Tag Archives: inspiration

Look Around You

Look Around you…

This past weekend, I celebrated a very special event. My “quinceañera” was a day that I had looked forward to since I was a little girl.

For my Latin family and I, this birthday signified a major milestone in my life, as I was now growing up and officially being recognized as a “young woman”. We all agreed that this “major” milestone deserved a “major” party to represent its importance. All of us had been coming up with ideas for this event for YEARS.

When the time finally came to plan, we went all out. My mom and I spent endless hours planning every little detail of my dream party. We went over every possible outcome and we made sure that every topic was covered. This went on for many months as the date quickly approached.

After a while, I found myself forgetting what this birthday was about. To me, it became all about the planning and the fact that I needed it to be “perfect”, instead of me being excited that I’d get to share this special moment with my loved ones.

The day finally arrived and all I could think about was how I wanted everything to go as planned. All day I was filled with uncontrollable nerves as I worried that it wouldn’t turn out the way I had hoped.

As I made my “grand entrance”, all of those nerves disappeared. I looked around and saw the faces of so many special people in my life. It was such an overwhelming feeling to see how many people took time out of their busy schedules to spend a couple hours celebrating something very important to me.

In that moment I realized that it didn’t matter how “perfect” this night went. What really mattered was that everyone took a minute to pause whatever chaos was going on in their lives, and they got together for a night of pure joy and celebration within friends and family.

I feel that this is something necessary for all of us. No matter what is going on in your life, take time out of your day to look around and enjoy the company of those around you. 

-Dani <3

Words Of Wisdom From Papa Federico

Words Of Wisdom From Papa Federico…

Let’s start this off with some sage advice from my Grandfather, a classic, old school Italian man…the hardest-working person I have ever met in my lifetime, he died 4 weeks before Antonio was born from two different kinds of cancer.  He was Antonio T. Federico and my son was named for him as Antonio M. Federico.

I was raised in part by my grandparents and so when he became ill, frequently I was the one to drive him back and forth to the hospital and doctors appointments.  After one such appointment we were called into the doctor’s office, it was myself, Papa and my Uncle Mike the doctor told us that Papa had colon and stomach cancer and started talking about treatments.  At the time Papa was 82, he looked at the doctor and said, “Doc no offense but there will be no chemo, no radiation, and no treatment.  It is what it is and I am going home.”

The doctor said he had 6 months to live with no treatment, he lived a year…

After we left the hospital he wanted me to take him to his favorite bakery in Readville, MA on the way home.  I was standing in the bakery, shell-shocked at the news I had just witnessed and he said, “Little girl (I was 31) don’t be sad, I have had ONE HELL of a ride and when it’s done, it’s done.”  Papa taught us all how to live and he also taught us how to die, he left on his own terms, from his own house, his way and when he was damn good and ready.  He only finished the 6th grade, he served this Country in the Navy and he was in the Local 4 Construction Union in Boston, MA for as long as I can recall.

He bought his house and then he worked 7 days a week straight until it was paid off, he went for a haircut every week and made his bed every, single damn day.  He was a man of few words, however he was BIG on actions.  He never really got to see what I have built, what I am still building, however he was my greatest teacher…he taught me how to KEEP GOING no matter what and I know he would be pleased that I am sharing some of his best advice with you …

*adapted from ‘advice my father gave us’…written by my mom, Toni Stone

“Thanks to Papa we know how to get up every day even when we would rather not.

We know that no one else is going to do our work for us.

We know what’s past is OVER and GONE.

We know that when we leave something it is for a reason and once we are done we don’t go back…because the reason we left is still there…

We don’t try to live in yesterday or get it back.

We keep GOING, NO MATTER WHAT.

We remember that disappointment is not the end of the world.

We know people will screw us over unwittingly, unconsciously or on purpose.  We won’t be stopped by it. We won’t take it personal and we WILL keep a good eye on them after that…

We will also stay tuned to all the players…some people aren’t wrapped too tight, some are living in another reality, some don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground and others are just cruising through to see what they can get every day.

We remember that 75% of people have to be dealt with very carefully and some of them are dangerous characters…we remember to WATCH WHAT PEOPLE DO, not listen to what they say…actions speak volumes…promises are lip service unless followed up on with actions and results.

