QOTD: Being Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable

“You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

– Roy T Bennett

I had a talk recently with my bishop.

In the course of our conversation, I explained how I had been holding back on some ideas for new designs for my Etsy shop because I was worried about producing religious designs. It has been a back and forth battle because while I get ideas for these designs all the time, I worry about seeming like I produce only religious things.

Not that I am ashamed of my religion, when I am doing my best, my religion is a very big part of my life, I just worry that it will overshadow some of the other things I do and sort of act like a restriction. Continue reading “QOTD: Being Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable”

QOTD: Simple Happiness

“Write it on your heart that everyday is the best day in the year.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

In our world of social media, it seems we are flooded with endless positivity and success. I swear everyone I follow on Instagram went to Disneyland last month. And Hawaii. And the Mediterranean. And the list of places could go on.

Meanwhile, I’ve sat here in Omaha, dreaming about all the cool places I’d love to travel to, or rather would love to just photograph.

I see my friends buying houses, growing their families, celebrating anniversaries, and blah, blah, blah.

It’s great, really, to see my friends and family happy and able to do so much. At the same time it’s so easy to get down thinking you aren’t doing enough or gaining enough.


Being active on social media can be very destructive if you don’t remember to look at the reality of life. Many of my friends have planned for these things for months or even years. Many work like crazy and a lot of the people I follow are working while they do all these crazy fun things. Everyone started somewhere and then they had to work.

We all have to start somewhere and build into our perfect lives. Someone like me, who has spent most of my life finding excuses not to do things that scare,  doesn’t have a reason to blame anyone for my lack of success and fun. I did that. I held back and I didn’t plan.

And eventually, I need to just let that go and start now. So, yes, we need to change what we are doing and make each and every day the best that it can be and look at each day as the best day ever. Learning to have appreciation for the little victories and trying everyday to progress is essential to our happiness.

I know we all know this and I know that it’s easier said then done, but really what do we expect to happen if we just keep doing the same damn thing every day.

Social media is great, but it is such a limiting view sometimes. We think, “oh, I have 400 friends, and they all have great things happening! Why not me?” But seriously that just isn’t true. Maybe the 30 or so friends who share have awesome things going on, but what about the other 370? Some are working three jobs and raising kids, some are knee-deep in building a career at a “9 to 5,” some are jumping from job to job trying to make ends meet, and some are just really not doing anything at all. But we don’t see them, they are the silent majority.

Most of them are happy also. Simply happy.

Let yourself also be happy with what you have and where you are. And then push forward and make plans, set goals, and work hard to achieve them. In the end, we are just trying to survive.

POTD: Yellow

I’ve really enjoyed working with this new batch of photographs.

I felt confident when taking these photos and it changed so much about what I was trying to capture. It wasn’t so much the subject, but how I presented the subject. As I took each shot, in my head I could see the final edit and so I focused more on making sure I had everything set to produce the image that was in my head and not so much what I was actually seeing.

That is what is so fun about really getting into your own creativity. With any art that we present to people, we are presenting our interpretation of a certain subject, however, most of the time the viewer is still going to take away from it, what they think it is.

It can be a little frustrating at first, and I remember when I first got into photography how hard it was to deal with not being able to get my ideas across.

As a creator, you get to a point though, where you are no longer creating for others, but for yourself. Ultimately, this is where you want to be. Like anything in life, to really enjoy it, you have to love it and it’s a process.

This time around, yes when I started to pick up photography again, I was doing it for myself, putting anything and everything out there. Then as I noticed certain things getting attention, I tried to mimic them and build up a bit more of my confidence by generating views on my work. Now I am getting back into just having fun with what I am doing, and relaxing more into what is my style. I am more excited about this batch because it’s more about what I like and what I am inspired to see and less about the feelings I am trying to convey.

I am at the point again, where I want people to be able to take what they want from my images and feel what they want. And I want them to share that with me and help me understand them because at this point I think most people who see my work know me fairly well.

So here we have Yellow. Growing alongside a path that runs underneath a bridge. Shaded by trees and long grass, with a crumbling walkway to distract passerby’s. It was strong and powerful, but only once I lifted my eyes and gave it the attention it deserved. That’s the nature of nature, silent and beautiful, easily overlooked.

