Adios, 2014. Watch Out, 2015, Here I Come

I’d be lying if I said that I absolutely loved 2014, that it was the best year yet (let alone an awesome year). There were some awesome aspects of it, but for the most part I was consumed in patterns that drained my spirit and left me completed at the end of November. My energy was completely dried up. The carefree Savannah that I was when my life was flowing had wilted into an angry, sometimes aggressive, irritable monster. Looking back from Amsterdam, it shocks me that I lived like that for so long.

Even though it was the most difficult year of my life, it helped me grow immensely. It lead me to Amsterdam, where I’m ending 2014 with a watch-out-world-here-I-come attitude for 2015! I couldn’t have ended the year in a more kick-ass mentality.

Cheers to you, 2014, for dragging me kicking and screaming through the mud. I’ve peeled off the crusty shell and found myself pure and cleansed and so freaking ready to rock the socks off my biggest dreams.

I’ve got my survival pack filled with one very special Labradorite crystal, a reboot of self-confidence, an endless supply of unconditional love, a heart full of fearless curiosity.

We go through life thinking we need all this “stuff” and outside support to navigate the world with. All you need is yourself and love. If you don’t have that, then no matter the number of possessions and outside support you receive, you will struggle. My last year was evidence of that.

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This Year I…

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Stood up for what I believed and got it promptly shoved back in my face. Participated in the most amazing class in the world: Totemic Arts Apprenticeship, from Emelie Archer Pickett. Photographed and wrote an article about Mmm… Coffee! Paleo Bistro in Denver for Paleo Magazine. Moved to Santa Barbara. Participated in another amazing class, Bright-Eyed and Blog-Hearted from Rachel MacDonald. Had crazy housemate #1. Photographed the Santa Barbarian competition at CrossFit Pacific Coast. Moved back to Colorado. Started photographing a new cookbook with NY Times Best Selling Author, Tammy Credicott. Went to Lake Havasu. Got my scuba diving certification. Moved to Boulder. Cooked and styled and photographed my forth cookbook, Paleo Magazine Readers Holiday Favorites Cookbook. Had crazy housemate #2. Havok was hit by a car. Havok survived. Visited Santa Barbara for an indefinite amount of time. Photographed the beginnings of Alaris Fitness. Photographed the Strength to Give competition at CPC. Was threatened to be sued because I’d been far too nice to someone. Havok tore his ACL. Went to see where I was born (Arcata, CA). Explored the beautiful redwoods. Went to Lake Tahoe. Got very wet and cold in Lake Tahoe. Bought a new pair of bright blue and pink (!) Ahnu hiking boots (silly as it may seem, this is a big deal because I never buy new shoes). Had a photo published on the cover of Paleo Magazine. Visited a family friend in Idaho. Took a mini-road trip through Idaho and saw plenty of beautiful scenery and antelope. Explored Yellowstone. Learned that in many towns it’s illegal to sleep in the car. Got annoyed at this fact. Saw plenty of: moose, bears, antelope, possibly a bobcat… Went to Iowa to visit my grandparents. Won 1st place at the Ames Farmers Market Chili Contest (click for the recipe). Bought a ticket to Amsterdam. Opened up my online shop for beautiful prints. Drove back to Colorado. Stayed with my dad until I left for Amsterdam. Helped Havok heal from surgery. Had a recipe published in Paleo Magazine Readers Favorites Cookbook (Russian Borscht). Flew to Amsterdam. Attended my first tedx event while photographing the event for lululemon Amsterdam. Met Jimmy Nelson. Got his number. Made the most valuable purchase of my life: a Labradorite crystal. Had THE deepest spiritual experience with a full moon meditation. Won a Lokah necklace from The Tulsi Project (it says “Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu”, which means ‘May All Beings Be Happy’). Spent my first Christmas alone. Got the flu three times and broke out in a mysterious rash five times within December (after having no health problems my entire life). Had many adventures and a butt-load of personal growth leading up to the New Year.

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Thank you.

Because of, or despite, the challenge that was 2014, I have a lot to be grateful for.

++ Myself! (I’ll begin with a bit o’ self-love as this is a BIG theme from now on) 
Until this month, I didn’t know how much love I was capable of feeling toward myself. But something changed at the beginning of the month when I was learning how to be happy in Amsterdam. I was here for 5 weeks, period. No leaving early, no running away even if I didn’t like it. I had to love myself, I had to be happy, I had to surrender to NOW. There wasn’t another option. The cold winter city pushed and pulled me, until I started a morning routine that allowed my days to flow with ease: lemon water, yoga, meditation, sweating, juices and soups.

It became easier to drop away from the noise and into a healing cocoon I wove for myself.

As the year comes to an end, I’m in awe of the ease at which a smile spreads across the face and the choices I have started to make each day to determine the woman I want to be. I surprise myself at my comfort in spontaneity and my willingness to jump so impulsively into the unknown. Even now, I am fine-tuning the details to go off on another adventure in another country, in another continent, in a culture alien to me.

++ My partner in crime (sometimes literally – shhh don’t tell the authorities)
2014 was our first full year together as a couple, and in it we learned how to let our energies tango together – his fire (man/aries) and my water (woman/pisces). There’s nothing to do but learn the right dance moves when you’re in each others’ hair for more than 12 months straight! I’m pretty sure that from now on, everything will be easy-peasy.

Despite my eagerness to run away from all commitments imaginable, Tigran made sure that if nothing else, I stuck with him. He surprised me with a massive expansion of his heart, letting love soften his rough edges to become a bigger and better person than (I think) he imagined. Most importantly, he and Havok hit it off so naturally that he became the most devoted companion, brother, and father to my furry baby.

(If you missed my lovey-dovey public declaration of gratitude to Tigran, you can catch up on that goodness here)

++ My furry baby
I spent more time with my darling Havok this year than I have since before I left for college, and I’ve loved every minute of our furry cuddles (even if he didn’t). After a tough year for Havok (two accidents, many stitches, one surgery), I think he’s pretty ready to move on to 2015 with the rest of us.

++ Mother Nature
Oh mama Earth, you never fail to impress. This moment stands out as one (in the millions) where we were truly humbled by your magnificence. Driving to Yellowstone, we had plans to camp at the border of the park (for free, naturally). We drove up through Jackson to the campsite in the middle of the night, no idea of what we were passing by. Imagine our surprise when we woke up sleeping beneath the Grand Tetons moments before sunrise! Pretty spectacular to say the least.

++ You
You’re the ones who have kept up with me, even though I haven’t really known what I’m supposed to do. You’ve followed along as I’ve changed. I hope that from now on, you’ll be rewarded with endless inspiration and poetic musings and beautiful photography.

