Balance - it isn't always what you think

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Balance doesn't mean giving equal amounts of time and energy to everything, it's about giving the right amount of time and energy to the right things and it's different for everyone.

So let me be totally honest here. For a long time, I truly believed that work life balance meant giving the same amount of time and energy to both your personal life and your work life. I struggled to get enough time and energy available for my family while still trying to work full time, build a business, do the cooking and cleaning.

Want to know what the result was? Work colleagues worried about the pace I was working at, the business never seemed to get any traction, and my family seemed to be on edge around me. I mean my daughter stopped asking me to play with her because she was worried she wasbothering me or stressing me out. How sad is that?

At the end of the day I had to figure out what does everyone need from me?

  • My day job - they need me to be present and engaged for my 35 hours a week and the occasionaly staff meeting or after hours event. 
  • My business - it needs me to be consitent in answering emails and engaging online. It needs me to get out a few times a month to network with awesome people. And weeks when I have bookings it needs me for consults, shoots, editting, and sales sessions. When I don't have sessions - I can work ahead on new ideas and learning new things...or I can spend more time with my family.
  • My Family - Turns out my husband and daughter (12 yrs old) are pretty independent. They need me fully present and engaged at least one full week night and one weekend day each week. Other than that, they are happy to spend time with me when it works with everything else.
  • Myself - well, I need to actually appear somewhere in my schedule so here's what I decided. I need 30mins every morning to plan my day, embrace some gratitude, and start the day right. I need 30mins of reading some kind of fiction before bed each night. and I need an hour or two on the weekend to paint, give myself a facial, or curl up with a book and just chill out.

Some days the business is super busy and it needs all my time and attention.

Sometimes my daughter is having a rough week with preteen drama at school and she needs me.

With the outline above - I have the flexibility to put my extra time and energy wherever it will serve us best and know that all the things that need to happen still happen.

What does balance look like for you?

Playing with new styles...

This year I am working to take better care of myself. I am working with a personal trainer on my fitness and nutrition to be healthier. I am taking time every weekend to do what I need to do to replenish myself. It looks a little different each week. One week it might be reading a book. Another week might be a long walk. It might be a movie marathon and face mask. It might be meditation and a long bath. No matter what though, it's about taking to do something that is just for me.     

So last weekend, as part of my weekly self-care time, I decided it was time to try out a new style beyond my go-to's of buns, ponytails and braids. I have been getting so much inspiration from the amazing women around me and the women who step in front of my camera. (I'm also one of those women who feels the most beautiful and fiercest right after getting my hair done.)  

A bit before this, my friend and mentor Jennifer Rozenbaum did a video on how she does her hair everyday (I love her long loose curls/waves) so I decided to try it out.   I even took some photos.

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I used this curling wand (because it was what I already had). You can get it on amazon it's the InfinitiPro by Conair CD117 YOU Curl Conical Curling Wand(*Affiliate Link*). It was easy to work with (and came with a protective glove for people like me that always end up burning themselves).   I was good to go while working on the left hand side of my head but it got tricky on the right when I needed to work essentially backwards.    I was pretty happy with the result though in the future I would like to use a bigger barrel for a bigger looser curl.     

In Jen's Video ( you can find it on Jen's Youtube), she uses an automatic curler which made her's faster and easier. She used the Kiss automatic curler (Kiss Products Instawave Automatic Hair Curler*Affiliate Link*) and I just ordered one for myself. 

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What does your hair routine look like?  What style makes you feel the most fabulous?    

Beauty Is...Why this? Why now?

I can still remember the moment that it all sank in. I was looking at my beautiful little girl as I realized how she really felt. She felt unworthy. She felt ugly. She worried about saying or doing the wrong thing. She worried that others didn’t like her. She felt worthless. She felt a burden to others. Whatever happened, if it was in the least bit negative in her mind it was in some way her fault and if it was positive, it was in spite of her not because of her.

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My heart broke in that moment. How could such a loving, kind, beautiful, and smart young woman not see her many gifts? How could she not see how loved and cherished she was? How could she think and say such horrible things about my beautiful little girl? Was this my fault?

I knew I needed to do something. If she could feel this way and faily to see her own strength and beauty, how many other women felt this way? How could I help my daughter? How could I help other women like her, like me, that felt this way?

As I looked at the amazing women around me, from 8 to 80 years old, I quickly noticed a pattern. They were so busy trying to be and do more. When did they take time to love who they were right now?

