Freedom! NoCZ-2012

Freedom is the word that comes to mind when I think of what a week of No Comfort Zone 2012 has felt like. The first week of this challenge I have mainly pushed the limits with photography, experimenting with a photo editing program. Prior to this challenge I was afraid to experiment, but after only one week I’m playing with colors, composition, hues and tints and more. Rather than being concerned with presenting the “perfect” photo, I’ve allowed myself to mix it up, get bizarre, and most importantly, post it for others to see and comment on. I will continue to push myself with photography, to push the experimentation into more edgy areas. I’ve stepped over that boundary line with my photography and I feel good about that.

To some that may seem a trivial thing. But pushing the boundaries with photography is a paradigm for my life, too. For reasons I won’t go into here (I’ll save it for a therapist’s office) I have spent a lifetime working hard to appear “perfect” to the world. It takes an enormous amount of energy to always be “perfect,” and a great deal of angst when I fail to measure up (which invariably happens.) Stepping outside my comfort zone involves letting you see the authentic me, the imperfect, perfectly human me. What I had not expected was how freeing and exciting it is to shed the facade and just be real.

Stretching myself with my photography this week was a lot of fun. Surprisingly my photography got better the more I was willing to experiment and post less than perfect shots. Maybe life is that way too. The more we reveal ourselves, step out of our comfort zone, laugh and get excited about our efforts and foibles, the more real we become. For this coming week I will continue to experiment with photography, but for the challenge I will push another boundary in another area of my life. Check back on Mondays to see how it’s going and what new things I’m discovering through the No Comfort Zone 2012.


47 thoughts on “Freedom! NoCZ-2012

    1. But for many folks, the whirlpool is their comfort zone. I thought about that when I was considering taking this challenge, that there may be those folks that stepping out of chaos into a more ordered, centered life would be their no-comfort-zone. Something to think about, eh.

  1. Oh, I can relate to this, big time … both with regards to the photos and the other part. So many photos I’d never put out online because of what others might think (!). That may also have to do with that the group I sort of ‘ended up with’ when I first got the camera, is a bunch of very tough critics. The other part, I’d save for the therapists office LOL

    1. LOL! Yes, I am a big endorser of moderation! I don’t need to share everything on line. Knowing where to share what info is vitally important for one’s health. πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by Rebekah.

    1. Thanks Rebekah. I have a long way to go to reach the caliber of your fowl shots — they are gorgeous — but I sure had fun with the ones I took yesterday! πŸ™‚

  2. Unfortunately, I can relate all too well to the need to appear perfect. I love it that you are stretching myself. I need to do more of the same with my visual art and my writing. Hard to do when you (me) are so focused on perfection, right?

    Have a great week at school, my friend. (And congrats on your recent week on rack!)


    1. Letting go of perfection takes some work, but it is so freeing! It will be interesting to see where our challenges take us this year. Best to you for a fabulous, stretching, growing new year. πŸ™‚

      (recent week on rack????)


  3. Go Cecelia! I think one of the lines in my January poem was “axe perfection”. It takes a lot of energy is right. I love how your photos are turning out. Glad you are enjoying altering them. That is an art in itself. Would you believe when you posted about trying to photoshop your photos for the first time just days ago, I had downloaded Elements 10 just 24 hours before. Honest! I haven’t decided what I am going to do with it yet. Thinking about artsy note cards, but…

    I’m sure you went outside your comfort zone writing this post. Good for you. You’re on a roll!

    Comforting hugs, Margie

    1. Someone would think that we collaborate in the blogging world. Little do they know that we just happen to be on the same wave length! πŸ™‚ Yes, the photo editing is proving to be quite fun. Good luck with your new editing program. I’ve tried my hand at notecards (see My Etsy in the menu at the top of my blog) but haven’t really done much with it at this point. Maybe that’s another NoCZ-2012 challenge????

      As always, thank you for stopping by.
      Hugs to you, too.

