Always Be You

Whenever I watch movies, whether it be a comedy or action film, I tend to walk away from it with a lesson learned. Behind every movie there are hidden messages that we can all relate with and today’s movie is no different: Dora and the Lost City of Gold.

Obviously this wasn’t my selection choice, but one that was made by my daughter. Not growing up watching the cartoon herself, she nevertheless found the movie interesting and had a strong desire to watch it. And like any good parent, I obliged her request.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers here but Dora is a good natured kid who exhibits such an enthusiastic look on life. She’s highly intelligent and somewhat naive about how the world works (with people in it) but that is what makes her so enchanting. Her outlook on life is so radiant and filled with positivity that it can be nauseating for people who are filled with bitterness, sadness or a negative view on life. But this radiancy is what makes her so special and what kept me mesmerized by her presence throughout the film.

Throughout the movie, people around her kept asking her to change for her to “fit in”, particularly her cousin Diego. He insisted that she stopped being “weird” and learn to just be “normal” because “high school is hard enough as it is”. Dora just wants to be herself and normal to her is being true to who she is. There are times in the movie where she does question herself about how she appears to others but eventually overcomes these self doubts about herself and thus resorts back to what is best for her: being who she is.

At a certain point in the film the character Alejandro, becomes so exasperated by her good natured go lucky personality that he actually yells at her to stop being so positive. In her perspective, with any negative situation, she can turn it around by looking it at a different perspective. This annoyed the crap out of Alejandro but Dora just ignores him.

Dora teaches us that there are many people out there who would like us to change to fit their “normal” mode and would like us to view the world through their eyes. There are also people out there that will call us “weird” for being different and will bully us to the point of questioning who we are. There are also people out there that might be filled with so much negative energy that they can never understand your positive mindset and will ask you to gain their negative perspective.

But you can not change. You can not allow people, circumstances and events in your life to alter your state of mind and the core sense of who you are. There will be many people who will try to knock you down and change who you are because of something INSIDE of THEM. There will be people who will question your authenticity and your positive outlook on life but it’s a REFLECTION of THEM and their own struggles with self.

Dora stayed true to herself in the film and she never altered who she was as a person. She might have questioned it from time to time, but in the end she was self aware and self assured and then she helped others become better versions of THEMSELVES. She affected their negative outlook and assisted them in seeing that there was more to life than “fitting in” and being “competitive”. She allowed them to see that we are all special in our own way and each and every one of us has assets that the world needs.

So live a little like Dora everyday. Be “weird”, be positive, but always be YOU and never change your positive outlook on life for anyone. – Peace and Love

Inside Validation Is More Important Than Outside Validation

Validation from anywhere can help boost our self-esteem and can help propel us to greater heights than we could ever imagine. It can help us realize our greatest potential and make us see what others see in us that we may not always see in ourselves. It can help motivate us or push us to do things that we may not have imagined before.

It can also quickly tear us down. Outside validation is very powerful and can have a strong hold on how we view ourselves because it is dependent on how others view us. We tend to feel better when others give positive feedback to what we are doing by reassuring us of our greatness. But just as easily as it can uplift us, it can all come crashing down with one verbal attack.

As children, we are equally praised and criticized for our behaviors and choices and are taught that what others think of us is important (at least that was how I was raised). We are taught that the views of others about ourselves is just as important as our own views. This type of mindset can transform us into many different versions of ourselves to fit everyone else’s needs. We can manipulate our personality and our needs to help align ourselves with people in order to make them feel comfortable but in the end, we become muddled with confusion with who we truly are.

We become dependent on the views of others to help define our strengths and our weaknesses. We are subjected to their opinions and have an internal battle with ours. This internal struggle is what makes us crave attention and affirmation from people, who may or may not have our best interests in mind. And one little comment on how we look, who we are and what we stand for, can have a greater affect on our identity than our own views of ourselves, since we are so dependent on theirs.

But is this the way to live and view who we are as human beings? Should it really be dependent on some one else’s view of us? If we continue to seek validation from the outside world, we will consistently hunger for more and lose sight of who we truly are. We cannot allow others to control our way of thinking about ourselves and validate our worth. We are unique individuals who are all capable of creating our own sense of self image by finding traits and characteristics we love about ourselves. We are all made distinctly by the Universe with the love we have for ourselves.

I spent many years teaching, craving validation from my peers, principals, parents and students. One friend asked me what I will be looking forward to with not teaching anymore. I simply stated, “not allowing outside validation to define me”.

