Vilma Reynoso

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Four Ways to Experience Authentic Living

Vilma Reynoso, Town of Parker

I am thankful that I live near a beautiful and serene walking path in my part of the world. I have walked this path many times, and today, a windy and semi-cloudy day, I realized something.

Very recently, there used to be a wooded area around a bend and after a bridge that I found serene. It was covered with all kinds of vegetation, plants and trees. Beautiful and sometimes breathtaking, it was part of our path until the town leadership decided to remove the plants and trees and remake the area to something more practical. At first, I scoffed at this decision. I did not want it be changed. I loved it the way it was with the old trees and swamp-like essence. I enjoyed seeing it every time I walked, ran or rode on the path because it was familiar. It was comforting. It was good.

Today, as I was taking a morning stroll in the area, I realized its beauty and I acknowledged that it was more than just “a practical redo.” I now am able to sit on a man-made rock formation and meditate or relax (even sleep). I am able to hear the stream of water (and I love the sound of running water!). I can appreciate the fact that now it will be nearly impossible for this area to flood because of how they redid it. And, it is progress. It is not so scary anymore. I have embraced it. It is good.

Life is about accepting the new, not ignoring it or constantly attempting to keep it as is. Life is not about control, but it is about change and growth. Growth does not come without change. This I knew deep inside, but today, the gentle breeze, cloudy sky, and the relaxing sound of the water flowing in the new and improved nearby stream reminded me of this.

Allowing and accepting change in our lives will bring about authenticity and growth. And allowing ourselves to be authentic allows us to ultimately be the most content and happy. It is this place we all want to reach: our bliss. I was reminded of four ways in which we can attain authentic bliss today:

  • Do something you have always been terrified of doing. You will realize that the fear was only an illusion. It was in your head. Once you do whatever it is you are afraid to do, you will have destroyed those thoughts and the next time is not so scary. Most of the time, what you fear is not something in the present, but something that was part of your past and now tied up in your present imagination. I have recently done something I was terrified of doing. I am now not afraid of it anymore and realize there was no reason for me to have been afraid. You can do it!
  • Do something you love but for whatever reason stopped doing. Have you stopped golfing or swimming? Did you stop traveling or eliminated a hobby you enjoyed from your life because you now have too many “responsibilities?” If this is the case, get back into it! Once you restart this activity or hobby, you will feel authentically alive again. I am making a commitment now to restart something I love that I had given up.
  • Get reunited with someone with whom you have lost contact. Many times we lose contact with those we care about because of many reasons. Is there someone you would love to have in your life again on any level? If the answer is yes, then you need to contact that person and take a step. Once you reunite with this person, you will have opened up more authenticity in your life. You will feel more alive, more bliss. I have done this recently, and I am happy that I did.
  • Get moving and learn or do something you have never done before. Trying a new activity, a new hobby or a new adventure makes us come alive. Leave the “I can’t” thoughts behind and just do it. This new experience will enrich you, take you away from your current rut, and help you see past your preconceived ideas. You might even discover an entire new direction in life! I am making a commitment to try something new this summer.

The above four ways to experience authenticity will inspire and allow you to live from your most raw and loving self. Living authentically inspires and enhances our peace and our joy and helps us connect more deeply to each other and to our planet. And, like a new, man-made stream, life is experienced with embracing the new, moving past our fears, and accepting what is. The new stream in town is perfect. I have embraced it. You can, too.

© 2015, Vilma Reynoso, vilmareynoso.com, Inspiration for Abundant Living for all Beings From One Creative Being 

Earthships


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April Book Review: A Coming of Wizards: A Manual of Human Potential by Michael E. Reynolds

Earthships, WizardsThere is a magical, enchanting and beautiful plot of land on this planet that has inspired many to change their lives and follow their dreams. This spot is about 20 miles west of Taos, New Mexico, and is the inspiration for one man, Michael E. Reynolds, who is on course to change the world. An ahead-of-his-time visionary and entrepreneur, architect, author, environmentalist and inspirational warrior, Reynolds is nothing less than brilliant. His book, A Coming of Wizards: A Manual of Human Potential, is written to explain his method of thinking behind his revolutionary “Earthship,” a beautiful, fully sustainable structure made mostly from garbage (cans, tires, bottles, and dirt for starters) and recycled materials for off-the-grid living.

