Book Review – Prince: A Private View by Afshin Shahidi

Book Review – Prince:  A Private View by Afshin Shahidi

 

 

I love photography and capturing moments no one else sees. I love studying other’s works and seeing how they’re able to describe a moment, using a single frame.

When I first saw, photographer, Afshin Shahidi’s post on Instagram, about his upcoming book on Prince, I was so excited. Not only because he is an excellent photography, but because it was about PRINCE.  Prince is one person I wanted to photograph, just for my personal collection. His presence, alone, told more than words ever could. Whether on tv, magazines, or concerts, Prince had an energy about him no one could touch, and I longed to capture a moment in his life.

 

 

When I first opened the package, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew the photos would be great, but I was not expecting the reaction I had. As I flipped through the pages, my body went through a roller coaster of emotions. From laughing, at some of the silly pictures, to total awe, at the photos of him performing, and feeling my heart clutch with pain, as I saw the pain and loneliness in Prince’s eyes, in reflective moments, Shahidi’s images touched me to the very core.  Shahidi’s photos take us into the world of two people, who were not only business men, but dear friends.  Some of the pictures feel so personal, as if I am listening to a conversation I shouldn’t be hearing.  While others, such as the concert pictures, made me feel like I was there in the crowd, singing and dancing to hit after hit.  Then, there are the candid shots.  The one’s where he’s up close and personal, and you’re staring into Prince’s eyes, and you can feel him in the room with you.  His eyes put you in a trance, much like his guitar solos, and all you can do is surrender and embrace the journey, as you transport to a Universe where time didn’t exist.

 

  

 

Not only are the pictures captivating, but so are Shahidi’s words. You can feel the fondness and love he has for his friend, in his writings.  As he shares his memories, you can feel the admiration for Prince’s work ethic and dedication to his craft, fans, and band family. You can also feel the emptiness and void left from Prince’s passing.  As he takes us back in time, to tell of the escapades and personal conversations, I felt like I listening to an uncle telling stories of how he and his friend met and him reminiscing about the good old days.

 

To me, this book is more than beautifully taken pictures. It’s more than a glimpse into Prince’s life; it’s a memory book of a special friendship, which went beyond a camera lens.

https://www.amazon.com/Prince-Private-View-Afshin-Shahidi

*All photos belong to Afshin Shahidi

A New Season – New Beginnings

Welcome to a new season and new beginnings!

Hello again!  Hello Fall!  After taking a long needed hiatus, I am back and excited about writing again.  I am excited about the new beginnings coming my way and the new season that’s started.  Fall is my favorite time of year.  For me, it is the season of calm, peace, shedding of old, new beginnings, and magical transformations. For me, Fall is that breath of fresh air I’ve been waiting all year to take.  

new beginning in life, keys to open new doors

As I come back to writing, with excitement and a peaceful spirit, I hope to connect with more readers, writers, and artists of all kinds. I hope to engage in interesting conversations, learn from you all, and expand my imagination and  look forward to reading new stories, experiences, and messages.  I also look forward to sharing more of myself, with you all and hope my old readers are still around and welcome all new ones. Enjoy this beautiful time, feel free to say hello, tell me about yourself, and what new beginnings you are looking forward to in this new season.

Peace, blessings, and many thanks,

Kim

 

The Only Forever We have is Now

The only forever we have is now, so, let go of the things that do not better your now. The beautiful and not so beautiful thing about life is the ability to let go.  Letting go of old beliefs, patterns, thoughts, people, and, sometimes, dreams.   Some people can let go with ease.  They do not form an attachment to things or people that binds them.  They see the beauty in being in the moment and letting go when the moment is over.  They understand things and people are not meant to stay forever and there comes a time when it’s time to part ways.  Other people, not so much.  Some people cling to things, people, or memories in hope that things will never change.  They hate the idea of change, having to learn new ways, or starting over.

 I am here to say, I am/was one of those people.  I hate starting over, probably because I’ve been forced to start over so many times in the last 10 years.  I wasn’t always like this.  I use to embrace the idea of change with open arms.  I looked forward to new and exciting things.  I didn’t hold on to people but instead let them flow in and out my life easily.   I always looked forward to new possibilities.  As time went by, life happened and I fell into a depression and it was then that I began to hate change.  I hit a point in my life where I would finally get stability then it would be taken away, leaving me with nothing. It was a constant cycle, every two years.  During this time, I held on to people, beliefs, and patterns that were not serving my highest good.  They were not helping me develop as a person or contributing to my mental and emotional well-being.  I held on to these things because I wanted to feel I had some control on my life, even in the mist of all the chaos going on around.  I want to feel I had some stability even though life is completely unstable.  

