Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it. And in many ways it is my journal of everyday life. If you click on the Index you can see my posts under various topic headings.
I am a Freelance Journalist and Photographer based in Bunbury, Western Australia. My published work specialises in Western Australian travel articles and stories about inspiring everyday people. My passion is photography, writing, travel, wildflower and food photography.
Most recently I have been enjoying exploring other art genres, including Eco-printing with Australian leaves onto cloth and paper.
I hope you enjoy scrolling through my blog. To visit other pages, please click on the tabs above, or go to my Blog Archive on the side bar. Please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of any of my posts. I value your messages and look forward to hearing from you.If you like my work, and would like to buy a print, or commission me for some work, please go to my "contact me" tab.
Thank you for visiting my blog and helping me "step into the light".

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Monday, 15 October 2018

Understory

I had a little incident last weekend that threw me a little off-kilter just when I was feeling really good about my life and my creative life in particular. I was happily going along, enjoying my creative life, being involved in a few photography projects, feeling good about myself and what I was achieving. And them "bam!". It is amazing how one little comment or incident can really throw you and how hard it is to pick yourself up again. Since then I have been feeling a little low, and in a reflective mood. I know I can tend to wallow, and know it will pass, but until then it is hard to pick myself up. But I know I will. I have much to be grateful for in my life. I know. 

I've just randomly opened my "workshops" note book and there on the page staring at me from am Art and Business workshop I went to in August with Andrew Fraser from 6-2-3-Zero -

"Horrible days doesn't equal horrible life. Don't let it define your life.
Don't self sabotage - just walk away and come back later" 

Thank you for the reminder Andrew! That was exactly what I was doing - self-sabotaging.


I don't know where this written piece below came from originally, but a friend shared it on her Facebook page today, and so I thought I would share it here, as it really ran true with me. I know how easy it is to be caught up in what others want, expect, think, say, instead of being true to ourselves. It can be very disabling.

I once asked a very successful woman to share her secret with me. She smiled and said to me..
"I started succeeding when I started leaving small fights for small fighters.
I stopped fighting those who gossiped about me...
I stopped fighting for attention...
I stopped fighting to meet peoples expectation of me...
I stopped fighting for my rights with inconsiderate people..
I stopped fighting to please everyone...
I stopped fighting to prove they were wrong about me....
I left such fights for those who have nothing else to fight...


And I started fighting for
my vision,
my dreams,
my ideas and
my destiny.

The day I gave up on small fights is the day I started becoming successful & so much more content."
Some fights are not worth your time..... Choose what you fight for wisely.


Sometimes it is hard to push aside the curtains and sift through the haze to find out who we are and what our dreams are.  They are your dreams. They don't belong to anyone else. Just you. And you are special and deserve to follow those dreams.

I have been reading a book this last week called "Under Story" by Inga Simpson. Inga lives in a cottage in forest in south-east Queensland, Australia. In each chapter she describes the trees of the Canopy, Middlestory, and Understory of her forest garden. I know many of the Australian trees she describes.

Interwoven into this is a memoir of the dream her partner and her had to open a writer's retreat. Along the way they were hit by the Global Financial Crisis and lost almost everything and were left with a huge debt. Inga's partner also left her. Inga eventually starts over, found her own path as a writer, and has successfully published several books, won awards, and offers writing mentorship.

I think underpinning all this is finding your "under story" and your path. Who are you?  What makes you happy? Our own happiness is so important not only to ourselves but to those around us. 

What is your understory? Where is your happy place?

Mine is my creative life.  Not always on the surface as I go about my life as a wife, mother, grandmother, volunteer, and numerous other "me's". But it is always under the surface. As a photographer I am always seeing the way light plays. My happy place is walking in the Australian bush with my camera. It is the place that takes me away from the stresses of life. 

Years ago I wanted to be a botanical artist, but without the encouragement to do so, I didn't keep up the practise. Perhaps this is something I can go back to. Now I represent the Australian bush through my photography, paper flower making, and in the last couple of years through eco-printing on cloth and paper. The eco-printing is an absorbing and fascinating art as you never know what you are going to end up with. 

