• Марина Кожинова
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Human Hero In Training
So this is what 33 looks and feels like. Last year was one of cleansing, creating, and not just talking about ideas but actually getting sh*t done. I’m making more art than ever, my finances aren’t all over the place anymore, and my family has come together. The flip side is now that I have this strong foundation, doors are opening that were previously closed. I’m being confronted with dirtier pieces of my character, mostly revolving around relationships, that I’m ready to clean up. ⚡️ Validation often came from being desired for this or that, and even when I was single, I was still relying on someone else to make me feel good about myself. I don’t want to be someone that jumps from partner to partner. How can any of us really get to know ourselves, and more importantly, love ourselves if we don’t give ourselves the time and space to learn how? ⚡️ The other day in a yoga class, a truth washed over me. I can’t use my upbringing or “conditioning” as an excuse for poor choices I’ve made. Where I am, who I am, who I’m with or not with, is because of my choices. This realization didn’t anger me, or pull me towards self-loathing. It felt more like a conversation with a mentor, someone that I trusted and knew was looking out for me. It was like being a kid again and getting a stern talking to from an adult that loves you. And then I realized laying there in savasana, that I was simultaneously both, the teacher and the student. Intellectually, I understood the idea of ‘you are your own best teacher’ but I hadn’t experienced it until now, and it felt empowering. #takeresponsibility #keepmoving #humanheroes #getoutside #movementismedicine #movementformentalhealth #movebecauseyoucan
Human Hero In Training
Right now, I wish I was back here, sitting underneath this big beautiful tree on the Muliwai Trail. It was like being in Jurrasic Park minus the dinosaurs. I’ve been traveling like crazy for the last month and @healthycell has been with me the whole time. #ad 🌲 The delivery system = BIOACTIVE GEL. No pills means no bottles, no powders, no gluten, no soy, non-GMO - just science, formulated by physicians and nutritionists, in a little packet that I can recycle later! Besides digging the product, I really appreciate that @healthycell sends you a free recycling container that you can send back to @terracycle to be disposed of properly. #recycleeverything 🌲 Head over to their page to check them out, or swipe up in my story to get yours at a discount. If you’re an active individual or want to lessen your global footprint, this might be your new multivitamin. And if your wondering about the taste… Think raspberry pancake syrup. #climatechange #lessenyourfootprint #recycle #hawaii #hiking #backpacking #leavenotrace #protecttheaina #keepmoving
Human Hero In Training
‘The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.’ Jacque Cousteau 🌊 Most of you probably don’t know this but I love to dive. It’s what I imagine space must feel like but with way more to see and experience. I just got back from the Bahamas with my father and brothers, right before the hurricane hit. I put this video together to hopefully inspire you #humanheroes to help this beautiful place. A few highlights of the video include... me speaking ‘whale’(equalizing underwater), swimming through underwater caverns, one of the infamous blue holes and its spiderweb mineral secretions, and also my closest encounter with a shark. Watch the second video to see what I’m talking about. 🦈 This place was magical and I’m praying for all the creatures that call the Bahamas home, human and fish alike. I came across this website that offers 7 different ways in which you can help/donate. @bahamas_redcross_society @teamrubicon are just a few listed. Donating some of my birthday money felt like the least I could do. Please help/donate if you have the means to do so. #prayforthebahamas
Human Hero In Training
“Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better.” Albert Einstein . . Hope you guys are ready for the green kingdom to take over my Instagram feed...🌲🌳🌿☘️
Human Hero In Training
Hawaii Vacation Day 2: A few shots before I got my ass whooped...and few shots afterwards. Instagram edits vs the reality of Hawaiian surf. The Kai is no joke. I took a small boogie board out there to ‘get my feet wet’ and caught a few waves before I learned that tiger sharks were often seen at this beach. (Thanks @zfusari 😳) ⚡️ Trying to get a longboard past the break was a whole different story. I was quickly humbled and brought home with me an assortment of bruises and scratches. No regrets though! I want to live in the space between too much and not enough where there is occasionally that ‘oh sh*t’ oomph that keeps you alert and alive! I missed you Hawai’i. #mahalo 📸 @not_so_chy #hawaii #kona #pinetreessurfingbeach #naturelover #challengeyourself #keepmoving #humanheroes
Human Hero In Training
”When one tugs at a single thing in nature, one finds it attached to the rest of the world.” John Muir ⚡️ Whether by accident or on purpose, the fires that are raging through the Amazon are illegally caused by humans, mostly to clear land for livestock. It’s easy to brush off certain issues that may feel far from home. It’s easy to take no action because we might question our ability to make an impact anyway. It’s easy to place responsibility elsewhere but the truth is that we are all responsible. We are ALL responsible for the messes we’ve created and we all have to do our part in the healing of our planet. You must believe you can make a difference! ⚡️ I’m seeing all these #prayforamazonia hashtags but that just seems like spiritual bypassing to me. Yes, pray, and then take some sort of action! Start small and gather your strength! Let’s be more conscious about how we recycle. If you’re a meat-eater, try removing it from one or two meals a week. Join a weekly or monthly park clean up. It’s 2019, use a canteen! I joined the @sierraclub last week, I’m a stickler for #leavenotrace. Don’t let me see you drop a candy wrapper... anywhere. It requires courage to take action, sometimes it takes courage just to speak up. We have to hold each other accountable #humanheroes. Become a #forcefornature 📸 photo cred to momma hurley
Human Hero In Training
Apparently it’s #shareyourstudio day! @patreon A lot of people have asked about my studio so figured this was the perfect opportunity to share! We’ve appropriately named this room the #sacredspace. It’s my favorite room in the house. I come in here to create, meditate, talk to friends, family, and god. ⚡️ You might notice there are lions everywhere.😄 How many can you count?? I’ve been drawing and painting lions for as long as I can remember....I see the face of a lion when I close my eyes.... and I’m a Leo. Might be why I pray to a lion god these days.♌️🦁 #🕉 #createtoexplore #keepmoving #humanheroes #avatar #vishnu #narasimhadeva #leoseason
Human Hero In Training
I’m still coming down from all your birthday messages and wishes! Thank you guys so much! 33 feels pretty, pretty, pretty good. @not_so_chy and I just got back from Hawaii yesterday. After hiking in such a beautiful land, I have a deeper understanding of why so many Hawaiians are fighting the construction on Mauna Kea. Excited to share our memories exploring the sacred lands of the aina. 📸 @gabrielgastelum #keepmoving #humanheroes #movebecauseyoucan #movementformentalhealth
Human Hero In Training
Greetings from Hawaii!! 🤙🏼Almost 33 years on this planet have me feeling both young at heart and more connected to an ageless sense of purpose that I didn’t really understand before. Getting older is inevitable but so is the wisdom that comes with it. All those cliche sayings of “you’ll look back on this later and be grateful,” are more mantras than cliches. ⚡️ The application of wisdom really kicks in when you can skip the step in between - learning the lessons with little suffering so you can progress to the next level. Big things are just around the corner #humanheroes, projects I’ve been working on for more than half a decade are being shared and developed. ⚡️ Thank you, thank you, thank you all for believing in me and the change I’m trying to create in the world. Mahalo ⚡️ 📸 @gabrielgastelum snapped these photos of me a few weeks ago in NY and then wrote up one of the nicest posts ever. Grateful to be alive and also grateful to have such amazing people in my life. #gratitude #leoseason #keepmoving #movementformentalhealth #happybirthday
Human Hero In Training
One of my current teachers always says this during class “Movement should be fun. If you’re not having fun, you shouldn’t be here.” I partially agree. We need to find our own ways to make movement fun. That way what at first feels like a ‘chore’ becomes an opportunity to ‘play.’ Stay young at heart #humanheroes You were born to move. 📸 @gabrielgastelum (got a bunch more photos to share from one of my favorite humans) #movebecauseyoucan #movementformentalhealth #keepmoving #nogymneeded
Human Hero In Training
“Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are.” -Alfred Austin ⚡️ Think of your relationships as if they were the flowers in your garden. For the garden to be healthy, you need to water it, you need to feed it, and you need to prune it. Some flowers are going to be so interesting or strikingly beautiful. Some will engage your senses and emotions in a way that feels incredible and irreplaceable but this doesn’t mean they are beneficial to the overall health of your garden. If you notice certain people in your life are being dishonest with you, ignore your attempts to communicate, or simply give you a uneasy feeling... leave those flowers alone. Focus on the relationships that bring you joy. 🌸 📸 @vangephoto #humanheroes #keepmoving #movementformentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #mentalmaintenance
Human Hero In Training
Random fact: when I was a chunky teenager I was obsessed with surfing, and also terrified. I didn’t have the physical ability so I would spend hours sitting around, drawing all the different logos.... redsand, quicksilver, billabong, stussy, no fear(anyone remember that one?) ⚡️ One day my mom said ‘Why don’t you make your own surf brand?’ My response was ‘what would I even call it?’ ‘Why not ‘Hurley’? she said. No lie, I started doodling and put two )( back to back. Fast forward a few years later, and even now, @hurley is probably the biggest surf brand out there. I can’t tell you how many of those T-shirt’s I owned. ⚡️ Point of the story - momma knows best! Thanks @phurley222 for always inspiring me. I love you. I haven’t given up on the art yet and never will. Surfing... I think I’m ready to try again! See you soon Hawaii! #mommasboy💙 #ohana #hawaii #🤙🏼 #getoutside
Human Hero In Training
Right now I’m currently working on three art projects, training twice a day, making time for YaYa, friends, family and creating content for this GNC partnership! Phew! #sponsored ⚡️ Food is the best fuel but supplements can help you get those key nutritional elements that you may be lacking along with boosting your energy to get through workouts and your workday. I usually train in a fasted state and have my first meal directly after. Breakfast usually involves eggs, toast, and fruit or one of these bomb breakfast jars I’ve been creating lately. With breakfast, I’ve been taking GNC AMP Ripped vitamin packs which contains one of my favorite supplements, conjugated linoleic acid. ⚡️ CLA is one of the most studied weight loss supplements in the world showing great results. While there is no substitute for exercise and we are all built differently. Some of us need a little extra help and CLA can give you the extra support you need to reach your goals. And make sure you are drinking plenty of water ( Around 4 liters a day.)! Summer is here! @GNCLiveWell #LetsKeepPushing #GNCLiveWell #ad
Human Hero In Training
Counting down the days until I can get this girl back on the trail. 🐕🏃🏼‍♂️ #northcarolina #asheville #getoutside #adoptdontshop #humanheroes #shelterdog #hikingadventures
Human Hero In Training
Over the last couple years I’ve learned that whenever I find myself in a funk, the easiest way for me to reconnect with what really matters is by immersing myself in nature. Not having enough time, the pressure to succeed, not knowing which direction to move - nature doesn’t worry about such things. Go lay with her and the answers will come. ⚡️ This week’s theme is nature. I’ve been missing her, jonesing for her actually, and Hawaii is just around the corner. YaYa and I usually go for walks in the park but her mobility is very limited. One of the dangers of living in an urban setting is nature withdrawal. We need trees and water and mountains the same way we need to embrace and be embraced by those we love. I think that’s what we need more of - viewing our planet as if it were someone we dearly love. Don’t forget to #getoutside and #reboot #humanheroes #natureisbae #keepmoving
Human Hero In Training
I captured this sunset while I was staying in a relatively small mountain city called Takayama. I decided to hike up the mountain behind my ryokan after I dropped off my bag. I found a small cemetery deep in the woods resting next to a sleepy temple. 🌲 It was empty and there was no sound except for scattered crows. Rain was beginning to fall. I pushed aside my worries of ‘is it ok if I go inside and meditate? Would it be disrespectful if no one is present besides me?” I quietly took off my shoes and slid inside. 🌲 I deposited a few hundred yen into the wooden cask and thanked the gods as I left. I continued up the mountain and noticed the change of texture under my feet. The dirt and pine needles gave way to loose rock and then fortified stone. The platform where I shot this was the remaining foundation of Takayama castle, a multi-complex structure that once looked over the city below but was destroyed in a fire. 🌲 I was grateful to find myself once again in my spiritual home - surrounded by the trees, and leaves, and birds. I’d never done a handstand on a raised platform before but managed to float into it with ease. I made my way back to my ryokan feeling completely content with my life yet aware of my responsibility to be of service. I climbed into my private bathtub that looked out over the city with a glass of cold sake. I melted into the water, pruned myself good, and got lost in the craziness that was Love+Death and Robots... 🌲 I think the reason I haven’t written or posted much about this trip yet is because I wanted to keep it for myself. I wanted to be able to pull from it whenever I needed to. That might sound selfish but I’m ok with it. Some experiences should be kept, just for you. #nippon #takayama #mindfulness #mothernature #movementformentalhealth #healing #keepmoving #humanheroes
Human Hero In Training
There is so much to do, and see, and taste, and feel but nothing, nothing is more important than this right now. #fridaynight #dogdad #adoptdontshop
Human Hero In Training
Great news! According to the surgeon and vet techs, YaYa is doing just fine. Bad news is that she had ligament tears in both knees so she is going to need surgery again after the current leg heals up. 💙 She’s never been a whiner when it comes to pain, I don’t think I’ve ever heard her complain other than when I leave the apartment. Lots of rest and relaxation for her so she can heal up and get back on the trail. She loves being outside just as much as I do. 💙 Thank you guys so much for all the love and support. She loves you all and she’ll be better than ever in no time. (Deleted the last post because I realized the video was her taking a 💩. Whoops😂) #adoptdontshop #rescuedogs #keepmoving #humanheroes
Human Hero In Training
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Pride and the 4th of July fall within a week of each other. Both involve people fighting for their rights and the rights of others - to be free. The energy in the city this past weekend was incredible. Soo much love, and color, and freedom to be, feel, dress, move, love and be loved, all in a way that feels right to you. The city was oozing with authenticity. If anyone were to have brought any negative energy into that giant love cluster that is NYC, I could feel that everyone would have banded together, and without malice or anger, simply said “get outta here.” Can’t everyday be like that? 💙 . Here a few shots of my piece ‘Love is fluid’ that I painted for #wework to commemorate #stonewall50 and #worldpride. It’s full of #lgbtqiaplus heroes from the past along with some of my friends and family that are, in my opinion, the heroes and change makers of today. For those of you that offered to be part of the piece, thank you. I tried to fit as many of you in there as I could. Comment/tag anyone you think you recognize. Much love #humanheroes. #happyfourth and #happypride 💙
Human Hero In Training
“The creative process is not controlled by a switch you can simply turn on or off; it's with you all the time.” Alvin Ailey . . Use you imagination. Move your body. Do your work. Practice gratitude. Watch the pieces come together. 📸 @cotytarr #keepmoving #humanheroes
Human Hero In Training
“Love takes off the masks we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.” James Baldwin 💙 . Swipe left to check out a process video for my #stonewall50 #worldpride #wework mandala. It’s looking dope but the deadline is tomorrow, crunch time! Super excited to share the final piece with y’all soon. #loveislove #worldpride2019 #keepmoving . . 📸🎥 @pmarra
Human Hero In Training
Taking a quick break from painting to share these images from my shoot a few weeks ago @cotytarr. Nothing better than working with a photographer or creator that allows you to be part of the process behind and in front of the camera. #keepmoving #humanheroes #movementformentalhealth #movebecauseyoucan
Human Hero In Training
‘The shadow is here to challenge you not provide you with an alibi.”. ⚡️ Last week, I was walking through Union Square and a young woman sitting on a chair on the sidewalk called out to me. Let me do a reading for you she said as I walked by. I told her no thank you and smiled. Appealing more to my ego than my spirit, she said “I know you’re a spiritual person! Let me do a reading for you.” I stopped, looked at her, and sat down. She gave me my options and prices and I made my decision to do a face to face reading. I feel very in control of my life right now so this exchange felt much more like supporting another creative individual and less seeking actual guidance for my own life.. ⚡️ We looked hard into each other’s eyes and she began to tell me about what she sees going on inside of me. I nodded occasionally when something felt accurate and I disagreed completely when she mentioned something that didn’t apply. After a few minutes, she asked me if I believed in energy. I said of course. We may have this vessel, this body, but it’s the energy that keeps it moving. Call it prana, call it electricity, or simply don’t try to label it at all and root yourself in the belief that it exists. We are fields of energy, bumping and rubbing against others, shaping this world around us.. ⚡️ Next she told me something that affronted me a bit. “You have a negative spirit following you. It’s not a part of you, but it is following you.” I thought about this concept Zero I’ve been writing a lot about – what I first understood as the villain of my story, of any of our stories – chemical imbalances in the brain combined(or created by) with the trauma/conditioning one has not only experienced in their lives, but also the fears that have been passed down to you from your ancestors. The nature vs nuture one-two combo... continued in comments. 📸 @flobison
Human Hero In Training
“The more I paint the more I like everything.” -jean Michel basquiat . . I feel same. Currently in the thick of creating. #ipadpro #procreate #humanhero #vibes #keepmoving
Human Hero In Training
