Following your dreams takes SO much grit.
WE NEED CONTRAST TO EXPRESS LIGHT. IT'S PART OF THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE.
I feel like I'm walking the plank. The ocean waves rolling beneath my feet. I can only see the horizon, and at least it's bright. I smell sea salt. If I spit my tongue out I can taste it. It feels so close. I look around me and I see my enemies waiting for me to fail, to fall face first into the ocean with my arms tied behind my back ready to drown to death.
THE ENEMY IS ME.
I'm on a teeter totter. It's fucking hard. The only thing stopping me from achieving this is me. The only person who can achieve the dream, is me. I am the powerhouse, it's on me, nobody else. One flick and you're done, and fuck it, so am I. I can blow this shit up and destroy it, if I let myself.
I can create a long list of reasons why I need to quit today, because I've drained my savings and I'm in debt. Because of this ancestral lineage of beliefs. Because I'm afraid of being seen. Because I am afraid of failure, so if I just failed myself, then it's already done and nobody can do anything to stop me.
IT'S SUPER EASY TO TALK ABOUT THE REASONS WHY I NEED TO QUIT NOW. THE ONLY THING STOPPING ME IS MY DESIRE, MY INNER FIRE, THAT'S COMPLETELY INEXPLICABLE AS TO WHY I WANT TO SHARE MY WORK AND TO BE AN ARTIST. THERE'S NOTHING ELSE IN THIS LIFETIME THAT I WOULD RATHER DO. I'LL BE HONEST WITH YOU, I THINK ABOUT QUITTING OFTEN.
SOMETHING STOPS ME EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
I'd rather starve, wear the same clothes everyday, and barely make rent if it means spending this life doing what I want and expressing what I feel like I was born to do. I can't imagine being stagnant, working at an office job for someone else, pitching, selling, and living someone else's dreams. What a way to sell myself.
I want to paint my feelings, I want to go deep, and let my heart unleash my darkness to bring light to this life and to yours.
I would say most people see me as a positive person, but I'm darker than I can even imagine in there. Cobwebs, spiders, bats, a never ending pit of fear. Years of built up turmoil that have crushed my soul. The way I've spoken to myself in front of the mirror. I'm not enough, I'll never be enough, and there's the whole thing of wishing I were someone else, born into a more fortunate position.
I CAN PLAY INTO THAT VICTIM ARCHETYPE, OH YEAH, I PLAY IT WELL.
I take a second to think further on this topic and what I find fascinating, is that the person who I want to be is me. Yet, I'm so afraid to become that person.
You know, the people you idolize the most have a piece of you in them, and you have a piece of them in your soul too. There really isn't anything keeping you apart or achieving what they have achieved. We're all made of star dust. Their success is your success. I imagine myself in the studio alongside the artists whom I admire deeply. Jamming. Helping each other and giving each other enough space and privacy to go there. To share the contrast in an inspiring way that makes me want to do it again, again, and again.
THE TEARS I SHED YESTERDAY, WAS LETTING THAT LOW HANGING FRUIT TAKE OVER WHO I AM. THE TEARS I CRUSHED LATER THAT EVENING, WAS THE SAME. WE ARE OUR OWN BEST FRIEND AND OUR OWN WORST ENEMY - I KNOW HOW TO HURT MYSELF WELL. BRUISES, BUMPS, SCRATCHES AND DEEP CUTS.
my fingers shake as I write this letter to myself. Choosing to think otherwise doesn't always feel like an option. Besides, it feels fucking good to sulk, to be down on me because it's comfortable, and it's all I've ever known.
So, being positive, optimistic, and to expect the best feels icky. We're not allowed to think that because we've all been told at some point in our lives it's completely unattainable. Play small Tori, be small.
I refuse to be small. I know there's more to this life than the one I let myself play into. I know that not everyone is going to believe in me. I know that the energy, the outlook, and the way I hold myself will be how other people see me. Break through that old energy Tori, be bold, work through the yuckiness - you've done this before.
