Promoting Passion Week 52: Cracked, Flawed, and Powerful

Promoting Passion Week 52: Cracked, Flawed, and Powerful

I am in love with endings. They are beautiful, tragic, hopeful and sorrowful all at once. They are death. They are roads ending at walls. They stop us where we are and force us to question what that place has become.

To put it simpler: They are beginnings. They are life. They are rebirth.

This end of another year does not symbolize the end of one thing as much as it does the beginning of another. And with all beginnings, it is best to start fresh with some introspection and self-love. It is best to move forward with yourself on your side, because too many of us play for another team. It is best to begin anew with dreams and hopes, and to put our losses to rest.

We have learned together and grown together. We have journeyed long and far and have discovered parts of ourselves we never knew existed. We challenged ourselves and pushed and pulled from others, and did our best to be the best, or at least the best we can hope for within ourselves. That is why I love you all. Accountability, friendship, and love.

I feel so fortunate to close this year out having learned about myself and about others. I have seriously redefined my goals in life. I am no longer satisfied with being a photographer. I want to make a real difference, and so a single word cannot capture what I hope to be. I want to be inspired by all things, naturally and beautifully, as it can be. I want to find my voice so that I may raise it up and stand for something bigger than my own vision. I want to give my imagination legs to stand on, and then wings to soar upon, that I may see the world from a cloud that I built with my own two hands.

As I looked back at this year, I found that the things I did, the “successes” and “failures”, were hardly a thought in my mind. I found it difficult to remember the traveling I did, or the pictures I created, so much as I could remember the lessons I learned while doing those things. Life is so often not about the things we do, but how we choose to look back on them. How they impact us in the future.

  1. Give yourself a gift EVERY DAY.

    You are so much more worthy than you know. You are impactful and bright and you can change lives; the first life you should change is your own. Recognize your impact, your wants, your needs. Recognize your capacity for change, and then exact that change. Give yourself something every day that symbolizes that control you have over your world. Wake up to watch the sunrise. Treat yourself to a cookie. Write yourself a card and hide it. Go see a movie. Eat well. Smile at random. Count your successes, no matter how small. And above all, remember how worthy your own happiness is.

  2. Forgive yourself before it is too late.

    We want to be better. We want to succeed. We want to push past our barriers. And sometimes, despite our best efforts, we simply do not manage everything we hope for. In those times, forgive yourself before it becomes too hard to do. I had my fair share of lazy days. Days when I watched TV all day. Days when I didn’t want to leave the house, or talk to anyone. Days when I felt inferior to other people, days when I didn’t think I could compete, and days when I just needed a rest. And I realized this year that it’s okay to not be the person you are aiming to be. Everyone needs to recharge and reset. It is okay to take a step back from that hustle and just exist. Forgive yourself now before guilt comes knocking. Let yourself be happy. Take breaks. Be free.

    3. You are a work-in-progress, yet you already possess the tools you  need.

    Two things happen all-too-often, perhaps due to our nature. One is that we constantly feel the need to be better, and the other is that we doubt our ability to do so. Remember this: no one expects you to be perfect. You are usually your own worst critic. Be okay with being something less than perfect – that is always more interesting anyway. Live through your flaws. Identify them. Try to grow. And remember, in the midst of those growing pains, that you do have the ability to fix yourself. You have all the tools you need. No one can give them to you. You simply have to search deeper.

    4. You have a gift to give the world – do not keep it to yourself.

    A great friend once told me, when I was refusing to release a picture about 5 years ago, that I have a gift to give the world and not sharing it was to keep that gift to myself. I rolled my eyes. I thought she was being ridiculous – after all, I’m not some crazy narcissistic person who thinks my art is so great. But you know what – she was right. And she wasn’t just talking about me. She was talking about everyone. Every single person has a gift to give the world. It might not be a gift for every single person, but consider this hugely important idea: When you give a piece of yourself, there is someone out there who needs to receive it, and they often will. You never know how you will positively impact someone’s life, so do not keep your gifts to yourself. They are too precious to be hidden away. Embrace them. Know your quirks. Reveal them. Share them openly. Be generous.

    We are cracked. We are flawed. We are full of power and energy that we cannot begin to know. We can only hope to search for it, to embrace pieces of it, and to use it to unlock our passion.

