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

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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
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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

Awaken The Dreamer

“The secret to success?

It’s simple, consistent originality.”

-m.r.

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Dream boards are useful visualization tools for manifesting your dreams into reality. A constant visual reminder of your goals and intentions helps spark a mental motivation. Ever since I could remember I have been an artist with clear vision. I know what I want and I go after it, by all means necessary. So as a visual learner, having that extra boost of motivation only helps propel me that much closer to attaining my goals and ambitions.

I took a more artistic and unique approach in creating my dream board. I looked through magazines for inspiration. Any words or images that jumped out to me, I ripped out. This was my way of using intuition as my means to reach the root of what truly resonates with me. My background in art and composition is apparent in my use of space, psychic lines, and color coordination. This subliminal collage resembles my tendency to speak in riddles, but art is suppose to be subjective anyways. To get a better idea of my rather ambiguous portrait I thought I would break it down for you.

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My Main Goal (Cara at the Hearts Center):

Become a Face of Beauty in a iconic sense by staying true to who I am. Sharing Love & Originality. Staying driven and persist will cultivate a tunnel vision that can’t be disrupted. I can therefore break down any walls or barriers I may encounter in the pursuit of reaching my ultimate goal of gracing the cover of VOGUE. 

The rest are daily reminders:

– (Smart is Beautiful): there is beauty in Intelligence, be more than a pretty face

– (Nostalgia): Embrace the vintage. It creates feelings/emotions for the viewer

-(Maverick Muse): break the rules

-Use my Passion & Love in everything

-(Flowers): follow your sweetness in life

-(The Magic Touch): psychic capabilities in setting trends vs. following them

-(Changing Your Mind): happiness is a choice, I was taught to always give 110%. The #59  represents my decision to be happy versus sad 59% of the time in the 50/50 option

– (Jesus is my Homeboy): keeping the faith. b.e.l.i.e.v.e.

. . .

This past weekend I reunited with my creative counterpart, Evan Woods, who reminded me of my positivity and optimism. He  said to me in his characteristic sincere & passionate tone,  “Keep up the positivity boo boo. People feel that.” I hope he knows just how much of an impact he’s made on my life and continues to as we progress in this creative pursuit.

In the matter of my first week in LA I managed to allure influential people all around me. I met Britney Spears’ designer, Skrillex’s music manager, Kate Compton followed me on Instagram, met Aaron Ramey, the Co-founder and Creative Director of Babylon Cartel, and last but not least, bumped into Bryant Eslava, continuing the ongoing mystery between me and the photographer. The chances of our paths crossing again in LA hit me in a funny. Guess it just goes to show when you put out positive creative energy you attract it back to you. I think they call that the |law of attraction|.

I’m excited to see where this journey leads next. This is only the beginning.

T.B.C.

(to be continued)

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Venus vs. Mars

“Whether black or white, we both like Mike
We both like Jordans.”

– Jay Z, Venus vs. Mars

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This past weekend I turned 23, the year of Michael Jordan.

I began to reflect on the past with the intention to see just how far I had come this past year in my personal journey. In terms of coming into my own, I surprised myself with my improvement in creating a distinct voice and style for myself here in LA. Fashion is strange, it has its way of evolving and changing on us. The only constant is you. Your style.

Growing naturally into my versatility, I realized my personal style has a certain personality attached to it. While refraining from using the term ego, I can confidently say I have an attitude. It’s apparent in the way I dress and carry myself, in front of the camera or off. Clothes and trends may change but my constant is drawn from a ying-yang source. This innate ability to create a balance between contrasting dualities may be a reflection of my tomboy roots and/or desire to prove girls can be just as strong as the boys. A feminine softness met with a masculine toughness works to compliment each other by creating an intriguing dynamism; Giving you the best of both worlds.

This will be my year. The year of a {classic}.

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Photographer/Director: Evan Woods

Model/Stylist/Hair/MUA: Morgan Ryan

The Wanderess

“She was free in her wildness. She was a wanderess, a drop of free water.

She belonged to no man and to no city.” – Roman Payne

 

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Arsenic Magazine Feature 
Photographed: Ev Marquee
Hair/MUA: Daisy Palos

Elysian Park, Los Angeles. January 2014

As snow falls in New York, it seems as if Summer has arrived in Los Angeles. I arrive in Elysian Park as the sun shines over the City of Angeles. Palm trees line the left side of the dirt path that I drive along, windows down and the sunroof peeled back. My face greets the cooling breeze. As I draw in a dose of sunshine and a breath of fresh air I couldn’t imagine a more perfect moment-That’s when I caught a quick yet distant glimpse of the Hollywood sign as I turned the corner. I marveled at the sight of the infamous letters that lay staggered in the hillside. I had never seen them at eye level. |That’a the thing about corners, you’re guaranteed a few surprises|.

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The park was so grand that I got lost a few times before finding the set location; Whether that was by choice or default I will not say. The views were spectacular and characteristically different from the next. In one instance I felt as though I was in Palm Springs and just around the bend I was promised a sight similar to that of Northern California. I wanted to see where the road would lead next, but I was already lost and 15 minutes late so I refrained.

