Because life is a tablao!

Posted: December 12, 2015 in Up Close & Personal

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As the end of 2015 approaches and social media is about to be bombarded with self-assessments and typical new year’s resolutions of people who plan to start diets, change paths, find true love, travel the world, buy a new couch, practice yoga, write a book, plant a tree, and have a child, I found most appropriate to look back and offer my old self an honest report of my current situation.

Even though according to my date of birth I’m a Pisces and Pisces are dreamers, I’m too analytical and consider myself more of a doer than a dreamer (I think that I’m more of an Aquarius than a Pisces, but what do I know!). I’m excellent at setting goals for myself and then planning the intricate logistics of how to make them happen…and also, I have a combination of self-diagnosed OCD with a touch of hyper-activeness and large traces of happy-go-lucky free spirit and suffer from a severe caffeine addiction, which allows me to dream-then-do in precise encompass with what I want to achieve and that gives me an inexplicable thrill! Yes, I have a touch of madness as well…but that’s part of the charm.

As a dancer (I’ve dance flamenco on and off my whole life), everything in life can be related to the passion, discipline, and commitment than dancing demands, and as a writer, I have a profound love for words in all its forms; dancing, poetry, and songwriting are to me such beautiful forms of self-expression. Thus, if an artist writes something from the heart (clearly read no-commercial bullshit), we all should stop and really pay attention, some lyrics have the power to speak to you, loud and clear.

Anyway, the other day I was listening to the radio (those who know me, know that I seldom listen to the radio, I prefer my own playlists – thanks Spotify!) and I came across a song that I haven’t heard in ages by Lee Ann Womack and I remembered that the first time I listened (really listened) to the lyrics I dedicated that song to my future self…”I Hope You Dance” was released in 2000, and since then, life has taught me that we can plan, but ultimately we live as we go.

After all these years, when I heard that song again, I couldn’t help but to shed a tear or two…it’s cheesy I know, but I felt proud of myself! Writers have the ability to document life; whether through real stories or fictional ones, writers preserve moments in time for us to go back and relive. I’ve been writing about my personal experiences since I was a kid and been able to go back and read who you were and what you felt at a specific time in your life and then compare that to the person you’ve become is really cool.

As I heard the song, I realized that thank God I’m not a sellout, I’ve remained true to myself and with every passing year, I’ve become free-er! Every chance that I was confronted with the choice of “sitting it out or dancing”, I danced. Life is too much of an amazing ride to sit on the sidelines and let it pass you by. I’ve enjoyed my successes and failures and I’ve owned every single one of them.

I’ve remained humble, but at the same time I’m more ambitious and hungry than ever, I know who I am and what I’m capable of…I’ve worked hard, really hard and when someone tells me “you’re an inspiration” or “you’re my role model”, I feel overwhelmed and proud at the same time; and I know that 2000’s Maria does too…like Sinatra, I’ve done it my way, “the path of least resistance” has never been registered on my GPS!

I’ve learned to be self-reliant, to trust my instincts, and above all, to value and love myself… It’s important to remember, Maria from the past had her heart cracked in two, yet I’m glad to report that my heart has completely mended and has learned to love again, to trust again, and to dream again…I always “gave faith a fighting chance” and despite the risks involved, being in love is an unbelievable high!

I’m grateful for not having any bitterness or any complexes and I’m also grateful that even though I have a sarcastic sense of humor, I’ve not tainted by the cynicism that pain can fill your heart with…on a daily basis, I aim to handle life with grace and humor and that is a powerful combination for success and happiness!

With all the good and the bad, my life has been and continues to be an extraordinary adventure…despite hating alarm clocks and snoozing them more than a should every freaking morning, waking up and having the chance to live another day under my skin, it’s truly a gift that I would never take for granted.

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So, my 2015 report can be resumed in one word…BLESSED!

Looking forward to 2016 and to all the opportunities that it will bring. On the meantime, every time I get to choose, I’ll take life by the horns and I’ll dance the hell out of it!

Much love always, a kick-ass 2016 y olé!

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It has been forever and a day since my last post…I’ve started writing several entries but haven’t finished one worth publishing, so I rather not torture the kind souls that choose to read me…

This time around, I wanted to address a personal weakness…something that time and time again hits me in the face like a tsunami, but that I haven’t yet been able to outgrow and conquer…I’ve read that it’s a Pisces trait, but I refuse to be dictated by the horoscope, or any other preconceived source, for that matter.

