Reality

Since August 2015 I have attended therapy once a year, not your conventional therapy and its not for everyone. Most of you who know me will know what I am referring to, but for those of you that don’t its a few hours out my schedule with Dimples & Daisies on a Liberty shoot. I wont go into what they are all about, for those of you that have been reading this blog for a long time will have read all about it before & if you scroll up you will see a page dedicated to my posts about my experiences with the team.

As with every shoot, this one was booked spontaneously, I had itchy feet and felt I needed my cup refilling but I wanted this one to be something different, nearing 30 I wanted something to look back on when I am 60 and see just how beautiful I am, naturally.

For those of you that have been reading recently you will know that I am not regularly waxing the beard & that it just gets a trim when I feel its getting ridiculous. So I made the decision that this time I wasn’t going to wax it, booking the shoot just 2 weeks before I knew I didn’t have the money to go to a salon AND I have decided I will never self wax again. Did I have my doubts? Yes, of course even the day before I was thinking is it too late – should I just wax it myself? But in reality, I didn’t want the pain and I thought would I rather have a rash or the hair – weirdly that is a battle the hair won. Getting ready on the day was no different to getting ready for afternoon tea the weekend before, I did my hair and base make up & headed off to the shop.

The shoot was everything it always is, did I get naked? Of course – it wouldn’t be a shoot without it. But do you know what did happen, it wasn’t until I was stood completely starkers in a field full of corn with my arms in the air that I remembered I hadn’t waxed and that I was there feeling as free as a bird & so comfortable in my own skin with excess hair on my face, chest & stomach – partially waxed legs and well I wont talk about anything else. I remember the realization and taking a deep breath, I had shocked myself about how at ease I felt and how easy it was for me to forget that it was there.

The week wait to get my photos went by in a blur, work has been really busy so I didn’t really have time to reflect and think about the shots. However, I did say to at least one of my closest  friends that I probably wouldn’t come away with any photo’s and I would just have the free one this time as I can’t imagine I would like any of them.

I didn’t realise how wrong I could be.

On the way to the shop, I wasn’t bothered about the photo’s it was almost like I was just going through the motions, sat on the sofa with Holly surrounded by women getting ready for their Tribal shoot that evening, I started the mammoth scroll through 40 odd photos. I was maybe 10 photo’s in before I realised & remembered that I hadn’t waxed.

I hadn’t noticed & if I did my brain either didn’t register it or didn’t care.

I could have scrutinized every single photo after that, but I didn’t, I just fell deeper in love with every single one as they all represented the real me. The one that my friends and family see every day & love even with what I feel is something so unsightly. Did I have a little cry? Yes I did & Holly joined in, she then shared my story and why I do Liberty with the girls and they all wanted to see the pictures and of course said how amazing they were.

For the longest time I have felt ugly and I have let the symptoms of my PCOS define who I believe I am, but as I turn 30 in a matter of days, I am feeling more & more comfortable with myself and how I look. I am seeing for the first time what everyone else see’s, yes there will still be people that will judge based on appearance and not like what they see, but do you know what for the first time in around 15 years I am finally able to look at myself with an honest eye and say that no matter what I am proud of who I am.

So, in honor of my impending 30th Birthday, here is the real me…..just not in my birthday suite!

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Corn II

I did something a little naughty the other week that if you follow my Instagram story you will have figured out, I spontaneously booked myself for another Liberty shoot with less than 2 weeks to go!

I have been feeling like I need a little pick me up for a while and I knew that some time with the Dimples & Daisies team would do the trick. I wasn’t really sure what to book myself on to or if I even wanted to do another shoot, but trawling through Instagram one caught my eye and I thought sod it, I have enough in the bank and I need this for me. Earlier that day walking round the town centre I decided I was spending too much money on food and that I dont treat myself to something nice very often, so with that in my mind I just booked myself on there and then.

So, the other Sunday afternoon I headed to the Dimples & Daisies studio in Southsea to be glammed up and head over to the Sunflower field with the rest of the girls on the shoot. We were all made up and deciding what clothes to wear when Holly got a call from another photographer to say that the sunflower field was ruined & they were all dead, the pictures were so upsetting! But fear not, they managed to source another option and we headed to Lordington Farm to have some fun in the corn!

