Bare with me as I bare my heart a little on here. For the last 6 years, I’ve learned how to manage a business, become a better artist in my craft while executing each job above and beyond client’s expectations. I’ve learned and continue to do this all while remaining 1000% authentic and genuinely me. I always will consider myself a lifetime student, always seeking more knowledge. In my trajectory as a photographer, I’ve found more responsibility and not in the number of jobs we take on each year, but as I learn, I also feel that I acquire more accountability with myself and our team at T&V. As the seasons unfold, I’ve also tended to put more and more pressure in myself. Its pressure to be better than the last job, more pressure to be flawless and to step closer to the vision I see for the next 5 years. But let’s face it ‘pressure’ is a less obscure word for ‘anxiety.’ For the last couple of seasons, its been the monster that lives under my bed, it’s when I ask my hero of a husband to make sure the closet is clear of any little anxiety gremlins, it tries to steal my breath away by scaring me into a corner of self-built complacency. I know what you may be thinking: is this an overreaction? Are you just exaggerating? My answer: I wish.
Although, in the last three months, I’ve been settling into a new lifestyle. One that slowly lets go of this hard grip on inward restlessness. I determined that this year won’t be another passing year dimmed by my insecurities and worst fears. Implementing these new habits have done a world of wonders for my soul & healed my inner creative diva.
1. Morning Routine – I’ve talked about this before. Incorporating daily prayer and meditation has strengthened my focus and confidence. I feel more at peace realizing that this part of the day sets the tone for the rest of my waking hours. We don’t pick up our phones or read emails until after we’ve at least finished making our green smoothies. We also take time to abide in what we’re grateful for; this has been soooooo good. We’ll usually list about 20 things we’re thankful and even for the things that haven’t panned out the way we expected them to.
2. Church – I realize that this may or may not be applicable from person to person, but after consistently attending church for the last 5 months I have found more strength. I love to be a part of a group that’s going after the same thing and walking the same line of faith. I’ve met amazing people who also don’t shy from encouraging me in our daily life. I love that we go after something bigger than ourselves and brings purpose to our work.
3. Daily Walks and Exercise – Getting outside whether it rains or shines has been so freeing. I love to walk a little trail that’s full of Eucalyptus trees and gorgeous roses; it looks like a scene from Alice and Wonderland. Sweating it out also brings out endorphins that help me keep track of my weight loss goals. At first, when integrating this as part of my new routine, I dreaded it. But I regularly fool myself thinking, I’ll just walk, but then force myself to run the last mile of my walk.
4. Sharing a meal with family – It’s so important to stay connected. Victor and I will share breakfast together, outlining things we’re eager to get done for the day. By dinner time, we’ll either have our brothers join us, and they add a little humor and sarcasm. Most of the time it’ll be just the two of us sans our little devices.
5. Podcasts and books – I’ve been on this kick with listening to SuperSoul Sundays by Oprah and reading about two books a month. I’ve never read this much and thanks to Audible and Podcast app has kept me on track consuming valuable content and knowledge. It’s more content than I even consumed while in college!
6. Watching less TV – This sounds so simple. But believe me, if ever I had a vice, this was it. I’d binge watch on days off and would find myself so drained by the end of it. I’d even dream of characters. I love storytelling and visuals but found this was an unhealthy way for me to consume those things. Instead, I’ve limited my intake by a 90% and instead pour myself in the previously mentioned. I’ll cook more or plan better for the next day. By watching less TV, I invest more in my reality.
I have to say this in finishing; I’m not perfect. I’m slowly falling more in love with the process. I’ve also come to terms with the fact that I will never be ‘done’ or complete. I rest on the fact that as with any good storyline, there has to be triumphs, failures, and consistency. At first, I said, I’ll do this straight for 21 days then it slowly evolved to 60 days and now I just hope I never lose these tools.