Being taken for granted is kind of my thing, it happens more often than not…By nature I’m a giver and a nurturer and the people on the other side of the spectrum not always reciprocate and that’s something that little by little starts taking a toll…it wears you out and leaves you running on empty.

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Relationships, regardless of whether they are between colleagues, lovers, friends, or relatives have to be equally satisfactory for all parties involved…and when one or the other takes more than what they give, the balance of the universe is put at risk, the force is shaken and the one constantly giving will eventually grow tired, fed up and broken…that is a fact of life!

I’m far for being a pushover, or am I? I’m an extremely strong woman who knows (most of the time) what she wants and knows how to get it, and even though my mind works in a very analytical way, against my better judgment, sometimes I give and I give and I give until I feel completely depleted and lonely, and I hate getting there…Must be that when you’re really strong, people around you tend to forget that you might need help too, that maybe you’re not always okay, but that you don’t always know how to ask…

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Since giving is such a huge part of who I am, whenever I receive something (as little as it might be) I feel kind of overwhelmed with appreciation and I have the tendency to enhance, what sometimes is just basic courtesy; kind of like “I don’t expect anything, I appreciate everything”, but on steroids…

My intention is not to sound like a martyr, or anything like that…all I’m aiming for is for the chance to “speak my thoughts out loud” and understand their nature…Crazy? Maybe…Useful? Always. Writing is my form of catharsis…it cleanses my thoughts and gives me perspective.

We can’t change other people, or what they do (or don’t do) for us, all we can do is to change the way we react to it…and ultimately, if it doesn’t suit us, we can always smile, say our good byes and move on…for God’s sake, we don’t have to remain stagnant, that’ll be just a cruel betrayal to oneself!

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One last thought… fear gets in the way of greatness. Messing up is allowed, getting hurt is allowed, even defeat is allowed (a bit of it at least)…they’re all part of the growth process, growing pains, if you must…if we deny ourselves to be authentic, like in my case, to give unconditionally, then we are playing it safe, but we are also completely denying our own nature…What if by holding back you miss the opportunity of a lifetime? I rather follow my mantra…Go big or go home! Even if at the end of the road I crash and burn…I’ll take my chances!

Not sure if this makes any sense or not, but these thoughts have been haunting me for quite some time. I know that we all have that something that we consider a weakness, and that at the end of the day, it might end up being our biggest quality…stay loyal to yourself.

Much love,

Note to the reader: These paintings are the wonderful work of the artist Loui Jover

I am a writer…

Posted: September 6, 2014 in Up Close & Personal

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I started writing as the last resource to keep what was left of my sanity intact…

I always write about the struggle and the pain we’ve all experienced…in general terms from a safe standpoint. Today I’m going deeper into my soul in an attempt to follow Hemingway’s advice “Write hard and clear about what hurts”… And maybe it’s because it doesn’t hurt anymore that until now I’ve never felt the need to put some of my own struggle into clear words for the world to see…

I was blessed with a loving mother that wanted me so, that was willing to give her life for me. My mom had a heart condition since she was a child and having a baby was too complicated for someone with three heart surgeries and a replacement plastic valve, but thank God, she didn’t care much about stupid physical limitations, or rules in general…she believed in miracles, she dreamt about having a child (preferably a boy) and the rest is history, here I am…my grandmother told me that after I was born she said to my mom “thank God it’s a girl, she’ll take care of you”…unfortunately, I never got the chance to do so. My mom passed away when I was twelve years-old and my world crumbled.

When you know (as my mother did) that you’re literally a ticking-bomb, as a parent, you have two options…you either prepare your child to be independent and strong and make the necessary arrangements (that would’ve been my choice) or you spoil your child and overprotect her and gamble…my mother chose the latter…little did she know.

Growing up with her I worried about things kids are not supposed to worry about. I never understood why my father couldn’t love me, I slept with a small round mirror on my nightstand I used to put in front of my mom’s face to check in the middle of the night if she was breathing…I worried about going to hell, because my very-much-Catholic grandmother kept reminding me that “bad people” go to hell, and I truly didn’t want to be “bad people” or go to hell. I worried about my mom passing away and going to heaven…Would she remember me when it was my turn? Will we see each other again? Will I be “bad people” and burn in hell?

…such a heavy burden for a child!

