Beyonce

Last week I was hired to photograph an event.  The event was a salon, held in an office space in Soho (NYC).  I saw this sitting on a someone’s work space and had to share it!IMG_8439

Let’s all move forward with this in mind!

How Rich People Think (and a Big Surprise)

A little over a year ago, I was seeing a career coach.  We talked about all aspects of my business- the practical, spiritual, and financial.  She felt (and I admit) I had a lacking money mindset and it was showing up in my business.  I was undercharging and taking on jobs that left me physically exhausted.  That is not a fun place to be.  She recommended a few books to me to help amp up my attitude and mindset around money- The Charisma Myth, Money: A Love Story, and How Rich People Think.  I read the first two immediately, but let How Rich People Think sit on my bedside table for months.  Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of cleaning out- my closet, papers, and books.  I kept coming across the book and would think, “Maybe I should get rid of this…”  But I hadn’t even really cracked it open and decided I should at least try to read it before donating it.  So a few weeks ago, I was in need of a new book (books are my friends and I love reading) and decided it was time to give How Rich People Think a read.  I threw the book in my purse, feeling it would be a good book to take on my subway commutes.  The next time I was at the subway, I took the book out of my purse and started flipping through it before actually starting to read it.  “Wait, what’s that?”  I had seen something wedged in the pages as I had flipped through the book.  I slowly went back through the pages and was stunned with what I found- pressed between two pages was a crisp 100 dollar bill.  At first I thought it was a hoax.  I took out the bill and looked at it, convinced it wasn’t real, some kind of weird advertisement, I’m not sure what I thought, but I just didn’t feel it could be real.  But the more I looked at it, the more I realized, I had just found a 100 dollar bill in a book entitled How Rich People Think.  I was astounded and of course super excited.  I quickly stashed the bill in my purse, fearful that someone on the subway might have seen my actions!  I told a few people the story and most people had the same reaction, “Wow, how crazy that you found that and how ironic that you found it in a book titled How Rich People Think.”  I felt it was more than irony however.  I have no proof of this other than just a hunch, but I feel like someone purposefully left the bill in the book.  I texted my career coach the story because I knew she would appreciate it.  Her is what she wrote back, “… Shift your mindset to receive and stay open to the possibilities.  Experiment in asking the Universe to send you more ways to receive money.  What do you have to lose…”  I did read the book and had many great takeaways from it besides finding the money of course.  In fact, I’m planning on re-reading it to really let the lessons sink in.  Slowly, I am changing my perceptions around money and finding that 100 dollar bill really gave me a boost.

IMG_8355

(this is the actual $100 I found in How Rich People Think)

41CcnazZyjL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

Today Is Not My Birthday

Today is not my birthday, but I feel compelled to mention my last birthday.  It was a turning point for me.

I hate to admit it, but I am one of those people who kinda gets sad on their birthday.  It’s a stupid approach, I know.  But every year, as  January 19th approaches, I start to feel like I should plan an extravaganza.  I brainstorm bars to hold this bday event, think about who I would want to invite, of course, what I should wear, etc.  But, I NEVER actually plan this event!  I felt like some kind of birthday failure for not having anything planned, some kind of party to celebrate the occasion.  This year I decided to take a different approach.  My birthday fell on a Tuesday and I decided to take the entire day off to do whatever I wanted to do.  There is a wonderful art center in Brooklyn, the Textile Arts Center, and as luck would have it, they were offering a morning class in Sashiko on my birthday.  Sashiko is an embroidery practice originating in ancient Japan.  I love crafts as a kid, but that interest has laid dormant in me for years.  I decided the Sashiko class would be a great way to reinvigorate this interest while also doing something for myself on my birthday.  IMG_8268.jpg

                                                                  (my first Sashiko patch)

I had the best time in the class.  The Textile Arts Center is such an inviting space and I felt so relaxed and in joy learning something new.  After the class, I decided to grab some lunch and then do some shoe shopping.  I never go shopping, I don’t treat myself in that way very often.  But I desperately needed a new pair of shoes and especially wanted a pair of black ankle boots.  I went to Macys and had no luck.  I then decided to go to Tani on the Upper West side and found two pair of shoes that I love!