Do not let outside validation to define you any longer. Seek the truth and love from yourself. I know, easier said than done, but you have to start now. Simply say, “fuck it”. It really should not matter what others think of you anymore because those thoughts and opinions will hold you back. If you allow love from others and especially from yourself to flow freely, you’re going to achieve what the Universe already has in store for you. So, set yourself free and fly baby. – Peace and Love

Appreciate The Life That You Live

Halloween is fast approaching us in a few days and with it comes great classic Halloween movies that I love to indulge myself in. One movie that’s become somewhat of a liking of mine is “The Nightmare Before Christmas” because of the movie’s ability to blend Christmas and Halloween into one spectacular tale.

Jack Skeleton is the king of Halloween and he lives in Halloween Town. The town its filled with monsters and a lot of spooky stuff, which I might add frightened my five year old for awhile, but she soon realized that they were all just really silly characters. Jack is tired of doing the same thing over and over again every year and he craves for something new. One day he stumbles upon many doors that leads to different holidays. Of course he opens the door to Christmas and as soon as he discovered what it was, he was enthralled and wanted to know everything there is to know about it. He is convinced that it is unfair that his town doesn’t get to celebrate Christmas, so he sets out to become the new Santa Claus.

If you have watched the movie, then you would know Jack ruins Christmas and scares the living shit out of all the kids. Even the military are called upon to stop him by shooting him down because everyone knows he is an imposter and not the real Santa Claus. Jack survives but he becomes extremely upset about his fate, however he soon realizes his new appreciation for Halloween.

With his experience with Christmas, Jack’s love for Halloween has been reignited and ends up saving Christmas by saving Santa Claus from Oogie Boogie, a boogeyman. Santa Claus fixes everything and treats Jack and his friends to some wintery snow.

This movie reminds us that what we have is something to appreciate. We may always wonder about the other side of the grass or we think about what others have and are filled with envy. That feeling of envy is often misguided and we take what we have for granted. What we think we want is actually what we already have but at times we become so enthralled in what we don’t have. We lose sight of ourselves and we begin to want what others may have. We begin to mistreat the people in our lives and the things we have acquired for so long. We look at them with disdain and our eyes begin to glitter when we see something new. But what we really need is to appreciate what we do have.

What we have is our past manifestations and our past feelings of the life we envisioned for ourselves. What we have, identifies our strengths as individual human beings. What we have, is what separates us and what makes us different and that is something we need to appreciate about ourselves. I am not writing about material goods, but a sense of appreciation for all you have been through and the path you have.

Your journey has brought you here at this present moment and out has made you the person that you are currently. That is something to be so proud of and it is something that you should cherish forever. Love the journey that brought you here, with it the people and the experiences you have encountered. Your life is truly magical and you do not need to live anyone else’s life to know that. – Peace and Love.

The NeverEnding Story Urges You to Live Your Dreams

Growing up in the 1980s and 1990s were pure joy in my opinion. The internet and cellphones where a thing of the future while Saturday morning cartoons were our weekly dose of untainted laughter and life lessons. Even though we didn’t have the explosion of social media and internet Influencers, what we did have was unadulterated imagination and our own unique ability to create it.

We were explorers, adventurers and creators of our own world back then. We built forts out of our couches and we stayed out all day and night playing with the neighborhood kids. It was very similar to being in a real “NeverEnding Story”.

This year marks the 35th year anniversary of when the film first came out and that movie has remained in my life as one of my favorites. Since the reintroduction of the theme song in “Stranger Things”, it has sparked an urge to rewatch the movie after many years of living an “adult life”. I not only wanted to re-experience the child-like wonder I had as a child, but I also wanted to introduce it to my own child. I finally convinced my very opinionated four-year-old to take a seat with me on the couch and to watch one of my favorite movies.

As the opening credits appeared, my heart exploded with nostalgia. It was like I was in a time machine, dancing to the theme song and trying to sing to it, much to the chagrin of my daughter (she kept repeating,”well this is strange” lol).

As a child I was never afraid of Gmork, but I was intrigued and curious about “The Nothing”. I interpreted “The Nothing” as hopelessness and sadness and how it can take on many negative forms, thus how it can be in all of us. I also knew that Imagination was the only thing to defeat it.

As an adult watching it, I began to interpret that “The NeverEnding Story” was a cautionary tale about becoming an adult and losing ones way through bitterness, depression, heartache and a low sense of self. The movie instantly reminded me that what I was seeing, was what I had been exactly going through in recent years. That I (you), can be like Bastian but so wanting to be like Atreyu. Bastian consistently doubted his abilities, while Atreyu knew he had to complete his quest to save the Empress.

