In December 2009, I wrote these four things down in my first notebook at the first ever Making Things Happen in Watercolor. Exactly 30 days later, I wrote down my list again. This time a little bit more clarified.Who knew that shy of 6 months after that January day I would hit my first goal. 11 months later would hit another, 13 months another and last Thursday and Friday night the last one. Who knew that a year and a half, that all of these goals would be met?!? I almost couldn’t believe my eyes when I realized this last Friday.

I am living proof of the Making Things Happen platform. Things are happening in my life because of MTH and God’s blessings.

Want to hear exactly where, what, how, when and why?  Read on.

Since that first MTH, so much has changed. I remember so clearly a phrase I kept repeating that day. ” I want to find me and capitalize on it.” It took a good year for that phrase to fully come to life. You can see that journey in my 2010 Self portraits letter. But, boy I have never been this comfortable in my own skin. I have found Gina. It sounds so weird and oh so “Eat, Love, Prayish” but it’s 100% true.

It  all started at my first two MTH experiences, to getting a phone call from Ms. Lara Casey asking me to go on the November tour with her and Emily Ley. A trip that we would have never have imagined that would begin such amazing growth and change in each of us. I was such a blessing to see the immense growth in each of the attendees in those cities, yet I learned so stinkin’ much about myself and was contiually in awe when we hit each new city that my journals weren’t just a repeat of the city before. I was changing, molding, melting. Melting especially in Hawaii.:)

I will remember this one moment in Hawaii for the rest of my life. Each morning we got up and ran or worked out. One morning there I threw on my suit and walked out to the beach, with Temper Trap blaring Sweet Disposition in my ears. I sprinted through the waves. Water splashing everywhere, saltwater taste in my mouth, a grin the size of texas overtook my face. Seriously friends, I don’t think I had tapped into that childlike happiness or innocense in a decade. In that moment I remember feeling an insurmountable amount of peace. Like God saying to me. “Yes, Gina this is you. You are a child at heart. Laugh, Play it’s OK, Just be you.”

A couple days later I left Hawaii and my two best friends, only to see them again in twenty one days. Here enters Natalie Norton. Natalie and I shared a room at the Watercolor Reunion & Intensive. At the Intensive, Natalie challenged me to be OPEN. To be vulnerable, physically and emotionally. To open up my heart. This my friends has changed my world. Do you find yourself crossing your arms, fiddling or looking downwards when you are starting to tap into unknown, icky or dreaded feelings? Do you use your humor to hop, skip and jump around them? Ding. Ding. Ding. All of the above were true (and still something I work on) for me. Just after a long weekend of working on my physical openness I could feel a LARGE shift in my heart. That weekend was so special to share with beautiful women, moments that I will never forget.

Also, in Wtclr I saw Natalie with this Isagenix stuff. I have tried thousands of dollars of protein shakes, diets, trainers, cleanses and nothing of them had worked. I have never been largely overweight, but I have always wanted to be lean, trim and fit and couldn’t understand why my body would never get there, even after my intense gym routines. So, with an attitude like….tell me about another bottle of “thisstuffdoesn’twork” I asked Natalie about it. Now you have to know that I trust Natalie with my life. Like if she told me to jump off a bridge there is a great chance I would, if she told me it would be worth my while. She thought Isagenix would be a good fit for me. So I went with it. January 11th I played my first round of IsagameON and ended my 11 day game in Tampa our first MTH stop in 2011. This game and product has rocked my world. Not only did I show up 9.5 pds lighter, I was clearer than ever before. I was more me then ever before. I remember Lara, Em, Natalie’s faces who I had seen only a month before. It wasn’t just their comments on my physical appearance, but they all couldn’t get over the lightness that was around me. I felt it too. We finished off our MTH 2011 Jan Tour in a hotel room stranded in NYC. What memories we made making snow angels and hailing cabs in that snowstorm.

During our January tour, I also really found my voice. I was encouraging, coaching, challenging and even writing. All of it came nautrally. I remember a time where I would read Lara, Natalie and Emily’s posts and say why can’t I write like that? And here I was writing, authentically and it was coming out like butter. I had no idea of how deep my passion was to encourage, mentor and challenge others until this point. This is work I want to do the rest of my life. I love it. It fires me up. It’s crazy that this was something that I had written on my 2010  MTH Minneapolis notes and it was accomplished in the very forum I took myself.

