Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Honey badgers, sing-alongs and Life as an Artform.

Soooo…wow, where do I begin. Last night I talked to my brother on the phone after he called me to ask me specifically about this and I told him I was having a hard time putting it into words.  But, I said, I’m going to write a blog post about it so you should check that out later because that might explain things a little better.  And even as those words were coming out of my mouth I was thinking to myself, “Who are you kidding?  How are you ever going to get this whole experience into a blog post?”  Yeah, I guess I might as well admit that even as I type this I still have no idea what I’m going to say.  But I’m going to do my best, so here goes.

Last year I was fortunate enough to attend WPPI and when I was looking through the roster of speakers in attendance, I knew without a doubt that I had to see Jesh de Rox.  I had found him online a while before and was pretty much blown away by his images, but that was nothing compared to how I was going to feel after being in the presence of the man himself.  I won’t go into too much detail, but suffice it to say I left that room in absolute tears.  We’re talking makeup all over the face, not a pretty sight tears here.  Sobbing even.  I wanted so badly to wait in line to talk to him, but I knew I wouldn’t get two words out before I cried all over the poor guy, so I figured it would be best just to skip it.  At that point I hoped one day to attend one of his highly sought-after workshops, but it was pretty much just a dream and, I thought, a long way off.

Fast forward to last Fall/Winter when they announced that Jesh would be coming to Minneapolis.  MINNEAPOLIS.  I freaked.  And even though I had no idea at the time where the money was going to come from, I knew without a doubt that I had to sign up.  Not to mention that I heard from anyone I talked to who had attended before that I had to go, no questions asked.  He was coming to Minneapolis.  I live in Minneapolis.  No brainer. A couple of days and a little bit of convincing later, I was lucky enough to secure a spot.  And then I freaked out some more.

So now I’m stuck again guys because I’ve gotten to that part where I have to describe what the workshop was like and I still don’t know what to say.  A recap or a summary of any kind would cheapen the experience.  Nor would it make much sense.  How do you “recap” when someone changes your life?  Because that’s what happened, plain and simple.  This workshop changed the way I look at and think about almost every single part of of my life.  Which is why it’s called Life as an Artform I think…because it’s not about changing your business, it’s about changing yourself from the inside out and as a result everything else will start to change too.  It’s about figuring out who you are, what you love and not wasting any part of your life not pursuing those things.  It’s about seeking the beauty and the infinite possibilities in all situations and, more importantly, in all people.  Because that beauty is there.  It’s just up to us to find it.  One of my favorite things that Jesh said was that love, true love, is the giving of space to each other to really be ourselves.  To love someone is to give them the room to open up and feel accepted for who the y really are…including all the parts that they probably don’t want you to see.  When it comes down to it, we are all so connected, so who are we to judge each other?  Besides, deep down we all want the same things.  We all have a voice (or a birdcall, as Jesh put it) and we just want someone to hear it.  To respond.  And all of that starts within ourselves.  Ultimately that is the most important relationship we’ll ever have.

Jesh is a profound and inspiring human being, there is absolutely no doubt about that.  However, the growth I experienced last week wouldn’t have been possible without the 14 other people I experienced this workshop with as well.  It was the most extraordinary feeling, to grow so close to those people as quickly as I did.  To share such intimate moments with people I had only met hours before.  I’ve never felt anything like it and it changed me.  It made that beauty inside myself and inside others a tangible thing, lurking so close to the surface.  It is up to us to find the beauty in each other, yes, and I’m happy to say it’s not hard to find.  Vickey, Jen, Jeremy, Amy, Kate, Kate, Jesh, Kristina, Krysten, Andy, Chris, Shannon, Annie, Bethany, Erika…I am so honored to call you all friends.  I’d drown with you anytime and I love you all with my great big heart kite. :)

I’m going to end this with one of my favorite things that Jesh said over the three days that we all spent together.  He said, “an artist does not wait for someone else’s permission to make decisions that belong to them.”  When he said that I just thought, YES!  That is it.  I have the capacity in me to do so many incredible things, as do you dear reader.  We all have beauty.  We all have worth.  We all are infinite.  Thank you, Jesh, for giving us the space to discover that.


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