Call me Grandma Moses

At a memorial service, a couple of weeks ago, I bumped into an old friend from school. We talked about the trivial stuff of life and then we started talking about our new found selves. He has become his own man, a very generous one I found out that day, and while I was sharing about my now very common happenings in life, he was a bit stunned and needed a bit more proof to follow the conversation.

I told him about riding in the mountains of Guatemala with a Mountain Bike; uphill, downhill (although sometimes not intentionally) and a long line of bruises and falls that came along with it. I told him about running 5ks, 10ks, 15ks and half marathons and fulfilling my lifelong dream of running a marathon. He kept laughing and just saying “that cannot be so”. I shared how I am now a vegan, how I love to cook and how I don’t find my excited or cheap thrills in a liquor bottle. At the end of the conversation, he stared at me dumbfounded and said: “I need to see pictures of this”.

Proudly, I searched in my iphone’s history and found a picture of a black bruise that covered my entire leg (as a result of falling downhill, of course), a picture of me riding up hill looking all bad ass with my “let’s get it on” face, THE picture I bought from the Disney marathon I did last January and a whole collection of dishes I prepared myself that were posted on my Instagram account. At the end of this quick portfolio presentation, he sat back and said: “well, I’m certainly amazed… when I hung out with you, you hated to cook, could not play a sport to save your life and certainly did not enjoy staying home on a good friday night to write on a blog or Coach clients back to health”.

Back to my last year of high school.... and the crazyness behind it all.

Back to my last year of high school…. and the crazyness behind it all.

This blast from the past kept going on for a few good hours and, when a stranger (he knew her, but I didn’t) joined the conversation, he started describing this stranger that he had hung out with all his high school years. How this teenager used to drive him crazy with emotional drama (as we now have come to know it) and the usual stupidity that follows those first few drunken nights of an adolescent. I have to say, I’m glad it was just all a conversation and not the reality of my life today.

Back to today and the reference to the title; Anna Mary Robertson Moses was a woman like any other, she raised her family in a barn and when she reached her late seventies, she became an artist. She revealed her truer self through her works of art and is now famous for her “coming out” as an artist at such an advanced age in life. Her art has been sold for more than one million dollars in the United States and the “light hearted optimism” that emanated from her work of art certainly showed a side of her that her fans have come to admire. Even though her success became public late in life, I’m sure she was deemed as successful until then… I have to say, from what I’ve read, she was admirable and successful as any entrepeneur+self taught painter+mother of 5+wife+chef+worthy of an autobiography of today (which there are not many of today).

The new, happy me!

The new, happy me!

I never thought it would take me so long to find my passion: becoming a health coach being one of them. And, I honestly thought I’d be set with my entire plethora of goals by the time I was 25 and yet, here I am starting a wonderful chapter of my so called life at 29. The time that I sometimes feel I “lost”, was not lost at all. It gave me the boost I needed to move forward, to pedal on, to reach for another mile and to strike another keyboard in my laptop. All those things that make us human, the mistakes and personal anecdotes that have become part of our story does not dictate what we are today but rather how we became to be who we are. We can choose to remember what we lived through, but we are certainly allowed to live outside of that frame of story of what we once did or say. Let’s move forward with bigger goals; self loving attitude and broader definition of what happy is… IT’S NEVER TOO LATE.

With all the love and gratitude I can muster, xo

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Good fences

Working on just myself is never enough to keep me centered, and happy with the rest of the world. Sure, it has to start from there but, when we are relating to people on a daily basis, we might need to understand that not everybody is on a path of emotional growth. And, not everybody is interested in whatever steps we are taking to grow spiritually or improve ourselves. That’s just what I’ve seen over the last few years. Everybody is on a different journey, and eventually we all get to a point where we are ready to learn.

More on the subject of dealing with others, I have to address one of the most important issues of our times: BOUNDARIES. We’ve heard the word go around, we’ve heard psychologists and Dr. Phil go on about them and how we are supposed to use them on our every day lives. However, the biggest A-HA! moment I had when I learned this whole lingo (working on onself) I found it to be super interesting that boundaries are set up for my own benefit.

How so? GOOD FENCES MAKE GOOD NEIGHBORS. That’s how so!

My inner peace is not connected to what my fellow neighbors might say or think about me. But rest assured that when I am in my happy place and I get all this emotional garbage from my flaky friend or when I get sucked into a world of drama, that’s when I lose all my centeredness.

I don’t know about you, but as a woman I can sometimes be a tad too sensitive (pause for surprise) and the fences that I can build can come out as a crooked as a can be. And that, well, just doesn’t have the best results we want it to have and then we become flabbergasted when we see them on the ground again.