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Do you set an intentional word for the year?

A core desire, an affirmation, a mantra perhaps?

I’ve been thinking of what words will propel me through 2015 and encourage me to stay true to myself and push in a positive direction. I want to feel INSPIRED, but I asked myself: well, what will make you feel inspired? So I dug deeper to find the root of that feeling. Inspired is strong, but it is up in the leaves of the tree. I found MOVEMENT.  But what will lead to movement? I arrived at FREEDOM.

And then I came to:

FLEXIBILITY

We’ve hit gold. Looking back, I can see that my struggles sprouted around scheduling things so that I didn’t have flexibility, or at least it didn’t feel like I had flexibility. I was committed without wiggle room, which resulted in way too many “shoulds.” I suffocated.

It’s ironic because I’ve spent the last 17 months thinking I was flexible – I’ve been hopping all over the place. That felt like freedom. Or maybe I thought it should feel like freedom. If I can’t feel free when I’m traveling from place to place without somewhere I need to come back to, how will I ever feel free?

But then again, what is flexibility – and freedom – without roots? Either your roots can be receiving nutrients from the soil or they can be flailing about in the air, unharnessed and depleting precious energy stores.

With flexible roots, life has the freedom to FLOW (yet another good intention). At least for this new me, it opens the doors to ABUNDANCE.

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Ending this year with such a big bang compared to how 11 months of it went has me brimming with super-concentrated inspiration and lessons.

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1. There is infinitely more power in BE-ing than DO-ing.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a devoted Do-er. I knew that the more I did, the more successful I would become. The more I did, the faster my business would grow. The more hours I worked, the more I’d get back from the world. That’s what I was told all through life, by a system that no longer serves me. That, my friends, is the system on which American education runs. Be busy, do more, sleep when you’re dead, etc. If you’re not drained at the end of the day: you’re doing it wrong.

This year, I’ve let myself surrender to BE-ing. It’s not a process that happened overnight and there have been many times when I’ve doubted myself. It is, after all, going against everything I’ve known to be true.

So I’m beginning a mutually nurturing relationship with my Divine Feminine energy. She’s been hidden for too long, hiding beneath the need to man up in a masculine world, where we women are fighting to be equal. But through my new-found clarity, allowing myself to embrace the softness and wild nature of femininity is true equality.

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2. Routine is not the enemy. In fact, it just might save your life.

If you know me, you know that the past two years (plus some), I’ve been running away from any whisper of routine and structure and commitment. This running has been fueled by fear of losing my adventurous heart, the fear of living somewhere forever, and the fear that if I lived somewhere I would face the fact that my business wasn’t going to work and I would have to get a job at a coffee shop. For the rest of my life. And that just wouldn’t do for my goal to stop drinking coffee. 

Then I went to Amsterdam. It was cold, it was cloudy, it was dirty. It was a city in wintertime. Two of my (least) favorite things. I got sick (a lot). There was lots of recovering and signs from my body that I needed to amp up my wellness habits, and pronto. I started my mornings with warm lemon water, practiced yoga or meditated for 30 minutes, made a juice… And started my day.

Holy smokes, it has made an incredible difference in the quality of my day-to-day life. A little bit of routine has added a spring to my step, a sparkle to my eye, and a huge energy boost to my day.


Are YOU ready to manifest you’re deepest dreams and greatest desires for 2015, no matter how shaky they leave you in your boots? There is an energy change happening for this next year, I can feel it. There are some influential wellness people I follow and I’ve seen them talk about manifestation being faster than ever – even if not immediate. Things are manifesting faster than ever.

I had my first taste of that a couple of days ago. While I was waiting to get my hair cut, among the endless hair books was one that I was drawn to: an edition of the Monocle. I had never heard of it, but upon thumbing through it absolutely loved it. It’s an incredibly successful magazine that covers the entire world: culture, travel, technology. I made note of it on my phone and promised to get a copy when I got back to the US. But as I was strolling down a street looking for the best carrot cake in Amsterdam (I have a weak spot for carrot cake, especially if it claims to be the best), there it was. Waiting for me in a window of a shop I never would have entered (because, well, I don’t like shopping). Call it what you want, but I’d say that’s almost-immediate-manifestation. From someone who spent 2014 without any big dreams, let alone manifestation, it IS possible no matter what state you find yourself in. Without forcing it, one day it will come to you and your soul will be blown into infinity!

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Adios, 2014! Watch out 2015, here I come. Bigger and better than ever, more prepared for life’s up and downs, and done playing small.

Let’s do this. Let’s make 2015 a year we’ll never forget, and let’s do it together.

Revolutionaries, I encourage you to dream big with me this year.

++ Tell me, what needs to be released so that you can blossom in unabashed glory as the whole person you truly are?
++ What were your biggest and scariest lessons to learn this year?
++ What is your guiding word / affirmation / mantra for 2015?

Happy dreaming, and a Happy New Year!

Giveaway – Win Free* Yoga Photography

Happy holidays, world! To celebrate the new year and leave behind 2014, for a limited time I am offering a select few yoga retreats an opportunity to have an on-site photographer at any time during 2015. You heard that right – FREE photography!* Anywhere in the world. You’re getting a value of $6,000+ for nothing. Nada. Zilch. No catch. Just some terms we have to lay out and then we’re on our way to making your yoga retreat shine like a star through the interwebs. I’ll get to the terms in a minute.

*All I ask is that you cover my travel costs and expenses.

This year is my year of Seva. My heart couldn’t be lighter, and I want to give something to you.
Me, at your service.

For the last two years, ever since I graduated university and started my own business, I’ve been trying desperately to do things the way my professors told me. They told me that I had to live in one place to become an established photographer; yet, I’ve been living out of my suitcase all over the world since April 2012. I may not be established (yet), but I’m rich with experiences and lessons and relationships that have all formed along the way.

I’ve tried to follow industry standard, but haven’t had much luck – probably because I believe that you should have high quality photography no matter the size and density of your wallet. You see, the photography industry is a tricky one. What you charge doesn’t only impact your income, but it has an effect on the industry standard. If you charge too little, you water down the market. But I won’t go on with that boring stuff.
I only want to tell you that this year, I’m ready to do things my way. 

I’m ready to offer up my commercial-quality services free of charge. I want you to shine, not because of the resources and investors that stand behind you, but because you have something unique and beautiful to offer the world. All I need is you to answer a few questions!