Do not let the title fool you! A Coming of Wizards: A Manual of Human Potential is a unique text in that it covers the author’s history and personal story and his thoughts and views on world ecology, architecture, spirituality and physics. It also includes Reynolds’ poetry throughout. This book is very engaging and thorough. The author shares many diagrams to explain his concepts and also pictures of his Earthship structures in New Mexico from the simple to the more complex. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a more sustainable way to live, those who are environmentally conscious or those interested in radically changing society for the better.

Part one explains the author’s state of mind, the human condition and the basic way of thinking required for humans to reach their innate potential. In part two and three of this book, Michael Reynolds presents the “wizard Information”(essentially, divine or innate wisdom that can only be attained with a proper and open state of mind) along with a real and practical way of applying it in our lives. He then explains the wisdom gained that enabled him to begin his architectural work and then expand it, and the type of thinking required to manifest such a reality. Thus, this book is about finding and moving toward our human potential and learning to work with and not against planet Earth. In his own words, “the way to ride the energy to its full potential is to know the nature of the energy, so that it doesn’t control or harm us, and to also realize we cannot control it. We are talking about an alignment or a union, or a merging with energy. This is the way of the wizard. Control is the way of the ego.”

I had the pleasure of touring some Earthships recently on a trip I took to New Mexico. I also had the opportunity to not only view the Earthships, but also to spend a few nights in two different, beautiful ones! It was an experience I will never forget, and one of my goals now is to eventually live in an Earthship myself. Below, are some photographs from my visit:

Earthships

Earthships

Earthships

A bit about the author, Michael E. Reynolds:

Mike Reynolds, Earthships

Michael Reynolds is a world famous architect who has spent the last forty plus years evolving the concept of “ home.” His vision is for the home to care for its inhabitants and not vice versa. With this logical goal in mind, he set out to design, build, refine and master the Earthship, which is now an affordable reality and can be built easily.  Designed with concepts that any person can adopt, these self-sustaining buildings can provide housing for all people on any place on the planet. To learn more about Michael E. Reynolds and his Earthships, visit: Earthship.com or GarbageWarrior.com. To purchase a copy of A Coming of Wizards: A Manual of Human Potential, visit: Earthship.com.

© 2015, Vilma Reynoso, www.vilmareynoso.comInspiration for Creative Health. Abundant Life.

 


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March Book Review: The Legacy of Luna: The Story of a Tree, a Woman, and the Struggle to Save the Redwoods by Julia Butterfly Hill

Julia Butterfly Hill, Luna, VIlma ReynosoThere is a moment in our lives when we truly come to know and understand the relationship we have with creation and nature. Nothing is ever the same again. I, as well as this courageous activist and author, Julia Butterfly Hill in The Legacy of Luna: The Story of a Tree, a Woman, and the Struggle to Save the Redwoods, in one life-changing, delicate moment in the Redwoods, understood this.

My only visit to the Redwoods was in 1992. I spent about twenty minutes hiking in and around the tallest and most beautiful living beings I had ever seen! My heart thumped, my eyes and ears opened wide, and my spirit became ALIVE. I felt a connection with all that lived in and around the trees. All my senses became alert. It was that moment in the Redwood forest that taught me the power of stillness and appreciation of nature and indescribable beauty. I wanted nothing more than to stay there forever. That day left a mark on my heart and soul that I will never forget.

Back to Julia Butterfly Hill…

Redwood Forest, Vilma Reynoso

In the Redwood Forest in 1992 (best I could do with a scanned photograph!).

