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Thursday
Jun282012

i am enough from diana foster

There is a long tradition with me of loving all things old.  As the oldest of seven, I was born old.  Others needed me to be old. Who depended on me?  Some days, it seemed like too many.  These defining moments called for fancy footwork.  Unexpected challenges came perfectly packaged.  Somehow, I became nimble.

Giving a voice to those who had no voice became my career. It carried with it, a whole lot of moments loving the sometimes un-loveable. Decades of teaching children with special needs begged for bravery I didn’t know I had.

A half-century of life has presented these realities.  The business of happiness is very important business.  There is no day like today.  The powerful influence of music is undeniable.  Sometimes imperfect moments are indeed perfect.  ALWAYS find time for fun.

The art of telling stories with images is my passion.  Capturing everyday life in beautiful and unexpected ways, drives my art.  People I have met and people I love, have so many stories to tell…..oodles and oodles of stories.  My inspiration comes from being awake enough to recognize a compelling story just waiting to be told.

Simple truth, I am learning to be ENOUGH. Every day I set out to adorn everyday things, harness happiness and become a better me.  What do I wish I had more of?  Not a thing. I’m embracing a life that matters so that when I’m gone, others will remember me for what I taught, what I built, and what I gave.

Just me, a little girl with BIG dreams.

...........

Diana Foster is the owner of The Studio 56, is a lifestyle photographer and card designer living and creating in Kansas City.  She is wife to one, mother of two, sister to many, a musician, blog addict, and a hopeless dreamer.  Her days are spent romancing ordinary life and everyday stories. Lovely images captured by Diana have been published in Life Images and Kansas Magazine.  Learn more about Diana and browse the collection of fine art photo cards in her on-line boutique

Photos courtesy of Living Lens Photography.

Thursday
Jun212012

i am enough from Amy Lee Czadzeck

Dear You,

I’ve been writing to you for years.  I have collected little reminders on yellow sticky note pads.  They aren’t all of me.  They are scraps of the day, scribbles, you may say.  The notes were for you to see when you woke up in the morning, when you were in the grocery store, or when you needed to save a page in your book. Sometimes I was busy with a few things like reading a book, rocking a child, and making a meal and I had a creative thought that I rushed to get the silly thought down.  Sometimes I was leisurely sitting there with nothing to do.  The notes took me out of the moment and brought me back in.  On a few sheets, I’ve doodled lotus flowers, the sun, the moon, and smiley faces.  On a few sheets, I’ve drawn a face; maybe your face, maybe mine with shadows. These notes are not fancy yet they are important enough to show you because in review I have discovered the commonality; my hope. 

And with you, my hope is worth sharing.

Sincerely,

Me

Notes:

There are times when I want to escape my identity and find another one but without the fraudulent charges.

Search always for the scratch and sniff book with the little mice in the candy store.

My dream(s) is (are) changing.

Grace Power Wonder

I come home with so many treasures stuffed in my pockets. Today was a leaf, 2 pinecones, and a 50 cent mustache.

Page 51, 2nd paragraph

I want to claim something more.  Or even better, I want to claim that I made a choice.

I wonder if my distant relatives lose as much as sleep as I do after spending the day with them.

Belonging and significance, that’s what I want to provide my children.

Permission Slip: Think of nothing and do nothing.

I can’t skip this part.  The depression or the pain, which came first?

Put on a dress and make some pie.

The spider speaks.  The spider wants me to write about the phlegm in my throat.

He’s always listening to you.  Don’t pick a fight.

Buy anything GREEN looking in the Vegetable Section

Get Ice Cream Sundae Fixins

Remember to bring four dollars to the guy who sells bread from his car.

What direction do I want to go in?

I need to go into business of sending notes to friends that say, “What I meant to say...”

Haircut on Thursday 10 am

Cancel Dental Appointment.

Let them make up their own minds.

Inspire.  

Just Relax.

Be you.

Call so and so and so so.

I am enough.

There are moments where I find these notes and remember how ordinary life is and yet how much it requires me to find an inner rock.  I live in this space of loving nothing and everything.  That space is I am enough.    This expression may be the only thing that allows me to breathe.  I need that breathing reminder.  The notes are me breathing. There’s one more important thing that I don’t want to leave out. The people in my life. They allow me to practice this note taking and breathing. I am enough wonder of the strangers I meet. I am enough joy of my friends. I am enough grace of those loved ones who have passed. I am enough spirit of my Daddy.  I am enough beauty of my Mother.  I am enough storyteller of my two older sisters.  I am enough power of my nieces.  I am enough peace of my partner. I am enough freedom of my child. I am enough love of me.  I am enough.

