What do yoga, drinking and July 4th have in common?
They made me realize that our time here is meant to understand ourselves.
Back in April, I participated in a challenge through my yoga studio. I was asked to answer the question ‘What was your biggest life challenge and what was your strength that overcame it?’ For my age, I consider myself an individual who has been through a lot of emotional and physical hardships. At first it was hard to figure out which challenge I’ve been through was the most difficult. But then I realized it was that one evening in July that really began my biggest life challenge and 12 years later understanding the strength that overcame it.
I was in my early twenties with few cares and fewer responsibilities. Subconsciously I also thought I was invincible. Driving back to Fort Lauderdale from partying in Key West over July 4th weekend hit a pause button quick on that thought.
The traffic was heavy going in both directions late at night. I was jamming out to music with the windows down when in a split second my life went from invincibility and quickly shifted into a horrific scene that seem to happen in slow motion. With incredible speed, a car heading in the opposite direction crossed into my lane. Immediately my vehicle swung at 180° as my body followed suit, fighting the incredible force of the seatbelt pinning my hips to the seat, as my SUV came to a halt. I was confused, panicked, and very alone. What I did not know in that moment is that I had been hit by a driver whose blood alcohol level was well above .27%. I also did not know that as I lay there terrified in disbelief, the other driver was also very much alone as she took her last breath.
My body was severely broken from head to toe. Severe injuries that included broken vertebrae and a shattered right ankle. My mind was filled with rage and hatred. Surgeries and therapy mended my body, but could not begin to heal the physical and mental pain that consumed my life. I lived my life with an anger that burned like fire in my core. I would lash out at everything and everyone; always blaming others for my sorrow and hate. I was managing chronic pain every day, but I had not even begun to realize the emotional scar that refused to heal. An invisible scar that I carried for years.
Eight years later, I was introduced to The Yoga Joint. I reluctantly showed up for a class just so I could tell the person who wouldn’t stop talking about it to me to finally leave me alone. The class was hard and it hurt and it made me face that angry fire in my core.
The next morning I was beyond sore, but there was also something new, a feeling of lightness. Something had been loosened up, a release had occurred, one I did not even know I needed. I had to go back, I craved more, to continue to loosen it more and more. And it drove me forward that day and every morning after, there was one more flame that had been put out. Every class I would tell that fire of anger it was time to go and every final savasana I cried but my tears blended in with all the sweat so no one knew but my myself.
Four years later, as each day brought more reminders that life happens at a pace that cannot be stopped; bringing on complications like cancer, surgery, loved ones passing, painful breakups- the fire has transformed. It is now a bright glowing light and there are no more tears during final savasana. Yoga has taught me not to just be strong and mindful but how to be resilient through this journey I have been given. I used to be focused on my invincibility, it was my superpower. Now I know that my new superpower is self-awareness.
What can we say about Baby Orion besides he was quiet and calm as a starry night? This adorable baby boy was a newborn model call and his big sister came to his session too. We had fun with new prop and color ideas that haven’t been used before. Oranges, vibrant blues and bright reds were on display and complimented nicely with wood grains and brown tones. Baby Orion was extremely content all toasty and wrapped up in the new studio!
The season of summer is when many families are able to get together in one place. Summer vacations, school is out and the sun is shining. After flying in from Rhode Island and Texas, this group met up in Pompano beach to have a group family session. It was a bit windy but we missed all the rain that we were getting! I had so much fun capturing this energetic group on beautiful Pompano Beach.
Besides the sunshine, puffy clouds and great friends, I felt like I helped complete this special day by capturing such a beautiful couple’s nuptials. I received a call about a week before this wedding and was so excited that my schedule was open. It was super windy but the wind brought in beautiful clouds that would float by giving an awesome backdrop against the ocean. A guitarist and red rose petals welcomed the wedding party in and the cruise ships leaving port cheered on Sasha & Kevin as they exchanged their vows.
Thank you for having me be part of such a special day! Congratulations Sasha & Kevin!