’t be everything to everyone’.