Summer…Life

2012 Summer Collage

Summer is a time of reflecting, a time of anchoring in the new, a time of relaxing, a time of traveling, a time to take up a new hobby, a time for change. And, if you have children, summer is a time to create good, quality memories!

I recently made a “summer to do” collage with my daughter: we gathered pictures from magazines depicting our plans for the summer and placed them on a large poster board we created together. As both of us came up with various ideas, I couldn’t help but ponder the differences in our personalities, and I couldn’t help but think about what we could or would learn from each other as we experienced these summer activities together.  We have spent many summers together, but this is the first time we made a collage and not just a simple “to do” list. We had fun finding the magazines, cutting out the pictures, and gluing them on the poster board, which is now hanging on a wall in our home. We made sure we chose activities that we BOTH would love to do and also a few new things to try.  Our collage is a visual reminder of what makes both of us smile and makes our hearts come alive.

Some of the activities on this collage are: swimming, bird watching, walking the dog, painting a desk, gardening, hiking, reading, manicures, picnics, and concerts.

Many of us have our daily “to do” lists, but on those lists, we do not add activities that we love or brighten our lives. Why? We live each day so programmed and inundated with our “tasks” that we miss out on life.  When is the last time you actually did something you enjoyed, something that gave you joy and peace? When is the last time you couldn’t stop laughing or smiling? I have noticed in my life that if I don’t schedule in “fun,” – whatever that is for me – I can be prone to become “task oriented” only and miss out on what truly nourishes me. I have discovered that living life to the fullest includes making the fun or new things part of my schedule, or they don’t happen.

Below are five tips on how to schedule the “fun” or the “new” in your life.

1. Make a list, journal about, draw, or make a collage of anything you would like to do, have always wanted to do, or would give you peace. DO NOT analyze it, start researching it, tell yourself you can’t because … (fill in the blank), or talk yourself out of it. Just get it on paper in whatever form is comfortable for you, personally.

2. Discover where your time is spent. Grab seven pieces of notebook paper and label each one each day of the week. Make two columns on each piece of paper.  Label the left column, “Activity.” Label the right column, “Time.” For one week, write down everything you do and the time it takes to do each activity. Include sleeping, working, grooming, cooking, driving, exercising, Facebooking, talking on the phone, watching TV, cleaning up, etc. An example would be: showered and dressed – 7:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. Do not analyze what you are doing – just write it down. This can seem a bit cumbersome at first, but if you do this for a week, you will see clearly where your time is spent (willingly or not).

3. Scrutinize where your time goes. What are the activities that are an absolute necessity? Some of these might be working, feeding the kids, driving to work, paying bills. What are some things you are doing that could be done differently, faster, at a better time? What are some activities that could be eliminated? Are you spending too much time watching TV when you could be using that time for something that feeds your soul? Are you spending too much time washing dishes when you can ask one of the children to help?

4.  Make the necessary changes, one at a time, to achieve what is on your list, drawing, journal or collage. Spend less time on Facebook. Put things where they belong the first time, so you don’t have to pick up. Ask one of the children to feed the animals, so you have that extra time for yourself. Take a shorter route to work. There are endless ways to change how your time is allotted. Making changes is personal, and it is reflective of who you are, what you want, and what makes you tick. And, not everything on your list has to be completed right away. My daughter and I will be visiting the science museum, once, but that will not happen until Aug, for example.

5. Live abundantly! Be proud of yourself for making changes one step at a time and savor the new activity, hobby or event. Start by being thankful that you took the time to review how you spend your time. Always add to your list, drawing, journal or collage. Living abundantly is learning to create a life that you, personally, enjoy!

Go for it!

Vilma Reynoso, www.vilmareynoso.comInspiration for Creative Health. Abundant Life.

Copyright, 2012, Vilma Reynoso

Humility and Intuition

 “Without humility there can be no humanity.” – John Buchan

There was a time in my life where I was in a bad situation and had to leave to save my sanity. I left with only my clothes, my laptop, and my scrapbooks to an empty and cold apartment. I remember sitting on the floor, thinking over the fear I had felt in the last few months and wondering what was next in my life. As I pondered, I learned quickly that my sanity, my peace, and my life was much more important than “stuff,” even though in under a week’s time, I would have an apartment full of donated furniture, a bed to sleep in, and things we usually take for granted, like glass bowls and silverware. This was, indeed, one of the most humbling experiences of my life. However, the lessons and blessings of humility I would experience were only beginning.

