Are the flowers left to die?

Like most of my posts, this post was prompted by Kat Harris and the crew over at The Refined Collective Series. Be sure and check out the other ladies in this wonderful group posted below. 

I have a story for you: On April 12th of this year I visited and enjoyed the Carlsbad Flower Fields with my family. We studied the blooms and celebrated the rainbow of life all around our feet. We were in awe of the carefully cared for fields of Ranunculus that seemed to be showing off. It looked like something straight out of a movie and as my niece kept saying, "so pretty"!  

April 12

APIRL 12

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Just a few weeks later I pulled off the freeway, curious to see if the flowers were still in bloom. I drove up to a dry desert like scene. The fields were closed and the blooms were almost all gone. Their stems dusty brown forming a hill of tall grasses. The flowers were no longer in bloom; I could visibly see that they had gone to seed and had died. I was in the same place, wearing almost the same exact outfit (not planned!) but the scenery could not have been more contrasted! 

For a second my heart sank. Had they really all died? Did they really only last that long? What is it worth to only live for a few months? Is that really their story - they bloom for only a few weeks out of the year and then are gone? 

I sat in my car letting my feelings sink. I concluded that I wished they would just stay in bloom their whole life - that I was sad they only “lasted” for a few weeks.

What I realized eventually is that even though they looked dead, they had actually gone to seed! 

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JUNE 3

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Things come and go. Flowers bloom and then they don’t. One day you have a lot of money in your bank account, another day you don’t. One day you are laughing with a friend, the next day they are gone. Life is made up of a bunch of temporary experiences - as I am sure you are well aware of. 

Although we may be aware of how temporary things are, we are more prone to prefer the positive temporary situations rather than the challenging ones - wanting the good to stay and the difficult to go. Our western culture celebrates and honors the season of blooming much more than the nessesary seasons of death. If the Ranunculus flowers never went to seed and died, they wouldn’t bloom the following year. The death season is vital to the blooming season.

Your suffering, your loss, your letting go season is vital to your blooming one. 

Its not only imperative that we acknowledge the temporary, we must embrace it - the death and the blooms. We must savor it, taste it, study it, document it, honor it. Its guaranteed to change, so what would it look like to embrace it while we have it? 

Step one to embracing it is to 

  1. Name the Season you/ your business/ your family is in. 

IN BLOOM 

Has your bud fully bloomed? Are you producing pollen? Are others able to take what you have and use it to propagate more? 

GONE TO SEED

Are you maybe in a cooler season, where you are watching the wind/ Spirit move? Are you feeling the emotions around death, loss, grief? 

      2. How could you more fully accept & support this reality today?

When something, someone, some idea is embraced in the present- its accepted, held, supported, covered, hugged, enclosed. 

Don't forget with death comes seeds and with blooms comes pollination. Both temporary but beautiful & necessary parts of the life cycle. 

 

Are the flowers left to die? The flowers die back and produce seed for re-planting for the next season. We feel that by allowing the plant to complete its lifecycle, it helps produce a more superior crop. - TheFlowerFields.com 

 

 

 

Seasons + Cycles

Seasons, whether in the year or in our lives, are liminal spaces. Spring is a liminal time between winter and summer.

A liminal space is the time between the ‘what was’ and the ‘next.’ It is a place of transition, waiting, and not knowing.

It can be scary as F*&%! I think its important to transition well. I am currently in between seasons and thought it fitting to share what I am learning as I walk it out. 

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How to identify you are in a liminal space: If you answer yes to any of these, you are most likely in a liminal space. 

Do you find yourself answering questions with “I don't know”?

Are you living a bit outside of your normal environment?

Are you questioning yourself and the existing social order? 

Have you just experienced a new level of pain? 

Are you experiencing feelings of being dislocated and socially unstructured?

Do you resonate with the concepts of being destructed or constructed?

Are you ready to occupy a new social role or status? 

How to move through liminal spaces more gracefully : In transitions we usually don’t know who to become or how to navigate the transition. Here are a few things I have learned that have helped me wade the waters of liminality. 

1. Stay as long as you can Richard Rohr says “This is the sacred space where the old world is able to fall apart, and a bigger world is revealed. If we don’t encounter liminal space in our lives, we start idealizing normalcy.” 

