As a photographer who enjoys photographing events, I’ve attended and photographed several events over the last few months. I’ve also been to retreats before, but I’m not sure I ever felt such a warm, loving welcome. I was the photographer for the Rise Up Women's retreat, but I was also embraced as a participant. This may have been a distraction for me or resulted in fewer or less impactful images. Nothing could be further from the truth. The comfort level of this warm welcoming group of beautiful women was such that I think I was able to capture much more raw, intimate photographs. I’m grateful for autofocus because my eyes teared up more than a few times! I saw things that I wouldn’t have been able to witness had I not been looking through my camera lens.
This conference was about bringing God and spirituality into our business in the ways we interact with others, how we make decisions and what we actually do to follow our hearts AND prosper. No easy task! Red Corral Ranch in Wimberley TX was the setting. Beautiful!!!
Bea Baylor is the founder of this conference and has a mission to inspire women and help them reach their potential and purpose through teaching, conferences, workshops, networking and building one business at a time. Bea also founded Baylor's Business Consulting Enterprise LLC. This online business institute provides training and education to help small business owners, coaches and leaders with strategies and business development skills to increase knowledge and become more profitable in their business. Leading women on an awesome and delightful journey of healing, seeking, finding and growing in Christ is her true calling. You'll see Bea in the video on this blog post.
I met Bea not quite a year ago. So much has happened since then! We met for coffee to talk about business things. I learned that she's a nurse also. We both whipped out our composition books to take notes. Old school can be good! I was still working full time in my job with plans to make changes and do more photography. She needed headshot and I needed to practice. It was a win-win and more than that- we really liked each other. Since then, Bea has introduced me to people and organizations and impacted my career in big ways. I hope I have given her as much. She is a dear friend of mine. Nothing has quite compared to the experience I had at the Rise Up conference. Nothing quite compares to Bea Baylor either!
As my mind can conceive of more good, the barriers and blocks dissolve. My life becomes full of little miracles popping up out of the blue. Louise L. Hay
Some of you might not know that spirituality and health was the basis of my thesis work yet, like many of us, I struggle to find and keep that meaning and purpose in life because I get caught up in the doing of the things. I’m still having a hard time thinking about what I really want to do. Speak, write, photograph- all the above? (More about the Shiny Penny syndrome in a future blog post) The conference and the speakers were incredibly inspiring and gave me some great info! The topics were meaningful for me because I run my business with heart and soul and hearing others talk about their successes and challenges was perfect. We are more alike than different! The first day, Bea pointed out with a giggle that I was the only ‘white girl amongst black girls for a while anyway.’ Well, to be honest, I hadn’t noticed. I saw beautiful, warm, kind women. After one particular incredible evening with Dr. Brenda Cherry, I was asked if I had ever been to a ‘Black Church’ before. Nope, and it blew my mind- in a good way. There are so many ways to worship and honor one another. I loved the freedom to be myself in a nonjudgemental environment. I watched women openly weep, pray, hug, and support each other in ways we so often don't get to witness in our lives. Oh, but shouldn't we? Isn't that what makes life rich? Surrender seemed to be the word for me. Surrender to follow my own path. I speak with women every day who want to figure out what path to take and then figure out how to follow it. Future blog post…
There is so much I could say about this conference. There is so much I can about the loving women I spent the week-end with. I will write more about the speakers in future blogs. You won't want to miss this- as you probably already have already guessed, the women are incredibly interesting!
The Red Corral Ranch has a most beautiful labyrinth built by the owners’ son as a thank you to his mother after she nursed him back to health following a serious surgery. I’ll write a longer post about this, but suffice to say it was incredibly moving. I photographed the experience the whole time, having already taken some time to walk the labyrinth in meditation by myself the day before. You’ve probably already guessed, but that’s another blog post. Meanwhile- enjoy the beautiful video to see the fireside surrender, our special banquet, the speakers, Shalia Anderson's Praise Dance and so much more. PLEASE LEAVE US YOUR COMMENTS