Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Day 62 - Make art.

For as long as I could remember I've wanted to take art classes; I adore art, whether I am looking at it, creating it, or admiring it. My motto is that art heals the heart, it can be any form of art, through drawing, painting, sculpting, it doesn’t matter what kind. Art comes from within you, through creativeness; creativity is an innate human trait. There are no rules to art and the truth is, anyone can be an artist in their own unique way.

One of the items on my New Year's Resolution List for 2013 was to initiate art classes; thankfully I have an amazing little sister who encourages me with everything I want to accomplish, so as a Christmas gift she got me art classes.

Months passed by and I always had an excuse of being “to busy” to make time for the classes but when I saw making art as one of my deeds it finally gave me the push I needed. I began taking the classes last month at an art school called Art Atelier and I am thrilled to say that I am one class away from finishing my very own first art piece. Not only do I look forward to art classes but there is not one thing I could say I dislike about the entire experience.

Painting is like healing therapy to me, it gives me a sense of relaxation, clears my mind, and although the class is usually full of people, I find myself lost in my work as if I am the only one in the room.  Every Wednesday evening that I have attended, I leave class craving more and my creativity is at its highest peak.

It has been proven by doctors that creating art can alleviate stress by distracting you from your present situation, completely engaging you causing you to think of just your art and nothing more. It puts you in a meditative state, leaving you much less stressed when you’re done. Just the act of having a hobby can make you feel more balanced in your lifestyle; sometimes with all of life’s responsibilities, we forget that we need and deserve ‘down time’ and self care. Taking even a few minutes on a regular basis to devote to a hobby can give you more of what you need.

Today, put yourself first and make it a priority to make art, whether alone or with a loved one. It can be anything for pottery, to drawing, or even writing. Just a couple of minutes of 'me' time can really make a difference! Need some ideas on how to generate art therapy? Click here. :) 

"When we stop fearing failure, we start being artists."

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Day 61 - Send an uplifting note to a friend who might need encouragement.

Life is pretty hard as it is, can you imagine a life with no friends? No one to confide in, to give you a shoulder to cry on, or to listen to you when you just want to vent?  I don't know about you, but my friends mean the world to me, and I'd be pretty lost without them.

Friends give you strength in hard times with words of encouragement, and when I read today's deed, I knew right away precisely which friend I wanted to send a little uplift to. This particular friend of mine is going through a very challenging time due to a bad break-up with a ruthless guy that she was dating; he took her through hell and back and once finished broke her heart to pieces. The following is the note I sent to my friend:

Dear Bestie,
I wish you could see yourself the way I see you, and I wish you could love yourself the way I love you. And above all, I wish your life everything you deserve because, in my opinion, you deserve the world. Throughout your life people will make you mad, disrespect you, and treat you bad for no reason. Let God deal with the things they do, because hate in your heart will consume you too.

Sometimes God doesn't give you what you think you want, not because you don't deserve it but because you deserve better. You have to be the strong person that I know you are, and remind yourself of that daily, and I promise you that things will be okay. Maybe not now, maybe not tomorrow, but one day (hopefully soon), you’ll look back and see that all of this made you stronger. Remember things changed for a reason, you just have to move on and let go.

Do not bring people in your life who weigh you down. And always trust your instincts… Good relationships feel right. They don’t hurt. They’re not painful. And that’s not just with somebody you want to marry, but it’s with the friends that you choose, it’s the people you surround yourself with. Remember, you were fine your entire life without him, and you’ll be even better after him.

I can’t promise to make you feel better, but I do have the arms to give you a hug, ears to listen to whatever you want to talk about, and a hear that’s aching to see you smile again. Whenever you need a shoulder to cry on, or someone to just be there, you can count on me.

love you,

Challenges and difficulties are a part of life and words of encouragement can often help you get out of distress. Friends can give you strength in hard times, act as a ray of hope in you times of gloominess, and they can help you forget your uncertainties even if it’s just for an hour; they can lift you up just by saying a couple of words or taking the time to write you a small note. Words that come from the bottom of the heart can assure your friend that what she/he is thinking as 'the end' is really not an end but a new beginning.

I’m sure you’ve had friends to help you when times get tough, so today make it a point to send uplifting words of encouragement to a friend in need, call them or write them, even if it’s a quick e-mail or a text message. Be the ray of hope for someone today, it will bring you bliss to know you’ve made a friend feel better!♥  
"Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end." 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Day 60 - Let it go.

For as long as I could remember I've always been pretty easy going, at all times going with the flow; whatever makes other people happy, in turn makes me happy. My motto has always been, it is what it is, and worrying isn't going to change things so just let it be. When I turned 25 years old I even got a tattoo that reads "let it be" on my left foot, as a tribute to my slogan and my favorite band, The Beatles.

