Artist Living

The Demands of Dreams, Lifetime’s Balancing Act Interview, and the Winner!

Me Ra Koh

Before we left for Thailand, Sony invited me to fly to Florida on March 30th to tape a special interview with Lifetime’s morning show for women, The Balancing Act.  I was excited about the idea, but also nervous about the timing.  We would be coming home from Thailand 48 hours prior.  Could I pull that off and be exhausted or look completely jet lagged by the time I got to Florida?!

Then the Dengue Fever hit us, and Brian and I didn’t know when I’d have enough strength to even fly home.  Can I tell you that Sony was amazing through all this “unknown” stuff?  Never once, did Sony put any pressure on me to “make the TV show” still happen.  They wanted to make sure me and Pascaline were going to be okay.  And if I couldn’t make it, as tough as that might make the situation for them, they were still more concerned for our well being.  And this says a lot to me and Brian.

But alas, Brian and I felt like I could make it.  It’d be tough, but we’d head to Bangkok earlier to break up the travelling for me.  We really felt like this was an important interview to make, if I could handle the travel.  And friends, I’m so glad I made it.  It was an AMAZING day with The Balancing Act!  They showcased the copper brown camera and our Kids in Focus DVD!  It was AWESOME!

Beth, one of the show’s hosts, is on my right.  She has such a passion for empowering woman, and I LOVE what they have done with the messaging of their morning show.   If you’ve never checked out Lifetime’s Balancing Act, you MUST!

Brian and I are working hard toward a dream of having a TV show for women and photography.  Being able to appear as a guest on national shows like this, helps us get a little closer to that dream.  But I don’t want to give off this message that I was some Super Woman to make it here.  Working towards your dream can sometimes make demands that leave you wondering if you have what it takes.

After flying all the way back from Thailand, it was so tough to wake up at 3:30am and catch the early morning flight to Florida.  It was even tougher when I was given a middle seat for the four hour flight to Houston, and a very large man sat down next to me, took of his shoes AND socks and touched me off and on with his sweaty feet.  Here’s proof that I’m no super woman…when I arrived in Houston for my layover, I went straight to the bathroom, locked myself in a stall and just cried.  I was so exhausted, felt so claustrophobic, sick of recycled airplane air, I didn’t think i could get on the next plane.  It’s moments like these when I’m so thankful for being able to call Brian and my little brother, as they helped me calm down, so I could get back on the next airplane.

We need dreams.  We need the power they give us.  Dreams lift us up out of our momentary muck.  They help us stay in touch with our desires, our prayers for the what we think is impossible.  Dreams keep wonder and the sense of possibility alive in us.  Dreams give us hope, give us determination to keep going, to not give up.  But sometimes, dreams are simply demanding.  Does that means we’ve got the wrong dream?   If our dream is more demanding today than inspiring, are we in the wrong place?  Have we made a wrong turn?

Not at all.  The demanding moments are a part of the life cycle of our dreams.  And if we can endure—if we can work to not second guess dreams—our commitment to believe in what we cannot see will pay off.

Tomorrow is Good Friday and such a meditative day.  The day itself symbolizes a day when the dreams of people were snuffed out, leaving darkness and confusion and lots of second guessing.  Where are you at today with your dreams?  Do you feel like your dreams are more demanding?  Do you feel like your dreams have led you to more darkness and confusion?  Are you second guessing yourself?  Can you relate to me crying in the bathroom stall and not wanting to go a step further with my dream?  Do you feel alone?  If so, I would love to have you share your story with us in today’s comments so we can gather around you and encourage you to keep going—to not let go of that dream.  Your strength to keep dreaming is so needed for all our tomorrows.

Denise Karis and Stephanie (Stephanie was the first one to make a guess), I think you two ladies came the closest to guessing what my 48 hours entailed!  (And Genie, I think your guess was the FUNNIEST.)  Denise and Stephanie, let’s set you up with your prizes!  Email Genie today, and we’ll take care of you!  Thanks for playing friends!

And now, I must say that I’m not going to have a new post tomorrow.  I’m headed home today and ready to get the rest my body is hungry for.  But I look forward to reading your comments.  Have a wonderful Easter weekend.


Me Ra

p.s.  Thank you to Sony for the amazing opportunity and your constant support.  And thank you to everyone at the Balancing Act for such a warm welcome and wonderful time!


  1. Melisa says:

    MeRa, So awesome you will be on Balancing Act any idea when it will air or is it a live show?

    Dreams: For the longest time I had a dream of owning a photography business I didn’t even have a camera. Whenever any one asks how I made my dream come true & got started I always credit you MeRa. You gave me all the tools I needed including the confidence. Each time I receive a “New Client Inquiry” from my website I get so excited. They seem to be coming more often 🙂 Most recently I have doubted my dream, is it too much to work full time and have a side business doing photography. How am I going to get all the photo’s edited and write blogs. What am I thinking? Then I open up my photos I just shot and all the doubt goes away and I am filled with warmth and total giddyness (my friends would call that word a Melisa-ism) being a photographer is the most fulfilling job 🙂

    Hang in there MeRa you are the perfect example of someone following their dreams. I love how you dream BIG! That is awesome! I would love to see a Photography tv show!

