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shine your light

We are all good at shining the light on others. Singing praises, commenting on the beauty of everyone else's art, photos, and lives. Why do we forget that our own light is so very precious and needs to be nurtured and deserves to be praised? As women are we just so busy taking care of others that we forget to stand in our own light? Or do we buy into the belief that such behavior is boastful and prideful, rather than brave and confident? Have we been conditioned to hide our own light? Do those dreadful words, 'who do you think you are?' ring in your ears? I am guilty of this. Someone praises my photography, or something I wrote, and I can feel the heat rising in my face,  I actually get a physical response to it. Forget about tooting my own horn, ugh, no way. But why not? If I cannot believe I am worthy than who will? Allowing myself to stand in my own light is something I am truly working on.  Just when I needed it, a very special gift came my way. A locket, a keeper of treasures and sacred things, worn near my heart. Inside, a whisper to my soul... "Stand in your light". Four little words that speak big to my heart.

We each have our own special gifts to share with the world, rather than being shy or embarrassed by that, why not shout it out instead!  Today shine the light on YOU. Have you done something new or exciting with your photography?  Perhaps a gallery showing, a first photoshoot, opened a shop, entered a contest, been published, taken a class, printed one of your own photos and had it framed just for you? Perhaps there is just a certain photo you are SO.VERY.PROUD.OF.  Go ahead, tell us! Show us! Celebrate it! Whatever it may be, share it with us here today.  Say yes to you and your light.

Like the locket says, stand in your light, you deserve to feel the warmth it holds.


As extra incentive to shine your light with us, the multitalented artist Liz Lamoreux, creator of the beautiful locket above, is gifting one simple soul mantra locket necklace to one lucky commenter here today. Liz's shop, soul mantras and other stories, is filled with beautiful pieces each imprinted with special words that speak straight to the heart and soul. Perhaps there is a message your soul is in need of right now. Just leave a comment here by midnight PST to be entered in today's giveaway.


GIVEAWAY UPDATE: congrats to Amy, the winner of the simple soul mantra locket giveaway. xo Amy!

Reader Comments (96)

I love her simplicity!
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTrittoli
Proud to have had this photo accepted into a national juried photo exhibit:

And - I love the concept of standing in one's own light!
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarcie
It was the gorgeous photo that drew me in from facebook, and the perfect words that kept me here. what a wonderful post, in every way...the imagery, the jewelry, and the story. absolutely LOVE.
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline
I love sharing my photographs on my website. That feels like enough for now ...
the way i literally shed light on a subject inspires people to see it in new ways
i know this. not only from deep within myself but also because people keep telling me this over and over again
most of the time i don' t really believe it. i compare my work to that of others and find a dozen reasons why i fall short
somehow i find it hard to trust my own vision
but i keep on shooting pictures and sharing my vision with the people around me and they keep on telling me my images are inspiring and beautiful
last weekend i went to an indonesian country fair and photographed all the wonderful colors and shapes i saw in the market stalls

