Leading with love

Recently I was chatting with a dear friend.   We were wondering if there used to be this much indifference in the world when we were kids.  It seems there has always been an abominable amount. But back then that ugliness did not exist in our hearts, so our eyes did not see it.  Now we see it.   Now we feel it.

And when the injustice it too big, we all wonder how we could possibly make a difference.  I think perhaps we should start with us.  It might be a cliché, but you know clichés come from repetition and repetition is kind of like a confirmation, so in conclusion I am right 🙂 kidding.  But seriously, if we can not see that every decision we make shapes our universe then we are truly blind.

What is the right decision?  I don’t know.  But I know as long as I have a place in this planet I have the opportunity to make it better.  Every day I am fortunate.  Every day I get to make choices.  And in the light of all the pain I see today I would like to lead with kindness.  Kindness always makes a difference.

I am not a kid anymore, but that doesn’t mean my heart can’t be filled with joy.  Because for all the ugly there is beauty beyond compare.  Things are not perfect, but I am not going to be blinded by fear of imperfection.  I rather be blinded by love; irrational, warm and fuzzy love.  And every day I will try for my actions to be led by that love.  That is something I can do and I can teach my children to do.  So if I see you and hug you, don’t freak out.  If I compliment you, know that I mean it.  And know that I know there is love in your heart also.  I encourage you to do the same, I love hugs :).  We could provoke a love epidemic!

In conclusion  I would like to get super cheesy (because what I said before wasn’t cheesy enough) and remind you that there is a little light inside all of us, so for the sake of mankind, let it shine, let it shine let it shine :).

love me some Keith Haring :)

love me some Keith Haring 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Have you laughed today?

It has been scientifically proven that the benefits of laughter are many.   It can strengthen your immune system by decreasing stress, reduce pain by releasing endorphins, relax your muscles, change your perspective to a more positive and realistic one and strengthen your relationships.  If that is not enough keep in mind that  it makes you look prettier :).

There is no downside to a heartfelt laugh, unless it’s inspired by cruelty or when it makes it impossible for others to enjoy the movie :).

Today I would like to encourage you to fit humor into your day.  It’s good for you and those around you.  And don’t worry if you have no time to browse the internet for hours to find inspiration, I did a little legwork for you.

Enjoy and stay healthy and well humored!   12107083_10106786756337830_3743272190719526438_n   1335989224502_1561991 c46d66e5e0621a91e85be98a7bceaa1c5c5174761cd2798374efdb3c165becaa ca257f921b7626aefbc108aa9ab43b8a calories Funniest_Memes_i-make-you-strong-i-make-you-healthy_13850 Unknowndiet-water

Mission October

October used to be one of my favorite months growing up because it meant Halloween festivities.  This October, and please forgive me dear halloween lovers, Halloween is going to take a back seat.

October is Fair Trade Month.  I know, I know there are a gazillion things we need to spread awareness of, but let me give you one good reason why this is so important.  Drumroll please… humanity.

Our humanity is something we seem to loose track of in our busy, fast everything world.  It is unfortunate and kind of strange that we seem to have lost our ability to connect in such a social media driven everything.  We can reach out to anybody with the click of a button, yet we remain oblivious to the impact of our actions.

I don’t mean to preach, I know we are not evil or cruel.  I think sometimes we just don’t know.  I think sometimes we forget we are connected to everything around us.  In a big or small way we are all connected.

So today I would like to make a case for the sake of humanity.  For the sake of those who might not have access to social media, yes they exist.  For the sake of those big and small who are against the wall and whose options are limited.  For the sake of a more civilized and bountiful way of business.  For the sake of all the hands involved in the products we use, the food we eat, the clothes we wear and the commodities we enjoy.

So what can you do to make a difference? Anything and everything 🙂  But let’s start with a small step.  When you grab anything that you take for granted, if just for a moment, try to connect it to some one.  Today I would like to ask you to give it a second thought and look for the face behind the product.

So today if the only thing you can do is click on this link and get a little awareness that will do 🙂  Tomorrow, who knows, we might achieve a world that is fair to all.

 

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Try harder

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Today I was reading about the case of a 3-year-old, 77-pound Houston girl diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.  Three years young!!!!  I know there are many things in this world that build us up and many others that break our heart.  I am heartbroken. 

As I wonder about the circumstances that landed an innocent toddler in this predicament I need to speak up.  I need to say those things that are taboo in parent world.  And for the sake of our kids I hope some will listen up.

