breathing in beauty, creativity, and gratitude
an online mentorship, in community, for creating more space for beauty & joy in your life
The adventure begins again April 2, 2017
Every day, YOU have the opportunity to define your life
...what will you say?
seeing more beauty each day
experiencing more gratitude
moving through life with greater ease
taking that first step toward a dream
investing energy in things you really want to do
using photography as a companion to greater self-discovery
What if, by practicing some simple daily habits,
those things became more of a reality in your life?
A bit of my story...
In 2009, I left a stable job with good pay & benefits to enter into the unknown. I had been living with severe depression for two years, and because I had ignored the emotional warning signs I was being given, my body responded by leaving me completely incapacitated for five weeks with back pain from a bulging disk. Though an extremely painful & difficult lesson, the experience was a tremendously good incentive for choosing to make some MAJOR shifts to improve my well-being!
In the seven years since I made that huge leap into the unknown, I have been fortunate to have learned some strategies and habits that have played an enormous role in allowing me to move through life (with ALL its challenges) with significantly more joy & ease while creating a life that is far more in line with what I feel I am really here to do. Along the way, photography has been a powerful & healing "companion" of sorts.
Is it easy to create new habits in your life?
Is it possible to make the changes?
Do life's challenges ever completely stop?
Can creating new habits really make a difference?
They have for me - and they MIGHT for you.
About the mentorship...
This program is about giving yourself permission to create space in your life for YOU. It is about practicing habits that may help you move through life a bit more smoothly - a bit more joyfully - and certainly with an emphasis on seeing more of the beauty in the world. I will be taking on a LIMITED number of people for a six-week on-line mentorship program which will include lessons, stories, assignments, and sharing. Participants will have the opportunity to practice new habits & talk about their experiences in a private G+ community which I intend to nurture as a positive, supportive, encouraging, safe, & FUN environment.
In my life, I have often found myself in the role of teacher &/or student, mentor &/or mentee. I firmly believe that teachers are students and students are teachers - and that when we are open to learning from one another, everyone's experience is richer. As a teacher, there is nothing better than when someone you're working with lights up with excitement when they do something they never thought they could have done before - and as a student, there is nothing better than that moment when, because of a teacher's inspiration & belief, you do something you never thought you could have done!
My background is in education, I taught French & Spanish for over 16 years in large public high schools, and I have been a self-improvement/human potential geek for the majority of my adult life! I have led community education classes, book studies, & women's groups, and since moving out of depression in 2009, I have attended and led several personal development classes and have been trained as a holistic body/breathwork practitioner. My belief in the power of mentorships is deepened by the fact that I have had the opportunity to work with a local art mentor for nearly seven years & have worked with several mentors within the Arcanum & the broader photography community for over two years. I am currently a Master in the Arcanum, I do freelance photography projects, & offer one-on-one mentoring as well as sessions on contemplative photography. I would never have arrived at where I am today without the guidance, teachings, & wisdom of the mentors & teachers who have inspired ME along the way.
Please note that this program is not one where you will learn about photographic composition, post-processing or anything else technical. Instead, photography will be used as a companion of sorts as you practice habits in the realms of gratitude, finding beauty, seeking space, becoming aware of your breath, taking "good" risks, & using visualization. This mentorship will not focus on the "how" of photography but will emphasize the "why" - that is, the discussion will be a journey of self-discovery centered around the meaning you may uncover during the process of practicing the habits & the process of taking pictures. Your camera (and ANY camera will do!) will simply be a tool that you use to express yourself, and your images will be a narration of the habits you will be asked to practice each week.
Space is limited!
Due to the personal nature of this mentorship and my commitment to be actively engaged in the online conversation and dialogue with the participants, this mentorship will be limited to the first 15 people with paid registrations. Registration is now open. Registrations will be accepted through Thursday, March 30th - or until we have reached capacity - whichever comes first.
What do you mean by weekly assignments, and what will be expected of me?
Each week will have a theme upon which we will build:
week 1: being grateful
week 2: seeking beauty
week 3: breathing
week 4: seeking space
week 5: taking risks
week 6: visualizing
On the Sunday of each week starting on April 2nd, I will post the "assignment" for the week. This post will include some background on the topic, a back story of my own where appropriate, and a description of the habits for you to practice that week. Typically, there will be three or four assignments for each week: daily gratitudes, a photographic/creative assignment, a specific practice of the habit, & a personal written reflection at the end of the week. These will be fully explained when I first post these assignments each week.
How much time will I need to invest in this?
You can invest as little or as much time as you want. This mentorship is not intended to be a burden adding more "to do" items to your list - but is meant to offer you space to practice simple habits that, hopefully, can be integrated into your life. The daily habits are created to take only 3-5 minutes each day. Weekly assignments and written reflections may take a bit more time, and it is hoped that you will engage in online conversations with your fellow participants at least two or three times a week within the community. Optional daily prompts will be offered, and you may choose to use those as a tool - or simply hold the question within your mind each day as you move through your life. In the end, YOU decide how much time you invest. Like anything in life, what you get out of it will depend on YOU - what you want to get out of it and what you are willing to put into it.
You mention a creative/photographic assignment for each week. Do I need to be an artist or have an expensive camera for this?
Well, first of all, I believe that we are ALL artists - it's simply that our definition of what an artist IS has been far too narrow! As for the camera? I firmly believe what photographer Chase Jarvis says, "The best camera is the one you have with you"! So no - you do not need to have an expensive camera. A simple cell phone that takes photographs will work just fine!
You say this is an online mentorship - so how will this work?
I will be creating a private online community on Google+ that registered participants in this session will be invited to join. Assignments and daily prompts will be posted within this private community, and all discussions and engagement will take place in this environment that only the members of the group can see. The majority of the mentorship will take place in a written format.
I've never used Google+ before. What do I need to do to use it? Is it difficult to learn?
To be invited into the Google+ private community, you will need to have a Gmail account. I will provide directions, information, and links (when necessary) to help make the transition into Google+ as simple as possible.
How many people will be participating?
Because of the nature of this mentorship, I will be limiting this session to no more than 15 participants.
What is the cost for this mentorship?
US $150 paid in advance through PayPal.
When and where do I register?
Registration is open now. If you would like more information or are ready to register, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with "mentorship" in the subject line. Tell me why you would like to be in this mentorship, and if you are one of the first 15 to contact me, I will send you a link to a PayPal invoice. (If you contact me after the mentorship capacity of 15 has been reached, I will let you know that the program is filled and your name will be added to a waiting list.)
Consider joining me as we breathe in more beauty, creativity, and gratitude in 2017!