Learning to Love Again // A Morning in Ft. Meyers

Warning, this is my first really brutally honest blog post ever... I have a confession:

Sometimes I fall out of love with life.

It took me some time to really get the wake-up call and a little more time to understand why I was feeling these things.

It was really perfect timing, this introspective season lined up perfectly with the Rising Tide Summit. If you don't follow the Rising Tide Society, you need to hop over to their website right now and read their stuff. They are a movement to help creatives connect and thrive together with the philosophy that "a rising tide lifts all boats" and #communityovercompetition. You can find their blog here. Their summit was incredible, with 3 speakers every night talking about so many topics that really hit home to me and gave me the kick in the butt that I needed to move forward.

They talked about the WHY behind doing what you love. They encouraged me to really dig deeper and find my roots beneath my business before trying to grow up and out. One speaker even addressed the mental road-blocks holding me back and the lies I choose to believe that squelch my dreams. At times it was really hard to hear, and questions were tough to answer, but it was SO GOOD for my soul.

I had forgotten why I first picked up my camera, how I used to LOVE beautiful pictures and marveling at their intricacies. I used to take photos of everyday things just for fun, not to pay my bills. So I've been on a journey to rediscover that first love of photography and find my passion for this art all over again. A few weekends ago, my mom and I took a weekend to get away from the stresses of life and escaped to Ft. Meyers, just a few hours west of West Palm Beach. This weekend was crucial for me, mostly because my mom is my sounding board for all of my ideas, and we had plenty of time to relax and dream and sip wonderful coffee.

We started our day at Bennett's Fresh Roast, which had the most INCREDIBLE homemade donuts (my favorite was the maple bacon for sure). And of course, as we all know, donuts and coffee are the perfect start to fantastic conversations. I poured out my heart to my mom about all of my ideas for my business, and for once, instead of focusing on my wishlist and what I don't have yet, I let myself dream. I dreamed about a Senior Model Team, a group of girls designed to be the face of my business and encourage one another along as they pursue their dreams too. I dreamed about my style, my ideal client, my website being an extension of my own personality, and all of these things freed me from that mental box I had been locked inside.

We went to the Edison and Ford Winter Estates after this brainstorming coffee date and I felt totally refreshed. For the first time in forever I brought my camera along just for FUN! And I actually really enjoyed the day, finding things I normally wouldn't photograph and experimenting with new settings and styles. It was amazing how much inspiration I found in these historical estates, my mind's eye imagining life here a decades ago and the adventures these incredible men had in this beautiful area of Florida. It opened me back up, and that inspiration helped push me in the shoots I've had since then, given me color and style inspiration that I wouldn't have had otherwise. I am so thankful for that weekend away and the chance to fall in love with photography all over again.

Let me share with you some things that I've figured out so far:

-I love the warm Florida glow, those yellows and greens lighting up the coffee and donuts.

-Antique furniture and fixtures really make my day, I love the shapes and details they add to the room.

-Sunlit rooms are just as lovely as the outdoors, especially when you have beautiful windows and a little breeze.

These may not seem like huge epiphanies, but they really do matter. I've learned to love again and that's amazing.

What are some things that you've learned through your journey in business or hobby? How do you stay motivated? What have you learned as you rediscover your passions? I love hearing your stories, so please feel free to share in the comments below!