Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
My kids are truly my reason for breathing. When I let myself BE in the moment and revel in them, they ground me and remind me of what is really important. Things often get worse before they get better, simply to test our resilience - those of us who have developed a soul with stamina will thrive, no matter what, and live to tell and share and teach - by example.
I will share here some of the comments my 8-year old has blown me away with and that I keep in my heart as teachings from an old soul.
"Mommy, why are you crying? It´s not like that´s going to make it start raining money!" (I laughed and hugged her).
"You need to go running - you always feel better after that". (Does she know me or what!)
"Mommy, it´s not like you have to do it all by yourself. Don´t you have a daughter with two hands who can help you out? Hello?" (This was late one night before having to lug up all my jewelry and groceries up three flights of stairs with my 5-year old asleep in the car. I was floored).
"I think you are beautiful just the way you are!"
My 5-year old tells me
"Mommy, I am in your heart and you are in mine"
The list goes on and on ....
Listen to your kids, but I mean really, LISTEN ... They are full of wisdom.
Monday, November 2, 2009
A friend of mine who lives in Spain asked me recently how I was doing, and I told her I would rather not detail the challenges I had been going through because I did not want to feed that kind of energy. I needed to stay strong and positive. She mentioned that I must be a pretty good actress, because from my pictures on facebook I always looked extremely happy!
I do not advocate hiding one´s feelings or faking a mood all the time. But the more I practice the art of smiling, the easier it comes to me. I mostly wear a positive attitude no matter what is happening in my life. We are not our circumstances, keep that in mind, and we CAN train ourselves to act and react differently to how we are used to in the face of challenges.
When I came back from my recent trip to NYC I left my laptop on the plane. When I realized this, I ran back to the gate and was told the seats on my row were empty. My expensive macbook was gone with everything in it! After my initial shock, I was taken aback by my own reaction to the event. I did not crumble, I did not buckle under, I did not get angry. Furthermore, I was able to comfort a friend whose new camera was stolen a week later, because I knew what it felt like to lose your main work tool. I was able to move on and with the help of loved ones, get a new laptop and continue working ... and smiling.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Behind the scenes of the documentary is Karen Hoyos www.karenhoyos.com in NYC, a motivational speaker and wonderful woman who helped me understand that even though I have published 15 books so far, I have not yet realized my life's purpose to it's full potential. There are so many more people I can reach from a higher level ... and I am going for it.
The essence of Karen's message that I am now owning, is that by getting out of our own way, we thrive. No amount of analyzing and pondering matches the feeling of being right on track with your spirit.
That which makes us feel alive, on purpose and joyful - that is what we must pursue, in every area of our lives. It doesn't matter if others don't get you. Some will, some won't ... and that's ok. Be present, be here now, don't think too much, and let yourself feel ... Speak and act from the heart, be you ... It works.
Keep in mind that each and every experience, both the apparently positive and the seemingly negative, is a stepping stone for the next experience, and that when you've been down, the only way to go is up.
I have always lived outside of the box, but now I am taking it a step further, and I am getting out of my head and into my heart and not selling out. I almost did, but Karen Hoyos helped me understand that is not an option for me.
That is true for everyone - if you get out of your own way and listen to your heart, to your soul, there is no fear, there is no doubt and everything is possible.
Then, you simply thrive ....
Monday, September 28, 2009
I have two daughters who are my engines, but yet as Khalil Gibran said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
So, again, I am left - as we all are - with myself.
I am fortunate to enjoy solitude - but it is also important not to isolate from the world, and not to hide from it, no matter what challenges it throws our way.
By cherishing and treating ourselves as the precious being we are, we will be filled enough with love to sustain ourselves and to spill into everything we do and everyone we meet.
Look in the mirror. Who do you see?
Hopefully someone you admire, support and love unconditionally.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
This basically means to have social skills and the ability to interact with people of all walks of life and not make a fool of yourself in any place or situation. Plus, you are able to conduct and present yourself in a graceful and polite manner no matter where you are.
Is this innate or is it learned? This is exactly the question posed in George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion. Audrey Hepburn, who was in my opinion, the Queen of Savoir Faire, played Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, the movie based on the musical that was in turn based on the book.
It is still a large part of European culture to use clothes and a certain attitude to express who you are. Women learn from an early age to adapt makeup and accessories to each and every situation they are in, from the gym to the boardroom. Far from feeling like slavery to looks, it is a confidence-booster and a lot of fun!
European men are also fashion-conscious without losing track of their masculinity and no, they are not all male-chauvinists.
In the U.S. the saying goes that if someone is tastefully dressed and has good manners, he or she must be gay or European. And this is supposed to be funny?
