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Loving my Self | lifestyle film family photographers

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Recently I had the pleasure of doing a little mini session at home with one of my favorite clients – Jacq Gould (who is the owner of Your Inner Babe, and a treasure to women everywhere). Jacq told me all about how special Valentine’s Day was for her and her mom throughout her childhood. So I came over on Valentine’s Day and we did photos of her and her daughter Monrow enjoying time together, playing with make up. Though it was a very quick shoot, and it took place in but a small corner of their bathroom, it brought up sooooo many feelings for me…

This sounds silly to say, but my own bathroom at home has become a very special place for me.

It has become my sanctuary. A place to pay homage to the temple of Me and my body.

This all started about 9 months ago when, actually Jacq, sent me a text saying “I don’t know why, but I feel like I want to gift you a spot at this upcoming workshop I’m hosting. If you’re interested, let me know.”

I’m not overly spiritual or religious or into the mystical but I absolutely believe that there is something we don’t understand about how we’re all connected. I’m not sure who is sending the signals or gifts, but I definitely ascribe to the belief that what is meant for us, comes to us. So without thinking too hard about it, I opened my arms metaphorically and received my gift.

To be honest, things were so busy leading up to the workshop I had no clue what to expect. When I arrived, I walked through the gate and as I passed through the bushes, I gasped as I saw a beautiful house with a pool surrounded by gardens. We all gathered in the backyard and laid out on the ground while we were guided through hollotropic breathing exercises (basically, where you breathe in and out deeply and then hold your breath for an extended period of time, alternating with slower, more intentional breathing exercises). When we were done, we sat down together in a circle with our journals and were instructed to write about watching a past version of ourself on a projector screen. What would we tell her? What did we see/feel?

I don’t know what the magic is of hollotropic breathing, but something about that exercise unearthed within me the deep realization that I needed to give up every distraction in my life. So that I could finally deal with all the areas of pain I was avoiding.

Staying up late at night watching tv instead of going to bed early (telling myself I needed to do that to feel better because I was so tired from the kids).

Numbing out with cannabis at night to ‘relax, and then over caffeinating in the morning to wake myself up.

Eating sweets and being on my phone too much to ‘feel better,’ which left me even more sluggish and overstimulated..

All of it was making it hard to have energy for the things that mattered in my life.

When I left that workshop, I felt a powerful desire and knowing of what I needed to do. And so from there, I completely gave up every distraction – I gave up coffee, sugar, cannabis, and started eating only whole foods (proteins, fruits and vegetables). I gave up tv and started reading at night and going to bed earlier. I started working out and meditating.

And my bathroom became the place that I would find safety in daily.

Every time I stepped out of the shower, with intention and love, I would rub creams and lotions all over my face and body. I would put on my music and dance naked and high five myself in the mirror. I would sometimes cry and wrap my arms around my body and speak to myself in the mirror the words I would give a friend if I saw her crying there in front of me. I sometimes felt like a crazy person for how much I talked to myself to be honest… lol BUT, slowly but surely I started to gain an insane amount of clarity. And love for myself. I have since had some of my hardest, saddest moments since then. And I’ve had some of my best, most pleasurable ones.

I am currently still on this journey but I will tell you, learning how to let my body feel pleasure, how to be my own safety and unconditional support, how to calm my nervous system (which, is a whole other critical blog post topic for us parents… the importance of soothing the nervous system after years of parental overstimulation)…

This journey of learning to love my Self, it has been one of my favorite ones yet.

So, even though Jacq and Monrow and I only spent maybe 15 minutes taking pictures in their beautiful bathroom, putting creams on and playing with make up. It felt like such a special full circle moment from the time I received that text from her 9 months ago.

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