Inspiration: My Personal Nature/Astronomy Photography Throughout the Years & What It Means to Me

Nature’s enthralling beauty includes the way the sky appears when the sun is rising or setting and how ethereal it looks outside after an afternoon rain shower , which are all examples of daily/common treasures that should not be taken for granted. The way the orange, blue and pink hues in the sky blends together as the sun rises or sets is a (thankfully) re-occurring unparalleled sight to see. Perhaps it is easy to become comfortable with natural scenic views like this as we go about our daily lives, but there is also a refreshing & uplifting inspirational feeling we can receive from nature’s beautiful art. If something is heavy on our minds or we’ve encountered a lot of negativity within a day, sometimes we can find inspiration in daily gifts that are not always in human form. It is even scientifically proven that taking a walk in nature is therapeutic and good for our well being. I encourage us all to continue to remain purely fascinated with life’s natural treasures because it is a healthy & positive perspective to have throughout life. We all find happiness and joy in different things depending on what speaks to our souls/and passions.  Here are a few examples of nature’s art photographed by me throughout different years & changing seasons that makes me smile and thankful…I hope you find beauty in them too!

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Photo taken back in summer 2012. I saved this because it was very beautiful to me! Especially looking above at it, I nicknamed the photo ”Wheel in the Sky Keeps on Turning’ from a Journey song. The song’s lyrics do not actually correlate with the photo precisely, but the title of the song seemed befitting to me and sometimes I also interchangeably nickname this photo as : The ‘Will’ in the Sky Keeps on Turning  (”Will” meaning inevitable events and creations from a higher power/God.

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Photo taken on a snowy day in December 2017. I loved the tree’s aesthetic. It’s so interesting how many trees have been here way longer than us and have been present throughout many different happenings and lives as they come & go. This tree, like others, goes through many drastic changes within a year but it is beautiful no matter the season.

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Photo taken in 2018. Whenever I am walking somewhere, I like photographing the beautiful flowers that I see planted.  Unfortunately, I’ve procrastinated in the past when it comes to planting more of my own flowers, but this spring I am looking forward to actually growing more flowers and doing a little garden work with my mother. Photos like this gives me inspiration and they are so pretty!

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Photo taken in Piedmont Park in 2018. I am so appreciative of scenic views in parks. One of my favorite things to do is go to parks & preserves. There are so many activities I can do there. Just walk and take in all of nature’s aesthetics, have an outdoor lunch on the grass with my Dory from Finding Nemo plush blanket underneath, look at the sun setting or rising, go for a bicycle ride, watch the ducks & other animal sightings, enjoy live music, exercise, paint, pet people’s dogs if they let me,  take photos like this, whatever. The list goes on and on!

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Photo taken in December 2017. This photo (taken with an iPhone) made me decide to invest in a dslr camera instead of taking photos with a phone all of the time. I love astronomy and although I see mesmerizing views with my eyes and a telescope, I really want to start capturing beautiful views like this in better quality. Night time astronomy photography calls for dslr camera quality, and since I’m passionate about astronomy, I’ve been working on my photography more with a different camera. But still, I love & cherish these i-phone shots and I remember looking at it, thinking: ”This is so cool to me”…one of the moments in life that makes me happy.

I encourage us all to never forget the so-called ‘simple’ yet amazing gifts that are a part of nature in this world…it is really all around us. Of course, humans value material things to a certain extent, but let’s not get so focused on just solely these things and forget the priceless treasures that are among us daily.

”To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miracles”- Mary Davis

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My Abstract Artwork ‘Volcano Spring’ & Personal Journey Reflection

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Lately I’ve been focusing more on what I am passionate about, which includes creating art. Among other meanings, I also see art as an emotion that manifests itself in physical form. Volcano Spring is what I imagine when the intensity of a suppressed valuable emotion erupts and spreads in the refreshing season of spring. While creating this artwork, I visualized how a feeling can relate to a volcano that is bound to come forth. Not necessarily in a volatile/destructive manner, but to help nurture in a new beginning and coexist with the starting season. The volcano of emotion integrates with vital spring, creating a mixture that is both intense and expressive while nurturing progression. I am currently working on a collection of artworks, and Volcano Spring reflects a natural inevitable occurrence and how it relates to the complex yet beautiful journey of the intense emotional human experience…something that I am going through right now. In our own distinct pathways, we all are.

