May 30, 2014

heart to heart: hailey bartholomew

Have you ever thought about how to silence the voice of motherhood who is filled with unrealistic expectations? How to turn that talk completely around? How to allow yourself to accept that you are none of the roles that you play but something so much deeper?

Today I Invite you to take the time to read this Heart to Heart I shared with Hailey Bartholomew - someone I like to refer to as a 'Beauty Explorer'.  Her warmth and beauty shine brightly through her words and imagery… her advice is wise and heartfelt, and most importantly, completely within the reach of everyone. ~ Tam

Hailey Bartholomew
mother, photographer, film-maker  |  You Can't Be Serious  |  365 Grateful@haileybe


Tamara Erbacher: I'm here! Is now good for you?

Hailey Bartholomew: yes indeedy

Tamara Erbacher: Yay!

Hailey Bartholomew: Yay!!!

Tamara Erbacher: I just want to say I’m so glad you are keen to share a little piece of yourself on Wholehearted, so Thank-you so much... from me and all of our readers:)

Hailey Bartholomew: oh thank YOU! I am totally honored you wanted to have me. Love this project and the stories I have read from others, so it really is special to be included. Though I do hope you edit my terrible spelling!

Ha! between auto-correct and my own terrible typos' we'll make for interesting reading;)!

yes and my grammar leaves lots of people reeling!!! haha

Well you've put it out there now… so everyone will know what to expect:) I have to say I love your over use of exclamation marks… hahaha!!!!!! 

Anyway…. about you... There are many of us that know you for Your Photography and Film business - You Can’t be Serious and also for your, life changing 365 Grateful Project, but I’m sure there are many who may not... could you share a little bit about just who Hailey B is?

Yes I totally overuse '!!!' hmmm who is Hailey B ? good question!

Sometimes its hard to stop and think about it… take your time:)

I am none of the things I do. I am none of the roles I play or the hats I happen to be wearing.

I Love that answer. It is so much deeper than all of those things right?

I am a searching, delight finding person who was born to create and reflect the beauty here… 

yes, we are so much deeper, all of us.

An explorer of beauty.


There was a time for you when beauty was hard to see though... can you share what the trigger was to, I suppose, 'turn the lift on'?

yes, and to be honest it is probably not my natural stance...

lift? 'light' ^note first typo by me!!

teehee lift! LOVE IT! I think discovering gratitude is what changed this for me... I almost feel like a broken record, but I can never stop being amazed at the power of gratitude.

Discovering and then practising gratitude? I want more broken records if the message is as positive as the one you send.

yes... it is now my go to response when I am in a rut. It is the way I choose to look at life and the way I want to absorb the things happening around me... even the tricky things I have learnt are totally full of things to be grateful for. It doesn't mean things aren't hard sometimes but it means I can turn the talk around in my head and see things another way... also enables me to learn lots too!

And as a mother, how important has that been for you? So may of us are filled with unrealistic expectations… practising gratefulness can really be such a powerful vehicle to relieving the pressure we put on ourselves I think. 

sorry thinking ....

It's okay:)

yes unrealistic expectations is probably why I am not naturally grateful!!! Ha! I am a bit of a romantic and dream up how I want things to go. They rarely go the way I want. With mothering never is this more evident! I want to be the most amazing mum for my kids

I couldn't agree more... What does that 'amazing' mum look like?

frankly.... I am an occasional amazing mum and a frequent impatient, high expectations and slightly stressy mum... so yes, choosing to be grateful for WHO I AM and what I can realistically give to my kids is actually the hardest type of gratitude I have practiced.

That really is not just the challenge of motherhood is it, but rather a challenge of being human… accepting who we are, in the moment, in the day to challenges of life AND practising gratitude… it's tough… practising requires a lot of commitment I would think?

you are right... it is not just a challenge for motherhood... it is for life! Well I think initially to begin with to change the way your brain works yes and then you see the benefits and it gets easy to choose that because the other way makes you feel miserable! 

Yes… it's taking that first step for some people, walking through the resistance that change can bring… and also, going back to what you started out by saying: "I am none of the roles I play or the hats I happen to be wearing." I'm curious, what do you remember of yourself as a little girl? 

Were you the explorer that you are today?

yes actually knowing that I am none of these roles... mum, wife, director... photographer... is very freeing and means that I have gotten to know myself better then if I had mistakenly believed I am these things i do.... and a sort of acceptance is there... it is good! 

