Chelsey Luren Portraits - My Hard Hitting Truth2.jpg

Last night I had the great fortune of photographing an incredible event put on by Project You. It was an entire event dedicated to the theme of wellness.

Hearing my coach, Samantha Skelly from Hungry for Happiness speak, along with all the other phenomenal women on the panel - Chloe Elgar (Chloe's Countertop), Brooke Yanzi (DANCEPL3Y), Stacy Rae (We Are Lady Alpha), I'm looking at you ladies - was such an honour. Seeing so many women being able to get real, be authentic, and share their stories is what I love and need more of in my life. In order to create more of that in my life, it's important that I take the first step and put myself on the line.

I always strive to have a safe space for my clients to be able to share their truths with me. To open up stories that they've never shared with another soul. Because I have created that, I am able to bring out their beauty in photographs. This isn't simply because they had the time to be pampered with hair and makeup, but because they are comfortable enough to let me show their inner shine in each portrait. But what I need to constantly remind myself is that none of that is possible without me setting the tone first, so set the tone I shall.

From the outside, my life looks pretty darn fantastic. I run a business I love helping women, I have a really cute studio I've made for myself, I'm married to an incredible man, I have amazing friends, I got to travel recently and go to Tony Robbins, I have the cutest bird - ever. The list goes on.

But it's time to get real. These past few months have been gruelling. People in my life have experienced tragic, unexpected accidents, while others have lost their battle to depression and taken their own lives. I have made so many mistakes that I am not proud of. Other big stresses I would not have anticipated have been thrown into my lap.

With so much happening all at once, it became so easy to fall into old patterns. Seeing glimpses of my old eating disorder reappearing in my life, falling into a deep depression and anxiety attacks becoming routine. All of it made something seemingly so simply, like getting out of bed, unbelievably hard. I found myself in a place of shadow that I hadn't seen in many years.

Now, put yourself there, and try running a business from that state.

With all the overwhelm, I became a total flake. Emails not replied to. Events skipped. Calls unanswered. Work incomplete. All of that is not something I'm proud of.

As a mental health advocate and someone who tries to raise the bar for body positivity, facing the times that I don't feel that I meet those standards is a hard truth to face. There is a part of me that wants to let it all fall apart. To throw my arms up in the air and call a quits or hop on a plane in the dead of night.

Instead, I am choosing to take responsibility.

To everyone who's email, text, call, message or otherwise was not responded to or was replied at a glacial pace, I am sorry. I know that must have pissed you off - I pissed myself off in doing that! But I am working to make it right. Catching up on unfinished business, getting interviews and blogs all ready to go, tackling creative work that I have been sitting on for months, replying to emails, and many other things.

In order to make all of that happen, I am taking a short break for myself to reassemble my life and get myself onto more solid footing. For the next 5 days, I am heading off to the Hungry for Happiness retreat in Squamish. I am going to dive right in to self care, getting connected to others, and reconnected to myself. I am making myself a priority so that I can be the person that I know I'm capable of being - Because that girl freakin' rocks, is able to make an impact on so many women's lives, and I really miss her.

Thank you so much for being here with me while I pick up the pieces, and having patience as some assembly is required. I can't wait to come back full force and give you bigger and much better things when I'm back. 

XOXO, Chelsey

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