Observe don’t Absorb

Life is process and how to live out that process is becoming quite an art. So many people want to interject their ideals or what they call suggestions. So much nonsense in politics, at the job, in our families,  well in life!

Observe don't Absorb

Practicing the art of Observing versus absorbing could make the difference between living  encouraged versus  living  oppressed. Observing takes on the quality in being aware, watching, noticing while Absorbing is to take in or engross entirely.  If I can stand back, in a sense, and watch things transpire  without becoming so emotionally tangled in the web.  To  observe  is t strengthen the  boundary muscle.

In the mental health field I would compare it to being oriented times 3;  Oriented to person, place, date, and time. When  oriented observation becomes a catalyst to my awareness of the moment. A Buddhist quote goes, "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. That process happens when we observe don't absorb. 

Absorbing on the other hand is  as if I were a sponge allowing the emotionality to infuse my very being. To allow  others to dictate how I feel or how I will act or my decisions.  Cognitive Behavioral Therapist  believe thoughts lead to feeling  feelings lead us to action.  I add on actions lead character. In my practice I work with clients to overcome the absorption of judgment,  abandonment, disappointment, of racism, of hurt and pain. The absorption (s)have robed life from far to many who have allowed the infusion of what others think matters or what others say matters.

I had a child, age six, come to session. On my desk I had a little yellow duck. The child was fidgeting with the duck and began to ask me questions of the duck. One of the questions was why does the ducks not get wet.  In my very limited understanding of ducks I knew enough that the oil  on the duck's feather makes them waterproof. "Oh," responded the young lad "We should be like the duck and not let madness get inside of us." I thought to myself  out of the mouth of babes: Observe don't absorb.





I watched the squirrel balancing on the branch on the tree outside my living room window. The squirrel , who we will call Maxie, wasn’t concerned about  balance, who is president or where his next nut will come from.  Maxie had no concern  that i was watching .  Maxie appeared not to be impacted by the cares of this world.  Maxie was just being and doing his squirrel thing.

In our present America, many individuals are living with cares. Cares of being separated from their families. Care of being stopped by the police. Cares of prejudice. Cares of rejection. Cares of being alone. Cares of not being believed. You fit in your care…..

What if we could live with equanimity. The English word equanimity refers to a state of being calm and balanced, especially in the midst of difficulty.  I am not proposing that we turn the other cheek when it come to our cares. I am suggesting that we offer equanimity instead of fear or anxiety.  Remaining calm in the care thereby cultivating a balance-an inner stability despite surrounded by turmoil.  Teaching ourselves not to be lead by our emotions and or biases. More so, that we notice what we feel without allowing them to drive or behaviors.  Once we reach the state of equanimity we can be generous to ourselves and others.

What would that generosity look like?  The generosity I speak of is not of a monetary value. The generosity I reference is one in which we give with compassion, conviction, attentively, and without negatively affecting others. We start by offering ourselves generosity of self compassion.

“You can search the entire universe  for someone who is more deserving of your love  and affection than you are yourself and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.”   Buddha

After we offer ourselves generosity we can offer  others generosity. I may not agree with “their” perspective; Yet, I can let you be and have your space.

I share from a personal viewpoint. I have family members that I feel are judgmental and hurtful. Despite their misunderstand  of my equanimity for apathy or coldness I know what I cultivating.  I am choosing to life a live of generosity. They choose not to see because of their own imbalance. Equanimity is a  process and others are welcome to join me on the journey or not. Thanks Maxie for lavishing my morning with equanimity.

Carpe Diem,


Moment by Moment Happiness

Yesterday is like a dream.  Yesterday cannot be duplicated nor reconstructed.  Yesterday is a thought, a memory, a distant today.

Today has been like no other. Cannot be duplicated. Cannot be reconstructed as today has been filled with intentional and non intentional moments. All the days of our lives till now has been  constructed to to unfold today

Tomorrow is too early to tell what the day shall behold. As much as we would like to foresee how the day will unfold or what will come our way we must wait.

