Friday, March 1, 2013

Light and Life: A lesson in Abundance

Even a little light is more than enough to make a beautiful photograph
I have a confession to make. My reoccurring life lessons, up until most recently, involved prosperity and abundance. Over and over, I would experience times of financial struggle followed by prosperity followed by more struggle. "I'm done with this," I would tell myself when the dollars in my bank account dwindled.

But, we bring about what we think about, right? And my reoccurring self talk centered on "we can't afford this" or "we don't have enough money for that." And my thinking focused on the core belief that the material things I had weren't really good enough. Flipping through magazines, I saw beautiful creative interiors that looked spacious and tidy. As I scanned my own home, all I saw was mess, mismatched furniture and dated appliances. Then I got a surprising lesson on abundance from an unexpected place.

I signed up for a photography class about light and life.

In the first lesson, the instructor asked us to look for light around our homes, not outside, at all different times of the day and in all the rooms of the house. She encouraged us to trust that even a small sliver of light was enough to make a beautiful photograph. 

Notice the light. Focus on the light. The light inside.

When I put my attention on the light, I began to see beautiful and abundant light throughout my home. At some time during the day, each room had enough light. And I found that less light, highlights in just the right places, was even more beautiful.

What you put your attention on grows.

Toys and laundry still littered the floor. I still found dirty dishes in the sink. But, my perspective changed. Instead of thinking about what wasn't there, I noticed what was...abundant light.

The second part of the lesson encouraged us to view a photo documentary by Darcy Padilla called The Julie Project, a 17-year story of an HIV positive, drug addicted woman. Our instructor encouraged us to look at the creative use of light and how it was used to make the viewer feel deep emotions. I clicked on the link and was changed forever.

Look for the light. There is always enough light.

It was so difficult to look at the images yet I couldn't stop myself. It was sad, hopeful then heart wrenching. Things got bad, better, then worse. But throughout the entire project, there was light, even in the darkest places.

As a whole, the lesson offered me perspective, a balance to the shiny and perfect life portrayed daily in the media. Every ounce of entitlement drained out of me. I felt nothing but gratitude for everything around me and I mean everything. I honestly felt to the core of my being that I had everything I needed and I was beyond blessed.

I am abundant and wealthy, so very, very wealthy. 

My thinking changed. Now I give thanks often throughout the day for my car that works and the food in my fridge. I say thank you God for a computer and a high speed Internet connection! I mean seriously, if that's not rich what is? I have a home with people I love and who love me. I've got it good and now I can see it more clearly than ever before. And from that clarity, I experience great peace and simply enjoy the light.

If you are feeling brave today, ready for a life-changing moment or just want to see how even a little light is enough, experience The Julie Project for yourself and then come back and share your thoughts with me!

The Julie Project