February 2011, hits and WPPI was upon us. I was still playing IsaGameON (still am now) and was now down close to 17 pounds. My WPPI experience was such a drastic difference from the year prior for me. Wearing a $5 consignment store dress and surrounded by the best friends a girl could ask for I had the time of my life. I can’t even describe the insurmountable joy I felt on that dance floor, in this new lean body, jamming with my friends and whoever else would drop it low with me. I want to live that authentic every day of my life. I had hit the goal of being healthy all around and loving myself and body.  I was infusing the things that fired me up on a regular basis and let me tell you. It was working.

Yet MTH isn’t a magical forum which you attend and everything is perfect when you leave, which alumni if you are reading this you will know what I mean. Making Things Happen is a space that you have to FIGHT to stay in. Even with the amazing communities built from this workshop, you will lose that immediate high like when you used to come back from summer camp.

You have been given tools, incredibly simple, easy to follow tools. It is our job to do the work! To keep cracking up that notebook and re-evaluating. I am walking example of if you stop the tools things get cluttered. And ladies and gents I help teach this forum. GASP. From late March & April I let the spark fan out by thinking I didn’t need to do the work. I didn’t need to download, I didn’t need to live my ideal day, my old notes got put further and further back and my journal became more of a to-do list than me digging deep and writing authenically.

What I love most about this is for the last two-three months, I have been kicking, crying and screaming getting discouraged and trying to figure out where I went wrong. Frustrated that I have gone backwards, gained weight and lost motivation. I have gotten stuck back in the clutter, letting old habits back. Until I wrote this post in my journal it dawned on me. (I write to myself alot in my journal)

Gina, why would you stop the very train that got you here? Yes, its not feasible that you can go to a MTH workshop every month, but you can open up your notebook and re-do each exercise? You can use the tools that you teach to others. This is work you can do. Can you really dig deep and ask yourself the hard questions….instead of going through the motions??  Why wouldn’t you? This is the platform with the Grace and blessing from God that has helped you accomplish the 5 things that were your biggest dreams in December 2009. That’s only a year and a half a go. It’s time to make more happen. G. Now.

So with this I want to encourage you to push yourself. It’s not easy and no one is perfect, but if you keep pushing and staying in the present moment. Wherever you are right now you can MOVE forward. Sometimes all you need is to dig deep and see what really matters. Last week I hit my last goal to be a fitness instructor. Teaching my own Zumba class last Thursday night and Subbing Water Aerobics friday morning solidifies that this MTH stuff works. It has truly changed my world by putting PEN TO PAPER.

So, here is my personal invitation that if any of my post rung true and pulled on your heart to join us on tour in July. You don’t have be part of the wedding industry, a photographer or self employed to attend Making Things Happen. Join the amazing Lara Casey, Emily Ley and I on our last round of MTH tour for awhile. (as all types of things are happening right now) So grab your spot.

Lara posted a scholarship for anyone who comments about what you want to make happen in 2011 (and which city you would like to attend).  Why do you want this? What is your passion? Get on over there and leave a comment. What do you have to lose? Think you never win anything? That is what I thought too and see where I am now?

If you are still unsure, try The Challenge that just started. Jump on these post and if you really commit to following through they will change your world. Also, throw in your google reader our blog. www.mth2011.tumblr.com for constant inspiration. Next week I will be posting all of the post I have written on here on my blog, get ready for a challenge or two.

Giveaway :: Lastly, since this was such a long post, it’s deserving for a giveaway for those that read it all the way through

I am giving away these amazing business books and a $30 iTunes gift card. To win. Leave a comment here about what you are passionate about, what if anything in my story feels familiar in your life. If you an MTH alumni, I want a mini status update on where you are and a promise that you will flip through your MTH notebook. Also, to get extra entries, get over and post on the scholarship post.

 

  1. Katie

    Gina, I’m typing this but really I’m ready to jump upstairs and grab both MTH Notebooks. I love your spirit and your absolute LOVE for life. Spending time with you in Watercolor was so great and I look forward to hopefully doing that more in the years to come. I am passionate about love, and helping others love. I want to be a teacher and a friend, and like you, motivate those that I love. I’m working on finding that voice, but I know it’s there, and I can’t wait for my true voice to emerge as well! 🙂 xoxo

