Balance

Balance

Men and women possess qualities that are both, masculine and feminine.
When you balance the feminine and masculine aspects within yourself, regardless if you are male or female, you get to experience your whole and complete human being that is strong, wise, loving and creative and, at the same time, nurturing and gentle.
It is our nature to embody both masculine and feminine qualities even though in our past history and culture, we have witnessed an over-emphasis on the masculine energies which have dominated and brought us off-balance.
Some believe that today we are more in need of embracing the feminine aspects within us all, such as being nurturing and receptive, which, in the past, have been perceived as weak. The masculine qualities have overtaken in our culture evidenced by our state of chronic stress.
We are in need of re-balancing as a whole, for the continued growth and existence of our population.
Let us take a closer look and notice how we may start to bring more balance to our world, one person at a time.
When we take the time to embrace the whole person that we are and balance between our feminine and masculine aspects, we each bring more balance to our collective consciousness, planet and universe.

– Rebelle Society

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My favorite and least favorite of my work

First, my favorites:

The landscape is one of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken. It didn’t require any sort of expertise because that view would look beautiful captured on a Kodak. BUT- the tone of the grayscale is really perfect and I think my composition is pretty good although it might have looked better centered over the columns. I did have to wait for the perfect moment to not get tourists doing stupid tourist things.

The little cherub took a LOT of editing. Because he’s marble, the contrast was really hard to capture on my iPhone. But I think I did a good job of balancing the shadows and highlights. I also blurred the edges to add focus, which I think looks pretty well done. I worry about using effects in my pictures because it can look so cheap sometimes, but I think it worked here. I also put a lot of thought into the angle and I think that I found the best one for this photo.

The woman is also one of my favorite photos I’e ever taken. Again, there were marble-contrast issue, but I think I balanced the light well. I really hate the frame in the background, but I was weary of over-blurring. The composition feels a little off to my because there are more lines in the upper portion than the bottom, but I think overall it’s a good pic.

My least favorite:

Ok so first, the marble girl against the stained glass- this picture frustrated me SO much. I was trying so hard to get an angle where she was profiled against the stained glass, but it’s a little off. I originally had it in color, but the marble against the colored glass looked awful for some reason. I couldn’t configure the saturation in such a way that it wasn’t really stupid looking.

Oh, the man drawing the statuette. I nearly cried when I went back and saw how blurry this photo is. It was such a perfect photo opportunity and I had the perfect angle that showed the drawing, him and the statuette. Also the colors were perfect because we were in a white room, marble statue and dude in a white/black shirt. UGH. so much wasted opportunity here. Sharpening just made it worse, trust me.

And finally, over-exposed Jesus. This wasn’t a great photo in the first place, but then I wrecked it with too much filtering. He had a lot of good lines, shadows and contrast and could have been an ok shot, but now it just looks super amateur. This photo actually embarrasses me- it’s so “I know how to use instagram filters, look I’m a photographer”

 

 

Disturbing Google Searches For Feminism, Re-Imagined by Inspiring Feminists

One single Google search for feminism reveals just how much work is left to be done.

There’s a general assumption that feminists have won the war on inequality, but as the viral UN Women Google auto-complete campaign showed in October, women still face a shocking amount of discrimination and abuse across the world. That unfortunate reality is only more pronounced for the very people fighting to reverse this trend: feminists.

Start typing “feminism” and “feminists” into Google search, and see what disturbing results come up.

Whether it was the death threats thrown at feminist activist Caroline Criado-Perez for successfully protesting for Jane Austen to be on the £10 bill, or the rape threats that political analyst Zerlina Maxwell received after she opened up about her experience with sexual assault, feminists still face an unbelievable amount of vitriol, and Google searches only make that even clearer.

Thankfully, there are courageous people working to change that. Despite the stigma they face, vocal men and women are fighting every day to refashion a world in which feminists are celebrated for their courage, rather than threatened for their beliefs.

Below, these heroes show us what that world would look like. I’ve juxtaposed the shocking auto-complete results for feminism on the faces of prominent feminists working hard to change the status quo. In orange, I’ve highlighted what Google would say if feminists were understood for who they are and what they really fight for.

Everyone deserves to live in a world where they are treated with respect, and believing in equality should never get in the way.

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via Disturbing Google Searches For Feminism, Re-Imagined by Inspiring Feminists – PolicyMic.

Images are Inescapable

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We often hear about the dangers of being inundated with images every second of the day, but what if we used it to our advantage?

I am a creature of habit. The only way I learn is through intense repetition. That’s why I surround myself with images that remind me of my strength, my goals and my values.

I started doing this in high school. In part, it was because I knew that negativity breeds negativity and the converse as well- so I knew that if saw positive images in my own space, it would have a positive effect on me. As well this was inspired by one of my favorite books, Hidden Messages in Water, by Masaro Emoto. Emoto conducted experiments on snowflakes- exposing them to positive and negative words and tones to see if they were affected. He found that even concentrated thoughts, or the content of the water could affect the formation of the snowflake. Here is a rather famous example of his work:

My goldfish, Swiggle, who lived for nine years in a tank with positive words scrawled all over it could be an example of Emoto’s work or just my mad-pet-tending skills- but I believe there is a greater truth in this.

Not The Secret, not any new agey ask and you shall receive crap- this is straight neuroscience. Our brains like patterns and they will perpetuate the patterns you have set- positive or negative.

My room is my fishbowl and I have covered it in things that inspire me and breathe life into my space.

They remind me that I have talent when I forget

They remind me of the most beautiful moments of my life

And they remind me to keep going and keep being myself

With only a glance, these pictures remind me who I am and who I want to be. This may sound corny to some, but as someone who loves and lives for words, the power of pictures always catches me off guard.