One of my favourite things to do, is to catch people in a moment and go deep. She was waiting for me to come over. Our coven of women were gathered in her home and I was unexpected, and welcomed. She met me underneath a street lamp, and as I saw the twinkles of light in her eyes, I thought to myself, "Cynthia, just go for it, sit her down, take her in and just don't give a fuck about the light".
These took us about 15 Minutes to get right. We talked about our women crushes on each other. As the awkwardness subsided, I said, "BB, close your eyes and think of me, what do you love about me, and I want you to show me what that looks like."
BB went for it. Thank goodness she did. Imagine life without these images? I certainly can not.
I started this new thing on Facebook, where I create a photoshoot from the top of my head and 24 hours before, I drop it as a status on Facebook. This way I am not choosing who makes it, whomever sees the post does and sees a fit, they choose.
This particular Pop up shoot was created by a first date. In fact, the pop up shoot was the first date. I met a guy online, and as soon as he found out that I was a photographer, he suggested being my assistant on a shoot. I thought to myself, WHY NOT?! First date guy suggested the Cherry Blossoms at High Park, I thought, WHY NOT?!
Gabe commented on my status with a hell yes and we met for 6pm at High Park, the next evening. There were NO BLOSSOMS, and if there were, they were the size of my Pinkies.
SIDE TRACK // It has been 4 years since my divorce. Most of the wounds have healed. For me, the odd guy wins and obscurity will pull me in. As my impromptu photo-assistant coffee date suggested this date, I thought, WOW, Gabe is a great space holder. What needs to stay will stay, what needs to leave, will leave.
Gabe, has the face of a serious soul. One who has experienced many lives, and one that hugs you with his smile, but you must understand him without the smile first. He walks with you, not in front of you, not behind you. Gabe offered to carry my equipment, time and time again. This man is so much love. When things would fall out of my hand, he would stop me from reaching and pick it up, and not because I am a woman, but because I am important - there is a difference.
My date left in the middle of the photo-shoot. Something made him uncomfortable and he was absolutely honouring where he was at - which is always a good thing. For about 45 seconds, I experienced sadness, an ego trip and then confusion. Gabe's energy and healing brought me back to the shoot. We ended up finding some out of the box shots and he jumped into every opportunity I presented.
The song and dance between subject and photographer was quiet and understood. What we created is beautiful, of course it is. When we are both so wide and open to create whatever shows up, you let the magic show up.
These images hold a breakthrough for me. They remind me of what I desire in a man, what I am willing to fight for and what I am willing to walk away from. These images also evoke the beauty of Gabe - a stunning man, stunning captures and a connection that is forever fused on film.
When I am asked why photography? My response - "My life is empty with out it".
You know that saying? - "Those who can not do, teach"?
Well, Rhea has done, and done and done. Some of her experiences have repeated themselves to the point where she stopped, and said..."Ok, universe, I'm listening now."
Rhea grew up moving from house to house, school to school and that created a tough skin. The kind of skin that became independent, quiet and at times lonely.
Through the years, and the jobs and the relationships and the "I got this" - life became bland and mundane. Then it happened, a beautiful, timely car accident, not one, but two, jolting Rhea into a new reality and her transition begun.
Rhea woke up on January 1st of 2014 and took a good look at her life, all the choices she made, all the things that didn't work, all the places she was complacent and unhappy. She was brought back to all the nights she'd lay in be, dreaming of another life.
Upon learning that she was not the only one who had woken up, her world started shifting at an accelerating rate. She hopped on her new train, and dived deep into health, nutrition, self-development, and attended as many workshops as there were coffees sold at Starbucks on a Monday morning.
Rhea has done the work.
Now, experiences shift us, however it is what YOU do with that shift that matters.
Rhea transitioned, she took her life, shook it up, and created the life she truly desires. What was created was her outburst for life, she begun to attract listeners, who were looking for inspiration, motivation, and a place to speak of their own discoveries that seemed to be so out of the norm.
Rhea became the hub of self-discovery, for herself and for others. She started filming videos every Sunday, coining the term 'Soulful Sundays', where she would openly and HONESTLY share a breakthrough she experienced that week. These shared moments are always powerful, the way she speaks, how she shares always leaves you taking a deep look into your own life, her words singe you with a desire to seek healing and pleasure in places where you have experienced pain or discomfort.
Rhea discovered her business venture through her sharing with others in their shifts and their transitions. She became the go to friend. Her heart is that big, there is room for everyone.
Today, Rhea has taken all that she has done, and created a brilliant garden of experiences to not only assist your life transitions, but to be there with you every step of the way. Like that best friend that always calls when you need.
Check out this Transitions Expert at http://www.rheaanne.com/.
In the world of healing, in the new world of healing, we are all waking up. Medicine is not the only modality. Acupuncture, Reiki, Natural medicine. Ayurvedic, Chinese medicine... we are discovering that these modalities have place in our healing.
Art inspires us, it moves us, and at times art has offered up a great first date! I think the notion of Reiki existed in paintings - always. The difference being that the intent was artist healing themselves through their self-expression.
Ioanna paints. She paints with intention, and healing for others. Her paintings are filled with Reiki healing. Imagine receiving a piece of art that heals you every time you walk by it?
'Heal the world' has a whole new meaning all of a sudden.
Creativity is a drug I cannot live without.
Cecil B. DeMille
The story of Surrender...
I was listening to the backdrop of conversations from a TV show a friend was watching, scrolling through Facebook posts and doing my usual end of evening tasks. Brushing my teeth, washing my face and preparing for the next day. I was thinking about my life and where it is, as if it had somewhere to be. Some destination to arrive at. I am learning this is not the case. When your life is not doing what you think it should be...surrender.
Surrender to not knowing the next moment, the future, or the next move. I truly believed that I was living life freely. That I was "going with the flow." I was doing no such thing. I was securing my safety nets, and I was taking calculated risks. I was playing it safe.
Very recently, I demoted myself at my day job, left a roommate to find my own sacred space. And in all of that, dealing with some heavy duty unforeseen personal taxes and building my business. I was lost, so lost – so scared –living between homes, not knowing what was next. Where was I? Where did I put myself? What was I doing? Did I take too many risks? How many risks does a risk taker risk?
As my head hit the pillow and I started to think about what dreams I may have the honour of escaping into, I had a vision. He was a man – living in a big city, well dressed and well to do; he has a stream of delicious dreams. He thinks. A lot. He thinks about God, about love, and what is missing in his life.
Is it love?Is it God?Is it truth?Is it a woman?Is it a man? Is it himself?
He is alone...but not by choice. He is alone, because, well, he dreams. He dreams so much that he could get lost in a phrase, a thought, or a dream.
After a day of dreaming, he surrenders to the night, travels the city and dances in the streets. He surrenders himself to the quiet, the alone, and the unknown.
This is a story about "having it all in life". Having everything you have ever dreamed of and still feeling empty.
Yearning and dreaming forever to fill this cup with just about anything – Anything! – only to discover that what you truly desire to put in your cup are the things you have been ignoring.