gentle

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Summer is very much here and the humidity has been creeping up around me that the irritable emotion is just waiting for a chance to shine. But I don’t want to let it. I’d rather cool down inside and out. It’s so easy to let one negative domino fall thereby making this effect of a bunch of other negative scenarios come into existence. Isn’t it true that even the smallest atom of things can tip the scales from one end of the spectrum to the next?

So I take photographs of nature in hopes that it conveys the message that life is gentle sometimes; perhaps even most of the time if we let it. It’s best to learn early on, I suppose, that not everything negative in life has to be a catastrophic event. It isn’t. And doesn’t have to be.

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meditating and mindfulness on a train

Deep breathe in.

Deep breathe out.

My aunt introduced me to meditation about a decade ago.I had done mindfulness before I even knew what it was called, but after she gave me a proper idea and definition of meditation, I was able to focus my energy towards the practice more deeply. After practicing it a few times I’ve had only a couple of instances that truly stand out. And honestly, I do not do it as often as I like to.

The last time I meditated was, unusually, on a semi-packed train. I was having a rough morning. The specific details are lost on me now, but I remember the only thing that comforted me was just closing my eyes and focusing on my breathing. Being mindful. The noises on the train were barely there. I felt balance filled with immense gratitude. I felt empowered. It’s hard to describe, but it felt like whatever it was that bothered me that morning just did not matter anymore. I was gently uplifted by the new energy that developed.

I read once that meditation and mindfulness are ways for our brains to recharge. To let our minds take rest and reset our thoughts. It’s so easy to wrap our heads around a specific idea or a pattern over and over again. We’re just a computer that needs to reboot sometimes.

nature

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It survived another month
The fragility of petals
Grasping a millimeter of stem
Rooted for some kind of stability.

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Winds tampered its solid grace.
The calm nights hushed sounds
Of crying rain and cats meows
Wanting to be heard, to express.

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The light grew outwards
Unable to contain its bravery
The audacity of survival
The power of life’s everything.

feeling home

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Years ago, I visited this no-kill cat shelter and saw this beautiful cat. S/he looked so warm and happy; weren’t scared of us or anything at all. I think they felt at home. Look at those cute paws!

It’s so automatic as a child to feel at home. Well, speaking from my perspective, it was. I was surrounded by familiarity and had little to fear or stress over. Although things are not exactly like that now, I do enjoy the freedoms I have as an adult. I have a handle of things and create things in my life that only I can make.

Having lived in a few different places by now, my feeling of home is not always the same feeling. I’ve noticed there’s always a slight difference to each place. I’ve lived in dorms, lived in the city, lived in the countryside, lived in the suburbs and lived away from my home country.

The memories I create for each space are ones I find comfort in. Now, much older, I realize there are a few signs I’ve noticed for places I truly find peace in:

  1. I have a routine I can rely and depend on
  2. I enjoy staying in and find comfort on the sofa
  3. I find myself cooking a lot in the kitchen or at least wanting to
  4. Unintentionally notice and appreciate sounds from the neighborhood—like birds chirping, buses driving by or people chatting.
  5. Feeling grateful to have the space in general
  6. Wanting the space to be calm and surrounded with warmth from either little knick-knacks, personal photographs or words to live by
  7. I have pride in the space and wanting it to evolve with me—meaning, it’s not just going to be a blank space.
  8. Sharing the space with loved ones and making memories that I always come back to
  9. Finding a go-to restaurant in the area and knowing I can depend on it for my cravings

What makes your home feel like home?

healing

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Heal. Let yourself take a break. Sometimes our wounds are much larger than we let ourselves recognize. Sometimes we are too hard on our emotions and keep them in. Let them go. Let yourself feel any thing you need to feel. Sadness, love, happiness, joy, jealously, panic. Let them go. Let them be free and let yourself be free. Afterwards, let yourself breathe. Heal yourself in any way that gives you happiness. Take in the good and let go of the bad. You deserve this. You deserve to have moments in which you can be yourself. You are everybody to everyone all the time. Be you for you. We are fragile and we are strong, but we still feel down when the world gets us down. That happens to all of us. The power of healing helps us mend and defend ourselves for the next sudden wave of hardship that may come our way.

the energy is you

I just awoke from a nap after having been left without electricity earlier tonight. I think my mind really needed that reset. I’ve noticed that life can come at me with so many demanding responsibilities, my health and wellness falls off the priority list. So, when this unexpected and somewhat annoying circumstance comes along, I decided tonight that there was no point to be annoyed. Just live in it for a bit. The darkness and lack of noise was surprisingly calming. The amount of stimulus that comes through our eyes in a day kind of scares me when I take a moment to really think about everything that happens in a work day alone—excluding all the stuff we do for fun, that can take a lot of energy, too.

As I gathered my thoughts, I thought about this metaphorical life journey as a whole. There can be so many people on our side that love and support us unconditionally. Their cheer and care can be that added strength we need to go for our dreams. And then there are the ones who aren’t as great, but we have them in our lives either by obligation or uncontrolled settings like work, family or relationships by connection. It can feel so heavy to feel the weight of someone’s disappointment in us. I know it is for me. And then there are the ones who, intentionally or not, can affect our lives negatively because they have some selfish need to fulfill.

