Who’s (what’s) really important?

We all think we know ‘who’ is important in our life.  We even think we know ‘what’ is important.  But do we really???

I’m one to read many self-development books.  I’ve read so many different ways to determine what’s important in one’s life.  One way is to look at your calendar and see what shows up most often.  Is work consuming your calendar days?  If so, that is what’s most important to you.  Or is family on your calendar most?  Hmmmmm…..take a look real quick, what’s filling up your calendar?  Now ask yourself, is that really what you feel is most important is your life?

Let me tell you a 100% guaranteed way to determine who (what) is a priority in life.  But I’ll have to tell you what happened to me first that helped me figure this out.

Just recently, my phone completely died.  It wouldn’t turn on, it wouldn’t charge…nothing.  I wasn’t home at the time this took place, I was actually 30 minutes away from home.  First thing I did was rush to the nearest t-mobile store to see what they can do to get my phone working again.  The customer service rep said my “phone was fried”.  I was literally shit out of luck.  Had to get myself a new phone and everything on the old phone was lost!  Let me tell you….that 30 minute ride home was the longest, worst, most worrisome 30 minutes I’ve had in a long time.  {My Peace & Calming essential oil was my best friend at this point.}  This may sound ridiculous to some that we rely on an electronic device that much.  But it wasn’t the phone I was most concerned about.  It was actually the WHO I was most concerned with.  The ‘WHO’ THAT IS MOST IMPORTANT!  My daughters were the first thing on my mind.  Were they trying to reach me? What if something happened to them and no one could contact me?  Thinking of all those emergency contact sheets I filled out with my cell number, OMG!  I’m sure all the Moms out there reading this get what I’m saying!   After thinking these insane thoughts, I thought about my husband then my parents and all the ‘what ifs’.   I went “petal to the metal” and got my ass home in under 20 min (thank you  I355 troopers for not being out that day, lol).   The second I got home, I contacted my 5 most important people and informed them of this self-perceived nightmare.   Then I proceeded to contact friends, business associates, etc.

Do you want to figure out what or who is most important to you?   Destroy your phone (which I am not recommending at all, LOL) or literally turn it off for a day and see what you feel.  Who you think about. What comes to mind.  It’s crazy that our lives revolve around this little device but our most important treasures are connected to them.  Live Grateful.  Live Positive.  And cherish those close to you.

Epilogue: I received my replacement phone 36 hours later.  By this time, I really loved being disconnected from the world.  I’d recommend to everyone to turn off your phone every now and then and live life thru your eyes and not thru a screen.

I am convinced this incident was God’s way of making me see my life in a new light.  When I received my replacement phone, I tried my old phone one more time, just for the hell of it.  It turned on like nothing ever happened.  Nothing was lost.  Yep….this was God’s doing.  And I’m grateful for it.  Layout 1





We have all heard the saying….”Your thoughts become your reality.”  I absolutely agree with the fact that we must stay positive even in the worst situations.  I also know, by my own personal experience, that sometimes that’s just not possible.  Let’s face it, life is hard at times.  We may feel like we just won’t or can’t make it thru.  It may also feel like the snowball effect: where your problems just seem to be getting bigger and worse with no end in sight.  Have you ever stopped to think…is that all in your thoughts or is that really your reality?

You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this?  Let me first tell you about my amazing friend and my Hypnotherapist.  Her name is Shelly Clayton and her company is H2O Hypnosis.  I’ve had 3 sessions with Shelly and she literally has changed my life for the better.  I had an issue that I’ve struggled with for over 30+ years.  After meeting with Shelly, I am no longer a slave to this limited belief I had in myself.  Shelly is amazing at what she does and I’d highly recommend her if you have anything you’d like to stop, start, continue or be better at.  With that being said – I met with Shelly a few days ago and told her I felt that the hypnosis was “wearing off”.  She took her time in explaining how our conscious mind is so powerful that we look for evidence to find what we are looking for.  Make sense?  It sure did to me!

After this conversation, I began thinking of the saying “your thoughts become your reality”, and how a positive attitude intergrades with it.  It’s so true!    Take a minute to think about this…. our lives SUCK if we look for the evidence for what sucks in your life or what is going wrong in our life or what could be better. The more you look for negative evidence, the more you will find – no matter what!    So that’s where the positive attitude with this saying comes in.   If you train yourself to think and look for evidence of all the good things in your life, even if it’s so small it may seem insignificant, you will start to feel the reality of positivity.  And then your reality and your thoughts are now in line with each other.  After training your brain to do this, it will become a habit (takes 66 days to create a habit) and your overall life will feel more positive.  This then will have the snowball effect of so many good things happening in your life (mainly because you are not giving the negative things any thought).

Be grateful and acknowledge the tiny things (evidence) in life that are in line with being positive.  Let the contrary roll-off.   We are all born with a finite number of minutes; make the most of those minutes by perceiving the positive in each and every one!

