Look… Listen…

We live in a world of contrast. Of duality. Of division. Of perception. Of perspective. Of difference. Of illusion…

We focus on the little things. After all, these are often the big things in our life. We focus on our family, friends, work, our belongings, our dreams. Each one of us has a bubble we can fit our whole life into. Everything and everyone we know.

Isn’t it funny, however, that even though we focus on what we can see, on what’s right in front of us… sometimes… we miss it altogether?

The big picture.

The raw beauty that always surrounds us. The energy. The connectivity. The LOVE.

We prioritize possessions over experiences.

We think tomorrow is promised.

We take the act of breathing for granted.

We take our very existance… for granted.

When was the last time you thought of yourself as more than just your name, age, nationality, profession, gender or status…

When was the last time you contemplated yourself as a universe, within a universe, within a universe?

Who are you? What are you? Why are you here?

When was the last time you had a conversation with the real you?

Speak up, soul.

Speak loud.

This body is here to listen.

I suffer from F.O.B.S {& more confessions…}

I’ve procrastinated for over 2 weeks deliberating whether or not to write this article. Alas, here I am.

This is going to be a tad different from other posts. I’m going to get more personal and intimate with you. More open, more honest.

Am I a positive person? Hell yes.

Am I spiritual? I am constantly practicing spirituality.

Am I kind? The older I get, the kinder I get.

Am I good? As good as I want to be on a good day.

Am I perfect? No freaking way.

I am human after all.

Could I be better? Yes.

Could I be happier? Indeed.

Could I be more stable in my emotions? Absolutely!

Could I achieve great things? Yes. Yes. Yes.

What’s stopping me?

That is what we’re going to talk about today…

You see, I think that ever since childhood I’ve suffered from this particular syndrome.

I call it the F.O.B.S, i.e:

THE FEAR OF BEING SEEN

 

Just by hearing this, you can probably relate. Maybe it made you smile or shy away. Either way, I know I’m not alone in this.

The Fear of Being Seen Syndrome has plagued me my whole life.

Imagine that you are the sole owner of the biggest, brightest, clearest and finest diamond in the entire world. What do you do? Wear it around your neck everywhere you go? Or keep it somewhere hidden where you know it will be safe?

Now imagine, that diamond… is you. You are this beautiful, one of a kind gem. You’re priceless. So what do you do? Do you put yourself out there, lay your truth bare, stand naked in Times Square to show off your radiance? No… you hide it. You keep it safe. You protect it. Or at least that’s what you tell yourself…

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All these years, it’s what I told myself. I was SO AFRAID of being seen. Of someone discovering the REAL me. Of being recognized for who I really am. Of being noticed for my kindness, my thoughts, my words, my deeds, and most importantly…. My heart.

Yet, at the same time, I was DYING for someone to see beyond what I would show. Like some magic stare from some magical person could break through all the falsities and just see… me. If it happened like that, I would know that I was safe.

Ultimately, it was a fear of being hurt, rejected, judged, criticized, also a fear or raising the bar of expectations (for others and myself), a fear of not being able to go backwards, a fear of not recognizing myself, of losing the relationship I had with me. A fear of being inadequate, of not feeling like enough….. Basically, the entire dictionary of fears!

No matter what I did, I couldn’t shake these fears off my shoulders. I collected all my insecurities like jewelry and decorated myself with them.

For years I felt heavy. Unaware of the invisible weight I was carrying around with me. (not to mention the additional physical weight of top of that!)

It took me YEARS and I mean that literally to gain some perspective, some self-love and self-respect.

To love myself, want myself and choose myself the way I wanted others to.

It took me decades to value and appreciate my strengths, my talents, my gifts, my AWESOMENESS!