We do not count chickens before they are hatched.

We always have cash, just in case…”

XXOO,

Noelle

What Is My Mission?

Do you ever ask yourself, what’s my mission, what’s my purpose, what is my life for?

Have you found the answer?  Maybe a teacher told you one day you’d be a great writer.  Maybe a family friend told you that you would go places.  Maybe your BFF acknowledge d an amazing talent you have.  What have you done with this information?  Maybe you just finished cleaning up the edges, tightening up the skills and sharpening your mindset.

After all that, do you have an answer?  Or are you left more confused because nothing ever seems to come your way.  Doors don’t appear to open and you’re just not sure what to do or where to go.

I used to ask all the  time…. every day…. where does God want me to go, what does He want me to do, who does He want me to meet.  When I was a young mother, I never understood why, if I was so willing to help and serve and volunteer, why didn’t opportunities fall in my lap.

I was reminded ‘my son is my mission’ .

I would offer to help with THAT project, I would ask to be on THAT committee, I would offer to HELP that program.  And nothing EVER moved forward.

I was reminded ‘my son is my mission’.

Over and over I was reminded of this and finally in a very serious AHA Moment, I embraced it.

YES!!  My Son Is My Mission

Onward we went……every week we volunteered at the Homeless Shelter by setting tables and serving so meals and  also helped in  KidsTown at church in a classroom of little ones by teaching the lesson, working on a craft and engaging them in conversation & playtime.

Your mission could be right in front of you, staring you in the face, showing you signs that you’re not seeing.  Take a moment and listen to that still small voice inside, it just might have the answer.

xoxo

Your God girl,
Tracy

You Can Go Your Own Way

You Can Go Your Own Way

Every week when I get ready to write these I look for inspiration. I will be honest I can get serious writers block sometimes.  I want to make sure what I’m writing about doesn’t overlap with what one of the other contributors has  written about.  I am realizing we all have very unique voices, so that really shouldn’t be a worry.

This week my inspiration came from three places: my daughter, a Fleetwood Mac song, and two of my best friends.

It’s about and I write about this a lot being true to yourself. It’s a struggle.

My daughter showed me by going out for volleyball. She has never played. None of her friends play and if you guess I’m not an athlete, you would guess correctly. She is so committed to it when one of her friends asked her why, she told them because it was something she wanted to try. She has been practicing drills everyday since she joined. It’s so outside her comfort zone yet here she is and she’s doing it proudly.

Fleetwood Mac- ok, maybe not helpful at all if you really dig into the lyrics but Lindsey Buckingham sings on this one and that makes me happy.

My friends. I was out for an adult beverage with two of my favorite people and we started talking about things that make us happy. My one friend loves to fish. Somehow that has manifested into her owning multiple boats in various states of repair because it makes her happy. My other friend has a Cher fetish which means I will hear Gypsies,Tramps and Thieves at some point.  But they  are unabashed in what they love.

They are also incredible cheerleaders who will remind me in the six years they’ve known me, I’ve worked hard to be where I am. Embrace my happy.

Happiness and who we are looks different for everyone and thank goodness for that. It would be a boring world if we liked the same things or took the same path.

Mommas this is your reminder “you can go your own way, open up, everything’s waiting for you.” See what I did there? Made those lyrics work.

You’re magical Mommas.

Don’t forget that.

<3 Caprise

Who Has Your Steering Wheel?

God’s got mine. Does the thought of it raise the hairs on the back of your neck? OR Do you welcome the thought and take a deep breath knowing you can relax on your journey of life? I find it to be very comforting.

Especially growing up in a home where all the details had to be explained, all the plans had to be set in motion, all the unknowns had to be questioned. There was no room for spontaneity or last minute interruptions…. without a grumble. There were no wrong-doings, excuses, or changed stories without sighs of anguish & upset. The plan was the plan was the plan.

Somewhere along the way… things changed for me. The rug was pulled out from under me and everything changed. I was humbled that’s for sure. I was sharpened, recreated, and filled with grace. I had a new way of being, planning, thinking and doing. I had created a new reality for myself. It was beautiful & it worked.

There were times when I wanted something, wanted to go somewhere, wanted to plan a the next best thing for myself. And I remembered… I was not driving the bus. I was not at the wheel. God was.

