Archive for the My Thoughts… Category

Road Maps

Posted in My Thoughts... on June 9, 2011 by andrealidesigns

There are some journeys’ of the mind that seem to always begin the same. A state of mind that brings about familiarity. A place where we have been before. No matter how many paths we blaze in between this place somehow we find ourselves returning. Perhaps it is a default setting we have been hardwired or trained to return to when life throws us a curve ball. It is our roadmap. Sometimes not always the most accurate while other times it lacks the updated modifications. However current we often cling to it as our only resource in reference to dealing with certain unknowns.

My journey always begins on the same dark unnamed highway at night. The only visible guidance are the lines on the highway and cautionary signs. Memories of past trips along this highway remind me that there was once a time when my map resembled a blank piece of paper. Back then there were not necessarily wrong turns but as the journey progressed it gave light to the fact that there existed better turns. You assimilate knowledge through choices.

As you gain experience with life the roadmap begins to fill out and you begin to recognize landmarks from past mistakes or a rest stop that prevented you from falling asleep at the wheel. There are even intersections that instinctually cause us to want to turn left. A vestige of past mistakes in past journeys that give us pause in our decisions. Sometimes on our dark journey we are helped by a stranger that helps fix a flat.  As we drive throughout the night  to see the sun break our dark horizons we can learn. We gain knowledge that we can quantify in our memories and allow us to  recognize certain truths of our journey.

I have recently embarked upon such a journey. Here I was in the drivers seat staring at those highway lines. The same ones that have mesmerized me into oblivion and personal despair with past propensity. In the beginning as a I drove throughout the night of isolation it was no different that any other time I found myself in this place yet there was  a key difference…my roadmap. It’s presence not immediately beneficial as surely the indulgence of my malaise got the best of me but a slow phenomenon and progression began to formulate. Information inference that acted as a ruder and soon my whirlpool of directionless despondency began to dissipate.

It would seem that help always presents itself. However it is up to us not only recognize it but accept and apply it. Despite our connection as a result of our human condition we can often behave autonomously. Interactions often are not intended to assuage the most deeply personal needs of the situation but we can assign whatever purpose we want to it. The most meaningless interaction can have huge significance or vice versa. We help or hurt sometimes without realizing it as a reaction to the interpretation of our assigned intent. The important thing is to understand that while the benefit of help may not be immediately recognizable it is important groundwork that has limitless potential in its ultimate significance. In some instances we will go through our entire life without knowing how an action we never thought twice about changed somebody forever by giving them a new perspective  that anchored a new thought process and ended up as a significant marker on their roadmap.

Immediate gratification in progress is just that. But progress is progress. It is the slow progression of ourselves that can define our journey. It is a patience to see our own road maps grow in complexity and ‘right’ turns in order to better equip us the next time we find ourselves in that familiar place…..at the beginning of that same dark road.

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Wholly Broken

Posted in My Thoughts... with tags , , , , , , , on April 14, 2011 by andrealidesigns

Over this last weekend the agate on one of my favorite pieces to wear broke in half. As I realized this the loss of the situation hit me with a recognition in how the brokenness seemed to imitate certain circumstances in my life. My thought process could have stopped there but instead I began to perceive the significance in a different manner. I knew that despite my sadness of having to retire one of my most beloved pieces that it would be replaced with something better and more evolved. It must have been almost three years ago when I created that particular piece and in that time thousands of hours have been spent honing my craft along with overcoming challenges. It then occurred to me that this perception could also be applied to our own personal evolution.

There have been a series of seemingly insurmountable challenges with a far reaching lineage of turmoil that has defined my past. What I am beginning to realize is these experiences are responsible for making me more whole than ever before. Broken pieces of ourselves that we set aside can be repurposed in a significant way. With the right alchemy of thoughtfulness and intent I can take what languished to transcend it to a higher purpose. Our weaknesses to become our strength.

This is a post that sat in my draft box and I am revisiting it because recently I have reintegrated the broken agate in reference to the earlier portion of this posting into my latest creation. To keep with the analogous nature of this discussion there are occurrences within the process worth mentioning. When the agate broke the original value allocated to the necklaces intended purpose had suddenly become irrelevant. As a result the necklace in it’s broken state sat in a drawer retired of it’s previous function. For many months it stayed there. Until recently.

Inspiration from newly acquired pieces of coral brought back from Bali by my dear friend Kir another jewelry designer of Kir Collection gave the catalyst to rework an older piece. Integrating new and old I finally found a place for my broken agate. Front and center of my latest piece it’s shape that was caused by the breakage emulated the form of the focal pendant so precisely as to cause a perfect nestling when placed inside the agate. The two broken sides of the agate flanking either side in serendipitous harmony. With this reintegration the broken agate not only had relevancy once more but sublates it’s original purpose to something more advanced then it’s first iteration.