In reality, there is no guarantee of stability in life.  Life does not promise smooth sailing with no storms or waves.  Life does not give us forever, only now, because now is the only forever we have.  This was a hard lesson for me to learn and it’s an even harder lesson for me to constantly and actively live.  Each day, I am learning to let go of thing that are not meant to be in my future, or my now. Whether it’s people, things, thoughts, or patterns.  I’m learning to part with the things I don’t won’t but hold on to for security.  I’m learning to detach from having the person and live in the feeling and moment.  I’m allowing people, things, and beliefs to flow easily through my life and only keeping what I need at the moment.  I learning to embrace change and the unknown while releasing fear and judgement.  The most important thing, I’m learning, is to allow life to give me what I need and take from me what I don’t and not try to control it.  I’m embracing the forever of now.

 

You Hold the Power to Change Your World

You hold the power to change your world – embrace it.  Whether you realize it or not – everything you do, every thought you think, and every decision you make creates your world.

 

 I know sometimes people think they are stuck in a situation and there’s no way out.  In reality, there is a way out.  To get out the situation we don’t want, we have to change the way we see our world. We also have to change the way we think and see ourselves.  We can’t see ourselves as powerless and fragile.  We can’t see ourselves and weak and unimaginative because these are they thoughts that keep us trapped in an unhappy world.  Once you change your way of thinking you start to see that you have power to change your world.  If you really want to change your world and live a life that is fulfilling to you, you have to believe that you deserve that life.  You have to believe that you are worthy of all the things you wish and dream about.  You have to change your way of thinking. 

Change starts with small things. Change one bad or negative thought for a more positive one.  Yes, it may take time, and it may be hard at first, but it will work.  Below are ways create the life you want and deserve.

  1. Talk bout the things your do want – Talk about all the things you want in life and let the don’ts fall to the side.  Focusing on the things you do want makes you appreciate the things that are going right more.  Talking about all your dreams and aspirations opens the door for more of the good stuff to come in.  Soon you will realize that you have a lot more good things coming in than bad thoughts going out.
  2. You want to have a more positive day – Wake up in the morning and focus on the positive.  Focus on the sunlight coming through your window, the birds singing, or that great shower you’re about to take. Be excited about the day ahead and all the fun things you can do, even if it’s laying on the couch watching TV.  If it’s something you like and enjoy, do it.  Make your day a day you can enjoy.
  3. Hate being stuck in traffic – Instead of complaining about being stuck in traffic, take that time to listen to your favorite song, listen to podcast you always wanted to get around to, take time to call that family member you’ve been thinking about, or take joy in missing that meeting you didn’t want to attend anyway.
  4. Need more fun in your life  – Think like a child.  Stop believing just because you’re an adult you can’t have fun.  Go to the playground and swing on the swings, go on a new adventure in your own town and discover new things, watch your favorite cartoons, or lay in the grass and watch the clouds. Remember what it was like to enjoy the small things.
  5. Tire of your monochrome life  – Replace the blah with color.  Change up the wall colors or, if you can’t paint, buy some fun colorful artwork for your wall.  Heck create your own art and let the creativity flow.  Buy new bedding or a colorful new shirt. Be daring, be colorful, be bright. 
  6. Say no to others and yes to you – Decide how you want to spend your time and don’t apologize for it. Learn the beauty in saying no. Don’t spend your time with people you don’t want to be around. Don’t go to places that don’t interest you.  Don’t feel you owe other’s your time. You owe you your time. Spend the time doing things and with people who make you happy and don’t let other’s make you feel like you owe them your time. 

These are just some ways of changing your now world to create the world you want.  You will surprised how making small changes can create a major shift in your life.  As you start a making these small changes, you invite more things of what you do want into your life.  You open the door to endless possibilities.  You open the door to a whole new world and a whole new you.  Remember, you have believe you are worthy and deserve the life you want. Once you do that, start thinking more positive, and making small changes that make you happy.  Then, one day, you will wake up and realized you’ve created the life you want.

Peace and blessings Friends!!