After my mom passed away and all was said and done (you see, my mother never took the time to draft a will or a notarized piece of something stating her wishes for my future, so I went where the wind took me), I ended up living with my aunt and uncle and their kids in Guayaquil (most of them grown-ups already), away from my school, my dance academy, my friends, the very few I had (I was shy, lonely and very much a nerd), EVERYTHING I KNEW…I resented her for her lack of planning, I was angry at her for leaving me alone, for dying on me…

The change was hard, I was an outsider, I spoke with a different accent, a dressed differently, behaved differently, ate different things…apparently everything I did was wrong…but the hardest part was the lack of empathy…I was really never allowed to grieve. I’d lost everything, but since my mother never really taught me much discipline or gave me structure it was up to my “new family” to embed it in me, regardless of who I was until that point of my life or what was going through inside my head.

I’m not taking any of the blame away from me, I’m proud to own my history with all the good, the bad, and the ugly in it, but due to my feelings, my fears, my personal struggles to adjust, my loneliness, my pain, my confusion, I was not a walk in the park…I turned into a rebellious teenager, smart-mouthed, opinionated, even insolent sometimes (most of the time), pain in the ass…but all and all, I was honestly a good kid. Looking at it in perspective, and after raising two kids of my own since the moment they were conceived 24/7 for the past 21 years, I can clearly and honestly say that things could’ve been handled differently…All I craved for was family, love, a refuge to run to…I didn’t need lectures on how much my grades or my attitude sucked, or being compared to the other members of my family who apparently were going to amount to something…

Looking at the actual state of thing, karma truly is a bitch, but that’s for another day.

Even though not all of it was bad, some people cared, but didn’t do enough while others kept reminding me that that wasn’t my home, and those weren’t my parents…but I knew that (I never fully unpacked the two bags I kept under the bed i used all those years), but unfortunately I had nowhere else to go…I was physically and verbally abused…to the point in which my spirit broke…I was so frustrated with the world and thought so little of myself that at one point I tried to end it all (it was the easiest way out) only to realize that I was so useless that I couldn’t even kill myself…all I wish for was to finish high school and get out, and I did.

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Years later I came to understand something…people treat you the way they do, as a reflection of who they are and what they feel, it really has NOTHING to do with you…but they hurt me bad…and for a very long time, I dealt with demons and nightmares and I was angry as hell…

The best thing that ever happened to me was becoming a mother, the minute I held my son in my arms was the first time since my mother died, that I felt what having a family means..I felt loved, needed, I belonged…I was home, I WAS WHOLE ONCE AGAIN…or maybe I was truly whole for the first time in my life.

I needed to end the nightmares, the pain, the frustration, so I forgave them, because I needed to exorcise my demons and allow myself to be fully happy. I let go of all the bad and open my arms to the possibility of freeing myself from the past…learn from it and move on, it is what it is.

I’ve always been a extremely competitive and for many years I worked hard and accomplished things to prove my worth to others…to show them that I had it in me, that I too, could be great (kinda like an “in your face” thing)…and that is very a lonely place to be. Once I was able to understand the meaning of all the things I’ve experienced and why I went through them, is when I realized that I was free…free to do the things that make me happy, I have nothing left to prove to anybody…I am who I am because of all the good and bad that i’ve been through and that makes me a great human being!

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At the age of forty I can proudly report that very few things really scare me…I’ve learned to rely on myself, to watch for omens and to trust my gut, to speak the truth, to follow my dreams, to always speak up against injustices, to laugh at myself and to try not to take everything so seriously, but above all, to be a friend…truly be a friend…if it wasn’t for all the guardian angels dressed in jeans and t-shirts that have crossed my path at some point or another, fed me, cried with me, drank with me, put some sense into my stubborn self and really cared about me…I won’t be here, so thank you for being part of my tribe…

Life is beautiful, even when bad things happen. All the people we cross paths with teach us something, all of them bring a message that at some point or another will be useful for our own development and growth. Live to the fullest, holding grudges is overrated and it takes up too much energy…free yourself, as I did, of the heavy baggage that messed-up experiences can leave us with…pursue your happiness and believe in your own strength…God truly made us perfectly-imperfect and that’s good enough for me.

Much love,

Staircase to heaven…

Posted: September 6, 2014 in Up Close & Personal

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This post goes out to the far-fetched dreamers, for those of you who have gone through the deepest and darkest corners of hell and had managed to come back stronger; for those of you that because of the struggle and the scars are capable of seeing the miracles in even the most mundane day-to-day occurrences.