As a child… hmmm... I was very driven to create and explore through creating. So I had a number of crazy craft projects going all the time and taught myself lots of things just by trying it out and asking people.

Love a crazy project… lots of mistakes and mess amongst it all… and no doubt lots of beauty:) It's interesting…. do you see a lot of that little girl in yourself today? The one who was unencumbered by, I guess all the responsibilities that come with adult life?

yes I do, but I was the eldest of 5 kids so I was pretty busy with helping in my childhood. In the creating and crazy projects way I am so much the same it is funny! Totally still doing silly ideas that pop into my head just the same way as I did as a kid. I think that part of me... the child who creates mess and strange ideas is still alive and well...

How wonderful. That makes me smile widely.

me too! I didn't realize how alive she was till you asked the question!!! last weekend I created with a friend of mine a giant doll head. (think size of car wheel) I am not entirely sure what I want it for but have wanted this for a couple years... will no doubt take photos of it soon but if I analyzed why I was doing this it would seem silly. But I don't listen much to that I have to create so I do. I can see my daughters have inherited this trait!! hahahha!

Gosh… I can't wait to see it…. play is play… I feel it is unnecessary to analyse why we play… can you imagine asking our children why they play???

exactly!!! but i see as adults, we often start that whole argument on if this is viable... will I get an income from it... will people like it.... blah blah...

It must make your heart burst that your girls aren't afraid to play…even as they grow older! You are so right… there are so many questions…. sometimes we need to play for the sake of play…. it's a necessity I think. You haven't had just an impact on your girls, you know this…how does it feel to know that through your ability to create and share you have had a profound impact on the lives of so many, and continues to do so… particularly with your amazing 365 Grateful Project?

I feel completely humbled, teary and extremely grateful to have been able to share my story and to have had such a response to it... to have been part of other peoples stories.... no greater honor I think!!! While feeling this I also feel like I was open at the right time to the great creative genius who runs by and asks us if we are open to a new idea... I just happened to pick it up and say yes so it, is an odd feeling of delight and separateness too. . Have you seen that TED talk from Elizabeth gilbert??? BEST EVER!

I am a TED talk junkie!! YES!

heheee! meee too!

Why did this one resonate with you so much?

oh because I feel that thing she talks about... that the ideas are not mine.... that ideas visit me and sometimes I run with them and sometimes I have to work to pull them back to me... as they start running off... and sometimes I haven't acted and I have seen the idea go onto someone else!! It is lovely to think of creativity this way! Not mine or yours... it lives and breathes all on it's own running about looking for people open to it!

"sometimes I haven't acted and I have seen the idea go onto someone else" That's big… its about listening to the inner voice…. blocking out all the noise.

yes yes!! haha here we are again... not analyzing the idea... but playing and going for it and doing it and loving it whatever the response because you were open to it and you did it.

YES YES YES!!! I know we are going to have finish up… quite honestly I'd love to keep you here all day:) So before you disappear off my screen… Is there one piece of wisdom you would love to share with everyone… your own or maybe a quote from someone else… a mantra of sorts that guides you?

hmmm sure... I have two that I like lots...   before I say them I have totally enjoyed our chat! thanks again for having me on your beautiful site!! Keep up your gorgeous work! Inspiring and heartfelt!!

Awww… Thank-you.

1. 'the little things aren't little' - I love this because it reminds me actually what is important... the noticing of all the little pieces that make up my day.

2. I am sorry, please forgive me, thankyou, I love you - this is based on a hawaiian prayer I heard about ages ago.


I say this often when I feel negative about someone or something that has happened and often when I feel negative about myself... I say it over and over and it has a power far bigger then I ever imagined. I LOVE THIS > healing mantra/prayer

You are so amazing. I cannot tell you how much your words are appreciated.

well thank you for giving space for my words... I am again (so annoying I keep saying) grateful but I am !!!

Totally not annoying! I am feeling so incredibly grateful too.

Thank you. x

All photos courtesy of Hailey Bartholomew


  1. How wonderful! I thoroughly enjoyed these words and getting to know Hailey B a little better x

  2. oh she's just so wonderful! such a delight to 'hear' her voice and know a little more about this beautiful, big hearted woman x

  3. This is so wonderful, and just what I needed to read this week, inspiring and re-assuring. There's so much in our lives to be grateful for, the simple things are absolutely the biggest things and the things/moments I treasure the most. I was feeling a bit disheartened of late that so few people seem to see it that way, so this was certainly a timely read, thank you x

  4. Great post with honesty and inspiration. Grateful reading this!