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Refusing to exhale…

October 15, 2010

Well, it has been five days now and I still don’t know how to put the experience into words. What I do know is that I inhaled so much life, excitement, energy and renewed spirit this past weekend that I don’t want to exhale. I was lucky enough to be able to attend a fantastic photography workshop taught by the one and only Me Ra Koh. If you are not familiar with Me Ra, and you like photography…forget that…if you like beautiful images, wonderful prose and authenticity…you should click right over to her blog after reading mine.

I can not even begin to tell you the excitement, the nervousness, the fear, and excitement again that went through me from the minute I realized I was able to attend right until the very end. It was almost shameful for me to admit out loud that I wanted to  go to a workshop called “Confidence” because lets face it…we are all supposed to be full of it at all times right? And if we are not, we certainly don’t let anyone know at least that’s what I thought until recently.

I was swimming…no drowning in what might have been the Caspian Sea (don’t know where that is, but it sounds dramatic enough for my story here). My life had been a series of taking care…beyond reason…everyone around me while personally I was slipping. I was ever so slowing slipping into that sea where my identity had become merged with the circumstances of my life and the family that I cared so desperately for and although I could learn & do almost anything, I did not feel confident at any of it. Not even the role that was consuming me. Issues with my children and family were making demands upon me that I felt forced to keep up with while internally “I” was slipping away. The very core of the things that made me …well…me, were getting lost.

Somewhere along the way, I found photography and I like many, became obsessed. But I held my passion very tight, and shared it with very few. I was afraid I think that if I put myself, my love, and my gift of this medium on front street…somehow…it too would slip out of my grasp.

Hold on…I am getting to the point. This very long segue brings me to my acquaintance with  MeRa.  Through her blog I felt her heart tug mine and I took a GIANT RISK and applied for her S’OAR Scholarship.You can read about it here. I can’t tell you why. Before reading her blog and about her scholarship, I never really believed that a professional photography business was realistic for me. I was a homeschooling mama with a very demanding life.  I did not win the scholarship, but I did win back direction in my life. Little did I know eight months ago that applying was the first door that I had to walk through to place myself in a position to heal from some things that had be plaguing my heart and to receive what God Truly had for me.  I just was not going to get it with what I perceived as the “easy way”. I had much work to do and I did not realize the  the work  was not entirely about the technicalities of photography or starting a photography business.  I have since learned that a business would simply  be the icing on this cake (called my life) if it is a part of  HIS will for my life.

Alas, back to the workshop and my excitement (see so excited I am rambling…please forgive me) I had three nights and two information packed days with MeRa , Brian and the added gift of three of my SOAR sisters with whom I had become friends on the internet as a result of the scholarship. Nicky Peterson, Lynde Alvarez and Ajira Darch some of the sweetest, funniest, most authentic women that I have met in a long while were also going. I just knew if I could be there, it was going to be AH MA Zing! And it was. Every wonderful second of it. My God is so good that not only did he allow me to encounter the paths of these three wonderful ladies, but he gave me the most awesome and simply wise woman as a roommate that he could. Her name was Genie. From the moment we met, I knew my God had met me right where I was at, mentally and emotionally.  The authenticity and candor of this group of women was something that I have only heard others talk about and here I was in the beautiful San Francisco, Jack London Square soaking it all in. This post could go on forever, but I will end by saying there were a full twenty plus other wonderful women there, many who have began to forge new relationships and support systems. I personally had a need for some answers and I received them. I believe there was just as much to learn for me from the in between moments as there were the actual class. If  you have a MeRa workshop coming near you…and that little voice in you urges you to go…go with anticipation, expectation and abandon and you WILL truly receive!

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. October 17, 2010 2:15 am

    what a wonderful, heart felt story. thanks for sharing! i look forward to the day i can attend a workshop with Me Ra.

  2. October 17, 2010 5:41 pm

    I want more pictures. Big ones. More. So I can see your heart and talent before me. You are so beautiful Charisse. I love your heart, your sweetness, your generosity and your courage. I love your vulnerability and your gracious spirit.

    This post is wonderful. Truly wonderful. I can just hear you as I read it. Please post more. And more often. 😀

  3. October 17, 2010 5:48 pm

    ooooh thank you for that awesome story!! and for that lovely photo of ME!! i think it is the best one EVER!! can i make it my profile? yay! finally one i love! 😀

  4. October 17, 2010 11:34 pm

    Charisse – I’m soooo glad you got to go to this workshop.
    So glad God met you there.
    This post is exactly what the exhaling is about – sharing it with others so you can embrace it more deeply. I know, for me, the more I share something I’ve learned or experienced, the deeper the experience is.

  5. October 18, 2010 6:34 pm

    hey charisse! i’m so glad you made it to the workshop. great images! keep pushing after your dreams!

  6. October 18, 2010 6:50 pm

    Thank you for sharing! You have me in tears! I am so glad that you had the opportunity to experience the Confident-building, life-changing, friends-for-life-making incredible weekend!!!

    I cannot wait to see what you become as your confidence continues to grow!

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