be yourself don't hide.
A double dose of it.
I attended a photography retreat by Dana Pugh in the middle of the month and for the past two weeks have been immersed in a workshop by Deb Schwedhelm. I admire both of these women so much - not only because their work is incredibly beautiful but because they are honest, giving, inspiring and encouraging. And they are true to themselves. I'm feeling so much gratitude for these women right now.
Everything happens for a reason, I believe that. And for some reason, I was chosen to win a seat to Deb's workshop. Even though the retreat has passed and the workshop has come to an end, I really feel like this is just the beginning for me.
The workshop was intimate. Personal. Freeing. If I would've known that beforehand, I probably wouldn't have participated as I would normally shy away from openly sharing my feelings. But Deb created such a comfortable atmosphere, it was easy for me to be open. She asked some really tough questions, so hard to answer that I found myself sobbing at my desk (more than once). I opened up and shared feelings and experiences that I've only shared with those closest to me. I've always had a hard time letting people get past the surface of who I am.
I was gently forced to take an honest look at myself. I began peeling away the invisible masks that I realized I was wearing to protect myself,
and embrace who I truly am. Allowing myself to confidently say,
this is who I am.
And to remind myself...
to just keep doing what I'm doing and forge my own path.
to not dwell in the past.
to say focused.
to not let negativity or negative people snuff my passion.
that where I am, right now, is where I'm meant to be.
to continue to challenge myself.
to be open. grow. learn. listen. trust. believe.
that my unique life experiences, good and bad, are what make me who I am today. That my story greatly affects the way I see the world around me.