THE GOLDEN LENS WITH BETH PORTER FOUNDER OF EARTH AND ETHER
Updated: Dec 13, 2022
For this look behind the scenes of Goldenbrand virtual photography, I am joined by Beth Porter. Beth is the founder of Earth and Ether and co-founder of the Heart Path, offering in-person retreats that help guide clients home to their true selves. Beth is here to talk about her pivot from a corporate design consultant to her true calling as a healer. She shares the ah-ha moments that lit her path and why she believes self-trust is an everyday practice.
Beth and I have known one another for about two years, yet somehow it feels like a lifetime of friendship. It’s connectedness you can’t really put your finger on, but it is abundantly clear that meeting and being in each other’s worlds was kismet. Every time we talk there is a clear and mutual adoration, inspiration, curiosity, and creative sharing that runs deep – we giggle, we spill our feelings, we talk the talk that only lifelong friends do. I am so excited for you to get to know her as I do.
Welcome to the blog Beth, I'm so happy to spend this time with you. Tell us about yourself.
Hi! Let’s see, informally I’m a seeker and teacher, lover of beauty and creation, a self-development nerd, a forever life experimenter, and someone who has an affinity for going deep – I’m terrible at small talk, haha.
More formally, I collaborate with individuals around the world, helping them to remember who they are by returning to wholeness. I am a designer turned healer, with a certification in facilitating trauma-informed healing via Emotional Polarity Technique™. Combining my intuitive gifts as a seer, healer, and creative curator, I lead you in transmuting your wounding (traumas, unprocessed emotions, pain, limiting beliefs, past life imprinting, etc.) so that you can show up in this world fully as you.
Where Do You Live? Where would you love to live?
I live with my husband & pup, just outside of Boulder, Colorado. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio I’ve lived in NYC, Minneapolis, Boston and some other places across the country. We are actually starting the process of looking for a place to put roots, but I’m still in search of that place that truly feels like home.
Do you know your human design type and/or astrological sign?
I’m a 3/5 Pure Generator. A Virgo rising (very particular), Leo sun (love to share my heart with you) & Sagittarius moon (passion for learning and teaching, but sometimes can come off a little blunt, lol).
My Leo sun in the 12th house and my Aries north node in the 8th house have helped me better understand my strange introverted-extrovert nature and illuminate my appreciation for really “going there” in life. I love the exploration of the psyche, and how the seen and unseen realms are always in collaboration. And then my Gemini Midheaven has helped me accept my multifaceted interests and explorations in my career. I could go on, but I’ll spare you ;)
Tell us about what you do and why you love it.
I am a healer. I believe we are all healers truly, but for my “career” I have dedicated my energy to guiding clients home – to their true Self – through the modalities, or vehicles, that I work with.
In my practice, I witness the most insane and beautiful transformations in my clients. Things you can’t put into words – or a nice quippy Instagram post ;)
I love it so much. It deeply serves my soul and inspires me to continue exploring the limitless possibilities for expansion into a model of Love that I believe we are all here to steward – regardless of what we “do”. In my practice, I witness the most insane and beautiful transformations in my clients. Things you can’t put into words – or a nice quippy Instagram post ;) It’s too sacred, too multi-dimensional. The power of divine love is both so expansive and nuanced… both ungraspable and well-known by the soul. It’s very tricky for me to find the right words. So, I explore expression through my devotion to my energy mastery, and integrity instead. A core truth I hold is that when we heal ourselves, we heal the world. And this world we inhabit is in desperate need of healing, love, forgiveness, and compassion. I’m honored to bring this work forward, cultivating reverence for the expression of life in all beings.
Whew… see, I told you I can’t do small talk, haha.
Is this career part of your first or second life?
My pivot began in 2016. Technically, I could track it back to 2013 when I left a very intense, abusive 10-year relationship with my high school boyfriend. I was so far from myself, I couldn’t even see that the physical abuse was actual abuse. Even when the cops were called on us. Even when I had bruises to cover with makeup. One day I googled domestic violence and I saw that keeping someone from leaving a room is considered domestic violence… That helped trigger my next steps in putting the support in place I needed to get out. It wasn’t until I was in my own healing process that I understood the impact of the trauma I experienced – both in this relationship and in my childhood.
In my healer’s office (who I still work with), while she was facilitating EPT™ I remember passively thinking “I want to do this for other people.”
Tired of corporate and funneling my creative energy into projects that didn’t “matter” to me, I started exploring my inner truths, and my desires and each little thing led me to where I am today.
A few years later in 2016 my now husband and I left our hometown and our whole community of friends to live on the east harbor in Boston, MA. At the time, I was a successful design consultant for an agency that served P&G and worked across several household brands from Pampers to Bounty, but I was feeling really flat in that work. Tired of corporate and funneling my creative energy into projects that didn’t “matter” to me, I started exploring my inner truths, and my desires and each little thing led me to where I am today. In 2018 I decided to get certified as an Emotional Polarity Technique™ practitioner and began building my business. Now I’ve worked with over 100 clients, helping them to clear and heal unresolved conflicts, trauma, and limiting beliefs so they can be authentically them.
