Soulnaked Boudoir Photography Los Angeles

Boudoir. Fall in love. With you.

Healing

HOW MUCH DOES SELF-LOVE REALLY IMPACT YOUR LIFE?

Self Love, Growth, HealingMichelle Dorothea TuckerComment
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If you guessed it’s everything, you are correct. Self-love is always number 1, my loves.

You can only love others the way you love yourself. You can only give to others the way you give to yourself. You can only give compassion to others the way you give compassion to yourself. You can only help others the way you help yourself. You can only understand others the way you understand yourself. You can only see others the way you see yourself.

If you're feeling drained it’s because you are giving too much to others and not enough to yourself. Maybe you're even convinced that your giving to others is in the name of love. That is not love, dear. That's you putting your energy into something else, preventing you from healing yourself. People will go their whole lives and never heal because they’ve built this fear that they can’t endure the pain to heal themselves. The truth is that healing is self-love. Healing is you embracing all of you, the darkness and the light. And through this self-love, your true self will come forth.

Photo by Engineerings Akyurt

Photo by Engineerings Akyurt

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Right now is a new moment. Tomorrow is a new day. Next month you could be in a completely different space. Next year you could be living the life that you have always hoped for. In time you can be in alignment with who you really are.

I know you've been able to feel glimpses of what your life could be. You've had moments where your hope is sky high and you feel that surge of energy. You've felt alive in those moments. That's who you are. That's your guidance system, your soul reminding you of you.

Are you listening?


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WHY YOU DON’T NEED TO CHANGE A THING ABOUT YOU (INCLUDING LOSING WEIGHT) TO EXPERIENCE A KICK ASS BOUDOIR SHOOT.

Boudoir, Self Love, Healing, GrowthMichelle Dorothea TuckerComment

The number 1 rebuttal I hear from women interested in a boudoir shoot is that they need to lose weight first. And while I understand where they are coming from, I’m not at my ideal weight, let me tell you what I learned during my boudoir shoot.

A BOUDOIR EXPERIENCE WILL CHANGE THE WAY YOU SEE YOUR BODY My body does not look the way I would prefer it to look. I’ve realized that hating it is not the way to move through this. Learning to love all of myself while always striving to push myself forward is the healthiest way through this. Shedding your clothes in front of a camera, refusing to hide anymore, is you making a declaration to embrace and love ALL of you. This is how you begin to change the way you see yourself. It begins within.

IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOUR BODY LOOKS LIKE I’ve been thin and I’ve been heavy and you know what? I felt unworthy in my own body both times. When I was thin I still saw myself as heavy and when I was heavy I saw myself as heavier. I love myself more than ever now and I am still not at my ideal weight but I’m happier. You know why? Because I’m taking steps every day to love ALL of me.

SOCIETAL STANDARDS OF BEAUTY IS A BUNCH OF BULL SHIT Throughout time the idea of beauty continues to change. If you see portraits of what was thought beautiful in the past and compare it to what is considered beautiful now you will see that the ideals vary. What does this mean? It means it is all bull shit. Don’t get lost in external and fleeting ideas of how you should look to please others. The only opinion that will ever matter is yours. Fuck everybody else’s.

When I finally received my boudoir images I must admit there were a few that I did not like. For the most part, I felt I looked heavier than I saw myself. I told my amazing photographer Teri Hofford and she told me something I will never forget. She said that I needed to spend time with the images that I did not like and learn to love them. I can honestly say I’m still working on falling in love with them but I definitely love them more than I did originally. Most of all I’ve learned how important it is to learn to love my body in a healthy way. In a matter of fact, if I think about the one thing that I’ve struggled with my whole life, it’s my body. And I know that once I fully move through this, I will be so much more powerful than I am now. Think about how far you and I can go, if we stopped hating something as big as our bodies? If we woke up and loved the skin we were in, trust me, we would move differently.

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CHANGES TO MAKE FOR THE NEW YEAR TO HELP YOU REACH YOUR FULLEST POTENTIAL

Self Love, Healing, GrowthMichelle Dorothea TuckerComment

2019 is here my loves. For a lot of us every year just repeats itself. We go into a new year hoping that this will be the year that it all changes. This will be the year that we are finally living the life that we’ve dreamed of, only to slowly fall back into what we have been trying to let go.

The reality is that we will not change until it’s our time to change and there is no magic pill that will give us the life that we so wholeheartedly want. What I can do is offer guidance with the wisdom that I have learned that has helped me. I will plant seeds that will begin to grow but it’s up each of us to love ourselves enough to do the work.

HEALING: You have got to heal. Do you know right now there is so much trauma in you that you are not even aware of? It sits in your subconscious and since your subconscious mind is what runs you, it will always be projected into your loved ones and the decisions that you make. Even in having a perfect childhood you will still have trauma. Get into therapy. A good therapist is like finding your new home. You will know after the first session. If you don’t want to come back then see a different one till you do. Your heart and mind must be open to therapy for it to work. A good therapist does not tell you what’s wrong, she/he guides you so you will discover it yourself.

