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The Crack

On the last day of the year, 2013, I thought I would ponder, once again, that age-old question: “What is the meaning of life?”

What a crazy question that has been asked over the centuries since the beginning of time! There is no other question, I believe, that has been asked more. And, answers? There are probably as many answers to this question as there are thinkers and philosophers who have asked it over the ages. It is a question that really has no direct, easy answer.

One such thinker and philosopher who asked this question and contemplated the answer to it was Henry David Thoreau. In the mid 1800’s, this man decided to take up the challenge of trying to answer the important question, “What is the meaning of life?” Thoreau decided to ponder the question as he lived by himself in a small house in the woods which contained one room and a nearby outhouse for two years, two months, and two days. There, in this peaceful and serene place, he thought, studied, meditated, and experimented, deeply pondering not only what the meaning of life is, but also why it is that man is always wanting more and seems to never be satisfied with what he is and has. Alone and at peace, Henry David Thoreau became in tune with the Creator, the force that exists in all creation, the universal spirit and intuition that resides in all people and which stimulates man to live. During this momentous time, he wrote his best work, Walden. Thoreau discovered that life is always seeking to expand, emerge, to grow. He also concluded that what we dream about for our lives is not only that which is seeking to emerge from us, but it is nothing less than the creative force, the infinite Creator, or God (whatever your choice of words) that wants to manifest itself in our lives through our expression and creativity. Life, and the meaning thereof, is all there is. The meaning of life is to adhere to the creative force within and express it outward. It is to allow the life spirit within to live.

Have you ever taken a walk and have you ever pondered the cracks in the pavement? How many times have you seen that tiny, soft green plant emerging from concrete? It has managed to grow through that thick material wanting to live, hasn’t it?  We are the same. Everything we do, the very reason we get out of bed in the morning is because life is seeking to emerge from us; life is seeking to have a fuller and freer and more expanding expression through us, all the time.  We want more clothes, more money, more friends, a bigger house, a larger yard, a new profession, a new book to read, a special relationship, more freedom, more creative expression, more LIFE! We seek because we are expanding beings who MUST create and expand. It is not wrong to want more; it is actually normal and natural. Like the blade of grass that needs to break through the payment, we always need to break through to a fuller and more expansive life. And, this is where our dreams come in. The life we would love living is the life that is seeking to emerge from us.

How do we live our dream life? Our first step is to decide what our core values are and then start to imagine a life we would love that would encompass those values. You might value your time with your family, or you might value spending time by yourself reading and need this time to relax and recharge. You might value nature and prefer to spend an hour a day experiencing the outdoors. You might value health and prefer to eat healthy foods and exercise daily. You might value peace, love, or respect. Or, perhaps you value friendships and desire to spend time socializing more than spending time alone. Whatever it is that you value must be in line with whatever you desire for your dream life.

Once we know what our core values are, we then decide what it is we LOVE. What makes you smile, makes your eyes and body light up fully? What activity do you do that when you do it makes you wish time would stop at that very moment? Or, what do you day dream about doing and wish you could practice all day?  What do you know that is welling deep inside that needs to be shared with others? What passion do you have that you desire to share with the world? These are only beginning questions to ponder in starting to create a life of your dreams, the life that is seeking to emerge from you.

Henry David Thoreau truly believed that the creative force within is seeking to come forth and blossom into a greater and fuller life through us on this side of existence. Many other thinkers and philosophers have agreed with Thoreau and have lived magnificent and full lives of creative expression and true happiness. But before they were able to create truly fulfilling lives, they learned that they needed to listen to their creative voices first. What is it that you feel and know in your spirit that wants to emerge in 2014? Whatever it is, there is never a better time than NOW to allow it to come forth.

Life. It really can be ALL that it is cracked up to be.

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

Copyright, 2013, Vilma Reynoso

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The Pattern

“What do you know?”

There was no doubt that I was not prepared for this question at the interview! The question should have been, “Tell me about yourself?” or “What did you do at your previous job?” I was a bit perplexed and my mind froze for a few seconds as I desperately tried to think of a good response that would surely get me the job. But, as I write this blog, I seriously cannot remember what I said. I do know, however, that whatever it was did not get me the job, and now I know why.

