Thursday, December 31, 2015

WHOSE Voice?

Imagine this:
Cypher Love  You walk into a club and see a big crowd of people in a circle. You make your way to an open space in the circle to see what they are watching. It's a dancer, and they are REALLY good!
  You love to dance as well! In fact, you are known for being the person who is always dancing (well or not so well). You want to go in the middle of the circle and express yourself as well! In fact, the very idea of you doing that gets you excited!
  Something stops you, however, and you examine each face in the crowd. A voice pops into your head and says, "Don't be ridiculous! You are not as good as that last person dancing! You will make a fool of yourself in front of all these people, intently waiting to pass judgment on someone."
  You start to bob and sway to the beat, but you are committed to keeping all of your expression in your 2ft by 2ft personal bubble. You watch dancer after dancer go in the middle of the circle, do their very experienced thing. You catch yourself feeling the music more and more, pushing the envelop of not giving a kcuf and accidentally wave it like you just don't care, but as soon as you notice eyes on you, you tone it down.



  WHOSE voice is in your head telling you that the urge to be yourself is wrong? Is it your own voice? Or maybe the recorded voice of a loved one who told you over and over again, not to do things for fear of failure or pain... Who are you living for then?

  If you find yourself wanting to dance, DO IT! If you find yourself wanting to learn something new, DO IT! If you find yourself wanting to go somewhere foreign, DO IT!

  You are more powerful than any voice of doubt. Even when your friends or loved ones tell you straight out, "Don't because what if you fail, Don't because what if you it doesn't work out" DO IT! Do it for yourself! That way, when you show the whole world that you have accomplished, experienced and live, maybe then, others will follow suit.

  Thank you 2015 for that lesson, and here's to more dancing in 2016!

Monday, December 14, 2015

A Dream Turned Reality

In the 7th grade I had a Social Studies textbook with a photograph of a bunch of hot air balloons on the cover. I can recall staring at that picture for a long time captivated by the thought of being in one of those. The photo caption said "The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, New Mexico. I thought to myself, "One day, I'm going to go there and fly in a hot air balloon!" I had decided that was something I would do one day, and that was it!
Fast forward to 2015, and it was still one of my life-long dreams. Years ago I looked into how much it would cost to fly in a hot air balloon here in Florida, and it wasn't unreasonable, but it was something I would have to save for. Despite the fact that I could always do it, my dream was to go to Albuquerque, New Mexico and do it!

My older brother had been stationed in New Mexico (hours away from Albuquerque) and I had gone to visit him, but the opportunity to fly in a hot air balloon was still not there. I must admit, I wasn't really focused on it, and at the time I visited him (in 2010) I didn't really know about the Law of Attraction, or that whatever you set your mind too, it will happen! I thought hopefully, one day I would be  lucky enough to fly in one... maybe.

He moved away from New Mexico and in 2012 was stationed back in New Mexico, only this time, Albuquerque! Knowing about the Law of Attraction, I decided I would definitely do it finally! I would go visit my brother for my birthday (which also happened to be Thanksgiving this year) and I would save up enough money to fly in one!

I kept asking my brother who I should contact, and about how much would it cost, but he would put it off and change the subject every time, which I thought nothing of. When I arrived in Albuquerque, I asked my Sister-in-law and she told me I won't be able to fly because the winds were too strong and the temperature would be too cold. "Sorry", she said. Bursting my bubble (pun intended) I got a little sad, since I had my heart set on finally experiencing it, I quickly changed my attitude and thought, "Whatever, I guess I'll just have to do it back in Florida. Either way, I'm doing it, and whatever way I do it, will be perfect".

See, there is a very important ingredient to the Law of Attraction, it's knowing that no matter what, it will be realized. Whenever something doesn't seem to be going the way you planned, you must keep a sense of ease, faith, and going with the flow.

The 3rd day of being there, we picked my parents up from the airport and my brother had something planned for us. It was a mountain tour or something like that. All he said was, we have to be there by 2:30pm! I didn't ask any questions, I figured there was a metro or something we would be catching for a tour.

We pulled up to an empty lot in the middle of nowhere and he introduced me to a friend of his who is a balloon pilot. He had arranged, as my birthday gift, a balloon flight for me and my boyfriend! Not only that, but my family and I got to help completely construct and fill the balloon as well!

So, there I was, in the basket of a hot air balloon going up, up and I realized there was no stopping, I'm too deep (or high, for that matter) to cancel now! In under a minute we were so high up I couldn't clearly see my family anymore, they were little dots waaaaaay down below. Immediately I grasped the reality that I'm floating thousands of feet in the sky in a BASKET! There were no seatbelts or parachutes... Just this huge balloon, fire, a basket, a pilot and my boyfriend... oh, and faith!

That flood of emotion only lasted about the first 4 or 5 minutes, because I interrupted that thought as soon as I realized it was ruining my experience. So, I envisioned my landing and hugging my family in celebration, as a way of affirming my faith, and I soaked everything else in! I almost forgot to record and take pictures once we were floating around because I wanted to be the most present as possible. It was incredible! I could see the Rio Grande, the entire city of Albuquerque, Rio Ranchos, and the Sandia Mountains. It was an adrenaline rush followed by amazement, gratitude and peace.

After so many years, I REALized (as in manifested) an experience I had always wanted. Every time I would see or talk about hot air ballooning, I would always say, in faith "I will ride one, one day!".

Is that something that you have experienced?
Have faith in it happening, all of it!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Selective Listening

The year 2011 was life changing to me. That is the year I met a friend who introduced me to the Law of Attraction. I had heard of this concept from my younger brother before who tried explaining it to me. I remember him saying that essentially whatever you think about you bring about. And at that time I thought it was a nice "idea" but I wasn't buying it.

