I tweeted a quote a few weeks back that I simply love:
Be yourself. Everybody else is already taken.
Well, that got me thinking about our industry and photographers who steal images, those who copy other artist's work and while it's less offensive, photographers who shoot over the shoulder of an instructor in a workshop and then post the image as their own. (You might have clicked the shutter, but it's not your image until you can create it from scratch!)
Then my thoughts went in another direction and I started thinking about photographers, who look for confirmation they're on the right track and with every image they share. With every approach to business and marketing, they check in with everyone they know to get an opinion. I understand it, because just like everybody else I've been there too.
I remember Matthew Jordan Smith talking about his images when he first started and how he would ask all his friends what they thought. Then, one day he realized he had to develop his own style. He needed to have his own signature in the look and feel of his images. If there's one thing I've learned from my good buddy Matthew, you have to listen to your heart and nobody has a bigger one than MJS.
A few years back, Sheila got me into reading Melody Beattie. I enjoy what she writes and read something every day. I consider it a mental vitamin or a warm-up, like a musician playing the scales or a batter swinging two bats before he's up. I want to share what I read this morning...
Listen to the voice of Your Heart
Cultivate the art of listening to your intuition, your inner voice. This is the guidance of your heart. It's a voice that speaks differently from the one in your head. The heart whispers softly; the head prattles loudly.
The head has an agenda for our lives. It chatters away boldly, but its vision is limited. It leaves no room for the mysterious workings of the universe, nor does it take into account the side trips we need, to get where we're going, where our souls need to go. It's the voice that says, This is the way it's going to be.
The heart, the inner voice, speaks differently. Sometimes it whispers. Sometimes it pulls. Sometimes it pushes. It's spontaneous, in the present moment, and often a surprise. The heart takes into account what has to be done and the best way to do that. The heart takes emotions into account - the way things feel, the way you feel, the wisdom of your soul. The heart leads us into and through the lessons we're here to learn.
Cultivate your inner voice. Practice listening to the whispers of your heart. Practice trusting your intuition, what you really feel, what you really know. Practice until that voice is the one that you hear.
Be patient. Be gentle. Let yourself learn to hear the gentle and trustworthy words of your heart.
If you've got an interest in checking out more of what Melody Beattie has written, just click on the cover above - it'll take you to her Amazon page and more of what she's written.
Here's the bottom line, we're all in search of confirmation that we're on the right path, but so often we're searching for answers when all along they're right there in front of us...in our hearts.
Anyway, it's Friday and sharing Melody Beattie's thoughts this morning just seemed to hit home and created a great way to kick off the weekend! Wishing everybody a terrific Friday, a great weekend and one filled with moments of just following your heart!
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.