I’m going to end today’s blog by recreating the above quote in my own words….”your positive evidence becomes your positive reality” – Leticia Martino.





To trust or not to trust….

trust |trəst|
noun:  firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something: relations have to be built on trust

verb [ with obj. ]
1 believe in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of: I should never have trusted her

Column59-trustdimishing-BingImage-free to use or share

Relationships have to be built on trust.   But how do you trust someone without knowing if you can or not?  Over the past few months, I’ve encountered many situations where trust was front and center.   Unfortunately, most of these occurrences I learned, the hard way, that I should not have trusted so easily.

As I was deciding if I should tackle this touchy subject as my blog topic, I had such mixed emotions;  until yesterday, when I was in church and the topic was brought up.  At that point I knew that was my sign from God to open up and let others hear my thoughts.  Maybe someone who reads this, needs to hear it.

As I said above, I have dealt with too many situations lately where my trust was completely shattered.  A few weeks ago, I was laying in bed, not being able to sleep because my mind was running on overtime thinking about how/why did I trust these people and why did they do what they did.  My emotions were raw.  My tempter was hot.  My Italian nature just wanted revenge.  My heart was broken.  Putting it bluntly….I WAS PISSED.

The night went on and all I kept saying to myself was “I’m never trusting anyone ever again.”  Why should I make myself vulnerable to being used, hurt or betrayed again?  Never will I trust again!!!!  But out of nowhere…. I thought about how life would be if I never trusted.   I would close myself off to so much.  How I would always be on guard.  And any possibility of having an authentic, real and amazing relationship would never be available to me because I wouldn’t let it.  What kind of life would that be?  It would suck!  It would suck more than the hurt of feeling the broken trust.   I’m not saying be naive; I’m saying trust until given a reason not to. And use your intuition to know when that is.  Our intuition is our guardian angel and it’s always right. Yep, I should have listened to mine sooner than later!

Now that I know I’ll continue to trust, I know there will be many more times that that trust will be broken but I’m ok with it.  Because I also give myself so many more possibilities of having real, trustworthy, life-long relationships.  Those types of relationships where I can trust that individual through thick and thin and they will have a place in my life and in my heart that can’t be shaken.  And thank God for those people who I do have in my life now that have always had my back.  Who have picked me up after I have fallen and who have cheered me on during the good times. Those who have supported me even when they were dealing with shit of their own.  I have some amazing friends and I will continue to trust in order to make more amazing relationships.  And to those who brought me to write this blog about broken trust…. I will  “Live Grateful,  Live Positive, and let Karma do the rest!”   XO


Positive thoughts take a conscious effort

Wow!  Has it really been 3 months since my last blog.  Well, I guess that tells you how busy of a summer I had.  It was jammed packed and very, VERY challenging.  Challenging in the way that I had many difficulties, bad days, health issues, a few circumstances that were out of my control, mishaps….you get my gist?  It just seemed to be something negative every corner I turned.  I’m not telling you this for a pity party or for attention.  No way!  I’m telling you this to share with you that even tho I try my hardest to be positive and grateful, and remind others to do the same, there’s seasons in my life, like yours, that just seem to suck!  Can I get an Amen?!

A few days ago, as my life seemed to be finally getting back to normal (I use that term loosely)  with less drama and bullshit, I got to thinking about my blog.  And was wondering “what the hell was I gonna write about?”  I’ve been so un-positive lately and so many bad things have happened in my life lately that how in the world am I gonna write a blog in line with…Live Grateful. Live Positive.  Then it came to me….I’ll just write about the seasons of our life that really challenge us, that really pushes us to find the positive in each and every day and circumstance.

It was almost impossible for me to find something positive during some of these bad days. I remember one day I was sitting in my car in a parking lot and I just looked up.  I saw the most beautiful cloud framed by the bluest sky I’ve ever seen.  That brought me to tears.  I felt a rush of gratitude in seeing this spectacular site.  It actually snapped me out of the funk I was in and made me realize, that maybe at this particular moment in my life where everything seemed to be falling apart that this was actually where I needed to be, maybe it’s what I needed be experience, and that things may seem to be horrible but they are not all that bad in the big picture of life.  I had to remind myself that God has a plan for me. We all get so wrapped up in our drama and problems which, in turn, makes us feel sorry for ourselves and we forget how blessed we really are.  It takes a conscious effort to stop thinking negative thoughts and look for the positive and feel grateful for something…..anything!  I literally had to work on finding positive things this summer, each and every day.  Did it make me feel better?  Most of the time; however,  it did help me survive some really bad days where I just wanted to crawl in a hole and forget about the world.