  2. Ulmer Studios

    Hey hey a MTH alum here.
    The biggest goal that I have hit from when I attended MTH 2010 was coming home full time. Now both I & my wife are at home full-time with our wedding photography business. The thing that we are most passionate about with our business is about the couple themselves. We want to see their marriage prosper and help them to see that while a rad, awesome, detailed out wedding can be cool, at the end of the day the best thing about it all is the two of them coming together as a couple!!! That is what we are passionate about with our business. Personal passion is my wife and daughter and our lil #2 on the way!!!
    -Josh

  3. Briana

    What I am most passionate about is becoming a mother and a successful business owner. I want to help support my family while being present and available in their lives. Since MTH San Fran I have made great strides in my photography, but even more so in my marriage. I’m also working on a second business to supplement the photography that I’m very excited about. I’m tackling the challenge again since I need a boost to get me as far as possible in the next 6 months 🙂 Love you G!

  4. Jenni Bailey

    Gina, thank you SO much for sharing so much of your experience. I am also an MTH2010 alum and the part of this post that rang truest to me was the part about how long it can take and how hard it can be for that MTH magic to really sink in. I, too, spent a year trying to recapture the energy that I felt in that room and finally I had to stop. I had to stop trying to become passionate about what I was doing, trying to love a business that I only really liked (it’s a small but important difference), and just do what I was already passionate about in a no-pressure, non-career way. And when I finally did that, it was like knocking down a row of dominoes. Everything fell into place and it was like a million pound weight was lifted from my shoulders.

    I’m going back for the MTH refresher/reunion next month and I feel like an entirely different person. I have new goals and aspirations, a totally new mentality. I feel like myself. Finally. It’s scary to be back at square one, to be starting over completely (the same year I’m turning 30, no less) but I’m cooler with that fear than I ever was with the old fear.

  5. Amanda

    Speechless Gina! Wow, I literally bursted into tears reading this. What an inspiration you truly are. There are way too many things I relate to in this post, but lets just say sometimes when I read your posts I feel I’m reading about myself. You are amazing with words and your Faith is inspiring. I love the way you live you life out loud. Thank you Gina! 🙂

  6. Tanya

    So proud of you, Gina! Love ya!

  7. Melissa Oholendt

    Proud of you in every way.

  8. Ashley Daniell

    Oh Gina, you make my heart sing! I am so happy for everything you have accomplished! So much of what you said rings true. I haven’t downloaded in forever, I haven’t gone back and done any of the MTH challenges, I haven’t even done the Challenge on Tumblr that Lara keeps posting. I make all sorts of excuses – I’m too busy, too tired, too whatever. But I don’t know how to start again. I feel stuck…again. My spark that I had after MTH as diminished. So much in my life needs to change and I just feel completely overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. I feel trapped. Thank you so much for posting this. I’m so happy that you’ve found yourself! GINA – you are so open and happy and beautiful! I love it! I am going to strive to get to this same place in my life. THANK YOU!

  9. Coreen Williams

    So inspring. I’m so afraid to let go of what I know… JOB, BILLS, DEBT… for what I want… MY OWN LEARNING AQUAPONICS FARM AND CHICKEN FARM, and TOTALLY debt free!!! This post is such an inspiration. I am so amazed! I can do this, right? Can I really make my dreams come true?

  10. Tiffany Rebecca

    This post made me want to cry. Right now I’m procrastinating my workout but after reading this I’m ready to put on my shoes and just GO.
    I’m passionate about being me in all areas of my life.. home, work, church, online.. I struggle with wondering how others perceive me constantly but I’m trying to get past that and just be me all. the. time.

    Thanks for such an inspiring, moving, genuine post! Of course I hope to win but I already feel so lucky to have read this! xo

  11. Dana Laymon

    I’m passionate about not working for someone else! I was made to be an entrepreneur. I’m passionate about photography! Always have been and can’t live w/o it! I’m also passionate about Christ and having a closer relationship with him and my husband every day!

  12. Dana Laymon

    I entered for the scholarship and am so excited! especially for the challenge starting again!

