Life becomes hectic with work and family and all the other things we have to deal with on a daily basis, and many times we end up having to let go of something that brings us happiness; something that gives a feeling of peace or joy. After college, that happened to me, as I all but abandoned photography, which had brought me great joy and peace, in favor of following the “American Dream” (whatever that is or was).
When it became clear that the company I worked for was definitely being sold, my long stilled passion for photography started to come back to the surface, and it is now a large part of my life again and will probably remain so till I catch the canoe for the other side.
I’m fortunate in that I have a little money put away and can follow my passion pretty much as I wish for a while, but for many that isn’t the case. It is important though, that each of us find the time to do what brings us joy, whether it’s photography, painting, pottery, reading books, hiking, tennis, building and flying radio controlled airplanes, or whatever. There is always a way to juggle our busy lives and still have some time for something that brings us joy. It’s a matter of setting the intent, and then proceeding as if it were already true.
Get rid of the “I wishes” and “I would like to’s” and the “maybe next year’s” and set your intent to reconnect with what makes you happy. If at first it doesn’t seem to be working, keep at it. Believe me, it’s worth it!
The local fireworks display was thoroughly and completely upstaged by the splendor and beauty of the show Mother Nature put on (you can click on the images to get a better view). Although I had planned on heading out to see if a sunset would develop worthy of capturing on film, I had gotten involved in finding lodging for another trip to the Tetons and Yellowstone Park with a very good friend and her son. Just after sunset, while sitting in front of my computer, phone in hand, I became aware that the room was full of a wonderful salmon-colored light. I grabbed my digital camera and headed out the door to find this incredibly beautiful sunset. I snapped several shots, composing them as best I could under the circumstances and then something told me to look behind me.
There behind me was this wonder scene, which although not as dramatic, I find quite beautiful. The more subtle colors create a feeling of peace. This same situation happened while at the recent workshop with Rodney Lough, Jr. We were all busy with composing and setting up for a sunset shot of the Tetons from Oxbow Bend when Rodney said to look behind us, and there within the bank of gray clouds, were several billowy thunderheads illuminated with rich pinks and oranges. That turned out to be the shot of the evening since the color over the Tetons never developed.
It’s all about awareness. What is in front of you and commanding your attention at any given moment may not be the most beautiful, nor the most meaningful. It’s important that we remind ourselves to look up from what we are doing from time to time, and look around. I was a little disappointed that I had not been out in the foothills all prepared to capture this wonderful sunset, but while talking with Rodney, he reminded me that although I didn’t have it on film from a better location, I did have the experience, and that is something that is with us always, no matter if we have it on film or not. You can’t take film or prints with you when you leave, only your experiences.
I spent six days trekking through Grand Teton National Park south of Yellowstone, at a two and a half day photographic workshop put on by landscape photographer Rodney Lough, Jr. and hanging around the area after the workshop for a few days doing some additional photography in Yellowstone park. I then dropped in on my cousin Kevin and his wife, Debbie who are the owners of The Elephant Head Lodge located ten miles east of the east entrance to Yellowstone in the Shoshone National Forest.
The workshop, the group of fellow photographers, and Rodney were great, and I learned a lot. It was wonderful having someone who knew the area so well. Rodney has been photographing The Grand Tetons and Yellowstone for well over 10 years now and knows all the great spots (along with a few that other photographers do not know about).
Since all of my shooting was done on large format film, it will take some time before I can post any of my photos (develop, review, send out for scanning). I had planned on lugging my digital along, but it was just too much additional weight.
I wanted to share one experience with you though, that blew my socks off. Grand Teton National Park is one large sacred spot, and you can feel it wherever you go. On one morning after we had photographed an old barn at sunrise, we headed off to one of Rodney’s favorite spots to meet and photograph a tree he has calls The Patriarch. It cannot be seen from any road so virtually no one knows it’s there, and to get there you walk about a half mile down through three or four sagebrush and grass covered plateaus. When we got there, Rodney asked us to close our eyes and remain silent and listen for a time. As I stood there with my eyes closed, I expanded my awareness out and offered the spirits of the area my warm greeting as my eyes began to fill with tears. We then each walked out into the area to choose our spot to photograph The Patriarch.
With our busy lives, we take less time to “stop and smell the roses” than we should. I can remember many times earlier in my life driving through beautiful areas such as the Redwood forests of Northern California, or along the Washington and Oregon coast, or Grand Teton National Park, or Yellowstone, when nature invited me to stop for a while and have a chat. In my younger years I was too busy; I had a destination waiting at the other end of the drive; I had a schedule to keep. It wasn’t until much later in life that I realized that the journey is far more important than the destination, and that there are many wonderful side roads and detours if you will just take the time.
I’ve been doing a lot of driving around in the Big Horns looking for “Ah Ha!” places for photography, and found myself getting too caught up in the scouting. I was reminded of that recently when I happened upon a county road I had not noticed before. I was running late so I bookmarked it and decided to check it out later.
I was reminded recently how powerful intent and commitment can be. A friend had been having some problems and had asked me to do a healing journey to see if I could help out. The day of the request, I popped upstairs and let my spirit helpers know about the request. Lately I have noticed that I will get a “feeling” when it is time to do the actual journey, and the feeling hit me the next evening.
The day after the journey my friend emailed me to let me know that after she made the request, that a lot of things in her life started to fall in place and improve. In other words, the healing had began at the time she set the intent by asking me to help. I sent her my report on what I found and told her I would look in on her again just to make sure nothing else had come up.
Physical symptoms are not necessarily connected to physical dis-eases or injuries, and can sometimes occur to get our attention; to alert us to something we need to change or pay attention to in our lives.