We had the good fortune of connecting with Rebecca Friedlander and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rebecca, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Theodore Roosevelt said, “No man is worth his salt who is not ready at all times to risk his well-being, to risk his body, to risk his life, in a great cause.” I believe each of us caries a dream in his heart, but it often takes great courage to risk the adventure required to put that dream into action. First, there’s the personal risk of being willing to put pen to paper and draft the muttering ideas in our head into a logical blueprint. Whether it’s a film, book, song, or a crazy idea to renovate a family cabin in the forest, my ideas all start with a concept that rolls around in my brain for a while and eventually makes its way onto a crisp, white piece of paper. Just putting the thoughts on a page is the first risk. Not every idea is a great one. Being willing to sit down with a notebook and write my ideas out requires me to risk the creative process. It’s something that every dreamer has to wrestle with: the courage to take the first step.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Recently I lugged a backpack full of cameras and props to the beach. It was glory hour, the moment when harsh sunlight shifted into a filter that blanketed the landscape with a golden hue. Neil, my courageous photographer friend, was ready to snap a few photos of the escapade I was dreaming up. Dressed in a flowing dress from a thrift store, we left the gear on the rocky cliff edge and stepped toward the beach. Salty waves dashed against the shore as I climbed the rocks to find the place where wind, sea, and sunset rolled themselves into one moment. Soon I was in the middle of it all. Getting drenched. Loving it. Believe me, you haven’t really lived until you’ve dressed up and gotten smacked by an unexpected wave. We all need to be reminded of the freedom and joy that’s available when we muster up the courage to go after a beautiful adventure. So much of my artistic journey can be summed up by this story. Whether filming a docudrama in Ireland, doing makeovers and photoshoots for women in Paris, traveling with my potter’s wheel to share a story of transformation with audiences around the world… or simply inviting unsuspecting friends into a creative moment, I love taking people on journeys through artistic mediums. Like the time I took a trip around the world to interview 50 courageous women who carry beauty secrets to transform the everyday human soul with grace. We did makeovers and photoshoots that told their stories of how they overcame incredible odds and discussed the tools they used to do it. From Hawaii to the Middle East, I traveled to compile beauty tips for the every day woman for my book “Finding Beautiful: Discovering Authentic Beauty Around the World.” (Available from Baker House Publishing on Amazon.) Or the time I went to Ireland on a one-way ticket, hauling my cameras and gear to create the films, “Celtic Pilgrimage” and “Thin Places” about the early Celtic Saints. The result was a TV mini-series that captivates audiences with the stunning history of the Irish and Scottish believers in Christ, how they changed the world, and what that means for all people of Irish or Scottish descent. Today, the films air on international TV networks for audiences around the world and are also available on Amazon. No one ever gave me a check for a million dollars or offered a free ride to these dreams. Instead, I simply threw myself into the adventure. Sometimes I handed a camera to a willing friend, believing that the moments they captured would inspire others to dream as well. Following creative dreams meant stepping into the unknown and taking a risk. But really, most of us are dared to risk our dreams every day. We each have the chance to step out and do something amazing… whether it’s jumping into a wave on the beach or giving someone a hug when they need it most. Sometimes it’s the little things we do that fill our lives with unsuspecting adventures. I also believe that faith is part of this journey. We build faith in our ability to dream, and also faith in the God who wants to come along side our story and dream with us. Sometimes he’s the one who prompts us to risk the new adventure… to jump into a wave for the sheer joy of it, or love someone well who happens to cross our path today. At unsuspecting moments, he invites us into the adventure he has planned for our lives, and the beautiful results are always worth the risk.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Recently a friend came to visit San Diego, and I couldn’t wait to take them to my special places. The trouble was that my list was rather long. It would have taken a month to do everything I love in this beautiful city! East County has some great places to start with. If you love the outdoors, Cowles Mountain and Lake Murray are “musts” to explore. Both take a couple of hours to enjoy, but most people with a bit of energy can easily conquer these hikes. The views are lovely, and the walks enjoyable. Lake Murray also rents kayaks, which is another way to experience the beauty of the area.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Grateful to my mentors, Bill and Pam Farrel of Lovewise Ministries. Their willingness to let me hang out in their kitchen (or boat, sprawling deck, and swimming pool) and ask questions over the years has opened up incredible perspective and self-awareness. So thankful for their friendship!
If using the first photo uploaded, the one with the dress and crashing waves, or the second photo of me in the yellow sweater sitting on the rock, please credit: Neil Michael Anderson The rest are self-portraits that were taken by me.