I love exploring and seeing something new. I love the anticipation of looking forward to something. I’m quick to make plans, I often come-up with an idea and run out the door to make it happen “right now”, and I crave experiences that add value and create variety in my life. There’s a mindset shift, a heart-attitude shift, and a lifestyle shift that’s required when facing change, and between the pandemic, the ever evolving needs of my children, starting a new career, spiritual study, personal goals, and healing my heart, I’m working to embrace a lot of change right now, and my photo adventures have become a valuable creative outlet.
There’s been a battle inside of me; a fight to hold on, a resistance to accepting things as they are, and a wish for certain things to remain the same or have never changed. In a recent mirror chat with myself I discovered that I was choosing to hold onto emotions and wishes because facing reality comes with the need to process pain and accept change that I don’t want and/or didn’t choose. I was telling myself that walking away or healing or envisioning a different journey or setting new goals was somehow giving-in or giving-up. I really appreciate these moments of honesty with myself, and love my ability to gently show self-compassion while also recognizing the craziness and silliness in my thought-process and approach at times. I literally laughed at myself, and with empathetic humor said “you’re smarter than this” and “you deserve freedom and happiness” and “healing doesn’t mean it didn’t matter” and “change is constant” and “I am different today than I used to be, so why am I resisting this change?” and “stop hurting yourself silly”. The reality is that the things I’ve been resistant to accept, the changes I’ve been avoiding, and the circumstances I wish I could alter have already happened. They are completely outside of my control and already a part of my history. When I set my feelings aside it’s easy to say “it is what it is” and acknowledge that avoiding or resisting my reality is causing myself pain and confusion, and delaying my ability to move forward.
“To let go does not mean to get rid of. To let go means to let be. When we let be with compassion, things come and go on their own.” – Jack Kornfield
I’ve been actively practicing mindfulness and spending more time in meditation, both sitting in silence and walking in nature. I want to live with peace in the present, showing myself and others a deep sense of appreciation, empathy and love, and I believe that worrying about the past or future distracts from the best version of myself, my desired lifestyle, and my spiritual attitude. So when my mind and energy start wishing that past or present circumstances were different, or I catch myself worrying about the future, I purposefully and thoughtfully bring myself back to the present moment by focusing on gratitude and reminding myself that I’m on a journey to love and experience life one day at a time.
“In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” – Jack Kornfield
I’m so thankful that I enjoy my own company, and that I’m adventurous and confident enough to explore and experience on my own. I take myself out to dinner, I go for long drives, I hike, and I explore familiar and unfamiliar areas with my camera in hand. The other day I was feeling stagnant and wanted to do something that I could feel excited about. At the foundation of my desire was the need to experience joy and get out of the house. So I grabbed my camera and took my daughter and her best friend on a drive into the mountains to find snow. We listened to music, laughed, stopped a few times so I could take pictures. . . and we got to play in the snow, get cold and wet, and see the desert landscape in a magical way! Our adventure created special memories and a set of images I’m really excited about, and I’m so thankful I didn’t allow myself to get stuck in unhappiness and stay home.
There’s a special kind of peace in acceptance that I’ve come to deeply appreciate recently. When I feel hurt and sadness, wish for different, experience fear, doubt, anger, or loneliness, I show up for myself differently. There’s a better conversation going on within myself about what triggers negative emotions, what’s at the foundation of my thoughts and feelings, is it something that’s within or outside of my control, and if I can influence change am I taking action or just wallowing? I pay attention, make time and space for more self-care, and I’m choosing to learn, listen, and transform the energy into understanding and self-love, bringing myself back to a place of peacefulness. It’s amazing how lovely it feels to show-up for myself with so much intention. I feel like my own best friend, walking through the messiness, highs and lows of life with more skill, better prepared to navigate the external and internal influences that distract from being present, having faith, loving deeply and freely, and giving my all to each moment, interaction, and experience.
Canon 5D Mark IV, with Canon 200mm f2.8LII and Sigma Art 85mm f1.4