Time Is Precious: LIVE!

This video sums up my urgency to break free from the things that don’t make me happy in order to have the ability to do more of the things that bring happiness, completeness and balance into my life.

Why waste a minute (or years) doing something that burdens your spirit when you should be living in the glory of the present. Let’s face it, we are all destined to die yet somehow we have been conditioned to thinking that you must do something that you really don’t to spend an inkling of your time doing or tolerate someone who’s company that you don’t enjoy simply b/c of DNA or they happen to be your boss. Seriously? Who loses and Who wins in this scenario??

The time is now to stop that way of thinking and to put your life into perspective. The video above is a reminder for me to keep on pushing in the direction that I’m currently headed and to not give up when it gets a little challenging or when I’m stepping into the domain of the unknown unknowns. How did I get to this point, you may ask? That’s for another post 🙂 But in the meantime, use this video as your catapult into your years of living to live beautifully, bountifully and happily!

Cheers, Chante

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Retreat to your Roots

What grounds you? What centers your entire being? When things are chaotic what helps you to stabilize?

For me it’s nature – it’s like the reset that my mind needs. And when you couple that with a traditional yoga practice it’s a fantastic experience. Recently I escaped the city life for a trip to the mountains with a few friends this past weekend. Incredible doesn’t nearly sum it up how the weekend went!

It was one of those things that you really needed but didn’t know you needed to do until you did it. My mind slowed down to a slow simmer so I was able to take it all in, rest and have fun while learning philosophies and pushing my physical limits. The fresh air of the wooded area gave me unfiltered moments as I walked, climbed and gazed out into the wilderness.

Each of us is in need of opportunities to reboot our lives to balance it b/c you cannot live in chaos forever. Find your safe space – seek it out! It could be a trip to a nearby beach, walk to a park, jog at the lake etc. Once you find it then make it a habit!!

Cheers, Chante

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Transferring Enthusiasm

Just completed a morning of asanas and breathing techniques to start a brand new day! Lots of tasks ahead of me to complete but I can’t help but observe the infectious feeling that resides within me. I haven’t slept much as of late because this energy is beyond dreams and is becoming my reality.

My restless sleep is because I’m full of excitement and fear. When releasing something that you’ve been working on and conceptualizing for so long, it’s an indescribable feeling of inertia happening inside of you. Imagine leaning off of the highest cliff and taking in your last breathe before the epic jump? That’s how I feel!!

It’s a powerful flow of emotions!! And I know that I need to channel these feelings to places where it’s needed so I’ve been writing my business plan, sending emails to folks, chatting with strangers who reach out to me on my site and brainstorming about a future workshop.

So lack of sleep is not b/c of an overwhelming burden but I’m overflowing with energy and the “sleep thing” cannot (and will not) stifle it. I’ve been so productive these past few months that it has inspired others to gravitate towards my vision and breathe life into their own life long project/business venture.

It’s truly amazing how energy can be passed onto others, live and continue to transform lives.

Yes! Yes!

Cheers, Chante

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Inspiration is Where You Find It

I received my recent creative inspiration from my youth… Well the youth from my arts project the Blueprint to Artistic Excellence. Yesterday, we all met up in the frigid temps and did an outdoor shoot at the High Line in Chelsea, NYC and it proved to be an enlightening experience for everyone including myself.

I absolutely adore capturing my subjects in vibrant color but to capture the same imagery in black and white was challenging for me. I started to internalize…“How can you see the brilliance of color that exists?”, “Will my viewers feel what I feel from that moment I decided to take that shot?” and so forth. I presented this theme to my students and it became a theme that we all struggled with, to be honest.

We started the shoot session in the studio to warm up our creative juices and our bodies over pizza (ha!). We were blessed to have have fun volunteer models to work with. My approach to my shots was less interaction with the models and more improvisation. Then I sought out a careful balance of light versus dark that filled the space as the models positioned themselves or as I squatted and contorted my body.

During this session, I shot using a wide angle 20mm Sigma lens which is reserved for special events (e.g., concerts) so this was the added challenge. The shots that came from this session impressed me. Each shot was different yet had a common theme of inner peace, confidence and introspection. For some of my “in living color” portraits, this feeling is emitted from the shots and I then realized its not just the color but diving deeper its my ability to encompass a feeling at the moment when I clicked on the shutter.

That’s what I do and how my artistry contributes something beautiful to this world. I can shoot in any way I choose as long as I hold onto that essential core of what makes my work so powerful. And it is because I am an passionate being that connects with her subjects in a meaningful way which shines through in my portraiture. Realizing that inspires me to continue to switch to monochrome from time to time during my photo shoots and keep shooting.

The youth from the meet up are currently in edit mode and I cannot wait to share with you some of their work in the next post. I know it will be an amazing collection of works of art!

Cheers, Chante

Thank you for your support for my “Inspired Visions” Blog series! Please comment and share this post! xoxo

Finding Life After Death

After hearing news of a family member’s passing this morning, I needed to get away – to escape in order to collect my thoughts.

Death is an indescribable weight on the shoulders of us all. We know it’s our destiny but most of us deny it believing that it’s morbid to dwell on the unavoidable ending of our life.

How should I live the life that I have knowing it can end any day?

I ask myself this every day. With each inhalation and exhalation I think of my mother who had a bronchial infection during her illness before she passed away many years ago. For every labored breathe that she endured, she was thankful to experience another millisecond with us. My thoughts oftentimes linger to those memories of her lying in bed at home or lying on the hospital bed struggling to live.

To live is to feel, taste and touch every moment – diving into your basic senses to appreciate what is in front of you. Taking those moments and people around you for granted is selfish – and you will regret it later.

Today, our call to action is to use each day of your life to show gratitude, to love fully, to rejoice in the beautiful energy that surrounds you and savor every detail.

That is how my mother, my cousin Tara & countless others would’ve wanted for themselves – to celebrate another day!

Cheers, Chante

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Capturing Moments

I captured this family while riding the B train across the Manhattan Bridge on my way to work a couple of years ago. I saw something so beautiful that no one else saw – hey! its rush hour in NYC everyone is either asleep or listening to their music. The tenderness shown by this father with his two little ones was comforting. And the young boy being ever so protective of his sister.  It seemed an eternity from the time I noticed them until the moment I snapped this shot. I truly did not want to disturb this intimate moment yet I wanted to capture it for myself.

This shot is a constant reminder to be in the moment while you are out here living, grinding and hustling. Do not forget to savor these moments with family, friends and, even, solo that you simply cannot get back. The photos are great b/c you can recall some of those feelings unfortunately you can’t recall the entire experience.  How to savor? It’s easy…imagine yourself with your closed eyes slowly strolling through a field smelling the lilies and lilacs  as the sun caresses your skin with its warmth then your eyes open and the moment is gone.

The shot is also a reminder to never forget treat people with a genuine heart. It’s ok to be deliberate with reaching out to people in your network or to engage them to build a business relationship but be humane about it. Take a pause and ask them about how they feel, their family, important milestones etc. To establish a personal connection with someone first and foremost is something powerful. I don’t do it intentionally, I was raised in the art of mindfulness before it was a trend. My mom taught us that people are important just as much as you are so treat them as such. I was floored when she said it but it made perfect sense. And this is why I walk in this path in every aspect in my life – this is why I can’t start shooting a client without having a chat with them over tea or by phone or before the shoot begins. It amazes me how often we forget that people make this world go ’round.

Being human isn’t easy but living with zeal and compassion makes it bearable and with intention.

Cheers, Chante

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