Self Liberation

Ever sit in a wide open and beautiful space and suddenly felt walls closing in on you?  Shoulders tightening, claustrophobia kicking in as your resistance and negative thoughts held you prisoner inside yourself.  Your breath got shorter as your skin and bones confined your chaos.  But what is this jail?  It is a self made prison where you are your own warden.  Where you can make the decision to go on parole whenever you want because this is not a physical jail you are sent to by a court of law.  We all go in and out of this prison for our own reasons but our jails are made by the same source.  That is our overthinking.  Our limiting and self defeating thoughts.  But how do you liberate yourself?


You simply stop caring, exit your mind and enter the moment.  Presence is what allows our heart and soul to take over and light the way.  It’s only in your mind where you hear self defeating thoughts.  Unless you are with someone who is gaslighting you in the present moment no one is judging you like you are judging yourself.  Even if there is an external source telling you the negative things you tell yourself in your mind you could just walk away and go to a place where there is no external negativity.  If this is you right now I am not criticizing because if I was I would be a tremendous hypocrite.  I have been this way my whole life.


Our thoughts often distort our sense of reality.  That is when we confine ourselves.  We won’t take a risk because we worry too much and doubt ourselves.  We imprison ourselves with decisions made out of fear and justify it with excuses.  Or we deny the positivity around us.  A talented artist may not see the strength in their creation because they can’t beat their inner monologue.  I go through this with my work all the time.  Even though I have a really high opinion of my creativity I get really hard on myself when I don’t think I’m hitting the mark.  Usually nobody else understands why I’m being hard on myself but I let my mind distort reality and this is when I box myself in.  When I create with presence and let my subconscious take over that is when I do my best work.


I shot the portrait above on Thanksgiving.  That week I was in Florida with my Family and even though I love my family I don’t really like Florida that much.  I don’t think it fits my creative vibe as much as the northeast does.  I find it too sunny and vibrant for my moody artistic style.  Even though I maybe right and it may not be the place for me I still put a big limit on myself all week long by thinking this.  I boxed myself in.  I kept trying to do self portraits at my parents house without success, and kept questioning how and if I would get the shot I wanted that week.  But how did I end up getting it?  I stopped thinking about it.


For days the window light in the shower fascinated me.  I tried to use it a few times with no success.  But then on my last day I realized it’s not the place thats holding me back and that it’s me.  I went in to take an actual shower not thinking about Photography.  The light coming in through the window was beautiful.  Though I had noticed everyday that week it was my first time noticing it as I was showering and as the room filled with steam from the hot water I knew what to do.  I stopped thinking and my subconscious took over and that was when I made the picture that encapsulated what I was feeling that week.  Funny how when we start being present that magic happens.  When we learn to ignore the voice in our heads and see the beauty in the moment that is when the mental walls we confine ourselves in disappear.