After every storm, the calm comes back and the sun shines again and life continues its course, but the truth is that when you go through difficult times, after you’ve bawled your eyes out and have had your heart broken over and over again, your own survival mechanism kicks-in, and somehow, you become numb, not completely, but to a very comfortable degree, like a safe dose of morphine to alleviate the pain of an open wound…it’s a vital tool to begin the healing process, it helps. You eventually move on, you smile again, dance again, reinvent yourself again, seek out friends that you have not seeing frequently, but deep inside you, some of your feeling have to stay doormat for your own good…

Being guarded is safe, lonely sometimes, but safe…at least temporarily!

As a good Pieces, I seek water when my heart is in doubt…there’s this magical spot where i can run to when I find myself in desperate need for some encouragement from the universe…Every time I visit this refuge, it brings a different experience to my life and all of them either build-up or dismantle, depending on what my soul is seeking.

As in times of storms at sea, lighthouses represent beacons of hope….the lighthouse at Key Biscayne is a magical spot that has brought me clarity and why not, hope. Each stair of the spiral staircase, symbolizes a step we take when a journey begins…since I’d never climbed the lighthouse before, I didn’t know what to expect at the top, but it didn’t matter…like in our own lives, we are presented with opportunities, we take our chances, we asses the risks and we jump, we have to create our own trail, climb the stairs, one by one…pause to catch our breath if we must, but we have to keep going up.

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The heat, the humidity, the enclosed space, the steep stairs, my asthma…all played a roll, but then again, nothing worth having, comes easily, not for me at least (just keep going, slowly but surely) quitting has never been an option!…All that it’s been worth having for me, has been a real challenge, and for this, I’m grateful. The harder I’ve work for something, the more value it has had once I’d achieved it.

When you reach the top, through a small door, you walk into a little balcony that goes around the lighthouse, and there it is…the silence and the view just speak to your soul….the ocean breeze and the calmness of the water, just take your breath away. You feel contentment and gratitude…you truly feel alive and infinite! You get the chance to put everything that you’ve been through in perspective and realize how small we are, compared to God’s creations (the endless ocean, oh! how beautiful you are), but at the same time you get to realize how amazing your life is, how big and absolutely whole you are…you have the chance to experience the freedom that only pursuing your own story can bring to you…completely unapologetically!!! (you are exactly where you need to be…trust me baby, the timing is perfect!)

Fear, hell yeah, let it be your fuel, fear is just adrenaline keeping you in check…be defiant. If you are afraid, it only means that you are human…that’s all…conquer it and keep going!

As previously stated, logistics are only half of the process….making the decision was 50% of the deal, and once you made up your mind, you’re already on your way. The road will be bumpy, and sometimes scary and maybe a bit lonely too, but you’ll come out on the other side alive and well, and exactly the same as when you get to conquer the staircase to heaven inside the lighthouse at Key Biscayne, you’ll realize how big the world is, how beautiful and magnificent the view of your future can be…because you’re this amazing and deserving person, who had the guts to follow your heart and fought to turn your dreams into realities…you wanted it so bad, that you gave it all, you took each step and seized the opportunities and you will be lucky enough to find magic along the way…all the great soul-seekers do!

May the energy from the universe conspire to push you up, to move you forward, to give you courage and to send love your way…that’s pretty much all that you are going to need in your backpack for the journey, the rest is already within you…remember, stop to catch your breath if you need to, but quitting is not an option…the staircase to heaven awaits.

Much love and clarity,

PS I leave you with my mantra for dreaming big and fearlessly…

“Don’t settle for a sparkle, light a fire instead”

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From one of the many insightful conversations that lately I’ve had the privilege of sharing with a beautiful and wise soul, originated the question “Why do we settle? “

Why is that instead of pursuing our full potential for happiness and well being, chasing our dreams fearlessly, we just settle for half to nothing?!?

A few days later, the universe answered me LOUD AND CLEAR (as it normally does), while watching “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” with my daughter. The context of the movie touched me deeply because it exposes the suffering and struggle of every one of its characters in a way that is both funny and heartbreaking.

To a certain degree we’re all broken…all of us. We all have experience loss, suffering, depression, loneliness… The problem is that because of the suffering and inversely proportional to it, we allow the perception of our real value to diminish…and then we do it, WE SETTLE!

The movie went on about how wonderful people with huge potentials always (or most of the time) end up with people that are not even a mediocre resemblance of what they truly deserve in life.

