I find myself eager for settling in with a cup of tea or glass of wine with those who I admire and hearing their story whispers. I crave these stories and voices.
The magic inside of the words, the treat of the truth and that moment of ‘yes, me too’ are why we must keep sharing our stories. I am making an effort to hear stories in person and through connection as well as tell my stories in whatever ways the words wish to flow out.
Take us through your gorgeous life in terms of your senses: touch, taste, smell, sight, sound and any others that you possess.
Sight is always at the forefront. Noticing the way things sparkle, the words written in the pavement, the shift of one texture to another, the way light falls on the ground.
The other senses weave their way into the story too. The scent of lilac on the tree next door, the texture of a flower petal I can’t help but stop to feel, the sounds of a vibrant neighbourhood with lots of people engaging with one another saying ‘Good Morning’ and the very loud purr of my sidekick kitty Ladybug. The taste of really good coffee, apples and kale from the farmers market.
The moment you knew you had found your thing, the one that would propel you forward because you can’t not do it?
I feel like I’ve been on a journey towards my one thing, but it took a lot of little brave steps towards it. Right from the start of doing work around selfportraiture and inviting people to turn their cameras on themselves it has felt like my one true thing but it was only back in late last year when I made some shifts in the work I was doing to have more of a focus on selflove and the words ‘Be Your Own Beloved’ rolled from my pen to paper. It was the clarity of those words and the work that followed them that really made me feel like I really found my soul mission in life and I couldn’t not bring it to the world.
Feeling phrase: how do you want to feel when you are inside of your creative life?
At home, that it is a part of me the way when you’re riding your bike and it feels like an extension of your limbs.
In love, I want to continue to follow the lead of the places in my creative life that I feel head over heels for, that I just can’t wait to dig into.
Resilient. I want to be able to work through rough patches, blocks or fears as they are truly part of the process of living a creative life and allowing it to evolve and grow.
Magical moments: what are they to you and how do you open to receiving them?
I feel like our cameras can be an amazing tool for being open to magical moments. Sometimes they happen as I’m being open to finding a moment to take a photo and find something serendipitous on my path. Other times the magic happens within the camera where you capture a magical moment or something unexpected. I’ve also learned along the way (both with photography and life) the most magical moments happen when we thought we might have made a mistake, or we are outside our comfort zone!
Is there a ritual that you start your day with?
The morning is when I feel most alive, most clear and when I feel like I connect most with the writer in me and when the ideas are at the forefront. So to be honest I dive right into my work in the morning ... so my morning ritual is coffee and diving into the work that makes me feel really alive! I have other rituals within my day and week for self care but have learned to listen to that bright morning spirit in me that just wants to dive into work (and feel grateful that my work often feels like play too).
Favorite part of your body, tell us why you love it?
I’d have to say my eyes, which is kind of funny because I have really bad eyesight, but I’m not really talking about their physicality...rather the way they allow me to see the world.
I also am finally, after a long stretch of healing body image, am able to see the woman I am becoming and I am appreciating her curvature and shape as a whole....finally able to see the beauty in myself right here and right now.
One of my favourite quotes these days is about beauty and selflove, but I return to it so often and remember that in any moment we are the beholder of what is manifesting in our lives and how we want to look at it.
People often say that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder," and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder. This empowers us to find beauty in places where other have not dared to look including inside ourselves.
~ Salma Hayek
A mantra or affirmation that guides you:
One of my personal mantras that I use in my work and in my everyday is that ‘Playfulness is an antidote to fear’. I love being able to take something that might overwhelm us or bring out our inner perfectionist and find a way to reframe it or get past it through just accessing our creative or playful side.
Your guiding word/s for the year:
I feel like I’m still living and learning about the word I chose last year which was actually Confidence. I’m a fan of choosing words that really get to the nitty gritty of the changes I want to make in my life. Confidence wasn’t a poetic word but it absolutely transformed my life to choose it.
Vivienne McMaster is photographer and teaches online and in person workshops helping people to be their own beloved and see themselves with kindness through their cameras. Having found her way back to herself after a rough patch through the magic of photography, she believes that self portraiture and creative exploration can save our lives. She shares her colourful visual stories over at her website (http://www.beyourownbeloved.com)