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Meet Laurie Marie

Today we’d like to introduce you to Laurie Marie.

Laurie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’m many things… I’m a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a lover, an artist, stylist, an intuitive self-love & body coach, a psychic-medium + photographer, a lover of all things cute, a coffee loving, dog-snuggling-animals-lover with a wanderlust that won’t quit and yet I think it’s difficult to define ourselves by any one label… I am me.

Yes, no one thing defines me and I think I’ll always be discovering who I am but what I do know is that I AM strong, brave, sensitive, courageous, kind, compassionate, highly intuitive, and a total love bug!

I’ve come to know so much about myself pretty well over the last six years but if there’s one thing I know most about myself it’s that I’m a survivor & resilient as fuck (pardon my French)!

I’ve healed & overcome emotional, physical, & sexual abuse, teenage pregnancy, leaving an unhealthy marriage, divorce, financial ruin & recovery… I moved across the country, fell in love, started my life & business all over again. I’ve walked into the great unknown with a relentless mission and a strong desire to follow my heart & intuition. Along the way, I’ve learned how to trust myself. I’ve gone from being afraid of leaving the small city I grew up in to traveling around the world & moving across the country which brought me to the great city of Los Angeles.

I’ve let go of relationships that weren’t serving me. I’ve had times where I’ve felt broken and still believed wholeheartedly in love. I’m a hopeful romantic, a lover of people, animals, and all things cute, I see the beauty in everything and everyone.

Yes, I am a survivor but surviving isn’t where I wanted to be… Surviving is just existing; I wanted to LIVE! I wanted to be free, thrive, and experience all of who I’m meant to be & help others do the same! You see, I spent most of my life hiding. I was a shy & super sensitive kid growing up which meant I often felt alone, I was taken advantage of often, especially by boys and didn’t know how to use my voice or create healthy boundaries with people. This was something I had to learn. It takes practice every day. I’m not perfect and I don’t pretend to know it all but I’ve come light years away from where I had started.

I spent much of my young adult life feeling trapped & victimized by men because of my inability to set boundaries, use my voice, and oftentimes felt trapped by my financial situation. There were many times I didn’t feel like I had a lot of choice or options. I made decisions based on my financial circumstances and lived in unsafe living situations at times because it’s what I could afford.

One of the most life-changing experiences happened in my early twenties, I experienced yet another sexual trauma that left me using food as a way to cope. Prior to this time, I was rather comfortable in my own skin but after this experience, I gained 100lbs (my body went into protection mode I realized much later) and I spent the next decade hating my body and myself but carried on as if everything was fine. It wasn’t.

I felt invisible most of the time which is ironic because, at the height of my weight gain, I had reached 250lbs. I felt as though I didn’t belong, I didn’t feel good in my own skin, and I really didn’t like what I saw in the mirror.

My self-care was non-existent, being that I worked for myself I’d rarely take the time to do my hair & makeup or get out of my pjs and I rarely moved my body all of which are super important part of my self-care practice today.

I’d avoid social situations like the plague, especially one’s involving swimsuits for fear of someone judging me or making fun of me or my body. I used humor as a way to cope, I didn’t want to be seen and allowing anyone else to photograph me was a hell no… which left me feeling like a total hypocrite. Here I was telling other women to let me photograph them but I was terrified to do it myself. It took me nine years into my career to build up the courage to let someone else photograph me… Yet photographing other women helped me heal the parts of me & my own sexuality that felt bruised & broken. BY HELPING OTHER WOMEN CELEBRATE THEMSELVES, IT HELPED MY HEART HEAL.

Photography is one of my main passions & purposes for being on this planet. At that time the women I photographed helped me heal that part of me that so badly wanted to feel beautiful, sexy, and confident in my own skin again, ultimately the way I was helping them to feel. I don’t regret a thing, I just wasn’t ready or willing at the time to change and that’s ok, it’s where I was at the time… In 2013, I had my spiritual breakdown/awakening and realized it was time to make loving myself a priority, I realized I wasn’t ok & I needed help.

