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"embracing new directions, find connections"

If I were to follow in the imagined footsteps of my own self, I should now be writing you about self discipline, discernment, or perhaps a whole other aspect of ethics that I may find myself holding close. After all, my previous post was about compassion. (It can be found here for anyone who is feeling a bit down.) Today, however, I think I'll stick to a brief summary on what I've been up to lately!


1. A week in to January I finally picked myself up and attended one of my first protests. It was at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel where Stephen Harper was visiting that day.


What was I quickly realized that the energy in places like this is not only rich and tangible, but beautiful. The majority of people uphold pure intent and passion for causes that are critical to whatever comes next for our planet. Strangers are also greeted with sincerity, and everyone is willing to help each other out. While I recognize that protests as such may not always be the most efficient way to create immediate change, they cultivate feelings of community and raise awareness to some humongous issues that may otherwise be ignored by passersby. These are  cornerstones to it all - trust, togetherness, and a willingness to connect and be open while standing side by side. Partnered with a desire to gain and spread knowledge, it's all great. I have met so many phenomenal people already. In my opinion, just the act of spreading simple human connection, reaching out to break someone's routine with a smile and a conversation... if somehow nothing else at all is achieved, this makes it all worth the while.

Admittedly I often let myself observe, camera in hand, to capture the event.

The streets were blocked off by the police for us.
The two most important things: environmental activism and juice.
Petitioning in the street.


2. One other place I want to briefly mention to you is something I've been fervently posting about on Facebook, which is the yoga studio Karma Teachers.

Check them out!

They offer free or by donation yoga to anyone willing to take part. If you go to their website as I linked above, you can find more information on it. I highly recommend dropping by if you have the chance - it is one of the most loving and safe environments I've ever seen. I have only recently began attending, but it has already helped me open up both spiritually and socially in such crazy ways! I didn't think there would be a place that would have me laughing, dancing alone in front of strangers, befriending so many new people, meditating alone with an individual I'd never met.... Yet so it goes! It is a place of universal love and of the  spreading of inner light. They offer meditation sessions as well as a variety of yoga classes.


3. Alright, so this isn't a totally encompassing summary of my life lately, but I'll wrap this up with a few recommendations.


a) A book.

I could speak of this book forever, but that would defeat the purpose. This book is beautiful, and carries peace, adventure, love, a human roughness, and, as stated on another cover, dignity. It is poetry, and the picture of the road to what may only be called enlightenment could easily look like. I found it heavily resonated with my own thoughts. You can check it out here.

b) A comic.

Eden: It's an Endless World! 2 - Page 3
'Eden! It's an Endless World' is flawlessly drawn, yet is a rough, gory manga. It tells the story of survivors and different military groups in the thralls of an internationally devastating disease. It carries themes of politics, existentialism, and religion through out. It's worth the read!

c) Music.

        "Let's ride on the setbacks of ideas, embracing new directions, find connections..."

Oh, and I also turned 21.
Anyways, thanks for your time my friends!
I hope everyone is doing well and remembering to smile.
Until next time! (:


this is probably more of a letter to myself than it is anything else

Hello again, my friends! The words begin to flow once more, I'm craving the weight of my camera in hand, I am surrounded by wonderful people and continue to find new ones, and I'm devouring books like the literature-seeking monster I am. I also have a list of stuff to do in the New Year and a lot of stuff that was awesome in the past year. A girl can't let herself complain too much.

I suppose I'm here though for my mind has been revolving around the concept of compassion (remember when I said I'd write about that?). For starters, as the idea is incredibly in tune with the suffering we live within, I take the definition to stride very closely beside feelings of kindness and love. Okay.

