Thoughts: Being Present Over Being Perfect

“Sabbath is the discipline of rest. It’s practicing our belief that we’re not the center of the universe. Sabbath is practicing the belief that the world will keep on spinning even without our very productive selves working our tails off seven days a week.” —Shauna Niequist As a photographer, there’s this pressure. I know it might seem ridiculous, and maybe I’m imagining it, but I feel this pressure to create the most awe-inspiring pictures, to have the most Facebook likes, to write the most witty blogs. The most, the best, the funniest.

I know this doesn’t just apply to photography. It’s life. There’s pressure to be perfect. To be the most successful, to make the most money, to work the hardest. And I get caught up in it when really, to be more human is to be present in life. Real life. Not some made-up perfect life that I’m constantly chasing. Because it doesn’t exist.

“Our world is bent on making us less and less human. Less and less connected. Less and less imperfect and fragile and raw and messy and beautiful. Our world values speed and perfection and performance and technology.” —Shauna Niequist

If you know me, you know I love Shauna Niequist, and especially her first book Cold Tangerines. I just really identify with her writing style, subject matter and honesty.

She recently did a message on “Present to Perfection” where she discussed this notion that we’re always running, always adding things to our to do list instead of slowing down and really being present in life.

This is me. I feel so blessed that I’m able to be a photographer, and there are so many good things about working for yourself. One thing I really struggle with though is setting office hours and sticking to my pre-determined time off. I’m always looking to the next thing, instead of what’s right in front of my face.

Yesterday, I had a client meeting (hi, Hailee and Stefan!). We sat, we talked, we drank coffee … and I found myself loosing track of time. I was present in the moment. I was there learning about them and not checking my planner, worried that I was missing out on time to get stuff done. When I left that meeting, I felt fulfilled. Like I was truly embracing my purpose of being a photographer.

This season, I’m going to embrace Shauna’s challenge. I hope you’ll join me.

“I’m going to choose less. And, in turn, be present for more.” —Shauna Niequist

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