When my friend had brought me the movie The Secret, that is when it made sense to me! From that moment, every single day has been learning more and more about this law that I call "The Law of Faith". Each experience in my life after that has been more and more proof that you create what you think about! This is such wonderful news because this means you can take control of your life! Instead of thinking you are some plastic bag floating in the wind being taken wherever the wind blows, helplessly.

Music to me has always been a huge part of my life. When I was younger, I loved music so much I would fall asleep with the radio on. My favorite genres were Neo Soul, R&B, Bachata, Salsa, Spanish Rock, and various top 40. Since I was unaware of the law of attraction, it didn't matter what the song was about really, so long as it sounded good. I particularly related to love songs; the more emotional the better because I was a DRAMA QUEEN!

I can remember in 2010 being in a relationship that was very hard. We don't have to go into to many details, but it was one of those intense relationships that was perfect when things were going well, and hell when things weren't. I didn't know how to take control of the situation when we would fight and I would get carried away by my emotions.

One day, I had been texting my (then) boyfriend all day cute messages during work. I had been feeling wonderful and particularly excited to see him! On the way home from work I remember listening to the radio station which was playing all my favorite heartbreak songs. And I never turned down the opportunity to sing to the top of my lungs when it was a song I liked, so this day I was singing these sad songs about how some guy had misused her trust and broke her heart. I was singing with every ounce of emotion I could, imagining myself acting in the music video and putting that level of emotion into the song.  When the song was over I thought to myself, "I feel really bad for anyone who is going through that right now. How lucky am I to not be in that situation!" And I thought nothing else of it.

I sang more songs, probably yelled at a few drivers for their bad driving (I'm sure) and continued my route home. When I got to the house, you couldn't imagine what was waiting for me! My boyfriend had been arguing with his kid's mom about who knows what and he was in the worst mood! He suddenly needed to leave to tend to his kid (because he was only allowed to see them at her house). Cue the heart break. The argument transferred to me and there I was feeling the exact same amount of sadness and heartbreak I was imagining as I sang during my drive!

At the time I had no idea that one had anything to do with the other, and I can't say that one song caused the dysfunction in my relationship, but it certainly feed into my pattern of thinking. During this time in my life, since I didn't know what I know now, I used to be a huge fan of dramatic "reality" tv shows such as Maury, Cheaters, Jersey Shore, etc.  I was fascinated by other people's experiences and when I would see infidelity or someone taking advantage of another person's trust it directly affected my way of thinking! If on tv or in music men = dogs then in my own relationship if I saw him (or any man) scratching, I would come to my conclusion. That is why it is so important that we are careful about what we let into our minds!

Adele's album 21 in 2011 was my life's theme song adding emotion and background into my breakup with this guy. I guess in a way it helped me to say bye, since that is what most of her songs are about, but it was very painful and it took me a long time to let go.

Then, luckily, I came across the Law of Attraction, and I realized what I had been doing all along. I would watch these shows, and listen to this music and have conversations about heartbreak and frustration with my friends who also watch these shows and listened to this music and I would create THAT in my life!

Now days, it's totally different for me. Whenever I hear one of those heartbreak songs I change it. Sorry Adele, you have an AMAZING voice, but I want to protect my future and I want to create more love and happiness, so PLEASE make some more happy music for me us, please? Either way, I have my arsenal. My favorite music now to listen to is Spanish Reggae, specifically Cultura Profetica. Their music actually helped me manifest my boyfriend today!

Most of their songs, especially from the album La Dulzura are about loving a woman, and treating her like a queen. I had realized (while I was single and learning about LOA) that I deserved to be with someone who loved me and who thought of me the way this music describes love. There are other artists who sing songs that are positive and respectful and THAT is the music I will listen to.

If I turn on the radio and it's a degrading song about women, or a song about infidelity or heartbreak, guess what I do?  Change the station, or turn it off altogether. But let there be a happy song, or a song about love and someone loving you, then I'm turning up the volume!

Think about it: what kind of music do you listen to? Does your life reflect any of that? I'm interested to read your thoughts/experiences...

Friday, October 23, 2015

Growing from the Change

Recently I went to Puerto Rico to bury my Abuela (Grandma as in my Dad's mom).  While I was there, I was adamant on bringing back some flamboyant tree seeds; that is my favorite tree in the world. Ask my family, every time we were driving around the island I would ask "Can we stop to pick some seeds off a tree?" But the opportunity to stop wasn't there. Most of the reachable trees were on the highway! 
My Mami gave me a handful of gandule seeds (pigeon peas) from my Mami Colé's house (my Mom's mom) in Cidra. This happens to be my favorite place in the world! Even though I hadn't thought of taking any gandule seeds, I was happy to get to keep a piece of this place.
I kept saying to myself that regardless I was leaving with Flamboyant seeds! But the day to leave came and I still didn't have the seeds I wanted. As my older brother was driving me to the airport he told me he was planning on stopping on the side of the highway so I could pick some flamboyant seeds! And he did! I got a really huge seed pod which gave me about 25 seeds!
This entire trip had been so surreal, burying one grandmother, visiting my grandfather who is bedridden, visiting my other grandmother's house which is now vacant. Everything has changed. For my whole life visiting my family in PR was the same. They took care of me. But that has all changed so much.
I know it may seem silly, but these seeds are kind of my way of holding on to the memory of my family and my beautiful island.
Everyday I water my seeds and i watch them grow. In the blue pot are my flamboyant seedlings and the black pot to the right are the gandule seedlings.
Change is inevitable. Cherish your family every moment that you have them. And when you get the opportunity, share the memories you have with others

Friday, October 16, 2015

Be Yourself

I can recall, crystal clear, one day in the 7th grade when I was faced with deciding between expressing my uniqueness or fading into what the crowd expected of me.

