Changes to Come

Assault on the Chief 2015x-1

The World right now is in an interesting state to say the very least. I believe that there’s been so many major historical events that we catalogue from the Pyramids, the Crusades to the discovery of fossil fuels… but what about now? I think we’ve reached a point in history where we will either be in the books forever… or even sad to say, never. Our lives have come to a point where what we decide to do and how  we choose to live could decide the entire fate of our existence. I’m not talking about earth’s existence… she’ll be around for a while, but rather the survival of the human race.

To deny climate change would be to plead complete ignorance; the changes in weather and our ecosystem as a whole… Yes the earth has been heating and getting set for another cleansing but it wasn’t due for… give or take another 55,000 years.

As humans we’ve learned to use logic over instinct and as much good as it’s brought us, it’s also showing us the paths in which we are sending ourselves, and that’s the path of self destruction… and in many different ways! Technology is amazing but our societal norms consist of constant phone gazing, disconnection with people despite being more connected than we’ve ever  been before! I find our evolutionary traits require eye to eye contact physical care and affection. An exchange of words over a screen can be powerful but it doesn’t touch the energy and connection the voice does when it touches the ear.

The day we discovered the use of fossil fuels we essentially began a launch into the future, surpassing technology jumps faster than ever before and continuing so. Really think about the societies we’ve built, dreams pursued but at costs we didn’t stop to think about or even potentially have realised. But I wouldn’t blame only fossil fuels on climate change, I mean there are many other factors but I believe the major one is our species and that we’ve moved ourselves into/ created an environment we haven’t evolved for.

Talk about stimulation… it’s everywhere. You have electric signs, flashy cars… non flashy one, clothing, but we also have cell phones and computers and consoles. I mean the list goes on, mind you we can “handle” the stimulation.

Take a moment and think about the people who go camping for a weekend and you hear ‘I feel so refreshed, I was so relaxed‘ you know? Something along the lines of that. That’s because biologically that’s our natural environment… we’re meant to be out in the woods experiencing fresh air and a place our mind can take in the natural wonders and simplicity of such complex organisms brought together as one.

Camping

To me our race are meant to be in small groups/ tribes. Think about Metropolises, the amount of social issues, illness and corruption there is and I believe it to be because of our loss of connection. We are surrounded by so many more humans but there’s so much less contact. Bands of people and very small towns, even at this time people know each other and connect with each other better than anyone else. Big cities people drone on by, in tribe like culture you are more likely to be accountable for your actions and the emotions of those you affect; I’d bet the emotional affection and stability in a small community is extremely high, as you see all the people around you become something as you do yourself.

Now I am 100% for renewable lifestyle and living to it the best you can but this isn’t what inspired me for the article, it’s the huge issue of Syrian refugees. There’s been a lot going on and it was kind of filled with msc information that was hard to see what the whole issues were. Our earth’s climate reached a point that caused a drought to eliminate millions of farming jobs, cascading crowding issues and social instability. All these things created an overbearing turmoil and essentially collapsed of a country.

This brings me pretty much to what I’ve pondered on a few times in the past couple of weeks/ months. As much as there’s disaster all over the world and I am by no means downplaying it, as it does pain my heart to see such tragedies and not be able to offer every bit of me I possibly could. I think Syria really brought my attention to it; maybe the gay liberties movement was the beginning or women’s right to vote or even men protesting to be topless at beaches in the early 1900’s…? Right now though… it’s really seeming like these Global calamities are bringing humanity together unlike any time before. I could possible see it as being the beginning of a new Golden Age. The sadness and horror being taken in and cared for globally,  people who never had the chance to help, beginning to offer spaces and compassion for those suffering in these misfortunes.

It kind of bums me out that it takes precious lives and souls to make us come together as a world, but at the same time it excites me that people are taking the prominent step to making this world a better symbiotic place.

Connecting

There’s always something you can do… it doesn’t even have to be much! You could smile at someone or open a door… maybe instead of rushing in traffic you offer someone space to pass ahead of you. Every actions of caring you spread to this earth can have everlasting effects that you may never see; You could be the difference of making someone smile and completing his interview with extra pizazz, or make her feel confident because a stranger smiled at them and she later met her twin flame. Basically that’s my rant and if there’s anything to take out of it… know that your kindness could change the world big or SMALL.

You may have been given a destiny, but it doesn’t mean you can’t choose how to live it – Justinn Parkinson

Peace

What is Success?

What is success… such a loaded question if you ask me. I had recently read an article talking about my generation (Millennials) starting to “set back” their career to enjoy life more.

I’ve talked about this topic with a few friends of mine as well, so what is the meaning of success? I guess in all reality there is not specific definition… well I mean if you look it up it’s something along the lines of:

1. The favourable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavours; the accomplishment of one’s goals.

2. The attainment of wealth, position, honours, or the like.

But I mean inside of you, what do you feel success really is? To really sit down and think about it can really make you ponder some inquisitive things. Here in the Okanagan you can see it really holds different values for many people. I see individuals with “Alberta Money” who buy huge homes on the cliffs or on the water, they have big boats and lots of toys to go with them… yet they only use it two to three months of the year. Sadly that’s their image of success is work very, very hard for most of the year and then play a little (I’m sure they play hard but compared to their work I view it as little). Don’t get me wrong some of these individuals love this and it works for them, but I couldn’t imagine spending the majority of my life working for such little enjoyment/ fulfillment.

