L A N D S END

“Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.”

– WILLIAM S. B U R R O U G H S

I’ve always been one to journey to new places. At times it’s simply exploring a new street in a new part of town, other times it’s an escapade to another country. Maybe it’s the freshness in atmosphere or the mystery of who or what I will encounter. Whatever it may be, I’ve always been one who anticipates the excitement and knowledge that comes with lived experiences; in getting out of the comfort of the expected.

Something is so life giving in opening your eyes and heart to a new culture or way of life. I don’t know why but when I was little, I had a strong desire to be someone else. I even asked my mom to change my name. I know, silly to think about now as I truly love my name (and life for that matter). But at the time, I think this desire was the budding of something innate in me.  My adventurous spirit. Dressing up, role playing, finding common ground in the uncommon, exploring life outside of “home” — These are, and I think will always be, like air to me.

Wanting to understand others (and therefore myself) is something I have become passionate about since moving to the West Coast. I think maybe that’s why I attract such unique personalities and strangers into my life. I’m open to allowing chance encounters to happen, often impacting me in ways my inner circle cannot. I think part of the allure of such encounters is the impression they can leave within a small fraction of time. That encounter, that moment, is impermanent and therefore special. That essence is what I cherish more than anything else.

Wandering and exploring has been (hands-down) my best teacher. My recent trip to Mexico however brought me some peace of mind with the opportunity re-lay the tracks of learning through inaction. The Taoist concept of Wu-Wei, non-action or effortless doing. Basically I was reminded of my very essence that somehow I strayed from in the process of striving and action.

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Finding inspiration and serenity in my surroundings came rushing in again. The peace in ‘the lack’ of action also created a stillness amidst the clatter of spring breakers and weddings. I noticed I moved with more instinct, more purpose, then ever before. Enter the “End of the Earth,” better known as Cabo San Lucas.

One person I met on my Cabo journey was Alfredo, a silver jeweler who makes his living selling jewelry to tourists on the beaches. In his land, he has apparently made a decent name for himself as I learned from a returning customer as I got my henna tattoo. Despite not giving him service that day he still engaged with me and my family. I was drawn to his energy, confidence and white gloves. He was different. He was personable… and he was memorable.

Like all the other sellers, he was dressed in all white. Long pants, long sleeves, eyes shielded by dark sunglasses. His sombrero read “Alfredo” in acrylic red paint along the back rim. His hands were equally shielded by white gloves that notoriously earned him the nickname, “Alfredo White Gloves.” Rather I called him “The White Bandit.”

arch de cabo, cabo san lucas, cabo, mexico, boat ride, riu palace

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He had a sort of mystery to him and I enjoyed talking with him, even when he was joking around trying to sell me. I giggled every time he referred to the men passing as “money bags.” I also admired his inability to hesitate at the opportunity to delight and sway anyone who showed the slightest interest to come chat with him. It was infectious, it got under your skin in the best way. Now I wish I took a photo with him…

Sure there were plenty of brilliant and movie like moments, which I captured. Not to mention amazing family time, which I cherish greatly and keep close to heart. However, when I reflect back on my time spent in Cabo, Alfredo was the most memorable hands down. I mean I can talk about all the things I saw but here I am,  writing about him. I find that amusing. Maybe it was the gloves, his humor, or the fact he took off his glasses after I made my one and only purchase on the island to reveal gentle and kind soft blue eyes.

Life and travel is about connection. It’s about the people. It’s about conversation and finding the common ground. I would be dismayed if I traveled all the way to ‘the end of the world’ and didn’t have a human connection with a local. Alfredo, thanks for reminding me of some simple truths. You are my fondest memory.

WISDOM OF CABO

  1. Life will reveal to you whatever you focus on
  2. Persistence pays off
  3. Worrying cuts you off from peace
  4. Music is the universal language
  5. Inaction is sometimes more productive than action

DO: Bring ear plugs and a high SPF

STAY: The Riu Palace

SAVOUR: The local flavor! Fried plantains and FRESH JUICE were staples in my daily routine. Of course a side of guacamole and chips for breakfast, because why the eff not? Then you gotta have all the seafood for lunch. Stuffed green chillis were a nice indulgence. One of my favorite part of the day was loading a plate of chips with guacamole, pico and washing it down with a Dos Equis on the beach 🙂

MUST TRY: The blended cocktails at the Rui Palace (the Costa Caribe and Passion Dream were my favorites)

FAVORITE MEMORY: (Besides Alfredo), I enjoyed morning workouts with my mom. Having someone to workout with and stay motivated with on vacation is always nice. Also feeling the chilling intensity of the Pacific ocean. Planting my feet firm into wet sand to brace myself for the pounding waves that rolled in and out around my legs. I did that everyday and hope to do it more in Los Angeles.

