I think we can simultaneously not be as good as we think we are, but also not as bad as we think we are. We are the “bad guys” where we think we are not, but we could also be kinder to ourselves in the areas we beat ourselves up a little too much. A thought.
Last night I got to be in the same room as Dave Chappelle, @naomi, and Jon Stewart, thanks to the magic of the Universe and the great @blogxilla. . All three names mentioned at the beginning of my post were defining for me as I grew into the woman I am today. In some ways, I am still the small town girl who could only ever dream of being in the same city as names like these. In some ways, my mind is still in Africa, where media giants influence us but feel like surreal godlike creatures that we don’t really think to one day see up close. Maybe that’s just part of being in the Kenyan generation that saw a parade because Sean Paul was in town. ;) . I digress. . Last night, Jon Stewart ended the entire thing with some words on empathy - and how one can claim to have been a good person if they strive (through activism or otherwise) to show empathy with others unlike themselves. It got me thinking about how i obsessively try to figure myself out, and how I incorporate that in the work I do with clients. . I wondered whether this is in some way self absorbed, and whether perhaps there are better ways for me to try to help others. But then I remembered that empathy is cultivated through a deeper awareness of the self and its shadow, and harnessed when we learn to accept who we are in this very moment. To be able to accept what we see in others, we must first learn to accept who we see in the mirror. . Perhaps that’s what Gandhi meant: perhaps we can transmute what we don’t like to see, by simply changing our perspective of it. A thought. . . . Self portrait taken today. I guess I forgot how much fun these are. 🤷🏽♀️ . . . #pisceswomen #pisces♓️ #pisces #piscesmoon #selfportraiture #selfportraitphotography #empathyforlife #davechappelle #jonstewart #weshoothumans
This is one of my all-time favourite photos. I love it because I captured so much of my acting coach, who had changed my life for the better. . But I also love it because it reminds me of what it is I shine at: unplanned photos. Capturing truth almost by accident. Almost. ;) . Last night was one of many nights where I still knew and felt something felt off about my business. I felt like I was dragging a part of myself into certain death, and like the toddler or pet who is being dismissed, I felt myself frustratedly protesting but unable to communicate with the part of myself that blindly trudged forward. . Those near me all think it’s just excuses. But last night I realised a scary thing: I didn’t know what my “thing” was. I had had so many “things” that when it comes to photography, I feel uncomfortable releasing these new packages, when I, a writer, am unable to communicate in a few words what I bring to the table most. . That’s not to say I think I bring nothing. It’s just that I’ve spent so many years bringing multiple things that I’ve lost sight of what’s truly mine and what was added on for value and shine. . But another chat with @ussmissvy last night -a catalyst of a person - meant that I broke down in tears when I realised what I’ve been bringing to the table all along. Not just vulnerability. Not just peeling of layers. . A safe space for your inner child. That is who i am. That is who I’ve always been. Even now, writing this, I choke up with a relief reminiscent of the peace I felt when I had been lost and finally got found as a 7 year old. . The moment I realised this, my inner brat transformed her protests into peaceful silence, and I wondered: what if we look down on our inner child because of vocabulary, but in actual fact - that’s the wisest part that we should be listening to? What if our inner child knows best? . I am reminded of a part of my daily mantra: I always remember to laugh, because the Universe wants to play. . Perhaps if we provided safety for more play time, we would find ourselves understanding that life was never meant to be that serious. Perhaps we should listen to the child inside more often.
“Who is @thepisceanphotographer??” I think the answer to that requires a confession. You see, I’ve spent the past few years lying very deeply to the world with my actions. I’d been helping people reconnect with their truth through coaching and photography, but... I wasn’t standing in my own truth. . For weeks, I’ve been avoiding the release of a simple page on my website: my new packages. It didn’t make sense, because I was and am in love with my new packages, which combine photography with something deeper, something slightly more meaningful than just a set of images that you’ll lose on a hard drive somewhere. . A few days ago, thanks to the help of the wonderful @ussmissvy and videos she sent me by @kellyann_maddox - I discovered what had been hiding under the dirt on my mirror: A lie. . Specifically, within my marketing. You see, while I’ve been going deeper into becoming more spiritually and mystically in tune with energy, I somehow wanted my business to wear a suit and show up for work from 9 to 5. While I was consulting the stars and the cards for my biggest life decisions - with the awareness that my gut is All - I was trying to create a business that ran like a machine... but ended up running me into the ground. . That’s what living a lie does. But I am done now. I am done with sleeping on myself, and I am done with hiding from the world. I needed a name that showed all of who I really am.... and here it is. :) . Most importantly: I wanted a name that would put off anyone who doesn’t resonate with my truth. Because it wasn’t about the name, really. And it was never about the website, which I started rebranding in 2014 exactly 4 years ago yesterday. . It was about me, and whether I would dare to boldly show myself in the form that I have secretly been hiding the most: the Piscean in me. The girl who gets lost in emotion, and colours, and music, and magic, and love. The girl who forgets reality. The girl who sleeps when she should be awake, but dreams when she should sleep. A gentle ebb of softness and empathy, that will drown you when you least expect it. . I am that, and more. But most of all: I am grateful. . . . . Self portrait taken in Bali.
Today in my Instagram stories, I got to publicly have a humbling moment. Someone had taken my old handle (@melissadeblok), and then followed me. I assumed it was someone with bad intentions, and went on an admittedly passive aggressive rant. . It turned out to be a friend of mine who wanted to make sure the handle didn’t get taken - but then decided to troll me (something most of my friends do). As I swallowed my words and explained this to my audience, I found myself saying “I’m the asshole.” . It reminds me of one of the most memorable Powerpuff Girls episodes imo: where Mojo Jojo realises that he’s the reason his archenemies exist. At the end of the episode, instead of the usual “Once again, the day is saved - thanks to the Powerpuff Girls!” - the narrator says the day was saved By Mojo Jojo, after which they show him muttering “it was me. It was me. It was me. it was me.” . I love that episode because sometimes the people we think are assholes are not. Sometimes we are the assholes. Sometimes: it was me. It was me. It was me. . Shoutout to @bobjones for the lesson, and a gentle reminder that this week and next week I’m still offering a Pay What You Can offer to performers. DM or email me. T&c apply, limited availability. . . . . #bloggerphotographer #dancephotographer #portraitphotographerlondon #photographerlondon #londonphotographer #photographerinlondon #portraitmoods #moodygrams #weshoothumans #portraitpage #dancephotography