I know that if it is not to BE, doors will not open for me, no matter how bad I WANT it. If it’s not where I’m being led, if it’s not how I’m being molded, if it’s not where I’m headed…. It is NOT happening. And I’m at peace with that.

I’m grateful every day that I don’t have to have everything all figured out. That I don’t have to have all the answers right now. In the storms and in the sunshine, in the trials and in the triumphs… I turn to Him for answers and trust His Ways are far better then mine…. any day.

Your God Girl,

Tracy

The Day The Rock Was Conquered

I set a goal for myself on a hot day in August 2018. I was going to reach the top of Enchanted Rock in 2019. As I had only made it half way up the first time. I let fear and not having faith in myself & my abilities get the best of me. Let me just confess I let me get in my way. So off to my bucket list this became. 

One day after talking with my friend Andy about Enchanted Rock, we discovered that we both have never reached the top. As previously we stopped at the halfway mark. A date was set, reservations were made and this was finally going to happen. A few days before we were to leave my back started acting up. I wasn’t sure I was going to be able climb, but I had to try. I set a goal to accomplish this and this was something I needed to do for me. Not to mention I didn’t want to let him down. I didn’t want to let me down.

On the drive once the rock came in view, we both made a comment that it appeared larger than we had remembered. Once we got checked into the park and filled our backpack with survival stuff like protein bars, waters and Gatorade’s we were off. Oh I have to mention not even 2 steps from the car was a red bird. That was my sign from my Mom who is in Heaven is with me. This day was going to happen.

Walking with him I felt strong and confident that we were going to conquer this together. Well that all quickly faded for me. The higher I went the steeper it became. Not to mention the more I began to suck air and sweat. With that doubt began to set in once again. I did not want to be the reason he did not fulfill his goal in reaching the top, so I told him to go on. He said “No we were in this together.” What a boost of willpower those words were. So a few more steps I went. Then I would stop. I ended up taking lots of “breathing breaks”. So many that he went on ahead of me. During these breaks I would turn around and look to see where I started and then where I was currently standing. I realized I was making progress for I could see it. Slowly, but surely inch by inch progress was being made.

Once he was almost to the top he yelled down “It gets easier when you get to here!” Those words were like music to my ears. Once at the top the view was beautiful. You could see for miles and miles. The feeling of that moment is indescribable. What once was impossible was now conquered. We did it! We made it to the top. So after the sights were taken in and photos taken to document this feat we started the trek down. It was easier to go down that’s for sure. It was nice to pass the points where I had thought about giving up. Knowing that I didn’t was and is the best feeling. 

I also noticed on the way down just about everyone we passed that was making the upward climb was showing signs of struggling like I had.  Young/old & fit/out of shape it didn’t matter. We all had one thing in common that day which was getting to the top. Just like in life you have got to believe in yourself and know you can accomplish your goal. More importantly we need to support and encourage one another. You can do it- Your almost there- It gets easier in just a little bit- Became our words of encouragement to those we met.

My encouragement to you- Start checking off those goals. Do those things that you have been putting off. Have your “Seize the Moments”. We only get one life to live. Lets make it the greatest one. There is a sign at the base of the rock that reads, “My heart feels lighter, my mind feels calmer and my senses feel tuned whenever I see that giant pink rock on the horizon. No matter how I choose to spend my time among the enchanted rocks of the park I always leave feeling better than I arrived.”- Who would have thought it would take a rock to get me motivated.

~Jeanna 

Note: Enchanted Rock State Park is located in the Texas Hill Country between Fredericksburg and Llano. The pink granite dome dating from the Proterozoic era rising 425ft above ground – one of the largest batholiths in the US – 

Everyone Has Soulmates

Everyone has soulmates of all different shapes and sizes of them. Soulmates are levers for change and growth, for learning in our life. Not on the same scale as twin flames, but still very important.

Best friends, lovers, family. People who have had large impacts on your life, views and feelings.

Each one has a single lessen for you, and most of the time even though they are dear to you once that lesson is learned they get removed from your life.

They are simply a catalyst for change, and growth. Some stick around, and they end up playing a huge roll in our life after we have learned what they were send to teach, but majority leave soon after. When you try to hang on to a soulmate that tries to leave it can be painful and the relationship can become very toxic.

