Is being a good girl killing you softly?

So thrilled to share a piece I wrote in the latest edition of Cosmo magazine now on newstands. It's the issue with perpetual bad girl, Michelle Rodriguez on the cover.

Here's the scoop: being a good girl is terrible for our individual and collective health. If you find yourself saying, "yes," when you want to say, "fuck no," then it's time to say adios to the good girl-- a syndrome that keeps women from fully living, from being our fun, fearless and greatest selves.

Keep your goals to yourself & you'll succeed

Next time you are dying to tell your best friend about your new goal, don't. Turns out that research is showing that yapping about your dreams is a sure way to kill em. Studies since the 1920's have consistently found that telling someone your goals makes them less likely to happen. 

Derek Silvers' shares his short and insightful research on Ted Talk and it'worth watching if you have been floundering with a pet project. 

According to social psychologists talking about our goals tricks the mind into thinking that we have already completed them--it's a feel good reaction that satisfies the brain and makes us less likely to want to do the work. Kurt Lewin, who is touted as the creator of social psychology, called this phenomena, substitution. According to Silvers, Wera Mahler's studies in 1933, showed that when a goal is acknowledged by others, they feel real in the mind. In the 1980's Peter Gollwitzer performed and wrote about human action and reaction. Or rather, non action.

You are alone enough so stop playing yourself

You are alone enough you have nothing to prove to anybody. ~ Maya Angelou

Anytime you ever need a little lifting of the soul, Ms Angelou's words will do. Maya Angelou's words always make me feel majestic. She affirms my womanhood. She affirms my blackness. She affirms my spirit. And my beauty. Maybe because she looks like my late aunt Titi Himilce, I have a special fondness for the great poet. Thank you Ms Angelou for gracing us with your beauty. Here, her classic for women everywhere, "Phenomenal Woman."

Miss Piggy brings it, she knows it

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye." ~ Miss Piggy

I bring you flowers...

Today's mantra: To have a meaningful day. To be grateful and graceful. To remain positive and be of service to others. To offer comfort to someone in pain, even if it's a just a kind word. To forgive. Above all, to remember that evil never wins, no matter how much terror it can cause in the human heart. In the end, it is defeated by the forces of good people coming together.

This is your life girl.  It's short. Make it beautiful. Make it count.

Before you know it, you will be dead. Not to be dark or anything, but like my momma says, if you don't wanna die, then don't be born. Death is the only sure thing in life. Growing up with a wise woman who often dropped those kinds of nuggets, I appreciate death for sure. And, as such, I am making my life count before I die. Are you?

All emotions are beautiful, even sadness

Embrace the good, the comfortable, and especially, the uncomfortable. They are your best teachers.

Let go of suffering: 5 daily practices

This karmic cleanse is a like weeding a garden, except in this case, you are not toiling soil, but weeding your soul. It all starts with the work we do within--clearing out spaces so that we can grow and harvest goodness. Going in and checking to see what weeds--or behaviours-- are disturbing your flow and your wholeness is essential. Each of us is a universal expression of love and perfection yet so few understand this. I was in that space--of not knowing my beauty--for a long time. The internal work has been arduous at times, but it's been worth it and it's ongoing. Each day, I learn something new.

What I have found to be true is this: what you pay attention to grows. My lovely friends, pay attention to the things you pay attention to... Here are some tips for a daily soul cleansing.

Tap your stress away

Have you heard of tapping? EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique is spreading like wildfire. The technique is based on the ancient Chinese healing method of acupuncture but without the needles.

While on a plane to Colorado Springs recently, I met a beautiful healer who was sitting across from me an isle away. Her joyful energy was so powerful that I gravitated toward her and by the end of the flight we were like sisters. The Mexico based woman is an EFT expert and has been using the method to heal abandoned babies and children who are dropped off at the adoption house that she started two decades ago. This healer, steeped in ancient indigenous traditions, swears by this practice. She has healed babies, teens, men and women, even pets, she says.

The idea is to focus on what hurts you--emotional stress of a broken relationship, loneliness, unhappiness, financial worries--and with two fingers you tap gently around different meridian points on your body. These are the points that where you have nerve bundles and your chi, or energy, is trapped. The gentle tapping releases the stuck energy and while you may still be worried, you won't feel the physical ramifications of the your stressors. Practitioners of this method swear by its power. They say it's a powerful tool to release old wounds that are stuck and making you sick. It's been used for all kinds of healing--to lose weight, heal broken hearts, physical ailments, addictions, old emotional wounds.

