This. Is. Your. Year.

Screen Shot 2019-01-01 at 1.30.08 PMI know you’ve been dreaming of that one thing. That thing that has kept you awake thinking “If I could do this…just this one thing…I would be so proud, so happy and so content. I would be living my dream.”

This is the year.

Why? Because this year you gather up all the chutzpah you have ever stored away in your heart of all hearts. This is the year you make the decision that the risk is worth it. This is the year that the fear of never living your dream is bigger than the fear of failing if you tried.

This is the year of YES.

Whatever “that” is for you, here it is. This moment is yours. This year is yours. You’ve stepped up to the plate, you’ve gathered all of your courage and you are now baring your soul, ready for whatever mountains you have to climb to get to the top.

Lather-rinse-repeat, baby.


Personal Responsibility

Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer | Elizabeth Craig Photography-3People-pleaser. What thoughts go through your head when you read those words? For a lot of women, reading those words turns into a head nod, like “Yep…that’s me. Totally”. It’s no wonder; we are just now birthing generations of girls that are actually being taught that they don’t have to be quiet, not only can they speak up and out, but they should. “You can be anything you want to be” actually means what it says in today’s world…it’s not just a saying on a soda can or a t-shirt.

I am a reformed people-pleaser. Well, mostly. I still find myself (rarely, thank goodness) in the aftermath of a situation where I somehow walked away with a responsibility I didn’t ask for, but somehow agreed to take on. But I am so pleased to tell you that my people-pleasing radar is very fine-tuned these days and I’m getting better and better.

Here’s the damn thing about being a people-pleaser: you are like a fucking magnet to people that take advantage of people-pleasers. It’s maddening! It took me YEARS to realize this, and I cannot begin to tell you all that I took on, took responsibility for, spent money on and shed tears for and usually for people that absolutely did not deserve any of it.

Then the concept of “personal responsibility” entered my psyche and the ruminations that have come with that have been a game-changer for me. I learned years ago to cut the takers out of my life and to beware of those trying to get back in, but I never examined the notion of “personal responsibility” in all of it.

At first, I began to apply this to me. I have a personal responsibility to myself to take care of me. I have a personal responsibility to spot situations that I would normally throw myself into the fire, but now back away slowly before I’m tagged in. Ahhhhhhhh….but now. Now, I have started to apply it to others and let me tell you something: I am free!! I am SO MUCH freer than I’ve ever been from that sick, nasty disease we call People-Pleasing. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh…..*big breath in. big breath out* It feels damn good.

My friend, Lola, introduced me to the flip of this concept and I am gift-wrapping this to give it to you. But listen, spotting situations where someone is trying to put a responsibility on you that doesn’t belong to you is hard. It’s even harder recognizing that it not only belongs to the person trying to dump this on you, but to hand it right back to them. It takes confidence and chutzpah. But here’s the good news: the more you do it, the easier it gets to spot and toss back like a water balloon just waiting for its target.

Homework: start honing your radar and recognize situations where your gut is telling you to stay quiet for a minute and reassess a situation where you would normally jump right in. Then, switch gears on that radar and start to recognize situations like this where the person dishing it all out is actually the one that needs to take it and put it right back on their own plate. You will have a MILLION reasons why they can’t. But but but but but…Stop that right now.

I can’t tell you how this has changed everything for me. If you’re anything like me, you think everything is your fault and everything is your responsibility. Wouldn’t it be AMAZING if you were wrong?? Guess what?  You are. You’re wrong. I’m telling you, once your radar is set to this setting it won’t matter how much someone tries to drag you back into a situation, you won’t go. It’s a visceral reaction that will serve you well.

So, go get yourself a bucket of personal responsibility today. Grab a big azz ladle and start dishing it out. Then give yourself one big azz high-five. You deserve it, girl.Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer | Elizabeth Craig Photography-2-2Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer | Elizabeth Craig Photography-1-2Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer | Elizabeth Craig Photography-4Muse: Savannah Letham

Support. Uplift. Cheer On. Inspire.


Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer | Educator | Elizabeth Craig Photography-10

What do those words in this title make you think? Feel? I want them to call to you. I want them to make you think about what they really mean to you.

This is my call to you, ladies. This is my call to you to sit in your Self today. Not only do I want you to read the words in this title and consider how they apply to your Self, and if they do not apply to your Self, what you can do to make them apply, but also how you can apply them to women, period.

We come from a long history of having to compete with each other to survive. That no longer applies. Yes, we must fight harder than men, we must rise higher, be smarter and typically get knocked down more and if you are a brown person of the female gender, it is even more difficult. I mean….wayyyyyyyy more difficult. But we have reached a time when we can now take care of ourselves in a multitude of ways. The competition is over.

It is now time to re-focus that energy into a place where it can be most useful and that is with the entire female population. This is my challenge to you: to reach beyond yourself and give of yourself to women, or even just one woman really. Help me start this movement of recognizing that we are a tribe and frankly, we are all we have. We have each other.

Tell a woman she looks beautiful today. Tell a woman you see the stress in her eyes, but she’s got this and you know it. Tell a woman she’s a good mother. Tell her she’s strong, she will not only make it through this, but she will leap right over it with flames on the heels of her feet. Tell her congratulations, well done, keep trucking.

Tell her you see her, and what you see is a light that shines into this world like no other.

#tribePittsburgh Boudoir Photographer | Educator | Elizabeth Craig Photography-5Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer | Educator | Elizabeth Craig Photography-7Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer | Educator | Elizabeth Craig Photography-1-2Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer | Educator | Elizabeth Craig Photography-6Muse: Ella Voss