This lack of permanency in our life does not affect the value and important of soul mates they are a crucial part of our lives and should be cherished.  If you know someone who keeps going in and out of your life take a look and see the difference in yourself during those times and I can almost guarantee you’ll find the lesson that you haven’t completed.

Always be unapologetically yourself,

Ali

Punk Prom

As I’m writing this I’m also celebrating the year milestone of meeting my celebrity crush. A certain punk icon turned writer, actor, and speaker.

Up until meeting him I tried and failed several times to get him to be on my radio show when he was in the area.

Always I received a polite email from his manager that his schedule prevented him from doing so.

I’m gonna be honest, I volunteer at a community radio station. I don’t think I’m a high priority for any musician when they’re in town. But that doesn’t stop me from asking.

I always ask.

I almost always hear no.

And… I’m ok with that.

So… when said punk icon was coming to speak nearby- I bought tickets and made a weekend of it. Two nights before the event I received an email that because I bought premium seats I was also invited to a meet and greet.

Yup… it was happening.

The meet and greet was only a half hour and there were a whole lot of guidelines to follow.

Of the folks in the room I’m here to say I was not like the others and was uncomfortably aware. However, I promised myself I was going to be me.

Before you went up to meet said icon his manager reminds you of the rules.

I smiled and shook my head.

My turn came and it was surreal. It was kind of crazy that voice.

We argued a bit about a song he wrote.

Then it was time to take the picture…

I asked him if we could do something different.

He said he would try.

Could we do a prom pose?

This very serious man got the biggest grin.

He was all in.

Afterwards we talked some more and he waved at us when he got on stage that night.

Later that week I sent him an email with the picture thanking him.

A few more emails. Some incredible advice and from this whole experience I gained this…

It is incredibly easy to not be you. It is incredibly easy to be so afraid of no, you never ask. It is incredibly easy ESPECIALLY with social media to buy into all the things everyone thinks you shouldn’t be.

To buy into all the things you shouldn’t do.

We all do it.

But if I hadn’t been unapologetically myself… well, for starters I wouldn’t have gotten to take a prom pose picture with Henry Rollins.

I wouldn’t be writing this blog

I wouldn’t be going to California at the end of May- my first trip without my daughter. She’s eleven (!)

Every day I have to remind myself.

Don’t listen to the static.

And I’m gonna remind you right now Mommas… you are fantastic. You are amazing. You are all that and a bag of chips.

You are not free salsa. You are guacamole Mommas. GUACAMOLE!

<3 Caprise

Damage and The Inspiration We Can Find Within

Damage….

Generally speaking, I try to focus on finding the good in bad situations…looking inside yourself for strength and finding your own way towards a better tomorrow.  Some days, though, I find myself struggling a little with that perspective in parts of my life.  Can you relate?

At some point, I realized that there are some things in my past that I will likely never fully recover from.

There are things that I have experienced that can’t be erased from my mind…can’t be erased from my heart…can’t be erased from my soul.  They may not affect me every day of my life, but there are certain key times that they rear their ugly little heads and cause me to re-live certain nightmares all over again.

There are certain sounds that trigger these memories…sounds that are common to television, movies and even some events with friends.  There are also certain stories and scenes from the same sources that cause the memories to flash through my mind.  I can’t very well run away and hide from life, but there are, without question, times that I would love to do just that.  I have come to realize that the proper support system in this arena is so very important to us all.

And the beauty in that is this:

I have always tried to reach out to the so-called unlovable.

I have always tried to have compassion for the bully.

I have always tried to hold understanding for those whose stories I do not know.

I have always tried to live my life with a healthy dose of grace.

In these things that have always been a part of my day, I find motivation to be better…a better version of myself…a better friend to others…a better model for my child.

In these things that I have always tried to live, I find a better understanding of my calling to live them.