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What I’m Giving Away

For the Retreat and/or Teacher Leading the Retreat (Grand Prize)

This is what you get! (Value: $6,000+)

+ Yours truly for however long you need me at your retreat.
+ Up to 50 web resolution photos for your social media, website, and other digital media.
+ Publicity through social media, my blog, and potentially other travel websites and print publications.
+ A custom package to fit what you need for your particular retreat: yoga, fitness, meditation, food, juices, community, connection, nature, local culture, architecture, etc. We’ll collaborate together before the retreat to come up with a solid strategy to get what will suit your marketing and business needs, personally.
+ Bonus! You are welcome to add an optional package for your retreat guests to have a private photography session with me. Your guests and students can have the opportunity to celebrate their practice and create beautiful artwork with their bodies. They can choose between a basic creative session, a nude shoot, or a One with Nature portrait session (click here for a sample of what that looks like).

Here are some optional extras, if you feel so inspired.

+ If you need images for newspaper or magazine features, we can put together a high resolution file package for you.
+ After six months, you have the option to renew image licenses at a discounted price or after one year you can choose to update all your photos for the following year at a discounted price.

Ready?! I know I am, and I can’t wait to read about how I can help your business GROW.

For the Individual (Second Prize)

This is what you get! (Value: $1,500)

This is for you, if you’re itching to have some beautiful photos done but not necessarily a teacher or a business. It doesn’t have to be yoga. It can be fitness, adventure, an engagement, whatever you desire. Whatever you need to make your core desired feelings concrete this year.

+ Yours truly for 1-5 days with you, creating and collaborating to bring your dream photo shoot to life.

For the Third Prize

This is what you get! (Value: $300)

+ 1 x Beautiful 11 x 14 print of your choice, from the Primal Revolutions archives!

How to Enter

For the Grand Prize:
1. Fill out this questionnaire or comment below telling me how a free photography package would help your business grow.
2. Tell me what you desire your guests/students to come away with when they’ve enjoyed a retreat with you. How do you want them to feel when they return home?

For Second Prize:
Comment below and tell me: How are you prioritizing your core desired feelings in 2015?

For Third Prize:
Comment below and share with me what your biggest dream of 2015 is.

Extra Entries (Optional)

+ Follow me on Facebook: Savannah Wishart Photography and share your favorite image with your family and friends. This is where I’ll be posting updates about the competition, so it’s a good place to stay up to date!
+ Follow me on instagram: @PrimalRevolutions and repost the giveaway image using the hashtag #primalrevolutions and tag me.
+ Follow me on twitter: @SavannahWishart and tweet about the giveaway (remember to tag me).
** You must leave a comment or enter through the Wufoo questionnaire for extra entires to be count.

Things You Need To Know

+ There will be three (3) retreat WINNERS! But, the more the merrier – if you share this and the number of entries explodes, I will be happy to grant up to 12 winners for the year. I’m feeling generous!
+ A roundtrip ticket will be to and from Denver, Colorado unless discussed otherwise. If your retreat has dates adjacent to another retreat, then I’ll be flying from somewhere else. Those details can be discussed when you win.
+ This competition is not sponsored or affiliated by anyone. I don’t have a huge team behind me. It’s just me. That’s why I ask that you cover the travel expenses.
+ If you want to make a donation for my art and services, that is up to you. It’s very appreciated if you do, and there is no judgment if you don’t. The ball is in your court!
+ You can have up to four entries total.
+ The competition is open through January, or until I finish traveling. If you follow along with my movements and think I might be in your part of the world, send me a personal email and we can talk about making a shoot happen for you before the end of the giveaway. (This will not affect the number of prizes available when the giveaway does close).
+ The first place and second place winners will be chosen based on your answer to the questions.
+ The third place winner will be chosen randomly.
+ This giveaway is open to every person on Earth.
+ This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook or any other businesses or products. Yup, I’m doing this all on my own!

This is what I expect from you.

+ Equal promotion of my services (as I will be promoting you as a retreat) in tags where you share the photos.
+ Costs of travel and expenses covered (includes but is not limited to: roundtrip airfare, accommodation, food, transport).
+ I retain ownership of the image copyright, and have the right to sell them as art and stock, and enter them in photography competitions.

Why do you want me at your retreat?

+ In terms of the yoga photography industry, I deliver the highest quality images you can get your hands on.
+ My expertise does not only lie in yoga. I have a BFA with a concentration in commercial and advertising photography. When I graduated, my specialty was architecture and food. I learned how to light any object imaginable. Not only will you get the best yoga photography delivered to you, you will also receive some of the highest quality photos of your spaces, food (I am currently photographing my fifth cookbook), and the landscapes around you. And I’ll get beautiful shots of your classes/adventures in action (I have worked with a couple large yoga clothing companies to photograph their yoga-related events). If you want to know more about my qualifications, send me an email and I’ll be happy to fill you in.
+ Unlike other photographers, just because I am doing something for free, I don’t let me quality slip. You receive the same commercial-quality photography that you would if you were paying for it. That’s a promise.
+ I practice what I preach in my professional and personal life.
+ And last, but not least, I’m generally a fun person to be around! When I’m passionate about what I’m doing, I glow like the moon. I love learning and meeting new people (which is why I have been traveling the last two and a half years). Now, I want to meet you.

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Still not sure why I’m offering up my art and services for you this year?

2014 was a train wreck, a mudslide, and avalanche (and not the kind that goes with the metaphor “things will snowball,” or maybe, the wrong things snowballed). Though I didn’t know it at the time, looking at it from outside of the picture I painted last year, it was a year consumed by ego and self-loathing and disappointment. Self-love and care were out the window. Why? I didn’t have time for it. But that’s over and I’m all sorts of in-love with myself, and not the sleezy kind. I couldn’t be happier to put this year behind me. Who’s ready for 2015?!

I confess my mistakes to you from Amsterdam, a city of liberation and openness. More importantly, I confess them with forgiveness to myself. With the last full moon, I made friends with a Labradorite crystal. It’s opened up a year of heartache and pain and depression, and replaced it with an open heart and plenty o’ love to go around.

In 2014, I spent my energy offering donation-based photography. But I wasn’t finding the right people. I was giving and giving and giving… and getting nothing back; in terms of energy, this leads to burn out. And that it did. The smiley, happy, carefree, inspired, passionate ME turned into someone I didn’t recognize. I became lazy, irritable, indifferent, a victim to the world. Yuck.

I thought I was doing Seva, but even though I was offering myself for service, I was doing to with a heavy heart.

I’m infinitely grateful that I had the space and resources to disappear to Amsterdam this month. Travel always helps me reset my life, and this time I was surprised at how much needed reset. The best way to get perspective on your life is to step completely out of the frame and look at the picture you’ve painted from across the room.

