You.

This is you.

But is it really you?

The outside is far away.

What do you wish to see?

Who do you wish to see? To be?

That’s actually who you are.

But will you be brave enough?

There’s freedom not to react. But there is a world of opportunities if you do.

Perhaps you need more darkness before you realize all the light you have inside.

Perhaps the time has come.

You can only understand your journey from the perspective of your future self. When you’re living in the present there’s way too much noise.

I don’t remember where this journey began; all I know is I found myself one day trapped inside this body, trying to make sense of the world around me.

My biggest conflict? The labels that defined me.

Black Canvas is the alchemy of transforming darkness into light, with a very specific set of questions, and the opportunity to rise above self-expectations.

Canvas was my way out of myself. My opportunity to exist through all the different facets of my personality. It became a shield and it gave me purpose by establishing an intention through the final knot. 

And this is where the journey begins…

 

What’s happening to the world?  Where are we headed? I had never felt so concerned in regards to the current state of the planet, specially when it comes to politics: I don’t understand how this became such a complicated world all of a sudden. Perhaps it has always been this way, but I’m older and more understanding of the consequences ahead of us. 

A couple of weekends ago, I had this one day where I was totally depressed, but for the first time it had nothing to do with my micro-universe (my eternally complicated mind, the people I love, work or family), it was because of how sad I am for the way we are hurting our planet.

It actually reminds me of one of those toxic relationships we all had when we started trying to understand love; those where everyone gets hurt and no one understands where the pain began, or why you can’t let go. The difference is that, in this particular relationship, we HAVE to make it work, even when what we carry is an inheritance of consumer-driven behaviors that are embedded in our culture, and will take a lot of time and work to change.

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I moderated a panel with a very special group of people, who are united by their concern for the planet and are turning that concern into action: Patrick Duffy, from World Fashion Exchange, Elizabeth Weaton, Director of Environment and Sustainability of the City of Miami Beach, Sophie Zembra from Antidote, Daniele D’Orazi from Instituto Marangoni and Veronica Pesantes from The Onikas.

The two articles that guided me the most when framing the questions for the panel were:

1.”Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change” by the New York Times,

2. “Great Barrier Reef headed for ‘massive death’ from CNN.

Ok, I know: I’m not painting a glamorous canvas here, but we can’t pretend that this is not happening. Our curated feeds, often filled with fashion, and a never ending world of opportunities is not reality. It’s a great escape, but the more we click on those things, the more hidden the bigger picture will be for us.

The thing is, even the smallest changes can have a huge impact. We have the power to regulate the market. Here are three actionable things you can do now, without having to change your life much:

  1. Don’t use new denim: it takes way too much water to produce.  Instead, buy vintage, used or upcycled. I swear I haven’t bough one pair of jeans ever since I realized that it takes 1800 gallons of water to produce one pair of jeans.
  2. Don’t eat too much meat: I’m not asking you to turn vegan, but the amount of demand we have for meat, has translated into deforestation, huge water pollution and increase in green house gases. Do you remember how we consumed a lot less meat when we were young? The reason is that it used to be very expensive. It suddenly dropped prices, we got used to eating it all the time, and turned into a big problem. If this doesn’t convince you, google the effects too much meat has in your body. You’ll be surprised.
  3. Pay attention to your consumption patters over-all. Turn it into a conscious effort: when you picnic, or do a get-together, don’t just buy plastic utensils: choose paper or biodegradable materials. It doesn’t change your experience at all, and it makes a huge difference to the planet. Stay away from plastic bags. It’s not that hard to carry a normal reusable bag in your car.

We can’t just be driven by survival, or define ourselves by the place we are from, our religion, our looks, our family or the work we do. 

We can’t just be in denial. Things are changing; shifting.

When it happens in enough of us, then we will have a tipping point, and the culture begins to shift. It’s time to live with intention. 

It’s never to late or too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit. Start whenever you want.

Be brave enough to care. The future is now.

The production of this video was possible thanks to MINI USA, main sponsor of THE FUTURE by Funkshion. Pictures by Celia D. Luna.

Dear you,

If you are reading this, our journeys have finally collided. I am grateful for this.

This is a magic canvas: it has given me courage through the last four years of my journey. Now, I want to share its magic with you.

So, what is the headpiece about? This canvas has allowed me to ‘paint’ the reality I always dreamt of. It has many uses. For me it’s the back-bone of my braid, inspired by the Tehuana braid from my native Mexico, with a touch of modernity and thickness.

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My braid is my journey.

You see, every strand of my hair carries a story. It carries my culture: the culture of all the countries I’ve lived in.

The traditions of my Mexico; the ambition of New York; the values of the people of Toronto; the fun and innocence of my time in Madrid; the aesthetics of Stockholm.

My Miami…

The stereotypes I believed; the ones I broke; the ones that broke me; the ones I will break.

And then, there are the labels. There are so many labels and roles. Every role comes with a struggle: daughter, sister, friend, wife, mother.

And then, there’s the knot.

The knot is an intention. Every day, as I make it, I look myself straight in the eye and commit to helping another woman rise.

It has become addictive, and the more I help others rise, the more I’m helped by others.

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This is not a headpiece. This is my canvas, my journey, and my source of strength. Use it wisely.

There are many ways to use it. I’m sure you can come up with unique ways of using it. I will be adding different tutorials on the next couple of days.

I would love to see the way you make it yours. Please share with me whatever you come up with by using #journeyofabraid on Instagram. Below, how to do the braid, and the journeys weaved within.

And this is where your journey begins…

Love,

Danié

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Celebrities. We have all idealized them at sometime or another, and yet, what makes them so inspiring is that they also go through heart-breaks, complicated relationships, they need to manage their time take risks, decisions, break stereotypes, fight cultural barriers, negotiate, deal with hate, deal with love, deal with parenthood and family in the public eye, and yet they are faithful to themselves and to their dreams.

