YVONNE SZEFER
YVONNE SZEFER

My Real Story

I moved to Los Angeles from Macomb, Michigan four years ago...

I grew up with a traditional upbringing. Not everything was wonderful, but the love my parents, sisters and I have for each other is the glue that has gotten us through it all. 

In third grade my parents held me back to repeat another year of elementary school. Sitting in a classroom and paying attention to academic subjects did not interest me, and I didn't apply myself.  I'm an imaginative thinker. I would have rather lived out the fantasies in my imagination by acting, dancing, and singing in my bedroom. However, when that next school year came, I remember the shame and embarrassment I felt as I walked back into to the third grade line. It was right next to my friends and former classmates who stood in their line to enter the new school year as fourth graders. That moment felt like the most horrifying experience I'd ever go through.

A big part of that incident is where I picked up the "I'm inadequate" voice that plays on repeat in my head when I can't figure something out, not to mention years of feeling as if everything I did was being closely judged, and criticized by my peers.

As time passed I began to get noticed by others because of my physical appearance. The desire to model was fitting, and seemed to be the key to my happiness. My looks became my identity, and the validation from others that I was "enough" felt good. My preconceived notion of how easily attained the glamorous, well paid, luxurious life as a model would be is laughable now, although it has provided me thus far as my main source of income.

I have deep gratitude for my career as a model. This path has pushed me in to some of the most uncomfortable and challenging experiences in my life. It has made me confident and comfortable in my skin. There's no other option in an industry that is ninety percent based off of physical appearance, personality, and confidence.

As grateful as I am for the modeling opportunities, it still never feels like enough. I take the time to reflect on my life, but I can't help to question, what is it all for, will it ever be enough, or will I ever be enough? If I'm not chasing the dream, then it's the validation from others, or the job, or the money. The list seems never ending.

My Realization

I've been on a path of self discovery and development since age twenty-five. Before then, my life consisted of the constant chase of what I thought brings joy and happiness.. money, success, and materialism. Partying every weekend and caring about how others perceived Yvonne left me feeling drained and completely unfulfilled.

Then, one day I decided to take it to the mat, the yoga mat. I have no doubt that I was lead to that yoga studio by the grace of God aligning me with the answers I'd been seeking. 

I soon discovered that my time on the mat was the only time I was able to be fully present.  I'd check my ego, emotional baggage, past and future worries at the door. I created a space for myself to tune into my mind and body. My consistent yoga practice began to shift my thoughts, and gave me the power to change my outlook on life.  For the first time in what seemed like forever ago, I was "enough".

After almost six years of tapping into my spiritual practices, I'm ready to stand in my truth and live a life of passion, and happiness. I hope to inspire others who are feeling unfulfilled to take ownership of the life that they deserve.