Leda van der Post
I am Dr Leda van der Post, and I have used my combination of creativity, understanding of technology, and my business skills to create my Mindful Creativity coaching process. Over the years, my work has encompassed different disciplines and has found expression in different forms: painting, writing, consulting, teaching. I studied Fine Arts, then travelled and lived abroad for a number of years, before ending up in the world of coaching.
And of course, there has been my lifelong journey of coming to terms with my BODY!
These days, you are as likely to find me at my easel as in front of a computer; dressed in tailored pants and jacket or more eccentrically arty; outside with my dogs or curled up with a book. Happy to be in my own space, and comfortable in my body.
But… it wasn’t always that way!
When I look back at my life, I realise that I had body image issues from a young age.
I can remember back to being about 11, and my breasts were just starting to emerge. I went away with my gran, on a supposedly special trip to visit my cousins. Even though the weather was unusually warm for winter, I refused to take off my jersey the whole time. Because I was embarrassed about these new boob-y things!
I was never anorexic, at least not dangerously skinny or diagnosed with an eating disorder. But as a teenager I did have really bad eating habits, and would swing between starving myself and bingeing. I realise now that my mom worried about me, but I either hid my habits well enough, or somehow managed to convince her that I was okay. Yet, although I never got dangerously thin, I wasn’t really okay.
Mirrors are an interesting thing!
As far back as I can remember, any time I looked in a mirror, the first thing I would see was my bulging tummy. Yet, when I recently connected with an old school friend I hadn’t seen in years, and we were reminiscing about old days, she said that the other girls had been so envious of me. They all wished they had a figure like mine…
I wouldn’t have believed her then, but I do now. I even have photos of me at sixteen in a bikini, and yes, I was gorgeous! No fat tummy in sight!
I know my body isn’t perfect. I still am not comfortable wandering naked around the house. And I do the home version of bikini waxes because it’s more comfortable and convenient, and well, private… But even though my body isn’t perfect, it is mine, and I am comfortable in it.
I got to this point intuitively, using my creative process.
In recent years, I have suffered major health issues which impacted the physical appearance of the body I had just gotten comfortable with. My colon was removed resulting in an angry scar from my tummy button all the way down, and the resurgence for a while of that bulging stomach. Breast cancer ended up inn a mastectomy and reconstruction—physical changes to adjust to, as well as the fear that my body wasn’t ever going to be healthy again.
I returned once again to my creative process, and my belief in the connectedness of mind, body, and spirit.
My creativity, each time, helped me to understand what had changed for me, and to see things from my new perspective. Then I could embrace those changes, physical and emotional.
I analysed what I had done intuitively, and developed it into a 9-step creative process that I have successfully used to help others rethink and regenerate their lives, leading to deeper healing and new hope.
I use my wide experience in facilitating learning and development, at university, in the corporate environment, and with private clients to create a safe, nurturing space for you to explore your own self-expression. This enables you to develop your unique form of creativity, and then to use it to transform and heal your relationship with your body.