Handstands are a great metaphor for life - you must learn to support yourself when the whole world feels upside down. ⚡️ . . Throwback to Thailand and Japan. A photo from Donald Duck island and a JUST-SHY-of-a-minute handstand from a hot studio in Kyoto. I am still processing the entire trip. What I learned there. What I left there. Why I left there??😂 . . Currently grinding it all together and enjoying the process - life. The Movement is coming #Humanheroes. . . Until then, more handstands. 🤸🏾‍♂️ #keepmoving #movebecauseyoucan #movementformentalhealth #hoodofhustle
Human Hero In Training
⚡️Morning Rituals. ⚡️ How do you guys start your day? What rituals do you follow to get you moving and grooving as soon as your feet hit the floor? Movement doesn’t stop with the physical practice, that's just the beginning. We are complete beings - body, mind, and spirit. That's why I’m partnering up with GNC for the next couples months, to change the way we think about Movement. #sponsored. ⚡️ This is what my #morningmovement looks like. First thing I do is throw off the covers, plant my feet on the ground, and say three things that I’m grateful for. I’ll finish it with a simple prayer to keep me present throughout the day. Next is a two-parter- I show YaYa some love as I’m making my pre-workout supplement. (She get’s jealous of the camera sometimes) I’m currently taking GNC’s MYOPOWER BCAA’s. BCAA’s are one of my favorite supplements because of their versatility. It’s great for pre, intra, and post workout so for someone that likes to train… all the time… they are crucial. I like to cycle on and off for 3 months at a time just to keep my body guessing. As I sip on my pre-workout, I’ll head into my favorite room in the house and do my morning pages. If I’m training at a gym, I’ll find a spot to sit and write there. No excuses. I’ve been doing this for years #humanheroes. There are no rules here, no judgment. I write about my dreams. I write about things that have been bothering me. I write about things that I’m excited about. It’s a form of mental movement that allows me to head into my workout from a clearer, more present, state of mind....(continued in comments⚡️⚡️⚡️) #LetsKeepPushing @GNCLiveWell #GNCLiveWell #ad 🎥 @pmarra
Human Hero In Training
Sawadee kop ⚡️ . How is everyone doing?? Excited and grateful to have new humans to share the journey with, thank you! 🙏🏼 . I’ve been working on a lot of HH related stuff under the radar - lots of art, lots of words, and LOTS of movement.⚡️ . Fellow #hh @pmarra is helping me edit the footage I shot years ago in Thailand, and it looks dope. I went over there thinking I was a tough guy, that I had something to prove and something to fight for. I came away from that journey so humbled by the #humanheroes that fight because they have to, to survive. Im super excited to share it with you all.⚡️ . In the meantime, here are a few shots from my most recent trip to Thailand @bababeachclub. Bang and I got some pad-work in on the beach with this beautiful sunset in the background. All captured by @peduckk. And also, it’s hard to tell but I’m wearing these hyper-mobile shorts from @rhone that I took with me on the journey. Stay tuned #humanheroes and much love.💙 #keepmoving #movementformentalhealth #movebecauseyoucan
Human Hero In Training
Representing Brooklyn and channeling my inner cowboy (I’ve been playing a lot of the new Red Dead Revolver)! ⚡️ It’s been heavy here on Instagram #humanheroes. We are sharing our stories as authentically as we dare. We are collectively bringing awareness to mental health and mental illness as a unified truth of what it means to be human. This is good. This is progress. This is movement. ⚡️ I’m no stranger to posting a lot of personal stuff on here. I’m a story teller. The challenge is deciding what is too much. What is ‘too personal.? Will my words or stories negatively impact someone else’s day, or life? Authenticity shows up through everything we do. ⚡️ Let’s lighten it up #humanheroes! I wanna know what video games you guys are playing! What’s your favorite? What was the last video game you played? Got any suggestions? Let’s move and play in the other end of the spectrum where it’s sunny and bright and life is good. It’s gotta be hard sometimes, to remind us, to appreciate life when its fucking great. ⚡️ #movementformental #keepmoving #getoutside #movebecauseyoucan
Human Hero In Training
“The evening bell, solemn and bronze in the grandfather temple down the hill. Sounds dimly here. Slow beat of the mountains heart, perhaps, or determined pulse of pine tree(gift of birds) Growing out of a crotch of a slippery monkey tree. All one, perhaps— bell, mountain, tree and steady cicada vibratto and little white dog And quiet artist-priest, carver of Noh masks, Fashioning a bamboo crutch for the ancient peach tree— symbol of strength, symbol of concern. All cool under nodding crowns of the vertical forest. All seeking in this place, all finding in this place— hidden yet open to all— the spirit in the cedars heart. “ ‘Summer’ Sai sho-in Nanjenzi Temple - Kyoto Happy Earth Day #humanheroes. What are you doing to be of service to the great Green Kingdom? #natureisqueen #natureisking
Human Hero In Training
Exploring Itsukushima aka Miyajima was one of the many highlights of my trip. Sooo many highlights. I took a ferry from Miyamaguchi towards the famous orange tori gate that seemingly floats on the water. . ⛩ There were so many people that I opted to visit some local temples first and then hike up Mount Misen which had an incredible view of Hiroshima Bay. The whole island is home to hundreds, maybe thousands, of deer (shika) much like Nara. . 🦌 After the hike I was still overflowing with #goodvibes so I decided to get a flow in before running down the other side of the mountain. I didn’t notice how close I was to the edge until after filming. Sorry Mom. I love you. . 💙 I’m actually back home in New York with HeroFlow back on tomorrow. (Link in bio). The trip is going to continue through the content I’ve yet to share and I’m writing up a long blog post also about the entire trip. Thank you #humanheroes for joining me on the journey and I’m soooo excited to share more and more with you. This trip changed everything. #gratitude #japantrip #mountmisen #yogaflow #hiroshima 🎶 #thehumanexperience #theobrama
Human Hero In Training
“It doesn’t come easy, that clear line of distinction. You have to suffer to find it because how else would you know the difference? How could something feel so good without bitter afterthoughts when it fades. ⚡️ I promise, in time, it will come. The veil will be lifted. All the thrown stones will bounce off like pebbles. You will forgive what was unforgivable. Any attacks will prove futile because there will be no ammunition provided. ⚡️ You will have stopped confusing pain for love because you will have known both. Now that you’ve known both, you will fear neither. And when you fear neither, you are unstoppable.” #keepmoving #nofear #trusttheprocess #humanheroes #gratefulforitall 🙏🏼
Human Hero In Training
Travel is like living a whole life, condensed, into a short amount of time. A few days, a week, maybe a month. The stories and situations I thought I had all figured out have become exposed throughout this incredible journey I am currently on. I see and feel things that I couldn’t see or feel before. I process them. I release them. I feel at ease and I move forward. ⚡️ And I’ve been moving a lot... so far I’ve been through 10 cities in 10 days. Whoa. Wow. Really? Yeah, that’s accurate. I’ll start my day in one city, travel to another, and then finish in the third. I want to see, taste, touch, smell, hear, feel as much of this land as I can, and I’m grateful for every moment... including this quick flow I got in with my new @rhone shorts before Kojima-San told me it was time to check out. My feet hit the ceiling in my handstand.🤣 #tallpeopleproblems #im oteventhatttall #lifeisthejourney #ryokan #fuzukumiro #hakone #nippon
Human Hero In Training
“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” R.W.E . . Familiar flavors. New memories. And a whale shark spotting! 🐋 life is good #thankyou
Human Hero In Training
I have sooo much to share.... Beach. Diving. Whale shark! 🦈 Tokyo! Hokusai.🌊 Omikase! 🍣 Nikko. 🌲 Temples. ⛩ Nature. Speaking with trees and spirits.👺 But now, I’ve gotta get to bed. Tomorrow I visit the Ghibli Museum. 🐉 Let’s just say I’m in my element. 🐒 Sooo much good is coming from this journey #humanheroes. I’m looking forward to sharing more and more with you all! 💙
Human Hero In Training
There is something about traveling that allows you to see and accept things as they are not as we think they should be. The clouds of modern life tend to spread us further apart instead of connect us. All the experiences you’ve been through have brought you to where you are and there is no better place for you. Don Miguel Ruiz calls it the mitote, or the fog that blocks us from seeing ourselves as we really are - beings of light that are connected to all and exclude none. ⚡️ This trip is bringing all of this to the forefront of my awareness. Everything that at the time felt confusing and painful was a gift so I may better remove the walls that separate me from you. So I may better understand how my words and actions effect those around me while at the same time understand that not everyone is going to get me, like me, or understand what #humanhero is about. The space between the words, the journey between. I think that’s what life is really about, removing the layers of separation. ⚡️ Please, do what you need to do on your devices and then put it away. Put down your phone for a day, a week, maybe even a month and explore. Go somewhere you’ve never been, somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. There is so much to be found in silence and new experience. The massive moments of growth we experience as human beings don’t come from school, articles, degrees, or even books. They happen with our heads up and our hearts open. ⚡️ A friend recently posted something that unfortunately felt very true. “Remember when we used to say “BRB” all the time when we were online? We don’t say it anymore. We no longer leave. We live here now.” What is it that you’ve been putting off by burying yourself in your phone? What books have you been dying to read? Where have you always wanted to go? Who do you think about often and wonder how they are doing? Take risks! Be bold! Forgive often. Love the process. Keep moving! ⚡️🙏🏼 @bababeachclub
Human Hero In Training
The journey to Japan has begun! I left New York around 6pm on Sunday and landed in Tokyo at 10pm the following day, Monday. From there, I hopped on another flight at midnight that put me in Bangkok around 7am on the 5th, followed by one more flight to Phuket. ⚡️ As soon as I stepped off the plane in Bangkok I was hit by that hot, humid, sweet smell that is native to Thailand. This place is very special to me and full of memories. Its my third time being here, my second time on my own. That familiar scent hugged me like an old friend almost saying welcome back, where have you been? That welcome continued when I arrived at the @bababeachclub , this amazing resort I’ll be staying at for the next few days. ⚡️ A lot of you have been asking me what it’s like to travel on my own. Sometimes, its amazing! Sometimes, like when I first arrived here, it was hard. The last time I was in Phuket, I was with a partner so a lot of memories were stirred up as I looked out over the sea. The last time I was here we dove and afterwards I stayed to film and train Muay Thai. I realize now how lucky I was to have a partner that enjoyed travel as much as I do and trusted me enough to stay here and film. After a few years, I’m finally getting a trailer together with the help of #humanhero @pmarra. I’m excited to share it with you #humanheroes soon! ⚡️ This resort is definitely made for couples 👫👭👬...but that doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyed by a solo traveler. I think this can apply to anywhere. I made a last minute to decision to bring my spirit animal cards with me for some added insight and on the flight over I pulled the dragon card. The 🐉 represents courageous, visionary, awakened energy. “It’s almost as if we are traveling with a great friend inside of ourselves. Transformation is being breathed into every cell of your body.” (Continued....) ⚡️
Human Hero In Training
I had this big realization yesterday on the subway about what ‘human-hero’ really means. It is not the words, or even the ideas, that hold the meaning so much as the ( - ) in the middle. The space between the language. The movement across this little line of time that we are all given. That connecting thread that unites both but touches neither is where we want to balance. ⚡️ I’ve been sharing all these stories the last few weeks. I thought I’d be able to get through more of them but I stopped at my first trip to Thailand back in 2013. Since then, I’ve traveled to South East Asia two more times, along with Hawaii, Norway, Mexico, and all over the US. Prior to all of these trips, I had my first experience with another kind of journey - falling in and out of love. ⚡️ I spent a lot of time and energy trying to be on one end of the spectrum or the other. I see now all of that was part of the in-between. This trip is very much about honoring the artist, mover, and man I want to be while also saying goodbye to a previous life that I’m as grateful for now as when this photo was taken. I’m ready to write new stories. So to end this chapter, the words that really matter are Thank You 💙 #movementformentalhealth #keepmoving #humanheroes #lifeisthejourney
Human Hero In Training
must move . . be back tomorrow 🙂 . . #movementformentalhealth #priorities #rituals #prayer #humanhero
Human Hero In Training
⚡️Never forget where you come from. ⚡️ Thats what this photo makes me think about - where I came from. Where I’ve been. All the cool a$$ sh🗼t I’ve done. This story time with you all has reminded me of that. I have so much to be grateful for. Thank you for that. ⚡️Japan is right around the corner and I’m not ready. Not yet. There are some last minutes things to do and today Mother Nature reminded me who’s boss. The windstorm last night brought a tree branch crashing down onto my car. No one was hurt and that’s really all the matters. ⚡️Question for you #humanheroes. Ever have those crazy, unexplainable things happen right before a big trip, a new job, or any other life-changing moments that you’ve been prepping for your whole life? It feels like those gifts we all receive from the universe but in reverse. “How bad do you really want this? How much does it mean to you?” ⚡️ If I’m going to challenge what it means to be a human being. If I’m going to challenge what being a hero means. Then its only fair that I’m challenged even further. Feeling the challenge #humanheroes, feeling it. So instead of continuing on with these words, I’m going to share this ⚡️ Liono photo @byronlkeulemans shot in South Africa and then get my ass into a yoga class. So much to love you all. You help me #keepmoving. More challenges?? Bring em on! 🙃
Human Hero In Training
⚡️The summer of 2013 began with a trip that would change my life forever. I’d remember hearing incredible things about south east Asia from friends and co-workers. One of my favorite people and photographers Gabe shared his intinerary with me - waterfalls, temples, rolling mountains, street food, and some of the kindest people on the planet. Culture can’t exist without the people. New York is what it is because of the level of diversity that exists nowhere else. Living and working here, and even in LA, I had a very rigid view of what the rest of the world was like. Europe was different but only so much. The people above would teach me that happiness does not come from money, or material things - but from love, connection, and experience. This story is about them, in order of appearance. ⚡️I found this first munchkin while hiking through Sapa Vietnam. There is another post I put up a few months ago describing the Hmong - a nomadic people that live throughout south East Asia and other parts of the world. I asked this little one’s mother if I could pick her up and carry hear around the small village. Once she was up there she didn’t want to come down. She also insisted on sticking her fingers in either my mouth or hers pretty much the entire time we were together. ⚡️The Hmong woman in the second photo, and the two girls, hiked with us for hours. The woman is holding a little horse she made for me out of a fern. She folded this thing together in like 30 seconds. All the women and children that accompanied us were talented artists, often walking for hours, every day, to sell their wares. I signed up for a homestay - we would walk down through a beautiful valley of rice fields, cross a small river, and hike up the other side to stay with a family for the night. Somewhere along the journey I managed to rip a small hole in my dri-fit pants. When we stopped for lunch this woman kept asking me “give me your pants.” uh…. Excuse me? I thought I wasn’t hearing her correctly. “Give me your pants.” She kept repeating over and over, until she finally pointed at the hole and then mimed sewing them up. She sewed them up for me in 5 minutes…. I think I still have them.
Human Hero In Training
I lived in Koreatown but I really LIVED on the beach or in the sky - like a seagull. Movement has always been where I find peace. Eventually though you gotta supplement the physical practice with something that grounds you. I couldn’t fly all the time. But here, it was hard not to. LA was a playground for me. . Outwardly I was soaring - but internally I was seeking. I was moving constantly and my body was stronger than ever. I wanted to be those characters that inspired me as a kid - I wanted to look like them, move like them, pretend to be them without giving much thought to what it actually meant to be a hero. (Continued...) 📸 @wadleywadley
Human Hero In Training
In 2012, I bought a car, packed up the few material belongings I had, and drove cross country towards the ☀️ with friend Krystal. I’ve been chasing the ☀️ ever since (hence the squint). I lived between two separate households growing up, both parents moving often. Home always felt like transitory thing. Perhaps this is why its so hard for me to be in one place for too long, or to commit to a relationship or project. The in between - the moments in the middle of action and response - travel draws those moments out into an experience. Being in the car for long periods of time brings me peace. It literally is a moving meditation. . We started the trip in South Jersey and headed down to Nashville. (Hold on while I check a map) From there we made our way over and up into Arkansas where we stayed on a ranch of a client I had previously worked with. That night, as we were nearing the ranch, Kelly (the owner) mentioned if we hit the river we had gone too far and missed the turnoff. This was the first test Abilene ever got(my car got her name in Texas). Its was late and we were so eager to arrive that we zoomed down the rocky hill right into the water. Luckily my car managed to get us out and back up the hill. The next morning, a young couple that looked over ranch took us by horseback across the property - a valley that dipped down between two green mountains. What made this place so beautiful was its seclusion. There is soooo much space in the middle of the United States. From there, we began the long journey through Texas. Land……….. and road……. and land….. . The highlight was making it to White Sands New Mexico - these giant white dunes that transported you to the moon. We met a few guys and I pulled out my frisbee, along with my camera to grab a few shots of this amazing place. We continued on to Albuequre, which was full of character because of all the art. I bought a few things there, including the Blue Lady that we would serve as the ‘protector’ of my future home in LA. (Continued ⤵️⤵️⤵️)
Human Hero In Training
