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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

 

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GET RICH OR DYE TRYIN’

“Sacred success means pursuing your soul’s purpose for your own bliss and the benefit of others, while being richly rewarded.”

B A R B A R A STANNY

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With Spring Equinox and Aries season upon us, the time to refresh and re-create is here. That being said, what better time than the first day of spring, to implement something new and beneficial in our lives! Here are 5 simple ways to create abundance in your life. Let’s step into spring with a re-purposed purpose, living lives we love:

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1. Get Quiet or Take A Retreat

I recently decided to write to my friends on Facebook how I was feeling in a moment of presence. It read something like “we all out here making a name for ourselves, grinding. I get it. Idk ’bout you, but sometimes I don’t make time for others, or I shut them out. As of lately I feel like I’m more sensitive to this and the real importance of setting aside time for others.” I was amazed by the long lost friends who responded wanting to get together and reconnect, as well as the kindred spirits who mentioned they’ve been feeling the same.

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2. Hang with Kindred Spirits

Something so essential but easily disregarded was overlooked in my foggy mind. Human connection. I can honestly say this month I realized the importance of setting aside adequate time to retreat, quiet the mind and surround myself with loved ones. This allows one to listen to what the body’s trying to tell you while bringing divine inspiration to conversation. If I didn’t slow down, I would’ve overlooked many things that have recently led to my favorite ah-ha moments. 

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3. Harness Your Female Energy

After a back injury that left me pretty much immobile, I was forced to pause and reflect on why I stood here, motionless. My untamable masculine energy kept telling my mind you’re strong, keep going. I pushed, over-extended and injured myself because I was too busy ‘doing ‘and not allowing the wise feminine energy to move through me. True feminine power is when you know who you are, what you want and unapologetically express that to the world!

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4. What’s Your Purpose?

I found a few months ago I was placing my focus in all the wrong places. I loved what I was doing but my purpose behind which had deterred to profit. I got lost in the numbers game that is social media. The very goal I set out with was to be great while helping others achieve greatness. For my birthday this month, I got away to the Sequoia’s. By getting back to nature and pausing, I was reminded of the original me, helping me to move away from profit to purpose. 

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5. Embrace Your Fears

I recently began talking on the phone with a high school friend. I sat and listened to him recall all his recent struggles and the traveling he did in attempt to find his purpose. One thing he mentioned was knowing all along who he was and what he was meant to be. He realized he became afraid of his own greatness. This hit home for me as well, as I’ve been self-destructive at times. Hearing him said that healed me as I’m sure it helped heal him. 

Key to Success for spring: Explore your fears. Successful, confident or working towards it, we all struggle with self-doubt and fear. The only difference here in becoming successful is allowing oneself to feel the fear and run towards it anyway. So be a warrior. Don’t be afraid of your greatness. Harness it!

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So I leave you with this…what’s keeping you from being great?

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All photos taken by Morgan Ryan.

Shot around East Los Angeles and The Getty.

For a more in depth look at cultivating abundance this Spring, click here to listen to the full Podcast via Astrostyle.

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S I M P L Y BEAUTIFUL

“The things we reject tend to be colored by fear. Those grown from love will flourish.”

– MORGAN R Y A N

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I took a deep breath in as I observed my surroundings. What a sight Los Angeles has become. Before the rainfall, this city had lost a bit of its luster in my honest opinion. Now I feel as though I’m experiencing one of the most beautiful moments since I first moved to California. I had to stop mid-walk to really absorb this momentary time. This story is about finding inner peace with impermanence.

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I held my breath as I looked around. I was in awe because I thought I was just transported to Austria. The sky had not a cloud in it. The mountains stood majestic with snow-capped tips, which blended into the clear blue skyline. Just beyond the peaks lay layers of green hillsides that varied in shade.

The iconic landscape from “The Sound of Music,” rolled through my mind and I couldn’t help but smile as my thoughts amused me. I hoped Julie Andrews would pop out of no where, twirling me around aimlessly like in the movie. Much like Andrews chimes in the familiar song, I go to the hills when my heart’s lonely.

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I spent this past weekend in solitude. Something I do often but always yearn for more of. This time I redecorated my apartment and entertained some of my innermost dreams. The Aquarius New Moon occurred this past weekend, which also marked the Chinese Lunar New Year. Living on the outskirts of Chinatown, I heard firecrackers going off all weekend. This added a kick of energy that ironically foreshadowed the energy of this year’s sign, the Fire Rooster. I felt the desire to take action while the Aquarian vibes got me in touch with my deepest desires.

FLOWING WITH THE NATURAL ENERGY AT WORK: 

I. Write out your goals + dreams

II. Release something

III. Feng shui a room

V. Root and ground

VI. Do something communal

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I.