Growing up, I always enjoyed creating through my fashion. In the 5th grade my friends unofficially "crowned" me most fashionable with my Clarissa Explains it All-style tights and frayed shorts. 
Listen, what happens on the playground in the 5th grade is pretty official in my book!

I also always admired my mother's style. No matter what she wore, I would see her as gorgeous and confident. Since I had grown to my mother's size by the 7th grade  she would often give me her purses or costume jewelry and even shirts or skirts she no longer wanted. These were real treasures to me. Everything in her closet, was interesting and beautiful. 

It's true that when you are an artist, you are one in more than one way. In my case, every form of expression was something you put your all into; fashion was no different. I had a lot of pride in piecing together my outfits for school and lucky for me, I went to a school that did not require a uniform, so I had creative freedom with my wardrobe. 

I didn't have the rad looking hat, but if I did I would have worn it too! 
On this particular day, I had decided to wear a sunflower print dress my mother had given me which I thought was super cute! It wasn't something that I had seen other girls really wearing. It looked like this:

I was in between classes at my locker getting my books out when some of the cheerleaders (whose lockers were near mine) in their spirit uniforms, began talking.
"WHAT is she wearing?" Mean girl #1 said.
"I don't know. It looks like something her MOM owns!" Mean girl #2 said as she laughed, closed her locker and the four of them walked away. 
I stood at my locker, hiding my face with the door. I was frozen in emotions. How did they know my Mom gave it to me? Is it REALLY an ugly dress? I didn't have many friends at that time, in fact, I was still kind of a new kid only having moved there less than a year ago, so I didn't have anyone there to stand up for me. It made me really, really sad. I didn't even say anything, I just pretended that I didn't hear it. I went to my next class feeling worthless and dumb. Do I throw this dress away? Should I stop wearing the stuff my Mom gives me, maybe it really is outdated and obvious. How will I make ANY friends if I don't know how to dress
Thankfully, I didn't live in today's world of social media, because a negative conversation about me in the hallway is microscopic compared to the damage that could be caused (and quite too often is caused) by negative comments on social media. 

I'm also very fortunate to have had the family I did. When I went home, I remember telling my mom about what those girls said, and my mom said, "Whenever someone criticises you, it's because they are jealous and wish they could be more like you. Pay them no attention my love."

That was all my mom had to say! Before I knew it, I was back to wearing whatever I felt. My Father was in the Army at that time and I can remember his closet being filled with camouflage pants and shirts. He had a pair of camouflage pants he no longer wanted so I took them! I wore them to work along with a sporty shirt (this was before rappers and boy bands made it fashionable).

Of course my classmates laughed and asked "Did you lose a bet or something?" But by this point, I didn't care anymore. I would remember what my Mom said, "They are just jealous". And it was almost as if I had some psychological insight that would protect me from criticism. It really freed me to be the expressive person I am today.

While most people try their best at staying within the social expectations of fashion (i.e. whatever the media says is fashion, is) I tend to try to stick out. There is something so amazing about being able to express one's self! 

Years later, I became a self-proclaimed artist and performance artist. Which means I have a valid excuse for wearing pretty much whatever I feel like it! I have to say "Thanks" to people like Lady Gaga for showing the whole world that no matter how you express yourself, all the criticism in the world can't break you, unless you let it. 

I share this story for any of you out there who may be struggling with your own expression. Here is the secret: BE YOU! Forget about anyone's opinion of you because what they express outwardly is really a reflection of how they feel about themselves inwardly. They see you being bold and fear the criticism they would face for being so bold, so they try deterring you from it.

Maybe I'll run for president one day, and when I win, I'll make dressing like weirdos a social norm! Wouldn't that be fun?

Oh, and to the mean cheerleaders from middle school. I probably should say "Thank you for being so petty and mean to me that fateful day. Without it, I wouldn't have learned the lesson that judgemental people like you are really haters, and it's my duty to shine anyways!" How's that for a big middle finger? No, no, no, let's turn it into a PEACE sign instead... 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Idea of Money


What comes to mind when you think about word? 
Is it a positive thought or a stressful thought?

For most of my life, that five letter word had a lot of negative weight in my mind. Growing up it was clear to me that “Money doesn’t grow on trees” and from the moment I became an independent, bill-paying woman, I FELT it! My concept of how it was earned, who deserved it, and why some people had it and others didn’t was much the same as almost everyone else; it was something only accessible by the fortunate, and all others had to fight for it. 

Anytime I would see something amazing, like people enjoying a day on a yacht, the thought that, “It would be nice to be on a yacht, if only I’d win the lotto!”. I couldn’t fathom myself working enough hours to earn enough money to be worthy of something like being on a yacht! Although I had never lived on the streets, I knew I wasn’t part of the 1% of America which has most of our money.

One vacation in 2014 changed my entire perspective of that! My older brother was engaged to marry one of my best friends in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, at an All inclusive resort. Luckily I had well over a year to plan and save for it because this trip was not going to be cheap! I managed to get enough to pay for the trip, and I had enough spending money to enjoy myself while I was there. 

For once, I was going on a vacation that was already paid for, and I would have play money that wouldn't affect weather my bills would be paid or not. 

From the moment the vacation started I had experiences of abundance. The resort is all inclusive, so the restaurants are 5 stars, and you could grab a drink at any bar or grab a drink for your whole group and not have to calculate how much you are spending (outside of tipping, of course). I had enough money to do an excursion each day I was there!

One of the excursions was horse back riding on the beach. I'm going to write a separate post about THAT whole experience, but something that was so eye-opening was getting to know our horse guide, and riding all the way from the mountains where these little towns are to the beach where the locals would go. During my trip a group of little kids ran up to me asking for my bottled water. I had told the kids no because I had been drinking that water and it probably had my backwash and germs. It didn't occur to me that they didn't have the luxury of clean (bottled) water the way I did and that they didn't care that it wasn't an untouched bottle of water. 