  2. brooke snow says:

    Congratulations on such an acheivement! I didn’t even know you had a dream to have a t.v. show about women and photography! That’s awesome! And absolutely unique! I think the core of your dream is about helping others, and when that is your motivation your dreams are on their way to reality. Selfishness has a way of providing more road blocks 😉

    You got me thinking about my own dream. Do I even have one? Of course I want to have a successful photography business, but right now my motivation seems to be overshadowed with the pressure of being the sole bread winner of our family. I guess that brings in the “demands” portion of your post.

    But when we are facing the demands, it seems ever so much more achievable when the passion element of our dreams can ignite the much needed fuel to finish the demands at hand.

    I loved this quote I came by of Jesh De Rox a few weeks ago, he said

    “i believe it is possible a new genre of photography could emerge, focusing on the celebration, strengthening and renewal of relationship between people. photographers deliver a product whose purpose is to remind people of what is most important to them. when that service is provided at the shoot itself,,, a powerful combination of factors collide to create something truly beautiful.”
    – Jesh

    I thought his words were beautiful. And when the DEMANDS of my job seem to weigh me down, I can remember the MEANING of what I do. I can be a tool in helping others to remember what is most important to them! But on that road, I still must remember what is most important to me as well!

    Thanks for your thoughts! I’m proud of you for doing so much despite the demands! You’re an inspiration to me!

  3. Kate says:

    MeRa, your words hit home today. Thank you. Lately, I have often thought about this emotional roller coaster that I have most willingly put myself on with starting a photography business. Some days I cheer and think “I am one in a million!” But there are also days where I think “Wow, I am one of a million!” and I get overwhelmed and discouraged -“Am I cut out for this?” and wonder why I still feel a pull…a strong pull… to spend my evenings after a full work day and after I have put my 9 month old to bed to work on my photography. Some days, I think… why don’t I just throw it all to the wind and enjoy my evenings and weekends without photography…I truly know I would gain oodles of time and man, I could use that! but there is something pushing me forward… it is my dream. And that dream must hold more energy than even I know right now, because I keep “baby stepping” forward. Dreams are powerful stuff! Thank you for your post!

  4. Genie says:

    What timing. Goes along with Fay’s business exercise about passion. (shameless attempt to say, go read it! It’s worth every syllable.)

    Always been a dream of mine to be the funniest! Wow, Jeramy must not have put in a comment…;)

    I just wrote this on Lindsay’s post about perfection from The Artist’s Way – it’s so good I thought I’d repeat it here:

    “Perfectionism is not a quest for the best. It is a pursuit of the worst in ourselves, the part that tells us that nothing we do will ever be good enough – that we should try again (and again and…). No, we should not.” pg. 120. Such a passion and dream killer.

    You’re the most inspiring Me Ra! Rest well my friend. xoxoxo g

  5. Me Ra says:

    Wow ladies, I love reading about your journeys. You are all inspiring. Its so much to be moms, be working, be wives, be pulled in a hundred worthy directions and yet, not lose site of our dreams. Thanks for sharing your processes. So wonderful to read.

    And yes, as soon as I know the scheduled air date will let you all know!


  6. Rhonda says:

    This post has me singing an old Broadway tune (from Man of LaMancha):
    To dream the impossible dream; to fight the unbeatable foe; to bear with unbearable sorrow; to run where the brave dare not go.
    To right the unrightable wrong; to love pure and chaste from afar; to try when your arms are too weary; to reach the unreachable star.
    This is my quest, to follow that star. No matter how hopeless, no matter how far.
    To fight for the right without question or pause, to be willing to march into Hell for a heavenly cause.
    And I know if I’ll only be true to this glorious quest, that my heart will lie peaceful and calm when I’m laid to my rest.
    And the world will be better for this – that one man, scorned and covered with scars still strove with his last ounce of courage to reach the unreachable star.

    And yes, my dreams seem impossible sometimes, but I know they were laid in my heart by God and that keeps me going.

  7. Ashley says:

    Ah, I love reading all the different stories on here!

    I’m in a bit of a different place in life than most on this site.
    I’m not a mom…yet. I hope to be someday.
    (I’m 22, and in August I get to marry the most amazing man ever! Total side note there.)

    Besides the fact that I love photography and cameras are lots of fun to play with, a huge motivating factor for me to pursue photography as a career comes from my desire to someday be a mom.
    My own mom worked out of our home all during my growing up years, just so she could be with us (me and my siblings) and be “mom”.

    My dream, if you will, is to be successful as a photographer so that I too will be able to work from home and be “Mom” 🙂
    This to me is huge, lofty dream…….it’s also incredibly daunting. Sometimes to the point of feeling like I could never possibly do it.

