The Freedom Zone with Fashion Photographer Akshat Jain – Glimpses of a deeply fulfilling creative evening!

Remember those moments when your mind, body and consciousness seemed to be in a state of spontaneous flow. In those moments, everything seems to “naturally” work out, the obstacles are transcended with ease, there is an experience of mastery and you get the feeling that you can do no wrong – after all, you are in that magical space of being “in the zone”.

These moments seemed to come to me and go at their own unpredictably sweet will. For about a decade, I have been studying this space of freedom, trying to understand how and when it comes. I started sharing about this when I conducted my first workshop called “The Freedom Principle” on 10th August, 2008 with about 15 generous friends at New Delhi. Since then I often use “The Freedom Principle” as a tool to engage participants in most of my workshops and coaching sessions.

Recently, I came across a Marshall Goldsmith’s book called “Mojo – how to get it, how to keep it, how to get it back if you lose it” in which he defines mojo as:

The moment when we do something that is purposeful, powerful and positive, and the rest of the world recognizes it.

He also gives a formal definition:

Mojo is that positive spirit toward what we are doing now that starts from the inside and radiates to the outside.

I realized that my sessions on “The Freedom Zone” often lead to re-articulation or rejuvenation of a person’s “mojo”. I had a chance to explore this when I met my adorable photographer friend Akshat Jain after his return from attending the “Holi Tango Dance Festival” at Auroville. He loved the place, the event and dancing. So much so that he hardly took any photographs but spent most of the time enjoying the dance and the event. After all that high energy and excitement, he was experiencing dipped energy levels with dropped shoulders. To tell you a bit about him, his passion lies in doing fashion or glamor photography and he also heads the much sought after “PhotoDote” – a Candid Photography & Cinematography venture.

He has been thinking of taking his work to different cities of the world like Paris, New York or Cape Town. He was wondering if he should take a clean break from regular work and move to any of these cities since he is happiest when he is traveling. We discussed the likely impact of this decision to travel on current work and how he could streamline his regular business so that things can happen even in his absence.

Soon the conversation moved to a fundamental question – why does he do anything at all? What does he really want to do? What kind of work would he love to do even if he has to “pay” for it!

This led to a deeper enquiry – here are some glimpses of what we discussed:

  • Photography as an art and a unique self-expression
  • Photography as an empowering tool for underprivileged children and communities
  • His own future photo exhibitions in different parts of the world
  • Doing 1000 shoots or 10,000 hours of shoots in the genre he really wants to focus on

Wondrously, spontaneously, we moved on to re-articulating his mojo! We moved to a space of total clarity on what he really wants to do. We created a roadmap on how to measure and track things he really wishes to do even if there are distractions and regular work takes over.

Once the mojo was articulated, everything fell into place. It was clear that, henceforth, whatever he does and wherever he travels, he takes his mojo along and would focus on doing only that work that allows him to spontaneously and joyously express his mojo!

Interestingly, we found a way connect his mojo to mine! My mojo, as I like to say, is “engaging people in empowering conversations”. We discussed how my work as a coach might complement some of his work and we could even jointly do projects, workshops and even create a photography book!

A deeply fulfilling evening for both us!

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