I am excited to announce I am officially a Circle Leader for a program I’ll be facilitating called WomanSpeak. The opportunity to lead a circle came to me earlier this year and while my gut said yes, my mind said no and I resisted. But, like anything important that we’re meant to do, my gut wouldn’t leave me alone and I couldn’t ignore it any longer. If you could bear with me, I would love to tell you why…

My greatest fear used to be speaking. I’m not just talking about speaking in front of large groups, which would terrify me, but also in small groups. Even among a group of friends, my heart would race and my face flush when everyone’s attention turned to me while I was speaking. My internal dialogue whenever I would speak would say, “no one cares what you think,” “what if you said the wrong thing,” “you have nothing valuable to contribute,” “your voice doesn’t matter.”  I will tell you the story of how I came to believe these things one day but in the meantime, understand that speaking was my greatest fear.

But then something happened.

I discovered Women’s Portrait Photography was my calling. But I couldn’t fulfill my purpose because I was too afraid to speak. I would shrink anytime someone would tell me how much they loved my portraits because I wouldn’t know what to say. I didn’t trust my voice but my calling grew louder than my fear. This sent me on a journey to explore my past, reconnect with myself and overcome my limiting beliefs. An important part of this journey was WomanSpeak. Through WomanSpeak,

I learned to trust my voice.

I learned to speak with confidence, not through artificial posing or rehearsing, but by learning to lean into myself, my body, so that my authentic voice emerged.

I learned what it felt like to be supported in my growth surrounded by other women who were  looking to do the same.

I learned that we have power as women and that our voices matter.

And while my personal journey and allowing myself to be seen was where I found my voice, it was WomanSpeak that helped me breathe those thoughts and writings into audible words so that I could speak. WomanSpeak is about learning how to get into our bodies, into our guts, into our souls so that so that we can connect to those who are listening. We can change the world through our voices. We can change our lives.

I hope you will join me so that you can learn to trust your voice too because your voice matters.

SPEAK. You have something important to say.

For more information, visit my WomanSpeak page and sign up to learn more, get information on Intro Nights or email me directly at hi@judyleephotography.com if you have questions.