I was told one day that if I was going keep writing books and doing speaking engagements I was going to need some professional head shots. All I had at the time were pics of me doing talks that I would crop and make them look the best I could. I started to think who would I even call to take my shots? But then I remembered seeing these incredible pics on face book by Jennifer McCready.
Jen has this amazing talent of capturing your true spirit when she takes your picture. I met with Jen before hand and we talked for a long time about a lot of things and we came up with this great idea to bring a therapy that I wrote about in “Why I run” to life. Because you see when ever I do something there has to be meaning behind it, and it can’t be normal or come out of a cookie cutter it has to be the opposite of what everyone else does! who else would be better at bringing this to life then Jen.
When you are at her studio there is an unexplainable peace there, this magic that is in the air it is powerful and peaceful at the same time. One of the scenes that we chose to bring to life in my shoot was a glass house therapy. Below is a short excerpt from “Why I Run” I read this excerpt out loud to Jen before we started taking pics.
“ I have a house we go to sometimes to help close out the therapy sessions. It's a meditation exercise. A glass house sits in the middle of a beautiful, green grass field surrounded by a forest of tall trees. This house is a peaceful place. It is a laboratory where some large bottles with water in them are kept. They are all labeled with words that represent my emotions, good and bad. I take the bad emotion that I am dealing with and I empty out that bottle and I wash it up and I fill it with clean water. I put a new label on it and take a nice long drink from it, letting this new emotion fill me up. Then I place this new bottle on a clean shelf with other bottles I have done the same with. I like to sit in an office chair and look out at the forest till I am at peace. Then I open my eyes and I am free.
This time I had something special for the bottle, called failure. That bottle has been hidden for so long. I took it and emptied its black, dirty water down the drain, but then I did something different with it. This time I placed that bottle in the garbage. I had no use for it anymore. it was time to just say “Good bye”. I didn't even want to reuse it as a container for the new emotion. I asked Mastora if I could just get a new bottle and label it success and she said, “Of course you can.”
So I walked over to the closet and opened the door and there were hundreds of new, clean bottles for me to fill!! I took one and put the label on and wrote “Success” on it. I filled it up and drank from it and I cried and I know I am not a failure. Never was, never will be. I walked over to the office chair and I smiled with joy. I sat there peacefully. Mastora asked how much I still believed I was a failure after this EMDR. I told her, “Zero.” She asked me, when I think of these Police and RCMP tests now what do I feel. I told her I feel strong and I feel smart and I feel these feelings in my heart to be 100% true. I opened my eyes and I am free from failure.”
Jen and I sat on the floor that day and worked together to make dark ugly bottles with bad emotions written on them and clear wonderful bottles with positive emotions written on them. We placed them on the set together and the magic began. The pic that is shown here is just one example of that Photo shoot, there will be more to come.
In fact, this photo shoot has inspired a new project that Jen and I will be doing together, with the goal of helping people who struggle with mental illness, showing the world that people who struggle are everywhere, there stories are all unique and they are not only surviving but thriving. This is going to be a ground-breaking project. It is only going to happen because of the talent of Jennifer McCready! Please visit her face book site, her web site and see just how talented she is.
“Only with open conversation can we break the stigma behind depression, let’s start talking and do it together!”