Have you ever seen a photo or looked in the mirror and felt like you didn’t recognize yourself?
As a teacher of body acceptance and body image healing using the tool of photography, one of the most common things I hear in people’s relationship to photos before they start this work is that they feel like they don’t recognize themselves in photos.
Feeling like we don’t recognize ourselves in the mirror or in a photo means that we are disconnected from our present self. It may be that there’s a lot going on in our lives and we’re feeling disconnected to ourselves. Or maybe it’s that our beliefs about our body are disconnected from our inherent worthiness. Or maybe it’s that we haven’t yet adjusted to change.
And moments like these an invitation to reconnect, invite in inquiry and come home to our present self again.
It may be disconnection from our visual self, from our present body, from our present sense of identity.
That’s where the camera comes in. In the Be Your Own Beloved classes we use the camera and yes, self-portraits as a tool for self-connection and as a tool of compassionate conversation with ourselves.
That’s exactly what this class is about. It’s about starting that conversation again. It’s about becoming familiar again with what we see in photos and working on seeing that self with neutrality. It’s about acknowledging how we’ve gotten distanced from ourselves and then inviting that self-connection back in.
Years ago when I first found myself exploring this work, I was at a point in my life where I felt deeply lost…first and foremost from myself.
Taking selfies was a tool to find my own voice again and to reclaim my sense of self (and perception of my body) back from all the external sources and pressures that had defined both for me to this point. I saw the person in the photo and felt like I saw a stranger but that profoundly changed through this work. Taking a self-portrait, when we choose to use it in this way, can be a powerful tool for reclaiming our voice and returning to ourselves.
I’ve also been feeling this more lately as I travel through early motherhood in my 40’s, feeling like what I’m seeing in the mirror is changing before my eyes, which is why now felt like the time for this class.
You don’t have to have previous experience in taking selfies. I give you lots of guidance. The prompts are playful yet we also dig deep and get inquisitive about why we might feel that disconnection and tools for coming home to ourselves.
We start the class using the camera to see ourselves in the world around us and then in the second week we turn the lens on ourselves and invite in compassion through self-portraits.
Throughout the two weeks we explore:
Creating a practice of using the camera as a tool for self-inquiry and self-connection
Rooting into our self-identity
Becoming familiar to ourselves again
The challenges that get between us and feeling like we recognize and can see ourselves with compassion (hint…it’s not you. It’s the stuff we’ve taken in from external body standards, fat phobia and other systems of oppression).
Creating a practice to take beyond class to keep in connection and conversation with ourselves and our bodies!
Please note, this class is not a replacement for clinical therapy or treatment for body dysmorphic disorder.
How the Class Works:
Week One: Recognizing Ourselves in our Lives.
Week One is all about exploring the world around us through the lens and you can remain in your comfort zone behind the camera. We won’t be taking any self-portraits this week, though of course, any photograph where we explore our sense of self is a self-portrait in some way!
Week Two: Recognizing Ourselves through the Lens
Week Two is all about Self-Portraits! Yes indeed…but don’t worry, my teaching style is VERY playful and fun (yet deep and thought provoking).
A Past Participant Shared:
“It was really helpful to spend the first week taking pictures that reflected who we are without putting ourselves in the frame. It felt like a gradual journey, growing in confidence each day until the last task of putting our whole self into the picture. I’m blown away by how effective this course has been in such a short time. You’ve created something magical, don’t change it!”
What You'll Need for Class:
All you need is a camera of any sort. An iPhone (or other smartphone), a point and shoot or a DSLR are all welcome. Whatever you have to begin this journey with is absolutely just right!
No photography experience needed at all! Just an openness to see yourself in a new way through your camera.
You will receive:
Daily photo activities for the 14 days of class sent to your email inbox
An invitation to a class Flickr Group where we will share our images and connect
An E-Book of the entire course content at the end of class
April 9th-22nd, 2023
Cost: $69 CAD (approx $55 USD)
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.
What kind of selfies are we going to be doing in this class? Is it all about our face or full body selfies?
The first week of class we actually aren’t even taking selfies! Then once we do, it will be a variety of types of selfies for those 7 days and they will be a wide variety beyond those two options, though we will be doing some of those. There is always room within each activity to adapt the prompt for you if there are types of selfies you aren’t ready for yet. Remember, this is about YOU and your path and that’s the priority so I’ll be encouraging you to do what’s right for you.
I've taken Recognizing Ourselves before? Is it the same as last time? Can I take it again?
You are 100% welcome to take it again. And it actually isn't the same as last time. The first week where we are documenting the world around us is mainly the same but the majority of prompts in the second week (the self-portrait prompts) are new so it will feel a bit familiar but have lots of new inquiries and explorations too!
It says the prices are in CAD. What would that be 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.