If I were asked this question today, I would respond with something like this: “I know Me. I know what I like, what I want, what I do not want, and what I stand for. I know what it is like to spend a day in utter despair and also what it is like to spend a day so gratifying that I never want it to end; I know how to balance my checkbook, make vegan lasagna without a recipe, run a half marathon, research and schedule a trip to Europe, make love, spend a day at the beach, write essays, dance, get sucked into my favorite CD, laugh until my stomach hurts, meet and make new friends, and gargle. I know that people are more important than anything else, that life is not about what you have accomplished but about enjoying the ride; I know that happiness and joy are always, each and every time, my choice; I know what it is like to feel the freezing wind on my cheeks, the hot sun on my flesh, and the soft snow on my face. I know that things and money come and go but my experience and my character never do.  I know that no matter what the job entails, I can do it because I believe in who I am and believe in what I do. I know life. ”

It takes time (and sometimes lots of it) to come to the realization that life is a gift and truly is amazing!  It takes experience (and sometimes lots of it) to come to the thorough understanding that you know more than you think you know. At a time when I was questioning what I will do next in my life professionally, someone gave me a bit of great advice: they told me to list everything I have ever done (whether I enjoyed it or not), read it over, meditate on it, and then find the pattern. This includes listing every job I have ever had, every creative or recreational experience I’ve had, every trip or vacation I had taken, every creative activity I partook in, anything I accomplished and took pride in, schools I attended, hobbies I enjoyed, anything I tried only once, anything that made my heart come alive, and also the difficult, heart-wrenching life experiences I have had. I decided to take up the challenge, and here is a partial list of what I wrote:

  • Taught 2nd-5th graders as an assistant elementary school teacher
  • Bought a condo and a house
  • Started my own business
  • Created many recipes from scratch
  • Traveled to forty eight states
  • Attended both of my parents’ funerals
  • Took scuba diving lessons
  • Discovered I loved to scrapbook and made many albums
  • Moved across the USA to different cities a few times
  • Fell in love (well, more than once)
  • Experienced a broken heart (also more than once)
  • Volunteered to teach English to immigrants
  • Left an abusive marriage
  • Became a mother
  • Ran three half marathons and many other shorter distance races
  • Graduated summa cum laude from the University of Colorado
  • Obtained four different certifications in different subjects of interest
  • Painted almost every room in my house a different color
  • Read and studied many books
  • Fell asleep laying on a hammock on the big island of Hawaii
  • Met many people
  • Went to hundreds of concerts
  • Cruised in the Caribbean and the South Pacific Seas
  • Was a cheerleader
  • Worked as a reporting analyst, a travel agent, a teacher, a sales rep, and an administrative assistant (and more)
  • Visited and experienced the former twin towers in New York City
  • Performed on stage as a dancer and actress

And the list goes on!

What did I learn from this? Not only did I appreciate my life more, but I learned that I had experienced more than I had realized! I apparently love variety and the physical. I enjoy learning and stretching myself, inspiring others and teaching. I love to be creative. I need to be engaged and active.  Yes, it was encouraging to look over this list, but the most important lesson I learned from this exercise and reviewing my list was that I had the courage, confidence and faith to step out and do something new and different. And, as I step out once again with my own coaching business, I know that deep inside, I still have the courage, confidence and faith. Putting myself in someone else’s box or corporate version of who I “should” be is no longer an option.

Perhaps you are dissatisfied with what you are doing with your life and are struggling with what to do next? What is your list? Everyone has one. Even if you think you do not have one, you DO. I would encourage you to take some time and write your list. Without editing what comes to mind, list everything you have done in your life – your hobbies, your accomplishments, the schools you attended, clubs you were part of, jobs or careers you had, the good and difficult experiences you have had, etc.  This might take some time, so it is okay to brainstorm in more than one session. Once you are done, review all that you have accomplished.  What are the activities that made you come alive when you wrote and thought about them?  How did you feel when you performed the activity? Can you remember how you felt before, during and after you did those things? How you feel indicates whether there is life in that activity for you. Then see the pattern of your life. Are there activities in your past that you loved that are similar? Or, are you all over the map like I am? What are the common threads to these activities? Once you find your pattern, you will get a clearer idea of who you are, what excites you, and what your passion(s) is. Once you know that, you are on your way to changing your life to a more satisfying and joyful one.