    But! After reading so many posts about other women living out their dreams all while balancing life’s demands….I’m greatly encouraged!

    Thank you to everyone for sharing your lives, dreams, testimonies of pursuing those dreams.
    Thank you Me ra for being such a good and honest example of a woman who balances dreams and demands so well. You’ve encouraged me in so many ways. 🙂

    That’s all from me.

    ~the newbie

  8. Ashley J says:

    This is one of those posts that I need to read over and over again. I’ve been self-doubting myself BIG TIME. It’s worse and uglier than it’s ever been. If I didn’t have a stinkin’ loan to pay off for my big fancy camera I’d be calling it quits. Not quiting on my personal photography but no more photographing other people for money. And I hate finding myself in this position once again.

    Love what you said about dreams.

    Eww, and the sweaty feet! Oh my gosh, I don’t know how you did it. I can’t believe he had the gall to do that! lol…

  9. Stephanie says:

    I am now laughing at myself for:
    1. being the first person to comment
    2. having a pretty good idea at what is going on when she say “my next 48 hours are interesting, challenging and exciting…guess what I’m doing”.

    But I love Me Ra’s blog. I get up each morning, get the kids breakfast, sit down with a glass of juice and get out my cell phone to read Me Ra’s blog feed. It is so inspiring. I love the positive energy and gratitude that each post brings. It is a great way to start the day.

    I really connected with today’s post talking about our dreams feeling demanding and feeling alone. So many times I feel like I’m the one crying in the bathroom just hoping someone knocks and asks “are you ok honey?” So many days I feel alone in pursuing my dreams.

    The past year I’ve slowly been nurturing my creative side. I dream of having my own thriving business. My dream is kind of blurry in that sense (photography, graphic design, web design, etc.) but I am figuring it out day to day. I just want to be able to give my children the quality time they need yet still lead my life feeling fulfilled and successfull.

    But it always seems that I’m doing it all on my own. I know in the end I will feel much more accomplished knowing how far I’ve come on my own. In that respect part of my dream is to feel confident in myself and the choices I made. I want to step off the roller coaster and walk confidently. And to not let the little kicks and jabs at my confidence, knock me down. I also dream that I can be open and ask for the help I need. I feel so alone yet I have so many valuable resources around me. I just need to open up and ask.

    Thank you Me Ra for inspiring all of us! One day I will be at the Confidence workshop!

  10. Natalie Johnson says:

    I am still pondering this post. I will have to read it a few times for it to sink in. Today and all weekend with it being Good Friday and Easter will be a reflective time for me. I appreciate that you share the trials along with the successes. That helps me to keep going knowing that others go through the trials also. Back to dreaming!

    I just want to say you look so BEAUTIFUL in the picture above! You look fresh and tanned in spite of all that you have been through this last month. I can’t wait to see the show.
    Happy Easter to you and your family!

  11. jeramy says:

    whoa! good stuff. i’m glad you made it. hang in there….i know you can do it! we’re with you…

  12. shawna says:

    i’m definitely going to have to read this post a few times and let it sink in. your dreams are amazing, and the extent to which you follow them, too.

    my cry in a corner experience was last week when my car was repossessed and i had no idea how i was going to make it to one of my first photoshoots. this dream seems so very far away and impossible with financial obstacles in the way. but i sucked it up, turned to a good friend and borrowed her car (and determination) to make the shoot happen. it was a wonderful experience and i’m so glad i got to be there.

  13. Julie Watts says:

    When I have an emotional purge like that I catch myself admiring the old days when photography was just a hobby. Doing it JUST and ONLY as I pleased, with no pressure. Having been full time in business for myself since January of ’07, I see how “business” is a challenge in itself. Add on the important factor of being an artist, of caring, of being passionate…the most important part for me was dealing with confidence in the face of all of the ups and downs. The best perspective change I ever made was the one in which I gave myself permission to not know everything, and to not do every thing right. Let go and be in the flow. I love the projects I’m involved with, I use studio and office help more often. Definitely go read Fay’s post on Passion if you haven’t yet!!

  14. Me Ra says:

    Shawna, you are amazing. Your perseverance gives a lot to me today. Thank you for hanging in there despite all the odds you faced.

  15. denise karis says:

    Me Ra!!!! Thank you! how fun! Im beyond excited!

    We were in California this weekend – we planned this grand vacation and then my grandmothers chest hurt and she ended up in the hospital so we spent a lot of our time in the hospital. 🙁

    My huge fight and struggle has always been feeling like theres no room for me anywhere close to the top. I’d like to keep moving up – keep connecting with people, keep growing my tiny business and sometimes I feel like I haven’t moved anywhere at all. I keep reading all these stories about these photographers who “two years later” were published and charging $15,000 per hour and so on and I’m thinking “im so terrible and so behind.” These are discouraging thoughts. I try to remind myself that I’ve realized my total passion in life – i love photographs and as long as I’m always getting better then I’m going in the right direction.

    Now onto read everyone elses thoughts! 🙂

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