Up in the Air...(a nutshell of a tangent. Beware! Long winded!)

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Happiness comes when your work and words are of benefit to yourself and others ~ Buddha

From Maui to Bali...surf to soul. Last minute splurge to serious anticipated investment (please change my life...that's not to much to ask...is it?)
These last 6 months have been some of the most challenging, frustrating and revealing...of my life.
And I wouldn't change it for the world.

In and out of the Dr.'s offices, weekly visits to chiropractors, massage therapists...acupuncture and herbs. My body was falling apart...my heart breaking. How could 'everything' I love cause me so much pain? How did I get to this point? Chronic neck, shoulder and upper back pain...daily migraines. Running, simple walking...even yoga would create so much tension. So obviously any time spent on the computer...did the same. Every 'thing' that filled my soul...
I was convinced that photography was no longer my 'path'...my 'purpose'. An unhealthy love/hate (that's a super strong word...let's use loath) relationship needed to end. And soon.
What now? I was beginning to feel paralyzed.

"Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they're supposed to help you discover who you are"
~ Bernice Johnson Reagon

Growing up, I remember ripping images out of magazines - images of people, couples, kids...pure emotion, raw feeling. I didn't know at the time what these images meant, all I knew was that the 'feelings' I had looking at these images...I wanted them. Amazed that ONE 'still photo'...of strangers! ...could take me somewhere. To that place, with that person...time has stopped. Hear the laughter, feel the movement. Mom swings you around, the fresh air on your skin, the trees a blur as you circle around and around.
In it's simplest of moments, life was pure bliss.

If I could never fail....If I could do/be anything. These were the prompts of so many journal entries growing up...If I could never fail, I would be...A photographer.
Visual journals backed this up with the SAME IMAGES that plastered my walls.

...the exact same images that now fill my website, my Blog. My clients walls.
A dream come true? Or had enough passion, desire and intention created a 'glimmer' of 'belief'?

"If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it" ~ Will A. Ward

And making a 'career' out of this dream, this passion, requires constant FOCUS.
At some point along the way...I lost it.
And myself.
Some of the most exhilarating, remarkable and unforgettable times of my life. Unbelievable people, places and experiences. Pushing limits, pushing myself. So it's not a surprise that eventually...
Anxiety and possibly depression followed. Artists...to the degree that the light and creativity shines, the darkness exists...
(just a small comparison to the greats! ...but it's not like I'm crazy. Well...mildly crazy. Like a salsa that's mild. Has a kick but definitely not hot...hmm...but I do think I'm spicy. Okay, so if spicy is crazy then I'm IN!) ...see what I mean? The side that not many get to see (don't worry it will unveil itself!) ...comparing myself to the likes of crazy artists and a tangent of Salsa ensued...? Voila. Mad-Hatter Aquarius/photographer...this is moi :)

Back to the dance! ...stepping back, jumping in.
Something didn't feel quite right. My body was 'talking' ...I wasn't listening.
But it starts to yell (and if screams, well...you may have gone too far) ...

Up in the air. Maui bound. Sun, sand and surf. Indulging...perspective...clear-your-mind kinda va-cay.
There would be enough time to worry about slipping into old patterns and behaviours...
Perhaps unknowingly I had been cast into the movie that was now my life.
Up in the Air (crossing fingers that Mr. Clooney would be my seat mate. Obviously me window, him aisle so that way every time I had to use the bathroom, which is usually once per hour, I would have to 'excuse' my way past him! On a 12 hour flight...amen)
...En route to Bali. One month. Intense yoga training.
Up in the air...
Literally I had no clue where I, or my life was headed. Only that I had HUGE expectations that Bali would change my life. I was open to anything, and everything.

It doesn't seem to matter where you go though.
You're always with yourself.
All of my expectations around Bali...fell short.
It was the unexpected that surprised me.
...and quite possibly, that changed my life.
Simple. Nothing new. Yet so profound...
for me.

"The best things in life are unexpected - because there were no expectations" ~ Eli Khamarov

So vague I know! I'm purposely leaving you hanging! I want you to keep coming back as I start to unravel some more details of the above...Such a passion for writing and I've begun to realize that my 'honest' and open journey just MAY help ONE other person. I'm inspired by others. The raw, authentic journey of others. Perhaps this is why I'm so IN LOVE with the clients I work with and what WE get to create. When we can be completely ourselves, we create space for others to do the same.

It took me A LONG time to let go of 'perfection' ...and it's still a work in progress. Opening up about the trials and challenges of my journey, in the past seemed 'imperfect' ...I didn't want anyone to see or know how difficult this whole process has been.
And now I'm aware how necessary ALL of it was, to get me...HERE.
This absolutely wonderful place where a *spark* now exists...
And that's all you need to start a fire.

Madly loving life...xo
jodi renée

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