Friday Thoughts of Gratuity and Self Worth

My mom told me once that our family has the sort of face that people tell their life story to. As I get older and older and do more of my own soul searching, I can’t help but think that this is true. I grew up with parents who were completely supportive in my passions and my soul searching; they were always there to tell me I was loved and that I was worthy of what the world has to offer. They taught me to truly love myself and to be grateful for everyday on this planet, to see the positive in every situation and to take time to learn about things I didn’t know.

My parents are old souls. They are wise with a sort of wisdom that comes from knowing the universe for more than one lifetime. The lessons they started teaching to my sister and I at age five are lessons my friends in their 20’s are just learning; I think that’s why I have found myself helping people with some deep emotional issues dealing with self love and self worth during the very first conversation we have.

I was talking to my mom about this, about how important loving yourself is and she suggested writing about it, so here I am. And here’s the thing; self worth is innate.

You are worthy of love, of the universe, of happiness and of everything the world has to give you simply because you are a soul having a human experience. You are part of something greater than yourself; you are part of a collective consciousness that is huge and vast and wonderful and no matter if you’re 373 pounds or 73 pounds, you are worthy.

Worth is not determined by love, by beauty, by talent or passion. You could be a couch potato or an Olympic athlete and you are still an asset to the world. You are a physical manifestation of the universe. You are powerful beyond measure. You are wonderful. You are incredible. You are beautiful. You are loved.

Love yourself and give yourself the freedom to love others and to love the world around you.

Namaste,

Gabriela

PS; That photo is my Grandma Rose, my sister Alex and I. Such an accurate portrayal of Rose; she’s more worried about loving my sister and I than posing for a photo, even if it’s to celebrate her.

How to Survive as a Death Queen Pt 1

Master the art of the resting bitch face; also known as your natural facial structure when you really and truly don’t have an opinion. Be intimidating for the sake of it. Nail the side eye. You’ll have to give it when people don’t know when to stop staring at you for wearing all black in the middle of summer. Wear all black in the middle of summer. Don’t be dumb about it though; layer sheer pieces and wear thin fabrics. Death Queens don’d die of getting overheated. Master the smile. Know that your first reaction to other peoples stares is to make eye contact and smile. Honor the light in people before you assume they’re judging you. Know that people are avid people watchers like you are. Only resort to the side eye when the smile isn’t enough and there’s a look of disgust on the other persons face. Know that a man may tell you he would be horrified if his son brought you home. Death Queens understand that what others think of them is none of their business. Walk between the worlds. Dance under the moonlight. Talk to the faery. Know the stages of the moon, when she’s waxing, when she’s waning. Know that being a Death Queen means living for this life and the next. Think about the universe and why you’re here. Wear what you love and only what you love, if you’re so lucky. Honor your body and your soul. Know that death is a gift because without it life wouldn’t be sweet. Understand that life is like the death card in a tarot deck; death is a new beginning and the strongest kind of transformation. Never EVER apologize for being yourself, but don’t harm anyone. in the process (or at all). Love yourself, wholly, fully and unapologetically. You need your love before you need anyone else’s love. You need your love before anyone else needs YOUR love. Read books that make you stop and think. Sing to the robins and the crows and to the moon and sun. Being a Death Queen means knowing that life is fragile. Being a Death Queen means loving from the soul; basking in love and telling those you care about that you love them. Mean it. Go to cemeteries and honor those before; each grave holds millions of stories. Treat each living thing with kindness and honor. Know that you are not alone.

Five Crystals You Need to Own

I love using crystals to help channel my energy; whether I need healing and relaxation, to love more or to be more receptive of love, to be more open to the universe.. There is always a crystal that has got your back. Think of a crystal like a magnifying glass of the universe’s energy; it helps you channel whatever intention you infuse it with. I have a few pouches I keep my crystals in and I always try to keep a few in my purse; I pick the stone depending on what I feel like I need. Another amazing trick is to grab some jewlery with whatever stone sings to you! A combination of both wearing and carrying your stones is extra powerful.  Don’t know where to start with your collection? Here are five crystals to get you started. After purchasing your crystal, you need to make sure you clear it of any energies it may have accumulated (from other people touching it/from sitting…etc). Leave it under the full moon for the night, or leave it in salt for 24 hours. Salt is the smallest crystal and will absorb any energy left in your stone!

Clear Quartz

geodeClear quartz clusters amplify vibrational energy.

