Happy New Year

I spent today creating photographs for a web site that I am developing to teach people how to love photography and life more by seeing differently and with all their senses. I also spent time scouting a location that might be a great place for me to create photographs and teach workshops on photography and writing. And then a friend and I went to see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (the movie is set around the demise/redefinition of Life magazine, the once-upon-a-time photography powerhouse that helped awaken the world). All in all, a perfect way to wrap up the year and set the stage for 2014 and all its changes…some I’m planning, but most will probably be surprises. Such is life. Such are the joys of life.

The message of the day and the message of the movie are the message I wish to share with you, and that I wish for you: live each moment just a bit outside yourself.

As part of my planned changes including retirement from higher education, I am developing my skills and business acumen in professional speaking. When speaking to my mentor while trying to explain why I do what I do the way I do it, he said, “You aren’t trying to help people see better; you are trying to help them grow.” I couldn’t be more pleased with an assessment than that. A couple of weeks after he shared that insight, I participated in a facilitated planning meeting as part of the Pearland Chamber of Commerce board of directors. One of the exercises that we had to complete involved picking three words that define who we are. My answer came immediately: “See. Change. Grow.” As in “see differently to change perspectives in order to empower growth.” In 2014, I must live the message that I share, and share the message that I strive to live…though I don’t and can’t succeed at that commitment all the time.

And therein rests the story and the message of the year that is ending and the year that awaits me, and awaits you: We must grow in each moment by living each just a bit outside ourselves. Be empowered to try, and in trying you will be empowered. Some you will plan and some will be surprises. Such is life. Such are the joys of life.

Happy New Year, my friends.

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