What's Your Word — personal story

Judgement - It Happens All The Time

Marissa Southards

Tags insights, personal reflection, personal story, TAP

On the Facebook page for The Awakenings Project, I often ask my participants if they have any questions or topics they’d like me to speak to.  I get some really great topics and incredibly insightful questions.  Some of the questions are topics that I would expect with this type of project. “What is your inspiration?”“How do you know which photo to pick?”“What is your process during a session?” Occasionally, I will get a topic or question so profound, it will take me several days to determine how I can even begin to answer.  I recently had one that threw me for several loops.  ...


Living Authentically

Marissa Southards

Tags insights, personal reflection, personal story, the awakenings project

Moving through each day now requires a balance that I never thought I would ever need.  In the past 39 years of my life, I’ve never questioned the “why”.  I’ve always been able to fully move through spaces simply knowing I would come out clean on the other side.  From ages was 19 to 22 was interesting, but that’s another post for another day. I realize now that I’ve been very blessed to have been through the life events I’ve been through and to have learned from them all, even though trauma may linger a little.  My friends have always...


What's Your Word - P*ssy

Marissa Southards

Tags #WhatsYourWord, personal story, stories, the awakenings project

Of all the participants in The Awakenings Project, few have left indelible marks on the project by their sheer presence and will. One of those fearsome women is, Jennifer McCoy.  After hearing about the Awakenings Project through social media invite via her friend and Awakenings Project creator, Marissa Southards,  Jennifer, affectionately known in certain circles as just “McCoy”, sat for the initial cycle of The Awakenings Project, AI. Her word? Pussy.  Yes, PUSSY.     In eloquence that only McCoy can give, hear her reason for why she chose such a provocative and evocative word:  “My word was “pussy”. I...


What's Your Word - Survivor

Marissa Southards

Tags #WhatsYourWord, personal story, stories

I had the honor of photographing Laurie in December 2016, as part of Awakenings I.  When she first chose her word, I knew immediately, it was truly one that she had not only earned, but also honored.  Having known Laurie for several years in my activist life, I also came to adore Laurie as a dear friend as well.  Coming to learn her story and the things she’s come through in her life, as a child, as a wife, as a mother, and as a woman – I’ve only come to respect her more. M.   Hearing about the Awakenings...