Love, Relationships & The Universe.

There is no greater power than love.

The amount of love we can offer depends on our level of maturity. Its limit is decided by our experience’s, spiritual journey, perception & truths. Love is the highest frequency any human can emit. It is the most beautiful, magical and most incredible energy we can offer. The lowest frequency any human can emit is fear, it’s paralyzing. We perceive the world what we carry in our hearts and that perception can only come and only change from the lessons we encounter. We grow apart from people that don’t grow in the same direction and we transform into the person we create.

The universe provides a love for us far greater and more meaningful than the love we seek in others, yet so many of us desperately search for someone to magically do the job of the universe. This can not be done.

We will take loved received for granted, eventually.  

The emptiness we feel is the universe calling. What we really seek in someone is comfort, energy, connection, change and excitement.

Despite my relationship with the universe, I forget how much it can fulfill me. I want instant gratification, someone to love me unconditionally because I have yet to find that person. Someone can not do the work for us, no one can fulfill us entirely. That is our job. 

If we continue to work on our personal project (self-love, goals, self-discovery) the universe will never bore us. 

The most beautiful relationship is when two people can honor each other’s freedom. If we seek love for any other reason than to return it back, we will never be happy in our relationships.

We can not know what love is until we know what love is not.

A relationship is not a band-aid. It is not something that is going to heal our wounds or  protect us or save us. The band-aid will fall off eventually and our wounds will be exposed again and again.

I personally was unable to love others until I grew to understand what love meant.

Many have an image of what they want in love and life, but few understand the picture of what change and transition really is. It’s up to us on how many times we want to keep rebuilding our foundation. Too often we increase the speed of the process, instead of slowing it down to get it right the first time. Build slowly and carefully, or build quickly and risk the repairs.

If our level of maturity is at its greatest peak, we can understand that love cannot be rushed, as love is always there. Love has no fear, love is healing. Love doesn’t come with strings or attachments, love is pure and nurturing.

Love is measured by its limits and those limits are measured by learned experiences. Our suffering is our greatest teacher, and our teacher is change. We can only learn from our pain if we let ourselves heal properly. This is emotional maturity.

In relationships, we will get hurt and bothered. The personal space we desire and the boundaries we set aren’t always going to be how we want it to be, after all, we are literally stepping on our loved one's toes.

We don't get to choose how someone loves us. We make the choice to put up with what we have and decide to control something that’s not in our hands. Therefore we can’t expect it to end in our favor.

If we stop growing, we stop living. Most people don’t live, they just exist, then complain about existing.

Your life is supposed to feel good to you. Everything you want you can have. With intention, everything will follow. Look beyond love in someone because you will not find exactly what it is you are looking for until you can see love in everything. Until we learned the importance of a lesson, the universe will always bring it back in our path.

Everything I see and everyone I meet, I see as a luxury, not a necessity. Their presence and their absence - a luxury. Once we are awakened, we have no interest in keeping anything. Love is not selfish. Love is healing. Love is positive. Love is a beautiful, boundless energy that is meant to be shared and transferred.

There is no greater power than love.

Suicide Rate Increases For NYC Taxi Drivers and So Does The Surcharge Tax

I watched the President of the New York Taxi Alliance, Bhairavi Desai protest on the latest hike that went into effect Saturday, decreasing drivers revenue by a whopping 30%. 

I got lost behind my lens, taken back by the protesters pain, worries and anger as I stood documenting their fight to be heard on 633 3rd Ave, in front of the courthouse yesterday.  I could relate to their financial worries, having to support a family.

It will cost someone $5.80 to step into a taxicab now, which is devastating to all taxi drivers. Protesters cried out in anger, “Could you survive a 15,000 cut pay?” While reminding the public how many lives have been lost due to suicide because of the financial cuts and burden. “Bankruptcies, evictions, Government Cuomo, where is your Mercy?”

The NYC surcharge tax takes in effect today and is estimated to generate about $400 million per year for the MTA. Uber and Lyft surcharge rates increased to $2.75 per ride (Uberpool an extra .75 cents per ride), and taxis face an additional $2.50 surcharge. The new fees only apply to vehicles traveling below 96th street.

Uber CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, understood the high cost of Taxi drivers medallions and backed surcharge hikes on ride sharing apps to support NYC Taxis drivers in 2018 according to WLNY, CBS New York.  Medallions used to be a great investment for Taxi drivers. If you owed one, you could make up to $5-$7,000 a month. Three of the drivers who committed suicide last year owned taxi medallions, one bought at one million, now valued at $200k. Since Uber and Lyft came into the picture, 46 medallions have since been auctioned off around $160-$200K, they now mean little to taxi drivers.

The New York Taxi Workers Alliance asks medallion holders not to proceed with foreclosure and if a taxi driver should file bankruptcy, they urge drivers to talk about it.

According to Salary.com the average salary for a taxi driver is $36k as of Jan 1, 2019.

