Happy Monday Friends!
We had an amazing workshop last week. Photographers from around the globe joined the HHP team at our studio for 3 days of everything photography. I barely stopped to pee! After saying goodbye to our awesome group, I jumped into FAQ Friday. When I finally sat down, it was 4pm. It dawned on me that I had been up working since 6am and only eaten coffee and Dove chocolates. By Friday night I was drained! At workshops I am in overdrive. Talking, demonstrating, giving, teaching. Things I love. Things that take all of my energy. It’s my creative zone. And it is exhausting! In the best of ways.
In an attempt to restore some balance, I’m working from home today, and taking a morning yoga class. I have learned that after extending outwards so much, I need to take time to turn inwards. Recalibrate I suppose. Rest.
But, there is something I want to share with you first.
Last week through the workshop, social media chatter, and our FAQ Friday, I noticed a pattern in the questions that came my way. So many people, not just photographers, were struggling with how to remain positive. They wanted to know: How do we deal with copycats? How do we deal with competition? How do we deal with under-cutters, liars, thieves, and those that aren’t playing fair? How do we deal with negativity and nay-sayers? Then, when everything is finally going right, how do we deal with the people who can’t be happy for us and rain on our parade?
There is one answer to all of these problems.
No matter what we are looking out at and seeing, it is always a dim reflection of something within ourselves. This is not just the photography industry. This is not just being a business owner. This is the human experience!
We can choose to perceive any situation in one of two ways and the choice we make is a manifestation of how we feel inside.
We can choose to see things as separate from ourselves through blame, judgement, fear, or attack. We can think everything in the world is “happening to us” and out of our control. Or we can make a different choice. We can choose to remember the good, the loving, and the human that exists in everyone and every situation despite how it appears. We can see any situation as a chance to remember our own goodness and forgive.
In small ways this is easy to do. When I am rushing out the door and Giuliana spills her milk, I can look past the spilled milk and think of the situation as a chance to show her love and comfort as we clean up the mess together. I could have seen that situation differently and left frustrated, rushed, and upset. Trust me, that has happened many times too! Either way I choose to see the situation, the milk was spilled, it is getting cleaned and I’m running a few minutes later. Those are things I cannot change. What I can change is how I leave feeling. I can leave with love, or I can leave with anxiety and frustration. My world is not changing, but how I experience my world changes through a simple change in perception. That choice is mine.
From time to time we may feel that someone is attacking our business through any of the various ways that come about: judgement, nay-saying, doubt, copying, stealing, lying, etc. In their most basic form, all of these things are the same. We fear that someone is attacking us or our livelihood.
But what if they aren’t really attacking us personally? What if we could try to see something of ourselves in them? What if we could see the situation as a chance to remember the good, the loving, and the human that exists in them?
Perhaps they are going about things the “wrong” way because they don’t know any better. Maybe they understand right from wrong, but they can’t afford groceries without a paying client and they are going to do whatever it takes. They may think no one will find out or they might just be lazy and don’t want to do the work themselves. Perhaps they have all the money in the world and they simply don’t care.
It doesn’t matter.
And for those that are truly trying to bring us down personally? When someone rains on our parade it is because there is something in them that they cannot face. They would rather project their own fears and feelings of inadequacy onto others. Perhaps we represent to them their own unfulfilled potential. Let’s face it, people who are happy and at peace with themselves, don’t go around attacking others. We’ve known that since Kindergarten. It is easier to say to someone else, “You can’t do it. You’re a fraud.” then it is to face our own feelings of “I can’t do it. I’m a fraud.”
It doesn’t matter.
It doesn’t really matter why someone else is attacking (stealing, lying, cheating, judging). I’m pretty sure they aren’t thinking about you when they do it. They are consumed with their own feelings. They are acting out of their own space of “not enough.” All you can control is how you respond to them. Will you get sucked into their web of fear or will you remember your own goodness and forgive them?
It is so easy to do with our children. It is much more challenging to do with our enemies.
This is the human experience. Fear and attack is everywhere you look for it. The nightly news, social media, magazines, politics, the super market, neighborhood drama, our children’s schools, and even in our own quiet moments. It is not just “this industry”. Separateness is everywhere.
So is love.
What do you choose to see?
It all starts with you.
How do you feel about all of this? Are you facing these same choices? Are you struggling to forgive some situation? Do you think I’m crazy?! I want to hear from you in the comments below!