What part of you is the hardest for you to show others?
I was seen.
In a way few others saw me; she wordlessly spoke of something honest. Not as predator to prey, or pet to master; but soul to soul. And the gravity of such a gaze nearly drove me to tears.
It was also my sister’s birthday and we were visiting this sanctuary with all her friends so I thought, better not be the guy crying over this wolf right now.
Of course we could argue about appropriate timing, but crying has been something that took me a long time to become comfortable with.
So deeply, and perhaps its the toxic masculinity trying to poison the wells behind my eyes, but this massive heart I carry also acts as my super power, and lets me create art and poetry that (hopefully) gives others permission to feel. And the presence of that permission still strikes me in those eyes.
There remains something undeniably tender in the unpretending truth. To be honestly seen without judgement or pretense, and accepted for what you are as you are.
We are the only species that can choose wear masks. But I hope to one day look at others with the same golden shades of an open heart.
Taken on my @sonyalpha
A7riii using a 50mm 1.4
Come share your thoughts to my question of the day on my story! I love hearing from you! And don’t forget to comment the secret emoji if you read this far haha 🐺🐺🐺
With head bowed I listen
to the thunder in my chest,
And the chorus of water that refused to take the predictable path.
I am humbled.
By the epic reminder that we have never been the architects of true beauty,
Just stewards of this blessed span of 100 years
And I’m tired,
of seeing sunsets through a screen.
I want to feel,
the water fall on my skin
and to find out what the sunshine smells like on this side of the world.
To feel brave.
Brave enough to dream...
Like a river running to the edge,
I think I’m ready
to take the leap.
I’ve had such an inspiring time here in Bali. I’ve met so many dreamers, doers and seen places that have sparked a fire in my soul.
For this new chapter where I’m brave enough to do more than play it safe.
If you’ve read this far, I hope you feel brave enough to share where you’re headed next with your life. Or just comment a 💧 if you’ve made it this far. I love knowing who reads these far out thoughts.
First stop on my list: get my first collection of poetry published! It’s gonna be epic 🙏🏽
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
It’s crazy to think that I am walking on someone else’s life work, that even my own life stands on the shoulders of parents and people who came before me. I recently asked my dad what he thought about all my outlandish ideas for the future and where I saw myself in 5 years. And he made one thing above all else clear.
The castle you’re building is not for you to hide behind.
We search the world and ourselves to discover our gifts, but once we find them the real work begins: spending every last drop of talent, in the name of service.
So I will leave you with this: how will you uniquely serve the world?
Shot by @glographics
on my @sonyalpha
A7riii in @beautifuljaipur
Today was life changing in Bali, and I can’t wait to talk about it in my story and in some of my posts coming up. But for now, it’s midnight and I have to wake up mad early so to all the amazing people who support me, thank you! I love you!
And we have some catching up to do soon! Learned big things that I can’t wait to share.
Check in with me, the secret signal is to comment 💫 if you read this far!
She is medicine and church,
paradise and prayer. So humor me,
as I toss these old shoes, I’ve lived enough Sundays to know when I’ve reached holy ground.
I crave the quiet.
And the raw possibilities of an open field, give me the promise... of budding rice over a bustling city.
There is something sacred, in the simple.
Take me to a place where the WiFi can’t find me and give me the bravery and the nerve to connect,
I don’t need more distractions, I’ve got apps for that. And networks begging me to scroll to the bottom of a feed that has no end.
Help me to remember my purpose is not just to do laps around the sun.
Perhaps I’ve just been rambling in the sun too long, but this poet still believes... we were made for more
I’ve been asking a bunch of people in my life what do they think their mission/purpose is, and while so many of us believe we know, we don’t live in such a way that honors that.
My mission is to remind anyone crazy enough to listen to me that your story is enough. That you are enough.
And if you’re feeling brave I’d love to hear what your mission is too!
Thanks for reading this far! Comment a ✨ if you read this far.
I shot this on my @sonyALpha
Do you ever feel like an imposter in your own life?
I am sorry to report that even from where I stand along the path, imposter syndrome is still a real thing. Maybe it’s just me, but the farther along I go, the easier it can be to feel like an imposter. Even when I was asked to teach storytelling through social media here in Spain; maybe not my first, but definitely in my top three thoughts was this:
Who are you to teach these people?
