Is That Alright With You?

Is That Alright With You?

I was driving today listening to my favorite album, A Star is Born, and the LOVE song “Is That Alright With You” came on.

I felt the nudge to listen to this song with different ears…as if it was a part of me that was singing/communicating to another part of me…

I was reminded of how we are our OWN love story…something I discovered during the Radical Acceptance Retreats hosted by Keri-Anne Livingstone. And these lyrics struck a literal chord in me:

✨I would be honored if you would take me AS I AM

✨I want you to LOOK right in my EYES

✨To TELL me YOU LOVE ME, to BE by my SIDE.

These powerful words beautifully describe what I hold space for with my camera. This photography element I offer is never just about the pictures…it’s an opportunity…just like the retreat is…to experience and show up for yourself differently...with no expectations of what that “should” look like.

Allowing yourself to be photographed with this intention is such a powerful declaration of respect to YOU by YOU…it’s you honoring your body, your story, your emotions, your expressions- ALL the pieces of you- however they show up…AS IS…in that moment.

Would it be radical to say that letting yourself experience being seen, witnessed, and photographed like this…is an embodiment of unconditional LOVE… “To take you as you are, To look at yourself in the eyes, To tell you you love you, To be by your side”.

Gosh it’s an honor to provide an opportunity and hold space for THAT.

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Dance with Fear

Dance with Fear

Dance with fear.

Dance with done.

Dance with the resistance.

Dance with each other.

Dance with art.

-Seth Godin (The Icarus Deception)



 I do the tango with fear and resistance every day I create art or share it.

Especially with this particular magical shoot…where I traveled wayyyyyyyy outside of MANY comfort zones for it to even happen:

 First, by attending an artist retreat in all the uncomfortable-ness that occurs being an awkward introvert…while also doing the daily emotional/mental work of allowing myself to be seen and show up fully…always kindly reminding myself that I’m worthy of existing and being here in the beautiful body I’m in.

 The second comfort zone I blew up was by volunteering to create art with Sheila during a workshop…in front of a group of peers and an amazing cinematographer…with equipment functions/video techniques that I just learned and I’ve never used before…oh and did I mention this footage is what was going to be used in the second half of the workshop for demonstration purposes. No pressure. Teehee.

 And thirdly…I honored my “unconventional” and sometimes not understood style of shooting...which is less about posing and more about letting intuition direct…and honoring the heart in front of my camera by documenting what wants to be expressed and the essence of who they are. I know…it’s deep…and that’s the way I roll. Publicly declared now.

 I share all of this to do what I’m here to do. To show up for me and to help YOU show up for YOU. To acknowledge the fact that this dance with life/fear/resistance/art can be hard, uncomfortable…AND joyful, AND liberating!

 It may sometimes feel like you might spontaneously combust from showing up so vulnerably. But the benefits of letting yourself be seen and fully expressed brings a huge dose of self-respect and courage to do even more scarier things.

 It also offers opportunities for you and others to experience each others gifts, and introduces amazing likeminded hearts into your world…like Sheila…who come to find out is one of the most amazing humans with the biggest heart and who’s on a similar mission of empowering women. She’s an absolute inspiration and I’m so grateful that we both said yes to this dance with art.


Acknowledgements:

Model/Bright Light/Fellow Body Love Advocate: Sheila Eden

Video shot by and edited by muah…Victorea (Tori) Austin

Filmed during Devin Schiro’s workshop at Brooke Shaden’s Promoting Passion Convention in Joshua Tree.



Running With The Wolves

Running With The Wolves

✨Running With The Wolves✨

My heart still beats and my skin still feels
My lungs still breathe, my mind still fears

My ears can hear and my mouth can speak
My spirit talks, I know my soul believes

-Lyrics from our current muse, Aurora- who's art is very much appreciated by Kloe and I....and is inspiring us to create meaningful pieces together. Is there a song that MOVES you to create what’s in your heart?

🐺Model and concept by: Kloe Austin

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FULL Permission to be YOU

FULL Permission to be YOU

“Fear and anxiety are bags we've carried for so long (and so well) we don't even know how heavy they are ... until they're gone. We deserve to feel safe and free to BE our FULLEST TRUEST SELF in our life, relationships and work. No exceptions.”

-Keri-Anne Livingstone

A gigantic THANK YOU to Michelle for sharing your story and heart…and humor! It’s truly an honor to witness and share your journey that so many of us resonate with.

How JOY shows up

How JOY shows up

JOY shows up in massive proportions when you begin to show up for yourself in places and ways that you haven't let yourself before.

This was taken at the last Radical Acceptance Retreat hosted by Keri-Anne Livingstone, and I’m so glad she grabbed my camera for a moment to also document me on the most liberating and incredible journey I have ever experienced and photographed.

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Radical Acceptance

Radical Acceptance

I had no words...NO words...that seemed even close to being able to describe what took place. And I remember thinking...thank gawd I’m a photographer because I don’t think any form of verbal/written language could even touch the surface of communicating THIS lol...that was UNTIL our beautiful writer friend Audra Erwin made our hearts burst on the last morning as she read us her thoughts from her journal 📝 It’s such a true and powerful description of Radical Acceptance during Keri-Anne Livingstone’s retreat...one of the most powerful experiences I’ve ever been a part of and have the honor of documenting✨

We Are Our Own Love Story

We Are Our Own Love Story

The world can’t not change with this lady doing her thang.