When I was recovering from my eating disorder, I had to choose to live or die. Looking back it was a no brainer, but it was so hard to choose to allow myself to experience pleasure. It was excruciating.
BECAUSE I ALLOWED IT TO BE. IT WAS SO HARD TO LET MYSELF ENJOY FOOD, PEOPLE, CONNECTION, EXPERIENCES, AND LOVE. BEING UNLOVABLE WAS MY THING SO I ATTRACTED MEN INTO MY LIFE WHO WALKED ALL OVER ME. WHO CAUGHT MY HEART AND STOMPED ON IT. I BROUGHT IN FAILURE OVER AND OVER AGAIN - I'M SURE YOU'VE ALL EXPERIENCED THIS TOO.
So what's changing? I'm putting in the work, whether this costs me an arm and a leg in USD, my ego, and my dark side which I forever promise to give that up.
DEAR UNIVERSE, THIS IS WHAT I'M BRINGING INTO MY LIFE.
TORI'S MANIFESTATION LIST:
I want this so badly it feels amazing in my body.
I want to work with the best, most vulnerable, and loving clients. They look high and low for my artwork. They want to work with me so badly that they will pay anything. They are abundant, prosperous and rich. The experience of being seen, vulnerable, and drawn nude changes their lives forever.
They want to do the experience again and again as they change and move through different experiences in their lives. Their artwork takes on different shapes, sizes, colours.
MY art show is incredibly successful. The show coming up in June is all about being, moving through shit. It’s called ontology. The vehicle of expression allows people to feel what they experience from the paintings and in their own personal vehicle, they change too. The show is so successful that the artwork sells out within 1 hour. All the canvases sell first for 1800$+ each. I make $20,000.00 at this show. My illustrations sell like hotcakes. Nothing is priced less than $500.00
The show is so successful, art galleries in Vancouver, LA, New York, Mexico want to host my artwork. Because of the show being so successful, I host another one in the fall. I host one in LA in March, I host another one in NYC in October of the following year and in December in Mexico.
My artwork is colourful, vibrant, and contrasting. It makes you stop and think about what the piece is about. It brings out a different expression in others. Everyone sees a different story which inspires me deeply.
Every month I get a MASSIVE commission, at least $6,000.00+ Starting in May.
On top of the commission, I’m selling pieces , and I make $2,000.00 in sales a month.
I make $5,000.00 in private portraits a month too.
I am booked 3 months in advanced for portraits, I am booked 6-12 months in advanced for commission pieces.
My art exhibits are booked 3months - 1 year in advanced.
I am feeling free, happy, powerful, confident, calm, relaxed, expressed, loved, beautiful.
My relationship with my man is ever growing. We grow so close and strongly together. We have a lot of patience for each other. We love each other so deeply. We care about each other a lot. We are level headed, we don’t take things personally. We like to travel together. We make quality time for each other daily.
AUGUST 31, 2018
It's been my dream to travel to India. I managed to convince Sam to book an impromptu flight to Bombay before we planned to arrive in Dubai. We only had enough time for a couple of nights in Mumbai.
I'll definitely be back, and next time to explore the northern side of Indian and dive deeper into their culture.
The moment we woke up in our hotel room I couldn't wait to hit the streets and explore. After we found the best organic, vegan breakfast (I know it's not Indian but I needed something fresh) we walked around Kala Ghoda and grabbed a taxi to the Chor Bazaar.
The Chor Bazaar is definitely touristy, yet it gives a better taste and idea of the reality of the city as oppose to the nice area of Marine Drive. The Chor Bazaar houses all levels of poverty. The houses and the streets are littered, and the narrow winding roads of the Bazaar are filled with antiques, old Bollywood posters, tools, clothing and more.
