What Do You Do With An Idea?

Have you ever had an idea, a big idea? An idea that just kept staying with you and nagging at you despite uncertainty of whether it was a GOOD idea? What did you do with that idea? Did you ignore it? Did you do something with it? Do you have one of those ideas now?

A few months ago, September to be exact, I was signed up to be the ‘mystery reader’ in my 2nd grade son’s classroom. I wasn’t sure what book he would want me to read, so I asked the teacher to grab me a couple books. One of the books she handed me was titled, “What Do You Do With An Idea?” By Kobi Yamada. While it is a children’s book, I know the words had a much bigger impact on me that day than any of the children listening.

The inner tab of the book says “This is the story of one brilliant idea and the child who helps to bring it into the world. As the child’s confidence grows, so does the idea itself. And then, one day, something amazing happens.”

The way the story in the book goes, the “idea” is more of a true object that follows the child around and won’t go away. The child tries to ignore it and walk away from it, but it sticks around and gradually the idea grows on the child.

“I showed it to other people even though I was afraid of what they would say. I was afraid that if people saw it, they would laugh at it. I was afraid they would think it was silly,” the child says. And some people said it was a waste of time and he almost listened. But instead he decides that his idea deserves his attention because “no one knows it like he does”. So the idea grew and grew, as did his ‘love for it’.

After all that attention and love, “one day, something amazing happen. My idea changed right before my very eyes. It spread its wings, took flight, and burst into the sky.” And at the end, the child says “And then, I realized what you do with an idea… You change the world.”

I love the way this is written so simply as a children’s story and yet holds inspiration for people of all ages. The timing of reading this story resonated so strongly with me that I had a lump in my throat at the end. Only 3 days later I would be flying to Jackson Hole to host my second Magic in the Tetons ladies retreat, and this story made me think of my idea for my ladies’ landscape photography retreats.

Just like the child’s idea in the book, my idea for a women’s landscape photography retreat followed me around for quite some time. It began a couple years before I took any steps to make it a reality. The idea just stuck in my head and sometimes I would dream about the idea and then put it aside to go about my life. Sometimes I would talk about it with my husband, or with friends. While I received nothing but encouragement, the idea seemed large, and daunting to figure out all those details. Not the part of actually being there with the ladies. That part I felt like I could do in my sleep. I’d known the Tetons since I was little, after all. But the planning and pricing and getting a permit; well, those details felt overwhelming. And putting it out there for people felt even scarier.

There were plenty of landscape photography workshop out there, and there were other types of ladies’ retreats, but my research didn’t show any Ladies Landscape Photography Retreats. I was convinced we needed one. After teaching my online landscape photography workshop, The World Around You, for several years and teaching at larger conferences, I believed that an intimate retreat for nature loving women to come together and chase the light in a beautiful place was exactly what many of us needed. So often, we, women & moms, don’t take the opportunity to feed our creativity and connect with other like minded women. If I needed it, wouldn’t others? But would anyone sign up?

I love the Tetons, I love landscape photography, and I love connecting with and helping other women who share my passions. And so I took the risk, and followed my idea. I dove in and made my idea a reality. It took me out of my comfort zone and it was absolutely scary. In fact, I remember when I finally announced it, I was convinced I would pass out or throw up.

Did it change the world, like the child’s idea in the book? Well, no, it didn’t change THE world. But it definitely changed MY world! Because I now have amazing memories and adventures that are so special to me, and I share them with 18 beautiful friends, for whom I am so thankful.

I feel so much gratitude that this adventure has been successful thus far, for all the ladies who put their faith in me and the experience I am offering, and to those who have expressed interest in joining me in the future. What if it hadn’t been a success though? When I took those first steps to make it happen, I thought, if nothing else, at least I will have tried, and I won’t wonder “What if?”.

So I wonder, do YOU have an idea? One that has been with you awhile? One that you want to pursue but fear others’ response? An idea that takes you out of your comfort zone?

Maybe go find the book, “What Do You Do With An Idea?” And see if inspires you to take action. Who knows what can happen. Maybe it will change your world!

Captured in September 2018 in the Tetons

Captured in September 2018 in the Tetons