Promoting Passion Week 35: Stress and Love

Promoting Passion Week 35: Stress and Love

At any moment in our lives we have the choice to create the art that we want when we want to. That choice isn’t always wise, since we have responsibilities and other passions that keep us going, but still, the choice is ours. When I think about all the time I spend doing other things, those silly things that don’t mean as much in the end, I cringe. Yet sometimes, they are just as necessary. Like that day last week that I binge-watched Stargate SG1.

Thinking about the importance of being excited by passion is important to me in the fight to reduce stress. I have always been a naturally stressed and anxious person, and over time and with a lot of trying, that has been reduced drastically. Yet there are still times, in the quiet of the night, when all of that comes back. I start to wonder if I did everything I was supposed to do. I wonder who is upset with me for not being good enough. I wonder if I’ve done enough to not just get by, but to excel.

And these are the thoughts that mess with your head and make you believe you are less. These are the thoughts that need to be stopped. And so I realized that something, an unknown “thing” was building up stress and making me a little bit crazy. It wasn’t one thing but a culmination of things. And so I decided to fix it.

1. The first thing that happened was that I felt too much pressure to create something dfferent – more opulent and extreme – in a photograph. So instead of pleasing the pressure I did something just for myself. The simplest photograph I could think of. All in the name of happiness. And you know what? I love it. Not for it’s photographic properties but because it is mine, from my heart, and I can feel good about that.

2. I started making lists before I go to sleep. I write down everything that I want to accomplish the next day, and I get really specific. I focus on not just what to do, but how I will achieve all of my goals so that I don’t overreach and disappoint myself. If I am going to submit to galleries, I have a list of locations I will look. I make one of my goals to update my CV, another to draft an email, and a third to update my website. That way when I do submit, I know that all of the necessary steps have been taken. I am also far less overwhelmed because the job has been broken down into manageable tasks.

3. I started making sure I had something to look forward to. Most mornings now I wake up and have a smoothie. Sounds boring, right? But it isn’t! Here is what I do to make this work for me…

I look up a recipe the day before and get the ingredients that I need. Before I go to sleep I prep them, meaning that I chop up all the fruit or veg and put it in a container with the right proportion, so that in the morning I simply have to blend. It doesn’t require stress or even much thought. It is nice, relaxing, and fun. If you can plan to do something for your morning that doesn’t require frustration, you’re more likely to enjoy it.

By drinking a smoothie I am having a brand new experience while also promoting health and having something to look forward to.

So tell me…How will you focus on your passion this week? How will you reduce stress? Will you write a list before bed (and get specific!)? Will you think up something fun you can do in the mornings to get yourself going?

12 thoughts on “Promoting Passion Week 35: Stress and Love

  1. Outstanding and Inspiring as always! And I’m all about the ‘look forward to treat’ … this morning I put freshly canned peaches into hot oatmeal! Special treat you say? Ahhh, my neighbor/friend and I canned those peaches just Saturday. 🙂 Brooke, keep up the great job!

  2. first of all the video quality is just fine….and as for what others think Brooke…I really don’t care…yes do whatever makes you happy as long as you are not infringing on someone else…but your happiness is a concern of mine…I feel if you are happy that has a positive effect on me…and everyone around you…and you know that everyone is not going to like your style…but what about all of us who love your work and the enthusiasm you bring to our universe…Mother Teresa said if you can’t feed a hundred…feed one…that ripple effect does work…but onto your photoshoot…it was so much fun watching you enjoy yourself…I don’t drink smoothies…but my best morning brew is water with a slice of lemon…thinking about a little bit of gingerroot being added to this…I think you were doing a morning meditation there for a while…that helps to stop that mind that wakes you up at 2 or 3 in the morning…meditation when I wake up and meditation just before bed . namaste

  3. Brooke, this is so beautifully elegant <3 Your pose and grace are what shine through in this image. Love the blend of person and environment and the tones are heavenly.

    Love the way you always break things down into personal and practical suggestions. Not all are appropriate to my life, but I love the different perspective and ideas. Thank you for that!

  4. I have to tell you Brooke, that I love, love, love your site, what you do and your approach to photography, living and creativity! I cam upon your site via and I’m so glad I found the site. Please keep doing what you do!

  5. Another beautiful image. Well done.

    I love the idea of writing out a detailed list of tasks the night before. I do that too. I find that doing it the night before helps me really get into the right frame of mind in the morning. I also think my brain kind of starts working on those tasks at night while I sleep making them easier to accomplish the next day.

  6. Not always do that, but sometimes I also make a list the night before with things and goals to accomplish. And it’s usually when I get more anxious, waiting for the day to arrive. Sometimes anxiety is so big that I have difficulty falling asleep. To reduce stress and so that the day goes well, nothing better than a race very early in the morning. Usually at 7 am I will do my nine miles. This week my focus is on Sintra, a beautiful place that you would surely love. I’m visiting a friend who I have not seen for a long time and there will certainly be a lot of talk and shoot. Can not wait. We’ll shoot here:

  7. thank you brooke i needed to hear this especially about creating something different. i have been making images even during my move and they were more simple then the more advanced composites and i was starting to think they weren’t as good simply because there wasn’t that surreal, photoshop magic going on. but i loved shooting them and i do love them they mean a lot to me and it also helped prove to myself that i can make the time for it even during craziness like driving across country! so i shouldn’t worry what i think people might think (my BIGGEST problem) that they will think its not amazing because its more of a simple set up. that i need to remember that its about me doign what makes me happy and the most important thing is telling the story. i love your blogs soo much. i’m starting to get an inner brooke voice telling me from time to time all the great advice you give us! like a little mini brooke sitting on my shoulder whispering encourgement in my ear. i love it. thank you!

  8. I love this image! I love it’s simplicity! I could tell the moment I saw it that there was something different about it. I’m always creating lists. I have major pregnancy brain and if I don’t write something down I won’t remember to do it. So on my phone I have a list for projects that need to get done, ideas for photos for my current series and ideas for photos for my next series. If I didn’t have these lists I would just be sitting on my bum in front of the television all day long.

  9. A lovely image! I just started to rewatch your first Creative Live class and I am still amazed by the inspiration you spread around you.

    To reduce stress my best recipe is routine…a bit boring but it works :). I have most of the housework done on set times and in between and on the weekends I try to let every thought of it go. And I love lists, have them all over…

  10. Sorry- I seem to have a bunch of non sequiturs today…

    1. (You look lovely with your hair pulled back, by the way). The music in the video was perfect happy music. I love how you looked so serene during the shoot. Beautiful photo too.

    2. I love mornings when I’ve prepared a pot of breakfast quinoa for the week–cooked with a cinnamon stick and chopped dates. Add a chopped apple (and maybe nuts) after I heat it up and it’s a delicious, filling breakfast that takes no time. That makes me happy in the morning!

    3. This afternoon I asked my husband if he could shoot some holes into a bucket for an idea I had. He laughed and said a drill would probably be more accurate. When I drew a terrible stick figure of what I wanted to do, he just chuckled. It’s great to shoot for oneself and not really care what others think.

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