When did the “P-word” become dirty?

As a spiritually awake woman with a message, a calling, a purpose, do you ever noticed how the wisdom of many spiritual teachings is actually holding you back instead of pulling you forward? That it is easy to think that having a spiritual life is somehow antithetical to having a successful business? How did we get those so confused? I imagine that in the 1970s when many Westerners turned toward the wisdom of the ancient spiritual traditions it was because culture had swung so far away from living a holistic rich life that we needed as a culture to swing in the opposite direction. We needed to want for something other than a life where we worked 40 hour weeks, came home to the same stuck routine and eventually retired, where success was hooked into a culture of competition where our achievement was dependent on someone else’s failure. We needed to want for something OTHER than climbing a ladder to a career that may offer us financial comfort but little in the realm of health, happiness or fulfillment! We turned to the Christian principles of living a life of virtue, we looked to Buddhism’s doctrine of doing everything in our lives with present time awareness and acceptance, Yoga’s 8-limbs taught us to cultivate a path of devotion to uniting the body, mind and spirit.

Sounds great, right? But too many threw the baby out with the bathwater and here is why that became a problem for us purpose driven women entrepreneurs with big hearts minds and dreams –

Desire was anathema to appreciating the present moment. Striving for success was inherently aggressive. Having a well developed sense of self was egoic. Temperance was a virtue and Pride was a deadly sin.

Some of us may not even recognize how these ideas are keeping us from being the influential women we were put on this planet to be. I didn’t.

It was 6 years ago and I was by all accounts an accomplished physical yogi, my body was adept at all kinds of miraculous postures that I never imagined it would be. I was in a 9am class on a Saturday morning with one of my favorite teachers and I noticed that I was holding back, I felt this inkling of pride at what I was capable of and decided it was better not to fully actualize the pose then risk coming across as “show-offey”, striving, egoic or “unspiritual”.

It hit me, I had made PRIDE a dirty word. That not wanting to stand out was making me contain, hold back, not GIVE everything I had to give, not be all that I could be. It took some gentle belief rejiggering and more than one external affirmation from another yogi (“Your practice is so inspiring!”) before I was able to truly OWN it.

Today, I think the pull of pride might actually be the creative impulse of the universe goading us to realize our fullest potential. The whisper that encourages us to design an envy-worthy brand, that asks us to express fully in our eka-pada rajakapotasana (for you yogis out there!), that coaxes us onto that stage to share straight from the source, that puts our mind to writing that book proposal and submitting it to our dream publisher, that wants us to say YES to our hearts desire even if our logical mind has a million and one reasons not to! I’m curious if I would have gotten anywhere on this journey of success if I had not embraced the feeling of pride.

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This week at Wendy Yalom Photography, we’ve been going through the personal branding gallery and selecting images for marketing and I feel soooo flippin’ proud! Like “OMG, look at that! I made that? Omg, this woman that I am created so much beauty I can hardly believe it.” I’m doing my pride dance right now. The part that gets me every single time is that most of my clients don’t even know how beautiful, inspiring, photogenic and courageous they are. Before our working together, they hadn’t realized how proud they would feel of their photos, how gorgeous they would recognize themselves to be and how those photos would become a physical expression of the great work they were put on this planet to do.

Now, I’m on a mission to put the bootie-shaking joy back into feeling proud of ourselves, into making succeeding a cause for celebration and to being bold with our brand and willingness to be seen a HALLELUJAH-worthy action! Want to join me? I hope so.

Feeling damn proud,

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p.s We want to add your gorgeousness to our gallery! Curious about having a personal branding photoshoot in 2016? We are now booking July – October (Holy wow!!) with a small handful of photoshoots available in April and June. Contact us today by clicking here if NOW is your time.

What if John Lennon had it wrong?

When John Lennon made iconic the proposition to “be called a dreamer” nearly 45 years ago, it was assumed that by becoming a dreamer, we would dream of a life without separating beliefs, desires, attachments. We would find harmony through letting go of our individual need to succeed, to achieve, to create. We were encouraged to give up our independent desires in service to a collective consciousness of love and peace and freedom for the whole.

Who doesn’t want a world of love and peace and freedom for the whole?

But what if John Lennon had it wrong? What if every dream to succeed, to achieve, to create (however illogical) that you are currently entertaining was seeded because your mission, your life of purpose and the Freedom of the whole is intrinsically linked to it’s realization? What if it was Robert Frost who nailed it when he said Freedom lies in being bold!

If you had asked me a decade ago if I could imagine my life looking, succeeding as, being what it is today, I would have to say YES, Of course I could imagine it. It all begins with a dream. In the case of my business, it was the dream of being a globe trotting photographer who serves women that she loves in locations that excite and inspire her and together collaborate on bringing out their unique essence, their unique physical, spiritual and professional gorgeousness for the camera, the world, her to see. I sometimes have people ask me if I ever still take photos for fun anymore and I look at them slack jawed and say “You know what I do, right?!? What could I possible photograph that would be more fun than that?”

