A couple of weekends ago 9 people joined together at the Lady Luck studio for a beautiful, self-love workshop held by Gently Being.
Both myself and Kim (Owner of Gently Being) decided we would like to share a little bit of how we felt after this awesome workshop.
Here is a message from Kim:
"For over a year now, I have had the idea to create a workshop that focused on self-love that included a photo session.
When I would hold meditation sessions, I could visibly see how peoples faces and bodies changed when they gave themselves permission to relax and bring their awareness to themselves.
The change was especially evident when the meditation session had to do with generating, and focusing on, love. When we feel love, we radiate love..
When I finally felt ready to share the idea with someone who could co-host the workshop, I knew there was no other person who could do it than Jennifer from Lady Luck Photography Studio. Jen's kindness and dedication to showcasing every body's beauty was exactly what this workshop idea needed to truly come to life.
I am so grateful for each person who bravely walked into the Lady Luck Studio to share their stories with us. There was laughter and tears and a true sense of love in the room.
I truly believe we learn and grow when we gather together to share. I mean, just look at all those beautiful portraits!They say more than any words I type could.
I would like to take this moment to thank every one who joined together to celebrate love. And huge special thanks to Jennifer for opening her studio and her heart to all of us who enter Lady Luck Studios."
A message from Jennifer:
Our workshop started off by introducing ourselves, going around in a circle, sharing who we are, what we are and some of us talked about what makes our world go around.
There has been a few workshops at the Lady Luck studio, but we had a couple firsts at this one in particular.
For the very first time we had a man join us!
I want to see more of this! I'm quite sure that he was unsure of what he was getting himself into, but I can tell you by the end of the day he was very happy that he came. I say that because I could see by his reactions and his sharing that he found it very beneficial. And often times I think that men don't realize that these things can help them too. Often times I bet you they just assume that they aren't able to go to these workshops. That is a whole other story in itself!
After we introduced ourselves, we wrote down, on a specially designed paper, created by Kim, things that we love about ourselves. Those who felt like sharing were invited to share a few of the things that they had written down.
After everybody sharing from their heart, we moved to another room where Kim guided us in a beautiful meditation.
Following our meditation each participant individually came into my studio and I had the opportunity to photograph them. This was the very first Workshop that we included photos at the end of the day. And it was incredible!
As you can see for yourselves by looking at these photos, there is a glow on everybody's faces and I encouraged everybody to be themselves. Some were nervous, some were excited and some just let it all go, but over all, we ALL had a blast!
Every single person that stepped in front of my camera literally, rocked it! I encourage everyone to be themselves, whether that was serious, silly, professional, or casual. I am so proud of everybody for letting go and for not only stepping up to do the workshop but for allowing me to photograph them. Because honestly, I would say eight out of 10 people are scared poopless to have their photos taken, so it's a big deal when somebody builds up the courage to finally do it.
What happens at the Lady Luck Studio, stays at the Lady Luck studio is what we all said that day. We all spoke from the heart that day. We shared lots of laughter, tears, hugs and I know we all gained some new friends. So much so that we all spoke about getting together again next year the catch up with each other!
My heart, was full. I know this is a saying that's used quite often but literally it was bigger and brighter and happier after that day. Not only for my own personal good but seeing everybody else open up and have relations and learn new ways to love themselves, through this workshop was beautiful. Sitting down to write this is tough because there's really no way to put into words how incredible this Workshop was.
The next self-love Workshop held at the studio by Kim and Gently Being, will either be in late April or May, so keep an eye out and please join us!
Now have a look at these beautiful humans!
You can learn more about Gently Being here:
Taken from her recent article in HWS magazine, Alyssa says
"As women we are inundated with images of how the female body is supposed to look. If we don't like our body, we can nip it, tuck it, inject it and change it. So that's what I did"
In 2009 Alyssa chose to have breast augmentation. In 2018 she learned that breast implant - associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) cancer can be associated with textured implants.
It was shortly after hearing this horrible news, she sent the following message to all of her female friends and family.
This is not a chain email. Please consider this information I am about to share.
I am sending you this message because you are my friend. You are female. You may be going through what I’m about to share, or know someone who is. And I am genuinely concerned for your health and well being regarding a topic you may not be aware of. I would like to emphasize that I am not telling you this information, to gain sympathy. And I am certainly not sharing this information to be judged or criticized.
It was after much deliberation and discussion with women who should be informed about this matter, and weren’t, that I decided I should share my story to the women who are near and dear to me and who may be unaware of this ailment.
So here goes..... I have Allergan 410 textured Breast implants. This is important, because they are the current model of implant that is most associated with Breast Implant Associated-Anapolastic Large Cell Lymphoma or BIA-ALCL. This is a Lymphatic Cancer that grows within the scar tissue capsule that is created by the body, and forms around the implant, shortly after the implant is placed. Someone with these implants may experience swelling, pain, itch and rash around the breast area, as well as breast firmness, or unexplained weight loss and night sweats. Symptoms of this particular lymphoma, generally present themselves after several years of placement. My implants were inserted in 2009.
My first occurrence of signs and symptoms was in September of 2017, and have intensified since. My implants will be removed on May 1, 2019, by way of an En Bloc/ total capsulectomy procedure. This is a rather invasive method, and comes with many risks. So many, the procedure cannot be guaranteed to be performed correctly by most physicians. Once the implants are removed, they will then be sent off for pathology and be biopsied by way of a CD30 test, which is given to determine whether or not I have BIA-ALCL. This is not a breast cancer. It is a lymphatic cancer that forms within the capsule. It is difficult to diagnose through diagnostic imaging, such as ultrasound, MRI or mammogram.