Bastian and Atreyu are one in the same. We are all combinations of Bastian and Atreyu but we tend to allow our self doubts to overtake us and we run in fear, instead of walking on in determination. The scene with the Sphinx Gate is where I made the connection between Bastian and Atreyu. Atreyu embodied confidence and boldness; he knew he could get past the gates. However, Bastian began to doubt whether Atreyu will make it or not and screams out for him to run, with Atreyu barely missing the lasers from the Sphinx’s eyes.

This sense of doubt nearly kills off his hero and it nearly kills off all of our confidence. Once we get a bright idea, we are filled with confidence and a strong sense of urgency, but as we get closer to begin the task at hand (whatever it may be) we back off and end up staying where we are at. We never try to pursue our dreams or goals and we watch as our lives drift by while our dreams die with us.

But if we allow ourselves to dream bigger and actually pursue what we want in the real world, we realize that we are the only one that is capable of creating our future. Once we realize that Atreyu is in all of us and that WE are the ones who control our destiny, the future is endless.

I encourage you to take that one grain of sand and keep on building until you never stop. That one idea, that one dream you’ve always thought about could be your first step into an unknown but magical future. So say “your name”, and take that first step into the abyss and build the future you want.

“To me, if life boils down to one thing, it’s movement. To live is to keep moving.” – Jerry Seinfeld

Knowing Your Worth Through The Words Of Rodney Dangerfield

Growing up in the 1990’s you knew who Jonathan Brandis was. If you didn’t, then let me school you on him a little bit. He was like on a Jonas Brother, a Justin Bieber, a Channing Tatum level of hotness to us 12 year olds back in the day. He was on the cover of “Bop” and “Teen Beat” and was starring in such movies as “Ladybugs”, along side a comedian named Rodney Dangerfield.

As a kid I could have cared less about Rodney’s character as coach Chester Lee before I watched the movie. Now ,Chester is a pretty down on his luck kind of guy who is forced to coach a losing girls’ soccer team. He has to win the approval of his boss and all he ever wants is “some respect” (Dangerfield’s famous line while doing standup comedy). There was one particular scene that really caught my attention: Dangerfield’s character holds up a mirror to his face and repeats his mantra to his reflection, “I am Chester. I am great, I am wonderful! Everybody likes me!” It was supposed to be a funny scene but while I was watching it as a kid, that moment stood out to me the most and has been with me throughout my adult life.

Growing up, we all struggle with our self esteem and our self worth. It’s hard to believe the compliments we receive but we can so easily be turned down by the unkind words given to us. In a world where we respect more of what others think of us, we should really look at ourselves in the mirror and state all the qualities that make us great, wonderful and why we like ourselves.

Stating a daily mantra everyday to myself has slowly helped me become better at navigating this opinionated world. Everyone has an opinion about everything these days but it takes someone who knows themselves to shut out the negative as much as possible. You cant’ allow the opinions of others to affect you and define you as a person. No one deserves that power over you other than yourself.

Do yourself a favor and list at least 5 things that make you great/wonderful. After you have listed the five attributes/characteristics provide 1 to 2 examples of each. The more specific you are on how wonderful you are, you start to believe it and then treat others as you want to be treated. You can help create a world where we all can respect ourselves a little bit more everyday.

“I’m not stable?! I’m like a rock. I take these glasses off, you can’t tell the difference between me and a rock. I put these glasses on a rock. You know what jumps into most people’s minds?” – George COSTANZA, Seinfeld

7 Reasons To Walk Away From A Relationship

2019 seems to be the year we all make vast changes in our lives, whether it be ending a relationship (love or platonic) or exiting a job profession that does not satisfy our souls. Most individuals that I have come across, particularly in my generation, have decided to walk away from things that no longer make them happy. But how did they do it? How did they know when enough was enough? Speaking to these individuals I have come up with a list of reasons why you HAVE to move on to the next chapter in order for your life to be more fulfilling.