It’s a real thing. And if I am going to champion the message that “Your story is enough” I have to constantly feed myself my own medicine.
So forgive me… if you were looking for someone braver, or for a man more capable than you know yourself to be. He might exist, but on this feed there’s just me.
Stumbling along, and falling forward; making this whole journey up as I go. Hoping for courage, but settling for honesty. And maybe for today… it is enough.
Maybe for today...
our story will be enough.
Don’t wait for the imposter syndrome to dry up, or to ever feel perfectly ready to make whatever leap is before you. You are so much more capable than you know.
Taken on my @sonyalpha
Comment a ☝🏽 if you can relate
When was the last time you spent a day without your phone? And saw the whole of the world through your own eyes, instead of a screen?
I get lost sometimes. In the digital chaos,
Where two taps on a screen mean more than the two beats that make this body home.
Place your ears here on my chest, tell me what my heart is saying because too many days have drifted by and its been a while since I’ve heard from myself.
Theres no app to help me find purpose, or search engine to that can get me back to the person I once was,
So do me this kindness and disconnect with me my love. Let the phone die so we can live,
Let our palms kiss under a sleeping sky, press your cheek into mine and let every star bare witness… to the moment we remembered,
what it felt like,
To be human.
I’m grateful for the friends I’ve met who have allowed me to just be present in this time here in Bali. As cliche as it sounds when I say it, there really is something special about this place that makes me want to see more sunsets without the pixels of a screen.
I’m doing some healing, some writing, some loving and living. And I can’t wait to share this book of poetry I’ve been putting together.
There’s a difference (I’m learning) between self disclosure and vulnerability, and while I’m great at self disclosure on this platform, poetry feels vulnerable to me. But that is the medicine my soul needs. So I challenge you. Whatever feels vulnerable to you, share it with someone, speak it out loud, share it in the comments, share it with me.
I want to be that safe space where the one thing we never have to be afraid to be, is ourself.
Are you more likely to ask for permission or forgiveness?
If I added it all up... I know I’ve asked for forgiveness exponentially more times than I’ve asked for permission.
That has always been the person I am. Including the moment right after this photo was taken when @glographics
and I were told in so many Hindi words that we could not understand, that we were not supposed to be down here.
But ironically I am also someone who struggles to give myself permission in life. Don’t let the Instagram fool you, I am a recovering addict from the need to please everyone but myself.
A part of me still wants to jump into this ancient well when I share an idea or a dream to a less than enthusiastic audience or when I pour my soul into a poem or piece of writing and all that little part of me can think is: this is not enough.
I am sorry to report, I don’t know if the voice ever quite goes away. But I do know this, that I am learning to live listening to something deeper and something bigger. To stop asking the world for permission to live a life I am passionate about, and to give myself the freedom to take risks in every step I take and word I write.
The voice may not leave, but I’m determined to stop apologizing for my existence and the gravity of all the dreams I carry with me.
In my quietest moments my soul speaks, and in a whisper, it simply owns this titan of a truth: your story is enough.
Taken on a @sonyalpha
A7rii by @glographics
and edited on Lightroom and VSCO.
Drop a 🌙 if you’ve read this far, and then come join me on my stories for my question series: An Honest Word.
Where in your life do you still play it safe?
Light echoed off the polished streets, but for just a few moments on this day, the city was quiet. There is an intimacy that happens just before sunrise, and even a place as busy as Dubrovnik makes me feel like she’s been waiting for me.
And maybe I’m crazy enough to believe she has.
To believe that life knocks on our door, tosses pebbles at our windows, and plays music in the streets all to beg us to come and enjoy the dance.
But I have been playing small, and fallen in love with four walls, as if failure were actually something to be feared and comfort worth sacrificing a dream for. But today I brought back a message, bottled up in this old town by the Adriatic Sea, and it simply is this:
Taken on my @sonyalpha
A7riii by my love @gakenia3
one early morning in #croatia
Comment a 🌝 if you’ve read this far!