The truth is you and I know a lot. And, deep inside, we know what our spirit is calling us to do. Sometimes, it is just a matter of clearing out the chaos in our lives so we can see our pattern. Once we see it, “What do you know?” becomes a very easy question for us to answer.

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

Copyright, 2013, Vilma Reynoso


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March Book Review: Notes to Self: Inspirational Wisdom for Daily Living by Peter B. Roth

Note to Self: “The Universe is one, but not one-sided.”

There is always time for inspiration! What better way to become motivated and encouraged than to read a short phrase of insightful wisdom every day?!  How about a reminder to motivate you to live a more authentic life, to think differently, and perhaps change the way you view the world, your situation, or your latest endeavor?

Begin your day with Notes to Self:  Inspirational Wisdom for Daily Living by Peter B. Roth, 365 concise nuggets of wisdom all compiled in one amazing e-book! Or, if you are not a morning person, contemplate these astute “notes” after a day at the office or before retreating for the night. Either way, you will get a dose of spiritual enlightenment each day!

A little bit about the author, Peter B. Roth:

Peter is a transformational spiritual healer, teacher, writer and entertainer.

Peter showed an interest in spirituality and well-being from an early age. Over the years he has become proficient in obtaining guidance from his intuition while employing practices from astrology, qigong, nutrition and even humor on people who have sought his assistance in experiencing well-being and claiming personal power in order to live a more fulfilling life.

Besides his e-book on Amazon.com and his blog, Peter’s writings include his contribution to the e-book, “Small Ways to Make a Big Difference“, as well as his translation and commentary of the “Dao De Jing,” all of which can be found on his website. Follow Peter on Facebook and Twitter to view his interesting posts, including many a “Note to Self” that he frequently shares.

To learn more about Peter and the services, writings, and other resources that he offers, visit his website, http://peterbroth.com.

Notes to Self: Inspirational Wisdom for Daily Living by Peter B. Roth is available on Amazon in Kindle version. Buy it now!

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

Copyright, 2013, Vilma Reynoso


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Creative Goal Setting for the New Year!

It’s that time again – the end of the year and the beginning of a new one! The new year beckons us to start fresh, to bring in something new, to change something for the better, to be excited about possible change, and to make new commitments to ourselves and to others. Even though a new year with new possibilities is exciting, it can also feel frightening and stifling. Sometimes, we feel overwhelmed with our lives and start to believe that we really can’t accomplish those things that we imagine would make our lives more enjoyable, even with a new, fresh start. So, what can we do to make this undeniable longing to better our lives smoother? Here is one plan of action and exercise to set your intentions for a happier life in the new year:

Grab six sheets of paper or use an Excel spreadsheet and write the following as a title on each page:

1. My Body

2. My Relationships

3. My Home

4. My Work

5. My Hobbies & Leisure Time

6. My Spirituality & Growth

Now below the title of each page, write the following: “This is what I desire for my body,” “This is what I desire for my relationships,” and so on and so forth.

Once that is completed, start with the category “My Body” and write anything you want to change about your body and why. For example, you might write, “I want to gain muscle because it would make me stronger,” or “I want to buy new clothes because I lost some weight and I want to look my best,” or “I want to lose 20 lbs. because I want to look better and feel better.” You get the idea!

For your “Hobbies and Leisure Time,” you could write, “I want to take up golf because it would be fun,” or “I want to learn to play the guitar because I love being creative with my hands.” You get the idea!

For “My Home,” you could write something like, “I want to organize my garage because it would be easier to find my tools, so I could work on my woodworking hobby,” or “I want to paint my basement because a fresh coat of paint would improve the look of the room.” Got it?

Do the same for the rest of the pages until you have written down your desires for each category.

Do not think about this too much or become anxious about it. Have fun with it! You can always go back and change it or add to it, if you desire.  Enjoy the process and take it one step at a time!