Friday night I wrote out 6 goals to achieve in the next 6 months. Some were travel related, career/money focused or beauty inspired. I placed them next to my agate rock, hoping it would magnify their energy and ability to come into fruition. In two days I checked off one of those goals! I’m a bit superstitious but clearly it worked for me.

One of my major dreams is to have my own live/work space. Last week was the ideal time to work with this goal as I had my two bedroom apartment to myself. This really gave me the opportunity to soak it all in; what it would truly feel like to have a place I call my own. To experience it to the fullest I took it a step further; I redecorated to my liking to see what it would look like, making it an active visualization.

I arranged mason jars filled with my seeds and spices above my stove. Placed plants throughout my living room. Dried flowers from my cupboards doors and did yoga in the living room while burning incense. For the entire week, I slept sound and woke refreshed. I found the true definition of freedom is found in the little things.

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  II.

 In college I randomly began calling my room the ‘Zen Den.’ It’s stuck ever since. That being said, one of my favorite interests is using artistic decoration as a form of energy healing or redirection. For lack of a better words most would refer to this as feng shui. I’ve always desired to switch up and refresh my room with new arrangement every so often. I’ve noticed it helped with the movement of energy within my space and my physical well-being.

This desire to feng shui tends to happen in line with new chapters of my life, or in this case, new moons. Besides bringing me joy, it has also aided me in the process of letting go. The Tao Te Ching says, “when we know when enough is enough, there will always be enough.” Much like art, this process works on the idea of impermanence; something that is born to be destroyed. Think of fresh flowers. They bring fresh energy to a room but only for so long.

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III.

I tend to grow attached to things. My art, people, things, did I mention my art? Every time I must say goodbye I lament. (Side note: That’s probably where my nostalgia stems from). However I’ve become wiser and realized every goodbye allows for a fresh hello. A constant offering of a blank slate, now that’s my jam.

Next up was a space that felt stale, my bathroom. I added some energy with a sprig of fresh flowers and some bamboo. My second reaction was to throw something away. One thing led to another and eventually I was throwing out a handful of old products that had expired. I saw items that had accumulated dust and that simply irritated me. That was my cue that it was time to go. According to the Tao, by decluttering we simplify. By simplifying, we create greater power and peace by choosing beauty, order and health.

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IV.

After this creative jaunt, I wanted to get outside for some fresh air. It was as though clearing out my material life had made room for more physical health. I felt this spaciousness within, an unbound freeness. I wanted to fill this newfound space with something new. I was reminded of my favorite park I used to frequent every day when I first moved to LA. The trails were calling my name.

I was shocked how much it changed since I last visited. ‘Simply Beautiful’ by Al Green played through my headphones and I felt the emotion of those lyrics as I looked out over the improved landscape I once called my stomping grounds. The pathways were now lined with clover and grass that reached to my mid-calf. I sat down in it and closed my eyes and just breathed. I felt grounded. I felt present. I felt re-aligned. In just an hour, I was re-connected to earth and my purpose.

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V.

On Sunday, I attended a charity event organized by my friend, Brooke. Brooke is a fellow PM Insider and blogger who has dedicated her purpose to giving back. She hosted a beautiful wine tasting and food pairing that creatively raised awareness for some of her favorite charities. Dedicated to pertinent issues such as child hunger and autism, we learned about the love these brands are spreading around the world.

With conscious brands such as This Bar, Cheeky and One Hope, it inspired me to learn about brands and how they’re making a difference but more so, how I could be making a difference with everyday decisions. Oh btw, they’re all DELICIOUS! If you’re interested in healthy snack options, delicious wine or simply ways to do good, check out these sites!

CHEEKY

THIS BAR

ONE HOPE WINE

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How do you spend your weekends? Do you hope to give back or live in more alignment? Tell me in the comments below. I would love to get to know you and your inner most desires!

Xx,

M

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WOMEN’S MARCH | L O S A N G E L E S

“Well-behaved women rarely make history.”

-LAUREL T H A T C H E R ULRICH

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January in Los Angeles this year could be best described as a monsoon. Okay, maybe that’s a little hyperbolized. Nevertheless, we’ve had uncharacteristic amounts of rain this month. With our current drought-ridden situation, we’re quite consoled by the rainfall. As a result, LA has been refreshed with greenery resembling the Pantone color of the year. (Well-played M. Nature).

For instance, this week it’s rained 5 out of 7 days. Friday, it rained all day. Sunday, it rained all day. Saturday, well Saturday was sunny and warm. A crisp bite was in the air when you found yourself in the shade. Saturday, January 21st 2017 also marked the official Women’s March in Downtown Los Angeles. Little did we know, that in attending and showing our support, we would be a part of written history.

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It was as though the heavens supported our efforts by offering this momentary hiatus. The sun shined bright and wide on us all, while we marched and made hisherstory. We expected a large turnout, roughly 80,000 people. What we got was much much more. As we turned the corner we found ourselves among what seemed like half of LA. On that beautiful Saturday morning, Evan and I marched for the equal rights of all.

