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  • Adapting To Learn. . This week, @lynseyhackettl29 and I were supposed to be in Newcastle doing a bit (actually, a lot) of Continued Professional Development at the @andrewandpete #atomicon2020 event. . There were going to be fringe days, the main day itself (Today) and then we were going to be hooking up with others to learn, socialise and mingle with others who are in business. We had even planned to take our @olympusuk cameras along too. All in all, we were supposed to be in Newcastle from Sunday to Thursday. . Obviously it has not been able to happen and all month long Andrew and Pete have been doing those fringe events all via FB. Table talks, seminars, hints, tips, support and ideas - everything a business owner needs to learn, discuss, network and share - all via the wonder that is social media. . Shall we just stop for a moment and think about that! Not only a full day of training but a whole month! . All via the medium of Social Media - Facebook to be precise. . We might be in lockdown but never has technology been so relevant, so available, so important. . Now, I'm not usually great at learning this way - But like everything right now I'm having to learn how to adapt, and that means adapting so I can learn. . This is about as perfect as it can get right now so the way I figure it, I could just write the whole thing off and miss out altogether or I could set up my laptop, tell Mr. @welshot and the OH to leave me alone in peace for a few hours and not only learn a whole lot of stuff but maybe, maybe, just give me some much needed encouragement to keep on going. . I've got my notebook and pens out so I guess I chose that second option. . What are you doing today that your tomorrow will thank you for? . No judgement - If, for you, that means a duvet and a book then that's good enough. . My point today is - Life is still happening.
  • Lockdown Pie . Have You, Are You, learning anything about yourself over these last few weeks? . I’ve realised JUST how fast, full pelt, and what a frantic pace I was living life. . Even when I thought I was relaxing, taking time out, making space for the things I’ve always enjoyed doing. . Photography, Food (Cooking & Eating) Reading and Writing. . It’s also making me reevaluate some stuff - as in, what do I want to do, in life, for me! . There is no doubt that there will always be the @welshot Photographic Academy, that’s a non-negotiable and will always be at the top of my priorities and “To Do...” list. . I’m talking about the other stuff I want to do and I never seem to make time for it - Well, I think the time has come to either make it work or ditch it. . I don’t want to ditch it so, I guess my question now is how am I going to make it all happen? . Have you been questioning your life, your dreams, your ambitions, your goals, your life choices? . Are you going to return to normal, when life becomes normal again? . Or will you be changing some stuff around - Maybe slowing down, or, maybe even speeding up? . I know one thing I’ve discovered in Lockdown - I miss visiting Places within the UK - Town and Country and I for one will be intending to take my @olympusuk cameras on more adventures than normal. . Right now though, I’m enjoying being creative, in the kitchen and with my photography - Mixing my two passions, Food and Photography together. . I’m trying to remember the skills I learnt at the Food Photography Workshop at @kentcookeryschool with @olympusuk and @marcusclackson and putting them to use. . These were taken on my @olympusuk OMD EM1 Mk2 yesterday. Quick grab shots before the pie went into the oven and after it came out. . Not a crumb was left!
  • Making Time To... . Relax. . Learn. . It's all about the balance. . During this Lockdown/Self-Isolation period I'm making sure I read just for pleasure. . I'm also making sure I make time for my Continued Professional Development / Business reading too - but I'm being rather strict with myself on this one and I'm actually doing it ONLY in what would be normal (remember those days?) working hours. . Why. . One thing I'm finding that REALLY is helping to get myself through thses times is to separate Weekends from Weekdays, Working Hours from Non-Working Hours. . The irony is not lost on me - I am someone who would normally work three Weekends out of four EVERY Month and I never really switched off - Working Hours didn't really apply. . For some reason I need these rules in Lockdown/Self-Isolation more than before. . Maybe it's my body, mind and soul telling me something! . Are you doing anything a bit topsy turvy? A bit back to front? Are you making ground rules, setting restrictions and non-negotiables? . Have you got any hints and tips for coping? Are you finding yourself just as busy as before? Are you wondering how you fitted it all in before Lockdown/Self-Isolation? . I think we can all agree - It all still feels a bit weird and we are finding out a lot about ourselves that maybe we didn't understand before. . Let me know in the comments, it might help me, it might help you get clarity and it might help someone else who is really struggling. . By the way. The Switch by @betholearyauthor - BLOODY BRILLIANT! . . Tomorrow I'm starting on @helenamorrissey A Good Time To Be A Girl.