Its not my first shoot in the corn, but that was back August 2015 and the photography style has changed so much since then and I am a completely different person now to what I was then.

FLASHBACK

Now before every shoot I would normally wax the beard and get rid of any excess hair that my body seems to love to grow, but I wanted this one to be a little different, I wanted it to be authentic. I wanted to look back on these photo’s in years to come and see the real me, the one that everyone else see’s. Believe me, there is no way to feel more real, authentic and true to yourself than being stood naked in a field of corn!

But do you know what is even stranger? Stood there having my photo’s taken, I was embracing everything the surroundings & the sun beating down on me & blissful peace on the farm. It wasn’t until about 5 minutes in that I realised that I hadn’t waxed & I didn’t feel insecure about my body or appearance at all I felt totally at ease with who I was. Sat writing this, I am in 2 minds about my photos, part of me cant wait to see the pictures, firstly how different they are but also to just see my appearance. However the other part of me is so incredibly anxious, what if I hate the way I look in them, what if it gives me any more issues with my body image and confidence? What if I go back 10 steps?

WHAT IF! 

I mean I don’t have long to wait, I pick up my photos in just over a week’s time, so stay tuned to see how things go!

Emma x

Fear

So you will need to be patient with me over the next few weeks/months as after every liberty shoot I realise something new about myself and learn things that inspire how I look at the world and how I can improve and grow myself. The best way for me to say this and for it to register is to write it down. So you may see a few blogs over the next few weeks, or you might not, this might be the only thing I took away!

During our circle of trust, the amazing Jen said something that at the time didn’t really mean anything to me, but over the past few days it’s started to…….

Those who fear something the most are the ones who should do it the most.

Initially, I thought I didn’t fear anything and I am quite happy to give anything a go. Well that is a big fat lie. As I write this, I can think of at least 3 things that I fear doing…..

1. Going to a group  class at the gym

2. Travelling to Asia (backpacking)

3. Skydiving

So you might be reading those and thinking really? Is that all you fear? No, it’s not all I fear – there is so much more I fear, but those things are all personal to me and my journey of improving my confidence and feeling secure in myself and who I am as a person. Those are things that I want to work on and continue to work on privately, because we don’t have to share everything you know!

So thinking about those wise words in the circle of trust and the fact that this is the last year of my 20’s, I feel like I need to own it and not let fear win. If I continue to let fear win, then how to expect to be able to grow and improve myself in other areas? I won’t, because this will always be in the back of my mind and I will always think that I can’t do it, when in fact as one of my Aunties has always told me….

There is no such word as can’t.

So, I sat Matt down and told him that I want to conquer some of these fears that I have and I want to experience something new and do things outside of my comfort zone.

Matt has always wanted to go to Asia, predominately Thailand or Vietnam but I have always been so reluctant because I dont want to back pack. If I am on holiday I want 1 place as our base and then explore from there. I am fearful that I will get lost or there wont be anywhere to stay if we have nothing booked. But where is the adventure in playing safe? So this weekend we are doing some researching! I’m not sure what we are going to do, but I am thinking potentially for us to stay in hostels to make it cheap and affordable. It is totally out of my comfort zone BUT that is when life starts isn’t it? The more I have been looking at both countries the more the thought of an adventure starts to get appealing – I had never thought of going to some of the places we have been but they have ended up being some the BEST places I have been too!

Next, is Skydiving – why would anyone want to chuck themselves out of a plane? Because of the adrenaline and the views and just the fact that you can say you DID IT! I brought Matt a skydive a few years ago and he loved it and has always joked that he would buy me one and I have always said I would never do it. Then when i told him about this he told me he brought me one for Christmas!! What am I so afraid of? I am not scared of heights, I enjoy flying, I like nice views and I have conquered a zip wire in Mexico which was 45 metres above ground and so so so scary, but I did it. So with that in mind, I am going to book it and do it BUT with a twist (although Matt thinks I should just do it for me!). I am going to do it for charity, so other people benefit from my experience too. I have thought long and hard about what charity I want to raise funds for and I have decided to do it for Cancer Research.  There are a lot of reasons why this charity was my front runner that I won’t go into, but the fact that more people are surviving cancer than dying because of it now just proves how important that research is. I will share the link in another post!

