Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

Life is Full of Snapshots

The newest  phenomenon to become a dinosaur in our culture  is Kodak’s Kodachrome film.  In the age of digital film is used less and less, but this film can be tagged with lots of memories you’re probably familiar with from the pages of National Geographic and other magazines.  Today because of technology we choose to get our results with the push of a button, but one thing stays the same…life is full of snapshots.

Every memory in your mind is snapshot.  It contains people, places, and things that are of importance to you.  They represent your feelings, thoughts, and emotions and those memories surface every time you call them to the foreground of your consciousness.

When diagnosed with a chronic or life-threatening illness many choose to push the personal photo album to the far places in their mind.  You are afraid that recalling what once was has no bearing on the life you’re living today when in fact it is the cornerstone of every new snapshot you take.

We all live life looking through a lens.  Following the diagnosis your lens may alter slightly, but who you are is still the same.  Your memories are the same as are the stories you’ve told for years.  The new photos are not simply images, but reflections.  Following your diagnosis you begin to shift from simply taking snapshots to creating your personal photo-journalistic point of view.  It’s not simply about the picture, but the story that is filled with light and shadow that allows you to reinterpret your new life.

You get to choose the lens you will use for this journey.  You may use a telephoto lens in order to get close up to things that are far and you want to keep at a distance.  A fish eye lens may give you enough distortion to make what’s difficult more palatable.  No matter the lens you use selecting it with intention is at the crux of your internal photo-journalistic journey.

It’s your choice how you see the world.  After an illness diagnosis the lens you choose will impact your treatment options, your attitude, and how you live each and every day.  Don’t go the way of the dinosaur; keep your snapshots in the present and glory in each and every frame of your life.

Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

Light and Shadow

Light and shadow are two things artists take very seriously when creating a new piece of work.  It’s the aspects of the piece that give the work dimension adding to the complexity of the work.  Balancing the two gives us depth and punctuates certain aspects of the art.  It’s an interesting thing to play with not only in art, but in your everyday life.

When you’re faced with a chronic or life-threatening illness you get submerged in the dark, at least for a time.  The big question that bubbles to the surface is how do you bring light into your own picture?  How will you create an internal checks and balance system allowing your to elevate your spirit with light?

The first step is to know what brings light into your life.  Is it personal relationships, humor, or some form of ultimate self-expression?  It may be all or a combination of those, so use whatever you have in your life palette to let the shadows be where they belong; in the background.

Your life is the greatest masterpiece you will ever create.  Even if you don’t believe you have a creative bone in your body, believe that being a life artist counts.  It’s those moments when you make conscious decisions about what comes to the foreground and what stays in the background…those are big decisions.  It’s deciding when to highlight something as important; that’s an artistic decision.

Creating your personal life masterpiece is not difficult.  You do it on a daily basis but most of the time it’s like being on auto-pilot.  Take each day as a new canvas and decide what you want to showcase during the day.  Rembrandt was one of the artists that played with light in powerful ways; often against very dark backgrounds.  His skill at working with light gives power to each piece and draws you closer to the work.  That’s what happens in your life as well; when you exude light it draws those around you in closer.

Play with light and shadow in your own life and see what artistic masterpiece you can create.  It’s a great way to showcase who you are in the world and will garner tons of support from family and friends when you need the most, while facing a health challenge.