Defend Your Boundaries

Now, here’s what we need to realize first:

1. GOOD FENCES MAKE GOOD NEIGHBORS: I can’t stress this enough.

2. Fences are built to keep ME sane: Boundaries are part of growing up and they are there to protect ourselves, our mental stability and our friendships aligned.

3. Choose your words wisely: Boundaries are not isolators. NO MAN IS AN ISLAND. We need to connect and relate to others in a kinder and empathic way, so using the format: “when you do …. What I think about that is….. And I feel …. ” Always helps.

4. Be kind to yourself. “Saying no honors yourself first, which in turn honors others”. – LW

Setting up boundaries is an act of self love and it opens us up to love our neighbor in a kinder way. So, build a healthier you everyday with love, gratitude and boundaries. Feed off on love!

Vitamin Sea

One of the most rewarding experiences of my life has been to rekindle my relationship with my family. My now centered present has allowed me to become part of daily (and very entertaining) moments that have brought us back together. I have realized that there is no time like the present to work on those friendships we wish to take back.

As a very generous gift from my sister and brother-in-law, my father, brother, one of my best friend and I took a long weekend to the cayes in Belize. We went snorkeling in Orchid Caye, ate the best cauliflower tacos (the vegan version of the most famous dish in the entire caye “fish tacos”) and of course, enjoyed watching a school of very bright blue fishes along a few manta rays that kept popping up near the boats in Hatchet Caye.

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It was a very pleasant and enlightening experience to enjoy facing my fears: I hadn’t snorkeled in more than 10 years! I panicked every time I thought about diving into the unknown… I mean, the odd were completely against me in a huge space where, literally, hundreds of thousands of living sea creatures could (and “would”) gang up against me. But, what two gorgeous 6 and 7 year olds taught me was a lesson worth looking more deeply into.

My wedding is less than 4 months away (yay!) and I’ve decided that there is no time like the present to start making things that favor my sanity, that feed my soul and allow my inner child to roam around free. Starting my life with a brilliant partner, an old soul and my best friend is a journey in itself. But, the biggest journey I have (and the biggest commitment I will every have) is with myself. And, at 29 I am still nowhere near knowing exactly who I am. We, all of us, are extremely heroic creatures; facing an ocean of unknown possibilities and yet, we take a dive into this vastness every single day by making choices that no one can guarantee the outcome of.

My health coach was kind enough to point out that the sea is a wonderful teacher and one of the strongest energies this universe has to offer. To me, one of the biggest teachers as well. We can mirror ourselves through our fears and willingness to face them. So now, I encourage you to get some vitamin sea whenever possible and allow yourselves to grow and dive into this holistic world of possibilities, health and happiness.

Nature vs Nurture

The eternal psychological debate about the why a person comes to be successful can sometimes be reduced in a simple dilemma: are we born with it or are raised to become successful? It has been a wonderful experience to recognize both spectrums of this hypothesis. On one hand, you have the people who have had it all along and to who success, is only a natural state of the human being. And, with the rise of The Secret and the law of attraction spreading around, it seems to be that we can also turn the switch on and just enlighten ourselves with the brilliancy that lies within.

Be that as it may, we can change and we do have the power within us to make the best out of everything. The thousands of stories that roam around on social media every hour have very little to do with success in the cradle and lots to do success as a result of over achieving.

As far as I am concerned, the capability that we have can also be related with a few of these aspects:

– Who my friends are? The people we are closest to can have a huge impact in our lives. In Guatemala we have this saying: “Tell me who you are hanging out with and I’ll tell you who you are”. So, generally speaking; our family of choice can have a huge impact on our success. Hearing horror stories and continuous lapses of failure vs. happy and blissful topics of success and conquering fears?? Take your pick

– Our personalities: Since child birth, our wonderful creators become our best allies. They recognize instantly what we can excell in and what we have to work on the most. So, in most cases, when our parents pay attention to this skills we then develop the most basic aspects of our personalities. And as adults, it is our job to keep on exploring what makes us happy and successful. However, when the first case did not happen as one might hope, the choices are out there for us as adults: therapists, coaches, psychologists and, in some cases, 12 step programs to help us get to where we want to be.

Help the good stuff grow.

Help the good stuff grow.

– New experiences: our personal experience can and will affect our vision and outlook upon every small experience. The benchmark for everyday happenings quickly chances when you have eyes of wisdom and knowledge from personal growth. My own experience has shown me that the people that see the world (and have seen the world) are little (or not at all) impressed with the shallowness that come with a wounded ego. These are the people that see with kindness at heart, tear up with joy and embrace with humility what comes our way.

