8 Ways to Shine

DMC Original Art “Underwater Tune” hand painted piano. Hudson Yards Mall, New York City. 2020.

It’s only right to have these moments of reflecting and assessing. We take must take inventory of how we’re feeling. It’s necessary to replay the turn of events from the last set of 365 days. It matters. It feeds our drive as we continue on our journeys. So, what really happened? What was your response? Are you handling it? Have you learned the lessons? What needs to change? How.

Everyday, I am learning so much about myself. It’s a beautiful experience. I know what works for me, and what doesn’t. Here are eight guidelines I’ve created to keep my balance:

  1. Coffee 馃檪
  2. Always be your authentic self
  3. Start your day with whatever brings you peace, love, light, and joy
  4. Make a “to-do” list
  5. Seek counsel/guidance – not opinions. You already know what you want
  6. Identify your support system and thank them every chance you get
  7. There is no competition. Stop looking for it. It does not exist. Do you!
  8. Keep creating. Keep imagining. There’s plenty of space for it all

There are some things we just don’t ask permission for. We’re taking breaks when we want one. We’re putting our all into our work. Everything we touch will have our signature by the rich quality of what we’re producing. We’re finding beauty and joy in ALL of the little things. And in this grand world, everything is considered “the little things”.

Shine bright!

Happy 2021.

Lose Count

Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY. 2010.

It’s deeper than that. Deeper than the surface, the grains of sand, the ocean. Deeper than the flesh, the bones. It’s all worthless if you serve no purpose. Deeper than bank accounts and possession amounts. We’re still searching. This game of life, we’re all players, until we dive deep, peeling back the layers. We’ve been dressed up, made up, to forget what we’re really made of… Just love.

Just a spirit.

Just a soul, without limits.

Just wondering where the winds were born, where they traveled from, and where they’re off to next. Just wondering how the oceans stay put, all that water, and only once in a while does she hurricane her tsunamis.

Now’s the time to check your baggage. What are you carrying? Everything can’t go, and in due time – none of it can go.

Check your baggage, what do you possess, – is it un路quan路ti路fi路a路ble?

Imagine That.

“I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadows. If I fail, if I succeed, at least I lived as I believe.”

…about living your dreams

When we were young, we did not hesitate. We did exactly what we wanted to do, because all we knew was that moment we were in. We didn’t understand the concept of “future.” Look around, that’s all everyone is obsessed with. It’s a shame. Life is swept away, because it’s controlled by what has not yet happened. The flowers that stand today are overlooked, because people want to see the flowers that will grow tomorrow, as if that is more interesting, more valuable.

When we were young, we did not hesitate. Even when we were told not to do something, we listened to ourselves and did things anyway – it was human instinct to do that. It’s natural to listen to thyself, and allow the spirit to move you. We’ve been told “no” over and over again, to the point it has conditioned us to be fearful of simply trying. Reverse that condition! Change your environment, and go to a place where you believe in your desires and potential. Say “yes” to your dreams.

When we were young, we did not hesitate. We listened to our inner child. We played. We laughed. We vividly expressed our emotions. It was okay. It still is! We got hurt. We got back up. We tried new things. Then we were told what to do, all the time. That’s not always necessary, especially when the people telling you what to do don’t know what they’re doing themselves. We’re all just figuring it out. Stop walking in their shadows. Listen to yourself. Do what feels right. Let your spirit guide you. We’re all inspired by individuality, so just be yourself. Close your eyes, dare to dream, and when you open them – I hope and pray you’re where you want to be.

“Imagine if you just friggin’ did the damn thing you wanna do. Imagine that!” -Ava DuVernay

Golden Spirits

Caye Caulker, Belize. 2019.

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” Dr. Seuss

Our intuition is golden. We have the powerful ability to read between the lines, and to hear silence ever so clearly. It’s the reason we move the way we do. It’s the reason we may find ourselves attached and detached. It’s the reason we are free or bonded. It’s why we find ourselves saying, “No obligations, no expectations, no disappointments.” When we have little to no expectations of people, and just hope for their honesty and integrity – we’re in a safe place.

Our intuition reminds us that it’s in control, and when we disregard it – there’s a great lesson to be learned. So, we vow to lack disappointing ourselves. We become encouraged to do as we feel, to live life to the fullest, and to stay in the moment. We become inspired to express ourselves, creatively. We stay true to ourselves, we reach for the stars, and we travel the world. We live the lives we dream of, and we wait for no one to join us on our journey. We know that when we do this, when we live our lives in this manner, the universe blesses us with more and more – exceeding our expectations, growing wilder than our imaginations.

