scandaleuse photography toronto

I am my biggest cheerleader but I am also my worst enemy.

This post is a part of our series “If I Had Listened", in which we're reached out to strong-minded women we admire to tell us about a moment they chose to trust their gut and follow a different path despite other people's opinion. Read the first post here

If I had listened I wouldn’t have been able to find happiness and confidence within myself to truly love who I am.

I am my biggest cheerleader but I am also my worst enemy.

 
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There are so many factors in society that contribute to my marginalization. I am a woman, I am from Jamaica, I am of mixed race.

Throughout my life, I have faced discrimination for all the above characteristics, all of which have thrown me off kilter, beat down my confidence, made me questions my identity and made me seriously doubt who I am.

I had times that were so dark and lonely that, unfortunately, only my damaged mind and broken heart were there to keep me company.

It wasn’t until I was able to work on myself, with help, that I was able to realize that it was the constant negative self-talk festering in my mind that was making me crumble into nothingness.

It took a really long time for me to accept that I had the power to be my biggest fan even if I were being my biggest roadblock.

I used to resent the people closest to me for not meeting my expectations and not being there to save me from my mind. But choosing to be in charge of my own outcomes and happiness as opposed to relying on others was the biggest contributing factor to reaching the self-acceptance and happiness that I am working towards today.

 
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I know that I will always be a work in progress and I totally accept that. However, I have now found beauty in my flaws and in my growth. I have stopped listening to the side of myself that constantly wants to hold me back from evolving as the beautiful human I am and I now place the ride or die version of Nathanielle at the forefront.

5 Things you can do to be more French

It’s Bastille day aka the Revolution day in France! Everyone is off work to go celebrate around fireworks, good food and good company. As you probably know already, we are both French from Paris (hi to our cousins for Québec!) and to celebrate our national holiday, we thought you could join us by developing a new French twist!

 
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Practice saying “APEROOOO!"

On a beautiful summer (or not) nights,it is not rare that we gather with our family and friends around some drinks and hors d’œuvres (this is how you spell it by the way) for a couple of hours before dinner. We called them “Apéro” and they are always filled with laughter and good vibes. It's about damn time we incorporate more of these in Canada!

Master the art of sarcasm

Not to brag, but we are pretty good at sarcasm and it makes us laugh a lot. It's also a powerful tool for a passive-aggressive comment you need to tell your foreign Aunt Jemma who asked to put sparkling water in her white wine. (don't do that.)

Ditch your top on the beach, it's summer.

Let your nipples see the world and enjoy the warmth of the sun.

After you put some serious sunscreen on them though, you only have two, you gotta cherish them. It's such a great feeling to swim (almost or totally) naked. Remember?

Don't “pardon your French”

It's very freeing to swear here and there.

Really, try it. I mean, don't do it in front of your 6-year old nephew, pick your audience, but still. Don't bottle up those feelings that want to make you swear, embrace and express the, you’ll feel much better!

Start thinking that you know slightly better than everybody else.

Because… don’t you?! Yeah that's what we thought.

Now, you are all set to grab your glass of wine - the real glass please, put down that plastic cup - put your brie on the barbecue and dance on this! You're welcome!

 
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Looking for happiness? Start with self-confidence

You guys, it's summer. The beautiful weather is finally here to lift our spirits. Everything has a gold filter on and yet, you can't seem to fully enjoy it. It happens, you just spent months in the cold hibernating.

It is time to shed your dreary skin and embrace your brand new one full of colorful ideas and accomplishments. The good news? You already have all the tools in you.

Aim for long-term happiness

In case you didn't know, the true form of happiness isn't in the things you own. Maybe you will get those butterflies in your stomach because you just bought that pair of shoes, but it will only last for a couple of hours at the most. The real happiness is something that grows over time, to stick around for your entire life. It’s waking up with a soft and light feeling, and start your day with a smile on your face. And this requires constant work. If you don’t know where to start, we have some tips for you.

 
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Cultivate self-love

If you want to reach happiness, you have to treat yourself like you would do for your best-friend. Be grateful for everything you are and everything you already have instead of focusing on what you think you lack.

