Though this is not a Mandala in the traditional sense, it is a collage of images that spark and inspire me to push energy into my dreams. The circle is a sacred symbol of focus and divinity. It represents the spark of life in the beginning, the first bit of light from the universe unfolded from. It represents the womb of creation. The vortex to the higher realms. And the everlasting life of the spirit… which like a ring never ends.
It’s a dream. That’s what this is here, New York City. I dreamt it long before, sometime toward the end of high school, I found myself wondering the streets of this concrete jungle thinking, “This is home!” I never thought I would be back here so fast… Living, breathing, and creating.
There is a hum that lives in everything here, the walls, and the streets… the people. The hum of a warm engine, a ticking time bomb, or a soft, baby kitten. Some people are cold and harsh and others are bright and open… regardless they all move fast. The thing I love about this city is that in the fast pace of it all, an in-between place exists where anything can happen… that’s where I dream.
There are things that can be a little unfavorable, such as a stampede of people at lunchtime, practically running you over, or wondering upon a puff of toxic, stench during your evening stroll for dinner… but with the good comes the sour. It’s like that in all cities. Some say you can’t see the stars, but I see them in millions of passing faces. Some say there is never peace, but I find it in the lively conversations of elderly couples on the streets. There is magic here.
I love my job. I enjoy the people I work with and the environment. Everyone is funny and positive. There is a general sense of wellbeing there. Good natured and positive intentions. I feel relaxed at work… a contrast from my previous internship. There is less creativity involved… but you know I bring a little color wherever I go.
New York city is teaching me that there is an opportunity wherever you look. Opportunities come to those who seek them out. It’s not necessarily where you are, but what you are putting out there… here there are so many wavelengths to ride on. There is something for everyone. I will keep that with me. That knowing.
My third day here, I met Patti Smith. She is a rock legend, a poet and a powerhouse of moody and evocative feelings. I felt like another muse had come down to whisper in my ear. There is something mystical about meeting the faeries of the rock and roll other world… Stevie Nicks in London, Patti Smith in New York City. To say the lease… I was moved!
My spirit has been calling out to touch and taste something exotic. I want to consume books, images, people… I want to take in all the sights, etching them into my psyche. I see faces in the streets and I want to tell their stories. I want to tell my story. Here is the start of an amazing journey. I continue to transform… I am in a constant state of Alchemy (we all are).
New York City is a huge light, a candle burning, attracting spirits in pursuit of dreams. Sometimes it is intimidating, you feel like you are drowning in a sea of a million other lights… they shine, they beg to be seen and they disappear into the pool of nothing, everything, anything. You have to be like water here… and just go with the flow. There is no room for rigidity or fear… those are the things that break you. Those are the things that snuff your light all together. I say this as I stand at the threshold. I pray for the strength to hold tight… to continue to shine.
To the Gypsies… with love always
© Shaheen Miro 1/11/2012
I have been a fan of Stevie Nicks for as long as I can remember… my mom use to sing Landslide in the car to me and Rhiannon. Her words and image have inspired me in more ways that I can count… and I think its a blessing to have someone so sincere, beautiful and talented in our world. She invites you in and gives you a little love and sends you back out into the world to make your dreams come true!
This is the second single from her new album “In Your Dreams”… it is called “For What Its Worth” and it’s amazing…its one of my favorites and this is the new video. Came out today… stunning!
Even if you aren’t a fan… watch it… just give it a chance :)
I love top hats… something magical about them :)
I woke p this morning with a different view of my room, having slept at the other end of the bed. It was refreshing to see the sunlight come through the white lace. I laid there for a moment taking in the warmth of all the creamy colors. I then checked my emails and other online accounts and I found videos of Stevie Nicks’ performances last night on America’s got talent. It was wonderful to see her rock out. She sang For What Its Worth from her new album In Your Dreams and then she sang Edge of Seventeen the classic from her first solo album Belladonna. Very appropriate since yesterday was the 30th anniversary of Belladonna.
It was great watching her this morning. It made me feel calm and at peace. It also made me realize how much love people put into their dreams. She at 63, is beyond gorgeous and she puts her heart and soul into her work and performances… And it has to be for no reason other than it makes her happy. That’s an admirable quality.
I’ve been thinking a lot about dreams and destiny. I spent time in the park again last evening. I wrote in my journal and played with my faerie cards and I took in the wonderful energy around me. The trees really ground me there and I love the yarrow that grows wild.
I kept getting from the faeries to keep going forward. I drew a few cards such as Bright Spark, which hinted at guidance coming in the darkness of the future. Even if I can’t see exactly where this path goes, the fae are reminding me to trust.
I pulled the prince (knight) of wands this morning. I love how the knights are coming out to play. Lots of court cards have shown up recently. A sign of planning I believe. And wands are about creativity and action. I saw the knight and thought, “what are you planning?” His appearance intrigues me because I am at a point now where the road head isn’t clear and though I am ready to meet the challenge, it is a little daunting.