Where one land ends, another begins,

M

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LA models, self help, I am, I Am Collection, The giving Keys, Pay It Forward, Positive Affirmations, Jewelry Brand, Los Angeles Born, Space Buns, LA fashion blogger, Gratitude Journal, All Black, Holistic Habits, Morning Rituals, Mantras,

THE POWER OF I AM

“I am is one of the most powerful statements we can make. Whatever follows “I am” starts the creation of it.”

– KRISTEN B U T L E R

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Have you stopped lately to listen to what you’re saying about yourself? The words you choose, the actions you take that reinforce these thoughts? I started my year off recognizing this truth by tapping into the word I AM. By doing so, I realized how easily life began to flow to me and for me. Most of all, I loved that I was practicing my knowledge and belief that I was a co-creator with source.

I find it truly empowering that we all have free will or the power of choice. We can choose the direction of our lives, whether that’s positive or negative, rich and abundant or limited by lack. In becoming aware of this, we can change the direction of our life’s course with a simple shift in our words, thoughts and actions.

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I know we can all be hard on ourselves and self-critical at times. I think that’s natural and needed. The real test is not being perfect but more so how we choose to use these hardships. Are we going to kindle the fire and continue harping on what we don’t like or are we going use the pain to promote change? Continuation of anything becomes habit, so the quicker you can shift into a place of progress the better off you’ll be.

AWARENESS is the first step to adjusting and creating a healthier life. The thing I realized was my negative self talk or energy was not only permating me as a person but something larger than myself. It was closing me off from positive growth, people and situations that wanted to help me! And as someone passionately focused on growth and improvement, this was a major RED FLAG.

This brings me to the next step DESIRE. You have to actually reach a point where you can no longer accept the way things are. You know kinda like that phrase, ‘it’s always darkest before the dawn,’ or ‘things will get worse before they can get better.’ Sounds really dark but now I get it. You have to want to change and therefore sometimes it takes some dark moments to search for the light.

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Through desire comes deliberate ACTION. I wanted to feel better, I wanted to speak more kindness and most of all, I wanted to help others. But by falling back into some mental bad habits (which I’m truly grateful for), I realized I could only help others by reframing and working on my own ish-ues. So I took inventory of what was working for me back in the beginning of the year and I did the work.

I love this quote from Kristen Butler from the Power of Positivity; “Our thoughts and words have crafted our present and are currently crafting our future.” This really puts into perspective how we throw words around but if we saw the immediate manifestion of them we might take time to be a a little more selective, ammmmiright? Like imagine if you’re like “I AM FAT,” and in a blink of an eye you gained 200 lbs. I think you would watch yo mouth a lil more, and also, you would appreciate where you’re at more too.

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A poisitive reflection I had in my “darkness” was if I had success in the beginning of the year, I can have it again. This self soothing talk really helped me feel optimistic and then helped me stay on track. So I started writing in my I AM Journal again. I carved out a non-negotiable, consistent practice or a morning ritual. This included morning coffee, journaling and reading. I would write out my gratitude, intentions and I AM statements in my I AM Journal. Then I would read whatever I felt compelled to for my daily inspiration.

I want to reiterate, CONSISTENCY is key.  You have to keep at it to build momentum behind this practice and energy. The best part is once you do so long enough, it becomes a habit (and a postive one might I add). You’ll eventaully get to a point where you won’t wanna have your morning coffee without it. If a daily practice is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

So where are you at today in this journey? I encourage you to take a mental and emotional inventory by sitting quietly and silencing the chatter. Whatever is bothering you, find the contrasting feeling and say or write I AM before it. Know that you’re worthy of it and feel that. As always, feel free to share yours in the comments below!

