Today Be Grateful

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I now know that I have angels as bumpers around me.
I was 2 feet away from being T-boned on my driver’s side this morning on my way to work –meaning I would literally not be here right now.
I was going through the intersection of 17th and Newport (in Costa Mesa) going north on 17th. A bmw suv comes crashing through the red light from my left narrowly missing me, crashing into a car’s front hood on my left behind me, and then on my right behind me.


Lesson for the day:

Today be grateful that you are alive and well. Life is fleeting, life is fragile, and should be cherished. Thank you for reminding me to stop stressing about the small things and to focus on the bigger picture.

Express your love to those around you this weekend. Live and love. <3

©MoniqueAdrianne

What I’m Taking With Me -Lessons Learned in 2014 (Part Three)

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3. Tolerance and understanding.

As some of you may know, I am a slightly strong-headed individual… I’m sensitive, take things too personally; I’m open and very honest with what I’m feeling and at times I can come off as a little harsh to those around me.

There’s a difference that I’ve learned recently between assertiveness and aggression. Assertiveness is when you are confident in your decisions without being combative. I am positive and self-assured; yet, I’m particularly aggressive when it comes to voicing my opinions and feelings. My annoyance for those around me has only increased in recent years –even those that are not directly affecting me. If another’s opinions are directly in contrast with my own, I take it personally –I feel that their judgments are aimed straight at me. It’s thoughtless and rash to react in this way and I’ve come to recognize that.

As with any experience, I aim to look for the meaning and the lesson behind it. Of course it can be very difficult to look past infuriating moments to get to the core of its message. For example, in my office, it is quite common for openly racist, sexist, and elitist remarks to fly around constantly each day. It has become a very harsh environment to be exposed to.

I am of Mexican ethnicity and I have never caught on to learning Spanish. When racist comments are made regarding Mexican people, I make a point to remind them who I am. However, their dismissive responses are always, “We know, but you’re not that kind of Mexican,” or “You’re not really Mexican.”

There have been discussions expressing their opinions of impoverished, poor people –they believe that their financial standing is merely fault of their own and that they are lazy.

There have even been appalling statements made to the extent that any woman that claims she was raped is simply lying.

While all of this is discussed in front of me, I sit there, shocked and disgusted, attempting to keep my mouth shut. I know that voicing my difference of opinion will only cause friction and possible combative arguments. I realize that I alone may not be able to change their minds. The cost of speaking up is too high.

There is a reason why I am so passionate about what I believe in. When there are certain injustices in the world and the notion, “Someone should do something about this,” pops into our minds, we are meant to be that someone.

I understand my purpose, yet I am still frustrated with this anger that I feel when these comments arise. Tolerance and understanding is a lesson that I am currently being presented with. It is an open-ended understanding that I have not yet acquired and it could take my whole lifetime for me to comprehend. What am I meant to learn from these unpleasant people?

I’ve been pondering my moral dilemma for a few days and decided to ask a well-intentioned friend for his opinion. He said:

“You don’t have to be tolerant of their views but to get past the anger towards these people, an effort should be made to understand them instead. When we can recognize why another thinks a certain way, we don’t have to agree with them, but we can at least have consideration for where they’re coming from.”

I feel that his response was expressed perfectly! Our opinions, our beliefs, our emotions –they are each uniquely our own. We are shaped and molded by our personal experiences. Learning and growing to understand the distinct differences of others is the first step towards empathy. We do not have to agree with everyone. However, it would better ourselves and those around us –our communities, our states, our nations, and our world –to make an effort to understand each other. Acknowledgement of another’s struggles could be the missing key that is needed to expand our empathy and compassion–at the very least, it could diminish the anger that we feel towards others.

©MoniqueAdrianne

What I’m Taking With Me -Lessons Learned in 2014 (Part Two)

The following is part two of four parts in a series that I will be posting over the next few days.