Dont rush out of this space, you are watching, tasting, touching that bigger world.

If you rush you wont get the full extension. The expansion needs time. Trust deep time. Trust in long term payoff. Zoom out 20-30 years, maybe even into the next generation or two, see how this yes now will allow for a better, larger, more expansive world for future generations + future you. 

2. Write Journaling strengthens immune cells called T-lymphocytes and has been shown to be associated with drops in depression, anxiety, and increases in positive mood, social engagement, and quality of close relationships. “Writing accesses your the left hemisphere of the brain, which is analytical and rational,” says Maud Purcell, a psychotherapist and journaling expert. “While your left brain is occupied, your right brain is free to do what it does best, i.e. create, intuit and feel. In this way, writing removes mental blocks and allows us to use more of our brainpower to better understand ourselves and the world around us.”

Write every morning, write at least 3 pages, with a pen, on real paper. 

3. Choose balance Continue to eat healthy, asking your body what it needs each day, exercising and going to bed and waking at the same time. Consistent balance in the body will help bring balance to the transition. 

4. Seek companionship Continue meeting with your Spiritual Director, Life Coach, Therapist and other health professionals. Their wisdom will hopefully encourage you as you walk out your transition.

We cannot move out of these spaces without new concepts of ourselves and the world.

Be willing to let your guides speak into that new world. 

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Why transitions are important  

Its where genuine newness can begin.

You cannot fabricate innovation. If you have any interest in being made new, making innovative art, or bringing fresh ideas to a particular problem or field of study - you must pass through this liminal space. Its the birthplace of originality. 

Here we are taught openness and patience as we come to expect to meet, experience and hear from God. We grow more human as we wait on God and hear what is said. 

We learn to trust that there is a higher power at work on our behalf and that (as Rob Bell says) the whole system is rigged in your favor. The universe/God/Jesus/Spirit is bent toward you being at peace. It wants you to be whole. As odd or off as you may feel in this transition, trusting that it is a part of your journey of peace and wholeness is what its all about. 

You will only come out the other side through surrender. 

Following Peace, 

Shreves

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sources. 

“Liminality,” Austin Harrington, Barbara L. Marshall, and Hans-Peter Müller, Encyclopedia of Social Theory (New York: Routledge, 2012).

Rundel,  omas J., "Liminal Spaces: A Narrative Spirituality of the Bible" (2015). Doctor of Ministry. Paper 109. h p://digitalcommons.georgefox.edu/dmin/109

#therefinedcollective

This post is in collaboration with The Refined Collective Series. Be sure and check out the other ladies in this wonderful group -

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AWAY X KARLIE KLOSS

Right away the room quiets when she walks in. Strong, feminine, tall, confident. She walks with a smile, with gratitude and grace. You can tell she knows who she is and isn't playing a part or dressing for anyone. You can tell she's kind without her saying a word. It doesn't surprise me that she's gone as far as she has and continues to partner with some of the worlds most influential brands. What brand wouldn't want her authenticity + beauty as a part of their brand? You have set a new standard Karlie; the future generations thank you for your classy intelligence and how you have chosen to use your platform for good. 

I found myself on set with Karlie Kloss and AWAY just a few weeks back. Here are some of the behind the scenes images I took. You will see images of some of the teens that are a part of Karlies coding camps, Kode with Klossy. They are wise beyond their years and I was so honored to take photos of each of them! Many thanks to the AWAY team for bringing me in. 

Traditions, Habits & Rituals

According to the Enneagram. I identify as a 7; The enthusiast, the adventurer, the epicure. One of the healthiest yet hardest practices for me is to go without, to fast, to commit. Its one reason I have studied and pursued the seasons, rhythms, and especially repetitive spiritual practices. Its like my soul desires the the devotion & the humility that comes through saying no to all the other choices. 

I don't think I am alone as we have seen the rise in "morning routines", "morning affirmations", or "daily rituals".

We are desperate to find ourselves and these "practices" become our lifelines.

I believe its because we learn to give and receive, forgive and connect through these repetitive rites. I think its important to note the difference between traditions, habits & rituals.  

