Monday, September 22, 2014
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Monday, August 18, 2014
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Monday, July 28, 2014
Sunday, July 20, 2014
“Let’s face it: Beauty is a privilege. It acts like a honing device for male attention, opens doors to clubs, causes compliments to rain upon the lucky ones. But if the parties aren’t careful, a beautiful friend and a regular-looking friend can get locked into a power dynamic. Of course, not every beautiful woman lords her privilege over her less beautiful friends. Still, some do. Beauty is a universally valued quality for a woman; it offers privileges that can always be relied on. The logic of one’s arguments or articulation of one’s emotions, unfortunately, are less reliable. And because plenty of women and men want to be around attractive women just so those privileges can rub off on them, some beautiful women aren’t used to hearing “no.” I truly think my friendship difficulties with pretty women stem from my challenging them with words or reasoning, instead of just falling in line with the power dynamic they try to exert. Jealous? No. I’m resentful. When it becomes clear to me that a beautiful friend of mine plays the “my way or the highway” card, I resent the fact that I’m being valued so little…”
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Monday, July 14, 2014
This past weekend was time truly well spent. I guess the old saying stands true that big things really do come in small packages. It is the smallest state in the United State by size, yet it holds so many unique beauties within its state lines.
My visit to Providence, Rhode Island was prompted by the need the to visit a close friend of mine who is studying at Brown University for the summer. We stayed with her on what they call 'college hill', the area which encompasses the Brown University campus, Rhode Island School of Design campus and the surrounding community & its literally on a hill (a hill that we had to walk up several times by the way). After seeing her pictures of the beautiful city prior to arriving I was even more pleasantly surprised to come and find that things looked exactly how I thought they would – picturesque and quaint like something out of a movie. The city is filled with college students, drivers who will actually let pedestrians walk whether they have the light or not and some very beautiful landscaping.
Though it was only a short visit we used every moment we had to fully experience what the city had to offer. I’m proud to say I experienced one of the prides of Providence, the Water Fire. The tradition is a full out festival every other Saturday of the summer months where 100 bonfires burn on Waterplace Park, which is located in downtown Providence. I found the water place to be very reminiscent of the Seine River in Paris the way it cut directly through the city and could be overlooked by a number of walk-able bridges. The bonfires burn while the locals either marvel with their families at the sight, take pictures, or shop at the abundance of street vendors. The festivities occur so often, yet the people of Providence appreciate it so much that there were still hundreds of people out to support. I decided to live a little on the wild side and embark on a nature embracing activity and kayak! I absolute hate water so although I welcomed the experience I was still a bit hesitant. Needless to say, I had a complete blast with my girls this weekend. Who knew Rhode Island would be so fun!
P.S. The club in Providence actually wasn’t even that bad – which would explain my lack of a voice in the video below ☺
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Christian yoga seems to be an emerging concept, something very new to me but interesting nonetheless. To have “Christian yoga” insinuates that Christians cannot practice yoga, as it would be against their beliefs. I completely disagree. No matter what god you serve it shouldn’t exclude you from practicing yoga. Some may refer to it as modern day yoga. So you know how Americans take concepts from other countries, strip them of their true essence and kind of turn it into something new, yeah that’s the idea behind modern yoga. The word yoga derives from an ancient Indic language of India, Sanskrit, and holds the literal meaning “to join” or “to unite” which is exactly what the practice of yoga does. Though the practice does have roots in Hinduism, in modern times we tend to focus more on the physical practice than the spiritual practice.
Experiencing the connection between the mind and the body allows one to become more self-aware on both mental and physical levels. You begin to better understand your body – what affects it, what feels good, what things it would probably be best for you to let go off. In doing so you can learn to love deeper and appreciate the things in life you never have before. Gaining appreciation for the other people and things we share this land with, in my eyes connects you with whichever god you serve that much more. For Christians in particular who believe that God is the creator of all things, attaining a mental state where you are grateful for not only the world he has created but all that he has blessed you with personally seems almost ideal. Clearing your mind of toxins and negativity gives you ample room to do so. It teaches you how to accept what is resulting in way less stress in daily life. Yoga is a time for coming into one accord with one self. In doing this you could even build time in your practice for a prayer or the occasional “amen”.
