Welcome to our monthly series, “My Soulful Life”. Through 13 life-affirming questions – inspired by the points on The Art of Soulful Living compass - we ask one luminary we admire to reflect on and reveal their true self
For many years, fashion photographer Dee Boomkens travelled worldwide photographing beautiful people at breathtaking locations for shoots. Through this work she realised that there was little-to-no exposure of women over 40. Reflecting on her own life after turning 40, she launched her online platform, AndBloom. Dee's website and Instagram channel shine a light on various females over 40. Each woman, "the bloomers", is photographed and interviewed by Dee, sharing their unique story on ageing gracefully with passion, style and confidence. Her platform has created a relatable space to share and communicate with other like-minded women. Dee believes "you become what you see. The most powerful way of inspiring people is with images”. Following on from her successful business, Dee used her photography skills and launched her book, AndBloom, The Art of Ageing Unapologetically, which can be purchased online.
1. When in the day are you most reflective?
“The moment when I drop off my son at school and go for a walk with my dog. Being in nature means I can hear myself thinking.”
2. Which one person, place or thing is guaranteed to give you joy?
“The family, my house, being with my two boys, my husband and son. My husband brings me joy as he understands me the most. He does his best to keep me happy and positive and because of this, I can be a great mum.”
3. Do you think it’s more important to forgive or forget?
“Forgive. How do you forget? You never really forget. When you forgive you can at least let go.”
4. Which moment in your life are you most grateful for?
“That one moment I got my positive pregnancy test and I became a mum. This is the most magical moment. It took a lot to keep going with my fertility struggles, I am very grateful for my body to prove everyone else wrong.”
5. Have you found your life’s purpose yet?
“Yes with AndBloom, as my photography portraits have more meaning to them. I am very interested in how these women have views on ageing and how they go through different stages of life. Interestingly, all women go through the same stages of life. Sharing is caring and for me, it has been a relief to see other women's problems and recognise them in myself. When you are older you have more life experience so my work now is far more honest.”
6. Do you believe you can teach compassion?
“I think you can but it depends on the person you are trying to teach. If someone is open to change then you can, but compassion is also something you have.”
7. What do you wish you could do more mindfully?
“My work. I am very passionate about everything I do. My work is always important to me, but I can do too much and go over the top and become a workaholic which can easily turn into burnout. I sometimes need to be more mindful and step away.”
8. How would I know you love me?
“I’m a very selective person, so it's not easy to get close to me, so when you are in my inner circle you will know I love you.”
9. What was the last random act of kindness you did or witnessed?
“I am focused on the little things in life. The beauty of life, for example, a nice summer’s day, giving someone a compliment, smiling at people, listening to their story. This morning I was walking the dog and met a lady who was having chemotherapy, I talked with her for just a few moments and it was very impactful for both of us.”
10. Which 3 words describe your authentic self?
“Faithful, loner, a little crazy sometimes.”
11. Are you faithful or fickle with your passions?
“Faithful. I am really focused on what I am doing but this is also where the danger lies, as I get so sucked into it.”
12. What is always guaranteed to grab your awareness and keep you in the moment?
“Injustice generally, when people are in need. I always tell my son you have to be aware of people around you and help those who need it.”
13. When in your life have you most needed a positive mindset?
“The infertility journey. The moment I decided I was going to have a child I had to believe in myself and my body when everyone around me was telling me it wouldn't happen. I think this is when my positive mindset really helped me.”