We are so grateful for all that we have, and all that we do not have. We look forward to change, growth, new. We look forward to dreams becoming reality. We stay close to our emotions, doing as we feel, and honoring ourselves. We know that our soul needs to breathe easy, and we let it. This looks like flowing, floating, swaying, soaring, glowing and growing through time. This looks like forgetting the limitations of ourselves as humans, and being golden spirits. This looks like freedom.

“Intuition – the sense of knowing how to act spontaneously, without needing to know why.”

When you show yourself who you are, believe it the first time.

When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.” Dr. Maya Angelou

Bloom.

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Chiang Mai, Thailand. 2018.聽

“Life is a journey, not a destination. There are no mistakes, just chances we’ve taken. Lay down your regrets, cause all we have is now. Wake up in the morning, and get out of bed. Start making a mental list in my head of all of the things that I am grateful for…Early in the morning, it’s the dawn of a new day. New hopes, new dreams, new ways. I open up my eyes and I open up my mind and I wonder how life will surprise me today.” -India Arie

The Chiang Mai Flower Festival is hosted every year during the first weekend of February, displaying colorful chrysanthemums, damask roses, and so much more. Just near the city center, the streets are filled with vendors of plants, flowers, orchids and garden decorations. Overall, the city is beautiful, and has the rich vibe that speaks to my soul. The flowers that fill the streets is life’s way of reminding me to laugh, smile, and keep things simple.

Nature in general, always finds a way to gently tap me on the shoulder and whisper how magical it is to carry on organically. In translation, I typically hear a drawn out whimsical tone, with the following words recited, “Just be yourself.” Whenever I hear that, a weight is lifted, and there becomes less pressure in understanding the particular reason of why I’m here. Just a soul aware of the possibility in having a spiritually satisfying human experience. The idea is to gracefully learn from all that enters and exits my life, and see how those things contribute to my wild growth. For that reason, I’m grateful for the variations of my surroundings. With each clarifying day, I’m inspired to remove anything that I聽 consider “clutter,” by focusing on what is essential to my growth.

“She is like a wildflower, beautiful, fierce and free.”

Often enough, there’s so much that distracts us from keeping life simple, and I find the presence of flowers to be one of many stimulating experiences that gracefully gestures organic beauty.

The next time you stop to smell the roses (when you look at yourself in the mirror), remember:

“Wherever life plants you, bloom with grace.”

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”

“Happiness blooms from within.”

“She sprouted love like flowers, grew a garden in her mind, and even on the darkest days, from her smile the sun still shined.”

“Like wildflowers, you must allow yourself to grow in all the places people thought you never would.”

“A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it, it just blooms.”

“You are not your roots, you are a flower grown from them.”

“May the flowers remind us why the rain was so necessary.”

“Like flowers, we can also choose to bloom.”

“The earth laughs in flowers.”

“Advice from a sunflower: ‘Be bright, sunny and positive. Spread seeds of happiness. Rise, shine, and hold your head high.”

“Live wild, flower child.”

… and most importantly, “Bloom baby, bloom!”

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When You Learn, Teach.

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Kyoto, Japan. 2018.

It’s been two years since the All Things DMC Blog has become one of many places where I collect my thoughts. I鈥檓 grateful for the courage I have to elaborate freely on some of my sentiments, and to place them on a platform that creates dialogue with others. So far, it has been a wonderful interactive learning experience for me, and I’m connecting with people in a way that is always inspiring. I love Maya Angelou’s words, so eloquently phrased, 鈥淲hen you get, give. When you learn, teach.鈥 These are actions of a humanitarian.聽

In the last few months, as I鈥檝e been journeying across the world, I am opening my eyes to new information and new possibilities. I am discovering that my heart is set on working with children. I want to get, and give. I want to learn, and teach! During moments of reflection, I see how inspired I’ve been to take on opportunities allowing me to work with youth in many different ways. I’ve managed volunteer groups for youth activities, wrote a children鈥檚 book about the impactful power of volunteers, shared the story with many children around the world, and coordinated resources for children and their families. I find myself always looking for a way to help people, and those people mostly happen to be young humans. As they’re on their own quest to navigate life, I have realized that I want to be apart of their learning experience. I want to focus on supporting the ones I can, by becoming equipped as an educator of children learning English as a second language. With my combined passion to travel, this seems to be the right approach. It’s a new journey, for a new year, and I鈥檓 excited! There鈥檚 a lot going on in my mind, and a reflection of my thoughts has become a life filled with adventures.聽

As I sit here blogging, from a co-working space in Kyoto, I am inspired by the individuals around me who also realize their power to pursue and experience a life of adventure. That’s just it, it’s what we’re here to do. Live our best lives. It’s simply transforming ideas into tangible magic.

