Conceptual Success

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The concept of a goal is an interesting one. While it’s necessary to create a goal to achieve results, the processes involves a shift of focus away from the present moment of time. The essence of any spiritual practice is to allow yourself to resonate as close as possible to the present moment. What is the answer to this discrepancy? It is the culturally based definition of success.

In the context of a western society, the elusive goal called success looks like wealth and fame. As a portrait photographer, I have been exposed to a large collection of collegiate and high school graduations within the north east region of the United States. I see this to be a perfect representation of the region’s societal prescription. In this part of the world, class officials and leaders preach to their students messages that ultimately vocalize the wealth and fame version of success. They say that acquisition of upper echelon employment will provide a sufficient amount of wealth required to be happy. This is the goal they set out for the millennial generation to follow.

I don’t believe this can this fulfill the spirits of every human being that is born into this society, and is the reason for a good chunk of the hardships that this genre of life brings. Anyone who has been exposed to a drastically different way of life in other global communities will see the same vision. Each context of society seems to know they should be chasing happiness, however the concept of profit has driven more developed parts of the world such as the United States to devote their souls to acquiring materialistic wealth while namelessly robbing their happiness in the process.

Don’t be seduced into thinking that that which does not make a profit is without value. — Arthur Miller

If people are able to raise their appreciation for the present moment, this concept may also become clear. Setting a goal must lay forth a fulfilling path that is centered to the individuals passions and desires, not to the tune of a corporate profit. Success will come when passion, the art of creation, and happiness find their place to guide the path set by an ultimate goal. This way, the process of shifting focus away from the here and now can be enlightening, and success can come from within.

A goal is an amazing entity. Looked at with full appreciation and dominant compassion, manipulation of elements within the universe converge to display a desired outcome. What could be more beautiful than that?

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If these words resonated with you, learn more about my style:

The Bicycle

niles2Out of the numerous mechanical inventions that human-kind has come up with, perhaps one that has the greatest potential to enhance an exploratory and spiritual mindset is the bicycle. Not only does it serve as an active form of transportation, it provides a platform for adventure.

In its integrity, the bicycle can be seen to metaphorically demonstrate the acquisition of a joyful and simplistic lifestyle. By adhering to a notion that does not continuously strive for never ending amelioration to all of life’s nuances, but rather content and simple gratitude, the beauty of existence glows more intensely than that of a life experienced by chasing expectations or problems.

I want to wake up and put my best face forward to the day. If I take care of myself the day is going to take care of me. | Ultra Romance

As a sport to many and a hobby to others, bikes create experiences. People first started riding bikes at the turn of the century. It was about getting out to the country side and being independent. People still exist today that are spearheading this movement. As compared to a person who has become integrated into certain modern societal cultures, these people subscribe to a frequency that is more heavily in tune with the relationship between them selves and the appreciation for the present moment. In this sense, the reward of existence that matches the aesthetic of discovery carries an identical reward to that of a bottomless bank account. With recognition that everyone is given the present moment and will continue to receive it forever, the greatest gift that promises to keep on giving, may in fact be the bicycle.

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If this article resonated with you, check out my lifestyle.

I’m Niles

LIFE IS WILD. ENJOY THE RIDE. 13043577_10205931100545589_1830278714234636204_n-300x300

I enjoy looking at life through the lens of the bigger picture. To me, this reveals that our most powerful tool is our free will. It provides freedom of choice that ultimately affects our well-being and happiness. Perspective lends inspiration to exercise my free will, and new experiences build my appreciation for the art that is my ambiance.

Myself, along with everyone in this world is unique and has something compelling to offer. I believe answering the simple question of why I get out of bed in the morning holds the key to becoming fully authentic and fulfilled throughout my life. To express my true self I am actively pursuing everything that inspires me to be a better version of myself day in and day out. If I can align my battles with passion and joy, in my mind I’ve won the game of life.