As the Christmas season approached, stores were decorated and streets and homes around the neighborhood sparkled and shined with multi-colored lights.  Thinking about the upcoming holiday in my new residence, I felt and heard a small voice urge me to ask for cookbooks (something I loved and had left behind). I felt funny even considering asking for anything after all that I had received recently, but I listened to my intuition that told me, “Don’t be proud; ask for some cookbooks; reach out; just do it.” I sat on this for a day or two and tried to dismiss the thought, but I could not. So, I decided to place an add on Craig’s List asking if anyone had any cookbooks to give away. I received a response within a day from someone who I now call “my angel.” She offered me a few of her cookbooks. Elated but still feeling a bit apprehensive about accepting more gifts from strangers, I met her at a restaurant not far from where I lived to receive her selfless gift. It was a quick exchange. As she handed me a heavy bag, I couldn’t help but think, “There must be many cookbooks in here!” Back at my apartment, when I opened the bag, I was pleasantly surprised to discover not only five or six cookbooks, but also a candle, a movie coupon, and a note with a coffee mug that stated, “Take pride in how far you have come and have faith in how far you can go.” The note attached said something similar. As I read the note and the mug, tears came to my eyes. This complete stranger sent me something that I needed to hear at one of the most trying times of my life, something I didn’t expect.  She did not know me from Adam, and yet, somehow knew to send a note of encouragement with her gift. Nothing like this had ever happened to me. As I sat in my apartment contemplating what just occurred, I could not help but thank God, who I believe was the still, small voice I had felt and heard. After pondering for a few moments, I decided I needed to thank this stranger and tell her a little about what I had been going through, so she would understand how precious, timely and pertinent her gift was. I found the email she sent and sent her a thank you reply. Weeks passed, Christmas came and went, and there was no reply. I was thankful, however, for the lesson to listen to my small voice and for her generosity.

After the dawn of the new year, I received an email response from her. We communicated via email for about a week and got to know each other. Then one day, to our amazement and delight, we discovered that we lived a stone’s throw from each other – she lived in the building south from mine in the SAME APARTMENT COMPLEX! WOW. She also had a son, was a single mom, and had a similar, difficult life change like I was experiencing! We became great friends from that moment forward, and she became a significant part of my new year. Life is just awesome sometimes!

To this day, she is still one of my best friends that I will cherish always no matter where we are or how much time lapses between meetings. She was my angel in a time of desperate need, and her selfless and very thoughtful act and approach was priceless! If only more people today would approach the world and it’s constituencies in the same fashion, what a beautiful place this planet would be! I am also thankful that I listened to my voice, did not head my pride, but humbled myself to ask when in need, and thus, was truly and remarkably blessed!

The lesson: heed your intuition, live humbly and express your need, and be blessed by true humanity. One person’s selfless idea and one person’s humility can change the world.

Tears…

Vilma Reynoso, www.vilmareynoso.comInspiration for Creative Health. Abundant Life.

Copyright, 2012, Vilma Reynoso

Reflections on Mom and Mother’s Day

It is an atypical, gloomy Mother’s Day in my part of the world today, but my spirit is feeling content and peaceful. I am a mother; I have a precious child that I have been given to help walk through life to the best of my ability. However, today, like any other Mother’s Day, I  am thinking of my own mom, who, more than any other person in my life, has made the biggest imprint on my heart.

Mom was one of the most giving and selfless persons I have ever known – perhaps to her detriment. She was in ill health almost the entire sixteen years I had with her. Despite not feeling well most of the time, she gave and gave. Her creative talent was sewing and decorating; every Halloween, my siblings and I would have the best costumes in the neighborhood that were created from scratch by Mom. We always had good food, warm clothes, and a cozy bed to sleep in; she took excellent care of us when we were sick, laying at our bed sides and making sure we were as comfortable as possible. She baked girl scout cookies, helped us with school projects, made an effort to be involved in our lives as much as possible. She made our home a beautiful place that in every corner demonstrated without any doubt her fabulous, creative side. She was also a wonderful wife. However, despite all the above, what I remember the most was how she suffered, and as a result, at times, was not the most loving mother. As I became an independent and very curious young adult, I could not understand Mom’s suffering and bad behavior. However, now, as a mother myself, I have come to realize how difficult life must have been for her.

Mom’s life ended while I was in high school one evening after collapsing two weeks earlier from a stroke-induced coma. She had not learned to love herself and take physical, emotional and spiritual care for herself first so she could best love others. She carried everyone else’s burdens in her body, spirit, and mind. It caught up to her eventually, as it does with everyone, and her life came to an abrupt halt when I least expected it. Mom taught me that life is precious, that every moment counts. Every day counts. Every thought and action counts and will spur on love or fear and destruction. It is really that simple.

