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True confession time – I don’t love getting my photograph taken. As we were working on our new website for The Academies (hoping to launch it soon!), and the team unanimously voted that my picture should be on the home page, I drug my feet and put it off for weeks!

And the reason I balked is that I noticed I’d been focusing on all my flaws – I won’t point them out because I’m not going to give it more attention and negative energy.

So, last week, picture day came. Because of the pandemic, the photographer’s working in his garage, which is pretty dark and cold in the middle of winter. And I’m kicking myself because I forgot to pack my lipstick – I don’t carry it much these days since I’m usually wearing a mask when I go out, so I’m feeling kind of unarmed without a lip gloss touch-up!

I sit down and the photographer shows me that his camera is tethered to his computer, which means as soon as he snaps, the photo almost instantly shows up on the laptop. And I have to tell you – even though I was trying to convince myself to be positive and feel good, I really walked in feeling like I was dragging a ball and chain!

But, once I saw the photo pop up on the laptop screen, I was shocked. The photo looked great! And I thought to myself, geez, Susan, what were you so worried about? These are turning out beautiful!

The interesting thing to me, from a brain perspective, is that the same Susan was there – regardless of the professional lighting, regardless of that fancy lens.

I’m the same person WITH or WITHOUT the lighting. So are you. How I feel about myself changes, but who I am does not change. How you feel about yourself may change, but who you are—the beauty of who you are and the value you bring to the world—does not change.

So perhaps there’s some circumstance in your life at the moment that’s inviting you to add a little extra light to be shed upon it … and a reminder of the good that is in you and waiting to be seen and appreciated … not just by other people, but by yourself as well.

Light and Love,