These projects are my creative outlets through which I manifest my work. They each represent different strategies with different objectives, but all are build around the values of humility, connectedness, care, respect, reciprocity, and personal growth.
Feel the Wild VR
W.I.L.D. (Wilderness Immersion for Leadership & Discovery) believes that immersion in nature is an important part of our development, especially during our early, formative years when it is so critical to discover who we are, develop strong self-esteem, begin to adopt leadership skills, challenge our physical well-being and acquire the capacity to live a balance life in a world dominated by technology.
Unfortunately many of today’s youth are immersed in a totally different reality. Living in front of the computer, the television omnipresent and socially connected via smartphones, they spend little time in nature and rarely disconnect from technology. If their lives exist on the “screen” now, it’s unrealistic to think they will have the desire to connect with the natural world as they mature. Yet, humans have always been connected with nature; 99.9% of our evolution comes from living in natural environments and our psychological underpinning is still entrenched in many ways with nature.
Knowing the importance of today’s youth in shaping the future, W.I.L.D.‘s initial effort is targeted on giving youth, especially under-privileged teens, the opportunity to experience first-hand the positive impact nature can have on their lives through wilderness immersion camps. This immersion is a powerful first step that can help trigger a desire to explore and discover the natural world and to begin to understand how experiencing the beauty and ultimate challenges inherent in nature can lead to enhancing their self-confidence and help them develop valuable leadership skills.
Quoting Fox: “When we go on weekend trips or week long trips, we all bring our lifestyle and habits with us. Which is normal. It takes about 2 weeks for a person to shed away these habits and start embracing the new environment. Immersion of more than 2 weeks allows a total disconnect. It is like learning a new language, the language of our natural world. And while it is possible to do it in small doses, there is nothing like total absorption in a new environment in order to properly learn about it, and how we are all indelibly connected to it, and it to us.”
FEEL THE WILD
FEEL THE WILD is an intimate and powerful story about Nature and our relationship with it, told through stunning photography, captivating film making, and inspiring and thought provoking writing.
To feel is to connect, to experience. It is to perceive and become aware. Our bodies are created with an immense desire to experience the world around us. We are one giant ecosystem of senses living in a universe based on reciprocity. We experience personally and socially, internally and outerly, consciously and unconsciously, willingly and unwillingly.
To “Feel the Wild” is to connect with the wilderness – the untamed Nature, the untamed Us, the essence of Life, through all of our senses and experience everything it has to offer – the physical, the emotional, the philosophical, and the spiritual.
FEEL THE WILD is ultimately about learning who we are and our place on this planet, in the Universe. It is a journey of growth told through the lenses of humility, vulnerability, and perspective.
STOP BREATHE RELAX LISTEN
All this time alone in the wilderness has led me to experience many epiphanies, moments where I felt that the veil of mystery on some of Life’s most precious secrets had disappeared. I have realized along the way that there was a certain pattern for those revelations to appear, a certain formula that seemed to work as a calling card for these insights to sneak up into my mind and reward me with a “eureka” moment. This pattern that I have observed has translated itself into one of my most powerful mantras – STOP BREATHE RELAX LISTEN.
These 4 words have transformed me and changed the way I experience life. They have helped me manage my way out of challenging and struggling situations. They have given me a way to connect with life, with the world, and with others. By following them, I have come to understand who I am and who we are, individually and collectively.
RANDOM CONNECTEDNESS is an on-going photography project through which I illustrate the random connectivity of the human species.
I ask a person to choose a character of the alphabet with which they want to be photographed. With all the photos of people and letters, I combine the portraits and make words, sentences, paragraphs.
My goal is to have thousands of portraits/letters and present them in a “MANIFESTO OF HUMANITY” exhibit, all displayed on a HUGE mural.
I will also use my project to put a human face(s) on social issues and cultural realities our world is currently dealing with. More information on this will soon be revealed.
The letters are RED, because of the Chinese legend of the Red Thread of Fate. According to Chinese mythology, the Gods tie an invisible red cord around the ankles of those that are destined to meet one another in a certain situation or help each other in a certain way.
An embossed silicone wrist bracelets – #IAMCONNECTED will be given to each participant, solidifying the community, loyalty, participation and reach.
Here are some examples from RANDOM CONNECTEDNESS.
Bill of Nature
Nature is more than a destination, more than a “place”. Nature is a mindset and a way of looking at the world. It is a teacher and a mentor. It is a set of values and principles on which one chooses to live accordingly, a framework for personal transformation. Nature is about reciprocity, balance and humility. It is a world of wonders, discoveries and wisdom.
Nature is Life – Life is Nature.
The Bill of Nature aims for our society to change its relationship with the natural world and view it in the same way we see Freedom and Democracy. As a value that needs to be honored and respected. Instead of seeing it as a commodity that needs to be managed and saved.
The Bill of Nature seeks to fuel a movement that guides and helps people understand how nature/life positively impact our human spirit. It wants to create a resilient and humble society. It is a celebration of who we are as a human species and our capacity to achieve, learn, adapt, and spiritually grow. It is a movement that values and nurtures the journey of life, one that is not afraid of challenges and change. It is a movement that honors time and human relationships. The Bill of Nature is a movement that uses the power of nature to Nurture, Awaken, Transform, Uplift, Restore & Elevate us. A power that ultimately makes us better people, guiding us towards our higher self.
This Bill sets the tone and direction on how citizens of this world want to move forward and into the future. This Bill is NOT about measuring or quantifying Nature or Life, but about creating a framework for our growth, a set of values that we prioritize culturally, and individually.
The Bill is be simple, clear and composed of keywords:
- Humbleness NOT Righteousness
- Better NOT Easier
- Respect NOT Protect
- Consciousness NOT Senseless
- Reciprocity NOT Opportunistically
- Community NOT Individuality
- Slower NOT Faster
- Local NOT Global
- Accountability NOT Dishonesty
- Long Term NOT Short Term
- Forward NOT Backward
- Optimism NOT Pessimism
- Dynamic NOT Static
- Evolution NOT Perfection
Minute of Nature
In our society we are constantly doing several things at the same time. We are talking to people while checking emails. We are scrolling our Facebook timeline while watching videos. We are cooking and watching television at the same time. And even when we watch television we are back on our phone doing something else. We are rarely truly in the moment, focused on one single thing.
The intended goal with the Minute of Nature is for you to do nothing but pause for 59 seconds. A little zen moment to give you the chance to breath and re-focus.
These Minutes of Nature that connect you to the places that made me Stop Breathe Relax Listen are raw un-edited nature video footage. They are about finding beauty and peace in the normality that surrounds us. They are not meant to be narrated over or edited with music.
So sit back, blow the video full screen, take your hands away from the keyboard, and just be in the moment, for 60 seconds.
Pause your day, breathe, and make your mind wander away.