A couple of weeks before Kath Walters’ portrait photography session, we had a phone call where we were making various arrangements, including looking for a suitable upcoming date. I remember her saying, in what felt like a somewhat casual tone, ‘Oh yeah yeah, we’ll do the photos that day…’ as though, all she needed to do was keep the morning open, with an outfit worked out beforehand.
It’s quite fair enough to assume it’s just about the practical matters of clothing colours and location, and being on time on the day.
The conversation left me wondering, ‘Have I fully prepared her for her photography session? Have I covered that off properly for her?’
I remember thinking, ‘OK, I’ll need to bring some attention to what she’s going to do to prepare herself for this, because if I don’t, I’ll miss the opportunity to create something special.’
A few days passed and the date began to approach. About one week out she received information on what to do for clothing, jewelry and location. Tick, tick, tick.
Once those things were handled, it was time to think more deeply about what we would do to actually prepare for the day, beyond the aesthetics.
The time was ripe for bringing Kath’s awareness to her personal well-being and state of mind leading up to her shoot. Feeling good on the day is the magic pill. If you feel good, you look good, it transmits through the pores in your skin.
We talked on the phone, and then she received this email:
Not long now so exciting!! We’re moving towards your special day to celebrate you in your highest state of awareness, where you feel most connected to yourself, life and your purpose. To get the most out of your experience, now it’s time to simply bring your attention towards – nothing.
Nothing is perfect, because it means you’re in the moment. So what to fill the quiet with between now and then?
Doing things that make you feel really alive, buzzy, joyful, expansive, wonderment, centred. It’s different for everyone but I’m sure you know your vices. I do advise this for now until next Thursday with more focused attention than you might normally do.
For me I’ll be doing my yoga, early nights, drinking water, meditation, savouring delicious meals, feeling into my intention of what I want to create with you, walking in and appreciating nature, and all other personal practices that get my juices flowing. All so that on Thursday, I’m able to feel feminine and grounded in my body, and therefore as fresh, clear and present as I can be to allow the creativity to flow and most importantly to have fun. I invite you to do the same.’
The pampering activities were particularly relevant for her as a woman, because what woman doesn’t love to feel delicious and special?! A massage, a manicure, getting your hair done – do them all at the same time, and you find yourself saying, ‘Oh, that was superb, I feel so good!’
When you do a few feel good things in one week, their effect starts to gather some momentum, in terms of your state of well-being. You feel sharp, on-song and sassy or sexy. It’s different for everybody.
When I first arrived at Kath’s house, from a feminine archetype perspective, I would say that Kath was sitting so beautifully in her priestess! I could tangibly feel it. She was standing so tall and elegantly, looking so well put together, rested, at ease, calm, fresh and happy.
The room felt really cozy as though it was beckoning me in. It had a welcoming feeling to it, which I hadn’t noticed in the other occasions that I’d been in that room.
Kath had put out some nice tea and coffee for us. Our intention was to sit down to Kath’s personal conversation and record it. I said to her, ‘Whatever it is you’ve done in the last few days leading up to this, I can feel it. Thank you so much for taking time to look after yourself. We’re going to create something really beautiful today. Thank you.’
It needed acknowledgement that she met me where I needed her to be.
Kath told me the story of how she went and got her nails done, then her hair done, then her eyebrows, that Audrey, her daughter, had helped her pick outfits, and they’d had fun together in the process.
It all built up to be a – I want to use the word sisterhood…well that might be a bit overkill but put together, it all certainly had a very nurturing, feminine, gentle quality around it that supported Kath. In turn, it created space for me to do my part.
She walked around the room talking to all of her belongings that had significance. It all had a really lovely resonance to it. There was an ease with the shoot. We knew when it was complete. There was nothing more to do. She didn’t need to change outfits. We didn’t need to do a different location. Everything that we needed supported us in the room, and we got it.
It does make a distinct difference when you do the things that help you get into that mind and body state of wellbeing. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Kath posted a beautiful card afterwards, which read,
‘Dear Beth, Thank you for the exquisite collection of portraits, and words, that we created together. I’d love you to know that I think you are a remarkable, powerful, creative, delightful and precious woman, and I am so glad to know you. With thanks and love, Kath xx’.
Mnnnn that feels soooooo good!
Thank you, Kath.
Kath Walters is a business book writing coach and can be found here.
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