Like I am a GREAT listener (seriously, ask anybody), If you’re my friend you know you can always count on me, I’m a giving lover, I’m a challenging daughter (in a  good way hahaha, I love you Ma & Pa), I’m a grateful traveler, a pretty rad teacher. However, there are things I want to try that push me outside of that attractive comfort zone so I keep procrastinating because secretly I am terrified of trying new things (yup). For example, my friends tell me I have a really nice voice and I’ve got a knack for storytelling. I actually love to tell stories. However, making videos or starting a podcast intimidates me. (plus im not as technologically savvy as I seem…. You see what happened right there? Another limiting belief… * mental delete*)

These are things that I push through, little by little, piece by piece, day by day, until the puzzle is complete.

fabulous

I KNOW I have so much more to offer, to give away, to learn, to see, to be. Sometimes during my meditations I feel this power surge through me, begging me to be released. How? Where? Into what? These are the current questions that plague me.

How do I reach a state of full expression? Without limitations or restrictions?

How do I let myself show, completely, unapologetically, openly, strongly, and wholeheartedly?

How do I let go of my fear of being more that what I thought I was capable of?

How do I fall into all this gorgeous glory?

Gosh, does it really belong to me?

YES!!!! Because IT IS ME!

So, I guess, my advice to you after all these years of searching and hurting and growing and breaking and learning is the following:

Life is a story and you are the main character. You can choose to be the hero, the villain or the victim.

But ultimately, it’s your choice. You can hold so many titles. Play so many characters. Just choose the one that fits you best.

Every day I choose to be the hero. The warrior. The kindness agent. The dream maker. The philosopher. The gardener. The healer. The photographer. The artist. The musician. The nomad. The label breaker. The seamstress. The butterfly. The leaf. The sun rays. The treasure. The diamond. The student. The guest. The star. The instrument. The raindrop. The feather. The cloud. The ocean. The rock. The scientist. The lotus. The dragon. The swan. The passenger. The key. The pearl. The projector. The blank page. The entire damn Saga.

You are a soul. You are Concentrated Energy. Know this. Know the light that you hold. The power within.

Know your worth. Discover you’re limitless. Admire yourself.

You are everything you have ever searched for

You are Love

You are Peace

You are Happiness

You are Truth

You are Beauty

You are Bliss

Know this

Feel this

Be this

And allow yourself to shine through

All the fears and BS around you

Just…

Be.

Dear Reader,

I beg of you…

Remember your divinity.

 

{this article was mad scary to write so please be gentle with your comments. My big, open, heart would appreciate it. Thanks}

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Have you met Vidal?

I am going to be real with you. I sometimes go into a deep existential crisis when I think about the future of humanity. When I think about the world that I must grow old in, the world in which the children I will one day give birth to have to grow up in. What kind of world will that be?

My optimism allows me to hope for the best. When I see the youth of today, I think of myself and remember that most things are just a phase and we need to go through certain life experiences in order to grow and expand our consciousness. However, this new generation has an obsession with technology. Striving to create virtual connections yet failing somewhere along the line to nourish and value true connections, emotions, people.

A lot of what is needed currently in the world are more of us being present in the moment. Absolutely present. Mind, body and soul connected to the action.

 However, I know for a fact that not all adolescents are the same. No human being is like any other. We are each unique in our experiences, our thoughts and our beliefs.

I put a lot of faith in the youth. I believe we are underestimating their power. I believe a ten year old has infinite potential within him yet he doesn’t have the space to express it.

That’s why I’m always moved when I read stories about very young children making a difference, whether at home, in school, for their community or their country.

It shows a powerful soul knowing its purpose and overcoming any adversity.

You might have met this young man already but if you haven’t, I want to make sure you do.

Meet 13-year-old Vidal Chastanet from Brownsville, Brooklyn. He had a chance encounter with Brandon Stanton, creator of the popular website Humans of New York.

Brandon took Vidal’s photo, and asked the teen who the most influential person in his life was; Vidal replied it was his Principal, Nadia Lopez, at Mott Hall Bridges Academy. The interaction went viral in this touching photograph.

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Curious Brandon just had to meet this amazing principal.

It turns out that Ms. Lopez was in the middle of raising money to send her students on a trip to Harvard, a college she wanted them to have in the forefront of their minds. Soon thereafter, Brandon found himself joining the cause, helping to raise over $700,000 for the trip in just four days.

