Welcome to Transformation Talk. Every Thursday for a year, starting in September 2012, I’ll post an interview with someone who is a force for good in the world. These men and women have either deepened their passion or found their calling after experiencing a loss, trauma or diagnosis.
I want to broaden the conversation around grief and its transformative power. My hope is that in their words you’ll find echoes of your story. In their inspired actions, you’ll see yourself and your immense possibility.
*Special Request: The technology of Skype is amazing and imperfect. Please listen with your heart and forgive the occasional blips on the screen.
As a perfect follow up to last week, today’s interview is with photographer and breast cancer survivor Cynthia Haynes. I met Cynthia at a workshop last December and immediately liked her. When I finally looked at her website, my jaw hit the floor. I couldn’t wait to share her with you. She is an amazing talent and a bright light. Enjoy!
Bio and links to audio-only version are below. Running time is 24 1/2 minutes. If you’re reading this via email, click through the title to view video.
And now, in Cynthia’s own words:
Mine is not a story just about breast cancer, loss and grief. It’s a story about leaving behind a life riddled with regrets —
and stepping into a life of extravagant risk and joy.
How to begin? I’ll start by sharing what’s happened, in the past 2,000 days.
: I was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer and had massive doses of chemotherapy and a double mastectomy. I survived.
: My mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She did not.
: My brother’s wife gave birth to a stillborn son. We grieved.
: My marriage ended. It was time.
: I discovered a talent for portrait photography. The fewer clothes, the better.
: I embarked on a whirlwind voyage to meet and study with my artistic heroes.
: I saw the light dance in the Venetian canals.
: I left my long-time job in the legal profession. It felt like a tomb. And I am not dead.
: I launched my photography business and virtual studio.
: I filled my portfolio with mothers and daughters, survivors and seductresses.
: I began the I AM series, to capture the strength of fellow cancer warriors and all amazing women.
: I captured the grace of the grasses in Africa.
: I held my first public art show. To my delight, people came.
: I took a deep breath. Then ten thousand more.
: I am learning every day.
: And I am (still) alive.
I want to start a conversation series on bravery in life, love and business. Photo-journalistic travel adventures with wild women and friends.
And I want to take your picture and tell your story.
I want you to come alive, and come as you are. I want you to see and appreciate all of your sensual power.
And whatever you’re aching to do, be or become . . . I want to remind you that there will never be a more perfect time than this moment. Because this moment is the only certainty.
Work with me – and see yourself shine.