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Writing + Photography

Memoirs and musings of Darius Bashar. Toronto portrait photographer and writer, in pursuit of all things real, raw and intimate. 

35 Years Ago Today

This has been the most transformative year of my life. When I look back, virtually every area of my life has radically shifted. I am beyond grateful to all the incredible souls who have helped me on this journey. 

I wanted to reflect on specific actions that made this year so amazingly different.

My hope is that bringing awareness to these actions will allow for the growth and healing to continue through 2018 and beyond. Also, it would be wonderful if anything on my list could also help others. :)

Here's what I got so far.

In 2017...

1) I failed more than ever before. I pursued experimentation and allowed myself to play in a space that encouraged fast mistakes all the time. It became my secret sauce. 

2) I asked for help more than ever before. I swallowed my pride and let more opinions into my decision making process. Before there were only 2 voices in the mix. Me and that voice in my head. That was a very dangerous feedback loop. That voice feeds on isolation and also really sucks at helping you grow. 

3) I embraced radical honesty. I'm not perfect at this one, but I've got damn good at it. And let me tell you it can be fun.

4) I made sure to start every day with meditation and yoga. These two are so fucking undervalued.

5) I read Untethered Soul. Hands down the best book I have ever read. I tell people it's actually my 100 favourite books in 1. It's that good. 

6) I started reading poetry every night before I go to sleep. Poetry is super cool because it's the only form of reading I have encountered were the faster you read the less you gain. 

7) I told more people I love them and I really meant it. My love is boundless and I want to share it always. 

8) I created more than all my years combined. Photos, writing, podcasts, social media, conversations, dancing, etc etc etc. I think I found a direct path from my heart to my mouth and finally didn't take the detour through my head. So much faster and real. 

9) I reminded myself daily, that I am a soul before I am a human. But more importantly I also asked myself daily, "did my actions support this belief?"

10) I let "energy flow". Sometimes that means your oldest and dearest friends stop calling. This can be tough. My advice is just let the energy flow and don't place judgement on the inevitable feelings that this brings. 

11) I "liked" more things than ever before. It didn't matter if it was my "competitors" in photography or my old friends from high school. I stopped comparing myself to others and decided to show support and love at every opportunity. Anyone taking a stab at photography, got a like. Anyone sharing from their heart, got a like. People who use to intimidate me, got a like. I made a decision that my life was going to stand for the support of others. At some point the success of others really began to feel like the success of all of us. Said differently, I let go of scarcity and made a decision to have my actions demonstrate abundance. 

12) I finally looked at myself. Literally. One random day in November, I shaved my beard off for the first time in 3 years, got naked and stared at my face in the mirror for 15 mins. It was one of the scariest things I have ever done in my life. I am not joking or exaggerating when I say it felt like I was in a nightmare. I was seriously terrified, BUT I did not look away. I did not dim the lights. I did not hide in false bravado. I just stood there shaking, judging, letting the voice in my head go to fucking town. Then, when that voice realized I was not going to look away, after all the self-hate, and loathing was expelled and nothing remained of the man I knew. Then something incredible happened. Love showed up. On the other side of all that pain and darkness, wasn't emptiness, but rather an abundance of light and love. It was always there, I just never walked this far. I always ran back to avoid the pain. Who knew everything I ever dreamed of was only a few steps further. All I needed to do is keep my eyes open and keep going. 

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