How taking 1 picture a day changed me

Do you ever wish you could engage in activities that are unrelated to your business, advancing your career or making more money?

Maybe you think it is a good idea, but are afraid that if you actually took that time out to just enjoy yourself, you would find yourself lagging too far behind your so called “competition” or worse, lagging behind the expectations you have for yourself.

You couldn’t possibly let THAT happen.

This past month, I have been chillin’ in Chicago, teaching, relaxing and connecting with friends and family.

I have done less running around and more laying around.

I have said less on social media and talked more to the people in my life.

I have spent less time on URL’s and more time IRL (In Real Life as I like to call it.)

It’s been lovely and you should know not only has dough continued to flow, but stepping away strangely has made me feel more connected.

One of the things I treated myself to the last few weeks was my friend Catherine Just’s photo course, In Plain Site.

In Plaine Site is 30 day- daily photo ritual to help you experience the sacred in the everyday.  All you need is a camera and ONE subject to put your attention on for the month.

I didn’t take the course so that I could learn more about marketing, growing my empire or changing anything about my life. I took the course so I could practice being more present.

1 Picture A Day

Today, I’ve got some good lessons I learned from taking a daily picture of the same two subjects each day. (Because I knew I would be on the road, I chose 2 things I knew I would have with me every day- myself and my beloved journal.) I am also sharing a few photos below.

1.    Perspective is everything.

What you put your attention on gets bigger. When you focus on Love, Love grows. When you focus on what makes your every day moments really sacred to you, 
your life becomes holy.
These are words directly from Catherine. I couldn’t agree more.

When taking a photo, you choose the perspective you want to capture. Up close? Far, far away?

The same is for life. You choose your perspective each day.

Sometimes it is helpful to back away from a problem so that you are not so emotionally charged by it. This perspective can literally save a relationship, save you money and even save you days of unwanted stress.

But sometimes, you have to get right up there and roll around with whatever problem you are facing. You have to break it down so you can understand what steps you need to take next.
Whatever it is, up close or far away, YOU are constantly choosing your perspective, where you stand and what is in your ‘shot’.

If you are not happy today with where you are, see if you can change your perspective. Maybe you need to step away. Or even better, try standing on your head. That outta shake things up a bit.

2.    Boring is real good.

I think we are so afraid of being bored. I know I am. And I will confess, about half way through the course, I got really bored documenting myself and my morning writing ritual. It was like, ugg, I’m sick of me.

But in Austin Kleon’s book, Steal Like an Artist, he says be boring. It’s the only way to get work done.

The moment you allow yourself to be a little bored, is the moment your creativity will want to swoop in… if you let it.

I get a million and one ideas when I am standing in the shower, washing dishes and driving. Do you, too? In part, I believe these ideas come because the activity is just so damn boring.
Physically, you are focused on something that doesn’t require much thought, so you’re your mind can wander into new territories.

Because we were encouraged to shoot the same thing each day, it sort of forced me to get really fascinated with the subject. I mean, how do you make a damn journal look interesting each day? How do you not take the same duck face selfie, day after day?


But, imagine if you decided to get really fascinated with some of your own daily activities like brushing your teeth, sending emails or even paying bills. Sounds crazy, right?

Better yet, imagine if you took this concept and applied it to your long-term romantic relationship, the relationship you have with your parents or even your children in that you were constantly looking for what is magical about the person you spend day after day with.  

In essence, here is what I am inviting you to do today:

Take the mundane and make it magnificent.

3. Stop looking and start seeing.

We are so busy going, going. It’s so rare that we really stop, look, pay attention and listen. Particularly if something is uncomfortable. We just want it to be over with.

During the course, I found myself really seeing things in a new way; the colors of the room I was in, the horizon, the way a person subtly tilts their head.

It is almost becomes a form of meditation.

When you are really with what is happening in the moment, stress lifts because you are not so consumed by the next moment and the moment after that.

NOW is always where the good stuff happens. And if you blink, yes, you will miss it. But there will always be another NOW, so don’t worry, you cannot fall behind.

What if you spent one minute really seeing what is in front of you? Without judgment. How does it make you feel?

I would love for you to leave a comment and let me know ONE thing you love to do that is NOT related to getting ahead, fixing anything about yourself or making more money.

How does it FEEL when you engage in these kinds of activities?
What do you learn about yourself?

I am excited to hear from you. I think it is important to do things just for the sake of doing it. Even if it doesn’t put you any further along then when you started. (Cause guess what, it usually does just that and more.)

Snapping away,


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14 Responses to How taking 1 picture a day changed me

  1. Lisann says:

    What a fabulous post! exactly what I needed. I’ve been dying to take horseback riding lessons for no apparent reason and have been afraid bc I could spend that money on my acting classes or bills… Etc. But you’re 100% right I’m never more present than when I’m riding (first, fear of falling, then relaxing & connecting w/ the horse, observing nature, and finally total happiness). Thank you!

