In the midst of what seemed like ‘never-ending’ grief, I had the realization that I was living a ‘joyless’ existence and somehow, I found the courage to remind myself ‘one life’. I remembered a long-forgotten dream to live in Paris. I decided – NOW. I dared myself to apply to study photography at Spéos, The Institute of Photography in Paris! I had never held an SLR camera. I had no idea about shutter speed or aperture. I figured I would learn. How hard could it be? I was blissfully naïve. I dared to listen to the whispers of my soul and finally found the stepping-stones I needed to reshape my life. Application was accepted. House was sold. Job was exited. Apartment was found. Ticket was purchased. One life. I took a leap, from my courage platform and chose to fearlessly trust, once more, in me.
Paris – she taught me patience. She was gentle and showed me how to soften. I began the year defensive, fearful of people, sad and lonely. I ended my year compassionate, patient, empowered and reflective. The biggest thing I learnt from Paris is that I get to choose my attitude and how I want to live my life. I can choose to suffer, or I can choose to live with joy. Today, I choose courage as my daily path to joy and I regularly ‘dare to be’.
It’s been twelve years since my Paris revolution. During that time my camera has turned to focus on capturing portraits of people, be it the citizens of Paris, Syrian Refugees in Lebanon (working for UNICEF), or Soul Beauty images of women (www.christinespringphotography.com). I’ve embraced the beauty of words and written “Liberating Self – A Soul’s Journey” – a book about the journey to balance ego and soul, “Passion & Paris – A Soul’s Prerogative” – a book about choosing courage and daring to live true to self, and “Hope – In the Hands of Fatima”. I’ve won an international photography competition and I’ve found great joy and balance with a new approach to my corporate career and coaching others.
I’ve focussed on balance, making dreams come true (for me and those I love and care for) and working to live daily with joy in my life. I’m happy. Paris taught me resilience and how to keep looking towards the light and holding hope in my heart. When I am struggling Paris reminds me to stand tall and commit to my truth – to never stop daring to be. The City of Paris has been a beacon of light and hope for millennia – when all else is wobbling in my life I look at an image of the Eiffel Tower and I remember to hold on, believe and breathe. ‘Dare to Be’.
Is it time for you to listen to the whisper of your soul?
Are you ready to garner courage and re-shape your life with joy?
You don’t have to stay ‘stuck in a rut’ of habit and fear. You get to choose.
Breathe. Believe. If you want to reach out – take my hand… ‘Dare to Be’. You don’t have to struggle on your own. Asking for help is actually a gesture of strength – well that is what I discovered!
My corporate credentials and experience (pre-Paris Revolution) include –
- BE (civil), MSc Eng, MBA (yes! At 44 I chose to keep learning)
- 12 years professional engineering consultant
- 10 years General Manager – Strategy, Planning & Development
- 1-year Opera House CEO
Through the creation and personal application of my ‘Dare to Be’ philosophy, I have re-shaped my life to include greater balance and joy as –
- Author and Award-winning photographer
- Professional Company Director – NZX and other entities
- Executive & Courage Coach
- Professional Speaker
If you’re curious about my corporate world you can check me out on LinkedIn.