January 11, 2016

Something Really Big Happens…

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This past week we traveled to Washington, DC for The Event….and what a WEEK it was! Over 200 photographers gathered at The Fillmore for an entire jam-packed day of some of the most inspiring, helpful, practical, set you on fire talks I’ve ever gotten to witness from one single line up of speakers. Every single one of these speakers just poured their hearts out for these attendees and the result was absolute GOLD. Fire and gold. Which makes for the best kind of teaching in my book! But I am getting ahead of myself because we have the full recap coming tomorrow, as well as some really EXCITING news for all of you who couldn’t be there. So you WON’T want to miss that!

In the mean time, today I wanted to talk about something that we both started & ended The Event with. This idea that Something really BIG happens when you are BRAVE enough to say out loud “this is what I want for my one wild & precious life.” (A HUGE thanks to Mackenzie Leigh for lettering this quote in the photo above!!) A few somethings happen, really. The first is that when you hear yourself say it- finally– out loud and for the world to hear, something changes inside of you and you start to believe it a little bit more. The second, is that suddenly…you find yourself with a whole LOT of accountability partners. People who will call you OUT if they see you slipping back into fear. And the third and maybe biggest thing, is that it sets your eyes on something other than all of lies of “can’t” that are being spoken over your life right now (either by yourself or others…you have to be willing to be the CAN in your own life because there will always be an abundance of people willing to tell you that you CAN’T). It’s pretty simple really, when we set our eyes on FEAR we move toward that. When we set our eyes on FAITH we move toward that. And the best part is, we get to decide. 

So here are a few of the really BIG things I want for my one life I’ve been given:

*To write a book. To get a literary agent, a publisher, and a core group of friends to support me…and to write this DANG book already.
*To travel just for us. Beautiful and inspiring places that make your breath catch in your throat, and remind us of the true Creator.
*To travel for some shoots of a lifetime. Paris, Ireland, New Zealand, and Bora Bora top the list.
*To finish our house. Every room. Every unfinished, pipe sticking out of the floor, exposed wires, patched dry wall piece.
*To be FOR people and to be a really good friend. To let go of any scarcity or comparison and just show up over and over again, believing that there really is enough room for us ALL to win.
*To take my Dad back to Hawaii.
*To vacation somewhere amazing with Justin’s family.
*To spend a week at the lake in WV this summer. (I know that doesn’t sound big, but it hasn’t happened in 12 years so this is the year we make it happen)
*To audition for a Ted talk.
*To speak at a Catalyst.
*To help as MANY people as I can this year. To change lives. To make that my driving purpose.
*To visit some really amazing places in America that we’ve never seen yet like the rivers of Montana, the glaciers of Alaska, or to walk through Yosemite. And also to go somewhere (maybe Iceland) to see the Northern Lights.

**So tell me, what are some really BIG things you want for your one wild & precious life this year? Say them out loud, leave them in the comments…and I’ll help hold you accountable!

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  1. Rebecca Nash-Emerson

    First – let’s talk about your list.
    I love it! It’s amazing and balances the things I love about you – you desire to help people, your ability to understand what you need, and you desire to grow as a business owner, creative, speaker, mentor and person. So much love!

    As for my list, I haven’t really sat down to think about it but off the top of my head, here we go:
    – Be more present in my home life creating a line between the time my business and clients get and the time my husband and daughter get (been trying to do both at the same time a lot of the time)
    – build the business to be focussed on helping other, giving back to the community, and provinding a consistant experience that enhances relationships and builds friendships (instead of merely providing a basic product or service)
    – finally take that honeymoon trip to Ireland (we were married in 2014 and haven’t been able to go yet – maybe we’ll even see you there)
    – to walk away from the day job and the negative emotions and stress that come with it
    – to each month take steps to build habits into my daily routine that contribute to my physical, mental and spiritual well being
    – to find a hobby (or two) that I enjoy for my own enjoyment and that I practice regularly

    I know there is much more I want to do in the blank notebook that is 2016 but this is a great place to start!

  2. Jenny McQueen

    A great list Mary! I think my big say-it-outloud is to stop doing everything myself and function as a true boss. To RUN my wedding photography business, not to DO everything. I took a big step today and had a house cleaner come in, and also outsource editing for a smaller portrait (I normally only outsource weddings). The second prong of this is being able to live a more genuine life. to go see my sister in Turkey. and my other sister in Africa. And to finish really exploring Richmond, something I’ve had 10 years to work on and feel like I haven’t really made a dent. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Danielle Blocker

    Oh Mary, we love you so much! I’d say I’d be first in line to buy your book, but I know so many of us would be lining up there too!

    I have some of the very same goals this year, especially helping as many people as I can to change their life forever better + being there to support any time they need help.

    I feel like we’ve been given this gift. This opportunity to share with the world our hearts and what we dream it could be just by helping one person at a time and seeing them change the world little by little. Someday I dream that my daughter will go to high school and the “cool” thing will be to be a great friend, not be the bully. I dream that more parents will be people like us and help guide their children to make this world a better place.

    I have the dream + drive to create the confidence workshop I’ve been envisioning. I dream of inviting you to speak and share with everyone as we build their confidence + lift everyone up so they never again stop loving themselves. So they always remember to treat themselves like they would their very best friends. There are so many things I dream of helping women learn how to be confident + stay that way when the going gets tough and it would be a dream to have you join me in that venture this year. Cheers to an amazing 2016!!

    XO, Dani

  4. Meredith

    Thank you for your constant encouragement! Because of your voice I took a leap to serve this year and doors are SWINGING WIDE OPEN because I stepped out in faith and not fear.

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