Many women go many years with this in their bodies unaware of having this cancer until it is removed, along with their implants and implant capsules. I was not told by my original plastic surgeon in 2009, when I got my implants, that I could develop this rare cancer. I was not given proper informed consent. I was not told of the heavy metal chemical make up of these particular implants, and the autoimmune ailments that go along with heavy metal exposure.
I was not shown any warning labels or given any cautionary direction. Instead I was told the Allergan Textured Implant were safe and long lasting. I was told, aside from regular breast screening, I would not have to worry about these implants for the next 20-30 years. I was misled. I was not warned by my Plastic Surgeon or the manufacturer (Allergan) in 2011 when the first case of BIA-ALCL presented itself. I was not notified by Health Canada or my GP or the ultrasound tech or the thermography tech or my nurse practitioner, in 2017, when I first presented with signs and symptoms of BIA-ALCL. Even though there were 700 cases world wide, 12 deaths and 38 countries had banned the use and sale of this particular implant. I was never warned.
No one had brought this particular Breast Implant Associated Cancer to my attention. No one in the medical field knew what to look for or what my problem was or how to treat it. In fact it wasn’t until I did my own research did I begin to get answers. It was a conversation with a good friend of mine, in November if 2018 that lead me to a CTV news report featuring the first diagnosed patient in Canada who had ALCL and Allergan Textured implants. The very same implant that sits upon my chest wall. From there I have joined numerous Facebook support groups to help guide me to the right surgeon, the right testing and the right procedures to follow, to ensure proper testing and care. This has been a challenge for me and for my general practitioner, due to the lack of information made available to her. However, with the help of the ladies who have gone through this and who have become advocates for care in this matter, I have been directed to the right path. I am not telling you this to scare you. That is not my intention. BIA-ALCL is a curable lymphoma. It is rare and it is associated with textured implants only (at this time).
I am telling you this, because maybe no one has and maybe you know someone who needs to know.
I’d like to close with this personal, opinionated message. If you have ever thought that you might like to have breast implants, please reconsider. No cosmetic procedure is worth the risk of your health. If you have breast implants, please listen to your body and seek proper medical attention if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms. Please feel free to personal message me, if you wish to seek more information on this matter. Please feel free to share this information with other females. Know that I am here to support and listen and guide you in the right direction. I do so only in kindness and love and without judgement and because I care about you and your health.
Thank you Love & kindness Alyssa
THANK YOU Alyssa for sharing your story. THANK YOU for being the wonderful human you are and for doing all you can to help other women and THANK YOU for going the extra mile to help protect others.
Read Alyssa's article in HWS magazine on page 14 here:
Alyssa is the owner and operator of the Ridgeway Massage Therapy Clinic right here in beautiful Ridgeway, Ontario.
I strongly believe that every woman and girl in their life at some point looks at their body and thinks they are not enough. Whether it be their complexion, their weight, curves, hair colour or anything in between. We all strive for perfection in our own eyes and it hurts to realize that sometimes it isn’t possible. But the most powerful realization is when you finally understand that you are enough and no one can tell you otherwise.
I have been raised by incredibly strong women as well as a close and supportive family. No matter what happened at school or work, I always knew I could come home and be loved. High School was fairly standard in the way that I was never the “popular pretty” type but I enjoyed learning and took pride in my work. I knew from early on that I wanted to be in the Health Sciences field and help the community and people around me but wasn’t sure which direction to take career wise. Completely by accident, I stumbled across the Funeral Directing path, started my High School COOP and moved to big city Toronto to attend College. I loved my goals and I wouldn’t change my job for the world.
I met Jennifer for the first real time when she was assigned to take my work head shots. While there, I immediately felt comfortable and empowered, especially since this is something I had never done before. I mentioned that I had seen her work before and admired her and every person that came through her door for photos, but that I wasn’t sure I could do something like that.
Long story short, her “why wait?” Comment hit home and I booked my session that same day.
Choosing my photo shoot themes was difficult but my two themes, Girl Guides and The 80’s meant a lot to me and I am very glad I choose them!
The Girl guides have always been a huge part of my life, this year I am celebrating 15 years with the organization and I am now a leader for some wonderful young ladies!
My Mom, Grandma and Aunt were all involved as well and with always being interested in a more vintage style, the theme turned out amazingly! The scarf from the photos turned out to be one of the most incredible experiences I’ve had to obtain something like that. When I was a Brownie (7-8 years old) I had a friend whom I attended meetings with. She sadly passed away a few years back but when I moved back to the original church I was a part of as a girl ,to be a leader, we needed to do some spring cleaning.
During the cleaning, I found a time capsule that my friend, among others, had signed and decorated. The box had been worn with age and moisture so upon opening it, I found the scarf. The same scarf that I wore in the photos.
The 80’s in general has always meant a lot to me. The first 80’s song I remember downloading was “Strange Animal” by Gowan, after hearing my Dad play it from our old laptop. From there, 90% of my playlist is 80’s music oriented. We have now made it a family affair to play records on our player, sing to 80’s on 8 and go to various concerts together and just rock out!
In the end, this experience has been incredible. I have always struggled with my weight and it’s been difficult to see myself as beautiful.
Seeing these photos and having as amazing of an experience as I did, it’s really brought my beauty to light for me.
I pride myself on being a loyal, kind hearted person but to see the outside match my internal beauty was eye opening. It took some getting used to to realize that this was me but I am fully embracing it now.
Thank you Jennifer and her team for making me understand my full self and to feel loved in my own skin.
Tell Us Your Story!
These stories belong to the beautiful people who have came in for a Lady Luck experience.