Is it money, "things"?

Is it money or “things”?

What do I see as success in my life? To start the less stress in life the better! But ultimately making a few really good friends, having a couple nice things… even then good company trumps material goods. I want to do things now when my body has the ability to recuperate after doing some crazy sport or trip or hike, I don’t want to wait until I retire before I start to enjoy my life. The experience I have are worth more than money can provide to me.

Is it being in the moment?

Is it being in the moment?

I read an argument about someone who’s an architect and that he’d spent a few years in school and another couple interning and is now in a job he enjoys working 40 hours a week, and will be able to enjoy himself before he retires because he worked hard. I applaud this person for his determination and enthusiasm but not everyone has the patience to do these things (Is financial security that really matters?). Does this make us lazy? Hardly, everyone has different ambitions and goals… and some of us just don’t have the mental capacity to break our backs for 8-10 years to finally start having fun and enjoying life… some of us want to live now because there may not be a tomorrow.

Moving to British Columbia I think was one of the best things I had decided to do, the people are such inspiration to grabbing life now and making the best of it!

Look from one generation to the next and see the contrast from Ethics to Fashion and Ideologies… they change constantly. I’d say every generation dating back hundreds of years think they had reached the best point in humanity, and that how they live is the way to be. Maybe each generation was right in their own respect but we are ever evolving intellectual creatures and will continue to change our values for many years to come.

Is it friends and special connections?

Could it be friends and special connections?

I originally wanted to talk about how I see success and what it means to me… but as I continued to write I just want to inspire others to stop for a minute and think about what success means to them. It might be a happy family, secure job, lots of money… or a life filled with amazing adventures with little to no money. There’s always something you can change in your life and never be afraid to do it… but it’s okay if you are, because change is strange 😛 but your happiness is more important.

Success can take time and determination; my slacklining is a great example, I have people tell me how amazing I am (I know I have much further to go)… It really is very humbling because I can still remember the first day, the second, and even the third; I would get up and fall, and fall, and fall again. All I wanted to do was just stand and walk! If you’re going to be scared, you’re better off being afraid doing something new than the same old thing!

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Is it doing something you love?

Success is what you make of it, if you’re not happy change something… it may not always about the best job or the most money, but to me success is what brings you the most joy in your life without the sacrifice of your smile.

Be happy in what you do

Be happy in what you do

If you’re interested in writing a guest article, don’t be shy and leave a comment or email me at Justinparkinson89@gmail.com

Who do you want to be?

Hello to all of Justin’s friends and supporters! I’m Jules, one of Justin’s long-time friends and colleagues.

I’ve been invited by Justin as a guest blogger and my topic of discussion today is something I don’t just feel but AM…creativity! It’s a burnt out opinion that not everyone can be creative and I fully intend on shattering that perception as long as I have breath in my body. EVERYBODY and I mean absolutely everyone is creative. Humans are a curious species by nature and we are all capable of taking something we think or feel on the inside and turning that outwards into a tangible item whether it be something you’ve written, said, painted, sculpted or engineered.

Art is more than just technique. It’s about feeling. It’s about expression. It’s about taking something that is purely YOU and getting it out into the world for other people to look at, interpret, and appreciate. I grew up in a small town of 3000 people in Southern Ontario and at age 6 my dad discovered my talent for drawing things to scale. We traveled to Florida a lot for summer vacations as a child and my thing was to get postcards and then bring them home and enlarge them on my sketching paper. At age 6 I could take a postcard of Mickey Mouse and the gang and enlarge it to the size of an 8×10 or larger purely from vision. I could figure out angles and measurement without the need of a ruler or protractor (something that doesn’t come easily to everyone). My father decided to put me into art classes outside of schooling. Naturally, I was totally averted to the idea as I was a REALLY timid child. But to art classes I went and surprisingly enough to me I stuck with it for 7 years. Art class became kind of “my special time”. I didn’t have the perfect childhood. Times at home could be very rough on me emotionally and art class was an hour and a half a week that I could just go and be with other artists to get away from it all. No talking was necessary. I just needed that time to go inside my own head and let whatever it was that I was thinking about or feeling come through those firing neurons down into my hand and out of my pencil or paint brush. Art for me was therapeutic, as is for a lot of other people. It’s a chance to express yourself freely without judgement or fear, and that is why it is so important to me to spread of the word, nay beauty, of art!

