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reflection & affirmation under the sun

It’s my first day here in sunny, beautiful Phoenix, AZ. It’s always when I am most relaxed and in a great mood that I feel most inspired to write. Laying in the sun soaking in the rays (yes I have sunblock) seems to add the bolt of inspiration that I need to get started!! 

Not much to write in all honesty. Pretty blessed is how I feel these days. Blessed, balanced and relaxed pretty much sums it up! Not that life is all hunky dory, but it’s a lot more manageable & livable, and with all the amazing additions God has blessed me with – it is that much more worth it!
I find myself breezing through life these days; appreciating the good, learning how to deal with the not-so-good in a manner that doesn’t cleanse me out of my positive energy.  Learning to control me and learning that I cannot control the actions or inactions of others! 
Strengthening relationships with those that matter and learning to let go of those that are no longer meant to be! 
Learning to take care of me without the guilt! Learning about my strengths and weaknesses and my newly released desires that have been dormant for way to long! 
My son recently texted me “I’m glad you’re happy and finally living out your dreams…” What a heartfelt moment that was for me. To realize that my kids are looking at every move I make and acknowledging behaviors that I felt I was hiding because I always felt they were selfish! That text message was a reaffirmation that we must live out our dreams, our passions and that we must love ourselves because at the end of the day, when it’s done with the right intentions, carried out with self-respect, dignity and integrity – for no one can take that away or diminish it no matter how hard they try! 
Day 2 of my 5 day visit to Phoenix (still working on my tan), I realize (not that I didn’t know before) that we live in a world filled with endless opportunities for love, success, health and prosperity! It really is up to us to seek it! So often we live by societal rules and norms that can hinder us from growth – it is when we step outside of that comfort zone and reach, that is when we find that peace that we seek!  
Positive reaffirmations help; support and guidance from others just makes life that much sweeter! 
Life is really what you make of it. We all say that we know this, but how many of us are truly living it! On this peaceful morning, I look up to the sky (without trying to be blinded by the sun) and think of all the amazing people who are in heaven looking down on me, guiding me, loving me from afar, supporting me and proving that inner strength – I miss & love them all – yet feel so blessed and lucky to have had them be a true inspiration in my life! 
So much to be thankful for – 
Feeling grateful for it all – the good, the bad & ugly and the fruitful experiences, for today at 42 I am healthy, accomplished, balanced, loved and living a life I am creating for myself! 
Back to working on my tan ~ 
Peace & Love 
Luz y Colores 
  

 

Luz y colores mi gran amigo Hector

It’s been nearly 4 months since the unexpected passing of one of my best friends! There’s been many of times I’ve tried to write about him, about our friendship, but to no avail. Never quite strong enough to get through my writing.

They say you never quite know how much someone means to you until they are gone…. So true! I surely knew how important he was in my life when his soul was alive, but with him no longer here, I certainly understand and have a new found appreciation of the “why” he was important.

I’ve always believed that every friend, every person that walks in and out of our lives, serves a purpose! Whether to listen to your woes, to provide sound or even obscure advise (such can be comical or whimsical in nature), others are there to make your boo-boos feel better, to laugh, to cry with, dance, talk, guide….etc (you get the picture) – friends serve a purpose – even the ones that are no longer in our lives (perhaps they were never a friend – but certainly served a purpose). Either way, that’s what my friend Hector was for me – all of the above and then some!

If you know me well then you know I owe some of my inner & outer strengths to him! He believed in the purpose, in the strength & power of a woman. He believed in me and in moments of doubt, fear, confusion and cloudiness – he was there to push me through… To provide stern advise, sensible wisdom, laughter, tainted humor and always a listening ear no matter how busy or strained his day! Whether via call, a text, a meet-up, Hector made time for his friend!

No closure! No goodbye, no closure for me in knowing why he took his life so sudden, so unexpected, so rash – so devilish in nature!

As much as I want to be angry at him for leaving his family, his friends, for no longer having our friendship, I can’t! Mental illness, for no matter how much it appears someone has it together, no matter how smart, wise, rational one appears – mental illness lies deep within the soul; so deeply rooted that while in the outer you sustain, deep within you are broken — feeling like there’s no way out! You are a functioning depressed person until your rock bottom is too heavy to dig yourself out.

He always encouraged me to write! To share my journey because in some form or fashion – we all have something amazing to share, and the idea behind sharing is that someone is inspired or empowered by your story!

Your journey, much like depression and suicide, is never something to be hidden, to be embarrassed about! I can hear him now, telling me that what he did was wrong on so many levels, a gravely ill mistake not fully comprehending the everlasting damage & impact it left behind – a pain that filters the veins….