Today, as a mom, I am living simply. I gave my daughter a massage, a manicure, a pedicure, and fixed her hair in a French braid. It is the first time I ever did all this at the same time for her, and other than the time it is taking me to write and post this blog, we are spending the rest of the day together with no distractions – no TV, internet, I-pod or any other twenty-first century time-consumers. She was delighted and especially loved  spending time with her mom! I probably enjoyed it more than she did, because I remember how much I longed for my mother to spend this kind of time with me. As a working mom now, I know how difficult it can be to find time to spend with our children, and my mom did her best with what she knew. We all do what we know to do, and that is all we can do. What is important is implementing new ideas and strategies when we learn them and focusing on what is most important – time with our children.

So, I’ve learned many lessons from my mom. I suppose the most important one being the love for a child is beyond anything I can explain, and the limited time we have with our children together is priceless. I am going to make each moment I have with my gift count. It is time to spread the love and wisdom Mom bestowed upon me to my daughter.

Thanks, Mom.

Vilma Reynoso, www.vilmareynoso.comInspiration for Creative Health. Abundant Life.

Copyright, 2012, Vilma Reynoso

26.2 Happens

Today was the day I was supposed to have finished my first marathon – 26.2 miles – and I couldn’t help but reflect on that fact on this beautiful Sunday in May. It seems, this was not the year for me to do this. Part of me is very competitive (with myself) and I could not even imagine forgoing running this race when I made the decision to do it last Dec. I had found a perfect training schedule to follow that fit my schedule very well. I had been following it for months, starting in Jan of this year until I injured my right calf running a 10 mile race in mid Feb. Knowing that this injury would set me back a few weeks at least, I was upset but still determined to go for it and run the marathon. However, it seems that life decided to throw a new twist into my little world.

Since I could not run for about three weeks, I decided I would start a detox cleanse during that time. The fasting went well, but, as it turns out, was the beginning of more cleansing to come. As is indicative of the body detoxifying itself, I have not felt on top of my game or as well as I usually feel since then, so I never did get caught up with the training I needed to do to prepare for the marathon. Over the last few months as I thought about the fact that I was not running and training like I should have been and wanted to, I concluded that my health was more important and discovered that this year, 2012, is my year of deep cleansing on the physical, emotional, and spiritual level. I have been fasting, juicing and cleansing my body since that injury occurred in Feb.  I also believe the  injury happened to deter me from running and propel me to cleanse myself instead. I have no regrets. Sometimes life throws curve balls at us. Sometimes, things just do not happen for a good reason. Sometimes, we just need to accept it and not try to change it or control it. Sometimes, we just need to know that the Divine is trying to teach us something different, perhaps something we NEED and not something we THINK we want.

As I have mentioned, I am very competitive with myself, and it took an injury (I couldn’t walk for a week without pain) to get my complete attention. I have learned throughout my full life that the unexpected can be a blessing in disguise, that life is meant to be lived and experienced; and, there are some events or circumstances we must embrace;  the difficult experiences do teach us, if we are open to experiencing them fully.  I believe my time to run my first 26.2 miles is coming in the future. Right now, I cannot say when, but I know, for now, I am listening to the still, small voice that tells me healing is what this time in my life is about, not running.

It is said when one runs a marathon, every last bit of energy, strength, focus, power and determination is used, especially during the last six miles. I am a runner. I have ran many races – the farthest distance being a half marathon, 13.1 miles.  But today, I am embracing a new, more important race, a different and more satisfying “marathon.”

So be it.

Vilma Reynoso, www.vilmareynoso.comInspiration for Creative Health. Abundant Life.

Copyright, 2012, Vilma Reynoso

Let’s Roll

Iguazu Falls, Brazil and Argentine Border

I thought today would be an appropriate day to start blogging at the end of a breathtaking Earth Day in my part of this world. I am in love with nature. I am responsible, as a living, breathing, conscious human being to take care of what is bestowed upon me. This is a photograph taken on the Argentina and Brasil border at Iguazu Falls in 1998 on a visit to my home country of Argentina. No words could adequately describe what I felt watching and listening to those majestic waters. It is moments like these that don’t only take our breathe away but spur us to ask the question, “What am I doing here?”

I am in the process of revamping my website and will be offering more of myself and the gifts that have been given to me to share with as many interested individuals on this planet. For now, I have begun this blog. My hope is that you are encouraged, inspired and moved to think differently about the world around you and about who you are relative to it.

Recently, I have begun a raw food journey, which, frankly, sometimes has left me speechless! I expected to feel healthier, to look healthier, to savor an abundance of nature’s food, and to love it.  Not only am I experiencing that, but I am also finding that the raw food life is an abundant spiritual life as well. I feel a turn around in myself, once again. It is another life journey that I am now embarking on, and am choosing to love every moment of it!

Stay tuned for many more blogs. I am just now getting started.

Let’s roll…

Copyright, 2012, Vilma Reynoso