Lastly, one I need to conquer on my own. Group classes at the gym. I enjoy the gym when I go, I have a little routine but in reality its not doing anything for me and I know people rave about group classes so I want to do it. Why aren’t I? Because I worry about how unfit I am, I dont want to be the one at the back that is sweating like a loon and cant keep up. I want to go into a class and do it with ease. In reality that will never happen, I need to suck it up and do it – stop making excuses and just own it. I know once I have done it I will enjoy it and want to go back. Its just plucking up that courage. This is what i fear the most. So going by Jen’s advice, this I what I need to do more than the other 2. I have been looking at the gym classes and I have decided I am going to give Zumba a go on a Sunday. I might not like it and I might never go again…..on the flip side I might LOVE it and then go every week and this may just be the kick start to an incredible weight loss journey!

So…..there you have it. I am branching out of my comfort zone all thanks to a little bit of confidence from a photo shoot. How insane is that! 

Love

Emma xx

Our Tribe

2nd July 2017

I did it again! This week I signed up for my 3rd Liberty Shoot with Dimples & Daisies, the wonderful Jen posted on her facebook about a Tribal Art Liberty Shoot in September and again without hesitation, I had confirmed my spot on the shoot. So, here we go a countdown to my next Liberty Shoot, well it would be rude not, it has become a sort of tradition!

9th September 2017

Wow this blog has a lot going on hahahaa! I guess I haven’t really thought about it too much, I am not worried about my weight nor how I look. I have been thinking about going to this shoot natural, so not waxing my “beard” and just being me as I am……I’m not saying its going to happen BUT I am thinking about it…..

25th September 2017

Well the planning and prepping for the shoot is going to shit. I’m not happy with my outfit choices, I feel like a fat lump. Not to mention I have shaving rash on my legs, my skin on my neck is all spotty from where I waxed (yep no beard!) and I still have no bloody clue what to do with my hair tomorrow morning.

Aside from all of that, I cannot flippin’ wait! Nervous? Yes, I always am – but I know this time tomorrow I will be BUZZIN’ and nothing in this world can beat that feeling.

26th September 2017

SHOOT DAY! I had such a FANTASTIC day, it was just such a boost of my confidence and I loved every second. But today wasn’t just about me, it was about the 6 other women too that were on the shoot with me. It was so refreshing to hear and see other women building each other up! Check out my previous post here for more about this!

Aaaah What A Sexy Dressing Gown!

3rd October 2017

At lunch I get a message from the D&D Team letting me know my photo’s will be ready by next Tuesday to view! I am in shock at how quick the turnaround is – there have been no previews on their page yet so I have no idea what to expect. Nerves start to kick in. I reply arranging date/time but concerned that it wont be Holly showing me my photos. I am not sure how I feel about someone else showing my my shots, she has always shown me my photos and I think I would feel uncomfortable if it was anyone else. BUT it is Holly and instantly I feel fine again! Matt has said he will come with me this time if he is back from work in time, I secretly hope he wont be but am looking forward to his reaction if he is!

8th October 2017

Only a couple of days until I get my pictures! Although, since the shoot I am already feeling renewed, a change has come over me, I want to stop being so planned, so organised. I want to say YES more, I want to just follow the journey that life is set out. I just want to enjoy being here more. I have started to think about things that I am fearful of and how I can overcome that. This blog started because I had a bucket list and wanted to do things outside of my comfort zone, its about time that I stopped pussy footing around and did it! Honestly, I am not sure if its the shoots or the girls but something gets stirred up inside your soul each time and you just feel invincible to the world.

10th October 2017

Collection day! Last night I posted in the liberty shoot group to see if anyone has had their photos back…..I am THE FIRST! How bloody special do I feel!

