Today I am just f feeling super grateful and blessed. Though Spring so far has been cold, I found these blossoms in Kensington Market the other day. The colour is just so pretty. My thought for today is about Self-Love. Love yourself so that other can love you too. This is important. We talk about self-care a lot and refer to the Oprah’s analogy like if you were on an airplane and the oxygen mask fall out, you need to put on your mark first before you help others. But Self-Love, what is it? It’s a feeling of love and respect towards yourself, accepting yourself for who you are, with its gifts and flaws. Defending yourself when others try to bring you down. It’s necessary to speak out. If you fear that others will reprimand you for it, there is something missing. You are still looking for the approval of others to be ok with yourself. It is completely possible to speak out and still be nice. You don’t have to be rude or angry if others offend you. Your outer world is a reflection of your reality from within. Your love for yourself will reflect outwardly. The funny part is that by loving yourself, others will love you too and that in turn is what keeps our planet from utter chaos. Because if you love yourself, you will be sharing your gifts with the world, without fear and complete confidence that what you have to offer is outmost value. Because at the end of it all, we are a collective. We are all the same on the most basic level.
Sorry I’ve been away fora bit. I’ve been on a crazy awesome journey where I met Prince, His Royal Badness. A huge lesson that I think we;re missing in the spiritual community is EMBODIMENT. We get so caught up nurturing our spirituality that we forget that we need to face the real world. The physical being, the temple that keeps us here on Earth. I had been so busy in my own inner world that I forget to pay attention to what’s outside of me. One thing among followers of The Secret and Law of Attraction that I think is really missing in the guidance is that it’s not enough to just feel it or believe it. You must EMBODY it. You must take your emotions and desires into your physical being and that is when magic happens. Take inspired action. Don’t sit around waiting. It really doesn’t work that way. We’re not in a place where thinking it into existence occurs easily. It must be met with action to drive it forward. Life is a SHOW for us to PLAY our our DREAMS. Live your life like it’s a movie you want to watch. What are you waiting for? You only get to be in THIS life once.
Photography is one of the most powerful ways to move your forward to becoming the person you wish to be. Because it helps you to EMBODY our DREAMS. Playing out the role you desire and capturing it for yourself to see reinforces your desired self-image. I’d love to create your VISION with you. I’m in Toronto, but I can travel to where you are. Contact me here.
P/S There really is life after you leave this world!
Some thoughts I’m having tonight… In the last couple of weeks, I’ve decided to live my life completely in the moment and follow where the wind takes me. I’ve spent much time developing my business life and chasing results that are out of my control. I’ve decided to focus solely on the art itself. It’s why I started it to begin with. The purpose of my work is expression of myself and something that greater than me. Something calls me to do it because there is a need for it in the world. Which is why I’m here. I’m living spontaneously. I do a shoot because I feel like it. I write a story because there;s something to say. You can’t tell me when to create. Because it’s not me who is creating. I can only do my best work when I’m in the flow. I’m just the vessel for inspiration (in spirit) to be expressed. Anything less is a waste of time. I no longer question my urges anymore. Because I realized these are God-given soul desires that have to be listened to. Everything else will take care of itself because it’s divinely ordained timing.
It’s been so busy, that I forgot to post. Well, actually I knew, but couldn’t get around to doing it. I’ve been busy reviving my other website. For those of you who don’t know, I’m also a Numerology practitioner. I’ve been working with clients doing readings for the past three years. I’ve decided to make that area of business more passive, so that I can focus more on creating more art and writing. Readings do take a lot of energy from me as much as I enjoy doing them. There;s other work I need to explore.