Clear Quartz is a great crystal that helps to purify your energy and cleanse you of negativity. It can easily be attuned to whatever intention you want to set it with, whether it’s to be more focused and centered or to connect more to your higher power. This crystal is perfect to carry around with you if you need some extra white light and positivity.

 

Rose Quartz

4. Heart Chakra (Rose Quartz) - Our ability to love.  Location: Center of chest just above heart. Emotional issues: Love, joy, inner peace.Prana Life | Rose Quartz

Rose quartz is connected to the crown and heart chakra; it encourages love and compassion of all kinds. Whether you need to love others or yourself more, this stone is the stone to help. I love carrying a piece of rose quartz to help me connect to the universe and all it’s love; I’m a firm believer you cannot love too much. This stone is perfect for all types of love; whether you need more compassion, healing, self love, or simply a connection to your heart chakra.

 

Amethyst

Amethyst has long been called the "sobriety stone." In ancient Rome, crushed amethyst was added to wine cups to prevent drunkenness. It is said to assist with healing alcoholism, compulsive behaviors, and addictions of all kinds. Amethyst brings energies in mystical realms of stability, peace, calm, balance, courage and inner strength. It is often used in metaphysics and crystal healing to protect against psychic attacks.❥ Lavender Amethyst Druzy

Amethyst is the ultimate stone for healing. It’s connected to the third eye and it’s a great stone for transformation. It’s a spiritual stone that’s easy to find and wonderful when you need to center, breathe and just take a moment to connect to your own intuition. I love having a piece of amethyst with me in my purse, and especially by my pillow for peaceful dreams.

Blue Lace Agate

Blue Lace Agate - Calming and uplifting, strengthens the throat chakra, Wear or carry blue lace agate for peace and happiness. Place it in your hand when you feel the need to de-stress. If you find yourself in stressful situations gaze at it for relief.  #doninorris ~ I use this one alot too.

Blue Lace Agate (rough) / Namibia

I’m human; I get angry when I shouldn’t especially at the ones I love the most; my family. I can always use a little hand on getting that under control. Blue lace agate is a powerful stone that can help ground you and lessen your anger. Blue Lace Agate is seriously powerful in aiding with communication since it has strong ties to the throat chakra. Blue Lace Agate can aid you in easing your effort with communication, whether it’s verbal or written, and it’s a good stone in aiding astral travel. Like all agates, it’s also a protective stone.

 

Obsidian

Crystals & Stones:  #Apache #Tears:    Properties: The stones are said to bring good luck to those possessing them. Black obsidian is a powerful Meditation stone. The purpose of this gemstone is to bring to light that which is hidden from the conscious mind. It dissolves suppressed negative patterns and purifies them. It can create a somewhat radical behavior change as new positive attitudes replace old, negative, egocentric patterns.BLACK OBSIDIAN Stone is a powerful cleanser of psychic smog created within your aura, and is a strong psychic protection stone.  It has powerful metaphysical properties that will shield you against negativity, and their energy may stimulate the gift of prophecy.  More information at http://www.crystalchannelers.com/blog/crystal-healing---obsidian/

Obsidian is pretty much the ultimate stone to protect you from negativity. If you’re constantly surrounded by negative people or situations (and you can’t control it), please PLEASE stock up on obsidian. Obsidian the equivalent to a bubble of white light, grounding you and helping you to embrace your whole self. This stone will not only keep negativity away but it will become a sort of shield for your own mind, body and soul; it helps protect you spiritually and metaphysically. Obsidian is a great stone with transformation too since it’s magma that cooled to quickly to form glass. Obsidian helps us understand that sometimes we need change to grow into our own power and strength.

What is it you want in a stone?!

Namaste,

Gabriela

A Wednesday Journey Through The Wild Unknown

It’s not news that I’m always inspired by the tarot. I’m a self proclaimed fan girl of the artist of this deck (Kim Krans) and just a fan girl of The Wild Unknown deck in general. The beautiful imagery is so different than any other deck I’ve seen or read and I love connecting in a different way to these cards when I read them.

Breathing Fashion is connecting more to its spiritual side, and what’s more appropriate than starting this transition off than with a tarot reading? Nothing, I tell you..nothing. So today, I read for myself and for all of you. I asked the cards a simple question and chose to do a very, very basic, three card “past, present, future” spread. The first card I drew represents the past, the second the present and the third the future. Below are the results.

Question: What can my readers and I learn from the past, where are we currently, and what can we expect in the future?

