“I share my my image so that I may be seen, my story so that I may be heard, and my revelations so that I may empower another. ” – The Revelation Project
Laura Clark is a magnificent Woman. Her love, humor, and desire to make a contribution to the lives of other people is boundless. Laura was first introduced to TRP about two years ago when she saw some images of her friend. She suspected that TRP could give her the push she needed, and that allowing herself to be seen through our lens could positively impact her personal and professional life, and she was right. She was ready bring abundance and acceptance to those places where she had been holding herself back, and in participating in the project, Laura has inspired many others to claim a similar intention for themselves. In Laura’s precious images- we’ve all found a place to call home, and it’s the place I desire for each and every one of us… worthiness. Laura- you have touched our hearts deeply. Thank you for sharing your images, story, and revelations with us! XO
Q.Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?
A. I live in rural RI with my man-friend for life and two sets of twins, ok , canine-twins- a pair of eight year old labs and another pair of four year old Goldens. I had a traditional upbringing, and then after college I worked in recreation for about ten years. I transitioned my love for people into an entrepreneurial venture that allows me to use my passion help others decrease pain and stress, and focus instead on increasing joy and happiness in their lives. My business is called Soul- Wise Living where I invite everyone I touch to live a soul-wise life.
Q. What are the biggest challenges you have faced as a woman?
A. I’ve faced two great challenges. The first was letting go of the idea that I would grow up and “live happily ever after” with a house, and a white picket fence, and a yard full of children. The second was coming to terms with my relationship to my mother. For so long, I felt that I was betraying her, by not wanting to be like her.
Q. What are some of the issues that you think are important to explore as it relates to being female?
A. I grew up believing in this whole white picket fence illusion, but after I graduated college I realized that down deep inside, I really didn’t want that life after all. What I really wanted, was to be a professional woman and live to my deepest potential. My upbringing really challenged me to believe that this was even possible, and there was a part of me that felt that I wasn’t worthy of this, due to the fact that I am a woman, I mean, who did I think I was anyway?
Q.What frightens you?
A. Depression and immobility. They are the catalysts to a slow dying- and I’ve been there. Never again.
Q. What is your “Life Mission?”
A. My mission is to inspire overwhelmed, professional women lead empowered lives guided by their own inner wisdom.
Once women learn to listen to their own inner wisdom, they gain the ability to be at peace regardless of any circumstances. This enables them to lead a life filled with a greater ease and joy, and design their lives to be a unique reflection of who they are.
Q. How do you keep yourself inspired by life?
A. By daily connecting with my own inner self assisted by what I believe are the four elements of life (air, water, fire and earth). I use journaling to continue the manifest my dreams, desires, and thoughts- and this makes me incredibly happy because I have learned how to draw from my own inner wisdom to stay inspired. Oh, and of course I can not forget that the wagging tails of my four dogs, and watching them romp through the yard keep me pretty inspired as well.
Q. Have you ever hit “rock bottom?” or a place where you felt completely nailed by life? Can you tell us about it?
A. Oh, yes- it came after years of living my “adult life’ – living my life as I thought I should , instead of the one I really wanted, and I found myself in a place of depression, sadness and Isolation. I had been going through the motions; arriving at work and allowing myself to get lost in helping others, only to return to my own feelings of inadequacy when I arrived home each day, and all of the parts of me I didn’t want to see, and I’d just crash. This was my reality for years, and unfortunately, I managed to successfully hide it from anyone who cared about me. As my loneliness increased, it propelled me into deeper levels of depression. One of my greatest fears was becoming like my mother, who has a long history with mental illness- I had vowed that I would never become her.
Q. What did it teach you?
A. I learned that while trying to be a fortress of outer strength to the world, inside, although incredibly strong, I was hiding from those places inside myself that I thought were weak, unlovable, or unworthy. I am not an island, and certainly not immune to feelings of sadness, loneliness and fear. I learned that depression has many layers, and although I am genetically predisposed, I had allowed my unhappiness to lead me into a dark tunnel where my thoughts became my reality, and without having a relationship to my more authentic self, and I had shut everyone out instead of letting them in to see my raw places.
I also learned that mother-daughter relationships are complex. I had completely misunderstood my role as daughter to my mother. Eventually I came to realize that my mother’s illness had no power over me, and could not ‘define’ me, or her, for that matter. All these years I had protected myself from the fear that I would become like her, while simultaneously protecting myself from owning the aspects of greatness that we have in common. My mom, is actually an amazing woman, and I realized that I am proud of who she is, and I’m proud that I am her daughter.
I began to treat my depression in ways that eventually set my spirit free free, and released the thoughts, fears, and feelings that were holding me hostage for so many years. I learned that by allowing myself to share my fears, that they dissipated, and that the darkness I felt turned instead toward a light that allows me to shine bringing this wisdom, and compassion to others.