I’m so excited to launch my new website, focusing on Life Purpose Numerology. It’s really taken Numerology to help me break free from my creativity rut and burn out. I used to be very attached to the results of my work, and it hurt me creatively. I now work intuitively, which gives me endless sources of inspiration and energy to do the work. I recently listened to a story from David Icke about the passing of Prince. He said that he had the chance to meet him and he could sense the energy around him, how limitless he was. Prince embodied the music, which made him prolific in his work. I feel similarly about my photography work. The truth is everyone can tap into this energy if they are in tune with their intuition. Both creativity and intuition are one in the same. But as a society we try to make creativity something academic and rigid. We judge the work and the creator. And as creators, we judge ourselves accordingly.
Prince certainly fulfilled his Life Purpose in his lifetime. I would like to help anyone out there who wishes to follow their purpose. Part of being able to find and follow your purpose is knowing yourself really well, and understanding the complexities of who you are. I’ve created a series of reports, called Your Life Purpose Report to help you using the powerful tool of Numerology. If you’d like to explore this further, head on over to my other website (decorated with my photographs!).
Alain de Botton is a contemporary philosopher that recently released a book called Art As Therapy. He says that Art has many roles to play our everyday lives and it has seven distinct purposes. One of them is to help us remember things, because as humans, we are forgetful. Art acts as a reminder for us. One of the most popular postcards sold in museum gift shops is Claude Monet’s Waterlilies. Apparently, this is disturbing to sophisticated art tastemakers. Flowers are viewed as frou-frou, not serious by the art world. According to Botton, the popularity of such artworks is an indicator that people look for art to remind them of hope. Hanging beautiful artwork on your walls can brighten your mood when things don’t feel so great. Flowers, though seemingly frivolous is what offers hope and inspiration in a not-so-nice world.
Botton also talks about how Art is used to bottle something, a feeling, a thought, a concept. I definitely feel like I am bottling the essence of flowers in my photography. Flowers are so fleeting, just like life’s beautiful moments.
If you would like to learn more about Art As Therapy, check out Alain De Botton’s video on it.
I’m so excited that the official beginning of Spring is here! Finally, the flowers come back in bloom. I expect to be going out on shoots more often. I’ve started putting up my limited edition works for sale in the Shop. I’d like to raise funds for travel to do more shoots elsewhere. Hopefully some gardens in Europe. Fingers crossed!
Here are some photos from a recent visit to Allan Gardens in Toronto. The Easter show is starting, so I’ll be there again soon to see what new blooms they’ve planted.
Whether you are a graphic designer, interior decorator, or fashion designer, choosing colors can seem like an arbitrary process. However, it doesn’t have to be. Choosing colors through inspirational images can take the guesswork out of whether or not the chosen color combinations are going to be harmonious. These color charts created from my Spring photography collection shows you how you can select colors directly from an image to create your color palette. Kudos to Lauren Wager, I was inspired by her blog, Color Collective.
I am excited to announce that I have released an ebook full of color scheme palettes created from my photographs. The ebook includes the color codes for RGB, HEX and Pantone, so that you can recreate the exact color schemes. I hope this will help those of you out there to feel inspired when you’re working with color for your next design project.Details here.
or more color inspiration, check out my new ebook here.
Have you ever thought about trying something new in your career? Did you stop yourself because it just didn’t seem like a logical career move? But your heart is still calling you to it?
When I started my intuitive consulting business, I seriously thought that I had arrived. You see, I’ve always had different jobs or businesses, and I’ve never stayed in one place for a very long time. My resume is a patchwork quilt of different experiences. To a hiring professional, I would probably appear very flaky on paper.
So when I thought that I had arrived at some place that I could stay in for a long time to come, I was quite happy. I trained as a life skills coach, and it was such a rewarding feeling to be working with people to change their lives. To grow spiritually and offer wisdom to others is amazing.
But then my interests shifted again and I started doing other stuff. I got into photography and video making. And I loved it.
The process of creating images and moving pictures was fulfilling a different side of me that wasn’t being fulfilled. It was allowing me to express myself in a way that I couldn’t before.
I wondered if I should pursue this more seriously. My heart was saying YES! My head was saying, are you sure about this? It’s going off path, AGAIN!
