We love speaking to other people about wellness, intimacy, self-love and everything in between. That's how we learn. And this week we learned a lot from a real and thoughtful conversation with Josephine Bredsted.
We love Josephine for her honest and authentic Instagram account, wellness inspiration and refreshing approach to her work - go follow her on @josephinebredsted. And then there's not much more to say other than that we hope you'll enjoy this conversation as much as we did.
Can you briefly describe to us who you are, what you do and how you got to the place you’re at today?
My name is Josephine. I am a creative and kindhearted woman in search of finding what makes me truly happy. I grew up in a small town in the southern part of Denmark, and moved to Copenhagen in search of finding my passion. Today I’m the Brand Manager of Karmameju Skincare, I live with my boyfriend on Amager Strand in Copenhagen, and I use my instagram as a creative outlet where I share my journey towards a holistic life.
You speak a lot about learning to love yourself on your platform. How do you make yourself feel loved?
This is a hard question to answer because the reason that I speak so openly about self-love is because I have suppressed my own desires for many years in order to be “someone” I thought was worthy of love. Only to find out that we are all worthy, no matter who we are or where we are. My first step in understanding and making myself feel loved was by listening. Listening to my body came first. Through eating disorders and excessive exercise I had been suppressing my body’s need for many years. Finding my way back to nurturing, resting, touching, massaging and just being with my body - I started to slowly love it more day by day. I still have a long way to go, but reminding myself that the most important relation I have is the one I have with myself, is a good way to start.
You’ve spoken before about going on a journey where you had to change your perspective on how to live your life. What triggered this journey - was there a time where you weren’t kind to yourself?
The journey was triggered from all the past experiences in my life. Growing up with an alcoholic parent from the age of 4-10 made me set my own needs aside from a young age. People-pleaser would be a good way to describe my nature. I’ve always had a fear of being abandoned. I would do whatever it took to keep a relationship. I would shape my thoughts, patterns and even change my look to fit into a crowd and hang onto a toxic friend or boyfriend. It didn’t help that I made a career in the fashion industry throughout my 20’s. It’s kinda like joining a cult. You all have to think all the same things are cool, that certain people are “gurus” and you dress in a certain way in order to fit in. Combined with a toxic work environment, long work hours and a ridiculous low pay, this was a setup for disaster - at least for me. It wasn’t until I met my boyfriend, that I realised how detached I was from myself. I had played around with spirituality, but without looking truly within myself. He helped me on this journey, and I am forever thankful for that.
Today I want to live side by side with my “shadows” and not away from them. I am a pleaser but what I really need to do is start by pleasing myself. Living holistically with your body and mind means that you accept all of yourself - both the good and bad.
We at sitre believe that everything tells a story and therefore we have to surround ourselves with stories that make us feel good. How can we as individuals create a space where we feel good about ourselves?
LOOK WITHIN! Everything you see is created in yourself. Every time you catch yourself being envious or blaming others, you need to realise that it’s your soul pointing out an unfulfilled potential in yourself. I used to be so annoyed with people who would take up a whole room with their presence, I was like “who do you think you are”. But today I’ve realised that there was nothing wrong with them in doing that, the reason I was triggered was because it is something I have trouble doing myself.
My boyfriend always tells me that I’m more important than our relationship which makes me super defensive. Because does that mean he doesn’t care if we break up? No, he just knows that if I don’t take care of myself there isn’t a relationship left to stay in. God I love that man.
Did you ever experience that your thoughts about yourself affected other people’s ideas of you too?
Of course, but then again. That can never be my problem. It’s merely them trying to put projections of themselves onto me. When I’m getting my period I think everybody hates me and I’m a big failure but then it fades as soon as I stop bleeding.
Do you think that your journey to where you are today has changed your relationship to the people close to you?
It has changed the relationship to my boyfriend, my friends, my family and my job. When you start realising your potential, your energy shift, and the people that no longer serve you disappear into thin air. I’m still in a morning process of that, but it has and will truly set me free.
sitre is on a mission to create an honest space where everyone can feel sexy so we can all feel free to be ourselves instead of trying to be something we’re not. Do you think our self image also affects how we act when being intimate?
When we have sex we transfer all of our guilt, self-image and pleasing of others into it. When we start recognising our own power and place, we have sex from that point of view. We are all worthy of the pleasure we deserve and claiming that in the bedroom is equally as important as in our career. You need to know your worth wherever you are.
Do you think sex and wellness are connected? If so, how do you think we can take care of our sex wellness in a physical and mental way?
Sex is love to others and yourself. Being intimate with yourself is more important than just having sex with others. Taking the time to know your body and your needs is the biggest wellness of all. Whether you give yourself a footbath or masturbate, it’s a beautiful way to practice self-love.
Sometimes wellness can feel overwhelming - if you were going to give one advice to someone who wanted to start their journey, what would it be?
Start by finding one thing you can implement into your everyday life. Maybe it’s being in nature, meditate for 5 min, journaling - just a small practice where you tune in with you. But it needs to be so easy that you can do it every day.
Think about how you nurture your body. Do you massage it? How do you feed it? How do you talk to yourself in the mirror? Try to eliminate everything that is done with a “whip”. If it’s true wellness, it needs to come from a place of love. Go for a run if you have the energy, but not if it’s because you have to. Eat healthy because it tastes good, but not because you are counting calories.
Another tip is therapy or coaching. You need someone you can check yourself before you wreck yourself. I would not be where I am today if I hadn’t gotten professional help to support me. Don’t be afraid to get outside help, even if it’s just for a little while until you find your way. It can be a coach therapist or whatever works for you.
Wasn't that a lovely chat? If you enjoyed it, please share. And you're always welcome to shoot us a mail at email@example.com if you have any comments or if you got any recommendations to who we should speak to next.