He would never object to my writing about him, in fact, he would encourage such writings! To tell the world that suicide is never an answer and while it was his answer – it was the wrong answer!

I will never really know why, no one will ever know why – not even the letters he left behind will answer the why… His thoughts and his reasonings were his to have.

Wanting nothing more than to call, to send him a text to talk – just to talk about life, my journey, my woes, to laugh, to cry, to receive guidance, wisdom, perhaps an empowering quote, to talk about life and the human behavior (lol) … but they’d be no response! No response from my dear friend who is no longer here!

I hold on to his last text just three days before his death, his voicemail from just two days before… His words of encouragement, his words of wisdom –

Sad and sorry I could not help him get through his woes, his demons – for they were much bigger than me, then his wife & kids, then him!

My missing him is much bigger than my anger and hurt and disappointment. No closure, no goodbyes, no nothing… Just a text, a voicemail ~

But what I do have is this embodied strength that continues to manifest ~ that’s why I can’t and choose not to be angry no matter how much I miss him!

Allz I know is that this world is missing an amazing man – my dear friend! I do thank God for providing me with his friendship and for giving me amazing friends; for continuing to provide & to bless me with people who inspire, love and build me.

I know Hector is never coming back – yet, I find myself incredibly blessed to have had this man enter my life when he did. I just wish he could see me now on this new journey filled with strength, health, friends and new love!

He’d say he is ok! He’d tell me to continue to live life to the fullest! To be true to self first! To love me first! To be honest, loyal, giving, humble, respectful, and most importantly – to be a woman of my word! To love hard no matter what! To trust in my journey for it will not lead me on the wrong path! That we must cease every moment, that every moment we experience is a life lesson; that we must end each day with a lesson learned and wake up each morning with a purpose / with a goal to learn something knew and to pay it forward!

As I write, my Pandora plays, and on comes my dad’s song…

I have Angels guiding me… I know I do – because I believe, I love and I feel!

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Helps individuals in suicidal crisis within the United States.

Luz y Colores mi gran amigo Hector 🌴

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My quest for soda & chocolate

My quest for soda and chocolate … On the down low…

In an effort to live up to some personal fitness goals, I’ve decided, with the help of my boyfriend – to give up soda! The idea of laying low on chocolate chip cookies was his idea and not my original concept … But, I went for it anyway (temporarily that is – it’s about moderation…right?)

Anyway, I had reached the 1 week mark when a ridiculous craving attacked my mind, body & soul! Yes… it attacked it – because this girl was going through some serious caffeine withdrawal and no, coffee does not do it for me!

Sooooo …. I get off my bus and head over to Target, where my plans were to buy some veggies and fish, and some minor things that I needed. I am now at the cashier station, and directly in front of the cashier, is, you know what?… the concession stand! I immediately thought to myself that if I had a chicken artichoke wrap and a medium soda, it would be part healthy and part sneaky (but the healthy part is what counts…lol), AND no one will know. I thought long and hard about it, playing every scenario in my mind; even thinking that my boyfriend would somehow walk into Target and catch me. After I woke-up from that daydream, I proceeded to go to the concession stand and order me a wrap and yes, the soda. Besides, I knew my boyfriend was not around! To my dismay, they had no wraps. Leaving me, yes, with no choice but to walk out Target without my soda.

Sort of pissed off that my initial idea of sneaking a soda did not work out, I began to think of what else I can possibly drink or eat that will appease my craving.

On my way home, I thought I could stop by this great little café, and pick up the best chocolate chip cookies ever made. Again, no one will know, not even my boyfriend, because I would leave no trace of cookies or crumbs in my car, and I would dispose of the bag it comes in at the dump! Yes, the plan was smooth! So I pay my toll, I proceed to this little café and as I approach the little café to park my car, I see that the café is under renovation. HOT DAMN (banging my steering wheel)!

Needless to say, that at this point I am extremely pissed off, aggravated, I’m really craving caffeine and chocolate & both my plans have failed me miserably! I suppose I could’ve just ran into a local gas station, or supermarket to pick up some caffeine and chocolate chip cookies. But that wasn’t the point, I wanted it to be my way – I wanted soda from Target and cookies from Ella Bella’s!

So, I make a u-turn and head back home. On my way home I think – “wait, I have two Pepridge Farm cookies left in a bag”. I left those cookies on top of my kitchen counter. So I said to myself, at least I can get some of my chocolate craving in, and no one will know, not even my boyfriend, because the bag had been there for several days!

So I get home, unpacked all my groceries, take out the tilapia, put the oven on, and begin to cook. [I know what you’re thinking – “she’s eating cookies and cooking her veggies…shut-it!….] Of course this girl has to eat healthy, but who says she can’t have a little snack before dinner? After all I had been through, I deserved a treat!

