The other day, I had the pleasure of booking a photo shoot with my very talented friend, Elis Avellan. (www.alicerabbit.com) The shoot was for gathering materials to use for my offerings, but also for looking into my soul. They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul, so being in front of another lens must make it a mirror. I use mirror not in the "mirror mirror on the wall" way, but a mirror for observing how we judge ourselves, essentially when we judge others. Standing in front of a camera is a very quick way to meet yourself and all the things you are terrified of revealing.
For me, what comes up is the fear of coming across too sexy or that it will be perceived as me trying too hard. When I look at that as a mirror for myself, I realize that it is how I judge myself. Finding moments when I am fearful of fully being who I am, sexy and all. Like in life, I had great cheerleaders today encouraging me to relax and be myself. After a few of the “pats on the back” I was finally able to let go and allow all of myself to come through. When going back through the photos, what I found was very interesting.
I’m not just sexy. I am beautiful, cute, joyful, innocent, playful, clumsy, adventurous, and free. We are never just one thing, even though we like to think that we are. The thoughts go something like this for me, “If I’m sexy, then I’m not innocent, if i’m not innocent then no man will ever love me, and I don’t want to be alone". The more I observe my actions, thoughts, and feelings I realize that I have my own demons from a culture that does not fully embrace empowered women. You can only be the Madonna or the whore. From being fully exposed at the shoot, I learned the lesson of non-attachment to the linear thinking that goes on in my head. Because in a world filled with infinite possibilities, X plus Y does not always equal Z.
In addition to this freedom from exposing my soul in front of a camera to show to other people, I lost my most favorite necklace. A necklace my mom gave me when I turned 21. I have worn it for nine years solid and today, it slipped off my neck without me knowing. I went back to the place where we did our shoot trying to find this necklace. I felt that it almost defined me because I wore it so much. Then it came to me...sometimes to learn the hardest, most expansive lesson, we have to lose the things that we cling and attach ourselves to.
Two things I let go of...fear of fully being myself and letting material items define what love is. My mom loves me whether I have that necklace or not. I love me whether I’m half naked in a public swimming hole or not. These things do not define us. They help shape us. This is how I fully exposed myself to the rawness in front of the lens and in the introspection of myself.