Our horse guide, Luis, told us his whole story about growing up in the mountains, and about how in their country owning a horse is a common thing and it's something they are very proud of. He told me about how his whole life's dream is to move to Texas and raise horses there. Here I was talking to a guy who according to his financial situation, would maybe never get to travel outside of his island. 

Suddenly, all of my problems were miniscule and petty. Not once in all of my "brokeness", my micro loans, my paycheck to paycheck and defaulting on loans, was I ever truly poor. In fact, in comparison, even at my worst I was living in luxury! 
***I realize the dictionary does not recognize "brokeness" as part of the English language, but my philosophy is, if you say a word and the listener/reader understands what you are saying, then do that is correct!

The entire experience at the resort was a week with my family and friends, not concerned about a single thing in the world, waking up early to eat a 5-star breakfast, going to the beach, eating a 5-star lunch, going on an excursion, eating a 5-star dinner. It was absolutely the richest I ever felt in my life! I had begun affirming the true reality which is "I am abundant. I am always taken care of, in the most perfect way. Happiness is now."

My perception of money as this difficult thing, this thing that keeps running out changed to it being something fluid, something that comes easily to me, something that is really unnecessary when quantifying true wealth. The fact that I am in such great health and I am so happy and my family is all doing well and are all finding happiness, THAT is true wealth. And when you have faith that you are truly abundant, the circumstances change so rapidly to match your surroundings to your thoughts or in other words, your outside to your inside. Make sense?

A few months after that, I went to the beach here in Florida with some friends. There is this thing I do in the water every time I go to the beach. I sit in the ocean feeling the current moving around me. I face out to the furthest point in the horizon, I close my eyes and I pray. I visualize all of the things I am thankful for and I smile. I spread my hands out to allow the energy to flow freely from my fingertips and I give thanks. Then I sit in silence for a little bit, allowing the waves to rock me back and forth. One this particular day, I was remembering the feeling of abundance I felt at the resort in Punta Cana, and I started affirming to myself, "I am so abundant, it flows from my cup and fills others". And out of nowhere, a dollar bill floated right in front of me!

That was the clearest sign to me! You couldn't convince me otherwise! Shortly after that I had gotten a promotion at my job and my roommate moved in with me, cutting the bills in half! And it all started with one thing: my thoughts. 

I hope there is something you can relate to in this story. Look around you, at the job you have (at least you have a means of income) at the place you live (at least you have a bed to sleep on) at the breath you are breathing (at least you are still here with us). Take a look at all of that and begin to believe in your abundance. That is the only way. 

"Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into" - Wayne Dyer

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Thoughts from a Girl Alone

I never realized how much time I would spend "not thinking" when I would plug into the tv and let the opinions and ideas come right in from others. You never really think about it that way. I was convinced that I didn't have enough time for my dreams and that I wasn't "special" enough to venture away from what people expected of me, in order to to follow my heart.

Eventually I did. I had to disconnect my cable because I needed to sacrifice for my time and oddly enough I found myself not only more productive, but not affected by what is going on in everyone else's lives from these shows. Who cares if this reality tv woman is getting a divorce or is this guy is seeing two women? What on earth would I have to gain from watching this, other than insecurities about my own relationships? I'll admit, after watching a few episodes of "Cheaters" I would lose trust. After watching a few episodes of "America's Next Top Model" I would compare myself and find things about me that weren't satisfactory. 

TV gave me this false hyper-reality about how people are living their life, driven by consumerism, like if having more of what "they" have will make my life more glamorous and "tv worthy". So, comparing myself to these women on tv and trying to piece together my identity was a bit toxic. Trying to be someone else will never feel right because you can only ever be yourself.

Once I had a thought of my value not being "enough" I would become consumed in that thought for hours, even days. And to get my mind off of it I would watch tv, probably a show with women who had seemingly perfect everything, and without realizing I would think myself into even more insecurities.

After nearly 2 years of no cable and reading/listening to empowering information, I've gotten so much stronger in my thinking. Now days, I will remind myself how amazing I am. I take inventory of all of my attributes and I focus on those.

Before, I would compare everything about me to someone else, i.e. Jennifer Lopez: people talk so much about her back-side. It's like an epidemic, now my peers are going under the knife to have their butts shaped. It's discouraging to compare to. Same goes for all surgical procedures women are doing to look like someone else. Now, it's not those women who were my enemies, ever. It was always my very own thoughts! If I saw one who looked amazing, I would compare myself. What I learned is that comparison is never an accurate account for value. You can't look at any one individual and expect to match their experiences.

I am ME. These are MY feet, these are MY legs, these are MY shoulders, this is MY face. I am beautiful simply because I am ME. And you are perfect because you are YOU. In my thoughts, walking around I see others now and appreciate their style, their choices, their beings. Then I appreciate even more my being me, and I love me for it. 

I just wanted to share my thoughts with someone, since I spend all day sharing them with myself. lol ;-) 
Love yourself, you are stunning!