I leave you with this…if you are dealing with a shit-storm, I encourage you to make a conscious effort to look for something little to be grateful for.  I hope you find your beautiful cloud in your blue sky!  XO



Have you ever looked at a person and thought to yourself, “I sure wish I could do that. They are so good at it; they must have been trained by the best and doing it for years.”  Then we proceed to say to ourselves…. “I could never do that!  There’s no way I’d have the talent to accomplish that. I’m not educated enough, pretty enough, smart enough, or I don’t have the resources, time or money to get it done.”   We automatically put limitations on ourselves.  Maybe it’s thru fear of failure, fear of success, fear of disappointment but we continue to do this.  WHY????  Putting these limitations on ourselves only limits us to achieving our success, happiness and fulfilling our ultimate dreams.

Just recently I was thinking these exact thoughts. Let me explain before I go any further….I am a part of this wonderful team of Young Living business people.  We are mostly all women (99%), we love our oils, each of us have different oil success stories, we are not all on the same team but we do unconditionally support each other, cheer each other on and share our strengths with each other.  One of us may be amazing at graphics, another person may be creative with words, yet another person may have intuitive business sense and awareness.  But we all share our talents to make each other great without any reserve, jealousy or competitiveness.  Yes….it is an amazing team to work with!!!!

During the past few months, I’ve been learning from the best on my team.  All the while, wishing I had their talent to successfully host an online Facebook class as they were doing.  These classes require graphic designing, educated writing, organization, humor, attention to detail, ability to draw your audience in and keep them interested and most importantly, a topic that’s substantial, relative and important to owning your own business.  Wow!!!  I could never do that!  Well, that’s what I thought.  Until, I put on my big girl pants, hiked up my boots and jumped right in.  Not allowing my self-limitations (that’s all in the mind anyway, right?) to stop me.  If I am going to be successful, if I want my team to be successful, if I want to share my talent with other amazing people, I needed to dedicate myself to making my Facebook class a reality.  But not just a reality…I was gonna make it awesome!

Starting from scratch, literally,  I learned how to make graphics that were eye-catching and interesting (there were many F-bombs when the graphics system pissed me off, lol). I used my customer service experience to write up some important dialogue.  I revisited past classes to learn from others on how to organize the class; and most importantly, reached out to other team leaders and asked questions – “we learn from those who came before us” author unknown.  Long story short….I did it!!!!   I overcame one made-up limitation at a time and I did it!  And it was not only successful but highly acknowledged as well.

This experience got me thinking…just how often people put limitations on themselves which prevents them from greater things in life.  I then thought back on other times I did this to myself but overcame those foolish limitations.  Here’s a few that I’m now embarrassed to admit:

  • My sister graduating 4th in her high school class and me thinking to myself  “I’ll never be able to do that.”  I even remember telling my Mom that.  Well….I graduated 4th in my class 🙂
  • Wanting to be promoted into the Marketing Directors position which was held by a lady with 20 years experience.  I got the job!  (with no experience)
  • This is a big one….Passing my National Academy of Sports Medicine exam.  With schooling in business and accounting and not one health or anatomy class, I was sure I’d never pass this intense exam.  When I did, I literally fell to the floor crying tears of joy!
  • Getting fit and healthy was another impossibility for me.  Many of you know how much I love to eat!  It became so important to me that I dedicated myself to this mission not only for myself but for my family and I attained my goal.  (It’s still an everyday battle.)

Now that I shared TMI, let’s move on.

These ridiculous limitations we put on ourselves are all “in our head.”   We make them up just so we are not accountable or responsible for whatever opportunity presents itself to us.  We all have it in us to do whatever we desire.  God equipped us with everything we will ever need.  To experience life to the fullest – throw away any thoughts you have on your own personal limitations.   We only need to step out of our comfort zone, dedicate ourselves to greatness and focus.  YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH WHAT YOU PERCEIVE THE IMPOSSIBLE!


P.S.  I thought I could never write a blog  🙂


As I’m sitting here waiting for my doctors appointment, I look around and notice I’m the youngest patient by like 30 years! And I’m the only “single” patient here; they are all in pairs…. man and wife; two ladies, one was probably the driver; mother and daughter. So many are moving very slow or need assistance with a walker or cane.  Funny story – a nurse just asked a man “how are you?”  And his response was a simple “old.” Lol !  Then another nurse just said to a lady “Take your time” with her response being “I have more time than money.”  Don’t we all wish we felt that way? I know I’d rather have more time than money these days.

I then start to think to myself how fast this past year has gone by. And I’m another year older. Yikes!  If I’m feeling this way about 1 year,  how fast is it going to feel/be when I’m one of these older patients? One day I’m going to be here and have one of my girlfriends by my side, driving me to and from my appointment and probably going out for breakfast before or after.  And all the while, complaining about something that we have been since this day in time. Lol!  Some people may think this thought is sad and many may get depressed thinking that they too will be this fragile some day. But my thoughts right now are very different.  I’m feel very appreciative and humble – knowing that life is good and there’s so much to be thankful for, at this age and any age. These older people have experienced so much in their lifetime. The good, the bad and the ugly. But think about how much more they have to appreciate. They’ve seen their children grow and have children of their own. They’ve had a career that they are reaping the benefits of now in their retirement. They also can help so many other people with their life experiences. I’m sure I can go on and on and I’m sure you can come up with many yourself. Bringing myself to think as if I was their age, literally makes me look forward to growing older and experiencing life’s many joys.