Sam and I definitely found treasures in the bazaar. An owner from one of the antique shops lead me down a very narrow hallway, which was packed from floor to ceiling of antiques from 100s of years ago. I felt like the building was going to collapse on me, it was very claustrophobic. I fell in love with two kama sutra the paintings I found in the very back of the building. Apparently, the owner purchased a trunk from an auction and discovered the paintings in the trunk that use to belong to a prince of India some time ago. Sam and I also purchased a few antique 1940s Bollywood posters to hang in our house. I was enthralled with the beauty of the market.
THE FIRST DAY OPENED MY EYES TO SOMETHING MORE THAN BEAUTIFUL THINGS AND FOOD. I FELT MYSELF GETTING SUCKED INTO THE DEPTHS OF INDIA, AND WANTING TO EXPOSE A HARDNESS ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO WALK ALONG THE STREETS BESIDE ME. THEY STARE SO INTENTLY AT YOU, IT'S LIKE BEING FELT UP EMOTIONALLY. BEING AN INTUITIVE IN A BUSY PLACE, I FOUND MYSELF SUSCEPTIBLE TO THEIR ENERGY AND TAKING IT ON.
I got lost in victim energy which seemed to sky rocket from the streets. The class system really is heavily in play in India. I found that some individuals carried the burden of past life karmic debt and therefore "deserve" the life they have now. The poverty runs deep, and the luxury flashes brightly. Mumbai is this beautiful complicated mix that I'll never fully understand.
A few things I learned in Mumbai:
SURRENDER. WALKING HOME FROM THE CHOR BAZAAR, I FELT MYSELF A BIT ON EDGE. I WAS SWIMMING WITH THIS HEAVY ENERGY. I HAD TO TAKE A SECOND AND SURRENDER. THE STARES, THE SMELLS, THE SICKNESS, THE POVERTY, AND YET THE BEAUTY IN HAVING CONTRAST SO BRIGHTLY SHINED IN YOUR FACE. SURRENDER WAS THE ONLY THING I COULD DO. AS SOON AS I DECIDED TO GIVE INTO INDIA. I WAS MORE COMFORTABLE AND CALM, AND CONFIDENT WALKING THROUGH THE DIFFERENT CLASSES.
LOVE LIGHTS THE WAY. THE BEAUTY ISN'T ALWAYS EASY TO FIND, TRUST AND LOVE. IT'S JUST AS IN YOUR FACE AS THE GARBAGE ON THE STREETS, THE POVERTY AND OVERLOAD TO YOUR SENSE. THERE'S SO MUCH BEAUTY AROUND THE FADED BRIGHT COLOURED WALLS THAT ARE SURROUNDED BY UNKEPT SIDEWALKS AND GARBAGE. THE GOATS AND COWS THAT ROAM FREELY ON THE STREETS BECAUSE ANIMALS ARE TREATED THE SAME WAY PEOPLE ARE. THE FOOD, OH THE FOOD. MADE WITH LOVE, HISTORY, CULTURE, AND HOME PICKED SPICES - IT'S INCREDIBLE! AFTER GETTING PAST THE HARD EXTERIOR, THE PEOPLE ARE JUST SO WARM AND LOVING. THE BEAUTIFUL ARCHITECTURE THAT WAS CREATED WHILE UNDER COLONIZATION OF THE UK AND THE DIRT, PLANTS AND LAUNDRY THAT HANG OVER THE CROWN MOLDINGS NOW, MEANS IT'S BEEN WELL LIVED IN BY FAMILIES AND GENERATIONS. IT'S BEEN A SHELTER AND HOME. THE WAY INDIANS SPEAK ABOUT INDEPENDENCE DAY AND HOW GREATLY IT HAD INFLUENCED THEIR ARTWORK, ARCHITECTURE, AND OVERALL BEING AND SENSE OF PRIDE AND FREEDOM IS THAT GLIMMER OR SPARKLE IN THE EYE OF A PERSON YOU LOVE.