It could be said then that it is a sum of all our parts and a willingness transcend that will epitomize our life. We engender our future by relying on experience and observation of our history then applying these to our present. It is the knowledge that everything we thought had gone to waste will eventually fall into place.

Complete Transparency in 2011

Posted in My Thoughts... with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2011 by andrealidesigns

As we roll into the new year I have come to realize that many industries specifically fashion are in need of a restructuring in their business models. We are living in a world that is rapidly changing due to mobile capabilities with smartphones, mcommerce, millienial technologies, mobile marketing campaigns, consumer engagement on social media platforms and much more.  In all my recent research to educate myself on such trends to launch my own new business concepts meant to dove tail off my jewelry design I have found that the rabbit hole goes much further that I could have ever imagined. In fact that hole becomes deeper everyday. The rate of which information is pouring in on a daily basis with the dozen blogs I subscribe to along with the links off the articles themselves is tailspinning me into a world of technology that one can easily become overwhelmed by. Figuring out how to cut through the subterfuge of irrelevant information to find the information that is relevant and how it pertains to your specific industry. Then learning how to apply such tactics so that there is a visible  return on the usage is an art form that takes time. An art form that I am currently a student of. After all the mobile marketing campaign the Coca-cola launches would not apply to an independent designer whom does not have the type of brand recognition the corporate giant carries with it. So how can small independent design houses take advantage of all the technology and marketing tactics associated with them?

Welcome to the new format of my blog. As I find what trends, technologies and tactics can be utilized in a way that makes sense to the independent designer I will be posting my findings on this blog in efforts to help educate my community of designers to make their own brand successful in the new millennial consumer era we all suddenly find ourselves in. Like many of you who did not grow up with the internet the base line of savvy in such trends is limited at best however I aim to change the perception of accessibility to this new revolution of mobile marketing by pursuing the informational gateway that will important in the continuum of success in this new era.

In addition to my postings here I will be tweeting great articles that I stumble upon. Follow me on Twitter under Andrealidesigns.

Counter Intelligence to the Heart

Posted in My Thoughts... with tags , , , , , on June 16, 2010 by andrealidesigns

As the story of our lives is being written through our memories we are presented with the opportunity for reflection. Often the dialogue regarding this reflection remains internal but sometimes we get the chance to articulate them. Through the translation from our thoughts to words I find that my resulting philosophies of my experiences become more in focus. It sharpens my understanding of them and makes them more real.

I recently have been engaged in a conversation of intellectual ping pong with one of my readers. The latest inquisition posed to me goes as follows; is the heart able to consciously think and is the mind able to consciously love?

I believe the heart is like a child in the sense that it feels without consequence and it is our mind that takes responsibility for deductive reasoning in regards to the hearts musings. I do not believe that the heart is able to consciously able to think but I do believe that the mind is able to consciously love.

Each one is a separate half of an equation that makes a whole. Each one playing a different but equally important role as we discover what we value in life from relationships to accomplishments. Both are inextricably linked to the process as it evolves and unfolds. In a sense our hearts represent our folly and our mind our wisdom. Logic stands alone from inadvisability and could not coexist as the same entity however both could when applied to reason. Just as an adult would need to lend sense to a child’s senselessness so does the mind for the heart.

The real significance as we grow into ourselves is learning how to temper the two elements. Our hearts guide our reckless passions and desires while our minds tend to reign them in. Wisdom always follows folly. We gain knowledge because of our hearts. Thoughtful reasoning when we follow our pursuits will keep our actions from a reckless outcome and help us reach our potential.

I would not necessarily advise to follow one’s heart as it is tied so closely with foolishness but understand the relational dynamic it has to contributing an experiential richness to our existence. The directional effect it has on the decisions of our path is invaluable. Like our hearts determining a dstination our minds can play the role of a compass so that we may not become lost along the journey.

As for the latter it all boils down to our experiences and how we choose to respond to them. This phenomenon can only be explained by what we decide is most beneficial to our survival whether it be emotional or otherwise. An acute awareness to our circumstance as it affects our wellbeing. As I believe it is a both an involuntary and voluntary choice to love it is therefore possible for the mind to consciously love. Indeed it seems to be a paradox on the surface but remember it is in the context of reason. The effect brings the heart and mind in full circle. Essentially becoming the ying and yang of the other. Existing only because the other exists.