I reminded myself that the opinions of my own life and the values I hold are the things that will help me move further to where I want to go. The people on the side of love or hate, can definitely affect the journey part, but the ultimate force is me. We can all propel ourselves in any direction we so choose. Life will always throw us into situations we don’t find ideal, but it’s our will and spirit that can get us out (hopefully smoothly!)

two too many

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These photographs were taken during one of the best years of my life. I went on so many adventures and learned more of who I was. I felt free. And yet, it wasn’t forever. The photographs stay there and the memories come along, but the reality is still different. It’s different because time has passed. Maybe those horses aren’t there anymore. Maybe they’re somewhere warmer. I will never know.

In a moment, the memories of who I love come flooding and my heart becomes completely arrested by the thoughts and feelings of what they meant to me; what they mean to me always. It passes. These moments come and go. Sometimes they stay a little longer because I have more time to think about them, but mostly, they kind of wander in and then quickly walk out. But it hurts every single time.

Coming across these memories of adventure makes me yearn for a time like that again. It won’t be the same, but it’ll be another section of my life I can be proud of. And although I said these photographs represented a good year for me, it still had a lot of ups and downs like any other. There’s no need to exaggerate or forget the bad either.

The reality is that a true photograph of a moment isn’t going to be perfect. To me, a good photograph is one that tells me something about true life. It isn’t going to be right or wrong. It isn’t going to be staged or predictable.

It’s just a moment in time. The day this was taken, we drove on a very long road and there was green grass all around us. This place was new to us. It was clear and we saw these beautiful creatures just doing their thing. I wanted so badly to gather that essence; that attitude. I got out of the car and just took out my camera. One snap, two snap. That’s all. And even that may be two too many.

going with the flow

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I haven’t painted in so long. I’ve had mini sparks of inspiration here and there to get my supplies out and just start. But I always end up resisting it. Or I’m too lazy to actually do the work. The motivation in me to do things this week has dwindled down a lot compared to last week and the week before. I’m tired. My sleep has been suffering and I know deep down that’s probably the culprit to all this de-motivation. But why the no sleep?

Seeing this painting makes me really happy and proud. It no longer exists because I added more color afterwards that made it a whole new tone and painting entirely. The color was orange-red and it just made it more spicy. Here, it’s calmer. I remember creating this piece on a whatever, normal night at the apartment. I had painted a bit before; just playing as always. And I really liked the aquamarine color along with the cobalt blue. The wavy lines came out of my mood at the time. I had no care on how this painting turned out. I just wanted to paint.

I felt so inspired that I even posted it up with a poem on here. Here’s the post if you want to read it. The poem goes…

they say our lives will go into waves
they’ll dip down to the ocean floors
and shoot up to the stars
and ride on a shooting star.
and when a toddler points up
on a clear dark night,
he’ll see someone’s dream come true.
the white spaces in between
insulates us from the let down
of our traveling lives.
here comes a high one again,
i’ll catch you on the wave…

I used to be more of a “go with the flow” kind of person, but nowadays, I’m less so. It was fun to be that way, but in some ways, costly, wasteful and absent-minded of me. Well, wherever I end up going, I’ll always have this image to remind me of what really matters in life. Catch you on the next wave.

butterfly petals

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I don’t think butterfly petals is their official name. I don’t know the name of this flower at all. It was so eye-catching though. They were so perfect, they looked like they were made by hand; a controlled and intentional creation. But rather, they stemmed from nature. Grown from a blueprint unseen and unpredictable. I would always want these butterflies free. Never bound and always floating, as they should be.

fly away
as far as you can
or stay
on a single petal
for as long as you want
be free
feel free
bloom nature’s origami
butterfly statues
velvet to touch
fragile as silk
resiliently invincible

clarity

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we sat on the rocks. early morning trying to catch the sunrise. we drove in it as we drove by it getting here. we weren’t disappointed though because we’ve seen so many. it never gets old chasing the sun. it’s too beautiful and you just feel like the whole world is greater than whatever worry’s occupying your mind. we talked about our fears at the moment. wondering if we’d ever catch our dreams and if time could heal whatever it is making the whole world so broken lately.

i saw the ripples move in and away. the wind was pretty steady. so grateful i brought an extra layer of clothing. it let me sit a little while longer. there were two major rippling patterns. one went to the right and there was a mini one hitting it at an angle. it made me think that no matter how solid your path is or the wave you’re riding, there can be a little one just angling you away. some waves made it through okay, but some got completely off course and disappeared.

it’s okay though because they ended up being on another track. just like we do. we get on a wave and then get knocked out sometimes. we get up and get on another. then we ride along until we get to where we need to go. maybe we’ll meet our fears along the way. maybe we’ll make friends with it. and maybe it’ll all be one someday and everything makes sense.

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“look at the stars” – coldplay

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I never thought I’d listen to Coldplay as much as I have in my life. I even own one of their cds randomly, oddly, since I don’t consider them one of my favorite bands. But maybe I do now. There’s just something about the words they sing. Or the messages they have. I think I’m more into their older stuff. Their song Yellow is one I always liked. Something about this song in particular makes me feel like time can just stand still a little longer than it has nowadays. It makes me feel like it’s okay to take my time. It’s okay to take deep breathes. It’s okay to dream and to remember the good ol’ days.

Look at the stars
Look how they shine for you
And everything you do
Yeah they were all yellow
-Coldplay