Rebooting your life.
Computers are really smart. They let you know when you have made a spelling mistake and seem to be able to answer any DIY question with the click of a mouse.
But when they don’t work… Ahhhhhhhhhh!
We all know what its like to experience a computer malfunction - when you have worked hard on a project for hours or perhaps days and suddenly the computer program freezes on you. You gasp when you realise that you haven't saved.
As you carefully work through all the methods in your arsenal to rescue your work without having to restarting your computer, you try not to panic when every trick fails. When you have finally exhausted all your work-arounds, you finally have to accept that rebooting is the only way you can proceed.
It’s gutting losing everything you have worked so hard for. It is exhausting finding the energy to redo all your efforts and it’s a struggle challenging yourself to make the new version better than the last.
But there is also a profound moment to be experienced when you feel the elation of discovering that you CAN do much better work when you really have to TRY.
Looking back at the experience you realise how much you have improved and grown and you can’t help but wonder if your clever little computer was trying to tell you something all along.
Life is the same.
Sometimes it throws up a roadblock to push you out of your comfort zone and get you to try a new path, pioneer territory previously unexplored, where you will inevitably evolve as a result.
Such a roadblock led me to this moment.
Actually, it was more like the road exploded.
After a major health crisis with gall stones, a traumatic birthing experience, losing my best friend to mental illness, a stress-induced heart attack, a burglary, the breakdown of my relationship and my job contract ending suddenly, I felt defeated and empty and found my myself staring numbly at the off switch.
But being the stubborn person I am, I was not ready to accept defeat just yet, but I wasn’t sure I had the strength necessary to start my life all over again - alone. I knew it was going to be the toughest battle I had faced so far. Was I up to it?
After a lot of prayer and meditation - I pushed reboot.
Everything went black.
I waited anxiously in the darkness for what seemed like an eternity hoping for that flicker of light to return, which signaled that my life was coming back on line. To my relief, it did.
As my new life took form, it looked strange and scary at first and there were times when I found myself missing my broken but familiar old life. I knew I had to shake off those homesick feelings fast, because that life no longer existed and the nostalgic feelings that were clouding my head with doubt was just fear playing tricks on me. I had to concentrate on putting my imagination to a more positive use.
With any rebuild there are a plethora of choices, underpinning the big question; what should my new life look like? I knew that I wanted to continue working in the field of people photography, but I didn’t want to be just another portrait photographer. What skills and experience did I have to offer which would make me stand out in a crowded market?
Up until this point I had been freelancing as glamour makeover photographer at a studio where I was miserable, but I was too afraid of losing my job if I told the boss what I really thought of the way things were done. Apart from the paycheck, the only other thing that kept me coming back to work were the brief moments of joy when a client threw their arms around me and thanked me for my hard work. I was priveledged to witness many of those clients experience a catharsis - a purging of emotions, which resulted in the healing of their emotional wounds. It was powerfully moving stuff. Those clients, who are now friends, later told me how their makeover and photoshoot session with me had changed their lives for the better. I was so touched that I wanted to do more, but my hands were tied.
In hindsight, I realise that all the signs had been pointing me towards this new path.
Life was trying to tell me I could do better if I only free of the job and the relationship that was holding me back, but I was just too scared of change. What I needed was a good hard shove in the right direction… and oh boy, did I get one. One giant push that caused me to change my thinking and have an epiphany…
If I could get those kind of life changing results at a disfunctional studio where everybody was unhappy and stressed out, imagine what I could achieve in my own studio, where emotional healing was the main priority.
Once I left that studio and my own shattered confidence began to heal, I realised that I had a huge amount of skills and experience that were going to waste which could be used to help more people change their lives and reach their full potential.
That is how I came up with the idea of Transformation Therapy.
I will talk more about Transformation Therapy in my next entry, but for now, I would like to encourage all of YOU, who are allowing fear of change to paralize you, to not wait until things get so bad that Life has to ignite the detonator under your butt.
You have the power to change your life today.