When you have savoir faire, you could be wearing sweats and you would still stand out, in a good way. It is not always what you wear, but how you wear it that counts. Your manners, your tone of voice and your presence speak volumes about you.
I recall attending a dance seminar in the U.S. where part of the day was devoted to teaching fully-grown women to walk in heels and stand around in a skirt. I experienced culture-shock right there. Shouldn't we already know this by now?
Learning to own your space and your grace, knowing when to talk and when to walk, is second nature in other countries where most women grow up to be ladies and men to be gentlemen. Admittedly it is in extinction, but thankfully not completely lost and when found, very pleasing to be around.
If you have savoir faire you have an edge, whether you are aware of this or not, and are likely to be more successful in a number of areas, from dating to doing business. It is a win-win art.www.lorrainecladish.com
Sunday, August 30, 2009
I am passionate about passion. That is, the act of following one´s dreams and heart, no matter what. Last night I found myself (again) lighting up about this subject at a parking lot, saying goodbye to a girlfriend Spanish style (we drag on farewells forever). All of a sudden I snapped out of my trance and felt I had to excuse myself, because 5 minutes into my speech I realized I may be sounding condescending, and that is certainly not my intention.
All in all I feel accomplished and I am not embarrassed to admit it. I am very grateful not only for my talents, but also for the determination I have to put them to good use. If you wait for the right moment to play your music, take up photography, start your own business, write a book or start an exercise regime, you will never do it. Not only that but the nagging guilt about not doing it will weigh you down, undermining your happiness and sapping your energy.
There is no secret to feeling accomplished other than to “just do it”. I am a writer, therefore I write. I am an author, therefore I publish. I am a dancer because I dance. I am a runner because I run. I have written late at night instead of partying with friends, instead of watching TV, juggling day work as a translator, during heartbreak, in mourning, throughout pregnancies and post-partum blues, in happy time and sad times, with and without money. My kids see that and respect it and - guess what – I found my 8-year old has several Word files in my laptop, where she has written her own stories already. My 5-year old is a born singer … I will give her wings to make her voice fly … and she knows that.
Life is filled with challenges, but they will be easier to handle if you life a life on purpose – your purpose! If you have kids, they will watch you walk the talk and they will naturally follow their own dream, because to them it will seem the normal thing to do! Just sit back and watch it happen. Your heart will swell and you will experience fulfillment. Doesn't that sound good? It is!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Of course I felt good hearing this, but on the other hand I know it is true. However, it is not something I gloat about, because it has become second nature. The main reason most people are not self-motivated is because they do not make attaining their goals part of their life-style. I believe the only reason I am so determined is because over time I made it a habit. When I incorporate something to my schedule, I tend to stick to it. I don't get lost in the last minute "should I or shouldn't I ..... ". The blank could be filled with - "go to the gym", "drive 40 miles to a dance lesson", "write another chapter in my next book", "call 10 people for my business" ... or any other number of things.
Eliminating the clutter of indecision has not only made me a fast decision-maker but it also helps me to not question the unquestionable. I want to do something - I do it. There is really no mystery to that. If you repeat this enough times ... you will be fit, write books, compose music, learn a new skill and be overall happy with who you are. Then circumstances will be just that ... circumstances, and never an excuse to not do the things you value.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
This is not only the hair-raising (in a good way) chant that ruled the U.S. and the world the night President Obama was elected, but it should be our daily motto. It is mine.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
How do I know this? Because I have also taken on ventures that I never thought I would be cut out to do. When I started out selling jewelry, I thought I could not pull it off. After all, I had worked as an accounts exec. for an advertising firm at twentysomething and CRIED before every cold call or visit. However, in my forties, because of a family financial crisis, I looked into direct sales and even though I was scared, I took it on. I have had to use willpower to call potential customers, to go out and network, to accept "no" for an answer, handle cancellations for jewelry shows, and the list goes on. But my WHY is big enough to face my fears and yes, I use willpower to keep on going in this arena.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Now, let´s dust ourselves off, stand up tall and keep on going. Life really is too short to be thinking of how nice it would be NOT to be living it sometimes. Scary thoughts maybe, but they haunt most people at some point in their life. After acknowledging that, which is rather healthy, instead of letting it all bottle up, we must move on.
Some simple things that help me shake off the blues brought on by apparently bigger-than-life issues are:
- Going for a run. This may not work for everyone, but find what makes you click and do it. Walking, going to the gym, dancing, gardening ...
- Listening to motivational audio-books. I use them when driving and I fall asleep to them when my thoughts won´t let me be at night.
- Making someone else happy by giving a compliment, sending a heartfelt e mail or smiling at them.
- Watching my kids play, and especially playing WITH them.
