Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! This year, I gave myself permission to not cook and buy our family’s Thanksgiving dinner at Whole Foods. I was surprised at how simple and relaxing the day was. I only cooked one dish, brussel sprouts because I wanted to, and we had a lovely, low-key day. In previous years, I’d be in a frenzy for weeks with meal planning, shopping and then spending the actual day stressed out trying to do a dozen things at once. My kitchen’s small 1929 footprint means we can’t have two people in there working at the same time so I would do most of it. It felt harried and by the time I sat down to eat, I was not much in the mood to enjoy myself. Things were different this year because going on my journey has helped me let go of many of the things I used to do to prove my worth or to fill the not good-enoughness I felt inside.  When you realize your worth is inherent and not contingent on what you do for your family or how much you give, it means that you can make choices that are easier for you and still feel like a good mom and wife. So much of what people believe is showing love in our culture is tied to suffering and self-sacrifice. The more I drive myself into a tizzy to do things for others, I used to believe, the more I am proving my love for them. But the reality is, we’re not proving our love. We are just trying to prove our worth to ourselves and our loved ones. As Brene Brown would say, we’re hustling for worthiness. We all enjoyed the meal together (although the kids were picky as usual) and Thanksgiving wasn’t any less special because I didn’t suffer for it. This coming Christmas, I may cook because I want to or not. I haven’t made the choice yet but we will be keeping things low key this year as we’re trying to get away from the barrage of buying things we don’t really need and trying to make things “special” when the kids don’t really care and focus instead on quality time together.

Over Thanksgiving week, instead of prepping, I’ve been hard at work on something that I am over the moon excited about. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that this past spring, I looked at a large space (over 2x the size of my studio) that really inspired me. So I took pictures and looked at it once in a while as well as figured out ways to get myself back there, including befriending the manager and holding the last Raw Storytelling for Women event, graciously hosted by Nicole of Studio Flora. I’ve been wanting a bigger space so I can offer bigger events like Raw Storytelling as well as expand my vision to positively impact more women’s lives.  With this in mind, along with my love of collaboration and connection, I got the idea of Visible Women Space which is where I will house Judy Lee Photography next. But I know I can’t do it alone so I am trying to bring collaborators with me so we can work individually and collectively to create an incredible community for women on their journeys. This is just one step towards a bigger vision I had two years ago when I started this journey. Some of you, who have been following from the beginning, read about it back then.

At this stage this is just an idea and nothing is in place yet except the clarity of vision and a strong sense of why I want to do this. It seems premature to share this with you and put this out there but I have so much energy inside and this feel so aligned that I just can’t keep it in. While putting myself out there when nothing  is a sure thing brings up old feelings of imposter syndrome, fear of failing, and the not good enoughness all of us struggle with from time to time, I choose not to listen to them. Ultimately, Visible Women Space isn’t really about me. It’s about purpose, service and the greater good. I trust myself. This means that I not only trust myself to make this happen, but also that I trust I will be okay if I fail.

Please help support this new mission by joining me on the journey and following @visiblewomenspace on Instagram or Facebook and if you feel so inclined, subscribe to the newsletter. Thank you.⁣


Photo by Kaboompics .com from Pexels

This is from a personal journal writing shared in the newsletter and typically not shared on the blog. To read these, subscribe to the “I Matter” newsletter below.