Let’s take this day and each day following to really appreciate everything about it. Even the challenges. Life isn’t really “short” but it may feel that way because of how it flashes by year after year. We have the power to slow that feeling down by appreciating it and, as the saying goes, “stop and smell the roses.”

I’d like to take this time to stop and appreciate YOU!  All my friends and family who have been there throughout my journey.  I love you and thank you!  I look forward to many, many more years of making great memories while appreciating the time we have!   XORose-Flowers-Gardens-1800x2880

The Importance of Listening


Our lives consist of rush, rush, rush, hurry, hurry, hurry!  We have perfected the art of multitasking.  We are always doing too much in a very short amount of time.  Do we ever really enjoy the present moment?   Do we really remember and appreciate the things we accomplished today?   That being said, I have a question for you…..did you enjoy and really “taste” your breakfast this morning?  Ha….probably not.  You were probably eating on the go or inhaling it because you were rushed!  We all experience this type of “hurry up and get it done” life.   Have you ever considered how it affects others around you?

Lately, I’ve experienced many conversations with others during which their mind was elsewhere.  Probably thinking, “what should I make for dinner,”  “dam, I forgot to put the laundry into the dryer,” etc, etc.  One conversation in particular really stands out and got me thinking…..are people even listening?   This specific conversation went this way: the general hellos, how are you, hugs, then….. Friend: “Look how nice my coat looks, it goes with everything and is so warm.  You should get yourself one.”  Me: “Looks great.  I’m glad you love it.” (it was a gift from me to her)  Friend: “So what did you do today?”  Me: “I had a doctors appointment.”  Friend: “You really need to go buy yourself this coat.”   Then she proceeded to change the subject and talk about the weather.  No Joke!  This really took place.  Even tho my doctor’s appointment was a routine check up and nothing serious, but it could have been and this friend just sailed right over it.  Yep, this really hurt and shocked me a little.  A few days later, we discussed this, she apologized and gave me her approval to share this with you so others can learn from “her mistake.”

The art of listening is so important.  It makes people feel heard or ignored.  We often listen to respond instead of listening to understand!  If we really think about it, it’s not hard to just listen to what the person is saying, what they are feeling, what they are trying to convey thru words but also thru expression and feeling.  We can tell a lot and understand even more, if we just quiet our mouths, quiet our minds, open our ears, look them in the eyes and be present in the conversation.  Not anticipating what they are going to say and how we should respond.  Just listen to understand.  Think about how good that person will feel knowing you are fully engaged in this conversation, which may be very important to them at this time.  And I’m sure you would appreciate it if the person you are talking to does the same for you.

In this hurry up and get it done type of world, let’s not forget about how important each other is in our lives.  How important a simple conversation with a friend can make a difference.   Think about how your relationship with others will improve if you listen to understand instead of listening to respond.


Stay True to Yourself

Just recently a couple of people tried to dull my shine.  They tried to extinguish my fire.  Tried to make me afraid of just being who I am.  They tried, and almost succeeded, in taking away my outgoing personality.  They failed!  However they did cause me to second guess myself, to question my actions and whether or not my actions were appropriate.

After this incident took place, I experienced a day of feeling hurt, sadness, and defeated.  The day was followed by feeling completely pissed off!   How dare they make me feel this way?  What gives them the right to judge me?  Why would my outgoing, fun, happy personality be taken in such a negative way?  I allowed their negativity get the best of me….SHAME ON ME!

After some intense soul searching and talking it through with a very intelligent, caring friend,  I have come to realize something very important.  There are some people who loathe it when you are happy!  It irritates them when you are always smiling!  Some despise it when you are outgoing enough to make many friends.  In their lack of confidence and self esteem, they try to bring down those who are happy, confident, self-assured, and fun.  In short, they are jealous.  Am I trying to make them jealous?  Hell no!  I don’t want anyone to be jealous of me, ever. But for me to change who I truly am to satisfy them is just not gonna happen.

I’m sure to their dismay, I will continue to smile (all the time), talk to many people, help those who need help, laugh, be outgoing and inviting, continue to make new friends and carry on with my life without regard to their judgements and criticisms.

So trying to keep with – Live Grateful  Live Positive – I end my rant by saying…Stay true to yourself, be who you are, who God made you to be. Do what makes you happy and what brings happiness to others.   If others don’t like what you are doing or how you are doing it, it’s their issue not yours.  Don’t let them take away a minute of your happiness.    Continue to BE REAL AND TRUE TO YOURSELF!

