Take A Step Back

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Iman is a photographer who, through her unique process of coaching and photography, can show a woman what other people see when they look at her. She is passionate about teaching other photographers how to live and be a professional and making change in the world. She dreams of changing the way women look at their bodies and how the world defines beauty. She also thinks being an instructor on CreativeLIVE would be incredible. Iman battles Lyme disease and shares her unique view of dreaming while fighting for her health. Her post day is Wednesday. [email protected] Iman Woods If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

take a step back

You may have noticed that I didn’t blog last week.

If you didn’t, then I didn’t let you down. I’d love to give a glossy excuse and blame it on my new storefront. That would be plausible and somewhat excusable.

But the truth is that I’m still working on the balancing act that is having a larger family and running a business.

We get our kids half the time and are blessed that they are on a similar schedule. One of the realities of divorce (even the rare amicable divorce) is that you miss half your child’s life.

There were times (when my son was a baby) that I dreaded sleep because I knew he’d have grown in the time it took to wake up. So much growth and change happens between visits. More and more the older they get. So when we have the kids, we try to fully be there in the moment. That means putting work aside. The parenting side of me is satisfied.

The professional side has had to learn to let emails and calls go until I can focus on the client.

The store is doing pretty well for something so different and new. But 12 hour days don’t begin to cover what needs to be done.

And (of course) my health took a nose dive after pushing so hard to get through two moves and the opening.

Healthy people can chug coffee and work late and motivate themselves to push harder. I cannot. As much as I berate myself for the inability.

I wanted to blog about the struggle but felt that was focusing on the negative. Many people would give anything for the “problems” I face. So I said nothing. I tried to get up in arms about a self-esteem issue. But my hands would not type the words. I could have posted a photo. But I was so exhausted I climbed into bed, fell asleep, and the school routine started all over, my tired body pulled with the tide.

This is the battling-an-immune-disorder part of the dream process.

Quite frankly, I get tired of talking about how much pain I push through and I’m sure others don’t want to hear it.

My friend and publicist Angela and I discussed all this at length. Finally she said something that struck a chord. I was considering setting regular boutique hours and just pushing through the pain. She reminded me that I’m not just a store. I’m a studio. I’ll still need days of the week that are devoted solely to photography clients. I can’t be photographing a client and have people shopping our vintage store at the same time. She was adamant that the store revolved around me and that I couldn’t run myself into the ground or else there would be no store.

Don’t ever forget your unique dream in your process. Take a step back and refocus.

I got caught up with trying to be both a store and a studio. Both 24/7. But my store is very different from others near me. It’s a unique combination of my dreams. I can wear both hats. I can devote time to each.

When you run your business you wear oh so very many hats.

But you don’t have to wear them all at the same time, one stacked on top of another. The tower teeters as you tip toe through a balancing act. Trip and it all crumbles.

It’s ok to slow down and wear one hat at a time.

Today, I’m a blogger. Tomorrow I’m a store owner. At home I’m a partner and mother.

As things have gotten busier, I’ve found myself increasingly desiring to throw my phone in the nearest body of water. The constant stream of noise and Facebook articles that add nothing to my life have been driving me mad. My time is even more precious now.

Technology can be our best friend, and technology can also be the biggest party pooper of our lives. It interrupts our own story, interrupts our ability to have a thought or a daydream, to imagine something wonderful because we’re too busy bridging the walk from the cafeteria back to the office on the cell phone.
-Steven Spielberg

We multitask at SO many things. Modern technology has made multitasking a necessity. But the world doesn’t stop if you call someone back. It doesn’t stop if you make an appointment for later that week.

The things that don’t stop are children growing.

I will apologize for not blogging, dear readers, but I am not sorry for making family time quality time. I’m not sorry for setting hours that fit my unique business model. I’m coming back to realizing it’s ok to be ME. And my business is mine. We will face these tests time and again on our dream journeys.

My dream was to be a mother. A partner. A business owner. And I can do them all if I set my priorities right. There will come a time that your dream will seem overwhelming. Take a step back. Refocus. The dream process challenges you to see if you can grow to encompass what you wish.

Give us your thoughts!