but not so happy White Wall Wednesday.
I don’t have a new video for you, BUT – we are a month in to White Wall Wednesday which means you have a bunch of videos to look back on. And if you haven’t joined in yet, use the hashtag #WhiteWallWednesday so that I can find your creations!
That brings me to why I’m not releasing a video today, and I’m glad for the opportunity to talk about it. We have a chronic problem of idolizing people who seem successful and swiping bad emotions under the rug. Let’s stop that nonsense.
A few things piled up this past week, physically and emotionally.
“The best way out is always through.”
I threw my back out over the weekend and I’m trying to stay horizontal as much as possible to recover. I’m doing much better (thank you for the love!) and getting out each day, but want to take it easy. That means I couldn’t swing doing a photo shoot and a video by myself.
I am also prepping for my annual convention, Promoting Passion. It’s in ONE WEEK! I’ve put this event together almost entirely alone, from finding speakers, sponsors, assistants and models to booking a venue, figuring out A/V, transportation, budgets, hotel accommodations for 165 people, and more. It has been a WHIRLWIND. One day, I’d really like to share my experience doing this. First, because it is a learning experience like none other. And second, because I’m really proud of pulling it together and would love for you to have those same skills, if you don’t already.
Third, I had some pretty life-changing emotional stuff to deal with this week. I can’t/won’t go into detail, but suffice it to say I’m a little emotionally drained right now and didn’t feel like I had enough to give you in a video. (Plus, I have to save it up for Promoting Passion!)
My life for the past month has been like a television show…I’m just not sure if it’s a drama or a comedy. My dining room table, which was covered in a full body cast of my own body, is now strewn with paperwork and goodie bags and all sorts of convention items. My computer is a mass of spreadsheets, my emails are never-ending. But you know what I’m most proud of right now in my life?
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile,
but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
The joy that I’m finding in the in-between moments, even when I feel overwhelmed or when I have anxiety attacks, even when I don’t think I can handle one more responsibility. The joy is always there. The silver lining. That is my greatest super power.
Please don’t mistake my listing of tasks as unhappiness. I am wildly happy – in myself, in my life – but sometimes we get reminders to slow down. This week has been a reminder in the biggest way possible. Life gave me a massive shift in perspective, and I’m listening.
“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns,
or rejoice because thorns have roses.”
I’m currently on my sofa reading a great book, letting my emails pile up (just a little bit), contemplating some avocado toast. I don’t get my kicks from working myself to death; I revel in the moments of quiet that I afford. This White Wall Wednesday is a day of rest and inspiration for me.
After all, I have a convention to run next week. And I’ll be darned if I’m going to let an injured back and a touch of anxiety get in the way of me running the most passionate event on the planet.
Let’s do this, world.
P.S. Can I just give thanks for a few things:
…a soft bed and a comfy sofa, Netflix, good books, ripe avocados, cats, a husband who literally will not let me move myself, and the best community of individuals I could ever hope for to cheer me on through difficult times.
I’ll see many of you at Promoting Passion next week. And those I won’t, I’m keeping you in a warm embrace until we meet!
Marilyn DeMario - You are a wonder and an inspiration, Brooke. Feel better!
brookeshaden - Aww thank you Marilyn, you are so kind!!
Jen Dean - Oh girl. So much love and respect. I have been there (in the place where all is falling apart and your body tells you to stop! and you can still see the joy sinec there is so much good) and I am so glad you are taking it easy. I can’t wait to see you next week. Take care till then. The emails will be there when you are ready. Enjoy your book.
brookeshaden - Jen, I am so excited to give you a giant hug. Your compassion is so inspiring. XOXO!
Maureen - WOW! That’s a lot of stuff to deal with. I always look forward to #WhiteWallWednesday but completely understand. You are amazing and a true inspiration for finding beauty and joy wherever you look. And it is everywhere!
Take care and good luck with your event. It will be fantastic!
brookeshaden - Thank you Maureen! I feel so loved to read your words today.
Ankur Banerjee - You have always inspired us by sharing your life experiences and learnings, you deserve the ‘me’ time and the rest. In a creative journey, to give time for yourself becomes very important. I hope you do really well with the promoting passion event, and one day I hope to attend it too (P.S. from India) lots of love!
brookeshaden - Thank you Ankur!
Carol Walsh - Thank you for your deeply honest White Wall Wednesday! It is amazing how our bodies symbolically speak to us. (Carrying too big of a load on your back?) I do it all of the time. You are such an inspiration for me and my fellow art photographers. I use you as an example all of the time. May you feel better quickly and have a fabulous conference. Carol
brookeshaden - Carol, that means everything to me. Thank you, it is so healing to read your words.
Chrystal Kelly - Hey Brooke! I’m sorry your hurting, we all know and are inspired by how hard you work, that being said you should never feel bad about self care, that is also inspiring. I’m so glad you have a partner who loves you so much and is so supportive, I can relate to that and am grateful everyday for it. I really wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your dedication to sharing so much, the Sony alpha female grant, which honestly you deserve more then anyone because you exemplify all the qualities they are looking for…thank you. Sending you positive energy and thoughts. ♀️ take care of yourself this week!!!
brookeshaden - Oh Chrystal!! You are so lovely! I am really honored to be mentoring in the #SonyAlphaFemale grant, it is going to be AMAZING. I’ll keep taking care of myself so I can keep connecting with you and others. Big hug!
Stacy Honda - I’m so sorry you are not feeling well! Yeah probably the universe telling you to take a time out : ). Feel better soon! And I hope you have a wonderful convention. I wish I was joining you. Maybe next year! And yes you have plenty of wonderful white wall Wednesday videos to look back on, so don’t worry about that! Take care of yourself : )
brookeshaden - Yes! I definitely got the message – time to rest. I wish you were joining us too! Sending a hug and I hope we can see each other soon!