But at the end of the day I am only human and even I have trouble letting things go at times. It’s easier said than done and when I've said I've let things go, I've sometimes lied to myself and kept them, hiding them deep down inside of me, allowing them to effect decisions I make in the future. One of the hardest things to do is just let go, we replay mistakes in our heads over and over, allowing feelings of shame and regret to shape our current lives. We cling to memories and the past, and instead of embracing the future we worry about it. We hold on to stress and collect the tension rather than just breathing and letting things go.

It's nice to stop once in a while and remind yourself to take a deep breath and just let it go!! That's when your eyes are opened and you can see what’s in front of you, learning to embrace the present moment rather than to freak out. So today, I did just that... I am extremely into yoga and meditation and remembered one of my yoga instructors telling us about something called Zen Mind which is the art of letting go. The best way to explain it is, when you simply let go, you attain a peace of mind no matter what chaos is going on around you.

I followed these simple steps and in no time I realized what I have been holding onto, one of the main things is wishing things would always meet the expectations I’ve set for myself and for others, holding onto an ideal or outcome. In reality, these expectations I’ve set control things and the way I feel about things and people; just because one person is a certain way it doesn’t mean the next person will be the same way. Today, after realizing my main issue I let it go, and it really felt good. In conclusion there has to be something that you’ve been holding onto, whether its work related, something and/or someone; stop and take the time to click the link above and I promise your eyes will be opened and once you let go you will feel like an entirely new person. By letting go you’ll release pressure, you’ll release agony, and you’ll release worry, leaving you with yourself and the work you need to do.

I leave you with this... there will never be a time when life is simple. There will always be time to practice accepting that. Every moment is a chance to let go and feel peaceful.♥

"If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace." - Ajahn Chah 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Day 59 - Tell the people you love, "I love you".

"You don't know what you have until it is gone", I'm sure all of you are familiar with that line and have heard it throughout your lifetime. We come from a generation with so much to do and so little time to do it; it’s easy to get consumed in your own life and not tell the important people in your life how much they mean to you. If you're anything like me, you expect people to read your mind and know exactly how you feel about them, but from past experiences, I've learned that unfortunately most people don't have the "superman" power of reading minds and sometimes you just have to say exactly how you feel.

In life I've realized that one of the worst things that you can ever do is to disregard saying what you want to someone; seeing that you may not have another moment to tell them what you feel and what they mean to you. We usually assume that they will always be there but you never know what the future holds.

One of the hardest things for me to talk about are the attacks on September 11, 2001; even today, 12 years later, when I read anything or see anything regarding that day I get teary eyed and usually end up crying. Although that day was one of the worst days in history, it did teach people a valuable lesson, to love each other more and no matter what the circumstances are, always tell your loved ones you love them because you never know if you'll have that chance again.

When the passengers of Flight 93 realized what was happening, they called their wives, their husbands, their mothers, their children, to say 'I love you' one last time. All of the people that were able to call out from the towers, the messages they gave or left on the answering machine were of love; wishing they could give one last kiss, one last hug, one last goodbye. Every message that was sent out that day was one of love.

Today, I called and wrote to the people in my life who mean the most to me. I told them I appreciate every little thing they do and I am blessed to have them in my life. It felt good to say it and it also felt good to hear how those three small words made the other person so happy. I am a lucky girl to have so many people who love and support me in my life and I am sure you are just as lucky as me; so make sure not to take it for granted!

If you are reading this, please take note to perhaps live a life that is free from regrets –"tell the people you love that you love them". Tell those that you appreciate for having in your life, that you appreciate them, and if there are people in your life who you benefit from by their actions, their words, or even their simple presence, tell them.

Remember to say 'I love you' to your loved ones, but most of all, mean it. Give time to love, give time to speak, and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind. And always say “I love you” before walking out the door or hanging up the phone!

"Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and griefs which we endure help us in our marching onward."
--- Henry Ford

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Day 58 - Find out how your dad proposed to your mom.

I've always been a hopeless romantic, in love with love. In my world, I believe in fairy tales and that love does come true. That's why; in today's society I am considered an idealist rather than a realist. Coming from divorced parents, that couldn't stand each other since as long as I can remember (they divorced when I was one years old), I never really stopped to ask or even think about how my father proposed to my mother.

Although, there were many bitter sweet battles between the both of them throughout my childhood, I can say that twenty years later they now get along extremely well and family events include both sides of the family including my step mother and mom's boyfriend (which adore each other).

Upon reading today's deed I can't deny I was a bit thrilled to hear how my father proposed; although they divorced fairly young, I did know that they were high school sweet hearts and madly in love with each other from the get go. So I guess you could say, when asking my mother about their proposal, I was hoping to hear about an extremely ridiculous, romantic, consuming, and amorous love story regarding the now former lovers who created me.
Instead, I got a callous dose of reality; although my mother and father "loved each other intensely",  growing up as teenagers and young adults, they didn't envision ‘jumping on a whisk’ and getting married until my mother tested positive on her pregnancy test with my older brother. When news of the pregnancy hit, my father whisked my mom away to a hole-in-the-wall (as she puts it) boutique hotel located on South Beach and asked her to marry him because they both knew it was the right thing to do. Lol. One year later, after a romantic wedding at my grandmother's house, news arrived about mistake#2, also known as little old me, and a couple years after that the battles began also known as the "D" word, divorce.