It’s been a journey, a beautiful wild ride actually…

This journey has brought me to some incredible places like Indonesia, Maui, Mexico, Los Angeles, to name a few and this journey has opened me up to my spiritual gifts as well. In the winter of 2015, I discovered I was a psychic medium and I’ve spent time developing my gifts ever since. I also became a Certified Fearless Living Coach that same year. I’ve done the internal & external work to heal trauma and I can honestly say anything I ask others to do I have now done myself.

In March of 2017, I finally turned the camera back on myself & allowed myself to be seen for the first time in almost a decade! In a two piece no less! Still being over 220 lbs. at the time! If you would’ve asked me even a few years prior if I’d do that I would’ve said no freak’n way… I’ve come a long way in a short amount of time.

SELF LOVE IS A JOURNEY AND I’M NOT ALWAYS PERFECT BUT I’M HAPPY TO SAY I’M COMFORTABLE IN MY OWN SKIN AGAIN, I’VE TAKEN BACK MY POWER, MY SEXUALITY, AND I NOW GUIDING OTHERS TO DO THE SAME!

I’m finding I don’t want to hide anymore; a shift has happened! I don’t want to hide and I’m willing to go first. By going first, I’m hoping to encourage, inspire, & empower others to do the same… It’s time to stop hiding our beautiful selves from the world and the missions we’re here to bring to life!

IT’S TIME TO STOP PLAYING SMALL AND GO AFTER ALL OF THE AMAZING DELICIOUS EXPERIENCES & DESIRES I KNOW WE ALL DREAM OF!

Six years ago, I decided it wasn’t serving me any longer to hate myself or my body so I decided to make loving myself a priority. It’s why I’m committed to celebrating women, sharing their stories, and helping others heal today.

Most of my life I had this knowing that I was meant to help women celebrate themselves. It started at about five years old when I tried taking my dad’s deck of nudie cards he got in Vietnam to school with me one day for show & tell. Before I accomplished my mission, my mom caught me and I declared: “I’m just trying to show everyone the pretty ladies”!

Fast forward to college in 2007, I created a project called “The Beauty of Women” for my senior art exhibition where I photographed over 50 women of all different shapes, sizes, colors, and backgrounds to share “The Beauty of Women”.

That same year, I started my photography business & began photographing women through boudoir. Over the last 12 years, I’ve photographed hundreds if not thousands of women & continued my journey of celebrating women.

Today, 12 years later, I’m back in the city where “The Beauty of Women Project” began & I’ve reimagined & relaunched this project & I’m starting the tour in the Midwest. I’m relaunching the project with a little extra spin on it.

I’m photographing women & sharing their stories of transforming pain into purpose through a podcast I’m calling “Seeing Beauty Sessions”. I’ve seen the power and healing that comes from storytelling. When we’re brave enough to share our own stories of healing & transformation, we can empower & inspire others to do the same! I believe change starts with each individual and it spreads outward. I believe right now in the world, there are a lot of hurt people hurting other people. We need to heal our hurts within each of us…

I’m on a mission to share stories of healing, beauty and help others transform their relationship with themselves.

When we feel better, we do better.

My wish for every woman & man out there to know their greatness, to deconstruct the ideas around what beauty is “supposed to look like”, to help us understand that we are not our bodies, and to end feelings of not-enoughness!

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I’m an Intuitive Self-love & Body Coach & Photographer. A warrior for women really. Lol, I’m proud of how my own personal journey has shaped and transformed my business & the impact it’s making in other women’s lives.

I think what really sets me apart is that I can really see people and empathize with their struggles. I can also see their greatness and hold space for them until they can see it for themselves.

Oh, and I see dead people… That’s pretty neat. Lol jk, sort of…

What were you like growing up?
I was really shy and sensitive. I was actually told I was too sensitive which hint is now my superpower. The thing we’re often said were “too much of” is actually our greatest gifts.

I just needed to learn how to use my powers for good 😉 .

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