“Nadia’s unbelievable,” Brandon tells Ellen’s Good News.

“She’s like a movie character, she just cares so much and she’s tough. It’s what you need in this area. She’s tough and she’s unbelievably committed and ambitious, but ambitious on part of the kids. She could have been CEO of a Fortune 500 company, but decided to be principal in one of toughest neighborhoods in Brooklyn.”

Because they’ve raised so much money – their original goal was only $100,000 – the entire school will be visiting Harvard, and subsequently, the sixth-grade class will be able to go for the next ten years. Additionally, they will be able to establish a summer program to run for the next 10 years, as well as a scholarship fund named in Vidal’s honor.

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“When people tell you they’re from Brownsville they get cringes. There’s a sense of hopelessness. I want these kids to know that there are no limits or boundaries to where they can go… I also want those institutions to see the impact they can have on those children’s lives.” says Nadia. She is making a huge impact on her students. She started the school in 2010 as a way to change the narrative of the neighborhood, and to empower students to believe they are more than their surroundings. Vidal says he began school with a “short temper” and often got in trouble, but Nadia changed his attitude.

“If you’re from Brownsville, they don’t expect you to be much in life,” he says. “They don’t expect you to have a quality education, they don’t expect you to know what you’re doing. They expect you to fail. They don’t want you to become anything that you want to be… I realized that if I want to be anything in life, as Ms. Lopez said, I have to learn how to be better. It doesn’t matter about the past and present, you must focus on the future. Your future is what you set it to be in your mind.”

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The most recent post shows Ms. Lopez at an assembly on Monday where Ms. Lopez explained the fundraiser to the entire student body. Most of the students had already heard bits and pieces about what’s been going on, but Ms. Lopez projected the blog onto a screen and walked through the entire story. She began with Vidal’s original post and ended with the final tally raised thus far. ($707,000 at the time. over a million now!)

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“I have something to admit to all of you. Before all of this happened, I was about to give up. I was broken. I felt like typing my resignation. I told my mother: ‘Mom, I don’t think I can do it anymore. Because I don’t think my scholars care. And I don’t think they believe in themselves enough to care. I’m afraid they don’t think they’re good enough.’ And she told me to pray on it. But I told her, ‘I might be too angry to pray.’ And I know this is hard to believe, because you guys have never seen me break. But I was broken. It’s just like when you see your mom break down. You only see your mom cry when she’s been fighting so hard for you and she doesn’t think you care. That’s how I felt. But then a couple nights later I was with my daughter at a Broadway show, and we were waiting for the show to start, and I started to get all these text messages from my teachers and former students. And then I saw Vidal’s face pop up on my screen. And my first thought was that something bad had happened. Because that’s normally the case around here when someone’s photo shows up unexpectedly. And the moment I realized that Vidal had said something nice about me, the usher came over and made me turn off my phone. When intermission came, my daughter said: ‘Mom, we’ve got to find out what’s happening.’ So we went and sat in the car. And I read what Vidal said, and I began to read the comments. And tears started coming down my face. Because even though I always tell you that you matter, up until that moment, I didn’t feel like I mattered.”

This is love. Care. Inspiration. Kindness. Solidarity. Hope.

This is Humanity.

That’s why it touches us all.

PS – There are still 7 days left to donate! If you’re interested in reading more about the cause or adding your little grain of salt, click here.

PS 2 – Aren’t you glad you met Vidal? 🙂

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Caged Bird, Take Flight.

Caged bird, take flight. Never lose your will to fight.

I am elated.
I am proud.
I am grateful.

Today, on Music Monday (yes, I just made that up) I’d like to share with you a local band from my beautiful island of Barbados. A treasure find is more like it.

Hungry Soul is a new band but lead singer Dennica Pearl has been creating music for some time now. The 22 year old, singer-soul writer, born in St. Michael, Barbados and raised in Florida. Acoustic, soul, jazz artist influenced mainly by Billie Holiday, Tracy Chapman, and Erykah Badu. Her belief that musicians are agents of change with the responsibility to lift the social level of consciousness are reflected in her lyrics.”