Q. Is there anything in particular that made you feel like being part of the Revelation Project was a good idea right now?
A. The project called to me because I turned 50 this year and for the first time felt I was right where I wanted to be in life. And, I’d spent too many years turning away from the camera because I never liked what I saw in it. The pictures of the other amazing women inspired me to participate in the hopes that I could see a visual aspect of myself that I could embrace- the one I feel deep inside.
About the Photo Workshop:
Q. What did you think about the approach of the upcoming photo shoot (before you got there) and what were the results you were expecting?
A. Before arriving, I wondered “What the Hey’ have I gotten myself into???” My voice said: “you can’t possibly think that your pictures will come out looking good”, or “You’ve got nothing to wear” etc etc.
Q. How did you feel during the shoot and was there anything in particular that made you feel more or less relaxed or open to the process?
A. It took me some time to relax. I even tried to literally hide behind one of the props at the start but the women of the project (aka angels) made me feel comfortable pretty quickly. There were times where it felt ‘easy’ and other times it felt really awkward and unfamiliar. In the end, I was ready to ‘be done’ with all of the attention – to have so much focus on myself is just not my style. However, throughout the shoot, I felt an odd sense of comfort and freedom around everyone. I was really trusting that I was accepted as I truly am, and that the photos would reveal this.
Q. After you left but before you saw the results – did you have any thoughts about the experience? What were some of the things you thought about on the drive home?
A. I was relieved. I had booked the date several months in advance, and was so glad that I had taken the opportunity to finally do it. I was proud of the fact that I actually hadn’t cancelled, and i was in awe that I felt this amazing sense of strength in being seen in the way I was.
Q. When you saw the results can you tell me your first impression?
A. Holy C(#@*$&(!!! That’s me? No, really, that IS me!
Q. Can you talk about the feedback you received from those who saw your photographs?
A. I hadn’t told anyone about the shoot so I think many people were really SHOCKED that I had actually had ‘pictures’ taken of me ~ let alone a shoot. They were amazed at the outcome!
Q. What are some words you would use to describe how those comments made you feel?
A. Some of the comments were: “Beautiful”, ” You were completely captured “, “you look great”, “captures you perfectly”, “I am blown away by your photos”. My two personal favorite comments were: “You look so on Purpose” and “I see a bit of Shirley” (my mom) The comments made me feel validated, seen and appreciated for who I am and how I am contributing to the world as a woman.
Q. Did you learn anything new about yourself from the experience?
A. I’ve learned so much. I’ve learned that I am living on purpose, now- and I saw for the first time In myself what others have always told me about myself. This sounds really weird but in my favorite photo, I think I can actually see my own spirit and soul coming through.
Q. Did you feel empowered?
A. As one of my teachers used to say all the time “To Be Sure”
Q. Since the shoot happened a few months ago now, can you talk about the lasting impact of the experience? Has it altered the way you view yourself or your surroundings?
A. The experience has allowed me to move forward in so many ways, and has been an inspiration to me to continue the work I do to help others grow, and live ‘soul-wise.’
Q.Do you think this was an important/valuable experience for yourself? Why?
A. As I enter into my second ½ century of life (!) , this experience has been a foundational launch pad for me. I’ve seen a visual of inner joy that has been there, but that I’d never actually witnessed or settled into. It validates all that I have done over the past years in overcoming depression, and affirms that I am on the path that I’m destined to follow.
Q. Do you think TRP is relevant for other women? Why?
A. Yes. YES. Yes. It is a profound experience from the day you sign yourself up, and it’s ongoing. It allows you to be YOU, and not who you have been pressured to be, and not what others want you to be, and not who you think you should be. TRP is about capturing the very essence of yourself. Once you can really see yourself- it all clicks into place.
Q. How would you use the photos moving forward- Professionally, Personally, As gifts?
A. Definitely as gifts and perhaps professionally …. time will tell.
Q. What is your favorite song and why?
A. My favorite song is Slow Turning by John Hiatt. It’s got a rhythm and beat that just makes you want to move! And, the lyrics are so all about ME!
It’s just a slow turning
From the inside out
A slow turning
But you come about, ya
A slow turning, baby
But you learn to sway-ah-hay-hay-hay
A slow turning
Not fade away, not fade away, not fade away
Not fade away, not fade away
Q. Why do you think this project is important?
A. The project is very important because it allows women to shine, see their own inner strength and stand in their own unique brilliance.
Q. If you could sum up the experience what would you say?
A. I will always enjoying seeing my TRP photographs because they hold warm memories of the day I saw my true inner strength. I am so glad that I did it, and I believe wholeheartedly that there will be a repeat ‘performance’ for me in the future. It is an amazing experience that I think all woman should do- at least once!