You might remember that in the late spring I did my first self-portraiture course with Vivienne McMaster, called "You Are Your Own Muse". It was, as promised, a great journey through using self-portraiture as self care and a way to build self-love and compassion. When she announced later in the summer she'd be doing a special edition of Be Your Own Beloved called "Beloved Body" in the fall, focusing on seeing our bodies with love and compassion, I was pretty excited.
As part of my health and healing adventures, I've been working towards not seeing my body as the enemy. Even more challenging, I've been exploring how not to see my body as separate from my self or my mind, feeling like "it" is ruining all my plans and all my fun and getting in the way of things. Instead, I'm starting to see it as an ally and support that's doing its best every day, appreciating it for all that it does for me and how magical being alive at all truly is.
The first day of the course was the extra long day we flew back to Vancouver from Belgium, and the course carried through the next four weeks. I wanted to share some of my favourite photos from the month with you - if we're contacts on Flickr, you'll be able to click through to some of the photos if you want to read what I wrote with them based on Vivienne's prompts (only a few are private). And at the end of this post is something I wrote the final day, which really captured the spirit of the month for me.
The final day's prompt led me to write this to go with my last picture (above):
May you be grateful for your body, for being alive is a miracle.
May you know that you can make the most of what you have, who you are, right where you are today.
May you be your own beloved.
May you feel that is enough.
In case you're interested in taking one of Vivienne's courses, she has a bring-a-friend deal on till the end of this month for the next session of Be Your Own Beloved! (Details on the discount under "Cost" on that page.)