11th October 2017

Oh. My. Life. I am just walking on sunshine. Last night for the 3rd time I couldn’t believe the images I were being shown was me! Lets set the scene….we were running what I thought was late, couldn’t remember how to get to Holly’s house so I was having a bit of a meltdown. BUT we go there – I was early (phew), couldn’t find a space to park the car, so I jumped out the car and Matt hunted for a space. Holly greeted me with a massive smile as always and we started to look through them straight away – I was just shocked with how confident I looked and just how content I came across. Honestly, I can remember the day and how great the girls say I look BUT you just never believe it. But I am learning to! Sooo here is a couple of photo’s that I am able to share as some are just far toooo nakie!!!

If you are looking for a safe place to be around women and you need some strength, want to release or just want a boost to your confidence. Book onto a liberty shoot, it is a safe environment where women are encouraged to share and feel comfortable and just be them. I have learnt so much about myself over the past 3 years and I firmly believe that this is down to Jen & Holly and the awesome company they have built!

Love

Emma xxx

Women Against Women

Today, I had my 3rd Liberty shoot with Dimples & Daisies, I feel so liberated during and after these shoots AND my confidence is always elevated as well.

However, after my shoot and on the drive home, I started to think about how the day went and what I enjoyed most about today and for me, it was easy!

I am and have been for a long time someone who sits and takes in her surroundings and listens to figure out her place and then figure out where I fit in. Today, I did a lot of listening and do you know I what I heard? Women building each up, encouraging each other and just being kind and supportive. Do you know what that got me thinking?

Why Is This Not Normal?

We are all, as women, so insecure about everything, from the way we look right through to our careers, to how we raise our children and how we love our partners. Do you know why, its not because of our arch enemy The Man its because we are tearing each other down.

Why Are We Doing This?

Why as women has it become acceptable to question each other and judge each other? Why on earth cannot we not encourage and support each other? I have seen far too many women/girls/teens etc. judging others for the way they look, sound, dress etc. why does it matter?

Image result for female empowerment quotes

We need to learn to raise each other up and encourage each other and just be kind to one another. After all, dont we have enough to deal with in life, without knowing that our fellow women are ready to tear us down the minute they have the chance?

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The River

4th July

Dimples & Daisies announce on their Instagram and Facebook a grand 4th July sale with fantastic offers, disappointed that there was no Liberty Shoots on offer, I messaged the girls on their Instagram page to find out if they will release any more offers including Liberty Shoot and they replied pretty quick asking me to keep an eye on their Facebook site for an offer later that day…..

9pm that evening…..I have sent a text to Jemma asking if she is interested in the offer on the River shoot – Buy One Get One FREE!!!! BARGAIN! She replies saying she is in – I transferred the money and Voila! We are booked in for the River Shoot! With Hayley having stunning photo’s like this come back from her shoot, I cant wait for mine!

How Pretty! 

Love This One! So Natural!

8th July

Over dinner at our local Harvester, we have a chat about how much my excitement is reaching crazy stupid heights and Matt decides to tell me that he has booked a surprise for my Birthday on the date of my River Shoot! To say I was cross but excited about a surprise was a bit of an understatement.
I messaged the girls and they worked some magic and managed to switch us onto another shoot, so we are still full steam ahead for our September River Shoot!

24th July

Visiting the Sky Garden in London, I can’t help but practice my posing – Yes! I am a poser and YES I love it!

Early September

Jemma and I head to our local shopping centre one night after work and hit the sale rails in New Look and manage to get some lovely pieces for the shoot, whilst shopping we pick out bits for each other and we spent time laughing about how all the 90’s fashion is coming back in – dresses over t-shirts?! what is that about! It was so nice to shop with Jemma, its been a long time BUT it just added to whole experience!

27th September

The day of the shoot, I was excited and nervous and didn’t expect to cry or feel the way I did. I naughtily couldnt hold off writing about my experience of my shoot and some of you may have already read all about it, but check out my post here to see how it effected me!

With all that in mind, I honestly felt soo good about myself and so confident afterwards and even now I still have that feeling going now and I love that just getting your photo taken and being surrounded by fellow women building you up can make you feel that good!

