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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?


Well, I’ve been one busy little bee this month. I just wanted to share and update what I have been oing. Starting at the beginning of the month I shot hot new shoes for my Gina’s Shoe Gallery located in Rice Village. Here are some of the new shoes. Be sure to visit her website or store and be sure to mention that Debra sent you!

Since I’ve been in Houston I have been looking for different organizations to work with and I recently became the photographer for Houston’s Interfaith Ministires The Amazing Faiths Project. “The Amazing Faiths Project is a movement that brings together people to learn about the beliefs and faith traditions of others through exploration and dialogue; to foster an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding; and to stand as a witness for tolerance and justice.”

So far I have really enjoyed working with this organization. On October 13, 2008 there was a press conference with the Mayor of Houston, Bill White, in which he was encouraging Houstonians to participate in one of The Amazing Faiths Project’s most important events, Dinner Dialogues. “The Dinner Dialogues provide an opportunity for people to meet people of other faith traditions, to share experiences and listen to the sharing of others, and to converse about matters of faith and spirituality in a safe, controlled environment.”

In this annual event, people gather in groups of 8-10 in private homes to share a meal and engage in a moderated discussion about the role of faith or spirituality in their lives. To participate in the Dinner Dialogues you can either go as an attendee or you can be a host. Please click on the links to find out more information. The deadline to register to be a host is October 31, 2008. The Dinner Dialogues will take place on November 13, 2008.

A few days after the press conference, I have the opportunity to take part in the Texas Conference for Women. It was awesome! There were many great seminars and speaker as well as vendors, click the link to find out more info.

This month I was able to attend a Dove Beauty Workshop for Girls which was developed to help free the next generation from self-limiting beauty stereotypes and committed to reaching 5 million young women by the end of 2010. The young lady who gave the seminar has begun her journey on the road to becoming a motivational speaker and this was just a step along the way. The part that I got to play was to show the girls how magazines and media distort and “doctor” images that we see. The workshop sparked a great discussion concerning the media and how it makes young girls and women feel that they need to be a certain way in order to be accepted or popular. It was a great experience and I can’t wait for the next workshop.

On Mondays I volunteer at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital with the Art Cart Program. This passed Friday we held a Photography Contest open to all of the employees, staff, and volunteers of the hospitals in the Medical Center. Well, I am proud to announce that I entered two (2) images, a butterfly, which won an Honorable Mention and a black & white image which won 1st place in the black & white category! All of the winning images will be on display at St. Luke’s until the beginning of 2009 for public viewing. Here are my winning entries!

Lastly, another important event to support Interfaith Ministries The Amazing Faiths Project is Faith Tours. Faith Tours are “Monthly opportunities for the general public to explore various faith traditions and join in directed conversation about the tenets of each faith, their practice, beliefs and sites of worship or community gatherings. Participants visit two faith communities on weekends around the Greater Houston Metropolitan Area. The tours conclude at Rothko Chapel with a structured discussion and evaluation.”

This week we visited Christ Church Cathedral and the Hare Krishna Temple. Both tours were very interesting and enlightening. I would recommend them to anyone who wants to learn more about other faiths and who want to open their minds.

Christ Church Cathedral

Christ Church Cathedral

Christ Church Cathedral

Christ Church Cathedral

Hare Krishna Temple

Hare Krishna Temple

Well, I hope that you enjoyed reading this blog. I didn’t want it to be extremely long (which it is) so I left out info that you can find by visiting the different websites. I hope that you come back soon to check the blog and I promise that I’ll try to do better to update more regularly! Enjoy!


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