Traditions are opening gifts on christmas eve after church, going shopping for new shoes for school in August. Traditions are the memories that play over an over again because they are generational gifts. Usually inspired by the generation before these gifts are passed on from once daughter to mother, to grandmother, back through her daughter and granddaughter. The continuity of traditons connects us to our family members as well as to the larger culture. It paints a picture of security and identity for us. 

Habits are those individually repeated tendencies. The morning pages you write before you make your bed, the nail biting you did for 15 years, the addition you’re in 12 steps for. Habits are routined practices. They are settled usually daily and informed by daily activation. 

Rituals are rooted in the collective ceremony. They are the Birthday parties, the Weddings, watching the ball drop and quinceañeras. They can be a simple coffee date or watching the Sunday football game together. They are always communal in nature, shared experiences that form memories. They have the power to alleviate grief, reduce anxiety and increase people’s confidence. 

Whether its repetition within generations, on the daily or as a communal passage, the theme between all of these is repetition. 

So why is repetition beautiful? 

Repetition mothers us into learning.  I would like to invite you into one ritual that I believe can teach us so much; Lent.

Lent means "Springtime" While lent is normally known for the "giving up" it is very much a march toward restoration and transformation. Durning Lent we make space for spiritual practices that help us step into our true identities and the work we put our hands and hearts to. 

This Lent I want to invite you to join me on a negativity fast.

That means catching yourself when you express negative talk or negative thoughts. In grace notice it and replace it with a loving, joyful word or thought. You will be joining thousands of others all around the world. Lets take up joy; take up Love! Will you join me? 

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From dust you have come and to dust you shall return.

I was so excited to write about traditions, habits and rituals as a part of the The Refined Collective Series. Be sure and check out the other ladies in this wonderful group --- The Refined WomanBrynn WatkinsYvette Jain

 

Environmental Sustainability and Ethics | Electronics

Continuing a series of posts breaking down the ethics and elements of a shoot, here are some tips on Electronics. 

How you produce a shoot is just as important as what you're shooting. 

We are not going for perfection, rather integrity. Below are my best practice guide as it relates to electronics. Comment below if you find this helpful or share it! 

ELECTRONICS 

● Turn off computers, printers, screens, and any other appliances when not in use. 

● Unplug chargers for cell phones, cameras, and other equipment when not in use. 

● Buy used equipment.  

● When renting equipment, look for the ENERGY STAR certification and ask for tips for using the machine efficiently.

● Unplug all equipment that features a stand-by mode, which will continue to draw energy when not in use.

● If shooting digitally, record to a hard drive, flash drive or other reusable media instead of film or tape.

● Use rechargeable batteries, solar panel charging stations or wind powered facilites if possible. 

GOOD Magazine Feature | Issue 34

Long ago, failure was simply not an option. Yet this concept has taken an altogether unprecedented turn in recent years, becoming an end in itself.

Largely spurred by the business community and abetted by the self-help industry, we find ourselves increasingly being dared to fail, and to do so “upwards” and “early and often”. At the time of writing, the TED website hosted 140 talks on the topic of failure. But how much do we really mean it? And of what value is it to civic life?

GOOD invited five friends to their co-founder and chief creative officer Casey Caplowe’s house to shed some light on the matter in the first GOOD Dinnertime Conversation. It was a joy to photograph and discuss how to "fail quicker" and better. I was honored to have worked with Ben Keesey in the early days of Invisible Children. He spoke so eloquently and candidly of the truth and grit of failing. Im honored to capture conversations that stir humanity toward a deeper level of vulnerability and inspiration. 

The Dinner and conversation was beautifully executed by my lady friends over at First Seating. 

You can read the whole online FEATURE here & as well as get the printed magazine HERE.  

Prism

Tessa is the founder of PRISM.  She has been DJing in Los Angeles since 2010, getting her start at the Viper Room in Hollywood and Wurstküche in Downtown Los Angeles.  Since then, Tessa has become one of the most sought-after DJs for corporate events and weddings.  

Growing up in Reno, Nevada in the 90s while working in old-school music shops like The Wherehouse and frequenting Tower Records, Tessa was absorbing and collecting music since a teenager.  

I was so excited when she asked me to photograph her. I wanted to capture her femininity and personality. In a male saturated market Tessa and her boutique agency representing female DJs are making their mark. These ladies are having a positive influence in the music industry and doing it with class. 

