You know you are passionate about something when you find bliss in what you do. That moment you can’t stop thinking about it or wanting to do it.
When passion burns so intensely happiness is inevitable.
Passion comes in different sizes, shapes, and shades.
For me, my passions come in the form of photography and dance.
I dance to help myself express happiness and frustration. Also, to help me heal and release negative energy.
Photography, on the other hand, is a passion I can monetize.
And I am.
I can do just about any type of photography -- from weddings to family photos, to maternity.
But I am starting something brand new. Something that is meant to inspire, challenge, heal, and educate.
I’m talking about selfies.
I know right! That’s random. But let me explain. It's an idea-in-progress meant to help create this effortless love for your own self and help you embrace yourself wholly.
It is the base of my business and the heart of everything I’ve been working so hard to establish. This is my three-year investment so far and I am seeing my growth.
Passion is a mechanism that helps anyone express themselves, grow, and love themselves.
You just have to understand how it works and how to do it.
You must be wondering where this is going, so let me start from the beginning.
Let me share my story with you. From the root of the problem to the moment the protagonist (me) felt it was time for a change, to the climax.... (which I can’t give you right now because there are many climaxes).
My life was not a sob story or a crazy tale of how I survived a kidnap. But it was still real, and it changed me. Growing up, I had gone through a few difficult challenges, and I had to figure out how to overcome them all on my own.
So my story goes like this...
I was a human punching bag.
I have a sibling who, in the past, saw me as some kind of toy to destress. When things didn’t go her way, I'd see a fist. If I said one wrong thing, I'd get threatened or physically attacked.
We used to play fight, but with pillows or do friendly wrestles. And I enjoyed those moments, but when she was angry, she was not very nice.
I specifically remember this one day, two of our friends stayed over when our parents went out to run an errand. The four of us were playing hide-and-seek. I was pinned to the wall, so close to losing consciousness.
I was being choked, and no matter how many times I said “you’re hurting me, I can’t breathe”, my sibling wouldn’t let go. As my energy began depleting, I had to do something to break free. She was stronger than I was, so the only thing I could do was stomp on her foot. And so I did, really hard.
It worked! I broke free.
But not for long. Too soon was I in her grasp again. I tried to run before anything else happened, but she was too quick. She grabbed me by my hair, and I could feel the snap of my neck as my head jerked back. I couldn’t block her punches in time. A few hit my face before I was able to fight back.
Our friends just stood there, watching. I felt helpless. And after a while, they finally cried out her name so she could stop. I was so angry and hurt (emotionally and physically). I walked out of our bedroom to the front porch, trying so hard not to cry.
Unfortunately, my effort was futile. Tears silently streamed down my cheeks.
They all followed me into the porch and just sat there, looking at me as I fixed my hair. Our friends followed my sister wherever she went at this point.
When they finally left for the bedroom, I broke down.
I could feel my sore body and my hands shaking. My throat was so dry and scratchy from trying not to cry.
A few days later, I noticed that my right eye was bruised. I guess you can call that a minor black eye.
To this day, I still don’t understand how hide-and-seek escalated so fast into what happened.
That’s just one of the many crazy things I had to endure growing up.
In 2008, I moved in with my eldest sister in North Carolina. I moved in with her in an effort to get away from my aggressive sister, and my mother, who at that time was not listening to my cry for help.
This was when my healing process began.
Although there were still quite a few bumps ahead of me, I truly started finding myself.
One day, I was confronted by this young lady stating that I needed to stay away from her best friend. She said that she “dealt with people like me, and didn’t like my type.” Whatever that meant. I was a sophomore in high school then, and she was a senior. It was an odd situation. I was the new girl in a new school in a new state. And her best friend was one of my only friends.
Could she have been jealous? No. Why would she be? "I was a nobody."
When I left my home in Miami, I was doing so many things that I loved. I was in dance. I had modeling and acting classes as well. I was so passionate about dance that I wanted to do it forever. Dance made me feel like I ruled the world -- my world.
