Finding Peace through My Lens

April 6, 2011

in Life Lessons

Last week I wrote about the challenges to balance my life in the last month. I balanced working on catching up with focusing on fun activities with the kids over the weekend. I felt a bit more relaxed entering into the work week again, but not at peace; I still worried about projects I had yet to accomplish.

What I realized yesterday, as I picked up my camera to work on homework for photography school, is that photography provides an outlet that no other stress-relieving activity can provide: a way to completely ignore the growing “to do” list, be creative, and be in the moment. There is something relaxing about letting everything go and focusing on light and shadows and how these two elements will affect the image I want to make.

Yesterday I didn’t check work emails, cranked up Mat Kearny Radio on Pandora, and focused on making images. The color class homework took much longer than it should have because I didn’t want to stop. I was creating images and having fun.

What will be a great memory of the shoot yesterday was my little assistant: Monkey. He reveled in the opportunity to stand on the kitchen table without getting in trouble. Monkey was also taking the job of holding reflectors very seriously; he felt he was part of mommy’s success, which was great (and true!). I loved bringing him into the assignment so that we could spend time together and he could feel proud that he was helping me with my homework for a change.

Here’s my favorite shot from the shoot:

I learned a valuable lesson yesterday: the next time my week is as stressful as last week, it is good to be mindful of balance. It helps keep everything in perspective. But it is also a good idea to pick up my camera, plug into Pandora, and just focus on seeing the world through my lens. It slows life down, I breathe better, and I feel at peace. I love the place my camera takes me within myself as well as how I see things around me differently. I enter a “happy place” with my camera, regardless of what is happening in my life.

What helps you relax and enter a more peaceful state in stressful times?

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Oilfield Trash April 6, 2011 at 11:44 am

I also have trouble relaxing. I have found that writing helps me. Although in my house it is often too hard to have “peaceful” time to write.
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Naked Girl in a Dress April 8, 2011 at 11:07 am

Writing helps me too. It was such a solace for me last summer when negotiating my divorce agreement.

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Sarah April 6, 2011 at 12:10 pm

People who know me would find this to be hilarious (because I don’t cook) but baking seems to put me in my zen space. Really– baking. My husband knows that if I am baking something, he should leave me alone. The running joke in our house with the children is that if you stress mom out, you’ll get chocolate chip cookies!
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Naked Girl in a Dress April 8, 2011 at 11:07 am

I love that you find your zen place in baking and that you don’t cook. How funny! Hopefully you can get really stressed during the holidays so holiday baking is a breeze for you.

Sewing is relaxing for me too. Something about focusing on a straight line on the sewing machine. But i don’t sew well.

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Squatlo April 7, 2011 at 8:30 pm

NG: we both love the place our cameras take us, and for much the same reasons. I find my peace-karma moments in the woods when I’m stalking birds and wildlife, and it makes the rest of my life’s many stresses all the more bearable.
Here’s a link if you’re into bird photography, hope you’ll take a look!
http://www.wizardpixphotography.com under nature/birds/wildlife/landscapes

Your post on peaceful times through photography stopped me from having a crappy night… it reminded me to think about what I do for a living and rejoice in knowing it makes me happy.

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Naked Girl in a Dress April 8, 2011 at 11:05 am

Thanks for stopping by to comment from a photography perspective. I am sure you understand that wonderful feeling. I have checked out your nature photography before, but will head over there this weekend to see if there are any new images.

I am glad I could help improve your day yesterday!

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SuzRocks April 8, 2011 at 10:52 am

Taking baths. Reading. Napping. Although in order to enjoy all these things, I’ve got to tell myself that the world will NOT end if I don’t finish whatever it was I was supposed to do.

I like your pics- excited to see more. I always wanted to be good at photography, but I don’t have the motivation to want to learn. I just wish I could suddenly be good at it.
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Naked Girl in a Dress April 8, 2011 at 11:04 am

Those are great activities to relax too. I need to learn that lesson: taking that break doesn’t mean the world will end if my productivity slows.

Thanks for the compliment on my images!

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