A Be Your Own Beloved E-Course
The Listening Lens
We pick up our camera and walk with it, see what draw us in, see what catches our eye.
We pick up the camera because we're struggling and want to feel seen, feel witnessed in our emotions.
We pick up the camera because we want to get curious about what other perceptions we can see outside of our inner critics.
The camera can be a place for our emotions to land.
A place to feel witnessed.
A place to heal.
The lens has a way of listening, of holding space for powerful questions to be heard.
The camera and photos aren't just about taking photos for other people's perception. It is a tool for self-connection, self-reflection and often of profound healing.
Yet so many of us feel trapped in seeing ourselves through a critical lens and are missing out on the powerful tool the camera can be to explore an embodied living practice of listening to the voice in the lens that is outside of our inner critics voice.
In my 15 year self-portrait practice it has caught my emotions when I felt deeply alone (in fact that is where the journey began). It has been a reason to go outside and engage with the world. It has helped me witness new evolutions of self and has become this visual roadmap of where I've been and where I'm going. It has also been a tool for shedding the shame I felt in my body and finding my way to a place of body neutrality and self-compassion.
The camera made me feel seen and heard in a way I had never experienced before. It turned from something I feared or felt judged by into a place where I felt deeply connected to myself.
It is also the tool that again and again returns me home to myself.
The Listening Lens is a 14 day practice of meeting yourself in the lens and each day I invite you to walk with a powerful question. To soak it in, ponder it and be open to hearing what the answers are through the lens.
This class is rooted in a practice I call 'Walking with the Questions'. We think of photos as something concrete, a collection of pixels and colour that define how other people see us. We might see it as proof of how we see ourselves (definitely the case for me at first). But what I started to experience when I began taking photos and especially self-portraits was that it was an incredibly powerful place to let questions land.
The practice of meeting ourselves in the lens isn't concrete. It is a place for us to explore self-reflection practices and let the questions be heard and the answers emerge.
Who am I becoming?
How can I get through this?
Where am I going next?
The practice isn't about getting an answer immediately. The goal of these 20 days of activities isn't to get some specific outcome in terms of answer. But the goal IS to have you gain a tool for self-reflection, to let yourself have a practice to support you in your life.
The answers come in their own time. Yet the practice of walking with the questions and documenting through the lens often will leave us clues or even sometimes realizations down the road. And the answers aren't always what we expect and yet they arrive for us. For years I walked with the question "Will I ever be loved?" and will find myself taking a photo with a heart shaped photo with my feet and be reminded that I am already loved by myself first and foremost.
In our live group call we'll explore the ways that it might arise: metaphor, symbolism, personal storytelling, embodied experience, unexpected moments coming across your path. When we put out the intention of the questions, the lens has a way of answering often in ways we don't expect.
The Listening Lens invites you into this powerful practice of using the camera as a tool for self-reflection, self-connection and more.
A 14 Day Class delivered to your inbox with daily photo and self-portrait based activites to explore
Group Call with
Workbook at the end
Community Flickr Group to share your photos in
What you'll need:
A camera of any sort. Smartphones 100% welcome (in fact, they work great for these activities). Point and shoot or DSLR’s too. You don’t need fancy gear or photo knowledge to take part.
Some time during your day to ponder the question of the day. Some days you might take a few minutes to take your photo while other days you might take a photo walk and take a longer time. It is adaptable to the pace of your day and I'll be encouraging you to let your photos be simple. It's truly about the practice not the process.
How it works:
Each day for the 14 day class you'll receive an activity from me in your email inbox for you to explore and you're invited to do the activity at your own pace during the day.
April 1st-28th, 2023
$65 CAD (thats around $49 USD). PayPal will adjust the cost for your currency (note it's further in the process than the first page once you 'Add to Cart' but of course, before you pay)!
I’m Vivienne, your guide in this online class. I created Be Your Own Beloved E-Courses after many years of using the camera as a tool to find my way back from a deep struggle with negative body image and self-hate. The curriculum in this program is derived from the same tools that I used to heal how I saw myself and find my own voice of how I saw myself (outside of my inner critics voice).
I hope you enjoy getting to know yourself through the lens and don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions!
For those of you on the fence, trust me. Sign up. I’ve taken two courses with Vivienne and I’ll surely sign up for more. Vivienne is compassionate without being schmaltzy, creative without being flighty, and meets learners where they are. Her ability to create a community seems easy but as an online educator, I know how hard it is. Her classes are well worth the investment and they made me love the camera and myself.
Here are the most frequently asked questions.
If there’s anything else you’d like to know, please Reach Out
How does this class differ from the Be Your Own Beloved Class?
If you've taken Be Your Own Beloved (or See Yourself) there will be familiarity in the structure of the class, with the activities coming into your inbox and inviting you to explore through the lens and share your favourite photo of the day with us in our Community Space. But the content of the class is completely different. Be Your Own Beloved invites you to take a specific type of self-portrait while this class invites you to ponder the question of the day and respond through the lens through a self-portrait (though there's a bit more flexibility in this class if something doesn't feel like it's meant to be responded to selfie style).
Does this class explore body image?
While this class doesn't focus on body image, body acceptance and self-compassion in the same way as Be Your Own Beloved it is deeply woven through it and comes up in some of the questions of the day as when we're truly listening to ourselves the way that we treat ourselves about our body becomes clear that it's in the way of that connection. When we really meet ourselves in the lens and stand in our worthiness, the power of the external gaze begins to lessen and we start valuing our own self-perception, our own voice more. This process will absolutely be rooted in that aspect of body image. And as always, my work as a whole is rooted in the idea that there is no wrong way to have a body and that everyone's body is deeply, inherently worthy so that is the way I speak/write about each of us in these prompts.
Is this a self-portrait class?
Be Your Own Beloved is an adventure into self-portraiture, but as you’ll discover, self-portraiture isn’t just about capturing our image but rather it is about seeing ourselves in a new light and in that way, this class is indeed about self-portraiture. That said, there is no pressure to take a specific type of self-portrait at any time during the class. You can take photos of your feet or something in your hand. You will be asked to take some sort of a self-portrait each day as part of creating a self-care practice through self-portraiture but I promise you it will be oh so much fun and you will feel very supported!
Do I get feedback on my photos?
We have a course Flickr group where we will be sharing our photos throughout the class. I will be spending lots of time in the Flickr group exploring photos and I love to comment on photos and cheer you on! The feedback you will get throughout the course will be encouraging and as you’ll find, it becomes fun to cheer each other on in this adventure! You will definitely receive supportive feedback from me (as well as your peers) on many, if not all of your photos during the class.
Is this class just for women?
It says the class is in Canadian Dollars (CAD) what is that in my currency?
Indeed, I’m Canadian, so the prices in Canadian currency but when you put the class into your cart, paypal will let you know what it will be in your currency before purchasing the class. You can check here to get a sense of what it would be though it may be a slightly different rate via paypal.
If you have any further questions about this don’t hesitate to click the contact form and connect with me!
Is this class just for women?
No, the class is welcome to all genders and all bodies. While cis women are usually the majority of participants, it is open to men, trans folk and those who identify outside of the gender binary. I use gender neutral pronouns in the class to welcome folks of all genders and to not assume the gender of anyone’s partner either. Safe space for all of us, including women, trans and non-binary folks, LGBT community and men dealing working through body acceptance is of the utmost importance to me. In every class I offer, I’m in awe of the diversity of backgrounds and life experiences we each bring to the group and the safe space we create together.