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Chill out for a minute.

Sometimes you're moving and moving and moving but missing out.  God gave me the good ole "chill out for a minute".  

The "Grown up" snow day.

Chill with the family. stay home.  QT

Thanks The Lord! 

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N.... Eveready

I am not completely happy with the way my blog looks.  Actually, one of my favorite artist/photographers has the blog style I want.  Also, I am not really ready for the influx of traffic and business I am going to get when I DO really set up.  Also I wanna make sure everything is perfect when I put out my work.  I ALSO don't have enough content to start taking this seriously....

See that?  See all the things that I just told you that make no sense?  These are real things in my head.  Real excuses that I make for myself so I can't fail.... cuz I won't even try.  That's the gritty of it.  

Let's just unpack this a little.  

"I am NOT happy with the way my blog looks."
...So I am happier with the way NOTHING looks?  What we fail to realize is that there is a ton of fine tuning in any endeavor.  The humble beginnings of anything will be less appealing than a polished product.  Hell, if you walk in during the middle of a surgery, it looks like murder.  "one of your fave artists", is basically a new iteration of "the grass being greener over there".

"I am not ready for the influx..."
Please be ready for the influx of slow and steady persistent days you'll endure because you're not gonna magically and instantly become the Oprah/Beyonce of your craft .  It takes many years to hone your specific service to the world.  Be patient but don't excuse yourself from beginning because you're "not ready" for your imaginary gaggle of fans.

"I want it to be perfect..."
There is no such thing as perfection.  It's something we tell ourselves so that we can procrastinate into oblivion.  There will never be a perfect, so there will never be a time that I have to subject myself to the scrutinizing eyes of the all hateful & hurtful INTERNET TROLL!
(Please note... the internet troll should be used as an example of hard work and persistence.  They don't wait to be perfect before they criticize anyone.  They are relentless in their jobs of terrorizing creatives... and all people.  They sacrifice sleep for their craft and they will even criticize a "perfect" thing. Learn From The Troll!)

"I don't have enough content."
This is a great way to NEVER get anything done.  It's like saying,  "I don't have enough money to start saving money." or "I can't start this race from the beginning."  Sounds ridiculous when you realize it takes ONE act to start a thing.  Anything.  Everything

We are NEVER READY!

As long as we are looking at our 'work in progress' in contrast to masterpieces, we can be sidetracked.  EVERYONE is always a work in progress and the sooner you get started the sooner you can be immersed in your life's work!

Hope you take a step this morning. 

 

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the Love Walk

'as heard from a Sadhu (holy man)' adapted and told with poetic license and artistic liberty.

Wear our Love as we would a scent.
In the morning, we perform our rituals.
We bathe and groom appropriately.
Then, we put on our beloved's favorite scent. 'Love'

There is specific intention.  It is for the love of our lives...
but as we walk about the streets, others will also experience our scent.
Others will be affected.
We don't accost them and require that they stop smelling us.
"This scent is not meant for you! Shut down your olfactory senses at once!"
Everyone should experience... benefit from the way we want to attract our beloved. 

That is how we should share our love.  The Supreme Divine Love of our lives. 
It should be evident that we are in love.  In love of the highest kind. 

Walk around and spread the beautiful aroma and all that come in contact with you will understand LOVE.

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Seen

Maybe our fascination with the way the world sees us stems from our very critical and durable observation of the world.  It is quite unhealthy, I'd go as far to say cancerous.  To continually associate with hyper critical thoughts can only birth negative judgmental behavior and attract the attention of THAT very energy. 

Optimism is the constant mood of genius.  

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accumulation of genius.

Genius is not a birth trait.
It is a constant and consistent act.
The act of producing innovative and inspirational things.
It is the overall lifetime of the accumulation of many of these acts.
... But it is not perfect, one should never be attached to perfection.
One should never be attached to their work. 

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Energy.

