I have said for years a simple phrase: “We are at the forefront of a revolution.”
I first remember saying it right before I got pregnant with Sam, which would be eight years and several months ago. “We are at the forefront of a revolution.”
I felt such passion within me the first time I said it.
Life intervened and it moved to the back of my mind. “We are at the forefront of a revolution.” At times it wasn’t even a whisper, it wasn’t even like a belated echo barely traceable.
I would liken it to a fossil that is deeply covered in sediment. It is still there but not scene or known or even felt much anymore. Too much “stuff” of life covered my once sacredly spoken, “We are at the forefront of a revolution.”
Recently my life has shifted.
It has shifted dramatically.
Guess what I am hearing again?
“We are at the forefront of a revolution.”
It makes me laugh to write it again.
“We are at the forefront of a revolution.”
And yes, we are there. On its doorstep. Right now, today.
“We are at the forefront of a revolution.”
I can feel the passion of it inside me and I so want for that passion to spread to you.
Here, take my hand – see if you can feel it.
Much of my shift has happened because I experienced so much loss that I lost my ability to put into words what I wanted to express. Imagine that: a writer, someone who depends on words to “be the glue” lost people she loved, lost her dreams, lost parts of her business and finally – it felt like the final straw, lost her ability to create with words.
I lost my ability to create with words.
Ouch, major ouch then and major hallelujiah, now.
I kept creating - creating differently - even amidst all that loss and this different form of creativity loosened the sediment that covered the ever-important fossil, remember it?
It was the fossil that wanted to sing its song of “We are at the forefront of a revolution.”
What is the revolution?
It is the revolution of your soul. It is the revolution of truth. It is the revolution of knowing. It is the revolution of sacred awareness made tangible. It is the revolution of you and the revolution of me – being exactly who we were meant to be achieving exactly what we were meant to achieve.
It is the revolution of trust. It is the revolution of art.
It is the revolution of your personal choosing. It is YOUR revolution.
It is YOUR Soul Revolution.
There are no “you have to do it this way” or “you aren’t doing it rights” here.
Your Soul Revolution starts with seeing yourself, knowing yourself and stepping into your wholeness, your dreams, your goals, your own methodologies.
The pathway to revolution in this form right now is through seeing yourself more clearly through the art of self portraiture. We will use this art form as a means of knowing the form your soul inhabits.
We are going inside – at the soul level – by being 1000% comfortable with who we are on the outside.I have experienced too frequently in myself that I have not been comfortable with the me on the outside so I couldn’t express the beautiful me on the inside.
I kept thinking I had to change the me on the outside in order to love the me on the inside.
Self portraits have taught me this isn’t so at all. I remembered and please remember with me, now – we are at the forefront of a revolution.
This is why this pathway is so significant.
I have said for a while “I know I am beautiful” but those were just words much of the time. There was fluff attached, there was hopeful and sincere fluff but it was fluff nonetheless.
I don’t want fluff for you. I want truth for you. I want wholeness for you. I want you to experience soul revolution.
My intention is simple.
I want to teach the Art of Photo (and other forms of) Self Portraiture so that you can awaken to your unique brand of beauty and achieve what before has been unachievable – for whatever reason, perceived or otherwise, to you.
Your Soul Revolution will benefit you in the following ways:
>> Increase confidence
>> Learn new techniques in photography (as well as other art forms.)
>> Document your life in a Visual Memoir to leave for family and other loved ones
>> Feel better
>> Overcome depression
>> Allow yourself to feel, share and express emotions that until this point have been inexpressible
>> Celebrate every aspect of your life
>> Become more truthful with yourself and others
>> Stop criticizing yourself and start honoring yourself
>> and many more we will discover as we pursue Your Soul Revolution
How will we do this?
Well, there is a lot of ground to cover during these ten weeks. Here is some of what we may share:
1. Self Portrait using images of objects to express who you are
2. Self Portraits to invoke courage
3. Self Portraits that do not include your face
4. Self Portraits to express emotions
5. Self Portraits as a study of your facial structures
6. Creating a self portrait series
7. Written self portraits
8. Self Portrait Haiku
9. Nude Self Portraiture
10. Creating a Self Portrait Group
11. Stretching the Boundaries of Comfort in Finding Your Self in Your Self Portraits
12. Adding Simple Special Effects to Your Self Portraits
13. Self Portraits as Documentation
14. Self Portraits to Seed More Creativity
15. Self Portrait Challenges and Games
16. Self Portrait Communities
17. Preparing to Share Your Self
18. Photographing Self Portraits in Public Places
19. Using Your Timer
20. Composition in “Blind” Photography
21. Expanding Beyond the Camera
22. Self Portraits as a Metaphor
23. Self Portraits as Poetry
24. Expanding Your Self Portraits into Other Art
25. Video Self Portraits
26. Intimately Knowing the Soul Your Form Inhabits
27. Being OK with How You Look Right Now
28. Reaching out to Others Using Your Self Portraits
29. Copy Cat Self Portraits
I can’t tell you exactly what we will cover week to week because I create my programs according to the needs, hopes and desires of the Soul Revolutionaries who show up. Each program is bound to have a somewhat separate make-up, so I will create a somewhat different week-to-week syllabus.
I will cover each topic you see listed above, but some may not be taught in as great a depth.
Who says Revolution takes place in a straight line with a table of contents anyway?It doesn’t – thank goodness for that.
We are at the forefront of Your Soul Revolution.
Here are some questions I will ask you:
* What are you afraid of in expanding your view of yourself? (What are you willing to do to overcome that fear)
* What do you hope to accomplish in becoming a Self Portrait Artist and Soul Revolutionary?