Past: Eight of Pentacles 

The Eight of Pentacles is a card of “craftsmanship and skill” according to TWU. This card represents hard work, persistence, balance and patience. You have honed, refined and cultivated a skill, creating a piece of work your proud of. Pentacles are the suite of earth, of stability, home and career. The pentacle itself represents every element in unity along with the energy of the universe. What a wonderful card to have drawn for the past! What is it that you’re proud of? What kind of balance and home have you found like the spider? Have you too tapped into your potential, no matter your size?

Present: Three of Cups

The Three of Cups is the utmost card of friendship. In this deck, the imagery used is of three birds on a branch above three cups. Cups are the suite of water, emotion, friendship, love; the cups are the metaphorical heart of the deck. This card is such a wonderful card to pull, and how wonderful is it that we can bask in our friendships and relationships right now?  You are looking at the light with those you love; don’t be afraid to bask in this and don’t be afraid to depend on the souls who surround you Just like these little birdies are sitting above the cups on the branch, you are able to have a solid perspective on your emotions. Friendship takes work and by understanding that too many unnecessary emotions (read anger, envy, jealousy…drama)  don’t serve you, you are able to keep your head above water and enjoy the friendships which you’ve created.

 

Future: Nine of Wands

Wands are the suite of fire, of persistence, goals and dreams. They speak of passion,  desire and inner flame to make things happen and get things done. The Nine of Wands speaks of our stamina and inner strength, just like the butterfly must overcome whatever it is it’s flying away from.  Perhaps there is something right now that is eating you up; something that is difficult and consuming and can feel draining. Go inward; find your fire. A difficulty now meas that you will be able to own your inner strength and stamina  in the future. You will either need to own this to overcome something or perhaps you will give yourself long overdue credit at the fact that you are infinitely capable of whatever it is you set your mind to.

You have created something with your own craft and skill. Your hard work has been cultivated into something you can safely call your own; something you can be proud of. Your friendships are flourishing and you’re surrounded by those you care about, who can support you when your perspective has shifted. In the future, you will own and be proud of your inner strength. Your desire and passion will get you far. 

 

What has your Wednesday held for you this far?

Namaste,

Gabriela

The Blood Moon and Grand Cardinal Cross

I love the moon. She’s my best friend, always listening to me, comforting me in the darkest hours of the night. If you were on any form of social media yesterday then you probably heard all about the Blood Moon that’s happening, but what exactly is this Blood Moon? The Blood Moon is just a name for a total lunar eclipse. The thing about yesterday’s Blood Moon, however, is that it was the first of four Blood Moons that will be visible throughout North America. 

The moon is associated with the feminine, with goddess, intuition and dreams. The full moon is the perfect apex to manifest something that you want more of. Meditate on what it is that you want and draw it to you. As the moon wanes ( or gets smaller moving from a gibbous to a crescent), set your intention to rid yourself of whatever it is that doesn’t serve you, whether it’s self-hate or gossiping about others. This sort of sympathetic magick is simple yet powerful. Correspondences linked to the moon are silver, sandalwood, willow and white roses, among many. The goddess Selene is also linked to the Moon.

Astrologically, a lunar eclipse means accelerated change, with family, home and emotional needs, especially 6 months to a year after the eclipse takes place. The next three Blood Moons are on October 8 2014, April 4 2015 and September 27 2015.  These eclipses are said to create a path that is uniquely yours, aiding you in manifesting your own way in the world.

If you’re anything like me and you can feel energies pretty well (or have a strong intuition), then this last week has been crazy and the last few months have been even crazier. According to astrologers, since February, Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto have been forming a “T Square”; where two planets are opposite one another and the third planet wedges into a 90 degree angle between them both.

From December 27 2013 to May 14 2014, four planets are within 90 degrees of one another, causing a push pull sort of feeling. Each planet has certain properties, ie Jupiter ruling over luck and abundance, so these properties are the sort of tension we’ve been feeling. By mid February, Uranus, Pluto and Jupiter were all close together, like three overly crowded people in an elevator. In mid- April, Mars entered the mix, forming a grand cross, which is when two planets are 180 degrees from one another, and all four are at 90 degree angles from one another. On April 23rd, all four planets will be 12 degrees from one another. 

Here’s what these planets represent:

Jupiter: Jupiter rules over knowledge, self growth and answers. Jupiter is also the planet that rules over luck and prosperity. Jupiter is the spiritual seeker, finding answers for itself. Jupiter is “the thinking persons planet.”

