Monday, February 27, 2017


by Dotti

Our goal is to create a caring community for people who are passionate about photography and life. We hope this will be a place that will inspire, teach, nurture, support and accept one another; a place where we can grow in our craft and as individuals.  Welcome and thank you for visiting.

This is the Focusing on Life mission statement, the one we adapted when we started our blog more than five years ago. Five days a week, we strive to fulfill this pledge to you, our readers. But there is more to us than what you see on the pages of our blogs, more than our words, more than our photos.

Each of us, the collaborators and the readers, is on our own pathway through life. Sometimes that pathway is smooth, sometimes it veers in unexpected directions, and sometimes it seems to be all uphill.

Right now, several of us here at FOL are on our own uphill pathways: aging and ailing parents, parents passing away, dealing with our own health issues, the long term challenge of spouses or other close friends and family who have  chronic and debilitating illnesses. The list goes on. 

Yes. You see, behind the scenes, our lives mirror yours.

Most of the time, we can juggle these concerns and we find that in addition to our caring relationships, our creative spark and camera therapy can see us through many of life’s stressful times. We’ve often talked on our pages about how effective camera therapy is for us as photographers.

But what happens when that’s not enough? When life’s challenges are just so hard that these things don’t work? When you just can’t muster the energy to lift your camera to your eye?

Terri and I were chatting about this just a few days ago and she reminded me that sometimes we just need to stop, feather our nests, concentrate on self care and allow ourselves time to heal.

Oh, yes! That’s something else we talk about a lot in our pages, too, isn’t it? Self care. But somehow, we too often forget to practice it for ourselves. I’m grateful to Terri for reminding me that this is what I need in my life right now. So today I’m reminding myself and each one of you to remember to concentrate on self care, not just when the going gets tough but every day to build our emotional and spiritual strength for those uphill pathways that will come our way.

We also talk a lot about practicing gratitude as a way to heal. Today I would like to express my gratitude to each of the FOL sisters and to each FOL reader for the love and support you bring to our community. One of the things I value most about FOL is that we are a caring community; we reach out in love and concern when one of us is hurting. There are not enough words to tell you how much that means to each of us.

So I’ll just say, “thank you”.


Sandra said...

A lovely article on the ups and downs of life and the self-care we owe ourselves when needed. It's really nice to feel the support of a community when the going gets tough. I hope that your own journey will soon be smoother.

Irina Kolosovskaya said...

I'm grateful to you, Dotti, for the heartwarming words that I need just now. I'm truly happy to be a part of FOL community as a reader!

AFishGirl said...

This post really captures the goodness and warmth that is at the forefront of FOL to this reader. The caring and kindness in good times and in rough times. And reminds us yes, self care is essential and yes, the camera is part of that tool kit. Thank you, Dotti, for making this day brighter in Seabright.

Cathy H. said...

Thank you, Dotti, for the wise words this morning. It's a great reminder that when life is not smooth and happy to turn to our friends and take care of ourselves.

terriporter said...

Such wise words, Dotti. It seems that right now our FOL community is in need of self care and, even more importantly, the care and compassion of our sisters and FOL friends. We go on our own journey and sometimes have the impression that we're the only ones dealing with "stuff" and then we discover that no, everyone has their own bumps in the road to navigate. Knowing I have the support and love from this community has been a great help so many times. I don't know how we got so lucky as to have found this amazing friendship in our lives but I for one wouldn't want to do without it. Today I'm going to be practicing a little self care and am going out into the warm spring weather with my camera to "focus" on the beauty around me. It's always the best medicine. I don't know how we got so lucky as to have found this amazing community but I'm so grateful for all of you.

kelly said...

Amen Dotti. To all of it. FOL is a special place and I am so grateful to be a part of it. Love to you friend. xoxo

heyjudephotography said...

So beautifully said Dotti. One of my favorite quotes is "be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle." Sometimes it's easy to feel as if we're going through a difficult time alone.
I am grateful to be a part of this loving,caring group. Sending love to everyone here as you ( we) move down our own pathways.

Carol said...

Thank you Dotti and all of you for all the support. You all were so kind this weekend, and thank you for writing on my scheduled day while I follow my pathway. Like each of you, I too am so grateful to be a part of this community, and to have you all as friends.

leigh said...

Beautifully said Dotti!

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