SHANNON REED PORTRAIT

It's Happening...

Shannon Reed

My life is changing - or, more aptly, I am changing. I feel like I can breathe again. I feel like my old self again. I feel again.

I had a tickler set up in my calendar to address this - and it literally just tickled me this moment as I finished that sentence above, so it seems I will be addressing it right here, with you... ")

Sunday is MAJOR! A solar eclipse in Virgo rocks the skies — the first to pop up in your sign since 2008! You’re back in the game — and thus, must stay on your toes. Do everything deliberately or don’t do it at all, because this is a moment where you decide what’s really worth investing your time in. The annual new moon is your astrological New Year, a time to make resolutions that are all about you. Set your sights six months down the road: What would you like to accomplish by then? With this super-powered new moon giving you wings, you could soar higher than you ever expected.

Some folks go directly to the Land of No when they see this kind of stuff, but I've learned to just stay open to any and all positive messages that find their way to me - and I'm grateful for them because I realize that there is a powerful force at work in my realm. I am open to calling this force God, the Universe, or even something that's beyond my knowing its name - but I feel and am aware of it and know how important it is to take what I put out from my being seriously - because, like a metaphysical boomerang, it all comes right back to me. I know that whatever I ask for I will receive and I know that when I set my intentions, they will be realized. It still freaks me out because I feel like I have this crazy superpower. And, yes, I'm sure to some folks I just sound crazy.  Haha - I get it, believe me. ")

In 1997, a major life event occurred that set me on some strange and wonderful paths and I began accomplishing things that I never thought in a million years I would - things which never even occurred to me to attempt. My life has been amazing; what a wild and eclectic ride I've had - am having - giddyup! 

Intentions come in many shapes and sizes - from the tiny to the seemingly unreachable. My primary intention is to travel the world taking pictures of interesting people and make enough money doing that to support myself and my work. The one disconnect that's keeping me from fully realizing that intention, is that I haven't been specific enough. Intentionally. Because, as I think about what that would look like, I have to carefully consider why I want to do that and, more importantly who it will serve and why.

In the last year and a half, I've begun to narrow that down to wanting to photograph women because I want to be a conduit - a means for them to tell their story, to have a voice, leave a legacy - to show others in far away places that THEY WERE HERE and that their lives mattered. I know what it's like to be stripped of my voice - stripped of my power; it's a terrible feeling. But here's the deal: It just takes a little something inside - a baby ember of hope to start fueling the belief that we are powerful (full of power!), we are strong, we are capable - we are anything we choose to be. 

My heart aches every day for my sisters who are raped, tortured, and murdered simply for being women. This is territory that, at the moment, seems beyond my scope - but I am setting the intention to be open to doing whatever work I can around that to be a part of changing the atrocities that are happening - with or without my camera - I am open either way. It is my intention to be a part of a positive shift which will enable all women in this world to live freely and safely.  

As I sit and share these thoughts in this public way, I realize that I'm setting forth a motion - I'm letting the Universe know my intentions around this work and, as I look back, I see that the projects and work I've done to this point (maybe even since 1997) have been unspeakably significant in helping to groom me for this particular intention. I know that opportunities will continue to come to me as they need to and I look forward to each and every one of them.

OK - well, I hadn't planned on writing about any of that, but t'was meant to be. ")  What I was going to write about, and what this particular blog is about, is my intention to do the Camino de Santiago. Today is September 13 - on August 13, one month ago today, I left for a meditation retreat. I didn't know why I was going, I just knew that I needed to go; I was being led there pretty emphatically, in fact. As I've already reflected on what happened there and how it came to pass that I would do the Camino, I think this one-month mark is a great time to give a progress report!

I've been doing some training hikes which have been amazing and wonderful; I truly feel like I'm coming alive in a whole new way and I'm feeling tremendous gratitude around that. One week from today, I leave for my first Camino - one week, 115 miles, 17 fellow pilgrims, and countless blessings. As I've been actively preparing for my new adventures, I've had the resources to get the clothing and equipment I'll need as I continue to plan and prepare for that and future Caminos. And, just a few days ago I was gifted an airline ticket to Toulouse, France for next March where I will begin my Camino de Santiago and on to Finisterre (The End of the World).

From the first thought about this into my head, to the decision and intention to make it happen - - - one month.  It is, indeed, happening. ")

I am so grateful to the people in my realm who've been a part of this chapter with me. I have a good feeling that I'm about to meet more tribes, more pilgrims, more wonderful beings who will enrich my life and this experience more than I can possibly imagine. My heart is full.

I am about to head out for today's hike, but wanted to share one more intention before I sign off. Once I reach Finisterre next May, I will head back to Santiago de Compestela and fly to Málaga where I will complete the Camino del Rey. It's only 4.3 miles, but I have a feeling it's a two-mile journey that will be the experience of a lifetime...

Oh, yes. 😜

300 feet above the canyon floor... 

300 feet above the canyon floor...