These things, love and kindness and compassion, I am trying to seek, to cultivate, and to implement in my life and within the lives of others... and to stick to these things there are things that have to be done. There is a beautiful list of necessities for this. We must let ourselves create loving atmospheres. We must breathe together and forgive each other for we all stumble along our paths, blindly perhaps, but movement is a constant. Don't let go of those around you. We want everyone to have the feeling of home, the ability to have food without worry, and the capacity to create and move without restriction. Naturally, yes? We want to believe that everyone is worth talking to - and they are. These cliche reminiscent truths ring with clarity: no one can be left on the ground, and every person is deserving of kindness, appreciation, and comfort. Find ways to help others, or ways to give others the tools they need to stand up on their feet without crutches. One point that I always forget, however, is to not forget my own self. This, which isn't under the title of hedonism but instead may be under the term of self-care, is huge. Love everyone, and do what you can. Learn, always learn, seek, read books, talk to strangers, investigate what's around you, move, move, move, and... or... reach out. Try to discover the answers to problems, to suffering, to the complexities of all the things that throw us around, or don't. Sit. Be.  Create. (Or at least try, you know?) But don't forget that compassion begins with the individual and if you cannot be compassionate to your own suffering it will cause great harm to your own self.

I guess what I'm getting at is that it is really easy just to let yourself slip your mind and that is a danger to your own capacity. While I personally enjoy thinking that I put others in front of me, when I let myself forget to cultivate my own well being I become lazy... and when I become lazy I start to do nothing. I forget to read. I forget to write, and I forget to study. I forget that I can walk out the door any day I'd like and somehow impact someone else in a positive way. 

Laziness is a common battle. One main cause I personally have found is routine. I end up in the cycle of job, home, sleep, a wondrously uneventful day off... job, home... sleep... job... Well these are all things that have their places, but when they become the only things tunnel vision slips in. Working! Sleeping! Sitting at home! And now I'm sad! All there is, or so it may feel like in time. You've got to remember to get out. If you feel like the couch and you were meant to be - get up, and go outside. Even if you just walk around the block, go do it. Or go downtown and see what's out there. A new person will probably talk to you or you'll talk to them and something interesting might happen. I know it's all the same stuff we're fed all of the time and that hearing it once more may not inspire - but, the next time you catch yourself falling in to apathy, just stand up and see what happens. Force yourself at least a few times. If you sort of have a kind of interest in an instrument or a sport or a skill just go learn it. Find a new cool place. The routine then breaks and your mind begins to peek its sleepy head  through the walls you've set. And yeah, it sounds stupid and simple, but sometimes just doing something different than usual wakes you up and just brings light to you once again.

Once again this is something I've read countless times throughout the scrawls of spiritual books and in the words from friends, but once it hits you it's one of the best lessons you'll ever learn: the second thing I find that gets me down is resisting emotion. Happiness is a thing to flourish within, but, man, when those days get rough, it's hard to find peace within anything at all. In the midst of unhappiness the mind consistently will flirt with the idea of being in a more positive state than the present. This resistance extends the negativity. If you are sad, stop and let it be. Put down your phone, your laptop, your book, or whatever it may be and just sit for a few minutes.  You're sad, that is simply how it is, and it may pass, but for now that is that. Sit in it, look at it, perhaps you'll come to understand it, but don't imagine you're something other than you are. Cease the distractions for a little while and truly stare in to the face of whatever is plaguing you. Once you stop fighting against storms you will no longer be as battered by them.

Thanks for reading until the end. It felt like a rant I must say; my apologies for a lack of coherency or the tendency to
 ramble upon simple things. Now, I'm off to enjoy the evening.

Your time means a lot, as always! :)



The past two months have been a bit wild, guys. There have been a lot of huge changes, a lot of being busy, and a whole lot of figuring things out. I live by the coast now, wandering and dreaming in the downpours of an early winter by the ocean. Everything smells good, everything looks lovely, and all I want to do is absorb all the possible experiences I may encounter. It's a bit of a confusing journey, but all the best ones are. Let me touch on the past month or two.

1. I dropped out of college. The decision was terrifying and exhilarating and monumental to who I am/was. There was shaking and crying and laughing and soaring and soaring on the beauty of making a fundamentally correct decision. It might have been one of the best choices I have ever made. Actually, it was one of the best choices I've ever made. It's not everyone's thing, but so it goes.

