Friends and Family

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This sign was hanging in the women’s restroom in San Luis Obispo.

In the men’s room, Jeff says the sign said, “Some call it chaos. we call it family.”

I think we have it all.

We spent a lot of time with extended family this weekend and I feel sad leaving them, even though I am happy to be going home again.

I love being together and embracing the chaos and love that swirl around us, tying us together through shared experiences and laughter.

There were several highlights from our time together, however my favorite was when friends and family gathered outside and held hands, all 26 of us, and shared a Thanksgiving prayer before dinner acknowledging our gifts and our heartbreaking loss of Chase this year. We were able to smile and cry together and it was a beautiful moment of being safe and authentic, vulnerable and real. We were happy to be together and sad to be missing a loved one. Yin and yang.

I love the unique gifts that each person brings to our family, quirks and all.

IMG_2041.JPGHomemade bacon.

I kept reminding myself that we all bring love to share in our own way.

IMG_1952.JPGBaking together.

I am especially thankful to my parents for opening their home to everyone and making us welcome and embracing everyone with unconditional love.

We left their home this afternoon and headed home ourselves. My favorite place to be, besides home, is at the beach. My BFF ML also loves the beach and was at Pismo today. We were so lucky to be able to find each other on the beach and watched the sunset together with our families.

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This was such a great way to wrap up the day and I was so happy to see her and to be together on the beach!! Simple joys, I’m telling you!!

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Life is good!

I hope you enjoyed your own family and friends this giving thanks weekend, and always.

Wishing you peace and love! xo

Oprah – Day 2 Live Your Best Life SJ

I don’t even know where to begin.  I guess I’ll begin with gratitude to have had the opportunity to spend the day with my mama and Oprah and her trailblazers and to listen and to learn and to soak up all the positive energy that was in that space today. I am thankful. I LOVE Oprah and can now check off being on her show off my bucket list. Thank you for coming to San Jose and sharing your light and love with all of us.

Today included Oprah hosting the all day long show with her hand-picked teachers – Deepak Chopra, Elizabeth Gilbert, Robert Bell, and Iyanla Vanzant.  It was an awesome conference filled with love and light and positivity.

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Deepak helped us with a mediation exercise and shared his thoughts on spirituality. He said, “you are the awareness you are, disguised as a person.”  You are not your thoughts. Those you love and dislike are both reflections of yourself.  Make sure your intentions are not only for yourself, but also for the common good.  You should start every day with a list of intentions to help organize your day. If we set our intentions, we can live our life on purpose.  I love that. Sounds just like the daily 5 I’ve been working on lately that are linked to my goals. If we set our intentions, our life will have meaning because we’ll be doing the work that is meaningful to us.

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Elizabeth Gilbert was a breath of fresh air. I loved the dress she wore and her ruby red slippers. She looked like a princess and was in awe of her own life and how she got to be where she is now.  All of Oprah’s speakers were great story tellers.  Her message was that of a hero’s journey. She told the story structure from Joseph Campbell about a restless boy, who hears a call to transform his life. He resists change out of fear and reluctance, yet the call persists. Eventually he responds and enters into the dangerous, unknown world, where he has to cross the threshold into this new world and can never go back to where he came from.  He then faces the road of trials, where he meets all types of iconic characters. He must suffer the darkness of night in soul and becomes broken or lost, loses faith, feels broken and shuts down. Then there comes a supernatural  guidance that arrives and the great battle of life is won.  This is the story line that has carried out for men throughout all cultures. But for women, this story breaks down.  The reason she shared this story is because she didn’t fit this mold. She didn’t feel that she was allowed to follow the hero’s journey, because this was typically a male’s world and women had more restrictions on their lives.

Her message was that we can all choose our own epic quests and journeys to find our spiritual path. She says that even though there hasn’t been a history of women leaders and heroes, that we can be our own heroes and choose our own paths and become the heroes of our own story. We need to think. We need to act. We need to begin.

Oprah was on the stage and kept helping with the transitions and guided us through envisioning sessions of our futures.  She wants us to learn how to be the best versions of ourselves.

Rob Bell is a minister from Grand Rapids, Michigan. He started his lecture with stories and jokes, and focused on our breathe, our life force and made us focus on the gift of just being. I loved hearing him speak. He wanted us to see that our life already is a miracle, just being and that our life matters right now, not in the future. I loved him too.   He reminded us to do everything with love. He wants us to live in the moment  and learn to say no, so that we can say yes to what we really want. Pay attention. Slow down and see your life as the miracle that it is.

SoulCycle was a cool, intermission group that was biking and exercising and sharing soul secrets with us as we exercised and moved in our chairs with our light-up wristbands dancing in the air in synchronicity. Oprah described them as “going to church on a bike.” They reminded me of my friend, Apryl, and her My School in Motion project, getting everyone moving and thinking together, releasing endorphins, getting fit, and sharing a community experience. I loved the energetic leaders and the thought behind their program.

