I miss Oprah. There I've said it.. don't judge. I know she's still out there somewhere giving advice through other people on her network but it's not the same. I used to tape Oprahs on VHS then I DVRed it and fit her in where I could between work, business travel and family time. In my opinion, due to Oprah's life experience and the people she has had exposure to, she knows what she's talking about. When she said something that really resonated with me, I'd ask my husband Tom to watch those 10 minutes of the show and at times he would, just to make me happy and I think so he wouldn't have to listen to me explain "what Oprah said" later that night during dinner.
There were times I told Tom that my passion for Photography and for teaching Fitness were things I didn't think I could surpress any longer. In one of our conversations I told him I wanted to live out my dream to do these passions full time and he surprised me with his simple reply. He said 3 words... "Follow Your Bliss". I stared back at him. It was the perfect thing to say. It was a quote from Oprah during a segment I had asked him to watch in the past.
Here I am now, living those words. Two months ago I left my corporate job at Monster.com that I held for 13 years. I had built up my fitness business and photography business on the side for years but today, it is my career.
These past 2 months of weddings, events, family portraits and networking in the photography industry have been incredibly rewarding. My growth in this industry has expanded exponentially in these last weeks. I've opened up myself for projects and opportunities I didn't have time for in the past and it feels amazing. I talk to Brides and Grooms on a regular basis and I love sharing their excitement of their upcoming wedding day. I have spent quality time with families during their portrait sessions and some of these photo sessions were highlights of my summer and have created new friendships. I feel so lucky to have this as a passion and a job.
In July and August, I added a Summer Outdoor Bootcamp to the 3 fitness classes I already teach each week. Whether it was rain or shine, 25 women signed up to be led through grueling fitness challenges for 9 weeks. Each week got more challenging and each week I saw these women get stronger and more confident. Our group started to feel like an athletic team in training instead of just a group of women trying to shed a few unwanted pounds.
This past Saturday I hosted a "Fitness Rockstar Celebration" to honor everyone's hard work and spirit. The night was a great chance to party with all of their new workout buddies, but at one point it became an opportunity for individuals to share their stories of becoming happier, stronger, more confident and feeling part of an amazing community. We cried as we listened to each other's past struggles and cheered each other on for new beginnings. As these women that I adore shared their stories, I took the moment in. THIS is what following your heart feels like! This is the joy that comes into your life when you follow your bliss.
To my friends, co-workers and clients who have supported me in taking this leap of faith - thank you from the bottom of my heart. Posts are always better with pictures, so I'm adding a few of me this summer leading the way with passion.