Just as religions have many different branches and interpretations, you can take the practice of yoga and personalize it to work for you and your lifestyle without sacrificing its efficiency. If nothing else, you get a work out.
YOGIS UNITE !!!
xoxo, Brionna :)
Friday, July 4, 2014
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
One of the chapters in my personal book of travel is Paris, France. In the spring of 2013 I studied abroad for an entire semester in the beautiful city of lights and got the chance to see several European countries. I actually got the chance to see more places in 5 months than many people do in 5 years & I wouldn’t have traded the experience for the world. European cities in general are very similar to those we are familiar with here in the U.S. but little did I know, I would get the opportunity to visit one of the most naturally & culturally rich places on the globe.
In less than 4 hours, after departing the city of Paris I ended up in a land much different from any other I had ever seen before. I was now in Marrakech – the capital of Morocco. (For those of you, who do not know, that is a country in Northern Africa, in close vicinity to Europe). Stepping out of the airport we were immediately smacked with a completely different level of heat. It was 108 degrees and it was barely afternoon! I mean so hot that the shuttle bus air conditioning didn’t even produce cold air, just cool. I was in Africa. Beautiful would have to be an understatement in describing this place.
After arriving, one of the first things we did was visit an authentic Kasbah. We all reluctantly got out of our shuttle bus back into the heat to visit the restaurant and take a walking tour through the town’s exotic forests. Here is when it truly hit me. We are Americans. We think like Americans. We live like Americans. Our tour guides were children because here, children have to work and contribute to their households. We were bombarded with solicitation of dates, an indigenous fruit. It was almost as if they knew we were Americans and that when Americans come you ask them for money, because they have it. The kids were relentless and desperate and suddenly my heart was broken. Throughout the course of the trip we got many tours and even the chance to get authentic henna tattoos, probably much better quality than the ones you can get in New York. This experience was hands down the most eye opening part of not only my trip to Africa but the entire semester. A kind man of the town gave us henna tattoos free of charge and refused a tip. He proposed to us, “do not tip me, we do not accept tips. Tipping goes to only one person, while if you purchase from our town shop it goes to the entire community”. He may not have known it, but this statement from this very generous man spoke volumes about the world we as Americans live in. Not only do we accept tips, but we expect them! This Berber man taught me something that no other experience ever had. For a country that lacks in finances, I was completely floored by their level of resourcefulness. Americans take so many things for granted and we are all about self. The Berber people understand the value of using what they have to the greatest advantage and sticking together. With no indoor plumbing and some without electricity these beautiful people use every resource they have available to them to make a better a life. When I say resources, I’m not just speaking of the ones that grow from the land. They use their intelligence; they use their love, to build unity in their communities with the understanding that it truly does take a village.
I saw the Mona Lisa, rode camels in the Sahara desert, ate escargot & authentic paella in Spain but none of that equals the lessons I learned while in Morocco. I also saw women slave away to make the very oils we use to satisfy our vanity by simply going to the store and swiping a credit card. I learned a sense of true community togetherness and perseverance - What is more beautiful than that?
RIDING CAMELS IN THE SAHARA
PLAYING WITH MONKEYS IN THE OLD TOWN SOUK
MY ATTEMPT TO LOOK LIKE ONE OF THE BERBER PEOPLE
Xoxo, Brionna :)
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
A philosopher once said, “some things are up to us and some things are not up to us” and these are wise words if I’ve never heard some before. The Greek stoic philosopher Epictetus said these words in his piece The Handbook, which focused on key themes shared by stoics of his era. We often spend time stressing and focusing on things that we can and never will be able to control thus unnecessarily pushing ourselves further back from true happiness, the ultimate life goal according to Epictetus and Aristotle. As I mentioned in previous posts I share the same ultimate life goal - genuine happiness - and plan to live in such a way that is conducive to attaining such a goal.
WHAT IS UP TO US →
WHAT IS NOT UP TO US →
Opinion (our ideas about things)
Body (the body we are born with)
Pursuit (what we choose to go after)
Property (material goods)
Desire (our wants)
Reputation (what others think about us)
Aversion (opposite of desire—what we do NOT want or what we actively push away)
Command (what others force us to do)
Thanks Epictetus for the eye opening ideas!