True to yourself


Ever feel like something is just not right?  You’re not yourself and you’re not sure why?  You feel like something is missing?  Have you ever considered you’re feeling this way because your life is out of balance?  Probably not.  Not many of us give this a second thought.  Well, maybe it’s time to do so.

I’ve heard so many depictions from others describing “life in balance”.  One example being like a bike wheel with the spokes being in balance.  If one was broken, how strong would that wheel be?  If there were a few broken, that wheel probably wouldn’t survive a long distant ride.  Now, think about that description when it comes to your life.  Are all your “spokes” in balance?  Can you survive a long distant ride?  Or is your wheel a little wobbly?

In my opinion, balancing life is a feat in itself.  And sometimes you have no control over if your life is in balance or not.  But striving everyday to balance it is so important; even if it’s not 100% balanced, which it seems it never will be!

So what area (spokes) of your life needs more attention?  Think about these areas below and how much time do you really devote to them.  A good way of honestly seeing if it’s a priority in your life (or if it’s being completely ignorned) is by just looking at your calendar to see how often these areas are mentioned.

  • Family
  • Career/Finance
  • Fun/Hobbies
  • Health (Mind and Body)
  • Faith/Spirituality
  • Friends/Social

When it comes to your balance, it will look completely different from someone else.  And I can only speak from my experience of how I balance my life.  Here’s what I “try” to do everyday and someday’s I fail, but that’s ok. No one is perfect and not everyday will be perfectly balanced.

  • Family – Talk to them. Send them a loving text. Eat dinner together.
  • Career/Finance – Dedicate X amount of hours to work.  And that’s it!
  • Fun/Hobbies – Enjoy the things that make me smile (may be as little as 10 minutes but at least I smiled)
  • Health – Workout and meditate (sometimes I can only get in 5 minutes, but it’s 5 minutes that my brain turns off)
  • Faith – I read a passage from Jesus Calling or from my Bible app.  Pray and show gratitude every minute I can.
  • Friends – Reach out to a few friends a day.  Get together (nothing like personal one-on-one time with a good friend!)

Yep our busy lives get in the way and we forget about what’s important.  Hell, if you need to – set a reminder alarm on your phone.  Or at every stop light – say a quick prayer.  When you’re standing in some god awful slow line at the grocery store – send a text to a friend.  Take the stairs.  Turn off the TV and just breathe.  You get my gist!  Make YOU a priority by balancing what’s important and screw the rest!





Unnecessary worrying

“Worry is like a rocking chair. It will give you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.”  Proverb

If you haven’t had a chance to read last weeks blog, I urge you to do so.  That way, today’s blog will make more sense to you.

This will probably be the hardest blog I’ve written so far.  It’s going to be hard to relive these feelings, I’m going to open up to you and be very honest and real, and the news I’ll share at the end is heartbreaking.

Back in October, my daughter, Alexis, sent me an email telling me that she was interested in going on a Global Brigade trip. There were 3 different locations she could choose from. Being the Mom that I am, I researched which location was the safest.  And gave her the recommendation on Nicaragua; really not thinking Alexis would go thru with this trip.  To my surprise, she decided to do it.  That’s when my worries began.  If you know me well, you know that I worry A LOT!  I can blame it on my genes, or being a woman, or being Italian, or “just who I am”.  I’m just going to own the fact that I worry with no excuses why.  Yes, I try to stay positive but worrying is truly a struggle for me and something I try to improve, daily.

This trip to Nicaragua for my daughter was definitely a test for me.  Starting with all the inoculations she was required to get before going.  I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say, I think she had to get every vaccine mankind created. And we all know the horrible side effects some of these vaccines cause.  Yep, I worried about all of them.  Then my wonderful daughter, being the conscientious person that she is, sent me a powerpoint on the risks going on this trip had.  Loved that she wanted to keep me informed….hated the fact that now there were a billion other things to worry about.   On top of her health being top-of-mind, she then informs us that there is no cell service or ways to communicate!  WTF!!!!!

As the holiday’s approached (Alexis was set to leave on this trip Jan. 3rd), I dreaded everyday, every holiday that passed, I couldn’t make this trip a reality in my mind.  I refused to speak about it.  But as we all know, time doesn’t stop.  The day came when she left.  (I’m literally crying as I write this because the feeling of this day is overwhelming).  Now comes the worries of her traveling.  The flight to Nicaragua then the 2 hour bus ride to their compound.  We were supposed to have received an email from the school informing us that they made it safe to the compound.  And this email should have been received Sunday night around midnight.  Well……no email or communication that they are safe.  That was the worst night of my life.  The thoughts that went thru my head were unbearable.  I was literally sick!  Until Monday morning at 10am when we finally got communication that they were safe.

