A client story about coming out of her perfect social shell and truly finding her inner most beauty.
Vulnerability is one of the hardest things for us to share as humans. We build up an exterior to protect ourselves from hurt. We put on that happy face so our kids don’t worry. To really open up and show someone how you feel deep in your core is just down right intimidating.
Having the opportunity to do this empowerment session for Shiloah was one of the most humbling and reflective days of my life. At the end of the day I saw a lot of myself and my past in her story. I witnessed the emotional release, growth, and gratitude for support that took me years to uncover. I asked Shiloah to share the story from her point of view and today, I get to share it with you.
Shiloah Avery's Story:
“A year ago, my world imploded. With that I put myself and my confidence into a small, very tightly secured box. I held all my emotions, fears, you name it, under absolute control in hopes I was proving to those around me that I was still the happy, quick witted, sassy red head everyone saw.”
“I came to Danielle practically shaking with excitement and told her I wanted to do a photo shoot for my birthday. I told her my hopes of glitter and balloons and bloody Mary’s as I rang in my 30th birthday with the cliché over the top obnoxious photoshoot. Because why not?! It fit me to a T.”
“Little did I know as Danielle and I talked, the vision of a fun sassy and extremely cocky shoot fell to the wayside. I was tired of hiding and pretending I was okay. I was tired of the expectation to project what others deemed as a comfortable version of me. So, I sent photos and my ideas of raw, earth shattering, heart wrenching emotions I wanted to portray.”
“The day of the shoot I had no idea what I was doing. Absolutely none. I giggled and joked around for the first set, did a wardrobe change and kind of just stood there. Danielle took over. She posed me, showed me how to project my feelings throughout my entire being and to look straight into the camera and make someone feel that heart wrenching, gut sinking feeling with your eyes. As we seemed to find a rhythm of confidence through some ripped jeans and leather jacket, I felt myself opening that teeny tiny box, without shame or fear of ridicule.”
“The last part of the shoot I begged to stop at a gas station, I bought a can (yes, I said can) of wine and power chugged it. Aiming to calm my fears and just finally let go of this unbearably heavy baggage I’d carried for so long. I removed all my makeup, and took every bit of myself I could down to a raw vulnerable version I had suppressed and smothered for so long. And the entire time, Danielle held my hand. She encouraged me, she empowered me. She let me stumble and learn as she guided me with a gentle heart and sense of humor that relaxed me.
"As I curled my arms around myself and let myself feel I could hear the quiet click of the camera, and I lost it. I stopped trying to show a version of me others wanted. I cried, laughed at myself for crying, then allowed myself to begin to find a way to heal.”
“By the end of the shoot Danielle and I were both in tears. I didn’t have to say anything, she knew. She knew that by simply letting me be and supporting that, it had regenerated my ability to pull myself back up from the depths of turmoil. “
“There are so many things I could say to praise Danielle and her work, but honestly, my story and my experience I would have trusted to no one else and for that I am eternally grateful.”
Did anyone else tear up?....
If there is one thing I’ve learned in my life, it’s to allow people to just let go and be ready to hug them like your life depends on it. Sometimes that’s all we need, to be seen, to be heard, to be accepted and loved no matter what. These moments in my career are the ones that really just punch me in all the feels. I get emotional when my clients have that ah-ha moment; that deep breath, the tears that fall, the deep reality that you are enough and even at your most raw, you are beautiful
Thank you Shi for sharing this story with us <3