As I got older, teachers wanted an answer… “What do you want to be when you grow up Miss Monk?” My father pushed me to find something to do with my art. I can remember at 12 years old telling my father “Dad you can’t make any money being an artist”. Now I think, “how sad that the world we live in doesn’t encourage artists to believe in the importance and value of what they’re creating”. I sincerely did not believe I could ever have a life making art. I thought it was just something I was good at that didn’t matter. The years rolled on and I continued growing my knowledge and technique taking art in high school and finally venturing away from realism and into the surreal. Abstract. Wow! It was something new and completely different for me. For the past 5 years or so I’ve been focused on integrating my realist technique with portraits INTO an abstract kind of background or scenario for the character and my goodness what a challenge it has been. I’ve never had more fun than when I don’t know what I’m doing. It just goes to show you that in life, whether it’s creating a piece of artwork, or applying for a new job or a promotion at work, or going out of your comfort zone dating someone new…you HAVE to push yourself to attempt the unknown….you never know how you might surprise yourself and find something new that you absolutely LOVE that you didn’t think was possible or could ever happen to you.

After high school I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. My family thought medical would be a good idea. It’s a good job, with good pay and I was caring enough to be able to handle the stresses and responsibilities of nursing….yet I wasn’t convinced. I applied for a double major at the University of my Nearby City of Windsor and got it. Visual arts and communications…I wasn’t excited. It just felt like “the NEXT step”, you know? It was like I was following the succession of events that society has shoved down my throat as the normal thing to do. Go to school, get a job, find a husband, buy a house, have some kids…and then, well you know. I continued pondering what my life would be like. “Would I ever leave this area?” A lot of people would go to school and eventually follow those same successions of events and NEVER leave. That couldn’t be me. I thirsted for more. One day while lying in bed and watching “Whatever happened to?” it dawned on me, “It would be so cool to work in the movies”. A few hours later I had googled every school I think in nation for film. The next day would change my life’s path.

I got a call from my adviser at The Vancouver Film School asking if I’d like to be a part of their student body in the following terms. I told them I had thought about it maybe after 4 years of schooling at home in Windsor. They proceeded to ask me why not do it now? I couldn’t for the life of me think of a good enough reason to say no. I applied and got in. Then came the inevitable question…”how am I going to afford this?” It just so happens they had a scholarship for a FULL ride to their school. So I applied. It was an essay based off a few key questions like “Who inspires you the most? Who are you? And where do you want to be in 5 years”? I thought of all the b.s bluster they might WANT to hear and then thought…”I’m going to write it from the heart, because if they don’t like that then they don’t like me and I don’t need to go to school there”. Out of hundreds of applicants, myself and 2 others won. I would be going to school in Vancouver, for film, completely free. I couldn’t believe it. If it had not been for that curiosity provoked inside me to search for something more, to keep it creative…then I wouldn’t be writing to you today.

After school I came back to Ontario to work. That’s where I met Justin. I was his supervisor for the AM800 A team (a broadcast promotions team in the Windsor-Essex County region). We made friends immediately and began a friendship lasting well over 3 years now. Justin and I both have the same view of helping others around us whether it be locals in Windsor or all the way in Haiti, which is where we traveled next. As many of you know Justin traveled to Haiti for six months to live with Emily Hime, at Maison Ke Kontan Orphanage, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. What many of you might not know is that I filmed it. Justin and I spent about a year of our friendship fundraising and working for the orphanage in Haiti to try and make a small difference. After being in Haiti my thirst for travelling became even more insatiable and my next stint would become working as an international photographer on the high seas. For six months I traveled Alaska, Central and South America working as a photographer for a cruise line. I have a blog about it that I will post at the bottom.

Arriving back in Canada, just two weeks ago, I’ve been experiencing an array of emotions but mainly just being very thankful for this colourful life I’ve been living. One of my mantras is that “No one will fix your situation but yourself” and “If you are not trying to fix your situation, then you have no right to complain”. Before leaving for life at sea I was feeling stagnant and depressed. Living in isolation for six months has given me a profound appreciation for such things like driving my car, or watching a movie with friends which may seem mundane to the people who experience that on a daily basis but I promise you, every little thing you experience in this life is a blessing and do not forget it.

My life’s message and purpose, I’ve discovered, is to share my knowledge and creativity with the world and to inspire others to not become stagnant or unchallenged by life. So my challenge to you, whoever you are that is reading this, is to get out there and try something new. Apply to something you didn’t think you could get, try something you’ve always wanted to but were too scared to, go out and meet some new people, share some interesting conversation with a stranger, try new food, create something that is completely you whether it’s a song or a painting or a piece of furniture! If I can get one thing across to you it is that this life is short, it’s unpredictable and it’s both horrible and awesome at the same time so live life for the quiet moments you took for granted, don’t settle for a less than remarkable life and lead a life that will have you remembered long after you’re gone.

Peace and love,

J.

Please visit my photography website at www.jlynnphotographyart.com if you’d like to see what I do for a living and book a photo session. Capture those moments in life and have a tangible keepsake for years to come!

You can also check out more of my artworks and talks at my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/jlynnphotographyart and my blog: julialynnmonk.wordpress.com/!
There’s ALSO my youtube.com/julialynnmonk and my twitters at twitter.com/julesmonk and twitter.com/jlynnphotoarts.

Please do like, share and tweet my stuff if you enjoy my work as an artist. Help me to inspire others to keep dreaming and making those dreams a reality!