Uranus: Uranus rules over change in perspective and expansion in consciousness. Uranus is said to represent generational change rather than individual change. In the Grand Cardinal Cross, Uranus  “incites radical change and rails against anything that feels like suppression”

Pluto: Pluto rules of rebirth, transformation and total change. In this Cardinal Cross, it represents the need to break away from any sort of corruption, whether it be with family or work.

Mars:  Mars is the planet of passion, of getting things accomplished and manifestation. Mars was the god of war, so although this passion can serve us as times, it can also be destructive. In the Grand Cardinal Cross, Mars is in “peacemaker Libra”, which means conflict may be “around negotiations, interpersonal dynamics, and perhaps having to stand up to a bully or two.”

[Read more about these planets and how the cross will affect you via THE NUMINOUS  ]

Next Wednesday will be a breaking point; it will force you to deal with things that you’ve put on the back burner and left for later. It will bring up the old and shove it in your face until you take it and deal with it. Have you been feeling overwhelmed or energetically drained? These energies have all been working towards this apex and although it seems scary, this Grand Cardinal Cross is going to be a fresh start as much as it will be anything else.

The Numinous also pointed out something very interesting. All these planets will be aligned at thirteen degrees of one another during the Grand Cardinal Cross. Death is the 13th card in the tarot deck. What does death rule over? Transformation and one thing ending so another can begin, What’s a better reminder of transformation during such a highly energetic, and stressful, time? Breathe, connect to your intuition and remember things work out as they should.

Namaste,

Gabriela

The Hanged Man

Perspective is everything. Much like judgment, how we see things has a huge impact on our lives and our realities. We may feel stagnant, but the truth is we are not; we are creatures of the universe, constantly evolving. As our lives change, so must our perspectives. This idea is present in the 12th card of the tarot deck, The Hanged Man. This card reminds us to change our perspective, let go of ego, and embrace the sort of rebirth we feel when we see things in a  new light. The Hanged Man is a great reminder to listen to our intuition, and stop resisting what is. Just like the bat uses echolocation to see, we are reminded to use our intuition in the same respect.

When I draw this card in a reading, I am reminded to step back, see every possibility and then tune in to my own intuition to see  how my perspective can change.  There is no wrong or right in this life, things just are as they should be. I chose a floral shirt to represent growth and rebirth and a slick leather style skirt to represent how we must let judgments pass over us without resistance. The darker color pallet and oversize knit shawl were inspired by the aesthetic of the card itself, which shows a bat hanging upside down. I was inspired by pieces that make me feel powerful, intuitive and strong.

Shawl and Shirt: Urban Outfitters/ Skirt: Topshop/ Necklacce: Zara/ Shoes: Jessica Simpson

Shot by the amazing Mary DeCrescenzio. Tarot deck is The Wild Unknown.

What do you need to change your perspective of?

Namaste,

Gabriela

Judgement

For the fourth look in my tarot series, I decided to choose a card that was a little bit more difficult for me to explain, especially in terms of fashion. Judgment, the 20th card in the tarot deck, has been showing itself to me over and over and over again in my own readings. I’ve always struggled with judgment; of others and of myself. I know these are one in the same; judging others is a way of projecting my own judgments and insecurities of myself outward.I am constantly reminding myself to love more, and live from a place rooted in love and bliss.This card is a great reminder of that. Judgment speaks of awakening, or rebirth, of ascending to something greater and new. When I draw this card in a reading, I am reminded of a few key things about myself, and the way I view the world.

Drawing this card in a reading, for me, is a reminder to approach every facet of life with an open mind and heart. There are things that happen that sometimes don’t make sense and don’t seem to fit our notion of what should be. We place labels on things, deeming them good or bad, right or wrong, without taking a step back and looking at the situation in its entirety, for what it is. By covering something with a judgment we aren’t allowing ourselves to surpass whatever experience or person or thing we just judged; we aren’t allowing ourselves to learn. Sometimes judgment is necessary in keeping yourself safe and out of harms way, but sometimes it’s not. By labeling something, whether it’s an experience or a person, you are boxing said thing in. Don’t confine anything or anyone, including yourself, to labels or judgments. You are far greater than any word or words you can cast; your soul is much greater than that.This card signifies an awakening, a consciousness, that takes place when judgment has ceased, and life, in all of her forms, is accepted and welcomed. This card reminds us to ascend to a place where judgment isn’t necessary, and to see things from a different and more open perspective. Shirt and Skirt: Zara/ Bra: Urban Outfitters/ Necklaces: Forever 21 and Barney’s Outlet, Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell

So glad I have been able to continue working with Mary. Make sure to check her out HERE.

