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“Consulting the rules of composition before taking a photograph is like consulting the laws of gravity before going for a walk,” by Edward Weston.

So much of my life has been planned — often meticulously. For the first twenty-two years of my life the plan was to get to college. My studies came first. Even in college — studying came before drinking, watching a sunset, or otherwise socializing.

Image (14)Even my favorite activity/sport involved planning. I loved to jump horses. Before entering the ring first one must memorize the course. And then plan out your striding. Some people walk the course, counting each step and planning each turn. And then when you’re actually jumping the fence — you’ve already planned the jump many strides back. In fact, within 3 strides of taking the fence, your eyes are already ahead planning the next fence.

As any teacher knows — this vocation takes lots of planning. What to teach and in what order? Does what you’re teaching align with the standards and targets? What will be the pace…

Even the first part of my disability involved so much planning.  Doctor’s appointments. Lawyer consultations. Meetings with personnel…

This is the first time in my life since maybe I was 2 that I don’t have a plan. I say 2 and not 3 because at age 3, I visited kindergarten with my brother… I was in a snit for weeks planning for how I could get back to school without having to wait until I turned 5.

The “thing” that has helped me let go of my need for a plan was when I picked up a camera. I’ve tried planning shots — it doesn’t work. I want a sunset picture — all day it is sunny — at sunset I’m ready — and so are the clouds that have decided to obscure the sun. I have no bird pictures for my Mostly Photograph Slideshows on Sunday — I go for a walk — I hear bird song everywhere — but see not one bird.

I have discovered that in photography the composition finds me. When I stopped planning my shots… When I stopped dictating to the Universe what I needed… When I became open to letting the Spirit move me … often the “essence” of the shot shows up at my back door.

This is what showed up as I put the cat dish down and looked out the sliding glass door…


And when I sat down to do a blog post…


On my way to the study…


Thinking of a friend…


And doing my dishes…


I have found that all sorts of amazing things have started to show up in my life now that I’ve let go of the need to control and plan exactly how my life will be played out. Imagine the job you might have if instead of becoming a doctor like everyone else in your family — you were open to an infinite number of possible careers. Imagine if the mate you desired … looked nothing like all the people you’ve been dating. Imagine if instead of planning the next 5 years of your life… you paused and let your inner voice whisper what the composition of this moment will look like…if only you’ll pause that split second to gasp in wonder at the beauty and joy that has been delivered to your own doorstep.

Today’s Intention: It was to take photos … but of course I planned… so it is gray and dismal and snowing … no light… no birds… so I am going to be at peace that the composition of the day is not for me to determine…. I am most excited to have this most unexpected day.

What about you — Are you a planner? Do you panic if you’re not in complete control of the situation? Are in a career to make someone else happy? OR… Do you live in the moment? Do you trust that what you need will be there at the perfect moment that you need it?