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Filtering by Tag: self-portrait challenge

an invitation to see {self-portrait challenge}

liz lamoreux



Two years ago, my daily practice, for two months, was to look in the mirror for a few minutes everyday. I began this practice after reading an article by Elizabeth Gilbert in Yoga Journal (read more background about my previous experience with this meditation here and here).

A few weeks into this practice, I realized I had stopped just looking at me and instead had started seeing me. I began to see the beauty in the curves of my face and how my eyes sometimes seem to smile and the fullness of my lips. I began to see wisdom and truth. My internal self-talk began to soften.

For a few months, I have been thinking about starting this practice again. After a confusing couple of moments while on a trip this summer, moments that brought up that harsher self-talk, I found myself standing in front of a mirror and pausing.

I stood there and looked myself in the eye and felt myself begin to crumble a bit. I was honest with myself about the feelings that had surfaced and could feel that invitation to simply "lose it." In that moment, I took a deep breath, and looking eye to eye with me, I felt an invitation to seek some refuge within this meditation I had spent time with two years ago. So much emotion knocked inside me as I looked at myself, trying to see beauty. I didn't want to give into that internal pull to lose it, as I needed to exit the bathroom at some point in a manner that seemed pulled together. So I stood there watching the shadow of my earring that the light from the skylight was creating…I just watched the shadow on my face and how light seemed to dance around it. I took in that moment and found my breath.

The next day, I found myself standing in front of this mirror again, and I focused on the way my bangs brushed across my forehead. The day after that, I focused on the slight curve of my lips right before a full smile spread across my face. And on and on. For about three weeks now, I have spent a few minutes each day just looking at me…trying to see me again.

Earlier today, I stood eye to eye with me and felt that self-talk soften just a bit.

This reflection mediation has become my practice yet again.

I am trying to see me…to see more than what someone else might see when making assumptions or judgments…to see more than what I see when doing the same. I am looking at the shadows and the light and trying to give myself permission to crack open a bit more.

I am standing eye to eye with me and trying to let the shadows dance their way into the light and shine just a bit.

I am giving myself permission to see beauty.

I am giving myself permission to see me.

(read Elizabeth Gilbert's full article here)


updated in 2011: Self-Portrait Challenge (SPC) was a website and community that encouraged people to take and share self-portraits. I loved this project! However, I am sad to report that it no longer has an active website, so I have removed links that appeared in the posts connected to my participation in this project.

today...a shift...a smile {self-portrait challenge}

liz lamoreux


Sitting in the dentist office waiting room today, I started writing a blog post in my journal that was full of some of the thoughts swirling around my head lately. Thoughts about how one balances the good and the shit and how hard it is to rest in the midst of all that life throws one's way in any given moment, day, week, year. Since early November I have been to the dentist more times that I can keep track up. The days prior to a dentist appointment are filled with tummy problems and nervousness and dread. At my second appointment, the one where you sit there after your cleaning and the dentist and the assistant talk about your teeth in a language you do not know as though you are not there and write down all the problems you…your teeth…have…at that appointment, I burst into tears. So overwhelmed by all of it. Full of such shame and sadness and a little anger. And, as I explained why I was crying: not because of fear of the dental appointments to come or the tools or the drilling…no, I said, I am crying because I feel such shame that my teeth are like this.

(And in that moment, in my head I was saying…I feel such shame because I smile so big and can't help it but I know that when I smile people can see the discoloration on my teeth. I feel such shame because of all the reasons that are no ones fault yet kind of everyone's fault that brought me to this moment in this chair with these tears. I feel such shame because there is no way we can pay for all of this. I feel such shame because I never told anyone how it felt that day I got my braces off and there was all that damage. I feel such shame because I am 31 and crying at the dentist's office. I feel such shame…)

There was so much I did not say. But, as I tried to breathe to avoid the threatening ugly cry, this new dentist said something...well...something pretty magical, "I think the self-abuse about this should stop today. You are here now. And, we are going to fix it."