  13. Courtney

    Hi Gina! I needed this today! I have been struggling in immense ways over the past few months – it feels like I am wandering around aimlessly in the forest taking the wrong turn again and again. I can’t seem to find the right path and I find excuse after excuse after excuse to go the other way. I started the challenge again and am downloading again. I need to start writing in my journal again – those are the times in my life when struggles didn’t seem so daunting – writing always helped me in the past, but for some reason I fight it now. Thank you for this amazing post – I am so proud of you and all that you have accomplished and I am motivated that I will find the right path. Your drive and passion are going to be my guiding light 🙂

  14. jodi

    ummm…your whole dang life sounds like mine! (minus the zumba although I was a personal trainer and still help and heal people physically and nutritionally!) It’s a passion of mine! BOOKS! learning…conversation…YOGA!…people…connections. I’m a photographer yes and I don’t think it’s me being passionate about ‘photos’ per say…it’s about the emotion! It’s about a feeling. Remembering…at the core…our authentic selves – are SO beautiful. Just like you Gina ZEE! …I love you, thanks for the inspiration and I’m going to be posting a really raw post because of you………. can I have the books please? 🙂 xo

  15. Shelly Peters

    My life has been turned upside down in one year by my decision to follow my heart. God has done nothing but pour out blessings on my infant-like effort. As a result, my passion continues to be a pure and authentic life, a reflection of God’s amazing love in every person I photograph and every person I come in contact with each day. For such a time as this, to live a real honest reflection of who I am, and who HE is in me. This. Is. My. Passion.

  16. Lara

    I love you, Gina Z!!!! I am so proud of you! Thank you for being such a strong friend, coach, sister in Christ and leader in my life and so many others. I’m so grateful for you!

  17. Megan Floyd

    I love you so much. I love this post. I’m so excited by it. I’m so challenged by what you’ve said – I got discouraged today, then I cleared out some clutter that’s been getting nastier and heavier and scarier for THREE YEARS now… I feel like a totally different person. Sadly, it’s the tip of the iceberg or clutter, but it was seriously the yuckiest, so the nasty part is over. I could do THAT work, I can do ANY work. I feel detached from some of the things in my notebook – I feel like I was so stuck on what I SHOULD feel and what I SHOULD want that I couldn’t get to what I really needed to. I decided while I was cleaning out boxes of memories that I need to go through my notebook and be for-serious based on where I am after the past few weeks. I can’t wait to get these details on paper and then into blog posts to share with the world. Your post, the Challenge happening again… It’s SOOO what I need right now. I am so thankful that God has placed our paths where they cross and recross. XOXO

  18. Melissa Abeyta

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE This!!! Its so true! The other week I was sitting with a MTH alum to went to a different city and when I stopped to reflect on what I made happen in my business for 2011, it slowly was coming true or HAD happen! At the beginning of the year I took time to outline my self, relationships, business and educational goals. I am shocked yet amazed at how my goals that started out as ideas, formulated and came true! Now I’m focusing on myself, my health and changing my lifestyle. I’m nearly a month into my new way of life and I’m 16 pounds lighter and saving so much money because I’ve changed my bad habits! Such a great post! Xoxo, Melissa

  19. Noel Frohman

    Gina…YOU ROCK! Way to go chick and thanks for the amazing reminder to get the slowing down train Im on back in full steam! Love ya

  20. Kelly

    I love seeing your progress….I remember wondering if you started over at each MTH. I look over my notebook weekly…remembering, clarifying and refocusing on what I really want in my life and business. What you think about you bring about! Thanks for sharing your journey!

  21. Kelley Danielson

    Gina,
    As I sit here and read this I know that I feel like my life is standing still! Some days I feel so lost. I know in my heart what I am passionate about but I am just lost… I have no clue where to jump start my life If you have any tips where to get the jumper cables from and jump start my life so I can start living my dreams… Please I would love to hear anything you can share. GREAT POST!!!! Thank you for sharing you!!!

  22. Brit @ Landlocked Bride

    I just want you to know how incredibly proud I am of you, but also how incredibly inspired by you I am. Your spirit, honesty, love for live and just pure zest are contagious, and make me super honored to be your friend. I’m trying (quite hard) to make to to P-cola for the reunion and to see you girls! XOXO

  23. Lyndsi

    Hey Gina! I am so glad I read your blog post. I was so happy to read about your experience of utter peace and happiness while swimming in the ocean in Hawaii. I so DREAM of having that moment happen to me where I feel fully content and happy. I don’t think I’ve experienced that feeling yet, but I feel so inspired by your post that I truly believe that it will happen for me. I know that meeting you, Lara and Natalie, as well as the other ladies, at MTH Atlanta meant the world to me. That experience was the closest I had come to truly knowing what I wanted my life to be. I have always thought of myself as introspective, but I still can’t believe the things that opened up inside of me during MTH that day. Within three weeks of MTH, i had officially quit my day job to be a full-time photographer. As torturous as that job and my boss were to me, it was a crutch that MTH helped me to break. As you mentioned in your post, the “high” I felt after MTH has subsided some, unfortunately, and I had not been downloading and taking action like I had promised myself after MTH. It’s weird, now that my career was finally heading in the right direction, I had abandoned the steps that led me to that goal, which is why I identified with what you wrote. You are an inspiration and I am so happy that you have met the goals you made for yourself. My new status update is that I have restarted The MTH Challenge and I am clearing out the clutter in my physical space, but most importantly I am taking action to clear the emotional clutter that brings me down. I am focused on losing weight and being healthier, so that I can love myself, which I think, in turn, will help me take my career goals further. My goal is to feel happy right now in this place and in my skin.