This month spent in Japan has been a direct reflection of my sentiments for simplicity, peace, spirituality, purpose, intentionality, and joy. I’ve been taken back to the root of it all, the root of my what brings me joy. I feel reloaded with the necessary tool to move forward, faith. I like to think I’m the type to not only march to the beat of my own drum, but to also spend time first making the drum. I think there are many students out there who鈥檇 appreciate a teacher like that. Someone to inspire them to be curious, tap into their hearts, and to feel confident and excited when it’s time to try new things!

If you鈥檝e read my children鈥檚 book Peers, Cheers, and Volunteers you may have noticed that Ms. August is more than a fictional character. She’s also more than a teacher, recognizing that she’s a student first, and always. 聽

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Flow

Snapseed

Split, Croatia. 2017.聽

This is a collection of poems I wrote, all inspired by the spirit of water.

As we embark on this new year, may we cleanse our spirits, may we be unpredictable, may we be immeasurable, may we be a source of power, may we be the flow, may we ride the wave, may we be simple, may we be divine, may we be peaceful.

May we too, be as new, as the day, as the year, as the stars and the moon.

Happy New Year!

BLUE
Blue, the way you mend
The way you heal
The way you send signals
Signs of protection in your reflection
Thanks for teaching me how to be
How to flow
How to see
How to blend, freely
Thank you, blue
BIRDS OVER WATER
Bird’s eye view
You see me
I see you
Near or far
Wherever you are
Over the blue sea, under the blue sky
Low to the ground, or up real high
Flowing with grace
Soaring with gratitude
Peace, you see me? I see you
With my bird’s eye view
HOLY
Baptize me in the deep blue
I want to become the closest thing to you
Take me to your nature
Give me the characteristics of its beauty
Allow me to flow with grace, everyday
The ripples will carry throughout time, effortlessly
Questions will dissolve
Life will be magnified
Baptize me in your blue sea
When I am brought up, I will be cleansed, free, flowing through time as you, because you are me
NATURE FLOW
I’m sensitive
After her water broke, I sensed the ifs
I was alert, aware, and know only to ever go with the flow
I sense the vibes and know that all things in the moment is just exactly the way it’s supposed to be
Just carry on with the steam young grass hopper, and you’ll have all that you’ll ever need
SPLASH BLUE
Cleanse me of anything that is not true
Free me of my burdens
Bring all things to the surface
Good, bad, bubbly blue
I like the way you look, I admire you
I like the way you sound, your vibrations are sweet, nothing new
You are the purest of pure, the surest of sure, the most gorgeous without ever trying
Everything that meets you, complements your flow
So much peace, so much beauty, you don’t even know
There’s envy in your presence
Others want your grace
But you are just as unique as all the others, yet you’re smart enough to know your place – and with just that, you’re more than ok.
Splash me with your blue
WHEN IT RAINS
Pour down
Be so strong, so magnificent, so raw
Rinse worries free of time
To no longer exist
The curiosity of the what-ifs
Don’t change your mind
When nature calls, and the winds flow, the trees grow, don’t question the blue waters that show their true colors
LIGHT UNDER聽 WATER
I can see through you
My flesh is the same, only buried in your grace
You simply move around me
There are subtle bubbles
Huddles of puddles
Yet, no one complains
There’s a light under you, confirming that you are indeed real and true
There’s no super light needed to change your hue
Just a sparkle, a twinkle, and little star in your waters, reminding me of how simple and special you certainly are
STILL
Still like you
Easy, like you
Beautiful, like you
Simple and true
Light without and within
Illuminating all the same
Wavy, like you
Deep and shallow mysteries, like you
Troubled and unbothered, like you

Like a Bird

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Rome, Italy. 2017.

Every morning, when I wake up, I am reminded that I am magic. I am powerful, over my thoughts, my words and my reality. I’d like to think that my sense of freedom has elevated in the last few weeks. I am soaring to new heights, and this feeling is extremely liberating. I’m not questioning the wind. It’s guiding me, and I know for sure that my wings were made for this!

We all know many who are afraid to leave the nest, afraid to spread their wings, afraid to soar. The view from the nest is just not good enough for me. There are some things I want to see up close and personal. I’ll never forget home, but I’m also not obligated to stay there. My spirit is pulling me to fly and experience life around the world. My spirit is pulling me to become immersed in the possibilities of a new life each day.

From the skylines of Croatia, to Montenegro, to Italy in the last week, I am feeling free, and embracing the dream. The added beauty that comes along with this experience is the pleasure of being surrounded by others with the same intentions, the same ideas, the same outlooks, the same dreams, and the same visions. We are out here in the world, flying together – because it’s possible.