The drums and chants rhythmically surged through my soul like the beat of my own heart. In that moment, I felt my beat was one with everyone else’s. A sense of unity washed over me. I felt utter peace and the strength in numbers for the first time. What an unbelievable feeling it is to be connected to a passionate, fired up community and make history through peaceful action.

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Saturday I felt the power of LA surge through my soul as I marched through the heart of the city. I was amazed by the love that filled streets I’ve so often walked alone, with no purpose but my own. For me, that’s what made this all the more impactful, that shift from personal to universal; the coming together of ALL, united against hate.

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Submerged in mass energy, we made our way to the middle of the crowd. There was a positive peacefulness that filled the air. I felt extremely lifted. Like kinetic energy, we slowly ascended up the hills towards Grand Park. As we gained momentum, we gained energy and passion. The joy and love was undeniably infectious. Our spirits weren’t crushed, they were elevated. There was something so special about the day that we couldn’t stop reliving and talking about it.

The next morning we found out LA had an estimated 750,000 attendees alone. In DC, the turnout was 3 times the size of Trump’s inauguration the day before. With more than 3.7 million people (and still counting) that took part in Women’s Marches around the world, it’s safe to say we participated in one of the largest demonstrations in history. (Not bad for my first protest).

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On a micro scale, it was inspiring to see all the creative chants and posters people came up with. People speaking their mind and using their god-given creative gifts for the power of good. Simply incredible. In the downtime before the march began, I found myself scanning the crowd to understand what people were fighting for.

To me, given the circumstances, the artistry seemed to be ignited with fiery passion. Passion on fire is crazy and something I’ve experienced myself. In that way, regardless of our different lives and struggles, I felt their pain and fire. I felt harmony and compassion.

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As powerful as these moments look in photo, there’s something to be said about video. The true essence of this event was captured best in sound and movement. That being said, here’s a short compilation of my favorite clips recorded throughout the day.

 After seeing the numbers roll in yesterday, the message became clear: Numbers don’t lie, and never underestimate the strength of passion. This is just the beginning. We must keep the momentum for this fight is far from over. However, as this marks the beginning of 2017, we will be in for a year of history in the making.

Power on,

M

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| CRYSTAL LAKE |

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I ascend in delight

where the heaviness looms,

and spirits they lift

atop a misty cliff

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An inverted fog

you engulf me in,

a view so unclear

as I watch you disappear

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In the golden valley below

the skies open up,

to taste your sweet tear

oh, the melody I’ll hear

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I followed where you led

upon water cast thy bread,

a vision crystal clear,

in the reflections of my fear

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Waited a long time

to have you by my side,

it was a hell of a ride

though we’ve reached the end of our tide

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There’s something so majestic

about a biblical sky,

to pierce velvet skin

and harden the bone within

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Where thoughts of you lead

 the layers reveal,

indigo hillsides

 so pure and wide

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In a technicolor dream

we ignite with desire

 where greenery’s on fire,

and you are my rectifier.

_________

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THE A L C H E M I S T

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“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.”

– THE A L C H E M I S T

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This story is simple but special.

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When I first moved to Los Angeles, I was constantly enamored by this particular structure. Nestled discreetly between shops on Sunset Blvd. stood El Chavo; a lively concoction of Moroccan design meets Havana flair. Earlier this month, the Mexican restaurant with the mean margarita happy hour decided to officially close its doors for good.

I heard rumors of this looming fate last year but somehow found it hard to believe. It seemed far too beautiful too be left behind. I told myself one day I would shoot there before it was too late. I knew it would happen when the moment was right. At the time, I knew I didn’t have the tools necessary.

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I’ll be honest; my desire for this goal was strong, yet my effort was minimal. That’s the crazy thing about manifestation, we’re told we have to want it, yet if we exert too much force it evades us. Things begin to happen when we demonstrate the strength and faith to release whatever it is we want. I’ve found there’s a special kind of magic in trust.

Two years came and went. This past September, I finally made good on the promise I made to myself. Like a well mixed cocktail, all the ingredients came together seamlessly; location, wardrobe, photographer and a little bit of ‘magic.’ The result of getting out of my own way was the imagery within this post.

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At first, I felt as I do with any successful shoot: accomplished. When I paused, I realized it was deeper than success. It was that my vision came to light through my unwavering faith. What makes life most exciting is the possibility of having a dream actualized. Of creating the unseen in the mind and watching it appear.

As El Chavo phases out, and the old becomes the new, I’ll be curious to see how the spot is modernized. I truly hope whoever decides to take over this special space chooses to preserve some of its iconic and stylistic appeal. Regardless, I will continue to slide my cat eye shades down the bridge of my nose to sneak a peak whenever I cruise by.

She’s watching you, kid.

M

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