Though cab driver’s anger maybe fueled towards ride sharing apps, yesterday was clear, let’s make more awareness on the suicide factor.  Suicide rates are climbing and the financial burden to care for their families is heavy; it needs more attention. Suicide rates in adults have increased 40% from 1999 according to U.S. News and financial issues were the common factors of death.

My personal opinion. One with a family to support, simply cannot cut their hours to take up yoga. Time is money, more pressure, more stress.  We don’t talk about financial pressures and hardships as often as we should, it’s too embarrassing. The reality is, a financial toll is a lot to carry, especially if you have a family to support. You aren’t alone, don’t suffer in silence. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255  for the deaf and hearing impaired  1-800-799-4889

Using Analytics To Determine Your Brands Color

Choosing colors for your brand is the most important step when creating a style for brand. When determining brand identity, consider the emotional message you wish to send to your consumers. From marketing to e-commerce, to social media platforms and email campaigns, depending on color, you are sending a motivational message or setting a mood. 

It’s important to choose your brands color carefully. Consumers perceive and judge your brand by its style quicky. Just because it attracts you to it, doesn’t mean your market will feel the same way. Know your market and audience. Using analytics can help you determine what color is best for your market.

Colors have a psychological effect on us. Our brain gets stimulated by bright colors because it deepens our perception and helps unclog the thinking process. Whereas, pastel and opaque colors relax the brain sending the message of safety.

Here I discuss 10 basic colors and how they relate to personality types, styles, and traits.

White is the most popular color in marketing. it gives consumers a sense of cleanliness, signifying innocence, simplicity, and perfection. According to research, white is safest car color to drive.  If the color white draws to you, you may have having high standards and are brave.

Reds. The first words that come to mind are clearance and sale. Reds are more common with fast-food chains, erotic and bold marketing materials. Red is assertive and confident, though studies show too much red can increase heart rate, triggering aggression and danger signals in the brain. 

Pink is the universal sign of love and is the color of hope. Representing lightheartedness, romance and the feminine side. Most often relating to supporting the research for finding a cure of cancer.

Orange. Pantone announced the 2019 Color of the Year, Coral. https://qz.com/1484243/the-2019-pantone-color-of-the-year-beams-optimism/. Less intense than red, if you favor orange tones, you are probably a social butterfly. Team-building comes easy to you because you manifest positivity easily. In marketing, the color orange represents flamboyance and vibrance. it stimulates appetite, so it’s a good color to sneak in banner ads and Instagram post if your market is food. Plus, it’s eye catching.

Yellow. Stimulating, yet can be disturbing. Like red, it’s good not to over use yellow in marketing. Bright yellow symbolizes positivity whereas gold or dull yellow relates to traffic signs and school busses. Also related to jealousy, bees, sickness, and a shrewd and negative personality. If yellow attracts you, you have a creative imagination, a strong sense of humor and you are adventurous.

Blues represent a loyal and optimistic person. If blue attracts you, you are most likely a logical and analytical thinker, perceived to dislike controversy and too many details. Known for taking control during difficult times, blues strong suit is communication. Blue means wisdom and intelligence. From a spiritual perspective, blue represents rescuing. In the workforce; technology and medical markets.

Purple represents royalty, power, and creativity.  Related to healing, spiritually and awareness. Healers, massage therapist, and psychics often choose shades of purple. If the color draws to you, you may be a compassionate, supportive and understanding individual. Purple expresses mystery and dependability. It also expresses weakness, such as having a naïve sense, too trusting, and allowing yourself to being taken advantage of.

Green is a brilliant color. Symbolizing peace, precision, life and energy.  If you use green in marketing, you probably have an eco-friendly lifestyle or brand. Bright greens signify fertility and the environment, and darker greens signify wealth and achievements. Like bright yellow, green stimulates the brain, encouraging decisiveness.

Gray represent indecisiveness, but it also signifies a well-balanced person. Its meaning signifies a practical and conservative sense, having you perceived as dependable and comfortable in solitude. Gray doesn’t need attention like Red. If your style color is gray, it shows you are calm and well reserved. it’s timeless and sophisticated, but it’s important not to overuse gray. Too much dark gray can create a feeling of depression and sadness.

Black represents depth, transformation, and darkness while signifying secretiveness. Since the color black protects from external emotional stress, and gives an unwelcoming message, white would be your best choice as a secondary color, giving you balance in marketing. If you wear a lot of black, someone might perceive you as a leader or boss. Black might make you feel powerful and in control, whereas other colors might make you feel out-of-control, unfocused and lack confidence.

Colors are useful for analyzing markets, providing feedback, and giving us useful information to help understand situations, audiences, shopkeepers, and consumers. Testing your brands  color with analytical tools can help you determine what color is best for your brand's market. Based on the color choice of content shared, we can determine the impact our brand has had on consumers' mood, sales, and social media engagement. Clarifying our color style gives us a deeper understanding about who we are as a company, market and brand. Therefore, we want to make sure we are sending the correct message. 