  2. lauren says:

    “NOW is where the good stuff happens” – that is a tweet able! That spoke to me on so many levels this morning. I LOVE to drink out of pretty paper straws… how’s that for loving something that has nothing to do with getting ahead. I have been working toward being more present. It is my guiding word for 2013, and you put into words what I have been feeling. You also gave me a welcome reminder halfway through my year that I need to come back to that word. THANK YOU!

  3. This is a great post Erin! I was writing just this morning and realized I need to draw more. Good ol fashion drawing just for the hell of it, with colored pencils and everything. I used to get so caught up in drawing, I would spend hours in a meditative state without even realizing it. And usually my “thoughts” come to me in images, so drawing let’s me express beyond the limitations of words. Thanks for sharing this! xoxo elyse

  4. jean says:

    Nice pics, Erin!
    Catherine is a great teacher. I took her “Deepening” photo course and am doing it again next month.
    I’ve also gotten back into art and am enjoying a virtual art class with Pauline Agnew–another awesome teacher!

  5. Lucy Chen says:

    Hi Erin, it’s your fellow student in Catherine’s In Plain Sight class here 🙂 wave… wave…
    I am so inspired by your post. As you’re reflecting on what you’ve learnt this month, not just photography techniques, but life itself, I see there is so much I can learn about myself, too.
    So I have to go and do some thinking. Thank you.

  6. Moved to tears Erin. Your experience with the photo course is exactly why I created it. I’m so glad to know that it really did help you to shift your attention and perception and that you can use the tools in other areas of your life. This is a beautiful post and I’m just deeply honored to have been a part of your journey in some way as you move towards more depth and joy in the every day. Sending you so much love, xo *Catherine

  7. Anne says:

    Ever since I took the first photo ecourse with Catherine, my perception of color, space, time, and beauty changed. I so get what you said in this post and think more of us ‘preneurs need to spend time IRL … this is after all why we decided to take this journey right? To own our lives, to LIVE…

    Also – can’t wait for your magical manifesters course!


  8. Melody says:

    I absolutely love all your pictures, Erin!!! What fun!

    Each one is beautiful. I especially love the picture with your journal that has the earbuds, pen and writing on it, because it’s a “shot” I see in my own life regularly.

    Enjoy the rest of your summer!!!


  9. Amelia Arkin says:

    Hi Erin! You are always so inspiring! “What you put your focus on gets bigger”!! I mean, YEA?! So true and so related to some of the stuff I am working on right now. Even just realizing you can find yourself focusing so much more on how you’re NOT taking care of yourself versus, how you ARE or can be. Amazing, our minds. As for doing something I love that isn’t related to getting ahead etc? It is crazy what a good question that is, and how long it took me to answer. But actually, I’ve written a play and am in the stages of writing a synopsis(hell!) and submitting it, and you reminded me that in the midst of all of that I haven’t written a single word, other than in my journal, since I officially stopped rewriting it. Like the play submissions have me holding my writers breath! Ahh. Thank you. And Catherine’s course sounds beautiful. xo Amelia

  10. Jessica says:

    love this erin 🙂 I love folding laundry. It makes me feel calm and I like the repetitive movement. Doing the small tasks can really be the good stuff – great self time.

  11. Jenna says:

    Thank you Erin for this really good reminder! I used to loathe my longish subway ride from Brooklyn into the city, yes technically I live in NYC metro area but damn it for taking like 40 mins to get to Times Square area. But once I let that go and embrace that I started to be able to really let my mind sink in. I started writing my first sketch on the subway and I continue to this day to edit my storytelling pieces in drafted/saved emails. Write sketches on my notes app, write out affirmations in not-sent texts to myself-all underground. When I’m present enough to appreciate it, I realize I’ve been given a gift of this captive time to write and stand or sit and just write and get no incoming calls/texts/emails. So thank you for your reminder…I wanna remember to sink back into that goodness.

  12. I want to try this course too!

  13. Sherry says:

    I’m really tempted to try this, mainly because I feel like I’m very isolated right now, working from a home office, so perhaps this exercise will nudge me to get more in the present moment and savor it…and maybe as a result start to edge out of my comfort zone and put myself out there in the world more often. (Of course, it would help if the weather would WARM UP! LOL. Easier to get outside when it’s not 18 degrees out.)

    Anyway, thank you for the inspiration, Erin! <3

  14. Janelle says:

    What a cool idea 🙂
    I looooove taking photos of the bridges in my city. I have a few favorites so I think I’ll try the 30 day challenge with one of them. I’m excited for this prompt! Thank you!!!

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