I am proud to call the members of this band my friends & beautiful souls. The Universe brought them to me and now I am sharing their gift with you. I hope this song brings you love, joy and peace today 🙂

I love this song, maybe because I feel like the bird in it. Living in a prison that I created for myself. I remember reading Maya Angelou‘s poem for the first time and thinking since when was freedom something we had to fight for? Nevertheless, it is. Until this day, there are people fighting to keep us ‘free’.

There’s liberation in these lights.

Music frees the masses,

come unwind your mind.

We live in a world

full of mass confusion;

unmask your psyche,

control is an illusion.

We all have a version of a ‘cage’ in our life. Whether it’s regret, fear, or sorrow holding us back. Whether it’s your job, bank account or city. I’ve never met anyone that hasn’t felt trapped. But we are not. There are no chains tying us to the ground. We were born to fly. If you believe this, you will be able to soar across the highest of peaks. Believe. Believe in yourself, your strengths, your capabilities.

Believe that you deserve to live your dreams. And live them.    

It’s not as complicated as you make it out to be 🙂

I’d also like to remind you: There is inspiration everywhere.

Take a walk around your neighborhood, explore your hometown, find a local group or band or class or person that is attuned to your frequency. Really notice your surroundings. You might be amazed and what you find. A mutual friend introduced me to this amazing band and when I met the lead singer, she can attest that I told her I loved her on the first day of meeting her. She had such a pure, generous and radiant energy. In her, I found another soul sister. Thank you, Universe. So get out there, put your best foot forward and allow what’s meant for you to come your way.

 

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Wake Me Up

Feeling my way through the darkness
Guided by a beating heart
I can’t tell where the journey will end
But I know where it starts
They tell me I’m too young to understand
They say I’m caught up in a dream
Well life will pass me by if I don’t open up my eyes
Well that’s fine by me

So wake me up when it’s all over
When I’m wiser and I’m older
All this time I was finding myself
And I didn’t know I was lost

 

Edgar Allan Poe, a gloomy poet, once famously said “All that we see or seem. Is but a dream within a dream”

That stuck with me. I’ve been contemplating my reality for as long as I can remember. I ask myself “Am I creating the situations in which I am living right now? And if that is true, if I am the master of my domain, then can I change it? Can I change my circumstances? Can I change my perceived reality? Can I physically alter what’s in front of me?”

And the answer is yes.

Believe it or not, we each have chosen how we want to live. The experiences we want to have, the friends we like to keep close, the family members we only visit once a year, the job we’re doing, the money we’re making, the party we’re going to, the food we’re eating, the nationality we’ve been given. They have all been choices made by us. We are not victims. Life is not some big, ugly conglomerate that is out to make us suffer.

This life that we’re living and the way that we’re living it has a purpose. We’re here to learn something, to experience something, to heal something or someone. So we’ve chosen this life. We’ve chosen to be this person. Daughter or son to that person, father or mother to this person, best friend to that person, teacher of this school, author of that book. It’s not random. You have decided on it. You have chosen to be who you are right now.

Sometimes a situation or person appears in our life and teaches us something we never knew before. That’s growth. And it was meant to happen. If we weren’t constantly growing and developing as human beings, what would be the point?

So… if there’s something you don’t like in your life right now. Something you’re not so satisfied with. I want you to know that you can change it. You have the power. I say this all the time but I’m just going to repeat it once again… You are powerful beyond measure.

I invite you to Wake Up to your power and don’t let your life go by without mastering it. Without living it to its fullest potential. To your fullest potential.

Happy Monday guys ❤

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Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So get on your way!

 

This is a beautiful and creative recital and you can feel the love emanating from it with every spoken word.

I love Dr. Seuss! I remember being 20 years old at Universal Studios in Orlando, FL and all I wanted to do was ride The Cat in the Hat ride.

My childhood is a blurry memory but I have the fondest flashbacks when I see anything Dr. Seuss related. I think they were the first books that introduced me to rhymes.

