Tuesday, March 25, 2008

How do you find peace?

I woke up at 6am today to a beautiful Santa Barbara sunrise...and being that I'm still exhausted from last week I knew that God got me out of bed for a reason. The past few months my life has gotten so far out of wack and one of the ways I know to get myself back on track is to find (or create) structure.

This is like pulling teath for me b/c I love to live a very fluid life mixing work and play and everything in between, but I realize, or I'm beginning to, that even though I'm 28 yrs old I am like a two year old in that I need some consistencies in my life and I usually find that in the morning.

I like to get up and make coffee and then head to my library and on a good day I won't leave or be bothered until noon. I read, pray, and think and this is by far the most valuable time in my day. BUT... when I travel it's a bit trickier especially when I have presentations to give and flights to catch early in the morning day after day after day. If this goes on for too long my life can get wacked like it feels now.

So for those of you who have been affected by this I am sorry and thank you for not giving up on me.

I'm curious how all of you find that peace in your life that we all need? What are your tricks? As I've added elements to my life that compete for my time, attention, and passion I've found it really difficult to not "drop the ball" in every area.


me@brianmcguckin.com said...

I find peace in my life by spending time with God and playing with my children. As well as looking at your blog and seeing it updated! =) Thanks for the beautiful sunrise! It wasn't as nice here in Indiana.

theshotshot. said...

i heard a story once about a contest that was held for artists and the subject was "peace".

one dude painted a beautiful picture of a babbling brook deep in the woods, another dude painted an awesome skyscape, almost like in your pictures there dj, and third and final spot was a picture of manhattan at it's busiest point in the day but the focus was on a bird perched on a flagpole.

the story was actually true, and i'm not sure who won...but it was an illustration in a message i heard from my favorite pastor in the world (up in redding). the point he made was that biblical peace never comes from the absence of havoc and chaos...but from the presence of peace regardless of the situation.

it was soooo not philosophical and was literally just a word study on "shalom" which is the old testament shadow to the word "sozo" or salvation in the new.

the point was, and i'll never forget this as long as i live, that when you're looking for peace in your surroundings or in "peaceful" places...you won't find it. at least not a peace that goes with you after you leave the place. but if you find "peace" himself...and we begin to realize we have him in all our situations, and eveeeeeen *gasp* position God to deliver on His promises...then we have even more reason to walk in the peace of God in the times later that may be more rough than what we went through before.

i'm soooooooo not trying to be annoying - this post just reminded me of that and i had to spill it. i LOVE that principle - and it's good too. God' delivers on that promise all the time for me.

anyway, i totally feel you on the business/hectic/nutso thing. it's not that you can't get stressed, it's just that when you CAN'T get that sweet, early morning chillaxin time...it helps to remember what the biblical deff of peace is.

k...that's my 2 cents.

good post.

Family said...

Your view is brutal. :) Deyl always talks to me about "building in margin" into your life. Talk to him about it. He has a good handle on this...I'm like you.

Katie Humphreys said...

we love you :)

Thanks for sharing-I have totally found in my life that some kind of consistency really helps me keep focused. You have a beautiful place to reflect and take this "thinking" time!!

Hope to see you soon!

Corey Hage said...

I find my peace when I am spending time with God and with my family. Having a 1 year old around really helps keep life in perspective. You can definitely forget all that's going on when you are down on all fours playing!

Recently I've had the opportunity to encourage people to chase their dreams. Skies the Limit, go after what your deepest desires in life are. Through this I have found that refreshing as well.

Keep up what your doing. You are truly blessing a ton of people. I know that I am blessed by what you have done for me.

Chris Humphreys said...

I find peace in two things:

1. Stillness and quiet, sounds similar to what you've got going in the mornings

2. Katie. I'm just blessed that when life is crazy and I feel really unbalanced, I know I'm never alone and have a great partner and friend who knows me so well, who supports me, and always helps me get back to where I need to be.

Ok, I'm getting off my sappy soap box now..... :)

Can't wait to catch up man. :)

cephotos said...