  • New Book. New Day. . Getting a new book through the post is always like a new day. A chance to have your motivation, inspiration, hopes and dreams restored. . That's what this book #oatsinthenorth by @missfoodwise (Regula Ysewijn) has done for me. . The moment I saw its beautiful cover and opened up it up and looked through the pages I felt an uncontrollable need to start creating again - To pick up my camera and do what I never ever make time for. . My own personal photography. . Food photography to be precise. Not for anything other than just because I can. . It doesn't need to be perfect, there needs be no outcome or a reason why - I'm treating it like a form of mindfulness, a time away from the 5.00pm daily press conferences, a time away from emails, to do lists, a time just for me. . I'm focusing on what I have got, in the pantry, the props I can gather, the camera kit in my bag I picked up as I left the office for the last time, the lovely natural light we are having at the moment and the backdrops in my Lockdown/Self-Isolation environments. . Using what I have to hand, creating just for the sake of creating (which will include the baking as well) will undoubtedly help me keep sane, focused, happy and healthy when I do need to sit down and work. . Life is not normal for many of us, all the (normal) daily routines and schedules have had to be fine (re)tuned and we've had to become even more adaptable, flexible and even adventurous in our thinking and the way we work. . What's that one thing you've always wanted to do, always wanted to create but never had the time to do? . Could now be a good time for you to have a play? No pressure attached, just something for the sake of creating. . Could it be something to help you in a mindfulness way? . I'd love to hear what you are creating, or would like to create - whether it is a writing a book, or painting a picture. . Muchly love 💚
  • Focus On What’s Important. . If you are anything like me you’ve probably got a “To Do...” list as long as your arm and even while you are working on one task you are thinking about the next before you’ve even finished the first. . I said to the BossTog aka the @welshot Photographic Academy that this enforced lockdown was probably doing us both the world of good in many ways. . For one, it’s made us slow down, made us focus on the here and now, made us work on one task at a time, learn one new skill at a time. . After 11 years of being in business with never more than two consecutive weekends off in a row it was probably about time for some, albeit enforced, time out. . Working remotely with not a lot of kit, limited resources and shared working space is more of a challenge than I thought it would be but after a few wibbly wobbly moments we’ve settled into a routine . . We’ve also taken the pressure off ourselves, as long as we get good quality sleep, eat healthier, do some form of exercise, keep up with the challenges we’ve set our Members and achieve one or two things of our “To Achieve...” list then we are considering it a win! . It has also reinforced the WHY we have an office each and then a third for our Creative Hub / Studio - We both have VERY different ways of working. . So, my challenge to you today is to choose one thing. Yes, just one thing that you’ve been putting off doing, or it’s been in the too hard pile and make a start. . Let me know in the comments below what you are going to focus on today. I’d love to hear about it.
  • Things Change. Be Adaptable. . Today I was meant to be flying out with a bunch of @welshot Photographic Academy Members and my @olympusuk camera to Venice, Italy. . 10 Years ago this week I was meant to have been traveling to Hong Kong, again with a bunch of Welshot Members - The Icelandic volcano put and end to that and we ended up going in the November and actually had a much better (longer, cheaper, better weather) trip. . You could say, by now I’m fairly adept at scheduling, rescheduling, postponing, tweaking and flexing in the event area - I’ve also had 11 years of practice when it comes to the British weather as well. . I’ve learnt over those 11 years how to handle these situations, how to manage expectations and I’ve developed a trust with our Members - they know we only change stuff if it’s going to affect their experience of an event. . 11 years experience and it might still be something I hate having to do but it has become less stressful and I tend not to worry so much about upsetting Members and Delegates because I know they know, We’ve got their back. . It doesn’t matter what business you have, it would be a million dollar corporation with a huge workforce or you could be a one man band working from your kitchen table - It doesn’t matter what product or service you offer - You still need that one ☝️ skill. . You need to be adaptable, flexible and have movement and fluidity in your skill set. . And whether it is a volcano or a virus - you will be able to move quickly change with the circumstances, to pivot on and with a purpose. . By adapting and keeping an open mind you will overcome all challenges no matter your business, product or service. . Have a happy Week - Let me know in the comments what YOU will be working on this week, I’d love to hear.
  • New Day. New Strengths. New Thoughts . As we go into a new day let us remember that with it comes new strength, new thoughts and new hope. . Remember also, You can only do what you can do. . The Circle of Concern vs Circle of Influence is coming into play on a daily basis these days. . The problems, challenges and opportunities you face each day fall into these two areas. . Work on the things you can do something about (Circle of Influence) and by doing so you will feel more in control and less overwhelm. . For further reading on this matter - Pick Yourself up a copy of Stephen Covey’s book - The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
  • Stuff The Normal. Stuff The Routine. Stuff The Plan! . It's probably only me that notices anyway but believe it or not I do have some form of a plan, strategy, routine - Whatever you want to call it - for posting on my grid here on Instagram. . Today I woke up and realised I didn't want to be so regimented, didn't want to stick to my own enforced rules, didn't want to conform to my own ideas. . I wanted to post photos about what I was, what I am, seeing, feeling, appreciating, enjoying each day while I'm in this strange world of not being able to get to the office. . Then I suddenly thought to myself, isn't this what we are all told, those of us who are self employed or starting a business - that we need to adapt, be flexible and quick to change direction when and if the need arises. . So, for the foreseeable, here, on my grid (and over on @thekiwisocial FB page, you are not going to get carefully curated images, that fit in with my own personal structure that no one has probably even noticed. . What you are going to get is my real life, as it is now, because Today, Tomorrow and next week needs to be appreciated. . And next year, when those social media memories pop up I want to look back and remember a time I really knew I was adapting, not reacting, to my surroundings and circumstances. . Today, stop for five minutes, just five minutes and look around you for the beauty you'd maybe just walk past on a normal day, in a hurry to get someplace else. . Today I'm grateful for having the time to see my Clematis, that's in full bud, starting to bloom.
  • Attitude of Gratitude. . Do you keep a daily journal? . Or have you recently started one to record these strange days we find ourselves in the middle of? . Myself, I always try to do something, whether that’s mentally thinking of the three things I’m most grateful for, or writing them down. . At the beginning of the year I’d started a “Morning Journal” - just writing down all my thoughts, ideas, dreams, what I had accomplished the day before and how I wanted to improve upon that. . Recently I’ve taken to doing a daily gratefulness on my FB personal profile each day, with a photo of my surroundings - more of a record really. . You know that “Memory” functionality FB has, well, in a years time I want to read back on those and remember, be reminded that I can get through anything if I put my mind to it. . So , Today - What are the THREE most things YOU are grateful for? . I’d love to know in the comments below. . Have a great Easter Monday - try and do something that makes it stand out from the rest of the week. . Muchly love 💕
  • Happy Easter And Muchly Love . From the @welshot Photographic Academy and @thekiwisocial

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