– JDP (Jeri Dawn Perkins) Modern Moxie Owner and Photographer

Our most difficult seasons in life — whether it be loneliness, heartbreak, confusion, the list goes on — have a way of sending us straight into a slump. During these times, it can become easy to sit in our sadness. It can feel like there’s no easy fix or end to what we’re going through.

For me, it was a time in college during which I felt particularly lonely in my corner of the world. Hard as I tried to find my place to fit in, it started to feel impossible. I became someone who I didn’t recognize and my dreamer spirit was gone.

That season, which was extremely difficult to walk through, taught me a great lesson in cultivating purpose. Though I had to spend a large amount of time alone for a while, doing so taught me that I needed to choose to create purpose in each day. Otherwise, nothing was going to change.

If you’re going through a dark time in life, it’s easy to sit around in your feelings and wish things would just finally get better. But when it doesn’t get better, what do you do?


In our most difficult seasons, we can still find great purpose. Maybe it’s a lesson that this time was meant to teach, even if it takes digging deep to find out what it is. Or perhaps the difficult season is meant to reveal bigger dreams for ourselves.

So how do we cultivate purpose in in our lives, especially when walking through hard times?

Write Your Dreams Down

Dreaming, you could say, was my way of moving past the lonely feelings to find a deeper sense of hope. I began to write down my dreams, no matter if it was a goal I wanted to accomplish by the end of the week or my deepest desires for what I wanted to accomplish in life.

Seeing your goals written down on paper, right in front of you, creates motivation. And when you dream about the future and all you’d like to accomplish, you’ll create excitement within yourself for when your situation turns around. You’re able to look beyond your current grief, especially as these desires start taking shape. Write your dreams down, then start making things happen!

Do What You Love

The slump we experience during rough times can create a stronghold that’s hard to escape. Getting out of that slump takes intention, so be purposeful and take the time to do what you love, whatever that looks like for you. Maybe it’s spending time with dear friends or family, reading your favorite book or going for a hike. Whatever it is, even if you have to go it alone, set aside time to do more of what you love. You will begin to find joy again when you intentionally engage in your interests.

Choosing to make time for what refuels your spirit will not only fill your moments with more purpose and more joy, but you’ll have less time to spend with those negative thoughts and feelings that have become familiar.

You will begin to find joy again when you intentionally engage in your interests.

Seek Beauty

It doesn’t take plane tickets and a foreign country to find beauty; find it in simple joys. Spend time without technology enjoying nature, a good book, or the company of your dearest friends.

Finding beauty, even in small ways, can help us overcome difficulties by shifting focus from the bad to the good that still exists around us. We are reminded that our problems should not be allowed to defeat us. Beauty reminds us of life’s higher purposes and it also connects us with nature, which is a sure way restore joy.

Whatever you find beauty in, take time out of each day to dwell in it.


cultivating purpose flowers

Encourage Others

Not only is there purpose to be found in the midst of darkness, but these times connect us on a deeper level to other humans — we learn empathy. Remember, you are not alone. The people you least expect might just be going through a tough time of their own. So take advantage of the season you’re in, perhaps over a cup of coffee, to reach out to your friends or family and ask about their lives. We’re not always eager to share our messier sides and sometimes it takes someone else asking the questions in order for us to open up.

If you know a friend who is hurting, be there to encourage them and share their load. Remind them of their strengths and of their value. Share the wisdom you fought hard for during your own difficult season — often it’s things we are not able to see for ourselves in the moment. Remember, everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

I know that hard seasons are just that — really hard. What I have found is that while we can’t just escape with a snap of a finger, intentionally creating purpose during a time when you may be wondering what the purpose is, moves the focus from what we are facing to accepting the season as necessary for our growth.

How to Cultivate Purpose During Difficult Times

Good Day Lovelies!

The following post was originally on Darling Magazine, one of the up-and-comers if you ask my opinion.  Darling mag has an awesome mission statement.  Check it out…


Now that’s what I’m talkin’ bout!

On with the post topic however, improving your photos.

Here is the original post written by Leslie Tulip

Please Stop “Hating That Photo” of Yourself

One of my best friends in high school used to make weird faces in every single photo we took, and we took a lot of photos. Even in the group photos from homecoming and prom, she would be making crazy faces. I asked her about it once, and she said she did it because didn’t like the way she looked in photos when she just smiled. That was crazy to me, because I thought she had a beautiful smile.

I don’t think of myself as someone with a poor self-image, but sometimes I’ll see a photo that should have been great, but it’ll sort of shock me. I’ll be surprised by the way my body seems to be shaped, or the way my hair falls, or some other imperfection that I wish I’d never known about but dearly want to get rid of immediately.

