Unplug podcast number nine is all about kindness, compassion, and purpose. It’s about connecting so deeply to your life purpose that the Universe sweeps you lovingly forward into continually abundant opportunities to fulfill this inner calling.
Today, we look through the lens of compassion with award winning, internationally known investigative photographer, Jo-Anne McArthur. To be perfectly honest, I don’t even know where to begin with Jo-Anne’s intro because she’s already done so much in her very purpose-driven life that its challenging to pinpoint a starting point.
So let’s briefly turn back the clock to her earlier years.
At a young age, Jo-Anne knew that photography was in her soul. She was first introduced to her passion for animals when she started walking a neighbors dog whose emotional expression of excitement and joy made Jo-Anne realize that animals were deeply feeling beings just like us. This epiphany became the foundation for what she wanted to communicate to the world with her photojournalism. Her deep love for animals, along with her admiration for those who protected them such as Diane Fossey and Jane Goodall moved her so deeply that it guided her to her calling.
Mostly self taught with mentoring from other exceptional photographers, she supports herself through portraits, food and event photography, but to fully express the purpose in her soul, she spends half the year away from her hometown of Toronto, Canada working on documentary projects such as We Animals which is a project she created that connects how we are all animals and none of us should be made to suffer. She documents our relationships with animals – both the light and the dark, and she exposes these issues and relationships to the world through the lens of her constant companion – her camera.
Her awards are plentiful – with the recurring theme of compassion. She was presented the 2013 Compassion for Animals award in Toronto this summer. She’s was also awarded the Canadian Empathy Award in 2011, she was named one of CBC’s Top 50 Champions of Change; she collected Farm Sanctuary’s 2010 “Friend of Farm Animals” award; and she was listed in the HuffPost’s WOMEN’s website as one of the “Top 10 Women trying to change the world”.
But it doesn’t end there.
Jo-Anne is also the featured subject of Canadian film maker Liz Marshall’s celebrated documentary, The Ghosts in Our Machine which is currently taking North America by storm. I’ve since found out that its made the formidable list of 151 documentaries that qualified for the Oscar in the Best Documentary Feature category this year. This symbolizes a significant shift in consciousness that will hopefully remind “we animals” that we truly are all connected.
And, if that’s not enough, Jo-Anne’s beautifully photographed and designed first book entitled We Animals which has just been released by publisher Lantern Books. Just in time for the holiday season!
When we look through the lens of compassion and the photographic eye of Jo-Anne McArthur, we remember the love that we have at our core for all living beings. Jo-Anne is a true paradigm shifter who shows that we can change the world simply by following the love in our hearts.
Enjoy today’s beautiful interview and have a peaceful and festive holiday.
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