These are my own personal lessons that I learned in 2014; hopefully you can take something from them as well. <3

What lessons did you learn in 2014? Let me know in the comments below! :)

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2. Let it go.

*starts singing Frozen song*

All Disney references aside…this year was very significant for me. Through a very difficult experience, I found another layer of forgiveness. I realized that I needed to stop holding onto things that no longer served their purpose in my life.

I believe that forgiveness and letting go is one of the most trying lessons that one can experience –sometimes others are never able to accept it. We’re only human –when we get hurt, our instinct is to close up like a shell and what hurts us is etched into our minds and hearts. Most of the time, remembering that pain leads us to clenching onto even more of our anger, fears, and other negativities. Our obligation to ourselves is to release these harmful reactions.

There was a very distressing event that I had experienced towards the end of 2013. I don’t think I’ve ever been more hurt or as angry as I became over it. It’s been a very tough process going through the repercussions including post-traumatic stress. Not only this, but the pain and hurt I feel towards the people involved as well as those that turned their backs on me continue to be heart wrenching. I still want to cry as I simply reflect. I feel it now in my heart –the tightening of my muscles as I still grasp onto the little bits and pieces of anger and misery that are remaining.

Letting go is in no way a simple practice –it’s a continuing and infinite progression. Memories spark emotions which lead to going through the process all over again –but it’s as if our weight gets lighter and lighter –chipping away until all we have left is the mere lesson that we were meant to acquire. No agony comes without meaning or depth –why do you think these emotions are so strong and overwhelming?

For a very long time, I continued to contemplate: what good would come from what happened? Over and over again there were still no answers. The only thing that began to make sense was my perspective in retrospect of the situation. The more I let go of my negative emotions, the clearer and less foggy the occurrence and the lesson behind it became.

Letting go and forgiving those that have hurt us is a tricky road but it is needed. We really cannot move forward if we are carrying all of the rocks and stones of the past –it’s just not possible. How can we embrace a loving and positive future when our hands and arms are full of animosity?

©MoniqueAdrianne

What I’m Taking With Me -Lessons Learned in 2014 (Part One)

I am very enthusiastic and motivated for this New Year! So many different possibilities and opportunities that can be created!

During the transition of each year, I personally reflect on what I’ve discovered and grasped from all of my distinct experiences –I find it an enlightening and fulfilling exercise.

At the start of a new journey it can be easier to begin fresh when we have a solid jumping off point; and in order to do so, we need to know what insight we can take with us into our future adventures.

The following is one of four parts in a series that I will be posting over the next few days.

These are my own personal lessons that I learned in 2014; hopefully you can take something from them as well. <3

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  1. Living with purpose.

For longer than I’d like to admit, I merely went through life’s routines –I woke up, did what was necessary, then I went back to sleep at the end of the day. This is not living –it’s essentially sleeping your existence away; and more often than not, it’s brought about from depression which I most certainly have faced throughout the greater part of my lifetime.

Living with purpose is being conscious of our decisions, as well as our thoughts and feelings. We will not always make the ‘right’ choices –however, slip-ups are part of being human, and learning from these mistakes is part of our spirit and soul.

The last four months, I’ve been running non-stop, persistent in succeeding with my school objectives. I didn’t realize how much I’ve craved it and how much I’m not acquiring from my current job (and the ones prior).

My passions and motivations are clear and vibrant when I’m working towards my goals. It’s become apparent how much my ambitious attitude has been missing.

This determination did not occur overnight. There have been countless catalytic agents over the last year that have led me through confident, love-inducing self-actualization. Our dreams can only grow so far –they need to have roots to stabilize and sprout from. These roots are founded upon the love and the relationship that we have with ourselves first.

Create your dreams, draw up your goals, and spark your motivation and inspiration. You alone know how and when you thrive well. Advantageously, clearer objectives will come to fruition more effortlessly.