Each day, I further understand Maya Angelou’s eloquence and sentiments. I too, know why the caged bird sings…I’m remembering the moments of feeling stuck, and my subconscious whispers of 聽songs, wishes, hopes and prayers, and then realizing that the locked cage was an illusion. How many years of life does one lose, as they trick themselves into believing they are supposed to live with limitations? The limits of the home, the job, the family… we are not obligated to these things. These are circumstances placed to help shape us. As we develop from them, it’s wise to know and understand that the circumstances will shift. My circumstances are shifting!

Fear is nothing. The locked cage is an illusion. The wings are too. But, the dreams, the visions, the passions, those are real! When you realize you’re as free as a bird, you walk, run, fly, soar, and float. The perspectives are limitless, the views leave you speechless, and your soul is grateful because it has become even more alive. Let’s be as birds.

How Far I’ll Go.

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Bali, Indonesia. 2017.

Happy is also the girl who quits a job that would prevent her from making dreams come true!

Happy is the girl who takes risks.

Happy is the girl who prefers to be optimistic.

Happy is the girl (this girl), who travels the world!

With each day, I realize the true power of my thoughts, and I am constantly noticing my life shifting. “Change the way you see things, and the things you see will change,” right?

Right!

As time carries on, I find myself enthused by tapping into the secrets of life, realizing that all I have to do is remain in alignment with what makes me happy, and indulge in that! I’m a curious being, and that curiosity forces me to wander, fearlessly. Embracing the magic of change! I just want to experience things for myself, and connect with others!

Anyone who knows me, is well aware that I love to write, travel, paint, work with children, did I say travel? I’m really grateful for the people in my life who pay attention, and support my dreams.聽Over the summer, my brother sent me a link to apply for a travel program called Remote Year.聽He somehow got an idea that it would be perfect for me. 聽I don’t like to drag out a story, so short story long, lol – just kidding… long story short, I applied, was accepted, and I leave to travel the world with a group of 50 other people in the next few days! Over the course of a year, myself, and this group will be living in 12 different international cities for a month at a time. If this is something you’ve ever considered, imagined, dreamed of, check it out – Remote Year!

Happiness is possible. I really don’t know how far I’ll go, but on my way, I’m taking all of my dreams with me – to the line where the sky meets the sea, the trees, the bees, the everything! I’m excited to actually focus on blogging about my travels, and I’m curious to know what my audience would like for me to share. Comment below!

In just a few days, I’ll be living in Croatia, for a month!

If it’s a dream of yours, get to work, because it’s so possible of becoming your life!

鈥淣ot all those who wander are lost.鈥

鈥淭he world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.鈥

鈥淭he journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.鈥

鈥淲herever you go becomes a part of you somehow.鈥

鈥淭he real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.鈥

鈥淭he traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see.鈥

鈥淭ravel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.鈥

鈥淭he journey is the destination.鈥

鈥淏orders? I have never seen one. But I have heard they exist in the minds of some people.鈥

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Birth.

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When anyone or anything is presented to this world, in that very first moment, it becomes a realization that they will serve a great purpose. There’s a gift within that is to be revealed, and shared. We are more in tune with this when we are young, 聽because often times those are the years in which our innocence has not been stolen. During our youth, our minds have not yet been completely tainted with arbitrary distractions. When we are young, we have the greatest dreams for ourselves. We have so much excitement, and that shows through laughter, love for others, the risks we take, and the simple joys that fill us up. We know that we love to play, sing, act, or even take charge. Then, we become introduced to society, systems, rules, standards, structures, politics, and trends. All of these things poison the human experience. So much, that we become forced to forget the dreams we had as children, and lose ourselves. We end up caught in the cycle of either meeting these social standards or becoming depressed because we can’t. All the while, subconsciously, we don’t want to live up to society’s expectations, because we know it’s just not natural. Our instincts speak through our gut, and we end up stuck in confusion because we know that’s what we’re really supposed to follow. We are to be living in nature, following dreams with a passion, understanding the capabilities of our gifts, and what it really means to share them with the world. The human experience is truly being alive. It’s falling in love with ourselves, and other people. It’s contributing to the earth, and being of service to others. It’s embracing human life and having compassion for one another. It’s exploring the world and becoming connected with the variations of people and cultures. It’s having respect for ourselves, and all life. It’s lending a helping hand, offering a listening ear, having an open heart, sharing ideas, speaking the truth, and being a part of something larger than ourselves. We are not to blend in, and pretend to be naive. It’s about owning our place, standing out, and making a humble contribution. Sometimes, it takes for people to die or be born, for us to realize all of this. Sometimes, it takes for us to become interested in a rebirth, to celebrate life. We are not living, if we are not giving. So, for those of us experiencing the shift, of being reborn each day, happy birth day! Every day we wake, is an opportunity to聽present our gifts.