So that I don’t have a repeat of last year’s energy reserves drying up, I want to know that this is valuable to you. I want to know how it will transform your business. I want to connect and make sure that we are a good fit for each other. I want to hear what your dreams are and how you’re making them come to life. If you want to find out more about who I am, feel free to email me before entering.

Good luck! 

I Won the Ames Farmers Market Chili Contest with Paleo Chili! (Recipe)

savannah-wishart-primal-revolutions-kid-friendly-paleo-chili-recipe-ames-farmers-market-tigran-manukyanThe last couple of weeks I’ve been visiting my grandparents in Ames, Iowa. When I think of Iowa, I can’t help but imagine two-dimensional landscapes filled with corn for as far as the eye can see – not something that I normally find appealing. But one thing I hadn’t anticipated about the midwest is the pleasure that comes with witnessing the leaves change right before your eyes. You can feel the air crispen, tightening around you in a cool embrace; where the only contrast is to the warm licks coming from a burning fireplace.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Ames is not the boring, backwards small town that I (and I assume, many others) associate with the midwest. For one, it’s a university town (I’m starting to think you can’t go wrong when there’s a university in town). There’s a mix of culture with international students, and throughout town there’s a mix of age groups. Forward thinking, change and diversity are natural elements when a town has a high turnover rate of youth from different corners of the planet.

Without further ado, here is the recipe that won the Peoples Choice Awards at the Ames Farmers Market Chili Contest last weekend. Unlike a traditional chili, this Paleo chili is more sweet than spicy, so it’s kid-friendly. It seemed to catch a lot of tasters by surprise because it lacks beans. Chili without beans?! How is that possible? Well I’ll tell you that not only is it possible, it’s so much more delicious filled with more vegetables and sweet potatoes. Coming in first place for the Peoples Choice showed that this chili is certain to win the hearts of many!

Thank you, Ames, for the forty people who voted for the Cave (Wo)man Paleo Chili!

(inspired by the new winter edition of Paleo Magazine Readers’ Favorite Holiday Recipes Cookbook – get yours HERE!)

Big Batch o' Cave (Wo)man Paleo Chili

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours, 45 minutes

The perfect Paleo chili for winter. Full of bacon, grass-fed ground beef, sweet potatoes and plenty of vegetables, this recipe won first place for the Peoples' Choice at the Ames Farmers Market Chili Cook-Off in October 2014. The recipe can feed you for a week, or you can cut it in half for a more manageable amount. Best of all, it's kid-friendly (not too spicy)!

Ingredients

  • 3 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 4 large sweet potatoes
  • 16 slices bacon
  • 2 parsnips
  • 4 purple carrots
  • 2 red onion
  • 2 red pepper
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 4 TBSP tomato paste
  • 2 - 28 oz. cans whole peeled plum tomato
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 TBSP chili powder
  • 1 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 TBSP raw unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups butternut squash soup
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bake two sweet potatoes in the oven until soft (about 45 minutes). Set aside until cool enough to peel.
  2. Fry the bacon. Once fried and cool, chop into small pieces. Save 2 TBSP of bacon grease to fry the vegetables with.
  3. Chop the vegetables, remaining sweet potatoes, tomato paste, and garlic. Fry in a pan with bacon grease until the vegetables are soft (note that the parsley takes a bit longer to soften; you can chop it into smaller pieces to shorten the time). Pierce with a fork to check the tenderness.
  4. In a separate pan or cast iron skillet, fry the ground beef until browned.
  5. In a large pot, add the sweet potato from the oven with 1-2 cups of broth. Mash or puree the sweet potato until it reaches a creamy consistency. Alternatively, you can add the sweet potato and broth to a blender to make it smoother.
  6. Add the cooked vegetables, bacon, and ground beef to the large pot. Heat the large pot on medium-high.
  7. Add the spices and tomatoes.
  8. Cook until the flavors have saturated and the beef is fully cooked. If using a crockpot, this takes 4-8 hours; if using the stovetop and short for time, this takes 1-2 hours, depending how strong you want the flavors.
  9. In the last hour of cooking, add the butternut squash soup. This makes for a better consistency (I think!). Add more or less, depending how thick you want your chili.
http://www.primalrevolutions.com/2014/10/first-place-ames-farmers-market-chili-contest-cave-woman-paleo-chili-recipe-kid-friendly/

** Photograph of the actual recipe is pending. This is a temporary photo that was an outtake from the Paleo Magazine Readers’ Favorite Holiday Recipes Cookbook.

Primal Revolutions Has Won a Liebster Blogging Award

I am sooo excited to share with you that Primal Revolutions has won a Liebster Blogging Award from the very talented Ness from Becomingness (all the way from Australia!)! A million thanks, Ness. As my first award, it is a wonderful reminder to keep hitting publish and to continue putting my message out into the world. Primal, Passion, and Revolution!

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Without further ado, let’s dive in. Here are the answers to the questions that Ness asked me:

1. What inspired you to start your blog?
I can remember writing my first blog post in Naples, Florida – something along the lines of “this is a process,” and oh, I couldn’t have started with a more true statement. After graduating university I was about to hop on a plane to follow my lifelong dream of moving to Europe and leaving being America. I decided that keeping a blog and writing about my travels was the best way to keep my family updated (how many postcards can you send, really?). It wasn’t until stumbling upon Rachel MacDonald’s InSpacesBetween that I thought it could turn into something more to help me grow as a business.

2. Do you prefer the beach or the snow?
This is a toughy. Growing up in Colorado, I was always playing in the snow and taking days off of school to go skiing. Something happened a few years ago that has impacted the circulation in my feet and hands, so enjoying the snow is more difficult than it used to be. If I can find a way to keep my body toasty, I’d say that snow wins. But I do love the beach and the ocean. We have a tie!

3. What is your favourite band or artist?
AFI (A Fire Inside) has always been and will always be my favorite band. My dog, Havok, is actually named after the lead singer, Davey Havok – contrary to the belief that his name comes from wreaking havoc. When I’m feeling a tad less punky, I enjoy melting into the tunes of Garth Stevenson‘s cello.

4. What skill would you like to learn?
I would love to learn work-working. How cool would it be to be able to create your own cutting boards and tables and bookshelves? Recently I’ve decided I also want to pick up playing the violin again. How can you be sad if you’re playing violin?

5. Where was the last place that you traveled to?
My life revolves around travel. I consider every place I live to be traveling because I am there for such little time. At the moment, I’m spending six weeks living in Boulder, Colorado. Before that, Santa Barbara, Lake Havasu, Denver, England, France…

6. What do you like to do to pamper yourself?
Buying myself a coffee used to be my way of pampering myself. Now my idea of pampering myself is spending time along in Mother Nature, going for a hike, camping… There is no better gift than spending time exploring the outdoors.

