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Minimalism and its Impact on your Mind and Heart

Through Kurt I saw the beauty of minimalism and the importance of music that’s stripped down.
— Dave Grohl
 A simple yet powerful portrait of our son Liam.  Stripped of all possible distractions.  Simple.wins.always.

A simple yet powerful portrait of our son Liam.  Stripped of all possible distractions.  Simple.wins.always.

Being a grunge baby of the 90's, I have a special place in my heart for both Kurt Cobain and David Grohl.  I can still remember the very first time I heard, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" on MTV when they actually played music videos.  It was raw and like nothing my ears had ever heard before.  I have to come clean about it too......I wasn't even sure if I liked it at first.  But what I did know, is that it had an impact on me and I wanted to hear it again.  Well, thankfully for me, and a whole generation of kids just like me, MTV played that song every hour on the hour for the next few months.  And before we knew it, a whole new music scene was born and our lives would never be the same.  Nirvana hit the ground running, and we traded in the likes of tall hair for dirty looking flannels and Doc Marten boots.  

You are probably wondering how this factors into photography and life, which I'm still hoping is the theme of this blog.  Well, the list of parallels between music and photography are too long to list.  So I will focus on what I believe are the most important points.  When you think about it, music took a huge swing from the bright lights and pyrotechnics to a group of guys just slamming chords and drum heads in their garage.  No more hair spray and make-up.  No more power ballads and images of these modern rockstars acting lonely through the window of their tour bus.  What we received from the grunge era, was raw and uncut and filled with the emotions that we held closest to us.  

When Dave Grohl spoke of Kurt, and to the beauty of minimalism and the importance of the music being stripped down, that should also be a guiding hand for the way we look at life.  There has to come a time when we slow down, take a long hard look at the craziness that is our lives and make a decision on what is most important and work towards spending more time on those things.  Becoming more active in the things we love and less active in the things that don't bring us real joy and a sense of happiness.

Fact is, our lives are very much like music.  There are high points and low points, and multiple instruments that we use to try and create harmony.  Think about all the individual pieces there are to your life that make up the overall sum.  If you were to list them all out, and honestly ask yourself, do these things bring value to my life, what would you say?  Yes or No.  Fact is, by nature  we take on more in our lives for reasons that don't necessarily yield the desirable outcome, happiness.  We do them for the right reasons, but that doesn't mean they deserve our time, and certainly not at the expense of our happiness.  

We will all reach that point of diminishing returns for our efforts.  Not because we aren't capable of doing all these things individually, but because time is a friend of no one and we need to make choices on how we want to fill it.  I am in the process of evaluating my life, as we all should do frequently enough, and I have some tough decisions to make.  This is my life and I, like all of you, deserve to be alive.  Its time to offload the things that don't bring a positive value to my life.  I urge you to do the same......for you.  

M