The knight of wands is speaking to all of us. We get stuck in the mindset that nothing is going our way or nothing will change for the better or that those dreams and goals are too lofty. He is reminding us that it doesn’t have to be that way. We have the power to have whatever our heart desires. What’s the secret then? I’m not entirely sure, but the knight is about action. Maybe the secret is to stay in motion, to constantly stay involved with your goals… Have your hand in something you love. Dreams are meant to be intimate love affairs. I’ve said it before, we must live as if the dream is already here.
Let’s dedicate our lives to being happy. Let’s make love and art. Let there be no moment where you are giving your energy away to something that brings you down. It’s a difficult goal but its worth the effort. I want to remind you that it’s okay to be sad or down or discouraged. All of our emotions are important and they must be felt and respected. But remember to stay in motion… Feel the negative and move on.
Lately I have been learning that nothing but what makes me feel connected is worth my time. Someone asked me recently as we were heading to the tube, “why aren’t you running? It’s about to leave!” and I responded, “I don’t run. There will be another one.” It just doesn’t make sense to me to rush for things that don’t bring you joy. Take it one step at a time, be patient and keep dancing with life and destiny.
Today as I ride the bus the sun shines brightly and everyone looks beautiful. Something is glowing inside of people. Maybe it is the sun charging us… It’s a reminder to open your eyes and see things differently. Let the day inspire you and let the possibilities enter you… you never know what will happen!
Ride tall my friends… Into the unknown living for your goals and blazing the path to your destiny.
(c) Shaheen Miro 7/28/2011
Wandering the rooftops of London this morning was a little gray and white cat. What a sneaky little acrobat, blazing uncharted, rooftop territory 3 or so floors up. He was brave and proud. He climbed up there, chest puffed out, eyes wide and bright and he looked out over the expanses as if to say, “I will conquer this!”
I never dreamed that at 9:30 in the morning looking out the dank and decaying bathroom window of an old industrial building in London… I would be moved! But I was. It made me go back to that cup of tea with the Knight floating around in the bottom (read the post before) and ask myself, “What is your next move?”
Yesterday evening I attended an art show with a business owner, who buys from my boss Laura Dawson. As I was waiting for her taxi to pick me up from the tube station I spotted a huge billboard to my left that had Stevie Nicks all over it. It was funny how I just happened to look up and there she was. And under her images read the title of her new album, “In Your Dreams”.
It’s amazing what you will find when you look toward the sky… a cat maybe, or Stevie. Looking at it now it was another sign. I’m starting to truly believe that I can have anything in my dreams. There is magic stirring in the air…. Not sure what is coming, but there are signs hinting at it.
The art show was amazing. And the woman whom I attended with was a delight. She was a very down to earth, British woman. She owns her own boutique selling the work of local “creative people” to quote her. We had wonderful conversation as we walked amongst the work of student artists. We were there to see the work of her friend, who had been taking a few courses weekly.
The things that really stood out to me was how in each room there were paintings by different students, but they were all of the same model, painted at the same time in the same place… yet they all looked so different. Who would have thought that 5 or so people could see the same person, in the same room, in the same pose so many different ways?
I asked myself, “Whose is the more correct?” That was when I had to step back and remind myself that there is no room for logic in art. They were all correct. They captured the world through their eyes… with the lenses through which they see everything.
Do you realize how powerful we are to be able to see the world however we want? One person could see blue, but you might see green and who’s to say either is wrong? Life is about what you wish to see, about what you are drawn to see. Life is about coloring it your way.
Today was a wonderful day. The energy still tingled in my psyche from the night before, so much raw creativity. The time flew in the studio as I finished patterns, made muslins and then went on to sketching.
Once I started sketching for the new seasons line, I began to really lose track of the time. I was nervous at first because I thought nothing would happen. You know that feeling of having to make something appear out of nothing. I looked around me, took in the “inspirational” images on the wall and then I set pencil to paper. I became entranced.
Everything else slipped away. I needed that time with just the empty space of the paper and my pen. I needed to let something come to life in front of me. I don’t know if the drawings were the best or the most innovative designs… but the act was truly sacred.
On my way home I felt so at ease. I sat at the back of the bus, in the seats that faced the opposite direct of which we were traveling. It was sort of like hanging upside down and realizing that the hills look like faces or something. It was a change in perception… one in a long strand of them.
It was probably the first time that I’ve ridden the bus and felt at ease; Past the shock of being somewhere unknown, past the fear of missing my stop, past the feeling of being alone. I just watched out the window and took in the sights. I think in that moment I started to become aware again.
