Julia Raymond — Colorado
Course: Summer Intensive 2012
We all have our notions of what it would be like to pursue our deepest dreams, to make a
difference for the planet, to elicit our life’s purpose and live what our lives are about. Every
once in a while, we open the double locks on the door, we unknit our eyebrows, and we engage.
When I decided to engage, more than anything, I wanted to mobilize my creative energy. To discover
what I love, I recognized that I needed to take a journey away from my familiar structure. Rocky
Mountain School of Photography reached out to me saying "come along .... it’s wonderfully open,
and beautiful here."
So with a huge amount of trust, I left my house and four-legged pets to the care of my teenage son
and daughter. I asked them to make some real sacrifices to support me while I was gone. My children
began to think of my summer at RMSP in Montana as a shared sort of journey for us all. They had
witnessed the joy in this new calling that radiated in me, and they had suffered through my seriously
impaired patience with software and technology.
When RMSP assured me they could make what seemed arduous more effortless, and guide me toward a positive
experience with the "beast" called Photoshop -- I felt a boundless energy of anticipation. My kids assured
me the house would still be standing when I returned. So, how will it go when I move to my wonderful new
Missoula neighborhood and meet others with unique experiences and wisdom?
Wow! I never anticipated how good it feels to smile through the worst, laugh through the best within a
haven of amazing people from around the world with common dreams. The RMSP community of students,
instructors and assistants were like a warm hug. The assistants and staff gave as much as they could,
regularly and consistently. I found shared friendships, expressed beauty in our common struggles, and
great support. I also found I was tested as a person, and as an artist, in a most gratifying way. When
you want something so much, when you yearn to accomplish something with deep personal meaning, when you
have relinquished so much to get there—those limiting beliefs can rise up and set the thermostat
to "roast." This was my test. For me, it was as much about taking "time out" as it was in not worrying
that I could not always see the big changes happening. It was about letting go of any approach, creatively
or personally, that seemed outdated. The infamous "Intense" perspective of SI was, to me, about coming out
of the chaos of not exactly knowing what was next or even possible, but being excited and revitalized
anyway. RMSP encourages, and points the way. I found this summer immersed me in so much more than I could
have imagined—I call it the heart of photography and beyond.