Photo Credit - Matthew Priestley @matthewtylerpriestley
Photo Credit - Matthew Priestley @matthewtylerpriestley

“It took a while to grow the confidence to say, 'This is who I am, take it or leave it.'”

I’m no Uma Thurman.

But I still had to Kill Bill.

The past few weeks, I’ve been processing one of the most profound experiences of my life – attending Coco Rocha’s Model Camp at the age of 61.

It’s no small feat to make it to Coco’s Model Camp. As Coco let us know, she’s had almost 100,000 applications in the past 4 years. 3,000 of those made it to NY to attend her Model Camp.

Yes, I was the oldest.

By far.

Most of the attendees were young. Like super young. Like don’t have their driver’s license yet young.

The only wrinkles they had were on their clothes.

Thankfully, I was there for the confidence. Something Coco has in ABUNDANCE.

What many of you may not know is that I was signed to be a model by a prestigious Acting/Modeling Agency in Chicago, Shirley Hamilton, in my late teens.

I had the looks. I had the hair. I had the lips. I had the long lean body.

I didn’t know that at the time. I couldn’t see any of those things.

What I lacked was confidence. Oh, and belief. Big time.

It wasn’t possible to exude on the outside what I couldn’t  find on the inside.

And so, I quit.

I never posed for a camera again until I was 55.

Modeling is all about confidence. Life is all about confidence. Moxie is all about confidence.

Moxie is about being a Force of Character. The essential requirement to be a force of character is confidence.

What I learned at model camp is that confidence isn’t static. It’s ever changing.

In some situations, you’ll feel more confident than others.

Let’s just say model camp is like holding up a gigantic mirror.

That mirror is going to reflect back all those shadowy parts inside of you.

Shadows hide things.

Coco has a way of forcing you to step out of the shadows.

I don’t believe I’ve ever seen the level of confidence like Coco embodies before.

I suppose that’s why there are only a handful of models in the world that earn the title of Supermodel.

It isn’t about how you look. It’s about how you feel.

Or, even more so, as Coco taught us, it’s about how you make others feel.

That’s the trick.

That’s where the magic happens.

As Maya Angelou so wisely said long ago, “People remember how you make them feel.”

There are lots of beautiful people in the world.

What makes certain people stand out?

They have the ability to make people feel something.

Oprah makes people feel like they can relate to her – like they can be her.

Brene Brown makes people feel understood – like they belong.

Glennon Doyle makes people feel accepted – like their weirdness is okay.

Coco made us feel all kinds of things.

In fact, she forced us to.

Creating a visage on the outside meant we had to reach into parts of us we don’t always acknowledge and that we don’t always like.

She wanted me to cry on demand.

And, not just cry but Big BOOHOO – UGLY CRYING cry.

That’s not easy. I had to access hurts from deep inside. The lesson was that I only had to tap into them, not wear them or relive them. Modeling is a silent form of acting.

Anyhow, I cried like a baby!

I learned a great deal. I never had any illusion of becoming America’s next top model at age 61! I was there for the experience to learn about confidence and projection and how to integrate that into helping women at Midlife & Beyond to change their lives.

I came away different. Transformed in many ways.

Coco has a way of doing that.

Her very presence has a way of leaving you forever changed.

Or … forcing you to do the changing.

For my professional shoot, Coco chose my outfit, looked at me and said, “You have to channel Kill Bill.’’

Have you ever seen Uma Thurman in Kill Bill?! She’s not me! Not me. Not me. Not me at all.

I think Coco knew that.

That was the point.

She challenged me to find something that was inside of me, yet not inside of me, at the same time.

Kind of like Schrodinger’s Cat.

You see the photo. I’ll let you decide, but … I think I scored.

What I learned most of all is that we are one of a kind. That we mustn’t change ourselves to make someone else happy. We must make ourselves happy first.

I learned that the best models and the best humans make us feel something and that it’s our job – no matter what our job actually is – to work to generate positive emotions in others.

I learned that the best way to be the best in anything in life is to be happy on the inside first.

I learned there are many things you can do, that you don’t think you can do!

I learned that confidence is everything and …

That confidence is an inside job.

Fortunately, I already knew that one.

What I didn’t know is that confidence isn’t static.

Confidence is ever changing.

Just as humans are ever changing.

You’ll feel more confident in some situations than others.

Coco believes it’s important to take risks in life.

Model camp was a risk.

A risk that’s paid off in spades.

And, in Moxie.

And, in my inner work.

The job of being a better human – a more confident human, continues – until I’m done.

And, I’m not done. Not even close, Beauties. I’ve only just begun.

Are you with me?

Need More Moxie?! See all my Moxie On Monday's!

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