PETAL P I C K H. E. R.

“Jim raised me up
He hurt me but it felt like true love.
Jim taught me that
Loving him was never enough.”

– LANA DEL REY, Ultraviolence

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I lay in a feathery cloud of down comforters picking petals off Gerbera flowers the color of pink lemonade. Their uplifting hue providing a refreshing sensation similar to the summer drink. The corners of my mouth being to curl into a slight smirk as I reminisce on the “he loves me, he loves me not” days. I playfully engage in this old behavior. A romantic air permeates the room. I look down at the flowers I had just destroyed, yet to me they still retained a figment of their original beauty.

I bought the flowers for no particular occasion other than the fact I felt I deserved them. Now the perfect gift lay in ruins. I look again at the beautiful mess I created and a connection between myself and those petal-less flowers began to brew.

I believe the way you treat yourself is a direct reflection of they way you wish to be treated by others. Just within realizing that concept I began to gain back a sense of control I had unknowingly misplaced. I realized I allowed the love for another to overpower my love for myself. As I became more aware with each passing moment, I reset the standard of personal respect for myself and I began to regain this sense of power back. Much like the action of picking petals from a pretty flower, I had been ruined by my desire for love from another. I had allowed my source of love to become dictated on someone elses terms instead of my own.

As Lana Del Rey’s new album, Ultraviolence, plays in the background, I re-visit the once harmless action of desiring one’s love by the petals of a flower. Retracing the pattern in my mind, I’m now conscious to the fact that my own love is far more important than the love I had once longed for, which proved to be self-destructive. This transformation from submissive masochism into self-appreciation is the key that will eventually open the door for someone truly deserving to share your love versus strip you of it.

“Yeah my boyfriend’s pretty cool
But he’s not as cool as me
Cause I’m a Brooklyn baby.”

-LANA DEL REY, Brooklyn Baby

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I look down at a single flower that had some how managed to weather the storm. I gently pick it up in my hands and begin picking its petals again. This time with each pluck, I think to myself, ” I admire my creativity.” Then another. “I admire my inner beauty.” I keep picking until I lay in a pile of petals filled with meaning. As I look at these symbols of admiration, I am finally left with a love that I can call my own.

// The perfect Summer Fling Love //

THE T H I N I S H LINE

“Some people want it to happen,

some wish it would happen,

others make it happen.”

-Michael Jordan

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As I made my way up the third concrete hill of my hood, I repeated to myself,

// you’re stronger than you know //

For the entirety of my run, I compared my physical stamina to that of my mental endurance. In life there will always be hills. Most of us see the hill and run for cover, I know I used to. Some attempt to climb and fail halfway. Only a few see it and run for the top, for they know a spectacular view awaits them as well as a sense of triumph that accompanies those last few steps.

If you feel like you’re the one who is stuck in limbo, like myself, remind yourself of the importance found in fortitude of diligence. Remind yourself of what matters; that you crawled until you could run again because you knew one day you would be strong enough. It’s the art of the climb. The Journey. Those who push make it to the top, even if they have to crawl. That’s the thin line that distinguishes mediocrity from greatness.

For me, It’s safe to say today was one of those days. A hill day. Not even intervals, just straight hill. One where your hope is shattered, your belief is weary, and the heat, paralyzing. Everything seems to irritate you. The only thing I wanted to do was escape from the ball and chain was the attachment to my computer, which, by now, was overheating in exhaustion. I broke away from ‘cyber reality’ and made my escape for the freedom and solitude of the great outdoors.

My optimism was rattled, but never shattered. Reflecting back on the day, there was truly no reason for any lows to affect my highs. I was presented with challenges from the outside world, and, well, I’ve got a competitive spirit—so challenge accepted!

I’m learning to take control of the reigns of attitude when thrown a curveball. Today, I ended up landing a Brand Affiliate program with Lulus, as well as representation as a Brand Ambassador for WhatIWear. So, really not a bad day at all. I just lost sight of the positives because I was too entangled in what I perceived to be the negatives. What I am slowly learning is that perception is reality and that you are the creator of that reality. This happen for a reason and you become what you fuel. If you feed the victim role you’ll become the victim, but if you nurture pacifist, you’ll be rewarded with peace of mind.

My peace of mind came in the form of a daily reminder. The Hummingbird. Flying so effortlessly and with more strength than ever, I instantly smiled at this diligent little creature. If I never learn the exact meaning of this symbolic reoccurrence in my life, I’ll know it at least reminds me to always smile and feel resilient. Someone once told me, “your smiles are your alms,” and because it was you, I’ll never forget the power of my smile.

// I guess your attitude really does define your altitude //

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FLIGHTLESS B I R D || 05.12.14

Soaring east–

Three birds took flight

 chasing away the demons & shadows of your yesterday.

M.R.

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As the Summer sun trapped its heat in my apartment, I began to lose energy. Before I could melted into a relaxed state similar to that of a sauna, I decided to kill two birds (never a Mockingbird) with one stone; I headed out for a late afternoon stroll to escape the heat and re0energize. This has become something I look forward to each day and a rewarding experience to say the least.