How to live in the present in three easy steps

The eloquence of trees in springtime is magical. Are you catching it?

After walking by this young tree this morning, I wasn't sure if spring brings out the eloquence of nature, or if it's the other way around. Either way, it was a treat to experience. To be so grounded that you can can appreciate tiny moments of beauty is your birthright. Are you claiming it?

We are all offered small miracles everyday but many of us don't see or are able to enjoy them because we are so anxious about the future or regretting the past. Being grounded in the now, as in the right now, has many advantages, most importantly, to experience being fully alive. It's also really good for your health. Here are three easy practices to help you live in the present:

Dating & Spousal Abuse: When women are the abusers

Art by Kara Walker
Woman: Are you the abuser in your relationship?

This post is about an issue that we hardly ever talk about: when women are the abusers. It's an indisputable fact that the majority of batterers and abusers are male and their victims are women. Abuse, after all, is about power. However, according to government stats, 5% of abusers are women. Yes, ladies can be very abusive too.

Spousal and dating violence is prevalent. We have forgotten how to love one another, how to be sweet with each other. People are angry, in pain, and emotionally sick. And when you are emotionally sick you act out and abuse. Men to women, women to men. Men and women to kids. And sadly, even to elders. It's a national problem. 

Dating and domestic violence touches all tax brackets--the uber wealthy to super poor, the famous and infamous, those with PHD's or  GED's and everyone in between.

Blessings to you on this beautiful Sunday.

Today's mantra scribbled on brick. I'd only add one more action verb, love! You are a child of the universe. You were born to create beautiful things. You were born steeped in love, to love and be loved. Live. Work. Create. Love.

Happy Saturday

This morning flower about to pop reminded me of the last line from one of my favorite Pablo Neruda poems, Poem IV from "20 Love Poems and a Song of Despair: 

"I want to do with you what spring does to cherry trees." Lovely, sexy, and yes, muy sublime. Here is the entire poem. Perfect to take in on this gorgeous spring day.

Being alone is healing, if you let it: 3 reasons why being alone is good for you

When doing things alone--without the buffer of another--friend, lover, kids, a pet--life is experienced purely. That is--your experience is unmixed with other matter. Little things take on a deeper meaning. 

I sing the praises of spending chunks of time in my own company. In doing so, I discovered the wondrous woman that resides within.

Eons ago, I was addicted to being with people--doing things with others--with a best friend or in groups. I was even addicted to being in relationships, even when they were shitty. I hated to be alone. I feared doing things sola. This fear probably had it roots in Latino culture where girls are never encouraged to venture the world solasMy life was great though! And I did many beautiful things... However, after nearly two decades of enjoying life like a free range bird, I can assure you--I was missing out. Life has gotten even better.

Once I overcame the fear and discovered the wonders of aloneness and spent considerable chunks of time in my own company, traveling, to near and far away places, going to the movies, catching an exhibit, my favorite bands--all by myself--my life, especially, my creative life--took off. Like, really took off.

For anyone who is fearful of being alone, you'll find plenty of inspiration Tanya Davis's poem, "How to be Alone," which was the inspiration for this post. There is safety in being alone she says. Yes, being alone can also heal, if you let it.

This culture has a deep antipathy to aloneness and I find it so tragic. 

One small change to improve your health

"You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. ~ Buddha
Our culture does not champion stillness, or for that matter, reflection and introspection. And most definitely, self care. But, these are the essentials to a life well lived. S-l-o-w d-o-w-n and listen.

The idea today is to welcome the one thing in your life that will serve as a building block to perfect health--in mind, body and spirit. This is the only moment you have. The one huge thing you can do to reset your life is this:

Take 10 minutes of your day and hang out in nature

New studies are unequivocally confirming the positive healthful effects of nature. At the core of perfect health is your local park. No kidding!

People who are exposed to natural scenes aren't just happier or more comfortable; the very building blocks of their physiological well-being also respond positively.  ~ The Atlantic

Nature resets our internal clocks. A walk in the forest, or your local park, the more dense, the better, has proven to improve health.

A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool. ~ Shakespeare