When I was 15 years old, I was waking up in the morning with these insane migraines. I’d roll out of bed, start to make my way to the bathroom, and either black out, my vision collapsing in on itself, or I’d make it to the bathroom and throw up. I didn’t know what was going on. My mom, who’s a doctor, couldn’t figure it out so I ended up going to see a neurologist. They took a MRI of my brain and we learned I had Arnold Chiari Malformation - part of my brain tissue extended into my spinal canal creating pressure that would cause these issues. I had surgery a few months, where they drilled away a section of my skull to create room for my brain to rest. . All of my tattoos tell a story, and as I share these stories with you, I’m being reminded how much Japanese culture has influenced me as an artist. Towards the end of college, I decided to get my spine tattooed, beginning on my scar at the base of my skull and making its way down to my sacrum. I have always worked with circles - visually and also physically with my movement practice. . The first photo is from one of my first runway shows, right before I moved to New York. A photographer surprised me with her camera and asked me a few questions about the circles running down my back. I told her these two stories below… . One of my favorite teachers has us drawing circles on newsprint for days. We had to work with our whole arm, extending from the shoulder all the way onto the page. One day, I was so frustrated that I asked Professor Dupree, ‘mannn, are we ever going to move on.” He came over and asked to see my circle. It was aight. He pulled his pencil from behind his ear and BAM! He asked me to measure it with a protractor. It was nearly perfect. He was teaching me about discipline. . I came across the Ensō circle during my Arts and History of Japan class at UArts. The definition of Ensō is as unique as the artist that creates it. It symbolizes strength, grace, balance and acceptance of imperfection as perfect. A zen saying goes “Do not mistake the finger pointing at the moon for the moon itself.” Aka do not mistake the teaching of enlightenment for enlightenment itself. (continued below..)
Human Hero In Training
2009 into 2010, I was commuting from Philadelphia to New York almost every day. I would wake up around 5am, get a workout in, and then hop on the MegaBus from one city to the other. Often time was so tight that I would change from my gym gear into proper ‘model wear’ for castings in a Starbucks bathroom. I’d usually head into my agency to get my castings for the day and then run all over the city meeting clients, sometimes doing test shoots with photographers. Sometimes I would crash on couches or floors because I had early castings the following day. . . And then this happened ^^^ and the grind got a little easier. Tony Duran requested to shoot me very early in my career, something I’m still very grateful for. All of the above, the traveling, long days, sometimes not getting enough food or even denying myself food to fulfill the requirements of the industry - all of that was work. Work that I did for about a year and a half before making any money, grinding. All of that was tough but shooting with Tony nearly made me say ‘fuck it all.’ . . Remember in the Dark Knight, when Harvey Dent says “ The night is always darkest just before the dawn?” Yeah, that’s how this felt. Tony was shooting people like Brad Pitt so I was already intimidated. I flew out there to test with him and be part of a photo-shoot to promote these insanely expensive watches, shooting with seasoned models that made me look like a chump. . . I’m a very sensitive guy and he could give a shit. He was doing me a favor, he didn’t need me there. I was so frustrated, I remember calling my mom earlier in the day saying I wanted to come home. (Momma’s boy). After him laying into me all day, around midnight he asked me ‘do you even want to do this?’ I was tired, and angry, and didn’t have anything left to say. . . He asked me ‘what do you think is sexy about you?’ I honestly drew a blank. I had transformed my body, but after the challenges of the day, in my mind, I was still the chub chub ‘fat friend’ back in south Jersey. He asked me again. ‘What do you think is sexy about you?” Again, I said I didn’t know. This time he yelled.... (continued in comments)
Human Hero In Training
This is the story about how I made my way into the modeling industry, and eventually moved to New York: . One night at the bar, a man approached me and asked my name. Nothing out of the ordinary there. He kept coming back though to ask me more questions. “How tall are you?” “What is your waist size?” “Do you know your inseam?” I was getting annoyed but answered anyway. What did I have to lose? I’m also really awful with sarcasm, he could have just been joking. I didn’t know and I was too busy to care. . At the end of the night, he approached me again and handed me his card. He informed that he was drunk, and probably wouldn’t remember any of this tomorrow, so I needed to email him and remind him where we met. I thanked him and we closed down for the night. . He turned out to be the men’s director for one of the biggest modeling agencies in New York. I didn’t know this at the time, and I was still in school. I thanked him and said that I’d like to continue to focus on my art but I appreciated his interest. . Fast forward to 6 months later, post Eurotrip, laying on the couch with my girlfriend at the time. We were watching one of those who wants to be a supermodel, or America’s next top model. I can’t remember which. I recognized one of the judges - it was the same man that had given me his card almost half a year ago at Pure. . Seeing this guy on television partnered with my new found courage from traveling, gave me the confidence to give modeling a shot. I took a few digitals and sent them out, along with an email that I copy and pasted from agency to agency. An agent at @red_models responded almost immediately and asked me to come to New York the following day. I got along with everyone at the agency and felt a kindred spirit in the owner, a big hearted man that always made time for the models. I was signed that day and began testing with photographers around the city. . These photos some of my first with @jeremykoststudio that had been lost in the ether so I apologize for the quality. Jeremey knew I was a fan of superheroes so he brought along an inflatable Hulk for me to use as a prop. (Props FTW when you have no idea WTF you’re doing.)
Human Hero In Training
By the time I came out of UArts in 2008, I had a degree under my belt, making bank bartending 3-4 nights a week, training clients at the gym, sharing my knowledge and new found love for strength training with the same friends I met at the bars, and I was creating like a madman. The nights I wasn’t bartending, I would work out of my studio apartment, sewing together stuffed monsters. My sleep schedule was so sporadic that I’d often stay up all night, faux fur, plastic eyeballs, and hot glue…. everywhere. Like a muppet horror movie. . . My previous junior and senior theses were three dimensional and interactive. First I made a giant pile of leaf pillows - I drew a bunch of leaves I found in Rittenhouse Park, printed them on fabric, and then sewed them together. I tossed them all in a pile in Hamilton Hall and encouraged people to JUMP in them. My next installation I bought a toy box, painted it and then filled it with random animals that I’d always wanted to see in an animal cracker box - something different from the norm, like baboons, hummingbirds, sharks, and porcupines. Then I drew this giant toddler on the wall, bending down to dig into the box, knocking over a giant glass of milk in the process. (Don’t cry over spilt milk). . . I was dating an amazing girl and decided it was time to take a trip - a big trip. The money I’d saved up got us two plane tickets, two train tickets, and took us all over Europe. London - Paris - Nice - Madrid - Barcelona - Rome - Sorrento - Croatia - Berlin - Munich - Switzerland - Brussels - Amersterdam. We explored the catacombs in Paris, visited Park Guell in Barcelona, did mushrooms in Amersterdam, and swam up and down the coast of Croatia. We visited platform 9 3/4 of Harry Potter fame, had sex as quietly as we could in hostel showers, and I also had my first beer.(Yup, that is accurate, I wasn’t drinking at this point.) This trip opened me to the transformative power of travel - especially backpacking, moving from place to place, on a budget. (Continued in comments) 📸 @taghinaderzad #travelbug #hostellife #europe #eurotrip #backpacking #travelgram
Human Hero In Training
This may be my first ’photoshoot’...ever. I was 19, maybe 20, studying printmaking at University of the Arts. I was interning with an artist named Alex DaCorte at the time, spending hours punching out holes from colored paper to be used later for murals. Somehow, he convinced me to throw on colored American Apparel briefs (remember those?) and do a photoshoot. I was nervous so props were helpful, especially this magical globe that would spark in me an insatiable wanderlust. . . Travel has always been one of my greatest teachers - exploring new lands, experiencing other cultures, getting lost in a world that is unfamiliar, is when I feel the most alive. When I’m completely immersed in a place I know very little about is when I’m at my best, because I have to be. It requires a heightened level of responsibility and presence that I often slip away from here amongst the comforts of modern life. . . . I’m prepping for what feels like the most important trip of my life - Japan. The beginning of March, I’m heading to the Land of the Rising Sun to immerse myself in a culture that has influenced me as an artist and a mover in so many aways. The Japanese artist Kitushika Hokusai is why I became a printmaker, and his work inspired one of my first tattoos. I actually start to shake as I’ve been researching this trip - I’m excited. . . . In preparation for my departure, I’m going to take you #humanheroes on a journey from this captured moment all the way up until I leave on the 3rd of March - covering all the places I’ve been blessed to explore/live. I’ve got so much content that I’ve never shared, along with so many stories, which is why I created an Instagram in the first place. So check back tomorrow for the next destination, and in the meantime tag someone who could use a vacation. 👹 #exploremore #exploretocreate #wanderlust #keepmoving #movementformentalhealth
Human Hero In Training
A huge thank you to @pigeonma.draws for this AWESOME portrait!🦁 Swipe to see his process from beginning to end. It’s always a treat to see how an artist works. . . Expect lots more art #humanheroes and stay tuned for a HH instagram! #👁⚡️👁 #artistsoninstagram #artistspotlight #illustration #drawingtutorial #movementformentalhealth #movingmeditation
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    So this is what 33 looks and feels like. Last year was one of cleansing, creating, and not just talking about ideas but actually getting sh*t done. I’m making more art than ever, my finances aren’t all over the place anymore, and my family has come together. The flip side is now that I have this strong foundation, doors are opening that were previously closed. I’m being confronted with dirtier pieces of my character, mostly revolving around relationships, that I’m ready to clean up. ⚡️ Validation often came from being desired for this or that, and even when I was single, I was still relying on someone else to make me feel good about myself. I don’t want to be someone that jumps from partner to partner. How can any of us really get to know ourselves, and more importantly, love ourselves if we don’t give ourselves the time and space to learn how? ⚡️ The other day in a yoga class, a truth washed over me. I can’t use my upbringing or “conditioning” as an excuse for poor choices I’ve made. Where I am, who I am, who I’m with or not with, is because of my choices. This realization didn’t anger me, or pull me towards self-loathing. It felt more like a conversation with a mentor, someone that I trusted and knew was looking out for me. It was like being a kid again and getting a stern talking to from an adult that loves you. And then I realized laying there in savasana, that I was simultaneously both, the teacher and the student. Intellectually, I understood the idea of ‘you are your own best teacher’ but I hadn’t experienced it until now, and it felt empowering. #takeresponsibility #keepmoving #humanheroes #getoutside #movementismedicine #movementformentalhealth #movebecauseyoucan
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    Right now, I wish I was back here, sitting underneath this big beautiful tree on the Muliwai Trail. It was like being in Jurrasic Park minus the dinosaurs. I’ve been traveling like crazy for the last month and @healthycell has been with me the whole time. #ad 🌲 The delivery system = BIOACTIVE GEL. No pills means no bottles, no powders, no gluten, no soy, non-GMO - just science, formulated by physicians and nutritionists, in a little packet that I can recycle later! Besides digging the product, I really appreciate that @healthycell sends you a free recycling container that you can send back to @terracycle to be disposed of properly. #recycleeverything 🌲 Head over to their page to check them out, or swipe up in my story to get yours at a discount. If you’re an active individual or want to lessen your global footprint, this might be your new multivitamin. And if your wondering about the taste… Think raspberry pancake syrup. #climatechange #lessenyourfootprint #recycle #hawaii #hiking #backpacking #leavenotrace #protecttheaina #keepmoving
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    ‘The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.’ Jacque Cousteau 🌊 Most of you probably don’t know this but I love to dive. It’s what I imagine space must feel like but with way more to see and experience. I just got back from the Bahamas with my father and brothers, right before the hurricane hit. I put this video together to hopefully inspire you #humanheroes to help this beautiful place. A few highlights of the video include... me speaking ‘whale’(equalizing underwater), swimming through underwater caverns, one of the infamous blue holes and its spiderweb mineral secretions, and also my closest encounter with a shark. Watch the second video to see what I’m talking about. 🦈 This place was magical and I’m praying for all the creatures that call the Bahamas home, human and fish alike. I came across this website that offers 7 different ways in which you can help/donate. @bahamas_redcross_society @teamrubicon are just a few listed. Donating some of my birthday money felt like the least I could do. Please help/donate if you have the means to do so. #prayforthebahamas
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    “Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better.” Albert Einstein . . Hope you guys are ready for the green kingdom to take over my Instagram feed...🌲🌳🌿☘️
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    Hawaii Vacation Day 2: A few shots before I got my ass whooped...and few shots afterwards. Instagram edits vs the reality of Hawaiian surf. The Kai is no joke. I took a small boogie board out there to ‘get my feet wet’ and caught a few waves before I learned that tiger sharks were often seen at this beach. (Thanks @zfusari 😳) ⚡️ Trying to get a longboard past the break was a whole different story. I was quickly humbled and brought home with me an assortment of bruises and scratches. No regrets though! I want to live in the space between too much and not enough where there is occasionally that ‘oh sh*t’ oomph that keeps you alert and alive! I missed you Hawai’i. #mahalo 📸 @not_so_chy #hawaii #kona #pinetreessurfingbeach #naturelover #challengeyourself #keepmoving #humanheroes
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    ”When one tugs at a single thing in nature, one finds it attached to the rest of the world.” John Muir ⚡️ Whether by accident or on purpose, the fires that are raging through the Amazon are illegally caused by humans, mostly to clear land for livestock. It’s easy to brush off certain issues that may feel far from home. It’s easy to take no action because we might question our ability to make an impact anyway. It’s easy to place responsibility elsewhere but the truth is that we are all responsible. We are ALL responsible for the messes we’ve created and we all have to do our part in the healing of our planet. You must believe you can make a difference! ⚡️ I’m seeing all these #prayforamazonia hashtags but that just seems like spiritual bypassing to me. Yes, pray, and then take some sort of action! Start small and gather your strength! Let’s be more conscious about how we recycle. If you’re a meat-eater, try removing it from one or two meals a week. Join a weekly or monthly park clean up. It’s 2019, use a canteen! I joined the @sierraclub last week, I’m a stickler for #leavenotrace. Don’t let me see you drop a candy wrapper... anywhere. It requires courage to take action, sometimes it takes courage just to speak up. We have to hold each other accountable #humanheroes. Become a #forcefornature 📸 photo cred to momma hurley
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    Apparently it’s #shareyourstudio day! @patreon A lot of people have asked about my studio so figured this was the perfect opportunity to share! We’ve appropriately named this room the #sacredspace. It’s my favorite room in the house. I come in here to create, meditate, talk to friends, family, and god. ⚡️ You might notice there are lions everywhere.😄 How many can you count?? I’ve been drawing and painting lions for as long as I can remember....I see the face of a lion when I close my eyes.... and I’m a Leo. Might be why I pray to a lion god these days.♌️🦁 #🕉 #createtoexplore #keepmoving #humanheroes #avatar #vishnu #narasimhadeva #leoseason
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    I’m still coming down from all your birthday messages and wishes! Thank you guys so much! 33 feels pretty, pretty, pretty good. @not_so_chy and I just got back from Hawaii yesterday. After hiking in such a beautiful land, I have a deeper understanding of why so many Hawaiians are fighting the construction on Mauna Kea. Excited to share our memories exploring the sacred lands of the aina. 📸 @gabrielgastelum #keepmoving #humanheroes #movebecauseyoucan #movementformentalhealth
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    Greetings from Hawaii!! 🤙🏼Almost 33 years on this planet have me feeling both young at heart and more connected to an ageless sense of purpose that I didn’t really understand before. Getting older is inevitable but so is the wisdom that comes with it. All those cliche sayings of “you’ll look back on this later and be grateful,” are more mantras than cliches. ⚡️ The application of wisdom really kicks in when you can skip the step in between - learning the lessons with little suffering so you can progress to the next level. Big things are just around the corner #humanheroes, projects I’ve been working on for more than half a decade are being shared and developed. ⚡️ Thank you, thank you, thank you all for believing in me and the change I’m trying to create in the world. Mahalo ⚡️ 📸 @gabrielgastelum snapped these photos of me a few weeks ago in NY and then wrote up one of the nicest posts ever. Grateful to be alive and also grateful to have such amazing people in my life. #gratitude #leoseason #keepmoving #movementformentalhealth #happybirthday
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    One of my current teachers always says this during class “Movement should be fun. If you’re not having fun, you shouldn’t be here.” I partially agree. We need to find our own ways to make movement fun. That way what at first feels like a ‘chore’ becomes an opportunity to ‘play.’ Stay young at heart #humanheroes You were born to move. 📸 @gabrielgastelum (got a bunch more photos to share from one of my favorite humans) #movebecauseyoucan #movementformentalhealth #keepmoving #nogymneeded
  • Human Hero In Training