Nicaragua - Part 2

After a few days in Granada we ventured west to San Juan Del Sur. The drive west is laced with volcanos and the most stunning farmlands. It was quite surreal after reading Eric's memoir of his time in the country (The book is not for the faint of heart, but a well worth the read for anyone working / traveling internationally). His story weighed heavily on my heart knowing full well it was only time that separated his reality from mine. It deepened my interest in international and sustainable business. It validated my instincts around how much intention deserves to be placed on ecotourism and thoughtful - sustainable businesses in places like Nicaragua. It also evoked a wild new satiation for truth. 

In San Juan, my dear friend Rachel met up with us and we met a handful of other travelers, shopped at the mercado, grabbed coffee and the best veggie burger at Nacho Libre. 

What started over 6 months ago as a fun night with friends left me with a vivid vision of a boat sailing off into deep waters where I did not know the exact destination nor was I the one in control. I have continued to spiritually, fondly revisit that boat almost weekly. Off the coast of San Juan, my best friend by my side I got to sail on the waters just off the coast of Nicaragua, jumping off and swimming to our own private beach. This moment on the Pacific was a collimation of so many conversations, prayers and mundane but significant events that had lead up to it. 

Stay | El Jardin

Sail | Nica Sail n Surf

I want to move like the water, flowing within the container I'm placed. Humble as the ocean, fit between the lands. Quiet enough to be a vapor, sturdy enough to freeze into a glacier.

We finished with our last night back in Granada, spending my birthday night reading to the sound of thunder and rain. It was a fitting end, raining water on all that had been planted. Beyond all the fancy hotels and drink we indulged it, the true richness of having two of my most significant people with me on my birthday was overwhelmingly special. In the end I don't want to travel the world without the ones I love. 

Stay | Tribal Hotel

Nicaragua taught me that I am unstoppable. We are not powerful because of what we do, or what we create. We are not successful because of who we know or even the impact we make in the world.

I'm unstoppable because I have been saved by the majestic grace of the God of the universe and his love through Christ tells me I'm worth every bit of that sacrifice.

We are unstoppable because his love for everyone to be restored is unstoppable. This is our hope.

Nicaragua - Part 1

Early October one Sunday, in a matter of 24 hours Nicaragua was brought up one way or another too many times to ignore; my old Roomate shared about how her recent fiancé and her had honeymooned there, a new friend shared his story of starting a magazine and being wrongfully imprisoned there, a blogger shared her recent El Camino vacation, and two others shared of missions trips down to the beautiful land of Nicaragua. There was so much energy in the direction of Nicaragua I couldn't ignore it. With my 29th birthday coming up, at 1am, on a whim I bought two tickets south. I knew I needed to rest. I knew I needed to be on a sailboat. I knew I just needed to spend a whole week surrounded by water. I knew Nicaragua would bring something sacred and significant. 

Little did I know that it would be a powerful experience on many levels including getting to share my love for international travel with my mother. New to the whole “traveling to a developing country’ thing, it was so fun to get her on the dollar chicken bus (see her face in the photo below!), to rest together and explore a new place together. 

Nicaragua carries with it some of the most personable people. The creative, entrepreneurial spirit runs deep - 

With the invitation to totally rest during this trip it was the first official “vacation” I had taken. I have always piggy backed or extended work trips to “vacation”, but I had actually never traveled somewhere to simply rest. It was a challenge. It felt privileged and lazy. It felt incredibly divided and unproductive. With the family living down the street from our boutique hotel making each month the same amount it cost me to fly down, I was uneasy. The truth that I so find my value in “doing good” began melting off as the Spirit drew me in close and reminded me that He delights 100% in me following through and resting just as much as He delights 100% in the family down the street as they sit in their rocking chairs on their porches. I could sit on my butt, doing nothing, performing for no one and Papa God would still love me. His love for us is not contingent on our behavior. It is undeserved, and will continue to be unmerited. Its grace. Thats how she works. 

Stay |  Los Patios

Move | Pure Gym & Yoga studio 

Reading | Gingo Nightmare, Discerning Heart, Sacred Architecure  

Practices | Resting, journaling, getting to know the locals, hiking, savoring each meal, thinking through core beliefs.