A Giant For Emerging Designers Falls

Posted in My Thoughts... with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 19, 2010 by andrealidesigns

We are being defined by the times. New standards are being written, different precedents are being set, and the courses of how businesses experience growth are changing. The most noticeable sign of transformation is the consistent depletion of resources available to designers specifically those who are emerging. Presenting even more challenges for those engaged in the obstacle towards success during this tough economic climate.

Gen Art a giant in the fashion industry who specialized in providing a platform of exposure for upcoming designers recently shut down operations indefinitely. Limiting once more the number of organizations the could provide a designer with national recognition due to the prestige and capability to launch careers.

So what is next? In Gen Art’s press release regarding their subsequent ending they mentioned the need for the next generation of artistic talent but what about the need for the next generation of organizations such as Gen Art? Is the corporate decision’s to dissolve it’s partnership with them an indication of the relevancy of those types of organizations?

The obvious fallout of these types of decisions is the direct impact it has on the emerging designer and the need to increase networking efforts within our respected cities and beyond. By creating a compounding interest effect within an industry community every one’s profiles would be raised with the benefit of increased exposure to participating networks. This phenomenon has been seen over and over in our social networks online and in business communities across the board. It is a proven grass roots method to raise awareness and to identify markets. In essence independent designers need to embrace the DIY generation way of getting things done while tapping into the broad spectrum of resources available in both our regional and national communities.

Most importantly it is imperative to understand that we are not alone and that the plight of the independent designer is shared by many. However it is the future of the fashion industry that is in our hands and will be written by our collective effort that can not only determine it’s fate but each individual as well. We are the architects of our own success now. Our involvement in this DIY movement is critical for shaping a future environment to help foster and define all of our successes.

Actions Dictated By Beliefs

Posted in My Thoughts... with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2010 by andrealidesigns

I recently received an email in regards to an earlier posting “Conquer your mind Conquer the World”. The reader wanted to further explore the idea of understanding our own choices and the limitations that keep us from reaching our potential. They were fascinated by how “humans blindly accept reality by sitting back and letting the world give them what it wants while not doing anything to change it.” In effort to push the conversation further they offered this question to me; “Why is it that we let our circumstances create our reality and destiny and where did we learn this from?”

So as a follow up I will attempt to answer the question in my opinion. I believe our circumstances can have a paralyzing effect on our perceived ability to affect the outcome. Our perceptions of our abilities to render change in the thought progression that leads to choice becomes our reality. An alcohol or drug addict might truly believe that the choice to use has been taken out of the equation when really the choice is still there. Their reality is an impaired ability to govern their own choices. Effectively eradicating choice form the list of possible reactions to their circumstance. These belief systems that we set for ourselves can keep us in a passive state.

My theory on the second half of the question considers both internal and external influences. I think our pattens are learned partially from how we biologically react to circumstantial stimuli and partially from what society teaches us through our experiences. Both impress heavily on our resulting realities. Essentially we become and behave who we believe we are.

Gaining mastery of our choices is truly identifying who exactly we are. A self who transcends any external and internal expectations that are limiting. To be supremely aware of our daily choices taking in consideration how those choices not only affect ourselves but those around us. In keeping this ideal as a standard in our process of reaction to our circumstance can open us to change and allow for us to reach our potential.

Conquer your mind conquer the world

Posted in My Thoughts... with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2010 by andrealidesigns

Con’quer

1: to gain mastery over or win by overcoming obstacles or opposition

Simple instruction. Difficult execution. If only to win the battle that takes place between our two ears what kind of possibilities would this open up to us as a result? A mind not plagued by doubt, fear or any emotion that becomes an opposing force in our potential. To precede circumstance by controlling our thoughts can vastly alter our perspective on reality. Just because you feel something does that transcend the ordinary limits of what is real?

Being constantly mindful of all our thoughts calls for a consistent meditative state that is only prone to languish with the amount of effort it would require to maintain. So how can we impact the process of reaction to ourselves as we relate to the world? Is it our individual faculties that place limitations on these abilities or is it simply a choice?

For me I find it all comes down to choice and an understanding of that which limits us. Whether it is in the mind or in circumstance. I see patterns in my own thinking that prevent progress. For instance I often overvalue the concept of fairness. A mistake that perpetuates problems but does nothing to solve them but create a nonproductive state of “why?”

It is only when I make the mental shift from victim to fighter that I become empowered to manifest the outcome of any situation. Taking such responsiblity of my destiny by putting the power in my choices rather than my ciurcumstances not only simplifies the process but puts control back where it belongs. In the drivers seat with a destination of my choice.