It all starts small. Sometimes by mistake, or by family ties, others it’s a powerful dream that transcends everything. Loved talking to PJ Aviles, an emerging artist Made in Miami, who is building himself up strongly, and creating beautiful music.

This interview was part of a project I did with Go Daddy, where we interviewed local entrepreneurs to showcase what Miami is made of. Hope you enjoy it!

Full conversation below

I didn’t grow up surrounded by war; for me it was just something that belonged to the movies, and the history books.

And yet when you are in Europe, you are constantly reminded that war is real. Every corner holds a plate, every town a monument honoring the fallen soldiers. I’ve seen how war permeates through generations through the conversations with my in-laws, who are French, and specially in their silence.

We often believe that to have an experience worth living, we must create worlds filled with fantasy, and yet nothings touches us as deeply as reality.

I spent 3 days at Puy du Fou, a place unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. It has won every award when it comes to the most creative park in the world, and yet, I didn’t know what to expect.

I was at the trenches of World War I while a love story was taking place, I was part of a naval exploration during the 1800’s, and became an expectator at the Coliseum, where life and death decisions were made by Julius Cesar. I had vultures flying on top of me, brushing my hair, and more importantly, I saw the power of 4,000 people united to share the history of France. Can you imagine what 4000 people means? It takes a village. Perhaps they are there in the hope that all the mixed experiences that you feel when you are there, will keep us away from war.

(Full video)

It reminded me how far we’ve gotten as a society, but at the same time how lucky I am to be doing this video, while many countries are going through different versions of war. We need to use our collective memory to engineer the world in such a way that all this suffering… stops.

 

Useful information:

 

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LANGUAGE:

Yes, you are in France and they speak French, but there is an alternative translation for most of their shows. All you need to do is download their app before you go, and bring your headphones!

GETTING THERE:

I drove from Bordeaux, and it took us less than an hour. You could also drive from Paris; it takes about 3 hours and a half from there.

ACCOMODATION:

I stayed at ‘La Citadelle’, which is a beautiful medieval city, with direct access to the park. If you go to the night shows, it’s practical to be right there. The place was beautiful, and my children loved it. The entrance looks like a castle! Consider staying at least two nights.

FOOD:

Book your meals in advance. The restaurants are great, and with very nutritious options. It’s not your average burger and fries kind of place. They also have shows during meals, that need to be booked in advance as well.

NIGHT SHOW:

Book ‘Cinéscénie’, the show that happens thanks to 4,000 volunteers, in advance. People go to the extreme of booking one year prior, because of how popular it is.

THINGS TO KNOW:

Puy du Fou is a non-for-profit and re-invests the money they make. They also support multiple causes and associations all over the world. It also has a green certification, that is really hard to get. You’ll be surprised by the beautiful nature that you’ll encounter along the way.

MUST-SEE SHOWS:

Everything. Absolutely everything. It’s beyond anything I’ve ever experienced before. Arrive early in the morning to make the best out of your day.

More information: www.puydufou.com

 

Head pieces are extremely powerful; when you enter a room wearing one, they become a way to identify you, and can even turn into the focus of unexpected conversation. Suzy Buckley, who has an extensive background in fashion, created Shapoh in 2014, as a solution the lack of beautiful fascinators in the United States bringing a glamourous touch to the market. Her selection is quite unique, and very often ends up featured at Vogue US coverage of hat luncheons across the country.

In the following interview recorded as part of a journalistic project I did with Go Daddy showcasing local entrepreneurs in Miami, she shares her story.

 

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Change often begins silently, followed by events that seem unimportant; for example, you wake up one morning and have breakfast. You kiss your kids good-bye, and head over to work like you do everyday, and suddenly the building you are in, collapses.
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No, it’s not Mother Earth calling, it’s preventable ‘structural damage’ better described as human negligence.

It’s been 5 years since Rana plaza collapsed killing 1,138 people, and injuring thousands. They too, journeyed through life with plans, and yet, it was the last day of their lives.

Clothing factories, a bank, apartments and several shops turned into dust in a matter of seconds.

So yes. We need to know who made our clothes.

And yes, there are options: I love wearing huipiles and other pieces of the sort that are hand-made and that pay fair wages to those who produce them. I know the faces of many of the people that have made them, and it’s special. Clothes, too carry energy; make sure it’s the right one.

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And I am as human as you are, and know fashion moves at a crazy pace, the prices of many retailers are very shinny and low, and it’s so much fun to play with clothes, but we can’t pretend like this is not happening. Let’s find equilibrium and don’t turn our face to this reality. The same goes to our habits of consumption.

I know I might not be able to change the world, but I can do something, and so can you.

 

Pictures by Celia D. Luna

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We can only understand our inner-world once we are able to materialize it in the outside world. I’ve been painting my office pink and yellow.

It’s so bright in here.

It’s my universe, where color makes sense, where I take refugee from whatever is happening outside, and where possibilities are endless.

Once I started painting, I couldn’t put down the brush. Everyday I go back to the bucket and add a touch of color to the most unexpected objects.

I was told never to paint; never to get messy; always ask someone to do those things for you.

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And yet being full of stains in my hair, my skin and my nails, has become my pride; they are proof of my work.

I’m in control.

I’m inspired by the inner world of people: their perception of the world, and how they find a way to translate it into the material world, outside of their mind. Artists, icons, and some brands, are able to build their universes so well, that as you cross the door of their studios, share a stare, or enter a store, you are able to be transported into their world.

And we all need to inhabit different worlds to understand our own.

We are all starving for the sacred.

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Look: Alice and Olivia/ Photography: Celia D. Luna