Hello friends, how are you today? I’m sitting alone by the window, sunlight on my face, reflecting on my recent journey to Gotland, Sweden. What was only to be a photography and styling retreat (at least in my mind) turned out to be one of the greatest, most personal journeys of my life that took me far beyond my work – quite unexpected! I learned that the magic of styling and photography goes much more deeply than our personal taste, our placement of objects, the lighting or angles… Styling and photography comes alive when YOU are present in the work.
In order to get to that place of presence, you have to allow yourself to be seen and for your deepest expressions to come to the surface. It was such an awakening for me, I always saw myself as so open and very honest with everyone about who I really am. In my eyes, I was. As we explored some deep topics in this workshop, I learned that I’m just scratching the surface and for me to be able to marry my photography and styling with words, I need to peel back many layers, and then see how much my work evolves.
It makes me think about how we are quick to say we are in a creative rut at certain points in our process. I finally know what this means. We are emotionally blocked. We need to pull out the emotion and then the creativity can flow again. It’s really that simple. Work on the emotion and the creativity will return.
Our retreat was beautiful. Our teacher/guide Dietlind Wolf was transporting at times, uplifting during others, a real light, magical, sensitive, caring, altogether a beautiful human being. I was more or less away from the modern world for 5 nights and it was one of the best vacations I’ve ever been on. I was allowed, and even encouraged, to be raw, open, freely myself. It took courage! It was hard! I cried!
It’s amazing how so many of us just put our heads down and go through the day-to-day with the goal to get what we need done and not much more, isn’t it? Or, some of us pride ourselves on being so free, courageous, strong or open and we are not fully any of those things – we want to believe we are, but at our core, we’re not. And this is what we need to see, admit and work out. Then our art, craft, design work or whatever else we pursue becomes SO MUCH STRONGER. And better. More meaningful too.
I won’t write much about the retreat, to protect the feelings of the others involved, and also to preserve the time capsule my teacher so lovingly handed to me that I want to store away for now… But I will tell you this. If you sense anything about yourself that needs work, begin that journey. Please. Find the right people to guide you. Some good friends. Save the money you need to get the best care that you can. Our life is so precious and meaningful, we each have gifts, explore what yours is and have the courage to make your gift known to the world. Don’t wait.
I have nothing else to blog about today. I’m still so caught up in the magic of my retreat in Sweden. I need the fairy dust to settle a bit so I can get back into writing in this space again… I am sitting with so many feelings right now, stirring and swirling in my mind down to my core and back up again… So much to process and more than that, so much to DO! Because knowing and doing are two separate things.
See you tomorrow. xo
(Photography: Holly Becker)