Sometimes life’s lessons have a way of sneaking up on you when you least expect it.
Life can be sneaky that way.
I like things to be orderly and neat and structured and organized. It makes me feel like I’ve got some kind of a grip on my own little piece of reality.
I love to reflect inward.
I walk through my mind shaking a finger at so many of the things that I don’t like about myself. I second guess my gut instincts and mock the gifts that I have been given. Usually nothing seems to be good enough inside my private thoughts about myself. I didn’t realize just how much I do this on a daily basis until this past weekend.
I traveled long and far to attend a phenomenal food blogging event called Big Summer Potluck. It wasn’t just an event, it was more of a retreat. I knew that it would be fabulous. I attended the same event last year and came home a different person. I wasn’t expecting to have an even more cathartic experience this year…however, I did.
The weekend was an intimate gathering of people who came together to share their passions for food, photography, writing (in my case storytelling) and well, much, much more.
I realize that all of you reading this may not be bloggers, let alone food bloggers. But I decided that what I learned over the weekend was far too important not to share and could be embraced by anyone and everyone who is willing to listen.
I didn’t take notes. I was much too caught up in the moment and the goosebumps and the raw emotion that seemed to magically wrap its’ arms around everyone sitting in that room. We listened to Penny de los Santos, Shauna Ahern (aka Gluten-Free Girl), Pam Anderson and Justin Schwartz all speak from the heart. Remember, I didn’t take notes, this is what I heard.
* “Don’t listen to the “editor’s” voice in your head.” ~ Shauna
We all have that don’t we? The you’re-not-good-enough-don’t-even-try…”red-pen-slashing-voice” (thank you for that visual, Shauna) that holds you back from really “living“? Well silence it. Fill your head with the story that’s unfolding in front of you. That’s what I’m trying to do now and it’s amazing.
* “Writer’s live every moment, twice.” ~ Shauna
Woah. That’s powerful. You don’t have to be a writer for this to be true. We all live moments over and over in our minds. Memory is a tremendous gift. Use it wisely.
* “Loosen your eyes enough to just…see.” ~ Penny
Fascinating how this pertains to life…not just photography. I’ve noticed that often times I do narrow my vision, hyper-focus if you will… it then turns into tunnel vision. I miss so much that way. From now on I will try to keep my eyes “loose” and open.
* ” Don’t just take pictures, make them.” ~ Penny
Once again, whether you are striving to become a photographer or taking photos to remember life. Don’t simply take them, wait…don’t be afraid to trust your gut. Allow yourself to be uncomfortable and wait for the moment to make them.
While soaking in the words of wisdom I couldn’t help but to be enamored with the windows in the space. I chuckled when I looked through my photos and realized that I had basically only taken pictures of the windows.
Throughout the day I was unknowingly looking outward to capture the view. To silence the internal “editor’s voice” and embrace all of the wonder that life out there has to offer.
It’s a splendid feeling. I highly recommend it.
Go on, embrace yourself and all that life has to offer.
To all of the attendees, I loved being reconnected with those I love, meeting those that I’ve grown fond of through my computer screen and experiencing such a magical weekend together.
With love and a tight 8 second hug,