Monday, November 1, 2010

A walk in the rain

This morning I went for a stroll in the pouring rain. It is Vancouver in the fall after all. Other than wet feet, it was nice. I don't mind the rain and even though it was dark when I started, it's much quieter first thing in the morning.

I'm doing this for several reasons. One of them is part of my trying to work on getting a little fitter. Not because I want to do it for my health, but because I know I want to feel better, not tired all the time. I took away several little gems from a short talk by Danielle LaPorte, and one of them was to make your goals based on how achieving them will make you feel, rather than what you can achieve. A novel concept for me, but it makes sense. Rather than making a goal of wanting to lose x pounds, my goal is wanting to feel better, wanting to feel good after a hike rather than like crap because I'm too out of shape. So I'm not going to try and force myself to the gym because it's good for me. That never works, and I hate being forced to do anything, even by myself. So my solution is just to get moving. I'll start simple, with a walk in the morning. When that feels good, move on to adding on other exercise.

Another reason is the desire to cultivate a new habit. I've been doing a lot of reading as I try and work on my business concept. Photography books, business books, inspirational books. Another great idea, from The Creative Habit by Twyle Tharp, is the idea of starting your day with a routine, or from another point of view, a ritual. Something you start every day with, that is repeatable, easy to do, and creates a habit. Her definition of a ritual is an automatic but decisive pattern of behaviour. This creates an activity that becomes habit, that is done without questioning it and can be the preparation to start your day and get your creativity flowing each morning. I am feeling in need of structure to my day and by starting with a walk, during which I intend to take a photo or three, seems like an ideal way to start my day. Will I be able to continue it on a daily basis? That remains to be seen, but I have started, which can be the hardest part of all.

Getting out and taking photos is fun, but not something I manage to do all that often lately. I have no excuse, since I certainly have the time. Even when working in an office all day, I still had time, but didn't seem to be able to manage it. I need to find a way to get myself out shooting on ideally a daily basis. Why? Not because I just want to get better at photography, all photographers want that. Because I know I will feel much happier with my photography as it improves. I took a body of work class over the course of a year, three twelve week sessions, once a week. My photography improved exponentially and I love how that made me feel. I was really happy with my results when I went out to shoot with awareness of why I was out there, rather than always just aimlessly pointing my camera at what caught my eye. So again with a goal with the end result of how it feels. I know my photography will get better by simply shooting, and it will get better yet by shooting with a purpose. One week, work on composition, another work on seeing the light, etc. Finding the time? Do it on my walk. This even ties in with the goal of starting my day with a creative boost. How better for a photographer than simply going out and taking a few photos?

And speaking of photos, here's a few from this morning's walk.