I Reinvented Myself By Observing Reality.


My Story, My Perception.

A once type-A, perfectionist, strived for honors and excellence. Triathlete, skydiver, a thrill seeker, and a 5-star business owner, people loved me. I was outgoing, funny and good at everything I did and attempted.

I was living a lie. I wasn’t completely fulfilled, but I portrayed a life of someone who was. I lived behind a mask, inside a dark, lonely cage. It felt like a million locks were holding me captive before I could ever discover my way out, identifying my true self.

Over one time, I was a victim of assault, betrayal and sexual acts. Before losing complete hope, I laid awake for 3 days, gazing at my ceiling, crying in immense pain. And, that was the last time I felt anything deeply.

I remember very little as a kid, but I remember I slept with my shoes on and that the closet comforted me. For a while, I repeated what I knew what would make me feel safer.

I’ve endured plenty of pain, faced horrible people, and somehow always found a way to use creativity to remain positive.

Until I learned to heal my wounds and love myself wholeheartedly, I believed and even accepted that trauma haunted me, leaving me to question my existence and self-worth.

Being a single mom of a teenager, I forced myself to appear strong and never allowed myself to heal. She never met her biological father, so I felt I had to play both parts. I wanted no one to think of me as weak.

Apathy was an understatement. I use the word, but I eventually stopped feeling entirely. I lived without pain, sadness, happiness, compassion, or love. I stopped feeling stress, adrenaline and excitement. My laughs became short and noticeably, awkward and fraudulent. When clients talked about their pain and discomfort, it felt like a chore to be present and listen. When I looked at people and things knowing I should feel love, I felt nothing.

My patience was unfathomable. Having practiced Buddhist philosophy for twenty-plus years and always having a strong connection to the universe and my Native American roots and beliefs, I questioned if I reached a new level of normalcy.

In 2002 I began retraining my brain, making the first commitment to change my life. Digging deep into mind-body experiments, I stimulated my brain waves using neurofeedback techniques and equipment. Till this day, I haven’t watched T.V. or picked up a magazine since. I want my mind open and aware. I gave up anything that brought negativity into my life. Having struggled with anorexia and bulimia when I was younger, It was necessary. I weighed but 68 lbs at 22 y/o. 

I questioned if being a victim and witnessing what I have in my past had turned me into a monster. Having had studied psychology and anti-social personality disorders, I felt like I could relate to certain traits given I lost the ability to feel. I sought help to understand my new perception on life. To be clear, I never got pleasure out of someone else's pain, I was incapable of feeling pleasure and I never intentionally wanted to hurt anyone. Over one Dr. explained how my brain shut off my emotional switch, just like a light. 

I had to perceive the world without feeling and without intuition. I had no way of sensing danger and my mind could no longer convince me I was unsafe. Without emotion and intuition, the mind has a lot less to talk about. 

Everything and everyone changed around me. I was living in another realm. It heightened my senses, and I became drawn to people and places new.

I started started studying body language in hopes to understand human behavior in a new light. I then turned to visual journalism and New York City, a place I once despised. I was just getting back into photography after a long absence.

I fell into an obsession observing others because I needed to know there was still good left in this world. I was on a mission for hope because I had none. I became attached and connected to the energy of city and the spontaneity of walking and going places without direction.

It wasn’t long before I found myself traveling to other cities without direction, alone, just observing others. 

I sat, stood, walked for hours upon hours and miles upon miles a day (and night), just observing. My favorite hour is 3 a.m. when the rats flooded the alleys and the drunks stumbled out of bars. I never left home without a toothbrush and peanut butter sandwiches, in case I wouldn’t return that night. I sought dangerous places in hopes to feel something. If I did, it was short lived.

I reinvented myself by observing reality. I created myself through my imagination and eventually discovered beauty in life again. I studied people intensely for one year.

Every time I raised my camera, power within me ignited and I hoped for the chance to fight back. Street photography was about regaining control. I searched for my reflection in others, and ways to discover my pain. I searched for memories, because my mind tends to block out things quickly. Therefore, anything that brought on pain or emotion, I allowed myself to feel it. I observed people, day and night, throughout the night and walked aimlessly all day without direction.  Every subject in each photograph energized me somehow. I clicked until my intuitive sense came back and I continued to click until compassion returned. Because of the connections I felt intuitively with photography, observing, and the people I photographed, I am still here, and I am more alive than ever.



2017-2019 Projects

Decoding Body Language For Better Journalism

Through observational learning, we can challenge our perception, learn detachment, grow intuitively, increase focus, learn the art of body language, gain self-confidence & self-discovery, face fears, & so much more.

Events & Updates

  • Body Language & Observational Learning For Better Journalism- Spring 2019

  • Love backpacking & photography? Are you a leader? Seeking a creative team! Inquire within.

  • End The Madness. The highest mortality rate of any mental illness is Anorexia. There is hope. Find out how you can implement support groups in your home school and help raise awareness.

Where To Find me

Sarah Simplot or Sarah Street media