…as I talked about celebration I was looking out the window. I could see the trees covered in snow and they were all glittery in the sun. I kept thinking that they looked like a giant party. A celebration of life. And I had this overwhelming download of feeling in that moment. I felt deeply connected to the reality that I, by the fact that I am breathing here now, am a joyous celebratory being.
This episode is a re-release, a second telling of this story. When I first released this episode I didn’t have a producer and it ended up being quite long which I think kept some people from listening to it. So I wanted to have my collaborator, Stephanie Cohn listen and produce this episode for me. She did a wonderful job and I love the results that we created together. So here is the story and portraits again. I look forward to hearing what you think!
I know that even 5 years from now these will be priceless. When they are both 16 and their priorities have totally changed. They may not want to dress up and play tea party much longer. They whisper secrets and draw pictures and cards for each other. The world shrinking to just that moment and that conversation, right then. They are a reminder that friendships are deep and important. But also that being in the now is the way to live.
Jeannie had a regular life, just like all of us, until one day it changed in an instant. Her entire life hung in the balance and no one was sure what would happen. What Jeanne talks about throughout the interview are the small steps she took to put on foot in front of the other. The little things along the way that ended up being huge milestones in her recovery. Small things that were big celebrations!
Boundaries are super important and learning how to put them in place is a skill we all need to have. Come listen to the story of a journey that went to far and how she came back. How Sarah learned this lesson in a big way. Sarah tells the story of what happened to her that set into motion a string of events that completely changed her life. All because she just couldn’t find the way to say, No. It is a wild ride and a valuable lesson for anyone who listens on how far things can go without out that one word.
…Moment by moment an entire year was being fed back to me in this slideshow. Just every day ordinary things. Eating breakfast, dropping Charlie at school, playing outside together, hanging with the guinea pigs, seeing her with her friends, looking at flowers and the ocean and all these little things…all in one beautiful presentation of our lives. And suddenly it wasn’t ordinary at all. It was quite the opposite. It was extraordinary.
The theme of this podcast is, Belief. Right now in the United States we are a part of the #MeToo movement and just finished the Kavanaugh hearings. It is devastating for many many women to know that if they spoke up they would not be believed. While so many women have come forward to share their stories of sexual abuse and stand together there are still so many more that stay quiet. That live in fear lest they should be judged. Sarah was brave enough to speak up. I thank her for those of us that stay silent.
I always like to make sure that kids have plenty of time to really play and relax. When kids enjoy themselves their smiles are genuine and they remember the session as fun instead of stressful! It helped that mom was so laid back and knew that her kids were best when not forced to do canned smiles. Her mellow demeanor kept everyone happy!
Sara was born in Calcutta, India and adopted at 6 weeks old by a family in Maine. That should have been the biggest change for her life, but it wasn't, by far. She faced alopecia as a child and then vitiligo too. Sara was super shy growing up and then found a way to deal with it. Recently she had a baby who also developed alopecia as well. All of these things taught Sara a lot. She shares her journey from India to America, sickness to health, and all sides of her personality with us along the way. Her story reminded me of that we all can learn from each other. Always.
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Britt's story is truly unlike any I have told here before (or ever heard for that matter). It is one of an early teen life full of sadness that ends up with her being kidnapped. And then it spirals out from there. I won't say more, but this is an episode you won't want to miss. Because like all the rest of the woman who have shared their stories Britt's life now is a wonderful happy success story that she is proud of. Often though when we look back we are embarrassed or ashamed of our story. More often those emotions come from things that were outside our control, but we still blame ourselves. And that is one reason why I share these stories. So we know that we aren’t alone. That we all feel the same.
Summer is coveted in Maine by most everyone. It is our shortest season and therefore quite treasured by the locals and visitors alike. It is the time for dips in the ocean and trips to the ice cream shop down the street. This particular ice cream shop called The Scoop Deck in Wells, ME has been around since 1983...35 years! So my dear client Elizabeth who vacationed in the area as a child grew up going here for ice cream. It is one of her favorite places in Maine. What better spot could there be for a whimsical portrait session then this spot full of happy memories?!
I have fallen in love with this 365 project. I have leaned into creativity in a new way. Some days are still hard and I feel like there is nothing new or interesting happening. And other days are about documenting our life which I do love and know I will be very grateful for as time passes and many years from now I can look back at this year day by day.
But every few weeks there is an image that I am so proud of. That is new to me. An idea that works. Something I tried that I haven't before. Some moment that catches me off guard. Light that is just perfect. Or how I realize I got lost in the thoughts and effort of creation of the image. That is when I know how much this challenge has changed me and how grateful I am that I started something that at first seemed so daunting. (s
Cheers to starting something that makes us nervous. To being outside our comfort zone. Where surely we grow the most.
Suzanne tells the story of how early on she learned what she should look like. Teen magazine is not the place to get that advice, but when she was young and impressionable that is what she saw the world saying the standard should be. She then went on to deal with a lifetime of food addiction. Suzanne bravely shares a truth that most of her friends don't know the extent of. She realizes that she is tired of hiding the struggles that she has daily. We all benefit from the universal lesson to be learned in being more kind to ourselves.
I feel so lucky to get to be part of a world where there are things as magical as horses. Truly, these big majestic creatures are just so gentle and intelligent and yet so powerful. It is no wonder there is so much myth, legend and lore attached to them. I grew up in the horse country of Kentucky. I learned to ride by sitting on the back of a horse…
his story from a dear friend of mine may be hard for any of you that have lost a child. As Kim shares the story of the loss of her baby Garrick, I want to make sure that you have that warning before listening since it is such a delicate subject matter for those of you that have experienced this loss. However, her story is one full of love and laughter. She talks about the things she learned from her son, Garrick. How he taught her to see all the beauty in life and be grateful for it every day. How the love from friends and family really does carry you through.
"Life can only be understood backwards, but must be lived forwards" - Soren Kierkegaard
Sometimes I am taken aback by how beautiful the world around me is, by my daughters laughter, and how fun it is to watch her with friends and then other days I find myself searching for something to spark my interest to capture.
I haven't been keeping up with posting the weekly images from my project here on the blog. So I am going to post several week at a time to catch up.
I have learned a lot about myself during the now 13 weeks since I started this project. I am constantly surprised by being a creative. How sometimes you don't feel inspired or creative at all. Some days the idea of finding something worthy to use as my one good image from the day is beyond daunting. And I feel like I failed myself. On the other hand, when I started I didn't know how in the world I would keep up. How I would find the time to take more photos (on top of my single mom running a business schedule) and then edit them too! What I have discovered though is that, despite the struggle some days, I really love carrying my camera everywhere again. When I was a teen I did this. It is what made me fall in love with photography. It taught me how to be quiet and wait. To see the world silently. To really look and SEE things and appreciate them. To slow down the world.
So yeah, I love this. I am wondering if I will stop after the year is over. I haven't hit my super busy season so I am not sure yet, but either way I love this challenge.
Here are weeks 6-8. More to come soon!
In dreams- Jen