12th October

Photo day! Things have been pretty manic for me lately (more about that in a different post) so I haven’t had chance to get nervous. As I drove myself and Jemma over to Holly’s for our viewings my tummy started to get excited and I started to get butterflies. That was until I realised I had forgotten the Pretzel Bites I had promised Holly and a wave of dread came over me that I had let her down, but don’t worry – she will get her stash!

Jemma went first and had the absolute same reaction I did first time round and it was so nice to see her realise just how awesome she is! Holly is the 100% best person to show anyone their photos, she is so positive and has such a good eye and makes you see things about yourself that you cant see.

I have read a lot on the Facebook page that Jen’s style has changed over the last year and I LOVE my corn shoots, so I was a bit concerned what if I didn’t like these ones, but I really did not need to be concerned. They were ALL amazing, but due to body hang ups of my own or not wanting to come away with ones that looked similar I walked away with 10 photos and apart from 2 (due to hating my fat cellulite covered thighs) I love every single one and CANNOT wait to share some of them with you……

If you are in the Hampshire area and looking to do something for yourself OR want to give your partner a way to boost her confidence and let her see what you see in her, contact the girls. I am sooo pleased Hayley got me in touch with them over a year ago, I can’t ever imagine wanting anyone else to take my photo’s now and I will be a member of the Dimples & Daisies Squad forever more!

Love

Emma xxx

Kindness Of A Stranger

I wanted to wait and post about my shoot once I had the photos back and tell you all about how I felt in the lead up and on the day, but today my writing wall was knocked down and I feel that I want to share with you all.
Today my beautiful friend Jemma and I had our River Shoot with Dimples & Daisies, I have been really excited and looking forward to this ever since I booked it. For me it’s all about encouraging my body confidence and feeling good about myself. I have often read on the Facebook page about people being emotional during their shoot and felt disheartened that it didn’t happen to me on my corn shoot, but looking back I was so nervous and reserved I wasn’t really me.
I am not sure what come over me today, but when I was sat in Charlie’s boot getting my make-up done and she asked me a simple question of what don’t I like about me, I replied with my honest answer of my chin/neck. It was a bit red from waxing my “beard” on Sunday so I asked if she could try to do something with that and we got to talking about PCOS. I hope Charlie won’t mind when I share that she told me she also suffers with PCOS, so we shared stories and for some reason I could feel myself welling up. When Charlie was talking to us all a few moments earlier, she made a comment that really stuck with me about how we can talk to our friends and tell them how we feel but sometimes due to how busy their own lives are they don’t really listen and everyone does the same. Recently I have been feeling a bit like that and almost like I have lost my voice. I haven’t, I just don’t know how to be the friend that needs support as I am usually the one giving it. I found myself opening up to Charlie more than I have to anyone that is close to me recently about my future.
I admitted to her and myself that I am scared about moving out and buying a house with Matt, not because it is a big commitment and lots of money, I know I want to spend my life with him so that doesn’t bother me. What does bother me and more than I will care to admit is the chance that one day, he will turn around and say after a few years of trying to conceive that he doesn’t want to carry on with our relationship because I can’t give him babies and how much of a failure I would feel as a woman and as a partner. Admitting to Charlie through broken tears that him saying that is my worst fear I felt a weight off my shoulders, I realise now that I have never said that out loud, not really. 
To have a hug from a stranger and be told that you are not failure and that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that others including herself have conceived even though they have PCOS made me realise that it will be ok; no matter what happens.
So I had my first emotional moment with the Dimples & Daisies team and for some reason I entered that freezing cold river feeling like I was washing away my fears. Unknown to me I started my river journey nervous about my future and scared that 1 day I might lose everything and when I left, I still am a bit nervous, but I am more confident than I as and I know that what is meant to happen is going to happen. My body is an amazing thing that can do anything, I just need to take care of it and look after myself physically and mentally.
As great as our friends our (and I believe mine are the best), sometimes you just need a stranger to give you a hug and tell you it will be ok.
Thank You Charlie!

xxx