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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. 

Posts tagged Writing
The Shadow

Sometimes I run toward the light. But sometimes I wonder if I’m running so hard because I am afraid of being caught by the shadow.

The shadow that consumes all of my light. All of my dreams. All of my joy.

The shadow that makes me feel small and unworthy.

The shadow that steals the words from my tongue.

The shadow that keeps me couch-locked, binging Netflix.

She is close today, but I am going to keep running.

As fast and as long as my heart can take me.


I Convinced An Editor To Help Me… And Then Ran Out Of Things To Write

It’s different to have someone waiting for your writing. It feels distracting. It feels like an outside exercise, as opposed to an inner journey. I have a lot of resistance to the process. Currently.

I am okay with that. I know growth often feels uncomfortable. I also know that — despite the resistance — my human is highly adaptable and resourceful. He just needs a minute… and I have all the time for my human.

I realized today during my morning meditation that there is a totally different relationship I could develop with my human. I realized today that maybe my human is my soulmate.

The last 2 weeks I added a new element to my morning ritual. At 2 instances during my morning meditation/yoga flow, I take a minute to express to my mind and then my body, the gratitude and affection I hold for both of them. This is going to sound weird, but this affection is:

  • 1 part what I would normally tell my partner Sarah, when I want to express my love and gratitude for her, and…
  • 1 part what I imagine telling my future kids.

I express how much each (my mind and my body) means to me. I find honest and meaningful things to say to both. I try to be very specific and speak straight from my heart. And I check in to see if they are able to receive my love and gratitude. If they are not receiving it, I then try and adjust my language and approach.

The goal is to let them know I love them, I support them and that I wouldn’t want to be going through this life with anyone else.

All this to say, my human (aka my mind and body) is having a bit of tough go with this collaborative writing/editing flow. The good news is that it’s only week one since I started working with an editor.

I am going to give my mind and body some space and time to adjust. I’m going to listen to any suggestions they might have to optimize the process. I’m also going to stay open and honest with my editor, Sal. She’s great and I have a feeling she’ll understand the unique relationship I have with my human.

But also…

I am going to keep showing up. I’m going to keep doing the work. At first, my writing might not be to the standards of the past few months, but I’m going tokeep going. All of me. Mind, Body and Soul, together like one big cosmic family.

Darkness, Early This Morning

I woke up this morning and could feel a lingering darkness. It had a sting, like a bad bruise on the bottom of my foot. Every step, there it was. Quiet and persistent.

Like a bad taste in my mouth, it tainted all aspects of my morning. 

Two paths emerged before me.

Path 1 - Shake it off and get positive

Path 2 - Get curious and go deeper 

I pulled up my 2018 intentions and instantly knew which path was mine. (side note: I decided to review my intention every morning from now on. Not sure how this wasn't obvious before, but how else are you going to stay focussed for 365 days!?)

Time to go deeper: Awareness

What did I find? The feeling most resembled scarcity and competition mindset. Specifically, there were 2 people on my Facebook newsfeed that kept coming to mind. The sentiment was not a positive. My mind didn't want me to explore the topic. It kept deflecting and denying the feeling. I believe this was because acknowledging the feeling meant admitting there was pain, which made me vulnerable. BOOM! There it was. Two words my soul had recently agreed to seek out. Vulnerability and Pain, were to be my compass, as I journeyed into my soul.

Immediately there was a sense of relief, as I knew there was an opportunity for healing. 

Keep going deeper: Honesty

These 2 people on my feed are actually friends I deeply respect. They are both very talented and highly creative. I respect both, but also don't seek to spend time with either in real life. When I am around them, I feel like a smaller version of myself. My ego plays bigger, but I feel smaller. Interesting. 

They trigger feelings of insecurity every time I see them on my feed. I know this isn't about them. I know they are good people, but more importantly I know I am a good person too.

What they do or don't do, takes nothing away from me. Competition is a fucking illusion. Me vs Them isn't a real thing. My heart soars as I acknowledge this. It jumps to its feet and gives me a standing ovation. My mind on the other hand scoffs and mocks how naive I can be. I'm okay with this. I'm getting better at not wasting energy fighting, chasing or judging feelings. 

Both my heart and my mind are valid and can co-exist. It's up to me (the soul) to decide which serves me more, or if there is a third option to explore. 

At the core, I know it is a false sense of ownership that triggers these feelings of scarcity.

Then, without warning a voice whispered: 

Silly boy these ideas are not yours
These words, not yours
These conversations, not yours
These photos, NOT YOURS

You are but a vessel

Make space and God will continue flowing through you
But if you fill up with knowledge and facts, 
God will flow elsewhere
How Dare You "Play Small"

I used to really struggle with speaking from my heart. I used to bury my truth and my light from the world, worried I might burden people. Feeling embarrassed if I took up too much attention or space. 

Don't get me wrong, there is great value in humility and making space for others, but that is not what this was. Playing small is not humility. Quite the contrary. Playing small is an act of selfishness.  

At the crux of playing small is a limiting belief that states:

"if I get (or act) too big I won't be loved."

What I've actually experienced in my life is that when I speak from my heart and let my light shine through, I end up giving others permission to do the same. Playing big activates the light in others and allows you to bond and connect with people at a much deeper level. This actually creates more opportunities for love in your life. 

Standing boldly in your power and letting your light shine through, is a very important gift we can give our community and the world. It inspires others to do the same - to seek out their own truth and to follow their hearts. This is a great responsibility and privilege we each hold. 

Joseph Campbell said it best "The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are."

The game changer for me was the realization that the light that longs to shine through me, is actually not mine at all. It belongs to God.

When we deny that light from shining through us, we are denying God. 

Personally, I'm done playing small. It does not serve me, my community or The Universe. 

Shine bright my friend, before it's too late. 

My First "About" Page


My friend Lana asked me a very silly question. 

"if you could send one message via a single tweet, all the way back in time, to your 14-year old self, what would you say?"

After a few minutes of really thinking about her question I replied with:

 "Art Matters. Trust your heart. Go to film school." 

Lana's immediate reply was "You know it's not too late." I laughed and quickly told her how impossible that would be. I was 28 at the time and there were just too many bills and responsibilities to entertain such a ridiculous idea. Impossible, no possible way. That was a fun thought experiment, but time to get back to reality. 

Fast forward 6 weeks and somehow I had been accepted into one of the best film schools in the country, with a $20K scholarship and I was getting ready to move my entire life to Vancouver. This part still sounds unbelievable to me, but guess what, it really happened. 

Continue reading the full story here.