  24. Erin Faye

    What a great post! It was a definite wake up call. I have been reading about the Make Things Happen tour from the beginning and really wish I could be a part of it.
    I am struggling with getting fit and healthy as well as expanding my photography business, and just being content and happy with my life. Trying to stop looking to be or do something else. Staying true to who I am.
    Thanks for this post!

  25. Holly Clarke Gardner

    Wow. Why did it take you posting this for me to dig out my MTH notebook again? It’s a simple thing. Little. Black. Sitting about 6 inches away from me in my desk. And yet it just sits there most of the time… The good news is that since February I have come an amazingly long way… I haven’t met ALL my goals, but woah. I have met my physical goals – I’ve taken care of my body and as a result have lost 10% of my body weight… I’ve found mentors and as a result my photography has grown more than it has in the past 5 years combined. Seriously… I’ve culled my portfolio and am launching a new site (which I just linked to) with my new married name. I’m still falling behind on a few key goals. But when I step back and look (which I guess I haven’t really done until now?) I realize just how far I’ve come… Wow!

  26. Elizabeth and Ryan | Elizabeth Ryan Photography

    Ummm, Gina… you are FABULOUS!!! 😉 When we met you at WPPI you were living life to the fullest and your energy and decision to go through the week authentically made us smile! You inspired us! 😉 Seriously, you are amazing and beautiful! We are incredibly passionate about living every day of our lives to the fullest! We are passionate about listening to our hearts and doing what makes us happy- not what other pressures tell us we “should” be doing! We are passionate about finding magical people in our lives and surrounding ourselves with positivity and dream making attitudes! 😉 Which is why we feel incredibly blessed to have met you! Thank you Gina for sharing your story and making your dreams happen! That makes us smile! 😉

  27. Kelly Braman

    Wow!I needed to read this today. I am always looking for ways to follow God’s path and be content with where I am at. I want to be EVERYTHING to everyone! I feel ike I am open most days to God’s plan for me and other days…fail miserably at it. I love my job as a photographer and feel truly blessed to be able to do what I love, but also feel the pull to be at home…balance is so hard! Thank you for sharing your story! I love your heart!

  28. Victoria Derrick

    This just shook my whole world. THANK YOU. I deeply felt your love and drive for what you are doing just pour all over me. Wow! Anywho, you are REMARKABLE. PERIOD. xo

  29. Tanya Malott

    Gina, I had to read all the way through when I heard your story about Isagenix! Been there, tried that, put the weight back on too. I think that weight loss is a powerful theme running parallel to our MTH work. Like you, I was a superstar soccer player at one point in my life. I was an athlete, with an efficient body that was full of energy. Weight gain slows that down. Clutter slows that down. I have enough shoes to wear a different pair every day of the year. I have a closet larger than a New York kitchen. I have just spent thousand of dollars with professional organizers who straightened my stuff…and tossed a fair amount, but I don’t feel any more organized. I was so clear wanted to do ‘something else’ after MTH, and yet I am in the same old track, believing I need to be here because the money equals security. I made a beautiful space for downloading, and writing in general, which is on my list of goals, but I don’t actually use it.

    A week ago, I had a great conversation with a dear friend. She is like a sister to me, and we also happen to look very much alike. We both want to lose a few (20-30!?) pounds and be the people we were 20 years ago. So she said she is just taking carbs out of her diet….but not the wine, because that would be too hard. We both agreed we could take out pasta and bread from our diets. Just that small step. Not necessarily an easy step, but a small one (certainly not as drastic as Isagenix). Already I see the results…down two pounds for the week.

    So if I apply the same idea to my other clutter, that would mean that I don’t need to tackle my entire closet today. I wish I could, because I am impatient and I know I can handle a lot, but instead, I am headed up to one dresser, committed to taking out 50% of whatever is in it.

    Besides, in a few months, I am hoping nothing fits!

  30. Julia Mary

    So blessed and honored to have you in my life! xoxo

  31. Jaime Nash

    I have been thinking about attending MTH since I first heard about it in 2009. I let fear convince me that since I wasn’t in the wedding industry (officially, anyway) nor was I self-employed, then I had no business attending. I love your line “You don’t have be part of the wedding industry, a photographer or self employed to attend Making Things Happen.” Thanks, Gina, for sharing God’s message for me this afternoon. Maybe MTH is for me…. I took a step and emailed about some pricing and logistical details. When I get the answers, I am taking the next step… which may very well be taking a HUGE leap of faith and registering for MTH…which will involve sacrificing and budgeting to pay to go, arranging childcare for and possibly leaving my sweet little 10month old baby girl for a day while Mommy goes to really soak up an awesome experience and Make Things Happen so that I can live a most awesome life, and make an amazing life for her, too!
    THanks for sharing your journey!

  32. Stacey Halphen

    Gina, you are my INSPIRATION! I am so glad to have met you b/c you continue to help me think BIG and push myself each day. I have to admit I have not been MTH with my business, but I have made so much progress with my health and more importantly my relationship with God. As you already know, the last month has been a bit of a struggle. I FINALLY feel like I have my head on straight, and I am ready and willing to MTH for my business.

    Lots of love!

  33. Mary

    I have followed you, Emily, and Lara throughout the MTH tour and always dreamed about being able to attend one. I did the challenge and saw how peaceful and clear my life became. I guess my passion in life is to enrich my relationships. I love connecting with people and being the best…whatever…I can to people.
    I know exactly what you were talking about in the being comfortable in your own skin. I always fold my arms and bite my lip as soon as I enter unknown or awkward territory.

    Thanks Gina for being so open and loving!

  34. Lisa Tilley-Newman

    I opened my MTH Booklet for the first time in 6 months. I cried a little. One thing I wanted to make happen I have done. And I don’t mean just done, I mean I’ve teared it up. And that was kicking ass with my business. I’m 100% booked for 2011, and on my way to a similar schedule for 2012. But the personal goals of mine are sitting there on the pages of my MTH book calling my name. I’ve hidden my personal failures behind my business sucess. I’m ready to get back to what I know I need to do to finish what I’ve started. I still have over 5 months left in 2011 and I can still make things happen. And I will.

    And you asked us what we are passionate about. Well today, I’m passionate about ME. I’m passionate about putting myself first and having the words from my MTH workbook jump of the page and come to life.

    Thanks for inspiring me.

  35. Amy Paulson

    Oh Gina… I love how God continually uses you in my life and the lives of so many others through your words, your art and your choices. Because of your choices to live out loud, you are partnering with Him to shake up this world. And I could not be more grateful to feel the ripples. And inspired. I’m passionate about telling people’s stories. About doing what it takes to give my all to clients and truly invest in them so it’s not just a service – it’s an opportunity to see themselves differently. And oh how I love to do that in my kids lives as well. To know them intimately. To give them all that I have. To be the mom that doesn’t hold back. And I’m passionate about sharing untold stories. I’m dreaming of doing a project with my little lady one day. Of going into elementary schools in cities and through photography exposing the differences that just 10 miles makes. And with her – sharing the stories of the overlooked. As far as where I am? I’m pushing forward most days. And trying to remind myself to DO THE WORK. I think I’ve been discouraged, but I’m ramping up and trying to go back in with all of me and show up. And yes – I’m going to flip back through my notebook. Thank you, lady…

  36. Kristin Nicole

    Love this post, and Lara’s post a few days ago. I wish that I was closer to the MTH tour so I could enter the scholarship. I am passionate about my photography business, my faith, my husband, and the little baby that I will get to meet in November. Thanks for the posts that remind us all to focus on what really matters.

  37. Sarah

    Gina, thank you for sharing this. Your words are honest and inspiring. I have often held back and avoided real emotion in an attempt to be okay with being complacent in my life and what is going on around me. I don’t want to do that anymore. I want to love, laugh and learn in a real, honest and hard way…not just go through the motions. I want to live a healthier life and find the true me and capitalize on my abilities…And this is where I get stuck. Every. Time. I am good at a lot of things, but somewhere along the way, I lost my confidence to take on and conquer the world. Where did that girl go? I’m going to find her again. I will be meeting you, Lara and Emily at MTH Emerald Coast. I can’t wait to shake your hand and look you in the eye and tell you thank you. Until then, please keep sharing and I’ll be working on making my story a success.