What we put in our children’s plate, lunch box, schools, sight, hands and ultimately in their mouths will make or break them.  I know it can be difficult but we need to try harder.  We need to make this a priority.  We need to stop with the excuses and try harder.

It is not harmless to allow your child to have sodas or juices every other day.  It is not harmless to offer donuts for breakfast on a regular basis.  It is not harmless to celebrate every milestone with a buffet of sweet treats and junk food.  These things have a very negative impact in our children’s well-being.  And these are the things we are teaching them.

I know every child is different.  I know every family is different.  I know it is up to each parent or care giver to raise their child as they see fit.  But I also know we are grossly underestimating the impact a poor diet has on our youth and their future.  I am reminded of this everyday by cases like the one of this toddler who suffered from type 2 diabetes and the many children that are about to follow suit.

If you think your children are exempt from this fate, think again.  We are in the brink of watching this generation suffer from poorer health and shorter lives than the previous.

As I look at my two beautiful boys my heart if filled with love, joy, hope and sadness.  Sadness for all the things I won’t be able to protect them from.  Sadness for all the times they will suffer and I won’t be able to prevent it.  I am sad because I can not guarantee their lives will be without pain.  Yes sometimes looking at my children I feel sad, but you know what else I feel?  Determination

I am determined to take charge of the things I can take charge of in order to give then a leg up.  I am determined to help them build a healthy body, mind and spirit.  I am determined to show them they can also take charge.  I am determined to be the adult they need me to be so they have a chance to become the adult they are destined to be.

Today I respectfully and lovingly urge you to do the same.  Because you can.  Because it is worth it.  Because it matters.  All the frustration, headaches, preparation and  time will pay off.  For all the effort you relentlessly put every day of being a parent I applaud you.

So when you feel like you just can’t do anymore, do more.  When you feel you just can’t do it, do it.  When you think it’s a lost battle, try harder and fight for your child.  Because nothing is worse than the heartbreak of a sick child.

 

A better way to lunch

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It’s that time of the year when we send our minions back to school.  Many things are done in preparation to this day.  Shopping, packing, counseling…the list is different for each family :).

What ever your family’s ritual is there is one thing almost no parent can escape, the lunch box.

On average a child’s packed school lunch produces 67 lbs of waste a year.  That’s a colossal 18,000 pounds of waste a year for one school!  It takes  a lot of  money and resources to clean that mess up.  This has a huge impact.    We are filling our land with junk and making it difficult for our and future generations to enjoy this planet.

 On the positive side making a huge impact, in a good way, is as simple as using reusable gear. One little act of kindness to good old mother earth is as easy as using a reusable sandwich bag instead of a disposable one.  It’s not hard, it’s not expensive, it is responsible and it is kind.

I did a little research and found Reuseit.com . This website has lots of alternatives, from stainless steel containers to silicon bento boxes it is not hard to find the eco-friendly vessel that suits your family’s budget and needs.  If you are into removing as much plastic from your day-to-day as possible Life Without Plastic has some good options, plus a lot of information about green sourcing.

And if you need some ideas of how to fill that bento box with some tasty and healthy treats check out http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/school-lunches/

Talk to your child about how this simple act creates a positive ripple effect.  Share the Green Quiz Q and A.

Let’s show our kids that our actions matter and that a simple act can have monumental impact.

 

 

 

I’m Baaack :)

It has been a long time since my last post.  It seem’s like as soon as I got a little glimpse of summer I had to drop everything and devote myself to the promise of warm days in the sun.

So let me catch you up.  I have been studying a lot, celebrating my children’s birthdays (by the by they are growing way too fast), enjoying family visits, soaking in the sun, freezing my bum in forever-cold kiddie pools, staring at the ocean, driving myself crazy trying to entertain and educate the boys, loving, stressing, making plans, changing my mind, driving myself crazy 🙂  and breathing inn every bit of warmth I can.

It has been a wonderful summer and I am suffering from severe attachment to it.  “Hello my name is Ixiana and I am a summerholic.”  I am dead serious, if I get a caressed by a breeze lower than 80 degrees I’m afraid I will go into full panic mode.  I know, I know that is ridiculous.  I know nothing lasts for ever (except my love for my kids and there is no way you can convince me otherwise), I know letting go is the only way to live in peace.  I know all these things, and more yet here I am freaking out.

