INNOCENT E Y E S

“In a bed of cooling clover, there she lay. With lips like apples, on a crisp Fall day. Her skin was her canvas, for all colors display. However her self-image wasn’t where she held her greatest power. It was in her bright eyes of wonder as she daydreamed in a light slumber where she saw the world anew, growing more beautiful with each days view. And till this day, she never let anyone tame her innocent e m e r a l d eyes.”

-m.r. || 9.11.14

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

It was shortly after sunrise as I pulled off the 101 on my way to work. The brisk morning air met my sea salt sprayed hair that was pushed off my face with a headband. I took a sip from my morning elixir. Today it was what I call The Fountain of Youth: a yellow blend of coconut water, mint, mango, turmeric and lime. As I rolled up my windows, I bobbed and swayed to the music that played from my car speakers. Entranced by the delight of the present moment and my undeniable state of being, I was too preoccupied to realize the gaze of two men across the street who smiled in admiration. As I parked and stepped out of my car to greet the day, I found it planned to greet me first.

“Have a beautiful day,” the man said.

I smiled, appreciating the use of the word beautiful.

“It will be more beautiful than yesterday–and the next day will be more beautiful than the next.” he added.

To many, the encounter would seem normal and friendly, yet for me it held more of an impact. On the drive leading up to that moment, I had been thinking about my recent shift in perception. Prior to that week my life seemed to have slipped into a stale state of boredom. I wondered what I had lost and where it had gone?

I realized I hadn’t lost anything, it was only hidden behind worn eyes…and I held the key.

The key was seeing the world through fresh eyes of innocence. That’s when the door unlocked and everything was renewed. I stopped driving the same path to work everyday. If I did choose to drive the same path, I looked for something new to appreciate that I hadn’t noticed the last time. Similarly that week I began relaxing in the same spot beneath the shade of a tree. Each day I would notice the world around me without any judgments or preconceived notions. That was when I realized my wonder and zest for life was truly fulfilled again.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

You see innocence never fades, it can only be covered up. Concealed behind the expectations and labels we create as a means to put meaning behind everything we see. When you choose to uncover your innocence, you will re-discover a world of wonder and joy you once knew as a child.

photo (37)

W H I T E KNOLL DR.

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old,
but on building the new.”
 
-Socrates
 
Photographed by Evan Woods, Ace Hotel DTLA
When I first moved to Chinatown, I was curiously drawn to a large hill on White Knoll Dr. As I ascended, the familiar flow of Jay-Z and Kanye flooded my mind, “Made a right on 79th, I’m coming down South Shore Drive (I remain Chi-Town) Brooklyn ‘til I die.” Only in my case, Chi was short for Chinatown not Chicago, and, well, Brooklyn was close enough to my NY upbringing I suppose. If you’re unfamiliar with the reference, you best get up on your rap game. |Gotta Have It|.
Following my inner gut, I set out to tackle the steepest hill I had ever encountered; a surprising game changer ensued. I found a great view of Downtown Los Angeles including an abundance of accumulated litter. McDonalds wrappers and styrofoam cups adorned the pavement and grassy knolls by my feet. It was at this exact moment a thought ran through my mind and created an impactful wave of consciousness.

// We over-produce, over-consume, and as a result, over-pollute //

One thing was for sure, we need a change. But with change, I realized the first place to start is with yourself. I began to look within and make major amends to my lifestyle. I wanted to create positive and progressive habits for my future self. That same week I came across an article that emphasized the importance of creating a monthly focus and goal. Each month I would hold myself accountable for 31 days or longer, until it formed into an innate habit of everyday life. When I reached a point where I no longer had to think twice, I knew it had become muscle memory, much like memorizing a routine back in my dance days.

Last months focus was body image. This included all aspects such as fitness, my perception of my body, and my eating habits. Prior to setting this goal, my eating routine was heavily influenced by the typical Los Angeles “vegan stereotype.” This didn’t do much for my body, and I was often lethargic. So I took it up notch, tailoring it in a different direction more suitable to my lifestyle and body. Everyone is different. I am very active so I focused on a protein and veggie “diet.”

I say “diet” because I really dislike the word to be honest. When I hear diet I think of deprivation. Much on the contrary, this couldn’t be farther from the truth when it came to my new eating pattern. I began eating more from the earth, which meant less processed foods and I began reading labels.

I wanted to know what I was putting in my body solely out of curiosity. Like what the hell is maltodextrin, for real though? I realized unless you’re buying fresh foods, you’re most likely eating processed food. This then forced me to start from scratch and prepare and cook my own meals.

Green Machine Salad with Quinoa, Mushrooms & Hazelnuts

 

Mix it up

 

I saw this as another artistic outlet to express my creativity. I can honestly say I have never felt stronger, healthier and more connected to nature ever since. My body has noticeably transformed in a matter of one month, more lean muscle and less fat. I am excited to see and feel the continued benefits.

