The simple sharing of knowledge can be a catalyst of change for a person’s life. I believe that is why the I Heart Costa Mesa project has catapulted me into this phase of life that has me growing like crazy! Each person we interview has been so willing to share intimately of themselves and their knowledge, the range of life that we learn about can be overwhelmingly beautiful. It turns out that Costa Mesa is good for the heart, the soul, and the body!
I was grateful we had come to this place that I had, quite literally, no idea what I was going to be getting myself into. Fermented foods?? I was a little bit scared. The sound of it made me scrunch my nose a little. I’m such a kid like that. I planned on just taking my photos and minding my own business. But, really Brandy? That never happens. Dr. Yaz shared with us some info, and some fermented food samples, that have altered the way I care for myself and my family. I’ve had stomach issues for years. Like literally years. I can remember my mom taking me to the doctor as a kid, over and over and over, test after test after test. Nothing ever found. They had no idea what I was talking about. As I got older, I thought that maybe my stomach issues were related to anxiety and mental health, so I attempted to treat it that way. To no avail. Enter Fermentation Farm, a little info about gut health, and some fermented food testers, and I have finally figured out the key to my chronically aching tummy! Healthy gut flora literally affects your entire body. It’s quite amazing. We had a fun time taste testing and learning with the ladies at the store. These photos are pre-new space. If you’re looking for some gut health yourself, stop by and check out the cool addition they’re getting! They’re super knowledgeable and helpful. If you’d like more info on this cool business, check out their article. Here’s some fun photos I shot of their space while we were there…
Fun fact: Dr. Yaz and her hubby made this really neat light fixture themselves! Thanks to Dr. and her team for educating me with their very important information!
I have a serious love affair with a gnome. He’s a finger puppet. And I like to wear him around. I get this ridiculous big grin on my face, and childlike joy courses through my body. This was my experience with Jzin Teng of Castle of Costa Mesa. And perhaps why she gave me my finger puppet. A reminder of a morning I won’t forget! An absolute fairy tale, just take a step inside her garage. The interview and shoot took us maybe just over an hour, but as we emerged from her garage, I felt like I had been lost in a magical land for hours and hours. Unbridled joy taking a front seat. The article written by the Mesa Maven here made me tear up, remembering what a special experience this was.
I really love this project. We’ve been going around the city of Costa Mesa for going on 10 months now, and I don’t even recognize the person I have become. There is something beautiful and transforming about being vulnerable and courageous and connecting with others who are doing the same. I come home every week from these interviews, inspired by someone’s story, success, struggles, failures, trials, triumphs, resilience, every single person has taught me something. The personal growth has been rich and immense and makes me yearn for more. Good news is, there’s no end in sight to this amazing project! It even just got some new legs on a new idea we are doing, Hearts of Costa Mesa. Follow along as we document all of these incredible individuals we meet!
I’ve been failing miserably to document these beautiful experiences. It’s been a creative madhouse over here with all this personal growth! With inspiration abounding, I’ve taken up drawing and water color painting and have massive amounts of photos to edit. The only organization to it all is in my brain. But this is what growth looks like. Sometimes pretty, sometimes messy, always beautiful. I want to do a better job of documenting all of our experiences and interviews, if only to capture those connections that are changing my life, one person at a time. Here is the beautiful art and work space of my new friend, Jzin.
As if the morning could have gotten any more magical, a butterfly hatched in the doorway of her garage. And my heart almost burst from the joy.
I think I want to own almost every gnome that she has…are they not whimsical and intricate and beautiful??
Such a beautiful day. Thank you, Jzin, for the experience, and sharing matters of the heart. Unforgettable connection.