Stacey Lievens has spent her three decade career as a Master Craftsman Photographer amplifying the unique qualities of humankind. A Southern California native, Stacey brings a nurturing skill set to the Proof and honors the deep core of each soul. Her artistic point of view has attracted many online entrepreneurs and influencers to trust her guidance in creating brilliant brand stories. The same passion she has for her career, has translated to the creation of programs that honor the teenage spirit. By giving teens the platform to proclaim what their soul stands for, has positioned them as peer mentors and transformed a community. She is the author of The Soul Sitters Handbook, What To Do When A Loved One Is Dying.
Read The Proof
When you turn 8 years old in a large Irish Catholic family, it’s a big deal! It’s your First Communion year. You are going to marry Jesus and you’d better look the part.
This wasn’t my Mom’s first rodeo so she knew exactly where to take me shopping for a very special dress. Standing in front of a rack of frilly bridal like dresses with matching tulle veils, nothing called to me. Until I saw out of the corner of my eye, another rack with the perfect dress. “Momma, can I get this one?!” There was no pretty white lace, no shoulder length veil, this dress was bright yellow.
A week later I found myself in a formal church procession with fifty other mini-brides in white dresses. My classmate teased, “You look like big bird in a sea of marshmallows”.Funny thing is, I wasn’t trying to stick out. I took my role seriously and I wanted to wear the outfit that best expressed my devotion. That dress made me happy and I wanted to bring joy to the occasion. It wasn’t later that it dawned on me that I might have been perceived as being rebellious and an embarrassment to my family.
I loved my church, I loved my faith and I was a devout student of Catholicism. After 12 years of parochial school, it was the religious studies classes that I excelled in. I loved studying the saints and their sacrifices for what they believed. I was active in volunteering, teaching catechism and lectoring at masses, reading aloud the words the bible every sunday to a full congregation. I even considered becoming a nun, because it was these amazing women that I admired the most. I was comfortable inside the bubble of my little country church and these were my people.
However, that bubble burst in my mid twenties. I started to feel spiritually claustrophobic and very curious to explore other religions. What unfolded for me was a deep honoring of other ideas, ritual and ceremony. Much like a spiritual buffet, I created my own platter of divine nourishment, taking bits and pieces of inspiration to nurture my soul. Although I will always consider myself a cradle catholic, I am not devout today.
But I do have a confession, I miss the bubble! I miss the way I felt being in a loving community. Maybe that’s why I’m devoted to creating a place of belonging where you too can wear your version of a bright yellow dress without feeling shame or embarrassment.
I think that rebellious little girl is a great teacher to us all. Let your heart inspire your actions, stay curious and embrace your individuality. I invite you to carry her spirit of joy and undying devotion as you honor yourself in this one beautiful life.