7. Are you an early bird or a night owl?
I’d like to say that I’m an early bird, but for most of my life I’ve been known to be a night owl. Lately I’ve been waking up around sunset a couple of times a week and I enjoy feeling the magical silence of the world before everyone else wakes up. The soft light, the calm, the quiet. Havok jumping through the grass after field mice. But usually my inspiration spikes right before I go to bed – around 9 pm. I can’t say I’d enjoy staying up after midnight, but I definitely do find the words to my inspiration at the end of the day.

8. Who is your idol?
To me, an idol is someone I think of when I’m feeing stuck or unmotivated and I wonder, “What would ________ do?” Depending on the day and the situation, the fill-in-the-blank changes. The names who come up most often are Emelie Foxy Pickett of Forbidden Life, Rachel of Rachel Brathen (Yoga Girl), and Emma Watson. Foxy, for when I want to connect to nature and to wild instincts. Rachel, for when I want to move my body. And Emma Watson, for when I want to succeed in every part of my life.

9. What is your favourite childhood memory?
I’ve gotta be honest – this question has left me staring blankly at my screen for the past ten minutes. I’m really bad at memories – I have an annoying knack of repressing my past (defensive mechanism, I guess). Most of my fondest memories relate to travel, so it will probably be when I went to England for the first time around 11. It was my first time out of the country, and being a die-hard Harry Potter fan I was pretty darn excited to be in the country of Hogwarts. I was blown away by the history in the buildings, the architecture, the mossy trees, the roundabouts… And we were there for Christmas. Needless to say, I was sold. This was the beginning of my dream to move to Europe.

10. What is your favourite quote or affirmation?
I like to live by my own words: “If you’re the best at what you do, there is no competition.” It reminds me to always be the best I can be – so long as I do my best and keep growing, I will always be at the top of what I do. 

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Here are my ten nominees:

1. Emelie from Forbidden Life
2. Katherine from Wild Grace
3. Elle from Drawing Within
4. Anne Simone from NettYoga
5. Amelia from Stoked Yogi
6. Tiffiny from Tiffiny Epiphany
7. Grace from A Body in Motion
8. Paige from A Little Love Affair
9. Amanda Dugan from Amanda Dugan Photography

10. Britt from Britt Rawcliffe Photography

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If you’d like to accept the award and play along, here are the ten questions for you to answer.

1. Ultimately, why do you do what you do? What difference are you making in the world?
2. What is your idea of the perfect revolution?
3. No limits: If you could travel anywhere, doing anything, for any amount of time, where would you go and what would you do? What is your dream trip?
4. What community has been vital in helping shape who you are and support you on your journey?
5. What is the big project you’re working on right now? What do you need for it to be a success?
6. How do you embrace your relationship to Mother Nature?
7. What is your favorite creative outlet?
8. If you were an animal, what would you be?
9. What is your favorite way to move your body and sweat?
10. Where does most of your inspiration come from (person, activity, etc.)?

I can’t wait to read your answers! I hope they inspire you, make you think, and most importantly: make you DREAM. 

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The Liebster Blog Award recognises bloggers that have a growing audience and winning this award requires me to do the following:

  • Link back and recognise the blogger who nominated me
  • Answer ten questions given by the nominator
  • Nominate ten other bloggers for the award
  • Create ten questions for nominees to answer
  • Notify my nominees
  • Get an award button and display it proudly.

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Enjoy lovelies! And make sure to check out these amazing bloggers and artists. Whether they choose to accept the award or not, they are all inspirational winners!

(you) Be the Light, (i) See the Light: Yoga Photography in Boulder, CO

Inspiration comes in all forms, from all kinds of places. Some find inspiration in the city. Others (like myself) find inspiration in getting intimate with the natural world. Sweet, sweet Mother Nature.

My inspiration sprouts like a seed, carried off in the wind;  to plant roots along the mountainside and  push, persisting, through the hard surface of the Earth; it blooms from wildflowers and begins the process all over again.  Where there is light, there are shadows. Find the light and brave the shadows. For it is in the shadows, where you grow.

Photo shoot in Boulder, Colorado near the flatirons with Savannah Wishart of Primal Revolutions photography. Yoga photography: we are one. Last week, I had the opportunity to photograph 18 year old Erin Gillespie, before she set off across the world to her new home in New Zealand. Such a divine coincidence to connect before she jetted off, and to meet someone who was headed in the same direction (details are in the works, but we should be headed out of the country in the next couple of months – yeeeee!). I found out that not only was she going to NZ on her own to expand her experience before college – she had lived in India in 3rd grade and earlier this year, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro! Ahhh, a girl after my own adventurous heart. Without further ado, here are a few previews from our shoot. Check back in later to see the whole shebang. Photo shoot in Boulder, Colorado near the flatirons with Savannah Wishart of Primal Revolutions photography. Yoga photography: we are one.Photo shoot in Boulder, Colorado near the flatirons with Savannah Wishart of Primal Revolutions photography. Yoga photography: we are one.Photo shoot in Boulder, Colorado near the flatirons with Savannah Wishart of Primal Revolutions photography. Yoga photography: we are one.Photo shoot in Boulder, Colorado near the flatirons with Savannah Wishart of Primal Revolutions photography. Yoga photography: we are one.Photo shoot in Boulder, Colorado near the flatirons with Savannah Wishart of Primal Revolutions photography. Yoga photography: we are one.                         To become a part of this project, We Are One, express interest in being featured as a Primal Revolutionary, or have a suggestion on where I should travel to next, drop me a line at savannah(at)primalrevolutions(dot)com Currently creating art through yoga photography in Boulder, Colorado.

From Food to Jewelry: Photo Shoot with Eileen of Enlightened Goddess

Food and jewelry are kind of like twins. Twins from different parents.

They were raised the same, live life by the same rules, have similar values and interests… but underneath all that deep stuff, they couldn’t look less alike.

You see, in terms of photography, capturing the perfect food shot and the perfect snap of jewelry takes the same kinda’ work: styling, lighting, composition, textures.

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Let’s take LIGHTING: the most essential ingredient for every top notch photographer.

Lighting brings out the texture and it lights up the colors, making the subject glow. Literally. (especially when you’re shooting crystals) Food and jewelry require the same attention of detail when it comes to lighting. Soft light, low contrast, bright and highlighting the right textures and colors. With neither subject do you ever want to light from near the camera. From the sides or behind, that’s the way to go.

Photo shoot in Denver, Colorado at Red Rocks Amphitheatre with Eileen Rios of Enlightened Goddess Jewelry. Jewelry photography by Savannah Wishart of Primal Revolutions.

