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Lately I’ve been feeling very emotional, mostly for valid reasons, but I noticed that this negativity has been causing me to react rather than to respond to my emotions. I have begun to show that side of me, which isn’t the one that I like and often do my best to keep in check and to mortify. As I entered yet another day filled with this poison and in search of how to become joyful, I went in search of inspiration from members of various online communities that have proven successful for me in the past.

After searching the TED app to seek videos about inspiration, I immediately remembered that there was a talk by Brene Brown on vulnerability that I hadn’t quite taken the opportunity to watch yet. As I looked for the video, I came across an interview of Brene by Jonathan Fields on “The Power of Being Vulnerable” on YouTube instead. Why I chose Brene, I’m not sure, but I did find a silver lining and light at the end of my seemingly dark tunnel.

 

The interview included “what it takes to live a good life, vulnerability as strength, how people handle judgment, the intersection between human nature and entrepreneurship, how to decide whose opinions matter, etc…”. Needless to say, it was chock full of great stuff that reminded me to reconnect with myself and my beliefs.  Being vulnerable is the opposite of what I have been doing. My behavior has totally been out of alignment with my belief of treating others as I would want to be treated. And I must be a bit vulnerable and tender hearted, if I am to treat others with compassion.

I believe that a big part of my retaliation was due to the fact that I am not necessarily doing what my heart and mind goes to when it wanders. I feel that my daily life has become mundane and ordinary. It has been difficult to find the moments to relish that used to bring me joy.

Ever since completing my work with the Houston Arts Alliance, my eyes have been opened to many new and wonderful possibilities that I hadn’t considered before.  My hope has been to begin traveling and to explore new cultures in hopes to shed light on untold stories. Admittedly, I don’t have all of the details, but I feel that this is something that I need to further explore.

I want to be more mindful, compassionate, and loving, above all.

Watching the interview helped to remind me that “my life is not my own”. I have been taking my negativity out on those closest to me and I see that I need to be more compassionate and loving. I want to be more compassionate, mindful of how I treat others, and loving, above all.

When I think about traveling there is this intense passion that arises in me and a smile spreads wide across my face. The last time I felt this way was when I returned to doing photography. Of course, I’ll be doing photography as I travel, but there is no shaking this feeling that I have. After reading in a recent post from Michael Hyatt that stated “…by noticing what stirs us emotionally, this is a step in moving toward our destiny and becoming all God made us to be.”, my passion has only grown.

I know God will lead me in the way that I need to go, but there is also some action required on my part. I pray that I will be able to make the right decision – wise decisions – that will allow me to be vulnerable and to be open to all that awaits me. I don’t want to miss out on what God has for me because disobedience or fear.

Have you ever felt like this?

If so, what did you do to overcome your negative emotions?

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My blogging habits lately have been a constant work in progress. I have a close friend who let me know of her disappointment that I hadn’t written since January. I will earnestly try do better! Although my intentions are good, I’m sure that many of you have fallen into the trap of wanting to post but fail to do so also.

Recently I have had a moment of sudden revelation and insight, an epiphany, of sorts, and will begin working to change how often I post. This is always my aim and goal. I do truly enjoy bringing new and quality content to my readers (however many of you there may be left!). My epiphany was that I need to write about what inspires me, what’s dear to me, what excites me and what I’m passionate about. This sounds like a total no-brainer, right? Well, I have a confession to make. I was listening to the many so-called “blogging gurus” of the web and social media “experts”, and things got pretty confusing! I think I lost myself because I wasn’t being true to who I am. I wasn’t being my authentic self.

I have both heard and read that business blogs should be kept separate from personal blogs. This notion has caused me to search and search for a way to marry the very two things that I am passionate about in a way that wouldn’t disrupt my business. Big mistake! I caused myself much anxiety and stress, not to mention that many lack-luster posts may have been shared in the process. I was trying to please the imaginary “powers that be” and I didn’t even know who they were or why I should even care to listen to them…Still don’t!

I now see that I don’t have to separate my passions and I can do what ever I want! Why follow everyone else’s rules? One rule in photography is that you can “break the rules, but only after you know what the rules are”. Admittedly, I’m still learning about business, blogging, and social media, but I’m ready to throw the rules out the window!

I hope that you’ll join me as I venture down this new path. I know that it’s going to be an amazing journey! Just a heads up…there will be many changes in the coming months and I hope that you will stick around for them!

I came across a post on the “A Maverick Madness” blog about how everything is a remix. Nothing is original and it’s all been done before by someone else.  I was reminded of a post that I wanted to write about the same thing, only I first came up with the idea after seeing Chase Jarvis’s post on “How to Steal Like an Artist” based on the book “Steal Like An Artist” by Austin Kleon. See how inspiration and remixing works?! We see something that inspires us and we in turn take that “idea”, add to it or subtract from it to make it our own. It’s the way of the world.  According to the Bible “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”  See, we have permission to re-create what is already here to create new, better, and brighter ideas!

Here’s a video on the Elements of Creativity when “remixing”! It explains everything!

What are your thoughts on remixing and originality?

 

How do you cultivate an eye for photography? How do you change how you currently see the world and begin to pay attention to all of the details of life hidden in the everyday that you would otherwise miss? Like the ant carrying the corn chip that you almost stepped on or the ivy growing through the cracks of your neighbors fence? Simply slow down and you will begin to notice it. The small minute things of the world around you, that you wouldn’t have noticed even if your life depended on it, will begin to jump out at you and you’ll smile and marvel in it’s beauty. You’ll begin to smile more and to appreciate the “little” things in life and you’ll show just how grateful you are to others. Ok, that might be a stretch, but I’m sure you catch my drift!