I started with my daughter, my goal was simple. I created a session based on what she told me. I wanted to take her dreams and make them real. We picked out wardrobe. We did her hair and makeup. We photographed her beautifully. We created an afternoon all about her.I wanted her to feel beautiful, loved, and valued. I wanted her to see the beauty and strength I see every day. I wanted to quiet the voices in her head that said she wasn’t enough even just for a few minutes so she could recognize the amazing person she is. Today and every single day.

From that moment on, I knew this was what my heart wanted to do. To create an amazing experience for every woman. To create a space for her to reclaim her own strength and beauty. To help her to love and value herself.

Beauty Is...

Beauty is about so much more than what we see on the outside. It's about who we are. What we believe in. How we treat others, How we overcome struggles. It's about how we love ourselves. Beauty is so much more than a pretty face, great hair or a perfect figure.

 

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I'm excited to bring the Beauty Is portrait project to life here in London, Ontario. Stay tuned for more about the project and for amazing stories of strength and beauty from these amazing ladies!

See the Beautiful Inside and Out - #MotivationMonday

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Ever wonder why some people see beauty everywhere while others never seem to see it?

If we cannot find beauty within ourselves, how can we recognize and appreciate the beauty around us. There is beauty in your kindness. Their is beauty in your love. There is beauty in your movement. There is beauty in your strength. There is beauty in your vulnerability. There is beauty in the simple rhythm of breaths in and out. There is so much beauty inside each and every one of us, if we only stop for a moment to see it.

As I dive deep into the Beauty Is project, I see more and more that our ability to see beauty in others and in the world around us is so closely tied to our ability to recognize the beauty in ourselves and love ourselves for it. As women step in front of my camera for a portrait, they are vulnerable in that moment and trusting that I can see and capture that inner beauty.

What is one thing you think if beautiful about yourself? (hint - you don't need to look in the mirror for this one)

Thank You - London Bridal Expo Jan 2018

This weekend was one of our crazy busiest weekends of the year as we spent the weekend meeting amazing brides, catching up with awesome wedding vendors, and just generally having an awesome time at the London Bridal Expo.

Thank you to all the brides, grooms, moms, bridesmaids, friends, and wedding professionals who stopped by to say hello. Congrats to Angela B who won a portrait session and 16"x24" Gallery Wrap! 2018 is looking like an amazing year of working with couples who overflow with love as they celebrate their weddings, helping business babes rock their personal brand, and celebrating with women who are ready to see themselves differently while sharing their stories of beauty and strength in the Beauty Is Project.

Holiday Wishes

Growing up my memories of Christmas included waking up (very) early, unwrapping my stocking before anyone else was up (just to rewrap it so I wouldn't get in trouble for starting without my sister), waking my sister and opening our stockings together.  

From there I would wake my parents, put the coffee on to brew so it was ready for them and make up a plate of my mom's shortbread cookies to eat while we opened gifts. (Breakfast could always wait.)

 

After the gifts were unwrapped, we would have breakfast and watch the Disney Santa Clause parade together in our PJ's.

 

The rest of the day was spent playing with new toys, enjoying the sunshine at the beach (as long as weather allowed), watching the nutcracker ballet on TV (if I had any say) and then coming back to make a Christmas feast to share with our cousins and neighbours Helen & Henry.

 

Some of my best memories were spent with my family on Christmas Holidays. So many of my friends talked about going out to play in the snow on Christmas holidays but until my teenage years I was happy to enjoy all the best of the season with my family in the land of sunshine and palm trees, Florida.

 

As we get older I suppose things change. We get busy with jobs, with families of our own. We break the old traditions and create new ones of our own.

 

However you celebrate the holidays (and whichever holidays you celebrate) I hope they are full of love, laughter, and making memories with the people that mean the most to you.

 

A New Space, A New Chapter

It's been a few months since we moved out of the Photographer's Studio and things have been a bit quiet around here. First it was back to school, and now it's been all about getting in and getting the new space ready. 

We've spent the last few weeks patching, prepping and painting the walls, replacing trim, picking out furniture, moving in and more but it's almost done!

 

Today I'm thrilled to invite each and every one of you to join us in studio on Saturday November 25th from 4:00pm - 9:00pm to check out the new space, catch up on what's new, and celebrate the start of a new chapter in our journey.

 

 

I can't wait to see you there! 