The week that she was there went relatively well for me.  Yes, I worried but not too bad.  Each day that passed, I became more proud of my daughter and what she was doing.  She was making a difference in the world!  Then the day came to travel back home. I worried again but more excited she was coming back!  As you know from her blog, she arrived home safe, enjoyed herself and really grew from the experience!  That’s my baby!!!!!

A few days passed after Alexis got home safe, I learned of a horrific accident that happened with another Global Brigade team.  Here’s a link to the news article.    One of the worst fears that I had when Alexis was gone became a reality for so many other parents.  My heart hurts so bad for those families involved.  I pray God gives these people strength to cope with this tragedy.

I know worrying is a total waste of time.  Did it do me any good during Alexis’ trip…..absolutely NOT!  Worrying doesn’t prevent things from happening or change the outcome. Worrying takes your present time away.  Worrying zaps you of your energy and consumes you.  97% of things you worry about doesn’t even happen.   I’m stating these things more to remind myself than to tell you.  Will I ever stop worrying? Probably not when it comes to my kids.  But I’ll keep trying.

Pictures taken from Alexis’ trip…


I’m going to mix things up a little for today’s blog.  I’ve invited my daughter, Alexis, to write about her recent experience and how it has changed her.  I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.  Let me introduce Alexis……..

“I am writing this today as a changed person. As cliché as that might sound, I know deep in my heart that I am not the same person I was a week ago. This past week I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Nicaragua on a Medical/Public Health Global Brigades trip through Saint Louis University. Going into it, my intention was being able to see a different part of the world as a replacement for studying abroad. However, I started questioning my decision the nights before, because I had just realized that I had no idea what I had just gotten myself into. I was going to be traveling to a third world country with no phone service and people I hardly knew. I was always one to stay in my comfort zone, so for me, this was a huge step.

Once we arrived in Nicaragua, we drove to the place where we would be staying, known as our compound. This compound didn’t have clean water, had cold showers, and I was sleeping next to spiders every night. However, we were still given 3 meals a day and the conditions we were living in, as bad as they sound, were much better than the members of the community we were working with.

As much as I would love to write a novel about this trip, I will keep it as short as I can. While we were in Nicaragua, we set up a medical clinic where we worked with 4 Nicaraguan General Practitioners, 2 Gynecologists, and 2 dentists, who barely spoke any English. Through the 3 days that we worked there, we had seen over 1,000 patients, which is unheard of in the United States. We then had 2 days of Public Health where we build 4 latrines and laid down concrete floor for a house. These latrines were going to last these families 20-30 years and we were able to build it for them in a simple day and a half.

Reflecting back on my experience in Nicaragua, I have grown to learn so much about myself. I have realized that you can survive happily with the basics such as food, water, and a roof over your head. As much as I missed my life style at home in the US, it was a much more peaceful way of living in Nicaragua. The people were so much more laid back and genuinely happy than people in the U.S. are. It completely blew my mind that people would walk for over an hour in the 90-degree heat just to receive a small dose of Advil. But never once did they complain. Being immersed in this culture has given me such a better appreciation of life and the gifts we are given. The community has shown me what it is like to be truly happy, and that is a gift I am going to be eternally grateful for. After this past week, I have built a better sense of confidence, something I have always lacked. I was able to get in touch with myself and my inner thoughts and feelings in a way that helped me realize exactly the person I want to become. There are no words to describe how unbelievably incredible this past week has been. I am no longer the person I was before I left on my trip. I am a better, happier, more confident version of myself and I have the beautiful country of Nicaragua to thank for that.

After having this experience, I would just like to give a couple pieces of advice. STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE. As much as we have all heard this before, I am first-hand experience that it is an incredible feeling to have the confidence to finally do something I am not comfortable with and see the amazing results. It truly is life changing when you decide to take that first big step. Doing so has made me so much more confident in many aspects of my life. On a different note, from this experience, I now realize how important it is to really appreciate the things we have in life. We have all seen pictures of third-world countries in magazines or on the news, but seeing it in person makes it that much more real. I have been in the communities where they live on only a few dollars a day, and they might only have one meal a day. While not all of us are able to be there in person, listening to others experiences and really paying attention to the fact that we are as lucky as we are will give you SUCH a better outlook on life. It will make you happier because you can appreciate everything so much more and realize just how extremely lucky you are. It really puts your problems into perspective.

Overall, this trip has taught me the importance of looking not only at your culture, but others as well. Even though they live so much differently, they are people just like we are. We are people helping people, and once you realize that simple fact, your perspective on the world will change drastically.

Thank you for taking the time to read about my experience, and I appreciate all the support I have received.”