* What are you willing to do to know yourself more intimately through Self Portraiture?
Most importantly: * What do you want to see as a result of experiencing Your Soul Revolution?
Here are some words from expert-artist-revolutionaries. Read their words and see how you connect with them: Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson said:
“In a self portrait, a woman takes herself simultaneously as the subject and the object of representation. It is therefore not a mirror image, (though before the advent of photography a self portrait required a mirror) but an artistic process of self-inspection and self-reflection.”
Whitney Chadwick wrote:
“No single model of self-portraiture can stand for the experiences of women generally, or fully express the rich interplay that exists between the examination of the reflected image, and the exploration of the social dimensions of lived experience, but self-representation remains critical to self-understanding and it plays a particularly important role in women's creative lives.”
In 'Mirror, Mirror, Self-Portraits by Women', Frances Borzello pointed out:
The feminist revolution gave women permission to value their own lives, feelings and ideas as highly as men did theirs, and though the subjects often caused outrage, particularly when taboo subjects such as menstruation appeared in women's works, they were impossible to ignore. The new subject matter, the artistic arm of the feminist slogan that the personal is the political, has led to the most exciting developments in self-portraiture today: the extended self-portrait, an elaborate idea expressed through the self.
Are you ready to join Your Soul Revolution?
Here is a bit of the structure this Revolution will take:
The program will be live from October 14, 2008 through December 16, 2008
Included during that time frame you will experience:
10 Live Teleseminar Sessionsfor those participating via Telephone offered on Tuesdays at 4 PM Pacific Time – with more sessions added as enrollment increases.
10 Ten hour-length Audio Sessions for those not participating via Telephone and for those who want to download onto MP3s and review for a lifetime.
29 Written Lessons (at least) on the Topics Listed Above
Daily Self Portrait Worksheets to Download and Guide Your Process
Online Community opens October 7, 2008
Bountiful resources and referrals to other places to nourish and grow Your Soul Revolution.
Register between September 24, 2008 and September 30 and receive two bonus audio lessons/teleseminar sessions as well as the opportunity for individual creative life coaching with Julie Jordan Scott.
I find my greatest a-ha's and awarenesses frequently come when I am compelled to do something, have no clue why the compulsion is so strong and I just follow it, unquestionably.
Hank and I were barely out the door on our morning walk today when I had to snap a photo of him, I didn't know why at the time.
I looked at the viewer to see what I got. I thought I photographed Hank, but what leaped out of me was my own shadow.
I tend to criticise my shadow almost as much as I criticise the imperfections and aging process I see unfolding on my face.
"Oh, man, look at that Fun House Shadow. I look like Shamu's sister!"
I looked more closely, "And I do like how my arm looks, with my camera, outstretched, away from my head and away from my eye, to snap this photo.
We kept walking, even when I heard Emma's puppy, Taylor, lamenting her absence from our adventuring. Taylor still hasn't mastered walking on a leash so unless I have extreme patience, I don't invite her along all the time.
"It will be a short one, Taylor" I told her, my camera dangling from my wrist.
We walked alongside the hedge at my neighbors house and I saw my shadow, Shamu-like, again.
"How can I photograph it without it looking like Shamu?"
I raised my leg in the air and shot the shadow. "Interesting!"
I made a mistake, shooting my foot and the shadow. It made me laugh.
I pulled my raised leg behind the camera and shot again. "Even more interesting!"
You can probably see where my mind was going. "Shadows and Self Portraits."
Carl Jung said, ""Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual's conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. If an inferiority is conscious, one always has a chance to correct it. Furthermore, it is constantly in contact with other interests, so that it is continually subjected to modifications. But if it is repressed and isolated from consciousness, it never gets corrected."
Later I Holga-ized my Hank-and-Julie shadow portrait.
Hank and I kept walking. We gazed up at the Pine Tree and I photographed some pinecones, waiting their time to drop.
I breathed in their patience and willingness to let go. I remembered a conversation Sam and I had during a walk earlier in the week about pinecones and time.
We walked further and came upon a random bottle of water, half full, sitting on the curb as if it was waiting for its owner to come claim it and finish drinking.
I had to photograph it.
No questions asked. I clicked and wondered. I know it has lessons to teach me and you probably know I will undoubtedly share them somewhere, somehow.
So ofcourse I had to Holga-Ize it, too.
Hank patiently sniffed the lawn we walked alongside.
I noticed I could hear Taylor's barks from the other side of the block so I picked up our pace and headed home.
We walked through the front door moments later and Taylor greeted us enthusiastically. "Thank you, Hank. It will be longer next time." I petted Taylor's sweet head, "And maybe you can come with us."
Another just-right morning is underway. I will be listening for and following unconventional urges.
I have a practice of studying different people from history. This month, September, I am studying Georgia O'Keefe. I feel like I am falling in love with her and naturally, I want all of you to come to know her also.
With that desire, here is a YouTube video showing the 92 Year Old Georgia O'Keefe reflecting on her artistry, her life, her self.
After watching this, you can see why the deep love....
My children are quintessentially precious to me, more precious than I can put into words. I look at these faces and I am struck speechless.
How I love them.
This morning I woke up early. It had been a long night with Katherine's back to school night and lots of running around. Samuel was asleep when I got home. This morning we were both awake before dawn and he came to snuggle with me.
"Mommy, you forgot yesterday we were supposed to go to the bluffs."
I actually had forgotten about the open house, but that is another story.
"We will go tonight, ok? You and me, the bluffs, ok?"
"OK" he said and snuggled in, more deeply.
I said, "I love you so much" and he didn't even argue.