These days we know a lot of women go through life being who they think they should be, rather than who they are.
It might be who they think that other people want them to be, or think that they should be, someone they think might ‘fit in’ or ‘be accepted’, the person they think they need to be in order to be successful, happy or loved.
So often the person they feel that they need to be, is not who they are inside.
In fact, often it’s been so long since they stopped to think about who they are inside, so long since they’ve connected with what they really want and what is really important to them that they’re not sure who that person is anymore.
A huge part of my work is getting women to really connect with their inner selves again.
Getting them to reconnect to who they are at heart, to rediscover the woman they are inside and the woman they want to be.
…and when the women I work with do find their inner self again, it’s often just as important to find ways for a woman to stay connected to that person.
To create a reminder so that she doesn’t lose touch with it again.
So when I first met Samjhana I was intrigued by her collection of Goddess Portraits. They were exquisitely special, each one had uniquely captured the inner beauty of the woman photographed.
The more I talked to Samjhana, the more I realised that the process of having a “Goddess Portraiture” session with her was more than just taking some beautiful pictures…it seemed like a genuinely transformational experience.
She spoke of women whose Goddess Portraiture experience had helped them to overcome eating disorders, transform how they see themselves and allow them to enjoy seeing photos of themselves for the first time in their lives.
I wanted to know more.
Being someone who is obviously interested in discovering more about the Goddess within and how to connect with and honour her, I was curious to see how this experience would “help you relax the usual face you show to the world, allowing a deeper, lasting beauty to reveal itself: your own inner YOU”.
So my journey into Goddess Portraiture began.
When Samjhana and I first spoke I expressed my desire to have a session in order to share the experience with others and to help someone of the women I work with. While this resonated with Samjhana and her mission she was resolute that a Goddess Portraiture session would be for me first and foremost. The fact that I wanted to share it and inspire others through it was great…but each Goddess session is about the woman, the individual…it would be my day, my experience, my portraits.
Samjhana explained the process to me, first I would fill out a questionnaire to connect me with what I wanted to get out of the session and we would then have a consultation session to help her to understand how to create an experience that would be unique and special to me. We would then arrange a time for the session itself to capture the beautiful photos and then she and I would go through the pictures to select the ones for print that really resonated with me.
It all seemed very simple and straightforward, and I was excited about it.
So the first step was the questionnaire…that posed some questions that I had to really think about. A line of questioning that explored my connection with nature which started creating these beautiful natural landscapes in my mind…my imagination was running wild!
We then moved into why I wanted a goddess session…and that was easy to answer. As you know I’ve come on quite a journey to get to the place I’m in now…through years of living in the masculine, various corporate jobs, and challenging relationships. For me, the goddess session would be all about capturing the beauty of having finally stepped into my personal power and reconnected with my inner goddess. It took me a long time and a very winding road to get here, now that my inner goddess is being celebrated and embraced every day, it would be beautiful to capture her in a picture too.
Then we delved more into me as a person and on ideas I might have for the actual scene for my pictures before we finally reached the $64,000 question…will you consider posing nude?
Now I’ve never been shy in front of the camera… I learned a long time ago to enjoy having my photo taken. Up until recently though I wouldn’t have embraced the idea of doing a nude photo shoot.
I did a partial nude some years ago, but I was insistent on it only being from the back and only done in a certain way, and I wanted complete control over the situation. My masculine was firmly in place back then, and the feminine flow was nowhere to be seen.
So when I got to this question the answer was simple…I’m open to it, let’s see where the experience takes us.
Having returned my questionnaire the next step in the process was to have my consultation with Samjhana…well quite honestly, we could have chatted all day. It was such a pleasure to speak to her, she was so friendly and so completely and totally present for me.
As part of the consultation Samjhana asked me what part of myself I really wanted to capture in these photos, and for me I really wanted to capture my sensuality….and of course then came the topic of nudity. Samjhana encourages women to pose nude as clothes cover our true self and give us status. Since this experience is designed to liberate you, posing nude in a tasteful, feminine way can help strip away your inner critic and allow you to accept your body and yourself in a new way. We had a great conversation about it and my perspective was that I really wanted to do it, if it felt right and the setting was right for it. We agreed that it would depend on the location and how many people there were about so we would see what would work best on the day.
We chatted about locations, wardrobe, make up, she gave me suggestions when I asked for them, was supportive of ideas I had when I volunteered them and made me feel like I was in for a very exciting, special and gorgeous experience. When we talked about locations I said in an ideal world it would be great to have a space which had trees, moving water and a beach (not asking for much!) and Samjhana said that while we probably wouldn’t get all three…
…when all of a sudden she was struck with inspiration and remembered a place on the South coast that sounded perfect. Beautiful forest area, a little trickling stream and a beach…what did I think?
What did I think? I thought – let’s go for it!
So did I have the courage to go nude and bare all?
…and in the meantime if you’d like to see some more of Samjhana’s amazing portraits you can check them out here.