Volcano Spring, 2018.  (Acrylic Paint on canvas). 20×20

Inspiration: Being There For Friends/Love Ones Who Are Always There For Others

Often times there are people in our lives who seem to always be there for others,  but may feel as though no one is truly available when they need genuine care & support. Whether it is a simple phone call to check on our love-ones just to see if they are okay or need someone to talk/listen to…our time being available matters. Of course, we all have those love-ones who may claim they do not want to talk about ‘it’ or to ”leave them alone”, but they just may not be ready to open up about what is bothering them.  For an example, sometimes one of my love-ones may claim to not want to converse or talk about something that is bothering him/her at the moment, but I still let them know that I am there if they need someone to listen or talk to. Also, if they refuse to open up about the situation or seem detached, we can tell our love-ones ”I pray/hope you triumph over what you’re going through and I love you”. One of the least positive/effective things we can do is detach ourselves emotionally or mentally just because we have our own obstacles going on in life. No one is perfect, and we may not get it right all of the time when it comes to knowing when someone we care for is hurting, but all it takes is sincere effort and communication. Let’s not take our blessings for granted or only call the ones we claim to care about when we need something. Let’s be there and make sure they do not feel neglected or alone. Unfortunately, there are some people who consider themselves without family or someone who genuinely cares. For those people who feel that way, please know people exist around the Earth who may not know you personally but we are constantly praying & rooting for you, and trying to help in some way… and that is a genuine form of caring!

Positive Thought: ‘The World I Know’ by Collective Soul Analyzed

The thought provoking lyrics and perspective of the 1995 classic ‘The World I Know’ by Collective Soul is a great song/video to analyze. How I perceive this song is that it’s okay to question and feel deeply bothered with the state of our world,  but we should always try to not let this reflection prevent us from encouraging more positivity and good progression within our planet. I love this song and whenever I listen to it, the overall composition is compelling to me. I encourage all to never give up on our world…to never be comfortable or numb to the evil & unfortunate happenings that may be prevalent in our world. One of the many beautiful reasons why hope still lingers on is because this world also includes inhabitants/souls who are conscientious, good-hearted and genuinely care to implement/spread positive change. Therefor, let’s never feel as though this world is mainly full of only gloom and despair…because it is not. We all are each equally important & vital in implementing positive change, and there are people who still sincerely care for the pain/suffering others experience.  If we can’t seem to find many, then let’s be one of the light-filled souls we seek and desire. I also love how this video encourages people to never give up on life and that there is always inspiration/positivity we can grow from and contribute to.

Has our conscience shown?
Has the sweet breeze blown?
Has all the kindness gone?
Hope still lingers on
I drink myself of newfound pity
Sitting alone in New York City
And I don’t know why

Are we listening
Hymns of offering?
Have we eyes to see
That love is gathering?
All the words that I’ve been reading
Have now started the act of bleeding
Into one, into one

So I walk up on high
And I step to the edge
To see my world below
And I laugh at myself
While the tears roll down
‘Cause it’s the world I know
Oh it’s the world I know

I drink myself of newfound pity
Sitting alone in New York City
And I don’t know why, don’t know why

So I walk up on high
And I step to the edge
To see my world below
And I laugh at myself
While the tears roll down
‘Cause it’s the world I know
Oh it’s the world I know

So I walk up on high
And I step to the edge
To see my world below

And I laugh at myself
While the tears roll down
‘Cause it’s the world I know
Oh it’s the world I know

Songwriters: ED ROLAND, ROSS BRIAN CHILDRESS
© KAREN SCHAUBEN PUBLISHING ADMINISTRATION

The Decision to Remain a Virgin: Others Who Are Abstinent After Teen Years

Of course, it is normal and common for people to have already engaged in sexual activity before they are well into their twenties. However, deciding to be abstinent and remain a virgin after adolescent/teen years is a choice that can often have an awkward phase/stage at certain points & times in life. Personally speaking, although I still do not regret my decision to not engage in sexual activity now, there was a time when I did feel awkward & from the ”outside looking in” in relation to some of my peers’ experiences. Now, in the present I am comfortable and at peace with my decision and here are a few encouraging words for people who are abstinent/waiting for whatever reason & who may feel awkward, uncomfortable, or aberrant. Not an overcritical perspective, just positivity, encouraging confidence, and inner peace from a personal point of view.