Four minutes into my walk I end up dropping my iPhone, shattering the screen. I guarantee you I am the most graceful klutz’s you’ll ever encounter. But instead of reacting I just let it be. I pivoted at the end of the street for my return up the hill and the idea of manifesting your own reality resurfaced from the depths of my restless memory. Something or someone said to me,

If you need something, just ask for it. 

Is it that easy? Can I really just ask for an opportunity to get a new iPhone? I smiled to myself for I was happy I could transform a negative into a positive and chase any trace of pessimism away with a dose of optimism. As this thought passed, I looked up at a tree that stood majestically in front of me. Its limbs sprawled with blossoms delicately placed along each intricate branch. In between these branches something appeared–a hummingbird. She stopped long enough for me to notice but quick enough for her beauty to be missed. Having occurred consecutively after a moment of clarity made the impact seem even more surreal. This little bird won’t leave my side, for she plays a pretty song in my life story. I’ve never met a creature so delicate yet so strong. These are the moments that allow me to see life for how it truly is,

//beautiful//

Meditation Music

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Day Tripper

Got no deeds to do, No promises to keep.

I’m dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep.

Let the morning time drop all its petals on me.

Life, I love you; All is g r o o v y ||

59th Street Bridge Song,  Simon & Garfunkel

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It was the first week of May and a heat wave engulfed the city of Los Angeles. A wave similar to that of the ocean when it casts its lazy spell and shifts your energy into a mellow mood. Refusing to become controlled by the heat of a delicate summers daydream, I waited for the blazing sun to slowly cool, then made my way out into the nights setting sun.

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I walked along a windy path which led me in the direction of Elysian Park. Soon after setting out, I found myself walking heel-toe in a straight line, mimicking a linear cracked path that lay beneath my feet. Merely an act of instinct, I soon realized this was my way of actively finding balance within my body.

Before I started dancing, my mom enrolled me every summer in gymnastics camp. I would spend all my time by myself at one station, the walking beam. I worked everyday on perfecting my foot placement, alignment, and balance, which required a lot of focus and patience. Many things a kid has yet to develop.

My mind quickly tries to catch up to me from the past but decides to make a pit stop about two years shy of the present moment when I visited a friend in Santa Cruz, CA.

He was the king of “slacking.”  Although it did seem like time stood still whenever I found myself in Santa Cruz, I’m referring to his mastered technique of slacklining. He made balance look effortless and even when he decided to add an ambitious trick; He seemed to always land on both feet like a cat. When he encouraged me to try, I let shyness overcome me as I feared being embarrassed in front of him. I realized I had lost that sense of pure innocence and wonder we’re all born with as kids. Crazy how much two years can make a difference as I fast forward to the present moment as I’m looking at the world once again through eyes of wonder.

// Restored //

Long-A line made by walking

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/long-a-line-made-by-walking-ar00142/text-summary

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As dusk approached, the rambling trail of thoughts I left behind had now brought me to a final realization. About a year ago  I had saved one photo on my laptop from a History of Photography class. It was called “A Line Made by Walking,” by Richard Long. At first glance, there’s nothing overwhelmingly captivating about the photo but never the less it intrigued me at the time. Now as day turns to night, I’m beginning to make sense of the intricate simplicity of this work in relation to my life.

“Nature has always been recorded by artists, from prehistoric cave paintings to twentieth-century landscape photography. I too wanted to make nature the subject of my work, but in new ways. I started working outside using natural materials like grass and water, and this evolved into the idea of making a sculpture by walking…My first work made by walking, in 1967, was a straight line in a grass field, which was also my own path, going ‘nowhere’. In the subsequent early map works, recording very simple but precise walks on Exmoor and Dartmoor, my intention was to make a new art which was also a new way of walking: walking as art.”

 I find myself using nature as a resource. From observation, I’m aware of the relationship between life and art. This notion that life imitates art seems to reappear–But maybe in contrast, we are all art and life/nature are just imitating us.

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We glamorize a life in which we live fast and die young, but we have it all wrong. What if we were to live slow and die wise?  

You see, we label it as laziness if we’re to slow down. Moving so fast we tend to feel like we’re being pulled in several directions because we lack grounding and a connection with what’s truly important. This false reality we paint online doesn’t connect us  it separates us. Maybe that’s what drew me to Santa Cruz in the first place; Its ability to allow me to slow down and reconnect. 

The beauty I encountered that day within my hour journey made we realize one overlying idea. Everything is alive, connected, and communicating you just have to

//L I S T E N//

Slow down, you move too fast.
You got to make the morning last.

Desert Oasis

“The most creative act you will ever undertake is the act of creating yourself.”
― Deepak Chopra

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Stylist, Hair, Makeup: Morgan Ryan

Photographer: Natalie Wentworth

Assisting: Ariel Stark