Life Lessons from a Philadelphia Photographer
Last month in the Live Life Lux blog we touched on Mary Oliver’s question “What is it you plan to do with this one precious life?” At face value, a beautiful and completely overwhelming question. That is, until we put it in context. The stanza’s preceding the question hold insight. We discover that it is in practicing stillness and presence – it is in simplicity of stopping that we “do” the most.
“I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?”
This month we’re exploring the third tenant of Live Life Lux; being present and connecting deeply to this one precious life. Like all things worthy of our time and energy, presence and connection are a practice. We don’t master it instantly, or maybe ever, but there is joy in becoming. We use intention to create space and time to connect what matters most to us. Regularly, we make little choices to keep us grounded and balanced. We go for a walk, play with our kids (furry or human) or meditate. Periodically, we make big choices that anchor us to our why. We bring new life into the family (furry or human), we take a vacation and discover a new world or we have a photo session and create beautiful art to treasure for generations.
Here are some ways our clients shared their connection to the presence and this one precious life through their photo session experience.
Denna shared her family session experience, “Our individual conversations with Kristen about our life right now really encourage us to open up as individuals about what life means to us, what our family members mean to us, what we love most about each other and JJ and our little furry family members. We both left each of our conversations with Kristen enlightened and feeling very joyful and present. What I think was really amazing, was watching the emotions unfold in Jon as he walked through his own experience with Kristen. I could see a difference in him after he shared his view of our life with her; he was refreshed and more present than before. It seemed as though our individual conversations with Kristen gifted us new eyes to see our world.
All of our emotions were brought to the surface during our session. We played, smiled, and laughed. We hugged our puppies and snuggled the chicken. We were once again left with an amazing sense of presence afterwards. We continued on our special Friday by going out to lunch and spending some more time as a family – a day we wouldn’t usually have together due to work schedules.
One client shares how creating space for a new experience like a boudoir session transformed how she saw herself, connecting her more deeply to her best self, “I never thought I’d do a session. I’m single, go to church every week. Didn’t think it was for me. Not skinny. Dislike my body. But I decided that I wanted this for me. And I’m so happy I did it. Just for me. I love seeing my body the way I’ve never thought it could look.”
Even in a branding photo experience, we can be transformed, as Craig shares, “I think it’s helped my confidence. It’s kind of a very profound experience to have someone capture the ideal, best you.
There will be times when we lose focus. We forget that we’re doing all this – life – to have daily joy. We’re not waiting for joy to happen once we magically arrive at a destination. The destination is never reached because it’s not real and an ever moving target. Joy is now, a choice and a creation. We say yes to joy every time we choose ourselves, everytime we choose to let go of our expectations, our own time lines and open to possibilities bigger than we could’ve ever imagined. We can always choose again when we find ourselves disconnected. The future and the past don’t exist. They cease to exist anywhere beyond our minds. We can always embrace the present.
How do you practice presence daily? How are you creating space for bigger moments to connect to this one precious life?