FEELING CLUTTERED, STUCK, OVERWHELMED? HOW TO BREAK THE HAMSTER WHEEL!

A few days ago I shared a post on Instagram, in hopes to rid myself of the negative energy I was feeling. I believe that writing and sharing things out loud can help tremendously with internal conflict. In this post, I briefly open up my heart about feeling completely cluttered lately and finally realizing what I had been doing to myself for several months.

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MY FOUR PILLARS FOR HAPPINESS + WELLBEING

MY FOUR PILLARS FOR HAPPINESS + WELLBEING

I feel my brightest, most full when I'm implementing these things into my daily life. Keep in mind that different things work for different people, I am sharing my formula with you guys because I have found it to be extremely helpful and that is why I'm here, to share and be of service in any way I can. Let's dive right in! 

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Fitness Shoot With Carolyn Marrone

My friends, I certainly hope that you are all having a fantastic start to the New Year! Let's kick it off on a great note, I had a wonderful shoot with Carolyn Marrone, a dedicated fitness coach. Carolyn is an excellent guide to many people in their quest for healthier habits and a much more fulfilling way of life. I suggest you check her out here!

See photos from the shoot below.

TAKING BACK CONFIDENCE - 5 MONTHS POST SURGERY UPDATE

The recovery part of my surgery was long and uncomfortable. I had a hard time adapting to what was happening, not only on the inside but outwardly also. The post-surgery process took a toll on my confidence. I felt like I wouldn't get back to "normal" and would notice only little changes in how my eye looked as the time progressed, thinking that time wasn't healing me fast enough. Maybe time did not matter and my eye would never feel or look "normal" again. These thoughts were abundant, heavy and unwanted.

The little things that are different about my eye now are so small, and probably only visible to me but non the less, it was difficult. Today marks 5 months since the surgery, it felt as though I would never get here. I feel very thankful, most days I don't think about it and don't notice anything different in the appearance of my eye. Some days I do, and during those days I try to think positively about it, I loudly say I am grateful to have my sight, to be healthy and to continue to live my life submerged in the visual arts. I guess situations like these tend to humble us and open our eyes a bit more. When we truly take the time to observe our lives, I think most of us would say we are immensely fortunate. This is not something to take for granted, it is something to put to use, for a greater purpose.

Curve balls are a sure thing in life, it's only a matter of when. Remember to remain positive and to be open minded. It's a beautiful life, it's now your turn to remind others of this also.

EMERGENCY EYE SURGERY - SEEING THE SIGNS & EMBRACING CHANGE

Photo Taken May, 19th 2016. One Month Post Surgery.

Photo Taken May, 19th 2016. One Month Post Surgery.

Growing up and as an adult, my eyes have received their share of compliments, I blame it on the sweet genes my parents passed down to me. We all have a few favorite things about ourselves, along with the other few we wish we could change. For me, I love my eyes and they way they look, how they slightly change colors from light brown to hazel and almost green, depending on light and mood. It's taken me so long to share this, not entirely sure why but I've sort of been vacillating a bit on whether to share it or not.  A few months ago I started to see some blurry lines in my vision, only in my right eye. I became a little concerned, but not enough to make me act quickly. I made an appointment to see the eye doctor which was about two weeks away, I was okay with that, I was busy and really wasn't too worried. Suddenly, on a Monday morning, I woke up to find small shadows in my vision, the shadows and the blurry lines got my attention, I became concerned and a little scared. I called the doctor and they got me in the very next day. When these things happen, you always think that it's going to be something minor and you'll be back to your important projects in no time, that you're going in as a precaution and everything is going to be just fine. This was not the case, my eye doctor noticed something strange going on, he had an idea of what it was but needed to send me to a Retina Specialist immediately to confirm. I was given an address and was told to go there, right then.

