Sunday, August 26, 2007

what is the right path?

an excerpt from the book,
Teaching of Don Juan by Carlos Castaneda:

Anything is one of a million paths. Therefore you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path; if you feel you should not follow it, you must not stay with it under any conditions. To have such clarity you must lead a disciplined life. Only then will you know that any path is only a path and there is no affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you to do. But your decision to keep on the path or to leave it must be free of fear or ambition. I warn you. Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary.

This question is one that only a very old man asks. Does this path have a heart? All paths are the same: they lead nowhere. They are paths going through the bush, or into the bush. In my own life I could say I have traversed long long paths, but I am not anywhere. Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn't, it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other doesn't. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong; the other weakens you.

Before you embark on any path ask the question: Does this path have a heart? If the answer is no, you will know it, and then you must choose another path. The trouble is nobody asks the question; and when a man finally realizes that he has taken a path without a heart, the path is ready to kill him. At that point very few men can stop to deliberate, and leave the path. A path without a heart is never enjoyable. You have to work hard even to take it. On the other hand, a path with heart is easy; it does not make you work at liking it.

I have told you that to choose a path you must be free from fear and ambition. The desire to learn is not ambition. It is our lot as men to want to know.

The path without a heart will turn against men and destroy them. It does not take much to die, and to seek death is to seek nothing.

For me there is only the traveling on the paths that have a heart, on any path that may have a heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge for me is to traverse its full length. And there I travel--looking, looking, breathlessly.

Thursday, August 23, 2007



To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out for another is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas, your dreams, before a crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To hope is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.
But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing dies nothing, has nothing and is nothing.
They say they avoid suffering and sorrow,
But they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, live...
Chained by their attitudes, they are slaves.
They have forfeited their freedom.
Only a person who risks is free.

-- Anonymous

Sunday, August 12, 2007

who is the next design star?

the title of this blog is the title of the reality show on HGTV.
it is like the American Idol for interior designers.

yesterday, i was extremely depressed and discouraged from pursuing fashion.
this was after reading a book called The Fashion Designer Survival Guide.
what i got from the book was the illusion that fashion is all about having the capital to pursue it.

while that was extremely valid, i never really used lack of money as an excuse in my past endeavors in life.

but somehow it did this time.

tonight, i saw a timely episode of this interior designer challenge.
the remaining contestants were each given 399 dollars to shop at a 99 cent store.
with only 2 days to transform a small white room, with a white table.
a blank canvas, if you will.

Tod, a relatively decent hunk in a non-hunk carpenter way, did a room that just shocked me out of my creative block and depression.

on the white wall, he painted a huge blue tidal wave that 'literally' smashed and drowned the furniture in the room.

it was completely unsafe and out of the box.
one that could have eliminated him for the impracticality of someone being able to live in that room in real life.

in the last minutes of the challenge, he was interviewed.
he said he did not want to play it safe.
what i liked about him was his complete confidence with the danger.
it was as if the risk was completely not taken into consideration.

he simply just wanted to be creative.

and he ultimately won the challenge.

here is the link to the actual site:

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Wes Anderson

Wes Anderson, the filmmaker, represents another side of me.
my natural tendency to be philosophical and cool at the same time.

i like how he packages wisdom in a witty amusing way.
i do that also.
package spiritual truth in easy morsels coated with humor.

that is why i cannot wait to see his new film come September, The Darjeeling Limited.

set in India.
loaded with spiritual truth.
package as a independent comedy.
just like me.

his films did very well commercially.

he was true to his Creative Voice.
and he inspires me to do the same.

his concepts, i am sure, would not have passed the approving standards of mainstream Hollywood.
but he stuck to his guts.
and created a successful audience loyal to him.

just recently, i had a panic attack regarding my first menswear collection.
that no one will buy it.
or i have no way of financing its production or distribution.

on an episode on Charlie Rose, Wes Anderson was asked:
what type of audience watches your film?

Wes replied:

the true creative types will respond to my Creation and Creativity.
come to think of it, i just need to have faith.
that people, in general, not just an elect elitist few, respond to someone who is True and expresses a Truth.
people smell fakeness.
people miss those who are sincere and authentic.

this is what i am now banking on.

the most celebrated and influential works were also the most original.
and i choose to be original.

a letter to a good friend

below is an email to my best friend, francis:

dearest francis,

i wish to invent a quote:
We can only be human among true friends.
To the rest of the world, we appear courageous.

let me take this rare opportunity to be one... human.

i just finished making the samples of my first menswear collection.
and i am honestly shaking and scared.

it did not help that, today, i read a book called:
The Fashion Designer Survival Guide.

i was not the same after reading it.
as soon as i emerged from the library, i experienced this lingering fear that things may not be easy after all.

that fashion is really about money and having the capital to do it.
i have neither of the above.

i think i am having a panic attack.
my brain is bombarded by random thoughts.
as varied as they may be, they all stem from the fear that this may ultimately fail.

i am not sure if you have across this piece of wisdom yet.
but i read somewhere that each one of us is burdened by a Singular Dysfunction.
that when we reincarnated, there is this Most Important Lesson about Life or Falsehood that we must battle.

i think mine is INTEGRITY.
it is being true to the voice.
it is being absolutely unapologetically true to myself.

as scared as i am of this,
i decided to push through with it.

as a creative visionary, i silently believe that i am an ORIGINAL.
that i am at the forefront of something new and untested.

as i am writing this email, i know that i must have faith.
and, actually play a different set of rules to sell my collection.

i will have to create a new business model to distribute it and sell it to consumers.
i have ideas on how to go about it.
they are simply too radical.

the next time i talk to you about this will probably be next year when all the final samples are ready.
and on models.
and on photos and styled photo shoots.

i guess i am feeling this fear because i am actually playing in the battlefield.
and moved way beyond the talking and thinking and pondering whether to do it or not.
i did it already.
i started.
and this is how athletes who are in the game must feel.
a feeling that spectators of a sport never fully understand.
because they are simply witnesses.

now that i am touching my Greater Destiny,
i am shaking.

but i will move head on.

how is your journey so far, my friend?

Sunday, August 5, 2007

think small NOT big

i know, when you first saw the title of this post, it probably turned you off.

any reasonably self-aware individual knows that thinking big in life is the way to achieve Dreams.


but thinking small is the key to thinking big.

Thinking Big means being open to your highest potential and highest goals for yourself.

Thinking Small is the process to fulfill those Big Dreams.

to explain:
it means a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

start somewhere.
make that small move.
start from point 1.
followed by 2.
then the next.
pretty soon, one thousand small steps will lead you to the finishing line.

this was huge for me.

i always think of life from a big perspective.
while that part is good, the accompanying tendency to get anxious about how to get there, was bad for my sanity.

so when Wayne Dreyer (a self-help inspirational speaker) was featured on an PBS episode and started talking about the Tao Te-Ching, i knew i had to listen.

he was giving a talk about his new book...
i think the title of his book was Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life.

so today, i finally ended my mental block and my procrastination.

i finished the first draft of my first ever menswear collection.
not just sketches.
but the actual physical samples.

and they look promising.