Arriving home I felt spiritual so I pulled out the tarot cards. And two cards fell out, The Queen of Hearts and the Ace of Wands. I instantly heard “speak your hearts desires”. These two cards are symbolic of the truth that life is about creativity and making dreams come true is about taking hold of that creativity and using it.
So tonight I am burning candles and drawing more pictures. Fairy woman are on my mind. Maybe it’s the goddess or my spirit guide calling to me. I never really know… I just go with it. I can feel a touch of something mystical hanging softly in the air. So as the candle light flickers and the night grows into full bloom, I will speak my hearts desires.
The world is wild and free and I wish to be the same. I want to wake in the morning ready to begin a new adventure, retrieve another sign; maybe I’ll even wander across a few rooftops. Whatever I do… I pray to be brave.
© Shaheen Miro 7/20/2011
Tonight I sit here with the cool breeze blowing through the lace of my windows and I feel something wild and explosive. I hear the people chattering below me on the streets and it slowly fades into the drowning hum of my own thoughts that race at a million miles a minute. I stop for one second remembering that I am almost 4,000 miles away from home and at some points I feel worlds away and at others I feel so isolated that its like I am back at home.
I am reminded of my best friend saying to me, “You don’t have to be somewhere to be someone.” And now my retort is, “You don’t have to be somewhere to be no one. Either.” I honestly feel at times that I am so isolated even in the crowded streets of London. The same slow ride to work and the same hastily walk home…. And I ask myself where is the color?
I have felt so stifled because my creativity as begging to be let loose. I have been working for days doing my internship, which has been amazing because of the magnitude at which I am learning. But it takes its toll on your hear and spirit. I want to write and sing. I want to take my seat at a shiny grand piano and touch the ivory keys… the surge of creativity running through my veins; and I want to sing…songs about life and love and loss and all the other feelings that crawl through every fiber of your being asking to be acknowledged.
I keep hearing the words, “Fearless” in my mind. Like a ghostly whisper that calls to me from somewhere far away… just be fearless. I affirm to myself, “I am fearless… I am fearlessly being me.” But I shrink back from the mirror at the look in my eyes… because I know that there are parts of me that are terrified to step off that ledge to just being.
I believe our fears are the killers of our creativity. So many times something bright and colorful and ephemeral has come to me like a fairy vision…and I have let it fly on by because I feared the consequence of answering to the call. I now realize that in order to live a life filled with the biggest dreams… we must be brave and wild and uninhibited. We must look our fears straight in the eyes and say, “I will not let you take me… I will fight you… Because I will NOT be taken prisoner…”
Its when we find all the might in our little gypsy souls to just stand out and be brave, that we finally make magic. I know its scary… its scary to answer to the call of our creativity and our inspiration because that may mean being alone… it may mean standing out. You may be looked at because you are “different” or “strange” or whatever labels that FEAR causes us to put on things… but when you do it you become a force that cannot be tamed… you become like the wind taking down everything in its path.
There is a silent community that grows out of the fearless ones. One finds another until you have a circle stronger than any one fear could ever be. I ask you now to be fearless and be inspired. Let your muse guide you. Tie those nastily little feelings of rejection and insecurity up with the heaviest robe and sink it to the bottom of the sea!
For days now I have felt this strange presence around me. I will walk into a room and its as if someone has just left. Or I will be climbing the stairs and the muffled sound of footsteps seems to follow close behind. Or a mysterious music will play off in the distance and now as I write this I wonder if that presence that so silently floats in and out of my awareness is my muse… she is saying, “Hey please pay attention to me.”
I challenge myself to do something crazy…. Something wild… wild in the sense that I am stepping out of my comfort zone. I don’t know about you but I have a whole list of things that I “Want to do but cant because…” and now I am going to look at it and mark off each thing one by one.
In the past when I have rushed head first into the dangerous territory of the unknown I have later stopped back and said, “wow… that wasn’t scary at all!” And I know now that is the magic of just taking a risk. Lets fearlessly be who we are… Lets be a tribe of brave little gypsies expressing everything that lives in our wild hearts!
© Shaheen Miro 7/4/2011
I secretly snapped this little photo while walking to the Stevie Nicks concert on Sunday. It was just too cute to pass up. Its very rare that you get to see homosexual displays of affection and I think that is a terribly sad thing. I wish the world was more conducive to self expression, instead of the hate that is spread around like some silent plague.
I’m not sure how people view gay people here in the UK, but I know at home in the states its very rare that you see people brave enough to challenge the social norms and to really live their lives. Its not just a matter of being gay, but really a matter of being different. On June 24, 2011 the New York State Senate passed a bill legalizing same sex marriage and in doing so made history.
Its time that we stand up for peoples rights to be who they are. To express how they feel. No one should have to hide a part of who they are just because its not “normal”…if you disagree then ask yourself how you would feel if someone took away your basic rights. What if you were told you couldn’t look the way you do or act the way you do or work in the place that you work… all because you were born a certain way? Next time you judge step back and ask yourself what you are really fighting?