Emotional Roller Coaster – Late night ramblings

It seems, at least for me, living a free flow life is much harder than I expected.  I have been on an emotional roller coaster lately.  Sometimes it seems as if my life is spinning out of control or, should I say, my brain is spinning out of control.  I find I think too much when I don’t need or want to.  At night, I find myself lying awake for hours when I should be sleeping.  I over analyze my life and question every decision I’ve made – wondering how did I get back to this point, again.  How did I end up jobless when I did everything “right”?  How is it my life keeps coming back to the same point – no matter which choice I make? What am I going to do?

Some days are carefree. Letting my body wake up naturally and enjoying the morning sunrise has made a huge difference in my mood.  Watching the rays come through my window then going downstairs to open the blinds so the light can flood the house.  Barefoot and half asleep, I open the sliding door and step out into the crispy spring air and let the sun wash over me.  Making myself breakfast before my toddler awakes and just enjoying the flow of the moment.  These are the times when my emotions are in alignment with who I am and the Universe.  These are the free flow moments that bring me so much joy and happiness.  The moments I try to hold onto. 

I am much better at stopping the emotional ride.  Where it used to go on for days, now it lasts for hours or minutes.  When I feel the anxiety taking over, I find something that makes me happy.  I take my daughter outside to play in the grass or to water her plants.  I paint or watch a good movie.  I try to embrace the ups and downs and the twists and turns. I tell myself to remember this is what I asked the Universe to give me and that everything will work out for the best – like it always does.

 

 

I Can’t Control It!!!

So, for the past couple of months, I have been focusing on not trying to control every outcome in my life.  Now, I am that person who needs to know the who, what, when, where, why, how, and any other details before I commit myself to something.  I need to know the outcome.  I need to know “my” outcome.  I think it’s from watching too many horror movies where the people just walking into a situation blindly and end up screwed or dead.

This year, I hope to bring new dreams into the physical.  I want new experiences, to meet new people, and step outside my comfort zone.  I can’t do that if I am trying to control what I see and do. Because,  I am not experiencing new things, I am experiencing things I have already preconceived the outcome to in my mind.  

How is that exciting?

How is that expanding my wings?

How is that stepping outside my comfort zone – when, in fact, I have already predetermined my comfort zone?

If I want to experience life on a new level, I have to be willing to let go and see what happens.  I have to be willing to give up the knowing how and give up the belief I know what I need and want in every situation.  I have to let the Universe work for me.  I have to let it bring in the people, places, things and events that will help me grow.  I have to trust that no matter what, good or bad, the experience is what I need at the time. 

It’s not easy giving up control of your life.  It’s not easy to just accept what every comes.  It’s not easy to just be and not worry about the being.  Through making small changes, everyday, I have felt and experienced more happiness, by not trying to control my outcomes, than planning everything down to the last detail.  Every day this is something new and it’s not always perfect and happy, but it’s what I need to grow. 

 

Happy New Day!!

While many people are celebrating the new year, I am celebrating a new day.   A new day to work on making all my dreams, wishes, and desires come true.

Why spend months or days waiting for a new year to come to start working on your dreams?

Every day, you wake up, is an opportunity to start new and  make changes that will impact your life, for the better.  So in reality, every day is your “new year”.

Take this opportunity to treat yourself kinder, love yourself more, and get to know who you really are.  Remember the things you love to do and do them.  Each day, do something that makes you happy.  This could be listening to your favorite song, watching your favorite show, talking a picture, a long walk, or treating yourself to a wonderful dessert.

Also, learn to say “NO” more.  No to spending time with people who drain your energy.  No to lending money to irresponsible people.  No to putting other’s needs before your own.  In return, you will be saying “YES” to you.  Yes to the things you like, the life you want, and the people you love.  Yes to building the relationships you value.  Yes to creating the life that makes you feel safe, secure, and comfortable.  Yes to YOU!

So, HAPPY NEW DAY!  I look forward to spending more new days with you.

 

 

New Beginnings

Every morning the sun rises in the east, setting the stage for a new day.  A new beginning.  Another chance to start over.

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In the Native Spirit Oracle deck, by Denise Linn, she states ” the east is the place of the rising sun; associated with planting seeds in the springtime, birth, the waxing moon, and new beginnings.”

Life has a way of making us feel unbalanced.  Sometimes, the way to bring balance back into our lives is to start over.  We have the power to create new beginnings, every day.  No matter how bad it was yesterday, tomorrow is always a new day.  A new beginning to set a new tone, start  a new project, a new job, a new relationship (with ourselves or someone else).