As mentioned with lighting, TEXTURE is what makes the subject come alive: be it the fine edges of a raw crystal, the facets of a polished jewel, or the more organic bumps magnified in banana pancakes (with organic maple syrup oozing from between the layers – ooooh).

Photo shoot in Denver, Colorado at Red Rocks Amphitheatre with Eileen Rios of Enlightened Goddess Jewelry. Jewelry photography by Savannah Wishart of Primal Revolutions.

COMPOSITION sits as an equal with lighting, making or breaking the potential of a good photograph. The rule of thirds was drilled into my head during Brooks, but sometimes (a lot of times, lately) I break the rule – the subject is the star of the photo, smack-dab in the middle of the frame.

Photo shoot in Denver, Colorado at Red Rocks Amphitheatre with Eileen Rios of Enlightened Goddess Jewelry. Jewelry photography by Savannah Wishart of Primal Revolutions. Photo shoot in Denver, Colorado at Red Rocks Amphitheatre with Eileen Rios of Enlightened Goddess Jewelry. Jewelry photography by Savannah Wishart of Primal Revolutions.

And lastly, I come to STYLING. What once was the part I absolutely dreaded about a photo shoot has become a familiar friend. During school, it was the extra hassle that I didn’t want to deal with: finding a stylist to make the details no less than perfect, more time to put into an assignment, something other than lighting (that was what I was learning anyway; I wasn’t getting a degree in photography to be a stylist). But with my introduction to photographing cookbooks with Paleo Magazine, I was thrust quite unexpectedly into the world of food styling and was quick to add that talent to my resume. Now that photography comes so naturally, the creativity is almost always in the styling of the food. And now, in the clothing and the accessories. Styling a scene for jewelry takes just as much attention to detail as food, but it’s a whole different world. The twins from different parents – this is where that idea fits in. Photographing jewelry takes so much more than bringing the jewelry. You have the model, the hair, the clothing (making sure it’s the style you want: bohemian, sportsy, yoga, casual…). Pairing each piece with the clothing that fits the style. Most important is the vision you need beforehand of who your customer is and where they’ll where it. A yogi might wear a simple charm on a short necklace to a yoga class, but is she going to wear a larger, chunky crystal to the same place? Chances are, probably not. Instead she might dress up in that bohemian way and wear it for a night out or a coffee with a close friend. (not all yogis live in their yoga clothing)

Photo shoot in Denver, Colorado at Red Rocks Amphitheatre with Eileen Rios of Enlightened Goddess Jewelry. Jewelry photography by Savannah Wishart of Primal Revolutions.

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With that in mind, we began shooting in sync with the sun (almost), in the middle of a meadow swaying with the breeze. At least that was the idea, but the clouds swept across the sky had other plans. But – work with what you’ve got, hey! Even though we didn’t have the sun peeking just above the horizon to cast soft light across the landscape, the cloud cover handed over the control of light to my hands. And it worked quite well, if I do say so myself.

Eileen of Enlightened Goddess jewelry was a gem (pun intended). In the few hours we were shooting, we turned her into a beautiful jewelry model and showed her some of what beautiful Colorado has to offer hikers, music fanatics and explorers alike.

Red Rocks is a beautiful location to capture crystal jewelry made with love and intention – the boulders emanate a positive force of energy that adds to the glow behind the crystals. I mean, wowsa – crystals by themselves take your breath away, but when you shine light through them, they take on a whole new level of divine brilliance.

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I hope you enjoy the raw previews of the shoot with Enlightened Goddess. This is the very beginning of capturing intentional jewelry! I can’t wait to get started on creating more beautiful relationships with artistic goddesses around the world.

If you like what you see, find Enlightened Goddess on etsy HERE or email contact(at)shopenlightenedgoddess(dot)com (website coming soon!).

And if you’re a divine artist yourself, looking to add another level of brilliance to your brand, shoot me an email to coordinate a creative session starting you and your jewelry. It doesn’t matter where in the world you are: I coordinate the models and styling no matter how far apart we are.

Now over to you: What is your favorite jewelry? Which companies have you supported who glow with love and brilliance and intention?

I’ve Got a Bad Case of Wanderlust and a Longing for Legal Drugs

Just kidding about the drugs! But, I’m sharing my Portuguese experience with you and from what I know, they’ve legalized drugs – so why not? It makes for a fun title. :)

This month has been a whirlwind of feelings, mostly stemming from itchy feet wanting to run for the border and make a move onto the next unexplored country. Or maybe even a country I haven’t explored quite enough.

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I blame my distant friend, Emma. We met when we were both volunteering at a a detox retreat near Lagos, Portugal, sometime around September of 2012. The two months I was there taught me some of the most difficult and beneficial lessons of my life. Recently Emma and I have been trying to be in touch again (both of us take a while to respond to each others’ emails because the responses are practically a novel – slow progress, but better than no progress) and I’ve been thinking back to those two months, going through old photos, editing them all over again… Each day I feel a wave of nostalgia rushing over me.

With the World Cup going on, it’s been a whole lot heavier. I got a Portugal jersey and have been supporting them pretty heatedly. This combined with the frustration that it’s been almost a year since I’ve been back in the U.S. has produced some pretty unpleasant feelings – amongst them, largely a bucket of jealousy for the way Emma’s been living.

She’s living my DREAM. Full stop. Traveling the world, working wherever she ends up, and experiencing culture. She’s found her home in Portugal, and even though I had a bittersweet time there, I couldn’t be more jealous. I blame it on trying to make a name for myself. I keep saying that I’ll travel when I reach this milestone, or when this happens. And part of this scares me: is this the beginning of winding up stuck in the same place for the rest of my life?

I don’t think so. Even though I’m not hopping around European countries or South American jungles, I’m not exactly settling in anywhere. Right now Tigran, Havok and I are staying in Boulder for the longest we’ve been anywhere – six whole weeks!

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But back to Portugal – 

I’m turning my jealousy into inspiration and finding my favorite images from Portugal. I’m writing again (even if it isn’t as awesome as it used to be, and I’m using words like “awesome”). So without further ado, I bring you a few images from the country that legalized drugs and speaks a language that, to my ears, sounds like Russian song (oh the eargasms!).

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[Photos: inside the trolley, Lisboa, Portugal; outside the trolley, Lisbon, Portugal; a glimpse of Portuguese life on the trolley journey; a flag waves above the streets of Lisboa; Anne Simone modeling on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, somewhere between Lisbon and Sintra; the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen, somewhere between Lisboa and Sintra]

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Isn’t it a beautiful country? I can’t wait to go through the rest of the images and share the experience with you. Out of all the cities I’ve visited in Europe (the world, even), Lisboa is my absolute favorite. A historic city full of green parks, Lisboa is bursting with culture and history in harmony with the landscape. I just might have to go back one day.