  4. It’s funny how those ‘less than perfect shots’ can sometimes turn out to be favorites (works that way for me, anyway).
    Wonderful images, Ms. F… reminds me of my Grandfather who loved lived by a small slough and loved watching ‘his ducks’…

    1. Thanks SIG. I’m developing a real “like” for the geese and ducks at North Chagrin Nature Reserve. That’s where these photos were taken. I go out there at least once a week now. Beautiful place.

  5. Congratulations on stepping into “playing” experimenting with your photography for NoCZ2012.
    I too am changing how I show up! I have experimented for years and shared with only a few… for reasons stated on my blog – in the NoCZ posts. Now, that whirlpool of chaos in which I had been spinning is slowing down, and discernment is quickly appearing. Makes sense… in the NoCZ context.

  6. How wonderful! Cleary this type of life and bogging exercise is not without its aches and pains; but like any form of exercise the benefits are soon felt and prove to be absolutely worth it. It seems like you are β€œshaping up” nicely. Looking Good!!! πŸ™‚

  7. I took me a while to go from purist to playful with my photography, too. And then to work up the nerve to post those photos. Now it’s so much fun I wonder why I took so long to get here.

    I love what you did with the duck. Great image. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Robin. You are my hero. I figure if you can do it (and get the amazing photos that you do!) I will follow suit. πŸ™‚ Glad you like the duck. I shot tons of photos yesterday and have been playing with them ever since. I’m sure that more will show up in blogs in the near future. Thanks for stopping by. πŸ™‚

  8. There really is something therapeutic and revealing about photography.
    Try the following. For reasons that will become obvious, you will need a someone with you.
    Go to an unfamiliar location, then have your companion blindfold you. Now take your pictures. Your friend should now move you around, so that you don’t know where you are and make sure you don’t hurt yourself.
    It might be wise to use the automatic setting on your camera.
    Let us know if you try it and what you discover.

    1. Wow! Now THAT is a stretch! But I’m game. I’ll give it a try, and then I’ll blog about it . . . and I’ll be sure to let dailydose10 know, too! Thanks for stopping by. This could prove to be a lot of fun. πŸ™‚ Have a fantastic day/evening/whatever.

  9. Cecelia what a inspiring post. As an artist who has for sometime purposefully removed himself from the concept of perfection or finality to pursue ambiguity, experimentation and abstraction, I applaud you for stepping out of your comfort zone. You should know that there is great freedom in being GROUNDLESS.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, Walter. Yes, I think you are on to something! πŸ˜‰ Experimenting with the art of photography is proving to be fun (maybe even addictive!) and the results surprise me. I appreciate your comment. Have a good day.

  10. everyone lives inside a level of ‘comfort zone’ for some it os very cobfined, for others it can be quite wild.

    pushing the boundaries in ways that don’t threaten one’s complete view of oneself is normal πŸ˜‰

    1. Thanks SidevieW. I agree. To get too comfortable makes us dull, unimaginative. Yet no boundaries makes us irresponsible and insensitive, or worse. There needs to be a balance. But part of the balance is knowing when and where to step out of our comfort zones in ways that bring out our creativity and excited for life! Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it. πŸ™‚

  11. I love the duck photo…and the ideas you wrote about “play” and letting go of things being “just so”…or perfection…for the past few weeks, I’ve been doing some of the step outside my own comfort zone..approaching it timidly, perhaps…but I figure that’s a start.
    I really enjoyed reading your ideas…thanks…kathy

  12. Well done for having the courage to step outside of your comfort zone and be seen! It’s a big deal, I hope your continuing to find your freedom and push the boundaries of your comfort zone in all that you do and thank you for linking to my article.

    1. Thanks, Oskar. It has been an interesting year so far. I haven’t blogged as much as I had hoped (I’m a grad student and courses keep me very busy) but living outside the comfort zone is adding quite a bit of spice to life! Thanks for stopping by.

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