  1. You’re expected to sacrifice your time . On July 2019 I recently resigned from my job as a teacher due to the fact that it was consistently taking over my personal life, or what was left of it. Bringing work home and/or staying late was beginning to affect my relationships with my immediate family and my social life was disappearing. I knew it was time to go when I was thinking more of my career than my own family. This can also apply to a romantic or platonic relationship: if you are consistently compromising your time and bending over backwards for others without them trying to accommodate you, then you do not matter to them. If people want to be with you or be friends with you, they will make the effort to see you; you shouldn’t have to always work around their schedules or it will always be a one sided relationship.
  2. You’re expected to question your core values. When we first begin anything, we are all misty eyed and fulled with adoration. We get sucked into the future of possibilities and then boom, something happens. You are asked to do something that makes you question who you are. Whatever it is, it goes against what you believe in and what you stand for as a person. You even start contemplating going over the edge because you’re filled with the need to please the other party. If you are asked to do something that you know isn’t right for you, it’s time to take a step back, turn around and run the other way as fast as you can.
  3. You’re expected to change while the other refuses to do so. With every relationship and through out life we go through multiple transformations and we shed any old skin that does not help benefit our growth. However, we shouldn’t sacrifice our own self worth to please others when they would not change for the better for themselves. If we know we need to change our negative habits, then we must do so but we must do it on our own accord. If you see a relationship and you want to make things work, both parties must be willing to come together and figure out what works and what does not work.
  4. You’re made to feel “not good enough”. If you are starting to question your self worth around this person or situation and all you do is “try your best” but “your best” is never good enough, keep it moving. They will never ever SEE YOU no matter how hard you try. I tried so hard at my job as a teacher but I was made to feel like shit. It was tired-some and exhausting both emotionally and mentally. When you start questioning if you are ever good enough, you will never be if you continue to stay.
  5. You’re made to compete with others. When someone is constantly pitting others against you and comparing you to others, it’s a toxic relationship. You start to feel inferior and you start questioning if you could ever win their affection and/or respect. You begin to change yourself, and not always for the better. You start doing questionable things to just prove that you’re better. Life isn’t a competition, there is enough for everyone. Anyone who makes you feel like you need to compete with others to earn their love and/or respect is on a total power trip and they have no regards for you as a human being.
  6. You’re forced to censor yourself. If you are not able to express your thoughts and opinions about something without being criticized, then its best to part ways. Your opinions should matter to the other person regardless how they feel. A sensible person will hear out what the other has to say with the intention of trying to understand without trying to respond. It’s important that you’re able to say what you like (without malicious intent) without having to question what you should and should not say.
  7. You’re not happy. This seems obvious, duh. But how many people do we know stay in relationships because they don’t want to be alone but are MISERABLE? Yes, plenty. Being happy is important. I don’t care what people tell you; that it’s fleeting or there is no such thing. They are wrong. You can be happy and you deserve to be happy. Taking the first step is always difficult but it isn’t impossible. If you’re struggling with a relationship that makes you unhappy, its really time to evaluate if the relationship is right or good enough for you.

If you have met 50% or more on this list, I strongly advise you to use your guidance system to help you choose the right path for you. Even if you’re unsure about what you want, you at least know what you do NOT want. You do not want to feel inferior, compromised, not good enough and unhappy. You deserve all the riches the Universe has in store for you. You just need to take the next step by walking away and never looking back.

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It’s Never “Okay” To Be A Mean Girl

Today is October 3, which is the official “Mean Girl” day and “we wear pink” and if you don’t, “you can’t sit with us”! Just Kidding! As much as I love the movie and the one liners, I can never condone that it is ever okay to be a mean girl, even if it’s to another mean girl.

Being “mean” is an act resulting from low self esteem. What one does is look at other people and judge them based on their own insecurities. Not only does it end up hurting others, but it just exacerbates the hatred and self-doubt that lies within the person who is doing the mean act. And who wants to be known as the “mean girl”? Who wants to be known as the bitchy bitch that everyone secretly hates but secretly wants to be too because she supposedly has power?

She doesn’t have any power. The only power that she has is in her thinking that she has the power. Her act of spreading hurt is aligned to what is in her heart: she’s hurting. The hurt is stemmed from whatever she’s experienced throughout her life and is now is in the position to hurt others. The true power lies in the kindness that can be potentially spread in the world.

If we stand up by being kind to others and treating them the way we would like to be treated, then we wouldn’t have so much chaos in this world. If we raised our children to be open minded and not filled with so much doubt and self-esteem issues, we could have more powerful people shifting our mind set. If we could just stop judging others based on the way they looked or even acted sometimes, we could be in the position to see people for who they truly our: their highest good.