I pulled up to the location where I found Ev and Daisy awaiting my arrival under the shade of a tree. We made our way to a park bench to set up for todays transformation which was that of a woodsy, hunter wanderess. Daisy got situated and propped open her make-up case which effortlessly unfolded into two levels like a London double decker. I likewise proceed to get comfortable, situating myself in my usual cross-legged ‘Indian Style’ fashion facing Ev. I noticed in those moments sitting with Ev there was a peacefulness. A comfortable silence washed over allowing me to focus on the present moment of the atmosphere. I gently closed my eyes as Daisy began to work on my makeup and my senses sharpened. I listened to the natural music made by the birds who sang lightly from the same relative direction of the sun above that kissed my skin.

About 30 minutes had passed before I was handed a mirror. The usual tinge of excitement mixed with fear rushed through my veins as I pick up the mirror to reflect on who I had just become. A few auburn wisps fell beside my face and danced playfully in the afternoon breeze. I slipped into a burgundy one piece and draped a faux-fur jacket over one shoulder.

“Wow,” an onlooker mumbled under his breath and then proceeded to stumble over his own two feet. All three of us looked at one another and giggled like young teenage girls at the affect I seemed to have over the stranger. With the tone set, we were ready to shoot. We jumped in Ev’s Jeep Wrangler and headed off into the winding streets of our next adventure.

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Be sure to check out the full submission: http://arsenicthemagazine.com/submissions/2014/2/4/ev-marquee-evmarquee

And heart it while you’re at it (if your feeling fancy).

The Hummingbird

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You’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it. Go agaisnt the grain, refuse to conform, take the road less traveled instead of the well-beaten path. Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though everybody is watching. March to the beat of your own drummer. And stubbornly refuse to fit it.”

-M.H

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I always noticed the hummingbirds. They seemed to follow me everywhere I went. They especially showed up whenever the self-doubt began and I was on the verge of giving up.

The hummingbird is a symbol of resilience as it is capable of the most amazing feats despite its small size. Whenever I see a hummingbird it serves as a reminder to continue being adaptable and resilient while maintaining a playful and optimistic outlook.

Following your dreams isn’t as glamorous and easy as its made to seem…if so, everyone would be doing it. That’s what I find the most upsetting; When people settle. Don’t settle for the ordinary when you can have the extraordinary.

If there’s anything I have learned throughout the process, you must be yourself, know your strengths and limitations, stop comparing yourself, and always adapt. You’re YOUnique for a reason, you have to have that extra spark that distinguishes yourself from everybody else doing the same thing for a reason. Never hide who you truly are, go out a show the world your brilliance. So next time when you’re thinking about quitting, think of a hummingbird.

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Lady Luck

She’s up all night ’til the sun | We’re up all night to get lucky.
-Daft Punk 

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As Spring semester began to wind down the temperature started to warm up. Purple floral trees adorned the sidewalks of Orange, CA. A distinct honeysuckle fragrance filled the air on campus at Chapman University, as the frenzy of finals week foreshadowed the chaos to come – our annual tradition, Undie Run.

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Wednesday 

Loud music pounds off the walls to greet the bantering and chatter of pre-Undie Run excitement. Warmth fills the air and turns the heat up a notch in the swarmed house, which is packed wall to wall with enough body heat to melt an Igloo. This easily kept the scantily clad, underwear outfitted students warm while they additionally partook in other such activities that induce a blanket of warmth to defend against the brisk air awaiting them outside. I smiled to myself as I walked through the animal house, as it was in no position to contend to the zoo in my mind. I couldn’t gather a notion to engage in anything but the mental hysteria in my mind; a combination of memorizing my movement backwards, body placement, and not to mention the art of mastering convincing facial expressions with style and ease . The cast and crew remained focused with our eyes on the prize in the midst of the liveliness. We had one shot. We needed Luck.

11:45 pm 

Hit and the house filed out and emptied like horses to the brooke. The extreme difference in atmosphere marked the beginning of our excitement and allowed time for a run through of the one continuous shot. We had 15 minutes to fine tune any details or possible mishaps we might encounter (such as a run in with the cops).

12:00 am 

A stampede of students rush the streets of Old Towne Orange, cue music.

[We’ve come too far to give up who we are. So let’s raise the bar and our cups to the stars]

After posting the video, we woke to a reality which seemed to be more characteristic of a dream. Just hours after posting the video it went viral and landed us on the front page of Reddit. In the past week, we have reached over 360,000 views and have gained online and media recognition within Southern California. Peep it.

The OC Register: August 20, 2013 

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Huffington Post

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The Waves hit LA: August 21, 2013 

LAist

College Blogs/Sites:

Mysterious Long-Legged Babe

Uproxx

The Nose Bleeds

 

Like the legend of the phoenix | All ends with beginnings.

Dazed and Confused

“Long you live and high you fly. And smiles you’ll give and tears you’ll cry. And all you touch and all you see. Is all your life will ever be”

-Pink Floyd

Crafting the illusions of high end style gracefully with budgeted taste

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Aquaserene

“Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.”

-Hermann Hesse

The Last Mohican


“The earth has music for those who listen.” 

― George Santayana

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