  38. Mariana Herrera Mosli

    Gina, I truly hope to make it to the MTH reunion and see your beautiful face and give you a HUGE hug. Your words are DAILY in my mind and helping me stay aware of my actions. I may not be perfect, I may not move closer to my goal sometimes, but I am focused and determined. Since Watercolor, I open my journal almost daily, and try to apply what I know in my heart will work, but I’m still struggling with making things happen. Still fighting for clarity for my business and for my personal life. But I have HOPE. I know I may be taking baby…micro steps, but I will get there and along the way, GREAT things will happen. I am passionate about living life to the fullest and making a difference in others lives. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself. I love you! God bless you!

  39. jodi

    ♥ this was inspired by you…http://jodirenee.blogspot.com/2011/06/letter-to-6th-grade-me.html

  40. Karen Schlink

    Gina you are so amazing!!! I was looking through my MTH notebook after getting off the phone with Lara yesterday and the conversation I had with her really, REALLY sunk in. Since MTH I’ve been trying to figure out “who I am” and to be honest, I hadn’t felt like I got too far. Sure I was making strides, booking sessions, redoing my website, but it just hadn’t clicked yet. I told Lara I felt like I couldn’t really think of what my brand could be, because I feel like I didn’t know who ME was yet! Then Lara said something that really hit home and made me go “wow!”- that’s the beauty of me, that is my brand, that I’m still growing and I don’t know who I am yet! What I do know is I’m happy, I’m quirky, and I know what I want! And the more I’ve been thinking about it, I think I really do know who I am- I am me. I am Karen. I don’t have to be anyone else, I don’t have to fit anyone’s mold. All I have to be is me, and the only people I have to please is myself and God. and I know 100% from everything I’ve been though the past few months that God has been jumping up and down saying, “YES, YES, GO KAREN!!!” I know who I am, I know what I want, and I can see everything in my reach, so there’s nothing going to hold me back!

  41. Sara

    I am passionate about bringing others closer to Christ through creativity. I am a budding weddign photographer, and the core root of why I love it is because marriages and relationships are all filled with stories, and it’s those stories that define us and our lives. I love capturing and telling the stories. And I want to share mine and others as a way of sharing Hope and the news of our Lord’s salvation… don’t know how that will all piece together, but I’m ready to make it happen, and I’m so excited for the things that the MTH tour is teaching us. I entered the contest for the scholarship, and I’m crossing my fingers 🙂 I had an opportunity to be a leader with a fabulous Christian music festival here in CO, which i’ve done before, and the Lord said no. It takes place two days after the NY stop. I’m also from NY… so… I’m pulling for it 😉 Asking God if maybe that’s the reason He said no… I’m ok with whatever His will turns out to be, but I’m hopeful, I can’t lie 😉 Thank you for this post. It was inspiring. Though I am “skinny” by all appearances, I am not living a healthy lifestyle, and I so desperately want to change that. I’m interested in trying isagenix. Congratulations on all of your achievements! You are beautiful 🙂 God bless.

  42. Marissa

    And might I add that YOU ROCKED that $5 dress to the moon and back! I love you, G! You are so amazing! xo

  43. emily hansel

    Dear dear Gina, I needed to hear this from you so much. For the last few weeks I’ve been a bit lethargic. It’s summer time, my town has become quite sleepy, my June weddings are completed, and I just want to lay on my screen porch and read a book. I feel like I’m letting MTH down by not being fired up all the time. To know that even you have gone through a less than productive time makes me feel soooo much better, and actually more motivated. I can’t wait to get out my notebook, read it, redo it, add to it, etc. Because I am passionate about helping brides take their beautiful, amazing dresses and accessorize them to create a whole look that is unique to them. And in this period without an imminent deadline, I need to work on conveying that message in my biographies, to get that information out to those who need to hear it. Thanks for the kick in the pants!

  44. liz rotz

    So I already posted on the scholarship comments, but I just read this post today. Everytime I read about MTH and how it has changed someone’s life, I get more and more excited about where I am heading in life. I was like you at a job I hated and it made me hate myself even more. One day I finally hit my breaking point and couldn’t be in the office anymore. I never returned. It took a lot of self reflection and encouragement from some good friends (eg. Brit @ LandLockedBride and others), but I am finally feeling better about myself than I ever have before. I am ready to take this in a new direction and live up to the challenges. Thanks for all your inspiration.

