Lee Estridge & Associates



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Lee Estridge Presents Monthly Insights

Welcome to April 2008 "Monthly Insights"

One of the fundamental questions that many of my clients ponder and discuss with me involves the idea of balance in their lives. They usually ask a version of, "How do I balance my career aspirations with my commitments to family and friends, and still honor myself?"

I'm always excited when my clients ask me "the balance question", because it means that on many levels they are ready to take stock of their life, and understand how they've been living their lives. If April is the month of spring-cleaning, then it can also be the month to think about what we need to do to declutter our lives, clarify where we're going, and go! Many of my clients choose to begin an exploration of themselves that helps them understand what a balanced life means for them. My goal is always first and foremost to provide a map for that journey towards balance. Every interaction with my clients is part of the path of insight that leads to profound change.

This month, photographer Gretje Ferguson shares some of the insights and profound changes that helped her gain focus and create balance in her life.


In Focus

Gretje Ferguson

Getting Organized

I've worked as a photographer for 25 years, but not until I worked with Lee did I experience a true expansion and deepening of my work. Although successful, I felt that the way I thought about and presented my work wasn't clear to me, so my creativity and emotional connection to my photography projects were limited not by technology or my business model, but by me. Lee helped me recognize and understand the various aspects of myself that poured into my work. I learned to make friends with these aspects of myself without judgment or dismissal. Over time, I began to understand what was useful behavior for taking my business to the next level, while continuing to deepen the emotional and artistic quality of my work. Simply put, Lee helped me create a thinking and planning process that allowed me to declutter my mind so that I could make smart business decisions and nourish my creative energy. With a clear mind and sound business plan in hand, I began to feel focused, and a new energy infused my work.

Heartfelt Projects

Part of my work with Lee included some profound decisions about the types of projects I wanted to work on. This meant that for the first time I focused on what I wanted to work on rather than on letting "the market place" determine my focus. Lee showed me the value in this approach, and reminded me that I need to be involved in projects that make me want to get up in the morning and happily start working! Lee also helped me understand that for me, photography offers the chance to work on deeply moving subjects. My photo sessions with cancer patients entitled, "Confronting Cancer" gave my clients a space to share their stories of hope and healing. Similarly, my series called "Gay Dads and Their Kids" captures the essence of happy moments that many of us never get to witness. These projects, along with others, have deeply influenced all aspects of my photography business. In many ways, these projects have helped me grow as an artist and as an individual.

Creative Balance

After two years of working with Lee, I can say that she has helped me create and sustain synergy between the business aspect of my work and the creative, artistic process of my photography. Without this synergy, my work would not have depth and feeling, nor would I be able to sustain the range of work that I produce. I've loved my work for over a quarter of a century, and my business goals now reflect that passion. The balance and focus that I have in my creative work has suffused into other aspects of my life, so I feel a clarity and energy in my relationships with family and friends. Lee has truly provided me with a lens for seeing my life as it was, and she has helped me create the vision for my life, as it is now- a work In progress.