Don't talk down or belittle yourself. Your mind and body have been carrying you for a while and if you're still standing, you're already on the right path.

Self-love implies that you can peacefully be alone with your thoughts and don't have to constantly take care of other people. It is putting your needs first because you know you deserve it.

here comes self-confidence.

Happy people can see what they have accomplished, big or small steps. They don't dwell on the past and they don't see mistakes, they see lessons. We all need to f… up a few times to get something right. By learning to grow your self-confidence, you will be able to take the positive out of every situation, pick yourself back up and try again.

You need to learn to celebrate yourself often, to be proud of your accomplishments and most importantly: to acknowledge your self-worth.

If you are thinking “Blah, I haven't accomplished anything", we are gonna slap you silly because we know 100% that it is not true. Shift your mindset, if you made it this far, you have probably been doing something good, and this is what you need to focus on.

Talk to professionals

 
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If you feel like you are too deep in negativity, you may need help, and that's totally okay. Thinking happiness long term and putting all of the efforts required to get to it is a freaking ton of work.

Asking for help from someone who knows their sh*t is far from being a weakness, it’s actually giving yourself a chance and taking a step in the right direction for a better you.

That’s why we actually decided to partner with a lovely mindset consultant to help us elevate you as high as we can, so you can keep going forward in life with a light heart and get the tools to face the curveballs it throws at you.

We will be launching our new program with Eden soon, sign up to our newsletter to get all of the details! We hope to be a part of your journey towards long-term happiness!

Subscribe to our mailing list to be the first to hear about our program!

It ain't about time, it is about priorities!

Scandals, we need to talk! We have a big nowadays' problem (well we have more than one: #zerowaste, #prayforsudan, we unfortunately could add more to the list) and this problem is called “I don't have the time". It sounds familiar, doesn't it? Isn't it a sentence we hear more and more when we try to meet with friends or create professional collaborations?

 
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The “I am too busy” symptom

Don’t get me wrong, with all of those life opportunities people are getting busier and it is fantastic. Travelling is easier, we have so many tools to realize our projects and ideas, even dating is one swipe away from being effortless. It will be a nonsense to not grab life by the balls! But unfortunately we have the tendency to use “I don't have the time” too often as an excuse instead of being straight forward and saying “No”.

As humans being time is all we have, life is only about the time we have left before it is too late. So it is not truly about the time, it is about priorities.

It is fine to not wanted to be part of whatever someone is offering you but remember, no mater the excuse you have, it is always better to be as honest as possible without hurting the person's feelings or ego. If you have time to watch Netflix, then you have time to do anything else (priorities my friend!). If it is too difficult for you to say “No”, you can always find alternatives:

  • This is not a priority for me.

  • Let me think about it and get back to you if I change my mind.

  • I don’t have the budget for it.

  • I would prefer to enjoy some me-time tonight.

But honestly, you don't even have to give an excuse, you can decline politely: “Thanks for thinking of me but I will pass” (with a friendly and cute emoji). After all, you don't owe anything to anyone.

 
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The importance of saying “NO”

Two things happen when people do not dare to decline:

  • They disappear, cut communication without telling you what was the problem. FYI, this is unacceptable, rude, unprofessional and happened to us too many times. We hope for you guys you will never get stood up and if it did happen to you, we are sorry cause it sucks!

  • They don't put the effort to do the work they are supposed to do, which creates delays and unnecessary stress.

It is important to see any relationship as a win-win situation. Being honest and telling someone "No" will save you a lot of headaches, plus you will not waste the time of your interlocutor who is probably trying to plan things around YOUR schedule to make his/her project comes to life. If this person is ready to make time for you then you have to do the same…

Not rushing your decision to be part of it or not will help to avoid any negative issues. Take a couple of days to think about it, you do not have to give an answer right away! See if you want/can actually be part of a project or event. If it is for a professional collaboration for example, ask yourself what you can bring to this new business relationship and how does it benefit you.

Commitment is a virtue

If you commit to something avoid changing your mind in the middle of the road, unless you have a very good and honest excuse. The lack of motivation should not make you run away from your responsibilities!

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