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.

Teacher, Teach Her.

If it were ever a mystery, allow me to make it quite clear – I absolutely love nature.

It’s where I find comfort, inspiration, and the persistence to be more of myself with each given moment. It feeds my desire of releasing my inner child through play and laughter. It feeds my desire of balancing a light heart with peace of mind. In nature is where I become alive, and it is through my art where I am able to express my gratitude for life. I take what creates an impact on me, and I attempt to extend a form of flattery by imitating nature through creativity. It’s a cycle.

DMC Original Art is a world of my emotions in color. It’s a world that depicts my deepest frustrations and my highest joys. It’s a world where all of my hopes and dreams seep through my body and onto any blank canvas, transforming them into little pieces of my soul. It’s such a profound experience, and the end result is honorable. Artists literally create from the spirit, and then tangible pieces of our spirits are sprinkled out into the world. We truly become reflections of our environments, and we’re brave enough to share variations of ourselves with the world, as the world so shares with us.

This has been a year of deep gratitude and reflection. It has been a year of collective spiritual pain and disgust. And, in my “gotta look at the silver lining” frame of mind, it has been a year of beautiful growth. This year, I’ve literally witnessed myself evolve. I don’t take this realization lightly. It’s not a simple task for me to look at myself and say, “Wow, you’ve changed so much” and to be quite honest – it’s a phenomenal feeling. From the trees, to the sky, to the stars, I am rooted, but I flow.

My art is my teacher. It’s within each creation that has ever come into fruition since 2012 that has guided me, taught me, and showed me my true self. I’ve learned about what’s been below the surface through the colors I’ve been drawn to working with, the shapes that have appeared in series of paintings, to now even the power of fluid art and resin. I’ve gone from wrapping myself up in darkness and shapes, drawing boundaries of where I do and do not belong, to allowing the colors to blend as they wish, and becoming inspired by their free spirit. I’m proud of myself. I’m proud of the artist I am growing into and out of and I embrace the ongoing flight that will continue as I fly through nature becoming inspired to use paint as my way of giving thanks. I’m so grateful.

DMC Original Art is my baby! It is the world in which I learn the most, and the world that I am so proud to share with everyone else. It’s the world where I have zero rules, zero expectations, and ALL of the peace, love and light. It is everything, and nothing at all. That type of joy can’t be wished for, you just have to keep yourself open to receiving all that you don’t know you want and need.

My mission during this human experience is simple, it is to be in service of my soul. That is the definition of honor. That is spiritual freedom. That is living. That is receiving and giving. That is flow and alignment.

It is.

Boat.

Cartagena, Colombia. 2018.

I’m not a great swimmer. It may be one of the reasons I dream a lot about large bodies of water. In this physical life, I practice safety around it, which has pretty much become a natural instinct to “stay away from the deep end”. This could easily be defined as a fear of drowning. Figuratively, I am continuously drawn to explore what’s below the surface. Yet, the dive is not always simple.

In my dreams, I am free of concern. I float, I fly, I maneuver with ease. No swimming. No drowning. I am in a calm control over the experience. I make my way to wherever I feel the desire to go. That’s what it’s all about. Being present, fully aware, having vision, and letting nothing stop me, letting nothing discourage me, letting nothing delay me from maneuvering through time and space for the simple pleasure of just being. The simple pleasure of just acting on feelings. The simple pleasure of allowing my desires to live fully, and fade away freely. I become inspired each time to live in this manner with opened eyes.

Where am I going? Wherever I please.

How will I get there? By any means…

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?

A Journey Entry

This is a safe space. Words can be placed here to express thoughts and feelings that first sit with me, and are then passed along for you to relate, or not. I write in my journal at the start of every new day. I write my peace. It’s all just a journey. And today, I say…

Forever, Incomplete.

February 1, 2020

Dear Self,

We are grateful. Our body, mind, and spirit are in sync. We are living in alignment with our heart. We have all that we desire, lacking nothing. We know that should there come a time for us to want something new, something different, something more, we must do one simple thing – ask.

Once we release our desires into the universe, our journey changes. WE then become programmed to do the work that is necessary to become fulfilled within these new interests. It’s a call and response. An action and reaction. We have the power to live as we truly wish. Our mission is to have purpose and protect our peace.

We feel rich knowing that we have peace of mind. We feel strong, sturdy, and grounded, knowing that we’ve built this from the ground up. Our foundation is made of self-love and patience. Our prayer is to continue to live out loud, live fully, explore the world while we can, and to truly love others so that the love we receive is pure, genuine, and gentle.

What do you do every day, to practice self-awareness?