Living Completely Alive & Emotionally Free

It’s difficult for many people to be opened emotionally. More-so few people are emotionally mature enough to understand their own needs and the emotional roots associated with what is connecting the emotional response.

Our emotions hold us back and prevent us from living and being awakened. You can’t expect an amazing fulfilled life with a broken, oozing mess of a heart and mind until you are 100% dedicated to working on yourself. Your personal project should be a priority. It starts with you and it’s a lifetime commitment.

A vast number of people escape in illusion, fantasies and distractions instead.

How rare it is to see someone truly care for their temple wholeheartedly. What we see is misleading around us. We create illusions based on what we think we see.  But in reality, our perception won’t change until we change ourselves and views of the world.

We as human beings have grown accustomed to distracting ourselves from reality, and it has become way too easy to do. Diverting our attention away from our distractions has become a chore.

Many people expect life to reward them with something grand. The universe will give you only what you need, only if you need it, and only when you are ready. The universe doesn’t give handouts. You can’t fake anything with the universe either, for it feels and knows your energies better than you. The universe is sensitive to our frequencies. You can’t form a whisper without it knowing.

The universe works slow. Everything will collide together at the right moment, but only if you let it.  We must work hard for what we want and we have to want it for ourselves and no one else. I guarantee you, you will experience a great deal of pain, and if you don’t, you aren’t digging deep enough. Working on yourself will be the most difficult choice you will ever make.

Once we heal our wounds and get honest with ourselves, the love for ourselves will be greater than any love you will ever feel for anything or anyone else. The world will change, your perspective will change, and your idea of compassion and understanding will grow enormously. Forgiving will become easy; time becomes too valuable and precious. Your standards will be higher and they will honor your self-respect. You will walk, speak and radiate in love. People will draw to you because of your new vibrations.  Your life will have no space for anger, hate, or negativity any longer. You will only witness it around you, but not within. 

Only you have the power to make this change and it starts with inner freedom. Free yourself from the madness and chaos that holds you back and set yourself free! 

Practice letting go. Appreciate your time because time is valuable, and it goes by so fast. Understand your worth. Your value to the community might seem small but you have the power to make a difference. Your insecurities are telling you otherwise.  Spend time in solitude and get to know yourself. Solitude is the simplest way to grow. Truly appreciate who you are as a human being and appreciate what you can do for the world!

There was a point I could not feel love at all. I would look at things knowing love should be there, but I felt nothing. I walk in love today. Love is everywhere and although years ago I thought I was worthless, I’d set my value high today. And so should you! 

I Reinvented Myself By Observing Reality

I fell into an obsession observing others because I needed to know there was still good left in this world. Yes, I know, that sounds negative. But it's the truth.  I was on a mission for hope because I had none.

I studied people intensely for one year. People watching became a drug overnight. I took an interest in body language, kinesics and proxemics because I love the art of ballet, body movement, and I have always wanted to be a secret agent, like James Bond. Seriously.

The past year I walked the streets of NYC at all hours, mainly alone, just observing others. I sat, stood, walked for hours upon hours and miles upon miles a day (and night), just observing. My favorite hour is 3 a.m. when the rats flooded the alleys and the drunks stumbled out of bars. Yes, as strange it sounds to others, I would just sit or stand in the dark and observe with my camera at hand.

NYC and street shooting fulfilled something inside me I couldn't feel or find anywhere else. I felt like I was in a dream half the time, and I liked it there.

Street photography fell into my lap around the same time my heart and mind went apathetic and what a blessing that was. I didn't even know street shooting was a thing a year ago! it was a blessing because I had grown to become unemotional; I had zero concern or interest in anything; my candle blew out.

Street shooting was the only thing that brought some kind of feeling to the surface again.  Because I learned to detach from life, I can't tell you what I felt connected too, or what the feeling was that came to the surface, but I knew it was my only tool for survival. Without it, I would have given up.

So, I used street photography to reinvent myself.

I knew I was dying inside. But I also knew the reason I quit drinking over two years ago was because I was dying inside then too.  I needed to create a better version of myself and I needed time alone in solitude.  I don’t think anyone knows who they are unless they spend an insane amount of time alone in solitude.

I have this unexplainable relationship with the universe, those who do too can only understand. But I knew walking the streets and visual journalism would one day help me feel something again.

Because of street photography, I have learned the power of observational learning and that observing reality is an essential tool. By observing others, I discovered myself, things and situations in a much deeper perspective than if I had with an emotional attachment or feeling.  My foundation is more solid than ever before; I have a clearer understanding, and an enhanced perception with what is going on around me.

I am at a much greater place than I was one year ago. My life has changed in extraordinary ways because of street photography and the opportunities I have had. Though, I think there’s a huge part of me that will always search for hope.