  45. Myrna M

    Hi Gina! I found this link through Natalie’s Facebook page, and I found it intriguing. I’m not much of a writer (my blog will attest to that lol). And I’m still trying to find my way through photography. My passion? My family. My husband and 3 boys. They are the air that I breathe.

    I just found your page and I feel like you’re talking to me, we’re holding an actual conversation, and you’re telling me what I need to do to progress not just photography but life itself. Thank you for your great words. I look forward to reading the rest of your blog 🙂 Have an awesome day!

  46. Hannah

    Gina, I was actually having a moment like one you described right now. I just got done trying to blog a wedding and I was thinking to myself how horribly boring this post is going to be. I couldn’t think of anything to write. I really want to be able to spend time building relationships with people through photography which are two things I am hugely passionate about. I just seem to be missing something yet; I just can’t figure out what.

  47. Monica Smith

    Gina;
    This is the first time I have read your blog. I have been a fan of Lara’s for several years and have been reading the MTH blog faithfully.
    I heard you loud and clear when you were talking about running along the beach and God confirmed this is who you are. I recently bought Adele’s CD and was singing at the top of my lungs in the car (only sounds good going at a high rate of speed!) when I felt God within me light up and say, “There’s my girl!” He is waiting for us to stand in confidence and be who He has created us to be.
    My heart is to edify, encourage and come alongside women as they discover, embrace and celebrate who they are and are becoming in Christ. That is our birth right.
    May God continue to bless and free you to be all that He created you to be.
    Monica

  48. tracy

    oh gina! this post is amazing. and comes at the perfect time for me. i’ve been doing the challenge again. wanting more. being on and off track since mth tampa. you have put into words what i have been thinking + feeling. i pulled out my mth notebook a few days ago. read a few pages. thought about doing the work again. wanting so bad to join you on the alumni reunion in pensacola, but not able to this time. so i thought i’d do my own mth intensive here with my notebook and my thoughts. you are so right about staying on the train that has gotten me to where i want to be. your words are golden. so are you. thank you for sharing your heart. always.

  49. JA

    wow! i felt like you were describing me. i’m so motivated to start getting this never ending to-do list in my head done (finally). thank you!

  50. Michelle

    Gina! I am very passionate about teaching Health and Physical education to students because I believe that without Health, you have nothing. I am now teaching this summer to students who have very little english knowledge. They are the ones who I feel need it more than anyone and who treasure it more than anyone. It has truly touched my soul to teach these amazing students. I also connect to you when you say to be a better wife/companion. I sometimes feel like the hub should do more for me, but really, he does so much and it is me who needs to pick up the slack 🙂

  51. Camille

    Loved this post. The thing that really stood out to me is that people truly are put in your life for a reason and we need to jump on the opportunities to make the most of relationships. So powerful.

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  53. Lisa

    It all feels as if we were walking in the same shoes – however, you’ve gone a lot farther than I have. I did the MTH in NYC last year and while I was fired up at the end of the event…life happens. Twitter craziness happens. Win clients – loose clients. Illlness, loss and fear. I think they call it life.
    You’re right – MTH isn’t magical…you have to put in the work, prayer and time. So the one thing I’ve learned is that as long as you don’t say “I’m done, it doesn’t work and what a waste of time,” and instead say…”ok, bad week (or two or three months) but I’m re-grouping and going to start again. For me…MTH is about making it happen sure….but more…about never giving up.

  54. Smooches & Winner | Gina Zeidler Smooches & Winner | Destination Photographer based in Minneapolis, MN

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  55. Em

    G. I’m thankful for your transparency. For doing the hard work. I’m pushing, but not hard enough, and I needed this reminder. I miss you!!

  56. Jasmine Cianflone - This Moment Events

    Ok so I’m over a month late on this comment- but WOW Gina- I am beyond impressed with your focus, goal setting and seeing it all THROUGH! I am beyond happy for youand I want you to know you inspire me daily! Thank you!

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    […] would have never even thought about this path for my life, but now I can’t see any other way. I don’t make a million dollars. […]

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    […] I could talk all day and night about MTH2013 and how it has changed my life, but just go and read this. Also, there are some pretty amazing scholarship opportunities! So get on over there you have until […]

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    […] always, you can ask me more questions by sending me an email. But most of my MTH story is here.  Happy Weekend […]

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