Treat yourself, write your desires, and follow through with actions – for, they speak louder than any words you could ever write or say.

Dear reader, you are greatly encouraged to write a letter to your future self by visiting futureme.org . I received a letter I wrote last year on this day, and let’s just say – I spoke a lot into existence.

Have a great February!

Love & Light.

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

Rise Up

August 27th blogedit

Isla de Bar煤, Cartagena, Colombia. 2018

“Ready or not, here I come, you can’t hide.” That’s what the storm says. That’s what time says. That’s what nature says. (That’s what The Fugees say).

Well, we can try to hide, but not well enough. Sometimes it’s better to just stay out in the open, where we find ourselves vulnerable and forced to face the changes. Hiding from these changes will only make us feel small, because we were afraid. Also, because we’d be left with a mountain of “shoulda, coulda, wouldas.” In hiding, especially from the storm, we lose out on the universe’s offer to cleanse us of anything that no longer serves us. All it wants to do is lighten our load. Free us of conscious and subconscious burdens. It wants to condition us to become fearless, and embrace change. The storm; the change in weather is just a metaphor otherwise, of the possibilities in life.

The oceans run deep, and at times they rise up. They become stormy, because there’s a sort of tension that needs to be released. We, as humans, have oceans of emotions. They run deep. They become stormy, because there are sorts of tension that have a need to be released. We have to face those storms to move on, to grow, to become stronger.

It’s all temporary. The weather, our feelings, our circumstances. When we embrace that, it’s likely because we have not forgotten about our sunny days. We have not forgotten the rainbows. We have not forgotten how clean the air has become after the storm. We have not forgotten the pleasure of breathing easy.

We can’t expect the sun to shine on our days, and not have the water rise as well. It’s a responsibility. We all have rhythm, we all move. It’s in how we interpret our experiences, that transform our livelihoods.

We are the ups and downs, the ins and outs, the comings and goings, because we’re alive. We are supposed to dance. We are living art. So, whether the weather is stormy, sunny, or sorta funny, be fearless. Weather, the weather. Rise up.

 

Change, No Coins.

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2014.

Inevitability. My hands are up, embracing the one thing I can鈥檛 control. Change. Along with it comes opportunity for unlimited growth. As much as I鈥檇 like to prepare for growth, it’s not as effective as it is to simply go through the changes. There’s not much power in preparing for it, because I have no idea what it will do to me. All I can do is pay close attention to what evolves and dissolves as it’s happening.

I go with the flow. I don’t try to force anything. It’s a feeling of empowerment to embrace change entirely. The experience of growing as changes naturally occur can be compared to a raw, unfiltered immersion that produces a sometimes painful beauty. It’s all about perspective. Something within myself changes with every experience. Change lies within all of the little tiny intricate things. I love how it’s not always recognizable right away. Change is the planting of seeds.

I鈥檝e changed. I鈥檓 not the same person I was last year, last month or even yesterday. There are many things and people I care about, and different levels to which I care. There are levels to everything. I鈥檓 all for the significance of balance. If I鈥檓 feeling off, then I have some shifting to do. One of the four agreements shared with us by Don Miguel Ruiz tells us to not take anything personally. I鈥檓 embracing that. My flow through this world has everything to do with what moves my spirit. If I am not moved, then I will not move. I am my first priority, so I have to pay my attention to what has the potential to affect a change in me. Change is a currency. Change is a reaction. Change can be a choice. Change has inspired me to no longer take anything anyone does personally. There was a time I did, and I’m a greater person for now knowing better. To take things personally is sort of like taking a drug. That feeling would metaphorically place me “under the influence” causing a delusional belief that I could have influential powers over other people鈥檚 actions. I do not take what you do personally.

My change is reflected through my actions. My change is expressed through love. My change is presented through words and colors. I love and appreciate the universal law of change; a promise to the living that nothing is forever.

I will practice congratulating others when I notice their growth. It’s worth celebrating. It means we’re awake. Listening and learning. Sometimes when I write, I feel as though I’m rambling. What I appreciate most about my blog posts is the fact that they change over time. My mission to share my opinion about this life on earth doesn’t change, but my delivery does.聽There’s more value in personal change, than the kind I use to exchange currency for product. If I were to strip naked of material possessions, what do I really have. A woman evolving. Change, no coins.

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2018.聽

Due Time

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Singapore, Singapore. 2018.

When we know our gifts, and our purpose, and aren鈥檛 afraid of presenting them to the world, then we also know when it鈥檚 our turn to shine. We鈥檙e aware of everyone being on a different mission and having varied goals. Knowing this, we understand that we鈥檙e not here to run a race, perhaps we are here to run, just not all at the same time.