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https://www.instagram.com/nilesackerman

http://vsco.co/nilesa/grid/1

https://medium.com/@nilesackerman

Worcester, MA – Gluten Free Expo July 23 – 24

Disclaimer:

As a lifestyle specialist, when I came upon this event that is being hosted in Worcester I thought it would be an interesting backdrop to create a content series. While I don’t want to offend those who have to deal with gluten  and other food allergies on a day-to-day basis because of medical sensitivities by saying that it’s just a luxurious ‘lifestyle’ – it does fall under the Food category which is considered part of the lifestyle categories.  As I expand this blog, I want to make sure that all lifestyles are considered and no one is excluded. Not to mention sampling food is always a plus! 😀

This July, Udis Gluten Free and Glutino are presenting a Gluten Free and Allergen Free expo in Worcester, MA! It is aimed to be an educational experience on the realities of those suffering with gluten and other food allergens. While I am not aware of a strong stereotype with this group, this expo helps make aware of the various struggles and challenges that this group of people struggle with on a day-to-day basis. While I don’t have an allergy, I am always exploring and experimenting ways to improve my diet as someone with hypothyroidism, gluten certainly has an effect on my energy levels!

Sometimes finding the right ingredients is key to making a traditional gluten filled recipe gluten free yet still making it taste the same. A huge challenge those with Gluten and Food Allergens face is that sometimes the substitutes aren’t exactly perfect and the taste can be off, or the recipe just doesn’t turn out right. For the weekend of July 23 – 24, the Gluten Free and Allergen Friendly expo will provide classes on how to over come this translation struggle and will help educate you on how to find that perfect recipe. Sometimes if you don’t know where to look, it’s hard to find what you’re looking for!

Additionally, it may be hard to trust certain brands and companies to make a truly gluten and allergy free food item. At the Gluten Free and Allergen Friendly expo you will be able to sample supposedly gluten free food and snacks from over 100 brands. This will allow you to taste gluten free food without making the commitment to buy the entire thing – as gluten-free products can be pricer!

And the best part about attending this expo is that you’ll be able to mingle and socialized with your favorite vendors, authors and bloggers (like yours truly) and be able to ask them questions or experience a new brand together. If you are just beginning your allergen free journey, be sure to check out this expo as it will help create the footing you need in order to educate yourself on the gluten and allergen free community.

Directions Below to reach the Expo:

When

July 23 & 24, 2016

10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Concessions open for beverages only.

Where

DCU Center-North Exhibit Hall
50 Foster Street
Worcester, MA 01608

Click HERE for directions and transportation.

Click HERE for parking.

Tickets

Adult Tickets – $15 for a One-Day pass

Interview with Meghan Widger, textile and fiber artist

Interview with Meghan Widger, textile and fiber artist

Interview with Meghan Widger, textile and fiber artist

In the past 6 months I had the pleasure of working on a collaboration with another artist. While I work with other people consistently in my visual marketing career, I never thought to work with others in my personal artwork. I’ve been in a collaborative mood lately, and decided to take a page out of what many people on instagram and social media do – collaborate! 12985347_3074752308073_8999664223126705948_n

I had been following Meghan Widger, or Hills and Thread on instagram for awhile, as I admired her work and skill with fabric and quilting. Then an idea struck me as I was working with the mandala form with my images and thought that they’d look awesome with a quilting technique, closely linked to traditional tapestries, so I reached out to her and we scheduled a Skype meeting.

One of the things I love the most about the internet is being able to network and connect with other like minded individuals. I, for one, wouldn’t have a career, if it weren’t for the internet, or maybe I would but it wouldn’t be where it is today. Anyway, I’ve successfully used the internet for networking and collaborations regarding my work, and when done ‘right’ can be a really amazing tool to help you in proceed your career.

I’ve sat down with Meghan Widger, owner of Hills and Thread and asked her a few questions about the work she does today.