The Colaba Market was filled with animals with Bindi's for Holie
EVERYTHING YOU ASSUME ABOUT INDIA IS PROVEN OTHERWISE. MY FIRST FEW DAYS I FELT THAT VICTIM ARCHETYPE, I FELT THE DEEP STARES AND I DEFINITELY NOTICED THE HARDSHIP. EVERYTHING IS A REFLECTION OF HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT YOURSELF. I AM NO DIFFERENT THAN THE CHILDREN IN THE SLUMS, OR THE PARENTS WHO WORK 24/7 TO FEED THEIR FAMILY. I AM NO DIFFERENT THAN THE WOMEN WEARING TRADITIONAL SARIS. I HAD TO SURRENDER TO INDIA, AND SURRENDER TO MY OWN BELIEFS ABOUT MYSELF AND GIVE INTO IT.
Lots of street art in Bombay.
Stumbling through alleys, completely enamoured at the depth of the neighbourhoods and architecture.
INDIA IS LIFE CHANGING. We spent most of our time in the southern half of Mumbai. We enjoyed walking around the neighbourhoods and stumbling upon bazaars and slums. Anytime I entered a poor area, I could feel my body tense up and my senses were on high alert. I had to conicously recollect myself and realize, I'm okay. I envisioned the whole neighbourhood light up in glissenting white light and the tension eroded from my shoulders, my third eye relaxed and I was able to be still in a husstling neighbourhood where you literally share every step with someone else because it's too damn crowded.
INDIA IS STILL LIFE CHANGING CONT'D. To see the smile in the eyes of the children running around and their parents sitting outside their homes laughing, sharing street food, and wearing those unbelievable colours could only put a smile on the faces of Sam and I, especially since it was Holi Festival. Mumbai doesn't celebrate it as much as they do in the northern part of India, however we still had a taste of it. The traditions are kept well. The evening before the festival, the communities build hay stacks of statues on the streets and watch it burn while they pray and celebrate it with their neighbours. It was so beautiful to witness. The next day, the streets are completely empty. I've never seen anything like it. It was so eerie, mysterious, yet calming and soothing at the same time. I'm fascinated that a city the size of Mumbai, with over 22million people could disappear within an instant.
Holi Festival 2018
Markets selling Holi paint
PRESENCE. The most important thing I got to witness in India was the presence within each individual. I got to finally look past the hardship within the eyes of some of the men and discover the love they carry. Men hold hands with each other, they're touchy, I even saw them clean each other's ears. There is no judgement, just fascination on my part. Imagine if the whole world adopted this way of being, instead of trying to one up each other? Imagine if the men in Europe and North America held hands, as a symbol of "I'm looking out for you". Imagine, if there were no gender constructs and men could tap into that divine feminine and make it okay like we have with women.
FREEDOM. THE WOMEN HAVE INSPIRED ME DEEPLY AS WELL. THEIR TRADITIONAL SARI'S ARE STUNNING. NEON, BRIGHT, LIGHT COLOURS SEEM TO LIGHT THE WAY THROUGH THE BUSY TOWN OF BOMBAY. I COULDN'T HELP BUT NOTICE IT MORE AS A UNIFORM. AT FIRST, MY INTERPRETATION WAS FIXED AND OBSESSING OVER THE FACT THAT THEY HAVE TO WEAR IT. LIKE THE WOMEN IN DUBAI, FOREMOST A MUSLIM CITY, I SEE A LOT OF THE TRADITIONAL OUTFITS ON WOMEN, EXCEPT HERE THEY'RE ALL BLACK AND IN INDIA THEY'RE EVERY SINGLE COLOUR OF THE RAINBOW. NO MATTER WHAT YOUR SIZE IS, THEY'RE ALL WEAR CROP TOPS WITH THEIR SKIRTS AND SARI'S. IT'S BEAUTIFUL, IT REALLY HIGHLIGHTS THE WOMB, REPRODUCTION, AND FEMININITY.
INDIA, I LOVE YOU.