– Spread the good seed: When thinking about a garden, there’s a lot of planning involved. You must plant the seeds of the plants you want to grow, water them, keep them clean and enjoying watching them grow. Some people even talk to their plants to inspire them to be greater. In this particular context, we must feed our good thoughts, hearts and soul with the good stuff. Bring love into our lives and words of hope and encouragement.

My closing argument: I say, nurture trumps nature. Enroll in the college of life. Through away the burdens that seem to hang up on our insecurities and let yourself be happiest you’ve ever been. Be grateful.

xo

Everyday is a monDAY

Happy Monday seems to be an oxymoron considering that the day when most suicides happen is on a monday (too dark a thought??) and most memes posted on facebook on a monday are sort of depressing… but I’ll start with something else…

It’s been forever since I heard anybody say “I’m gonna start working out tomorrow” or “I’m gonna start my diet tomorrow” even though it might not be a monday. AND on top of that, when I googles inspirational quotes, most of them seemed to be related to getting through a monday morning. However, there also seems to be an inspiring idea behind the thought that Monday is the official begining of the week and so, if we want to “start the week off on the right foot”, we must start whatever on a monday… right?!

We can turn things around you know.. we can start thinking of everyday as a monday. Consider that everyday is a brand new opportunity for us to grow, to change our believes, to discover the insights that everyday has to bring into our lives. I certainly understand the passion behind a monday when we have a new project starting, a delivery, a paycheck or a long weekend even. But, I also cherish the excitement that comes with every clean slate.

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Feeling sure of myself, a new perspective on a certain area of my life, the awareness that comes from an A-HA! moment…. they can all happen on any given day. But, if it helps us to start on a monday, how about calling every single day a monday?! But, if that seems to be really out there, how about we make small changes to achieve this feeling of a monday.

1. BECOME AWARE: What’s the goal we are looking to achieve starting the week? Write it down along with a list of 4-5 baby steps to make it happen.

2. BABY STEPS: Remember, we have to start somewhere. So, maybe tomorrow (a thursday morning) we can start with setp number 1 to achieve our goal. This means, even though it’s NOT a monday, we did something to work towards that goal.

3. PREPARE: Easeee into it! When we feel ready, that feeling of anxiety tends to be much more lower than it usually is. So, that tightness around our belly that we feel a sunday night when we realize we “forgot something” due last friday… goes away!!!

4. JOURNAL: Becoming aware of what’s keeping us from moving forward is always super liberating. I would recommend, if and when possible, to do so at night… it’s a wonderful way to close the day and allows the next day to feel “clean”.

Thank you for tunning in. Have a lovely day and enjoy your mondays!!! xo

Everywhere I see…nails!

After starting my journey as a certified Health Coach by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition® I got to experience something I had never known before and I summed everything up in: “when given half the chance, the body will naturally heal itself”. No truer words had I ever heard of before my mentor, Joshua said them out loud in a conference.

I started noticing how once I started to focus on my train of thought, my inner monologue and basically rebooting my system so I could set up shop with a new CEO at the front. And it has been an interesting year so far, but I seem to be looking at nails everywhere! I want to share the good news with everyone and I want to share how the changes I made helped me heal, feel and change.

 The proverb “if your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail” seems to be applying to this particular case of mine. I am the sort of person who has lived her life by personal experience not by legendary teaching moments. And I also have to lead by example if at all. But for the time being, I wish to only share with the rest of the world (even though it seems that I push insistently) the many benefits of practicing meditation, the reaping effects of juicing and a vegan diet and naturally, why focusing more on primary food™  makes a heck of a difference vs counting calories.

I want to share with the rest of the world how great it is to find so many answers to so many questions… and with this hammer in my hand. So, I now invite you to try a free breakthrough session where we can share goals, recipes and tips for emotional wellness. Just email me for your free 50 minute session and sign up on my mailing list!

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“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” ― George Bernard Shaw

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A-OK

The word “perfect” no longer exists in my vocabulary. The mere thought of exceeding the expectations of such a big word, gives me anxiety and frankly, it feels very inadequate for what I do and am. In the world of holistic healing, perfection strays far from the path of love and life’s purpose. As an advocate and embassador of health, I can share my experience when I’ve strayed from the path of happy and grounded.

Over the course of the last few months, I have been happily engaging with other fellow health coaches who are seeking for a wonderful new way of life. We get to share our successes, our next step to happiness and the pebble stones that finally lead us to that magical place of “I’m happy with my life”. These moments cannot be few and far in between for me… because I honestly believe that I can make this happen.