Life happens in the here and now and that is where the wealth of happiness is contained..  Living in the past keeps us bound to memories void of life in the present. Living for the future keeps us un-rooted to the present.  Living in the present allows us to be emotionally aware, engaging,  and live with meaning.

Just this past weekend my daughter was married. The morning of the wedding my thoughts of yesterday’s flooded my mind. Yesterday when she was born. Yesterday when she first walked.  Yesterday when she was a gymnast.  Yesterday when she was commissioned as an Army Officer. My thoughts shifted to the future which made me anxious because so many scenarios are possible.

The wedding day afternoon I beheld the beauty of my daughter standing in her wedding dress. Yesterday didn’t matter, the future was not important. All that mattered was  the present moments of joy, tears, smiles, and celebration. There will be pictures of the event; yet, nothing can take the place of the feeling at that particular juncture of time.

Life is made of moments; moments are made for happiness. If we wait until happiness finds us we shall be waylaid by happenstance. Reality dictates that not all moments are happy filled; yet, more often than not happiness outweighs challenges of life.

This moment can not be duplicated nor reconstructed. This moment is to be cherished. All the days of our lives have brought us to this moment…

Carpe Diem

An Informed Past / Attachment

Much time has passed.  Yet, so much has remained the same. Where shall I begin as 2017 is about to end? With a bit of both.  Let’s begin at my latest Ah Ha moment. Attachment.   Having studied Attachment for my Masters in Social Work the theory of Attachment was not a new topic. However,  sitting the in room with over  100  Eye Movement Desensitization (EMDR) practitioners a curiosity  about my own attachment was stirred within my being.

We can look into the work of psychoanalyst John Bowlby or the work of psychologist Mary Ainsworth  to  give us  an understanding of  the theory of Attachment. In a nut shell, the way in which our primary caregiver related to us in during our developmental years  informs how trusting we are of others,  our self esteem and or how we socialize with others (in particular to relationships).  The four types of attachments are:  Secure, Anxious preoccupied, Dismissive avoidant, Fearful avoidant.

Secure attachments are the anomaly of sorts.  Not meaning to be cynical but think  about how many people you know live their lives out with an ultra  self secure sense, or  in an ideal relationship, or with minimal anxiety or stress, or with a harmonious sense of self.  When  stuff happens in life they are cool as a cucumber. Confidence exudes and that this is real type of confidence not just fake it till you make it type.   Their caregiver was lovingly present and provided the nurturing in which they felt, well secure.

The Anxious preoccupied  individual is just not quite sure. Being  self-critical and insecure gives platform to needing other’s reassurance.  Will they stay? Do they like me? this person has the tendency to go through emotional highs and lows because they so want to feel the acceptance and when they do feel the acceptance a surge of doubt arises that says this won’t last. Let us not forget that this person is difficult to satisfy because  of the tendency to want control and be somewhat dramatic. At times the primary caregiver was  nurturing and responsive while at other times the caregiver was  intrusive, insensitive or emotionally unavailable.

Dismissive avoidant.  This guy or gal is independent , non trusting, cynical, less likely to fall deeply in love , is well not so emotionally expressive and experiences  little anxiety. I do me you do you  with times of  dabbling but mind you keeping my personal emotions at bay.  This person maintains a  composure of a secure life built on one’s own terms. You see,  if I live an emotionally apathetic personal life then I won’t get hurt.  Dismissive types have poor access to early emotional memories. The caregiver was not reliable.

Fearful avoidant (Disorganized-insecure) Anxiety exists because the need for relationship  while fear of rejection and abandonment feeds into the anxiety.  This person struggles with  rejection, abandonment and intimacy. Often passive-aggressive tendencies are prevalent with  low self esteem and feeling of  inadequacy and does not deserve to be loved.  The caregiver was absent emotionally and or physically.

After the EMDR training I began to think about my own unaddressed attachment style and the impact of what that style on my life decisions and actions  Full disclosure, my childhood memories are suppressed. I have allowed a life time of Dismissive avoidant tendencies to dictate my life’s journey.  I can choose to live stuck in my attachment style allowing life to happen to me  as informed by my past or I can create a  the life I want. Am I willing to venture into the unknown and take a chance on community, on love, on living an authentic  life? Yes, I am positioned for the journey. Will you join me?

Carpe Diem,



My Closet Disclosed

As I  woke up and I glanced to my left and caught a view of my closet. I started to wonder about all that the closet held and hid; from the articles too large to hide under my bed to clothes that fit too tight though remain there hanging in hopes of once again to drape my body.

What  would the closet disclose about my personality and or my emotional state(s).  What would it say about the memorable I wish not to discard? With my curiosity piqued I began to explore. I know that eating is often influenced by emotional states.   Comfort foods, in particular,  simply makes us feel happy if only for a moment. The reward region of our brain is activated by these energy-dense, high fat and sweets similar to the activation of addiction. Back to our closet. For the most part my clothes are categorized by color, article, and size. Blouses hang with blouses, dresses with dresses, skirts with skirts….you get the idea. What could this or does this say about my personality or emotional states? I first took on what my closet would say about my emotions.

Emotions are evaluations about ones perspective in  having  goals met or and or experiencing a sense of satisfaction. In the Psychology of colors, colors impact one’s  mental and emotional states. Thereby, if colors affect our emotional and mental states would we not be drawn to purchase certain color of clothes more so than others because of the impact upon our moods. Let’s explore. Black is reflect authority, strength, intelligence and grief.  Blue is a chill color lowering blood pressure and emanating confidence. Although blue can come across as uncaring or cold.  Brown is like Linus’ blanket bringing  comfort and reliability. Green is easy on the eyes and gives  off a sense of happiness, fertility and health. Orange is like your best friend happy to hang out together. Purple demands respect, reflects prosperity, and is the exotic color. Red like the fire raises blood pressure and is exciting!  White is homey and sterile. Let’s not forget yellow. Yellow plays with our emotions, so use only in small doses. Pink gives off a sense of romance, a calmness and gentleness. Real men can wear pink by the way. I gaze over my color schemes and notice the blues and the browns with splashes of green and red trying to make a breakthrough.  So, I’m confident, reliable and trying to capture happiness and passion.

Moving on, what does my closet disclose about my personality. Keeping it simple I stayed with the basic three types of personalities, A, B and D. I don’t know what happened to C.

The A type personality types are individuals who are competitive and overachievers. People in this category have a difficult time knowing how to relax and stop to smell the roses because they are focused on the end result and or the goal.  Clothes for Type A are meant to  make a bold statement and  to be noticed. They have outfits for every occasion and the right outfit at that! Type B individuals are not in rush and take things as they come.  They are very creative with their wardrobe as they are freethinkers and expressive. They pick up whatever is on the floor and make it work. Their wardrobe is filled with  casual comfortable, and easy to care for clothes.Type D, poor type D. Individuals in this type are the worriers. Their lives are filled with much negativity as evidenced by their irritability, keeping to themselves and limited with their emotional expression. Their  glass is half empty.  Type D closet  are filled with classic pieces because it worked then it should work now. Staying with the tried and true takes away some of life’s anxieties. I glance in my closet and sigh relief; my  closet shouts out I am a mixture of type A and B.  In full disclosure,  depending on my frame of mind  I did purchase certain items. which takes us to what my closet says about my emotional states.

Memorabilia stored in my closet are treasures which cannot be discarded. My oldest daughter in preschool made a little girl out of a coffee filter and named the filter Sarah. Months later her sister was born and her name…Sarah. Who can throw the coffee filter away? Or the first hand written card by a grandchild that reads, ” I love you Nana.” These highly sentimental objects which stir the heart and or  capture an important event have a right to be treasured.

What’s does your closet say about you? Embrace the experience of looking into your closet. If you like what you see enjoy. If you find that your closet is not representing the person you long to be take the challenge and make a change pressing on to live your best life yet!

Salus Vita




Pain has a way of masking the truth.

As a young girl into my teens my family lived in the West side of town.  Today the area is called Little Italy.  I will correct myself at this point as  most of my immediate family inhabited the home as my dad would be in and out  of our lives until around the age of eleven. True to form in the cycle of violence my parents were caught in the web.  The fights between them were not only verbal in nature they became quite physical.   Mom would be in denial and be lured in by the honeymoon stage which was followed by tension building  then the acute explosion.  Johnny and Brenda (neighbors to our right) would often come and take the two apart or if not the police would make their presence known. To make matters worse both my parents struggled with alcohol.

My siblings and I never spoke of the drama that was unfolding in our home. Each of my siblings including myself would find ways to deal with our domestic situation. We each took on a family role. My oldest sister would be the caretaker, my second to oldest sister would be the hero, my brother the scapegoat and I the mascot. These roles helped our family function and would also inform future social interactions at times to our benefit and other times to our detriment.

Being Puerto Rican was not a heritage I had not wanted to embrace. I witnessed machismo, poverty, pain, struggle, violence, and pain. I became a runner figuratively speaking.  I thought if I could get away from the mess things would change. They problem with that theory is that wherever you go there you still are with all the baggage you left with.

Running worked for some time. Thanks to the Father of my children and the Army we lived in 12 different place and in Europe. All of which took me away from the pain of childhood and young adulthood. At times pain would  peek it’s head for me to only suppress the feeling because if anyone knew how I felt it would ruin the facade I created of a happy pain free life.

I recall when the time came and I could no longer mask the pain of the past. If I someone would have listened perhaps life’s course would have altered. But I found not and life’s course did change. I had to face the ghosts of my past and deal with the disappointment, the hurt, the disillusionment, and the pain.

I found that it wasn’t my Puerto Rican culture’s fault, no it was decisions made by people. And in every culture people are experiencing similar growth opportunities. My traumatic experiences tarnished my perspectives. With the knowledge of that truth I would no longer allow the hurtful past to hide away my true self.

When I dismissed my culture I dismissed a rich part of self that today I am fully embracing with pride and joy. I am Latina and Proud.

Salus VIta


The Art of Today

Tomorrow Never Comes

Tomorrow never comes. For today is today and not tomorrow. Now yesterday’s exist and often attempt to haunt our today.

Today. What experiences await us today that will not be allowed to come into fruition because we allow our tomorrows to taint our hopes and aspirations? We allow our past to not only inform our present; much more, we allow our past to dictate our future. We allow the hurt and pain to be the canvas of which we paint we our lives. We become the pain, the disappoint, the failure.

Our past is comprised of memories. These memories complied together give the basis to our personal narratives. Some memories bring joy while others wrought pain. Interesting that most often our painful memories appear to inform us most as opposed to the happy memories. The primary reason for that processing is that as human being we desire to avoid pain as much as possible so we remember as to not forget.

What we do forget is that we are not our pain, disappointment or failures. One of my Grad Professors at A & M University, Tonya Perry would say those times are growth opportunities. So we took chance and found out that perhaps it just didn’t work and so we now know how not to do XYZ. We trusted and that trust was violated; yet I learned so much about myself and others. We loved and we were not loved in return; yet, I am a better person for loving. I sacrificed to only be rejected or the sacrifice was not received with gratitude. In that case I can never have the regret of not living true to self and miss the experience of giving unconditionally. Each of us are survivors and resilient beyond our own belief. We are living testimonies.

We will always have Nay Sayers. Despite those individuals today I will live out my best life yet, the best life I know to live. Today I will allow the past to inform my present though I will not allow my past to dictate my future. I will not allow the sexual abuse, the intimate partner violence or the abandonment to mar the treasures of today. I will not lived today waiting for tomorrow for tomorrow never comes. Today I will trust in my Soul Mate and the gift of love that my higher power has bestowed upon my life.

Memories can be rewritten. It only takes changing our perspective and the courage to live today!

Salus Vita

The Birth of A Soul Mate

 According to a Chinese Proverb gods tie an invisible red cord around the ankles of those that are destined to meet one another in a certain situation or help each other in a certain way. .The two people connected by the red thread are destined lovers, regardless of place, time, or circumstances.

Wrapped up in human flesh this person is like no other for they are your Soul Mate. With this person the essence of  true self  flows fourth freely. This person is not like a partner. A partner is a person with whom an endeavor is  undertaken with the benefits of sharing, shall we say,  in the goods and while taking  emotional risks. A companion is not a Soul Mate;. A Companion keeps one company almost like a pet. No offense to pet owners.  Ah, but a Soul Mate, the Soul Mate  enriches your spirit while on the journey adding to the richness of your life and the nurturing of your soul.

Others may enter our lives and we settle and or compromise because  the relationships is good enough to fill the needs  of the moments. Yet, our hearts quietly groans for the strong connection of which can only be felt with the Soul Mate.  As time passes a love so deep and strong evolves. A  type of love that  permeates every fiber of your being.   Being with this  person makes the world feel gentler.

And it is the passage, that soul-seeking traverse, beyond movement of time and familiar spaces that propels the journey of two kindred spirits toward a common and knowing place that exist in their hearts and souls alone.Soul mates, regardless of previous searches and other unions joined and deeds pledged have an internal knowing that is recognized an acknowledged upon the inevitable crossing of their passage along the walk of life. has been stated that the normal dictates of being, that sensation of feeling alive with purposes seemingly beyond all circumstances and constructs previously outlined as the parameters of their existence, changes upon the introduction of soul mates to one another. The sensations that floods the senses of soul mates, once introduced is akin to finally finding the right shoe for a foot.Passages of movement of healthy emotions suddenly flow like mighty waters beyond obstacles designed to challenge and otherwise obstruct the normally flow being dissipates like dew from grass once exposed to the rays of the mighty sun. A new day has dawned for soul mates through the embodiment and acceptance of their shared destiny toward wherever their hearts and desires lead them. 

Moving On

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
Robert Frost

Families, are an odd breed. They come in different shapes, sizes, and with opinions. Often, and more often then desired their opinions  are what stings the most as the family appears to  spare no sentiments in expressing their disappointment through verbal and or non verbal expressions. Their  standpoints are often felt as  forms of rejection.  The type of rejection which penetrates  so deeply into the  soul that ones self efficacy begins to wane. Yearning for the sense of approval  and love I find myself, yet again, living for them and losing self.   Do I not have voice?  Do my desires and dreams not have value?  Do I not have a right to be happy or take chances to prosper or even fail? I have awaken.   I have chosen the path less traveled.

What would a family be like if we embraced one other aside from preconceived perspectives?  A family in where love is unconditionally offered and  unreservedly received. Where each individual is respected inclusive of their choices or lifestyles.  At times I have caught  glimpses of that love only to have  the impression erased by my loved ones discontented approval. In the past, I would allow their influence to shift my moods as I would strive to earn their love though deeds for I felt they had chosen to stop listening.  As I practiced my state of awareness through meditation I began to loosen the grips of acceptance and began to allow myself to live outside the constraints of approval. I  understanding for love to blossom it must be rooted from   within the reservoir of the soul.  Resentment, un-forgiveness, and prejudice drain the reservoir. I will keep my reservoir filled. I have chosen the path less traveled.

