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Article: Maureen Cooper

Maureen Cooper

Who is Maureen? 

I am a dual citizen of both Australia and Canada.  I am a middle-aged mum of three beautiful school age children. I also have a professional career as a Doctor of Veterinary Oncology. 

What are your passions in life? 

Anything to do with water (my Grandma used to joke that we should have gills)! I'm also passionate about the environment. I think there are simple daily decisions we can all make (without big fanfare or attention ) to improve our planet. I am also passionate about sport, I have recently started running. I also sail, bike, swim -  I'll  try almost any activity!

What is the lesson in life you live by?

I'm not sure if this is a lesson per-say, but I seem to have developed this trait where I can always find the good in someone. I try not to be negative and look for fault. Rather I aim to practise empathy, often when we get angry over a situation or at a person there is more to the issue that we may not be aware of.

I also think a really simple thing is to always put yourself in someone else's shoes,  but really do it, don't just say it! Be  positive. I challenge all of you who read this to look at their friends and people who you're in contact with and try to find at least one nice or inspiring thing about them, and then try to remember this next time you bump into them. Don't judge people, again, we don't know what they might be going through or how they're feeling and largely we should not let ourselves be affected by other people's actions. 

How do you practise self-care / self-love?

Even when I'm tired I still make a point of doing things which I think will help my body. For me, being physically active always helps; so even after a busy day, I will still go for a run. Whilst I might hate the first 5-10 minutes,  I always enjoy the after feeling and I've also realised that this is setting a good example to my young girls. Running can be a good time to reflect. Tonight I kept thinking how appreciative I was for the unique voice of the lead singer in Cat Empire, he got me through the run! 

I'm also not afraid to eat things that make me feel good, mainly dark chocolate and quite a lot of sweets! Baking can be a stress relief for me, but so can eating!  I think I counter this by not eating a lot of processed foods. It wasn't a decision I outright made, rather more of a transition that sort of happened. I don't look badly upon people who eat 'bad' food but it's just not something that sits well with me so I eat differently. 

Another way to practise self-care is to involve friends. I feel that if you have a difficult job/decision/task that needs to get done, you should share it with someone. If it is a particularly onerous task, involve a tough friend who you know is going to kick your bottom and hold you accountable so you actually follow through!

Why do you think self-care is so important?

I guess it is pretty simple in my mind - if we don't take care of ourselves how can we fill our other roles (friend, mum, employee, member of our community etc)? It's like the old adage about the oxygen mask in the aeroplane and how we need to take care of ourselves first before we can help others. 

How do you ensure you prioritise the time to focus on your wellness journey?

I definitely don't have this down pat. Although, I really do enjoy getting older. I feel I can read my body so much better both physically and mentally. I can tell now when I am starting to feel low. I have a list of things that usually help me through these periods. I suppose I prioritise my journey by listening to my own body and learning how to say no when I need a break. 

I also have little micro moments in the day to recharge. I aim to laugh every day. If you are struggling to find something funny, try watching the reaction of people at traffic lights when you wave emphatically at them or stick your tongue out at a young child when you're doing your supermarket shopping and last but not least, a fart is always funny (my dad taught me that one!). 

Who inspires you the most and why?

There are a lot of people I admire, I really think I can see good bits in almost every person I meet (see above!). So, I suppose these people inspire me daily, but here are a few that come to mind from my life journey so far:

-The hard-working and generous women of rural Saskatchewan where I grew up. They taught me a sense of community, hard work ethic and the value of sharing food.

-The women at my local yacht club, especially the ones a generation or so above me and the ones which have taken leadership roles. They are such good sailors physically and they also demonstrate how to work together in a volunteer club.  These women have also been good examples of how to juggle being a mum, having a career yet also taking time to do a physical activity for themselves.

- From a physical perspective, a good friend in the United Kingdom inspired me to try running and still inspires me every week to keep up the habit. I'm also inspired by the lovely running community at Parkrun in Hastings. We're just a group  of everyday people who get up each Saturday morning, smile, have a chat and then we all share a run together, how beautiful! 

I'm sure I could find something enduring even about the kid at the Aldi check out this afternoon if I think hard about it! 

What is your favourite FRII[S]MITH product and why?

The i am [vitality] active night serum! There must be something magic in the serum because about 20 seconds after I apply it to my face I think I look amazing! 

What does radiance mean to you?

Even though we usually think of radiance as a descriptive word for the appearance of something on the outside, I think it comes from the inside. I can now appreciate people who seem to ooze radiance and whilst they may not meet the criteria to be a supermodel by society's standards, somehow they seem so much better to me. Sadly this can't be bottled, it needs to come from within, although the FRII[S]MITH products do seem to help!

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