This made me think of all the things we know yet can’t seen to apply.  Like if we don’t fold the laundry as soon as it’s done it will sit there for a week or until some one runs out of underwear.  Yet I can’t bring myself to fold it when that annoying drier alarm goes off.   So what’s the point of knowing so much if we can’t bring ourselves to action?  As a stubborn, fairly educated, strong woman I can’t use ignorance as an excuse, at least not today.

So in the midst of this irrational fear of saying good bye to summer I have decided to start using my knowledge for good.  Today I am challenging myself to live in the moment; a challenge I am constantly challenging myself with :).  I am challenging myself to let go of things I can’t control (like the seasons) and take control of those I can.

I am going to go about my precious life studying a lot, celebrating my children, enjoying family, soaking in the sun, freezing my bum in forever-cold kiddie pools, staring at the ocean, driving myself crazy trying to entertain and educate the boys, loving, stressing, making plans, changing my mind, driving myself crazy 🙂  and breathing inn every bit of warmth I can.  After all, there is the promise of summer every year.

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The Hero is You

I recently had the joy of celebrating another year in this planet.  I have to say, even with all the loss, it has been a wonderful year. I have said goodbye to two creatures I deeply loved and this reminded me that life is now.  Every day IS an opportunity to LIVE THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE.  Yes there are obstacles, confusion, heartbreak and pain, but there is also opportunity.  You are the protagonist, hero or victim, it’s all up to us.  I choose hero on this adventure.

I am not much into New Year’s resolutions but this year I promised myself I would take care of me.  It wasn’t a challenge, it was a reminder.  A reminder that life is what we make it and that I wanted to make mine the best for me and my kids.  I want my children to feel and be the best they can be.  That means I have to feel and be the best I can be.  Lead by example right?

So I have made changes.  Slowly but surely I have taken the steps to a more radiant me.  Today I can say I am happy in my skin and it shows.  You might be thinking I am bragging.  I’m not.  Like you I am human.  Some turns take me to a dark alley and some to fields of gold.  I don’t always make the best choices,but I am working on it.  Every day I open my eyes and am able to move and live I am working on it.  I have decided to see the best and worst in me and cultivate only the best.  And every day I look at myself and think, girl you are awesome (this helps:).

We are all different and our paths are like our DNA.  So I just want to say, rejoice!  Unlike it was thought of in the past, our DNA is constantly changing!  That is correct, our DNA adjust to the information it receives from us. So if every  building block in our body can make changes, so can we.

The changes or choices we make will be unique to each one of us and that is something we have to figure out.  I have lots of tips that can help, that’s what this blog is about.  Today I will give you one, be the hero.  Look at yourself and see your worth.  To become a hero the first and most crucial step is to acknowledge that you are indeed, not only capable of, worth greatness.

Now go kiss yourself, you’re so pretty 🙂 !

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The Power of Change

There is nothing I love more in this world than my children.  Every time I look at those love nuggets I thank my lucky stars.  I am grateful that they are perfect in every way.  And I am thankful for every moment they are granted the gift of childhood.  This wonderful time when they look at the world fearlessly, full of wonder, kindness and joy.   Sadly not every child is granted this gift.

Today I would like to bring a little awareness to our adult world.  I will try to keep it short and as light as possible.

Valentines day is approaching and  with it perhaps the biggest selling holiday for the chocolate industry.  Every year millions of people stock up on chocolate treats that will be shared with loved ones as tokens of affection.  The sentiment is noble, but in most cases the sources are not.

Let me be perfectly clear, most chocolate sold in your local store source from farms that use child labor.   These are a huge contributing factor to child trafficking in some continents like Africa.  Popular brands like Hershey’s and M&M Mars are NOT fair trade companies.  These huge companies have taken their time and have been involved in child labor for years.  I will never understand how this is ok.  I will never understand how it is ok to keep exploiting children in the name of business.  And I will never knowingly be a part of it.  A lot of people have worked very hard to expose this injustice and change is on it’s way.  Some day things will be different and fair, we can be a part of that.

I know none of us would ever knowingly support this type of scenario and that is why I share this information.  I am not here to judge you.  I am not here to tell you what to do.  I am here to rely this information because it is the least I can do.  Please understand that every time you purchase a bag of M&M’s, Kisses or any other non fair trade chocolate you are involved.  Our choices matter.