When we create new beginnings, we release the old negative energies, people, thoughts, and circumstances that cause us to become unbalanced.  We let go of limitations, that keep us stuck in the past.  We let go of doubts, fears, and what ifs.  We say yes to the now, new energy, new people, places and opportunities. We say yes to ourselves.

So, every morning when the sun rises in the east, breaking through the dark, and shining upon us a new day, remember this is also a the start of a new beginning for you.  What will you do with it?

Oracle Card  from the Native Spirit Oracle deck by Denise Linn

Don’t let the storms stop your growth

For the last couple of days, we’ve had storms here.  I feel it is a reflection of what’s been going on in my world lately. I haven’t written, in a while, because of inner storms.  I’ve had my gloomy moments when my brain is cloudy and I didn’t want to get out of bed, my lightning moments when just little things set me off and I am quick to strike back, and my thunder moments when I let things stir inside creating a rumble but never fully letting it go.

Even my daughter noticed the changes.  She tells me Mommy are you grumpy or Mommy don’t be grumpy.  One time I raised my voice and she said Mommy you yelled at me.  It wasn’t a yell, but from her perspective, it was  louder than I usually talk.

We all have storms in our life.  Some are self-created and some come from external forces.  Sometimes, these storms can catch up by surprise and turn our whole world upside down and cause us to stop and reflect on what’s really happening in our life. Sometimes, we see the storm coming but just can’t stop it.  Maybe we don’t need to stop it.  Maybe it’s coming as part of growth.  Yes, it may cause floods of tears or damage to our existing structure, but like all storms, it will pass.  Storms are a necessary part of life and sometimes they force us to make changes we don’t want to make.  But remember, a new day will come, the sun will shine again, we will adapt to our new circumstances, we will survive, and grow stronger.

 

The Dominican Republic No One Wants To Talk About

 

“How was your trip to the DR,” is the question I keep getting from family and friends.  Do I tell them what they want to hear or do I tell them what I really experienced?

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Dominican Republic, for a retreat.  The host home, where I stayed, was beautiful.  The architecture and landscaping were amazing.  The view was breathtaking. After a couple of days of being housebound, our group decided to go to the beach, which was over an hour away.  Riding through the streets and outskirts of the city was a real eye opener and reality check.

Back story – Before I left, my co-worker and I were discussing my trip.  He is Haitian and warned me about the treatment of Haitians and darker skinned people in the DR. He also told me of how unsafe it was for women to be there.  I knew of the conflict between the Haitians and Dominicans, but I did not know it exactly how serious it really is. 

While in the city, you can’t help but notice the lack of people with darker skin.  When you did see them, they were poorly looking, standing on the corner trying to sell fruits, vegetables, or anything to make money.  As we traveled through the countryside, that’s where you saw the darker skin people.  The villages were so remote and the houses were shacks, dilapidated buildings, and huts.  I saw children walking barefoot through garbage filled yards, playing in unsafe places.  Hiding in the corner of the doorway, you saw the elderly with the look of despair on their faces.  But, it was not just the elderly who had this look, it was the young also.  My heart broke for them them.

I cannot lie, the beaches are beautiful, the tropical drinks are damn good, and the weather was amazing. Even when it rained it was relaxing and calming.  That is one expect from one of the Caribbean’s perfect vacation spots.  The brochures and movies would have you believe that it is the most welcoming and safest place on earth.  If you are on a resort, that may be true, but outside the resort is another world.

One of the ladies, in the group, was Haitian and while on the beach, men kept approaching her and asking where she was from, and not in a friendly tone.  It got to the point where she was actually scared to go to the bathroom.  At one point she almost said Haiti, but she caught herself. I and a couple of the ladies, in our group, were actually scared for her safety.

If you’ve been keeping up with world news, you know that Dominicans do not want Haitians in their country. Thousands of Haitians, born in Dominican Republic have been sent back to Haiti, killed, or denied basic rights, such as schooling, work, and healthcare.  Many Haitians have also been killed or disappeared.  It’s not just the treatment of Haitians, but the treatment and separation of darker skin Dominicans is also apparent.  My family and friends were shocked to hear about the struggles of darker skin people and the treatment of visitors, Haitians, and women, in the DR.

My trip and experience in the DR was mine and mine alone.  I can’t speak for anyone but myself.  I did enjoy my time in the DR but I also have a very different view of the country from what I’ve been feed from the media and brochures.