So I brought Jeero the uglydoll to the next appointment and sat there for over three hours. And, the next appointment, which was an emergency appointment, I didn't bring Jeero, but I did have my playlist that soothed me while I experienced the joy that is an unexpected root canal. And, I went to the next appointment, and then to the one where the million-dollar crown was put on a tooth, and then to the next appointment where I listened to Steve Martin read his new book and sat for another three hours, and then to today's appointment…


Even though my head aches from the drilling and my gums are sore from the shots and my sinuses seem to have been a bit affected by all the numbness and all that is a dental appointment, I walked out of the dentist office with a smile on my face. I walked out into the raining sleet that is washing away the snow and felt light.

Today was the day he worked on my front teeth. My front four teeth look so good. They look good for the first time since…well…a long, long time. I feel such joy about it that the tears that fall as I type this are from joy, not shame. It is a good day…

And that one tooth…the one that was so damaged from my braces…the tooth that felt like a mark of shame. It is shining.

It is a good day.

And, yes, I do plan to write about some of the deeper stuff swirling around at some point. But, today, I just want to celebrate letting go of the shame.

Today, I just want to smile.

(see what else people are celebrating over at self-portrait challenge)

the only clouds around...{self-portrait challenge}

liz lamoreux

today, the only clouds that i could see were the ones on my pajamas

blue sky
and inside (me)

celebrating feeling the sun
and inside (me)

breathing in brightness
breathing out hope

today, i feel the joyful reverberations of a slumber party of a weekend full of friendship, laughter, solving a few problems, brainstorming, creating, consuming two super-good snacks here, visits here and here, new jewels, and then an unexpected extra day of time with my brother (and getting to play "i live all by myself in a loft in the pearl" for a few hours).

a weekend that was the deep breath i needed

breathe in blue sky
breathe out compassion

feel the sun inside (me)

(see more self-portrait celebrations here)

the lightness and the darkness (self-portrait challenge}

liz lamoreux

my soul sometimes does not know where to land...in the dark or in the light. the darkness can feed the melancholy and uncertainty and pain. the lightness can feed the same at times. do you notice this? how the lightness can feel heavy when the clouds hide the blue. but there is beauty in both. the light in the darkness can force an unexpected shift in perspective. a cloud can invite relief from the glare. there is hope in the light and the dark.

the light

today, i wear the lightness.

as the rain drips steadily this time of year, i seek the lightness. when the sun sneaks out behind that steady drum of wetness, i seek the warmth. i look out the windows until i find a little spot of sunlight; then i put on shoes and zero in on it. even if it means standing in the street.

i want to wear the unwavering lightness of the sun.

the dark

today, i wear the darkness.

as the darkness envelopes our little home, i feel cocooned in evening. the ritual of closing the blinds and lighting candles and straightening a bid. a ritual almost forgotten but remembered today as evening knocked at the door.

i want to wear the darkness of twilight and dancing candlelit shadows.

(see what others are wearing at self-portrait challenge)

i wear handmade {self-portrait challenge}

liz lamoreux

uniform week 3

late afternoon with millie, 20 november 2007

uniform week 3, handmade treasures

estella necklace by jen, birdhouse pendant by stephanie, mitts by jmaccknit, my little black dress (in grey) by treehouse 28

earring close

hat by jmaccknit and earrings by sulu

i am enjoying bringing more and more handmade items into my wardrobe. shopping more on etsy and at art+craft fairs and less in the big box stores.

it feels more like me to wear these pieces...

i took the handmade pledge a week weeks back, which means i am giving only handmade gifts for the holidays this year and asking for handmade gifts.

so lots of time spent on etsy...i mean a lot of time spent on etsy.

some new favorites (these are all in the "made by yarn" category):

these mitts
this capelet
and this capelet
this hat
this blooming brooch
this apple jacket

one idea i want to pass on to you is to check out the favorites of other etsy folks. you can find their lists right in the sidebar of their shops or in their profiles. even if you don't have an etsy shop, you can create a profile and start adding items and shops to your favorites, and then you can share the link to your favorites with your loved ones so that they know what you might want this holiday season...go on...buy (and ask for) some handmade gifts...

uniform week 3, posing for the camera

posing, 20 november 2007

i took so many photos today, that by the time i posed for this one i was cracking up at the oddity of taking self-portraits...thought it might resonate with some of you...

oh and see what others are wearing here