Namaste,

Gabriela

Mindful Monday

It’s Monday. It’s the start of a new week  and it’s the perfect time to reset your energetic clocks to tick with mindfulness and intention. It’s so easy to slip into an automatic and unconscious mindset when the momentum of day to day life gets really busy, but it’s important that we remember to return to our natural state of consciousness. It’s so easy to let autopilot take hold when you’re interacting with others, or even yourself, and it’s easy to get caught in a negative mindset if things don’t seem to be going well. There are some things you can do to make sure you’re able to indulge in life with an open and eager heart though!

It’s important to reiterate this simple step because it’s easily forgotten. I get it, sometimes things happen and they hurt us, and they tear us apart. There’s always more than one perspective though; did you learn from the experience, are you stronger because of it? Did you learn you needed to surround yourself with other people?  Being alive is a gift in itself; try so see the positive in the situation and things will get better, I promise. Think of the universe as a giant magnet; whatever you’re thinking or feeling is only attracting more of that same thought or feeling to you. See the positive in everything and you’ll have more positive experiences.

Surround yourself with people who only let words rooted in love leave their lips. Only let words of love leave your lips. There is nothing big or impressive in belittling someone else, it says eons more about your character than it does theirs. Today, make an intention to be mindful of what you say about others. Are your words rooted in ego? Do you speak negatively about others because of your own insecurities? Shower others in love. Live a life that’s abundant with love in every form. Now apply this to how you think of yourself. Do you put yourself down whenever you look in the mirror? Do you put yourself down? Show yourself some compassion and love. You are much more than just your body; you are a radiant soul that deserves your kindness and appreciation more so than anyone else.

We have this tendency to label situations as good or bad, positive or negative. The reality is that things just are. The situation itself has no positive or negative connotation, we’re the ones who put that weight on it. Next time something “bad” happens, try not to label it. Accept it for what it is, be thankful it happened and that you learned from it (there’s that whole gratuity thing again) and let it go. Don’t restrict yourself, or your life, to one filled with labels.  Let go of the ties you have and just be. You are so much greater than any construct you put on yourself. As soon as you label something your sticking it in a box; you’re taking away it’s opportunity to grow.  Remember how many people often label the “death” card in a tarot deck as bad, when in reality it’s a wonderful card that represents transformation? Don’t do that with your life. Bask in every possibility without putting labels on it, allow room for growth and expansion in every facet of your reality.

Stay rooted in this life and live with intention. Harm none, love more, and connect to whatever it is that draws you in. Set an intention; it can be to love more, to curse less, to live more consciously, to eat healthier or just to love yourself more. Live each and every day with integrity. Tread lightly but tread purposefully.

I find myself being bitter and resentful to those who have hurt me; I find myself holding onto anger when it does not serve me at all. I’ve been setting my intention at the beginning of my yoga classes and practices to send love to those who I’m not on the best of terms with; not for their sake, not necessarily because they deserve forgiveness, but because I deserve peace. Stop holding grudges, at your friends, family and most importantly, at yourself. Move through this life with love, with courage, with integrity, with peace, with happiness and with bravery. Let go of ego. Let go of jealousy and anger and hate. There is no worth in that which belittles others. There is no worth in that which tears you down.

Be mindful. Be loving. See the light in everyone and everything.

Namaste,

Gabriela

All photos by Mary Decrescenzio 

The High Priestess

There has always been a certain sort of softness and admiration in my heart for women who cultivate their own strength and power. I am lucky enough to have been surrounded by these sort of females my entire life. My grandmas, my mother, my aunts, my family friends, all bask in their femininity and harness their own strength to manifest whatever it is they so desire. Each women on this earth is a high priestess in her own rite; she has her own inner connection to goddess, to parts of her consciousness that are unbeknownst to others. The High Priestess card represents a connection to the unconscious, to goddess, to the earth. The high priestess is a walker between two worlds.

The tiger does a good job of representing both assertiveness and intuition, while the crystal ball she guards can represent connection to what’s to come and the unknown. The high priestess has ties to what lies ahead; she is an oracle and she basks in her own wisdom.

My friend Yash handmade this dress, which I paired with a shoulder chain from Nasty Gal, a lace cardigan from American Thread, a scarf from Zara and some Jeffrey Campbell shoes.

What is it in you that connects to a higher power? What part of you resonates within the universe?

