What’s Your Relationship With Food Look Like?

Year after year, I hear people set a goal to lose weight, but I rarely hear people set their goal to change their mindset about eating. Myself included.  

What?! YES. That’s right. We don’t usually think of weight loss this way, but we do think about changing our mindset when it comes to working out – and that’s great!

But we’re not giving food and the relationship we have with food much thought at all. And we really should be especially nowadays when the number two reason people bully others is their weight.

Years ago, my sisters had a roommate who viewed food as a necessary fuel. He didn’t care much about the aesthetic or taste (well, to a certain degree).

But, what fascinated me about his relationship with food was that it was a tool rather than an enjoyment or something to look forward to celebrating with holidays, parties or celebrations. Continue reading “What’s Your Relationship With Food Look Like?”

Who Changed The Course Of Your Life?

Have you had a certain person in your life affect you in a way that led you to do what you’re doing today?

I’m sure that most of us can immediately recall that particular moment when someone did or said something that changed the course of our lives.

For me, the people who crossed paths with me who made an impact in my life includes teachers. The first time a teacher made a huge effect on me was Mrs. Casey in the fourth grade.

It was my second year in the United States school system and I was still trying to perfect my English. I watched T.V. in English, spoke to kids as much as I could and took homework very seriously because I wanted to be able to better communicate with others.

My mother kept requesting I be placed into all English classes because she believed that I was ready. She also believed that the best way to learn English faster was to be completely integrated into English only classes. And she was right.

But the school didn’t think so. I remember Mrs. Casey took it upon herself to give me the test that kids had to take to be considered to move out of what they called back then the English as a Second Language (ESL) program because the school didn’t want to try.

So, when I passed that test and Mrs. Casey went to vouch for me to the principal and I was moved to an all English class. That changed my experience learning English. I learned a lot more of it much faster than the kids I’d been in ESL classes with and I always enjoyed English classes during my educational career. Continue reading “Who Changed The Course Of Your Life?”

Is Your Story Worth Sharing?

Sometimes we go through life not realizing that we have amazing stories that can help others.

That was me. I was recently reminded that my story matters. This happend when I was speaking to Ange Wilcock regarding amazing women and what they’ve done. 

Ange had been seeking out women to tell their stories and I responded not expecting my story to catch her attention. But, it did.

So, she invited me to be a guest on her podcast and vióola! The result is a 30 minute conversation about growing up in a rough environment, enlisting in the military and dealing with post-military life facing serious challenges.

One of those challenges allowed me to discover what I truly want to do for the rest of my life. 

I’ve been working since I was 14 (althought I had a chocolate sales job at the age of 10). And throughout all those years, I believed that if I went to college and worked hard, I’d have a great career and a meaningful life. Continue reading “Is Your Story Worth Sharing?”

Should Teachers Resemble Their Students?

I recently read about the importance of representation from a networking group I belong to.

An anesthesiologist (I’ll call her Mary) had a six-year-old patient (let’s call her Jessica) – a little girl who was about to go into surgery. Mary was assessing her to make sure everything she needed to know was accurate to treat her during the surgery.

As Mary sat next to Jessica, a nurse came by and greeted Mary. As they made small talk about Mary’s daughter, Jessica interrupted to say, “you can’t be a mom and be an anesthesia lady”.

Mary and the nurse were taken by surprise. To think that a child had already created this limitation in her head without anyone having told her to do so was astonishing!

Mary calmly told her that indeed, she was a Mommy and an anesthesiologist. She pulled up pictures of her daughter on her smartphone and explained to her little patient that women could be anything and still be Moms. Continue reading “Should Teachers Resemble Their Students?”

They Weren’t Trying To Be The First

There’s been so much talk about the need of new leadership in the country at different levels of government and a lot of existing and new organizations have created programs to encourage people of different demographics to run for public office.

Being the curious person that I am, I started searching for data that would give me an idea of how bad the disparity is between various demographics.

So, found a post that listed some of the first African Americans to achieve something BIG in American history.

To my surprise, I found out that a former black slave was elected to the Senate only a years after the abolition of slavery. Talk about debunking stereotypes and challenging social norms. AWESOME!

Although all of the people on the list were very interesting, The Honorable Blanche Kelso Bruce of Mississippi got my attention because he was listed as the first African American (and only former slave) to have served a full term in the U.S. Senate from 1875-1881. Continue reading “They Weren’t Trying To Be The First”

The Value Of A Life

Have you ever wondered why things happen? I used to ask myself that question a lot when I was little and into my teens. Every time not so good things happened, the more I’d question WHY?

I hadn’t asked myself that question for a very long time until recently due to a very unexpected event. More on that later.

Here’s something you might not know about me. I’ve been called an “anti-pet” person, but a pro-animals. What I mean by that is that I love animals, but I’ve never really wanted the responsibility of caring for one because I’ve seen it as a huge responsibility.

However, I’ve always cared about pets and as a way to help indirectly, I’ve always donated things and money to organizations that help pets.

I think I formed this mentality about pet responsibility when I was very little. I was probably about 5 or 6 years old and still living in Nicaragua. I had a doggy name Dunky. Continue reading “The Value Of A Life”

No Secret To Success

You know when you see articles online stating topics like, “10 Things That Billionaires Do Each Day” or “Highly Effective Habits Successful People Practice”?

