Monday, March 29, 2010

Attitude Adjustment

Hi Everybody!

I took a well-appreciated Saturday off last weekend and did one of my favorite things--puttering around the house.
I wasn't thinking about running the business or sitting at the computer. I sat in the dirt in the garden and rode bikes to the "corner store" with my son. Thank goodness spring weather like this is becoming more and more the norm (though it's hailing outside right now!!).
This weekend, my mind was empty, slow, and at ease. But one chance encounter got it all wound up again. I ended up meeting an individual that made a strong impression on me. I could tell this person puts a lot of energy into convincing others and has obviously convinced themself. Of what, you ask? Were they enthusiastic about a great new passion? About the steps they are planning in an area of their life? Were they going on and on about the fear they felt but how excited they were at the opportunities on the other side? Hardly. Much of the 30 minute conversation I had with this person was blaming with a capital "B".

"I WANT to improve my health, but as long as (insert girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse, mother, dog, boss) doesn't improve either, I just won't be able to."

"I DON'T have (list 5 important things to having a happy life) because of (insert any of the above people) and the choices they made that effected me."

"I'm HELPLESS because (you get the idea here)."

At first, I listened politely. I even felt bad. I thought about how I could help. But I just kept listening. I saw that this person put a whole lot of energy into explaining why NOT. And not any of the reasons included THEMSELF. And they seemed to really enjoy sharing every detail of why NOT. It's one thing if someone is having a bad's quite another when they are having a bad LIFE. Apparently, not ONE thing in this persons personal, career, health, or spiritual life was even aiming in a helpful direction. If that was me, that would be pretty depressing. But this individual seemed pretty content with their truth they were so dissatisfied with.
Seeing this, I debated on whether I should even TRY to suggest that maybe this person could change things for themselves. I'm a serious optimist. I know opportunities arise for people in the most unlikeliest situations....but unsolicited advice, you know, is not always I chose my words carefully and as a result didn't end up speaking too much. I listened and I learned. By consciously putting myself in a "listening and learning" mindset, it protected me from soaking up some of the "ick" that I can take away after talking with a negatively-focused person or some who has emotionally dumped on me. Recognizing it. Naming it in your mind. That was the first step for me to realize that I was making a choice to stay separate, no matter how subtle and convincing those excuses sounded, especially with someone who has mastered the art at communicating them in a way that shouted "I think my life sucks, it's everyone elses fault, and don't you DARE try to blame me for any of this."

Like I said, they made a real impression on me!
Nothing is more disappointing than talking to a person that doesn't realize how amazing it is to be alive right now, here! Never in a time in history has the average person had so much access to peace and has never been easier to learn more about ANYTHING, speak FREELY, and custom-design a life around your own personal starting point. And to meet a person seemingly unaware of their personal power, to the point that they resist the suggestion of it. Man that sucks! We don't have to SETTLE for unhealthy relationships. We don't have to settle for an unhappy life.

In my early 20s, I started to recognize how attitude effects everything, the way I looked at the world started to shift, and that totally intriegued me. I wanted to test it. I wanted to prove that my "old" way wasn't so bad...but once I began to see the changes in how I felt every day, and how there all of a sudden seemed like there was plenty of good and exciting things to talk about, I saw that it was no joke.

Listen to what comes out of your mouth and how. Do you like how you sound? Do you want to change it? Simply can have a HUGE effect on your happiness and your enthusiasm for life. Have you noticed the same things, in yourself or people you live with, or at work? What do you think?

Friday, March 19, 2010

You are unique, just like everybody else.

Hi Everybody!

Today I just wanted to say that I am loving the Seth Godin blog post the other day about anxiety.

"Anxiety is nothing but repeatedly re-experiencing failure in advance."

I am loving that perspective because it is so disarming. As a business owner in this day and age, the amount of challenges, opportunities, risks, rewards, changes in this business increase constantly. As a young photographer, you jump on board thinking you have a decent handle on this new fascination of yours, only to eventually realize that this train has MILLIONS of stops, THOUSANDS of fellow passengers. You are drawn in by the well-written blog posts, the style of this photographer, the equipment proficiency of that photographer, the seemingly endless amount of creative inspiration everyone else seems to already have....sooner, more, better, faster......than you.

Sound familiar?

The truth is, you are unique, just like everybody else.

The truth is, you CAN find yourself in the mirror of others, but the instant your gut turns in knots or your "inner critic" starts whispering in your ear...then outside influence may be changing from constructive to destructive. Do not take it personally if you get caught up in this, we all do from time to time. YOUR true path, as you discover it, will make you feel the very opposite. The very opposite....

The truth is, we all start from a unique place in this world, and our journeys should not be compared, but celebrated, admired, and encouraged. Our footsteps are our own.

