This is What It Looks Like When You Show Up For Yourself
Today I was scheduled to do a photo shoot. Not just any photo shoot, mind you, but a boudoir shoot. I've never done one before. I had no idea if I'd like it. It wasn't for anyone or any occasion, it was just because. Maybe mostly because I feel more in love with my body, and more in my body, then I ever have. I loved the idea of being seen without my previous critical lens present.
Ideally, I would have been well rested. Perfectly hydrated. Evenly tanned and nourished on organic fruit grown by a yogi. Coiffed. Shaved. Moisturized. The lighting would have been ideal and my hair and makeup perfect.
Because that’s not my real life, that’s not how it went. I overslept. My bedroom was a mess. There wasn't the morning light streaming in that I had remembered usually being there. I was crying before I'd had coffee. It may or may not have been related to my uterus choosing that morning to wage war on my insides. (Side note, being premenopausal sometimes blows!) I felt conflicted and unsure. I could no longer tap into what I had been trying to honor.
I called my amazing photographer and told her what was going on with me. She lovingly held space for me to unload and gave me an out, promising a reschedule.
I thought about taking her up on it. I really did. Wanting that out was why I had called her to begin with. But I remembered what this shoot was about. It was about getting comfortable being vulnerable. It was about honoring myself and the body I get to drive while I'm here. It was for me, about me, about where I am at this moment in time. And dammit, on a more simple note, it was a yes. Pure and simple.
I chose instead to pull my shit together and be the 41 year old badass that I am - puffy eyed and all. I am a Goddess who shows up no matter how messy the situation occurring. I am the one who can pull magic out of thin air. The one who honors every cell in my body. The one who overslept because I spent the previous evening with friends in a state of deep appreciation for the gift that is this life. In gratitude for the perfect synchronicities that occur constantly. I’m also the one who is ever so appreciative of the beautiful people and experiences and stories I've learned so intimately in my time on this planet thus far.
Because I showed up as that Goddess, the pictures are amazing. In them I’m strong and beautiful. I’m fully inhabiting my body. I’m open and unguarded. They capture my own particular beauty with exquisite perfection. They capture this moment in time divinely. The muscles in my shoulders and back that I use to hold up the world are clearly visible in some. My strong legs that can propel me up mountains and move me forward when I’m stuck are appropriately honored. And there’s a few, where my eyes are twinkling and my smile is wide, and my whole being shines through.
The pictures are perfect because they also showcase my lack of cardio, my years in the sun, the harder parts of my journey where stress has left evidence. The extra skin where I have grown three babes. The scars of summer hikes and the bugs and branches that kissed me, not yet healed. The wrinkles that are creeping in slowly over the years. My imperfections are all over the place. My eyes in some are way too serious.
No one knows more intimately than I how much I have abused this body, hated this body, wished this body be different - and I love and appreciate this body for showing up anyway, every single day. For healing when I am sick or broken. For growing and nourishing three children. For allowing me the strength to hold others up. For allowing me to feel cosmic pleasure and blinding pain. For moving when I ask it to even though it wants to sit and for being still with another even though it wants to move. For going the extra mile when it's tired and hungry so I can do the work that feeds my soul. For showing up anyway. For loving me anyway.
These pictures show that body. That face. Those eyes that are sometimes too serious and forget how much fun life is.
This is my 41. I have appreciation everywhere, for the entirety of my journey that led to this moment. This life couldn't be any sweeter.
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