Sharon bakes really well, and her specialty is dessert. Marian also bakes really well, but she specializes in savory foods. Simply because they both bake well doesn鈥檛 mean that Marian should bring baked macaroni and cheese to the dessert party. 聽The idea of passing the baton, stepping aside, and supporting others during their moment makes complete sense.

We are not in competition, and if we were, we鈥檇 at least stick to our lanes or categories. Let鈥檚 not exhaust our energy unnecessarily. The fitness trainer should never worry about the dance instructor taking their clients. The author does not have to worry about the illustrator outshining them. The lights on the trees serve a greater purpose when they are turned on during the night. No matter the person, the talent, the gift, it can never compare to that of another 鈥 because we鈥檙e all so different, and we鈥檙e all so necessary 鈥 just not all at the same time.

As we understand our roles, our lanes, and our purpose, we understand when it鈥檚 our time to shine. We are well aware that the light we possess and express would never threaten that of another. It just doesn鈥檛 work that way. 鈥淟ife is a journey, not a competition.鈥 So please, let’s not be stingy with our gifts, they’re meant to be shared with others.

“I am not competing with anyone but myself. I want to be excellent at whatever I do.”聽 聽 聽 聽– Dr. Maya Angelou (remembering you on your birthday, and always).

“I’m not interested in competing with anyone, I hope we all make it.”

“…because she competes with no one, no one can compete with her.”

“Successful people never worry about what others are doing.”
“They’re not your competition if you don’t even compete.”

“When you’re in your own lane, there is no traffic.”

“Comparison kills joy.”

“You don’t compete, where you don’t compare.”

“Supporting another’s success won’t ever dampen yours.”

“Stay in your magic.”

…and for those who are afraid to find their magic or share their magic, this one’s for you:

“Never give up on a dream because of the time it will take to accomplish it, the time will pass anyway.”

“Let your fear of failure be your motivation to succeed.”

“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.”

When we know our gifts, and our purpose, and aren鈥檛 afraid of presenting them to the world, then we also know when it鈥檚 our turn to shine.

The Sun

84DFA172-5D87-48FC-A6A0-DE1A78E622C7.jpegMae Ra Moe, Thailand. 2018.聽

Today, once again, from a tent on a beach, at 6:42 AM, I watched with amazement, the sun presenting itself to the day, as each time is the first time. It reminds me of the opportunity we have as people to enter the day, brand new, with style and grace. There were hues of light blue, purple, orange, and pink that were sprinkled throughout the sky, almost as if it were a red carpet for the sun鈥檚 arrival. When it happened, when I noticed the first sight of the tip of the sun, I became excited yet again, for something I鈥檝e seen multiple times before, and when it came into full view, just like the ending to a classic movie, I wanted to give it a standing ovation. I almost wanted to cry. Just like that, taking in something so simple, as a sunrise, has reminded me yet again of the possibilities in life.

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Phuket, Thailand. 2018

It鈥檚 the 27th day, and from the sands of Phuket, I sat still until the spirit moved me to write. During that stillness, so much flashed through my mind. I remembered moments of being in love, moments of mourning, moments of celebrating new life, moments of celebrating personal successes, moments of experiencing new things for the first time, moments of landing in countries I鈥檝e always dreamed of visiting, moments of witnessing my very own dreams coming true. Then I was moved to pick up a book and continue reading, when it hit me.

I鈥檓 reading an inspiring story written by Bill Strickland, 鈥淢ake the Impossible Possible.鈥 This is becoming one of my favorite reads after The Alchemist, The Four Agreements and The Book of Awakening.

In the book, Bill Strickland shares his story of building a dream that he didn鈥檛 originally plan for himself, but because he鈥檚 a man who simply follows his heart and trusts his intuition, has been led to unveil an inspiring reality that has come to positively impact and transform the lives of many people, people who would have never believed in themselves if it weren鈥檛 for the opportunities Bill Strickland was able to present to them – had he not listened to his gut and fought to make all that seemed impossible, possible. It鈥檚 a story that reminds me of the powers that lie within the combination of harwork, faith, determination, consistency, and a heart to do good.

The chapter I just finished reading was the fuel I needed to keep the flame burning of all of the new dreams I have for myself, and it said to me ever so clearly that I must not scale back any of my hopes and dreams, because they鈥檙e all possible and necessary.

I have goals of connecting with more people, of presenting an opportunity for students to learn in a new way, of reaching new levels of creative artistic expression, of immersing myself in new lands and cultures, of learning new languages and carving a path that will lead me to connect my way back to my roots. There鈥檚 so much more to this life, without a doubt, and impossible is nothing as long as the sun is out.