Planning a wedding, a lifelong dream for every girl 3 ages and up, has shed some light on the true meaning of joy. Like every other event in my life, this one has a bigger purpose. Much more than proving myself far from self sufficient and multi-tasker (which it seems I am not without being able to colapse and become a green eyed monster), it has reminded me of where I came from and where I wanna go. Many years ago, my “future guest list” to this magnanimous event was 500 of my closest friends, a glass of champagne on everybody’s hands and a party that would last for an entire day. The reality is that, although I have many friends who care and love me, they don’t come close to being 50 in the head count department of this gathering. The beauty of my life lies in those closest to me. And in the end, we will celebrate with hugs and crazy moves in the dance floor. The celebration will last a lifetime.

I am no longer planning an event… I am planning my life. So, I am back on track with my personal goals, I am making progress and taking huge steps towards wholeness. I am aligning with my true self and this, is as close to pure as I can think of.

Have a great weekend.

Clean Eating

The fact that there are over 38 million hits on google server when you type in the search engine: “clean eating”, makes me ponder about this huge dietary movement going on.

As a student of nutrition, major aficionado on health and wellness and, happy cook, I look forward to yummier habits everyday. Thousands of books have been brought to my attention (and my amazon.com cart) and the blogosphere is full of health coaches, dietitians and health experts offering advice on this matter.

“The soul of clean eating is consuming food in its most natural state, or as close to it as possible.” And, with this in mind, I decided to throw in a little experiment of my own and go 1 week without any pre packaged foods, no trans fat, baked goodies or pore clogging products that can (in hindsight) do no good. I will keep you posted on this note.

However, I am looking forward to reap the benefits, which include (but are not limited to):

1. Better mood: For better mood, digest better food! That’s a good motto to live by. In a study donde in New Zealand, 300 young adults completed daily food diaries for three consecutive weeks, along with psychological and mood related ratings. They found a direct correlation between more energy, more calmness and greater feelings of happiness and a higher intake of fruits and veggies.

2. Sounder sleep: better Zs. Need I say more?!

3. Glowing skin: I have bared witness to a healthy and glowing skin after 2 days of enjoying a very exclusive plant based diet with only fruits, vegetables and legumes (in all shapes and forms).

4. Improved brain function: A recent study from the National Institutes found that people who consistently adhere to a Mediterranean-like diet were less likely to have brain infarcts, small areas of dead tissue in the brain linked to cognitive problems. In this case, the mediterranean diet was considered a diet for optimal health, but, if there is anything IIN has taught me is that we need to consider the fact that no one diet works for everyone. In this case, we’ll take it as clean eating diet.

5. Deeper connection to soul: in a meditative state, I can easily spot when I’ve done a better job at nourishing myself and when I am lacking a few nutrients in my plate. Clean eating can become a more direct connection to the soul.

So, I will keep you posted on the benefits of this clean eating way of life. Take care friends!

Basket case

As I strolled down the few isles of the health store yesterday, I stumbled upon a wonderful finding: a VEGAN SECTION. First of it’s kind in Guatemala (or it was new for me at least). And I was fascinated by the mere fact that things seem to be turning even though we don’t care to admit it (a vegan section in Guatemala… wow!!!). People are becoming more and more aware of what we put into our mouths and, due to the serious crossfit and body fitness movement going on, we are even more aware of the different types of diets out there. And what’s even more amazing, is that I found myself looking for something to feed my soul.

See, we are an integrated being. Whatever we put in our “basket”; whether it be in the work, finance or exercise area, it affects us completely. When we are lacking self love or filling our basket with the wrong kind of nourishment, we look for something else to fill our bodies. Take me, for example, I was looking in the wrong isle for the right answer and imagine my surprise when I did all this soul searching and self enquiry in the middle of the quinoas and flaxmeal. In a nutshell, I burst out laughing at myself.

We are sometimes trained to (from childhood on) to submerge our emotional turmoils in our deepest self. So, when we succumb to our bodies plea for attention, we tend to disguise our distress as hunger, stress or anger. Sometimes, the latter two seem to lead us to the same space: the kitchen.

There is no grey area when it comes to our body’s need for nourishment. We need love, fulfillment, respect and self care. Even though it seems like an easy task to conquer, actually discovering what one needs is a process that requires practice and a deeper connection to the soul. To get to this point, I have found meditation and journaling to be quite helpful. Talking to my fellow health coach has opened many doors for me and taking words into action has been the most fundamental part of all this work.

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As a wellness seeker, I am on the lookout for clues on how to heal my body, heal my wounds and feed my soul. Nutrition and the process of enjoying a meal are a part of it all. So, next time, when we head to the sugar isle of the super market, let’s make it work for us instead of against us. Find food that nourishes your body and find what feeds your soul.

Much love for all of you.