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Now when you ask me about my dream, it’s a dream where each of my clients is thriving and inspired and where their particular flavor of bootie-kicking brilliance is being actively sought after. It’s a dream where I continue to serve the dreams of you and women like you who are leading with chutzpah and style and making a real difference in the lives of your friends, family, community and the world. It is a dream where together we continue to boldly shape the future into one where everyone we meet is living a happy, healthy and awakened life.

Ready to capture iconic, dazzling “OMG, I LOVE THEM” photographs in a location that leaves you ecstatic?? We have just a handful of Personal Branding Photoshoots still available the first half of 2016. Contact us today and let us hear about your dream!

To your dreams,

Where 2015 Took Me

In the last 12 months, I’ve traveled over 75,000 miles (by air?!?!!?), captured close to 80 successful and spectacular Personal Branding Photoshoots, half a dozen omg-so-beautiful weddings, 4 kick-a** live events, hundreds of miles purposefully wandered through 7 different countries and I feel more content than ever before. I love my home, my incredible clients, my gorgeous friends. In 2015, by the Grace of God and necessity itself, I gave up worrying and it is impossible to quantify the positive impact this has had on my well being. I’m in awe, each year at this time of year, I’m left with that “drop to my knees tears in my eyes thank you” and just now for the first time in my life do I get that the spiral continues onward and upward as long as I’m willing to let it take me.

What 2016 has to hold, I am in anticipation and delight to discover.

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City Girl Confidence & Grace Kelly

It’s no surprise that a woman with a namesake like Grace Kelly is as stylish as she is bright and as confident as she is approachable. In the past 3 years, I’ve watched this gorgeous woman grow a Forbes-worthy brand and blog. Her latest program is in service to creating your own stylish international quality brand. I personally think Grace is one woman truly capable of getting you there! Curious to see what she is up to? Click here -> www.citygirlconfidence.com/sales/stylish-calls?ap_id=wendy

  Get more Weddings, Personal Branding Photoshoots, and Daily Doses of Beauty by liking our Facebook page.  in Love, Wendy Yalom

Get more Weddings, Personal Branding Photoshoots, and Daily Doses of Beauty by liking our Facebook page.

in Love,
Wendy Yalom

Gina DeVee Debuts Divine Living Magazine!

The first time I worked with Gina DeVee, I remember the two of us huddled in front of her computer in Montecito and her revealing to me the vision she had for creating a lux lifestyle magazine that showcased all things divine living, we looked at fonts and colors and talked about some of the things she would write about. I was excited and enrolled and wanted to do whatever I could to help her realize it. Then last summer when she, Glenn and I were toasting to our NYT debut the question “What will we be toasting to this time next year in Paris?” And Gina answered “The magazine!” Truthfully, I felt cynical, or skeptical might be more accurate. I knew how much Gina wanted to devote her attention to realizing this dream and I also knew it had been a long time dream and that the effort to do it in a way that lined up w. the divine living brand was going to take some serious time, energy and financial investment. It is with absolute JOY that I share with you the inaugural issue of Divine Living magazine and an enormous “omg-woman-you-are-miracle !!” to Gina.

Wendy K Yalom Photography in Divine Living Magazine

This magazine is a brilliant, generous example of Gina’s core message to “Live the life of your dreams NOW!” Honored and Proud to have captured her inaugural cover and more than that to be aligned with a woman of such courage, conviction, grace and no holds barred chutzpah!!! Can not wait to toast this success tomorrow and discover what we will be celebrating in Paris 2016!! ENJOY – www.divineliving.com

Curl up with a big ol’ mug of Uncertainty and The New York Times

Hi!

My work is being featured in the New York Times.

I need to say that a second time because I’m overwhelmed with a giddy OMG-That-is-so-crazy-cool every time I hear it!

My work is being featured in the New York Times! Today!

In a Style-Section story about the rapidly-growing movement of having professional photographs taken for personal branding, social media and other social networking platforms. It’s an exciting week for me, yet also a week – like any other– where I wake up in my Paris apartment with the same dreams, desires, fears and doubts that are intrinsically part of what makes me me.

Of course, I’m ecstatic about being featured in the New York Times and each time I brag about it I’m overwhelmed with that Holy-Smokes-Dream-Come-True-Wow reality!

I’ve gotten used to these kinds of miracles in my business; spending a month in Paris, experiencing each woman I work with blossom in what feels like the blink of an eye, having a New York Times reporter contact me directly.