“Why do good people end up with bad people?” and the answer clicked…”Because we accept the love we think we deserve”…*MIND BLOWN*

This reminded me immediately of a quote that I have on my desktop at work from the powerful poem by Marianne Williamson “Our Deepest Fear”

“Our Deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frighten us”

And we truly are powerful beyond measure, we are wonderful, talented, strong, beautiful…and above all, we have the God-given right to write a beautiful life-story, to walk an unforgettable journey, and to really live a plentiful, happy life, WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO SHINE…but we are afraid, we think that because of our circumstances, our past, our experiences, our previous mistakes, we are not enough…we don’t deserve all of these things and that is the biggest lie of all.

Don’t allow negative people to walk into your life and chant destroying mantras that lead you to believe that you are not smart enough, beautiful enough, nice enough, strong enough…YOU ARE ALL THAT AND MORE…but if you allow ’em in, those hurtful messages start to become part of your reality and they’ll start to materialize and break you down slowly.

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Life’s not fair, but difficulties have to be perceived as challenges, not as problems (whining & pouting doesn’t help). We have to change our vantage point, we have to be objective, yet kind to ourselves and we need to understand these three cardinal rules:

  1. Life will knock you down, you’re not the first one and you won’t be the last one (don’t take it personal)…so, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back on the saddle…the show must go on!
  2. Life will challenge you constantly, and it won’t be easy. After each test, you can either choose to come out bitter or better…that’s it, it isn’t rocket science…and that applies to EVERYBODY!
  3. You’ll have good and bad days, on the good days, thank God for your blessing and on the bad days, do exactly the same thing…remember, there’s always someone out there that has it worse than you…everyone you know, is fighting a battle!

Your journey is all about the choices you make…choose wisely and remember that it is never too late to adjust the sails and redirect your destiny…one step at a time!

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Much love,

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how time gives us perspective and also how worrying about one’s future doesn’t really resolve anything…on the contrary, it tends to cloud our analytical ability, weaken our faith, and give us unnecessary (and sometimes premature) gray hair.

One day at a time…

Making a decision is 50% of the process (yes, you’re half way there already)…the other 50% is purely logistics…the How’s and When’s will sort themselves out…at the right time, no need to try to conquer the mountain ahead, all at once…after all, Rome wasn’t built in one day…time is our best ally. Just trust the process; but trusting the process doesn’t mean that you’re going to sit on your ass all day expecting to get everything on a silver plate handed to you, no way in hell…instead, you’re going to have to work your ass off for it…the secret is to keep your eye on the prize…it’ll be overwhelming at times, but it’ll be worth it at the end.

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Always remember why you started…and above all, BREATHE!

This reminds me of that saying, “one day, we’ll laugh about this” and there’s nothing truer…everything passes, even the most terrible moments, no pain lasts forever, no problem is eternal…

“No hay mal que dure cien años, ni cuerpo que lo resista”…as in, “Every cloud has a silver lining” but not quite…sometimes languages fall short of translations…but you get the idea!

To give you a more graphic and somehow amusing visual aid, I’m going to use the story of a time when I fell down the stairs at work…I’m not very clumsy, but maybe I walk too fast.

By nature, I’m the “go big or go home” kind of person, so if I fall down, I don’t just “slip”, no way…

I EPICALLY CONQUER THE FLOOR!

For what I can remember, it went like this: I was on the first stair, blackberry, report and pen in hand and I must’ve drop off my pen and I stepped on it (wearing high heels, of course) and I slipped BACKWARDS the 10 or so stairs on the first flight of the staircase at work (very much like Neo in Matrix dodging the bullets from Agent Smith) …It was painful as hell…I could feel every freakin’ step…toc toc toc toc and to top it all off…I was wearing a dress!

However, the most painful hit was to my bruised-up dignity…by the time I reached the last stair, my dress was sitting above my waist and I could feel the cold tiled-floor on my butt…The pain became irrelevant, I moved like a ninja…I had to save the last shred of my poor dignity, so I pulled my dress down, stood up and put my shoes back on, all before everyone came to see what had happened.

One of the guys I work with was going down the second parts of the staircase and all I could hear was, Maria, Maria, Maria in compass with every step I hit…not my proudest moment!

Everyone on the second floor ran to my rescue and after checking that I was okay and that I didn’t break half of my anatomy, my epic fall became the most-talked conversation around the office, for quite a while, I must add…oh boy!

Besides my wounded pride and my almost indecent exposure at work, and after the bruises on my back and my legs went away, I just laugh about it when I go up or down the stairs and I see the “writing on the wall” left by my shoes…truly a work of art!