  • Deciding to remain a virgin should not feel like a burden. Just like the decision to have sex, it should be an embraced choice that feels like the best option for oneself. Letting people who are not you validate your choice/reasoning will only cause internal conflict and over thinking because everyone will have their own opinion/beliefs in relation to your decision. So many voices belonging to others in one head is not healthy and can delete our own unique voice/intuition. At the end of the day and reflecting, we are the ones who have to be comfortable and think , ”yeah, it is/was worth it.”
  • There is this false rationale accepted by some that implies a person needs to be with someone intimately/romantically  to feel & be whole and truly happy. Many people often correlate being single for a very long period of time with something negative or as if the person has a flaw that keeps them ”alone”. I know sex is probably amazing and positive romantic love is beautiful, but focusing on what we’re passionate about and what makes us happy can help immensely while being abstinent. There are a variety of experiences and memories, beautiful ones, that you can create and partake in while being abstinent, which will contribute to inner happiness.
  • Not everyone is abstinent for religious reasons, but spirituality certainly helps in the process of waiting for whatever reasons. If someone truly feels in their spirit that what they are doing is the best choice for them, then it will create peace and assurance which grows. When I decided that I wanted to wait and remain a virgin when I graduated high school, I asked God to help me with my choice because this was a decision that I really wanted for myself. I am only in my early 20’s, but I am no longer in the ”awkward phase” where I felt weird for refraining from sex and often contemplated how realistic it was. I hope who ever is still a virgin long after teen years, or even those who may be celibate, to keep your faith in why you’ve made your choice, create peace within yourself with your decision, and don’t let those who are on the outside looking in dictate or influence the choice YOU have to live with.

 

Encouraging Positive Self Esteem Among Ladies

Despite what society says is beautiful or not, it is important that people feel sincerely good about themselves. I wish that more ladies would genuinely accept their beauty, and not put others down while doing so. For an example, someone who sincerely is confident with themselves won’t feel the need to give another woman dirty looks, hate on another, or give out bad energy period. I’m speaking from a female’s perspective, but it is really unfortunate to me that insecure women give out negative energy to each other, and this all boils down to how confident they are with themselves. I’m not arrogant or conceited, but despite how attractive or unattractive I am to someone…that doesn’t affect the way I feel about myself. We should not thrive off of people’s compliments or take their criticism to the heart. That is not healthy, and we will never be satisfied. This means loving our body types, our skin, putting an emphasis on inner beauty & just feeling truly great from the inside. Don’t worry about not being someone’s preference or body type, because out of all the people in this wide world….some  will definitely be attracted to you. It’s  just science & how the way things work naturally. I want people to feel better from within, and not critiquing others so harshly just to make themselves feel better. So what if some people don’t like the way you look or whatever? Love the way you look, still be humble, & don’t ever feel bad for being in love with yourself just because of society’s beauty standards! Women should smile at each other more instead of giving dirty looks. I’d rather compliment another female than to hate on her or speak negative. Uplift each other, have authentic inner beauty, and understand that true beauty is more than skin. Our true self esteem level will always come to surface sooner or later. So, let’s not be intimidated by anyone, be beautiful from within, and encourage this among other ladies. Remember, beauty is not just skin deep and being a positive person is a true indicator of genuine confidence & good self esteem.

Father’s Day: For Biological & Spiritual Fathers Alike

Father’s Day is a day to honor all of the amazing men who are fathers, whether they are someone’s biological father or not. This is not a day to bash men or to speak just on the negative/dead beat biological fathers. Because there are a lot of outstanding men whether they have children, are a mentor/big brother to someone, or a step dad. I have a very large number of men in my family…A couple brothers, my biological father, tons of young men cousins, and several uncles. One thing that I can say is that I was blessed to understand, see and observe different relationships/aspects of the definition of a father figure. I love my biological father Ricardo aka Ricky, he has inspired me when it comes to my versatile music taste and I consider him a dear friend. I also consider my youngest brother, Ricardo, my spiritual father figure. I am years apart from my oldest brother, Tarey, so we did not really grow up together but he is still a beloved person in my life. My youngest brother Ricardo is moving out of the country and I am thankful that we got to grow up together because he is my mentor/big-brother guidance that I have had many deep/meaningful conversations and experiences with. We may not always see eye-to eye, but I am grateful for him. He does not have any children yet, but I still consider him a ”father figure” in my life. Despite some of the choices that my biological father has made, I am proud to be his daughter as well because he has a good heart and I wouldn’t be here without him. So, I call today Father Figure day because there are people who consider more than one person their father. Think about all of the men you personally know in your life and which ones are father-figures. Many of us may know more than one. Which means all over the world….whether you are a father yourself, have an amazing father or someone you can call a father figure…this day is a day to celebrate the spiritually beautiful men who are fatherly and they are genuinely appreciated. 