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I AM STEPPING INTO MY POWER,

M

 

| BRAND |

T H E  G I V I N G  K E Y S

 

| PHOTO |

S T E V E  E R L E 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Van Shoes, Classic Cars, Red Car, Babes and Cars, Venice Beach, Cali Cool, LA Wardrobe Stylist, Mavericks of Fashion,Los Angeles Fashionista, Cinematic Moments, Summer Dresses, Golden Hour, Palm Trees, Cali Lifestyle, Obey, Obey Giant, Shepard Fairey, Vans Classics, Convertible, Vintage Jaguar Car

FLAG F I N I S H

“The way to measure your progress is backward against where you started, not against your ideal.”

– DAN S U L L I V AN

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I’m a notorious idealist. I tend to set my eyes on lofty goals and choose to see life through an idealistic lens. It wasn’t until recently that I realized this might actually be setting me back versus helping me attain those goals. So let’s break down progress and success on the two therories of ideals vs goals.

An ideal is one’s concept of perfection. It strictly exsists in one’s imagination and is unlikely to become reality. A goal is a product of one’s effort or ambition. An aim that is specific and measureable.

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Here are some facts about ideals:

  1. They’re general and immeasurable
  2. They are constantly changing as you grow and change
  3. The measurement of yourself of where you currently are against your ideals creates unhappiness
  4. If you don’t have a way to measure your progress it’ll be hard to stick with it
  5. They’re distant and abstract

Here are some facts on happiness in relation to success:

  1. When you fail to appreciate where you are right now, you miss out on the benefits of mindfulness, and the journey to the desired “destination.”
  2. If you don’t take time to reflect on your progress, you miss all the small wins along the way therefore have less gratitude, confidence and joy. Without happiness, gratitude and confidence, you won’t want to imagine or create more goals.
  3. If you can’t measure your success, you can’t verify progress, which creates negative emotions versus confidence (a proven by product of success)
  4. The anticipation of success is almost always more powerful than the event itself
  5. Happiness is the secret to success

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Therefore, it’s safe to say our ideals should not be our benchmark for growth and achievement. Rather, ideals should be a source to create specific and challenging long-term goals. When you take the time to reflect and measure your progress, you’ll enable yourself to set powerful goals with clarity as these goals will be created from a place of confidence, happiness, and gratitude. Most importantly, they will be tangible. 

How do we do this? We transistion from ‘The Gap’ to ‘The Gain’ as Dan Sullivan calls it. This means focusing less on the ideals and more on the progess in relation to your starting point! The Gap, or ideal, can feel daunting and as if you’ve made zero progress due to their distant nature. Psychologically, you can also begin to dig yourself into a ditch as you tend to see all the time/energy you’ve used as a waste as you’re still not where you “need” to be.

Rather with ‘The Gain’ mindset, you measure your growth against your starting point. You’ll naturally begin to feel a sense of progress and forward movement as a result. This in return produces an emotion of satisfaction and happiness and ultimately motivates you to continue on your path to growth and achievement.

So let’s just sayfor a second that I would like to make a lofty goal for myself for the year of 2018: That is I want to attain a Sports Illustrated body! Now this isn’t very measurable nor is it specific for that matter. However if I set goals and live in the ‘The Gain’ mentality, I can then go in each month and set smaller, tangible goals such as attending Buti Yoga twice a week. This is a tangible goal I can measure at the month’s end. I can also compare myself from my staring point to map out my phyiscal progress.

I think this is a very important discussion to have in this day an age with all the media we choose to absorb online and out in the world. We all want to be our own boss, have a successful business and home life and of course make loads of money. On the downside we all at one time or another have fallen victim to unrealistic comparison, whether it’s photoshopped bodies we see all over Instagram or the perfection of someone’s feed. I think when it comes down to it, we all just want to be the best versions of ourselves and to that notion, I commend the.

I’m not saying ideals are completely terrible. There is defintiely a time and place for going general and daydreaming (primarily when you lack clarity or you’re building a long-term vision). More so what I’m saying is in order to stay on track, make sure you’re also taking the time to build the specific and attainable goals (with clarity). Know when to use them but also learn to keep up and adjust each accordingly as you change and grow.

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More-gain,

M

 

Photography: Nat Sin of Style Cruise

 

 

 

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BEAUTY IN B L O O M

As summer winds down and the LA heat surges on, I felt what better time than now to talk skincare, hydration and protection. Whatever the season, there’s always a reason to protect and repair.

PRESS PLAY.

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I have vivid memories of watching my mom wash her face at her vanity and applying an assortment of gold-capped creams in various shapes and sizes. Whether she realized it or not, her nightly ritual undoubtedly set the tone for me at a formative age to care for my skin. This was my first memory of beauty as well as learning from someone who led by example.

