“She said goodbye.” ~Bella
I’ve been thinking about endings and how they are gateways to new beginnings. What a gift it was to receive the invitation to join She is Three from Deb and Jennifer. The idea of exploring topics through self-portraiture scared me to death, a sign that this was the next right step on my journey.
Goodbyes beg of us to pause and reflect. I have looked through all of my photos and outtakes from the three years of self-portraits I have taken for this project and I am in awe of what they reveal. I see a woman, at times strong and at other times she’s held together by a thread. I see in this woman sparks of joy married with tears of grief. I see her commitment to showing up even when she’s feeling resistant. She is constantly becoming her next best self.
Thank you for coming on this journey with us. It has been a pleasure to be a part of this project with you and alongside you. Goodbyes are gateways to new beginnings. I am standing in the doorway, saying goodbye to one great thing and welcoming the next.
“She looked in the mirror and felt acceptance.” ~Bella
I have struggled with my appearance. This is no secret. I’ve written about it multiple times over the years that I have been sharing my photos and words here. There has always been something that I have been searching for, the magical “thing” that will help me feel comfortable in my skin. And when I say I’ve searched for it, what I really mean is that I’ve tried to buy it or emulate it or adopt it as a new way to be, hoping all the while “this is it, this is going to be the thing that helps me feel whole, complete, and right.”
This has been quite a year for my family and I. My husband had triple bypass surgery last month. He is doing great at this point in his recovery process. The last three months of my life have revolved solely around doctors, testing, and praying he makes it through each day. It has also been a time of deep reflection of what really matters in this small amount of time this life consists of. I have emerged from this experience a stronger soul. I’m less reliant on finding that “thing” I was so convinced would make me happy. Today, I look in the mirror and feel gratitude for my health. Knowing that all my parts are healthy and work just as they should is the ultimate gift. There is nothing outside of me that I need to fill the well when just being alive and breathing is enough. Everything else is just icing on the cake.
What do you see when you look in the mirror? How do you feel when you face your own reflection? Are there emotions that bubble up to the surface when you peer into your own eyes?
These are the concepts we’re investigating this month at She is Three. As the November days pass, we hope you’ll look in the mirror and try turning the camera on yourselves. It might not be easy, but it will be an opportunity to learn and grow. We gently invite you to share your self-portraits in our community pool on Instagram using the hashtags #sheisthreedotcom #shelookedinthemirror. Doing so is optional. Whether you choose to participate on Instagram or not, we hope our experiments in self-portraiture inspire you, encourage you, and remind you to see yourselves with kindness.
We’ll be back here on the Si3 blog to share our quotes and the stories behind our photos on the 14th, 21st, and 28th of November. Until then, here is a sneak peek from the three of us:
“She is Wild and Reborn.” ~Bella
There are stories I carry. These stories were passed down to me from my mother and father who took on these same stories from their mother and father. By default, I should live out these stories and see them trickle down into my daughter’s hands.
These stories live in tradition and convention. These stories are what people expect of me. They are safe. They are vanilla. They are not in alignment with the part of me that is free, feral, and wild. And I can no longer carry them.
And so I sit in the forest. I burn my palo santo wood, and I ask my guides to help me break free of the old, molded ideas that no longer serve me. I seek ideas and vision what it would look like to face my days from a place of no boundaries or restrictions.
It is new, this wild me that is emerging and being born. And I really like who she is.
In what way(s) are you wild? You might be wild about/for/like something or someone. Or maybe it’s not a question of how, but of when you are wild. Perhaps you don’t feel wild at all, but you’d like to. Now is the perfect time. The three of us invite you to play with the concept of being wild this month. Let the shifting weather patterns of October inspire you. Make the most of the Halloween season by donning a wild costume. There are so many ways to interpret this month’s prompt. Your wildness might look subdued or it might look stormy. Be natural. Be passionate. Be silly. Be free. Be who you are. Be who you want to be. There are no wrong answers here. Just show us your takes on being wild.
Please join us by posting your self-portraits on Instagram using the hashtags #sheisthreedotcom #sheiswild this month. We’re looking forward to seeing you there. As always, we’ll back here on the 14th, 21st, and 28th to share our quotes and the stories behind our photos. In the meantime, here is a little video we made just for you!
