When did the “P-word” become dirty?

As a spiritually awake woman with a message, a calling, a purpose, do you ever noticed how the wisdom of many spiritual teachings is actually holding you back instead of pulling you forward? That it is easy to think that having a spiritual life is somehow antithetical to having a successful business? How did we get those so confused? I imagine that in the 1970s when many Westerners turned toward the wisdom of the ancient spiritual traditions it was because culture had swung so far away from living a holistic rich life that we needed as a culture to swing in the opposite direction. We needed to want for something other than a life where we worked 40 hour weeks, came home to the same stuck routine and eventually retired, where success was hooked into a culture of competition where our achievement was dependent on someone else’s failure. We needed to want for something OTHER than climbing a ladder to a career that may offer us financial comfort but little in the realm of health, happiness or fulfillment! We turned to the Christian principles of living a life of virtue, we looked to Buddhism’s doctrine of doing everything in our lives with present time awareness and acceptance, Yoga’s 8-limbs taught us to cultivate a path of devotion to uniting the body, mind and spirit.

Sounds great, right? But too many threw the baby out with the bathwater and here is why that became a problem for us purpose driven women entrepreneurs with big hearts minds and dreams –

Desire was anathema to appreciating the present moment. Striving for success was inherently aggressive. Having a well developed sense of self was egoic. Temperance was a virtue and Pride was a deadly sin.

Some of us may not even recognize how these ideas are keeping us from being the influential women we were put on this planet to be. I didn’t.

It was 6 years ago and I was by all accounts an accomplished physical yogi, my body was adept at all kinds of miraculous postures that I never imagined it would be. I was in a 9am class on a Saturday morning with one of my favorite teachers and I noticed that I was holding back, I felt this inkling of pride at what I was capable of and decided it was better not to fully actualize the pose then risk coming across as “show-offey”, striving, egoic or “unspiritual”.

It hit me, I had made PRIDE a dirty word. That not wanting to stand out was making me contain, hold back, not GIVE everything I had to give, not be all that I could be. It took some gentle belief rejiggering and more than one external affirmation from another yogi (“Your practice is so inspiring!”) before I was able to truly OWN it.

Today, I think the pull of pride might actually be the creative impulse of the universe goading us to realize our fullest potential. The whisper that encourages us to design an envy-worthy brand, that asks us to express fully in our eka-pada rajakapotasana (for you yogis out there!), that coaxes us onto that stage to share straight from the source, that puts our mind to writing that book proposal and submitting it to our dream publisher, that wants us to say YES to our hearts desire even if our logical mind has a million and one reasons not to! I’m curious if I would have gotten anywhere on this journey of success if I had not embraced the feeling of pride.

This week at Wendy Yalom Photography, we’ve been going through the personal branding gallery and selecting images for marketing and I feel soooo flippin’ proud! Like “OMG, look at that! I made that? Omg, this woman that I am created so much beauty I can hardly believe it.” I’m doing my pride dance right now. The part that gets me every single time is that most of my clients don’t even know how beautiful, inspiring, photogenic and courageous they are. Before our working together, they hadn’t realized how proud they would feel of their photos, how gorgeous they would recognize themselves to be and how those photos would become a physical expression of the great work they were put on this planet to do.

Now, I’m on a mission to put the bootie-shaking joy back into feeling proud of ourselves, into making succeeding a cause for celebration and to being bold with our brand and willingness to be seen a HALLELUJAH-worthy action! Want to join me? I hope so.

Feeling damn proud,


p.s We want to add your gorgeousness to our gallery! Curious about having a personal branding photoshoot in 2016? We are now booking July – October (Holy wow!!) with a small handful of photoshoots available in April and June. Contact us today by clicking here if NOW is your time.