I still have a lot to learn, and my eco-prints don't always work how I would like, but I was very happy with this recent print on Georgette silk printed with eucalypt leaves from near where my mother used to live as a girl in the Western Australian wheatbelt.  The cloth was original dyed with avocado skins and then the leaves printed over. I love the orange prints from the leaves and the unopened flower heads.


I think having something we love doing which we can retreat to helps us during those dark times that I am sure come to all of us at some stage.  So please do follow your dreams. 

And remember even in the dark shadows of the understory we can find light and colour. It's there. We just have to look for it. 


Recently I was discussing with some friends that people only seem to share on social media the good things in their life. We share on social media looking for affirmation and likes. And become upset if people don't respond. Such a pressure, particularly on young people, to appear perfect. We make ourselves out to have everything, are involved in lots of things, have a fantastic life and that we are always happy. But that isn't real life is it? There are dark times too. And I think sharing these can help others. I hope so any way.

Thank you so much for stopping by today. I didn't really know where my blog post was going today, but I hope it made sense and that there was something in it that connected with you.  Perhaps you would like to share with us your "understory". Where is your happy place?

I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 

You might also like: 
A walk in the bush with my 50mm lens 
Blessings and inspiration 
Exploring your creative side in retirment 

I am linking up the the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!

Life in Reflection

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26 comments:

  1. Hi Jill, as always I enjoyed your post today something a little different from more recent ones and one that made me think. You're good at making me think about things! I'm not sure if I have an understory, if I do it's well and truly buried, maybe I'll start a little excavating and see what I find.
    Happy Mosaic Monday.
    Maggie

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    1. I am sure there is an understory Maggie. Start excavating! I'm happy I've started you thinking.

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  2. Jill, wonderful and important post. We all have our stories and our dreams. It's important to tell the stories. Just as it is important to have our dreams. Easy to get way-laid from both by other folk. I like to think, as I get older, that I have some control over my "monkey mind" and scream QUIET to "them" and "it"!

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    1. Hi Snap. I usually can brush off things, but perhaps this got to me at a week moment. It is so important to follow our dreams and passions, as there we will find happiness.

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  3. Jill - I am one of those people that rarely talks about 'problems' on my blog (the only form of social media that I use). It's not that I don't have problems, or that I want to seem perfect - I like to think of it as giving people a break from their own problems … but then I read a post like yours and I think how helpful it can be for someone who might be struggling. I am also struck by how someone who appears to be so strong (as you do in your posts) can be so deeply affected by a comment or an event, and the courage it takes to write about this. I am in a good place right now, but I sent the story in italics to my daughter since I think it can help her … so thank you for sharing this with us.

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    1. Hi Angie. I hope this post will be helpful for your daughter. I know when I write about "real" things that affect us I get the most engagement, so perhaps people are looking for something they can relate to rather than all the "fluff and bubble" of life. I am certainly not strong, so there you go, a false persona! I try to stay above things but there is a very vunerable side to me that is easily affected. Thanks for stopping by Angie and for your comments today.

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  4. I really enjoyed your post today and agree that social media makes people think they should have the"perfect" life, but as you say that is not reality, and the "reality shows" on tv are even less real. I sometimes think it would be good to not have any of the media in our lives, but that also would not be possible or real life either. We just have to learn to sift through it and make sure our own life is real and is our own life, not what someone else might think it should be. I do love your fabric prints and might even try to learn a bit more about them. It is good to have a happy place to go to, mine is watercolour art and it is a great way to get away from the worries of life and to enjoy nature. Thanks for your blog.

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    1. Hi Rosie, I think life before social media was a lot easier, and I certainly had more time to spend on things I liked or needed to do, rather than worry about who was posting, liking, commenting. Can be so stressful, and I am still not sure what it is all about. Sometimes we just need to take time out from it all to regenerate. Enjoy your art, it is so lovely to have a happy place to go to.