Comparisons 12/01/2014

At age 5, I was convinced that the world was mine. My Dad would tell me all the time that I was the prettiest girl in the world, and I was sure that he was telling the truth. "How lucky am I that God chose ME to be the prettiest? Well, I won't argue with it." I often thought.
Insecurities were non-existent. 
My parents also told me time and time again that I could be anything I wanted to be. They would ask the common question, "What do you want to be when you grown up?"
"How can I be everything? A Ballerina, a singer, an actress, an artist, a lawyer, a nurse, a mommy... Do I have to pick just one?" I would think. 
The future to me, always seemed so predetermined, as though all I had to do was find the path that was made for me and make all the right decisions. 
Around age 12 was when I had begun to notice that other girls were very pretty and I would wonder what specifically made me the prettiest, until eventually I realized that was just something dads say to their daughters (or should always be saying to them, in my opinion); and so came the comparison.
By this point, when the question was asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I finally had a response, "A singer".
So I would sing, at every opportunity. I would coordinate mini talent performances with my friends to show off my singing abilities. Until, about 15, when in shows and in choir I would find a talented person who could belt a Mariah Carey note which vibrated through my ego. "How could I ever make it as a singer when my voice doesn't sound like that? No matter how hard I try my voice sounds DIFFERENT! Surely I will be compared. I should just save that for my own ears."
And so ended my brief singing career and my dream to share it died.
Many other dreams came and went in the same fashion: to become an architect ended with not-so-impressive geometry grades.
Professional Dancer: ended with the teasing of high school classmates and the belief that only certain people make it in that arena.
Ballerina: not skinny enough.
Actress: not born under the right star to come from a rich family and go to an acting school.
Writer: ended (correction:paused) with the countless red pen marks from teachers only focused on grammar and forgetting to acknowledge the substance I so eagerly placed on paper.
When I would begin exploring something I became interested in, the first thing I did was look to who was doing it. I would test the waters to see if I too could do it, but eventually would give up once the comparison of my efforts to someone else gave me the sense of not being good enough.

It took until my 25th year on this planet to realize that comparison was only beneficial in terms of understanding that anyone can do it, no matter what "it" is! My desire to become an artist became so loud that I could not ignore it. Initially, I would begin creating something and mid-way would completely stop, insulting my own efforts because it didn't look that Devinci or Dali or even that classmate who has been taking art classes since they were 2! To me, it looked childish and not enough.
Then I began studying the power of thought. And I realized that no two people share the exact same experiences, so comparing skill levels will only sabotage the potential of your own growth. Romero Britto has been an artist for over 20 years. It's overwhelming to think I have to compare myself to him. And the truth is I don't! I'm not him! I don't have to accomplish everything he accomplished to be a successful artist. Additionally, I don't have to meet the standards or expectations of ANYONE to be a successful artist, as long as I stand firmly beside the pieces I create.
And you want to know another thing? I'm going to become a dancer, a singer and an actress. Because I don't have to be like anyone else to do it, as long as I am being me.
The inspiration for my writing this is because I know so many of you who have dreams to do this or do that. And I want you to know that comparing yourself to any successful person could be the thing holding you back. You don't need to be like anyone else to be successful. Your dreams are dying to be shared with the world and you should be doing everything in your powers to share them.

Peace, Love and Godspeed

Luisa Padro
AKA Artysta LuLu

"Beliefs" written 12/01/14

"A belief is just a thought you keep thinking." ~ Abraham Hicks
Today I was listening to one of my favorite audios called "The Vortex" by The Teachings of Abraham (Esther and Jerry Hicks). I must have listened to this particular cd at least 50 times because I found myself wording along with Abraham. What I find most interesting about listening to teachings is how the mind can "hear" new things even after listening to the same stuff so many times.
The fact is, you definitely don't know what you don't know. Ha, and I used to be one of those people so certain that I knew something; I would roll my eyes at someone so pompously certain in their beliefs and think to myself, "Why on Earth would you ever believe something so WRONG?"
Now, I humble myself. I was the wrong one. All that time. It wasn't even the comparison of beliefs (mine vs theirs) that made me wrong, it was my judgement that made me wrong. The fact is, if you believe it, it is so. (PERIOD)
If you believe it, it is so. Wow, if I believe it then it is so? Wait a minute... you mean, if I believe it, then it is so? That doesn't make sense, so if I believe I can fly, then it is so?
-So, go jump off a building?
-No, you will fall, because there is the law of gravity. But get in a plane, and you will fly. How about Hang Gliding? Have you seen the flying man who wears the jet powered wings? This is all because people BELIEVE it is possible.
So, let's get down to this belief thing. Maybe all of your life you have had someone (probably someone very close to you) tell you, "You can't do that!" or "You'll never be that." or "Why even bother, you're too stupid, or fat or lazy..." So, over the years you have created within you a belief that you CAN'T. So every day you prove it to yourself that the belief you hold is true.
And now, we know, a belief is just a thought you keep thinking. Think about it! Ask any one person who has succeeded at anything and ask them if they believed they could do it! They will all say it, "Yes, I saw myself doing it." or "Yes, I just knew I could do it."
And I wonder, what makes them any different from you or me? Surely, they are smarter! Or they probably were born with some skill I don't have, or their parents have money. Pffft!
Look, how many stories do you have to hear or read before you believe you are JUST as capable as ANYONE else to accomplish your dreams? A belief is just a thought you keep thinking! So what are you thinking? That you can or can't? What's funny is whatever it is, you are absolutely right! If you think you can or think you can't, that is the result you will see everytime.
Try something different. Wake up and tell yourself you can. Flush out that puny little voice in your head saying you can't. Because you CAN!
How about just tell yourself over and over and over and over. Tell other people, even if they look at you funny. Like, "Hi, I'm so beautiful! Oh my goodness, I don't understand how so much beauty can be in one person? It is AMAZING, how beautiful I am!"
Oh, wait, but that is so conceited! Why would you ever go around saying that about yourself? Because you DESERVE it! Who cares what people think about you if you LOVE yourself? Why should you be expected to lessen your self view for ANYONE ELSE?
A belief is just a thought you keep thinking over and over again. And soon enough you will have said it so many times that it becomes truth to you, and watch how the people around you will notice the truth that you have created!!
Love and Peace to each and every one of you.

Acceptance! 7/13/2012

Now, the moment you have all been waiting for...
Art Fusion Gallery in Miami responded to my submission and sent me a contract to work with them for 1 year!
Oh my goodness, I did it!
What's perfect is I am going to Miami in 4 days so I'll get to physically see what I am working with! I am going to review the contract, sign it, write down all of my questions for the curator.
This is really happening! Perseverance people, perseverance! 
I look forward to everyday! Thank you!!!