- Taking a shower or a bath. Sounds simple, and maybe you´ve already taken one today. But water cleanses more than the body. It also cleanses the soul.
- Mindlessly browsing through a magazine.
- Staying away, FAR away, from energy-sucking and negative people. The more evolved you become, the easier it is to detect who those people are. Also be aware that one can also have energy-sucking properties at times. But that is also easier and easier to acknowledge and steps can be taken to counteract this.
- Connecting with people who help me feel uplifted and whom I know I inspire. Inspiring another is a source of inspiration in itself!
- Doing something that scares me ... After doing it, I feel I can accomplish anything, and so empowered ...
What do you do to refuel?
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
When I come home, or interact with those who know me better, they also see someone who gets upset, frustrated and cries when she feels overwhelmed by financial pressures, wrongdoings and stressful situations. I was reading SUCCESS magazine last night, after my uplifting dance class and before falling asleep while trying to avoid thinking about all the pressing issues I’m dealing with lately. On the one hand, some of the authors writing about positivism and getting ahead in tough times sound really commonsensical. On the other hand, I feel they convey (and I've been wondering if I do too sometimes) that it is something to be ashamed of to have moments of self-doubt, of desperation and of wanting to hang out in your PJs all day and let the world do its own thing while you feel sorry for yourself.
I am the author of quite a few self-help books, and it feels ironic that I need help myself at times. But, I do go and find it, mind you! Every single day: in books, motivational CDs, pursuing my passions, listening to my children and even searching within my soul.
I am human, and my own Wonder Woman cape snags at times. I also feel hurt, alone, scared, sad and hopeless on occasion (or more than on occasion). And I’ve realized it’s ok! If I did not experience those quiet moments of desperation, I would not enjoy the fun times, the high times, and the thrill of bouncing back, dusting myself off and getting back to the task of motivating myself and others by example.
Sometimes my body and soul need to retire in solitude and feel the pain until it hurts so much that it becomes unbearable unless I do something about it. It feels like using a bow and arrow ... In order to propel the arrow forward, you have to pull it back. If you want to skate uphill, you must first skate downhill really fast, to gain momentum, and then you can take on that next slope. Hey, I’ve broken my tailbone a couple times skating, and I have strapped those rollerblades on again …
If you are feeling down and desperate, don’t beat yourself up about it. Just learn from it, know others out there, to include myself, are putting on their game face on a daily basis and that’s fine. The good thing is ... when you do it often enough, smiling and a positive attitude do become a lifestyle, and you will find ways to get back on your feet faster and faster after every fall!
Come on, we can do this!
Friday, February 20, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Now, at 45, I dance LA Style Salsa, which allows me to take advantage of the jazz, modern and even fitness stunts I can still pull off. I can do double and triple spins, drops, and so many more things that enable me to simply flow with the music and be ME ... no worries, no concerns, just the music, my moves, and the flow with my dancing partner.
Well, by the law of inertia ... I took myself back to class and social dancing, because I was making myself sick with anxiety by not pursuing one of my passions that is the healthiest pressure valve for me .... I simply cannot afford NOT to dance, especially in times of financial stress. It is cheaper than meds, therapy and the ER. My kids love who I am when I´m high with endorfins after dancing!
Consider what things you have given up to "save money" and that may be costing you your health, mental and emotional sanity and your mood, which is a lot more expensive in the long run.
I feel alive again! So can you!
Friday, February 13, 2009
It is way too easy to stay in the dark and use it as an excuse not to get ahead in life, and not to live to your fullest potential. But it is also boring and lonley in there.
We blame the economy, a boss, a parent, a friend or an enemy for our circumstances. Ultimately, however, the responsibility is our own.
I started learning this in my twenties, while battling a long and severe eating disorder that I used as a scapegoat for many things from not having healthy relationships to being irresponsible.
However, and thanks to my perseverance, I found my way to a 12-step group that helped me realize that whereas I was not to blame for my illness (nor, in fact, was anyone else for that matter), I was fully responsible for overcoming it. And overcome it I did. It wasn´t easy, it wasn´t fast and to this day I can say it wasn´t a blast ...
But that eating disorder turned into my first and best-selling book so far, published in 1993, entitled "I Feel Fat" ("Me siento gorda", in Spanish), which is unfortunately not available in English. It turned into empathy, patience and understanding of people with addictions. It turned into STRENGTH.
Because I looked for a side door in that tunnel, today I know that if I was able to beat an eating disorder and help others know what it feels like to have one, and inspire them to overcome that, I can do ANYTHING!
Think of what you have overcome in life and how that proves you can overcome the challenges you are facing now or that may lie ahead ...