The perils of being a creative individual... 
If we are made in the image of God,
a belief with lateral consistency throughout most faiths,
then how can we not feel the desire to create?

But why the deep emotions?


Through studying eastern spiritual science, I can understand that there are six ways in which God is supremely opulent. 

Beauty
Strength
Wealth
Knowledge
Fame
Renunciation

It started to become evident that as a part, a parcel of The Supreme, we have the propensity to experience, exhibit and/or possess these qualities.
Our issue is the fact that there is a perfect balance in The Supreme, and we are left with an imbalance.

The depression of the creative individual comes from the attempt to "play God", for lack of a better description.

I think the key may be renunciation.
It balances everything out.
We cannot control anything so to allow our energy to be seriously affected by the beauty or fame etc. is futile.  

I will exercise this theory and get back to you. :) 


 

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Letters of Gratitude

2016 has been a sobering year.
The world has lost more legendary people than I care to count, or recount for that matter.
I was thinking of a quote from the Mahabharata this morning;
When asked what the most amazing thing he'd ever seen was,
King Yudhisthira replied
"Although throughout the history of the world, nobody has defied death, we continually act as if it, death, isn't inevitable."
The deep sorrow I feel, the gut wrenching feeling that consumes someone when they realize that "our time is over"...
It is fear.
That I won't be here to see "it"
My son, my family.
That "they" won't be here... and I have missed my opportunity. 
it's an interesting companion.

Fear.


I have been analyzing it all day.
Franca Sozzani is the most recent person to elicit this sensation in my gut, my heart. 
Again, the most amazing thing.

I never would've expected.... 
But shouldn't I have?
Isn't life uncertain, while death is very much so?
What if I were scheduled to have a heart attack tomorrow?
Would I live today any differently?

As I look at everyone walking around, going to work, or play... or whatever, I am reminded that life goes on. 
Today I am sad about Franca, heartbroken actually.
Yesterday it was Allepo...
and before that it was Alan Thicke...
and before that, it was so many others.

But we go on.
Everyone goes on.
So what endures?

Would I have done things differently if I'd known?

Don't I know though? Isn't it a guarantee? Death?

Yes

So what to do now with this gripping fear of reality.  It is very clear and present.
All of my senses are awakened with this experience of life and it is liberating.

I offer my gratitude to fear.  The truthful friend in a circle of yes men.
He has no business calling the shots but he is definitely a welcomed and trusted advisor. 

Your council today is greatly appreciated. I hear you. Very clearly, I hear you.
your warning that we receive NO warning.

How liberating. 

Live it right. 
Live it right now.
Thank you fear, my friend and advisor.  You have been the catalyst for me to dig deeper today. 
I look forward to divine life with you by my side.
 

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regret

The catalyst
this day
is that I wasn't invited to the White House
while the Obamas
were in office.

But that happened,
and the difference between a tragedy
and a lesson
is what you do
with "the past"

The past
happened
to you,
for you. 

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Misdirected.

Somehow I thought that you’d appreciate me if I were more like the things you liked.

I didn’t realize you didn’t know what you liked.

You were watching everyone else just like I was watching you.

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Solvent.

Love.

If we learn ourselves...

If we love our true selves...

We can be happy...

But we look at ourselves in the cloudy reflections of filthy mirrors.

And that's not us.

And we pretend to fall in love with all the ideas of the imagery that we think we can make out.

And we adjust the mirror... and the filth, to try to make the image better.

And convince one another.

But that's not us.

That's not love.

Love is deeper than that.

We are deeper than that.

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success.

I used to be a bit put off by the ‘lack of enthusiasm’ I sensed from peers when they found out about my endeavors.  I toyed with the idea of my creativity not being up to par.  I imagined that I may not be one of the special people of the world.  I even thought that maybe if I became like others, my efforts would be received with more positivity. 

While sometimes, those assessments are correct (no not the one about you being one of the special people of the world. Everyone is amazing in their specific way), more often than not, it is not you.