Stacy Honda - Thank you! Hugs to you too : )
Tanya Kryder - Thank you for always being so honest and open about your work and your life. I think we all need reminders to just take a breath and slow down sometimes. I have had my own battles with my body telling me it is time to rest and not push even though my brain is telling me to get off the couch and get it done. Sending you best wishes and healing energy for both your physical and emotional needs. Thank you for the inspiration. Love and hugs from Indiana.
P.S.I hope one day to be able to be join you for Promoting Passion (It’s been a dream since I submitted my work to you for your year in review in 2013!)
brookeshaden - I am so thankful to know you Tanya!
Linda - Feel better soon; you always share something to prick my heart in a good way. Thank you!❤️❤️ Wish I was able to come to Promoting Passion, but maybe some day. Praying for you! ~Linda
Anna Bruce - Aww Brooke!!! Sending you much love. You already give so much to everyone that this break is well deserved. I am sad that it took hurting your back and emotional stuff for you to get it but I am glad that you aren’t working yourself to death while not feeling well. Thank you for all that you do for us 🙂 <3 Can't wait to see you next week!
Gabriel Kordics - So, you are not doing WWW this week? LOL just kidding..take care of yourself. Next week will be a breeze for you
Miguel Reznicek - Hi Brooke
I love your work and there is one thing I’d like to know: Why are your photos always so dark? This may be your style or do you have to make them dark for a reason?
Thanks – Migs
Natalie Arriola - I love you, Brooke! You are always an inspiration in any situation. I hope you feel better soon and good luck at the convention. I so wanted to go, but couldn’t swing it this time. Hopefully I can make the next one! <3
Julie Oshiyama - Ditto to all of the above statements and well wishes. Brooke, you truly are an inspiration to many people around the world. Thank you for always giving of yourself to this community and more. I’m glad you are listening to your body, which in turn is a vessel for others to receive your wisdom and inspiration. I so wish I lived in CA still. Joshua Tree is one of my fave places to shoot. Hopefully, one of these years, I’ll be able to attend one of your conferences. In the meantime, I will wish you all loads of love and light.
Janeane - So glad you are taking care of yourself Brooke! Thank you for sharing your honesty and can’t wait to see you next week. Breathe – we all love you no matter what!!!!
Kristy Slicker - Such courage… rotate ice/heat and enjoy your few days of relaxation!
Sabrina-M - I’m so sorry your back is playing up Brooke. I absolutely know how you feel. It’s my back problems that keep me from doing fine art for a year now. If I take one photo I got to pay for it with a week of hardly moving. If it wasn’t for my back I would be there at PPC with all my great and supportive new friends like Ronne, Jen Kiaba, Gallagher Patrick, and so many others.
I find true inspiration in you how you manage to keep going regardless your health problems, something I still need to learn. I sincerely hope you have less pain soon. But I have full confidence everyone at ppc will do it’s best to help you if you are still in pain. Give my love to each and every one of them. And to you I give you the biggest but most careful hug. Keep watching your P.O. box the next month as I will resend the mystery package;-)
Lots of love and hugs
Els Aartse - Dear Brooke,
Being able to see what life is about is what I hear in your writing.
Life is about so many things in both positive as negatieve way’s. But when you do not shut your eyes for what is coming along your journey than it is possible to climb every mountain, also the steep. You only have to also see the beauty of it.
You are such a strong person and it is beautiful of you to share your thoughts
and being an inspiration to others. Thank you for that
I hope you feel be better soon and good luck with your convention.
Big softly hug from the Netherlands
Moira - I hope you are feeling better and some days, a book, a cup of tea and lying down is just what we need. I love your words and imagery – you are an inspiration beyond words.
Dealing with anxiety is never easy and can flip our world upside down, inside out in a matter of seconds – as I too found out/experienced this week. Fortunately I took a leaf out of your book and stepped back and looked after myself and did no work!!
Take care and lots of love. I so wished I could attend your Promoting Passion event, but coming from New Zealand was not going to work for me – on this occasion.
Turla Peterson - Thank you for giving us White Wall Wednesday, I learned a lot from watching all your videos and tutorial. I hope you feel better soon and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Take it easy just watch Netflix and too bad there is no Games of Thrones yet, although you can watch on demand from Direct TV.
Ruth Gordon - I experienced the Promoting Passion in Colorado with my daughter and I must say your conferences/life-altering experiences stay with a person FOREVER. I hope your back heals quickly and your passion for art never ends. love you!!!
Angela Marvel - Brooke, you are inspiring as ever 🙂 please take care of yourself and I hope you are back to your full self real soon 🙂
Karen Burns - Brooke, please take good care of yourself! So sad to miss the convention and hope you can share some of it with those of us who cannot afford to be there. You are an inspiration. Best, Karen
Ps—maybe east coast next year?
Gallagher Green - I am just now reading this over a week late, I was so swamped getting ready for PPC (not like you were of course), but I somehow missed that there was a new blog post.
I am sorry you have hit some snags in your life, I know that it will be all good in the end.
I hope PPC didn’t set your back, back in healing. The event (To me) went off perfectly, you are incredible. Thank you. <3
W. Lotus - I feel you on not working yourself to death. I am going through a period of needing to rest as well. A wise woman let me know my mental and emotional exhaustion was a sign I needed to slow down, not a fit of laziness I needed to push through. I’m glad you are taking care of yourself too.
Abigale Eastwood - Hi, I feel you. Don’t let the stress take over you. We all you sound and sane. So take your time.
It’s pity we didn’t meet at Promoting Passion but I hope there will be other opportunities.
P.S. Thank God for cats – the best creatures in the world.