I’ve always been terrible at meditation. I dropped out of yoga class in college (yes, it was yoga for credit!) because I couldn’t get my mind to quiet down.
But I’ve been doing 10-minute Headspace meditations for almost a year now, not every day, but almost every day. I can’t say that I’m that much “better” at it - my mind still wanders, some days more than others.
But I’ve learned that it’s ok.
The non-stop barrage of controversy, tragedy, terrorism, hate, corruption, bigotry and oppression notwithstanding, things have been busy here at Photosanity.
You may have seen my previous posts about the 5 myths of women’s leadership and how to bust through them. I wrote them, and they currently exist as a series of emails, but when I finished writing them, I realized that what I have is the first draft of a book. So yes - I accidentally wrote a book!
I haven’t made any definite plans for publication yet, but for now, if you haven’t already done so, you can sign up for the series here.
I won’t lie, it’s been an intense few weeks for me. I’m still reeling from Charlottesville, Harvey, Irma, DACA under threat, and the 16th anniversary of 9/11.
While these events don’t necessarily have a direct and immediate impact on my day-to-day life today, nonetheless it’s brought up a lot of feelings of trauma and grief for me, especially around my own experiences with race, immigration, and personal loss.
Add to that the usual September transition back to school. What I’m realizing based on stories from other parents is that the meltdowns and exhaustion of the first couple of weeks back are common amongst kids of all ages (as well as their parents!) It has been exhausting.
I’m also feeling stronger and clearer than ever before.
Preliminary women’s leadership survey results are in! Although the sample size is still small right now, what I’m seeing so far is really interesting.
What I’m seeing is that there is a lot of commonality in the challenges we are all facing, but when it comes to what we need help with, the responses get more specific and varied.
The third main question we asked was: what is the biggest change you could make over the next six months that would increase your impact and/or decrease your levels of stress and overwhelm?
This question had the widest variety of answers, with no conclusive frontrunner.
At Photosanity, women’s leadership is NOT just about your career, job, work or professional life.
It is a holistic approach to aligning your life with your values, and who you are with how you present to the world. In this way, you can increase your personal and professional impact without sacrificing yourself in the process.
Fill out this quick survey by September 8th, 2017, and the following week you’ll get the survey results plus our brand new "5 myths of women’s leadership" series delivered right to your inbox. You'll also get information on how to find out more if you’re interested in women's leadership coaching.
A couple of months ago, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Lou Blaser of the Second Breaks Podcast, a show about what it takes to make a career move in today’s economy.
In the episode, we chat about my journey from architect to photographer to business owner, and the role motherhood played in that journey.
Welcome to the Resilience Through Joy Show - Episode 003: Joy Through Passion Projects, a conversation with Beryl Ayn Young, founder of Recapture Self, a community for deeply feeling, giving moms who are ready to reclaim their identity beyond story reader, snack maker and boo-boo kisser.
Motherhood is a role that we love, but the day-to-day grind of being a parent can be exhausting and all consuming. However, it’s possible to be an amazing mom (even on the hard days), fiercely devoted to our families, while also making time for ourselves too.
When I started Photosanity in 2011, I was a new(ish) mom and family photographer, and it was in response to a lot of questions I was starting to get from parents about taking better photos of their own kids.
So I developed a workshop that would teach parents just that, but not only how to take better photos, but how to handle the organizing, editing and sharing piece as well that can be so overwhelming.
However, from the very start, I always taught photography from the perspective of a mom who derived a great deal of joy and satisfaction from photographing my own kids, not just because of the resulting photos, but because of how my camera helped me to process the whole experience of becoming a mom.
This will come as no surprise to anyone, but being a mom is hard. And although I know this is an exaggeration, I feel like I would never have made it as a mom, had it not been for the amazing group of moms I met when Liam was around 6 or 7 weeks old.
We were all first-time moms with babies born within weeks of each other, and we met weekly at a local cafe, huddled over our nursing or feeding or sleeping or crying babies. We exchanged stories, information and commiseration from the front lines of those early and mysterious days of trying to figure out diapers, feeding and sleep schedules, postpartum recovery, and the crazy transformation we had experienced where we were now taking care of tiny, helpless, living, breathing, human beings outside of our bodies.
I was recently invited by Light.co, a brand new camera technology company, to write about how my photography career has evolved, along with my style and technique, in relation to technology. I thought this was such a great topic to write about, so here is my response.
And actually, it just so happens that I was doing some decluttering the other day and came across the very first camera that I ever owned. It was a small point-and-shoot, film of course, and I was in middle school at the time.
This was way before smartphone cameras or the internet became prevalent - in fact, people were only just starting to get “personal computers” in their homes. You took 24 or 36 photos per roll of film, took it to be developed, and a few days later, picked up your prints, and then mounted your photos into albums. I’m guessing most of you reading this are familiar with what I’m talking about, but our kids would be flabbergasted!
I've been thinking a lot about joy lately.
As a former straight-A student turned type-A overachiever, and as an ambitious and serious professional, that’s hard for me to admit.
Because, at least in my mind, we have a tendency to think of joy as frivolous, and somehow uncouth or undignified… or very unicorns and flowers and rainbows type of “woo woo.”
And yet it is also very liberating for me to own it, and to realize that everything that I’ve been teaching and exploring and experiencing through Photosanity comes back to joy.
I know what it’s like to page through photo after photo and feel nothing but disappointment. Blur. Forced smiles. Strange lighting.