It’s them.

 

Your success, progress or even efforts are challenging to those that are close to you.  Even if your activities are incorrectly perceived by others, they are still a barometer for the people closest to you.

 

It’s the equivalent of being part of a scientific study.  If you are all (your peer group) in similar situations, with similar opportunities, your success means that it is a possibility in the other subjects’ situations. 

Your success challenges others to evaluate their 'stagnated' state. 

 

It is really tough for someone to feel a sense of support and encouragement for the people closest to them if they are struggling with insecurities within themselves. 

 

It’s not you.  Witnessing your close peers lend their support to those furthest from them is not at all about you.  It’s safe.  It allows them to continue living their lives without the harsh judgement of themselves.  This is why it seems that people are more willing to support others, from afar.  Whether it be physically, geographically or emotionally, that distance is way less threatening to the ego and sometimes when they want to be a supportive person, this is the safest bet. 

I had to learn this to successfully allow myself to operate without the approval of my peers.  It would be nice, but it is not a prerequisite for your endeavors. 

Operating without the approval of your peers can create distance, which in essence may be the healthiest thing for those relationships. 

Ultimately, you will become the barometer for success; in your life and for those around you. 
It’s never about the way others gauge your achievements, it’s more about your happiness. 

That happiness translates to positivity and your intentions will reflect that. 

…and that is how we begin to spread love!

 

a.

 

 

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Renunciation.

Brooklyn N.Y.  September 10th, 2016

 

While conversing with some new friends, I picked up my bag and began to walk…

The bag was open and my camera jumped out like Simone Biles.  It began its routine with a back somersault into a tumble which, in some cases, might have been absolutely beautiful considering how it stuck the landing. 

The shattering of the glass seemed to take a little longer than a normal shattering of glass.  As I waited there for what seemed to be a 6 hour masterful gymnastic routine, I began to think about what this would mean to me.  “I have other cameras, I have insurance, I should be ok”.  (I held it together pretty well, disguising my solitary tear as sweat)  Funny though, listening carefully, the loudest noise was the hearts breaking of the many other photographers that were congregating on the street looking along.  I could see the concerned faces and it actually made me feel super grateful.  The overwhelming mood of solidarity as I reached down to pick up my camera was enough to reach The All Merciful Lord.  I shook my camera off a little and looked through the viewfinder. 

 

“Looks good!” I said as I hit the shutter button.  The images came out pretty good.  I was relieved but more than that, I felt respect.  In an environment where people are not necessarily caring for one another, every person surrounding my little Gabby Douglas of a camera was truly concerned with its well-being.

 

I am often reminded that having things is never the problem.  Attachment to those things is.

As a spiritual practice, renunciation is a very potent way to get in touch with your true self and with God.  Renunciation, however, has received a bit of a bad rep.  People feeling as though the things that they have spent countless hours trying to acquire should never be treated with such frivolity.  While that is absolutely true, the attachment to the material aspect of things is quite often the hindrance in making progress on a spiritual level.  Understanding that our situations are temporary and have profound meaning and importance beyond their physical or material representatives.  I remember walking out of my house a few years ago to see my pristine Audi S4 gone… forever.  It was an interesting feeling.  I knew that the “love” I had for this vehicle was pretty fickle, as the NEW S4 would be arriving in just a few years and I would be lusting after that and thinking that my current S4 would be completely obsolete.  Isn’t it funny how things work? The value of things is truly only what we assign to them. 

 

So it is really the attachment to things that we need to curb.  Money, cars, homes… these bodies.  All of these things are temporary designations that we should absolutely care for, but never allow to cloud our vision.  We have a deeper service here, during our short residency on earth.  We can’t let things stop us from our purpose. 

 

We have to use things to help us with the love of people/God.
NOT
Use People/God to help us with our love of things

 

Love.

a.

Image Courtesy of  Steven Jermaine

Image Courtesy of Steven Jermaine

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