 

Lovely Day-Bill Withers: Be Inspired To Have Lovely Days!

Even though we have to be our own motivation at times, it always feels good to be around people & do things that help us have a lovely day. This Bill Withers classic is a good mood booster and it doesn’t matter if the inspiration is your best friend, the fact that you are alive, spouse,  relatives, dog, or whomever…I hope you have at least one treasure in your life that just helps make your day even more better. In life, it is always better to surround yourself with people who radiate positive energy because that inspires us even  more and it is healthy…way better than constantly being around folks who throw out negative vibes. So, may you have more lovely days and even when you feel ”down” or have a heavy burden, I hope you have someone or something in your life that is an inspirational positive energy. And, if you feel like you don’t…well just know that somewhere out there strangers like me are rooting for you and want you to have lovely days.

Vital Inspiration: The “Im Not A Morning Person Mindset” Is A Problem

I hear alot of people say their not a morning person.  Well, this is not an excuse to be bitchy, moody, rude, or mean to people just because it’s a certain time of the day. Yes, sometimes we all just want to stay in bed and not go to work or do whatever it is we have to do that day. But, think about this. What’s so horrible or unpleasant about mornings? Not the people, but the mornings? Yet some people use the old “Because it’s early in the morning excuse and I have to……” as if this is the reason why they are acting a certain way.  No, it’s not the mornings that are so bad.  If we start off our day with a negative mood or approach,  then that means we are the ones who are the problem.  It’s pretty normal to look sleepy in the a.m, but sometimes I notice people have these very mean/disturbing facial expressions. Some people may actually be dealing with something very painful or sad, but alot of people are just looking that way because it’s morning,  they have to go to work, or my favorite one: “That’s how I naturally look”. Um, okay. Bottom line, it’s not the early mornings, Mondays, or whatever people blame it on that is the problem.  We just need to change our outlook and views on these things and look forward to every day and especially the mornings because that is the beginning of a new day we are blessed to see again.  If you have to play an uplifting song like Nina Simone’s Feeling Good, pray, meditate, and look in the mirror & speak/think it into existence….then let’s do it.  Sometimes people let other people ruin their day or make them change their outlook on mornings. Well, let’s not let these people get to us, have power over us, or make us dislike a certain time of the day. It’s such a beautiful thing to wake up and be surrounded by positivity and awesome people, but if you’re not then that’s okay too. Why? Because we all have to create our own motivation,  positive energy, and that feeling of just thankfulness that we are alive.  There are people who wanted to wake up this morning , get things accomplished, and see certain people.  However,  they didn’t… but we did. So, instead of complaining or constantly using the whole “I’m not a Morning Person Excuse”, let’s not take for granted the beauty in waking up to the sun rising and our heart’s beating.  A new morning means a new day & opportunity/chance to be happy and have a great day.  So,  let’s see the beauty in mornings, those “slow”  Mondays and etc. Life has all of these “simple” treasures like sunset, birds singing by our bedroom windows, flowers/trees blooming right before our eyes,  and such. Yet, our view/outlook on life can taint how we feel about them. Let’s treasure every early morning we get to see and wake up to. Because that in itself is a reason to never claim we’re not a morning person ever again.

Hey You, Please Don’t Let Negativity Consume Your Thoughts

I think it is almost impossible not to think negative thoughts at times, but we can’t let that overpower our positive ones. For an example,  some people may be feeling down or discouraged about something they really want,  or they may have lost motivation to genuinely believe in having a happy/peaceful life.  Yet, our thoughts are very powerful and if we constantly think of all of the negative things that can go wrong with whatever it is we’re trying to do, then guess what?  It will possibly go wrong because we’re already letting the negative thoughts triumph.  Yes,  you’re gonna be what you want to be and you will be amazing at it. Yes, you will find inner peace and happiness at the most elevated level possible.  Yes,  you will gravitate to whoever or whatever it is that will benefit your soul.  All of these things are possible and real just waiting to happen (with patience of course). We just have to keep our mind & thoughts protected from being consumed by negativity. It may be challenging at times, but the outcome is worth it.