Once you are finished, put this somewhere where you have access to it every day. Now start to imagine yourself and your life with these in motion. Think about these things for a few minutes every day. Think positively and believe they will happen. Take small steps towards these goals. You will then see things start to happen. You will then be excited and that will generate more positive action towards a life you imagine and want!

This exercise will accomplish three important things:

  • It will make you realize what might be missing in your life that would enhance it greatly.
  • It will put a plan in motion (on paper and not just in your head) to make your imagined life your REAL life.
  • And most importantly, if you think positively and imagine how your life would be if you were living your desires NOW, those thoughts will set in motion those things to happen because we create the reality we want.

Happy Creative Goal Setting and Happy New Year!

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

Copyright, 2012, Vilma Reynoso


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I am Thankful…

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I wrote this last year in 2012, but one year later, today, I feel the need to pass this on again, so here goes …  

Thanksgiving is a reflective and special time for me. It will always be because there was a time when I was not so thankful for my life. Years ago, during one Thanksgiving season, I left an abusive relationship. It was one of the most courageous steps I had to take to save myself, my spirit, my sanity. It had to be done, and there was no looking back.

To say that I am now a different person today is an understatement! As the years passed by, I gradually let go of my fear and learned how exciting life is and how beautiful I am as a person.  I am still on a journey, as we all are, but I can say with assurance that I am a NEW creation, with a new outlook, a new attitude, a renewed mind and definitely a new spirit! I will never be made to feel afraid again. I will never be made to feel “caged” again. I will never be treated again like I was “back then.” I will never experience that again because I now know that what I think about and who I am attracts what comes into my life. I have learned a lot from that terrible and enduring experience. I now remember it fondly but without the pain. I can now share it and not relive it. I am blessed. I am thankful.

Have you ever felt caged? Have you ever been in fear for your life? Did you ever feel like you truly had lost your mind, or have you ever felt so confused and numb from all the pain? I have been there. I now live to put an end to this type of torture and prison that many of us live in. There is not a day that passes by that I am not thankful for who I am, what I experienced and where I am today.

However, every holiday season, I cannot help think about other living beings that are caged, in fear, in emotional confinement, and in physical torture, too.  And, on Thanksgiving, it is the turkeys that are caged and murdered to celebrate a time of “thanks.” Over forty million turkeys are slaughtered for this holiday. How hypocritical we are as human beings. How can we celebrate a time of peace, travel far to get together with our family and friends, and center our celebration around food and sit down and consume, with fervor, the remnants of an abused and murdered animal? It really does not make any sense. As a matter of fact, when you truly think about it, eating a turkey (or any animal) and giving thanks when it is not necessary for our survival is a senseless act. There will never be “peace on earth” or peace in our hearts and minds, if we continue to torture, abuse, murder, and eat animals. What we put into your bodies, our minds and hearts becomes a part of us.  A person who consumes violence condones violence.   If one partakes in the traditional Thanksgiving by eating a dead turkey, he participates in violence; he participates in abuse. He condones abuse. It is logical.

What can you do to end this abuse and not corrupt your mind, soul, and spirit? You can be part of the solution by feasting on vegan food for Thanksgiving and not consuming animals and their byproducts. You can begin that day to experience true life. Here is an example of a vegan Thanksgiving meal:

  • Vegan turkey: a vegan alternative to turkey that comes already made with stuffing and gravy.
  • Mashed potatoes made with olive oil without butter
  • Green bean casserole made with vegan mushroom sauce or coconut sauce
  • Boiled or mashed yams or sweet potatoes made with olive oil instead of butter
  • Fresh, raw cranberries blended into a sauce
  • Raw or cooked corn or corn on the cob spread with olive oil or vegan margarine
  • Your favorite green salad with a vinaigrette dressing
  • Vegan pumpkin, apple, or sweet potato pie

For some recipes and other alternatives, click below.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/christinebyrne/vegan-thanksgiving-recipes

Let’s stop the abuse this Thanksgiving season and have true peace, for all.

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

Copyright, 2013, Vilma Reynoso