When I used to live on the surface of me in an unbearably heavy armor of perfection, I couldn’t truly see anything. My reality was narrated by the stories I told myself about who I thought I was. My value was enmeshed in all the exterior markers of what my life should look like to others based on our culture’s standards of what made someone worthy. It was a life that felt heavy but it was my normal and despite the persistent storm whirling inside, I didn’t think there was any other way to live.

Everything changed when I fell into a deep, dark pit of despair for what seemed like the 100th time and felt so broken that I had no other choice but to finally stop and look within to examine and process the stories that were narrating my life. Breaking opened me up to facing myself, which I did through this newsletter over 4 years ago and I remember it feeling like jumping off a cliff into heavy darkness. It meant exposing the flaws and painful shame that I had spent my life avoiding and while it was terrifying, it forced me to finally process and release all of the shame I had spent a lifetime carrying. On the other side of that darkness, I could finally see myself for who I, and all of us, was… a human being, flawed and worthy of being seen and loved.

Lao Tzu says, “At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”

Once you are willing to do the hard work of facing yourself, you start to feel lighter and can more easily access the peace within you so that what happens outside of you, the things you cannot control, are easier to manage and get through.

This is why I do what I do. Transformative Portrait experiences are about facing yourself so that you can learn to accept and radically love yourself and WomanSpeak is so that you can finally be the narrator and own your story to process and release what you’ve been carrying. These services aren’t about telling you what to do or how to feel. It’s about walking beside you and creating the space you need to feel safe enough so that you don’t have to hide. It’s about bearing witness to all the sides of you, both light and shadow, through gentle guidance so that you feel worthy of being seen as your true, most authentic self. It is in this version of ourselves that we know exactly who we are and what we want.

In alignment with these services, I am excited to announce that I’ll be offering 1-on-1 Mentoring either on Zoom or in-person. You can choose to have 1 session, each lasting an hour, or book multiple for a month or more. Mentoring is what I’ve been doing with my Transformative Portrait experience clients, workshops I’ve offered, as well as WomanSpeak.

If this is something that you might want to consider, please contact me or email me directly at judyleephotos@gmail.com so we can chat about it to see if it’s right for you. Remember, you are your greatest witness and however it is that you go on this journey, I hope you recognize that you are worthy of being seen and loved, especially by you.

Photo by Saad Chaudhry on Unsplash