It seems things have a way of having perfect timing. A week ago marked the 3rd annual Food Revolution Day. This global action focuses on getting the youth excited about healthy food, teaching them cooking skills and raising worldwide awareness on the importance of better food education. I guess this is just another form of validation from the universe that I am on the right path. Others are taking note of the same need for a health shift in terms of the food we eat as well as in its production.
These are the things that deserve to be talked about, not Kim K’s extravagant wedding. Food is essential in our overall health and well-being. I know we need a transition, and I believe all aspects of our lives need to move towards a more holistic lifestyle. But first we need to begin with the most prominent, our eating habits.
Shrimp Lettuce Wraps Gingergrass in Silverlake
.  .  .
When was the last time you entirely sat down with company (without your cellphone in your hand) and entirely enjoyed a meal? No not enjoyed, thoroughly tasted the ingredients within the food. Did you pause to notice how the sweet taste of mint complimented the tang of the coconut sauce? Or did you just scarf it down in order to move onto whatever was next on your agenda?
Try using chopsticks next time you dine. It will help you slow your pace of eating as it forces you to consume slowly. (Like I said, Chi-town till I die). In addition, you’ll become a chopstick boss so the next time you’re awkwardly stuffing a whole roll in your mouth in front of your date, at least you can impress them with your technique while looking like a cute chipmunk.

That day on White Knoll Dr. taught me an important piece of advice. Nourish your body with the correct foods and re-learn your ability to taste.

// This is the key to avoiding gluttony and guilt //

No deprivation here, just a keen believer in listening to your body. Plus I’ve always been one to leave room to live a little. Dessert or cocktail? Yes please.

For more tips and insights on my fitness, health/diet and recipes contact me to set up a wellness consultation, msmorganryan@gmail.com

Pretty Thoughts

You looked at me with certainty.
I couldn’t look away.
Took your jacket off like,
Like you were here to stay.
Chasin’ your pretty thoughts
And your plastic love.
There goes my mind,
Let it go.
You’re that lace trimmed danger,
One day you’ll be the face of a stranger.

-Pretty Thoughts, Alina Baraz

photo 1 (7)

We were dancing and I was feeding off the energy of everyone around us. We weren’t necessarily dancing together but we seemed to compliment eacb other nicely as people undeniably noticed us. He looked at me with his effortlessly cool smile and said,

“You’re the freest spirit of them all.”

I know I’ve always maintained an air of freedom about me and I’m aware of my ability to adapt to any environment,  but I never truly connected myself to the word “free-spirit,”not until that moment. I guess it’s because connecting myself to a word then begins to feel like a label, and I tend to run away from any type of restriction. (Yet again another hint that my spirit needs freedom to roam, guess he’s right)  You never really believe something until you hear it from someone whose opinion matters.

.  .  .

photo (25)

 As a result of my curiosity and love for the unknown, I learned more about the term and as a result I give you The Free-Spirit Commandments:

1. Be Free

 live your life as a free agent and don’t be afraid to contradict yourself

2. Pursue your Passions

but also take the time to figure out what they really are – which is arguably much more difficult. 

3. Let Go of Barriers

when you’re brutally honest about the barriers in front of you can you find solutions for moving past them.

4. Let Go of Rebellion

disliking something simply because it’s conventional is just as mindless as liking it for that same reason.

5. Be Here Now

engage with the people, places, and things around you on a deeper level and you’ll find that your reactions to them will suddenly become a lot more authentic

6. Starve The Ego

the death of authenticity; once you become more interested in impressing than being, everything you’ve been working toward will disappear.

7. Honor Others Freedom

remember that your freedom ends where everyone else’s begins.

.  .  .

|I figure you can’t take life too seriously, it will begin to laugh at you|

 

photo 3 (7)

Time to Get Familiar: Brandicted

“Shop your favorite brands from real life pictures.” – Brandicted

IMG_7921

(Photo: Natalie Wentworth)

Recently I became familiar with Brandicted, a new online site that can be best described as Amazon (online shopping) meets Instagram. Brandicted aims to help shoppers find brands they love and additionally provides you with some recommendations as well. If you’d like to stay up to date and informed on your favorite brands and continue learning about some new ones along the way, Brandicted is a great online resource for you to stay ahead of the game.

I have begun to notice how bombarded I feel with products and “stuff” lately. I think simplicity is the key to shifting through the chaos of consumerism and I hate to admit it but we have become lazy when it comes to shopping. Most of us would prefer to be directed to what we like rather than have to go out and find it. I liked using Brandicted for this reason, it’s easy to navigate and still visual, which is the equation for online success in my opinion. Two thumbs up.

To learn more about Brandicted, be sure to check out the site and create your account, https://brandicted.com/quiz/nike?c=mrgn

%d bloggers like this: