You can boost your happiness for yourself and others by doing this simple 15 minute exercise…
1) Close your eyes and picture yourself. You imagine something good happening to you like falling in love, writing something you’re proud of. You feel the joy that would come from that. Let it flow through you.
2) Then you picture someone you love, and imagine something wonderful happening for them. Feel the joy from that and let that flow through you.
3) Picture someone you don’t really know that you saw in passing or interacted with that day and imagine something good happening for them. Try to feel joy for that person and let it flow through you.
4) Picture someone you don’t like, and try to imagine something good happening for that person. You try to replicate the same feeling of joy for them as for yourself or loved ones. Imagine how good they would feel and how moved they would be.
5) Then you picture someone you really dislike or someone that you envy. Try to feel real joy for even them and while meditating even if you don’t feel that way at all eventually you’ll find that the toxic weight you carry while thinking of them dissipates over a short period of time.
Do this every day for 15 minutes. Give yourself at least a month.
This meditation sets the intention to feel different. You start to see the happiness of others as a joy for yourself. This feeling is happiness and warmth is tender. It’s almost like people become your children and you have the same warm happiness you have for your child when they’re having fun or happy and get something they like…you can feel this for a stranger. Another way of coexisting in a healthier and happier way with others is by focusing on the things you love about them.
This will lift your vibrations and your energy and light will illuminate through you.
Visiting a village in the mountains of Coban, Guatemala I sat just 2 meters from a little girl who was very shy. I noticed her because she didn’t want to participate in the games the group created for the children. She was the only one who stayed behind. I made it my mission to connect with her so I sat far enough away where she didn’t feel threatened yet close enough I was in her gaze and within ear shot. I started singing a song I loved when I was a child. Slowly she slid closer and closer until she was right beside me. I smiled and kept singing in English because I wasn’t proficient in Q’eqchi, her native tongue. She started humming and before you knew it got up and started playing with everyone.
Music allows us to connect through all cultures no matter the obstacles we face. The frequency and vibrations sent out with love and intent are felt through the music. This is such a powerful way to bring us all closer together so we can learn and grow through love without words.
So keep singing and be mindful of the intent behind the words you listen to and welcome in. It is powerful enough to dull or brighten your soul.
I didn’t get a picture of the little girl from the village but this one above is special and one of those playing that day. I didn’t want to have children until I met her. She came up to me every morning and had to touch my hair. She looked at me like I was an angel and she warmed up my soul in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Thank God for this little girl and her light.
Had to go see my girlfriend sing at orchard.church in Denver on a Saturday who is preparing to welcome her first baby angel in APRIL 2020!!!
Just the day before I was speaking to a co-worker about the very message the sermon was about. I love when that happens. God is like oh you got a problem. Well here is your answer. I don’t know who needs to see this but below are just my notes on the sermon. In person is always best but hopefully you’ll get something out of it as well…
Matt5.9 God blesses those who work for peace
When we put ourselves first we put peace last
Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to be at peace with everyone.
Be a peace maker not a peace taker
I love you, I’m sorry, I value our relationship, we want to work this out
We are not just a Christian home we are a Christ centered home
Peacemakers work through not around issues
How to get more peace:
1) speak the truth in love
Instead we will speak the truth in love growing in every way more like Christ
Only do it in non conflict times
Confront the issue
do not attack the person
When you don’t listen to me I don’t feel like I’m important to you
2)Apologize when you’re wrong
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other that you may be healed
Never follow up an apology with an excuse
I’m sorry I raised my voice and belittled you I won’t do that again
1)I am sorry 2)I was wrong 3) please forgive me
3) forgive and let go
On the authority of God’s word you can forgive and let go
Make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember the Lord forgave you so you must forgive others
As soon as we say yes to Jesus in faith the next step is to follow Jesus.
Followed up w fellowship
Everyone has different motivations in sorting through their selection process.
I know women who are happy settling with someone they are not attracted to just for the money or status.
Some want children and settle for someone they’re not in love with because they feel as though their time is limited to have a child. The guy may check all the other boxes of what they want in a partner so they dive in.
Some are arranged. Some similar religious beliefs… You get the point but mostly I’ve found that people settle for what’s easy and logical vs passion or love.
Some say they can learn to love a person but I cringe anytime I hear that. Who wants to be tolerated or someone that has to be learned how to love. No thanks.
In most of my serious relationships I knew immediately if there was a connection. Chemistry was felt in the first glance, interaction, discussion.
Now after plenty of experience and some failed and some successful attempts at love I never want to settle again.
We have two options in the dating game:
You can hold out for that special person. Someone who gives you butterflies…
Or you can settle for the buffer
I personally want to wait for something special because it’s easy to settle. It’s harder to wait and have patience for the right person to come into your life at the right moment.
I know these relationships exist because I witness them throughout my travels and I’m hopeful knowing how I’ve felt in the past that I’ll find those qualities again in perfect timing.
The first step to a healthy relationship is to be in a healthy relationship with yourself and I found the most PERFECT book for just that: The Mastery of Love
Such a phenomenal read and now one of my favorite books that teaches you forgiveness, self acceptance, navigating fear based beliefs, how to find happiness within yourself, and so much more.
So do yourself a favor read that book and quit settling for anything less than what you want and deserve. Even if life doesn’t give you the timeline you had hoped for. You’re doing someone else a disservice and missing out on what could be your forever if you settle on the buffer instead of waiting on the butterflies.
Feel the heat from a tease
Washing over me
Playing with danger
Fortifying walls with toothpicks
Setting flame to desire
Watch it go up in fire
The hotter it is the higher
Let it burn
Let it burn
Playing with it masterfully
Done this before candidly
Let it burn
Underestimating love as weakness
It’s strength to lay down on the sword
For every challenge I survive
I grow and I thrive
So let it burn
The flame of eternity
Desires washing over me
Let it burn
Choices are your own
It’s the free will to man
Choices got your here
Just look in the mirror
The heat grows cold
Wipe the ashes from your eyes
The rebirth of new life
I grow and I thrive
So let it burn
The flame of eternity
Desires washing over me
Let it burn
It’s only after you can see
What grows back
What’s set free
Only then can it be
New life will renew
A time is coming soon
Nothing left to do
But let it burn
So let it burn
The flame of eternity
Desires washing over me
Let it burn
Strength is something we don’t realize we have until we are put in a situation where we have to find it or perish. Daily challenges make us stronger and because of these challenges we grow, we evolve. When we go through a difficult trial we are forced to cope. We fight through the layers of emotion. In the fight our body, mind, and spirit are tested. It is only in the chaos of the battle that we are truly able to mold ourselves into a stronger, wiser, more enriched embodiment. It is only in the battle that we find our true self. Be grateful for strife because without it we wouldn’t flourish into the beautiful souls we are. This is the beauty of battle…
A sharp pain in my lower abdomen kicked in and I knew it was time. At 11 PM contractions hit and I couldn’t help but feel a sense of urgency, excitement, and fear of what to expect…
I decided to wait it out as long as possible because I knew once I got to the hospital I would be bound to a bed and as uncomfortable as the contractions were when they started I knew they would be worse laying down. I told my husband to read the bit of information for the support partner in What To Expect When You’re Expecting. I grabbed an exercise ball and started rolling around on it like a walrus rolls around on dry land… or that’s how I felt.
I’ve always loved a challenge and mostly charged anything that scared me in the past but this fear was a completely different feeling than I had ever felt before. Knowing that a human is about to come out of your “flower” is SCARY! I was terrified and rightly so.
My husband reassured me at the time that it was probably just braxton hicks (false labor or mild cramps) which is just your body’s way of preparing you for the real deal. I reassured him it was time and I was going to take a shower and take my time… fix my hair and makeup. Yes, as laughable as it is, I thought I could look good during childbirth.
I made it through the shower and I actually did curl my hair but the makeup didn’t make it on. The contractions were too strong at this point to comfortably stand up straight. It gets to a point where you have to hold on to a counter or anything to brace for each contraction. The best way to describe this feeling for men (someone kicks you right in the balls) – women (a period cramp straight from the underworld intensified times ten). We grabbed our bags and hopped in the car en route to the hospital. In this moment I was very excited and anxious. I couldn’t wait to meet our tiny little human.
At the hospital they make you fill out paperwork which is just so enjoyable when you feel like a knife is going through your cervix but yes I would LOVE to thank you.
The hospital room was very cold and uncomfortable. I asked the nurse if I could use the bathroom just to buy some time. I locked the door and paced back and forth as long as I could until the pain hurt to the point where I was doing this awkward shuffle or dance that you would see someone do if their crotch was on fire. The nurse came in and hooked up an IV and my contractions were also being monitored on what looked to be a richter scale. The waiting game had begun.
I wanted to have my baby naturally and without any pain medication. Most women would “like” this but reality is you don’t know what to expect until you’re going through it.
Six hours in and I asked for the IV pain medication which you can only have every 2 hours. When that hit I felt nauseous but it helped with the pain from the contractions. At this point I thought to myself, ” I got this. This isn’t so bad.”
An hour passed and close to the end of the second I asked for another dose. The second dose helped but it wasn’t killing the pain like the first. Two hours later couldn’t come fast enough and I asked for another dose. This time it didn’t help but I didn’t want to give up the fight and get the epidural yet. I was determined to make it through without an epidural mostly because I already had lower back pain and heard the epidural could make it worse.
Ten hours in and this sharp pain hit right above my left hip in the pelvis. It was immobilizing. I tossed from left to right and dug my thumb in to see if it would relieve the pain and it didn’t. I was breaking. I laid on my right side to try to alleviate the left hip and dug my head under a pillow and cried. I felt completely hopeless at this point.
My Aunt who had already went through this three times before looked at the computer to my right and let me know the contractions were only hitting at 25% meaning they were going to get much much worse. I immediately asked for the epidural in a panic.
The nurse asked everyone to leave the room and a doctor came in to administer the epidural. I was asked to sit up on the edge of the bed and not to move. My contractions were unbearable at this point but the thought of the needle slipping and hitting my spine or a nerve from a movement and paralyzing me kept me from moving. I closed my eyes and faced the ground and cried almost to a point of defeat. I was upset that I couldn’t hold out without the epidural. I felt that I had let myself down. After they were done I resumed back in my position as before and they checked my vitals to make sure everything was ok. The nurse wrapped a device around my stomach to monitor the baby’s heartbeat. I was still trying to lay on my right side because the sharp pain over my left hip worsened. The epidural helped with my contractions but not the new sharp pain. The nurse had a concerned look on her face and then let me know the baby’s heart rate was dropping. She then asked me to lay flat on my back to see if we could get it back up. When I repositioned the sharp pain got worse and I cried in pain. The baby’s heart rate picked back up on my back so I had to deal with the pain. I asked for another epidural. They administered it and yet I still felt everything. It didn’t take. At this point I was going to have to deal with the pain.
I was told my doctor was still in surgery with another mother but would be done shortly…
My contractions were now at 100%. Each hit was a blow to my spirit. I felt like I was getting beaten down by a force I had no strength to fight at this point. That’s it. I was over it. I made my mind up that I couldn’t take anymore and I was pushing whether they liked it or not.
I told my husband to prepare to catch the baby because I was pushing, doctor or not. My Aunt ran to get the nurse to let her know of my decision. My mom sitting to the left in the room with tears in her eyes and a helpless and frantic look. My husband calm and cool kept monitoring my vitals and providing me with ice chips when needed.
I sat up and started pushing. I couldn’t believe how much pain I was in. It was unbearable but I was bearing it and at this point all I could think was let’s get this over with.
My body was exhausted. I was overheating and started feeling sick. The nurse came in and set everything up and told me when to push. I pushed and felt like I had to throw up so my husband gave me a bag to throw up in. I would push and then throw up. I yelled, “Get this thing out of me!” (at the time we didn’t know the sex which is why thing was appropriate). I yelled again, “Cut it out”. These were cries of pure desperation. After an hour had passed I broke: spirit, mind, body. I was done. “You can see the head!” said my Aunt. I cried uncontrollably. My Aunt grabbed my shoulder and said, “You can do this! Don’t give up. You have to do this!” The nurse stepped in and said you have to pull it together the baby’s heart rate keeps dropping. My husband on the left with a calm voice said, “She’s right there! I can see her. Just one more push!” The fear of losing my child set in and I focused on everyones words. I straightened up and followed commands. All I could think was that I might lose my baby. I prayed in hopes that the baby would be ok. The sharp pain above the left hip was stronger than ever and yet I ignored it to focus on pushing. The doctor stepped in and placed both hands in and pushed down. A hard stretch and I came off the table in agony. He then had to cut down to help the baby come out. He asked for the Kiwi which is a suction device. He placed it below and told me to push. I took a deep breath and used every ounce of strength I had left. The doctor saw a dark purple head and then a cord wrapped around the neck. The heart rate dropped. The doctor tried to get his finger under the umbilical cord but couldn’t because it was pulled too tight. He looked up and asked me to breath out slowly and that loosened the cord enough for him to lift it up and over the head. The remainder of the cord was wrapped around the tiny body.
Looking in the mirror hanging from the ceiling I could see a little purple body come out. “You have a little girl!” the doctor said. No cries. I was horrified that she wasn’t breathing. Finally a slight movement from her little arms. The doctor allowed my husband to cut the umbilical cord. I felt them lay her body on top of mine and I felt her tiny belly, arms, legs, toes. The feeling at that moment truly is indescribable. My eyes were closed and I just held her close to me and said to my husband, “Look what we did!”
My introduction to motherhood was more difficult than I could have ever imagined. I looked at this blessing that I just worked so hard to get and praised the heavens for her life. Two big beautiful eyes stared up at me as she fed for the first time and my whole being was flooded with more love than I had ever felt before. My tiny miracle. She was perfect. Nothing else at that moment mattered. I forgot about the pain and just marveled over God’s creation. Perfect marvel.