Namaste,

Gabriela

The Moon is Down

The second set of my tarot series is based off “The Moon” card. This card is one of intuition, of vivid dreams, of connection to the subconscious and goddess. Kiim Krans, the illustrator of the deck that inspired this series, The Wild Unknown, is also partial to this card. She describes The Moon perfectly; “The Moon is the card of intuition, dreams and the unconscious. The Moon provides light as a reflection of the Sun, yet this light is dim, uncertain, and only vaguely illuminates our path as we journey toward higher consciousness. When a path leads between two towers into the distance, it is showing the way to the unconsciousness. The astrological sign associated with this card is Pisces – psychic, receptive and mysterious.” (via The Numinous)

 

I chose to represent this card with stark whites that contrasted against the deep reds and oranges of my backyard. White attracts positivity and is a color of healing; both things the moon herself represets. In the past few months I have grown more and more in love with mother moon and her beauty. There is something so comforting about her presence every night, a constant reminder that there is something larger than me in this universe. The moon is awake when my heart and mind are still, and her gentle kisses on my cheek have comforted me more than anything else.

I chose to wear this leotard from Nasty Gal with a Zara skirt and Forever 21 shoes. I’m usually cloaked in all black, with many layers of jewelry and red lipstick,but I have to admit, this minimalist look is probably my favorite to date. I wanted to channel the moon through this shoot, honoring her by basking in moonbeams. There’s a quiet sort of comfort in knowing that the sun and moon are always there, even when we can’t see them.

What comforts you in the late hours of the night?

Namaste,

Gabriela

Shot by Mary DeCrescenzio 

Left of Right

I’m an over the top sort of person in every facet of my life. I’m loud, I’m excited and I always celebrate whatever is going on. I love huge costume jewelry, I love wearing many statement pieces at one time and i just love life, and I like to think that shows. I love big jewelry that’s flashy and I’ve always been drawn to pieces with a  spiritual twist, whether it’s a raw stone or something with a healing quality.  When Left of Right jewelry asked me to collaborate I was ecstatic. Their statement pieces are edgy and avant-garde while still having a sort of mystical feel to them. I chose to style a hematite, snake eye cuff because it is so completely me and also I love the properties of the piece.

Hematite helps ward off negativity, it is used for psychic protection and it helps you calm down and can assists in aiding concentration. Hematite can assist in finding your own confidence and footing, it can help you ground and assert your power. The snake is connected to the life force, kundalini energy, healing, renewal and it’s an animal of spiritual guidance. Wearing the evil eye is said to ward off evil and negativity. I couldn’t resist a beautiful piece with all of these amazing elements, so I decided to style it two ways; a little more feminine and a little more urban.

Cuff: Left of Right/Shirt and Shoes: Urban Outfitters/Shorts and Purse: Zara/ Sweater: American Thread/ Necklaces: Forever 21 and Barney’s Outlet/ Glasses/ Hip Wa Zee

How could I not style this cuff with floral and black?! Absolutely impossible! I wore my moon necklace from Forever 21 to accent the mystic look the cuff has.

For my second look I was inspired by different gradients and textures. I wore a Nasty Gal Collection top, some leathery harem pants from Urban Outfitters and some gradient boots by Deena and Ozzy. I tied a sweatshirt from Zara around my waist a la Kanye and grabbed my spiked Deena and Ozzy bag to finish off the look! This was a little more urban that my usual attire, but I love mixing things up once in a while.

I had so much fun styling this piece, and I can’t wait to wear it out and about in Columbia.

Check out Left of Right HERE and their Etsy HERE, and make sure to check back later this month for their new collection!

All of these photos were taken by Alexandra Herstik (my twin)! Her goal is to “create every day”, check out her amazing photos on her instagram @alexyael.

What are YOU wearing that makes you feel confident and empowered?!

Namaste,

Gabriela

The Death Card

The thought of the death card in a tarot reading conjures up images of old fortune tellers with a distressed look on their face, promising death to a loved one, or yourself, in the near future. A negative connotation has been linked to this card, after all,  it’s the harrowing “death” card that leaves one with the touch of death on their soul, right?

The Wild Unknown Tarot

The first thing needed to understand the death card is a basic understanding of the tarot itself. The classic tarot deck was originally used as a card game in parts of Europe, like Italy and France, in the 15th century. This was later adopted by occultist and mystics, transforming into the tarot we know today. A classic tarot deck consists of 78 cards, 22 of which are considered the “major arcana” and the other 56 comprising the “minor arcana”. The major arcana are the more important cards, like “The Moon”, “Death”, “Judgment” and “Temperance”. The 56 minor arcana cards are divided into four suites, much like a classic card deck. The four suites, “Pentacles”, “Cups”, “Wands” and “Swords, are each numbered one through ten (the number 1 being the “ace” card), and contain four court cards; “King”, “Queen”, “Knight” and “Page/Jack”. Each card suit holds its own meaning, further coupled with the meaning of each card. The major arcana cards represent major themes and changes in life, and are usually more significant in a reading than the plentiful minor arcana cards.

