I'm an American expat, writer,Youtuber, 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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We need to start being honest about our messiness.

Aside from compassion, I believe there is no character trait more important than having the courage and self-awareness to live with integrity.

But so often in this positivity and self-improvement obsessed culture, we aren’t sharing enough of the real. And when it is openly shared, it’s a turn-off. 

What Happens When You Start Living a Life in Honest Alignment with Yourself

From my personal experience, when you stop chasing perfection, and you allow yourself to be openly messy, raw and just a REAL multi-faceted and complex (flawed and all!) human being in front of others, doors will start to open.

  • Kindred spirits start finding you.
  • Abundance is easily called and received
  • You live out your destiny – the blueprint your soul has been so excited for you to live and experience!
  • You care less about the opinions of others
  • You meet people who resonate or admire those flawed parts of you
  • Most importantly, you feel better at the end of the day, knowing you lived a full day in total alignment and honesty with yourself!

And when you start living fully as yourself, with all the messy and unlikable traits, there are no regrets and no questions of whether you “should have” or “shouldn’t have” done something.

You simply take action, and move on! Second thoughts aren’t experienced, energy is not wasted!

You feel aligned with you. 

And when you take action on the messages of your true, honest and messy self, you are living the journey you were meant to live! You are exactly where you need to be.

But just as doors begin to unlock, doors will also close.

Transformation is Not Always a Pleasant Journey

I tend to think that life is all about experimentation, growth, and transformation.

But transformation and growth aren’t always rainbows and dandelions!

In fact, living a life of epic growth is challenging and sometimes painful.

Aside from the fact that parts of your old beliefs, habits, and overall egoic identity are disappearing (and the grief associated with losing a sense of identity can be heavy), when you start living in alignment with your true self, certain people won’t resonate with you anymore. 

But this is what happens when you openly share the hard parts of your personality: people also just won’t like your flaws.

And when you share yourself publicly online, there will be even more criticism, judgment, and skepticism.

Social Media Perfectionism

Most popular content on Pinterest and Instagram is curated and beautiful because in the online world, people want to escape their not-perfect life (a.k.a. everyone’s reality) and enter a curated world of beauty from someone else’s highlight reel.

We open up Instagram, Pinterest and Youtube to escape into a fantasy world of perfected people with perfected environments and perfect lives. We’re attracted to beautiful colors with beautiful landscapes and symmetrical flat lays. We like positive captions, gratitude and joyful words of wisdom – I know I do!

Often, social media can look like a fairytale, and people follow because they want more of it.

why we need to start being honest about our messiness

But when you open yourself up to the complexities of your thoughts, the depth of your being, the rocky transformation that happens behind-the-scenes and share those negative aspects of yourself without hesitation, people will be surprised. Perhaps even repelled!

They thought you were perfect, and now you have flaws – oh my!

What I’ve realized through my experiences with friends and acquaintances in person and online is that people will either resonate with you energetically and embrace your honest sharing or they’ll be surprised at how openly you share yourself and your struggled and feel triggered by all the messiness. 

But the fact is: we’re all messy.

We all have baggage and emotional scars from some point in our lives. 

And to hide away from our darkness is foolish and naive. We need equal parts of light and equal parts darkness. One cannot exist without the other!

But it’s how you manage those scars and move through them that defines your growth in character.

It’s how you manage your emotions, your consistency and how self-disciplined you are about improving yourself that matters. 

We all say imperfect things, do imperfect things and live imperfect lives. And to put celebrities, influencers, creators, thought-leaders, etc on a high pedestal is so silly!

How I’m Sharing the Honest Messiness

One of the things I am dedicated and passionate about sharing more of in the future (on Youtube, Instagram captions and here on the blog) is all the messiness of myself. I am sharing the struggles, the hardships, the things I’m working, and improving upon because I really believe it’s a shame that so many influencers are sharing their Pinterest Perfect lives, instead of sharing their faults and problems.

This doesn’t mean we need to overshare or that we can’t keep some things private. By all means, keep some things a mystery! 

For your mental health, it’s essential that some things are kept private. 

But sharing a few of the struggles and then leading others by example, we can hopefully open ourselves and others up to acceptance, understanding, compassion, and honesty. 

And living a life that is aligned and true to the life we were meant to lead.

We need to start embracing, sharing and being honest about our messiness.

No one’s life is perfect, and hopefully, by me sharing the messiness of my own life, I can inspire you to embrace yours. 


Helena 🙂

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Why We Need to Start Being Honest About Our Messiness

August 31, 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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