“Above all else, it is about leaving a mark that I existed: I was here. I was hungry. I was defeated. I was happy. I was sad. I was in love. I was afraid. I was hopeful. I had an idea and I had a good purpose and that’s why I made works of art. ” ~ Felix Gonzalez-Torres ~

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The moral of the story is that throughout any journey that we embark on, we are going to have ups and downs, sometimes we are going to get hurt, and sometimes we are going to be ridiculed, but life would be such a boring adventure otherwise…the idea is to learn and to treasure our memories for what they are…experiences that we (so fortunately) got the chance to live just because we are alive…so just live, LIVE OUT LOUD!

Fear will only hold you back…

Much love,

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As I watch, for the probably hundredth time, the love story of Ms. Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, based on the beautiful novel written by the witty Jane Austen in 1813…and that I had the pleasure of reading when I was just an eager teenager, I must admit that I’m a hopeless romantic…I insist, this is such a beautifully written love story!

Personally, I’ve been seeking for that love made in heaven, in which one soul is separated in halves and each half is placed inside two total strangers that, if lucky enough, the universe one day will allow to meet and at that precise moment, they both will realize all the reasons why LOVE didn’t work before with anybody else…

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The reason why Mr. Darcy falls so madly In love with crazy-free-spirit-know-it-all-non-conforming-with-the-rules-rebel-Lizzie Bennet, is because she’s like nobody else he’s ever met before and she flips his world completely upside-down, without any regards for the status quo, and she becomes to him, this source of confusion and agony, but at the same time she represents this freedom he’s never known before, and that undoubtedly, he can’t never ever live without again…because she completes him in a way he cannot comprehend and that love that burns inside of him that she’s awoken without her even knowing, is the force that makes him aim to be a better man, just because of her and only for her…because he needs to be the kind of man that such a woman needs…

Falling in love can be such a magical experience, but when you actually find that other half of your soul, the one that makes you whole for the first time…everything that you are and everything that you’ve ever felt starts to fall into place, because you just found that half of you that has been missing until now and that you, as it happened to Mr. Darcy, undoubtedly know, you can’t never ever live without again.

A love like that only happens once and it has to be treasured for what it is…the best thing that will ever happen to you! (all clichés aside). Somehow, you won’t be afraid to feel, you won’t be afraid to get hurt, you will let go of every pre-conceived knowledge of relationships and heartbreak and like a small child, you will go head-on towards it, with every single fiber of your being and it’ll be the most beautiful thing you’ve ever felt in your life. And at that point, (if you ever find it, of course) you will be considered one of the lucky few.

This kind of love makes you strive to be the best version of you, to give everything…it gives your compass a north and all the blurriness disappears and your horizon becomes clear…

Enough has been written about love and all the derivatives of love (both good and bad), but at the same time, never anything related to love can be enough…love is the force that drives the entire universe and without it, we will be lost forever. Finding that other half of your soul is the biggest blessing any person can ask for.

As I learned from the most beautiful and enlightening book I’ve ever read, the universe always listens when you speak from the heart…

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” ~ Paolo Coelho, The Alchemist ~

You just have to keep asking…

…but ask wisely, be precise!

Let the universe know the kind of love that you want and claim that one person, as yours; the one that holds the other half of our soul, the one that completes you, and then let the miracle of love unfold and prepare yourself to be amazed!

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As always…much love,

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I stumbled upon this wonderful article, flawlessly written (as usual) by Elizabeth Gilbert and I feel that I MUST share it with all the beautiful souls that bravely-enough read me.

How to Be Happier by Elizabeth-Gilbert

I must add that by nature we, women, tend to contradict ourselves…might be the ever-changing hormones, might be our ability to multitask, or just our crazy and beautiful nature, but we’re always in two places at once…we all have a certain degree of duality, period! (don’t try to figure it out…)

Personally, as I go through this life, I collect ideas and those ideas form concepts and guidelines for me to follow, and sometimes, those tend to contradict or are conflicting (in some way at least) with some old concepts or guidelines previously embedded in me…

…then again as we are constantly evolving, so are our ideas!

Because sometimes you get a yes, and even if you weren’t prepared for that yes, you rise to the occasion. You aren’t ready, and then you are. It’s irrational, but it’s magical”.

