Finding Your Inspiration in a Mind-Numbing, Image-Saturated, Social-Media Screaming World

A an old junked bus in Old Car City, GeorgiaFinding Photographic Inspiration

"Where do you find your inspiration for photos?" I've been asked that many times. I don't really find it. It finds me. 

And lately, inspiration's been lacking. The winter was dreary with more rain than ever. I know it's possible to shoot in the rain. Lots of people do, and sometimes they get amazing photos,

But I wasn't finding inspiration in the rain. I love sitting on my front porch when it's raining. But I don't relish taking my camera equipment out in it.  

But the worst thing to do when you're not inspired is to worry about it. Inspiration doesn't come knocking when you're worried about finding it!

Our world is so saturated with media, images, videos, and things to numb the mind. Looking at all of that doesn't inspire me, though I would imagine it could be inspiring to some. But, I try not to worry when I'm not inspired.

In fact, worry is a mind killer. Like fear. 

Remember Dune, that great science fiction book? My favorite quote from the book is this:

"Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration."

The quote is longer and is a prayer or mantra the main characters tell themselves to acknowledge their fears and move on without being paralyzed by them. It's good advice. And it's something I've really only learned over the last few years. 

When I first got divorced, I was so fearful. I always worked a part-time job so I could be home raising the kids. I didn't have a career. My ex evaded his financial responsibilities to me as much as possible. 

I'm not gonna lie. I was scared. 

But here's the thing.

Most of our fears are unfounded. They're the boogie men we make up in our minds. They keep us awake at night only to find that we're still here when the sun rises again in the morning. Every morning. 

Yes, there are some scary and awful things that can happen to us. And no amount of magical thinking, dreaming, or visualizing a better future will stop some things from happening.

But if we take a few minutes to slow down, meditate, pray, and then put a plan into action, things usually work out alright. Often times, they work out better than alright. 

Am I free of financial concerns now? No.

But at the end of the day, I know that the only thing that can help me is to make a plan and work toward it. Am I completely free about some of my fears of the future? No. But I choose not to give free rein to my fears.

My strong faith doesn't hurt either. 

I believe everything happens for a reason. We can fight what's happening and be miserable. Or we can roll with the punches and grow. I do a little bit of both!

Whenever I'm freaking out about the future, wondering how I'll cover health insurance and stuff like that, I say to myself, "You could get hit by a bus tomorrow."

I hope I won't get hit by a bus tomorrow.

And the chances of it happening are slim to none.

But saying that reminds me that there are all kinds of potentials for the future. None of us know with certainty what will happen. And I choose to believe that better things will happen all the time. Things I have no idea of now. 

That big, bad bus isn't gonna get me. 

Many, many times things do not go as planned. But as long as I keep working toward a goal, I find that somehow I manage to make things work.  

Opportunities come up that I never even thought about. I believe the more you work toward something, the more opportunities will present themselves. And your plan may change often. Flexibility is a good trait. 

And do your best not to let fear win out. 

Fear is the brain's way of helping you survive. Acknowledge it. Thank it for doing its job to protect you. Then move on. (I'm pretty sure I got that from Tony Robbins, but I do a LOT of reading, so I'm not sure).

And - as I'm sure we've all read a million times by now...practice gratitude. It works.

I'm so, so grateful for the people in my life, my family and friends. I give thanks every. single. day. for all these people who give me words of encouragement, ideas, hugs, and emotional sustenance. 

So...that was a bit of stream of consciousness this morning...

I haven't been out for a serious shoot in a while - thus feeling uninspired and wondering what I'd write about. I saw the photo of the bus I took back in March at Old Car City and, well...all that writing came out the moment I stopped thinking about what I'd write. 

And this evening, I'm going out for a good photo walk...

Cheers! And don't let fear win!

Have a great day AND

See you between the raindrops!