Let's celebrate ALL the things!

Let's celebrate ALL the things!

Once a while back, I decided to give mySELF a little bouquet of flowers after a good friend told me I was "a gem of a woman".

It was what I needed in the moment and it felt so good to hear it.

And so I decided to buy the flowers and celebrate that feeling.

I rarely if ever, give myself props for being kind and generous and cheerleader to those around me.

When I saw the flowers, they said to me that it's (more than) ok to celebrate me sometimes. It's also ok when not everyone sees it or appreciates it and as long as I see it in me, that's what matters.

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Vulnerability is a Superpower

Vulnerability is a Superpower

“I resolved to finally have a photo session of my own.

I decided that it was time to “walk the talk”. I was always talking about showing up and being seen but I was also the one that was hiding in plain sight.

The night before my session, I panicked. I felt super overwhelmed, anxious, scared, and vulnerable. I tried to cancel, but that was not an option.

I tried to make sense of my feelings of vulnerability so I could understand why showing up felt so yucky. Why couldn’t I just wave a magic wand and make my anxiety disappear in a puff of smoke? It bugged me, but it made me truly understand the courage and strength the women I work with possess. I see women every day who boldly step through their own fears to start their own business, to get up on stage to speak and find their voice, to have the courage to get in front of the camera like so many have done with me.

And although women have always shared their vulnerability and fears with me before they get in front of my camera, I never truly understood it until I was the one being photographed. Being the photographer on the other side of the lens is a much safer place. Yes, I was empathetic to their feelings, but I never really got it until the day I did it myself.

Vulnerability is a place I don’t like to go. It’s a dark space that requires major trust, and love, and empathy of SELF. Oddly enough, I am amazing at creating a safe space for my clients during a photo shoot. What I had to learn to do was to create the same safe space for myself.”

That excerpt was written by me almost 5 years ago.

And it was eye opening.

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Do you give yourself permission to recharge?

Do you give yourself permission to recharge?

Do you look at this time of year as the time to ‘go, go, go’?! Or do you give yourself permission to slow down and recharge?

I’ve always felt like all the marketing for this time of year is all about planning big for the New Year and spending money on gifts and dinners and stuff that we really don’t hold any value on later and it was exhausting to be in that energy space.

So a few years ago, I made a conscious decision to walk away from that energy and…

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The “Tasting Platter” I received from the Universe.

The “Tasting Platter” I received from the Universe.

That song, ‘California Dreamin’ isn’t too far from wrong.  As I sit here on a cold, blustery day in Atlanta, my mind goes back to last weekend and I smile from the memories. I have been trying to keep a bit of that trip in my back pocket this week when emotional shit has been hitting the fan and it has been a big help. And in those moments where we spiral down a bit, as you probably know, it isn’t always easy to keep the good energy intact.

So here is my beautiful “Tasting Platter” I received from the Universe as I celebrated my newly found freedom and 52nd birthday in California last week.

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The gift I received in California.

The gift I received in California.

My post today was going to be about my adventure as I find myself at this ridiculously gorgeous resort in California celebrating my 52nd birthday along with my newly found singlehood and freedom!

I was gonna talk about how important it is to celebrate yourself (because that is the theme this month!), or how the (super cute) chef made my food specifically for my protocol and then came out to chat (aka flirt) with me for what seemed ages...

But then at dinner tonight, as I was finishing up, I met Deb and Scott.

Deb just leaned over and started chatting with me. And then for the next two hours, we all chatted about so much and I walked away so fulfilled and happy and realized that this was exactly what I needed this evening.

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I hired you because you aren't boudoir.

I hired you because you aren't boudoir.

Me: “I would love your thoughts on this...do you think I should change my name to Natural Light Boudoir?”

Client: “HELL NOOOO!!! Don’t you dare!!”

Me: “ummm….ok...why? Because you know, Boudoir SELLS! And it is taking a minute for women to get on board with Nudes and even a Celebrate You! Session...so I was just thinking…”

Client: “See the thing is Rupa, I hired you because you were NOT boudoir. I wanted to work with you because of the artwork you create in your Nudes and the joy you bring out in your women during your entrepreneur sessions. And so that is why I asked you if we could create something for me since I am not an entrepreneur, but I wanted a fun session to bring out who I am on camera!”

Me: “Oh, ok, wow. I get it. And I LOVE that!”

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How about we f’n SPARKLE instead?

How about we f’n SPARKLE instead?

This past weekend, I received at least a dozen private messages telling me that it was female blackout day the following day and said this: “Tomorrow, female blackout from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. It’s a movement to show what the world might be like without women. Your profile photo should just be a black square so that men wonder where the women are. Pass it only to women ... It's for a project against domestic abuse. It is no joke. Share it.”

And yes I understood the purpose behind it (even though it was vague and had no date or a major group behind the campaign) but I figured maybe it was legin. But that didn’t mean I had to support it because the language just didn’t sit right with me.

And I’m a survivor of domestic violence myself and so I get it. But I kept asking myself,  WHY does it matter that men wonder where we are!? I want women NOT to have to worry about what men think of us and instead show our own selves that we matter!!!

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A Clothes On/Clothes Off Situation

A Clothes On/Clothes Off Situation

Have you ever taken a moment to be clear about your business? Look at why certain things feel good and other things suck!? Recognize your unique gifts that you offer the world? Figure out what lights YOU the f*** up?

If you haven’t, I highly encourage you to do it!! You’ll be blown away by what you discover in the process!

These past few weeks have been have been an especially full of self discovery.  I’ve felt again like I was chasing my North Star and had no idea where it was!

And unbeknownst to me, however, that North Star? Well, it’s been with me, in me, and the most integral part of me the whole time!

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3 Exciting Things Happening Now

3 Exciting Things Happening Now

I am so excited to share with you all the awesome things happening over here at Woman Redefined!

It’s so good to be back after such a long personal break and I’m looking forward to lots of amazing photo shoots and meeting so many of you badass women!!

Here are 3 things that are happening right now that I want you to know about!

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