Life Insights – Connecting as Friends – Austin TX

Dear friends and followers of my blog,


I believe each of us can make such a difference in this world simply by taking the time to get to know more people around us, and sharing in this thing we call “life.” 
 Beyond social media, beyond Twitter and text messages, actually MEETING and talking to others is so important. 

We do occasional book studies, sometimes watch an interesting video or TED talk and discuss, go out to dinner as a group, and invite interesting guest speakers who talk to us about ways they are making this world and community a better place. 

All are invited. Always free to attend. 

RSVP:

Contact me () to let me know you’re coming!  You are welcome to bring a spouse/partner!  Anyone’s invited! 🙂

Curious?

What’s Next:

All sessions below are at my studio at 11740 Jollyville Rd. Suite 400 Austin, TX

Typical meeting start time is 7pm or as posted.  Depending on the topic, we either end at 8:30pm or 9pm (never past 9pm).


Monday October 21st 6:30pm   Dinner Outing! 
Mandola’s Italian Kitchen

12100 W Parmer Ln Ste. 200, Cedar Park, TX 78613
RSVP to: to let us know you’re coming!

Monday October 28th:   BREAK – No Class 

 

Friday November 1st 6:15pm:
FUN EVENING – Drum Circle and Picnic Around Campfire at South Wind Equestrian Center in Leander
We have set up a separate web page with the full info. Join in the fun!!  CLICK HERE

Monday November 4th 7pm:  Guest Speaker Matt Freeman
Spiritual Director for Mobile Loaves & Fishes
Community First! Village
Community First! Village is the most talked about neighborhood in Austin, Texas.  Community First! Village is a 51-acre master planned community that provides affordable, permanent housing and a supportive community for men and women coming out of chronic homelessness. A development of Mobile Loaves & Fishes, this transformative residential program exists to love and serve our neighbors who have been living on the streets, while also empowering the surrounding community into a lifestyle of service with the homeless.
Community First Village homeless development aerial East Austin
 

Monday November 11th 7pm:  Guest Speaker David Dauber
David Dauber is passionate about making a difference. He recently took on the role of Accessibility Specialist in the Civil Rights Department of the State of Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) in Austin, Texas. Since 2007, David has been a co-producer, performer, writer and promoter of The Gene and Dave Show, an often-comical glimpse into the lives and lifestyles of people with disabilities which airs on Austin’s local public access television station and worldwide via an internet site with the same name. The Gene and Dave Show has been awarded two Media awards from the City of Austin Mayor’s Committee for People with Disabilities and a Telly award.  Their website also received a first-place award during one of Knowbility’s internet accessibility competition.
[This bio is from https://knowbility.org/instructor/david-dauber/ ]

Monday November 18th NO CLASS

Monday November 25th 7pm:  Guest Speaker Kaylee Lartigue
6:30pm Potluck / Bring a food item to share

Kaylee progressively lost her hearing as a young child but never let that hold her back.   She’s an activist advocating for the Deaf community. She started Deaf Girl Evolution and strives to empower her peers to advocate for deaf and hard of hearing people. In May 2019, she started a nonprofit organization called Deaf Dreams seeking to help young people who are deaf to achieve their dreams.  She’s an excellent student and is pursuing one of her own dreams: modeling.
RSVP to: to let me know you’re coming!
We have set up a separate web page with more info.  CLICK HERE


Want stay up-to-date with the group’s activities?
Send me an email () and I can add you to a new google group we set up to keep in touch with each other. .


What is this LifeInsights group all about?

I have opened up my photography studio as a place to connect with each other beyond “just photography” and get to know each other more and share in this experience we call “life.”

Community leaders (such as Austin’s Mayor Steve Adler) have been saying we should do more to get to know our neighbors, to connect with one another in the community, and engage in dialogue and friendship.  So I decided to do my part, and with the help of  friends, we started a book discussion group at my studio in NW Austin.  After our first book discussion, we enjoyed it so much we started talking about doing another book study, as well as going out to dinner as a group to celebrate completion of our first book study.

We have since done more book studies and discussions and plan to continue, mostly on Monday evenings (but not every Monday Evening)!  You can check our current schedule on this web page!

If you think you’d like to join us, just send me an email (and I can add you to a new google group we set up to keep in touch with each other. .

Our little group is called “LifeInsights” since that is what we are doing, exploring and sharing about meaningful life insights.