Have you been to Lisboa? What was your experience?

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©2012 Savannah Wishart – travel photography

 

I’m an Explorer… What Are You?

Today I’m writing from sunny Santa Barbara (with photos from sunny Portugal!), and I just took a fun little quiz from Brand Alchemist to find out what archetype fits my personality as a brand/business/idea.

I’m an Explorer! An adventure-hungry, soul-searching, always on the move kinda’ spirit. The one who picks up and moves several times a year, who dreams of living in far-off lands and finds a way to get there.

It’s crazy. As I read the PDF that came with the answer, I felt myself vigorously nodding along with every.single.sentence. And it’s pretty timely because in the past few weeks I uncovered that my “Explorer” animal totem is the beautiful Manta Ray. Coincidental? I think not!

Things are changing over here, and this tops the list of what I want to start incorporating into my business and blog as I find the best ways to evolve.

What does being an Explorer mean for the evolution of Primal Revolutions?

Above all else the thing that stands out to me most, is looking at my life from outside perspectives. An Explorer is almost always on the move – physically, spiritually, mentally… so always learning new things and finding new experiences. But no one knows about these things unless you share them! “Duh” moment… I hear all the time from readers: “Keep sharing what you’re doing, it’s sooo inspiring.” And I’m just thinking, “What’s so inspiring? I’m having soooo many struggles right now!”

But really, who is my inner critic to say that what I’m doing isn’t something to be shared? We are our worst critics after all.

From the outside it might look seamless, as if the details naturally unfold to get me from Point A to Point B. I appear to be fearless, immune to what-if’s and but’s and uncertainty of the unknown.

The truth is that life as an Explorer can be pretty damn amazing. Us Explorers, we get to see the world with plenty of juicy experiences on the inside and out.

What do you mean you’re an Explorer? Am I an Explorer?

Hop on over to the Brand Alchemist to take this quiz. Find out what your branding archetype is.
You won’t be disappointed.

Onwards, Explorer…

On the surface, the Explorer as all the freedom in the world to hop between towns, countries, continents. Those with the mindset that you have to be rich to travel might even label the young Explorer as spoilt and irresponsible.

It’s not always a cakewalk being an Explorer.

Let’s look at the moolah side of things. If you’re a writer, I whole-heartedly believe that being an Explorer (in some way or another) should be a top priority – new people, places, exotic experiences and foreign landscapes paint a whole new layer of inspiration and things to write about and share with the world. Sit in a cafe in Italy with a teeny tiny espresso. Bask on the beach in sunny Portugal. Listen to conversations in a language you don’t understand. Watch facial expressions and body language (somehow it feels less intrusive to gawk at strangers when you don’t understand a single word of what they’re saying). Watch leaves tumble down cobblestone streets. Soak it all up.

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If your work requires more human contact and in-person sessions, being an Explorer takes a bit more work – planning ahead, a lot of networking, trying to communicate in other languages, navigating foreign maps to find a specific place or person.

But because of those experiences, imagine how much more fulfilling your efforts will be.

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Personally, this is one of the biggest challenges that I’ve had dealt with in my photography – having my sh*t together enough to have projects lined up before arriving somewhere. As of now, I haven’t figured out a system that supports this. (But as I confess this to you, I can feel a tap on the shoulder from the universe telling me that this is where my focus should be, that this is my lesson in disguise and not something to fight). Instead of flowing with the travel, it always takes me a good few weeks to settle in somewhere new and fall into a routine that works. Sometimes, it takes even longer than that if I haven’t found a place to live. There have even been a few locations where I’ve tried to settle and it just didn’t work; instead, I remained stagnant for 2-3 months wondering what was wrong with me. But I have newfound hope in that little reminder from the universe, and I know that with patience I will find a routine in due time.

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Find Freedom in the Explorer

If you’re a fellow Explorer, I know that freedom to pick up and move whenever you want will resonate with you. I can’t imagine the feeling of freedom feeling deeper than the ability to pack your suitcases at the drop of a hat and head off in a new direction.

It’s a step toward freeing yourself from the reins of society. A lot of people think you need to live somewhere permanently to be successful. But you don’t! Take your creative gifts wherever your heart desires to be. When you get where you want to be you’ll be that much more successful – because you’ll want to find a way to stay there AND you’ll be happy. Two hugely powerful ingredients.

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When you fully embrace being an Explorer, you can share your journey with the world and inspire others to follow their more unconventional dreams. Those emails from those you’ve inspired are so heartwarming. Even more-so in those times when nothing seems to be going right and the crazy things you’re doing fall short of inspiring you.

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There Are Challenges Too…

If you’re always on the move, you probably don’t have a predictable income. Sometimes you get big projects that cover the next five months, but sometimes you’re stuck between those projects trying to get bites on a personal project that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere; you’re left wondering when you’ll get your next paycheck.
You’ve arrived somewhere beautiful but no one is interested in what you have to offer the world. Even if they are, they don’t want to pay for it.
Some days it feels like you’re working all the time, but nothing is making it onto your website. Everything is waiting (im)patiently in the pages of your notebook or the files on your hard drive.

People say that what you’re doing is so inspiring and urge you to keep sharing. You just want to scream, “What is so inspiring about sleeping until noon, not knowing when I’m getting paid next, watching my writing fall apart, and not hitting ‘publish’ week after week after week?” in all caps.

It can be draining, and that’s why you need to set doable goals for yourself, take time to meditate, explore just for fun, exercise, and find a community.

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Find a Community. The final, biggest ingredient. Whether it’s a group of creatives, athletes, travelers, bookworms, writers… find a group of people who give you support and make you feel like you belong.

Here we arrive at the paradox of the Explorer. We want to have freedom and independence, moving around whenever we want. We don’t want tied down by car payments or house leases. But we can’t take our friends with us, so the lifestyle ends up being pretty solitary. Still, we want a community, and everywhere we go that’s what we’re searching for. A place with people who accept us for who we are, support us, and fuel our inspiration.

Despite the difficulties that accompany the Explorer archetype, we’re pretty damn blessed to have the courage it takes to go on adventures and see the worldFrom the inside and the outside. It’s all about the journey – physical, mental and spiritual. Even if we aren’t always moving from den to den, we’re always growing in some way.

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When we apply our archetype to our business/brand, we align with who we are through our work and attract the partners & clients who are equally in line with our message/product. What we feel aligns with what we think; what we think aligns with what we say; and what we say aligns with what we do. 

