Inspiring authentic transformation in people for a kinder, more compassionate world.


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The Unexpected Gap

It is autumn. It is a time that signifies the end of something, the beginning of something else, and the “in between.” It is a time when the old life withers and new life eventually emerges. It is a time of change.

So many of us are truly afraid of change, but change is something we cannot avoid. It is part of life no matter what. It is the relinquishing of the old, the bringing about of the new, and the eventual merging of the soul with both. It is the beginning of new life. It is normal. This is life. It is what life does; it seeks to express itself through us, and it seeks to express itself by the big C word: CHANGE.

The moment we see, feel, or intuit change coming is sometimes the moment of panic.  At this moment, we are at the crest of new life, the moment of unclear action. We cannot see the future, we want to remain in the present (how we want it to be), but life demands of us to move on to the “new,” no matter what that “new” might be. It is at this time that we are in what I call the Unexpected Gap. The universe is always and intently changing without resistance and moving forward. Our role is to go with it. However, we all resist change to one extent or another depending on what we believe change means. Some of us view change as something incredibly awful, and we resist it with all our strength.  Others embrace change and welcome it as the life-giving and healing source it can be in our lives. Some of us acknowledge change but continue to deny that it is happening, so we continue to live in the old season. We don’t accept it and remain stagnate. For some of us, it takes a lifetime to embrace change.

When I was an active teenager decades ago, abrupt change was cast on me as I ventured home one day and found my mother in a stroke-induced coma. Nothing could have prepared me for this moment. Nothing. It was not expected. It was not even anywhere on my radar (or anyone else’s). CHANGE (very painful change, I might add) was thrust upon me like a brick thrown at my face. It was the worst disaster that hit my family from out of nowhere.

The emotions I felt back then were so intense and confusing. I could not even ponder how I was going to get through the rest of my life without my mother. I felt angry at God and did not understand why this was happening; I felt incredible sadness (Mom was only forty-six); I was confused; I felt guilty because I had gotten in a stupid fight with my mother that morning before she dropped flat-faced on the bathroom floor, and I was not able to say goodbye to her; I wanted answers but they did not come. It took two weeks for my mom to eventually die. Within those two weeks, I was in my “unexpected gap.” My life would never be the same again.

I am not alone. We all have our “unexpected gaps.” As I have learned, that space, that moment, that time between the old and the new, that unforeseen, painful, elusive gap (of whatever length of time) is the point where the release of the present meets the manifestation of the new; it is the point of no return. It is also the point at which, if not heeded and embraced, we remain stuck. It is our autumn.

Decades after the death of my mother, I finally understand what that unexpected gap wanted from me. I know why I felt the feelings I felt, too. I discovered that it is my responsibility, no matter how arduous, to see, feel, and embrace the change that comes within my gap. I know now that I felt angry and confused back then because I was afraid of “the unexpected gap:” I wanted to trust only that which was familiar and wanted to remain there. I felt sad because I did not and could not see or embrace my life without Mom; I felt guilty because I had chosen to argue with my mother that unforgettable morning instead of telling her I loved her. I lacked faith in what was to come, in the personal growth that was to occur, in the process of life.  I did not accept that Mom’s passing (for whatever mysterious reasons) was my gap.

Can anyone truly explain why anyone dies at a specific time or why things happen the way they do? The answer will always remain elusive, but I do know this: autumn comes every year whether we are prepared or not. Unexpected change will come. And, that “gap” we all experience in one form or another is a chance for release, growth and the eventual emerging of change and of new life.

Heed the gap.

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

Copyright, 2013, Vilma Reynoso


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September Featured e-Book: Vegan Green Smoothies by Vilms: 35 Easy, Nutritious and Delicious Recipes for Ultimate Health and Vitality by Vilma Reynoso

Vegan Green Smoothies by Vilms

Vegan Green Smoothies by Vilms: 35 Easy, Nutritious and Delicious Recipes for Ultimate Health and Vitality is a short, concise and informational e-Book outlining the health benefits of green smoothies. The book includes my easy recipes that you will love! If you are curious about green smoothies, looking to improve your health or eating habits, are a seasoned vegan or raw vegan, these recipes will entice your palate!

A bit about me, Vilma Reynoso, and why I wrote this book:

As a child, I grew up consuming my father’s Argentine barbecues every Sunday. Usually ill with colds as a child, I suffered from chronic sinus problems, asthma and respiratory ailments, and was overweight.  As a young adult, I suffered with horrible PMS, fibroids, chronic fatigue, anxiety, mood swings, asthma, intestinal problems, sinusitis, foggy thinking, and even depression.  After evaluating my health and the deaths of both my parents due to heart disease, I became motivated to change my life, one step at a time. I slowly began to change my diet from meat-based to vegetarian, then to vegan, and finally to a mostly raw vegan diet. Healed from most of my ailments, I have never looked back!

Vegan Green Smoothies by Vilms: 35 Easy, Nutritious and Delicious Recipes for Ultimate Health and Vitality is one of several upcoming e-books. I have written it to demonstrate to you, the reader, how taking a small step, such as incorporating green smoothies into your daily routine, can dramatically enhance your life and health.