Happy New Year!  Sorry I’ve been MIA but the holidays took a lot out of me and I didn’t wanna blog something half-ass.  But I’m back!!!!  (Poltergeist voice)

I was absolutely clueless what I was going to write about this week until late last night when it hit me and hit me hard!  We are going to get “real” here today.  It may be hard to read for some and I know it will be hard for me to write, but I pray this will help at least one person out there!

Being BROKEN!  This is something we all are; some just may not admit it because they are not ready to do so. Whether it is being broken from a failed relationship, loss of a loved one, unsuccessful career, poor health, physical/mental abuse, drug abuse, etc….. the list is endless.  We go about life trying not to accept or admit we are broken.  Being broken isn’t a bad thing!  It really isn’t.  What is bad about being broken, is when we don’t do anything about it.  It festers inside of us and becomes a larger issue!  Ignoring it is what makes it bad.

So how the hell do we help ourselves after being broken?  I’m not a  psychiatrist and won’t pretend to be so I’ll just share with you what has helped me and my friends/family.

First and foremost, wanting to heal after being broken is the most important. If you don’t want to heal, then you will have no drive to improve.  And nothing will work.  Dig deep, know that you deserve better, know that whatever broke you wasn’t your fault and know that you can come out of this a stronger person.

Friends!  Oh how our inner-circle of friends is so important.  Notice I said “inner-circle”.  These are your most trusted, close friends.  Don’t share your dirt outside this circle.  They are not to be trusted.   Open up to your friends, tell them what’s going on and how you are feeling.  At first just getting this off your chest helps a ton.  They will be there for you to support your healing process, or have some words of wisdom or will have the same brokenness as you which is the best scenario because now you two can heal together.

Faith is critical when it comes to healing after being broken.  Faith….a word that means something different to everyone. And it is also the hardest to understand because you can’t touch, taste, see or smell it.  But once you have it…oh boy…..can you FEEL IT!!!!!  Having faith in yourself that you CAN heal.  Having faith in God (or whatever is your higher spirit), takes the load off your shoulders and gives it to Him.  He heals.  Give your worries to Him.  You will feel a thousand pounds lighter. Thru faith in yourself and in Him, you will overcome all obstacles and heal.

Daily affirmations are a must!  Write down daily what you envision for yourself. (I’ll blog about affirmations in more detail at another time)  Affirmations are a way to communicate to your subconscious.  Make sure you do this daily and they are written in the present tense and all words you use are positive.  For example:  I AM a strong, confident woman.

Whatever you are trying to heal from, please remember you are not alone. All of us have something that has broken us.  Once you put the pieces back together you truly do become a stronger, better person…..this may take years and that’s ok, just never give up!

Never give up…..


How many times have you thought to yourself, “I’ll never be able to do that” or “I wish I could, but it’s too hard” or my favorite these days “I’m too old to do that now.”  During this past week, I have been reminded that no matter what you want to accomplish – it’s possible!!!!!

I first want to shout out to my daughter, Alexis, for giving me this reminder and also allowing me to use her success story.

A little background info first.  Back in October, Alexis came home from college on her Fall break.  She informed us that she FAILED 2 tests in her Microcell Biology class (don’t ask me what that is, it’s way over my head). She continued to inform us that there will only be 4 tests!  We had a “family discussion” you know the kind where everyone is screaming and crying and no one is even listening to each other.  Well, it came down to whether she should drop the class and take it at another time or continue and hope for the best.  Alexis being the driven person she is, decided to continue.   Fast forward to this week (finals week), Alexis took the final and she can proudly say she ended up with a B in the class!

Alexis’ story reminded me that some goals may feel completely impossible to accomplish but if you want it bad enough, IT IS POSSIBLE!   The way she handled her situation is a great reminder to all of us when facing a challenging goal or situation:

  1. If what you are doing, isn’t working – change it.  You really have to take a step back and evaluate what and how you are doing things.  And if it’s not giving you the success you are looking for, change how you do things.  Get over your ego and make the change.  Alexis’ study habit for MCB was not working for her, so she took it upon herself and changed her study habits in order to work for this particular class.
  2. Ask for help; look to someone who has been successful, in what you want to do, and ask for ideas, suggestions and good-old-fashion Help!   Why do we all feel that it’s better to figure things out on our own?!?!  Why ,because of our ego AGAIN!  We need to get over ourselves and just ask for help.   Alexis did just that.  She asked her Professors and the student tutor’s for their help.
  3. If you want it bad enough, you’ll do what it takes!  It’s true.  If you want something bad enough, you will do whatever it takes to achieve it.  You will work your ass off and continue to until you get it.  But no one can make you want it!  This comes from deep down inside you…..having the drive!!!!    Being driven sometimes isn’t easy, but what helps me personally is having a “why.”  “Why”do I want to achieve this goal?  Reminding myself everyday of my “why” keeps me driven.  Alexis’ “why” was to get a good grade to be competitive when it comes time for PA school, to keep her scholarship and to feel good about herself (she’s my perfectionist child).  She wanted it bad enough that she literally studied non-stop during every waking hour she had (#proudmom).
  4. And the most important……REFUSE TO FAIL!