Hop over to the facebook event to RSVP or email me at info@rebeccanashphotography.com

Can't make it? Make sure you check out the Event Page too, I'll be sharing photos and live videos from the event.

Time to Kick Some...

 

In our busy lives we are always looking to hustle harder and do more. Often we just don't know where to start.

This is where I have found myself lately - so much I want to do. 

In my journey to do more, accomplish more, and make things happen I got a little overwhelmed. And when I get overwhelmed, sometimes I just shut down. 

Then someone shared this quote with me. I may not know every step I am going to take but it's time to lift up my foot.

Do Something Everyday that Scares You

 

Psychologists agree, change is scary. Our bodies and minds react to change in order to keep us safe. To make us think about what we are doing, but, sometimes that reaction can hold you back too.

Sometimes we need to step out of our comfort zone to make things happen. To chase our dreams.

So want scares you? What do you hold back from doing?

For me there is a list of things...

  • Blogging More Often
  • Talking about my Business in everyday conversations
  • Getting on Video
  • Asking for the booking
  • Standing on Stage sharing my knowledge and experience
  • Sharing my struggles
  • Sharing my success

...and so much more.

 

 

Someone once said (there's much debate on who originally said it) "Do Something Everyday That Scares You" and it's something I want to start doing a whole lot more of.

 

Are you with me? What are you going to do today?

Celebrating Moments

In Our home, today is a special day. Today is a celebration. There won't be a big party, fancy decorations, or a big cake.

There will be love, memories, and time spent together.

 

Today we are celebrating 3 years since we said I do. It's our wedding anniversary.

And some point today, I will pull out my wedding album and look through it with my husband and daughter (she was my maid of honour and in some ways, it was her wedding too).

We will remember the fun moments of that day, but more importantly, we will remember the adventures we've had together. 

 

Winston Churchill on Speeches

This past week has been a week focused on creating content for upcoming in person events and videos too. I have been giving a great deal of thought to the topics I want to discus and the length of the talks too. How many topics should I fit in? How long should each be? If I am given a 90 minute time slot, how much should I cover and when is it too much? I came across this quote in my researching this week from Winston Churchill about giving speeches. 

At first I just had to laugh, I never would have thought about it quite like that but then again he has a point right?

To me, there is so much more this could be applied to. Speeches, videos, blog posts, sales pages, emails meetings and even conversations. You always want to appropriately cover your topic and the info that needs to be shared while still keeping it interesting and leaving room for questions - how else will you engage and know what your intended audience needs?

Change is painful sometimes

I'm going to get a little personal in today's post. I've been a little MIA lately, and I don't love that.  

After a summer of travel, family, and photography August kinda hit me hard. In the last month there has been a lot of change in my life and I needed to step back a little. Starting the last week of August we have been...

  • Moving out the Photographer's Studio
  • Packing up more than half our stuff at home to put in storage (we have a friend moving in)
  • Getting ready for back to school for the kiddo, and prepping my classroom too

Now don't get me wrong, I know change is one of the only constants in our lives and I try to embrace it as much as possible. These changes though, they came up quick and shook up all areas of my personal and professional life all at once. 

 

I am excited for the new opportunities for my business in a new space (more on that soon)

I am thrilled to be able to help someone out by giving them a home, and to have one of my closest friends living just downstairs

Going back to school was something Alyssa was looking forward to and I missed my students and families

 

Change, even change for the better, is often uncomfortable or even painful. 

 

Now, it's time to come back out the other side. The studio is moved. Our stuff is packed and into storage. School is settling into routine. 

Thanks for being patient. I look forward to meeting up with you here again very soon!

Why I love the 2018 Desire Map Planner (+ a giveaway)

I'm so stoked to share that the 2018 Desire Map Planner Collection is here! It’s a radically different way to plan your day, because it puts your soul on the agenda.

 

Check out this review I did of the planner and all the reasons I love it.

 

 

 

This planner puts your desires on the map, and helps you plan your days and weeks according to how you most want to feel. The way it should be. Where most day planner systems are straight dates and to do’s, this planner is so much more…it has helped me combine my basics of a planner with my gratitude journal, my desire map, and my bigger goals not just for my business but for my life.

