We all desire community. Face to face.
We live in a world where it's so easy to shut ourselves in and become comfortable with living life through a screen. Now don't get us wrong - as photographers lots of our time is spent on social platforms engaging with clients, educating ourselves, connecting with other creatives, etc.. We love the online community that is so easy to access at any given time. BUT there is a life giving energy that exists only when you are in the presence of people.
As we are all aware of by now Covid-19 has emerged as a global pandemic, causing us to stay indoors and physically distance ourselves from our loved ones. The need for face to face , not just through a screen connection is HUGE!! (I just want to sit on a patio, order a pint and laugh with friends) Isolation can rob us of joy and cause our minds to fill up with meaningless noise.
Before covid interrupted our lives, the desperation to be in the presence of other creatives was at the top of the list for our 2020 business goals. So I, Jenn, began looking online for communities that were hosting a workshop/get together/hangout sometime in the year. I knew that I wanted to attend something that wasn't local. I was looking for a community where I knew walking into the space I would feel safe with no expectations placed on me... a place where I could be FREE!
Florida holds a special place in my heart obviously - DISNEY!! So my search begin in the Orlando area... NOTHING! So then I stared to look elsewhere - Seattle, Montana & even NYC. None that I came across echoed what was in my heart. I didn't want to settle on a workshop 'just because', so I let it rest. Only a little time passed before THE EXPERIENCE WORKSHIP randomly popped up on my Instagram feed. I think the first thing I read in regards to what the workshop was about was about loving yourself in order to serve others (totally paraphrasing). Not only did I gravitate to the self love aspect but it was going to be hosted in ORLANDO FLORIDA. COM'ON!
Fast-forward to the workshop.... I sobbed everyday (like ugly girl cried) It was a mixture of so many emotions. It was like everyone in that space was there to encourage and uplift one another. (my heart is still so full) The transparency, vulnerability and rawness that saturated each session began to peal away so many layers of loneliness and insecurities off my heart and mind that had rooted so deeply into areas of my life. Never ever did I expect to walk into an education week like this one. Yes I walked away with tools and a greater confidence in the services the Selah team provides but I walked away with a great love for myself and a greater love for doing life with others.
My point is this - don't get lost and shape your identity through the validation you get from a screen. Don't let the 'HIGH' you get from seeing your Instagram lite up with double taps fuel the course of your day and/or night. Find your people. your community.... those individuals that call out the gold in you. People who tell you that you are valued and loved. Look into their eyes and see the authenticity of the words they speak over you. These are the people you just want to sit with and be in their presence. It might be a risk for some... but I promise, the reward - a gift worth fighting for.
And to the Selah team - you are my people. Some of the ones I would call in a crisis. The ones right now that I JUST WANT TO BE IN YOUR PRESENCE WITH.