 ...........

 

Amy Lee Czadzeck is a writer with a spirit as bright as the sun and hopes as full as the moon.   She has acted as facilitator of health & peace through her practices of massage therapy, energy work, and coaching at The Growing Table.  She is organically shifting towards quiet and meaningful work through writing about her experience of healing, being in nature, and being an artist/mother of a growing child.  She believes writing is a tool towards healing.  She would like to share gratitude to Tracey for showing her two years ago that she could begin to take the journey to write and discover her worth and to all the contributors of the continual discovery of “I am enough.”   She welcomes you to her handcrafted stories, sight, and sense at her new site at Amy Lee Czadzeck.

 

Thursday
Jun142012

i am enough from Vivienne McMaster

 

I made myself invisible.

And I was.

Everywhere I looked I saw proof of that.

Proof that I was a mousy younger sister of someone beautiful, that people noticed.  Proof that by her side I disappeared.  Proof that no one found me attractive and that I would never be loved.  Proof that I was doing everything wrong.  Proof that how I walked, ate, swallowed, even breathed was annoying to someone around me, so I must be horrible to be around.   I took looks of disgust and counted them as evidence that I was invisible, or at least should be. 

Harsh, I know. 

When we seek out proof of a story we’ve created for ourselves (or accepted), we can find it.  Interpreting every bit of criticism or negativity as proof of that story we wrote into our bones.

I believed those things and consistently saw the proof of them. 

It took me a long time (as in decades) to realize that if I could find proof of that, I could find proof of the opposite.

That I could be visible, seen, even feel beautiful.

That the story I believed, that paralyzing insecurity, it could be re-written.

It was a choice and at any moment I could begin a practice of seeing and creating a new story.

So I did.

Day by day.

One of the most profound ways I made this choice was turning the camera on myself.  When I did that I created a space where only I was in control of the way I see myself.  Where there was room for what was quirky about me, where there was room for all of my identity. Where there was room to see my body as beautiful in its curves, all 200+ pounds of it.

I became the narrator of my own story.

I just started to let myself be seen, by me.

That led to feeling seen by others.

I was no longer invisible and now I had reclaimed personal power over how I was to be seen.

I just finally started to see the proof in myself.  In the mirror, through the lens.  

I felt like I had to remove the armor of invisibility.  Bit by bit I’m removing myself from under it and letting myself be seen for who I truly am.

It is a process though, becoming visible again.  My instinct is to still walk down the street head held low.  I’m learning to lift it up, look people in the eye, to let myself be seen.

It is still hard work.  I still don’t have proof that I will find love and be loved,but I’ve learned along the way that if I want proof of that too, I can find it.

I’m learning after all this time that I am enough.

I was always enough.

That the proof of that was always there for me to see,

I just had to make the choice to see it.

...........

 

Vivienne McMaster is a photographer with a big heart and a spirit of playfulness.  She is part whimsical, part urban, and definitely quirky.  She teaches a wide variety of photography and video based e-courses and believes that self-portraiture and creative exploration can save our lives.  She shares colorful visual stories over at her website.

Thursday
Jun072012

I am enough from amy jerke

Being pregnant is being immersed in a world of mystery. There is a person growing inside of me that I cannot see and it sends me into a state of fear. Suddenly, everything I eat, breathe, drink, and do become more important. I have to protect his little person and pray it will all turn out in the end. While my first two pregnancies were stressful for this reason, there was this part of me that was confident it was all meant to be; therefore, it would turn out okay. And everything did. My third pregnancy was different. The day I found out I was pregnant was the same day I found out I had pneumonia in both lungs. Sadly, my baby, who we named Rosie, died 12 weeks into that pregnancy. The grief and guilt were overwhelming. I thought I must have done something wrong.  I realize now that’s not true...

Now I am 25 weeks into my fourth pregnancy. I have asked myself if what I am doing is enough to keep this baby alive, especially in the first few weeks. Recently, I have started to relax. I accept I am walking a path of mystery. I have to trust it will all be well, that what I am doing IS enough...

 i am enough. 