It was the following words written by Hill, when she first stepped foot into the Redwood forest, that caught my attention and enthusiasm because she expressed exactly what I had felt when I experienced it:

“For the first time, I really felt what it was like to be alive, to feel the connection of a life and its inherent truth – not the truth that is taught to us by so-called scientists or politicians or other human beings, but truth that exists within creation. . . . Gripped by the spirit of the forest, I dropped to my knees and started to sob. I sank my fingers into the layers of duff that smelled so sweet and so rich and so full of layers of life, then lay my face down and breathed it in. . . .  I could feel my whole being bursting forth into new life in this majestic cathedral. I sat and cried for a long time.”

The Legacy of Luna: The Story of a Tree, a Woman, and the Struggle to Save the Redwoods by Julia Butterfly Hill, published in 2000, is a story of courage, love and unrelenting faith and determination in fighting for what one believes. It is the story of how this incredible woman saved a two-thousand year-old redwood tree named “Luna” from being cut down and destroyed by the Pacific Lumber Company. The book explains the relationship we have with nature and how its destruction creates our own destruction and demise, physically and spiritually. It demonstrates, via the author’s experiences living in 180-foot Luna for 738 days, how we, as created beings, are all related. Hill’s spiritual growth is extraordinary and poignant. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a lover and protector of nature, is an activist working to save our precious forests and land, is curious about the relationship we have with nature and all living beings (including thousand plus-year-old trees), or is looking for undeniable inspiration.

Julia Butterfly Hill

A bit about the author, Julia Butterfly Hill:

Julia Butterfly Hill is a writer, poet, and activist. She helped found the Circle of Life Foundation to promote the sustainability, restoration and preservation of life. She has been the recipient of many honors and awards and speaks at environmental conferences worldwide. To learn more about Julia, visit: juliabutterly.com.

To purchase The Legacy of Luna: The Story of a Tree, a Woman, and the Struggle to Save the Redwoods, visit: The-Legacy-Luna-Struggle-Redwoods. I bought a used copy that was printed on recycled paper.

The book is also available as a PDF for free

Vilma Reynoso, www.vilmareynoso.com, Inspiration for Creative Health. Abundant Life.

Copyright, 2014, Vilma Reynoso


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Rich in Rainbows

Dreams. We all have dreams.

We all have dreams, but how many of us truly pursue our dreams?

I am currently in the process of getting my certification as a life coach. One of the questions I have to contemplate and answer with certainty for one of my assignments is something along the lines of, “How do I picture my life and what is it that I want to experience on a daily basis?” Or, in other words, “What is my dream?” So, I have been thinking, pondering. I have been contemplating about the life I want to create, the life I dream about that I am not necessarily living now. What would it look like? Who would be in it? What would it entail? What do I want to do? What do I want to leave behind for others to learn from when I am no longer living?  How would my life serve humanity? So, I asked myself two questions: What imprint do I want to make and leave on this planet? And, and what or who inspired me to want this?  Those questions got me thinking about rainbows and clarified my dream life!

As a stay-at-home mother in my past, I noticed that one of the first activities that my three-year-old daughter loved to do was color on children’s coloring books or on any loose piece of white paper. She even tried to coordinate her colors so they, as she put it, “matched.” This endeavor is not rare, since so many toddlers love to color; however, a rainbow was the first thing she created. I did not teach her how to draw and color a rainbow. Neither did anyone else as far as I know. She must have seen one in a book or in the sky and just made it a point to create one of her own. For her first rainbow, she used three colors: red, yellow and orange. As she grew older, her rainbows became more elaborate, and she eventually perfected them with the basic colors of the rainbow we can see with the naked eye and with beautiful, rich flavor. She continued to draw rainbows whenever she got a chance. In kindergarten, she sewed the above image as her final art project before graduation. I was in awe.

There is something about this detailed image of a rainbow sewn with patience, diligence, love and talent by my little girl that touched me and inspired me. What does a rainbow represent? It represents hope after the storm. It is a mirror reflection of each and every one of us: we are all endowed with hope, (whether we want to admit it or not); we all experience heartaches and difficulties in life; and, all of us experience moments of love and joy. The rainbow phenomena can be explained by physicists and scientists, but the wonder it brings when seen in the big sky is perhaps not a mystery but an example of how each one of us appreciates beauty and creativity of all types. The rainbow, itself, is inspiring.