To learn more about me or the vegan lifestyle, please visit my other website, vegoutwithvilms.com.

Vegan Green Smoothies by Vilms: 35 Easy, Nutritious and Delicious Recipes for Ultimate Health and Vitality by Vilma Reynoso is available for purchase in the following formats for only $2.99!

Epub (Nook, Apple iPad/iBooks, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions): Buy Now from Smashwords 

Kindle: Buy Now from AmazonBuy Now from Smashwords

LRF (For older model Sony Readers that don’t support Epub): Buy Now from Smashwords

PDF (Please allow at least 24 hours for delivery):

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Aim to Live

I’m a runner.

I often get the question every runner gets, “Why do you run?” My response to that question varies depending on what state of mind I am in and how I feel. You see, there are many reasons why runners run. We run because it feels good during the run; we run because it feels good after the run; we run for better mental focus; we run for better health. We run to challenge ourselves, to stretch ourselves, to strengthen our muscles, and to lose weight or stay in good shape. We run because it makes us feel like we are invincible, and we like to feel that way.  We run because we are competitive. Running is meditation. It is prayer. We run because we can; we run because we love to live.

As an experienced runner, I have ran different races from 1 mile to 5 and 10k’s (3.1 mile and 6.2 mile races), and longer distances as well as half marathons (13.1 miles) in addition to running in high school on the cross country and track teams.  There is not one single race that is the same as another. Every race is different: the distance, the terrain, the temperature, and the spirit of the race always varies. One thing, however, that is constant is the beginning and the end of any race. I know where to start the race I am participating in and I also know where it ends. What I don’t know is what is in between the start and finish lines. Sure, I could study the race course before I start running, but I really don’t know what I will experience before I actually run, step by step, to reach that finish line, nor do I know what is around the bend in a race, or in a terrain I have not ran before, but because my goal is to finish, I keep running. I realized that when I have a vision of something I would like to accomplish, the same dynamics apply: I have to take it one step at a time and sooner or later, I reach the finish line. Running is like life. We are here to start and finish our races. Just like I imagine what it will feel like and look like crossing that finish line, we imagine what it will feel like and look like to accomplish our goals. It starts with a vision in our minds. We envision our goal and then take the steps to make that vision a reality. Like a runner who does not intimately know a race course but continues to move towards his goal (the finish line) by putting one foot in front of the other, we also reach our goals by taking small steps.

Furthermore, as a runner in a race, I have to be in the present, and simultaneously, I have to keep my mind on the end goal, the finish line, or my vision. When I stay in the present, I receive the gifts life gives me along the way and I enjoy the journey. If my mind strays from the present and from my goal, then I am tempted to quit the race. Of course, there were many races that I participated in where I wanted to quit, but I kept my mind on the finish line. I knew that it did not matter if I couldn’t see the whole picture (the whole race course); what mattered was that I kept my vision, with faith and courage every step of the way. Although I have crossed the finish line of every race I have ever participated in, there are some that I barely finished or finished injured. Those were the races where I was not prepared mentally or I doubted my vision when the rain, fog, snow, wind or excess heat came forth. I learned that if I had not had my mind on the finish line, I would have quit running when rain or snow hit. When we set goals, problems might arise, but if we keep our minds on our vision, we will persevere through those problems.

Goals give us direction. Direction gives us purpose. Purpose gives us a feeling of well-being. Well-being is true life. Whatever your goal might be, do not be anxious. Instead, be in the present aware of each moment and also expect the finish line.  Know the end goal is coming, envision and feel your goal, and act as if you know, without a doubt, that you will receive it. Be grateful for whatever circumstance you are in while expecting your goal because this is your personal race course. Live in the present and do not worry about the future or the past. You might have some problems along the way towards your goal, but know these are only temporary roadblocks. Enjoy the journey. Be content. Be at peace. Know that whatever happens along the way happens to teach you something about yourself. Practice these things, and you will truly live.

The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.”Henry Miller

Vilma Reynoso, www.vilmareynoso.comInspiration 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 stay.  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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August Book Review: Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself by Lissa Rankin, M.D.

Look no further for a very comprehensive and thoroughly researched text in regards to the relationship that the mind has with disease and health. Dr. Lissa Rankin brilliantly explains the how our minds, thoughts and beliefs can alter our health dramatically! Dr. Rankin brings her medical experience, knowledge and expertise, her thorough research, her passion, and her amazing journey in self-healing and personal experience in this beautifully written and hard-to-put-down book. She demonstrates with scientific evidence how intuition and science DO live together and includes a step by step plan on how to diagnose and heal yourself in Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.

A bit about the author, Dr. Lissa Rankin:

Lissa Rankin, M.D., is a mind-body medicine physician, speaker, artist, blogger, and founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers, and is a New York Times best selling author. Dr. Rankin is on a grass roots mission to heal health care, while empowering you to heal yourself.  Lissa blogs at LissaRankin.com and also created two online communities – HealHealthCareNow.com and OwningPink.com. She is also the author of two other books, a professional artist, an amateur ski bum, and an avid hiker. Lissa lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and daughter. 