So whatever your goal that you are trying to accomplish is, I hope Alexis’ story reminds you ….. YOU CAN DO IT, IT IS POSSIBLE!

Just “Do It”….. it is possible!

I am a priority (and it’s ok)

As I try to fall asleep with no avail, my mind keeps wondering.  Thinking. Accessing. Analyzing. Worrying. Debating. Negotiating.  It’s crazy how many thoughts one can have as you are trying to find bliss in a good nights sleep.  So why waste valuable time in doing nothing?  So here I am, Wednesday morning, 1:00 am.

During this past week or so my patience, boundaries, generosity, trust and forgiveness has been tested and retested.  I feel like I’ve been giving and giving and totally forgetting about myself.  I have lost myself through all this commotion.  Maybe it’s the time of the year with all the holiday stuff we are all trying to fulfill or maybe it’s just poor timing from the universe. Whatever it is, I have to remind myself to take care of ME!  I’m pretty good with knowing when I’ve emotionally and physically have had enough.  Not sure if it’s growing older or just being more aware of my internal self or maybe a little of both.

We all have scraps, scratches, bruises, and cuts from “life”.  Some are on the surface while others go deep.  Healing ourselves of these emotional pains are an everyday (maybe even every minute) process.  Sometimes it takes time, other times it takes forgiveness, and unfortunately there’s those that will never heal.  But the more we take care of ourselves and heal the things we have control over, the more we are whole as a human.  Which in turn gives us the strength, endurance, passion and ability to want to help others.

I had a conversation with a dear friend recently.  We discussed the fact that in life….helping others and helping ourselves is basically what life is all about.  Two pieces of a puzzle that fit perfectly together.  Other than having God oversee this, what else is there in life?

As I look ahead to the rest of this extremely busy month with all of it’s responsibilities and obligations, I’ll be reminding myself to look within and be aware of what I need.  I’ll make myself a priority because if I’m not healed, happy or my internal tank is full of goodness, then I will not be able to help, support and do for others, which in turn makes me an even happier person.

In closing (wow, that sounds so formal),  I remind myself which I hope helps to remind you:

  1. I am important
  2. It’s ok to take care of myself
  3. As the saying goes, I’m gonna  “Stop and smell the roses”
  4. I  AM A PRIORITY!  And it’s definitely OK!!!!


Que the song…..”Don’t worry, be happy” (Sorry, a little slap happy from lack of sleep)




Happiness is being an “open book”

Last week I read that you should be careful what you write, post, tweet, Instagram, etc. That you should read it as if your future employer will be reading it; and remember that the entire world will see it and you can never take it back.  Since I read this, this topic has come up many times in different forms.  “Be careful” “Sensor your words”  “Aren’t you afraid what people will think”  “You can’t say that” and so on and so on.  I was feeling like I should take the hint and censor my words and my newest adventure – my blogs.   But just last night I was told that I was “genuine” and “real.”  I took that as one of the biggest compliments one could receive.   So screw being “careful!”  I’m gonna stay true to who I am and say it like it is (to a point, I wouldn’t want to be arrested or anything, lol).

I feel that being real and true to yourself is so important to your happiness.  How exhausting would it be to have to pretend to be something you are not most of your life?

Be open, tell people how you really feel.  It feels so good to get these emotions out.  Pent up emotions, whether good or bad, can eat away at you.  Just spill!!!!!  If the person doesn’t like what you’ve said, it’s their problem not yours.  Feelings are real and true and you can’t change how they make you feel.

Stop comparing yourself with others and trying to be like them (women are the worst at this).  We are all unique individuals with different strengths and weaknesses.  Embrace those and use them to your advantage, it’s who you are.  Your strengths will help others. But more importantly  you accepting your weaknesses will earn the respect of those around you….be vulnerable, people will connect with you on a more personal level.

And why the hell do people compete with each other?  I’m not talking about sports.  I’m talking in everyday life.  Competing to be in better shape, prettier, more successful, having more “things”, the list is endless.   Tell me how would this make someone happy to be constantly in competition!  I think it would be exhausting!  Try helping and supporting someone else; there is no better feeling than that!  And guess what….that’s being true to “yourself” and it stops the competition rollercoaster.

So I guess what I’m trying to say, is just be YOU!  Be an open book.  Be real.  Be who God made you.  No matter how good an actor you think you are, people see fake from a mile away.   And how freeing is it to just be who you are.  And if people don’t like the real you, it’s their problem not yours.  You will be the happier person and isn’t that what we all strive for……Happiness!

Foot note…….If I ever need to return to the corporate world, and my future employer is reading this.  I’d like to say “This is who I am.  If you like what I have to say, hire me.  If not, it’s not meant to be.”