By the way, what does this have to do with photography?  I mean, I am doing this at my photography studio, so what’s the connection? Well, my studio just seemed like a good place as any to do this since it has a classroom space. But yes there is a connection to photography. The images we create are influenced tremendously by how we see the world around us. In fact how we see the world around us influences our photography way more than the particular make and model of camera we own.  So why not spend some time exploring meaningful insights about life?  It might just affect your photography, and you will likely make some new friends along the way. And if you are not a photographer, you are definitely welcome to join us also!

Interested?  Let’s talk.  🙂

Here’s what participants are saying …

  • “Meeting new people and being able to discuss things in a non-critical way.”
  • “Getting to know new people and sharing insights.”
  • “I’ve enjoyed meeting all these people. It’s fun getting to know and try to understand each person’s quest to learn and be involved with these very different books.”
  • “I have enjoyed the fellowship and connection with our group of ‘neighbors.’ I like hearing others’ points of view and gain more understanding of whatever we’re discussing. I look forward to visiting with this group of friends now, whatever the activity.”
  • “I really like everyone too.  They feel like family!”

Here are previous activities we’ve done:

  • Book Discussion: “Broken Open – How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow”  by Elizabeth Lesser
  • Guest Speaker: Deborah Cole, MSF, LUT
    Author of Forthcoming Book: “Letting Go: How Less Becomes More”
    Topic: “The Heart and Soul of Cuba: The People”
  • Guest Speaker: Nichola Cotto, Photographer and founder of an amazing organization:  We Are Not Broken
  • Guest Speaker: Bill Schoening, Radio Voice of the San Antonio Spurs helping make a positive impact on men incarcerated in Texas prisons.
  • Guest Speaker: Kelly Jones, founder of Unbridled Connection – Creating Connections Between Horses and Humans which supports military and first responders, and their families, by providing a safe, confidential, therapeutic environment that promotes healing through deeper connections and improved relationships.
  • Stories and photos from our Rocky Mountain Photography Workshop – Kevin Gourley
  • Documentary – Watch and Discuss
    Brene Brown: “The Call to Courage”
 
    (we watched it a 2nd time, it was so good!!)
  • Dinner Outing:  Ike’s Love and Sandwich in Cedar Park
  • TED Talk Watch and Discuss: 
    “Say Your Truths and Seek Them in Others” – Elizabeth Lesser
  • “The Kindness Diaries”   We’ll watch an episode and discuss.
  • TED Talk Watch and Discuss 
    “What Makes a Good Life: Study on Happiness” Robert Waldinger
  • TED Talk Discussion with Fiona McInally
    “The Missing Connections in the Fight Against Poverty” 
  • Documentary – Watch and Discuss
    Brene Brown: “The Call to Courage”
 
  • “Meet the Author” Session and Potluck Dinner with Author Darius Pettway
  • Book Discussion of “A Chance To…” by Darius Pettway
    Darius is working to restore opportunity to young adults by providing them with tools of leadership, self-empowerment and conflict resolution. 
  • TED Talk Discussion Forum
    • “We Need to Talk About an Injustice” – Bryan Stevenson 
    • “My Stroke of Insight” – Jill Bolte Taylor 
  • Dinner at Nancy’s Sky Garden (Cedar Park)
  • Book Discussion: Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habitsby Gretchen Rubin
  • Dinner at Almarah Mediterranean Cuisine (620/Lake Creek Parkway)
  • Dinner at Kerbey Lane (Anderson Mill/183)
    6pm Monday December 3, 2018
  • TED Talks – Discussion Forum
    • Do Schools Kill Creativity? Sir Ken Robinson
    • Bring On the Learning Revolution Sir Ken Robinson
  • Book Discussion: The Last Arrow: Save Nothing for the Next Life  by Erwin McManus
  • Documentary and Discussion: Finding Vivian Maier
  • TED Talks – Discussion Forum
    • The Power of Introverts – Susan Cain
    • The Surprising Science of Happiness – Dan Gilbert
    • Your Elusive Creative Genius – Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Book Discussion: “29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life” by Cami Walker
  • Dinner at Kerbey Lane
  • Book Discussion: The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are” by Brene Brown

   

And I was recently reflecting on my life as a photographer and instructor.  I am very grateful to know all of you.   Read my blog post to see my “Reflections of an Old Photographer“.

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Kevin Gourley Photography Workshops, Austin, TX – Austin Photography Classes