Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Top Podcasts That Make You Think

I don't know why it has taken me so long to get on the podcast train, but a couple of months ago, I started listening to them and WHOA - I have found some things that have BLOWN. MY. MIND. Since I have been so crazy about them, and I think my Facebook feed is kind of over me trying to force them to listen to them, I thought I'd come here and share a couple that I think you should start listening to right this moment. Like, do it now.

Top Podcasts for me as of June 2017

p.s. in congruence with this blog, they're going to be focused on spiritual and personal development so if you're not into that, you may not like these. 

I struggled with if I should put this one first or last, meaning save the best for last, because I absolutely love this podcast. I cannot WAIT for it to come on and it's getting ready to start a new series which is so awesome. This podcast is a combination of Law of Attraction teachings with Quantum Mechanics and how Jess Lively, the host, applies these philosophies into her life. She takes teachings that are honestly, a little over my head, and breaks them down in a practical way so that I can understand them. I love this show and have even gone over to her blog to learn more about her workshop, flow with intention. She talks a lot about living with intention, listening to your intuition, and how she does those things to create a life where she is truly happy. I would start with Quantum Living Quick Guide #1

This is very female focused, though I feel like you can learn something if you're a man too. I don't even really know how to describe this, other than she talks a lot about being a woman, motherhood, healing, guilts, etc. Just being a woman who's walking a spiritual path in this world. 

3. The Robcast

This is my other favorite. I stumbled across this blog because of The Lively Show and wow, it's almost brought me to tears. Rob Bell describes the Bible and Jesus in a way that I have never heard in a  church and honestly, it's a lot of beliefs that I already have but have never heard come from another person. It's wonderful and I would start with Alternative Wisdom; Part I

I'll be honest, I didn't want to like this one. I love yoga and consider it to be a big part of my life, but some of the big time yogis, I kind of avoid. That being said, I have REALLY enjoyed her podcast. She talks about motherhood and living like a yogi in her life. 

I'm sure you know who Liz Gilbert is, but if not, she is the author of the book, Eat, Pray, Love. In her podcast, she talks to a lot of creatives about obstacles they face in their life in terms of living out creatively. I haven't heard a new one in a while, but I do love them. 

So this one is geared towards small business owners and creative entrepreneurs. I included it though, because I enjoy the way she presents her guests. The first episode, she discusses obstacles they've face in their life, how they made the jump from whatever they were doing to their business, and all of the feelings that go into that type of move. In the second episode, she discusses the practical way they make the jump and the steps they implemented to become successful. I've actually heard a lot about the Law Of Attraction on this podcast and I believe it's where I first heard of Jess Lively. I may have heard about her through Jenna kutcher so I'm not sure. I am not including her because her podcast is very focused in business and specifically for photographers, though it's one I like as well. 

Anyway, if you only want to try one, I would suggest Jess Lively! 

Let me know if you have any you recommend as well!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Creative Unknown

I've never really considered myself a creative person. In fact, I've actually said the opposite, that I'm really not that creative. In reality, when I look back on my life as a child, I was very creative and was always interested in activities that involved creativity like dance, art, and even poetry! I'm not sure when it all came to an end, I think probably when I stopped dancing. I spent my entire youth fantasizing about a life in New York, dancing on the big stage with Alvin Ailey Dance Company and living the life of a creative. Things happened and that dream did not become a reality, so maybe that's when I shut it down. I remember feeling a sense of loss that came with the end of my dance career. As I sit here typing this, I can feel a swelling in my chest and a heaviness on my heart. That was a loss much greater than I ever admitted.

After buying my fancy camera and beginning my journey into photography, I felt that little spark again. I was thrilled to take that very first photography class and I spent days and nights studying everything I could about taking photographs and editing in Lightroom and Photoshop. I feel that over the last few years, I've grown tremendously and have come to appreciate connection I seem to have developed with my intuition. In yoga, creativity is associated with the lower chakras, especially the second and third chakras. As I have allowed myself some freedom in exploring my photography, I've connected with my inner voice in a way that I haven't been able to before. The interesting thing is that as I've tried to study and perfect my craft, I get a little lost in the perfection of it and lose that inner feeling so I'm trying to remember that there is a balance between the two.

The challenge for me in the moment is that I feel totally stuck right now. I feel a longing to do more than what I can yet I don't have the technical understanding to produce what I envision. I'm doing a 365 project where I shoot daily to help me further along in the process. I think what I'm missing in the moment is the feedback of the outside world. It's time for me to put myself out there in a way that I've never done before, AND THAT IS FREAKING TERRIFYING. Having this little hobby where I take pictures here and there and post them on Instagram and Facebook is one thing; getting the feedback from peers in your field is a whole other beast. I joined a small Facebook group, I'm talking a group of 6 or 7 people, with a goal to achieve CMPro. I won't go into a bunch of detail about what it is, but just know it's a difficult task to achieve and to get to the point of this post, involves the critique of others. It hit me hard when I sat down to critique the photographs of others and then read their feedback of mine. As I thought about each person examining my work, I felt a panic rise in my body. I felt a burning in my stomach, a tightness in my chest, and a frantic desire to hide and quit the group. Because I was having such a visceral reaction to this, I wanted to explore it further. As I thought about my fears, this is what I came up with.

1) They're going to discover I'm a fraud, that I don't belong to this group, that there is absolutely no reason that I should even be considering a feat such as this

2) They're REALLY going to discover I'm a fraud when they read my critiques of their work because what the heck do I know?

3) They're going to think that I think more of myself than I should

4) Oh gosh, maybe I do think more of myself than I should

5) I'm the "worst" one in the group

I think that's it, though I'm sure I could come up with several more.

Wow, that's a lot! I mean, wow. I let those feelings of inadequacy come up because I needed to feel them. Then, I let them go. Because the thing is, those things might be true. I might be the worst one in the group, I might be a little inexperience technically and not ready for this process, but I'm ready to put myself out there. I am ready to here the truth about my work and to learn from women with the knowledge I seek. I am ready to be raw with my inner voice and trust that it's all a part of the process. I am ready to enjoy the process and be where I'm supposed to be, in the process.

The next thing I did was go to that Facebook group and tell them, hey guys, I am totally nervous about this and worried y'all are going to wonder why I'm here. Of course, they were all very supportive and the fear disappeared. For now, anyway. I've learned, though, that this whole being authentic thing is a lot of walking through fear and trusting in my ability to handle what comes my way.