    “Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are.” -Alfred Austin ⚡️ Think of your relationships as if they were the flowers in your garden. For the garden to be healthy, you need to water it, you need to feed it, and you need to prune it. Some flowers are going to be so interesting or strikingly beautiful. Some will engage your senses and emotions in a way that feels incredible and irreplaceable but this doesn’t mean they are beneficial to the overall health of your garden. If you notice certain people in your life are being dishonest with you, ignore your attempts to communicate, or simply give you a uneasy feeling... leave those flowers alone. Focus on the relationships that bring you joy. 🌸 📸 @vangephoto #humanheroes #keepmoving #movementformentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #mentalmaintenance
  • Human Hero In Training

    Random fact: when I was a chunky teenager I was obsessed with surfing, and also terrified. I didn’t have the physical ability so I would spend hours sitting around, drawing all the different logos.... redsand, quicksilver, billabong, stussy, no fear(anyone remember that one?) ⚡️ One day my mom said ‘Why don’t you make your own surf brand?’ My response was ‘what would I even call it?’ ‘Why not ‘Hurley’? she said. No lie, I started doodling and put two )( back to back. Fast forward a few years later, and even now, @hurley is probably the biggest surf brand out there. I can’t tell you how many of those T-shirt’s I owned. ⚡️ Point of the story - momma knows best! Thanks @phurley222 for always inspiring me. I love you. I haven’t given up on the art yet and never will. Surfing... I think I’m ready to try again! See you soon Hawaii! #mommasboy💙 #ohana #hawaii #🤙🏼 #getoutside
  • Human Hero In Training

