What if she uncovered all of her true self?
Strip it down. Bare it (almost) all. Expose your real, raw vulnerable self.
Seems a little frightening to some, yet for me, I feel most comfortable in my own skin.
Not some factory made dress or t-shirt or even my favorite faded jeans.
In fact, my Mom tells about when I was little she could hardly keep clothes on me.
Self portraiture , to me, is all about healing by seeing. Mending the broken parts of yourself with kindness and acceptance. Learning to love the changes of time. Embracing the whole self, uncovered.
Many of my self portraits expose my bold and brave personality traits, but also the open and honest stories of growth as a weathering woman. The physical changes. The rusty bits and pieces. The softening.
So if you want to continue this journey alongside me, click here for more of my “Bare Beauty” and feel free to join our self portrait challenge this month, uncovering your true, open and honest self. Tag your photos #whatifsheuncovered #sheisthreedotcom over on Instagram so we can find you. All of you!
And if you missed my little video about shooting in the bathtub, click here!
“What if she uncovered parts of herself that felt lost?”
In the last five years, I’ve watched myself change. I’ve seen my body morph with two pregnancies, quickly swelling to accommodate each enormous baby, then slowly shrinking back to my normal weight. I’ve shifted my views of my body, my time, my priorities. Everything went to my children. My body was no longer my own; it became the epicenter of nourishing, soothing, and holding them. My breasts became utilitarian, always heavy, filling with hot milk at the first sound of a cry. My hair stayed up in a swiftly wrapped bun, out of my way and beyond the reach of their little fingers, which tended to grab and pull. Jewelry became a thing of the past. Earrings, necklaces, and bracelets went from objects of adornment to potential choking hazards. Sleep slipped through my fingers night after night, year after year, pulling me farther and farther away from the self I recognized.
Motherhood has changed me, but it has not ruined me. It has brought life into focus through a different lens; an amazing one, in fact. At times I have to rotate that lens a bit in order to clearly see what matters, though. Over the past five years, I’ve also learned that on occasion the focus must temporarily shift to my own needs. If I don’t get the sleep, exercise, and nutrition my body needs, I can’t be the mother or the wife (or the human being) I want to be. But there’s more to it than that. Deep down, there’s also the wish to be recognized as a woman; one that can be attractive, feminine, graceful. There’s a desire to peel back the layers of nursing bras and yoga pants just to see if I’m still underneath it all. Sometimes what I need to reconnect with that part of myself is simply a bit of quiet time to brush my hair, put on a pair of earrings, and slip into a dress that makes me feel lovely.
“What if she uncovered a new layer of herself?”
It begins with an idea. “What if I could bake myself a treat that nourishes my body while satisfying my sweet tooth?” It then moves on to research mode. Find a recipe that fits the craving. It must be a sweet, coffee cake type dessert with fruit.
I find a recipe and begin grinding nuts, creaming eggs, and washing fresh blueberries. “What if I treated myself like this more often?” This business of intuitively creating what my body craves for fuel, for pleasure, and for sustenance?
The time it takes to mix and pour and bake is like therapy. It is a block of time out of my day to pause and dig around for the big questions that sit unanswered. It’s not about weight gain or loss, it’s about treating myself with tenderness and a lot of care. This is a moment to sift through layers of who I was, who I am, and who I want to be. This is the time to release old patterns and adopt new ones.
I pull the cake from the oven. It smells divine. I feel like I’m on the cusp of something new.
As we inch our way toward spring in the Northern Hemisphere, many of us are seeing the last of the snow melt. The clouds are beginning to clear on multiple levels. We’re starting to catch a glimpse of what lies underneath. This month, we’re wondering the same for ourselves, and for you, too. “What if she uncovered” is our prompt for March, and we invite you to make use of it in any way you feel called. By all means, join us by posting your #whatifsheuncovered self-portraits for #sheisthreedotcom on Instagram. It’s always wonderful to witness you as you peel back the layers.
We’ll be back with our quotes and stories on the 14th, 21st, and 28th. For now, we have this little video for you!