We do not need chocolate to express our love.  Love is something we share with our actions.  This valentine’s day I encourage you to love with your actions and not with tainted chocolate.  I encourage you to spread the word; in your community, your church, your family and friends.   Take action and feel the love ripple all over you and into this wonderful world.

Don’t worry, I’m not all gloom :). You don’t have to give up chocolate, there are responsible companies out  there that make delicious fair trade chocolate.  Alter Eco, Divine and Equal Exchange are some.  If you would like to give your valentine a chocolate treat shop responsibly and look for fair trade certified labels.  Here are a few links that can be useful in your journey to guilt free chocolate  Fair Trade USA and Food is Power.  You can also watch the documentary The Dark Side of Chocolate.

Let’s be part of something positive.  Let’s be part of a movement that demands safety and freedom for all children.  Hopefully one day all children can enjoy the gift of childhood.

childrenmoreimportant

For more information:

The Chocolate Industry Exposed

Fair Trade USA

Raise the Bar

 

This little light of mine…

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When we experience great loss its hard to feel anything but the loss.  Last saturday  I held my 8-year-old fur baby as he took his last breath.   I have never seen anything like it.  Time stopped , then it went really slow and then too fast.  That morning every second that lead to his passing was filled with anguish, tears and desperation.  Once he was gone I experienced some reprieve and then an unexplainable void.  I felt numb.

But how could that be?!  After all the love, the tears, the laughter, the adventures and did I mention the love?  Maybe it was knowing he was free from suffering.  Maybe it was acceptance.  Maybe I was just drained.  Either way it was over and there was nothing I could do about that.  We buried him that same morning and as I put his tiny body in the ground all I could say was: “I am sorry”.

And there it was, guilt.  Like an evil villain lurking around every corner, I just could not escape the guilt.  I know I am not God.  I know I don’t decide when it’s time to go.  But how I live, that is up to me.  I am not going to lie, after I had the kids Mumra became a second class citizen.  He got his yearly check-ups, a roof over his head, food, water and the occasional petting.  But I can’t help but think a little of his light was extinguished.  Since dogs don’t speak human maybe something got lost in translation.  Maybe there was something he needed and I failed to see.  Maybe things could have been different, but they weren’t.  And now he was gone and all I could say was “I am sorry”.

It has been six days since that god awful morning and I am still hung up on the guilt.  But it is time, it is time to let go.  As I look around me, at my children, at Camila (Mumra’s sister), at my home, at the pictures on the walls I am not sorry.  I am grateful.  I am blessed to the moon and back.

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My Mumra was pure joy.  Since the day I met him; his eyes where full of light.  He was loud, annoying, funny and sweet.  He was my first boy.  He warmed me up to the idea that boys are awesome.  And now I am the proud mother of two of those.  Mumra knew me before I was a wife, a mother, a business lady, a Captain, a grown-up.  Mumra inspired me and shared his life with me.  When he was three I started to call him Mumra The Wise, because of all the profound lessons I attributed to his serious stare.  He was a sage.  So why would I ever question his ability to get exactly what he needed?!  I loved him and that will never fade.  He changed me and I am not sorry, I am thankful.

Today, where ever you are I would like to say: “Thank you.Thank you so much, thank you to the moon and the sun and all the universe and back.”

I don’t know if one ever recovers completely from great loss.  But there is always light.  In the darkest of corners there is potential for light.   For as long as there is breath in us there is light.  And every time a light fades another shines bright.  Today I choose to see the light of Mumra blinding my guilt and transforming it to gratitude.

With humility and love I wish the light in your lives shine bright, especially in the dark :).  And for all those who have moved on to their next adventure from those of us still here let me just say, your light has never shinned brighter!

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Rumble at Pre-K

Sometimes unexpectedly hilarious things happen and you just have to thank your lucky starts.  Last night was Luca’s Holiday Recital. We made it almost to the end without any incidents.  Then as the last musical performance was over, the unexpected happened…a quarrel, pre-k style.  It was short and almost sweet, as any altercation between 4 year olds should be.  And I was the crazy parent laughing and thanking my lucky stars.

Today I am thankful for unexpected laughter.  I am thankful for the tears it brings to my eyes and the stares it might provoke.  Because we should all look a little crazy sometimes and not care.

So without further ado here is a little Didi that might bring a happy tear to your eye. Enjoy and laugh, nobody is watching :).

pre-k rumble

You might not find this as funny as I do but at least it was unexpected.

PS: Take note guys, Lucas might not be too tough yet but he know his way into a lady’s heart :).