This week’s Closing Ceremony series features a video from Soul Portrait Photographer, Thais Aquino. Thais uses her photos as a way to explore raw feelings and unlock the emotions of the people she works with. As she works to unlearn the internalizing of her own feelings, Thais has opens her heart to raw emotion and healing. Her connection to her own body, mind, and spirit come through in her video and in speaking to her directly. This piece is for anyone interested in learning more about Thais and her spiritual journey.
How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
I am an intuitive soul living my essence through intentional transformation.
What’s one thing you really love about yourself?
I love my trust. It allows me to be in my truth and live unapologetically. It frees me.
What’s the most rewarding part of what you do for a living?
To witness that the healing of others are also my own. I take soul portraits for a living and it’s so rewarding to watch people finding the beauty of living fully, paradoxically and intentionally between the spiritual world and the rawness of this human experience. To experience spirit and magic in every shoot. To be challenged behind the camera and seeing others facing their vulnerability in front of the lens is soul medicine. It’s totally a spiritual, emotional experience. So to create visual poetry from the emotional body and watch how limitless and deep we all are is really rewarding.
What prompted you to live a more holistic lifestyle?
Not too long ago I realized that a linear living, with a patriarchal agenda, capitalistic priorities was not serving my natural cyclical way of living and my destiny felt far far away. I was raised to think linearly, now I raise myself to belong to the cycles. I think the day I lost inspiration and couldn’t create art anymore was the day I realized that I needed to pause and detach from systems and relationships that were keeping me small and manipulatable.
For me, to live a holistic lifestyle is to listen better to my body temple and to my soul, to feel more, to validate my emotions, to become even more sensitive, to cry fully and honorably, to pause and rest, to understand that my power comes from a sensitivity to my inner wisdom and truths, not from what the system implemented as ‘powerful’ or ‘successful’.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting to pay closer attention to their well-being?
Listen to your cycles and honor them. Whether you identify with being a woman or not, we all have cycles that are bringing messages and showing us the parts in us that need healing and care. And also, if I may give a very specific advice, next time you need to cry, cry it out, baby, and please don’t call that friend that always ‘cheer you up’, because that too, is a form of suppressing your emotional, physical and spiritual self.
What does self-care mean to you?
To listen to your body and feelings, and invite the full emotional spectrum to present itself, be heard, felt and healed.
What is one action, big or small, that always helps you feel better?
Hmmm, have I mentioned crying in this interview yet? Well, other than letting tender tears fall down, I think water is huge medicine, like a blissful outdoor shower that makes you feel like the world is making love to you or simply a swim in the ocean, washing away old worries.
Is there anything you are actively trying to unlearn right now? What is it and why?
Oh yes, so much unlearning. Basically everything that I learned I am realizing it has to be revisited because it’s so charged with a ‘their’ agenda, instead of mine. But to answer this more intimately, I am unlearning how to not shut down and internalize my feelings about a situation or someone’s behavior. It’s freaking scary to express how I am feeling sometimes because I had a lot of fear of rejection in my life, but I think it’s soul activism and necessary to be in our truth and call it out.
What do you know, if anything about CBD? What would you tell someone who’s considering trying it?
I honestly don’t know much, I just know that the CBD balm The Harmony has been a comforting ally through a really hard time in my life, where I used it religiously and had so much faith in it’s benefits. I love it!