As I thought about the rainbow, I also could not help but think about the other woman in my life that was my greatest inspiration: my mother. She did not draw rainbows, but she was one of the most creative (and talented) human beings I have ever known, and she taught me far more than to appreciate rainbows. My mother, who is now deceased, lived a life of creativity. She was able to create and beautify anything she put her hands on! As a talented seamstress, she created gorgeous wedding dresses from scratch, she put together fantastic Halloween costumes for my siblings and me every year, she baked and cooked better than any chef I know, and she kept a beautifully-decorated and coordinated home. Her creative nature and attention to detail always inspired me. Mom taught me that beauty and creativity is not just about whether you have the ability to draw, color, paint, write or sew; being creative is about what is within the heart and expressing it in tangible form. Famous writer, Leo Tolstoy, in his essay, What is Art? (1897), explains that art must create a specific emotional link between the artist and the viewer, and the viewer must be affected. He believed art is not only about beauty. He believed art is meant to transmit previously experienced feelings and experiences to the audience. My mother, in her talent and majesty, and my daughter, in her innocence and joy, transmitted and expressed their heart-feelings in their creations.

Creating is what life is about. It is what we do whether we realize it or not. Not only do we create our lives, but sometimes our lives are a reflection of what we do not want to create and not the lives we truly desire.  At any given time, we choose to use our creativity to encourage, inspire, realign, change or enhance, or we use our creativity to discourage, alienate and destroy. And, as demonstrated by my mother and daughter in my life, art is a way of making those changes and expressing what is within for the ultimate purpose of connecting and sharing ourselves with others. So, now, my dream was clear:

I imagine a large retreat area for artists of any age or level and of all types: painters, sculptors, draughtsmen (draw-ers), sketch artists, textile artists, illustrators, photographers, digital artists, printmakers, glass workers, jewelry makers, scrapbookers, all kinds of craft makers, all kinds of writers, all kinds of dancers, and all kinds of musicians! The retreat serves two major purposes: for artists to reconnect by discovering the “artist” in themselves – whatever fashion that would be – after a tragic or difficult life experience, and to teach people how to live a life of purpose, peace, health, and joy. My retreat center sits on a beautiful and serene cliff overlooking the ocean, perhaps in the California redwood forest! All rooms are decorated with a different theme and display the works of a different artist, writer, dancer or musician. An abundance of art, music, writing, holistic health/wellness and spirituality classes and workshops are offered at the retreat from music appreciation to art therapy, from poetry writing to jewelry making, from yoga and meditation to healthy vegan eating, and more! I spend my day teaching classes and workshops, writing and coaching. When I am not at the retreat center, I am traveling and teaching classes, lecturing, writing and coaching. I am a very successful published writer and coach. People from all over the world come to the retreat center to create, to experience, to learn and to reconnect. And, there is no doubt that my daughter’s kindergarten rainbow is the FIRST decorative and inspiring image displayed on the walls of this place! The retreat center is named, Lexi’s House, in honor of my daughter, Lexi, and her rich rainbows, and it is dedicated to my mother, Amelia.

Aaaaaahhhhhh…

What is your dream? How do you imagine your life? Have you ever dared ask yourself this question, or are you living a life that is not your own? In order to find out what you want your life to look like, start by asking yourself the following questions, think and meditate on the answers, and write them down:

  • What do I imagine my life to look like if all the money, time, and resources were at my disposal?
  • What inspires me and why?
  • What event or person in my life has made the most impact on me and why?
  • What do I want to leave behind as a legacy?
  • What are my talents, my gifts, my abilities?
  • What do I love to do that makes me wish time would stand still?

What is your dream? Pull it out of your heart. It is in there.

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

Copyright, 2013, Vilma Reynoso


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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 God’s creation and His abundance. 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 the Creator’s natural 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…

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

Copyright, 2012, Vilma Reynoso