I wanted this: “This” being recognized – by the flippin’ NY Times no less – as the credible expert on Personal Branding Photography. “This” being the thought leader in My industry. “This” miracle that has become my life. And, all of it happening without a road map. I simply had a desire, a certain tenacity to keep moving forward in the direction of my dreams and this mantra from Rilke stamped on my mind:

“Have patience with all that is unresolved in your heart, and try to love the questions themselves, as if they were rooms yet to enter or books written in a foreign language. Don’t search for answers that can’t be given you yet: you live them now. For everything must be lived. Live the questions now, perhaps then, someday, you will gradually, without noticing live into the answer.”

It is this willingness to live the uncertainty that each thriving entrepreneur will tell you is the secret to success in business. AND, I believe, to success in all areas of your life.

I’ve recently been falling in love with a smart, handsome, adventurous man…a good man who continually leaves me feeling adored, honored and loved. This morning, our easy closeness and buoyancy was interrupted by an ouch-ughh-not-what-i-want conversation — the kind that happens occasionally with authentically inspiring relationships…the relationships where each person is genuinely enhanced by the others’ contribution to their life. In this moment of “blah” every fiber of my being wanted to shut down and hide, my mind was desperate to figure it out so it wouldn’t happen again and it seemed easier to walk away then to be with the question of “Can our relationship survive this moment?”  What it took was clear loving self-awareness to be in the question without trying to control or manipulate each other into knowing the answer. The answer we lived into was “yes, this is survivable.” Within a day, we had integrated that experience into our partnership which left us both feeling freer and more honestly loved. What a great feeling, right?

Here is the thing, most people think that once you have reached a certain level of success or “readiness” your fear of the unknown diminishes. Actually, the amount of uncertainty you are willing to hold is directly proportional to the quality and reach of your impact both professionally and personally. Meaning the more successful you find yourself at love and life and career, the bigger game you are available to play and with each new game comes a whole new level of “uh-oh-is-this-going-to-work”.

Uncertainty grows along with success and so does your capacity to hold it.

What there is for you to discover is not only is it safe to be uncertain, if what you want is growth, your life depends on getting comfy with living the questions.

So, if you were to take anything from this email, I want you to take this;
1. Become friends with uncertainty. In fact, fall in love with it. That alone will set you free.
2. Pick up or check out the NY Times and share about it. (of course!)
3. Never quit. Never ever quit.

in Love and in Service,

p.s Curious about your own personal branding Photoshoot? Click here to contact us today.

p.p.s I’ll be in Southern Italy in early September and have two Personal Branding photoshoots available. Click here if Sicily is calling you!

 

 

What no one tells you about following your bliss

When I was 16, my dad introduced me to yoga and gave me a copy of Joseph Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces. I read it along with the copy of Chogyam Trungpa’s Shambala that he also gave me. I didn’t “get it” AT ALL and truth be told, I was willing to fake it if it meant I would feel closer to my dad.

Fast forward, 24 years and here I sit at a cafe in Paris, after a delicious yoga class, preparing to capture 11 extraordinary women and a powerful live event lead by my dear and beloved friend Success coach Gina DeVee with over 100 more. I’m being well compensated for creating unforgettable transformational Personal Branding Photoshoots for these women and know that the more of myself I give to each of them the more enlivened I will be.

So, I’m sitting here at lunch after yoga and I’m reminded of one particularly memorable line from Joseph Campbell –

“Follow your bliss and the Universe will open doors where once there were only walls”

and I realize that after 24 years I’ve just naturally “gotten it”. I now get what it means to follow my bliss.

Most people think that following your bliss means always taking the path of ease and “flow” but what it actually means is you have to give everything you’ve got in service to your heart’s desire. {share it}

 

5 years ago, I had a dream of coming here to Paris and photographing women. I had just started offering the kindergarten version of my personal branding photoshoots and started looking around for how to make it happen; asking a girlfriend who offered a retreat here, asking other girlfriends if they wanted to collaborate on something and all I discovered were walls. Walls where I wanted to discover doors.

The dream settled in my heart and I put my attention back on doing everything I could to build my brand, to hone my skills and take on the time and financial investment of developing what is now my signature Personal Branding Photography Experience. I spent more money than I had to spend, I moved forward in the face of exhaustion and hopelessness and every self doubt and fear, I said YES to my heart’s desire and it took everything I had to follow my bliss.

Now everywhere I look I see doors where once there were only walls; month long stays in Paris, Italy, New York, Australia, as many clients as I can handle and a full team to support me and the women I serve.

I have something special for you – 3 simple mantras to start discovering your own doorways. They aren’t effortless by any means and trust me, they will serve you well to follow;

1. Trust your desire, your bliss even if you have no idea how you are ever going to get there.

2. Be willing to say YES even if you doubt yourself.

3. Continue to give everything you can and then give more and then give more and then give more and never stop giving everything you possibly can.

Now, go out there and get to work! The world needs all of you.

In Love and in Service,

p.s. Are you following my adventures on facebook? Oh, please do, click here and follow me.