Wow, DJ, you made me think...I, too, have a crazy hectic life that feels far from grounded most of the time - but every day I have my 45 minutes of peace (although I hadn't thought of it as that until I read your post) - the 45 minutes that I spend with my son each night at bedtime - reading stories, singing lullabys, and snuggling. THAT gives me peace! I'm glad you helped me put that time back into perspective!!

Family said...

What is a Think Tank?

Kimberlee West said...

Awesome post, DJ. I love taking time to sit and read & pray in the mornings... connecting with God is definitely the best way (actually it's the only way!) for me to find peace.

Terry Daffin said...


First of all, for those who don't understand what you have just written here, I'd say they have no peace or can't find peace and eventually they will crash and burn.

You help so many people in this industry with you willingness to share, it is insane to think that you won't tire at some point and need to re-center and re-focus. Your home is your resting place and your solitude with God the only way to make sense of the madness.

I appreciate everything you do and share for all of us as people and as photographers. Not everyone will understand (i.e. critical guy at FC...) but make time for you and yours. Thanks again for all you do.

RichardJ said...

Live whatever moment you're living in the present moment. They are all worthwhile experiences.

Become aware that whatever you "miss", you became attached to. When you become attached to something that you can't have right now, you set yourself up to suffer.

Peace will emerge from being detached from the things you say you need to find it. That includes rituals you cannot do during hectic activities...:) In fact Peace is not something to "find", but rather something to let rise from inside. It's there all the time. If anything, you prevent it from shining through because of your "thinking of it".

Realize that no matter where you are, whomever you are with, and whatever you do, all can be a prayer, a connection with your God. You have the opportunity to find numerous ways to do that without being at home.

Thinking that you can only do this at home or special friends will make you long for it, when you don't have it. Yet, you carry everything you need with you, no matter where you are, and what you do.

cameron said...

So true. I recently worked with a photographer who stepped back and asked similar questions. His images help me to find daily balance.


Scott said...

It is fantastic that you have time to relax and reflect. Too many times in life there seems to be no time to do this--- you are very blessed to have this abilty and be able to have the resources that allow this.
Remember that the only thing that really matters is what you see high above all of your view--- focus on that. When your relationship with the Lord is in line the rest will follow.
God Bless!

Tammy M. said...

It seems like if I am not intentional about my quiet time to read scripture and pray the days just go by. That is how I find peace, I can be in the most peaceful place in the world and if I am not seeking the Lord there is no peace in me.

I love that you wrote Think, Read and Pray. My dad passed away about 8 years ago and after walking away from God almost all of his adult life he found his way back in the last year of his life. When I cleaned out his apartment on his notes for that day he had written his "to do" list, or he would call it his goal sheet and it said on it only three things.
Think, Read and Pray.
Those are the most important "to do's" ever.

mac said...

Hi DJ,

greatfull look out of the window...

Everything we do and everything that happens to us has a reason, there are no fortuities.

There is one sentence from me I can only say good in german:

"Der tiefere Sinn der Schöpfung besteht darin, uns Hindernisse in den Weg zu legen, die wir überwinden müssen, um uns zu vervollkommnen."

I try a transalation:

"The deeper meaning of the Creation is to lay ourselves barricades on our way, we have to overcome to bring us to perfection"

I hope the translation is good!

Maybe you find someone to translate it right. ;-)

kind regards,
Markus :-)

Carl Zoch said...

Going outside as often as possible!

Armin de Fiesta said...

I can sympathize as I've been feeling a little scattered myself. Family & friends help remind me where I come from. I've focused so much on my clients and business lately that I find that spending time alone or with family & friends away from the business really, really helps :)

RichardJ said...

As a possible translation to mekki the mac

Life puts obstacles on our path so that by overcoming them, we become a better person.

Unfortunately, we are often the ones who put those obstacles along our path to give us a false sense of achievement. The ego plays games with itself. Destroy to rebuild - sound familiar? Why destroy in the first place?

