Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Just One Good Thing…

I was chatting with a friend about 2013; and she remarked that it had been a terrible year for her family.  She lamented that nothing good that had happened this year, and she was glad the year was at end.

I gently challenged her to reframe those negative thoughts.  I assured her that she could find at least one good thing that happened this year.  I reminded her that even if the one positive thing was as minuscule as breathing, something good had indeed happened! I also told her to take that one thing to find the all the other things that she might have forgotten.

So as 2013 comes to a close, I urge you to reflect on the amazing things that have happened for you.  Count your blessings big and small and say thank you!

Count your blessings instead of your crosses;
Count your gains instead of your losses.
Count your joys instead of your woes;
Count your friends instead of your foes.
Count your smiles instead of your tears;
Count your courage instead of your fears.
Count your full years instead of your lean;
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.
Count your health instead of your wealth;
Count on God instead of yourself.  ~ Author Unknown

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Beauty from the Struggle

Since February is Black History month, I thought I would celebrate by showing a beautiful picture of my mother in her pollera.  The clothes worn by Black slave women and wet nurses during the Spanish colonial era inspired La Pollera, which is the Panamanian national costume.

This colorful dress represents so much to me of the beauty, freedom, love, and laughter of Afro-Latin American community.  It is a somewhat unnerving truth that what was once attributed to slaves and the lower class has become a symbol of pride. 

Much could be said regarding the old adage that out of every negative is a positive.  Like a butterfly, the struggle of our people has become the strength of who we are.  Our trials and tribulations have given us the fortitude to survive insurmountable odds. 
Our color has enhanced our beauty and now with time the world recognizes the splendor, richness, and grace of who we are. 
It is not our differences that divide us.  It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.  ~ Audre Lorde

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Life Support

I was chatting with a friend recently and realized that we had a common malady.  We would often go the extra mile for friend or colleague in need meanwhile short changing ourselves in the process.

The more I pondered this self-sabotaging behavior the more aware I became of how much this has gotten out of hand.  The need to please others has become so commonplace that we often put our own goals and dreams on the back burner as to support others in their endeavors.

I am not saying that we should turn into selfish beings but to become self-full.  In others words put the oxygen mask on yourself so that you can help others.  The truth is that when your tank is empty and you cannot breathe for giving all of yourself to someone else you are in no shape to support either you or them in the life you are called to lead.

Declare today the day that you breathe in the fullness of you and give to yourself first!

 If your oxygen mask drops down, it's time to take a breather! ~ Richard Simmons

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


The other day I had an interesting experience.  I took a hard fall in the parking lot of our local shopping center.  What was remarkable wasn’t the fall itself but my reaction to falling in public.  I was thoroughly embarrassed.  As those around rushed to my aid, I tried to say I was fine while hurting.  I could barely look anyone in the eye as I tried to compose myself.

As I contemplated the fall later that day, I had to laugh at myself as I realized this was a teachable moment and I became both student and teacher.

For you see I realized that there is no shame when we fall, There’s is usually a valuable lesson for us to learn about why we fell, mine was simply not paying attention on what I was doing  only worrying about the next thing on my list.  Yet had I taken a moment to observe my surroundings I might have had a different outcome.

I also pondered the fact that I was embarrassed because I fell.  Seriously?  Yes, people looked at me.  Oh, the horror, they rushed over in care and concern.  Yes, once again because I felt that I was invincible I didn’t want the help.  Truthfully, we all need help some of us just don’t know how to ask for it or how to receive help graciously when it is given.

It made me think about babies when they are learning to walk.  They crawl, stumble, and fall in the pursuit of their goal…Learning to walk.  This is a perfect analogy for life.  Yes we may need to crawl before we take that first big step, we may stumble on our journey and trust me, falling almost always seems to be a requirement.  However, if you pick yourself up, take any help that is offered to you, try again…  You will rise.

When I'm not afraid to fail, I won’t. When I'm not afraid to fall down, falling down won't feel like failure. I have fallen down enough to get more comfortable with it, to know how productive it can be, how necessary it is to growth. Still, when I sense the ground beneath me giving way, I have to remind myself that it's OK if I falter. I have to remind myself that it's more than OK!~Jan Denise

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dreams Really Do Come True!

This past week, I had the honor of being in New York City among elite Latino authors and publishers at the 14th annual International Latino Book Awards.  I must admit I was a little awe struck by the talent and distinguished presence of those who attended.  And then it happened...My book “In Memory of A Saint Lessons From My Mother I Didn’t Pay Attention to Until She Died” received an Honorable Mention in Best Women’s Book- English.  All I can say is WOW!!!http://tinyurl.com/InMemoryofASaint

The dream to write and publish a book started when I was a child.  As a voracious reader, I would often imagine that if I had written the tale, it would have ended differently.  I would tell people that when I grow up I would write a book.  Out of the mouth of babes... I spoke a dream into reality.  I took action and actually turned my Mañana into Today and accomplished a lifelong goal.
I learned a shocking statistic that 81% of people want to write a book and yet so few accomplish their dream.  So do you have a dream that you are planning on working on tomorrow?  Why not start today.  Every baby step you take will put you that much closer to your dream.  Turn your Someday into Today.  Come on I Dare you!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Words of the Year

Today I learned that pragmatic was the word of the year as determined by Miriam Webster. I thought nope...That is certainly not the word of the year for citizens from the land of Positivity.

Florence Scovel Shinn wrote the book "Your Word is Your Wand." She spoke about how our words are filled with magic and power.

Thus, I conjured the seven words that positively describe this year and how they can propel us in 2012.

7) Believable! Whether it was a moment of synchronicity, a time when the Universe winked at you- It was not unbelievable but Believable- Good things can and do happen.

6) Angels- The angels that walked through our lives… some we knew and more often than not the anonymous ones that just do good on this earth. They’re all around and have helped us all this year.

5) Dreams- Just by have the ability to dream, to have goals and a wondrous plan is what gives us hope to go on in this topsy-turvy world.

4) Action- The song Put One Foot in Front of the Other, inspired this thought. As long as we keep moving in a positive direction and take action, we live to dream another day.

3) Transformation- This year has been all about change and for every constant there is change. The time to change is now. If you want, create a new reality. Dare to be the person that you want to be… Today!

2) Gratitude-
The ability to be grateful for taking a breath and a brand new day is essential to a positive attitude. We often assume our abundance is reelected by our monetary status. Our abundance is so much more- and it multiplies when we say thank you

1)Love- Love yourself enough to be brave. Make a difference in your own life and others. When you see the world through Love colored eyes the world reflects love right back at you.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Stop and Smell the Roses

On a recent walk, I passed a neighbor’s house and a rose waved to me in the sunlight. I could not help it; I had to stop to sniff the beautiful scent of the rose. The rose gave me a magnificent gift that day, as it beckoned me to enjoy her beautiful aroma.

Another couple walking towards me saw what I had done, and yelled out, “That’s the spirit, stop and smell the roses, we never take time to that.” I joyously laughed and as they passed me, they too, stopped to inhale the beauty of the rose.

As I continued on my walk, I began to ponder the phrase stop and smell the roses. We often do not take time to enjoy simple pleasures. We live in such a hurried and harried society, running in many different directions at once. Mores the pity, that such a simple thing to do seemed like such a novelty that day.

I promised myself to make time for more moments like the one I experienced that day. I urge you to make a pledge today, to stop and enjoy the moment at hand and if you see a rose waving at you…Stop and say hello!

As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round. ~Ben Hogan