Creating your own Peace

I’ve been busy with all things photography lately, and although at times it’s overwhelming given all of Life’s other daily tasks, I love busy. For me, with Autumn also comes purpose.

Autumn is my favourite time of year. There is something so magical when the leaves turn and the fields come alive with the harvest. Golden sun-kissed fields fill with rolling trails of dust that hang in twilight skies with each round of the combine.

As a kid, I loved visiting my Dad as he worked in the field. My Mom used to pack a big picnic blanket along with a home-cooked meal so we could all eat together along the field’s edge. My sisters and I would stand at the end of the swath and jump up and down to get his attention.  I remember sitting on that picnic blanket and looking up at Dad who sat on an end gate, precariously balancing a warm meal on his lap while sipping steaming hot coffee from a thermos. If I close my eyes and think back to those childhood memories, the vision of warm golden sunsets over wheat fields fills me with peace. Even today, all I have to do to get that warm fuzzy feeling from home is to turn off pavement and find a gravel road to drive down.

A detour down a gravel road, with the windows down and  Sting’s “Fields of Gold” playing in the background does wonders for my Autumn havest homesickness.

I was shooting a family session the other day at their beautiful acreage. She thanked me for travelling out to their country home, and I had the feeling she believed it was an inconvenience. In all truthfulness, I couldn’t wait for the harvest drive, I loved every scenic minute of it. On the way home I passed by this landscape…

Usually when I’m in the middle of a busy shooting season, I have no desire to take personal photos; however, I’ve focused on moments lately. Moments like these pass us by all the time. It’s up to us to see them.  I knew I had to turn around and take those photos. That whole scene which I appreciated so much at that moment would have been lost to me.

We are often in the business of waiting. We spend much of our lives waiting in lines, at doctor’s offices, the bank, and the grocery store. We wait for the next stage in our lives, and when we make it there, we miss the stage that just passed us by.

There is life within the waiting.

There is life within the chaos.

There is peace in this busy life at this very moment.

I am so grateful to realize that these moments in life that bring peace are all around if I would simply take notice. Not only take notice, but create and re-created them.

The other day I went for a run along trails of green, gold, and amber; the sounds of leaves crunching under my feet as geese flew overhead leaving the promise of winter behind. I knew I loved running in the Fall, but I haven’t made the time for it lately. I wouldn’t have enjoyed the overwhelming feeling of peace that an Autumn run brought me had I not created it.

 It isn’t enough to talk about peace, one must believe it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it, one must work for it.
 – Eleanor Roosevelt

What can you do today to create your own moments of peace?

Peace is just a moment away.  Why wait for peace to come to you when you can create it?

From my heart to yours,


Waking our Inner Child

As a family photographer, I’ve noticed an amazing quality in all children I photograph.

Children think they are awesome as is. I often say to kids during a photography session: “You are amazing” and their reply is almost always the same…”I know”.

As adults, we are often confuse confidence for vanity, but I’ve thought about beauty in a different way lately.  When you say to a child: You are beautiful or you are amazing, children interpret that very differently than we adults do.  Kids love who they are as a whole, rather than relating that comment to aesthetics.  It’s the spirit of the child that shines through. The unbridled ability to play, sing, accept others, run, dress, just as they wish. To Just Be. Children are active because they want to be!

And then somewhere along the way…we lose that ability. We are affected by outside influences that tell us what to wear, what music to like, what size we should be, etc.

Much of this is cultural, based on where we grew up.  We are fortunate to live in a country where freedom of speech and religion is a right, but our children don’t know any different, and we can take this amazing gift for granted. We are free to dream.

When we were children, we loved our body for its ability. Arms to play, hands to hold and colour with, a face that carries expression, hair to blow in the breeze on a windy day or to add 17 pony-tails to on crazy hair day at school, feet to cover with sand, and legs to run through water on a hot summer day.

And then we get older and “wiser”.  Speaking from personal struggles, there have been times in my life when I wanted to be thinner, stronger, richer, and more confident. I’ve analyzed the times in my life when I was the most confident and I’ve realized that confidence comes from self-acceptance.  Just Be. Weed out the outside influences.

Find your inner voice, your own unique sense of style, form your own opinions.  My daughter will often come to me and ask if I like the outfit she chose for the day, and I reply “Do you?” because that’s all that matters.

So maybe, just maybe, we could learn a thing or two about self-acceptance through the eyes of a child…

The child who looks at their Mom and tells her she’s the most beautiful woman in the world, even when she first wakes up in the morning sporting sticky-uppy hair and well-worn PJs.

The child who can befriend another in an instance and who accepts an invitation to play if only for a few minutes.

The child who loves who they are as is, appreciates their body for all it can do, greets each day with wonder and gratitude, and is eager to learn and grow.

The child who thinks they are just plain awesome, and who accepts others in the same way.

Let’s wake up that inner-child my friends. Self-acceptance is already within us.

Life is amazing and so are you. Have I told you that lately?!

From my heart to yours,


The Power of One

The Power of One

One run where you push yourself just a little further.

One positive thought.

One phone call to someone you miss.

One song you love turned up as loud as it will go.

One shoulder dance.

One walk in the park.

One bike ride in the sunshine.

One random act of kindness.

One handwritten card mailed to another who needs encouragement.

One “thank-you”.

One “I love you”.

One uplifting sticky note.

One hour reading a book you can’t put down.

One fragrant fresh-cut bunch of flowers set on a kitchen table.

One word of encouragement either given or received.

One fit of laughter.

One friend who truly understands.

One kiss from your kids.

One amazing afternoon spent with friends.


Just ONE…it holds the power to turn the gift of this one day around.

Positive Out, Positive In.

From my heart to yours,