REWIRING YOUR MIND: The majority of your mind is from ancient cave-man days and it wants to keep you comfortable and comfortable is what’s familiar. So anytime you try to deviate from what you are used to, your mind will automatically convince you to stay in the same space that you are already in. On top of the fact that society is programmed to keep you in a constant, unhealthy state from our education, television, music, etc. Re-wiring your mind is easy to do but it does take persistence and dedication. Affirmations are amazing. Play them every day in the background. I love youtube for this. There are affirmations for everything. When you play them you don’t have to be actively listening to them because your subconscious is always listening. You can write down affirmations as well. Another way to re-wire your mind is to learn of others who have changed their lives. Most likely, you are in your head thinking your life can’t change. You need to expose yourself to people who have changed their lives so your mind can see that it is possible to change and so then, change can become normal.

Meditation can make you feel like you are in another world.

Meditation can make you feel like you are in another world.

MEDITATION: The average person has some 50,000-80,000 thoughts in a day. Think about how much power exists in our brain. We need to learn how to better focus that energy. Meditation not only calms your mind but it calms each of your 3 trillion cells. Keep in mind that meditation takes practice and the more you do it, the better you will become. Do however long you can and work your way up. Two minutes or five minutes is a great place to start. Concentrate on your breathing and whenever you have thoughts, don’t judge them, then bring your awareness back to your breath. The more you practice you’ll experience more and more time in silence, with no thoughts.

LAW OF ATTRACTION: This is a gem that has changed my life. Law of attraction is like energy, attracts like energy. Everything is energy and what you focus on, you will attract more of. The universe will literally create something out of nothing, just for you. Extremely successful people have around 30,000 thoughts a day because they focus and loop the same thoughts throughout their day. They control what thoughts they have and attract what they want into their lives. What can be difficult with the law of attraction is that despite what is happening in your external world, you must keep your focus on what you want. You must keep your focus on your inner world. This takes practice and the more you do it, the better you will get. Research, research, research. A great place to begin is to search Abraham and Esther Hicks on youtube.

HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT: It’s important as you do this work that you are in a supportive and loving environment. If you don’t have that then look online for support groups. Surround yourself with energy that lifts you. You will see that as you continue to shift, you will attract people and things into your life that are more aligned with what you want. Remember, this is a process. You will have to let go of people and things that no longer serve you. You will have to spend time alone with yourself, getting to know yourself. This is detaching from who you have identified yourself to be for so long. It is extremely painful and having an environment that drains you is going to make this process that much more difficult. You have power over who and what you expose yourself to. Make decisions that create a healthy environment for yourself.

Every word on this page is here for you to discover new ways to fall in love with yourself. I want you to know that you can live the life you want in every capacity but you have to make changes. You have to dedicate yourself to let go and grow. You have to know that there is nothing wrong with you as you are. You have to know that everything you are always seeking, is really just you seeking self-love and through self-love, you will attract everyone and everything that you want. So join me, in living a life that we truly want to live. It’s time to stop surviving and start striving. In every moment, we have the opportunity to turn it all around.

If you are a woman looking for support, please join our private, supportive, all women’s group on FB, Soulnaked Collective.

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WHY ALWAYS SAYING YES IS SELF SABOTAGE

Self Love, HealingMichelle Dorothea TuckerComment

When I think of people always saying yes to others, I always picture a woman, more specifically a mother. Sometimes, I picture my mom. I grew up with my mom doing everything for me. She would do my laundry, clean, and cook for me. At the time it was great but it wasn't until therapy that I could see that not only was it manipulative and controlling but that it would negatively impact me as an adult.

For example, when I wanted to move out at 27, she came up with the idea that she would move out and I would stay there. This was amazing in my eyes. I didn't have to move my things, I was still getting my space, and I was getting a reduced rent. In my mom's eyes she was getting what she wanted as well. She was protecting me from the dangers of the outside world and she wasn't losing me.

People will do a lot of things to prevent themselves from dealing with their own shit, aka self sabotage. They'll get into relationships or marry, have kids, stay busy with work and/or others, take drugs, have sex, and/or take on obsessions in the forms of people or things. Among these are when people find themselves doing more for others, than they are for themselves.

Now, don't get me wrong. It is absolutely beautiful to give to others. The key is to love yourself so much that all of that love flows through you and onto/into everyone and everything that you do. But if you begin to find yourself doing more for others than you do for yourself, or if you feel you are doing more for one person and there's no reciprocation then you are doing more harm than good. Not only are you stripping yourself but you are enabling their behavior as well. Plus, you are preventing yourself from focusing much needed love and attention for your life, your issues, and for all the healing that you need.

Saying no is not easy. Some feel it's their responsibility, or they feel guilt. All that is, is a conditioned way of thinking and that can be unlearned. For this you need to rewireyour subconscious. You can do this by listening to affirmations in the background constantly, writing your new beliefs down and posting them where you will see them daily.

Let me leave you with this note. When I am loving myself fully I can give to people who have destroyed others, who have hurt me even. But when I am not loving myself, I can't even give to the people I love the most, the people that make it easy to love them. Giving should make you feel good and if it doesn't it's time to start questioning how much are you giving to yourself.