Although my parent’s story didn't end up like The Notebook, I can say I enjoyed finding out my mom and dad's history which I never even thought to ask prior to this day. If you don't already know your parent's story, you should definitely ask and watch as your mother and/or father's face light up remembering "the good old' days". Not to mention, when our parents get older, we are in the midst of our busy schedules, careers, and raising our families (if any); we never really stop to include our aging parents in our lives and show them that they are still important to us.

Remember, time passes in the blink of an eye and if you don't stop every once in a while you might miss it, and you might never have the same opportunity again to learn about your own family history's details. Don't be left with regrets in the end. Be proactive now and take the time to ask them the small simple questions which will bring happiness to the both of you by getting to know and relive the special moments. Start today by asking your parents about their proposal; I guarantee it will bring a smile to your face or at least make you laugh like mine did.

"Love isn't practical. It isn't meant to be easy. It doesn't appear on command. It doesn't let you fall for whomever you'd like. It surfaces neither the most opportune moment nor in the most convenient. It'll pair you with someone you might never have expected. It'll put you face to face with endless obstacles. But in the end, none of that will matter because it's how you overcome its obstacles that will define your love. It may not be practical, but love is ultimately the best thing that will ever happen to you."

Monday, March 4, 2013

Day 57 - Write a letter to someone who has changed your life and might not even know it.

Our life is a culmination of different experiences and interactions with other people. People come into our lives and go, but sometimes someone comes into our life and makes a huge impact, changing it drastically for the better. I'm sure everyone has at least one person who comes to mind that has made an incredible impact on them, it could have been a teacher, an ex-colleague, a professor, a dear friend, a family member, or even a distant acquaintance who said something that brought color into your world and made you see life in an entirely different perspective ever since.

Now, once you've actually thought about whom that person was in your life, the next question is... did you ever let them know?

It's important to celebrate the people who have ushered in positive meaning into our lives. In a world so hectic, and self-consumed, it’s nice to know that there are people out there who care enough to change your outlook on life and the way you observe things.

Sometimes, these people have no idea or are aware that they have made such a big influence on someone else, and letting them know about the difference they have made in your life as well as showing your appreciation to them is a great way to pay it forward. It tells them that they are doing something right and that they should continue to do what they have been doing. It tells them that the things they did to you and/or said to you really did make a difference. It tells them that they matter to someone and that they have a more important part to play in this world than they might have ever imagined.  My letter is for one of the most important people in my life, my aunt which is more like a second mother:


Looking back on the most important moments of my life, you were always there; holding my hand, being caring and supportive, and holding a vision of my highest purpose. Since the moment I was born, you and I have shared a special type of bond, one beyond an aunt and a niece, more like a second mother and best friend who I could confide in about anything and rely on no matter what came my way. Until this very day, I still love to hear you tell me stories about when I was a baby and you, just a child yourself, taking care of me, dressing me, putting deodorant under my little arms because you thought I was a little doll, and caring me out of the crib in the middle of the night when I would cry; putting me to sleep in bed with you, wiping away my tears, hugging me, and making everything feel better. Even today, when I need a hug and a shoulder to cry on you extend it no matter what time of the day or what you’re doing.

You have shown me unconditional love and support, and above all you never stopped believing in me, always pushing me to want and to strive for more. In fact, you are the main reason I believe in myself today. You modeled for me the solid virtues of steadfast, honesty, and goodness; having the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever known and true genuinity.

I am blessed to have you in my life, and I believe that you are an angel sent to me by God, to guide me, to love me, and to comfort me throughout life’s journey, and I couldn’t picture the journey without you. I have never been perfect but you loved me anyways, treating me as if I was perfect in your eyes.

The light in you shines so brightly, and I hope that you can always see it; you are a true being of light and one day I would like to be more like you – a ray of sunshine always smiling and always adoring.

As I close, I can tell you my heart is full of love for you. I’ve told you many times before but I’d like to say it once more, I am who I am today because of you. You are one of the most important parts of my life and I am so grateful to have you. You are the constant in my life and whenever I feel down, I remember my family’s love for me and I really know I’m a winner too, for having such an amazing family like you. If you and the rest of our crazy, unique, amazing family love me, it doesn’t matter how anyone else in this world feels about me. I’m special – I have to be, to be loved by such loving people. I only hope that I can make an impact on your daughter’s life, like you have made on mine, because you mean the world to me; you always have and you always will. You have all of my love and I carry your heart with mine everywhere I go.



Today, try to write to someone who has made an impact on your life; they definitely deserve to know and it will touch their heart knowing that they touched yours. It's said that people come into our lives for a reason, some for a season and others for a lifetime. Wisdom is discerning which is which and thanking them when it's due. ♥
“People inspire you, or they drain you – pick them wisely.” – Hans F. Hansen