I was browsing Facebook and came across a picture of a friend of a friend. I didn’t even know who the person was in the picture. However, I was so drawn to the beauty, authenticity and luminosity of the photo that I was curious to find more about it. Clicking on the link I learned more about something called The Revelation Project. Have you ever seen something and just had this automatic feeling, “I’ve got to do that!”? There’s no stopping because of fear and the need to do it is greater than any insecurity? Well that’s what happened to me. Let me explain…
After seeing an amazing picture of someone I didn’t even know, I read about how it came about. The photo was not a glamour shot. The photo session was about moms and women in general taking time to connect to themselves. It was about tapping into oneself and presenting that self to the world. You see, as I explain in my “What is Your Passion?” article, this year I am reconnecting to and redefining myself. What better way to have a chance to literally see myself in a new way than to see myself in new pictures? Pictures that, while not meant to be “glamour shots”, were meant to capture the real you and the beauty in that “realness”.
The process seems simple at first glance.
1) You have a photo session with photographers Monica Rodgers and Robyn Ivy (They also help with make-up and wardrobe choices!)
2) You answer some self-reflective questions about the experience, which are posted on The Revelation Project Blog
3) Your pictures are posted on Facebook for the world and you to see.
4) You become a part of a community of women who gave this gift to themselves. Here are some of the many women who shared their beauty through this project: The Revelation Project “THANK YOU” Video
The minimum cost for this is $250. The value of the project is priceless.
What seems simple is much more complex.
Two female photographers actually discovered the benefits of this process for themselves and felt impelled to share it with others. Monica Rodgers and Robyn Ivy are the originators of the project and also close friends. One day as a pick-me-up they decided to photograph each other. They thought it would be just something silly to do but found out it was so much more. These photographers were not shy behind the camera. But neither had spent much time in front of a camera. They both came to understand the magic of being photopraphed in a certain way. I can’t speak for their experience but I can speak for mine.
One benefit is that you get to feel seen during the photo session
I would say being seen or witnessed is one of the unnamed benefits of this project. There’s a term “witnessing” that is part of a therapeutic process called Authentic Movement. In this form of dance therapy the mover simply moves and the witness simply watches without judgement. There are more aspects to this process but the main goal is for the mover to feel “witnessed”. Being witnessed and feeling fully seen can be therapeutic. It’s similar to sharing with someone a deep down secret and having the gift of feeling fully listened to and understood without being judged.
Now I’m not saying by any means that this experience is therapy or that Monica and Robyn are facilitators in any way (although I would say they are very insightful ladies). But what I am saying is where else in your life are you able to have someone’s full attention for around 2 hrs? When many women often spend time catering to others needs, how powerful would it be (and maybe difficult for some too) to be the center of attention for that period of time? Monica and Robyn also don’t just prop you and take pictures. They challenge you and play with you. Since they are friends they also have a great chemistry. So there also can be a lot of laughter involved.
You also get to feel witnessed by others.
Not only are you “witnessed” during the photo session by the photographers, but your photos are also shared on Facebook and on The Revelation Project’s Blog. This takes the feeling of being “witnessed” to a whole new level. On Facebook you get to hear all the amazing comments from friends about your pictures. How often do we see a wall of comments about how beautiful we are? My favorite comments were those that said they saw the beauty inside shining through. Really, if you think about it, many of us don’t hear or say or even feel how beautiful we are as often as we should in this life.
You also get to witness yourself. When I saw my pictures for the first time my initial thought was “Is that really me?”. In fact it took me a little while to even post one of the pictures as my Facebook profile picture. What I realized was I had trouble owning it. As I had written in a previous article, this year I am challenging the borders I place around who I “think” I am. So when I finally put one of the pictures up on Facebook as my profile picture, I could feel and see how I was starting to expand my borders of who I thought I was (or at least who I pictured myself to be). To see and own these positive images of yourself can be really empowering.
We all carry an internal image of ourselves. What does yours look like? Is it empowering? or is it disempowering? This project clearly shows that we can choosethe internal image we have of ourselves. If that’s the case, we might as well pick a self-image that serves us rather than one that does a disservice to us. Don’t you think? For those women that already possess that positive image of themselves, here’s your opportunity to share it with others! My guess is that you too will get more than you think out of this project.
As another Revelation Project participant stated, everyone takes part in The Revelation Project for their own individual reasons. Everyone also can get something different out of it. After you have your session you’re asked to answer some questions which can help you clarify why you did it and what you got from the experience. Your answers will eventually be posted on their blog. You can be as open as you want. I chose to be open because as you will see in my answers, one of the things I am working on this year (as a result of being in the Revelation Project) is being able to stand in my vulnerability. For more on what I and the other participants learned, you can read our interviews on The Revelation Project’s Blog.
One word that keeps popping into my mind in describing the Revelation Project is “authenticity”. I would describe both Robyn and Monica as authentic. I would also describe one of their goals with this project as aspiring to present the beauty in authenticity. Now that being said, being authentic is being real and therefore not always perfect. In doing this photo shoot you will not be entering a pristine photo studio. They usually shoot their pictures in Monica’s Victorian home that has a room with a wonderful amount of natural light. However, since it’s someone’s home, there may be some everyday clutter you’d find in a mom’s house, children’s toys and also a variety of cool photo props and backgrounds. There may even be a very cute child meandering in during the session, because that is the life of a mom. As moms we use what we have and we make it work.
The Revelation Project is not for everyone. As I stated there are also many different reasons to do it besides the ones I listed above. In fact Monica, who also has a blog on TLC’s website Parentables, shares in a post several reasons why women may do the project.
What would be something that you would give to your “Self” if you could? What do you think you would get from this project? You might be one of our lucky readers who gets the opportunity to be a part of this project for FREE and experience some other great prizes. Check out more details about how to sign up for a chance to win our “Feel Like a Queen” Spa Makeover Giveaway. If interested, be sure sign up by May 31st.
( While we are calling the giveaway a “make-over”, The Revelation Project is really a “reveal”…. revealing the inner and outer beauty that’s already there!)