10300425_3033096746710_6723044646097716898_n1. What made you start the work you do today?
As far as I can remember, I’ve always loved creating. But my sewing journey started at age 14. I got really hooked on the show Project Runway and just felt like I wanted to do what the designers did. I felt a spark, like this was something I could be good at. I wanted to learn, so my awesome parents gifted me with a sewing machine. I taught myself to use it and designed my own garments. However my interested shifted from fashion design to quilting, and has been evolving and expanding ever since.

2. Do you have a vision, goal, or destination in the work you do?
My main destination is to someday teach my own workshops. I want to teach people not only the skills and knowledge to sew or paint, but how to enjoy the process and how therapeutic it can be. I’d also like to travel around to display and sell my work at different festivals and shows. Basically I just want to learn, share, and teach.

3. What did you enjoy about working with me/us?
I enjoyed getting to know a new artist and learning about your Electrography project. Collaborating two completely different skills and talents is such a fun experience. Not only did I learn a lot from you but I also gained a lot of inspiration from this project! 3_Beisecker_Pineneedles

4. What do you do outside of when you’re not designing/creating?
I spend most of my time creating. If I’m not sewing then I’m painting or making something else. But If I’m not making something then I’m taking care of my plants, practicing yoga, or listening to music/podcasts. I love being outside, reading/writing, and thrift store shopping.

5. What made you start Hills and Thread?
Starting Hills and Thread was actually a huge step for me. As an introverted person who used to be painfully shy, I never liked to draw attention to myself and was never one to show off my work. I realized that starting my own business would be constantly challenging me to go outside my comfort zone and, in turn, help me evolve and grow. It took a lot for me to just start posting things I made on social media for exposure, then I was terrified of starting an Etsy shop. But every time you do something that scares you, you take control and the fear loses its power little by little. I decided I wanted to overcome as many fears as possible not only for myself, but to inspire others to do the same.

I, myself, enjoyed working with Meghan and Hills and Thread and look forward to see how this project develops. We have plans to develop our collaboration down the road, possibly supporting a cause that helps Kenyan women through sewing and other awesome ideas. If you are looking for a unique gift idea, or a new home decor piece; check out our work at at: SHOP K GLYPHICS (http://www.facebook.com/electrography) and Hills and Thread (https://www.facebook.com/hillsandthread).

Be on the lookout for future articles by Kristi which will feature ‘tips and tricks for artists to get ahead,’ Artwork ‘currently on view,’ Projects ‘in the studio,’ Travel Stories ‘on the road and in the air,’ and finally ‘lifestyle’ adventures. You can find more about Kristi, and her work on her blog:  http://blog.kglyphics.com.

Editorial – Working Retail

Editorial – Working Retail

I get it. A job is a job. And in this economy having any type of job is golden. One piece of advice that has been constantly being thrown at me is to work retail or something else if you are in between jobs. While this is practical, sound advice – for my type of career – working retail or some other position will kill it. Why? It will cause a setback and an endless loop. Setbacks aren’t bad per say, but it’s bad if on your resume you list that after working in your field for six months you’re forced to work retail because nothing is up your alley.

I’d rather live at home again, freelancing instead of working retail – and being insanely exhausted all the time that I wouldn’t have the strength and energy to search for another job. Besides working in a field that is NOT your chosen field is so SOUL killing. Freelancing kept the soul alive – if I had worked in a position that was not art it would’ve killed me.

Plus, it’s better to say on your resume that you’ve been freelancing in between instead of working retail in between jobs because you are still gaining experience in your field. While it may be minimal experience, it is STILL experience in the field.

Since Minuteman, I’ve done freelance work for several companies. It helped built up my portfolio while still recovering from that experience. In the end, it helped me land the job I have now. If I had been working in a completely different field to just make money – I wouldn’t have had the strength and energy to continue freelance work. Yes, not having money to pay for my artwork needs sucked, but I was willing to make a bit of a sacrifice and hold back on the artwork to work on my graphic design.

I also get, that some people don’t have the luxury to float around and not have to worry about paying rent, or other expense. While, living at home isn’t the best situation, it’s helped me focus on my career so that one day I can live on my own, doing what I love to do.

Hello world.