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Maybe it's because I was going to be turning 40 in a few months. Maybe it was because I had recently discovered yoga. Maybe it's because I finally stood up to an unethical boss and resigned or because I met the love of my life a few years ago. It could have been my beautiful family or the fact that I grow more spiritually connected with every step I take away from religion. Maybe it's a combination of all of those things that have made the last 12 months feel like a transformation.
Transformation" is not the word I would have expected to identify with at the start of this journey one year ago. Yet, here I am transformed. Transformed into someone I finally recognize and yet never knew I was looking for. A woman who is confident, kind, and loves herself first because she finally understands that's what it takes to love others unconditionally. A woman that feels more glamorous than she did at 20 and knows she's more beautiful inside and out, a spirit that finally understands her intuition and the "knowing" she's always felt but never acknowledged. Yes, this year I have transformed.
While I hadn't thought this deeply about it when Lauren asked me to model and participate in promoting her Portrait of a Lady transformation shoots, seeing that very first photo made me realize how "transformed" I really am. I believe completely in the beauty of #nofilter photographs and the natural essence of a person without retouching & Photoshoping. I am my most beautiful, inside and out, when I emerge from the yoga studio sweaty and in that place of bliss that comes from deep connection and meditation. My cheeks are flush, my makeup's gone, and I am simply me in my purest form. So why would I agree to a transformation shoot? Because I finally know that all parts of my soul are equally as beautiful and this gave me the opportunity to acknowledge a part of myself I don't see every day.
Life being what it is, dressing up Veronica Lake style doesn't always fit the schedule or my every day style. I knew this photo shoot would provide me the opportunity to indulge that part of myself. What I didn't expect was that it reminded me not to lose a certain part of myself during this time of transformation. I've always put in effort with my appearance but this shoot reminded me that taking a minute to put on lipstick really can lift your spirit during the day, as can taking a few extra minutes to do more than grab the standard "go-to" dress out of the closet. It reminded me that transformation means different things on different days or even in different hours or moments of the day and that each of those moments should be honored.
Kim, the stylist and makeup artist, is a Goddess who understands what it means to transform someone into who they are deep inside rather than turning them in to someone they're not and Lauren's desire to work with women to build upon on who they already are & what they value shines in her photographs. She is a leader in her heart, soul, and work. Working with the two of them has been such a gift. They sincerely respected me, not the woman they wanted to see in pictures, but the everyday me in every moment of the afternoon we spent together. If you're considering something fun to do for yourself or for someone you love, I highly recommend a transformation shoot with these two lovely women. It's a tremendous opportunity to explore the woman within who you might not remember was there.