I am so lucky, for a number of reasons, one of the best being that I’ve got friends. Some I’ve known all my life, some I’m just meeting for the first time, and some I see every once in a while but we fall into a groove very easily.
My friend Max stands out for me this week and, with his permission, I’ll tell you why. He has a gentle, loving soul that is exuded in his disposition. How can people not like him? They can’t. Max draws people in, enveloping them in a peace they don’t understand, can’t explain but want to be around.
In fact, he lives his life on a philosophy he calls “heartbased living” which he says, “has to do with allowing your heart to make the decisions you encounter every day.”
“A family man who is dedicated to his (children) ‘heartbeats’, Max surrounds himself with love, compassion, and forgiveness which is ever present in his work and his life.”~ Facebook friend
Wow, I’m lapping it up, while working to live like that and managing to do so, maybe, sometimes.
Max is an artist. His medium is a camera and the images that he creates and produces through his camera are varied, stunning, provocative, and often amaze me. We might look at the same object and take a photo but it would just be an object, whereas his photo would be a thing of beauty.
“Through the lens of his camera, Max has not just shared the mastery of his work but has revealed the innermost beauty of his heart and soul.”~ Facebook friend
He was a contributing photographer to the magazine that will be put in every hotel room in Jamaica and he was asked to supply his own biography. Here’s the rub.
He, like many of us, can extol the positive qualities, the beauty and the richness of the people who are around him, but he has a hard time doing it for himself. He didn’t want this biography “to be an exercise about blowin smoke up my own butt,” since “he doesn’t smoke” anyway. He asked his friends on Facebook to “help quantify for me why my images merit the wonderful comments I've been receiving for years?
“Your images reflect pure love, and a deep knowledge and respect for your subject.”~ Facebook friend
Why do we have such a hard time celebrating our own achievements, our own genuine contributions in the work that we do and the life that we lead, without feeling like we are full of it? And still be able to bypass the narcissistic parts of ourselves?
Is it because we are so conditioned to see the negative that when the lens is turned inward our focus falls on what we did poorly? Is it because we think that no matter how much good we do, it won’t make up for the mistakes we made? Or is it because, as Marianne Williamson said in her book A Return to Love, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure?
“Max is a True Jamaican Artist who's mastery, passion, and love are forever imprinted in his work and his heart.”~ Facebook friend
With love and compassion turned inward we give ourselves permission to shine a little brighter and in doing so, help everyone else shine brighter too.