For as long as can remember, I was living the “go go go” lifestyle, that was until I allowed people to work me to death, or should I say injury! I got injured at work and ended up with a permanent disability. The experience was very traumatic for me! I don’t like revisiting every detail of what I went through, nor have I ever been one to live in the past or dwell on negativity, I’ve always been one to focus on the positive things in my life.
After going to hell and back, being in a wheelchair for almost 3 years, thinking I would never walk again and losing hope, I got into a great program for pain management at the “Institutes Of Health”.
Everyone who’s close to me, or a part of the pain management program at IOH knows how far I’ve come mentally and physically. Each day is different, sometimes bringing new challenges, and I’m still learning to manage the chronic pain, and CRPS flare ups, but I am truly grateful that I can stand and walk, even if it's only for short periods of time. I’ll never take walking for granted again. Every moment I can stand, every step I can take, for me is truly a miracle. I appreciate what I have, embrace the good moments, and I am staying focused on the things that keep me happy: traveling, photography and being outdoors connecting with nature.
I’ve always been a happy person, but honestly, I feel like I lost myself because of what I went through. Luckily, while going through therapy, I was introduced to mindfulness.
Mindfulness reconnected me to my mind, body & spirit! It taught me how to be aware of myself, to slow down, breathe, to notice my thoughts, my body, what I’m feeling, what I’m doing, acceptance, how to be present and focused on this moment without any judgement, and that there’s no right or wrong way to think or feel!
While in therapy, I also learned mindfulness breathing methods and other practices that helped me with sleeping better, relaxation, reducing anxiety, stress and chronic pain. The nice thing about Mindfulness is that it can be done sitting, laying down, or walking.
Practicing mindfulness every day has improved my life in so many ways! I feel more alert, happier, focused, more relaxed and it’s even changed how I approach my photography.
My photography has always been about connecting with the outdoors while capturing colorful moments as they occur, but applying Mindfulness to my photography has opened me up to a new approach that not only makes doing photography fun, but it takes away a lot of the pressure, stress and anxiety that used to come with past jobs of having to hurry up and capture those perfect shots!
By incorporating mindfulness into my photography and outdoor sessions, I am truly happy because I’m aware, totally in the moment, and able to focus on my connection with nature and people.
If you’d like to try Mindfulness Photography, here are some tips on how to get started:
1-Find a location that makes you feel happy or calm
2-Find a place where you can sit and relax
3-Take in your environment
4-Breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth
5-Notice how you’re breathing
6-Notice your body
7-Notice your thoughts, don’t push them away, just notice
8-Notice any sounds
9-Notice any smells
10-Notice what catches your attention & take a photo
Remember there is no rush, and there is no right or no wrong!
This is something you can practice whether you’re using your phone or a camera.
If you’d like to learn more about Mindfulness Photography, I am available to hire for virtual or in person lessons, panels, coaching, workshops, consultations, and partnerships. You can contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photography by Denise Vasquez available to purchase on products in the Shop
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