Thank you Keri-Anne Livingstone for creating this container and inviting me into the most beautiful space of sisterhood I have ever witnessed. I have an unwavering faith in myself and women again.

Thank you ladies Lisa McCallumAngela M. SmithAudra ErwinKelly Crowe Guiberson, Shayla Roulston for all that you were…and for allowing me into this sacred space to capture the realness.

Your truth is beautifully potent.

And thank you Anna Kristina Jarosz-Loomis for unknowingly creating the most perfect music that helps us celebrate what this event was all about…a love that we can hold first for ourselves and then to others.

We are our own love story. And there is a part of us that will always patiently wait until we are ready to fully accept ourselves. "I want to tell you more and more that I love you.” How radical is that :)

WE are the Magic

WE are the Magic

We do not need magic to change the world. 
We carry ALL the power INSIDE ourselves ALREADY. 
We have the power to imagine better.

-J.K. Rowling

In frame: Kloe Austin

Happy Birthday Love!

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Together We Felt Free

Together We Felt Free

“We laughed, we cried, we came undone and put ourselves back together again - liberated to express our FULL MESSY Self and in doing so, declared OUR own unique way forward.

We felt seen, safe and fully supported in TRUE sisterhood, without comparison or competition, honoured and respected for our unique thoughts, feelings and perspectives.

Together, we felt free.

Thank you Victorea (tori) Austin for capturing the Radical Acceptance Retreat Experience on video, showcasing the love, badass vulnerability and courageous connection that occurred inside and out on Galiano Island last weekend.”

-Keri-Anne Livingstone of Daring to Suck and Host of Radical Acceptance Retreats



A Peek Into The Real

A Peek Into The Real

Wishing good hair and head days would sync up lol. I guess I’ll settle for good hair day lol. This is what moving through shiz feels like. Dipping a toe...or eye in the light 😬Keep on keeping on 😘

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Falling Back in Love with Being Alive

Falling Back in Love with Being Alive

I did one crazy thing last year that has created such an amazing ripple effect in my life...

And If I hold it in any longer, I would feel like I’m doing a disservice to my people lol. Last year I made one of my biggest & spontaneous leaps and booked an artist retreat (Promoting Passion by Brooke Shaden) on the other side of the country for my husband and I. Here’s the kicker…I didn’t even consult said husband before I did it lol. It was one of those things I saw and immediately knew we both NEEDED to be there, and if I didn’t take action right then in that moment…I knew I would talk myself out of it.

I remember being so giddy that I called my friend to tell her what I had just done, and she thought I was off my rocker lol. But somehow I just knew in my bones it was the right decision for us. And oh my goodness it was!

When Bill got home from work, I was like one crazy mischievous ball full of excitement and buzzing with energy. He took one look at my ginormous grin on my silly face and asked, “WHAT DID YOU DO?” I started talking really really fast and spilled the beans right there in the hallway. He stood for half a second in shock before we both just started jumping up and down clapping our hands together like kids on Christmas morning lol.

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That decision has literally changed the trajectory of our lives. We gained a new family and lifelong friends, Bill and I got to recharge and build our relationship even further, and my inner artist got brave and decided to come out and play.

I’m so grateful I listened to my intuition that day and didn’t dismiss it as the crazy irrational voice lol. All the events from that moment on have led me to where I am now- which is happily packing for my next retreat where I have been asked to create art for the amazing women who are taking a chance on themselves…just like I did a year ago. It’s hosted by my dear friend Kerri-Anne Livingstone, and my heart couldn’t be more happier to share her with you and to go on this adventure and witness the magic that is going to happen for the attendees. 

 

Let your intuition lead ya…and start falling back in love with life.

 

I'll leave ya with a tune from Kesha- whom I lovingly call my spirit animal lol. Her music has helped me put my big girl panties on to keep doing my thang ;)

I've Never Been so WARM in the COLD

I've Never Been so WARM in the COLD

The weather today was the perfect nudge to show ya something from colder days. Mmmmm colder days…that reminds me of something my soul sista Amy said when I took her out on this winter adventure. She said, “I’ve never been so warm in the cold.”

Those words have stuck in my brain, and I’ve been pondering about how it pertains to not just our fun little photog experience, but to life and how we allow ourselves to feel and move through our internal seasons.

Some of our "winters" and hibernation times are longer than others…and that’s OK. 
We don’t have to make our path wrong or get frozen in self-critique for not being where we “think” we should be. Be warm to yourself…even if you have long “Game of Throne” winters, or if you jump back and forth between seasons like Utah lol.

Nature offers the perfect metaphors, and just how it gives plants a season to rest, rejuvenate, and grow- we get to do the same…without the freak’n frack’n guilt ;)

Joy is our default…our birthright. Did you know that? I didn’t. I thought it was something you had to create. Keri-Anne Livingstone reminded me of that when we were having a conversation about our shared love of nature and how we both incorporate it into our work. Nature helps us shed all the layers- to get back to our default setting of joy.

If you’ve seen any of my videos, you might get the idea of how that works and how much fun we have out there making memories and shedding the crap-olah lol.

So as I move through my own seasons, I’m here to help you do the same. In a few weeks I will be playing along with Keri-Anne at her retreats and creating portraits for the lovely ladies who are attending.

I’ve also left my calendar open a few days in April & May while I’m in Richmond, BC Canada if you want to go hang out or be a part of a my new fine art series I’m creating. It’s a project that’s close to my heart and I would love to invite you to hop on a call with me so we can have some photog fun ☺ Until then, Be warm to you. Muah ☺