It’s safe to say beauty has always grabbed my attention. As I’ve grown, my definition of beauty has evolved with my experiences, which have shaped my affinity for the elusive concept. A newer understanding that came with maturity was the notion of a beautiful mind. I often look to nature for answers. Like a rose in full bloom, life has taught me through the temporary and ever changing essence of evolution, that external beauty can only last so long. In order to endure and find lasting beauty, we must go beyond the bottle, beyond the facade to the root.

roses, pink, beauty, bloom, summer, off the shoulder, updo, wavy hair, bouquet,

Having experienced problematic skin this year for the first time ever, I was blatantly faced with the duty to explore beauty deeper than skin. Where this journey began was with the external. Because let’s face it, as humans we care about the physical. This idea of ‘keeping up appearances’ intrigued me. I sought to understand humanity and why we’re so quick to find resolve in a bottle before doing the true work of checking in with ourselves to see what gives.

With patience, diligence, positive habits and the help of a few good brands, I can tell you I’ve begun a healing journey to natural beauty rooted in nature. I’m positive I’m not alone, as I’ve talked to numerous people dealing with similar skin issues. So lets jump into part one of a series dedicated to skin care, health and beauty, working our way from the outside in by peeling back the layers.

Introducing my quick fix saviors that understand the importance of results without forgoing your skin’s health. These bad gals go beyond the pretty packaging to deliver quality performances and optimal health with honest ingredients.

IMG_8364.JPGProducts shot and digitally designed by Morgan Ryan. (Left to right).

MDSolarSciences, Mineral Creme (50 SPF)Regardless of your whereabouts, there’s always a need for SPF. Living in the outskirts of Chinatown in LA has posed some serious cultural conditioning in terms of skincare; like watching women shield their skin from the sun with umbrellas on the reg. Although I haven’t gone that extreme, I have upped my sunscreen game whilst learning a thing or two from these folk. 

MDSolarScience has got sunscreen down to a science, seriously. This cream is nearly perfect and speaks to all skin types and personalities (especially those wary of the typical SPF smell and finish). It’s oil-free/fragrance-free plus mineral/ antioxidant enriched to create the perfect base for your everyday look as it aims to repair and protect. I personally love to use it as my primer as it additionally creates a soft and smooth matte finish.

SheaMoisture, Jamaican Black Castor Oil:  Ah, restoration to the rescue! This powerhouse has been used for centuries because of its high concentration of Omega-9 fatty acids. I can tell you hands down, castor oil is my secret weapon in my beauty arsenal. Castor oil can be used alone, which I often do for an occasional scalp and eyelash treatment to promote growth. It can also be used in conjunction with other oils to create an oil cleanser for acne-prone skin (a recipe I’ll be sharing next time). Word of advice, a little goes a long way as it’s super drying.

SheaMoisture, Hydrating Mud Mask:  Typically I enjoy getting my hands dirty and concocting my own homemade masks. In those rare occasions where I need a quick treatment, this little guy has me covered. Plus anything travel size seems more fun than the original, or at least it does to me. (Mini M&M’s and fun size candy, I’m lookin’ at chu).

The scent is comprised of the healing aromas of shea butter, myrrh and frankincense. This trifecta comes together to create a rich blend that is soft and feminine. Despite most mud masks, this one doesn’t seem to harden like most, making it easy to remove with a damp washcloth. Skin is left smooth and supple with noticeable improvements in radiance and youthfulness.

SheaMoisture, Olive & Green Tea Body Wash (w/ Avocado)My grandma’s evening ritual was a lavender bubble bath. Apparently rituals run deep, as I’ve definitely acquired the habit of partaking in a regular epsom salt bath. My current obsession has been to elevate my experience by running a capful of SheaMoisture’s Olive & Green Tea Body Wash under running water. Skip the lotion; these ultra-moisturizing ingredients got you covered, every inch. 

That’s enough about me ~ what are some of your favorite skin care brands? I’d love to hear about your regime/journey to natural beauty in the comments below!

Photographed by Marc Sacro in partnership with John Paul Mitchell Systems

Stripes, Nautical, Scarf, Head Wrap, Malibu Beach, Curls, Hair Inspo,

| L U C K Y STRIKE |

“I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often.”