2. I moved away. I packed up the room I've loved for the past 16 years... And left. As many can relate, a childhood bedroom can be a best friend. The history it holds is rich and deep! Friends, family, pets, first times, last tries. It was about time to start new, hey? There was one night I was just sitting in my room, the incense burning and my mind still, and I just started crying. Eventually time slipped away and I started smiling, warmed by a sudden knowledge that it was absolutely time to go and that (no matter one's surroundings) home is wherever you are and whatever you want it to be. That revelation sure made things better. That's just what people do, you see: make things okay. I guess what I mean to say that moving wasn't so bad... In fact I think I'm more than okay, because progression is constant and things are always just a little confusing, as they should be.

It has been an interesting run and things are just beginning to gain momentum! I'll get back to my Ethical Commandments like in my previous post, but, to wrap this all up, here's an awesome list of awesome things.

- Books, Songs, & Little Things -

Hooray, covers!

I'm reading a book by a man named Ivan Illich. It's called "Tools for Conviviality", and it uncovers the flaws, spawned from excessive growth and movement, in our current societal structure. It also happily presents a logical alternative. You can read it online for free, my friends, if you click right here.

I haven't been able to keep my head away from the song Broom People by the Mountain Goats. Nostalgia wanders on through the headphones, even on the first encounter. For a feel that's quite different than my usual taste, leaning more on post-hardcore I suppose, give The World is a Beautiful Place and I am No Longer Afraid to Die a try.

Hooray, small publications!

In the mood for some interesting merchandise or an awesome magazine? This site, 'Pioneers Press' offers zines, magazines, patches, shirts, books, stickers, and a whole ton of other little things to bring with you. I actually picked up a zine called 'The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Fighting the Big Bad Motherfuckin' Sad' at Spartacus Books. I plan on ordering a few other things though, and I encourage you to at least browse through their stock!

Thanks for reading my rambles, all! Much love!


good people

Alright folks, so it has been an interesting week full of friendly parrots, baby tortoises, and Sikh priests. A handful of big life decisions are wavering on the horizon, ever threatening and always exciting, and I've fallen in love with the book 'The Buddha Walks into a Bar...' by Lodrzo Rinzler. Right now the rain is cascading down the window beside me and my keystrokes are softly accompanied by the sounds of Dorian Finch. But wait. This post isn't about any of these things... Not at first. In this post I will start by introducing something I learned of a few months ago.

a suspicious otter, to ease us in to the next topic

This something I speak of sounds really boring at first. It revolves around the idea of creating for yourself a list of Ten (or more?) Ethical Commandments, which basically means a list of the values you uphold the most. That's boring, right? Yet we all have this bizarre, yet strongly adhered to, list of stuff we just live by. Oddly enough it seems to be something unwritten and untouched; however the act of defining those little moral things you love so much can make you feel a lot more focused and happy as an individual. It is an experience that makes you feel lighter.  But really, do you know what's most important to you as you go out and eat, touch, talk, drink and other such things? I challenge you to try and write your own list. Think about the things that are most important to you. Is it being honorable? Is it being honest, gentle, noble, or even just being generous enough to tip your waiter? Whatever those things are, pinpoint them. Cherish them, and go back to them as time goes on. The first step is to go ahead and make the unwritten written.

As for myself, defining what makes my list is something I am rather... well... untalented at. Naturally, the contents are the inherent things I just carry with me, the vague, formless ideas that push my sense of right and wrong, that sway my opinions and help shape my decisions. They are the things I strive for and, even if I don't always uphold them as well as I could, I have the awareness and drive both of and behind them. You may find the same thing. Nonetheless I've been working on my list and so far it comes down to three basic things:

1. Compassion
2. Self-Discipline
3. Discernment

Cool stuff. I speak of disciplining the mind and therefore making proper actions and sound judgments, all with pure and kind intent. All of the possible rants alongside? They will be posted not too long after this.