    Right now I’m currently working on three art projects, training twice a day, making time for YaYa, friends, family and creating content for this GNC partnership! Phew! #sponsored ⚡️ Food is the best fuel but supplements can help you get those key nutritional elements that you may be lacking along with boosting your energy to get through workouts and your workday. I usually train in a fasted state and have my first meal directly after. Breakfast usually involves eggs, toast, and fruit or one of these bomb breakfast jars I’ve been creating lately. With breakfast, I’ve been taking GNC AMP Ripped vitamin packs which contains one of my favorite supplements, conjugated linoleic acid. ⚡️ CLA is one of the most studied weight loss supplements in the world showing great results. While there is no substitute for exercise and we are all built differently. Some of us need a little extra help and CLA can give you the extra support you need to reach your goals. And make sure you are drinking plenty of water ( Around 4 liters a day.)! Summer is here! @GNCLiveWell #LetsKeepPushing #GNCLiveWell #ad
  • Human Hero In Training

    Counting down the days until I can get this girl back on the trail. 🐕🏃🏼‍♂️ #northcarolina #asheville #getoutside #adoptdontshop #humanheroes #shelterdog #hikingadventures
  • Human Hero In Training

    Over the last couple years I’ve learned that whenever I find myself in a funk, the easiest way for me to reconnect with what really matters is by immersing myself in nature. Not having enough time, the pressure to succeed, not knowing which direction to move - nature doesn’t worry about such things. Go lay with her and the answers will come. ⚡️ This week’s theme is nature. I’ve been missing her, jonesing for her actually, and Hawaii is just around the corner. YaYa and I usually go for walks in the park but her mobility is very limited. One of the dangers of living in an urban setting is nature withdrawal. We need trees and water and mountains the same way we need to embrace and be embraced by those we love. I think that’s what we need more of - viewing our planet as if it were someone we dearly love. Don’t forget to #getoutside and #reboot #humanheroes #natureisbae #keepmoving
  • Human Hero In Training

