It was a game changer.
This was about loving fully the person I was in the past, the person in the moment and the one I was starting to become, and to love the skin those women inhabited.
Meg was another amazing soul who has been kind of a pilot Brand Ambassador for Modern Muse.? We have worked together a number of times – once on a boat! The experiences have been meaningful for her own journey and she was open to sharing. And she did – in the best way possible! With honesty and with a whole heart! Meg has been a Muse in more ways than one for me. Her spirit and her artistic drive and her energy is inspiring.
Be your own valentine. That was one of the first things I remember reading that Allana wrote. I guess I could have read it as simple ad copy, but maybe because of where I was in my life I will admit that it absolutely stopped me in my tracks. But what does that really look like? I guess my version is to tell my story?or at least part of it.
This is a story that I don?t share often, but it is time to deconstruct it and own it.
When I was 24, I had been struggling with multiple aspects of my health for about 5 years. I was seeing doctors and going through blood tests and scans and it was scary and frustrating and overwhelming. If I am honest it still is some days. I remember a phone call while walking to the bus stop telling me I had an autoimmune condition and I remember a tiny office. In that tiny office a doctor uncomfortably shifted in her chair and said in a bland voice I suffered from premature ovarian failure and I would not be able to have my own biological child.
I was 24. I had never had a romantic relationship that felt like it could lead to a true life partnership. Like most, I had an unnatural disdain for my body, my face, and everything and well add this,?with three words I lost my femininity, my sensuality?I just lost. It is hard to feel sensuous when one of your major erogenous zones seems like a broken, bruised, failed and tangled mess. It is hard to feel like enough or lovable to anyone, let alone yourself. So, I shut down. Maybe that was an extreme reaction or overly dramatic? I don?t know, but I did.
This isn?t just a sad story, I promise, and the best part I get to say that this isn?t my whole story.
Oh, I threw myself and epic pity party, but then I got to work. I didn?t like how this shut down version of myself had to live to feel safe. I didn?t like the future that seemed all but certain with that version. Reading, journaling, holding my friends, laughing, telling those I considered family my story, creating, dancing, meditation and therapy that became my regular companions. They still are. Things started to shift. I learned to like and then absolutely fall in love with weird wonderful person living inside this medically interesting (actually a quote) skin. Every drop of love I had for her, that was one drop taken away from the physical self hate bullshit that a lot of us carry around. Somewhere in the middle of all this my sister in all but blood who knew my story recommended connecting with Allana and Modern Muse. Thanks V, I love you!
Working with Allana, I will admit being an odd mix of scared and determined for my shoot. We talked before, about things both practical and theoretical. There is a way that she holds space, allows for you to settle into your body, and learn and really love the feel of living in your own skin. My first shoot, bottom line, was for me.
That was the plan. This was about me reaching a plateau where I wasn?t living in reaction to my past and hiding and playing it safe. This was about embracing and gently loving even the hard to love parts. This was about loving fully the person I was in the past, the person in the moment and the one I was starting to become, and to love the skin those women inhabited. It was a game changer.
This isn?t the end to my journey, and I definitely don?t have all the answers, but here is the secret, at least from what I have learned and am trying to continue to learn; sensual beauty, that feeling of being a goddess at one with the world she inhabits, doesn?t come from a perfectly flat stomach, a face with no laugh lines, or sculpted shoulders. It is the spark of light in your eyes when you laugh, the shadow on your smile created when the sunlight shines in the window, and the gentle way your hand touches the fabric of your favorite t- shirt. The most important lesson you can learn from life is to see it in yourself for yourself.
Allana, humble thanks for your artistry to find this in myself and double thanks for the platform to share.