 

Based on the wildly popular book by Danielle LaPorte, The Desire Map, this planner system incorporates your soul and your to-do list; your gratitude and your goals; your deepest desires with your day-to-day. (If you haven't read it yet, you should check out the Desire Map Book and Workbook while you are there)

 

The 2018 planner comes with two versions, the Daily and Weekly edition, for the any type of planner person:

 

The DAILY planner for the highly scheduled, detailed thinkers, and awesome A-types who love keeping track of all the big and little things. This planner takes you through the year day by day, with unique soul prompts, scheduling space, #truthbombs, a Stop Doing list (because saying no is revolutionary) and a super condensed list called 3 Things so you can get your most important to-dos done.

 

The WEEKLY planner is for the big dreamers, Creatives, and entrepreneurs — the planner-types who want a bird’s eye view of their week. This planner takes a look at your week over a two-page spread, so you can plan your week with a bird’s eye view. Sprinkled with prompts for positive declarations and #truthbombs, the weekly spread also has space for your Core Desired Feelings, daily to-do’s, and a list of 3 Things so you can get your most important to-dos done. This planner also has an End of Week Check-in with unique Soul Prompts from Danielle with space for reflecting on life as you move through it week by week.

 

When you’re clear on how you want to feel, decisions come to you more easily, you’ll know when to say “No” and when to say “Hell, YES!” And then you can put it in writing. That’s what this planner does for me.

 

You can buy yours today, and start planning the life you’ve always wanted. GET YOURS NOW

 

Loving the planner? Ready to dive in? Keep Reading!

As an affiliate and member of the 2018 planner launch team (yep - I loved my 2017 planner so much they let me in), I have an weekly planner to give away to one lucky reader. Here's how to enter...

  1. Leave a comment on this post telling me something you are grateful for before the end of the day on Sunday September 24th

The winner will be chosen and contacted on Monday Sept 25th.

 

I can't wait to hear what you are grateful for!

 

**All links included in this post are affiliate links but all opinions are my own**

Dancer Dreams...a personal project

 

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who loved to dance. She danced before, during, and after dance class. She took ballet, jazz, acro, modern, swing...if it was taught at her studio, she definitely tried it.

 

Over time that little girl grew up and she let those dance classes go. Don't get me wrong, she still loved dance but now it was in her classroom, her studio, her car or the kitchen when she cooked. 

 

This year It's time for that little girl to bring back the dance in her art. I am excited to announce a new project - "Dancer Dreams" a personal project to capture the beauty, the elegance, and passion every dancer has. 

 

 

 

First up, the amazing Alexa agreed to be my first model in the studio and she was AMAZING!! Working with her (and her beautiful mom) in studio to start exploring the options for these dance portraits reconnected me once again to the love I have for dance (and the talent dancers who bring it to life) and the personal project too. 

 

 

Alexa has a strength, a beauty, and a grace that surpasses the average person's understanding. It was a joy to watch her as she found her groove in front of the camera and really showed her own love of dance.

 

Why printed photos excite me in a way that digitals never do

This post has been on my mind for quite a while but I kept putting it off for one reason, I am hugely passionate about this topic and just didn't know where to even start.  

As a photographer, you don't have to convince me the importance of an image. It's a moment captured in time. It's a person captured just as they all for all time. It's a memory that you can see, that you can share. If you have ever had a photo taken or taken photos of any sort yourself, you already know there is magic there. 

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Where things seem to get muddy is what to do with them after they are taken. 

 

Today i'm here to beg you, please please PLEASE don't let your memories grow up to be jpegs. 

 

The point of a beautiful photograph (whether a portrait, a beautiful landscape, or photographs of the moment you said I do) is to enjoy it. To let them transport you to another place an time. It's a reminder of something (or someone) pretty awesome in your life. You need to be able to touch it, to hold it, and to cherish it every time you see it hanging on the wall or open the pages of an album to it.  

 

There's nothing like holding in your hand a moment that has forever changed you. Tangible proof right there of beauty, strength, and love. Printed images are just more real, more relevant, and more valued. 

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On another note...

Modern technology has made it easier than ever to grab a quick snapshot of a special moment. We take a million photos today on our phones and cameras to remember a moment or share with someone who isn't there to see it. It's amazing!

 

The question is...What about when you upgrade your phone? What about when your laptop dies? What happens when your hard drive doesn't work? What happens when you no longer have a way to read that disc of images? 

 

So many people are losing years, decades even, of important memories in the blink of an eye. We can't let that happen anymore. Why?

 

If we don't start printing our images, We risk becoming a missing or forgotten generation.