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  5. Lovely Jill - simply lovely! I think we all go through dark times and it can be one thing that sets us off or a series of things. In my case it's normally a series of things, like family issues, a friend being offhand or difficulties with my work. I tend to bottle things up and then bam I let it all out! I find a lot of solace in just walking alone in nature, taking photos of beautiful landscapes or just catching up with a loved one or good friend. I think I do have a creative side as well and would be lost without it. I love to make photobooks, cook and write. These are my simple pleasures in life that keep me on an even keel.

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    1. it's good to have "alone" time to gather ourselves and be with our own thoughts.

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  6. I like the idea of an “understory” … it’s there whether we know it or not and whether we share it or not. So true that most online share only their idealized version of life. It’s understandable but sometimes the side not spoken about is the most interesting. :)

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  7. When I know things are getting on top of me I walk. It has to be on my own. I never let anyone know where I am going and I walk. The countryside or even the sea helps me to get back my equilibrium. It might take numerous walks but I get there in the end.

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    1. yes I love walking by the ocean too at any time of year. I used to do this quite often in my lunch hour when I was working. I went back to work after lunch refreshed.

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  8. Wonderful lightful captures... great for Mosaic Monday! I agree with the other comment - compliment to you.
    Heidrun xxx

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  9. Jesh - All Seasons17 October 2018 at 07:15

    Hello Jill,

    A hundred percent agree that you have to keep fighting for your own individuality and creativity, even rights, and not feel guilty about it!
    The eco print is beautiful - had no idea you were into that:) Thank you for sharing your struggle with All Seasons, and "it" does not even need to make sense:):)
    Hope you have a better week! Jesh (Junieper)

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  10. I love the sound of that book, must hunt it out.

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  11. Hi Jill,
    Your under story is superbly written. Ideas poured from your hear with a rippling flow. Nobody can sabotage the happiness of a sensible person like you.Ups and downs come and go.What sustains us is our core values, which you have described so succinctly.
    You're creative, friendly and a wonderful person. More power to you!

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  12. I really enjoyed reading this post Jill. I'm sorry something threw you off kilter. It happens to me too. We have a lot of similarities. My happy place WAS walking in nature taking photographs and writing and being creative with my blog. I too notice the play of light all the time. I love golden hour. I say WAS earlier because I never seem to do it. Life gets too busy. I went off track with my photography and I haven't got back to it properly. I considered photography as a business and that caused me stress and triggered my perfectionism and anxiety. Photography is my creative escape - it's not a skill I want to use for others. I've learnt that now but I still haven't got back to it. That book looks good - I'll add it to my 'to read' list! Thank you! #TeamLovinLife

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  13. I like this more than I can say - and am going to find this book. It sounds like exactly what I need to read at this point in time. #teamlovinlife

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  14. We all have an under story and we need to embrace it and not fight it. Great post. #Lovinlifelinky

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  15. Usually, I never comment on blogs but your article is so convincing that I never stop myself to say something about it. You’re doing a great job Man. Best article I have ever read

    Keep it up!

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  16. H Jill, I have just looked at your blog and love your work . What you said was so true, it is very easy to self sabotage and I have been feeling that way with all these injuries but you have to pull yourself out. Like you we are amazing at hiding stuff but I hope we can share

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  17. I've read a couple of Inga's books but not that one and she certainly does a great job of writing about the environment and flora and fauna.

    I completely get what you mean also about letting one small thing undermine everything else. I mention in my post that I recently finished up in a contract. Everyone had great things to say about me and my work but the boss (who holds the purse strings) said nothing and I wasn't offered an extension. Logically I know the money had run out but a big part of me let the fact they didn't fight harder for more $ completely undermine my confidence and it became the only thing that mattered, rather than the positive feedback from others (and from my boss, though she wasn't one to randomly offer praise), but she made a bit of a big deal about the fact I was leaving and how I would be missed. (I felt like saying SHE had a choice in that!) Anyway.....

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  18. I love your botanical photography. I'd love to see you become a botanical artist

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