The most difficult and painful time in my life gave me the most beautiful and fascinating gift. The miracle of life. The beauty of the battle.
PICTURE this: A fusion of light and movement through projection art curated by the most forward thinking digital artists, designers, and filmmakers.
Snap! Orlando brought out the big beamers outshining any other art show I’ve been able to venture to. An exhibition that will make any normal person turn into a photomaniac over night. BYOB Orlando (Bring Your Own Beamer) was a one night event that left me wanting more.
Here are a few of my favorite shots from the night with a brief description of the interactive play…
A morphing algorithm allowing the background to change shapes and colors in a mesmerizing way.
This interactive installation and cymatics projection involved a whole lot of work behind the scenes. Basically this awesome tech guru, Ginger, used a programming language known as Processing to create a code that would analyze color change through audio from this other artist’s GIF which in turn would send out a frequency to a speaker which activated cymatic visuals ending up as a lovely projection of light reflecting off the surface of the water showcasing patterns of sound vibrations.
A better breakdown of this masterpiece and artist check out: SPECTRE’M
Interactive motion sensored Van Gogh. Yes please.
Profresh Photo Cred: Mark
I’m always up for the next big adventure and my next one includes a baby aka “it” – for now.
My husband and I decided to wait until “it’s” born to find out the sex because I’m sure you’ll agree that there are very little surprises in life and what an amazing one this will be. We also decided to keep the name(s) to ourselves because lets face it… opinions from others on our future “it” is better left unsaid.
What an amazing experience this pregnancy has been.
The first trimester (3 months) was about as pleasant as sitting on a cactus. Your hormones are all over the place. Annoyed* is your newfound adjective. You basically eat to “toss your salad”. Oh and you have now acquired a newfound super power (sense of smell) that gives you the nose equivalent to that of a Bloodhound. Prepare to smell everyone’s stink and turn your head when they speak to you directly or carry tic tacs on hand prepared for battle.
Before you swear off having children there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The second trimester…
So far (knock on wood) this has been smooth sailing thanks to an amazing husband and support from great friends and family.
My appetite has picked up quite a bit with pickles, strawberries, ice cream, burgers with bacon and other weird cravings on the weekly grocery list.
My body has changed a little. I have always been active and into running and swimming so the bun in the oven is baking in a small space, thankfully.
The first movements are weird… at first you may think you have gas bubbles but it’s the peanut swimming and squirming in its little oasis. They become more prevalent as you grow and you’ll get a strong karate kick or jab here and there. I notice it more before bed and after eating spicy foods or when I listen to dope beats (a musician in the making).
I also like to be completely honest about the experience of having your first child… it’s really scary, weird, and amazing all at the same time. I mean, you start thinking about what’s taking place in your body and the fact that you will have actual food for your newborn coming straight from your bosom. It’s weird. My husband asked why I thought it was weird and my explanation was this, “Could you imagine having milk streaming from any of your body parts?” Mmhmm weird.
I am so thankful though for this weird but amazing experience God has granted us. It is a blessing to even be able to conceive and I cannot wait to hold this life in my hands that I am growing inside of me and will be able to bring into this world. It is truly a miracle in the making.
The first time I saw my sonogram my husband and I were doing missionary work in Guatemala. A Cuban doctor took me in and showed us on the screen what looked to be a small human like formation that was intense to see for the first time. You process the fact that there is a human growing inside of you that will be the most important part of your life. There is no better feeling in the world. (Side note: a sonogram that cost us $27US)
My priority now is to live a life that I would want my child to live. My goal is to be what I want it to be and I want it to see what I want it to be. You feel me?
People say they will change their lifestyle when they have a child but I believe you should start emulating the character you want to see in your future children before you conceive. Simply put, the “do as I say not as I do” is out and the “do as I do” is in; A simple goal for us to strive for paving a brighter future for our children, their children, and ourselves.
Oh and please feel free to share any advice for the “it” in the making by leaving a comment. I love hearing stories from other parents and what helped them make their life a bit easier before, during, and after birth: Books, strollers, holistic alternatives for babies and all that jazz.
Ps. A time capsule message for my little angel ❤
“Your father and I cannot wait to meet you, see your first steps, watch you grow and learn, and show you all the beauty the world has to offer. Your daddy touches your little cocoon/ my belly once a day just to let you know he’s there. We look forward to showing you an abundance of love that will be with you long after we are gone. You will be our greatest creation yet.”
Creeping up on the music scene is this newbie with fresh beats Baowolf!
His sounds are chill synths with an electronic flare. This underground artist is pretty hard to track due to the rookie status but I see a bright future ahead for this producer. All I know is that his name is Will. He likes pizza and beats so he must be cool. Not to mention has an amazing ear for the creation of new sounds which is what I personally crave.
Show Baowolf some love and help share the tunes!