When I first launched my portrait series in February, Dan Hashemi was one of the first people to reach out to me to book a session. I remember that initial conversation because Dan had a terrible fever and really wasn't feeling well. I told him it was okay with me to reschedule our call, but he was adamant that we continue with the meeting. His reasoning was simple, but deep. He told me one of his resolutions for 2017 was to honor his commitments more than in previous year. Although he shared this thought very casually, in-passing and neither of us made a big deal about it - those words resonated with me.
A few hours after our conversation Dan ended up in the hospital due to that fever. The flu can be very dangerous. I remember thinking how committed Dan was to his resolution. I respected that. I also remember thinking that something inside of Dan was unwilling to postpone our call. Something inside of him was fighting hard to be set free.
Fast forward to the day before our shoot. I get an email from Dan saying he has a really bad neck pain and that he's not sure he will be able make the shoot. Normally, I would of suggested rescheduling. Portraits are meant to be a boatload of fun and need to be really playful. The last thing I wanted is someone to be in pain during our session. I was about to go into another shoot and did not have time to fully reply. The last thing I texted Dan was that I will leave it up to him to decide if he was able to make it.
At the end of my shoot that night, I reached for my phone to finally reply to Dan. I remember getting this feeling that it was really important for Dan to show up. I made a decision to text Dan and tell him that if his neck was still hurting, we can reschedule, but that he should still come over tomorrow and we can just hang out as friends. No photos, just catching up. I knew he had a legit neck issue, but I also knew that the mind is a very powerful tool. Something in Dan's mind was resistant to having his portrait taken. In my opinion that (mental) resistance was now backed up against a wall due to Dan's NYE resolution, so it had no choice but to manifest physically in Dan's body. The neck being a clever location for that resistance to travel to, considering we were scheduled to shoot portraits the next day.
Before I could text Dan about my idea of just hanging out, he messaged me saying, let's do this! He fought through the resistance and doubled down on his resolution. I instantly had a smile on my face, as I read that message and knew he made the right decision.
The moment his mental blockage realized that Dan wasn't messing around it began to release the tension in his neck. He also treated his neck pain with heat packs and herbal teas throughout the night, which I'm sure helped as well, but in my head I like to believe the release was mostly due to his resolve. The resistance knew Dan was serious and had no choice but to concede.
The next day Dan showed up and honestly we had one of the most fun shoots of my life. We laughed so hard that we both cried. My abs (yes, I still have abs somewhere in there) were on fire.
I never told Dan this, but he inspired me to adopt his NYE resolution for myself.
Imagine the possibilities, if each year we showed up a little bit more than the last.
ONE LESSON FROM THIS SHOOT:
Sometimes resistance is a really good indicator of a breakthrough ready to happen.