“Challenge yourself and believe!”
Faith in Self + Courage + Passion = Soul Beauty
I am an engineer by training, taught to be logical, taught to be analytical! I am very good at assessing a situation and for 20 years pursued my career and love of aviation.
But, my world tumbled when I hit one of life’s big Ds! You know “Divorce, Death, Disease and reDundancy”, the events in life that pull us up and cause us to take stock and reflect. I looked around at the big job, big, house, big mortgage and big hours and wondered – really is this it? Surely there is more to life, more to my life? I realised that in amongst all of my striving to achieve, I had veered away from my creative passions. I hadn’t played the piano in 20 years. I had stopped creative writing when I entered University and rarely did I use a camera for anything other than holiday snaps. In the midst of stress, I found myself devoid of inspiration. I was empty, my batteries depleted, and I needed to take time out to reenergise and rediscover my passions.
It felt like I had been jolted awake and it was only “I” that had the capacity to take charge and make change. Action needed to be taken and I was ready to question and challenge self!
I decided that my first job was to find the space to listen to my heart and soul and hear what they had to say about me, my life and my choices. To give myself permission to just be.
The second and even more daunting task was to take time out, reconnect and nurture self. To learn what excited me. To find my passion and explore creativity. You got it… the journey towards embracing soul beauty was about to commence.
What amazed me was that the Universe decided that it would help me on my journey. A house was sold, a job left, and a choice made to move to my favourite city in the world (Paris) and to embrace an old teenage passion – photography.
The extraordinary thing – while others were worried about my choices and what I was doing to my career – I finally stopped worrying. I believed in me. I had faith in self and knew that if it all turned to custard I would find a job. I’m a hard worker – someone would employee me. I have 5 siblings and my parents – they each have a couch and there would always be somewhere to sleep. I have steadfast friends – they would buy me a wine and lend an ear when I got nervous and needed support. Faith in self – all would be good. I packed my bags – time to embrace soul.
Sitting in photography class one day, we were asked by our teacher what sort of photography did we want to do. I knew immediately – fine art images of women. I had dreamed of creating images of feminine beauty to help women see an alternate perspective of self. As I wrote in my book “Liberating Self – A Soul’s Journey” –
“I conceived the idea of creating nudes from a female perspective focussed on the inner sense of self. I imagined them showing a woman’s strength, her vulnerability, her courage, her passion and her magic.
I desired to create images of that spoke of spine, self-worth, personality and depth of character. I wanted to remove the aspects of ego and judgment, and enable each woman to focus instead on a perspective of herself that is often ignored: the beauty of her soulful nature, set in a location that she connected with, and at a time of her choice.”
The Soul Beauty project that I conceived was not about photographing the ego aspects of faces and bodies that we are so often judged on, but rather celebrating the extraordinary beauty of soulful women that are willing to challenge their vulnerability and believe in their soul beauty. The first thing though was that I needed to garner the courage to get women to work with me. I had to believe that I had the capacity to create this vision. I was really nervous – but my friends offered support as I learnt and courage strengthened. In my heart, I envisioned the start of a “soul beauty” revolution!
What amazed me was that as I began the project, women of all ages (from 30 – 60) came to me seeking “soul beauty liberation”! Because truly having this photograph taken is a liberating experience. For a few moments, free from the ego’s constraints, the judgement of others’ and the dreaded tyranny of ‘should’ and societal propriety – you embrace your soulful self, and allow it to shine! It is an extraordinary perspective of self to behold. The magic not just in the final image, but in how you feel during the REJOICE photoshoot.
Five years on, my world is so much happier. I am doing work I truly love. I have balance between ego and soul (well most of the time), and most importantly I am passionate about what I do – be it corporate governance, photography, or writing.
I now spend a lot of my energy championing soul courage, and am committed to helping women see an alternate perspective of self – our soul beauty. I believe that it can help us reconnect to self, encourage us to challenge our self-imposed boundaries, and conceive that liberation from the ego’s fears is possible!
The roar of the soul beauty revolution – is growing – each woman who faces her fears and finds courage to listen to the whisper of her soul and embrace her passion adds to its crescendo. Can you hear it yet?
Writing this I want to recognise the woman who inspires me to commit to self and passions – Amelia Earhart, Aviatrix – as she said, and I have found to be true:
“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do.”Liberating Self – A Soul’s Journey, explores the path of liberating self to choose to live our dreams and the wonderment that can occur when the soul’s courage is embraced.
Thanks for being curious to connect and be inspired.