"Yoga is the ending of disturbances in the mind" - Yoga Sutra 1.2
The mind is constantly changing, constantly being bombarded with influxes of information. Like doctors, we are always on call. How many people do you know who leave the house without their cellphones…ON PURPOSE? Probably not many. How often do you check your phone for umm…idk, Facebook status updates, incoming text messages, Instagram posts, the latest YouTube clips, etc? Then, when you are not being obsessed with your phone, what are you doing? Are you on your laptop doing the same things you were doing on your phone? I think you get where I am going with this. I'm not saying phones, laptops, and advanced technology is bad. Heck, I'm an engineer, so I have a techie-nerdy side. The point I am trying to make is: When do we give the mind a break from all the distractions and information overload? Is it only when we sleep? If so, then, how do we process the tons of "new data" we receive on a daily basis? Or do we process it at all?
I ask these questions, not to criticize, but to emphasize the importance of caring for our mind. I mean, it is the central part of us. These questions…I pose them to myself. I am guilty of not taking care of my mind. I am glued to my phone, laptop, and during some seasons of my life…Netflix.
Since I met Denita Austin, she has been promoting a yoga-meditation based lifestyle. "Yeah, yeah, yeah…" were the thoughts that clouded my head each time she mentioned it. But then something happened in my life…(i.e., I got older and calmed down). I did start to notice that my mind would be out of control most times. Functioning as a "mad rocket scientist", I would fire off idea after unrelated idea, concept after unrelated concept. Good luck having a conversation with me. Even now, my mind is all over the place...disturbed with excessive thoughts.
This past weekend, I did a yoga-meditation-themed photo shoot with Denita. It was here that I was reminded of all those times she tried to enlighten me about the benefits of yoga and meditation. I know I can be hard-headed…LOL, but I get it now…I get it now…. Thanks Denita!!!
As always, it was a pleasure shooting with you and catching up on all the fun stuff you've been up to. May God continue to bless and empower you :-)
There are a lot of people who judge homeless people. "Stop begging! Get a job! Get away from me!" These are some of the things homeless people hear everyday. Did you know not all homeless people hold signs and sit on the corner asking for donations? Not all homeless people are on drugs and lazy. Homelessness wears many faces. One of your co-workers could be homeless. One of your students or church members could be homeless. You never know. Some of us are one paycheck away from being homeless. So the next time you are quick to judge, realize this person is a human being. They deserve to be treated as such.
At the end of 2013, I was blessed with the opportunity to capture the story of a young man whose name speaks for itself...REAL. It took an entire year to capture the all the footage. During that time, I learned more about homelessness, poverty, and God's grace, like never before. Moreover, I learned about this amazing, ambitious, and gifted man named REAL. He was born into an unfortunate situation, made a few bad choices as a teen, lived on the streets, setup tent in the woods, now, beginning a new life as a responsible father and provider. REAL talk...
To learn more about how you can get involved in helping homeless neighbors, check out The Nehemiah House of Virginia.
Today, I had the pleasure of working with Yoga Coach/Visionary Leader/Author, Denita Austin. I have worked with Denita in the past. She is one of my recurring clients. I enjoy working with her because she challenges me by desiring very specific, sometimes complex shots, but also gives me room to be creative.
We took pictures in a place she feels most connected with the universe: in her hidden cove amongst the trees in the Arboretum. We couldn't ask for better weather. It wasn't too hot or cold or rainy. The weather was fitting for the occasion. I am very satisfied with how the pictures turned out. I find myself getting better and better with each photo shoot. Practice may not make me perfect, but it's getting my pictures close...(at least in my eyes) :)
I'm feeling like Ice Cube right now..."I gotta say, today was a good day". As part of the preparation for the fast approaching missions trip I will be blessed to attend, the missions team went to the "city streets" to pass out free bottles of water, pray with strangers, and pass out tracts. I'll be honest, although I have prayed and talked about God with many strangers in public before, it has never been something I have been comfortable with. But today was different. God must have heard the many prayers sent by the team because the people we approached were not only interested in a cold bottle of water (it was crazy HOT), they were also interested in conversation, in prayer, and open to receiving tracts.
Most often, this is not the case. I typically encounter people who are not open to hear what I or anyone else has to say (even if something free is being handed to them...something they really want). Most people think you want something in return from them when you randomly perform a nice action or do something kind for them. Why is that? Why do we have such selfish expectations? That's a problem :-/
Anyway, the featured photo highlights a moment that touched my heart while we were out there today. A group of fraternity brothers held off from wherever they were on their way to, in order to dedicate a few moments to a public prayer session. I mean, they were HOLDING HANDS and PRAYING in the middle of the city!!! Unfortunately, it is not often I see such a sight. It encouraged my soul to a degree I cannot explain with words. It was a beautiful sight to see and it made my day. #itsthesimplethings
I just finished a rendition of Dr. Maya Angelou's poem she did for Michael Jackson entitled, "We Had Him". I will be reciting it during an event this Friday.
Before writing poems for events, I always feel a little stressed...which leads me to pray. It was no different when it came to this poem. I watched a few of Dr. Angelou's videos and listened to her voice. In it lied so much history, knowledge, wisdom, and love. This woman was a precious gem...and "WE HAD HER".
"We Had Her"
A couple weekends ago, I had the pleasure of taking pictures at DC Metro Church's DC Go Outreach Service at Farragut Square in Washington, DC.
Check out my first amateur video! I'm looking forward to improving over time, but this was a great first shot! The video captures the Keller Williams Realty's annual day of service, "RED Day", which stands for Renew, Energize and Donate. Each year on the second Thursday of May, associates spend the day away from their businesses serving worthy organizations and causes in their communities. The outreach services performed in this video was organized by my good friends and real estate agents, Jason and Kendra. For more information on RED Day: http://www.kw.com/kw/redday.html#.U7jITRbobXQ
I'm a non-conventional woman with a heart to spread love, kindness, compassion, and overall, good vibes. I love math and science. I'm fascinated by the universe, Earth, and together, how fragile we are. I believe God exists inside all of us. He manifests Himself through us, through the universe, through nature. We're all in this together. So let's love, cherish, and protect each other.