– BRIAN T R A C Y

Malibu Farms, Beach, Hair Inspo, Vintage, Nautical, Fashionista, Icon,

People call me lucky. Rightfully so, I fit the role with green eyes and red hair to match. If you were to ask me if I consider myself lucky, I would say yes because you’re as lucky as you choose to be. Luck is far more than looking the part or being at the right place at the right time. Much to the contrary, luck doesn’t fall out of thin air nor does it simply get handed to you. My favorite quote by Seneca says,“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Although it may look effortless, luck is something to be earned through creative action.

My college commencement speech was given by Mr. Hawk Koch, president of The Motion Picture Academy. He left my colleagues and I with an inspiring story about losing it all and how he managed to climb the ladder of success as a result. He placed an emphasis on creating your own luck, having fun and doing something memorable. The words that stuck with me most were, “In losing everything, I found the freedom to be fearless.”

Strength, Fashionista, Stripes, Nautical, Beach, Ocean, Paul Mitchell, Paul Mitchell Yacht Club, Head Wrap,

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Looking back on it, I can see how much I’ve applied his advice; the most prominent being a mindset of “What do you have to lose?” Every day since graduation, I’ve dedicated my life to that of a living art. I’ve spent years preparing, practicing and expanding my skill set. As Hawk mentioned, you’ll come across a lot of situations that will stir up fear. What’s important is that you overcome it. To combat fear, I’ve continued to work on strengthening my intuition as a means to rely on instinct in difficult times.

I’ve taken many risks but the most memorable risk I took happened last October at Quixote Studios. A familiar face approached me and opened up a friendly conversation. Her name was Stephanie Kocielski. Little did I know, she would be the individual that would help me land the most influential moment of my blogging career thus far.

Stripes, Nautical, Scarf, Head Wrap, Malibu Beach, Curls, Hair Inspo,

Scarf, Stripes, Nautical, Trend, Fashion, Red White and Blue, All American Girl,

Her personality matched her hair, vivacious and bold. Her presence was commanding. She had been to Quixote once before and instantly remembered me, although she jokingly said she didn’t recognize me at first without my bow. Regardless, she had a way of making me feel special. The first thing that came to mind was also the first thing I said, “Well, I’m kind of a chameleon, so I don’t blame you.” We began talking about transformation and styling and I felt comfortable around her. Naturally I felt compelled to connect.

Eventually she and her friend had to make their way back to work, so we said our goodbye’s for the time being. The moment she walked away, my inner critic said, ‘What were you waiting for?’ But my intuition fought back with assurance, ‘I’m just waiting for the right moment.’ It hadn’t dawned on me to take note of the set she was on until I looked up to notice the iconic words, PAUL MITCHELL. Now I knew why she had such an amazing personality to match her hair.

Malibu, Private Beach, Golden Hour, Sunset, Palm Trees, California,

Sailor, Salute, Stripes, Rocks, Texture, Denim, Vintage, Fashion, Beauty,

The clock rang 2:00 pm, and I hadn’t a single opportunity for a one-on-one with Stephanie before my work day was over. I felt down on my luck, as if I missed my chance. I reasoned with myself that it wasn’t meant to be. At the very least I had the satisfaction that the Artistic Director and VP of Education for PAUL MITCHELL thinks I’m rad. But did you really think that was enough for me? Nope, I don’t give up that easy. I figured if she’s back tomorrow, it’s meant to be.

Tomorrow came around and low and behold, both PAUL MITCHELL and Stephanie were back again. First thing that morning, Stephanie came over to chat, this time by herself. We talked for five minutes or so and I knew it was time to create my own luck. It was time to strike.

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As the conversation began to wind down, I reached into my purse and pulled out a business card. I handed her one with a smile and felt instant synchronicity in her returned grin. She paused for a moment then followed with, “You know sometimes the world just has a way of bringing the right people together at the right time. We’re currently looking for brand influencers and I think you’d be perfect for this. Let me talk to our Brand Advocate Manager and I’ll put you two in contact.”

The rest was history. I jumped on the phone with Ang later that week and got the grand tour of the HQ the following month. She and I hit it off immediately; even over the phone I could tell she was warm, welcoming and kind. Strengthening my intuition has made my awareness keen and enabled me to tell when something’s right. I now understand the importance of recognizing how you feel before and after every interaction. I felt excited before speaking to Ang, and completely energized once we hung up. I immediately called my Mom to tell her the good news.