On the other hand, let's go back to the top.

If you're in the Kelowna area or just passionate about parrots, their rescue, and upkeep, check out 'Parrot Island.' You can go hangout with some pretty sweet birds. They also have parrots up for adoption.  Might I add that the owners of these parrots are clean professionals, with the main caretaker having studied parrots in the wild for ten years?

Lastly, before I am off to sleep, if you have any interest in Buddhism head on over to this site. It's about modern day Buddhism in a fast paced culture. It's also about to launch a super interactive community and the beta is free, so check it out!

Now I must be heading out! Good night, all!


flower crown

How It's Sort-Of Done

- Take less than ten dollars and head to your local dollar store!
- Go ahead and buy as many fake flowers as you want. Mix and match colours, sizes, you know how it goes.
- Make sure to buy either floral wire or something containing floral wire (you can take it apart). Also get some ribbon or a chain.
- Twist the floral wire all together very tightly. Next, you can bend it to your desired crown size.
- I wrapped my creation in ribbon and in the end touched up the loose bits with super glue. Be careful of the possibly bloody combination of skin and glue. Blood stains (probably) aren't an addition you want to your crown. Anyway, I knotted some ribbon at the ends of my crown and let the rest trail to tie behind my head.
- Play with the flowers and leaves and, when you have an idea of what you're doing, cut them how you'd like.
- I ran wire through my flowers and then twisted the wire around my crown. If they had loose stems I would wrap those through the ribbon and around the crown as well.
- It may be a good idea to wind extra wire around your creation. It's very pretty, and helps keep things in place.
- Touch up those little loose bits with super glue and you're good to go!

delicate things

Summer time... The sun is shining and the sweat is pouring. The heat has been a little bit overwhelming, but I refuse to complain. I've spent my week stargazing, playing on playgrounds late at night, creating presentations in the sun, and working on some photo stuff. As for right now? Right now I'll show you all about flower crowns and then I'll showcase some of my favourite photographs captured by others.

1. DIY Creations
The other day I went for some delicious drinks with a girl I graduated with. It was full of laughing and talking about adventures and everything in general. In the end we surprised ourselves by ending the day in the park, making flower crowns on the peeling boards of an old bench. It was pretty fantastic. Here's how mine turned out:


2. Photographic Inspirations
As you all know I'm a big fan of photography. My camera is currently under repairs in another country and I'm going through shutter withdrawals! Nonetheless, I find a lot of my inspiration in the work of others. Here are a few amazing photos from photographers (street photographers!) that I'd like to share. If you want to see the image larger please click on the caption.

Unknown Source

I couldn't find the photographer of this anywhere. It's cute though, and the irony is appreciated!

Aldo Beltrame, 1957. 

There is a delicate line between eerie and ethereal and, to me, this photo rides that fine edge beautifully. It seems as if these children have never once moved since this photo was taken.

Another artist lost to Tumblr. 

I love Tumblr, but it has a tendency to not credit its sources. I can't help but love this image anyways.

Cafe by Nikkr89 on Flickr

A simple, every day scene. Perfect, yeah?

3. Final Notes
Well, that's about it, guys! It's time for you to go make some pretty little things, perfect for shoving on your head. I'll leave you with some awesome music and let you go on your way. Thanks for reading! :)


new to these pages

Hello there! This might be our first time meeting and something tells me this will be one weird friendship. You'll probably have to read a bit and you'll have a lot of photos to look at, but that's okay.

If you're here for my photography, thank you. This paragraph here is yours. You can access my images to the right, purchase existing images above, and if you are interested in pricing just give me a shout.

I'll give you a lot of vegetarian and heartburn friendly recipes, as well as a lot of do-it-yourself crafts to try. There will also be bits of travel advice and you can follow my own journey, if you'd like. You'll see a lot of smiles, a bit of folk punk, a whole lot of studio ghibli, many ramblings, and a lot of my favourite things that I hope are your favourite things too.

Ready? Welcome to the voice of Miranda de Groot.

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