I'm an American expat, writer. photographer. and old-fashioned romantic in love with celebrating the simple joys of daily life. I appreciate timelessness, the natural world, and a slow life lived with simplicity and intention. When I'm not photographing families or  slowly traveling the world and writing about it in a little notebook, I'm happily grounding myself in nature and cozying up with my sweet husband.

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When you log in to your favorite online social media app, do you ever take a pause before sharing and actually reflect on your message and post with intention?

In today’s hyper-connected world, it seems as if everyone is sharing their personal life on social media and not posting with intention online. I either know people who are notoriously private and share absolutely nothing personal or I know people who tend to overshare – maybe without even realizing it (Hiiiii, that’s me).

But here’s the thing: whether we like to admit it or not, it’s easy in today’s world to feel that your memories aren’t real if you don’t share them with the public. What’s the point of going on a trip and seeing an exotic part of the world if you don’t have photographs to share, am I right?

I love to share. Open and honest self-expression is something I deeply value and place importance in (hence this blog, these videos, these Instagram squares. ) But I also choose to live my life fully and vibrantly. I choose to wake up every day with a morning routine and fully get caught up in the actual living part of my life.

And I choose to keep some things only for myself to enjoy. I choose to post with intention online, with what apps I use (permanently deleted Facebook and Twitter!) and what I specifically share. 

Post with Intention Online 

I recently had someone tell me, “I love how you’re always sharing all your life on Instagram!”

And to be honest I was a bit startled by this assumption. I knew it was coming from a joyous place. But here’s the thing that may surprise those who follow my blog or Instagram: there is so much in my life that I don’t share online. 

In fact, the things I care most about are the things I share the least online.

I choose to keep certain topics off my social media feeds because they are mine to privately cherish. And I think it’s more important than ever to keep certain topics offline for the public to see. 

The Delicate Balance of Posting and Sharing Online

Finding that balance of what exactly to share with the public is something that has taken me a few years to navigate and trust in.

A Few Tips on How to Post Online with Intention

  • Take a quiet breath before clicking “publish.” Letting the words sit in your body for a second is a beautiful habit to cultivate. 
  • Plan out your posts using PLANN. I have found that batch-writing and compiling hashtags keeps my photography feed organized and intentional. 
  • Ask yourself the following before posting publicly: What is the purpose in sharing this? What am I hoping others will get in return from this post? Why does this matter? Does it need to come from me?

Post with Intention: What I Choose to Keep Private and Offline

Here are a few of the main topics I choose to not go into detail about on social media…

My Spiritual Journey

We choose to come to Earth during a specific time, in a specific human body, for a specific mission. I am deeply connected to myself and this present-moment awareness is something that is most important to me. But I choose not to share the work being done. The shadow work, the digging, and uncovering, the breakthroughs and messages I receive.

I’ll share tidbits of inspiring messages and scribbled notes and books I’m finding powerful every once in a while – I love seeing the response from people who are uplifted by them. But I choose not to share the behind-the-scenes on my personal spiritual development. My free moments are often spent in my Akashic Records, reconnecting to my past-lives through meditation, sitting in stillness and just…being. Living a grounded, wholesome and simple life and connecting to my non-religious faith is what I most prioritize in my day-to-day life, and because it’s so important, I choose to experience it solo without sharing it with the world.

why I keep most of my life offline

My Day-to-Day Relationship with my Husband

My husband is the person I treasure most in my life. He is my rock, my best friend, my world. We hold a secret treasure that only he and I share, a bond that can’t be expressed in words on an Instagram caption. And while I consider myself a writer and find writing long-form content the skill that comes most naturally and easily to me, an entire novel couldn’t be written to best describe the immense love I have for him.

He’s my private treasure, my hidden diamond – that only I know where is hidden – in a cave of coal. Our behind-the-scene moments, our day-to-day life, our selfies and blurry home videos are something just for us. Our relationship is immensely fun and playful and filled to the brim with optimism. It’s overly saccharine, and we delight in not sharing it. In fact, we giddily revel in the idea of people not knowing about us. This is one of the most important subjects I don’t share on social media.

My Friendships

This was one of the first deliberate choices I made to not post about on social media a few years ago. The main reasons is that my close friendships matter most to me. My friends are my family. And the subjects that occupy the most space in my heart are for me to cherish fully and completely without the eyes of the public. 

I also simply find that posting about outings with friends just seems a bit pointless. I mean, why do people on social media need to know who you are with right now? I can understand if you’re trying to make someone you both know jealous. Or perhaps you want to brag that you have friends because you’re a bit insecure about something going on privately in your life – to which I say – I’ve been there. And I understand the need to fill that void and show people you are wanted, needed, and accepted.

We are pack animals. (LOL)

But at this point in my life, I just don’t see the appeal. When I see friends, I take pictures and polaroids. And then I print these pictures and tape these polaroids with washi tape into the lined pages of my journal. But these interactions and connections are for me and those individuals to take enjoyment in – not for everyone on the internet. 

I don’t want to share a post just for me, those are what my private journals are for.

But when I share something online, it’s intentional. I want readers to find my words helpful or uplifting and that way they can either apply it to their own life or walk away from the post a little happier – in however big or small a way that is. I don’t want the attention on myself – I want to give something. I want to serve and share in hopes that it uplifts someone. 

Promise Me This

Friend, if you having a hard time being intentional online, if you find it challenging striking that balance of what to post and share online, do this for me: hold onto those secret treasures.

Hold onto those sacred, unshared moments and experiences. Heck – cling to them tightly, if you have to! And please, please don’t forget to put your phone down – keep it buried in a drawer while on vacation like I do #extreme. And keep those eyes up, wide open and alive.

You’re here to live fully – for you. 

 

Why I Keep Most of My Life Offline

February 18, 2020

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I'm Helena! As a creative storyteller, I document magical, emotionally honest family and children's portraiture. A lover of childhood, fairytales and natural light, I photograph families across the world. I'm the ultimate Disney nerd, and I'm obsessed with cats and expressing my love for the simple joys of slow, daily life.

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Helena Woods is a destination newborn and family photographer based in France and New England and travels worldwide. She is known for her natural light, modern classic, and emotive photography style.

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