  • Don't assume you've failed before you've even tried. Don't assume you'll succeed until you've thought deeply about what success looks like for YOU. Not for Jasmine Star, David Jay, Joe Buissink, Liana Lehman, David Beckstead, Christy Pelland, Tim Willoughby and certainly not Julie Watts!

  • Spend as much energy discovering yourself and your expression as you do discovering others and their expression. You have FAR MORE to learn inside about yourself than you may realize. You are fascinating. But you have much to learn. Don't we all?

The truth is, the minute you begin to TAKE NOTICE of the minutae in your life that strike a nerve, you'll begin cut through the overgrowth of the overwhelming cloud of EVERYONE ELSE'S output. Restlessness lies in constantly intaking the output of others.

Dane Sanders wrote a whole book about maximizing your individual strengths if you are considering a career as a professional photographer, Fast Track Photographer. If you are surprised that only about 20% of what I do in business is actual shooting, then you just learned the #1 difference between having photography in your life as a business versus photography in your life as a hobby.

Photography can serve you on your journey in many, many ways. Relax and enjoy the ride, whereever it may take you....

This is me and the hubby in 1995 when I was enrolled in my first BW photography class in high school, when I "knew" I was going to become a clinical psychologist! Little did I know where I would be a decade and a half later....

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Chris + Brit // Kansas City Weddings-Sneak Peek

Congratulations to Chris & Britany, my cousin....who had their marriage formally blessed by the church on their 1st civil wedding anniversary, this past Saturday, March 13th in Kansas City, KS! Chris & Britany were married last year in the courthouse as Chris awaited a bone marrow transplant for leukemia...both of them have this old soul quality about them...I definitely see why each of them loves the other which is a wonderful side effect of pursuing my art...

...getting to focus on love and relationships definitely keeps me happy...and getting to know families and friends totally speaks to the part of me that almost applied to graduate school for Marriage & Family Therapy back at PLU. But fate had other plans so I became a married stay at home mom at 22 and my high school BW film photography days were reawakened as I took "electronic imaging" to fulfill my elective requirements in 1999. And yes I was totally afraid of Y2k and that I spent all this time in school just for the world to end RIGHT when I get my bachelor's degree in psychology, JUST because of some zeros and ones! haha

Don't worry though...I will be booking weddings beyond 2012!!
Shall I wrap up the point of this post by saying, we often lose sight of the negativity around us, if it's always been there. But others can see the effect it has on us, and we can too if we just make a point to watch out for it. We can insist on more peace in our lives. We can change up the routine. Turn off the TV. Do anything else. Life is too precious to waste a minute feeling bad about anything that isn't worth it. What in your life isn't going according to plan? What things, big or small, could you do about it to bring you more peace?

Monday, March 15, 2010

"I don't believe in weekends."~Richard Avedon

Photography isn't something I do because it's fun. Photography isn't something I do because dslrs are cheap or because people tell me I'm a good photographer. I have bled, sweat, cried and agonized over my ART I have created in this past decade as a photographer more than I have over my own children. What I am obsessed with is this vessel for exploring what I have to SHOW my children about who they are, who I am, and what ART is created when one soul's energies intermix with another soul's energy. "Your 8x10s are pricey" misses a very critical point of my existence. If I get asked that, I feel like a complete failure and go home and cry.-Julie Watts

It's scary to share that truth with all of you..... but maybe I should...I am beginning my new phase in my career of mentoring other people interested in photography and I won't lie to them.

Friday, March 12, 2010

How do you recharge?

Hi Everybody!

I'm about to fly out to Kansas City to photograph a truly special wedding tomorrow...and as I look at my desk and see the lists of things I wanted to get done before I left (which didn't!), I am centering myself instead of wasting too much energy judging my performance in the office this week! I had over one thousand pictures to cull from the Miss Pierce County Pageant on March 6th, in addition to regular office tasks and shoots!

I learned from my business coach, Karen Buckley, about how different people recharge, and it's been really helpful and I thought I'd share that nugget with you all. The basic idea is that some people recharge by being alone, going away, in the quiet and silence of themselves. Other people recharge by going "out", gathering around people, around bustling activity and getting pumped up by the collective energy surrounding them.

Well pretty much instantly, I could make a list of my friends and family and who recharges how. For me, it's a no brainer. I LOVE being alone "lost in her own thoughts" like the Pemco Insurance commercials say on the radio up here about the "bookstore waif"' you'll find so easily here in the Pacific Northwest. Though with a full-time business and full-time family, I'm not waifing around the bookstore a lot...I have realized HOW critical it really is for us to keep an eye on your energy level and mood, and recognize when a little recharge is necessary.

So I'm truly looking forward to the time in the airport and the time in the air today...ipod, pen and a pad and I'm one happy recharging camper.