So I go to look for my cookies, and they are nowhere to be found. I open up the cabinets, and no cookies! I immediately thought to myself “this man through my cookies out (yes I checked the garbage – but the man emptied it), emptied my soda bottles, and wiped me clean of anything remotely sugar – except for rice cakes….!” I immediately yelled “nooooo, this man has ruined me!” Lol – well I really said something else along with that – but I’ll keep it clean! Lol

With nothing else to do with myself, no sugar, no chocolate, no sweets, no soda, nothing but my tilapia and veggies, I proceeded to do my squat challenge!

I guess that’ll teach me the next time I try to go against the universe, my boyfriend, my gut, and my belly fat!

This is the first time ever, that I have followed through on a no-soda-challenge! I’m proud of myself!

At the end of the day, I know that I could’ve had the soda, the cookies, anything chocolate, if I really wanted to. I guess the moral of the story is, that you should follow your initial instincts and that if you are going to commit to something – stick to it! Because at the end of the day, the only person you are cheating is yourself.

I have goals that I have set, and I intend on fulfilling those goals – being at my fittest, healthiest, most fabulous-self-ever!

So, here is to another week of no soda. I really can’t promise chocolates because that initially was not part of “the plan”, but I am going to try my hardest to limit the intake!

Nonetheless, I will keep you all posted on my journey for soda and chocolate, should they arise.

You can stop laughing and nodding your head now!

Lol – 👍😘

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Only I can write my story….

I have not written a piece in a bit; a little over two months to be exact. Perhaps it’s out of laziness, or maybe it’s because there hasn’t been much time – but I really think it’s because so much has happened, and getting my thoughts on paper (well in my case a notes app) is a lot harder than one thinks!

Last piece I wrote was about living outside ones comfort zone, and not fully living if you’re living within safe boundaries! The piece before that was reminiscent of my childhood…. So it’s definitely time to write….

If you’ve read my posts before, then you know I’m quite the comedian, a realist if you will, an incredibly honest and forthcoming person, and one that truly believes (regardless of opinion) in sharing my journey because in some form or fashion, it helps to reaffirm all that is me, and helps to empower other women along the way!

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A friend posted the quote above on Facebook recently, and while I’ve posted hundreds of empowering quotes, this particular one stood out for me because it reminded me that “I” am the only one who gets to write my story.

Interesting ha? We all say this, know this, encourage others to believe this – but often, we are the ones allowing others to hold the pen and write on our behalf; we allow others to erase and rewrite sentences, change words, erase words, explain our ideas, give their opinions – leaving us with a piece written to the likes of others and not truly for ourselves! Get the picture?

Yes, one could argue that in the real world, whether we like it or not, we must conform in some way or another to that of others (children, partners, family, friends….you get the picture).

But for the sake of argument – let’s just all agree to focus on YOU! The importance of knowing that you are in control of you, that you truly can write your story, that while you can chose to accept the opinions of others – that you my friend, at the end of the day, are the author of your own story!

Like children who are born not yet knowing how to compromise (I know you’ve seen the kids walk the streets with rain boots and a cape in the winter – just because they said so!!) we too must dig deep within our soul, our essence, our innocence and not let our journey be derailed – we must stay true to our ideas, our words, our beliefs, and most importantly, ourselves!

I spared you the details of all that has gone on in my life the past 8 months…
the past three months in particular (I will share the ugly, the bad and the beautiful soon enough); but I will share this much with you now – I “have” been holding the pen and have been writing my story for the past 2 1/2 years!! It has not been the least bit easy – but it has been liberating, freeing, whole, and I tell you my friend that I have not put down my pen, I have not allowed others to use my pen (not even for a second), and I have not allowed others to sway me to write a different story!

I remain the author of my journey…..

I will continue to reach for the top and live as if I’m already there….

I will continues to be led by positive energy and the universe….

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Living outside your comfort zone…

“You live only when you’re living outside your comfort zone!”

A friend of mine recently posted a quote (paraphrased above) and I immediately had an “aha” moment!

I thought this was so on point – at least for me! I find that when I’m not challenging myself, my thoughts, my movements, my work, my children, then I am purely living within my comfort zone; leaving me with a sense of emptiness, a lack of fulfillment and excitement if you will!

Yet, when I’m pushing myself, working, thinking & loving outside of boundaries – it is then when I am most happiest!

Now, most people will tell you that living within boundaries is safe, secure, and the outcomes are almost always known! This is perhaps true… But who really wants to live a life when you know what the end result will be?

Call me a daredevil…

Like a palm tree, I am resilient, nimble & can overcome all that comes my way!

I’m all for surprises….

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