 

this pregnant body makes me constantly wonder

am i enough?

am i eating enough protein?

enough fruits and vegetables?

enough of the right foods to grow a baby?

gaining enough weight?

am i resting enough?

sleeping enough?

doing enough for the rest of my family?

taking enough pictures of this pregnant body?

writing enough in the journal about this baby?

preparing enough?

am i thinking enough positive thoughts?

talking to this baby enough?

bonding enough with him/her?

 

i could drive myself crazy...

 

today.

i am enough.

i am doing the best i can for this baby.

and that is good enough...

..........

 

Amy Jerke is a wife/ mother/photographer living in central Missouri. She homeschools her 9 year old son and 6 year old daughter and is expecting her third child in September '12. She loves photographing children, butterflies, sunsets and anything else that catches her eye, and is continuing to work on loving herself through the art of self portraiture. She also loves vintage hats, cameras, and bicycles, has a huge collection of scarves, and believes wishes do come true. Several of her photos have been featured as the Shutter Sisters One Word Project photo of the day. She is also the food photographer for Perfectly Produce.  You can find her work on her Papillon Sky Photography Smugmug and Flickr pages and on instagram as @papillonsky.

Thursday
May312012

I am enough from Caroline MacMoran

As I sit here writing, on the fourth anniversary of my mother’s death, I am aware of the impact my mother had on my sense of “enoughness”. My mother was the kind of woman that spoke her mind, loved fiercely, moved heaven and earth for what she felt deeply about, and made the best chocolate cake ever, hands-down. She was a wonderful mother for me. Not perfect, but she was certainly close enough. She was my Mom in all ways but one. I didn’t grow inside this mother; I was adopted.

I’ve struggled with this for many years. How could I be enough if I was relinquished at 3 days of age? Not enough for one mother, yet seemingly enough for another. And at a young age, I defined my “enoughness” through other people. In fact, I did this well into my early adulthood. It wasn’t until I hit my thirties that I started to really look at being enough just for me. I gave lip service to being enough, and I really think I wanted to believe I was enough, but I didn’t truly and deeply question this until somewhat later in my life.

Many points of my life converged when I was in my early thirties, including searching in earnest for my birth mother. Though I had dabbled in a search in my early twenties, it was a challenging quest, and because it didn’t come together easily, I fell away from it. I purposefully used “fell away” and not “stopped”, because I never really stopped searching. From my adoptee perspective, the search was life-long even when there wasn’t a specific search activity to pursue. I was always searching inside myself for some answer to who I was.  

Small answers to my search came in bits here and there. My birth mother had lived in a small beach town, and so there was one long afternoon when I went to the local high school of this town and searched the yearbook for pictures of a woman I believed I’d somehow recognize. It didn’t happen in that magical way, and the search continued. Through various different ways, I finally found out that my birth mother had died at a relatively young age. The grief I felt over never looking into her face, or not having her know that I was searching for her was enormous. I wanted her to know that she was enough, and that I was finally coming to a place where I could understand her decision all those many years ago, and honestly thank her from the bottom of my heart.

 

I was able to subsequently meet other birth relatives, and remember with such clarity that feeling of walking on air, of my legs going numb as I opened the door to the coffee shop where we all met. To finally look into the eyes of someone who shared my genes was amazing and terrifying all at once. And then there were the photographs of my birth mother; pictures that instantly healed a part of me, that allowed me to breathe with a calm I hadn’t previously experienced. There was proof she existed, and in small ways proof where I could see resemblances to me.

 

All of this, including my deepening relationship with my Mom, helped me to start to feel like I was enough. Sadly though, my Mom’s health continued to deteriorate over the next ten or so years, and she became less and less of who I had known her to be as her dementia became more pronounced. As I was coming more and more into myself, my Mom was moving farther and farther away. There were small glimpses of the person I had known for so many years, and the final time I sat with my Mom she was all of a sudden herself--caring for me and comforting me. We were caring for each other.

Throughout all of this and in the days that have since followed, I understand that I am enough, and that I have always been enough. Part of the joy and pain in my life has been this process of searching--of looking beyond what I can see clearly. Of being open to looking further. Of being open to knowing that I Am Enough.

……….

Caroline is a full-time psychotherapist in Wilmington, DE at The Brandywine Center. While she loves her work there and being with the 3 best colleagues and friends in the world, she dreams of being an artist and photographer and living on a farm. Her plan is to start a blog in the next 6 months, so stay tuned! She lives in Philadelphia with her partner and their 9 year old son.