Stay Gone!


original1As a follow on to my last post, I’m sharing the poem below by the oh-so-talented Marty McConnell. The piece is life affirming and brilliant. All too often, we often go back to the same dead-end, toxic relationship. Hoping this time around, things will be different. Holding out hope. It’s so much easier than accepting the alternative; the relationship is over. Has been, for a long time.

IF like me, you’ve done this time and again, or you’re thinking about going back, please read the piece below. A few times, to get the gist of it. You must stay GONE. I don’t mean just physically either! Isn’t it time to live your truth? It took me years to realize: NEVER settle for someone, who isn’t absolutely, insanely, and foolishly happy to be with you!

Leaving is not enough.You must stay gone. Train your heart like a dog. Change the locks even on the house he’s never visited. You lucky, lucky girl. You have an apartment just your size. A bathtub full of tea. A heart the size of Arizona, but not nearly so arid. Don’t wish away your cracked past, your crooked toes, your problems are papier mache puppets you made or bought because the vendor at the market was so compelling you just had to have them. You had to have him. And you did.

And now you pull down the bridge between your houses, you make him call before he visits, you take a lover for granted, you take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic. Make the first bottle you consume in this place a relic. Place it on whatever altar you fashion with a knife and five cranberries. Don’t lose too much weight. Stupid girls are always trying to disappear as revenge. And you are not stupid. You loved a man with more hands than a parade of beggars, and here you stand. Heart like a four-poster bed. Heart like a canvas. Heart leaking something so strong they can smell it in the street.”  Frida Kahlo to Marty McConnell by Marty McConnell.

Until the next post,

Best,

Juan

Keep Shining Dear Ones


IMG_20160806_084853

Photo Credit : Instagram

Hello Friends,

I wanted to reach out to anyone struggling with self-doubt. The kind either created by our own minds, or the people we surround ourselves with. I don’t know what your circumstances are, I could never know. However, I can tell you, what others think about you, is none of your business.

Keep doing good. Keep working on yourself. Keep striving. Only you truly know your journey, and what it took to get there.  No one can write your story, and even if they did, how will it turn out?

Do your thing, and do it unapologetically. People will criticize, but you probably know what they are going to say. The same thing that makes your pulse beat faster, your eyes sparkle, when talking about it, do it. As often as you can, for as long as you can.

It has taken a lot of resolve and persistence to get where you are. You didn’t come this far to quit. In the words of R Scott Fitzgerald: “For what it’s worth, it’s never too late to be whosoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. And if you find that you’re not, I hope you find the strength to start over”

Live. Love. Laugh.

Until the next post,

Best,

Juan

 

Freedom Is Not Free.


 

aphiliprandolph212163America celebrated Independence yesterday. All around the city of Brooklyn, people came out with the familiar celebratory BBQ  get up; food and drinks to feed a small army, grills, loud music, and of course, family, friends, and loved ones, to mark the nation’s annual tradition. Amidst the flurry of activity, I couldn’t help but reflect on what makes us truly free. Can we be truly free of any and everything?

Rhetorical question, yes. There will always be a crisis to handle, problem to solve, and some part of our world to be put to right. Isn’t life a constant changing of the guards from one problem to another? If we are to grow and learn from experience, then these challenges are necessary, right? Isn’t this what those self-improvement guru’s want us to believe? I have also blogged about the need to remain steady and firm in the face of difficulties.

My thoughts then turned to the things I can control. My actions and how much they impact my future happiness. There is no personalized life book that comes with any of us at birth. We make what we think is the best decision, and hope for the right outcome.  I guess I can only look back now, at the battles the past few years, and ponder heavily on how one decision changed the course of my life. Forever.

Stay with me.

The year started out with major disappointments. Two days in, and the bad news opened like flood gates. Adding to the existing string of difficult issues already being tended to. They kept coming. Granted, I have to accept and appreciate all the good. The small and big moments of happiness, that have help me through the most difficult few years of my life. Some of which have been noted on my Earth strong post. You can’t have the great without the struggle. The only prayer I offer up these days is one of hope, for things to turn around.

I used to attend church regularly. Served the members of my congregation in every capacity possible. Did all the right things. For a very long time. Somewhere along the line, all that changed. As a result of one decision. Call it the consequences of veering off the path, or some type of karmic shift, I don’t know, but the ensuing years have been very harsh. I was free to make this decision, but not free of the consequences. No one ever is. Freedom does come at a cost. Always.

I’m writing my memoir. It is a project I’ve started and stopped many times. Why a memoir? I mean, everyone has a story, but not everyone is sharing it with the world. You WILL understand, once it’s published. I’ve abandoned all completion timelines. The story needs to be written and accurately. However, it is coming. Months or years from now, it will come.

When you get to a certain age, for all intents and purposes, it appears you must go through a few years of extreme hardship. I’m aware some people have more. Whether it’s the loss of an important relationship, financial downfall, home, or anything that means something. I remain grateful to the universe though, for the things, experiences, and good, wholesome people I’ve been blessed to cross paths with.

I hope this refiner’s fire I am going through leads to something glorious. Since I no longer hold many of the beliefs about Deity I used to, I only have to believe the universe is preparing me for an elevation of gigantic proportions. I also hope whatever karmic debt I owed in my previous life, will soon be repaid. Then there is the question of whether or not, I ever owed any “debts” to speak of.

I hope the struggles of the past few years continue to strengthen my battle weary shoulders. Among my friends, I’m always admired for qualities such as fortitude, resilience, and inspiration. Sometimes I get tired of the fight. Don’t you? Tired of having to keep a brave face all the time. A partner once told me : ‘You’re strong woman, you don’t need anyone’. Sadly, he failed to recognize underneath all the strength, is a woman who wished he would see the silent battles I fought. Another time and universe I guess.