If we are going to wear pink, it should represent unity and celebration, not to fit in or to fight against something. If we are going to judge, we should judge on how we see ourselves and then begin to look at ways we can improve ourselves by doing our best. If we are to be better people and raise better children (parents and non parents), we need to allow our children to be and grow up with love.

So yeah, it’s never okay to be a mean girl. It’s never okay to put anyone down and it’s never okay to push people around because we supposedly are better than someone else. No one is better than anyone and no one has the right to be treated like they are inferior to you. Be kind, the world needs more of it everyday. Imagine if we were a little less mean, even to ourselves, what a better world this place would be. – Peace and Love.

Quick Thought Session 2: You Are Worth It; He just Wasn’t Worthy

One of my favorite movies of all time is “Clueless” and the one line made by Tai that gets my heart every time is: If I’m too good for him, then why am I not with him?” Dam, my young self (and my old self at times) would replay that question over and over in my head. If I am so great and wonderful, then why doesn’t he want to be with me? Why isn’t he here right now professing his undying love for me? Why isn’t he here lying next to me, whispering sweet nothings in my ear?

Well, girl, let me tell you this: he wasn’t good enough for you. “Yeah right” you say. But it’s the truth; a hard pill to swallow but the Universe did you a favor when they threw that wrench in your life. It wasn’t that you weren’t good enough, because you were and are, it’s because he wasn’t the right person for you.

The Universe will bring you partners in your life that will help you grow and learn about yourself. It is helping you to find what you’re capable of and what you’re made of. It’s helping you bring yourself into alignment with someone who is WORTHY of being with you. Shit, things happen for a reason and that reason is simply because he wasn’t the one for you.

So pick up your sweet, beautiful head. Shed those tears and move the fuck on. Take what you have learned about yourself: what you deserve and how you should be treated and work on loving yourself more. The Universe will present to you a MAN who is worthy of EVERYTHING THAT YOU HAVE TO OFFER.

What You Give Is What You Receive

“I was in here yesterday. You wouldn’t wait on me. You work on commission right? Big mistake. Big. Huge! I have to go shopping now”. – Vivian from the film Pretty Woman

This is such an iconic scene in a memorable movie, “Pretty Woman” because it showcased the ultimate form of revenge. If you’re not familiar with the film, I will give you a short synopsis about it.

“Pretty Woman” is a 1990 romantic comedy film starring Julia Roberts (Vivian) as a hooker and Richard Gere (Edward) as a wealthy business man. Richard Gere’s Edward offers Julia Robert’s Vivian $3,000 for a 6 day stay with him during his business trip in addition to a more suitable wardrobe for her.

During one of Edward’s business meetings, Vivian sets out on Rodeo Drive to shop for new attire. She attempts to shop at a boutique but is treated with disdain for the way she looks by the sales clerk. Due to Vivian’s social class, she is treated with disgust and is made to feel even more degraded by the lack of respect received from the sales clerk.

After exiting the store, Vivian heads back to the hotel and receives assistance from the hotel manager who helps her in obtaining people who can help her with her wardrobe. Here we hear the “Pretty Woman” theme song and the much appreciated montage of wardrobe changes. At the end of this favorite scene of mine, Vivian is seen reentering the original boutique where she was denied assistance.

The sales clerk does not recognize Vivian and is ready and willing to help assist due to her perceived notion of money and class. This is where Vivian just gives it to her: “I was in here yesterday. You wouldn’t wait on me. You work on commission right? Big mistake. Big. Huge! I have to go shopping now”.

This scene is such a powerful scene because it teaches us about how we should treat people. The sales clerk believed herself to be better than Vivian and treated her as such but Vivian proved to her that if she treated her well from the beginning she would have benefitted.

How we interact with people and how we view them is really important in helping us define who we are as people. Regardless of social class, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion or political views, we must always show respect. We should not feel we are better than anyone else because they differ from us due to any of the above reasons (or more). Our interactions with others define us as people and they help create an energy force that could change the world. Imagine if we all took the time to treat everyone with the respect and dignity that they deserved (because we all deserve that)? The world would be in a much better place.

The Universe is also creating while you are interacting with others based on your vibrational energy. What you give out is what you receive back ten folds. If you are given any opportunity to be kind, be kind. if you are speaking with someone, give them words of wisdom instead of criticism. If you are seeing someone who needs help, help. What you are doing now with your interactions with others, can create an unbelievable future for yourself and others. The Universe only creates the energy that you give out, so give out the love that people deserve from you.

You have so much to offer people with your kindness and the Universe will reward you back with the commission you have earned with your interactions with others.