In 2013, photographer Tom Lindboe was facing a creative burnout. Through friends, he became acquainted with a spiritual guide, who helped develop him personally and professionally – and today, Tom uses spiritualism as an inner GPS and has more success than ever before
Tom Lindboe is a NY- and Copenhagen based commercial photographer, primarily focusing on advertising and portrait photography. He has travelled all over the world, documenting stories for more than 20 years. Some of his clients include Maersk, Vestas and Danske Bank, and his endeavours has led him rally racing through Africa’s deserts, photographing from the top of 140 meter high wind turbines and documenting Nigeria with a high security escort. In other words, Tom excels when he is in intense and high-risk situations. Concurrently, Tom shoots art focusing on his rediscovered photographic love: capturing the beauty of nature and man, and Tom’s art has been exhibited in Kunsthal Charlottenborg as well as in several galleries in the USA. One of the key factors to his success is his clean graphic style that translates into powerful imagery. But before Tom really found his personal and professional success, he had to go through a process.
A spiritual approach
Around 7 years ago, Tom was managing his photography business, where he did primarily catalogue and product photography. Together with a partner, they expanded the business to bigger offices, and with too much space on their hands, they started to rent out offices to other photographers. At the same time, Tom’s former partner faced health issues. For Tom, this meant an increased amount of energy and time spent on managing this office space, and thus less time was spent on the actual photography part. In the wake of this, Tom faced a burnout and was on the brink of extinguishing his inner flame.
Contemplating what to do, Tom was through friends recommended a spiritual guide, with whom these friends had experience – and Tom agreed to give it a shot, as he had witnessed positive behavioural changes for his friends.
This spiritual guides name is Isabelle Laurés, and she is a Dane living in Paris. Isabelle functions as an advisor, who teaches people how to be one with their spirit and live their lives aligned with the spirit. While this to some may seem a bit out of the ordinary, this guide is basically a consultant, who can help fulfil personal and professional potential. That is why, today, this kind of spiritualism is becoming increasingly popular among entrepreneurs, CEO’s and other people with busy lives. While some people run a marathon, spend the weekends endlessly traversing the roads on a bicycle or meditate, spiritualism is an alternative.
Find your purpose and fulfil your potential
At his initial encounter with the spiritual guide, Tom explained his situation. Tom stated that he needed guidance on what to do and help to find his path, as Tom felt that he was standing still and was facing a burnout. Tom then initiates his consultations with the guide, and before long the effects followed. “We start to really find out what my purpose is, and how I can return to my energies”, Tom states, and from here on Tom finds his path to personal tranquillity and professional prowess. The guide asks about Tom’s dreams and aspirations, and helped Tom realize that his childhood dream was to visit a drilling platform. Additionally, the spiritual guide uncovers why Tom initially began his photographic endeavours back in the 7th grade: landscape photography.
The spiritual guide and Tom then created a strategy of how to utilize this realization, and the result was that Tom had to go to Scotland to get a certificate to visit a drilling platform, and at the same time Tom had to shoot pictures of the Scottish nature. So he did, and immediately Tom felt that he had found his purpose and asked himself: “How can I sell this commercially?” Tom decided to prepare for a portfolio review in New York, where he would present his newfound combination of landscape and industry photography. For his portfolio, he went on a trip to Mongolia with his wife to document Mongolians in the countryside. Tom posted these shots from Mongolia, and the ones he had from Scotland, on his blog and social media, and a week before Tom’s trip to New York, a friend who had an interesting proposal contacted Tom. This friend was working at the offshore wind pioneer Vestas, and Tom was then hired to document the new wind turbines, which were the result of the merger between Vestas and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. “Before this opportunity, I was certain that I would only be able to sell this type of work internationally” Tom says, but he was immediately proved wrong. A few weeks later, Tom received a task from Maersk, who wanted Tom to photograph the enterprises of Maersk in Nigeria.
Within a short amount of time following the new focus and strategy, Tom lands two of the biggest Danish companies and manages to do this while doing what he loves most. “This success I achieved lies at the core of the spiritual: I have an ability to capture the beautiful and the energies of the setting. This allows me to find the feminine energies in something very masculine”, Tom explains, and that is from his own perspective what made his work stand out. After these events, Tom starts to see things differently, connect with people and situations on a new level and have a focus on being grounded and finding tranquillity.
The spiritual influence on business
A part of the spiritual guidance Tom received was about patterns. When you are feeling pressured or are facing something new, people have a pattern or tendency to seek a familiar solution. And if this pattern is bad for you, you can end up repeating a negative cycle. The spiritualism focuses on identifying the patterns that are beneficial for you, as well as learning how to manage the negative patterns. This is a matter of being aware of how you behave, feeling positive energies and acting upon them.
Through the spiritualism and strategic approach, Tom experienced his awakening and found his purpose. Tom found his higher self, and a part of the practice is prayer. Not necessarily to a God, but to whatever makes sense for the individual. “For the prayer, it is very much based on intuition. You take what you can use, what makes sense to you, and the prayer is more like a meditative state” Tom elaborates, and explains that it is about activating energies. For instance, before a meeting, Tom goes into himself and prays that the meeting will have a positive outcome and that he will speak and act through his purpose, and Tom reflects about what is going to happen and tries to focus on being present. It is about having a positive energy. “If you go to a meeting thinking, “I have to get that deal”, then you already have a negative energy”, Tom says. Instead, Tom goes to a meeting with a mindset that says, “this will work out fine”, and if I don’t get the deal, there is a reason for it. Another influence spiritualism has on Tom’s business is in relation to choosing his clients. Today, Tom is very selective and chooses clients and projects on the basis of the energies he feel. The spiritual guide advised Tom to work with and tap into art, Tom felt a positive energy and was approached to shoot pictures for an art book about Michelangelo Pistoletto’s exhibition at Blenheim Palace.
For Tom, the commercial aspect is no longer as important as it used to be, but when utilizing energies, intuition and your purpose, Tom argues that you become better at your job and that good things will come more easily. That way, you don’t have to fight the same way and waste negative energy, and you will receive the projects you wish for and enjoy – and as a consequence, you are more likely to achieve commercial success as well.
Utilizing spiritualism to relax
Apart from the commercial side of Mr. Lindboe, spiritualism is also a central part when business is swapped for pleasure. That is, if your idea of pleasure is sleeping in a tent for 10 days straight in all types of weather. When Tom feels that his energies need a boost, he uses his passion for capturing the beauty of nature to find calm and become grounded. Tom then travels to places with a stunning landscape, and among his favourite destinations are Mexico, Isle of Skye, Yosemite National Park, The Trona Pinnacles and Monument Valley. A common denominator for all of these locations is breathtaking vistas, but also places with a high concentration of natural energy, as several of the locations are sacred sites. From there, Tom can feel and restore his energies by doing landscape photography. This typically requires a staggering amount of work; sleeping in a tent, getting up before the sun is up, staying up past the sunset and driving 100 km. to catch the right weather. That is Tom’s procedure for around 10 days, and this usually results in no more than 4-5 pictures. “What it is about is immersing yourself in something. Some people do a marathon, where they immersive themself and prepare for it. I immersive myself in taking pictures, and thereby sense myself and feel the energies.”