Thrive Thursday: Timothi Jane Graham on capturing the iconic self + being a warrior
Welcome to Thrive Thursday. Each week I will be featuring a conscious & creative woman who has made self care a non-negotiable part of her life, love and business. Self-care is not a perfect practice but it is necessary for a thriving life. This series spotlights women who are dedicated to #fullnessfirst because they know exhaustion & depletion are not the way forward.
I believe there is Genius in every living room across the nation. I believe there are scores of women looking for “another way” to bring their dreams to life. Women who want to live, breathe & create at a natural, elegant pace. A harmonious balance between life and work allows us to live fully, while also freeing up the time and energy so we can come together and co-create a thriving new world for all Beings.
This series illuminates the power of exquisite self care as holistic fuel for elegant & effective productivity. As we return to lifestyle practices that support the unstoppable power behind a well nourished woman, we simultaneously create a more loving & harmonious world.
Meet Timothi Jane Graham
I was born and raised in NYC as a show biz kid. Both my parents were in the biz so I grew up surrounded by a lot of celebrity and the foregone conclusion that I would be a performer. I modeled with Eileen Ford as a child, Elite as a teen, while simultaneously apprenticing NYC Ballet, acting in stage and film and working as a voice over artist for over 20 years. Somewhere in there I decided I wanted to move behind the camera and I became a photographer. It was a natural progression since I already had filled up my tool box with lots of different experiences I could bring to the table. Branding is the backbone of what I do. It's really an ephemeral and intuitive thing and I have developed an instinct for it over a very long time. My mission is to transform my clients into the “highest” version of themselves. To bring out what's iconic, sculpt it and then blast it out into the world in images and now in video. I truly get off on the image transformations I create for my clients.
Are you a Budding or Established entrepreneur?
Yup. I've had my own Photography business for almost 13 years now! Wow. Crazy it's been that long.
Are you a Mother? If so, what ages are your children?
No kids. But am the proud mother of a German Shepherd and two very verbal parrots.
Do you consider yourself to be a spiritually conscious/awakening woman?
Yes. I have always been a seeker. It's funny, when I was 8 I decided to interview several priests at different churches so I could decide what path I would follow. I was always seeking my spiritual self. I also always knew it was a choice only I could make. I have walked down the road of Sikhism, Buddhism and several earth based philosophies including my own familial Tutelo Indian heritage but after all this seeking I find I am basically Universal Energy-centric. It's all about alignment and connection with people, the world and beyond. I am a pathological meditator for sure.
As an entrepreneur, when did you realize self-care must be written into your business plan and why?
About 8 years ago my business blew up. I got into a space where I didn't trust that the work would keep coming in. I had made a tremendous amount of $$ in my voice over career and walking away from it was scary. I knew it would be awhile till I was able to match that same income with my photography business but there was no time to do both. It came down to $$ or my passion. I went with passion. I never turned down work. I just booked myself solid. I was working 7 days a week for months at a time. I guess you could call it fear of scarcity. I really hit rock bottom. Lack of sleep, not going to yoga, skipping meditation, never having a down day just to chill. It got to the point where I just said “Girl, this has got to stop!” It was no longer fun. That's when I decided something needed to shift. I hired 2 assistants and got into this amazing rhythm of self care. I allowed myself to trust the business would come. What's funny is, the more I treated myself like a precious object the more quality clients gravitated into my orbit.
A woman who creates from fullness honors rhythm & ritual in her life. Can you share how you manage your business with the changing tides of your inner being – with who you are as a woman?
I really have to allow myself the time to step back and take a look at things from a bird's eye perspective. When I feel a shift coming, things moving too fast or slow, my instincts pulling me in a different direction, I completely stop what I'm doing. I reschedule appointments if I have to so I can create the space to really feel what's going on and listen to my intuition. Then when I feel clear I make decisions or take actions based on that place of clarity.
What are your non-negotiable self-care practices that put your well-being first in life & business?
Wow, there are a lot. This is my must have list of things that make me feel alive and centered. These are my nonnegotiable must haves in life:
• sleep • meditation • yoga • working out • journaling • one day a week at the spa • a great book, usually fiction, that inspires me • 30 mins a day in nature • vibrant whole live foods esp green smoothies and juices • love love love from my friends and family • something creative that has nothing to do with photography
Let’s go deeper – we live in transitional times where many women are building a business & parenting while also in a spiritual awakening journey. There are times when self-care is not enough to alleviate the transitional symptoms of a woman’s soul unfolding so that it’s business “as usual.” What have you learned about yourself and building a business during transitional times, as a conscious heart centered entrepreneur?
I've learned that I have to take a deep breath and press forward one minute at a time...sometimes when I'm overwhelmed it's one second at a time. I've learned that I can be reactionary. That comes from fear of losing control so I have to always check in with myself when I'm feeling this way and continue to ask my soul the right questions. It always comes down to what do I really want. What do I long for.
Riding the waves of a dynamic and creative life, our point of balance is constantly adjusting. What aspects of your nature tend to challenge you the most around maintaining balance in life & business, if you are not mindful?
It took a while before I could start saying “no” in terms of business. I took jobs I didn't even want because I was afraid of burning bridges. Then I'd be miserable. I have to really be mindful of that. I also fight with myself over bedtime lol. Sometimes after a long day I know I need to get some sleep. I know I should go home and go right to bed. But I am someone who needs to have unwind and play time. So sometimes Game of Thrones or Mad Men win out. A girl's gotta have her distractions!
How has your life & business changes as a result of placing self-care a non-negotiable foundation?
I am definitely more fun to be around when I'm enjoying my life. When I'm centered and shining my shine. The quality of my work is better, I have more time for friends and my relationship with my husband is more connected and loving. I also have a better sense of self. I feel empowered and invincible. Amazing self care makes me feel like a warrior...and since life can sometimes be a battlefield I think that's a very good thing.
Check out Timothi and her amazing work at www.timothi.com
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