This is a follow up to my previous post How I completely Changed My Life in 1 Year. The response to this post was overwhelming, I was blown away by the amount of people that were inspired to change their life for the better. I never imagined the impact it would have.
Recently one of my workshop participants inspired me to follow up on this post. A PhD. with an incredibly satisfying, interesting job actually came to me to find their path in life. When he shared this with me I was shocked and slightly terrified! How could I possibly help this incredibly smart, well traveled gentleman with much more life experience than me figure out what to do with his life? I was just trying to figure out my own!
I realized there was nothing specific I needed to do; except be an open, honest, caring friend. I knew nothing about him going into this, except what camera gear he had and what his Photoshop skills were.
It's amazing what 3 nights sitting under a star filled sky will do for a person. Virtually no distractions gave us reprieve from our everyday, over complicated, hyper stimulated lives. When you stare out into the cosmos for hours on end a clarity comes over you. You are forced to listen to your thoughts and feelings, there is no facebook, reality shows, or sports to distract you from those hard choices you've been putting off for so long. We create so much noise to distract ourselves from our thoughts and feelings because we fear what we'll be forced to change in our lives if we actually listened.
Over the course of 3 nights we shared life stories, experiences and enjoyed the silence in between. I didn't say anything profound over this time, nothing life altering. On the second night I asked him if he had found in clarity with his life situation, surprisingly he had. He set a date to leave his job, get rid of all his 'stuff' that had accumulated over 30 years and create a new life for himself.
A composite image from the 3 nights at Devils Tower during the Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower
I went into my workshop wanting only to share my knowledge of photographing the night sky, which was a great success. More importantly, I came away with what I hope will be a life-long friend. I also had time to listen to my own thoughts and have my own hard choices to make. I haven't quite found that clarity on what direction to take in my life though, but I'll keep listening and eventually the answer will come.
Wasn't this supposed to be a follow up? I've completely derailed.
Let's see, my business is going very well. I've had 3 very successful workshops and have sold out 2 recently. It's a continual learning process, but I'm happy with the direction I'm headed.
My debt is still paid off.
The fat has stayed off and I continue to tweak my 'paleo diet' to suit my body. My new favorite thing is Fatty Coffee, yeah that's right folks I have a tablespoon each of grass-fed butter, coconut oil and almond butter in my coffee every morning. There's more fat in my coffee than most people eat in a day and I feel awesome. Remember, fat doesn't make you fat and it does not cause heart disease. I've also been trying to eat only grassfed, local, pastured meats and will be hitting the farmers markets soon! Eat real food!
I continue to go to CrossFit 3 times a week. My PR's are going up steadily, I can do 5 dead hang pullups and am finally figuring out the damn double unders! In the next six months I want to do a muscle-up, rope climb, handstand pushups, and dramatically increase my deadlift and squat numbers. Who knew I would be into weightlifting?
I haven't had a drink for well over a year now and I don't miss it in the slightest. Alcohol continues to have negative effects on my family, I can only pray that a certain person will find their path the sobriety very soon before we lose him forever.
I'm still pretty organized, although I need to step it up a bit to get back on track.
Minimalism is still very important to me, now that summer is finally around the corner I plan to get rid of my pile of stuff in the basement that has been collecting dust, it will be a big step to get rid of more of the clutter in my life.
What do the next 6 months hold?
I came across this poignant video which inspired me to take control of my everyday thoughts. This is something I have always struggled with, the constant little annoying things that happen around you everyday. I've been intentionally trying to change this for quite some time now, I no longer have road rage, I don't get insanely irritated every time I go to the grocery store because of all the rude and inconsiderate people. I try to smile at others when walking through the grocery store instead, and let others merge on the highway when a lane is closed. I've noticed that after a workout absolutely nothing bothers me, I'm in a state of pure bliss and everything slows down. I'm trying to carry this feeling over to the rest of life, now that I know what it feels like.
Photography - I have decided to re-ignite my passion for long exposure black and white photography. I have also recently had an Epihany with my post processing, using burn and dodge in dramatic fashion to create my own interpretation of a scene. I feel this is a major turning point in my artistic career and am very excited about it. I will also travel to new, interesting places and take a break from the Colorado wildflower/fall color trips this year. I have also been inspired to take some solo backpacking trips to have some time to reconnect with my artistic side. Lately I've only been going out with other photographers, while I enjoy this very much and will still be doing lots of this, I need some time to myself.
If you haven't met her already, this is my awesome companion Emmie. She's insanely well behaved for the most part, but I've been a bit of a slacker training her because of this. I've begun reading an awesome book Don't Shoot the Dog, which is mainly about teaching and training anyone or anything. I need to get her better trained for hiking off leash.
I will be adding fermented foods to my diet, my first attempts will be homemade Kombucha and Kefir from raw milk.
That's about it, no major changes at this point. Although I have been considering buying a cheap tent trailer and living on the road for the summer...it may still happen.