Being Your Most Authentic Self In 2017 | LeAnna Theresa Photography | Photographer Life Balance


Thank you for reading about my journey to my most authentic life! I have always prided myself on being as honest and as genuine as possible. That doesn’t mean I am perfect or haven’t made my share of mistakes.  There were time periods of my life where I excelled at living in my truth and there have been times times that I made choices I regret and would do over if possible.  We all have had this ebb and flow, it’s part of the story that defines us all. At the end of the day I know the good out weighs the bad. I am confident of this but I still have that small nagging voice telling me that I can do better.

Five years ago over the course of 6 months I drastically and accidentally changed the entire course of my life. Hurricane Sandy hit and I began doing some volunteer work.  This work transitioned into an all consuming beast of community effort. The “organization” became known as GSD and we moved fast and made things happen even faster. I was the organizer but the amazing community I lived in was the force, the true reason things happened.  We donated countless hours of volunteer work, thousands of meals, laundry caravans and endless “direct need” fulfillments.  A family would contact us with their exact needs, from storage bins to clothes to construction materials to beds and more and we would arrange for those exact items to get to them in a matter of hours or a day or two. It was beautiful.  GSD grew into something so large we began to work with the Governors office (as many other local grass roots efforts did!) and were given a flag that hung over a 9/11 memorial as well as invited to hear President Barack Obama speak.

While GSD was happening I was running a full time photography business, working a full time job and was in a relationship that had not been working for me for years.  GSD began to taper off as the immediate need calmed and my “normal” every day home and work life seemed to drain me like never before. I wasn’t happy. My heart and head simply knew that it was time to face the inevitable. I left the relationship, quit my day job and moved into my first solo place.

During this time I spent 3 hours a day focusing on myself and about 10 a day on my photography business. I did yoga, read nurturing books, got a life coach and focused endless energy on being my truest self.  During this time I had many successes I am so proud for and made many mistakes.  Relationships around me changed.  The people I thought were most important I suddenly realized where the least supportive and genuine.

Four years have past since this controversial time in my life.  My relationship with my self and my level of acceptance of who I truly am grew. It took my five years to accept that I am not the person I always presented to the world to be. I accepted that just because someone has been in your life for years does not mean they need to be there today. I focused less on gossip and more on meditation. I said no and drew boundaries.  These things didn’t happen overnight but they truly made my heart and daily life happier and better in the long run.

For 2017 I am in a beautiful space. I am continuing to set more goals to help me become a better version of myself.  I need accountability. I need things I have to do daily and monthly to succeed.  In 2017 I decided to adapt this need into my daily life more.  I have written out goals to make myself accountable to live my authentic life.

  1. Meditate, every day, not matter what.
  2. Streamline my brand and business to create more of a flow.
  3. Saying no and setting more boundaries.
  4. Reading a book biweekly about topics that will better my life.  Currently I am reading Girl Code!
  5. Organizing my financial life in a binder.  Check out this set I got from Etsy!
  6. Reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidiying Up and applying it (this part I started and completed from December to January!)
  7. Creating heirlooms and traditions in my life. Up first: documenting my recipes.
  8. Getting head shots done four times this year. I despise being on the other side of the camera, I need to step out of my zone.
  9. Not working on Sundays when at all possible.
  10. Greatly reducing time on social media.
  11. Dreaming bigger and allowing myself to believe in the possibility of it all.

These are the current steps I can take to live my own more authentic life.  My authentic life won’t look like yours and that is ok!  I love to chat about the changes I made over the last five years in a hope to inspire others. In the coming months I will blog in more detail how I am attacking my 11 steps to living my most authentic life.  I hope to run into you and chat about YOUR most authentic life! In the coming weeks I am going to blog about each of my 11 steps to keep myself accountable and encourage others.

authentic life

Photo by my friend Kelly at Silver Lining Photo!

Jan 20, 2017

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