Living with intention is only possible after we have become assertive in our actions and this stems from self-love. Envelop yourself in appreciation for the incredible person that you are and everything else will fall into place.

©MoniqueAdrianne

Duty of the Artist

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When I first started my website, I created a business plan. In this plan, I depicted my purpose, my mission statement….even my friend helped me incorporate all types of questions to reflect on. What are my readers’ needs? How do they assess the world around them? What are their desires? And most importantly, what do I want them to take from my writings?
Over the past year, I have strived to inspire, spark passion, & incite you to ask questions about yourselves…I’ve given advice & shared my stories & experiences with you.
I certainly do NOT know all of the answers. However, I am clear in my understanding of what my purpose here in this life is –I am meant to be a messenger. I do my best to share each lesson that I’ve learned, & in turn, I hope that it helps & aids you in each of your journeys.
I aspire to be a catalyst for your inspiration & passion; I do my best to encourage your self-realization & I always have my words come from a balanced, positive, loving, & gentle place within myself. Through what I write, I become more self-aware & continue to learn more about myself & the world around me.
I thank each & every one of you for your many kind words, your support & your love, & most of all, your consideration & awareness for what I attempt to express. This has become such an incredible, healing, & creative outlet for me & I hope to continue to motivate & encourage you in all of your endeavors. <3 :)

©MoniqueAdrianne

The Stars Within

She stepped barefoot through the wet grass,

Green flecks sticking to her toes.

The wind pushed back her hair like invisible fingers,

Tracing the outline of her features.

She held a cross-body bag close to her hip,

Her hand clinging to the top zipper,

Fearful that its’ precious contents would spill out.

She gently undid the top of the bag,

Wedged her hand inside and grasped a small book.

It was drenched in stardust,

Trickling onto the ground and her skirt; sticking to her palms,

There was a trail of wet, dewy stars trailing behind her.

She carried a tiny, infinite universe within her bag,

It held endless possibilities and it was up to her to dream and create them.

She wrote and drew all of her wishes, hopes, and desires in her star-kissed book.

Every time she did, she created more stars, nebulas, and everlasting life and light.

Anything and everything she wanted,

All she had to do was visualize and she instantly created it.

 

She was grateful for her gifts and abilities,

However, there was a loneliness inside her heart,

She yearned for someone extraordinary to share her creations with.

She began to write down all of the qualities she would like in another,

She was detailed in her wishes and a small nebula started to form.

It was tucked away in the corner of her universe, between two planets.

She waited patiently but the nebula did not expand as quickly as others had before,

It seemed suspended in its’ growing state.

She continued on, designing more and more of her unbounded universe,

And soon she put the beautiful, odd nebula out of her starry head.

 

With every dream and star she created,

Another piece of her was unmasked,

Gathered from the lush and vaporous universe.

Soon, her whole heart was revealed as she gazed at her cosmos, satisfied with her innovations.

In the corner of her eye, the unusual nebula began to spread out,

Clouds of colors and light start to form until an immense orb of light shoots out into the vastness.

She shields her eyes.

When she regains her vision, the nebula is gone.

All that remains is the night sky and stars in the distance.

 

Perplexed by the strange occurrence, she scoops up her bag and continues walking.

Tiny droplets start to fall from the clouds up above,

Beads cling to her cheeks and eyelashes as she starts to jog out of the rain.

Puddles form on the ground and she realizes that they are full of stardust.

She looks up at the clouds and they emulate the nebula mist she saw in her universe.

 

She sees something up ahead through the starry haze and her breath is taken away.

On the path, there’s a bright figure of glimmering fog floating in her direction,

As the silhouette glides closer, she senses a sparkling energy in the air, pulsing from the tiny, electrifying cloud.

Distance starts to close in and a feeling of familiarity and intimacy rush and warm through her heart, radiating outwards.

Her legs pull towards the cloud like a magnet,

As she approaches, reaching her fingers out, the mist envelops her in its’ stunning, warm light.

