And if you see no light, let it shine from within

3AM and in Crisis

It was 3am and I was on the phone with my best friend sobbing. Sobbing because it just seemed as if my life was in crisis.

Some things were fine. Many things actually. But if the totality of our life is a combination of the balance between things like family, career, friends, finances, health, sex, and etc, some parts of my life seemed to be imploding, exploding and suffocating me.

So it was 3am and I was sobbing.


8PM with no place to go

It was 8pm on a Wednesday night and I had no place to go.

“There’s been flooding in my apartment. They won’t even let me in because of the damage. I don’t even know if my cats are okay. I don’t even have clothes for work tomorrow. Or my eye glasses or contacts. I don’t even have panties.  I just need a place to sleep. Can I stay with you?” I pleaded on the phone.

“Of course, where are you? I will be there,” he said.

Its been three weeks and in once sense, I still have no place to go. I miss my bed.

But I do have friends who have welcomed me, quite literally sheltered me and helped me.

I don’t even talk about my apartment right now. Just the thought makes me sob.

I feel as if I’ve cried enough during the last two months.


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7AM in Grey Tones

It was 7am and everything was grey and wet. Those who know me, know that I think of rain as earth tears. As a collective experience between nature and humans where the energy of grief and pain is shared time and time again.

I was all out of tears. And so the earth was mourning for me. And it was grey and murky, so I grabbed my phone to capture the moment.

Recently, I’ve joined a photography class called “Be Your Own Beloved” by Vivenne MCMaster. The class is about “cultivating self love through self portraiture.” I literally took the class to help me take better and more compassionate selfies and really, its been my saving grace during a very rough personal period.

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I remember the first few days when I didn’t even have my laptop, my DSLR camera…hell, I didn’t have access to my birth certificate. All I had was my purse and in my purse, I had my phone; My Nokia Lumia Icon that’s supposed to take awesome pictures and video and audio and make your life so much better.

With my phone being my only piece of tech, its what I used for solace

for reprieve

for expression

for peace.

Even now, when given the choice…because I at least have my laptop again and I’ve got my big fancy camera and I’ve got my iPod….sometimes I just pull out my ICON to guarantee that I’m able to capture the shot that I need. Being able to adjust the shutter speed for motion or the aperture for focus or ISO to help in limited light, has helped and I’m lucky to have a phone that has those capabilities.


Let it SHINE

The other day, there was no light. In one instance that worked against me. Some of the prompts in my #BeYourOwnBeloved class meant that I needed light. How could I photograph shadows of myself…without light? And then, while playing with the editing options on my Nokia Lumia Icon, the phrase came to me….


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Truth be told, I just wanted something provocative to use in the description box when I uploaded my photo on instagram. And I’m a writer, so random phrases always come to me. However, that quote spoke to me on so many levels.

That’s where I’m at right now.

A lot of things are haywire in my life.

The cause of my 3am sobbing….still has no answer, or change or fix. The thought, the circumstance still leaves me heartbroken.

And my home….the fact that it has rained on and off for the past two weeks when repairs should be taking place, scares me. And what if that water damage leads to mold. What if I won’t see home for months? What if…..

There are many things outside my control right now.

And there was a day where there was no light.



The Coolness of my Phone

I’ve got 99 (personal) problems but my phone ain’t one. (I literally said that the other day. I was telling a friend how I felt the pressure to meet blog deadlines and I wasn’t sure how the hell I’d write for Verizon when my life was in shambles. I said, “I’ve got people asking for  [blog] posts. and I literally am just trying to make sure I have places to sleep at night. Is there an app that can give me money and a home? I’m trying to make it work. I really though, just need one less email. I guess I could blog about how when I didn’t have my laptop for 3 days, my phone was my saving grace for everything.”

So yeah, my phone is cool BUT………

I’ve been known to cheat. I either:

1. Keep taking photos on my deactivated iPhone even though Verizon gives me other phones to try

2. Take a photo on my #VZWBuzz phones but then edit them on my iPhone because UGH Windows don’t have PicTapGo or Snapseed. WTF?

But I’m pushing myself, so I want to show you the beauty and fun you can have with EDITING on your NOKIA LUMIA ICON.

It’s a given that the phone takes better pictures and gives you more control. But you really can play with expressive editing too. I’m gonna show you the unedited version of all the pictures below. Be ye amazed.

SELFIE  – Using the “Creative Studio” app on the Nokia Lumia ICON I tweaked this image in a few ways and made it black and white for a bit of a pop! I don’t remember all I did but I can tell I played with contrast. Look at how defined my curls are in the black and white.

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BENCH IN RAIN – When taking this image on my ICON, I was playing with the aperture settings to see the difference between the ENTIRE picture being sharp and in focus versus the raindrops being in focus with the rest of the backgroun being blurry. That was done in the settings prior to taking the image. (While doing so, I did forget to adjust white balance and more but the point was playing with focus.)  I later edited the image in the “FhotoRoom” app on the Nokia Lumia ICON.

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BENCH IN RAIN – This photo shows the most drastic edit. Again,  took the image on my ICON. However, as you can see it was just cloudy and murkey and wet outside. I mean, at first glance, this image doesn’t even seem usable for anything. Its composed horribly. There are random poles. But you know, I was just having fun playing with the focus of the raindrops.

And this is where “shine from within” comes in. For one, crappy photos can still be useable. Using  “FhotoRoom” app on the Nokia Lumia ICON, I cropped the image and I started playing with all the settings in the app until I created this warm, light filled, sharper image. LOOK AT THAT MAGIC.

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Sometimes, if you see no light, you gotta let your light shine from within. Literally when editing crappy photos and when going through shitty life situations. Sometimes you gotta let the magic come from you when all those real world problems are weighing you down.

I have not reached no resolution with what caused me to cry at 3AM and I haven’t slept in my own bed for weeks. And the toll of both is heavy. But you know what, I have used my phone and my photography skills to cultivate a practice of mindfulness, presence, creativity, art and compassion. And taking that photo pushed me to think of creative ways to solve my real life delimmas too. Art always helps me find my way back.


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Also, I’m a photographer. Checkout my portfolio page, my instagram and even my album for #BeYourOwnBeloved.

Disclaimer –  I received my Nokia Lumia ICON because  I am a #VZWBuzz Lifestyle Blogger. The thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.

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