The Faerie’s Oracle by Brian Froud

Like any form of divination, the tarot isn’t telling you something that is set in stone. The tarot is a map of sorts that reads the energies present in you. It simply draws the lines on a map that has been there all along; you have complete control over the roads you choose to take, the tarot simply lets you know what roads were there to begin with.

So what does the Death card represent? Complete and utter transformation. I chose this card because not only is it a personal favorite, it’s probably the most misunderstood and most frightening card in the deck. This card doesn’t mean someone close to you is going to die, It means one door is closing and another is opening, in the most important sense of the word. Get ready for some major changes and opportunities when you see this card because it has an uncanny ability to appear when new ventures are around the corner. Change is GOOD, and sometimes we have to lose something to gain something even better. Think of it as reincarnation; one thing ends and another begins.

Black is the lack of color, just like death is lack of life. The color black itself repels negativity; it is a strong and powerful color and for me, it encompasses the idea of the Death card. I chose this black dress, picked by the amazing Ivory from Hip Wa Zee,  this hat from H&M and these shoes from Urban Outfitters to create a look that matched my perception of this card. Like the tarot itself, everyone’s interpretation is going to be different. This is my personification of death

Check out my my amazing photographers website HERE and Ivory’s vintage store HERE.

Embrace the unknown with open arms and bask in the glory of its potential.

Namaste,

Gabriela Lorraine

Five Reasons Every Man Should Practice Yoga

Just like it’s no new fact that I love wearing black, it’s no new fact that I love yoga. One of my long term goals includes being a yoga teacher, and another includes traveling to India to deepen my practice, immerse myself in the culture and hopefully volunteer as well. So, this Monday morning, I am giving every Death King out there five reasons why he should practice yoga. These five reasons are nothing more than just the tip of the iceberg, but we all have to start somewhere!

1. Because you are NOT flexible

I love this meme because it’s so accurate. The wonderful thing about yoga is that it HELPS with flexibility. You don’t have to be able to touch the your toes or put your foot behind your head, but who knows, maybe after a steady practice those things will happen! Yoga couples alignment, stretching, breath and philosophy to create flexibility in your mind, body and soul. Believe me, you’ll be sore after your first yoga class, but it will be well worth it.

 

2. Because it will Help you Breathe

Well, that doesn’t necessarily sound so promising, we’re constantly breathing after all, but let me explain. There are many, many different schools of yoga, but almost every one emphasizes the breath. Different breathing patterns, called pranayama’s, help you in different ways; some calm, some energize, some just help to restore. The most common breathing technique is called ujjayi or ocean breadth and it helps to center and restore and is used in many yoga classes. The breadth is performed by tensing the muscles at the back of the throat and breathing out through the nose, like you’re fogging up a mirror. Paying attention to your breath automatically helps turn your drishti, or gaze, inward; there is stillness and softness that wasn’t present before. By paying attention to the breath while performing the physical postures, a sort of consciousnesses is able to manifest, and there’s a presence that wasn’t there before. This, in turn, carries of the mat and is something you can utilize everyday. Your practice on the mat is a reflection of your life off the mat, after all .

 

3. Because Your Man Butt will Look Really Really Good

Your butt will look great, your body will start to look great, and you’ll feel good. Personally, I love a man with a nice butt, and yoga will definitely give you a nice butt… Yoga means union, and there’s an obvious connection between a happy mind and happy body and soul. The idea behind the series of physical postures, or asanas, is that when the body is active, the mind is quite. The original yogis knew the opposite was true as well; when the body is quite the mind is active. Yoga uses the energetic body and the physical body to strengthen one another; the whole idea of a physical yoga practice is to get your body ready for meditation, or savasana. Don’t be fooled though; a vinyasa style class is no easy feat, it will metaphorically kick your butt, but alas, it will also physically tone it along with the rest of your body.