After some serious consideration, I decided to go for it. I was starting to realize how ungrounded I was becoming in my work offering personal development and spiritual guidance. Don’t get me wrong, I love this stuff. But too much of it isn’t a good thing. We need to have balance in life. It can’t just be all about the touchy-feel-good stuff they talk about in self-help books and Super Soul Sunday. We have to participate in life itself. And that means getting outside of our heads and taking action. Too many words of encouragement, too much looking for the deeper meaning in everything can really just be an excuse for procrastination. To truly live our dreams, we have to create it into reality, instead of chasing them with mere wishful thinking.
I decided that what l needed a vehicle for more real life experience. A way to get back to reality. And photography was going to be the way forward, because it puts me in front of reality itself. I wanted to get in touch with what’s around me and create something tangible from it.
The interesting thing about photography is that it has allowed me to merge two worlds together; the seen and the unseen. I work from an intuitive place, but I create with the reality around me. I am legally blind, so I often have to trust my gut feeling that I got the shot I wanted, and that everything is lining up for me in the photo. I don’t question so much, I rely on my instincts to guide me.
And so I believe, this is what they would call “inspired action”. This career move wasn’t planned, it wasn’t a strategy. It just happened, I let go and I followed my heart. And I couldn’t be happier.
On the first day in Qingdao, the tour guide took us to the boardwalk in Quondam. It is where the Olympic torch was passed on when the game were happening in Beijing. All along the boardwalk, there were these vendors selling all kinds of trinkets, such as seashells and jewelry.
I was quite stunned by this place that the tour guide took us to. This is a shopping arcade in Quingdao. The ceilings are painted like a sunset and the place is made to look like an outdoor village. The experience of walking through is surreal because you get the impression that the colours in the sky are changing. But the fact is that it is not– you are just changing perspective. It felt like I was walking into a Van Gogh painting!
In Quingdao, we went to the seaside and walked on the pier. It had rained that morning and by afternoon, it was misty and foggy. We considered it lucky that throughout the trip we only had one day of rain. Sometimes I think the unusual weather makes for the most interesting of photos. I really enjoyed the people watching at the pier. There were so many swarms of seagulls flying everywhere. The fog felt somewhat magical.
#seaside #China #peoplewatching #seagulls #fog #rain #mist
Some aspects I find interesting about China is the difference in living standards. It’s interesting to see how people from the other side of the world life. In Changchun and Jilin, it made for some interesting people watching. You may notice people wearing masks over their nose and mouth in these photos. The reason for that is that environmental pollution is very apparent in the cities. I also noticed that Chinese people wear a lot of colour in general. Unlike in the West, where most people prefer to wear dark or neutral colours.
On one of the tour stops, we went to Jilin Beishan Park. The river was frozen and so people were skating. We walked over the icy white bridge past the railway track and I could heard weird ghostly noises. A recording was being played repeatedly. I’m not sure why or where it was coming from. It was a rather strange and surreal experience.
We travelled to Tai’an to see the mountains. It is a less popular attraction during the winter. But I do have to say that it is worth going to. The waters streaming from the mountains are frozen and it offers a spectacular sight to behold. The rock formations are stunning with its vibrant colours and textures.
#breathtaking #China #landscape #mountains #hiking #nature #beauty
One of my favourite city stops on the tour was Jian. Jinan is known for its hot spring waters, and so even the hotels had hot spring water coming out of the faucets. We went to Daming Lake Park (as seen above), which had picturesque views. That day was hazy, and so you see it in the pictures how misty it looks in the distance. We also went to Baotu Spring. The scenery is very pretty, even in winter. What was an interesting site to see was the people collecting the spring water. It was an interesting place for people watching.
Thanks for dropping by! Be sure to come back next Sunday for a new set of photos from my journey to China. You can also follow me on Instagram @andreamaicreative, were I post daily photos from the trip that aren;t on this blog!