I’m not quite sure where to begin, but I feel like I need to get something off my chest.
This is something that I’ve been struggling with over the last few years, that I feel has been greatly impacting my business and my ability to help other women.
I’m always telling my clients to be good to themselves, by taking care of their hearts and their health. So many women feel they are not worthy of love, and are stuck in their shell without speaking their truth due to their own self doubts. Boudoir is an amazing release of that.
In the first five years of my business, I was full of passion and love for my work. I gave my business every ounce of energy that I had, so that I could help it develop and be successful. I definitely accomplished a lot, and looking back and I am really proud of that.
But some other things were not a priority - mainly, myself. I have talked to many entrepreneurs and I know I am not alone in this. We pour our heart and soul into a business, and it’s very easy to stop taking care of our own needs. We start to make choices every day: yoga or work? Time with friends, or work? We consistently choose work, and lose precious balance.
I am of course no exception. In that time, I totally lost touch with myself, and I stopped taking care of my health completely. I stopped going to the gym. I stopped going to yoga. I never saw my friends. I stopped turning to my personal meditative practice and prayer when I needed guidance, something that used to give me so much peace.
This eventually brought me to a place where I felt completely drained and burnt out. I thought I was losing all passion for the work that I do, and even considered quitting at times, because my exhaustion was making me question myself. It’s an easy mistake to make; our passion is a tiny sun within us, and it can burn out. The symptoms of burnout are different for everyone, for me I felt a lot of anxiety and actual physical pain. Headaches and even bouts of depression were inevitable, because my body was trying to tell me something.
The signals got loud enough that I knew something had to change, and I began an intense process of self reflection. I began making different micro choices. My business is my priority now more than ever, but I also know something I didn’t before: I am a necessary tool to my business. And any savvy entrepreneur knows they have to take care of their tools. The happier I am, the better my work is and the happier my clients are. I am in a people business, and when I am feeling amazing, it’s catching.
So, over the last year, I’ve been making some big changes to keep this machine running to it’s top potential.
Here’s what I have been doing:
Getting back into my meditative practice. I am reconnecting with myself in a major way.
Taking better care of my vessel; eating nutritious food, quitting smoking, going to the gym and yoga.
Spending time with my friends. Carving out even an hour a week with someone non work related has allowed me to nurture old friendships and build new ones.
Listening to podcasts and other influencers who provide value and ideas for my continued growth
Most importantly, I had to address some serious past trauma. I did suffer some abuse growing up, and this I think has been the root of all of my self care or lack thereof. I have gone to lots of therapy over the years, but never actually confronted anyone about this - I had no closure. That I would say has been the most painful and difficult part of this process, but also the most rewarding because I feel a huge weight off of my shoulders.
Last but not least, I began very Intentionally walking the difficult path to self acceptance. I have had to face the fact that the way that I was feeling was a direct result of me not loving myself, just as I encourage my clients to do. To me, shooting boudoir isn’t just about taking pretty pictures. There’s much more to it than that. I realize now that I have been given a gift; I see the beauty in others that they don’t see for themselves. I now understand that my lack of self-worth was hurting my ability to help other women. How can I truly show another woman what I see in her if I can’t see my own worthiness?
It is not easy to make these changes, but I’m finally starting to realize how much this was affecting me. My anxiety is subsiding, my body pain is virtually gone. my mind is becoming clearer, and best of all I’m starting to feel that burning passion for my work again. But this time, with better balance.
For the past few years, I felt like I have struggled to connect with my clients in a deeper way. I finally feel that now I’m being truly honest with myself, and with the people around me. I can be open, and more able to help others. To anyone who is reading this who might be suffering from anxiety, depression or pain: if you are still carrying your past traumas, I highly recommend trying to find a way to release them, you can set yourself free.
I still have a long road of healing a head of me, but at least now the wheels are turning forward. I wish to continue on this path of healing, so that I can go on to bring more value to my clients. Often the way that we feel about ourselves is due to the projections of others who also suffer. We make what other people say or how they treat us become our truth. In releasing these fallacies, we have the opportunity to truly shine and see how wonderful we really are.