It’s a dream come true and also the most challenging pursuit I’ve experienced. Building a business is no joke. Following your heart takes so much courage, and self-love… fuck tons of self-love.
Were your parents creative? Were you encouraged to follow your passions and dreams growing up or did you have to discover this path for yourself?
My mom was – she started a creative business when I was around 8 years old. And it led us to a massive uplevel, moving to the “other side” of town and eventually to bankruptcy. As you can imagine, I have and continue to work through fears and limiting beliefs about my own business experience. But, that aside, she always encouraged my creativity and artistic side. Both of my parents were incredibly supportive of me going to school to study fashion design and were very proud of my corporate career (I used to design kids' clothes for Target). I know they are proud of me now – even though they aren’t sure exactly what I’m “doing.” :)
You’ve recently made some changes/additions to your offers to include more retreats, tell us about that.
YESSSSS! Ahh… that’s the coolest thing about having your own business, isn’t it? You literally get to do whatever you want. I believe our desires are the path to our soul’s expansion. Because of that, I think it’s imperative that we follow our desires, trust them, engage and create with them.
That said, yes – I now offer beautiful in-person retreats – co-facilitated with my long-time friend, Katy Long. We co-create with the energy (the field) of the retreat and each experience is a standalone, unique offering based on what yearns to come through at a given time. Creating, hosting, and facilitating retreats has expanded my heart in ways I never knew would be possible and I’m so delighted to be sharing the experience of creation with Katy. Our next women’s retreat is in January 2023, and as of today, we still have a few spaces left!
I would love to talk about your experience working with me virtually, to create editorial photos for your brand. (Planning call to create the concept for the shoot.)
Ready to jump into it?
Were you nervous/excited for your session? If you were nervous, what helped to center you?
Haha, I was what I call “nerve-cited.” Nervous and excited. My last photoshoot was incredible, but it took place in 2018. I’m a much different person now, I’ve expanded and accepted more parts of myself and my hope for this shoot was to capture more of my wholeness. Not who I thought I was supposed to show up as.
Working with Lisa was so smooth. I felt completely supported in figuring out the setup from afar, I already felt so safe with Lisa, so I knew I could be myself – my full self with her.
The morning of the shoot, my dear friend reminded me that I already have everything I need. That my energy is already tuned in my field. That no matter what, the results of the photoshoot would be exactly as they should be – in total divine perfection. Because I am who I am. It didn’t matter that I felt nervous that day, or stressed about the wifi not working… there was no way I could fuck it up. And that really helped me to relax into myself.
Then, working with Lisa was so smooth. I felt completely supported in figuring out the setup from afar, even with the little hiccups I experienced on my end. I already felt so safe with Lisa, so I knew I could be myself – my full self – with her.
Having you help me select my wardrobe was huge for me. After working from home for so long, I feel a little lost when I put on “real clothes.” I appreciate you holding the overall vision for the shoot.
While working on the moodboard together you shared reflections on who you are and how you wanted that to come through in the photos. We decided to keep the images within a select color palette and worked together ahead of time to select your wardrobe and props for the session. I’d love to hear how this process was for you.
Oh, it was both fun and inspiring! I love a good mood board and it was so nice to have such a creative partner to collaborate with. This process is essential in my opinion, and when I consult on other personal brands I always suggest they curate their “look, tone, feel” with or for their photographer. So, of course, I loved that this is already part of your process. I found it supportive in helping me to stretch into the “bigness” that I desired to capture as well as refine different poses and visual energetics before we jumped into the actual shoot. Then, having you help me select my wardrobe was huge for me. After working from home for so long, I feel a little lost when I put on “real clothes.” I appreciate you holding the overall vision for the shoot.
I created three concepts for your editorial shoot: movement, creative, and portrait with the goal of upgrading your current brand images. We ended up with five variations on these concepts and a wide variety of final images for you to choose from. All very much you, but elevated. How do you feel about the flow of the shoot from one look to the next, to get these images?
The day of the shoot goes by so quickly, so the flow you designed was crucial in helping us stay on track and maximize our experience together. I really loved how you suggested we do the movement series first to help warm me up since I’m not naturally comfortable in front of the camera. It was perfect.
The flow you designed was crucial in helping us stay on track and maximize our experience together. I really loved how you suggested we do the movement series first to help warm me up since I’m not naturally comfortable in front of the camera. It was perfect.
We also decided to use some special effects in your photos, tell us about those.