Freedom is not something you build or "get to have". If you believe that you "must do something" to be free, you may fall in the trap that you may never do enough to be really "free": not enough time, not enough money, etc.

Freedom is a state of mind (if not of soul), not an asset that is conditional to having something else before you attain it.

.heidi.noelle. said...

Standing on the shore of the ocean or doing exactly what you did. Often I find myself having crazy weeks, which causes me to be up late, but in turn the next morning I wake up around 5 and know in some way He is stirring me to spend time with Him, because He is peace and He refreshes even when we think it is quite impossible. Your sunrise photos are beautiful!

Patrick said...

I find peace in my surrender to Christ, trusting and walking with Him.


Daniel J. Watkins said...

I don't have the answer(s)...but I do feel extremely at peace when I go to church.

PhotOle said...

Yesterday, I had a friend tell me that they felt my blogs are to personal and it might turn potential clients away. I always thought being personal would help me connect with people. After that comment I felt indifferent.

So when I saw your blog this morning about finding peace, I realized where I find my peace, it’s from reading your blogs. You’re always two steps ahead of everything. When I’m in a bind, I always check your blog out for advice. Thank you Dj for being so open with your life.

|| davidjay || said...

Such incredible responses both here and on the forum! All of you are amazing! I'm still reading through them all!

I love the contest that Nate shared about the different places people found peace and especially the bird pirched on a flagpole. There's something about that image the sticks with me...just imagining the bird so still and content amidst the chaos.

Kevin Sturm said...

I would have to say in just "being" with my family. I laugh a little bit at myself when I say this because we have a toddler testing his boundaries constantly and a baby due in 10 days. I supposed to many looking from the outside my "peace" would appear pure chaos...but when things don't seem right knowing I have 2.5 people loving me unconditionally brings awesome peace.

Ginger Murray said...

I have a really difficult time with balance, but this year, I'm hoping to find out some sort of system. I've always *wanted* to start my morning out at a coffee shop reading, come home and then get to work and be done by the time my husband gets home so that I can spend the rest of the evening with him and/or friends, THEN 3 nights a week, go to a gym--while still having time for other activities like orchestra, church, and hanging out with family.
All WAY easier said than done. This is not what my schedule is like.

In the meantime, I find balance through praying, doing a few relaxing things (like getting a massage, taking a long shower), spending time with family, and going on a date once a month with Aaron (the once a month thing is important when you get married. It's easy to not go out at all!)

I haven't been able to shoot for fun anymore-- but sometimes if I see something on the side of the road, or a cool sunset/rise I'll get my camera out--and that reminds me of my passion--capturing beauty.

Patricia Wells said...

Long walks with dog before everyone wakes up. Then again at sunset.
Listening to music, daydreaming, and writing.
Lots of naps. :-)

Actually, It seems I have very little trouble going to my "peaceful place".
Perhaps I'm one who should concentrate bringing more drive to their life.

Michael Costa said...

No advice here...
I feel like crying from how overwhelmed I am!

It's helpful to read all the other responses, though! Thanks!


TK said...

DJ, your message today got me thinking about how much time I really spend alone with God lately. My life has been lately filled with how I am going to chase after "my dream". Thanks for sharing. I find peace and balance in life by going camping as often as I could. Away from e-mails and phone calls.

loragaige said...

I love the imagery of the bird in the hectic city environment. And it reminds me of when I have that feeling of peace.

It's when I travel. I love sitting on the subway or walking around a new city and watching people. I've been quite a few places around the world and I like seeing how much alike we all are. People esentially want their families and friends to be safe and happy. It makes the world seem so small and familiar.

theshotshot. said...

rock on deej! i'm glad that stuck in your brain. i've NEVER forgotten that image, or the illustration. good stuff.

(side note) i messaged pastor barlow one time on his blog and asked if he had heard of the pastor who shared that story and he said he had, that there were a few people in his church who loved the dude and that he was getting ready to read his book himself. pretty cool little coincidence there.