So many people in this world get to know each other on the surface.  They come to friendship based on surface facts.  And when some life event unfolds in a way that catches them off guard, they run away before ever attempting to understand it.  So many people in this world define their love for each other in spite of things rather than because of things.
What if…what if we could all learn to love each other because of things instead of in spite of things?
What if…what if our pasts could be used to better know and love and look out for each other instead of as weapons and excuses against each other?
And that…that brings me back to the beauty in this all.
There are moments of pain in my life that I cannot avoid.  There are moments of the same that I cannot erase.  But these moments…are moments of opportunity and moments of potential for greatness.  These are moments sitting right in the palm of my hand, for which I fully control the direction. These are moments that I choose to learn from, that I choose to love from, that I choose to be better from.

We all have our moments.  What will you do with yours?

~Tanya

You can follow Tanya at http://sunshineandbluemoon.blogspot.com and, as always, make it a great day!

Find Your Purpose

FInding your purpose

Recently, my daughter and I went to a church service with friends and the topic was Personal Brand Identity. It was an interesting topic to think about. We watched a powerful video about Tim Shaw, a former Tennessee Titans player, who talked about the fact that growing up his brand identity in high school and college and for much of his professional career was that of a great football player. When his body began shutting down and he was diagnosed with ALS, his brand identity changed from a football player to a person with this ALS disease. It took this significant event in his life for him to realize that he had let other people’s perceptions of him become his identity. He came to the realization that he was who he had always been, Tim Shaw, best friend to God.

This story really struck me and I could completely resonate with his words. When my ex-husband and I first separated, I struggled with telling people what was going on in my life because of how it would look to others. Growing up in an Indian household and in the Indian culture, I knew that you keep family things to yourself and what you present to others is a great reflection on not only you, but your parents and how they raised you.  Even once we decided to divorce, it was difficult to talk about what was happening with certain people because of the fear I had about how they would perceive me. Over time, I realized that I had nothing to be ashamed of and that if these people were my real friends, they would still love me and support me because I was me, not just half of a couple. Some friends did fall away and distance themselves. This was one of the things I had feared and it made me feel sad and disappointed and question what was wrong with me. I didn’t understand it at first – I was the same person, wasn’t I? I had to learn that it was ok because they couldn’t be the kind of friend and supporter I needed; I had to make sure that I was surrounding myself with people who were positive and supportive and encouraging.

I was married for almost 18 years and my identity during that period was that of a wife and later, a mother. When the divorce happened, I lost my identity as a wife and that was extremely difficult. It was time to start over and rediscover what I liked again and who I really was as a person. I remember my friend telling me that when she got divorced, she went to the grocery store and was almost paralyzed because she didn’t even know what to buy anymore because she didn’t remember what she liked. She got so used to buying groceries that her husband liked and now she was confronted with the realization that it was just about her and what she wanted. That feeling can be extremely scary and overwhelming at first, but eventually it gets easier and can even become freeing.

For me, a huge milestone in this journey of rediscovery was my Zumba class. I had always loved to dance growing up so this was a perfect fit. At first, I was hesitant to walk into a class by myself where I didn’t know anyone (this was completely out of my comfort zone). The instructor was so welcoming and even though it felt like everyone else knew the routines so well and I had no idea what I was doing, I came back. The more I came back, the easier it got and eventually, I actually knew some of the routines. It took some time, but Zumba allowed me to rediscover my love of dance and without even realizing it, my self-confidence and self-esteem grew to the point where I went from dancing in the back of the class to closer to the front. I even lead dances in my class now and was recently certified to become a Zumba instructor, something I never thought I would do. Most importantly, I gained a whole new support system of wonderful and encouraging friends who I can count on for laughs, inspiration, good food and good times.

I have also found solace in reconnecting with old friends who knew me in high school or college before I got married. There’s an odd feeling of comfort and nostalgia that I can’t describe when I am in the presence of these old friends. I’ve made it a point over the past few years to call up an old friend and catch up or find a way to visit old friends when we’re traveling. It has done great things for my soul.

Each person has to find their own milestones and triggers in their journey, but it’s important to take the time to find out who you really are on the inside – your brand identity, or your purpose in life; God made each of us with a purpose in mind and it’s our job to find out what that purpose is. I’m still working on finding my purpose, but for now, maybe it’s being a desi single working mom who’s doing the best she can to make her girls proud and show them that they can do anything and helping friends who are struggling along the way.

~Laxmi~

 

Follow her at her blog, https://onedesigirlsjourney.wordpress.com/.