Anticipation Despite the Situation 7/8/2012

I am so hopeful about tomorrow. Tomorrow is Monday and I have a lot to get done. First, I want to mention how I was feeling today.
I have this very strong feeling that something in my favor is coming, the way you can tell if someone is standing behind you, I feel it! This experience has been so very humbling for me, but it's wonderful because I know it will change and I am going to be able to announce how I kept believing in my heart and how the strength within me prevailed.
I was washing dishes thinking about how humble my refrigerator makes me feel, and I saw it: One day one way, the next another. After watching What the Bleep to We Know, I realized that matter is created from thought so what lies directly in front of me are infinite possibilities for me to choose from. I promise you, Luisa, your situation WILL change to benefit you! Be excited about it!!! 

The Application Process 7/5/2012

Everyday I see my dream. I spent almost all day working. First I did some of my lessons on success and betterment. Today's lesson was about using the intense emotion of anger to clarify what you want and focus on exactly what you want to create.
Right now, my monetary situation is not very comfortable, but I keep remembering how the greatest of the great had to withstand the growth period. I can honestly say that I don't know how I am going to make it, but I will. I promise I will. And I can't wait to write about the turn-over!

Today, I sent inquiries to 5 different art galleries in Miami. Tomorrow I'm going to inquire with more. 

Money is going to come. I already called for it. I can feel it coming!
That sounds funny, but it's true. I am going to Miami on the 17th and I will have more than enough in my pocket to provide all of my finances! 

A gallery will represent me. My excitement is for Art Fusion Gallery in Miami. I am so impressed by their presentation that I can really see my work hanging up in their gallery. 

This is going to happen, it's already happening!

Oh, there is so much I want to do and so much I want to experience! Thank you (universal power) for providing for me! Every day I get closer and closer! It is just around the corner and in every moment you have provided! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

6/21/2012 Money and Affirmations

One lesson I have learned over and over again throughout this journey is when things seem especially difficult, believing in something as small as "it's possible no matter what" is what saves you. Remember, money is energy just the same way pencils are! If you find yourself in a situation where you need something to write with, you don't freak out if you don't have a pen or pencil. You just know you'll come across one, and you do! Every time! It's the same way with money. Focus on what you want, and don't worry about how you will get it! 

I'm closer to my dreams! Today I designed and ordered my business cards! The funny part is, since money is a little tight at the moment (no big deal) I turned to my savings jug, which I have been adding change to it for years now. The business cards cost me 74.00 and I had 73.00 in my jug! Isn't that amazing? 
So, I allocated my savings to my business cards.

Additionally, my mom is going to send me $100 for my portfolio. All I have left to do is finalize my portfolio print it, video tape my interview, edit that for my website, update my Facebook page (per Joel Bauer) and Vuala!

I found an art gallery called Art Fusions which I have fallen in love with! I can already see my art in there and me at the opening reception! Wow what a journey!

The lesson I have been going through lately has been to really not judge my situation by what is going on today. I have to stay focused. In any case, it's things like this that make you focus!
I know, without a shadow of a doubt that everything is going to work out for me! Already, in such a short amount of time little by little things have been coming through.

Letter to Myself:
Dear Luisa,
Less than a year ago you were dreaming about the opportunity to paint and call yourself a painter! You would wish and wish and today you are surrounded by beautiful pieces of your very own artwork!
You are doing it! And so many people already believe in you! You are just days away from shaking hands and making the show official! And your dreams don't stop here.
Luisa, congratulations, you are an artist!! 

Journal Entry 6/17/2012

Today, I am so grateful for so many things. It’s funny because it you look at my current situation most people would be ready to give up, but after my temporary brake-down yesterday. I wiped my tears and kept telling myself that everything is working IN MY FAVOR!
Me and my boyfriend broke-up, but what if we grow stronger from this? What if, later on in life we were going to go in different directions, and this happening now is saving us from so much more heartache later? Due to the brake-up I have been forced to face my goals and dreams and I have realized that now is the time to act! And I feel like my life depends on it! That’s when people make things happen, because they become faced with uncertainty and they force themselves to make things happen!
It’s hard to see because sometimes the unknown of tomorrow is a little scary, but seriously, I’m not afraid of the worst! Because I know in order to get the best and live the best life you can, you have to face the worst head-on and say “f**k that!” I’m stronger and more willing than you!”
I followed this with a long list of things I am grateful for. A practice I highly suggest. I typically write my entries right before I go to sleep so the last thoughts on my mind are the ones I create for myself. 

Journal Entry 6/15/2012

It’s one of those days when you really get to test out what you’ve been learning. For example, when things are great and I read or hear an audio about staying positive, even through the tough times, and I think, “It’s so easy to do that! All you have to do is be in control of your thoughts? I can do that! Pshhh, like nothing!”
But, while I haven’t been negative about anything, I haven’t been thinking positively either. I keep going over things in my head, like analyzing past events, looking for clues.
But on another note, today I finished #16, and then I fixed a few of the old ones. Tomorrow is the day I photograph them and make my portfolio! Yay! Iam going to make it! I am following the recipe and I’m on my way there!
Then I decided to go swimming in the pool which was just what I needed! I am reading about how you have to be in the “right-now” to find your happiness and I feel like I’m there!
My garden is doing well, I really send love feelings towards them and I genuinely care about how ell they are doing. I guess I have been learning a lot from Tim!

At this point, I still had not applied to a gallery. The belief that I would be accepted was all that I had, and so every day I worked to get closer and closer to that. One of the ways that I strengthened my belief in this was to write affirmations.