My mother had a saying, which has become my secret weapon when I get the “yeses” I think I’m not ready for…“it’s not what we know, but what others think we know”

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Normally the best “yeses” in our lives are the ones we received when we weren’t (or at least we think we weren’t) ready for…and yes, we absolutely rise to the occasion and we rock and we are amazing and we astonish everybody (including ourselves) and it’s is a truly magical moment of self-realization. ~ secret victory-dances are allowed ~

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We just have to believe a bit more, we are amazing and within ourselves we have the potential to achieve whatever we set our minds to, just take a leap of faith and jump, be crazy enough to believe you can (the universe is listening), and trust me, YOU WILL!

With love,

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“Funny how being in love and heartbreak are so similar in function…can’t sleep, no desire to eat…”

The other day, during a very insightful and painful chat over text message, a dear friend of mine mentioned this to me. If you analyze it, it’s such a truthful statement…emotions (whether these are negative or positive) always get the best out of us. They throw us out of balance and they alter our lives…I guess it’s a trait of all human beings, or at least, of some of us. Maybe is that some of us just “feel too much”

Heartbreak is truly a physiological feeling…those of us who have felt REAL heartbreak, experience a sharp pain in the chest, right above the stomach, which resembles closely to having your heart pieced by a knife, you can’t breathe, borderline asthma-episode style (I’m asthmatic, I know what I am talking about)…and I’m not exaggerating or being dramatic…it feels like your life is slowly drifting away…and the anxiety, that’s a real bitch!

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But the pain eventually starts to fade away, little by little…same as the butterflies that you feel in your stomach when you first fall in love, they tend to fade away as the relationship progresses, helping us feel more comfortable and more confident towards the new significant other. Little by little your vital functions go back to normal…nothing lasts forever. Feelings change, emotions change, and above all, people change! We are not supposed to remain stagnant…whether we like it or not, we all evolve.

The prospect of change can be a scary one, and that fear needs to be embraced, because it’s a necessary part of the process; however, that doesn’t mean that change is a bad thing, quite the opposite, change can be exactly what we needed!

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Sometimes, after what felt like a lifetime of revolving around the same patterns, we realize that there are other things that we are capable of doing. It takes courage to confront fear and loneliness face to face, but once you strip yourself of every bit of the heavy-duty Kevlar armor that you’ve accumulating throughout years of walking this earth and decide to just feel…REALLY FEEL, as painful as it can be, just letting go can be a very liberating experience.

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A bit of humor, always helps… 😉

Sometimes the main problem is that we have this pre-conceptions in our minds of how people should feel and should act and then, when things don’t go our way (which is 9 1/2 out of 10 times), we feel disappointed and betrayed. My theory is that we really shouldn’t expect anything from anyone, which both prevents deception and increases the sense of excitement when the outcome is a positive or pleasant one.

Women specially, we tend to make up these stories in our heads of all the possible scenarios and then, when the reality is different, we get mad and frustrated, and why not, disappointed…not easy! Besides, with all that going on inside our heads, we are suffering in advance, stressing in vain, worrying about tons of things that, according to us, are going to go wrong, and normally at the end of the day, it’s never THAT BAD!

As the good Pisces that I am, by nature, I daydream too much (for my own good, at least) and I end up getting hurt over really nothing. That’s giving to much control over my own happiness to a set of uncontrollable circumstances that had twenty million possible outcomes and twenty million variables…

But here I am, learning as I go, and sharing my perspective with whoever ends up reading this blog. Life is not that complicated, we are the complicated ones, I know I am…sometimes it’s better to just take a deep breath, or two or three and let go…just really let go.

Letting go of the fear, of the self-created anxiety, of the self-imposed loneliness and just go about life all happy-go-lucky for a change…We should just seek for the humor in our darkest hours and laugh at the irony of how bad everything looks today and how stupid it will look tomorrow…because inevitably, one day (whether that’s tomorrow or a month/year/decade) from now, we’ll remember this moment and just laugh at it…that’s a fact of life!

I leave you with this wonderful word “BLESSON”…It’s something really worth trying!

Much love,

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It’s been a while since the last time I wrote a post. I guess I’ve been “in transit” deciding which road to take…

“Life is like a box of chocolates” and each one brings a set of choices that tend to overwhelm me lately. So, I’ve decided that I’m going to stay exactly how I am right now…and by that I mean single and uncomplicated!

My husband and I separated some time ago and since then I’ve dated, but I was hurting still, I had a lot of unresolved issues with myself and that’s a lot of heavy baggage to carry into a new relationship. I knew that I needed time to find my center, to decide what is that I wanted to do, so I ended up putting the dating hat back in a drawer and enjoying the wonderful things that being single can bring.