Well, those titles grasp people’s interest because they infer that if people adopt some of those habits, they too might become very successful.

Before I went into entrepreneurship, I’d click on those type of articles out of curiosity and to be honest, I was looking for an answer about how I could become successful.

I wondered if I was doing something wrong or if I needed to adopt a new habit to get to my goal. I also compared myself a lot – which is very damaging to anyone who does it (another topic for later).

While a lot of those articles are interesting and they can help you learn new ways to do things, they don’t guarantee success or wealth. Continue reading “No Secret To Success”

Free Resources For Start-Up Entrepreneurs

“When did you realize you wanted to be your own boss?” someone recently asked me. It stunned me because I hadn’t even thought of it. It’s always felt as if I’ve had crazy ideas that no one really understood.

But as I thought of this, I started remembering my entrepreneurial attempts.

My first job was when I was 10 years old. I worked for an entrepreneur who would provide his kid employees a box of candy. He’d drive us kids around “rich neighborhoods” to sell the candy bars.

It was hard work for a 10 year old because we had to walk house-to-house and get a lot more NOs than Yeses. We’d make a profit from the sales and the kid who’d sell the most would get a bonus at the end of the day.

Then, I started working for a lady who would give my Mom patterns to sew from home. By the time I was 14 years old, my mother had become a single mom of six.

She’d try to find any way to earn money and take care of us and in a way, I think she’s who taught me to be resourceful and to use what I knew to earn a living. She’s been the best role model of survival in my life.

My younger siblings would help my Mom with minor tasks while the my two middle kids and I helped sew some of the clothes. Later, I asked my Mom’s employer for a job. So, I became her helper at her clothing boutique during the week and I’d go sell the clothes at a high-end flea market with her on the weekends.

While working for someone was not exactly me owning my own business, it felt good to work on my own terms and to chose what I wanted to do. I loved being able to go to school and being able to earn money.

Years later, when I was in the military, I became a Mary Kay consultant. I did pretty well despite the fact that I was not a good seller and I wasn’t into make-up or skin care products.

Later, as I was getting ready to leave the military, I became a Realtor & Real Estate Consultant. While I did great, my career was short lived due to the market crash in 2007.

While in college, I learned about a program called the Entrepreneur Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) with Disabilities. I applied and was accepted.  Continue reading “Free Resources For Start-Up Entrepreneurs”

Teaching Kids The Real Meaning of Happiness

     I recently overheard a conversation going on right next to me between two people. They were discussing the outrageous amount of money that rich people throw away every day on non-sense type of stuff. One of them said that if they could only have a few million dollars, all their problems would go away.

That comment really caught my attention. It made me wonder how many kids believe that money solves all problems or that money can create complete happiness because I was that kid. I used that used to think that because I’d heard people say that around me.

But very soon after, when I became a teenager I learned that those beliefs were merely myths. Overhearing that conversation and thinking back to what I used to believe about people with monetary wealth made me reflect on what “rich” people’s hardships might look like.

I thought a bit on what it must feel like to wake up each day knowing that if something were to happen to their loved one’s health, the last thing they’d have to worry about would be how to pay the insurance bill.

Sure, they’d be devastated about a health challenge. But in a way, is their angst lessened due to their wealth?

I don’t know. I’ll never know because everyone is different. The point of this story is that we all have different views on wealth. I used to think that I’d want to grow up to become rich, own a big mansion and drive a Lamborghini.

Maybe I thought I wanted this because the first home I lived in was no more than probably 800 sq. ft. As I got older, my parents were able to afford a bigger home and as an adult I’ve had the opportunity of owning a spacious home. Continue reading “Teaching Kids The Real Meaning of Happiness”

Beating The Odds When Everything Is Against You

I’m baaaack!!! And it feels so great! I appreciate your patience and still hanging in there for me. I’ve learned so much the past month with my business challenges, which were nothing compared to other people’s more serious situations. But, if you’ve just recently subscribed I’ll catch you up.

I had serious tech issues that pretty much stopped everything I was doing in the online part of my business. I couldn’t deliver my blogs, I lost tons of material I had already prepared for upcoming social media distribution and I couldn’t even log into the back end of my website.

These issues got me thinking because I felt horrible about myself. I started to beat myself up for not being able to foresee this problem. I started to doubt that I should continue my entrepreneur path and wonder if my blogs or program were good enough.

Then I realized I was being hard on myself because I push myself to do my best. I care about the quality of my work and I always feel like I let people down (in this case, you) when I don’t do what I set out to do on time.

As I was venting to a friend about my challenges, he (thank you Gerardo) told me to create a list of successes where I’d look at my past experiences and write down every negative challenge – personal or professional – that I’ve overcome.

So, I did. And after I finished my list I realized how insignificant my current tech problem was. Accepting this, I allowed myself to relax a little and I became confident that it would all work out. As soon as I did that, things started moving a little faster and I started working more efficiently.

From that moment of self-reflection, I was inspired to write this blog about overcoming challenges. So, I began to think about people who have amazing stories of trials and tribulations that have helped me get over my pity-parties. And I remembered something that I realized I’ve always purposely kept in mind that has helped me make impactful decisions. Continue reading “Beating The Odds When Everything Is Against You”