Subconsciously it seems that I haven’t quite believed that it’s okay to be a traveler in my work (just think of all the negative connotations being a “gypsy” has), and as a result I haven’t been sharing everything I’ve been doing. In fact, it’s been down to just about nothing. And I guess I got overwhelmed by the people who have told me how inspired this stuff is, and I didn’t think I could keep living up to those high standards. But I’m ready to inspire you again and continue sharing my adventures. It’s time to take this Explorer by the horns!

Ready? Let’s go!

What are you waiting for? Get your permission slip right. Now! No matter how big or small, your journey is too important and unique not to share with the world.

+ And tell me, what is your Archetype?
+ If you’re a fellow Explorer archetype, what does being an Explorer mean to you?

All images ©Savannah Wishart, unless otherwise stated.

I Wish I Shot That: Photography That Inspires

Inspired by Miss Rachel MacDonald’s weekly “Blogs to Bookmark” feature, I’m starting my own feature with a photographic twist – that’s right, images I wish I’d captured with my photographic eye.

To keep you and me both inspired, and to share with you images that I think top the chart.

While I dig deep into what my life purpose is through photography and how to channel it in the most powerful way, exploring different photographers helps me to get a better idea of how I want to evolve and where I want to go. Plus it’s a little nudge in the shoulder to keep going, get better, and a little whisper in my ear saying, “You can do that!”

Enjoy these 6 breathtaking images that inspire you to travel and live life as a wild human

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This Week: Commercial & Travel Photographer, Joey L. 

1. “Aman Tetap”

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2. “Sabrida Shing”

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3. “Shallowgo on Lake Turkana”

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4. “Hamar Women at Sunrise”

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5. “Portrait of Rufo”

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6. “Tomb of Adam”

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Don’t these deeply moving images weave a story that leaves you thirsting for more?!

These are the kinds of images that inspire me to grow as a creative. This is a project after my own heart: documenting simpler ways of life, traditional ways of living, indigenous cultures. As the Mayans say, these are “the stories of the original flowering Earth.” Oh please, can we all take a leaf from the book of these pure souls and go back to those times?

Hop over to Joey L.’s site here to explore the full collection of his beautiful portfolio.

From Mountains to Beaches to Cities: The Struggles of Finding Peace in the Urban Environment

Ah… the city life. The kind of life that many people dream of, men and women alike. From dreams bigger-than-life, to little baby-steps in forging the right path, the city is littered with the hopes and expectations of many.

Am I alone when I say that I have (mostly) never dreamed of living in the city?

As a girl who grew up in the heart of the Colorado mountains, I should have guessed that assimilation into the crazy hustle and bustle surrounded by concrete towers would be a difficult adjustment, if it was an adjustment I wanted to make.

Oh, sure, Iʼve definitely tried it out for myself. I even thought something was wrong with me when it didnʼt work out for me, when I wasnʼt enjoying it. As Iʼve visited different cities around the world, I have given them a chance; Iʼve said: “This city will be different. Everyone raves about this one. This must be the city of all cities.” And every single time Iʼm hit smack-dab in the middle of the forehead with a fist full of disappointment.

Denver. Los Angeles. Las Vegas. Miami. London. Paris. Barcelona. Milan. And after March, San Francisco is added to that list.

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When I went on a day trip to SF, hippie capital of the world, I was sure that there must be something there that would speak to my green, blossoming heart. In my imagination, SF was filled with grassy parks, car-free pedestrian streets, bushy trees offering shade in the heat of a Californian afternoon, funky and friendly personalities, clean air… One can dream, right?

But it seems that I go into cities with a plethora of false expectations. Under such heavy ideals, what else can a city do but fall short of perfection?

Does this sound familiar?

Being wedged between strangers, between tall buildings, with cars screeching by, is an experience that leaves you feeling drained, overwhelmed, exhausted and above all, disconnected from the deeper purpose of life.

I just canʼt wrap my head around how people do it.

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It seems to me that the key is to let go of the expectation that youʼre “supposed” to adapt to the city, that everyone must like it. Oh, the nightlife, the icons, the landmarks, the history… Itʼs all so amazing, so impressive, they say. Who are you to think otherwise? Thatʼs just it. I couldnʼt care less about the Golden Gate Bridge, the culture found in the clubs, Pier 39 bustling with crap made from China.

Is it the city, or is it the age of mindless consumerism that has become the salt in my wound?

The truth is, itʼs easy to feel guilty when youʼre one of the few that hasnʼt fallen for the romanticized city living. Especially if you have your own business, expertise in some sort of media/design, etc.

As a photographer you need to live in a city, they said. You need a place with a big market, they said. Follow the flashing lights, the big pockets, the never-ending studios, until youʼre so deep in the concrete jungle you will never find your way out. They also said I need a home-base so I donʼt have to establish myself every time I move. Two years down the road and Iʼm yet to stay in the same place for more than two months at a time – and Iʼm always getting more work.

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Why watch your soul wither into nothingness, surrounded by nothing more than man- made life, when you can find yourself heart-deep in rolling hills, cascading waterfalls and stormy seas? Turn your back to the lost American dream that everyone seems to be chasing.

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Find nightlight watching the fireflies flicker in the countryside.
Meet the true celebrities of the world, the queens and kings of the animal kingdom.
Immerse yourself in discovering the history of the towering redwoods.

So if the city isnʼt calling your name, donʼt worry. You and me, weʼre not alone. Youʼll find your niche somewhere. It might be a small town in the middle of nowhere. It doesnʼt matter where, as long as youʼre nourishing your spirit with love and connections.

1. Find a way to do your work remotely. Write for small publications. Work on creative projects with partners around the world who need your expertise.

2. If youʼre not feeling the connections youʼre seeking, find a penpal or mentor from somewhere you dream of going. Find out from someone you can connect with from thousands of miles, what itʼs like to live the life you want.

3. And if youʼre a city dweller who canʼt quite escape the hustle and bustle just yet, find a little utopia where you can escape (like Golden Gate Park, in the images below). Maybe itʼs a park untamed by the hand of man or a sweaty yoga class filled with echos of chanting. Follow your heart to nourish your soul.

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At the end of life, what connection is it that truly matters? The flashing lights will fade, the studios will close, the clothing will go out of style, the fad will fade in favor of a new one. But the Earth will always be there to welcome you home.

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Now I’m curious to learn something from you, city dwellers and nature lovers alike. What’s your feeling when you’re in the city? How do you manage it?

All images ©Savannah Wishart, unless otherwise stated.

CrossFit + Yoga + Paleo + Primal Lifestyle Photography

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