Producing Euphora The process of becoming free partie un

According to Oxford Living Dictionary, euphoria means “a feeling or state of intense excitement and happiness.” Human beings become excited and happy for various reasons but unfortunately the feeling of euphoria is sometimes a fleeting moment. This leaves many people chasing the feeling of euphoria but little time to capture the euphoric moment.

In a state of euphoria, a human being can create and do just about anything. They can become whomever they want to become. When you are in a state of euphoria, you are present. Toxic feelings of insecurity, jealously, shame, guilt tend to disappear. These feelings are replaced with feelings of intense joy, passion, love, and peace. From these images we will see that all that matters is the euphoric moment.

Here, my intent is to capture the euphoric moment of a person. How does intense excitement and happiness look to you? What thought process contributes to the production of euphoria? I invite you to explore the photographic dimensions of Euphoria.

"Thinking about Sonic"

I grew conscious of becoming euphoric during my reading of the book Euphoria by Lily King. Based loosely off famous anthropologist Margaret Mead’s field research experience in Papua New Guinea during the 1930’s, Euphoria describes both her personal and professional episodes through a series of euphoric stages. The main character, Nell, conducts her field research in the midst of a love triangle with two male anthropologist, in an unknown land with a population who speaks an unknown tongue. Here, she goes through a series of euphoric stages that includes, love, excitement, and most of all passion. Each of these emotions are triggered by a specific, and sometimes tragic, event. Her Aussie husband, Fen, is characterized as a possessive, emotionally abusive, egomaniac who wants her to have his baby, but her body is not able to carry one to full term. His snarky and sometimes disrespectful remarks about her inability to have his child causes stress for Nell. She becomes ill with malaria and other unknown illnesses but still manages to carry out her field research.

Euphoria is told from the perspective of Andy, the other male anthropologist involved in the love triangle. He is characterized as a kind, authentic, and gentle soul who cherishes the intellect and wisdom that Nell has to offer. He listens to her thoughts and reflections regarding her research, cares for her when she is ill, interacts respectfully with the indigenous group and serves as a facilitator and translator for Nell and the native people. Andy brilliantly points out that “perhaps all science is merely self-investigation”.

Nell is caught between her commitment to Fen and her attraction to Andy. Fen observes this attraction but is so consumed with making a “discovery” in the culture that he is studying that he does not pay attention to the magnetism between his wife and his fellow anthropologist. Whenever toxic emotions crept into Nell’s psyche she was able to replace them instantly with the excitement of researching another culture different from her own and experiencing another type of love from a man who is not her husband. At the same time she is engaged in in-depth field work of an indigenous group Papua New Guinea unbothered by the cultural norms that would be considered taboo by Western populations. In other words she was completely committed to pursuing her passion of studying “a people whose genius she would unlock, and who would unlock hers”, while simultaneously balancing the negative and positive energies of life.

"A Mother's Love"

This is why people engage in certain behaviors, both good and bad, on a consistent basis. These behaviors produce euphoria which serves the purpose to helping to forget the pain, frustration, fear, shame, and guilt that sometimes comes with life. From dancing, to hugging, to weight lifting, to drumming, to loving, to eating, individuals from various diverse backgrounds all seek the euphoric state. “It {euphoria} makes me feel alive”, one photo participant shared with me.

"When my song comes on"

From my observations and participation in different settings I found that some people become euphoric at random times. There is no deliberate or intentional action that leads to this moment. Euphoria appears to be something that is triggered unintentionally. People want to become euphoric and want to stay in this state for as long as they can. In order to maintain this intensity, people may repeat the same activity that brought them to this euphoric state in the first place.

"Journey dancing with a Reiki Master"

Still, why can’t this feeling last forever? What system of thought needs to exist in order to become euphoric and for euphoria to be a permanent state of being?

"The Frequency"

To become and stay in a euphoric state of mind one must first be intentional about the process. This means they must make a decision that this is the state they want to be in for a period of time. Next, a person should seek out positive, passionate, and productive activities and events that would trigger this state of being continuously. Once the activity has been identified, the person must then be sure to engage in this activity on a daily basis and/or think and visualize the activity daily in order to create and sustain this state of being.

"When you hear the beat drop"

Overall the feeling of euphoria allows an individual to let loose. There are no rules when you hit this state. When you get lost in the feeling of euphoria you become free.



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