Self-care is not necessarily what we've been told it is; it goes much deeper. It encompasses activities and practices that nourish your mind, body, and soul, allowing you to thrive in all aspects of our lives. I've been pondering on the transformative power of self-care, particularly in the context of travel, nature, and authentic expression. By understanding and prioritising your unique self-care needs, you can live in your fullest, most radical self-expression.
The Healing Essence of Travel
Travel is good for the soul. The things I have seen because I have a camera in my hand is something I never take for granted.
I know it's a privilege to be able to travel. That's why I am so passionate about sharing what I see.
Through travel I find myself in spaces that are medicine for the heart and mind, elemental connection to source and for me the most connected self-care.
Being a Creative: Balancing Doing and Being
As a creative, there is often a balance between being doing and being.
People often ask me ‘don’t you want to just go away and put your camera down?'
No way! My creative eye can't be turned off. I'll always see epic light painting, or something so fleeting I am in disbelief that I saw it. I want to capture it all.
I can only liken this feeling to a kind of heat or a zing; it's an energy that flows through me. It's such a deep connection to and admiration of the world around me, that if something piques my attention I want to honour it by painting that moment on my camera sensor.
This energy can't be dampened, it is like air or lifeblood to me. To dampen it would be like pouring water on the flames that fuel my soul.
Nature: A Meditative Playground
These moments are what self-care looks like for me.
Meditative experiences of being in nature, as part of nature, creating with the energy that flows in the light and life around us in the most free-range way.
It’s through travel, exploration and adventure where I consciously connect to nature in its most raw and abundant forms.
Often I find the beauty of it overwhelming.
It is often only when I edit that I start to assimilate what I've seen. To begin processing the things I find so awe-inspiring. Being so absorbed in the moment and simply being present, taking photos feels subconscious to me. They’re just an innate response in that moment.
When I travel, I have space to think. I’ve been pondering whether we pay enough attention to what we truly need, and what our self care gets to be?
Or are we so used to being told what self care is, that we just do what everyone else is doing to self care and never feel nourished?
Exploring Grief and Personal Self-Care
Last month my husband and I travelled to Wales before heading north to Scotland. Our adventures in Pembrokeshire took us snorkelling off the majestic island of Skomer with puffins, and a lucky encounter with an incredibly inquisitive seal. Another snorkel at St Bride’s Haven afforded me my long dreamed for first in-water encounter with an enormous barrel jellyfish!
If you’ve journeyed with me for a while, you’ll know of my obsession with jellyfish. This was a life highlight for sure!
From Wales we headed north to Scotland. A journey veiled in loss as we waited for a family funeral, and where we spent a lot of time appreciating nature and the clear seas.
On a day Mark was remote working, one last space on a boat tour to the Isle of May (an island with puffins) landed in my awareness. I felt the call to go and had an early start heading to Dunbar harbour on the east coast of Scotland.
Travelling solo, with my gaze softening into the distance, thousands upon thousands of seabirds filled the skies. I had the space to think about what grief gets to look like.
While society constructs a version of what it should look like, in reality, it’s different for each and every one of us.
The construct of what grief and self-care should be isn’t necessarily what they ought to be
We’re all unique and what we all need to grieve and care for ourselves is similarly personal.
For me, in this moment of sadness, I felt pulled to return to nature to fill myself up so I could pour from a fuller cup and support everyone around me.
The sun so warm and soothing, the alchemy of the birds demanded your full attention. Their collected cries and calls overpowering any internal chatter with charming ease. The saline breeze giving soothing spaciousness with each breath.
Going to a place where I was fully immersed in what was happening in front of me, in those magical, liminal moments, was exactly what I needed.
Whilst we spend time in Scotland in most seasons each year, after this trip, another piece of my heart was entrusted to these lands.
There was a deep rooted sadness leaving our most northern land. Not only because of the obvious loss we experienced, but also in the knowing it’s filled with an abundance of nature, which I can’t get to at the drop of a hat from my home on the south coast.
I drove home dreaming of after-work snorkelling and set my resolve, ever more strongly, to tune into my heart’s desire and go after it with every fibre of my being.
Because my loves, we are capable of anything.
Embracing Your Authentic Self
I see it in the women I have the privilege of photographing. Their utter belief and passion in what they’re doing, their beautiful vision and mission to be part of the change to support people and planet.
When you shoot with me this is not just a photo shoot. This is an experience to be seen for all of you. For that flow of energy and alchemy of sharing what you truly desire and showing up in your fullest expression.
Because I see YOU.
I am as awe-inspired by the heart-led, radically authentic being that you are, as I am in these moments in nature.
Because we are nature.
When you have images that truly feel like you and what you do, it disrupts your own narrative, it is radical. You go out and claim space in an empowered way. It is time for your light to shine, because our planet doesn't have time for vanilla.
If you’re ready to show your self some love and be seen for you, get in touch here. Tell me more about you and how you want to radically and authentically show up, and I’ll share some info with you about how we can co-create some magick together.
In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a Full Moon Mantra: I only give energy to what's worth my focus.
And remember, your best self-care could look a lot different to what society tells you it should be. You do you. Because that is why people adore you.
PS If you’ve got travel plans coming up and you’re looking for advice, take a read of these articles:
- My top tips for travelling as a minimalist
- 5 tips on being a conscious traveller
- Why I always head North
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