What does it mean to truly listen to what another person says even when you know it will oppose your own beliefs? Especially when we are talking about belief systems. How do you learn from it? How does really listening change you?
More and more, I crave that intimacy. The raw, the real, the unrehearsed. I know I’m not alone in that desire. We spend so much time trying to achieve, accomplish, amass. We’re striving to meet standards - set by ourselves or society - and this often results in negative feelings. We judge ourselves harshly, we feel rushed and overwhelmed by life, and are often disconnected to our sense of self. The real work, I believe, in this lifetime, is to reconnect with our soul. To live from a place of integrity and hope.
Jessica is an amazingly loving happy person who also has Trichotillomania, which is a hair pulling disorder. She has battled it since she was 10 years old. Her anxiety and a belief that she would never be 'enough' was pervasive growing up and as she got older it led her to drinking to self medicate. Then there was a fateful night when her whole life was forever changed. She was drugged at a bar and kidnapped. She survived this horrible experience, but it left it's mark deeply on someone who already dealt with anxiety daily. Trying to come out from under the PTSD that she now had was an even bigger battle.
Jessica tells us a remarkable story about how she came to finally began to take her confidence and her life back through EMDR work, what the voices in your head tell you versus the truth that you have to keep telling yourself, and how every day she still works hard to believe the real truths about herself.
People are flooded with images everyday and they are making fast judgments about them. Do you want to make a statement that is clear and concise about who you are and what you stand for? Do you know how to do that? Portraiture is more than just posing and good lighting. I’m here to help you convey exactly the message you want to - and I’ll help you hone in on that message if you assistance with that, too.
In this episode you will hear what happens when we re-write our story. Elizabeth tells us about how she learned that she has the choice of choosing love over fear everyday.
Our stories can be healing if we allow ourselves to see that transformation can happen when we choose to rewrite our own stories and learn from them instead of continuing to let them hold us back. Not an easy task, but something that can change our life for the better!
Go listen for yourself. It is another strong woman sharing her strengths and struggles both. Just the kind of thing that I really get into. Cause that is what life is all about. Well, that and damn good donuts.
Leigh tells us so many things about life in this podcast. Like what it’s like to put your heart and soul into your business idea. What happens when you put your head down and work your butt off for a dream? What it’s like when that dream unexpectedly takes off a light speed. How the universe can hear you. What does it mean to listen to your soul when it comes to eating? What real parental support (even when you are a grown up) looks like. How hard it is to raise a kid as a single mom. And what’s it is like to lose someone you love.
…as I talked about celebration I was looking out the window. I could see the trees covered in snow and they were all glittery in the sun. I kept thinking that they looked like a giant party. A celebration of life. And I had this overwhelming download of feeling in that moment. I felt deeply connected to the reality that I, by the fact that I am breathing here now, am a joyous celebratory being.
This episode is a re-release, a second telling of this story. When I first released this episode I didn’t have a producer and it ended up being quite long which I think kept some people from listening to it. So I wanted to have my collaborator, Stephanie Cohn listen and produce this episode for me. She did a wonderful job and I love the results that we created together. So here is the story and portraits again. I look forward to hearing what you think!
I know that even 5 years from now these will be priceless. When they are both 16 and their priorities have totally changed. They may not want to dress up and play tea party much longer. They whisper secrets and draw pictures and cards for each other. The world shrinking to just that moment and that conversation, right then. They are a reminder that friendships are deep and important. But also that being in the now is the way to live.
Jeannie had a regular life, just like all of us, until one day it changed in an instant. Her entire life hung in the balance and no one was sure what would happen. What Jeanne talks about throughout the interview are the small steps she took to put on foot in front of the other. The little things along the way that ended up being huge milestones in her recovery. Small things that were big celebrations!
Boundaries are super important and learning how to put them in place is a skill we all need to have. Come listen to the story of a journey that went to far and how she came back. How Sarah learned this lesson in a big way. Sarah tells the story of what happened to her that set into motion a string of events that completely changed her life. All because she just couldn’t find the way to say, No. It is a wild ride and a valuable lesson for anyone who listens on how far things can go without out that one word.
…Moment by moment an entire year was being fed back to me in this slideshow. Just every day ordinary things. Eating breakfast, dropping Charlie at school, playing outside together, hanging with the guinea pigs, seeing her with her friends, looking at flowers and the ocean and all these little things…all in one beautiful presentation of our lives. And suddenly it wasn’t ordinary at all. It was quite the opposite. It was extraordinary.
The theme of this podcast is, Belief. Right now in the United States we are a part of the #MeToo movement and just finished the Kavanaugh hearings. It is devastating for many many women to know that if they spoke up they would not be believed. While so many women have come forward to share their stories of sexual abuse and stand together there are still so many more that stay quiet. That live in fear lest they should be judged. Sarah was brave enough to speak up. I thank her for those of us that stay silent.
I always like to make sure that kids have plenty of time to really play and relax. When kids enjoy themselves their smiles are genuine and they remember the session as fun instead of stressful! It helped that mom was so laid back and knew that her kids were best when not forced to do canned smiles. Her mellow demeanor kept everyone happy!
Sara was born in Calcutta, India and adopted at 6 weeks old by a family in Maine. That should have been the biggest change for her life, but it wasn't, by far. She faced alopecia as a child and then vitiligo too. Sara was super shy growing up and then found a way to deal with it. Recently she had a baby who also developed alopecia as well. All of these things taught Sara a lot. She shares her journey from India to America, sickness to health, and all sides of her personality with us along the way. Her story reminded me of that we all can learn from each other. Always.
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Britt's story is truly unlike any I have told here before (or ever heard for that matter). It is one of an early teen life full of sadness that ends up with her being kidnapped. And then it spirals out from there. I won't say more, but this is an episode you won't want to miss. Because like all the rest of the woman who have shared their stories Britt's life now is a wonderful happy success story that she is proud of. Often though when we look back we are embarrassed or ashamed of our story. More often those emotions come from things that were outside our control, but we still blame ourselves. And that is one reason why I share these stories. So we know that we aren’t alone. That we all feel the same.
Summer is coveted in Maine by most everyone. It is our shortest season and therefore quite treasured by the locals and visitors alike. It is the time for dips in the ocean and trips to the ice cream shop down the street. This particular ice cream shop called The Scoop Deck in Wells, ME has been around since 1983...35 years! So my dear client Elizabeth who vacationed in the area as a child grew up going here for ice cream. It is one of her favorite places in Maine. What better spot could there be for a whimsical portrait session then this spot full of happy memories?!
I have fallen in love with this 365 project. I have leaned into creativity in a new way. Some days are still hard and I feel like there is nothing new or interesting happening. And other days are about documenting our life which I do love and know I will be very grateful for as time passes and many years from now I can look back at this year day by day.
But every few weeks there is an image that I am so proud of. That is new to me. An idea that works. Something I tried that I haven't before. Some moment that catches me off guard. Light that is just perfect. Or how I realize I got lost in the thoughts and effort of creation of the image. That is when I know how much this challenge has changed me and how grateful I am that I started something that at first seemed so daunting. (s
Cheers to starting something that makes us nervous. To being outside our comfort zone. Where surely we grow the most.