 

If we don't start printing our photos (and labeling them) we will become the generation that is missing from the history books not just in classrooms, but in our families too. Our children will look back on who we were, and won't have anything to look back and remember us. Our Grandchildren may never believe we were ever young. They won't know who were were, what we did, who we loved.

So please, print your most precious images. Frame them. Put them in an album. Create a special place for them. Make them a part of your life today, and a part of your legacy for tomorrow.

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Opps I did it Again - The 2018 Ride to Conquer Cancer

Hi guys,  

So I did something, something a lot of people thought was crazy to do once but then I went and did it again. I signed up for the Ride to Conquer Cancer.

 

Last time I did this, in 2014, I signed up for a family member and a student fighting cancer and all those we have lost before. I started fundraising and training for this 200+ KM bike right from Toronto to Niagara Falls. I was excited and nervous (and insanely grateful for all the love, encouragement, and donations in support of my ride).

Sadly Auntie never saw me ride past the end of her driveway when she lost her battle just 2 weeks before the ride (but my husband and parents were there cheering us on). My student however, is a success story. After 3 years he's out of the hospital, done his treatments and doing really really well.

 

This year I am riding in memory of my Aunt, in celebration of my students success, and I also want to ride in support a friend and photography mentor, Jennifer Rozenbaum, in her fight against Breast Cancer. Jen recently underwent a bi-lateral mastectomy but has been incredible open in sharing her entire journey in the hopes of raising awareness and helping others. She's an inspiration!

 

I want to be a part of making more stories like my students come true through the research, treatment, and care that the Ride to Conquer Cancer funds.

 

I have set my goals for training and fundraising. Every day I'll be getting closer to reaching my fundraising goal of $2500 and my personal goal of finishing strong (without developing pneumonia this time hopefully). You can help me reach that goal by making a donation on my behalf today. It only takes a second and your gift has the power to change lives for the better.

 

Click the link to find out more and donate now - Rebecca's Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

 

Thanks for reading, and for your ongoing support. You guys are amazing!

 

Sincerely, Rebecca Nash-Emerson

 

P.s. know someone who might be interested in donating? Please share the details!

This morning, some wise words from Rumi

 

 

We are going to take it down a notch and get serious today.

 

Yesterday I stepped out of my comfort zone and on to the stage at the Mothers Advocating Mental Health (MAMA) Project Conference. I shared the struggles I have faced, and for the first time publicly shared and named the struggles my daughter has faced this last year. Anxiety. Depression. Eating Disorders. Suicidal thoughts.

I was there to talk about art as a form of expression and coping, and I did, but I was also there to reach out and let others know they are not alone.

 

As I finished up my talk, I shared this poem from Rumi that I was first introduced to by my mentor Sue Bryce.

 

This poem hit me right from the start. My initial reaction was something like "What? You want me to invite all those crappy feelings in? Are you nuts?!?!?" but as I walked away from the video it was shared in, I began to remember others things I have been taught that gave me the same gut reaction but have changed the way I think. I gave the poem another chance.

 

In life, we are going to be confronted with good times and bad. Emotions we enjoy, and emotions we don't. We have an instinct to run away from or avoid those things we don't enjoy. To do everything we can to avoid pain, sorrow, sadness.

 

We need to recognize that the good comes with the bad. That we can look at those moments and say 'oh, I know you, come on in' instead of fighting it (which just causes us more stress, pain, and anxiety). Every emotion is a house guest, they will not stay forever. Appreciate them while they are there - they are teaching you something, and wish them a fond farewell when they leave, knowing they will return.

Self Care Sundays - Do Something Today That Your Future Self Will Thank You For

A Sunday Morning Reminder...  

"Do Something Today That Your Future Self Will Thank You For"

 

Last weekend I took a very quick, last minute trip to Ottawa to see my husband. There was a moment when my husband said 'no kiddo, no dog, no house or computer to worry about - hope you can enjoy this' and I did. I really did.

 

After a day of no business or housework, mostly unplugged (got stay in touch with my little girl) time...I was so much more relaxed and so grateful.

 

It was also a bit of a revelation too. Heck, everybody needs a day off sometimes. So from now on...Sunday is my day off. Whenever possible Sunday's are going to be no work - biz, house, or yard - days. It's time for me, my family, and a little self care so the other 6 days of the week I can give everything I do my 110%

 

I know my future self will be grateful for the things I do on Sundays to allow me to take care of myself to be the best wife, mother, photographer, business owner, educator and friend I can be. 

What will you do today?