Photography as a Practice of Presence: It’s Hard Not to Believe in Magic, When You Have Visual Proof From Your Daily Life!


I created today’s blog post by expanding upon my “Throwback Thursday” personal FB status update. (Thank you for humoring my ‘trip down memory lane’!)

This photo of my children and I is from May, 2009. We were sitting at a table in the clubhouse of the marina where our sailboat (that we lived on for almost five years) was docked.

The reason I chose that marina was because of this clubhouse – inside, it had a kitchenette, couches, tables and chairs, tv, workout space, washers and dryers and outside there was a BBQ pit, heated pool and jacuzzi. The clubhouse was for boaters in my marina only – this perk meant our monthly slip fee was the highest in the county, but it was well worth it!!!

We spent hours each day there, it was an extension of our home, and probably one of the reasons we loved boat living – it felt like being on vacation each day. Regardless of what happened while the kids were at school and I was at work, we all three knew that we would come home, play, swim and eat together then wind down and sleep bathed in moonlight.

In general, live-aboard boaters aren’t known for their cooking desire or skill. Most galleys (the name of kitchen areas on boats) at our level are tiny, which limits prep, cleanup and storage space. When you are out on the water, your concerns are safety and sleep – food is sustenance, not really pleasure.

I love cooking so I quickly learned efficiency in the galley and I cooked every night. I love sharing, so it was natural to bring it all up to the clubhouse (which sounds easy but was quite complicated because everything necessary had to be packed and brought with us, then unpacked and put away upon our return) to host impromptu gatherings, as well as planned potlucks, which made the feel of our experience there quite like that of an extended family. I often traded food for handy work on my boat or rides on boats we might otherwise not have had a chance to experience.

Of course, there were a few ‘characters’ that stood out – which made it kind of fun. There were also lots of boaters passing through either on their way north to Washington or South to San Diego – sharing stories of adventures was a highlight for me.

Doing laundry was actually quite fun, because I would pack it up in baskets, walk it from the boat to the clubhouse and we would eat, play, relax while the laundry was going! The kids always had a friend or two who wanted to join them in the pool or to hang out in the living room of the clubhouse.

Oh, and on heavy weather days that could be quite miserable – when wind or rain was whipping through the harbor – the clubhouse was our refuge. We were so thankful to have a space to be in that was warm and was not rocking back and forth (as the boat did in the slip, on heavy weather days, regardless of how well she was tied down!!!) On those days, it took a lot of determination to get from the boat to the clubhouse, but if we could manage that short-term discomfort, the ‘reward’ was worth it!

Something you might find interesting about this photo – because many of you have seen my photos on this site and know me as the facilitator of my I Believe in Magic: 30-Day photo journey is that, before 2009, I rarely took photos. So, this photo is a gem because it’s one of the few that we have of us together from that time.

I felt that photos were a distraction from being fully present in the moment.

You could look at a photo and miss who you were or who you were with, or love that energy so much that it stopped you from fully enjoying something in this moment that was quite different from your experience then. In such a way, a photo could become a barrier to the fullness of joy and connection one was willing to feel, now.

(Not to mention that sorting and organizing photos can take away from actually being present with the people in the photos in these new moments!)

So many variables expanded my way of thinking so much that photography has become a huge part of my life. 

Now, I spend hours each day playing with photography and have worked it into my business. I use photographs in my work to share and reflect brilliant light to remind us of peace and possibility and inner essence energy. I use my personal photos in each article and as the base for each Facets of Joy photo meme that I share via social media. The photos are woven into prompts for my ecourses. I belong to photo groups and forums where I learn, my skills expand, and my heart space fills with joy. Photography has become a point of connection, with people worldwide, and has enriched my life in ways far beyond what I could have imagined and I am soooo grateful for!

And, I can look back on this photo and feel the love we shared, then – and celebrate how that love had evolved to what it is now. My children can look back on this photo and see what they looked like then and feel our connection, while being reminded of an adventure they had that ultimately showed them the reality of living your dreams and shapes who they are today.

Instead of ‘releasing the story’, we can look at our photos, feel into the energy in them, and integrate all that resonates….amplifying the feeling of whole-body centeredness, connection and possibility.

My I Believe in Magic 30-day photo journey ecourse is now three years old. It’s pretty powerful at this point for each of the participants (including myself) to scan our individual photo sets to see how much we have grown in technique and skill as well as how much love, light, beauty, peace, joy is in each day (and our lives overall). When mind is doubting, that’s a wonderful visual to shift that doubt into faith.

It’s hard not to believe magic is real, when you can look at ‘proof’ of its existence in your daily life! 

Thank you for reading – this was a delight to share!

Dear Reader: Do photographs have a place in your life? How do you feel about taking and sharing your photos? (when you share your thoughts, feelings and experience, you inspire).

Thank you for your presence!

Much peace and abundant love,


I updated the class photo for my I Believe in Magic 30-Day Photo Journey (it’s been about one year since I had been using the previous photo so it was time for an change!):


Registration for this new session is open through April 20th. The theme of this session is an exploration of *sensual delight (experiencing world through our senses), flow of creative expression and joy*. Please click the title link for more information and to register.

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