Sometimes when I sit down to write I have a burning desire to say what is in my heart and other times I sit and I have no idea what will flow from my fingertips.
These days I have accepted that the less I interject at a circle the more magic flows out, I never know what will happen and the more human minds I bring together the more varied the stories and the more chaotic and surprising the outcome. Saturday was no exception.
What I love about lavender is the simplicity of the lines, the ease of shooting children in the lavender, after all our job is 90% predicting children's behaviours, I love the symmetry, but also the imperfection of the way the flowers want to grow, I love the smell and the colour, but mostly I love the walk down the hill to face my July office.
I relinquished the need to control a while ago, I feel like it started in my late 20's but as I have got older I have also practiced, and tripped up and had to relearn all over again.
This time when we held the circle of 38, I tripped, I had made a plan in my head of what I wanted to say and 10 minutes before I had been reminded of a horrible shoot I had done, that had caused a woman considerable physical pain and me to doubt what I was doing, 1 minute before I was reminded yet again of this shoot but for another reason and that one caused emotional pain. I shook, it felt like the floor went from beneath me, and as I did an exercise to teach women to control their thoughts I was having to pull at mine like a wild horse pulling at the reigns, which is funny because that is the the awful shoot.
But what I told these women, one of my all time favourite life hacks, is, whatever you focus on you will feel. FOCUS = FEEL. I knew I had to refocus, somehow I pulled my mind in the right direction and we set off again down the path I was happy on.
As with all circles themes tend to arise, in my last shoot it was motherhood, in this one it felt like it was loss of identity, but because we know women, and we know the themes that tend to arise we separate the circles into three main circles.
Circle one is past events, this circle was led by Holly and focuses on letting go, rewiring the brain and healing. Sometimes women tell us stories of a sentence that someone else said to them that they have played over and over in their head so often it has become synonymous with who they are. Sometimes they have carried the story in their heads for decades and now their identity is so bound in the words that they struggle to even utter the opposite sentence, sometimes they don't even know it is going to come out until the words fall out of their mouths and they are crying over something they hadn't realised they had been carrying it.
Circle two is about the present, it is for women who need strength because they are facing something now. Often these women are in limbo, they feel lost, they can't remember who they are or work out what their big plan is, they might be struggling with court cases, trying to leave a toxic or abusive relationship, or just in the middle of one that they aren't sure how it will end. The point of this circle is not to fix, but to just accept and support and be there. The power of speaking your truth to a group of women, saying what you are most afraid of rather than ruminating on it and accidentally manifesting it to reality is ,magic in itself. There were tears as there always are when anyone feels lost and afraid, but there was joy and beauty and strength also.
Circle three if for those people who may have been through step one and two and just want to celebrate now and manifest magic for the future. It is ran by Beth and she is every drop as magic as she is funny. This circle puts into practise the laws of attraction and invited you to use your imagination to propel you to the next step.
What happened after the circles was as shocking to me as it was obvious once it was done that it should and will be part of every Liberty shoot going forward. The women were lined up, butt naked, bare, raw, tear stained. Holly shouted 'I AM ENOUGH' and right back at us they roared it back, 'I AM SEXY', 'I AM IMPORTANT' 'I AM, SMART', 'I AM KIND', 'PEOPLE LIKE ME', 'PEOPLE LOVE ME', 'I LOVE MY BODY'.
We had tears in our eyes, it was the biggest Liberty moment to date, we felt like we were at a rock concert in the middle of a field.
I am not sure how to follow this moment, but I promised this circle would be bigger than the last, and I promise the next one will be too. One thing I am sure of is that Liberty will continue to grow and evolve as it always has, from what started as some cute photos in a Lavender field has turned into an experience that people report saying they feel alive, inspired, awoke, reborn. Liberty has twisted and turned in many ways and I am grateful for the lessons along the path, for the women who have trusted, to nature for being so fabulous, and to the team for seeing the vision and always moving forward.
Tell us how you felt after you came, and which shoot you would like to do, and if you could share it is always appreciated
Love Jen x
For those of you who came who would like to download and use your free image (top) follow the link passcode is LAVFREE
Those of you who posed in the group shots or would like use of the full gallery please inbox us and we will give you details of how to purchase all the HD group images for £39
PLEASE DO NOT USE ANY OTHERS UNLESS PAID FOR
To come to our August circle in the heather follow this link,
to book a shoot