Whitney Houston's The Greatest love of all is one of my favorite songs.....I love the message - "learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all". Take a listen https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-iry-fullyhosted_011&hsimp=yhs-fullyhosted_011&hspart=iry&p=the+song+the+greatest+love#id=1&vid=a142ac48c9cf2a791fd46129f2c956fd&action=click
I call this Self-realization - one of the three Love Priorities (Connecting and Giving are the other two), which is the basis of this blog .
Self-realizing is the biggest Love of the three Love Priorities - Devine driven, I believe, and harder to grasp, as a principles-based priority, than Connecting and Giving. The words Connecting and Giving are almost synonymous with Love. But, what does Self-realizing mean? You think about Maslow's latter and self-actualization or psychology mambo-jumbo. Maybe there is a better word to use. Let me know if you have one. I know some are turned-off by the term self-realizing, and i would like not to contribute to that.
What is clear to me, though, are the benefits of Self-realizing - Learning, Serving and Mentoring - the three activities of Self-realizing means loving what you do to contribute and make a difference in your world, to the best of your ability - a purpose you love and feel passionate about; your uniqueness ...and the realization of your unique good - your personal feeling of success. Your extent of success with self-realizing is not measured by the money you have, the number of children you have raised, or any other material "thing" that the "public" uses to judge others or, for that matter, we use to judge ourselves - it is a feeling of well-being, that we are doing our unique good, to the best of our ability, in the present, regardless if we are 23 or 103.
For this 70 year old and my passion of photography, I can report that I feel 2016 was a year of much well-being - Other areas too - I feel good about myself, but let's just stick to photography in this short blog.
I am learning much about photography. I have started to offer (serve) my best. And, I don't know if I will ever mentor, or teach anyone much about photography. I however, consider this blog my mentoring, using photography as a metaphor, while talking about the Love Priorities, which, I am unknowenly, driven to do.
For the artist...... maybe for everything we love to do, maintaining a spirit of continual learning, growing, and offering our best, regardless how shity others think our results, is a major component in personal well-being. Keep up the shity work and, if you love it enough to learn, grow and serve, you will find more admirers! And, if you love it enough, maybe it doesn't make any difference what others think anyway.
2014 and 2015 were years I learned more about black and white and split-toning . I like the results of split-toning, but didn't do much with it in 2016. I moved to what felt right in 2016. I have always loved a painterly look in my images and, in 2016, I was introduced by Light and Landscape magazine members group mentors David and Shannon, to the Topaz plug-in that gave me the ability to add more of that painterly look I love. I am now spending more time processing my images, to get the look I love, than I do in capturing them......and I love it!