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I had an opportunity last week to work with an extremely talented local photographer, Jen Diane Photography . The theme for the shoot was essentially anti-valentines day..... but that doesn't mean what you think it means! Let's dive into it!

When Jen asked me to collobarte with her and she sent me the inspo images my immediate thought was "Oooh, okay. It is a screw Valentine's Day thing!" I am down for pretty much any photoshoot type so I agreed. When Jen arrive to the scheduled appointment for hair and makeup I mentioned it being a "Broken Hearted Valentine" shoot, she was quick to tell me that absolutely was not what it was and proceeded to inform me of her true intentions behind the shoot... to which I felt even more drawn to being apart of.

Many of you who know me, know I love to crack jokes and make statements that are outlandish just to get a laugh, but despite seeming cynical about love, I do not hate it! I love love. In fact, I think I love love more than love loves me. Despite my cynicism I do believe in true love, that not all men are T-rash! In fact there are MANY men who are wonderful! So many people bash men now as a collective, and though I agree there is a pretty large number of terrible men out there (and women as well) we should not be punishing every man for the sins of another. The fact that this shoot was more about empowerment and not so much about women crying on Valentine's Day because they don't have a boyfriend/partner spoke to me on a spiritual level. Another thing about me is I am all for female and personal empowerment!! I think everyone needs to feel confident, sexy and have endless self love! I think anything that brings forth a positive energy is something to be celebrated, including this simple photoshoot! My entire brand is based on helping people unleash their inner wild animal. Their inner goddess (or god)! We want this to sweep the nation here at CCBeautymark! This shoot was more up my alley than I expected when I first agreed to be apart of it.

This shoot wound up feeling like such a personal and universal message for me. It was an empowering shoot when you look at what it truly represents. Looking at the images without context you may think it is just another sad girl anti-valentines day shoot... but it is something more. So much more!

Jen's passion behind this was driven from a place of rebellion. Rebelling against that old belief that you NEED a second person to be complete. That you NEED a partner to feel worthy and loved. That you NEED a romantic interest to enjoy this holiday. Absolutely not the case. Though having a romantic partner to share this day with is an incredible gift so is being single and knowing you are worth the same amount with or without someone else beside you.

There are so many ways in which a day like this can be celebrated! Due to it mostly being a commercial holiday anyway at this point, why not make the absolute most of it even if you are single? Who said being single was a bad thing? Why do we have this belief?

Okay- RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW join me in releasing the belief that being single is a negative and terrible thing. Release the ideologies that being single means you are valueless and unwanted. Release the concept that being single means you aren't lovable. Release the lie you have told yourself that because you are single you are not beautiful or sexy. Release that part of you that tells you that you are not enough.. If you are sitting home alone on Valentin's Day reading this blog post, I want you to put the tub of ice cream back in the freezer, go run yourself a nice soothing hot bath (or shower) filled with bubbles, rose petals and bath salts (not the kind that make you eat peoples faces)/shower steamer. Pour yourself a glass of wine, champagne or whatever your favorite beverage is and treat yourself. Go put on your favorite music, podcast, show on a portable device or meditation music, sit in that blazing hot, hell like water, drink your dranky-drank, apply a face mask and take care of YOU. Order yourself a nice little dinner, hell maybe some dessert (to go along with that tub of ice cream perhaps?) and spoil yourself. Honestly.... order yourself a gift online. Why not? (If you need any ideas, I have an entire Amazon store front of stuff I personally love →CCBeautymark Amazon Store Front)

Anti-Valentine's day has absolutely nothing to do with not having a sweetheart and being emo and miserable! It is about self love, confidence, sexuality and celebrating you! Why wait for someone else to do it? You have everything you need. You are a complete person all on your own. We do not need a second person to complete us! Get that thought out of your head! Get rid of it! Right! Now!!! The moment we really take back our power and stop leaving it in the hands of the undeserving and unreliable is the moment you become whole. Learning to love yourself in the exact way that you want to be loved and at the depths of which you love others is when you become your most desirable. The right person will come when you least expect it. I am a firm believer that if something is on your heart, you are destined for it. If you are lonely and fighting the tears back today as you see all the couples posting images of their lover and sharing the gifts they receive, yours will come one day. The universe doesn't make you yearn for something it has no intention lion of ever providing for you. Maybe you need to just love yourself more, lover yourself deeper in the meantime. Or, if not, you were destined to do something amazing on this earth solo! Maybe having a life partner or "soulmate" is not what you deeply want for yourself. That is okay too! If today brings about a feeling of failure in other avenues of your life, this post STILL applies to you.

Anti-Valentine's Day is the promotion of rebelling against societal norms and breaking old and outdated patterns of thinking. It isn't about bashing the holiday. It isn't about bashing men/the opposite sex. It isn't about feeling sorry for yourself and sharing your negativity with the universe. It isn't about sharing your rage with those around you of the curse of solitude that the universe has dealt you. It isn't even about angrily treating yourself in a resentful way or saying "Pfft, no one else loves me so I'll buy myself the damn flowers." and it is definitely not writing poetry about how lame your ex is to feel better about yourself. No, no & no! If you are celebrating Anti-Valentin's Day like this you are doing it wrong! It is about stepping back from what is a standard tradition and taking the power of it all back. Not letting yourself feel sad or let down that someone else isn't bringing you echolocate at work. It is about learning to face the reality of the holiday through a new lens. A lens that is not foggy with resentment and jealousy, but of wha tit truly should be about... LOVE.

And what have we learned here today class? Yes. To LOVE YOURSELF.

Love comes in all shapes and forms. Valentine's Day doesn't tell you HOW or WHO to celebrate when it comes to love... It just says to celebrate love... in all its forms! Turn everything back towards self. Internalize all the valentines messages you see today and direct them to yourself from yourself. Read a cute card? Cool. That is exactly how you should feel about yourself! Ate a conversation starter candy that said "Be Mine", fantastic you have just now made a commitment with yourself to be respectful, kind, loving, nurturing and reliable to yourself, in sickness and in health, baby!

And this shoot was all about that! All about realizing that you need no one but yourself in this life. You must rely on you, you must respect you, you must bet on you, you must love you. Period. Because who you are is unique, special, sexy, beautiful and so, SO worthy of love! and most important, in a world that will consistently tell you that you are NOT enough or make you feel that you are not enough... Please hear me when I say, YOU. ARE. ENOUGH. MORE. THAN. ENOUGH.

Here at CCBeautymark we are all about self love, self empowerment, resilience, strength, chasing your dreams, overcoming adversities, realizing how powerful and badass you are and ultimately believing in yourself! We are NOT about hating men, hating or being envious of other women, hating love, or looking outside of ourselves to feel whole. We are not looking for external validation that we are a amazing and worthy of everything we desire.. We just know. We just are.

Keep in mind as you travel through this journey of solitude on the most romantic day of the year, that- you will only ever be able to love another as deep as you can love yourself & we can only meet others at a level in which we have met ourselves. Depth is reciprocal, not one sided.

Keep working on you. SELF is the longest job you'll ever have that you never get to fully retire from... but my oh my is it worth it!

Chin up, tits out & find what makes YOU happy!

And in the words of Ru Paul, "If you can't love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?

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