My Wake-up Call

Post 003: How a Photograph Changed Everything

Photographs open doors into the past, but they also allow a look into the future.


Last week my workplace scheduled a photo shoot for new members of the team who would be showcased on our company’s website.  When I heard this I urgently asked to be included in the group of team members being photographed.  My existing photo on the website was a huge cause of embarrassment and shame for me; and something that I had been working towards replacing since it was first taken 18 months ago.  That photo was my wake-up call.

I had already had a wake-up call two months earlier when I saw photos of myself at my Godson’s christening; but I had clearly hit the snooze button because I went straight back to sleep.  I was so proud on that day; the apple of my eye, my beautiful nephew was being christened.  I was also meeting my sister’s new extended family of in-laws for the first time.  I was wearing my most flattering maxi dress with my hair freshly styled and my face made-up.  I felt good and I presented myself proudly to the world.

Two months later for the photo shoot, I went in wearing my best fitted suit with hair neatly tied back and make-up carefully applied.  This photo was going to be placed on the “Meet the Team” page on our company’s website – the whole world would see it.  I wanted to look my best and represent the brand I hold so close to my heart with pride.

Each of those photos shocked me.  I saw someone so different to the person I saw in the mirror every day.  I was clearly in denial.  I was obviously too afraid to look closely at myself in the mirror every morning and every night.  I had learned how to look only at what I could accept and be blind to what was glaringly obvious about my health and general well-being.  What took me by surprise in both those pictures was my size.  My flattering maxi dress and my tailored suit could not hide the truth – I was too big.  Both photos showed a woman whose skin was grey and whose hair was dull probably due to bad nutrition; whose posture exposed a de-energised and inactive being; and despite the smiles, whose eyes were sad and weary due to unmanaged and mounting stress.  The girl in the pictures had no soul.  Her spirit had been broken; and it showed.  As much as I thought I was bravely hiding my burdens from all around me, they were exposed daily to the whole world through my body and demeanour.  Where had my effervescence gone?

And so after that second picture, I woke up with a jolt – no snooze buttons – but straight out of bed determined to regain my spark.  And so started my love affair with pictures of myself.  I still can’t look at myself objectively in the mirror.  Maybe it’s a protective mechanism to help me face the day, but I always feel good when looking at myself in the mirror.  I realised that the only way to properly gauge my progress is with photos.  Every few month I set up the tripod and set the timer on the camera and take glaringly honest pictures of myself.  It has also served as a great way to compare myself over time and remind myself of how far I have come – and it’s a great motivator to keep going.

So, last week I was really proud when I received a copy of the new photo for the website.  It was a great affirmation of how far I have come over the past 18 months.  Such a different story is told by the new photo – that girl is healthy, invigorated and, most importantly… happy!

You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed.

And you are beautiful.



I wish I could tell you that bouncing back from heartache is as simple as it seems in this post, but obviously it’s not.  Elevating my life involved being brave enough to look inward, reflecting on the deep, hidden parts of me that can be hard to look at.  But doing this allowed me to shine a light on my shadows and, more significantly, see the parts of me that make me truly extraordinary. This introspection was made much easier with an incredible tool called the Enneagram.

The Enneagram is a personality profiling system that focuses on our pathways to healing and wholeness.  Understanding my Enneagram archetype not only helped me to understand why I am the way I am, but also gave me a roadmap to healing my heart and building resilience and courage.

The path to healing is complex and very different for each one of us.  The Enneagram helps us to take the keys to happiness and implement them in a way that is tailored to our individual journeys.

Today, I invite you to take that first step to healing your heart by taking our FREE mini-Enneagram assessment.

“A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.



Complete this five-minute assessment and receive your personalized Heartbreak to Wholeness Roadmap based on your specific core personality motivations.  The roadmap gives you a blueprint to wholeness focusing specifically on the 5 Keys to Happiness, with simple practical suggestions on how to take the first steps to your extraordinary life.


Alexandra helps ordinary women live extraordinary lives of freedom, meaning, and happiness.  If you want to heal from heartbreak, build courage and resilience, be holistically well in mind, heart and soul, and live a life of purpose, meaning and joy, then she is here to help you.

As the founder of The Flying Phoenix, she assists and supports women to use their heartbreak as a catalyst for a breakthrough and create the extraordinary life of freedom, meaning, and happiness, they desire and deserve.


I would love to hear from you.  What has your experience been with this topic?  Do you have some tips or strategies in addition to the one’s mentioned above?  Maybe you have a burning question?  Perhaps you have the solution to someone else’s question.

The best growth and learning comes from engagement and sharing, please comment below and share your thoughts, questions and personal experiences.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Wow Alexandra – I was not even looking at your body as your face is just always smiling – I only saw how good you look!  Well done.  To me a little bit of weight does not change the person’s inside, yet I know that feeling uncomfortable with yourself makes you feel ugly to yourself!  Wow – what a transformation and what an achievement!  Well done and a real inspiration to us all! ❤

Light your Phoenix Fire


6-Day Group Journey starting February 5, 2024
How will you be paying?