Thanks again for sharing this moment with me.

 

QOTD: The Truth About Happines

“Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.”

-Steve Maraboli

For those of you in the US, I hope you made it through the holiday safe and sound, also happy belated Independence Day. ‘Merica!

I had a fairly quite holiday, the kid and I went to a parade and got caught in some rain. He did good though and luckily I had thought to bring a change a clothes. We spent the rest of the day just hanging out and both were in bed by nine, well I was actually on the living room floor because I was exhausted and didn’t think it was worth getting back up to go back to sleep.

Luckily, that meant when the kid got up at 4 this morning, I was ready to get going and took the time to get caught up on these posts.

The other day, I was talking to my mom and was able to admit to her that things were getting a little crazy for me. Finances have never really been my strong point and this summer is just getting a little tight. At the end though, I was able to admit that, despite all the worry and concern, I was still the happiest I have been in a long time.

I was able to keep up with good habits and I am actually attempting to make and keep better habits. It’s gotten easier to pull myself away from negativity and keep my paranoia down. I’ve had fewer lows and more moderate days when it comes to my depression and anxiety.

There is still a forward progression in my life and I am able to notice when I get stagnant and try to find a way to push myself a little more. All of this has been encouraging to think about.

I see how that has been affecting the way I think and act. It’s easier to be a bit more engaging and outgoing. I am getting comfortable with sharing my photography and working on this blog.

My problems still exist, but I know I have the ability to solve them and get things under control. I know it’ll take time but in the end, right now, in this moment, I am happy and that is better than I was a few months ago. It’s getting easier to survive.

 

QOTD: Creating

“Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.”
― Roy T. Bennett

This was the thought I had when I decided to keep my business going after I separated from my spouse.

I’ve shared that a few times, but finding this actual quote, that is someone else’s words, was a great reminder to me today, of how important it is to keep creating.

It is so easy to feel out of control in life. No matter how good things are, it doesn’t take much to derail us. I wish that wasn’t true but it is.

So how do we change in that split second. Well we redirect the energy, create a new path, find a new goal. We work and we bleed and we cry and smile, fighting for the end that makes us happy.

It’s great.

It wasn’t until after the split that I discovered the term “creator” as it relates to people who create things to sell on Etsy.

It felt silly to say at first, but that is what I am, a creator.

Think about how much power is behind that word. Would you consider yourself a creator? Because you are, you may not realize it but everyday you are creating life. Your life. Your decisions are a part of that process.

So today I am going to ask you, what are you creating?

QOTD: The Plan

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

There are moments in my life when I dream of wealth and fame. I am sure many of us do.

It’s normal, it’s human.

It was easy for a long time to think that I was only worth what I made. And I was never making enough.

When I joined the Mormon church though, something changed. It became clear that it wasn’t about the things I owned or even the places I went, what really mattered, at least to me, was how much I was helping others.

When I think about my future, it isn’t about building up my photography for fame, or selling signs for wealth.

I am using my talents right now, to build up something that can help me support my family. Help me give my son the things he will need and also help me to hopefully teach him through my actions. In the end though, I am hoping that I can find a way to complete something bigger.

Owning a business opens doors to others. Getting bigger lets you provide work for someone else. Work allows someone to gain skills and those skills inspire them to achieve. Accomplishments inspire people to dream and as they dream they work for their own future and when they work for their own future they find success.

So I want to work on this so that someday I can help someone  do this also; chase their dreams, feeling a hope for the future.

It’s possible, but we gotta be the ones to start it. I gotta be the one to help.

When All Else Fails, Ask For Help

Hey guys,

Lately, I feel like it seems I’ve been bouncing from one project to another, coming up with all these products to sell. I’ve tried to restrict how often I share some of it outside of my business pages on Facebook and Instagram (my personal Instagram is actually a business account now).

There are many reasons why I am trying to sell so much and why I keep coming up with new ideas, but the main reason has to do with the everyday problem of needing money.

I know a lot of people think getting a second job or even finding a new job seems like a good idea but let me break it down for you.

Continue reading “When All Else Fails, Ask For Help”