4. Because There is a Yoga Class for Everyone

Whether you want a physically engaging class or a restoring one, there is a school of yoga for everyone. Love structure and want a class that is like meditation in motion? Try Ashtanga, a school that has a set of series and involves the same postures in almost every class. After  you become familiar with the postures and terminology it becomes moving meditation guided by the breath. Want a yoga practice based around the concept of alignment? Try Iyengar or Anusara. Want a faster paced yoga class that flows from one posture to the next? Try a Vinyasa class. There is something for everyone, find more information about what resonates with you HERE.

 

 

5. Because Yoga is a Spiritual Practice with Physical Benefits, and Not the Other Way Around

The thing with yoga is that YES, it will help tone your inner thighs, shape up your butt, strengthen your back and core, it will help you gain arm muscles and have better postures… those are all true.  But the practice of yoga, when done with integrity, is a lifelong practice that follows you. The physical practice is 1/6th of yoga.. it is only one measly limb. Yoga is one of the most incredible gifts you can give yourself because it will help you to dwell in your soul in a way you didn’t know was possible. I think it’s incredibly attractive when a man takes care of himself, physically and spirituality, and having witnessed the benefits of yoga firsthand, I urge everyone to start a practice and see the benefits themselves. It takes a true man to understand the importance of taking care of himself, and let me tell you, yoga is an amazing way to do it.

I urge everyone, male or female, to get on a mat and see how it changes you. Yoga has many, many more benefits than I was able to list, but I hope I gave you an idea of how much positive change it’s capable of.

PS: These yoga memes are of Woody Woodrow from Our Last Night. When I first met him we bonded over yoga, and two years later, he’s certified as a yoga instructor and practicing yoga around the world while touring with OLN. After two years of talking about doing yoga together, we finally were able to when he OLN was in Atlanta at the Masquerade. If you’re a fan of them and want to get your vinyasa on before a show, ask him to help and he’ll be more than happy to do so.

Namaste,

Gabriela

PS: Yoganonymous has a FREE 60 minute online class for men, which you can find HERE

Thoughts on Valentines Day

If you know me, if you know Breathing Fashion, you know I’m all for love in every facet of the word. I think love is one of the most beautiful things in the world and I think it has vast and infinite power. But like any other form of power, love definitely has the potential to destroy. With Valentine’s Day literally right around the corner, I wanted to compose some of my feelings and thoughts to share and maybe cause some introspection, or at least some kind of snow day entertainment.

I have been fortunate enough to grow up with parents who shower my sister and I in I love you’s and affection every single day. I have been fortunate enough to grow up with a father who never fails to kiss my mother every morning and tell her she’s beautiful, and really, truly, mean it. My father always bought my mom some roses or flowers, and my sister and I a little stuffed bear, for Valentine’s Day; a little gesture but never anything crazy or ornate for the sake of it. There was always a card or a text, a reminder of the holiday, but there was never some unyielding and great weight that had been bestowed on the 14th of February. I have never had one day to celebrate my love and appreciation for everyone in my life, I have always had 365. This notion of truly celebrating the importance of my loved ones every day, has helped to lessen my teenage anxiety about Valentine’s Day. More so than anything else, this has helped lessen the impact and anticipated loneliness of the holiday because I grew up with the idea of basking in the joys of love every day, and not just one day a year.

I have never been bitter at Valentine’s Day; I have never lost sleep over the thought of not having a Valentine or at the idea of not having someone confess their love to me on February 14th. I have never had a Valentine, I have never had a boy confess his unyielding and undying passion for me on Valentine’s Day and it has never been something that I destroy myself with. Besides the fact that there was never any pressure to bring home a Valentine for my parents, I have always unintentionally remembered that it is no on else’s job to love me and complete me.

It is so easy, so so easy, to try and find someone else who will help to fill the hole that is weighing on your body and mind. It is easier than I can say, to try to find another person who can help to complete part of you that seems broken and empty. It’s so easy, so so easy, to want someone else to love you so you can love yourself, so you can see that you’e worth loving and it’s so easy to try and find a Valentine who can do that.

The thing is no one can truly fill that void and love yourself before you do.  You are worth loving with or without a Valentine because you are a reflection of the universe. You have infinite potential and possibility within every single cell of your body. You are what the stars are made of; you are what dreams are weaved of. You are a beautiful soul and a beautiful heart, and you should never feel broken or inadequate because Hallmark tells you should. Before anyone else loves you, and before you love anyone else, you need to love yourself.

I never want someone who’s going to fill a hole in my heart. Instead, I want someone who’s going to help make a mountain where there was once leveled ground. Personally, I want someone that will add to me, like a conjoined twin of the heart, you know?

Balance is Key.

Namaste,

Gabriela