I had been traveling down the  road through the woods on a path of which I had perceived to be my only option.  The road seemed so familiar as I began my journey; senses  of unhappiness, unauthentic, and the stifling air often had be gasping for air; yet, I trudged on to the contentment of the others.  My life began to feel inanimate without passion. Oh, I was doing good job; yet, my inner self was fading. Not by chance I met sojourners on the road. At some undisclosed point to me they had begun to look for another road as their lives had become spiritless. Our lives converged and together we grew courageous to venture off the  familiar path and down a different path that would lead us out of the woods.  I have chosen the path less traveled.

As I left the familiar path onto the path less trodden I have encountered a vast wide world full of life and love.  Today, what I do not allow others to do is mandate what road I shall travel.  I may ask others for their input then assess the discoveries. I choose my path. Today, I can live in a world  in which I can dance, dare to dream, I can have partner, and share my story.  I have chosen the path less traveled.

In my Poly Anna new birth world, I choose to believe  good things will happen despite growth opportunities  or our troubled political state. I choose to find goodness in all things in the midst of ashes.  Habits of self compassion, meditation,  along with my mantra .”All things are as they should be” propel me forward to live my bests life it!  So much to  explore and experience! So much to embrace!  I have chosen the road less traveled

Salus Vita





A Walk in the Park

A Walk in the Park

As I walk through Meridian Park in Northwest DC the sense of happiness fills my soul. The walk through the park is the highlight of my day. The sunny is shining just right and the temperature is in  the mid 70’s; it’s a lovely Spring day. I hear  the melody of the birds and listen to their distinct sounds.  Despite my inability to  recognize their messages they continue on with their soliloquies. I catch myself keeping in tempo to  the drum beat I hear from afar.  I glance around my environment and notice several couples walk holding while other pairs are encroaching upon one another’s  personal space with a hug. They don’t seem to mind. There’s a group organizing themselves for a game of Frisbee. A little girl takes her Nana’s hand and they skip together while laughing.. A man lays sprawled out on the bench with a book laying on his chest, he couldn’t resist a  siesta.  A dog owner throws a tennis ball so that his Golden Retriever can retrieve. The dog returns with the ball. The owner pats the dogs head. The dog wags his tail in delight.

I stop to become part of the park experience. I sit on a bench that is being partly occupied by a man speaking Aramaic into his telephone. I hear people pass by speaking Spanish. The group playing Frisbee appear to be about the same age; yet,  the group is comprised of individuals from various ethnic cultures. They laugh, fall down, and talk together. The mother and daughter pass by speaking, what I believe is Czech.

We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion.                                                  Max de Pree

A Happy Brain A Happy Self

We, as human beings have a   Limbic and Cortex system. The cortex system is associated  with the higher brain functions, as voluntary movement, coordination of sensory information, learning and memory, and the expression of individuality. The Limbic system  informs our bodies to what is good or bad. When our Limbic system senses danger and or fear they system activates the survival instinct and are response will either be  fight, flight or freeze; their by producing Cortisol. If experience is good then the feel good chemicals such as  Endorphins , Oxycontin, Serotonin, and dopamine are produced..

The front of our brains has a special neurons called “mirror neurons” that exist to help us understand and empathize with one another.  Dopamine is the reward-driven behavior and pleasure seeking chemical . Endorphin is the pain killer chemical  released through exercise and laughter.  Oxycontin  is the building block in bonding, trust, and strong healthy bonds. Serotonin, the happy chemical, is released when you feel accomplished and or satisfied.  Just a note:  Vitim D produced by the sun is an easy way to get your body to produce Serotonin.  The Park experience helped my brain produce happy  brain chemicals.

People I observed at the park were  existing  together at the park without fear or threat. Happy Chemicals, unbeknownst to the majority of the individuals, were being produced and began to ooze and  pour  from their inner beings. How do I know, I heard their laughter, I saw it in their body language and the aliveness in their eyes.; I experienced and benefited from the  process.

We are social beings, we need each other to thrive and survive.

Salus Vita