If you know me or follow me, you know the last couple of years for me have been full of joy and grace, but also filled with trials. I’ve been plagued by anxiety, depression and fear. In order to pull myself out of that place, nature, sunshine and my animals became my haven.
I was struggling with some serious health issues, and spent most days, if not in full on pain, extreme discomfort. It’s truly mind boggling that, after living with debilitating issues for so long, it becomes a new normal, you just deal with it. My surgery was actually 5 different surgeries at once and it took me a full three months to recover. Every time I feel a twinge, I go into full on panic mode, praying that I don’t have to deal with it again and have to live with that discomfort.
A few weeks after my surgery, Dad was diagnosed with cancer. I felt like I didn’t have time to grieve and recover from my surgery before I had to embark on Dad’s journey with him. I was plagued with anger, sorrow and fear, it was terrible watching the strongest man I knew be reduced by that horrible disease.
After Dad passed away, I planned a trip for my family. I needed them to help me heal. On that trip, I KNEW that I had to make some serious life changes. I sat the kids down around the campfire one night, and for a moment, they were terrified, thinking I was about to tell them I was sick. That moment sticks with me, the realization that they had suffered along with me while I thought the journey had been mine alone. I told my children that I wanted them to follow their hearts, find a career that made them happy and fulfilled. Once upon a time, I thought the answer was to send them off to college so they could get a degree, get out there and get to work, maybe making money, but certainly unfulfilled. I’ve since learned that perhaps they need time to find their calling, just as I did, that to work hard and work happy is so much more fulfilling than to spend days staring at cubicle walls waiting for the next vacation.
When we got home, Callen embarked on a new journey in broadcasting at NAIT, Ryan quit his job the day we got home, Regan found a new strength and confidence in herself. Ray and I became closer yet, and I found myself on a new path, sort of. I went back to my joy, serving others with photography full time.
I’ve realized, that in serving others, I also serve myself, by creating a legacy, transforming moments into lifetimes, and giving a precious gift back to others, their own lives, recorded for history.
I’ve also discovered, that I can combine my passions, that of nature, horses, wildlife, and all things animal and fill my heart with my art.
1. Live in the moment.
2. Rejoice in new beginnings.
3. Plant the seeds, they will take root and grow.
4. A walk in the woods soothes a tired soul.
5. Be still.
6. The sunshine on your face is a warm touch from the Heavens.
7. A dog really is man’s best friend.
8. If you want it, go for it!!
9. Don’t be afraid to take on the big things!
10. We are so bombarded with technology, business, overloaded with media, overwhelmed. Take a moment every day to recharge with a warm kitten in your lap, open your windows to the music of birdsong, the wind in the trees, or the nightsong of the wildlife outside your door.
Carla is an Alberta Photographer, in love with nature, animals and wildlife, all things purple, and would wear horse perfume if they made it.