    I captured this sunset while I was staying in a relatively small mountain city called Takayama. I decided to hike up the mountain behind my ryokan after I dropped off my bag. I found a small cemetery deep in the woods resting next to a sleepy temple. 🌲 It was empty and there was no sound except for scattered crows. Rain was beginning to fall. I pushed aside my worries of ‘is it ok if I go inside and meditate? Would it be disrespectful if no one is present besides me?” I quietly took off my shoes and slid inside. 🌲 I deposited a few hundred yen into the wooden cask and thanked the gods as I left. I continued up the mountain and noticed the change of texture under my feet. The dirt and pine needles gave way to loose rock and then fortified stone. The platform where I shot this was the remaining foundation of Takayama castle, a multi-complex structure that once looked over the city below but was destroyed in a fire. 🌲 I was grateful to find myself once again in my spiritual home - surrounded by the trees, and leaves, and birds. I’d never done a handstand on a raised platform before but managed to float into it with ease. I made my way back to my ryokan feeling completely content with my life yet aware of my responsibility to be of service. I climbed into my private bathtub that looked out over the city with a glass of cold sake. I melted into the water, pruned myself good, and got lost in the craziness that was Love+Death and Robots... 🌲 I think the reason I haven’t written or posted much about this trip yet is because I wanted to keep it for myself. I wanted to be able to pull from it whenever I needed to. That might sound selfish but I’m ok with it. Some experiences should be kept, just for you. #nippon #takayama #mindfulness #mothernature #movementformentalhealth #healing #keepmoving #humanheroes
  • Human Hero In Training

    There is so much to do, and see, and taste, and feel but nothing, nothing is more important than this right now. #fridaynight #dogdad #adoptdontshop
  • Human Hero In Training

    Great news! According to the surgeon and vet techs, YaYa is doing just fine. Bad news is that she had ligament tears in both knees so she is going to need surgery again after the current leg heals up. 💙 She’s never been a whiner when it comes to pain, I don’t think I’ve ever heard her complain other than when I leave the apartment. Lots of rest and relaxation for her so she can heal up and get back on the trail. She loves being outside just as much as I do. 💙 Thank you guys so much for all the love and support. She loves you all and she’ll be better than ever in no time. (Deleted the last post because I realized the video was her taking a 💩. Whoops😂) #adoptdontshop #rescuedogs #keepmoving #humanheroes
  • Human Hero In Training

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Pride and the 4th of July fall within a week of each other. Both involve people fighting for their rights and the rights of others - to be free. The energy in the city this past weekend was incredible. Soo much love, and color, and freedom to be, feel, dress, move, love and be loved, all in a way that feels right to you. The city was oozing with authenticity. If anyone were to have brought any negative energy into that giant love cluster that is NYC, I could feel that everyone would have banded together, and without malice or anger, simply said “get outta here.” Can’t everyday be like that? 💙 . Here a few shots of my piece ‘Love is fluid’ that I painted for #wework to commemorate #stonewall50 and #worldpride. It’s full of #lgbtqiaplus heroes from the past along with some of my friends and family that are, in my opinion, the heroes and change makers of today. For those of you that offered to be part of the piece, thank you. I tried to fit as many of you in there as I could. Comment/tag anyone you think you recognize. Much love #humanheroes. #happyfourth and #happypride 💙
  • Human Hero In Training

    “The creative process is not controlled by a switch you can simply turn on or off; it's with you all the time.” Alvin Ailey . . Use you imagination. Move your body. Do your work. Practice gratitude. Watch the pieces come together. 📸 @cotytarr #keepmoving #humanheroes
  • Human Hero In Training

    “Love takes off the masks we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.” James Baldwin 💙 . Swipe left to check out a process video for my #stonewall50 #worldpride #wework mandala. It’s looking dope but the deadline is tomorrow, crunch time! Super excited to share the final piece with y’all soon. #loveislove #worldpride2019 #keepmoving . . 📸🎥 @pmarra
  • Human Hero In Training

    Taking a quick break from painting to share these images from my shoot a few weeks ago @cotytarr. Nothing better than working with a photographer or creator that allows you to be part of the process behind and in front of the camera. #keepmoving #humanheroes #movementformentalhealth #movebecauseyoucan
  • Human Hero In Training

  • Human Hero In Training

    ‘The shadow is here to challenge you not provide you with an alibi.”. ⚡️ Last week, I was walking through Union Square and a young woman sitting on a chair on the sidewalk called out to me. Let me do a reading for you she said as I walked by. I told her no thank you and smiled. Appealing more to my ego than my spirit, she said “I know you’re a spiritual person! Let me do a reading for you.” I stopped, looked at her, and sat down. She gave me my options and prices and I made my decision to do a face to face reading. I feel very in control of my life right now so this exchange felt much more like supporting another creative individual and less seeking actual guidance for my own life.. ⚡️ We looked hard into each other’s eyes and she began to tell me about what she sees going on inside of me. I nodded occasionally when something felt accurate and I disagreed completely when she mentioned something that didn’t apply. After a few minutes, she asked me if I believed in energy. I said of course. We may have this vessel, this body, but it’s the energy that keeps it moving. Call it prana, call it electricity, or simply don’t try to label it at all and root yourself in the belief that it exists. We are fields of energy, bumping and rubbing against others, shaping this world around us.. ⚡️ Next she told me something that affronted me a bit. “You have a negative spirit following you. It’s not a part of you, but it is following you.” I thought about this concept Zero I’ve been writing a lot about – what I first understood as the villain of my story, of any of our stories – chemical imbalances in the brain combined(or created by) with the trauma/conditioning one has not only experienced in their lives, but also the fears that have been passed down to you from your ancestors. The nature vs nuture one-two combo... continued in comments. 📸 @flobison
  • Human Hero In Training

    “The more I paint the more I like everything.” -jean Michel basquiat . . I feel same. Currently in the thick of creating. #ipadpro #procreate #humanhero #vibes #keepmoving
  • Human Hero In Training

    Handstands are a great metaphor for life - you must learn to support yourself when the whole world feels upside down. ⚡️ . . Throwback to Thailand and Japan. A photo from Donald Duck island and a JUST-SHY-of-a-minute handstand from a hot studio in Kyoto. I am still processing the entire trip. What I learned there. What I left there. Why I left there??😂 . . Currently grinding it all together and enjoying the process - life. The Movement is coming #Humanheroes. . . Until then, more handstands. 🤸🏾‍♂️ #keepmoving #movebecauseyoucan #movementformentalhealth #hoodofhustle
  • Human Hero In Training

    ⚡️Morning Rituals. ⚡️ How do you guys start your day? What rituals do you follow to get you moving and grooving as soon as your feet hit the floor? Movement doesn’t stop with the physical practice, that's just the beginning. We are complete beings - body, mind, and spirit. That's why I’m partnering up with GNC for the next couples months, to change the way we think about Movement. #sponsored. ⚡️ This is what my #morningmovement looks like. First thing I do is throw off the covers, plant my feet on the ground, and say three things that I’m grateful for. I’ll finish it with a simple prayer to keep me present throughout the day. Next is a two-parter- I show YaYa some love as I’m making my pre-workout supplement. (She get’s jealous of the camera sometimes) I’m currently taking GNC’s MYOPOWER BCAA’s. BCAA’s are one of my favorite supplements because of their versatility. It’s great for pre, intra, and post workout so for someone that likes to train… all the time… they are crucial. I like to cycle on and off for 3 months at a time just to keep my body guessing. As I sip on my pre-workout, I’ll head into my favorite room in the house and do my morning pages. If I’m training at a gym, I’ll find a spot to sit and write there. No excuses. I’ve been doing this for years #humanheroes. There are no rules here, no judgment. I write about my dreams. I write about things that have been bothering me. I write about things that I’m excited about. It’s a form of mental movement that allows me to head into my workout from a clearer, more present, state of mind....(continued in comments⚡️⚡️⚡️) #LetsKeepPushing @GNCLiveWell #GNCLiveWell #ad 🎥 @pmarra
  • Human Hero In Training

    Sawadee kop ⚡️ . How is everyone doing?? Excited and grateful to have new humans to share the journey with, thank you! 🙏🏼 . I’ve been working on a lot of HH related stuff under the radar - lots of art, lots of words, and LOTS of movement.⚡️ . Fellow #hh @pmarra is helping me edit the footage I shot years ago in Thailand, and it looks dope. I went over there thinking I was a tough guy, that I had something to prove and something to fight for. I came away from that journey so humbled by the #humanheroes that fight because they have to, to survive. Im super excited to share it with you all.⚡️ . In the meantime, here are a few shots from my most recent trip to Thailand @bababeachclub. Bang and I got some pad-work in on the beach with this beautiful sunset in the background. All captured by @peduckk. And also, it’s hard to tell but I’m wearing these hyper-mobile shorts from @rhone that I took with me on the journey. Stay tuned #humanheroes and much love.💙 #keepmoving #movementformentalhealth #movebecauseyoucan
  • Human Hero In Training

    Representing Brooklyn and channeling my inner cowboy (I’ve been playing a lot of the new Red Dead Revolver)! ⚡️ It’s been heavy here on Instagram #humanheroes. We are sharing our stories as authentically as we dare. We are collectively bringing awareness to mental health and mental illness as a unified truth of what it means to be human. This is good. This is progress. This is movement. ⚡️ I’m no stranger to posting a lot of personal stuff on here. I’m a story teller. The challenge is deciding what is too much. What is ‘too personal.? Will my words or stories negatively impact someone else’s day, or life? Authenticity shows up through everything we do. ⚡️ Let’s lighten it up #humanheroes! I wanna know what video games you guys are playing! What’s your favorite? What was the last video game you played? Got any suggestions? Let’s move and play in the other end of the spectrum where it’s sunny and bright and life is good. It’s gotta be hard sometimes, to remind us, to appreciate life when its fucking great. ⚡️ #movementformental #keepmoving #getoutside #movebecauseyoucan
  • Human Hero In Training

    “The evening bell, solemn and bronze in the grandfather temple down the hill. Sounds dimly here. Slow beat of the mountains heart, perhaps, or determined pulse of pine tree(gift of birds) Growing out of a crotch of a slippery monkey tree. All one, perhaps— bell, mountain, tree and steady cicada vibratto and little white dog And quiet artist-priest, carver of Noh masks, Fashioning a bamboo crutch for the ancient peach tree— symbol of strength, symbol of concern. All cool under nodding crowns of the vertical forest. All seeking in this place, all finding in this place— hidden yet open to all— the spirit in the cedars heart. “ ‘Summer’ Sai sho-in Nanjenzi Temple - Kyoto Happy Earth Day #humanheroes. What are you doing to be of service to the great Green Kingdom? #natureisqueen #natureisking
  • Human Hero In Training

