I am a Senior Director of Community Programs at Sojourner House and I own a photography business, Gloria Greenfield Photography.
Tell us about yourself?
I’m an advocate with a 15-year career in women’s rights who turned part-time photographer as a way to balance my life. Advocacy and law connects me to humanity, and arts connect me to happiness. These past ten years I have forged a path as leader and program builder as a way to serve my community, but then my love for traveling and exploring led me to find a career as a portrait photographer. I am a mother of two beautiful, kind and hard working children. All the challenges I faced as an immigrant gave me tools to raise my children in a way where they know hard work pays off, and that the only limit we have to break is the one in our heads.
I am a firm believer of the pay-it-forward concept and I enjoy serving others in any capacity I can. I believe that when I put good out in the universe, goodness comes right back into my life.
In your journey is there one story that you will like to share with other women that will inspire, empower and help them find their inner voice?
It took me a very long time to find out who I was, as a woman, as a person and as a leader. I always knew that the only way to keep moving forward was by asking myself over and over, “what else can I do?”. I learned to challenge the status quo, and I learned to challenge my fears. I learned to feel the fear, and do the things I was afraid of anyways. Every time I ask myself “what else can I do?” whether in my personal or professional life, new ideas come to me. In my career, this very question guided me to create programs to serve others and change their lives. This question pushed me set my fear of rejection aside and to start a new business. This questions keeps my marriage on fire. When things feel stagnant, I default to “what else can I do?”. This question opens opportunities for me, because I am constantly looking for answers.
What are your favorite mantras?
I have two – both displayed around me:
- Do more of what makes you happy
- So, what? I’ll handle it
How do you balance work and life?
- By ALWAYS finding time to do things that make me happy! I know when to stop working and just play. I know when to stop playing and start working. Because both of my jobs bring me joy, I am constantly able to do things I love without forgetting what’s most important in my life: my family and my self-care.
What are 3 things you think we should do to support each other?
- Listen. We need to listen more, with an open heart.
- Encourage. We need to let others know that if they feel their choice is right in their heart, they most follow it
- Challenge. I also think we need to empower each other to constantly challenge each other to do bigger and better things for ourselves without feeling any guilt for chasing our dreams
What brings you joy?
- Doing things that make me happy! (see the pattern here?) I love photography because I love people – I love interacting with them, and I love capturing emotions. But then I love editing the images, and feeling exactly the way I felt while working with them. I love my full time job because I get to change lives, for real, making a true difference in someone’s future. I love spending time with my family and friends, because they bring me joy. I love laughter, and good food and good drinks. I also love the quietness of being by myself and my thoughts. I love helping others, especially people that don’t expect it. There’s something about surprising someone with an act of kindness that brings so much joy to my heart. Whatever it is that makes me happy, I just do more of!
Tell me what are those key items that you must have when you are in your happy space?
- A happy place is where I feel at peace. It can be my office, my room, my back yard or at a dinner party. What I need in order for it to be a happy place is inner peace, and this comes from knowing that I am constantly doing my very best to be the best version of me I can be.