Right before moving to North Carolina, my dreams were shattered by my mother. She told me I should stop dancing.
My mother didn’t see dance as my long-term career. And asked me to stop dancing.
The thing is, I wasn’t planning on having dance as a career choice. It was my passion. It was something I did because I absolutely loved it. No matter how sad, mad, or down in the dumps I felt, dance always lifted me up.
It was my salvation...
Moving to North Carolina closed a lot of doors, including the doors to dance. But it opened other doors.
Doors I never could have experienced if stayed in Miami.
So I have to be thankful, somehow, that things went the way that they did.
My eldest sister adopted me in order for me to go to school there. She also bought me my first phone.
It was with that phone that I started playing with cameras.
When I first started, I was never satisfied with how I looked. I had gained so much weight in North Carolina, that even my own mother, the same person that discouraged me from dancing, insisted that I start dancing again. "Maybe it would help me lose some weight."
My eldest sister saw my interest in photography and started showing me a few things on her camera. This is when I started learning that my sister was passionate about photography as well. When she got a DSLR for her birthday in 2009, she decided to give me her old Canon digital camera.
Now let’s skip ahead just a little.
When I returned to Miami at the end of 2010, my senior year, I basically had to start all over again. Making new friends, new school, new identity.
But that was nothing. Been there, done that. I was so sure of myself at this point, nothing could phase me.
It was my experience three years later that had me questioning myself again.
During college, I hung out with my middle school friend and her boyfriend a lot. And I was introduced to his friends, a bunch of anime-loving people. I really loved how they played card games and hung out. They were my kind of people. They were very friendly and I always enjoyed hanging out with them.
For a whole year, I would go and hang out with them. I considered them my friends. But one night, my middle school friend called me, she was livid.
I was the entertainment of the group. The girl that came around, but that no one liked. They talked so badly about me behind my back.
I couldn't believe it. No one in that group liked me.
I really wondered for a long time if there was something wrong with me. I didn't understand. I was being myself.
I know I can be shy, but I'm very kind. And I loved helping people. Always have and always will.
And despite all the hardships from my past, I was a very happy person.
I eventually overcame that madness. And I continued to work on myself.
But my life took a bad turn when I deliberately made a choice that changed the way I felt about myself for a very long time.
In 2017, I became pregnant. I was not ready to be a mother and my partner wasn’t ready to be a father, again. After some thinking, I ended up with an abortion, a broken heart, and a lost soul.
I literally felt like a part of me was missing. I went through a very painful mourning process and I couldn’t spend a day without crying.
I was really hard on myself after the abortion. I felt like such a bad mother. I felt like such a bad person. And I know that it was all internal. I wasn’t a bad person.
I simply didn’t feel like I was where I wanted to be to educate and raise a mini-me.
I wanted to raise a strong, loving, and confident being. But how can I do that if I hadn’t even completely healed myself?
I fought with myself to snap out of it. I couldn't find a way to help myself. Until one day, I felt that enough was enough. I was so tired of having bad days.
I became exhausted with always beating myself up. I was already getting enough of that from other people, so why would I do it to myself?
One day, I used the heartache of losing my baby to motivate me to create something amazing. And thus, Fruitful Living was born!
Fruitful Living became a healing oasis for me. It was the thought of living fruitfully and not in fear or sorrow that encouraged me to follow my passions. I ended up creating this amazing formula called Artistic Healing.
This formula is broken into four different steps for self-healing, and they are:
- Embrace: Embrace yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and sexually. Learn to accept every aspect of yourself. From your past to your present. Accept all that was and is, to forgive and make space for what will be.
- Passion: Follow your passions. When you follow your heart, challenge yourself, and gain more skills, somehow you learn to love yourself on your own account.
- Love: Learn to love yourself to the fullest. Once you embrace your past and present, accept every aspect of yourself, you start loving yourself effortlessly.
- Heal: Healing is the outcome of you embracing yourself, following your passions, and loving yourself. By the time you end up on this final step, you would've already started to realize that your old wounds have shrunk or are non-existent.