Visit Dr. Rankin at www.lissarankin.com and buy Mind over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself here.

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

Copyright, 2013, Vilma Reynoso


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The Bench

I recently took a long walk through my neighborhood and beyond not only to smell the summer flowers, but because I am currently without a vehicle. I live in a small suburb of a large city with the feel of the country but with all the city’s amenities. There is literally everything an American could possibly need (and perhaps want) close to the center of the town in which I live. If I desired, I could stumble into a Starbucks, visit Home Depot, buy used books, hang out at the local bar, watch a local rendition of the play, Oklahoma, or visit the farmer’s market all in one afternoon with ease.  All of this is about four miles from where I live via a beautiful, paved and clean biking/walking path filled with the sounds of the birds chiming and the deer hiding behind the trees. As a cyclist and runner, I had never actually just WALKED the path to downtown until now.  What a surprise!

Once I reached the downtown stores and shops, I ran a few errands, ate delicious Chinese food, mailed a package, and then finally relaxed at my favorite coffee shop.  During my trek through town, however, I could not help but notice all the benches – everywhere. They were at the park, on the path, near the restaurants, close to the coffee shop, across from the day care center, in front of the law office, across from the Italian restaurant in the old, Victorian house – everywhere. I had been to downtown many times but never, until now, noticed the benches.  I was in awe. How in the world did I miss these benches when I rode my bike or drove through town on so many other occasions? How? As I walked, I began to appreciate each and every bench as I came across them. I noticed what was around and beyond them, and I became more grateful for them!

Glancing at one bench after another, I asked myself, “What else am I missing that if I were to slow down, I would enjoy, love, or even cherish? What is life trying to teach me when I slow down? What do I need to stop and absorb deeper? Or, what do I not see that is right in front of my eyes? What have I missed throughout my years of life because I was in a hurry?” I pondered these questions as I walked and walked and noticed more and more benches downtown.

I think most of us want to see only what we want to see. And, I believe we do not always see what we need to see. We also do not notice what life is trying to teach us when we are so focused on the destination (or the goal). Benches are snippets of our journey through life. They are markers that help make the walk through our lives more pleasant. They are there to remind us to take a break, enjoy the scenery, and take a load off. They are there to remind us to pay attention to the details, because it is in the details that beauty happens. They are on our path to remind us to SLOW DOWN. They are there to remind us of what is most important in life – peace, joy, creative expression, compassion, and love. The benches are markers and reminders of what we might be missing, what we might be hurrying through, what we need to stop and think about, or what we need to “see” that we are refusing to see. They remind us that life is always about the journey and not just about the destination. They are visual reminders for us to stop, breathe, feel, think, and just be.

I will undoubtedly walk the four miles to and from my house again this summer. And, this time, I will be walking with greater appreciation, greater ease, and greater expectation of not only every single bench on the path, but also of what life is trying to teach me. And, I might just sit on one and ponder. You can too!

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

Copyright, 2013, Vilma Reynoso


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July Book Review: Confessions of a Super Fit Vegan by Jeff Sekerak

For those who appreciate and savor living an abundant life incorporating exercise and nutritious food to nourish the body and mind, look no further for a great read! Confessions of a Super-Fit Vegan, or: ‘I ate the food of the gods, loaded up on carbs, forgot to count calories and built the body of my dreams. You can too!’ by Jeff Sekerak is a wealth of information that will motivate you to get off the couch and change your life for the better or improve your existing routine. Jeff Sekerak is an inspiration who walks his talk!

Jeff Sekerak’s e-book, available on Amazon in kindle version, will show you how to load up on carbs and lose all the weight you want, how to use supplements for superior health, and how to become lean and sculpt a muscular body in thirty days or less with his personal, proven-to-work exercises, and more!

In Jeff’s own words, “You’ll discover a lifestyle that’ll help you unleash your greatest potential – of that you can be sure. In fact, you’ll find you can transform yourself into that which you desire, far quicker than you might think. You’ll discover that less truly can be, more – much more! And you’ll learn, once and for all, to make your body an ally to be trusted rather than an enemy to be feared.”

About the author:

Jeff Sekerak is a former Alaskan commercial fisherman and fast-food addict turned “Super-Fit Vegan” and is committed to a high raw vegan diet and body-weight exercise. Jeff also operates the website, thesuperfitvegan.com, records useful workout tips and strategies on the YouTube channel youtube.com/jeffsekerak, and writes the blog, superiorbodyhealth.com/blog.

To purchase a copy of  Confessions of a Super-Fit Vegan, or: ‘I ate the food of the gods, loaded up on carbs, forgot to count calories and built the body of my dreams. You can too!’ by Jeff Sekerak, visit his website at www.thesuperfitvegan.com or purchase a copy from  Amazon.

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

Copyright, 2013, Vilma Reynoso

 

Copyright, 2013, Vilma Reynoso