i sent a link to the organizers and they were all really excited about the way i captured the essence, the atmosphere of the event
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrakusribut
I believe I do this each day when teaching high schoolers. I shed light on my love/knowledge of English and can see how this affects my students and how they perceive my class.
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJanice
Right now I post photos to Flickr or my blog and I enter contests when I have the time... this is enough for me right now, but I do plan to do more for my self in the near future. Love the locket, the saying and the photo!
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristineellen
I enter some photography contests but I think it is more to find others who might relate to me and inspire me. Sometimes I have surprised myself and my photo has been chosen most times not. I can relate to the poster today as a mother to 3 young girls. I am working on myself though and will get there someday. The locket is beautiful as is the message. The photo is absolutely gorgeous!
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessie
I've been taking photos all my life. I was that girl with the camera in her hand. In 2009 I heard of the 365 project and thought it sounded like a great idea. January 1, 2010 I started taking a photo a day and blogging about it. January 1, 2011 I continued – this time with a 52 week project. When I look back through all the photos on my blog from day 1 until now I can see the progression of how my photos have improved. I hope in a year from now I'll be able to see even more improvement! If you have time, take a look.
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDoris
Earlier this summer, one of my photos got first place in a local photo contest. I had not told anyone (besides my husband) that I was entering. I was surprised by the outpouring of love that came my way when people I knew saw the magazine. Here's my shot of the publication when it came in the mail:
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteranngeedee
It'll be starting graduate school in photojournalism soon. Sometimes I feel like my pictures are not very special, and that anyone can take the pictures I take. But then I remember that at least someone thought my work was good enough to merit a slot in graduate school, and that makes me feel like maybe I have something special to give.
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaria
I think my light and my style shows up only to me. I see something I've taken and fall in love with it. I may be only me that does, but that's okay.
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPam
After high school I went to art school and never had enough faith in myself. I always looked around and knew everyone was so much more talented. My whole life, confidence has been my downfall. There just never seems to be enough.
This year I vowed to put it all out there and follow my dreams. I'll never know if I could have been great if I never try. So even if I fail, I will not fail because I haven't tried. After 18 years of dreaming, I've finally started my own photography business. I just want to give people pictures that they will cherish. I don't even want to be rich or famous or the best. I just want to give people pictures they will love.
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmyG
i havn't done anything formal with my photographs, it is my passion & i have decided recently to do something creative with them, i am in process of planning a gift card range (taking part in kelly rae robert's course to help me get there) i recently planned my first practice photo shoot with my family out in the country, i am really proud of the results & i ignored (still trying to, cause it keeps coming into my mind) the "who do you think you are??" & told the world (small as mine is) via social media that i am a bit excited about them. This is timely, I love your necklace & what it be free
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermichelle
Thank you for the post, it's so true.... especially for women. We are so busy giving to others and never to ourselves. I try to remember to thank myself often for making my dream a priority. I left my career as a journalist to pursue my passion in photography. As my four year old would say... It makes my heart happy!!!
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergwen
i so love Liz's beautiful work ...

I continue to experiment with stones . photos and quotes ...
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRed or Gray Art
yesterday I put a picture I'd taken of my neice mabel on my blog - but more significantyl I wrote the words
' a photograph I'm proud of'. I've never said it before.
It felt boastful - but I am proud. Funny how hard it is to say about oneself!
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterchipper nelly
Absolutely beautiful. We all need words like these. <3
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVanessa
With the help of books (like Craft, Inc.) and e-courses (I also took the wonderful class by Kelly Rae) I finally took the leap and opened a shop on etsy a few months ago!

It's so cool knowing that my prints are decorating the walls of homes across the US (and in Australia!).
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDawnS
Very inspiring article! and so true!
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmber
a beautiful reminder i needed this stand in my own light. what a concept!
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteramy
I'm taking an online photography class. One of the assignments was to imitate an image that I was inspired by. I blogged about it here:
I was/am proud of the end result. I learned a lot about myself and my photography. It is hard saying that I'm proud of something that I copied, but I am. It pushed me past my comfort zone and I learned that it's ok :)
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMorgen
I love her shop...such beautiful, inspiring pieces. I recently got some of my photos printed out and i put one of my favorites up in my living room to inspire and remind me that i can do this, and that i should see my passion through. I believe very strongly in believing in yourself and standing in your light!!
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessica Wilson
What a beautiful necklace.
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSatakieli
"...darkness has a hunger thats insatiable, and lightness has a call that's hard to hear... "
This blog post reminds me of that treasured Indigo Girls lyric. I had an epiphany this year, that it is through the darkness that I find my own light and like a poster above, I think it's only me who sees it and another lesson in life, I'm totally okay with that. Here is one of *my* most favourite images that I've taken... I've been drawing on it a lot lately to re-inspire. blessings to all, I'd love the opportunity to win such a beautiful, totem. xx
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda
I need to learn to stand in my own light - great reminder!
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterisaida
Thanks for the chance to win one of those lovely necklaces.
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterScrappyBarb
Wow, this post really resonates with me! I still have trouble being seen with a tripod and my fancy camera and lenses (which I am so, so lucky to have been able to afford) because of that nagging "who do you think you are?" comment that comes into my head; if someone asks me what I'm doing, I always respond with a comment along the lines of 'just playing around' or 'just a hobby', etc.

