EP 70: Lessons from a Day with Oprah

You are listening to the Photo Business Help Podcast. My name is Natalie Jennings. This is episode number 70, which I can't believe. If you are new to the podcast Photo Business Help covers everything that you need to help you start grow and maintain your photo business. We also dig into best practices for a healthy mind body and spirit connection since it is all working together to help you run a successful business and live a better life. So that's what this is all about.

I'm here on Tuesdays and Thursdays for roughly 10 minute episodes. I think if you average everything out that's probably what it comes to. Some episodes are shorter or longer than others, but that's the deal.

Welcome to 2020. It's already mid-January, which is pretty bonkers to me. I spent the morning out walking with my dog, Islay. If you follow my photo account @jenningsphoto on Instagram, you probably see her pop up fairly often. She's a Cocker Spaniel and I think she's the cutest thing ever.

The ice on the lakes here–I live in Minneapolis and there's a bunch of lakes–and the ice is now thick enough to walk on. So there are a bunch of folks outside setting up fishing tents and hanging out with their dogs. It's just a whole new amount of real estate if you have a dog to be able to throw a ball and let them run run run all the way across the lake. So Islay did a bunch of running today which made us both pretty happy to watch, and now I am recording a couple podcasts.

So yesterday my mom as a gift bought us tickets to see Oprah live. It was really special thing to do with her because as I was growing up Junior High School, four o'clock came around and the Oprah show went on! So I spent a lot of a lot of my youth, I guess, watching Oprah and even into college until the show ended. I believe she did 25 seasons, which is pretty impressive.

Photo Business Help Podcast episode title image 70 
my takeaways from a day with oprah

Since the Oprah show, she has really taken the initiative to dive into the wellness space and self care and spirituality and all the stuff that I dig. I've been really enjoying following her more now than ever. And it was just a fun opportunity fun afternoon and I thought I would share some of my favorite takeaways with you today from yesterday's time with Oprah. I think they are useful for business and life and you're here listening because you want a better business, I'm assuming.

The first thing that I thought was incredibly important, I've mentioned this on the show before but I am always going to continue to mention it is the idea that self care must come first. And if you missed it, episode eight, I believe is an interview I did with Audrey Johnson. She's a local photographer, Audrey Nicole Photography, and we dove into self care. And she wrote a beautiful Instagram post about the importance of it and how she's taking steps to make it a priority in her life. So I thought this was a really good takeaway, even though it's something that I hear a lot and is visited in a lot of different podcasts and wellness things that are spend time reading and listening to it's so important and it's also really, really, really easy to overlook this.

We have a tendency to stretch ourselves incredibly thin. If you are not feeling well, if you are run-down, overly stressed out and unfulfilled and unhappy and uninspired yet you are trying to be there for your best friend, your kids, your spouse, whatever, you are not going to show up. You're not even going to show up to close to how well you can show up if you are feeling good first.

It's a process and it's a practice.

If you have no idea where to start and you're feeling like that's me, I'm run down. I'm not giving my best to my business or my family or my friends. Just start small. Just do one thing every day that feels really good to you, whether that's laying in bed for an extra five minutes or meditating for 60 seconds or taking the dog for a walk, whatever. Just take a little bit of time for you and build on that. So I thought that was a great takeaway. And I think it's really important when we're trying to show up for other people to remember that we have to show up for ourselves.

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The next thing that I thought was really profound is the idea that if you are in a space of struggle, if things are feeling really difficult to you, chances are at some point, at this point in your journey, you've betrayed yourself. Meaning that you've done something that isn't in alignment with who you really are, something that doesn't feel right, something that you know, that energy, that's kind of like, “Yeah, I know, I shouldn't do this, but I'm going to do it anyway”…that.

That can be kind of a little whisper at first. But if you ignore it, and you keep doing stuff that isn't in alignment with who you are, it can turn into a full-blown crisis. So if you're in crisis mode in any area of your life right now, take a second and maybe think about if you have betrayed some part of who you really are and the path that you really should be on. That's kind of like a big can of worms, but it's a great thing to keep in mind.

And for example, when I was when I was a teenager getting ready to go to college, I was practicing my butt off to get a trumpet scholarship. I had applied early admission to Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota, southern Minnesota, and I ended up getting my scholarship. I worked all year on this one big huge trumpet solo from Carnival. And it was an amazing feeling to get the scholarship but I was super stressed out and super bummed and I wasn't excited for school.

My mom, luckily, she's awesome. She was always really easy to talk to and she could tell that something was up. So she just kept having conversations with me about what was going on. And you know why I was feeling so bummed out and I eventually discovered that I just didn't want to be in Minnesota. I wanted to go out and explore the world. I hadn't really enjoyed high school that much. I was really craving different people, different culture, just a different experience. I am not a huge fan of winter. I enjoy some things about it, but I just wanted to change. And I had had the opportunity the before to do a band trip to Hawaii, and I just said, I want to go there. That's that's where I really want to be. I know I got the scholarship, but I don't want to be at this school.

And my mom, I mean, I can't imagine I'm the oldest kid and Hawaii is super far away and back then I didn't even have a cell phone yet. So this was this was far away with no family or friend connections. And she said yes, so I applied super last minute. This was like April, I think it was like two weeks before the deadline got in.

I moved to Hawaii that summer. When I was 18 years old.

I didn't know anyone. I had no idea w hat to expect. We had like a paper map to find our hotel and go try and locate the school and get a sense of where my dorm would be. It was bonkers, but it felt right.

As scary as it felt it felt right.

All of that anxiety I had been carrying around with me for months just totally lifted and I still played my horn and I had a great time but I kind of got myself out of that crisis. So that's an example of self betrayal in one way or another and how we can sort of turn it around.

Finally, and this is a big one, but I'm not going to dig into it too much. I think I'm going to save it for another episode. Final takeaway from the Oprah stuff is getting to the root of the intention behind the things you do. And for example, we might be posting on social media with the intention, we think, of growing our business. But when we really sit with the energy of the intention, when we really sit with why we're doing it, there may be some part of us that's doing it for the wrong reasons, like self validation, or wanting to prove something to someone else, or competing with someone else. And these energetic threads are going to give us a very different result than if we're fully aligned with a pure intention behind what we're doing.

That's all I'm going to say about that because it's such a huge can of worms, but I thought that that was really fascinating and something I've been meditating on and thinking about and journaling about and I'm going to save it for a more of a deep dive in another show.

So just to review, takeaways from Oprah: self care first, keep in mind when you may be betraying yourself and how you can turn around the energy and align with what's best for you. And then getting to the root of the intention behind the things that you're doing–the real intention–and letting things unfold for you once you really are acting in alignment with with yourself.



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