Sending all of you love, light, and healing energy!

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WHAT MY FIRST BOUDOIR EXPERIENCE TAUGHT ME

Boudoir, Self Love, HealingMichelle Dorothea TuckerComment

A couple months ago, I found myself traveling south to San Diego. I had a beautiful experience visiting Coronado Island for the first time. I finished my trip at the amazing, Britt Scrips Inn. It is a restored home from 1887. As soon as I stepped into the bedroom, I thought I have to photograph here. For those of you that don't know the word boudoir derives from the french verb bouder, meaning to sulk. Boudoir became a room for a woman to retreat to and eventually came to mean her bedroom. If I've ever slept anywhere that made me feel like I was transported back in time to a boudoir, this room would be it. As I looked at myself through the mirror of the vanity, I posed and posed to see what photographs would look like. I've never stayed in a home so old and beautiful. I told myself repeatedly, I will be shooting in this room.

Fast forward a few weeks later and a photographer that I followed online, Teri of Teri Hofford Photography posted that she was traveling and wanted to shoot while she was in San Diego. Mind you, I already knew of Teri and admired her vision and work. I jumped at the opportunity to shoot with her. I thought not only will I have the amazing experience of being in front of the lens but I'll be able to learn from her as well, from a photographer point of view. Now we didn't end up shooting at Britt Scrips but we were shooting in San Diego, which I definitely know I attracted.

The experience was interesting for me. I've been in front of the camera years ago, on stage, and in film so I'm fairly use to it. But as I said, that was many years ago. I felt fairly confident in my wardrobe but as we began to shoot, Teri told me to deep breathe with my mouth open. I could feel my lips tremble. My knee jerk reaction was to focus on being sexy but the experienced will tell you, that is exactly what you should not do. I kept telling myself to focus on my breath and the trembling eventually stopped. For the remainder of the shoot, I focused on my breath and feeling my body. I stayed with my body and really felt the softness of my skin.

It turns out for me, the most difficult part of the entire experience was not shooting but in fact, viewing my images. There were definitely ones that I loved and ones that I did not like at all. The few where I looked heavier were the ones I didn't like. But it was weird because after a few minutes I had the overwhelming urge to post the ones I didn't like. I emailed Teri and told her what I was feeling and she said that I needed to really sit with the ones that I didn't care for. I needed to fall in love with them. She was so right! I needed to love all of me, not just the parts of me that fit society's standard of beauty.

I've never had an experience like this with my photographs. Normally, I see images mostly where I look bigger and they will never see the light of day. I've never thought twice about them. But not that day. That day I sat with them. Looking at them and eventually smiling with them, embracing every bit of me.

Did I post them? You bet your ass I did and I've posted them here as well. The first image you see below is the one I disliked the most. It is not a coincidence that you can read my ink that says, I love you. I got that ink during a difficult time and I wanted it as a reminder of self love to myself. I ended up, unknowingly putting it in a location where everyone can see it when I'm walking towards them. I always tell people if they can see it, I'm telling them I love them too. The universe is so utterly beautiful. It's always speaking to us, sometimes it shouts.

 

There was a freedom in posting the images I disliked. I realized that since I've gained weight over the past couple of years, I've tried to create this online persona where I had not gained weight. It wasn't something I was thinking about. Instead, it was something that was on autodrive. So many of us are on autodrive. It's time we stop and think, put a pause on things and slow down. Something else I realized months ago and I have not told one soul. I hold my stomach in. I don't know how long I've been subconsciously doing it. Years, I assume, shit, maybe my whole adult life. Isn't that mind boggling? At what point did I feel like I had to do that, so much that I did it on a subconscious level. I still do it now but I notice I catch myself doing it and I'll deep breathe and push my belly out to stop. That's just one way I was disliking myself everyday. How many of these am I doing?

It never crossed my mind that my real growth would be in the aftermath of my shoot. My experience with boudoir prompted me to discover more parts of me that needed healing and that's what self love is. It's continuing to discover all of these parts of you that have been hidden, waiting for the right moment to be brought into the light. Does it mean that I all of a sudden love myself fully, no it does not. But it does mean that I love more of me today than I did yesterday and that's the goal. I am grateful for that and for Teri.

Moral of the story, self love is an ongoing process. In every moment you are either moving in love or in fear and it all begins inside of you. You choose what you want to see in the world and that depends on what you choose to see within yourself. I'm just like you, on the same journey of self love. Some are still trying to find themselves, some are trying to find their career, a love, a meaning to life, and some are just trying to survive. But underneath all of that is the discovery of self love. We're all together in this. So stop judging yourself and stop judging others. Stop pulling yourself down and pulling down others. We're all the same, just all in different spaces and sometimes, sometimes we meet in the very same spot. And in that moment we have the opportunity to meet in love or in fear. I choose love. What do you choose?

These two images are my favorites and will be purchasing these as my Soulnaked Wall Art. I can't wait to come home to these beauties. I can't wait to come home to myself.

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