    Exploring Itsukushima aka Miyajima was one of the many highlights of my trip. Sooo many highlights. I took a ferry from Miyamaguchi towards the famous orange tori gate that seemingly floats on the water. . ⛩ There were so many people that I opted to visit some local temples first and then hike up Mount Misen which had an incredible view of Hiroshima Bay. The whole island is home to hundreds, maybe thousands, of deer (shika) much like Nara. . 🦌 After the hike I was still overflowing with #goodvibes so I decided to get a flow in before running down the other side of the mountain. I didn’t notice how close I was to the edge until after filming. Sorry Mom. I love you. . 💙 I’m actually back home in New York with HeroFlow back on tomorrow. (Link in bio). The trip is going to continue through the content I’ve yet to share and I’m writing up a long blog post also about the entire trip. Thank you #humanheroes for joining me on the journey and I’m soooo excited to share more and more with you. This trip changed everything. #gratitude #japantrip #mountmisen #yogaflow #hiroshima 🎶 #thehumanexperience #theobrama
  • Human Hero In Training

    “It doesn’t come easy, that clear line of distinction. You have to suffer to find it because how else would you know the difference? How could something feel so good without bitter afterthoughts when it fades. ⚡️ I promise, in time, it will come. The veil will be lifted. All the thrown stones will bounce off like pebbles. You will forgive what was unforgivable. Any attacks will prove futile because there will be no ammunition provided. ⚡️ You will have stopped confusing pain for love because you will have known both. Now that you’ve known both, you will fear neither. And when you fear neither, you are unstoppable.” #keepmoving #nofear #trusttheprocess #humanheroes #gratefulforitall 🙏🏼
  • Human Hero In Training

    Travel is like living a whole life, condensed, into a short amount of time. A few days, a week, maybe a month. The stories and situations I thought I had all figured out have become exposed throughout this incredible journey I am currently on. I see and feel things that I couldn’t see or feel before. I process them. I release them. I feel at ease and I move forward. ⚡️ And I’ve been moving a lot... so far I’ve been through 10 cities in 10 days. Whoa. Wow. Really? Yeah, that’s accurate. I’ll start my day in one city, travel to another, and then finish in the third. I want to see, taste, touch, smell, hear, feel as much of this land as I can, and I’m grateful for every moment... including this quick flow I got in with my new @rhone shorts before Kojima-San told me it was time to check out. My feet hit the ceiling in my handstand.🤣 #tallpeopleproblems #im oteventhatttall #lifeisthejourney #ryokan #fuzukumiro #hakone #nippon
  • Human Hero In Training

    “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” R.W.E . . Familiar flavors. New memories. And a whale shark spotting! 🐋 life is good #thankyou
  • Human Hero In Training

    I have sooo much to share.... Beach. Diving. Whale shark! 🦈 Tokyo! Hokusai.🌊 Omikase! 🍣 Nikko. 🌲 Temples. ⛩ Nature. Speaking with trees and spirits.👺 But now, I’ve gotta get to bed. Tomorrow I visit the Ghibli Museum. 🐉 Let’s just say I’m in my element. 🐒 Sooo much good is coming from this journey #humanheroes. I’m looking forward to sharing more and more with you all! 💙
  • Human Hero In Training

    There is something about traveling that allows you to see and accept things as they are not as we think they should be. The clouds of modern life tend to spread us further apart instead of connect us. All the experiences you’ve been through have brought you to where you are and there is no better place for you. Don Miguel Ruiz calls it the mitote, or the fog that blocks us from seeing ourselves as we really are - beings of light that are connected to all and exclude none. ⚡️ This trip is bringing all of this to the forefront of my awareness. Everything that at the time felt confusing and painful was a gift so I may better remove the walls that separate me from you. So I may better understand how my words and actions effect those around me while at the same time understand that not everyone is going to get me, like me, or understand what #humanhero is about. The space between the words, the journey between. I think that’s what life is really about, removing the layers of separation. ⚡️ Please, do what you need to do on your devices and then put it away. Put down your phone for a day, a week, maybe even a month and explore. Go somewhere you’ve never been, somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. There is so much to be found in silence and new experience. The massive moments of growth we experience as human beings don’t come from school, articles, degrees, or even books. They happen with our heads up and our hearts open. ⚡️ A friend recently posted something that unfortunately felt very true. “Remember when we used to say “BRB” all the time when we were online? We don’t say it anymore. We no longer leave. We live here now.” What is it that you’ve been putting off by burying yourself in your phone? What books have you been dying to read? Where have you always wanted to go? Who do you think about often and wonder how they are doing? Take risks! Be bold! Forgive often. Love the process. Keep moving! ⚡️🙏🏼 @bababeachclub
  • Human Hero In Training

    The journey to Japan has begun! I left New York around 6pm on Sunday and landed in Tokyo at 10pm the following day, Monday. From there, I hopped on another flight at midnight that put me in Bangkok around 7am on the 5th, followed by one more flight to Phuket. ⚡️ As soon as I stepped off the plane in Bangkok I was hit by that hot, humid, sweet smell that is native to Thailand. This place is very special to me and full of memories. Its my third time being here, my second time on my own. That familiar scent hugged me like an old friend almost saying welcome back, where have you been? That welcome continued when I arrived at the @bababeachclub , this amazing resort I’ll be staying at for the next few days. ⚡️ A lot of you have been asking me what it’s like to travel on my own. Sometimes, its amazing! Sometimes, like when I first arrived here, it was hard. The last time I was in Phuket, I was with a partner so a lot of memories were stirred up as I looked out over the sea. The last time I was here we dove and afterwards I stayed to film and train Muay Thai. I realize now how lucky I was to have a partner that enjoyed travel as much as I do and trusted me enough to stay here and film. After a few years, I’m finally getting a trailer together with the help of #humanhero @pmarra. I’m excited to share it with you #humanheroes soon! ⚡️ This resort is definitely made for couples 👫👭👬...but that doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyed by a solo traveler. I think this can apply to anywhere. I made a last minute to decision to bring my spirit animal cards with me for some added insight and on the flight over I pulled the dragon card. The 🐉 represents courageous, visionary, awakened energy. “It’s almost as if we are traveling with a great friend inside of ourselves. Transformation is being breathed into every cell of your body.” (Continued....) ⚡️
  • Human Hero In Training

    I had this big realization yesterday on the subway about what ‘human-hero’ really means. It is not the words, or even the ideas, that hold the meaning so much as the ( - ) in the middle. The space between the language. The movement across this little line of time that we are all given. That connecting thread that unites both but touches neither is where we want to balance. ⚡️ I’ve been sharing all these stories the last few weeks. I thought I’d be able to get through more of them but I stopped at my first trip to Thailand back in 2013. Since then, I’ve traveled to South East Asia two more times, along with Hawaii, Norway, Mexico, and all over the US. Prior to all of these trips, I had my first experience with another kind of journey - falling in and out of love. ⚡️ I spent a lot of time and energy trying to be on one end of the spectrum or the other. I see now all of that was part of the in-between. This trip is very much about honoring the artist, mover, and man I want to be while also saying goodbye to a previous life that I’m as grateful for now as when this photo was taken. I’m ready to write new stories. So to end this chapter, the words that really matter are Thank You 💙 #movementformentalhealth #keepmoving #humanheroes #lifeisthejourney
  • Human Hero In Training

    must move . . be back tomorrow 🙂 . . #movementformentalhealth #priorities #rituals #prayer #humanhero
  • Human Hero In Training

    ⚡️Never forget where you come from. ⚡️ Thats what this photo makes me think about - where I came from. Where I’ve been. All the cool a$$ sh🗼t I’ve done. This story time with you all has reminded me of that. I have so much to be grateful for. Thank you for that. ⚡️Japan is right around the corner and I’m not ready. Not yet. There are some last minutes things to do and today Mother Nature reminded me who’s boss. The windstorm last night brought a tree branch crashing down onto my car. No one was hurt and that’s really all the matters. ⚡️Question for you #humanheroes. Ever have those crazy, unexplainable things happen right before a big trip, a new job, or any other life-changing moments that you’ve been prepping for your whole life? It feels like those gifts we all receive from the universe but in reverse. “How bad do you really want this? How much does it mean to you?” ⚡️ If I’m going to challenge what it means to be a human being. If I’m going to challenge what being a hero means. Then its only fair that I’m challenged even further. Feeling the challenge #humanheroes, feeling it. So instead of continuing on with these words, I’m going to share this ⚡️ Liono photo @byronlkeulemans shot in South Africa and then get my ass into a yoga class. So much to love you all. You help me #keepmoving. More challenges?? Bring em on! 🙃
  • Human Hero In Training

    ⚡️The summer of 2013 began with a trip that would change my life forever. I’d remember hearing incredible things about south east Asia from friends and co-workers. One of my favorite people and photographers Gabe shared his intinerary with me - waterfalls, temples, rolling mountains, street food, and some of the kindest people on the planet. Culture can’t exist without the people. New York is what it is because of the level of diversity that exists nowhere else. Living and working here, and even in LA, I had a very rigid view of what the rest of the world was like. Europe was different but only so much. The people above would teach me that happiness does not come from money, or material things - but from love, connection, and experience. This story is about them, in order of appearance. ⚡️I found this first munchkin while hiking through Sapa Vietnam. There is another post I put up a few months ago describing the Hmong - a nomadic people that live throughout south East Asia and other parts of the world. I asked this little one’s mother if I could pick her up and carry hear around the small village. Once she was up there she didn’t want to come down. She also insisted on sticking her fingers in either my mouth or hers pretty much the entire time we were together. ⚡️The Hmong woman in the second photo, and the two girls, hiked with us for hours. The woman is holding a little horse she made for me out of a fern. She folded this thing together in like 30 seconds. All the women and children that accompanied us were talented artists, often walking for hours, every day, to sell their wares. I signed up for a homestay - we would walk down through a beautiful valley of rice fields, cross a small river, and hike up the other side to stay with a family for the night. Somewhere along the journey I managed to rip a small hole in my dri-fit pants. When we stopped for lunch this woman kept asking me “give me your pants.” uh…. Excuse me? I thought I wasn’t hearing her correctly. “Give me your pants.” She kept repeating over and over, until she finally pointed at the hole and then mimed sewing them up. She sewed them up for me in 5 minutes…. I think I still have them.
  • Human Hero In Training

    I lived in Koreatown but I really LIVED on the beach or in the sky - like a seagull. Movement has always been where I find peace. Eventually though you gotta supplement the physical practice with something that grounds you. I couldn’t fly all the time. But here, it was hard not to. LA was a playground for me. . Outwardly I was soaring - but internally I was seeking. I was moving constantly and my body was stronger than ever. I wanted to be those characters that inspired me as a kid - I wanted to look like them, move like them, pretend to be them without giving much thought to what it actually meant to be a hero. (Continued...) 📸 @wadleywadley
  • Human Hero In Training

