Photography has a been a way for me to really be present in my recovery. It started as just a fun little hobby with a smartphone camera, and as I progressed, I found it to be one of the greatest ways to escape and be where I was. If you’re interested in getting started with photography, you can try a free weekly photo challenge from the Nomad Photography Network at https://nomadphotographynetwork.com/weekly-photography-challenge/.
Taking photos is an incredible way to be present in life, and bringing mindfulness to recovery has been a huge tool for me. When you think of being present, you may think of formal mindfulness meditation. However, you can use many different activities and tools to be present in your recovery.
For me, photography is a key way I practice mindfulness and being present. When I go out with my camera, I’m 100% where I am. The thoughts, worries, regrets, and resentments fall away. There’s nothing to do but observe, capture, and investigate.
If you want to learn more about mindfulness and photography, there’s a great piece from National Geographic that I love called The Art of Mindful Photography.
Whether you’re photographing your neighborhood or going on a sober vacation, photography is a way to encourage a new way to look at things. Instead of just passing by the world, taking photos is a way to interact with and capture what you see.
One thing I love about carrying my camera with me is the encouragement to pause and really see things in a new way. Even walking down my same old street, I see new flowers, people, signs, and sights. These are things I take for granted most days, but with my camera I enjoy.
For me, photography brings me great joy and peace. I don’t freak out about whatever is on my mind, I don’t worry about what needs to be done, and I just am present and curious. I encourage you to get out there and try for yourself!