Journal Entry 6/12/2012

Today I am nearly completed with my 16th piece! I am very pleased with this one! Every new one I feel better and better, more and more official! As I painted I kept envisioning the gallery curator being blown away at my concept and execution. I keep hearing in my head, “Wow! This is great! I love it, it’s so different and beautiful!” My art isn't “realistic” or “photo-like”, instead they are simplistic, colorful and imaginative!
I believe more than anything that as I have made these paintings I have poured my love into each one of them, blessing them with thoughts of peace, harmony, happiness, beauty, etc.
I can seriously see famous people like Will Smith, Jennifer Lopez, or Rob Dyrdek buying my paintings simply because they understand the meaning of the powerful-self and the connection we have with the entire universe. That is precisely why they got to where they are today and I would be honored to have people who value unconditionally the meaning I am giving my work… they will, I know they will!
I do wonder who will own them… I look at them all of the time and I wonder about the person they are in alignment with and where they will be hung up. I wonder about what the viewers in the gallery will say when they see them. I wonder how I will make them accessible to the public so the love and the message can be shared.
I wonder how the new owners will display them and what conversations will form just from looking at them. I hope that it will always inspire love!

The day after I broke up with my boyfriend 6/5/2012

I figured that the “good” out of all of this is that now I can focus 100% of my time to my artwork. Today is the 5th which means I have 25 days before my next rent payment (which I am prepared to pay) but to make a goal and focus on not “pushing” it, I want to have my 15 paintings completed, framed, photographed, put in my portfolio and have all of my marketing materials sent out. Perfect example is that I had the whole day to paint and I completed my 14th piece! I have one more canvas and a few ideas. I’m not sure yet whichone I will be using, but I know it’s going to be awesome!
This is a good thing! I’m feeling a lot of emotions and I am battling the sad feelings but right now it feels so sudden this change.
What’s crazy is just this Sunday we went to church together and I prayed to God and I literally said, “God, I open my life up to you 100%for you to make the necessary changes that will bring me to the life you and I want. I trust in you.”
Then 24 hours later my boyfriend is leaving? That is definitely not something I can ignore. I am sad that it came to this. I love [him] so very much. And I learned so much from him. I will never be able to go back to being closed minded to the way I see and understand how life works.
I don’t know exactly how my future will play out, but I know that I will be incredibly happy. Sometimes there are people who came into your life for a day, a season or a lifetime, but each person and experience is equally important. At least we were able to share our happiness, however brief, that doesn’t matter. I know that I gotten this far because [he] was in my life when he was.  He was a great supporter of my work and he shared his feedback about my pieces. And for that I am so grateful.
I am trying to not be angry about this because I know that he never had a malicious thought against me or wanted to hurt me. Unfortunately, his situation is not in alignment with the rest of my life and I had to see that. Lesson learned.
I followed this with a long list of things I was grateful for because despite any challenge or lesson, life is always still good! I can tell you that he and I are still friends and I haven’t thought a single bad thing about him. 

Confessions 4/25/2012

Controlling my emotions is very difficult. Especially when I am faced with a difficult situation. Why am I feeling this way so strongly? There are thoughts of worry which I so badly want to stop thinking but sometimes I can’t help but to think them. How do I cancel those thoughts out?
From here I began writing affirmations of my luck. I listed one after the other things working out in my favor. By the end of the journal entry I had justified what was concerning me (at lease in a way that I could find peace in it, and I wrote myself a letter about my life)

Abundance Journal Entry 4/15/2012

You know what’s crazy? I have been in the position where looking at exclusive and expensive things made me feel as though the reality of reaching them/being able to purchase them was further than the stars. But now I’m seeing them like they are being wrapped up to be placed under my Christmas tree. I own the right already. One day (this is the craziest part) I will attain these riches and I will have a lifestyle that most people think is far beyond their reach. They will probably thing I was a “lucky” one or I have something they weren't born with, but the only difference between us is my burning desire!


Dear Journal,
I made it another exciting day! I told my parents that I had not been accepted into the masters program and at first they had begun pushing me towards considering law school.
All my life they suggested I take that path. But the truth is, I want to be an artist! I could become a lawyer, but then I would start my career with $50,000 in debt and a job I wouldn’t truly enjoy.
I know from the bottom of my heart I will be a very successful artist! I told my parents that I am going to pursue my dream to be an artist and one day I will make them proud. I must have struck a chord because my Mom wrote me a really sweet email about how they are already very proud of me and how they support me 100% in my art.
That is exactly what I needed! I feel very happy about it! I know that all they want is for me to be happy and in a good place, but I also don’t want them to worry about me because they deserve to be happy!
I am deeply considering the BFA program, now that I have their full support. But here is the thing: The “how” has become increasingly clearer as time has progressed. My original plan to become a successful artist was going to be through the master’s program. Quitting my job and creating my portfolio for entrance into the program made me realize that with this schedule I can create an actual collection to be sold in a gallery! I can focus on advancing my skills by allowing Source to bring me ideas.
The exciting part about being an artist is that I can only get better. It’s like I do one [painting] and I’m like, “Wow! This one is so much better than the last one!” All of them have been that way. So, I look at my latest painting in amazement and see the remainder of my collection being even more and more brilliant! Not only do I see a massive improving collection, but I see people being really touched by my art! I want to inspire the child within us all, the curiosity of the mysteries of life, and the fact that we are masters of our lives and that we can achieve all of our dreams!

Journal Entry from 3/30/2012

Good morning life!         
I just wanted to start my day by thanking God for blessing me with another day. When I stop and think about my life today in comparison to what it was when I was a slave to my thoughts and my job, I really appreciate the time God has given me to go after my art.
Today, I finished another painting. Well, I think I’m finished with it. I might add a few black lines here and there, but for the most part, it is what it will be. This may sound crazy, but today while I was letting a few coats dry, I placed it by the window to let the sunlight energize it. I prayed to God to bless my painting and that it will give everyone who looks at it a sense of happiness.