    In 2012, I bought a car, packed up the few material belongings I had, and drove cross country towards the ☀️ with friend Krystal. I’ve been chasing the ☀️ ever since (hence the squint). I lived between two separate households growing up, both parents moving often. Home always felt like transitory thing. Perhaps this is why its so hard for me to be in one place for too long, or to commit to a relationship or project. The in between - the moments in the middle of action and response - travel draws those moments out into an experience. Being in the car for long periods of time brings me peace. It literally is a moving meditation. . We started the trip in South Jersey and headed down to Nashville. (Hold on while I check a map) From there we made our way over and up into Arkansas where we stayed on a ranch of a client I had previously worked with. That night, as we were nearing the ranch, Kelly (the owner) mentioned if we hit the river we had gone too far and missed the turnoff. This was the first test Abilene ever got(my car got her name in Texas). Its was late and we were so eager to arrive that we zoomed down the rocky hill right into the water. Luckily my car managed to get us out and back up the hill. The next morning, a young couple that looked over ranch took us by horseback across the property - a valley that dipped down between two green mountains. What made this place so beautiful was its seclusion. There is soooo much space in the middle of the United States. From there, we began the long journey through Texas. Land……….. and road……. and land….. . The highlight was making it to White Sands New Mexico - these giant white dunes that transported you to the moon. We met a few guys and I pulled out my frisbee, along with my camera to grab a few shots of this amazing place. We continued on to Albuequre, which was full of character because of all the art. I bought a few things there, including the Blue Lady that we would serve as the ‘protector’ of my future home in LA. (Continued ⤵️⤵️⤵️)
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    When I was 15 years old, I was waking up in the morning with these insane migraines. I’d roll out of bed, start to make my way to the bathroom, and either black out, my vision collapsing in on itself, or I’d make it to the bathroom and throw up. I didn’t know what was going on. My mom, who’s a doctor, couldn’t figure it out so I ended up going to see a neurologist. They took a MRI of my brain and we learned I had Arnold Chiari Malformation - part of my brain tissue extended into my spinal canal creating pressure that would cause these issues. I had surgery a few months, where they drilled away a section of my skull to create room for my brain to rest. . All of my tattoos tell a story, and as I share these stories with you, I’m being reminded how much Japanese culture has influenced me as an artist. Towards the end of college, I decided to get my spine tattooed, beginning on my scar at the base of my skull and making its way down to my sacrum. I have always worked with circles - visually and also physically with my movement practice. . The first photo is from one of my first runway shows, right before I moved to New York. A photographer surprised me with her camera and asked me a few questions about the circles running down my back. I told her these two stories below… . One of my favorite teachers has us drawing circles on newsprint for days. We had to work with our whole arm, extending from the shoulder all the way onto the page. One day, I was so frustrated that I asked Professor Dupree, ‘mannn, are we ever going to move on.” He came over and asked to see my circle. It was aight. He pulled his pencil from behind his ear and BAM! He asked me to measure it with a protractor. It was nearly perfect. He was teaching me about discipline. . I came across the Ensō circle during my Arts and History of Japan class at UArts. The definition of Ensō is as unique as the artist that creates it. It symbolizes strength, grace, balance and acceptance of imperfection as perfect. A zen saying goes “Do not mistake the finger pointing at the moon for the moon itself.” Aka do not mistake the teaching of enlightenment for enlightenment itself. (continued below..)
  • Human Hero In Training

    2009 into 2010, I was commuting from Philadelphia to New York almost every day. I would wake up around 5am, get a workout in, and then hop on the MegaBus from one city to the other. Often time was so tight that I would change from my gym gear into proper ‘model wear’ for castings in a Starbucks bathroom. I’d usually head into my agency to get my castings for the day and then run all over the city meeting clients, sometimes doing test shoots with photographers. Sometimes I would crash on couches or floors because I had early castings the following day. . . And then this happened ^^^ and the grind got a little easier. Tony Duran requested to shoot me very early in my career, something I’m still very grateful for. All of the above, the traveling, long days, sometimes not getting enough food or even denying myself food to fulfill the requirements of the industry - all of that was work. Work that I did for about a year and a half before making any money, grinding. All of that was tough but shooting with Tony nearly made me say ‘fuck it all.’ . . Remember in the Dark Knight, when Harvey Dent says “ The night is always darkest just before the dawn?” Yeah, that’s how this felt. Tony was shooting people like Brad Pitt so I was already intimidated. I flew out there to test with him and be part of a photo-shoot to promote these insanely expensive watches, shooting with seasoned models that made me look like a chump. . . I’m a very sensitive guy and he could give a shit. He was doing me a favor, he didn’t need me there. I was so frustrated, I remember calling my mom earlier in the day saying I wanted to come home. (Momma’s boy). After him laying into me all day, around midnight he asked me ‘do you even want to do this?’ I was tired, and angry, and didn’t have anything left to say. . . He asked me ‘what do you think is sexy about you?’ I honestly drew a blank. I had transformed my body, but after the challenges of the day, in my mind, I was still the chub chub ‘fat friend’ back in south Jersey. He asked me again. ‘What do you think is sexy about you?” Again, I said I didn’t know. This time he yelled.... (continued in comments)
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    This is the story about how I made my way into the modeling industry, and eventually moved to New York: . One night at the bar, a man approached me and asked my name. Nothing out of the ordinary there. He kept coming back though to ask me more questions. “How tall are you?” “What is your waist size?” “Do you know your inseam?” I was getting annoyed but answered anyway. What did I have to lose? I’m also really awful with sarcasm, he could have just been joking. I didn’t know and I was too busy to care. . At the end of the night, he approached me again and handed me his card. He informed that he was drunk, and probably wouldn’t remember any of this tomorrow, so I needed to email him and remind him where we met. I thanked him and we closed down for the night. . He turned out to be the men’s director for one of the biggest modeling agencies in New York. I didn’t know this at the time, and I was still in school. I thanked him and said that I’d like to continue to focus on my art but I appreciated his interest. . Fast forward to 6 months later, post Eurotrip, laying on the couch with my girlfriend at the time. We were watching one of those who wants to be a supermodel, or America’s next top model. I can’t remember which. I recognized one of the judges - it was the same man that had given me his card almost half a year ago at Pure. . Seeing this guy on television partnered with my new found courage from traveling, gave me the confidence to give modeling a shot. I took a few digitals and sent them out, along with an email that I copy and pasted from agency to agency. An agent at @red_models responded almost immediately and asked me to come to New York the following day. I got along with everyone at the agency and felt a kindred spirit in the owner, a big hearted man that always made time for the models. I was signed that day and began testing with photographers around the city. . These photos some of my first with @jeremykoststudio that had been lost in the ether so I apologize for the quality. Jeremey knew I was a fan of superheroes so he brought along an inflatable Hulk for me to use as a prop. (Props FTW when you have no idea WTF you’re doing.)
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    By the time I came out of UArts in 2008, I had a degree under my belt, making bank bartending 3-4 nights a week, training clients at the gym, sharing my knowledge and new found love for strength training with the same friends I met at the bars, and I was creating like a madman. The nights I wasn’t bartending, I would work out of my studio apartment, sewing together stuffed monsters. My sleep schedule was so sporadic that I’d often stay up all night, faux fur, plastic eyeballs, and hot glue…. everywhere. Like a muppet horror movie. . . My previous junior and senior theses were three dimensional and interactive. First I made a giant pile of leaf pillows - I drew a bunch of leaves I found in Rittenhouse Park, printed them on fabric, and then sewed them together. I tossed them all in a pile in Hamilton Hall and encouraged people to JUMP in them. My next installation I bought a toy box, painted it and then filled it with random animals that I’d always wanted to see in an animal cracker box - something different from the norm, like baboons, hummingbirds, sharks, and porcupines. Then I drew this giant toddler on the wall, bending down to dig into the box, knocking over a giant glass of milk in the process. (Don’t cry over spilt milk). . . I was dating an amazing girl and decided it was time to take a trip - a big trip. The money I’d saved up got us two plane tickets, two train tickets, and took us all over Europe. London - Paris - Nice - Madrid - Barcelona - Rome - Sorrento - Croatia - Berlin - Munich - Switzerland - Brussels - Amersterdam. We explored the catacombs in Paris, visited Park Guell in Barcelona, did mushrooms in Amersterdam, and swam up and down the coast of Croatia. We visited platform 9 3/4 of Harry Potter fame, had sex as quietly as we could in hostel showers, and I also had my first beer.(Yup, that is accurate, I wasn’t drinking at this point.) This trip opened me to the transformative power of travel - especially backpacking, moving from place to place, on a budget. (Continued in comments) 📸 @taghinaderzad #travelbug #hostellife #europe #eurotrip #backpacking #travelgram
  • Human Hero In Training

    This may be my first ’photoshoot’...ever. I was 19, maybe 20, studying printmaking at University of the Arts. I was interning with an artist named Alex DaCorte at the time, spending hours punching out holes from colored paper to be used later for murals. Somehow, he convinced me to throw on colored American Apparel briefs (remember those?) and do a photoshoot. I was nervous so props were helpful, especially this magical globe that would spark in me an insatiable wanderlust. . . Travel has always been one of my greatest teachers - exploring new lands, experiencing other cultures, getting lost in a world that is unfamiliar, is when I feel the most alive. When I’m completely immersed in a place I know very little about is when I’m at my best, because I have to be. It requires a heightened level of responsibility and presence that I often slip away from here amongst the comforts of modern life. . . . I’m prepping for what feels like the most important trip of my life - Japan. The beginning of March, I’m heading to the Land of the Rising Sun to immerse myself in a culture that has influenced me as an artist and a mover in so many aways. The Japanese artist Kitushika Hokusai is why I became a printmaker, and his work inspired one of my first tattoos. I actually start to shake as I’ve been researching this trip - I’m excited. . . . In preparation for my departure, I’m going to take you #humanheroes on a journey from this captured moment all the way up until I leave on the 3rd of March - covering all the places I’ve been blessed to explore/live. I’ve got so much content that I’ve never shared, along with so many stories, which is why I created an Instagram in the first place. So check back tomorrow for the next destination, and in the meantime tag someone who could use a vacation. 👹 #exploremore #exploretocreate #wanderlust #keepmoving #movementformentalhealth
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  • Human Hero In Training

    A huge thank you to @pigeonma.draws for this AWESOME portrait!🦁 Swipe to see his process from beginning to end. It’s always a treat to see how an artist works. . . Expect lots more art #humanheroes and stay tuned for a HH instagram! #👁⚡️👁 #artistsoninstagram #artistspotlight #illustration #drawingtutorial #movementformentalhealth #movingmeditation
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