I'm trying to get up the nerve to have my neighbor friend display and sell some of my printed photos in her hair salon as she has offered. I do feel like it is boastful and I am supposed to be humble and never take credit. I also feel guilty, too, because I have a regular job, so why should I sell photos when there are real artists and pros trying to make their living this way? . . . ahh, the guilt that comes with being a woman! I have gotten a bit more brave lately though . . . here and there . . . by giving photos away to friends and families and entering contests and I do print plenty for myself, but that doesn't make me feel gulity nor too boastful . .. someday, I need to take the next step! Thanks for the reminder that it is okay to be proud of yourself and your work.
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBonnie
what a talented artist Liz is--this is something I too struggle with.
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBridget [aviary]
this necklace is gorgeous. i would love the chance to win one. i believe that one's inner light shines when they are truly happy. :)
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterangela king
Thank you for your beautiful post today, Kristin. It moved me to tears. I have been working through my own worthiness issues of late, so this is very timely.
For me, I have my very first official photo shoot at the ballet studio I dance at. Twice now, I've been the only one with a camera around at performances & now our Artistic Director actually asked me -not our official guy- ME, to take some shots of class for our website. I am both nervous & busting at the seams!
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaty
wholehearted and tear-soaked gratitude for this exquisite offering. a soul mantra locket necklace...what grace. thank you.

at 3 sisters village, we are creating an online gallery exhibition of visual art (theme: body). we invite you to join us, if desired.
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermelissa
light shining more each year as i move more into my own light!
thanks for turning me on to such beautiful jewelry, wow!
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbridge
This is such a beautiful locket w/beautiful words.
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennie S.
Love this post and it rings so true for me. Today I'm/ proud to share that I've been invited to sell my work at a local craft/art festival in November!
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMeghan @ Life Refocused
So true...
I have been working on lovin' and showing new light on the way I care for my family. Simple daily activities.
Such an important part of my life and documenting in thru photos is an wonderful way for me to look back at the end of the day... a loving journal of photos. Sometimes when I feel like I have not measured up in some way I look back at those postive moments. Such a good boost for me.
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDawn Suzette
I am feeling that I got a little better in shooting simple things and show them un-edited:
Also, I think I am quite good shooting film! I really like it:
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJulie Alvarez
what a beautiful reminder, both the message and the necklace.
Kristin, your photo, Liz's locket, and your post message are perfect!!! I feel most women can definitely relate to this post and we need to embrace our light. As for me, I bought a macro lens this summer and am proud of the photos that I have taken with it :) Here are some recent ones ~
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnna
I created a gallery in the main hallway of our house just for my photographs.
I change the photos every season.
The winter photographs are in the middle of this post:
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDebC
What a timely post today. Thank you for posting and reminding us that we not only deserve some love once in a while, we can do a little self PR to get it.

I thought this pic was particularly representative. I love the photo for its girliness but also thought the subject matter was fitting.
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaia Kegley
Oh, wow! That locket is just beautiful!
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKathy
Beautiful photo, lovely necklace, perfect words.
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLynne
What a marvelous giveaway! Something to remind ourselves that we are talented and worthy. I wrote about my fears and the voice in my head, just today, before visiting here. "Afraid... we fade."

It's good to know that we aren't alone in this. It's good to have physical reminders like a necklace that help us celebrate ourselves and our accomplishments. Something to give us confidence and acceptance for the light we bring into the world. Thanks for the reminder of that today!
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKat
whenever i catch myself being completely negative about a particular photograph that i've taken, i force myself to find one thing that i love about it. because you're right, letting your own light shine and celebrating it is just as important as celebrating other people.
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTela
I know that I am my own harshest critic. Does that help me reach higher or keep me from it?
I am oh so proud of this shot.
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeidi M
To my utter surprise, this image...
is getting an amazing response in a contest on Google +. If you'd like, you can leave a comment - it'll help me out. But even if I don't win, it's great to know that I could have...
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca
It IS a gorgeous locket....and i want to know why we are hardest on ourselves and DON'T give ourselves enough credit...well I don't anyway.....
this locket would be an everyday reminder to change thaT BAD THINKING into a more positive one.
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelly
How beautiful & this post talked to me. As I am trying to do just that at this moment. I am SAHM who is trying to find "me" yes there is nothing more priceless then being blessed to stay home with my children and do what I need to at home but I have found that photography is giving me another set of eyes. Its all a world wind right now as I am learning and observing so much. So for me I'm trying to share my light & have been brave enough to start a blog JUST dedicated to what I see through my Lens and it feels AWESOME. Thanks for the chance.
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEllie A
Liz has a beautiful etsy shop. i recently opened an etsy shop of my own. i haven't been selling like hot cakes but i'm trying to stay positive that business will pick up some day. i like how many of my photograph of the rings turn out.
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterautumn sun

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