Welcome to Bonus Day Three of 28 Days of Connection!
It is a delight to introduce you to Catherine Just.
Here is an excerpt from Catherine’s about page:
After realizing that I wasn’t as tall or as multi-talented as Cher, I developed a love for visual storytelling ( aka: visual arts). I Graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design with a concentration in photography. My dreams of becoming a triple threat shifted from singing, dancing and acting to Self-portraiture, symbolism and metaphor. Instead of chasing the microphone I was chasing the light. I fell in love with how the light hits your soul and wraps itself around the moments that matter.
I show my work in galleries worldwide, offer mentoring programs and photograph high profile artists, authors, rock stars and game changers.
If you open up my camera bag you’ll find a vintage crown ( my nickname is Catherine the Great afterall..but you can call me C the G.. ), a few polaroid cameras and a gold glitter backdrop I call “Beyonce”. Wait…Beyonce is a triple threat too…. coincidence?
I am the lucky winner of a 5 year old son named Max Harrison, who happens to have Down syndrome. He inspires me to advocate for him through photography, sharing photos that focus on the similarities rather than the differences. Go check it out. You will melt. Not even kidding…Go Now. Here’s the LINK.
I connected with Catherine through her Soul Full summit the previous year. I loved the way she interviewed her guests and I enjoyed the insight in each of the interviews. I then took Catherine’s *In Plain Sight* ecourse – I loved everything about it; Catherine’s guidance and encouragement and the connection within the forum. It was the first time I consistently created through photography daily (even in my own photo course, I skip days!).
Her tagline *don’t leave before the miracle happens* stays with me and inspires me almost daily in all kinds of situations – not just photographic expression. There are moments when I “think” the beauty is so magnificent and/or the pain is so intense that when the energy passes it might be “over” – and I have learned to breathe into and through it and stay fully present *and then* the miracle happens…far beyond what I could ask for or imagine. In such a way, connecting with Catherine has enriched my life and my heart is full of gratitude!
photo credit: Catherine
1. What is your definition of love?
I think that the energy of the universe or what people like to define as “God” is actually Love. The Great “I AM” is really Love. And it’s bigger than words can define or explain. And it’s more infinite than our minds can comprehend.
2. What does it feel like when you are connected with love?
Bliss. Orgasmic. High. Joy.
3. In your opinion, why would one choose to close to love? From that closed space, what is one practice or step a person could take to open to love again?
Choosing to close to love is a means of protection, so really is could be seen as a loving act towards yourself when you put up the walls because you’ve been hurt and think that if you stay closed you’ll be much better off. But that only works for a time – and then you realize how small and empty life is when closed off from love.
For me, Photography opens up my eyes and that leads straight to my heart and expands it. Looking through the lens at how the light is wrapping itself around a beautiful tree or a persons face. These things go by us all the time unnoticed. But photography helps us zoom in and really see without words or story line. It captures what’s really there. It can free us from our own judgements of situations and people. It can crack us open to Love again.
4. How do you choose to cultivate love?
Photography, and looking at the beliefs I have that keep me suffering. Letting go of those things that no longer serve me. Letting go of ego. Seeing people for who they are rather than who I wish they were. Being honest with myself. Saying YES to myself, rather than saying yes to what I think I am suppose to say yes to.
Creativity. Expressing Love outwardly. Hugs, Kisses, Love notes, Handwritten love letters, pampering myself and others, snuggling, healing foods, warm tea, being delighted in the everyday moments and documenting them with my camera. Being curious about what world around me and what the universe has in store for me. Being of service to others in some way. Giving freely. Quiet time to listen or to be. Tapping in to that vibration of Love or Bliss that is easily accessible, yet easily avoided by busy doing goingness.
Not thinking about myself all the time. Sharing the amazing beauty of my son with the world through pictures. Advocating for him, by showing the world he is more than a diagnosis. Butterfly kisses. Laughter.
5. May you share an experience of receiving unconditional love?
Every day I experience unconditional love from my son Max. No matter what – if I am asleep on my side he will pull me over and smile big and give me kisses and smiles. That’s the first thing I see and experience in the morning. Followed by more of that through-out the day.
6. What would you like us to know about love?
It’s always accessible. Forgiving. Blissful. Kind. Delicious. Waiting for you to jump in with both feet.
Catherine Just is an award winning photographer, artist and mentor. Her photographs have been published on the cover of National Geographic Magazine, inside Oprah.com, Photo District News Magazine, the cover of the soon to be released Danielle Magazine and in dozens of online websites and blogs worldwide. Catherine graduated with a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 1992 where she found and developed her love of visual storytelling.
Self-portraiture, symbolism, metaphor all play an important role in her fine art photography. Catherine shows her work in galleries around the world, offers a mentoring program and photographs high profile artists and game changers.
Catherine lives to hear the laughter of her son Max, prefers a coastline to a ski lift and can be found posting photos of her son on instagram, morning, noon and night.
Catherine’s website: catherinejust.com
I’m offering a free ebook called:
Both Sides of the Camera
look your best in front of the camera
become a stronger photographer
take your photos from good to great
You can grab your copy by signing up for my newsletter at catherinejust.com
I’m creating a mentoring program coming out this year and by jumping on my newsletter list you’ll be first in line to this exclusive program. I’m also taking on new clients for my photo sessions. re-branding your website, needing new photos for PR and Social Media. My schedule is filling up fast. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Thank you, Catherine!
Dear Reader, Catherine says *Photography opens up my eyes and that leads straight to my heart and expands it.* May you share, what is your experience with the feeling of photography – either the process of taking photos or the process of viewing others photos? (when you share, you inspire)
Thank you for your presence!
(There are five ‘bonus messages’ in this series, so our journey together will continue a bit longer…two more messages to complete the series)
Much peace and abundant love,
If you would like to join us for the full 28 Days of Connection series – you may register by clicking the title link – you will receive message one within 48 hours of signing up.
Personal peace and possibility sessions offer the opportunity to shift from doubt to trust, tension to peace, in this moment. For more information, and to schedule your session, please click the title link.