First of all, the coolest thing about living alone is that suddenly you become perfect. All your flaws, all your quirks, all the annoying little (and big) things that you had before, that bothered the living crap out of your significant other, are gone…and you are this awesome person that nobody judges…(yes, there’s nobody there to judge you, but that’s not the point).

After the grievance of a failed relationship and the heartbreak of finally giving up after years of trying, there’s only healing left to do….TONS OF HEALING! That’s where wonderful Elizabeth Gilbert’s advice through Eat, Pray, Love came into play…LET GO AND LET GOD!

At the beginning, I cried myself to sleep several nights, more that I would like to admit. You see, by nature I’m a strong-willed woman…people that know me tend to think that nothing scares me, that nothing hurts me, but in the matters of the heart, nobody is exempt…a heartbreak is a heartbreak, regardless of how strong you think you are.

My daughter slept in my bed for several weeks to “watch over me”…as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, she became my rock. She loved me when I was my least lovable-self, and I’ll forever thank her…my son left for college as a freshman a couple of weeks after the separation and it made him feel helpless…it was his first time away from home and he was angry and frustrated, mostly at me…it took time, he needed to heal too!

But the show must continue…

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My friend Vicky recommended Feng-Shui as a way to kick start the pick-me-up-after-a-breakup process…”green is the color of healing”, so I re-did my bedroom…low-budget IKEA makeover (after a separation you’re normally heartbroken and financially broken too), green bed sheets, little green details here and there, lots of candles and my new life started to take form…I WAS AT A POINT THAT IT WAS REALLY A MATTER OF SINKING OR SWIMMING…and I’m not the sinking type!

My ex thought that I was bluffing, that this separation was just a tantrum, that I will take him back if that’s what he wanted, but as time passed, he realized that I was dead-serious! I pride myself in saying that “I mean what I say and I say what I mean”…that’s just who I am. I was done fighting, I was done arguing my point, so I decided that it was time to love and respect myself above everyone else for once, so I did. I even told my friend Dan (former marine, Dan) that he could slap me back into sense if I ever walked back into my marriage…and I‘m sure he would’ve gladly complied with my request; after all he has the unbreakable Marines’ honor-code and he also pinky-promised! Semper-Fi

The process had some very painful moments…low moments, lots of loneliness, lots of blame, lots of anger, lots of denial, lots of fear, but there were also, ridiculously-funny moments, in which I had to just laugh at myself to find the courage within me to do things alone. Stupid things like having to kill a cockroach on my own and pick it up for the first time and then blasting at my ex on the phone because it was HIS fault that I was alone and I had to kill the damn insect…I was hysterical, probably sounded like a crazy-person on the phone, but it helped!

It’s so true what they say: you live, you learn!

You get to a point in which very few things really scare you. My daughter is my partner in crime, but she has a life too and she’ll be leaving for college very soon. We do a great deal of things together (thank God she thinks that I’m a cool mom). We go to art galleries, book signings, the movies, we eat out and have movie nights at home, but I’ve also learned to do all those things on my own…yes, like in ALONE!

Last week for example, I bought myself a ticket for ONCE, the Broadway Musical, and I dressed up in a black cocktail dress, high heels, and I drove my butt to the theatre….AND I HAD A BLAST! Then, the following day, I did the same thing with the Ballet…I’m truly unstoppable. I do the things that I enjoy doing and I love every minute of my new life, even the sad ones…being alone, doesn’t mean that you are lonely, even though sometimes you are…but the sun always shines again and life goes on.

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My secret was to learn to forgive myself…I’m far from perfect and I have to admit that I too, had my faults in my marriage (tons of them) and we broke it, we both did. One day I decided that it was time to forgive him and to forgive myself…to treasure the amazing memories that we’ve shared throughout so many years together and to let go of the painful ones. To allow myself to see him as family, without expecting us to get back together and be a couple again…and just like that, the anger was gone and we became friends!

In the words of my beloved character, Forest Gump “Life is like a box of chocolates you never know what you’re gonna get”…indeed it is. My only piece of advice if you are out there and you feel that you are way over your head with grievance and pain and can’t manage to find the light at the end of the tunnel…LIFE GOES ON…it always does, and tomorrow will be better, don’t lose faith, don’t be afraid, believe that you can survive this, and trust me, you will!

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Wish you all the best from the bottom of my heart!

Much love,