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... and beyond

So often we see the gorgeous people of the catalogues and the picture frame photos, the ads for your favorite clothing and the people that model them.  Adri, tho, she's the real deal.  She is a yogi and maybe that has centered her, but she is an all around awesome person.  Normally someone who's garnered so much success would let it go to their head... Not Adri!  Her balanced lifestyle and awesome spirit made us friends long before we ever shot an image together.  It is so inspirational to see people beautiful inside, outside and beyond. 

So often we see the gorgeous people of the catalogues and the picture frame photos, the ads for your favorite clothing and the people that model them.  Adri, tho, she's the real deal.  She is a yogi and maybe that has centered her, but she is an all around awesome person.  Normally someone who's garnered so much success would let it go to their head... Not Adri!  Her balanced lifestyle and awesome spirit made us friends long before we ever shot an image together.  It is so inspirational to see people beautiful inside, outside and beyond. 

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Cancer looks like...

Recently got to catch up with Jasmine.  It is always such a deep experience.  Mostly because with Jasmine, you're forced to go a little deeper.  Jasmine is a cancer survivor, and as amazing as that is, the person that she is, flips your ideas of what cancer looks like, upside down.  She is a model and media personality ... and very much God fearing.  It's interesting to hear her speak about her trials.  Her perspective on having her mother pass in her arms from cancer, only strengthened her and prepared her to battle and defeat it herself.  The name of her organization is "Cancer Looks Like Me"... because people always say to her "I would've never known.  You don't look like..."  Jasmine's intentions now are to help people affected by the disease.  

"One way or another, we are all affected" she says "Pretty much someone we know is affected, has a family member, has a friend that is affected by cancer." 

She's right.  My grandmother passed from it.  I was never really able to come to proper terms with it then.  

One of my greatest spiritual influences passed from it.  He left me with one of the most amazing quotes I have ever heard.  

In a lecture while he was battling the disease, he said,

'So many people are thinking "Why me?"... But actually,  Why NOT me?  I have been chosen to take on this disease for whatever reason, It is the Lord's plan and the most important objective in life is to please Him.' 

 

Turns out, in 'the church' people have so many disagreements and adverse ideas about things that it can create dissension and make us lose focus, but things become very real when mortality shows up.  We begin to gain clarity and see only the important things.  CRUNCH TIME.  

His cancer brought together so many people, people that had not spoken in decades, people that denounced one another, people that denounced God.  Through it all, he understood God's plan and his service to The Lord was done selflessly.

Speaking to Jasmine, you get a very similar feel.  Like there is a bigger plan and she understands her part in it.  

Extremely blessed.  To hear the calling.  To answer it.  #CancerLooksLikeMe

If Jasmine is not your #WCW today make sure the person who is, earns it.  

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Eb! Dope in her own skin.

This weekend I got the chance to hang with one of my faves, Eb.  As usual we spent a bunch of hours not knowing where the time went.  Life, Love, Family, Fashion... at a certain point we talked about 'The 2 Train To Paris'.  Eb's clothing line.  

 

"What is "The 2 Train To Paris"? 

"It's my life!" 

It was that simple.  she went on to explain that is was her journey.  Which is actually quite profound.  Eb and I both have an affinity for Paris. (actually... my alter ego is from there but that's for another time).  The concept of the train and how it represents 'the journey' is such a powerful parallel, that the name of her brand is practically a movie.  

It is more than just Eb's journey though.  It represents the idea of accessibility.  Paris representing the goal and the 2 train hailing from meager and humble origins... but nonetheless destined for greatness, it is inspirational. 

The brilliance of it all is that Eb acknowledges that she is appreciating her growth and her change.  It is such an underrated thing, to be appreciative of the current circumstances we are in.  But it's just that, that makes the journey worthwhile.  

My personal take on it... It is not school itself that is a waste of time, it is the lack of application of the lessons learned that makes it wasteful.  The people that come in and out of your life, the situations, ups and downs, the successes, the FAILURES are what mold us and make us ready for the goal.  

 

So kudos to you Eb!!! For being dope in your own skin.  For setting forth to inspire others to appreciate their journey.  

 

Click the image for more Eb!

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apology to the leaves

The way I understand it, Autumn is the most sincere time of year.
I have always been deeply affected by the fall.  It has the most character.  It feels the most genuine. 
I guess that is the way one behaves after all is said and done. 

When I was younger, somewhere in my travels, I heard that the beautiful oranges, the deep reds, the vibrant and mellow yellows, these were the true colors of the leaves. 

For preservation, leaves had some chemical or something in them that made them green.  Once that chemical runs out, their true colors can be seen.

What a beautifully, tragic, inspirational thought. 

You are the most beautiful when you can show your true self. 

For preservation you hide your beauty. 

Why do you do that? 

Is a life without showing your beauty a life at all?

When will you start to live?

I can’t imagine that you would sacrifice your true beauty, your nature, your color, so that you could live a longer mundane life. 

I hope it wasn’t my selfish judgmental behavior. 
I hope it wasn’t all for my benefit.  Living longer so I could be sheltered from the sun. Living so that I could breathe a little better. 

I know what it is like.  I have hidden my my(true)self for some sort of unsubstantiated manufactured idea of preservation. 

It hurt.

Dimming the individual I was so I could exist amongst the masses, the crowd.  I played along with everyone. 

Green.

Not realizing that it wasn’t just me that was a deep, deep red.  I didn’t know that everyone else was hiding their yellows and oranges.

Actually, I feel like if we would have been honest... I feel like if we could have been honest, from the beginning, we would have been so great. 

Please don’t hide it.  It is beautiful.  I swear.  They may or may not laugh at or mock you.  But I promise you, it is so fucking beautiful. 

I am so sorry I had a part in this.  I am so sorry that you don’t show your color. 
I swear you’re beautiful. 

... And if it is only in the Autumn, before you die, that you show yourself, I will be there to spend your last moments with you. 

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BE DISAGREEABLE.

Not in the vile sense.  

But to be successful, you must challenge social mediocrity and mundane functions.   

Do NOT require the approval or acceptance of your peers.

 

 

 

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