Be The Change

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When I think of protests, I think of these images.
Nonviolent resistance. Sit-ins. Rallies. Marches. Picketing. Making love, and not war. Standing up for what you believe in. Influencing everything –the music, TV, film, literature, art…
That’s how real change is sparked. How you inspire millions to move together for a cause.
Anti-war, women’s rights, civil rights…Martin Luther King, Coretta Scott King, Bob Dylan, Gloria Steinem, Bob Marley…all of these movements and their leaders ignited real transforming action. They influenced an entire generation to take charge and make a difference –peacefully.

Looting and violence is not a protest. Combatting brutality and violence with aggression only creates more hostility. This is not how change happens. Violence produces more violence and bloodshed.

Take note from those that came before you. Realize what succeeded and what did not. Research and get inspired. There’s a better way to create change.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Gandhi

©MoniqueAdrianne

Do Not Ever Turn Your Back On Her

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Be the woman you want to spend time with.
Inspire, motivate, build her up, be kind to her.
(Do not call her names, tear her down, or be cruel)
When she dresses up -compliment and smile at her. Assure her that she is beautiful.
(Do not glare, roll your eyes, or give jealous stares)
Encourage, support, and speak positively to her.
(Do not call her any negative expletive: “bitch,” “slut,” or “whore.”)
When she is bold and strong, praise her.
(Do not view her strength as cattiness or competition.)

Do not ever turn your back on her.


Feminism is the belief in the social, economic, and political equality for both men and women, all sexes and all genders. (Let’s move past this idea of binary categories- sex and gender are fluid across all spectrums)


If you believe in this, you are a feminist. Do not let the negative connotations that patriarchal societies create deter you from supporting one another and making the world a better place -for EVERYONE.

©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

Be Your Own, First

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How many times have your relationships not worked out? We could be here a while I know…
Now that you’re thinking about it, do you see a commonality?
In all of my experiences and relationships, I take personal responsibility for my part in it. Yes, I may have been cheated on and had my heart crushed multiple times and yes, it was awful and terrible. Yet in all of these instances, the one consistency is ME.
Learning to love myself was one of my greatest lessons in life thus far; it’s a relationship that you have to work on continuously. In retrospect, a lot of my relationship issues were caused from not loving myself enough. I stayed in relationships because I was too scared to leave; because I didn’t want to hurt the other person; because I didn’t realize my self-worth; because I didn’t know I deserved better. The majority of relationship problems stem from miscommunication and perspective. The tricky part is that our perspective is widely affected by our self-esteem. How can we view and treat others with respect and love if we don’t respect and love ourselves first?
That’s why learning to love yourself is the first step to accepting love from others. We can only receive the love we think we deserve. You should come to the realization that you deserve a love that fills every inch of you; a love that makes your heart smile and persists and thrives even in times without light. But first you need to learn to fall in love with yourself. ❤

©MoniqueAdrianne

The Universe Doesn’t Make Mistakes

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When the world seems chaotic and everything seems off, it’s often difficult to give in to the idea that we have very little control over the Universe. We must surrender that need to control every little part around us and accept that there are just some things that are beyond our reach. During Mercury Retrograde, when it seems so apparent that the world has gone nuts and your thoughts seem to go haywire…use this as a humbling experience. We are such a small part to this extraordinary life. Just flow with it. Thankfully we can go back to “normalcy” today-Wednesday. (Honestly not soon enough…. I’ve had it….)

Excerpt from Zen and the Art of Happiness by Chris Prentiss.

©MoniqueAdrianne

Checking In

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Instead of checking in on Facebook, try checking in with yourself! Be less in your head and more in your heart.

©MoniqueAdrianne

Agreeable People

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Surround yourself with amazing people that can equally see how fantastic you are! We’re all mirrors of each other -teaching and learning more about ourselves. So find people that reflect your inner you and will appreciate and acknowledge how beautiful you are inside and out. ♡

©MoniqueAdrianne

Be Courageous

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Push yourself to accomplish your goals. Tell someone how much you truly care about them. I promise you that when you’re courageous, amazing and positive things will occur. Try it and tell me how it goes. ♡

©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.

 

 

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.


 

I have also created artwork inspired by my poem:

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These are all separate bookmarks -high quality prints on crisp, thick paper stock, and laminated.

Purchase at the MS. Art Store!

 

©MoniqueAdrianne

The Only Exception

I always make it a point to write from my heart on all of my topics; however I prefer to keep my personal romantic endeavors quite vague and inexplicit. This article will be an exception to that.

I’ve come to a point in the last few months that I was considering deleting my online dating account. Honestly, trying to filter out who’s actually genuine and real is draining and exhausting. It had made me despondent and I started believing that there really are no gentlemen left –only lost boys disguised as them.

In my experience over the last four months, I have come across only one noteworthy man. Let’s call him Gary for anonymity’s sake.

Gary seemed very put together –he was handsome and witty; he was working on his MBA, had traveled all over the world, and had studied abroad in different countries for school and for work. For all intents and purposes, he actually had his life and future together which was quite refreshing. Frankly, I was intimidated –he was intelligent, articulate, but for some reason, it was hard to ascertain his attraction towards me. I had honestly never met anyone like him before; he made me flustered. However, his conversations with me came off as ostentatious and hard-hitting. This gave me the impression that he thought I should inform myself more on social issues –which is not entirely false, but there’s a gentler and cordial approach that could have been used. I responded with silence and felt stifled. Despite my instincts telling me we were absolutely wrong for one another, I continued our puzzling friendship and intimate involvement; mostly out of boredom and curiosity. I wondered if he would ever open up and really share himself with me; but I took it for what it was and concluded that he did not want anything more than our current arrangement.

