Welcome. Thank you for taking the time to read these words. Thank you for finding your way to this space and thank you for being open to hearing about the things that empower and inspire me to live my dreams.
I believe that life is a gift, every moment is an opportunity for us to create what we want. Recently I discovered the phrase “hand craft your life,” the words of one of my favourite authors Clarissa Pinkola Estes. From the moment I read that quote, it resonated with me. What does it mean to hand craft ones life? For me it means to take the time to ask deep questions, to listen and hear the answers from within, and to take grounded steps towards making those dreams become reality. I find it so easy to get caught up in the mundane details of life in the western society that I live in. It is easy to let ‘not having enough money’ and ‘being afraid of the unknown’ stop you from leaping off the cliff.
There is an art to leaping. If you run towards the cliff but hesitate in fear, you will stumble off and the ride down is going to be intense. I have ‘stumbled’ off the cliff a few times and it was pretty painful. I have learned to run towards the cliff, jump off with full belief, and trust in an invisible force like the wind to guide me. This trust does not mean to relinquish all responsibility and wait for some kind of miracle to occur. This trust requires action and a willingness to show up in the present moment ready to soar, ready to handcraft your life. Within the art of leaping there are many lessons to be learned, fears to confront, and mistakes to make along the way. Never give up. Just refine. Fail well, fail fast, and keep going. Every conflict, enemy, or failure is just a lesson or teacher. Receive the lesson and keep going. I don't care how faint it may be, if your heart still beats, you keep on going.
Five years ago I traveled across California and experienced the feeling of coming alive for the first time. Its hard to explain how it happened but I feel that it was connected to the fact that I gave myself a break from what I thought life should be. My ideas on life up until that point were based on the ideas and values of my family, society, and the ‘over culture’. A break from this was scary at times because it felt as if I was floating off into the sea and the land I knew was becoming smaller and smaller upon the horizon. However in the process of letting go of what I knew and venturing into the unknown, I discovered the feeling I had been longing for my whole life; being awake in my own dream. I was waking up excited about life and the possibilities that stood before me. Living in wonder. Feeling the deepest gratitude for the opportunity to be alive in a healthy body. Meeting individuals that felt like characters from a movie, people who blew me open on so many different levels.
As I began to experience myself in a different way, I also started to feel the earth. I would consider myself an empathic person. Since I was a kid Ive always been able to feel other peoples emotions as if they were my own. I used to be unaware if what I felt was my emotion or someone else's. I thought that something was horribly wrong with me. I spent the next three years crying 4-5 times a week. (Writing this I can hear the little insecure voice saying “people are going to think your crazy for writing that”, but that doesn't matter because it’s the truth.) I started to feel sad and didn't understand why. I thought to myself I have an easy life, there are people around the world who have it much harder than me. However, I still felt sadness to the depths of my core. Once the well of emotions opened there was no way to close it. I fought my emotions at times, trying to cover them up. The only way I was able to move through this sadness was to sink into the river, the lake, the ocean I was creating with my tears. It started to become clear to me that the sadness that I felt was for the earth. To be given this beautiful gift and selfishly destroy it without care or consideration. With all the problems facing the earth I felt so small and pointless. I thought at times ‘Who am I? I cant change the world, no one wants to hear some hippy talk about how messed up our world and society is.’ But these were all judgements that did not come from my truth. My voice is important, and so is yours. I give my self permission to share my voice with the world and I ask that you do the same. Empathy is no longer a burden in my life. Now, I see that empathy is an incredible gift that inspires me to make art.
After California, I started coming to the realization that many of the systems in our society are responsible for destroying the earth. These systems, such as the economy, do not take into consideration the well-being of future generations. Thinking about this made my blood boil. Mama lion came out of me and wanted to rip down the lies that I once believed. I felt as if I had been fooled for 20 years of my life. I thought to myself fuck the system, fuck the man! But that anger passed, just like all storms, and within that anger there was a message… change. “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. I thought ‘okay Ghandiji, that is so much easier said then done’. I can understand Ghandi’s encouragement intellectually, but how do I actually integrate it into my reality?
It is my deep knowing that it is our responsibly to release ourselves from the constraints of society and create the lives we wish to live. We have the ability to work together to create this profound change. Through innovation we can restructure society in a way that benefits more then just the top 1%. We have the ability to protect this earth and wake up to a simple notion: we live on a planet that gifts us with the resources we need to live. We must protect the earth rather then destroy it. We must allow our economy to be put on the back burner as we begin to create more sustainable ways to function on the planet. We need community. We need to re-establish the importance of ceremony and rites of passage. Our young women need to be celebrated as they get their first period, making the transition from girl to woman. The shame around menstruation needs to be eradicated. Women need to be properly educated about what they put into their bodies. For example, unbeknown to many, the commonly used tampon actually contains harmful toxins such as dioxin (chlorine-compound) which is listed as a carcinogen and has been known to cause cancer. We need to be the change we want to see by not supporting these harmful industries that poison our bodies. Our boys need to be given permission to express their feelings and not be considered a ‘pussy’ for doing so. The idea that a ‘pussy’ is representative of someone that is weak is ridiculous. A pussy (vagina) is the strongest body part on the planet! It literally gives birth to the human species. I think to be called a ‘pussy’ means to be called a strong warrior of creation and life!
I believe that each of us has a role in creating the world we wish to live in. This blog will take you on a journey to meet the people and discover the places that uplift, inspire, and empower me. I will take you on this journey through articles, photography, interviews, and video episodes. My goal is to inspire you all to share your voices and truth with the world. I don't have all the answers and my truth wont suit everyone, but all I can do is share from my heart and let it lead me.