IMG_8255

                            (one of two pairs of shoes I bought, black ankle bootie not shown)

After shoe shopping, I popped on over to a cafe on the UWS that sells crepes and of course had a coffee and nutella crepe.  Then I headed home, cooked some dinner, talked to my mom, watched a movie, and started to call it a night.  I felt so happy with my day.  What I realized was that I did everything that I had wanted to do.  I think in the past I had thought I should have a bar bash because that is what a lot of people do for their birthdays.  I have never been successful at planning that type of birthday party because ultimately that is not what I want to do on my birthday.  Not only did I have a great time on my birthday flying solo, but I also decided I’m having more days like this, not just on my birthday.

 

A Life Inspiration

IMG_8432

I am lucky to have known Jake, the man pictured above.  He is a life inspiration.  I met him through my mom.  My mom used to walk in Golden Gate Park most mornings and she met Jake, who also walked in the park.  He started from his home in the Haight and did a round trip to Ocean Beach.  I photographed him about 8 years ago.  I had just bought a new Hasselblad camera and he was one of my first subjects.  He graciously let me photograph him a second time, when I realized that I had loaded my film backwards and none of the initial photos came out (rookie mistake).

I try not to live life in regrets, but I do have a few.  Jake, at one point, offered to teach me to quilt.  I had always wanted to learn and was excited by the idea, but at the time I made some excuses as to why I couldn’t do it.  I don’t even remember what those excuses were… too busy with school and work probably.  I regret not taking him up on his offer.  Jake passed away a few years later.  He left a legacy of positivity behind him.  Every year a memorial walk is held for him, the same walk he took, from his home to Ocean Beach.

Late last year, I had decided that I wanted to finally learn to quilt.  I called Jake’s widow, Sondra, and asked if she could teach me.  She is a prolific and successful textile artist.  She was unable to teach me as she had given away most of her sewing equipment, but she did generously offer to give me some of Jake’s quilts.  When I went to visit her and pick up the quilts, I asked her when Jake had gotten started with quilting.  She said that around the age of 40, she taught Jake to sew and he took the craft and ran wildly with it.  She said in the evenings he would go down to the their studio, sit at the sewing machine and sew.  I loved hearing this, how fervently he took up the obsession.  What I most admire about Jake was that he was so comfortable with who he was and because of this, so welcoming to everyone.  When I say he left a legacy of positivity behind him, it shows in those who called him friend- it crosses all ages, genders, races, everyone he met received the same aura of kindness.  You just felt good when you were around Jake, you felt the presence of love.

I have since taken up a few sewing classes and am  now in a quilting class.  I love having two of Jake’s quilts in my apartment to offer me inspiration and remind me of the type of life I want to lead.  The same type of life that Jake lead- a journey that is filled with inspiration, compassion, authenticity, humor, and positivity.

IMG_8433

(A kimono that Jake hand painted, hanging in my apartment)

IMG_8434

(A second quilt that Jake made)

IMG_8435

(A closeup of the exquisite detail of Jake’s hand-painted work)

5K in Washington Heights

Yesterday I ran a 5K in Washington Heights.  I was super proud of myself, I ran it in 28:25 and I haven’t done any training!  I have a half marathon coming up in a month and I gotta start training for that one!  The 5K was a good gauge for that upcoming race.  Here is a pic of me post-race.  IMG_8495

Knife Throwing

This afternoon I was trying to schedule a date with a guy I met at a singles event a few weeks ago.  Our schedules weren’t quite lining up for a meet up on a weeknight.  So we started to see if perhaps we could meet up on the weekend.  He asked me if by chance I would be interested in going with him to a knife throwing class on Sunday.  Sadly, I had plans on Sunday, so I had to decline what would have surely been an interesting activity!

Baseball Haiku

Last night I attended a book launch party at ABC Carpet and Home in NYC.  As part of the festivities, The Haiku Guys were offering free poems.  Since the Giants had their first spring training game yesterday, I decided I wanted a haiku on baseball.  Here it is:

IMG_8469

I gave her a lot of credit… I’m not sure how she came up with the right number of syllables so quickly!  And she didn’t count off on her fingers which I would have certainly been doing.  The poem is spot on too.  Baseball has me hooked.  I passionately hope the Giants will make the playoffs every season.  Even if they aren’t doing well, the stories of the individual players unfolds into mini dramas.  I am so happy Spring Training has started.  Besides Christmas, this is seriously the best time of year.