I can actually visualize people wanting to invest in my art work! I want my art work to really be admired. I want to watch my collection grow as well as my skill-sets. The cool part is I can only get better and better! Like my latest painting really shows improvement from the one before it, etc. So, I know that people and artists alike will be amazed by my pieces.
Ultimately, I want to put myself in a position financially where the only thing I worry about is what color paints I will use. I want to be able to give gifts to my family to show them my appreciation for their love and support. And I want to be living and breathing proof to them and my friends that we should live our lives affirming our hearts dreams!
Over-all, I am very happy and thankful. I’m just going to continue pretending to have exactly what I visualize and it will all come to me! 

3/27/2012 Letter to Myself

Journal entry began with:
Dear Journal,
I have taken my breath and allowed the thoughts to pass. (Talking about the venting I did regarding my relationship at the time from the entry before; not listed here). I am fully aware of the importance to keep a positive mind, and yet on occasion I find reasons to be upset. It’s a good thing and would benefit me to try justifying both sides before taking any actions.
 Toward the end of the journal entry I decided to write myself a letter:
Now is your opportunity to be and do exactly what you have so long desired! Keep your motivation and hunger up! If you slow down, then your portfolio will not be ready until late July. But, if you put your all into it, you will be ready come May! And then a gallery will pick you up and you will prove to everyone that you go after and are worth what you want! You are an amazing, magical being and you can do this!
Money will never be the issue for you because you have opened the floodgates and money comes to you like a magnet! I am looking forward to watching my dreams and wishes unfold right before my eyes.
Thank you God! Thank you so very much!!
This is one of the first entries that I decided to commit to affirmations. As you can see here, I affirm my monetary situation (because that had been something I long struggled with), and I reaffirm my vision. This is something you will see me do over and over again. 

First Journal Entry 3/19/2012

Dear Journal,
My mind races in finding where to begin. Today I am 26 years old and living in Tampa, Florida. I’ve decided to begin tracking my accomplishments and the “coincidences” that happen to get me where I want to go.
My ultimate goal is to make a difference in millions of people’s lives through my artwork. I want to bless my art with an energy that touches every viewer. I want to impact and inspire them. I have no real professional training, which makes no difference to me. Art is an expressive form. Either you like it or you don’t. Either way, it does not diminish the value of that art in any way.
A lot of people suggested I should go to the local markets and try selling them for a few hundred dollars, but that is nowhere close to where I want to value my work. These are more than just swirls of paint that look “pretty” and “match the curtains”. These are stories, each one of them.
I need to write an artist statement. I’m not sure if I should include the fact that I only took one semester of college level art courses and that my degree is in Public Relations. I want people to take me seriously. I just know the right words will come to me.

Why am I doing this?

I began this journey of self-realization in the spring of 2011. I had met someone who was very passionate about this concept called the Law of Attraction; something my little brother had tried explaining to me that sounded like a nice philosophy.
I can remember the feeling I had, as though I was reaching for the light switch in a dark room, just running my fingers along the wall.

Prior to meeting him I was working a very nice office job helping university students find jobs. There was a large window behind my desk with a view of a lonely tree and a brick wall.
I had nothing to complain about, the pay was good, the people were friendly and my life was secure. But I wasn’t satisfied with that. I had this lingering feeling in my gut; this desire to be great and do something that excites me.
The one thing that gave me that feeling was my art. I had never taken an art class, but it came natural to me, like I already understood the language.
The idea to study art came to me after my neighbor liked one of my paintings so much that he bought it for $90. So I applied to school to see what would happen, that’s it, just to see the “what if”, no commitment. Then I learned about the law of attraction and I finally understood that the direction I go in life could be dictated by my thoughts! Could it really be that easy? I took the biggest risk I could; I quit my job and went back to school.
In reading some books, the importance of journaling was a repeated suggestion, so early in my journey of discovery I decided to log my thoughts and experiences. I promised to do this under one condition, that even if I have an undesirable experience I would write about it with a positive outlook. I have been writing for almost 3 years now and have observed so many others go through the exact same experiences.
My objective is to share my stories, from my personal journals (which I intended on ever sharing) in hopes to spread hope, laughter and inspiration.
The following will be real lessons written from the beginning of my art journey to share the message that you too can accomplish yours dreams, if only you believe.  
I began this journey of self-realization in the spring of 2011. I had met someone who was very passionate about this concept called the Law of Attraction; something my little brother had tried explaining to me that sounded like a nice philosophy.
I can remember the feeling I had, as though I was reaching for the light switch in a dark room, just running my fingers along the wall.
Prior to meeting him I was working a very nice office job helping university students find jobs. There was a large window behind my desk with a view of a lonely tree and a brick wall.
I had nothing to complain about, the pay was good, the people were friendly and my life was secure. But I wasn’t satisfied with that. I had this lingering feeling in my gut; this desire to be great and do something that excites me.
The one thing that gave me that feeling was my art. I had never taken an art class, but it came natural to me, like I already understood the language.
The idea to study art came to me after my neighbor liked one of my paintings so much that he bought it for $90. So I applied to school to see what would happen, that’s it, just to see the “what if”, no commitment. Then I learned about the law of attraction and I finally understood that the direction I go in life could be dictated by my thoughts! Could it really be that easy? I took the biggest risk I could; I quit my job and went back to school.
In reading some books, the importance of journaling was a repeated suggestion, so early in my journey of discovery I decided to log my thoughts and experiences. I promised to do this under one condition, that even if I have an undesirable experience I would write about it with a positive outlook. I have been writing for almost 3 years now and have observed so many others go through the exact same experiences.
My objective is to share my stories, from my personal journals (which I intended on never sharing) in hopes to spread hope, laughter and inspiration.
The following will be real lessons written from the beginning of my art journey to share the message that you too can accomplish yours dreams, if only you believe.