16 thoughts on “Promoting Passion Week 52: Cracked, Flawed, and Powerful

    1. Thank you thank you! I’m having some crazy auto-formatting issues. This is why I never do updates 😛 haha! Love to you! Miss you!

  1. Thank you for this, Brooke! I really needed this today. Also, thank you for sharing some of your wisdom and your art with us. I can’t wait to see where 2015 brings you and your art!

  2. Brooke you make that edit look so easy. Ugh. The images are amazing. A lot of this post, as usual, spoke directly to me.
    I’d like to offer a different perspective to the “sharing images” part. A piece you may think doesn’t speak to you may actually be life changing to one of your fans. It’s happened to me a few times where someone will see something that I think is bleh and won’t put out in the world, they will think is the best thing they’ve ever seen out of me. I try to be mindful that people have different tastes than my own. Now I’m not saying to intentionally pander to people but just to see a different perspective is all.
    Hope you have a great holiday.

    1. I definitely know what you’re saying here Tom, there have been a couple images I’ve put out that I was definitely happy with, but didn’t think were to ground breaking, that have turned out to be some of my most popular! You just never know what people will connect with or be touched by.

  3. It has been a truly wonderful year and I so look forward to the next one. All simply wonderful thoughts and advice in this post, thanks as always for sharing! I hope you decide to continue these videos next year, they always brighten my Mondays!! 🙂 Also…is that a WHALE tale on your necklace!? We all know how you feel about whales hehehe.

  4. We’re about to finish the year 2014, which for me was a turning point and to which this blog contributed a lot. I am very happy with this my 2014 with everything I learned and the peoplealthough not personally, I met in this beautiful community. So I’m very excited about 2015 and no doubt that these items will be used by me. I cannot give you my gratitude and friendship personally, but I can leave in this blog, my thanks for your words and pictures along this year, they were very important. You have a friend here. Wish you a week of peace and love. <3

  5. “I have seriously redefined my goals in life. I am no longer satisfied with being a photographer. I want to make a real difference, and so a single word cannot capture what I hope to be.”

    Nor should it. If your hope is to make a real difference, however, I’d say you are well on your way. Over the past year you have gathered a group of photographers, artists, writers, dreamers together and you have given us the inspiration to try.

    You have told us it is alright to try and fail. You have encouraged us. You have moved many of us off of the couch. You have changed lives with your words and your art.

    I do also understand what you are saying though. You’ve taken a step, but there are still miles to go before you are satisfied (if that is even possible… we’re all changing our goals on a daily basis and redefining who and what we want to be).

    I want something more from my art as well. I want to change lives, not just with the photos I create but with the message I speak; with the person that I am. It’s not an easy mission. So I just wanted to let you know what an amazing job you are already doing. 🙂

    Here’s to an amazing 2015 for all of us!

  6. so love these images Brooke! so simple and yet so powerful, and amazing content! It’s been a wonderful few years for me of following your work and being able to be inspired by your blog and community! Thank you, and may you find utter fulfillment in what you love doing in the years to come!

  7. Brooke- oh, this is the first time I’ve actually read your blog, and for that, I’m sorry…meaning, I’m sorry I’ve lost out on learning and growing from you. I watched your CL class many times over and am in love with your work. About a year and a half ago, I went through a horrible experience and am just now feeling healing and closure. My counselor wanted me to think of a way to “commemorate” my healing from this experience in some way. I immediately knew I had to do a photo – but I’m a family/kids photographer. But I wanted to do something different, darker, but something meaningful to me. I landed here, at your blog, after looking through your work for inspiration. Gosh, even after watching you edit on CL, I have no idea how you achieve such beauty and power in your images!!! Your reds are so amazingly dark and vibrant. Anyway…I’m going to see if I can do this – if I can commemorate my place of finally being able to forgive after so much anger and heartache. I want to do a self-portrait and I’m hoping everything I learned from you will come out in my own work. Thank you for sharing yourself. I just wanted to write this to you so you knew that there are so many people out there that you’ve touched and inspired and you have no idea. God bless~

  8. All of no. 2, especially “It is okay to take a step back from that hustle and just exist.” It’s nice to know I’m not alone in having completely useless days.

    I can’t stop looking at the images in this post. They are like a voice for the inexpressible part of being human. An unbearable “heaviness” of being 🙂

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