When you slow down and really begin to take in your surroundings, you can’t help but think “How did I miss this all before?”.

 

“Do the Work” by Stephen Pressfield, Art work: Cover by Vincent Van Gogh

“Do the work!”

How many times have we heard this phrase before? I’m sure more than a dozen, and not just from others, but we’ve probably told ourselves this as we’re trying to focus to get a project completed. Well, I just finished an e-book with this title by Stephen Pressfield. It was just what I needed. The premise of the book was to simply do the work. Don’t over think things, don’t stay get in your head, keep things simple, just simply get something down on paper to being and then go back to add the details.

I know all to well about trying to get every last detail right before feeling like I can begin a project, but my aim this year is to do the opposite and to begin when I have an idea and to work out the details along the way. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still plan, but only enough to get a good starting foundation and to take action. When you allow yourself to get in your head and mull things over or think about all of the how’s and why’s about if something will or will not work, you’ve gone to far, at least in my experience. You’ll eventually find that one reason that frightens you just enough that you won’t take action. Action is required in order to do the work! Clearly!

The book talks about the biggest enemy of action – resistance. Whenever you have a great idea that you want to execute or start a new venture that you’re truly passionate about, you always come up against resistance. This resistance is to prove how badly you want to reach your desired goal. If you hang no long enough and slay the beast of resistance, you’ll reach your goal. It takes passion and a love for what you’re doing in order to keep going when you face resistance. If you don’t truly love what you’re doing and going after, you won’t make it for the long haul.

“The opposite of fear is love- love of the challenge, love of the work, the pure joyous passion to take a shot at your dream and see if you can pull it off.”

Overall, I thought that it was a great book and offered little nuggets of information that can be helpful to those who tend to over-think to the point of no action. If you follow the advice of Stephen Pressfield in his book, I’m sure you’ll get past resistance every time!

What are you working on that requires you to overcome resistance?

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Fashion & Editorial Photography by Debra Ham for theBLVDmag.com

Fashion & Editorial Photography by Debra Ham

 

Now that the new year is here, I’ve been thinking about all of the things that I want to work on and modify. One of the main things that I want is to regain my focus on photography and to begin shooting more personal work that is fulfilling to me. Earlier this year I realized the great importance of creating personal projects as an artist. My 365 photo project taught me that!

A favorite photographer of mine is fashion photographer Lindsay Adler. I’ve been reading through her blog, as I often do, and I have found myself re-inspired to ignite the passion that I have for photography. I aspire to be a fashion photographer and she reminds me of the zeal and attitude that I had when I was starting out. I did lots of free work and personal shoots that helped to build my portfolio. So, I asked myself, if she can do it, why can’t I? And you know? I didn’t even want to come up with a reason why I couldn’t because if feels like I’ve been doing that for too long!

 

Fashion & Editorial Photography by Debra Ham for theBLVDmag.com

Fashion & Ediotrial Photography by Debra Ham

 

Another great photographer is Jamie Delaine. I enjoy her style of work, but what I enjoy most is her honest and carefree writing style along with her love for Christ! She has shown me that I can pursue my passion and still live for Christ and be able to express that on my blog. I’m sure there’s a fine line there between the two, but I don’t want to find it just yet. Our lives are all-encompassing and many areas often overlap. Jamie has approached her blog from this perspective in order to convey her true voice and personality and I greatly respect her for that! She has allowed her light to shine and I see that I don’t (necessarily) have to separate my life from my blog, even though that’s the “norm”. I don’t have to go with the norm and it’s quite all right!

As I embark on this journey, I hope to fuse the inspiration that I have received from these two young ladies with my own personal style and blaze my own trail! This year is looking pretty hopeful and I’m excited to see what awaits me!

What are you wanting to accomplish this year? Do share!

 

 

{10/365}

"Normally, we do not so much look at things as overlook them." — Alan Watts. (photo ©Debra Ham)

 

Living in the moment. What exactly does this mean? Some may say that it’s being mindful of what’s going on right now, being aware of your surroundings or recognizing what’s in front of you. To me, it means having all of my senses in tune to what’s going on as it happens. Simply, living life to the fullest.

As a photographer, we must be able to capture life as it happens. If we aren’t paying much attention to the in-between moments (which are often the best) or the little gifts that life offers us everyday, how can we be our best? By being mindful of what is going on around us we are able to give greater value to the images that we capture.

In 2010 I felt that I didn’t appreciate the small moments & the little things day-to-day thing enough. I can remember beginning my day by thinking about what I was going to do later or starting a task and not even paying attention to all of the details because my mind was some place else. I don’t want to go through another year and have it feel like it was a blur because I didn’t take enough of the opportunities given to me everyday to live in the moment.

This year I have made a conscious choice to enjoy the little things in life and to relish as many moments as I can! This will add dimension and a greater sense of joy and happiness to my life. The projects that I have begun (blog post-a-day and my project 365) have already begun to help me to be more mindful this year! Having my camera with me consistently reminds me to be aware of my surrounding and to seek out the wonderful images that are waiting to be captured.

I hope that you have been living your life to the fullest and taking in all that life has to offer. If not, will you join me in living in all of the moments that this year has yet to offer?

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