Scarf, Stripes, Distressed Denim, Wild Hair, Beach Lifestyle, Yacht Club, Malibu, Hoops,

It’s been smooth sailing ever since. This Spring I produced my first tutorial for Paul Mitchell. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity as well as the creative freedom they have provided me throughout the process! It’s truly amazing to see how everything has come full circle. One day I was tying a silk scarf into a quirky bow for fun and the next I’m professionally teaching others how to transform their look with my knowledge.

Long before any of my luck, I was paving the road to success so that when that day came, I was prepared. If it weren’t for my encounter with Stephanie or my fearless attitude, I wouldn’t be sharing this story today. It has been quite a journey, yet something tells me it’s far from over.

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| PHOTOGRAPHY |

Evan Woods

| STYLING & CREATIVE DIRECTION |

Morgan Ryan

| LOCATION |

Shot at Malibu Farm

Read Paul Mitchell’s version here.

Look achieved using PMYC Limited Edition Pro Tools.

PLEASURE & CHAOS || PART I: THE C R O S S R O A D S ||

A Collaboration with

THE M I G H T Y COMPANY

– – – – – –

“What is meant to be, is just that, and will unfold. Still, show some guts. Say to destiny, “I am calling the shots around here, go take a hike.”

-RUMI

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If you were to ask me where I’m headed, I would throw you a curve-ball and say, “hopefully somewhere I get lost.” Then again, I’ve never been one to give a straight answer to a simple question. Life seems too unpredictable not to play the same game. As a test of my self-awareness, I welcome the chaos of the unknown. I’m beginning to believe the sure-fire path to creating yourself requires getting lost…a little.

tresspassingThere was a confusing period where all I knew about myself was who I was not. I couldn’t explain it then, but by following my heart, I was confident it would lead me where I needed to be. If becoming lost meant I’d meet “a moment,” one that had the capability of reminding me just who I am, well then I’m certain I was wise in letting instinct be my guide.

A moment is far more complex than a simple label. It can be dynamic, as it has the capability to define in ways a word can not. “A moment,” such as the wind warmly greeting soft tousled hair, that has now become textured wisps, from dust in the air. As I reflect on this, it elicits a parallel memory from the day you and I met, and I let the wind carry me away.

– – – – – –

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Before me I see a road which meets in the middle and splits two separate ways. Torn between a place of safety and the unknown, I softly close my eyes as I slip away in a deep meditative bliss. I imagine my surroundings as my senses attempt to paint the landscape. I listen to the wind as it brushes tall feathered grasses which sway back in slight rebellion to the wind’s demand. As I escape into this daydreamers delight, I discover a place of repose; as you approach, and I alight.

In the midst of the cascading dance between wind and grass, I hear a voice that kindly calls me to relax. Instantly every muscle in my body calms as his voice soothes. It was in this instant my heart told me to open my sleepy eyes and awaken. I look up to greet smiling eyes, which mirrored the crystal-blue sky that hung overhead. One might say his sideways grin concealed a veneer of danger. I never was one to listen to the opinions of others, for they only noticed the obvious. It was only me that could see, he held all his power and meaning, behind those two eyes.

Locked in a gaze, I sink into eyes that genuinely smiled like my own as the sensation of butterflies stir within. In a blink of an eye, the moment evades me as my mind tries to make sense of these sensations and sends me into paralysis from over-analysis. He speaks again. Relief fills my mind and silences the voices in my head. An internal war begins to ensue, as I battle between the two: The path of feeling or logic.

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twirling

I found him–Or he found me

An informal harmony

of stable unpredictability

A life of excitement—we ignite the flame

and play with a fire

that neither of us could tame.

| Together we burn in a fury of Pleasure & Chaos |

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Down at the crossroads I was asked to make a choice, to listen to my feelings or a little voice of reason. Confused and unsure of which to trust, I remembered the one thing that brought me to this turning point, and that was my heart. I learned something that one fateful day; An unexpected encounter may not be easy to explain. People are placed here as we stumble along our way, to remind us who we are, and sometimes who we are not. It’s when you stay in the center of your own life that you begin to trust yourself enough that you may flow; and the more you can flow within, the more you can flow without.americanbarnmodernprom

Today I stand before you uncompromised, demanding who I am: I am that unknown path, the one you might hesitate to explore because you never know what you’ll get. Just know that’s okay with me, for I only want to see the wild ones. The ones who join me in dance, and rage on in jovial laughs, not kissing ass because we’re too busy kicking it.