It seeps into her skin, flowing through her body, filling and saturating her.

All at once, she feels full, whole and light as an angel’s feather.

Her eyes are shimmering more than ever before.

She is the most brilliant and radiant star in her sky.

She is complete –filled with all of the love she has given to every starry fragment.

She is her ultimate creation; she is her universe.

 

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I’ve been working on this short story for a few weeks now. I kept going back to it, changing and revising it because I never felt like it was complete. In the beginning, I had planned to have her meet the love of her life in the ending but it just didn’t feel right after it was all laid out on paper –something was off. It seemed like one of those Disney fairytales where the princess cannot be truly happy or whole until the prince comes to rescue her. In my feminist habits, this is absolutely furthest from the message that I wanted to convey.

However, writing this has been a journey all on its’ own for my own realization that the only true love that you should be looking for is the one with yourself. You know in your heart that you deserve more than the relationships that you’ve had in the past, so why don’t you act with that purpose? Knowing is one thing but acting with that knowledge is true wisdom.

You can only find your better whole when you’ve created yourself first. That’s one of the major lessons of life –we’re uncovering so many different pieces of ourselves along the way. Sometimes our path gets shrouded with missteps and we end up following our emotions rather than what our heart is really trying to tell us. I feel it’s rather simple but we overcomplicate it so much that we lose the true meaning of life and of love.

Create yourself and I don’t mean in the way that you need to make up who you are. You already are who you are –give as much love as you can to every piece of yourself; you’ll unfold and blossom. Use that passion to build yourself up, never tear yourself down; learn what works and what doesn’t; take time to heal when another’s actions harm you –your scars are lessons that make you resilient. But truly, once you find that passion within, it’s like you unveil all of the parts of yourself that you never realized were there. Your own creativity and your love will move the mountains that you place in your own way. And once you fully act with love, there’s no reason for your true self to be covered up anymore. And maybe that’s when you’ll find someone that sees that beauty and loves every piece of you.

©MoniqueAdrianne

Mind Reading and Writing

“So if you don’t ask questions, how do you think you’re going to find out what you want to know? I’m not a mind-reader,”

After he said this I felt like I was crazy woman because as I always do, I overanalyze everything to the point where it becomes some huge thing made up in my mind. Yet, when you sit down to communicate your feelings, you realize that it’s not as complicated as it was built up in your head. But really…men should just be mind-readers…it would be easier.

When something is bothering me I reflect on it and then my feelings bubble up and get mixed into the equation. Then my worries and anxieties start to take over:

“This could happen and he probably means this and he’s thinking this! GASP!”

You would think with as much advice as I provide, I would actually take my own. Yet, sometimes, I completely contradict myself.

I’m a very methodical person –I like to write things out and organize them to comprehend them more easily. Sometimes you have to borrow other approaches from different parts of your life and find out if they work for you in other aspects.

Feelings and thoughts can get complicated, so if you feel it will work for you, write it out, make lists, attempt to make sense of the lustrous thoughts in your head. Once it’s on paper or you speak out loud, it becomes concrete and tangible and you’re able to easily make more sense of it.

We become confused because we let our emotions take over. Learning to separate it is important and lets us communicate more effectively.

While on the subject of written word, try writing down your wants, your needs, and wishes. Writing by hand greatly affects your brain:

When you are writing something down with a pen and paper, you are stimulating a collection of cells in the base of your brain known as the reticular activating system. The RAS is the filter for all of the information your brain needs to process and it gives more attention to what you are currently focusing on. The physical act of writing brings the information to the forefront and triggers your brain to pay close attention.1

Communication is the most important piece of human interaction –not only with others but for yourself as well. Speak and write what’s on your mind and make it real and tangible. The more observable your thoughts and feelings become, the more effectively you’re able to convey them.

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  1.                 http://dailyinfographic.com/how-does-writing-affect-your-brain-infographic

©MoniqueAdrianne