Come join the conversations in my stories, I post prompts and love featuring your responses.
If you could teach everyone you met one lesson, what would it be?
I sat with her for hours, asking her questions until her eyes became soaked with the water from every rainy day she’d ever endured. I asked her what the story of her life was. She said she didn’t know.
So I asked her why she believed the truth of her story was not enough.
I heard this quote once that the truth is heavier than fiction and I feel the weight of it in my mouth whenever I say it. And in a world so curated as ours my lesson that I wish to teach, is the same one I’m trying desperately to learn.
That your story is enough.
If you’ve come this far, tell me something about you, what makes you fascinating? What part of your story do you hold close to your chest?
Because I’m not searching the world for sightseeing tours or places that have been instagrammed one too many times, I want something real.
Taken on my @sonyalpha
What do you feel like is too special/sacred to be documented?
This week my phone made the unannounced decision that life wasn’t worth living and after doing a complete restore I lost the entirety of pictures and videos I had saved over the last 3 years.
Photos like this, taken on my proper camera were spared the digital cleansing, but what i realized in the process is that a lot of my favorite moments were capture in the beautiful in between. Awkward dances, portraits done in parting, and memories that meant more than any amount of likes they could scrape together online.
And even this photo reminds me of the importance of stealing back our precious time. I ran through this park to create the photo you see, but got to the end and realized I had not seen past my lens.
If the only memories I have are stored in pixels then perhaps I have missed the point. For too long my life has felt like my frantic run through the park. A hamster wheel of a race to feel like I’ve finally; done enough.
But perhaps the best remedy, is to turn around, take a breath, and realize we have always been walking on water.
Don’t miss the miracle that is your life.
(And if you were worried, I ended up renting a rowboat and enjoying the park at a rowboats pace after. Steal those moments friends. Oh and if you’ve read this far! The secret emoji to comment is 🦋)
Join the conversation on my stories and come share #anhonestword
Photo taken by my friend @gakenia3
on my @sonyalpha
When was the last time you laughed all the way down to your bones?
I told me friend @gakenia3
to trust me. We were going to find the ocean in Norway and take in the views that Mother Nature had promised us.
We hopped in a car walked on pavement, through a park, and on a dock and when we got to the location, the epic moment we were searching for... we laughed. And tried to hide our 3rd grade giggle on this beautiful Norwegian nude beach.
I would not be flying my drone, or making a video, but we walked away with memories and a reminder that The Universe is a cosmic comic and that life was never meant to be taken that seriously.
Because at the end of my life; I will smile, and I will have laugh lines
on my soul.
Taken by @gakenia3
on my @sonyalpha
A7riii in Norway.
If you haven’t joined the conversation come over to my stories and share an honest word with me and the tribe!
Happy Monday! If you’ve read this far! Leave a 🌊 emoji
What is your dream job?
You could hear the car from 3 blocks away. A broken transmission, shattered headlight, and a man who could not afford to fix either. I was meeting a friend who would ask me a titan of a question that I was too scared to answer myself.
What are you called to do?
Not what will make you the most money, fame or success, but what is the mission written on your heart?
I remember the silence and how I filled it with a qualifier and an apology (as if a dream were something to be ashamed of). I said:
“I know this is going to sound childish, but I want to make things, and create beauty wherever I go, and I want someone to pay me for it.”
I will be the first to tell you this is not a solid business plan, it is not even a well advised life plan. But nonetheless here I am, playing chicken with gravity and learning to fly on the way down.
This week I have been so inspired by the amazing souls around me @travelingfro @siempregirando
to really own the stories that I want to tell.
So this is me. A poor excuse for a travel blogger and a moderate videographer with a camera that costs too much. An influencer with content that refuses to scream “look at me,” I... am a poet. An artist in love with the road, asking questions and sharing mirrors that point back to you.
All in hopes, that I might, that you might, that we might, finally see the beauty of who we were born to be.
Thank you for being a part of my tribe! Come join the conversations on my stories and share #anhonestword
I can’t wait to hear from you!
Also my first collection of poetry is going to come out at the end of this year so I’m super excited to share my heart with you all! Drop a 📜 or a 📚 if that’s something you’d be interested in!