Iyanla was hilarious. She kept laughing at herself and taking a drink to life, her friend. She started out by saying that she loved everyone and that today was all about life. Just breathe. She wants us to have what we want in life and reminded us that we have to do the labor, or do the work to enjoy results.  She reminded us to just breathe and to be willing to do the work that follows our intentions. She talked about all the distractions in our lives, and called them “humping puppies.”  Humping puppies were the distractions that were constantly in your face that you want to go away, yet you gave your attention to. She wanted us to learn how to tame the dogs and to live our best lives by doing the work, being authentic, and being present. I loved her!

Toyota was a sponsor of the event, and they brought up Amy Purdy to share her story of survival and hope. Amy had lost her legs below her knees when she was a teenager due to disease and she shared her story about how she trained and built her own dancing and skiing feet and legs. She was a prime example of showing someone with a vision and not giving up, when life hit bottom.

Kimberly Bryant was chosen by Toyota to receive a standing ovation for her work to promote STEM programs for black girls. She calls her program Black Girls Code and she plans to reach over one million girls by the year 2040.  She wanted her daughter to meet other women working in the STEM fields and none existed, so she created her own. She has served over 3000 young girls to date, who otherwise may have not been exposed to hands on technology solutions.  She was awarded a $25,000 grant to continue her work.

The panel of trailblazers gave Oprah the gift of their words at the end of the show and praised her for her gifts and talents that she so freely gives to the world. Hearing them share her praises filled my heart with joy because I believed in what they were saying and was so happy for Oprah, to be surrounded by those that she chose and who chose her back. This is so important and so cool to me.  Oprah was moved to tears and so thankful.

Oprah lead practices throughout the day that made us think of our vision and what we want out of life. She wants us to find ways to integrate our interests and map how much time we spend doing the different things we value.

I of course, cannot capture all that was good at this conference, but these were just a few of the highlights and I know there were many. I just wanted to share some of what I heard and learned because it was so powerful and moving.

To summarize, every day decide what choices you want to make. Be clear of your intentions and commitment to change. Decide to improve your life and seek out experiences that do just this.  What we focus on, expands our truth. Take time to be still and to meditate and to just be without doing anything.

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“The most beloved person in the universe is YOU.” – Oprah Winfrey

I hope you enjoyed this summary and keep on following me and sharing our journey together by clicking on the link above.   We can transform our lives everyday by thinking positively, loving ourselves and loving others.

Goodnight, BeLoveRs!!

Love,
Adriana

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The Family Dinner

I LOVE the family dinner. I fight for this time and try to do whatever I can to make this a nightly routine, despite our hectic schedules. It doesn’t always work out and then I resort to the family breakfast, but that’s even more chaotic at 6:45 a.m.

Right now I’m holding on and don’t want to let go. I want us all together, in our safe little cocoon, together for the 15 -30 minutes that it lasts. I value this time of us all being together, doing the same thing at the same time. That is peaceful to me.

I skipped volunteering this afternoon so that I could have dinner cooked and prepared for when we all got home from our activities, as we had a full day. I had plastic, reusable containers filled with Mexican food ready to take out of the refrigerator and reheat when we could gather again.  While the food was warming, we worked together to set the table and fill drink glasses, and finished washing the pots and pans and emptying the dishwasher – multitasking and checking off the chore list before the next round of work began and doing it together.

We all assembled our plates and brought them to the table and then we held hands in a circle across the table and said a brief prayer. We were connected. We stood still and held each other for 30 seconds, while we expressed gratitude for all that is good and for healing for all that is bad.  We shared a few stories, a few laughs, a few disciplinary recommendations, and enjoyed each other and the comfort that the food and family time provided.

I chose to be late to my meeting, so that I could sit around the table with the most important people in my life. I am choosing to be present and to not be busy, even when I am.

We need to slow down and be present, even when it feels like we can’t.

Make the time, BeLoveRs. How will you choose to slow down and enjoy your loved ones this week?

Namaste.

I am thankful

GGG – Day 19 – Reflection

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
Melody Beattie

Today I’m thankful for time for reflection. Reflection to me is a way to look in the mirror, or look inside and to be still and to see and feel what’s really there. It’s a time for meditation or deep thought or prayer. It’s a form of stillness and a time to be thankful for what and who we are and all we have and all we do.

If we stop to reflect, we slow down for a minute or two or three to actually think and process all of the events and circumstances in our lives. I think this is important to do, to be sure we’re actively making the right choices for ourselves as we continue to change and adapt and grow. If we can slow down to reflect, we can take time to be thankful for all that we have, and to dream and anticipate all that we will become.

So whether you call it reflection, meditation, prayer, savasna, pause, or mindfulness… take a moment to reflect on all that is good and feel the benefits you derive from this simple pleasure and see where you go from here. Peace.

“Be a reflection of what you’d like to see in others! If you want love, give love, if you want honesty, give honesty, if you want respect, give respect. You get in return, what you give!”- unknown

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First rain of the season – I loved it!