A little over three months went by and we had a routine that we would hang out every weekend; I would sleepover and quickly and quietly leave in the morning. I had never been in a situation like that before so not having those definite borders within an established relationship was new to me. And although this different approach was thrilling and exciting; in retrospect, I was settling for comfort and fun over my well-deserved butterflies, romance, and passion. He never made me feel that he wanted to be amorous with me and it was my fault for continuing on, letting him believe that I was content with it. Again, another self-respect lesson. Why settle and spend time with someone you know you have no future with? You’re only postponing for when the right one will come along.

I sent him a message explaining how we weren’t perfect for one another, how our fling had obviously fizzled out, and just being respectful of our friendship and our time together –because in all honesty, I did really enjoy his company –he is a very distinctive and clever guy. I was basically giving him an out if he wanted it –testing the waters to see if I should just move on or not.

Now I’m not going to go into detail about the events that transpired afterwards. As much as I am hurt and saddened to not have him in my life any longer, I am not the type of woman to rant to the online world about the specific wrongdoings of another. When two people are not right together, no matter how much you care, it just won’t work out. And he made it clear that he truly had no idea what he wanted –and it definitely was not me.

The Universe pushes us in the right direction all the time –especially when we’re off track. If we don’t make our move and sit in the wrong place for too long, we get burned by our inactions. Settling for something not meant for you is being indecisive and you’re only hurting yourself. You become too afraid to make a choice to walk away. And truthfully, I was afraid to walk away –as casual as it was. Closing the door to a situation is always frightening because it’s hard to see yourself without them or having things be different.

This circumstance has positively changed my perspective and opened my eyes. Of course there were a lot of other interactions with different guys and possibilities, but none of them are worth mentioning. I truly know what I want in the man I give my heart to –whether he’s online, already in my life now, or I meet him someday. Settling for anything less than what I want is unacceptable. Being “casual” with someone is completely overrated and absolutely beyond complicated. Adding sex into the mix of an already confusing situation made me feel attached to someone I really didn’t feel a strong connection to in the first place. I need to be clear-cut and honest about my feelings with someone and I want that fully reciprocated. I don’t deserve being tossed back and forth because someone doesn’t know what they want. I want someone that knows exactly what he wants and isn’t afraid to express that and go after it. I want to be chased, I want to be pursued, I want to be won over by someone. I want romance and I want to be treated like he believes I’m the most incredible woman in the world. Because at this point, I’m aware of how easily I open up my heart to people and that’s really not being fair to myself. How can I let someone fight for my heart if I just openly give it to them initially?

So whether I meet someone online again, he’s already in my life, or I haven’t met him yet –he’s got to pull down the stars from the heavens if he truly wants me and my love entirely.

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©MoniqueAdrianne

Unacceptable

His words cut through me like a knife,

“I’m looking for someone I could potentially get married to. Anything less…you and I…this is just not acceptable to me anymore.”

And I knew we weren’t right for one another –we were far from good together. I didn’t feel the sparks, I didn’t feel that warmth rush through me when he looked at me or when he said my name –there was no romance –I felt none of that.

And for me, that was unacceptable because I want the butterflies, and I deserve the passion and the love from someone that takes my breath away. All I felt from him was comfort –like the arms of an old sitting chair –you know it smells musty but it’s so comfortable and worn in that you don’t want to move. And now that that contentment was gone, I was angry; angry that I wasn’t the one to say it first. It wasn’t fair to either one of us. We both deserved more…

The Universe pushes us in the right directions all the time –especially when we’re off track. If we don’t make our move and sit in the wrong place for too long, we get burned by our inactions. You have to keep moving, you have to be proactive in your decisions.

No one can ever make you feel a certain way without your permission. Yes, they can make you happy, yes, they can break you down and hurt you; but until you realize that you are the final say in the matter, anyone can affect you however they want. You are the only one in control of your own life; so you have to take charge of your own happiness -it’s a chosen perspective. Do not settle for what is not right for you. Surround yourself with those that would bring down the stars for you.

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©MoniqueAdrianne

Perspective and Letting Go

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©MoniqueAdrianne

Smile Wrinkles and Daydreams

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©MoniqueAdrianne

The Problem With Being a Dreamer

I think the reason why I get heartbroken so easily is because I fall in love with the anticipation; the excitement of the possibility of falling in love. I’m a dreamer and the problem with dreamers is that we tend to envision the potential of a multitude of situations. You become connected to the fantasies that you dream up –the way that he pushes back your hair behind your ear to softly kiss you, or when he makes you laugh; when he looks over at you and really LOOKS at you; and the way his hands always find their way to yours….I fall in love with the beautiful possibilities. I fell in love with the imagined mountains that he moved for me…and the heartbreak that I feel now is entirely my own fault.

I got caught up in my emotions and in the way he spoke to me and I did not take a step back and view the situation fairly. I believe that I built sturdy, resilient walls around my heart but they tend to collapse like props from a movie set –falling down like styrofoam at the faintest touch. By the time I realize that the barriers have been compromised, it’s already too late –my façade of confidence and strength is like that of a paper doll.

So what now? You wept like a little girl over the loss of something that was never there. He wasn’t willing to explore something amazing with you –he wasn’t even inclined to make any time for you. Trying to overanalyze his words and actions will not change his mind from walking away. Believing his words,

“So at least for now this is a goodbye….maybe later we will find each other again,”

is only an empty promise to soften the blow. He was fearful of the possibilities whereas, you were exhilarated by them. Being frightened of love will only create more loss; anticipating love and remaining hopeful despite the heartbreak illustrates resiliency and strength.

The  problem with dreamers is that we become weary from the reveries –in the end, we just need someone to dream with…

And unfortunately, he did not want to dream beside me.

©MoniqueAdrianne