I fell in love with the way that you could mix words together to make it sound like a song of sorts. I loved letting my imagination run wild and trying to create stories with rhymes. That’s a habit I haven’t lost.

Sometimes we need to take a deep breath and think back on our childhood. Remember the ease in which happiness came to us. And let it come to us again.

Curious about Burning Man? Click here.

 

The Lost Thing.

Put life aside for 15 minutes and watch this video.
Yes, I know what I said and I mean it.
I promise you it is worth each and every valuable second of your precious time.
This is a short film done by Shaun Tan. Now, I don’t know Shaun. But I love him. He resonates with my mind and soul.

I remembered this video and wanted to share it with you today when I began to clean my room. Lol. Hear me out just a little longer.

So I began to clear my room and I thought to myself “I need to find a place for everything.” Every item that I was trying to organize had to have a designated spot in order for things to look neat. But some of my stuff don’t have a “place”. They’re just all over the place or they could be in different places at different times. But that causes disorder.

So I started to think about us human beings and how funny enough we’ve seemed to kind of created a sort of “tidy room”. We know where we’re supposed to be at all times. At home, or work or in traffic or at a dentist appointment. When we stray is when terrible or amazing things happen, or so we think. It’s only so because it’s unexpected.

So what would happen… if we all got messy for a day? There would be chaos wouldn’t there? Well this video touches on the subject of belonging and if you haven’t thought about it before, it will surely get you thinking about your place in this vast space.

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Keep Going!

the world can be better
despite of its flaws
the world can be better
and you’ll be the cause

 

This is a hearty reminder to be aware of your power as a one-of-a-kind living, breathing, human being. As a soul. As a heart. As a dream. As a person.

You are the most amazing you, the only you that you can be and YOU have the power to make a difference. You do!

We are all connected my friend. So everything you do, believe it or not, affects me some way or the other!

Our actions, our choices, our thoughts and our emotions all trigger a series of events, some of which we are aware but a lot of which we are not. However, it is still important to be aware of your meaning in this vast Universe. If we each take a tiny step towards the same direction, can you imagine what could happen? If we all decide to feel and share Love right now. In this present moment. Don’t you think there’d be a reaction?

Look at Kid President (who is such a cutie btw). He is out there changing the world with his own little hands and feet because he is AWARE of his potential to do so. Don’t wait for the world to change, be the change that you wish to see as Gandhi said.

Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.
Margaret Mead

 

Everything I do nowadays is focused on that one purpose. To change the world. I’m doing it. I’m changing it. I’m inviting all of you to change it with me 🙂

Sending lots of ❤ your way… Pass it forward!

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I feel so close to YOU right now!

I feel so close to you right now
It’s a force field
I wear my heart upon my sleeve, like a big deal
Your love pours down on me, surrounds me like a waterfall
And there’s no stopping us right now
I feel so close to you right now

Dear Readers,

I am so excited! I have just reached 50+ followers! Some might think that this number seems small in the grand scale of things but to me, this is the grand scheme of things. 

I want to share with you why I started this blog. I had learned something a few years ago and that something was that no matter what you’re going through, you are not alone. You are NEVER alone. There is always going to be someone, somewhere out there that knows and feels exactly what you’re going through.  To me, learning that was comforting in a way I can’t quite explain. So I thought to myself…. If there’s someone out there that is currently feeling my pain, my sorrow, my despair, my confusion, making my mistakes then  that means that there’s also someone out there sharing my joy, my happiness, my passion, my awe, someone that was on the path of exploration and discovery, someone with my music tastes, someone just like me. So I started this blog to connect with… someone, anyone, everyone. My goal was if I was able to make one person smile, question their reality, believe in themselves that I could die happy.

All of us have something in common, not only are we online at the same time and use the same site to host our blogs but we are… seekers, lovers, thinkers and dreamers. I just want to say thank you for recognizing the piece of me that isn’t so different from a piece of you. I’m looking forward to us all growing together.

Much Love!