Thursday, September 24, 2015
If you get stuck on asking yourself if it is realistic or economically viable you will never begin. And as Walter Brueggemann suggests "we need to ask if our consciousness and imagination have been so assaulted and co-opted by the royal consciousness (cultural mindset, conventional wisdom) that we have been robbed of the courage or power to think an alternative thought."
Walter is correct and is touching on something so important for us to face.
I had very little money to invest in this adventure I find myself caught up in today. And honestly, a photography business was not on the radar. In the beginning, this was therapy for me. And once I personally began getting healthier in mind, body, soul, and spirit I began to notice so many people around me struggling with feeling frustrated, stressed, trapped, and feeling powerless to change their lives as well as terribly unimaginative about it all....very much like Brueggemann described; shut down, locked into the royal consciousness, robbed of the ability and power to think an alternative thought. All of that left me wondering if there might be an imaginative way to share what I was finding so healing to where it might bring others along with me on this journey of reframing our lives in this world. That was all. There was no thought at the time of selling photos and starting a business. I just had this idea that if this was helping me so much, maybe it could assist others as well.
If I had looked at our economic situation at the time and allowed it to dictate to me what I could do and what I couldn't do, I would not have ever begun. And I had no one with deep pockets knocking on my door or calling wanting to invest in this idea. I was on my own, with basically no resources. But I just felt compelled/called to walk through the door that was opening before me in my imagination. So little by little I began. Some moments the choices I made felt risky. But the financial ones were also small enough ( they had to be ) to where I would always find the courage to take the risk. Today I am still approaching this very unlike any business model I am aware of and am having to do it with very little to invest. With some of the things that are now happening with the the larger scale sales, some of that reality will begin to change a little. There are investments I still need to make in order to take this to the next level, but I will have to do it like I have done it from the beginning...a little at a time. Some of those investments still feel so out of reach. But one of the beautiful things about the imagination being set free from the royal consciousness is that I can now imagine it. I can have an alternative thought about it all, in a healthy way, because I can now do it free of specifics as far as expectations and free of any settled plan or idea that I then would have to work to make happen. I am basically just riding a wave that began to form....unforced.
Another big change that was set in motion several years ago was the healing of the fragmented way of living that leaves most people with one half of their life they hate/despise/dread...the work/career part....and then the other part, their life away from work/career. And so many seem to despise both parts. That is really sad and tragic. I began to distance myself from this common approach that creates that dichotomy . And something wonderful and very healthy feeling began to happen....none of what I do anymore feels like work. I no longer look at it as career or business or profession (in the traditional sense at least) and I doubt I could find any career adviser or financial planner who would endorse my approach to it all. But guess what? I don't care. Today I know that the royal consciousness is sick.
All of life, every part of it now feels like vocation. Calling. And very ordinary. Not extraordinary. And for myself that calling is Beauty, and the most important thing for me to learn and to live attentive to, or at least hope to live out in some authentic way, is to participate with that Beauty in the creation of more beauty, in all that I do in every part of my life, that hopefully others can in some way use for their own healing.
So, if you are feeling stuck and unimaginative and powerless to change, you might want to ask yourself the very question Walter Brueggemann asked. And then spend some serious time with it and to do it long enough....as long as it takes, until you cross that threshold into something more real and more free and more healthy.
And even though I mentioned I have had to do this on my own, that is not completely accurate. I was speaking of something very specific when I said that in the original post. There has been a community that has invested in me and this adventure in huge ways in encouragement and promoting the photography and they are so responsible for most of where all of this has gone. And that is my clients.....the community of friends who come to the studio regularly.
So a big Thank You goes out to them. I try to make that gratitude apparent every moment of every day in the studio.