Behind the Rise & Shine

The week leading up to this spontaneous shoot had been difficult. I was heavy with depression, my mind was clouded with anxiety. Just rolling myself out of bed was an achievement. 

George contacted me through Model Mayhem, with the heading line "worth a shot", he was interested in collaborating with me to shoot a sunrise set at Tamarama beach. The week had been pretty wet, rain and storm clouds flooded the sky... Still, I thought, each day the sun must rise again, whether or not the world is ready, warming the lost souls who felt so left out in the cold.

So, what a great way to push myself out of this heaviness I felt and literally bathe myself in light. I felt so dark, I needed this. This was more than just a photoshoot for me. 

The night before the I felt fatigued, anxious, depressed. I felt it. I let it be. I ate homemade vegan brownies and watched trash on TV. I just felt it.

In my experience, creative people need an outlet. Without the ability to create, we feel the weight of the world. Creation is all we have, unfortunately our minds can feel fatigued, overwhelmed with life, which can hinder our ability to create, this is the worst place to be in for an artist. That said, it is important to be here, as it allows space to feel into our human-ness. But, it is a dark, scary and lonely place. Take away an artists ability to express, create, you take away their soul.

I knew, that just getting out of this place and creating, even when I felt like I couldn't, would be the greatest medicine I could gift myself. 

So Sunday morning, I woke up at 5am. Early enough to do my yoga practice, have a coffee and apply make-up. I did the first two, when it came time to sit and make myself up, I felt resistance. I just didn't feel like applying anything, I wanted my face to be as it was, I wanted to be completely nude, naked, fresh. I wanted to birth my creativity in a place of purity. My two minds discussed this for a moment before my heart quietly surrendered into what I knew I needed. For my soul.

I left, I drove the 40 minutes to Tamarama. Gentle rain poured on my windscreen, the clouds covered the sky. I trusted. As I arrived at the beach, the rain had ceased and the clouds had begun to part. The sky was lightening, I already felt my spirits lifted. I stood on the beach, shoes off, hair caressed by the salty breeze, fresh faced and bright eyed. The sound of the waves crashing made me feel a part of this great world again. 

As we begun shooting, starting slow as it does with someone new, I felt myself wanting to hide my face, to linger still in the darkness, although the light was coming fast. As we shot, as the sun rose, the clouds parted to make way for the sun to appear, to bathe the world in a light so incredibly powerful, yet warm and soft to the skin. As the clouds opened up, so did I. 

Depression is something I deal with almost every day. There is no point in my life I don't remember being depressed, feeling lonely, feeling like a dead leaf whisked up by a strong breeze and flown uncontrollably to the sky. Everything was so big, vast and unending. All our human-ness was pointless. It was intense as a child and still is to this day. It has never gone away, but I have learned who depression is, I have made acquaintance with my darkness. I understand it better which allows space for myself to grow, to allow myself to feel these things without putting too much importance on them. I forgive myself for being sad, for losing touch, for being tired. I love myself for it and almost feel nurtured by it. Your inner world is just as important to care for as our outer world. Taking time to relax with some tea & chocolate, watch something that makes you giggle, or, if you feel up for it, go somewhere you can throw your shoes away and feel that sweet earth beneath you. It's OK to be depressed.

I wrote about it once:

Depression. No one in the world understands you. You have an amazing ability to overcome anything. You can't see the light at the end of the tunnel... Because you ARE the light. Nothing makes any sense... It never really does anyway. Your body feels confining, stretched thin, your skin... Just doesn't fit anymore, you truly are a fallen angel, remembering the wings you once used to fly.  Every little thing makes you want to cry, big drops of liquified emotion, cleansing waters run like rivers, flowing into the ocean. Outside is so far away, drifting farther and farther with each passing day. Yet, each morning the sun will rise again and the earth will glisten wet with dew, we are given a chance to begin again and the more it rains, the clearer the skies become. Depression is not a bad thing. It need not be depressing.

Part one from this shoot is called The Rise.

Part two is called The Shine.