Seven Things To Lift You Up

Laura Pittman Photography Education

Have you ever felt like you’re in a rut? Maybe you find yourself bored, going through the same old schedule every week. Maybe your life is so busy that the tyranny of the urgent is taking over the things that feed your soul. You feel trapped. Stuck. Depressed. Hopeless. Overwhelmed.

I know I’ve been there. It’s really easy for me to fall prey to the temptation to just put my nose to the grindstone and start checking items off my to-do list, without truly experiencing the life around me. I forget to look up, to look around. I forget to be thankful. I forget to do things that are life-giving to me. I forget to connect with people.

What helps you when you’re feeling this way?

Here’s seven things that help to lift me up:

  1. Step back and take a look at my day. Breathe. Stop doing for a moment, and just Be. Remind myself that life is about living for eternity and not for time.
  2. Be thankful. If you’re anything like me, there are a million things around you that are blessings if you just have the eyes to see them. I intentionally soak in gratitude for a few of these things. It seriously does wonders.
  3. Pray. I ask God to give me eyes to see what’s truly important around me. Is my whining child just trying to spend time with me? Does she matter more than my emails? 
  4. Release/Receive. Palms down, I symbolically release things I’m holding onto, like the approval of others, my own pride and plans, etc. Then palms up, I receive peace, hope and grace from God for a new day ahead.
  5. Get my eyes off myself. When I willingly and cheerfully do something kind for someone else (it’s all about the heart attitude here), then I connect with another person and get my focus off of myself, and that helps so much. Serving and truly seeing others is life-giving.
  6. Get outside or get active. This definitely causes the serotonin (happiness hormone) to start flowing for me.
  7. Do something creative. I like to write or take photos. There’s also drawing/coloring/painting, music, or whatever it is that lights you up creatively. 

My camera actually helps me so much with this entire list!

I know you’re skeptical. But here’s how my camera helps on each point above:

  1. I pause. Holding the camera, I have a mission and a purpose. My to-do list can wait.
  2. When I pick up my camera I begin to see my day and my surroundings differently. My eyes immediately start to search for beauty instead of problems. Thankfulness begins to bloom.
  3. I see the things in front of my nose that I never take the time to appreciate. I think about capturing them well, and as I think about them, I appreciate them more. 
  4. Through photographing certain things (like flowers or nature) I find a sense of awe, peace and connection to God.
  5. I can use the camera to honor someone by capturing their personality or essence in a beautiful portrait. 
  6. Going on a photo walk gets me outdoors in the light, and gets my legs moving.
  7. As I create, I get that “buzz” that picks me up and gets me excited about my life again.

Photography definitely isn’t the only way to lift myself up out of my rut, but it sure does help me when I pick up a camera, and I believe it could help you too!

Here’s your challenge this week: Photograph something or someone you’re thankful for. Don’t just snap a phone photo and move on, try to be creative and intentional with your image. As you create it, breathe in that thankfulness, and just watch your spirits lift. Maybe go on a photo walk in nature if you can. And if you’d like to create more than one image, go for it! I’d love to see one if you’d like to share.

Peace and Light,

Laura

My "Looking for the Light: Photography & Life" online course will launch in 2021. Are you interested in learning more about photography? Click below to view more about the course.

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