When I originally started this process, I wanted to call it ‘The H. E. L. P. Movement’. Each letter represented the first letter of each step -- Heal, Embrace, Love, and Passion. However, it didn’t make sense to heal, then to embrace yourself, then to love yourself, and finally follow your passions.
The whole point of this healing process was to give you the ability to heal with the help of your passions. So after some consideration, and personal experience, I decided to call it Artistic Healing and rearrange the steps in a way that made sense.
I use photography, one of my passions, to gain recognition and clients. But also to help heal, or initiate a healing movement within my clients.
My photoshoots are unique because I love to take pictures of people that need a little more self-love and positivity in their lives. I always provide them with positive, encouraging, and motivational quotes. I play their favorite tunes so they can get into their zone, loosen up, and be themselves.
After so many years, a photographer knows that many individuals are shy when a photoshoot starts, and by the time it’s done, they are finally starting to open up.
By playing their favorite tunes, they can feel a sense of comfort. Providing them with a space to be open with me, but most importantly, with themselves. I also provide positive feedback and positive quotes that encourage them to feel confident in their own skin.
And if we are in a closed photoshoot (indoors), I also include a mirror. The mirror allows them to see how amazing they look. And with my positive encouragement, they can’t help but see what I see -- beauty in its raw form.
The best part is, they enjoy it so much that the pictures always come out amazing! And the shoot, which is usually about an hour-long, only feels like 20 minutes. When they receive their final edited album, they are always amazed at how stunning the pictures came out.
And BOOM! A wave of self-confidence and self-love is initiated within them.
Because of the success of my photoshoots, I began cooking up a new project. I am on the road to launching two new courses under Fruitful Living, (1) Artistic Healing for Self-Love & (2) Selfies for Self-Love. They are similar courses, however, Artistic Healing focuses solely on self-healing with the steps I previously mentioned above, and Selfies for Self-Love teaches key points of Artistic Healing but with the goal of teaching photography techniques to help non-photographers gain the knowledge of taking amazing selfies, all for the sake of self-love & self-healing.
In the selfies course I will be teaching techniques such as lighting, camera settings, poses, and other cool tricks I found while mastering my own selfies.
This course is going to be so grand, that even upcoming influencers and models can do it. The photography techniques that I teach are so unique and fun, everyone will love to learn.
With my background in modeling and photography, I literally have the best knowledge on how to make this a success.
Both courses will have a rewarding gift at the end of each course. This is to help those who need a little motivation to actually complete the course.
Success is never accomplished by taking the easy routes, instead, it’s accomplished by learning to master the difficult ones.
These courses will change people's lives. I know because it changed mine.
What's going for me...
With the improved quality of our camera phones (or other gadgets) and the high demand for self-love and self-healing, I have this incredible feeling this will be a hit.
It gives people a reason to be into themselves. And from personal experience, a little self-loving goes a long way.
I am a real person, with real problems, mastering her passions to help others improve their self-image. Fruitful Living is about loving everything about your life, starting with YOU!
My target audience for these courses is mainly women, but men can take them too. I mainly focus on women because I can relate more with them. I know the struggles of being a woman and the challenges that come with being a woman.
I want women to feel strong, independent, confident, and proud to be in their own skin. I always believed that self-growth starts with acceptance, positive shifts, hard work, and passion. All of which can be accomplished through my courses.
Because of how relatable my content is, I get new followers every week. I try posting positive, encouraging, and motivational content. I like sharing my passions with my audience, sharing some highlights of my life, my progress, and from time to time some of my fears and struggles.
"Always celebrate when you overcome a challenge, and be genuinely proud of yourself when you reach a goal. But never forget to share your glory, and never forget to share your knowledge."
Anyone who's interested can follow me on social media:
About the Creator
I'm a writer, a dancer, and a photographer. I love being creative because hey, why not! Creativity sells, entertains, and inspires. And I am all for it! ;)
Let's get to it!