Let there be love in the world! Lets push against the grain of tradition and dig deep to unleash our little gypsy souls! If you bravely step off the beaten path then you make a way for more people to follow. Some are stronger than others, more daring… thats not a judgment or a blow at anyones character its just a fact. So those who have the chance to open doors please do so that others may follow.
It starts with a sense of community. If one frightened person feels that they have at least a circle of people who get them, then they may just find the courage they need to over come that hurdle thats been thrown at them. I ask myself everyday how can I be brave…. how can I push for change… how can I fearlessly be free?
He said, “You know you can dream even with out me?”
Darkened eyes looked back, “With out you there is no dream…”
In that moment love became tragedy… And so they say one day we will live the dream…..
I love you gypsies,
© Shaheen Miro 6/29/2011
This has been a magical weekend in London. I have been here since Wednesday and I have found my way around very easily. I have had to let go of a lot of fears and just step into the unknown and it has been amazing. So many wonderful things have happened and I know it’s only the beginning.
I am really loving my job working with Laura Dawson and she is a wonderful person. So far I have been allowed to work on one of my own designs with guidance from her and the two of us have been drafting patterns for it and doing some draping. I like seeing the process from a more professional standpoint. There are a lot of things in fashion design that are a little uninspiring and just plain boring, especially when it comes to the technical stuff… but so far I am interested!
On Sunday I had to fetch a few samples, which meant learning to take the bus to another part of town, and then we picked up the actual fabric bolt in the car… which was the most daunting thing I have ever done. It took almost an hour to park because of all the street markets that set up on Sundays in London. But it was a learning experience none the less.
Yesterday evening I went to Hyde Park for the Hard Rock Calling concert to see Stevie Nicks. As most of you know she is one of my heroes and I have followed her music forever. I love her and I am totally inspired by her. I have wanted to see her in concert for a while now and I found out that she would be performing while I am here in London so I told myself I had to go.
I was a little afraid to go at first because I was unsure of the venue. I didn’t know if it was going to be sectioned off or opened and I didn’t know what the area was like. But I went for it because I wont be in Cincinnati when she plays there this summer… so it was my only chance. And once I got there my fears were dissolved. Everyone was friendly and helpful and of course Hyde Park was beautiful.
Stevie Nicks was brilliant on stage. She sounded wonderful and looked stellar. Stevie channeled Janis Joplin when she wore her aviator sunglasses on stage to block out the sun because it was sizzling hot and beaming right in her face. The crowed loved her too and people danced and cheered with each song and they were especially alive on the tracks like Stand Back and Edge of Seventeen. The energy was sort of pulsing and spiritual and you could tell Stevie felt it.
The concert was phenomenal. I was so excited to see her. It felt surreal to be seeing someone whom inspires me so much on such an important trip. I felt that seeing her was a blessing on what I am doing here in London. I have said it many times and I will say it again, this is a special trip; this is a trip that will change my soul… a little piece of my destiny. Last night I thought my trip was made and that nothing could top it.
Today the icing was put on the cake when I went to a CD signing in Oxford Circus for the release of Stevies’ new album In Your Dreams. Today was the official release date here in the UK and to promote it she did her second CD signing ever. I went and stood in line for a few hours and made friends with some wonderful people as I waited to get inside. We knew we would only get a few moments once we made it to her table, long enough to get our CD signed and say a quick hello… but it was so worth it. All of us were so eager, nervous and totally enthralled.
Once I finally made it to her I was so excited. It was such a surreal moment to be standing face to face with her… with STEVIE NICKS!!! She is such a legend and talent, and it never occurred to me that this moment would be happening until it finally came!
She was a very sweet lady, whom pulled you in with her warm eyes and gentle gestures. She asked my name in order to sign my cd and when I told her she complemented me telling me that it was such a beautiful name. And she asked me to spell it for her to make sure she didn’t get it wrong. She even stopped to reread it again. Then I took her hand and told her how much she has inspired me and for a moment I felt like something magical had taken place. With all her gypsy, high priestess power she blessed me and changed a little piece of what I am here to do in life.
I walked away knowing that this trip is still the most significant thing I have ever done and the fact that I was able to see her and meet her made it all the more so. I am a huge believer in signs and to know that I came here from America and my favorite singer came here at the same time to perform a rare show and do an almost unheard of cd signing is just mind blowing. I am really thankful for all of this and I am so totally moved.
I look forward to what exciting thing may happen next. I know that there are many more things to come here in London and I know it is all beautiful and wonderful. I urge you all to be inspired and to know that you can have anything In Your Dreams. So please go buy the new CD… go dance and sing and be happy!
© Shaheen Miro 6/27/2011