Many people I know who regularly do yoga call it their Practice. The regular act of stretching the body, controlling the breath, and clearing the mind, to improve the body and soul. I kind of love that, because it applies a more personal and meaningful air to a word that essentially means work. We know that committing to this habit will take effort, work, and constant learning. But we take ownership, we choose to do it even when it's hard, and we flourish emotionally and physically because of it.
That's how I have been feeling these days as I have been more intentional about picking up my camera and sitting down to write. These are two things that I have passionately invested in in the past, but for some reason or another have fallen out of the habit of learning and growing through them. Fear has played a large part in my distance from them. I'm afraid that I wont do them well. Actually that's not completely accurate. I'm afraid that I wont do them as well as others. And so I trickle off. I take my camera out if it's a really special occasion. I write something light-hearterd and non-controversial. And my heart and soul submit to my fears once again.
A heart that bows out to projected fears! That's not the heart of gold that God has given me! So I decided this year that I would fight it tooth and nail. I'm so tired of a fearful existence. I've been realizing how much fear pervades most of my thoughts and actions and I am so, so tired of it.
And I am fighting it through delving back into my artistic, God given, loves. My first love is writing. Can you believe I blogged like, twice a day for four years straight? And these days it's been like pulling teeth to get to a point where I blog even weekly! I'm trying to change that. By carrying a notebook with me, writing down any ideas, and blogging weekly. I know I've failed my own challenges on a regular basis, but I will try my best. And I will write about things that I am learning, and loving, and passionate about. Even if they're scary things. Even if they're personal things. Even if they're eyebrow-rising things. It'll take work, this Practice.
My second love, Photography. This past year, I've oft said these melodramatic words in my head: "gone are the days where I took pictures just for fun, just because I wanted to, just for the sake of learning" This art, more than writing, has been riddled with fear. I think because I have been doing it semi-professionally, I feel an intense pressure both externally and internally. The phrases I constantly repeat in my head are, "Why me? Why not that person? I'll never be that good. I should just quit". Seriously! No enjoyment. No passion. Just fear. This. Needs. To. Stop.
So, over the past couple months I've been taking my camera out with me way more often. I've been overwhelming Facebook with my constant posting. I've been trying new things. It's still a struggle for me. I often feel like I should just give it up. Leave the photography to everyone else. Why is this my regular feeling? It seem like a crazy one. So I'm going to keep fighting it and see what happens. I'm going to confront that fear and say, "Hey, check out this picture, I took it for fun and I LIKE IT".
And then I'm going to see what happens.