I arrived at the Retina Specialist by the end of the day, they stayed open just to take a look at my eye. I spent a little over an hour doing some really interesting tests and after a while, the nice doctor entered the room and introduced himself. The first thing he asked was my age, followed by a concerning "You're too young to be in here Gabby, have you had any trauma to the eye area"? I knew something was wrong from his demeanor. He told me I had a retinal detachment, that this needed to be fixed immediately and that I was going in for emergency eye surgery first thing the following morning. Suddenly, the two big deadlines I had and the filming project I was working on that week had jumped down in my list of priorities, I couldn't do anything about it.

The next day we drove to Miami, to The Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. The overall experience was incredible, this hospital is rated number one in the world for these types of surgeries and I'm so happy that I was able to get this done here and fast, thanks to my doctor's contacts. The surgery went well but the recovery ahead was going to be a bit painful. I remember how painful the car ride home was and it makes me cringe, the worst pain I've ever felt. This whole thing was obviously something that I wasn't expecting, I had nearly perfect vision prior to this and my eyesight in the operated eye would never be the same. I had Scleral Buckling Surgery which would make me more nearsighted. This was something that I had to really adapt to as the weeks went by, my eyesight in the right eye was extremely blurry and I couldn't see much, only shapes and shadows. It was stressful and disheartening. I was told by my doctors that I would recover some of my sight as the weeks progressed but that it would never return to pre- surgery sight. Again, I had to adapt and accept it. The doctors also explained that my retina was detached very close to the Macula area, which is the center of the eye, and had we not acted as quick as we did, I could have lost my sight entirely.

Today, about four months post surgery, I am able to see much much more. I no longer only see shadows and shapes, I can see everything but with a blur to it because I am now nearsighted in that eye. Both of my eyes see in different ways, unless I'm wearing glasses or contacts, with those, I have perfect vision again (yay!). It is so amazingly cool the way the human body is designed, and the way the brain also adapts to the information it receives. I'm in awe of the experience and the things I've had to learn during this process. I am told that my eye will continue to heal for about 6 months to a year post surgery. This whole experience has served as a reminder. A reminder to listen to your body, to never get so caught up in your work or routine that you neglect yourself. It has reminded me that change isn't always the end of the world and that we must adapt and re invent the way we do some things to get through the obstacles that life throws in our paths. I've learned quite a bit, a lot about acceptance and balance. With that said, pay attention to the signs and take care of yourself because without YOU nothing on your lists will matter, put yourself first and conquering your goals will become a little easier, trust me.

MY SESSION WITH YOGA INSTRUCTOR JENIFER LEGRAND

We had a wonderful shoot the other day with Jenifer LeGrand and Nicolle Saylor. We headed south and arrived at Artists Alley, in Delray Beach. We were not planning on this being the only location for the shoot but the place ended up flourishing in front of our eyes. A few perfect locations presented themselves and we remained there. Jenifer is a Yoga instructor and Nicolle is an avid Yoga Student and artist. Jen and I had been wanting to work together for a while but our schedules did not permit until now. The universe brought us together at the perfect time, Jenifer and Nicolle are starting a new business venture together in the coming months and wanted to have a few shots done.

Jen dedicated herself to becoming a certified Yoga Instructor in 2012 from Yoga Earth Studios in Boca Raton, FL and has been teaching ever since. Her Style consists of a Hatha flow. She teaches all levels and finds pleasure in ensuring that her classes are peaceful and filled with strength and healing. While I photographed her in her poses, I stood amazed at how in tune she is with her craft. Such an admiration came from capturing the moments that I will start taking a few classes with her soon!

Jenifer teaches private sessions, studio classes, paddle board yoga and beach yoga as well. She is a big inspiration for dedication and a reminder that everything is possible through discipline and consistency.

Jenifer is working towards opening her own Yoga Studio / Art Gallery with her partner Nicolle (pictured below)

You can find her here.

Follow her social media pages:

Twitter: @jenilegrand

Instagram: @jenilegrand

Special thanks to: Artist Alley Delray, Steve Austin.