The special effects added a layer of creativity that I’m so glad we got to explore. The first round of brand photos I had taken in 2018 had a few elements of double exposure which we elevated with the fractal prism lens. And the colored film made me feel like I stepped into a museum or another studio – allowing me to expand my expression even more. We really achieved what we intended.
You asked a friend to join the session, tell me about your decision and how it turned out.
I highly recommend having a friend support you during the shoot. Ashley's calming energy, accepting smile and set of hands to move the tripod and camera with you all allowed me to settle into the shoot.
You also decided to rent a studio space for your shoot. What factors went into making that decision?
Well, my husband and I both work from home in our tiny space, so I knew that was out. I’m really glad I found a studio – it helped play a role in letting me step into a new environment, and since I rarely get photos taken, it freed my emotional self to PLAY and not be in my head as much. Does that make sense?
Were there any poses you found challenging?
Hmm… I mean, I generally think that being in front of the camera is challenging, but your direction and demeanor along with Ashley’s support really helped! Oh – and using the portable standing mirror in the space to help me see what I was doing was a nice addition, too.
Did any part of it surprise you? How did you surprise yourself?
The time flew and I’m shocked by how much we accomplished! I was hoping for 10 good photos, haha.
How was it different from previous photoshoots you’ve done?
Well, this is the first digital shoot I’ve experienced, so it was quite different. Even though you weren’t there, it flowed nicely. I mean, I could have gone for a couple more hours because it was so fun and creative!
What advice would you give to someone planning a virtual photoshoot?
Definitely bring a friend for support – be sure it is someone you feel comfortable expressing yourself around!
If you’re renting a studio, contact the owner and tell them about the virtual shoot – they may be able to provide additional support. I ran into wifi issues on our day and it caused unnecessary stress.
Trust Lisa – she really knows how to tap into your energy and capture what you intended. Let her guide you and calm you down when you feel nervous. I was very open with her about my insecurities and fears, and she helped hold it all for me!
Do you remember your exact words when you saw your gallery/slideshow for the first time?
Something along the lines of “Oh, Damn! We did it.” And now I’m having so much fun using my new images!
I came from a really tough upbringing and I’ve healed so much trauma and separation from myself. Doing the work – works. I’m proud of my tenacity.
Beth, what are you most proud of? (personal, professional or other)
Oh boy… I’m so proud of so many things at this point in life. I came from a really tough upbringing and I’ve healed so much trauma and separation from myself. Doing the work – works. I’m proud of my tenacity. I’m proud of the compassion and forgiveness I’ve cultivated and my passion for always learning. I’m proud of the people I have in my life – who I’ve learned to allow to love me and now are so supportive of my true self. And, I’m proud of the business/creations I’ve created – literally out of thin air. Dreaming something into form is a wild, beautiful thing and I’m so grateful I had and continue to exercise the courage to follow my heart.
Where do you find inspiration and motivation on the days you are not feeling it?
Well, this is a fresh topic because I just came from a short spell of depression. And what I do is literally take the time needed to process and be with my feelings. I’ve learned to trust the rhythm of nature, which is constantly teaching me that I, too, have rhythms – no matter what the world says I’m supposed to be doing. Each time I honor the lows, my strength in the highs is that much stronger. Each time I dip back into a low, I get reminded that it doesn’t last. So, I watch tv. I read poorly written-thriller novels. I cry. I tell my support people. I pull oracle cards. And I do my “best” – whatever I can do at that moment – to surrender. And it shifts. It always shifts.
Favorite book, podcast or music recommendations?
I can’t recommend anything specific because… I just follow what I feel drawn to or intrigued by. One year it was an intention to learn more about unconditional love. Last year, it was a desire to know more about energy in the subtle body. Each time I follow the seed of intrigue, I’m led to something moving that informs my next steps.
Worthiness is built by deciding you are worthy. Choosing to believe you are enough as you are because you are here. And confidence is cultivated by taking actions – facing fear, activating courage, and making a shift.
Best advice for someone struggling to trust themselves?
I believe self-trust is an everyday practice. I also relate to it as being intertwined with worthiness and confidence. I see worthiness as feminine energy (yin, from the inside) and confidence as masculine (yang, externally facing). And self-trust is anchored on the strength of both of these energies (like a Venn diagram with self-trust in the middle). I find that tending to both of these energies helps to strengthen self-trust.
Worthiness is built by deciding you are worthy. Choosing to believe you are enough as you are because you are here. And confidence is cultivated by taking actions – facing fear, activating courage, and making a shift. It's sort of like backing the worth energy with action-energy. Does that make sense?
Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Thank you for taking the time and energy to see me. ✨Thank you, Lisa, for the beautiful space to reflect on my story, share and the incredible photos we created together.
Beth Porter is a healer, seeker and teacher. A lover of beauty and creation, a self-development nerd, a forever life experimenter, and someone who has an affinity for going deep. Connect with Beth for guided healing and transformation.