Monday, September 20, 2010

Dane Sanders | Oakland Fasttrack Roadshow 2.0


Last week I had the wonderful priviledge of attending Dane Sanders' Fasttrack Roadshow 2.0 in Oakland, California. Whoooie, what a life changing workshop!

At the beginning of the workshop, Dane asked us if there's anything any of us wanted to just "get out there" and let out of our system. I piped up about some frusterations I am having with wedding photography right now, and issues I'm having with my clients. I said, "I've been so frusterated, I'm just not sure if I want to be a photographer anymore because it's robbing all the joy out of my job!"

And so began a day and half of reaching down into perhaps some of the deepest places of myself and discovering who I am as a person... and realizing how who I am IS what my business is.

Growing up surrounded by broken marriages and having personally gone through the very beginning stages of a relationship that failed, I have been scared to death of marriage. To put it honestly, that relationship that stopped was probably one of the most tragic and emotionally crushing things I had ever walked through. I received negative comments about marriage and how that it'd be better if I avoided it all together... and even received hurtful remarks that I was now "tainted" due to having experienced the beginning of a relationship that failed. As a result of not wanting to be hurt again and fear of having a bad marriage myself someday, I shut myself down emotionally. I squelched out any twinge of happiness or joy that I got out of any relationship in my life. I shut down to ever showing true appreciation, care, and love to someone unless I knew that I could trust them enough, and even that was hard.

Dane asked me to stand in front of our little group, and so, I timidly walked to the front of the room where Dane was speaking. He held his iPhone4 in his hand and said, "Leah, I want you to TRY to grab this out of my hand." Effortlessly I took it out of his hand. "No, Leah, I want you to really TRY hard to get my iPhone." Getting the picture now, I realized what he really asked me to do. I held my hands open, looked longingly at the iPhone, reached out and TRYED to reach it... to no avail.

I can TRY to do better. I can TRY to avoid a failed marriage. I can try, try, try, but trying doesn't accomplish anything. Things can only be done by CHOOSING to do differently... by choosing to change, and then ultimately ACTING.

In order to overcome my fears, I need to actually GO THROUGH THEM and embrace them. Wow.

I can shut myself out from ever truly loving, but I'll also miss truly living! Living a full, joyful and happy life and sharing it with someone else. Love is all about vulnerability and risk. And unless I begin to choose to be vulnerable, I will never, never know the joy of a wonderful relationship. Ever.

All of this to say, my eyes were opened. I really didn't want to travel back to those painful places of my past, but I saw for the first time that those painful experiences are all apart of the grand story of the life God has mapped out for me, and therefore my business too. Due to my fear of marriage and vulnerability, my wedding photography — believe it or not — WAS indeed being affected by that. Incredible, really.

And there you are, my friend, probably sitting in front of your computer screen thinking, "Ummm, hello, I thought this was a photography business workshop... and she's talking about this?" I tell you, YES. :-)

The workshop was life changing, and I totally want to go again if I can. You should too, photographer or not. It will change your perspective on life and your business!

Check out more about Dane Sanders & his workshop:Website
Roadshow Workshop

Dane and my fellow workshop attendee, Carol, singing "You Make Me So Very Happy." :-)

Oakland Fasttrack Photographer Roadshow 2.0
Our Fasttrack group outside of Crogan's Montclair, where we ate supper the last night of the workshop. (PS. I enjoyed some yummy bruschetta...)



rebekah j. said...

I'm sooo glad you got to go!

It always seems odd to describe it as a "workshop" since it's so much more.

Hope you're doing well :)

Darlene said...

This is great, Leah. Thanks for sharing your heart. (((hugs)))

Cheri said...

How blessed I am to be related to such a beautiful soul; inwardly and outwardly!

Love you.

Samantha R. said...

This brought a few little tears to my eyes.
In a way, I can relate. I've seen broken marriages and a lot of hurt go on between marriages (even if they are still together...)
Sometimes, I feel it's not worth the risk. But sometimes I do.
Honestly, I would say that I desire marriage more than I ever have before. I know I'll have to overcome more fears if God were to bring someone special in my life.
I've seen my sister "be liked" and almost enter a relationship and I know how hard and painful that was for her to say No.

I admire you for your honesty and I think it's good that this blog isn't just photos! :)

I think the thing that I struggle with most is shyness. How can I be a good photographer if I'm too shy to ask someone to pose a certain way? I have a lot to overcome and fears to face but with God, anything is possible!


Kelsey Schweickert said...

So good, Leah...thanks for putting it into words. That was a tremendous workshop on so many levels.

"It's the heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance;
It's the dream afraid of waking that never takes the chance;
It's the one who won't be taken who cannot seem to give;
And the soul afraid of dying that never learns to live."