“She acknowledged all aspects of her strength.” ~Bella
There are days that I feel like I am a strong woman. On those days, when my head hits the pillow and thoughts drift in and out of my head, I think about what kind of strength it took to get through that day. Sometimes I give myself a little pat on the back thinking how tough I was to plough through the muck to arrive at this moment of rest.
In all honesty, it may be healthy to recognize our strengths and give ourselves some lovin’ when we make it through something difficult. But there is a strength we don’t often see or recognize until much time and thought process have happened. Do you know those instances when we wonder to ourselves how in the world we got through a difficult situation like a health crisis or a loss? We walk through traumatic events in two possible states: autopilot with our feelings below the surface or dazed in shock, unable to feel. Coming out of it on the other side, we recognize a strength we had no idea we knew we possessed.
I’m there right now. In the thick of it as I travel through a miniature health situation with my husband. And sometimes, the situation weighs so heavily I have no choice but to get down on the floor and move, stretch, and shake all the feelings away. I still put one foot in front of the other and I know that somewhere in my thoughts many months from now, I’ll wonder how I got through this. And I will see what it looked like from there. Until then, it is only onward.
There is so much to acknowledge on any given day. We have emotions, experiences, needs, and responsibilities that call for our attention constantly. It can be hard to acknowledge everything going on around us and within us. There are times when it’s easier to turn a blind eye or bury our heads in the sand, but that’s not what we aim to do here at She is Three. So we’re stepping out and acknowledging what is coming up in our days, our hours, even our minutes.
We invite you to come forward and acknowledge what is going on in your world this month. It doesn’t have to be neat and tidy. It does have to be you, however, just as you are right now. The truth is beautiful, and that’s what we want to see. We want you to see it in yourselves, too.
Please join us on Instagram by tagging your self-portraits #sheisthreedotcom #sheacknowledged (and feel free to post as often as you like)!
Do stop by here on the 14th, 21st, and 28th to read the quotes and stories behind our photos. For now, here’s a little peek into our process this month!
“She is ready for new things.” ~Bella
I feel like August is my “shake it up” month. Having just come out of leading a month long e-course in self care means I am ready to move, groove, and welcome all new things into my world. The truth is, this has been a summer filled with so many new things because it is the first summer in a very long time that I haven’t worked at a nine to five job.
I have been craving space in the form of blank slates and purged closets. I have been organizing shelves and getting rid of all the old things like spices, dried up paints, and kitchen items I hardly ever use. I work, throw, move in a frenzy. The quicker the space is made the more calmer I feel. It’s like I know something big is waiting to come in and I am in preparation mode.
I don’t know what it is.
I’m not worried either.
I’m ready for anything.
Are you ready?! August is already underway and we’re moving into a new phase of the year. The summer is starting to wind down and students will be heading back to school in a matter of weeks. We all seem to be getting ready for something this month, whether it is school-related or not. What kind of change are you ready for? What are you ready to do? What action are you ready to take? We invite you to use our August prompt as a launching pad as you think about where you are heading this month. Try using self-portraiture to answer these questions visually. Don’t forget to use the hashtags #sheisthreedotcom #sheisready so we can find you on Instagram! We love seeing you and featuring you there, too!
We will share the quotes and the written stories behind our photos here on the blog on the 14th, 21st, and 28th of this month. Do come back then to get the full scoop! In the meantime, here is a little video of each of us sharing some information from the locations where we shot our self-portraits.
“She embodied freedom – even in the simple moments.” ~Bella
It used to be that I would rush through my mornings in an effort not to be late for work. I simply breezed through my morning routine without pause with one goal in mind: get to work on time. Oh, how things have changed.
At the beginning of June, I quit my job. I had been thinking about leaving for a while but had yet to gather enough courage to leave for good. There is also a healthy amount of fear I have built up around being in the market for a new job. With my husband’s support, I would spend the summer at home while searching for a new and perfect to me job.
Not having to hurry out the door meant I could hit the snooze button and sleep a little longer. I could indulge in a nice long stretch before getting up to pour myself a cup of coffee. Oh, and the coffee! I could savor each sip and have a second cup if I chose to. There is freedom to breathe inside of these choices.
I wonder if when I get a new job I should wake up an hour earlier to enjoy these rituals that provide me a sense of peace and calmness. The sacrifice is little and the gain is huge. These mornings truly make me feel like I’m embodying freedom, and it would be a disservice to move through the day any other way.