2020: The year of essentials + my story of building trust in something greater than myself
What would normally be a day-off hoarded in front of the computer playing catchup on personal projects became a memorable Saturday afternoon photo experiment. It was memorable because it got me out of my comfort zone both photographically and socially. It’s not that I don’t like being around people because I do. It’s that I can become withdrawn in group conversation quickly and find it difficult to keep conversations going. In the past I marched on, but slowly, usually erring on the side of comfort. That is in the past and not now, however. The moment I decided I was going to take the first leap out of my little comfort box was in a text message with my friend Caitlin about mobile photography and the labs hosted by the Apple Store. The one that piqued my interest in particular was, “Disrupting the Portrait” co-created with Christopher Anderson. I sometimes find it ironic that someone who isn’t great in social groups outside of their circle is drawn to portraiture as much as I am. People are interesting, especially when caught in an off-guard moment. Those are the fleeting mobile moments that add fuel to my urge to make photographs.
I am writing this to share behind the scenes of my first public on camera speaking video! Yes, you read right - I no longer want to hide behind the lens all the time. I want to inspire more creators to overcome the mental blocks that keep them from creating, speaking their truth, and being themselves both offline and online. Continue on for the gritty details and the THREE KEYS that helped me go from dream to doing in reality (this part is important).
Yoga is more than a workout and pretzel postures. I started going to "yoga" classes to bring balance to the distance running I was doing and to learn how to properly stretch my tight hips. What I found was way more than a stretch. Between 2013 and 2015, I went intermittently to studios around Phoenix, Arizona. In summer 2016, I met Carlyn Sikes, certified Iyengar Intermediate Jr II Yoga Teacher who made me feel welcome on the first visit. The Iyengar Center of Scottsdale at Scottsdale Community Collegequickly became my home away from home yoga retreat while I learned how to build confidence in a home practice. They featured yoga asana (posture) classes, while in contrast to other studios in the area, no two class sequences were alike and my wrists were relieved when I learned how to practice a sun salutation without dumping weight into the wrists, shoulders, or lower back. I learned how to properly extend my legs and how my inner thighs had more to do with my core strength than I originally thought. It's not solely about perfection in any posture or movement, but how you show up and how you support the postures given with a steady intelligent action from the outer body inwards. They weave the philosophy of yoga and the eight limbs into each piece of the process. Every time I practice with the incredible yoga teachers here, I discover facets of myself that have become buried and covered in mental cobwebs.
When I was a kid I dreamed of working with dolphins and then as an animator at Disney. On the surface it seems as though these are unrealistic but one thing is true, I remember having both childhood visions to this day. Also, they aren't the typical entry level job (at least not in my immediate circle and geographic area). The fascinating point about dreams is that there's always something new to pick up on even when you revisit one 30 years later.