Once again, I find myself down at the Crossroads. Whether you follow or not, that is up to you. As for me, I continue to take the unbeaten path. The one that encourages me to get a little lost, so that I’m encouraged to listen from within. In my heart I hold with me an unwavering hope, that I might come to find someone like you, who reminds me why I chose to get lost in the first place. For now all that remains is a trace of calmness amidst life’s chaotic storm. I thank you for that moment of pleasure, a warm breeze and a smile held the day’s treasure.

meetmeatcross| MAV M A N T R A |

Lead with the heart

 

BIRDS OF P A I R A D I C E || 3.15.15 || H E R M O S A BEACH

“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”

-Albert Camus

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This weekend provided a taste for what I believe Summer 2015 has in store. The weather was hot, the nights were long, and the vibes were strong. Let the good times roll on, like the rockin’ sea below. Cheers to another weekend in paradise; this is only the beginning.

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s e a ling the d e a l

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Team USA, 2015

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Duckin’ Around

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Hermosa Beach, 2015

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Five o’ clock shadows and a smile between sweetened sips of tea. And I watch him, as life changes before my eyes.

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Shout out to Fender for sharing my photo

THE S U M M I T || 12.29.14

“And she soared high above the trees,
towards the vast escaping light.
From the shallows of her darkness,
she broke free in majestic flight.”
– m.r.

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It was not even two hours after my flight had landed in Los Angeles that I found myself back where I had left off, Elysian Park. Before departing for New York two weeks ago, the crew and I headed up to the same spot after our latest shoot to watch the sunset and revel in our potential, which twinkled in the city lights below.

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Jet lagged and running off of four hours of sleep, it was safe to say I was in need of some Vitamin D, product of California. This I figured would dust off any remaining cobwebs created by the New York Winter I just encountered.
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With my leather backpack slung over my right feather-coated shoulder, I made my way up to my favorite spot to detox, re-center, and grab a dose of fresh air. The sun was warm, the air crisp, as both penetrated my very being in the friendliest manner. Before me lay a scenic playground. I lightly played ambient music, hoping to drone out the plentiful amount of thoughts that raced through my mind, quite similar to the twirling streets that lay ahead of me as I made my way to the top.

// The Summit //
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As I parked at the peak’s overlook, I opened the car door, turned up the volume on my radio, and took a seat on the stone ledge. Something felt mildly ironic as I placed my feet, properly protected by synthetic floral Doc Martens on Mother Nature’s rich soil. Breathing deeply from my diaphragm, I began to welcome in happiness, kindness, peace, and love. In return, what goes up must come down–and on the exhaling breath, out came any traces of sorrow, malice, discomfort, or greed. I continued in this way with a rose quartz in one hand and a cooling green stone in the other. A warming sensation washed over me. This time it wasn’t the sun, but rather the sunshine within me.

// My light //

I began to work my way into a trance. Visualizing a time I was very happy and in a way, transporting myself back into that landscape. I imagined Santa Cruz. I smelled the fresh ocean breeze laced with sea salt and remembered the uplifting presence I once felt. At the time I was in love, madly, adding to the natural high I had experienced and was currently cultivating once again. Time stopped as I freeze framed a once picture perfect moment. I didn’t care about anything. Not a moment that came before, nor anything in that present moment. And definitely nothing that lay ahead of me.

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I can in part owe much of this to you, as at the time I wasn’t fully aware of many concepts, including that of Tao. I only saw that you were totally and utterly awake. Because of you, I saw and experienced the highest feeling we as humans can encounter, the Present Moment. I realize now, you were only the vessel of this message that now lives within me. To my surprise, this was only the beginning of my journey,
a journey of self.

I realized each individual in our life serves a very specific purpose. We are all vessels of light and by knowing this, we are encouraged to touch one another with our unique power. When we touch others, we impart a piece of ourselves on one another, in hopes that they may now carry it within themselves. These people either stay, leave, or come in and out of your life like the ebb and flow of a tide, to serve as a reminder that
 all we seek can be found within.

Mantra:
I know I’m never alone–
because I always carry a piece of you,
within me.
.  .  .

 We give so that we can receive.
And where you end, I begin.

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