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Lessons from Rereading Client Testimonials.

Photo taken by Suzanna Tharian

A while back, when I was making some huge changes, additions and edits to the Hello Gorgeous website, I vacillated between, "let's get this done", and "how exciting, let's enjoy the process." Being advised on the importance of testimonials, I gathered all the nice things people have said to me over the years about working together and began the work of adding them to the site.

I copy/pasted/dumped them into a page on my website and began figuring out how to make it look nice and easy to read. As I moved things around to fit, "Oh it's too much, too long, no one is going to read it, oh here's a short one" was looping in my brain as I pulled and stretched and increased the font size here and there.

How can I choose? Which are the appropriate ones to include? This is all a lot of bragging. Ugggggh.

And then I started to read them again. One by one, I was touched by each, remembering the person and the work we did together and what the words meant to hear. I stopped looking at them as a necessity; mere blocks of text to be confined and constricted, and started to look at them as these clouds and pulses of support and gratitude along the way. It was an aha moment that perhaps I had made an impact and it felt great to stop and acknowledge it.

There is something in me that loves to help others see or discover their gorgeousness. Whether they experience a feeling of truly being seen during an improv exercise, or they see a new side of themselves thru a photograph, there is a before and after that is undeniably transformative. We all have more than one side to ourselves, times when we feel confident and times when we don't. And doing improv for the first time or getting your photo taken is often when people don't feel confident.

This photo of me was taken years ago during a halloween party, at which I was taking photos. Just outside of the party in the corridor, I discovered this piece of art that made a great, graphic backdrop to create some very interesting photographs. So, naturally, a mini photoshoot ensued with various guests and friends. Everyone looked great! Then, my dear friend, Suzanna, insisted she turn the camera on me, because, in her words, I looked stunning. She directed me and I felt awkward and impatient and made a goof of myself and then I relaxed and took off the photographer hat and trusted her, just like I ask my clients to trust me.

Now years later, I still feel bashful about sharing it, a little embarrassed, and what would people say, blah, blah, blah. Then I remembered the testimonials and how I felt when I saw myself in this image, thru someone else's eyes. It so perfectly conjures up the memory of past adventures with friends and the embracing of play that popped up in the middle of the party. Which sort of sums me up. I felt gorgeous in the moment and I feel gorgeous when I look at this photo of me. Why wouldn't I share that? Why wouldn't I feel proud and celebrate? Why wouldn't I share nice things people are saying about me?

Humility is a good thing, but not if it holds you back or keeps you from sharing your gifts with the world. I feel so grateful for the people who have trusted me to photograph them and those who have been open and vulnerable to learning improv with me. That makes me feel gorgeous!

Happy kick off to the Holiday season. I hope you will all embrace your own gorgeousness and share with others what you appreciate about them. It feels great!

Here are a few outtakes from the Halloween party.

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