Guest Blogger: Melissa Montgomery

“You’re hired!” I said to the handsome man with his beaming smile and long lashes. Little did I know this would one day be the story of how we first met.  Yes, my husband and I secretly dated and lived together for about a year as we both worked for the same company. He also shares the same birthday as my brother, which started our initial conversation.  Destined to be?

Carla and Matt met online. But did you know that they actually first met in person, one year prior to the online dating?  They first met at a clothing store in Nelson, BC, a random meeting then, and later remembered the first meeting when they actually started dating. They were married last summer. Was it destiny?

Ashley and Jon had six random encounters over the course of five years, starting when she was just 17.  They were married last week.  Was it fate?

Tabitha and Steve first met five years ago and danced the night away claiming it was love at first site.  They will be married Friday, April 13th, exactly five years to the day since they fell head over heals, which happened to also have been a Friday the 13th. Was it love at first site?

You see we all have a story and I am the lucky one who gets to capture it on their wedding day.  I am a hopeless romantic who believes in all the above, destiny, fate, love at first site and loving someone so much you think you’re heart’s going to explode. It’s like re-watching that romantic movie or reading that novel over and over again that you can actually recite the words, only it’s not a movie or a novel, its real people and real stories and what led them down the aisle.

I am a wedding and lifestyle photographer based out of Vancouver BC but one day hope to shoot weddings worldwide.  I have found a passion so deep that I couldn’t image doing anything else.  I could have easily gone back to my career in business after the first year of maternity leave, but I couldn’t imagine continuing to do something where I felt like I was settling.

Photography is so powerful. I get to document history for people, freeze time and capture some of the most important events in people’s lives. I’ve always had my “head in the clouds” so to speak, must be the Pisces in me, but I love to create a vision that reflects who you are and then capture it.

When was the last time you’ve had your family portraits done? Or a couple session or even had photos done just of yourself? Regardless if you take out your iphone or a simple point and shoot, take it out and document your lives, your children, your parents and the people who matter in your life.  I highly suggest you find a professional photographer too and invest in some great images at least once a year.  You’re building memories that are going to be handed down for generations. Alright, I am getting deep tonight, must be the wine , lol…but in all seriousness, life is short. Live it with passion and love like crazy.

What’s your story? I’d love to hear it…and then capture it.  XOXO

 

Here are a few of Melissa’s amazing photographs:

Click here for the Melissa Montgomery Gallery to see more of Melissa’s photos.

Website: http://www.photographybymm.com
Blog: http://www.photographybymm.com/blog
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/melissamontgomeryphotography
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/photographybymm
Email: melissamontgomery@shaw.ca

Melissa is a long time family friend of Johns and mine whose work I admire and whose friendship I cherish.  (John’s known her since birth and she has been his daughter Lisa’s best friend forever) Melissa did my own photos last summer and I was very happy with the results.  I normally feel awkward getting my photo taken, but she calmed my nerves and made it fun.  Thank you Melissa and I hope we can have you join us on Tara Cronica again soon. ~ Bonnie

 

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Spiritual Journey~

TracyIf you decided to go on a “Spiritual Journey” where would you go and what would you do?


“Your life is a sacred journey. And it is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way. You are on the path… exactly where you are meant to be right now… And from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, and of love.”
Caroline Adams

Spirituality has long been associated with religion, deities, the supernatural, and an afterlife.  Many equate spirituality with religion, but the two are separate entities, religion being one way man experiences spirituality.  Spirituality may include introspection, and the development of an individuals inner life through practices such as meditation, prayer and contemplation.

Spiritual Journey’s can change and enrich your life.  Whether you ride your motorcycle down to Monument Valley or Hike in the Himalayan Mountains a spiritual journey is a very personal exploration of ones self.  We usually embark on such quests when we are aware that our spirituality need attention.  It can be described as an “Aha Moment” even.  It’s when you venture out of your comfort zone and look inward for answers to questions we all have.  “What is my purpose or path in life?”

If I were to go on a ‘Spiritual Journey’ I would pick one of two.  I would love to spend time with Buddhist Monks to learn about Meditation, Intention and Karma and I would also like to learn about Kabbalah. I have always believed that meditation is a huge part of being spiritual and can calm our souls and shed light on issues we all have.  Meditation means awareness.  “Watching your breath” is meditation; listening to the birds is meditation.   As long as these activities are free from any other distraction to the mind, it is effective meditation.  Meditation is not a technique but a way of life.  Meditation means ‘a cessation of the thought process’.  By meditating you are able to let go of your physical self and get in tune with your metaphysical side.  That is the Spiritual Journey I would like to embark on!

Post Insert Jacquie When I was in my twenties I had small kids that needed to be taken care of and the journey I was on was one of survival.  Mine and theirs.  I believed it was my sacred duty to make sure these young souls felt safe, secure and loved.  Now that I’m no longer necessary in quite the same way, I’ve felt the need to find other  ways to feel complete.  I’ve decided for me that means reaching beyond my comfort zone, past established boundaries and out into the community I share with my global neighbours.

I could answer this question metaphysically, but what I really think Tracy is asking in this post is for a literal description of where I want my spiritual journey to begin, or take shape.  I’ve actually been looking into a place in the Kootenays, about 9 hours from Vancouver near Nelson, BC, called Yasodhara Ashram.  I’ve never been anywhere near this area but I’ve heard of it’s natural beauty and peaceful majesty.  Yasodhara offers yoga, meditation and spiritual guidance for beginners like me all the way up to advanced practitioners.  I would love to spend a week or two by myself totally immersed in the everyday Ashram comings and goings and at the complete mercy of the program.  I would arrive with an open mind and heart and actively seek enlightenment or whatever came my way.   My spiritual journey is about enriching my life with experience and knowledge and I know a stay at the Ashram will only begin to heighten my awareness of all the work I have yet to do, but it’s a good start.   Think of it like an all-inclusive for the spiritual cherry-picker.  It may take several pilgrimages to find what works for you, but each attempt brings you closer to your goal.  Keeping an open mind is key.

Bonnie Johnson's Post

There are many places in the world that are considered “holy” or “spiritual” places to visit.  Places like Jerusalem, Tibet, Machu Picchu, etc.  Eckhart Tolle, who wrote “A New Earth” and “The Power of Now” has said he felt that the west coast of North America and specifically around Vancouver, BC had a strong positive energy which he was drawn to in order to write about his own spiritual journey.  I don’t doubt this.  I have been in different places in the world that seem to awaken something deep within me.  But a true spiritual journey is really about going within your Self.  I don’t think it matters as much about the ground beneath your feet as it does about the degree in which you can tune in to your Source (God/Spirit/Universe/insert whichever label you are comfortable with).

I believe a true spiritual journey is one that inspires you to connect with your own spirit.  I have felt that way when sitting on a flat rock beside a babbling creek in North Vancouver, while floating in a canoe in an underground river deep inside a cave in New Zealand, while looking out at the ocean on a beach in Australia, while exploring our beautiful British Columbian outdoors, and even while watching a spider working on its web in my own yard.  If a place inspires and stirs your soul then it is worth a journey to.  It may be its beauty, its energy or simply a memory it stirs up for you.  Wherever that is for you I hope you are able to go there often.

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