Through Your Eyes

On January 1, 2019, I contemplated the new year as most do: what did I want to accomplish? What did I want to see? What will inspire me?

Then, inspiration struck. I decided I would send a message out to loved ones to see if they’d help. My request was this:

I have a special request if you choose to except it and only for a limited time…for the month of January, and only once a week, if you see something that stops you in your tracks or takes your breath away, will you stop and take a photo of it for me (and as long as it’s not being invasive)? I don’t want this to be added stress in your life, but if you took the moment to pay attention to the world around you, I would love to see what you find eye catching and/or breath taking and why. Hope you are up for it and again, just once a week for the month of January is all I’m asking for. I am pushing my creative limits for 2019 and I want to see inspiration through your eyes to help drive this creativity. Please and thank you!

I sent this message to 20 people from Seattle to Florida, from New York to California and of course, a few more from NM. I choose people I’ve known most of my life and those I’ve only known a few years. Their ages were across the board. Their professions and lifestyles range from: entrepreneurs, creatives, educators, nomads, world travelers, non-profit leaders, CEOs of corporations and of households, and health professionals…lives and likes and loves, all unique. I purposely chose those I did because I wanted to see life through their eyes. I thought, of the 20, maybe I’d receive a quarter of the responses back. I was surprised when the responses started coming in.

I received a total of 13 responses initially and 1 “loved your text”, however this one stood out:

I LOVED it so!!! The fact that my 2019 request would help a friend with her 2019 intention made me smile. I purposefully didn’t describe what kind of pictures would work, where they had to be taken from, or if they had to be landscape, inanimate objects, inspirational phrases, or people. I didn’t specifically say they had to beautiful or happy. I wanted breath taking, inspiring, creative images that caught their eyes.

I responded to each with excitement and gratitude, the only time I offered a little more insight was to my friend that said he was down except that he’d “skip next week because he’d be in ABQ”. I responded, jokingly, “I don’t know if I should laugh or cry that your hometown doesn’t inspire you!?!” The next test was this: of the 13, how many would follow through?

I broke down the weeks this way: Week 1: January 1 – January 7; Week 2: January 8 – January 14; Week 3: January 15 – January 21; Week 4: January 22 – January 28; and Week 5: January 29 – January 31, 2019. I would categorize the photos based on the date received but would provide no direction…I wanted to see the flow in how they came in.

Week one came in almost immediately. It was filled with a Floridian sunrise, the haunting beauty of the holocaust museum. The simplicity of a heart in the sand, the purity of white tulips, the new white snow covering the red leaves, and the inspirational trip in living a dream. Because inspiration comes to us in many ways I was grateful for some inspiring words, “Start something new.” It was the beginning of a new year and for this friend a new adventure. I loved how the golden polka dots played against the straight lines and the prickly shell of flora. This week spoke to me in seeing the beauty in everything.

Week 2 started and I wondered how many would continue to share their inspiration or what stopped them in their tracks.

The next week was filled with ocean-scapes, one at sunset and one mid day. Sunsets continued through from California and one from the enchanting skies of NM. There was a power pose and a powerful little lady in the form of an ornament (boop-oop-a-doop). I received power of peace through street art. I pulled one that inspired me: the power of light to fill the darkness. As you can guess I found “power” as the common thread in this week’s photos.

Week 3 continued to be strong with a few more friends jumping on board. There was a sense of wonder found throughout. As I looked at the photo from the NYC subway, I wondered where these people were coming from or going. There were images of open paths and chasing the sun, one moon-gazing, children playing, safe spaces in difficult times, and even the quote came from the philosophical doctor filled with wonder, Dr. Seuss.

I started opening my eyes. As the inspirational photos wined down, my inspiration started to gleam. So I wasn’t surprise when there wasn’t much that came in during week 4.

Yet, I was happy to see there was humor and fun. The aloft fashion catapulted my friend, Sofi and me to conspire to do our own version here in Albuquerque. And with the difficult time happening in the federal government, filled with finger pointing, it was great some humor.

Week 5 concluded with single story images. I found beauty in the detail of each of these images. The water drops like diamonds on a branch, the incredible imagery of water freezing on contact. And the story you make up in your mind about the woman standing on the street corner.

Since I started this project, I’ve had many conversations with the friends I choose to take part in this project, many were dealing with there own bumps in the road and this gave them a sense of release. This project gave me new eyes into seeing what is all around me and what I can do to create the world I want to see.

This was inspiration I found walking on Fashion Avenue, NYC.

As I sit here, waiting to depart NYC (and of course a little broken hearted), I have so many things coming in the few months that I can’t wait to share with you…but that will be another blog. :)…so please keep reading. And in the meantime, please feel free to comment below on what inspires you.

With light and love,

Dara Sophia

6 thoughts on “Through Your Eyes”

    1. Sofi, you’ve provided so much inspiration over the past couple of months and continue to do so. Thank you for your creativity and friendship…I so wish I had a genie or won the lottery to take you to LAFW!! ?

    1. Thanks Maria…I pulled in one of your photos again in “I needed a fix.” because I too was inspired by it in person.? Can’t wait to see you soon!

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