However, in the few times that I have had myself photographed by a professional, I’ve rarely had that experience. I’m still me. It’s still the same body, the same hair, the same person in the photograph, but professional photos make me see myself differently and in a more positive light.

Tagged photos don’t equate to real-life.

In a time when anyone can have their phone at the ready and take a less-than-flattering photo of you, it’s important to know that those quick phone snapshots aren’t always (and aren’t usually) an accurate depiction of yourself.

You could argue that non-professional photos quickly taken on a phone are a more honest representation of who you are in your real-life world and, at times, that can be true. But more often than not, hastily-snapped candid shots don’t really capture what you actually look like in person. You move. You’re alive and fluid. People who are with you see you in the fullness of life. Phone photos tend to be zoomed in, poorly framed, have bad lighting and harsh angles, and they freeze you in a faux “reality” of the picture.

Investing in professional photos is an investment in yourself.

Professional photographers, on the other hand, are paid to worry about all of that. Yes, the photos might be taken with you standing in a particular way or in some particular light, but the point of all this artifice is to create a picture that reflects those best qualities that people do see when they’re with you. Professional photographs aren’t lying about the way you look. They’re artistically trying to represent you-in-the-motion-of-life in a still image.

If you are thinking: well, that’s nice but who can afford professional photographs on a whim? I hear you, but there are beginner photographers sprouting up all the time, who are eager to make deals in order to build up their portfolios. Ask your friends or search through Instagram for photographers in your area that would be willing to work with you. To be able to look back on photos and view yourself accurately — as the beauty that you are — is a worthwhile venture.

Recently I did a lifestyle shoot with a photographer so I could have some portfolio photos to pull from for my writing. I was amazed at how natural and beautiful the finished photos of me looked. A good photographer can make an awkward subject look like a seasoned model.

Professional photographs aren’t lying about the way you look. They’re artistically trying to represent you-in-the-motion-of-life in a still image.

The journey to liking your photos can start out small.

Maybe instead of waiting for someone to take photos of you with their phone or professional camera, you try taking photos of yourself. On your terms. Learn how to love yourself from every angle. Figure out what smile or lack of smile you think you look best with. Instead of continuing to cringe when you see photos of yourself, learn how to best represent yourself in front of the camera.

Once you have figured out what your best angles are, you can then feel more confident when having your photograph taken. Instead of resorting to making funny faces or hiding when the camera comes out, you can know how to embrace and appreciate it, knowing that you will be satisfied with the photos taken of you.

As you build an inventory of professional or personal photos where you feel good about yourself, you’ll be able to see yourself in the beautiful light that others do already. You can own and love every part of yourself. It’s not about becoming vain; it’s about embracing how lovely you truly are.

Do you have a hard time with yourself in photos? How have you learned to think differently about them?


SEPTEMBER 24, 2016   3:00 am  Leslie Tulip


There you have it.  I couldn’t agree with her more throughout this great article.  

Everyone REALLY should have at least two fabulous, enigmatic photos of themselves.  One for social media and one all glammed up, looking exquisite.

Call me and let’s make that happen!

Remember, as always, there no minimum purchase – I only want you to buy what you love.

Our gift certificates are gorgeous, but imagine your mother, daughter, sister, wife – just about anyone receiving this beautiful presentation along with their gift certificate for a fabulous makeover and photo shoot!

Gorgeous flowers and a bottle of bubbly are hand delivered and presented to your loved one to set the stage for a very special event!

IMG_5501BackFront_Postcard Gift Cert

 Inquire now – Dawn Perkins 908-838-8803 or dawn@modernmoxiephotography.com



5 Character Traits of Happy People


Character is not the only component of happiness. There are also: approaches to thinking, (Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet” tells us that “Nothing is good or bad as thinking makes it so.”), learned skills in concentration, fundamental beliefs, personal values and specific actions that detract from or add to contentment and well-being. But character is still the essential component.


Why Character Matters

Who we are makes a difference. The way we treat others matters. The decency or indecency that fills our hearts and minds matters. Our values as expressions of what we believe and how we live our lives really does make a difference to our happiness. The traits we’ve developed over time is of no little consequence to how we feel about who we are.
When we look in the mirror, it’s often our character (or lack thereof) that speaks the loudest.
But not all character traits are created equal, at least not insofar as happiness is concerned. Following, then, are those traits I’m convinced will have the greatest impact on your happiness.
Fear is the great thief of happiness. It is parent to surrender. It sneaks in closed doors and robs us of resolve and the commitment and ability to endure to the end.



Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.  -Mark Twain

Courage, on the other hand, is fear’s great nemesis. It challenges fear, pushes it back, and keeps it in check by taking steps toward its objection. Courage thereby shatters the shackles of fear, sending it into the insignificant margins of obscurity.
Courage allows us to challenge our comfort zones, approach people and situations, embrace life and accept the pain that’s inevitable in all of life’s changes and challenges. Without courage, happiness is a little more than an illusion, a temporary mirage, a puff of smoke that dissipates into thin air at its first challenge.



Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow – that is patience.
How happy are impatient people? This is a rhetorical question, of course. The answer is obviously “not very.” At least not for very long. Impatience is another major bully to happiness. It pushes happiness out of the neighborhood almost as soon as it shows up.
But learning to accept and allow, to go with the flow and relax a bit is critical to living a happy life. Impatience is often the irritation we feel at the loss of control. But life bubbles and gurgles in ever-changing streams and flows of unpredictable activity. It simply is not 100% controllable. And the more we try to control and manipulate the outcome of life and the events that boil up around us with any kind of precision, the more frustrated we’ll be at the effort.
So breathe. Relax. Take it in. Be patient. Learn to accept the uncertain and buddy



Gratitude changes the pangs of memory into a tranquil joy.  -D. Bonhoeffer

To be grateful is to notice the good amidst the bad, the color against the backdrop of gray, the lovely even as it’s surrounded by the ugly. It’s to count your blessings and recognize how beautiful life is even when life isn’t quite going as planned.
Learning to be grateful requires the desire to see what’s sometimes hard to locate for those who are not accustomed to seeing it. It requires retraining your mind to think about the silver linings in life. But for gratitude to affect happiness in the deepest way, requires it to permeate your soul, encompassing attitude and thought, and becoming the general way you perceive life.
Gratitude doesn’t ignore the difficulty of challenges. But it focuses on benefits and opportunities of challenges. The Chinese characters for the word “crisis” literally mean “danger” and “opportunity”. All challenges and crises are opportunities.
When we’re grateful, our problems don’t disappear, they simply occupy less space up to the unpredictable. Let life happen, at least a little. You’ll find it that much more beautiful and happy when you do. The reason is that grateful people are focused on that for which they are grateful. By definition, that means the difficult, disappointing and painful commands less of our attention.

As a matter of fact, I don’t believe there is a single more important character trait to your happiness than developing the persis­tent, even automatic grateful response to life.




To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.

-Robert Muller

There’s not much more conducive to hap­piness than the ability to forgive quickly, spontaneously and freely.

People who hold on to pain, who nurse their wounds, who call out the troops to seek vengeance for the wrongs done to them, may win battles here and there. But the war against unhappiness will largely be lost before it’s even started.

Refusal to forgive with exaggerated and lingering resentments lead to a self-im­posed imprisonment.

It’s the very bars that keep others impris­oned in our hearts that keeps happiness far away, at a distance, peering in at best. It’s time we free ourselves by letting old pain dissipate into the darkness, so new oppor­tunities can take us to greater heights of joy.

So, have you forgiven your parents for their weaknesses as parents? Have you



Darkness cannot drive out darkness;

only light can do that.

Hate cannot drive out hate;

only love can do that.

-Martin Luther King Jr

Love conquers all, as they say. And while perhaps not always technically true (I don’t think any person’s love of murder would make this act of violence any less evil, for instance), love certainly goes a long way to being nearly true. To recog­nize the centrality of love to living a happy life, just imagine a life lived without it. Im­agine a hateful, loveless life of happiness (I know. That’s the point. It’s not possible).

The more love that beats in your heart, the happier and more buoyant your heart will be. The more you love life, the more life will love you back.

Love overlooks weakness and closes its eyes to idiosyncrasies. It

accepts, seeks, and empowers what’s best in others. This is the road to travel.


This is a post from one two of the happiest and healthiest people you’ll ever want to meet.


I believe everyone needs this, if not everyday, then from time to time, for sure…

You are loved.  Massively.  Ferociously.  Unconditionally.  The Universe is totally freaking out about how awesome you are.  It’s got you wrapped in a warm gorilla hug of adoration.  It wants to give you everything you desire.  It wants you to be happy.  It wants you to see what it sees in you.

You are perfect.  To think anything less is as pointless as a river thinking it’s got too many curves or that it moves too slowly or that its rapids are too rapid.  You are on a journey with no defined beginning, middle or end.  There are no wrong twists and turns.  There is just being.  And your job is to be as you as you can be.  This is why you’re here.  To shy away from who you truly are would leave the world you-less.  You are the only you there is and ever will be.  I repeat, you are the only you there is and ever will be.  Do not deny the world its one and only chance to bask in your brilliance.

We are all perfect in our own, magnificent, messed up ways.  Laugh at yourself.  Love yourself and others.  Rejoice in the cosmic ridiculousness.

– From Jen Sincero’s “YOU ARE A BADASS”

Incredible book.  Check it out.  Invest in yourself.  You are worth it!