I also know, if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten (Tony Robbins). My heart and soul hungers to be free of so much. I’m working on it. I think it’s time to make life a whole lot simpler. Continue working on my bucket list….I hate that phrase, but it applies for now

I hope wherever you are, and however this post reaches you, life has been kind to you. I hope you and your family are well, and happy. I wish you enough. Of everything.

Until the next post,

 

Best,

 

Juan

Life Is A Party.


life_is_kind_of_like_a_party_There is a lot I could say, about the true beauty, simplicity, and meaning, of the words in the photo above. However, there are situations, where you just let the words speak for themselves.

I hope, however, if you’re reading this post, there is at least one person in your life, who helps you to clean up the mess.

You deserve it. We all do.

Until the next post,

Love and Light,

Juan.

#selflove#


MAIN-Lil-Kim-Then-and-Now(Lil Kim, then and now. Photo: google images)

Sadly, we live in a society where, as women, we’re constantly being barraged with suggestions on how we should look, dress, and act. New moms are often fielding questions about losing baby weight. The internet has become a hot bed for cyber bullying and fat shaming. Health problems are sometimes the root cause, but it makes very little difference.

Husbands often emotionally manipulate their wives, by comparing them to friends, strangers, exes, and everyone in between. Others are sexually harassed, stalked, threatened, and worse. The world as we know it, has changed. The restructuring started ages ago. Tragically, we’re just now beginning to pay attention.

I’m not a fan of Lil Kim’s music, but this radical change highlights the fact, that as women, we need to love ourselves. Body Dysmorphic Disorder is real. No amount of male companionship, closet full of shoes and clothes, nice home/car, money in the bank, etc, can replace self-love. All these things are “white noise”, and will eventually come through the back door.

Spend time with people who build you up, and appreciate you. We teach people how to treat us, by what we allow. No one will ever love you, more than you could love yourself. No one. Sad it’s come to this, for a person who was so beautiful to begin with! My heart aches for her. Despite  money, fame, and status in life, she is obviously not content with who she is.

Lil Kim has admitted to having low self-esteem. Her father, a person who should have been her champion and supporter, failed at his calling. The opportunity to develop self-love, sense of self, and nurture her spirit never stood a chance. It’s a well-known fact, women date men who remind them of their father.

Lil Kim’s romantic relationships suffered. The men didn’t appreciate her, or what she brought to the table. She stated partners eventually left for women who were “lighter” and prettier. She felt she couldn’t compete with them. The picture above has created a firestorm of ridicule and scorn, from fans and trolls alike. It’s sad and sickening.

Half of these keyboard warriors do not see a woman in pain. They do not see a woman who looks in the mirror and (probably) says to herself: “I’m not good enough. Never will be. Maybe if I change this, it might make a difference….” For someone to go to this length, the amount of emotional and mental anguish must be overwhelming.

I can’t imagine the battles she fights every day. Struggles which continually rage in her every waking moment. Instead of subjecting her to such derisive language, we can offer support, and prayers. She is a fellow human being struggling on her journey through life. We can and should do better.

The importance of loving ourselves cannot be stressed enough. Although the bullying is mainly directed at women, I know a small majority of men have faced similar issues. Nothing and no one will replace self-love. I recognize for some, learning to love themselves, is a lifetime struggle.

Keep going. Surround yourself with people who nourish your soul and spirit. If there is anyone in your life who treats you with the least bit of disrespect, move on. The damage is sometimes irreparable. The longer you wait, the harder it is to heal. You deserve to be loved, adored, cherished, and looked after, in a kind, caring, and tender manner.

You’ve got one life, body, soul, spirit. Start appreciating your talent, abilities, individuality, the goodness that is you. Dont ever let anyone, make you feel as if you’re not good enough. The world is filled with people who, no matter what you do, will not like you. But it is also filled with those who will love you fiercely. They are your people. Your are not for everyone, and that’s okay. More than okay.

Looking outside ourselves for things, people, or situations to validate who we are, is one of the biggest tragedies of life.

Until the next post,

Love and Light,

 

Juan


another_year_wiser-117350(Photo : google images/quotesgram)

In a few days, I’ll celebrate another Earth Strong Day! As I look back on the past year, my thoughts are very much dominated by the types of fires I’ve had to put out. Fires, I never thought would come to my door. While most have been smothered, a few are still smouldering. I’m used to it, just another day, on the wild ride, that is my life.

Another year in life’s journey has come upon me. I wonder what adventures, trials, and ridiculously happy moments will come my way. How will the next year play out for me?

While the struggles are being slowly filed away in the recesses of my mind,  the idea came about to record the happy, wholesome, and fabulous memories of the previous year.

Ten, twenty, forty years from now, if I’m still walking  the earth, I will look over these posts,  laugh, shake my head and say “What a bloody amazing ride that was”! It’s been a year of many firsts, and there is so much more waiting for me.

In no particular order, below are some of the notable highlights of the past year:

I got trusted with my first credit card with a sizeable limit, which have been increased twice.

First time being asked to help represent my company at an Employment Assessment Day!

Interviewed for two roles at a company, got offered both, and had to choose!

First retreat in Devon.

Met Ann Lewin, and got an autographed copy of “Watching for the Kingfisher”

Helped to man a stall, and raise funds for a charity at Bristol’s Nature Festival.

The unknown strangers who took care of me, the morning of my collision.

Helped to make history, while working on a four month contract. My colleague and I brought in more revenue, over the same time period, when compared to the previous five  employees! Our efforts were recognized in the annual AGM.

Became the first employee to bring in a total of six job outcomes for the same company above.

New car insurer accepted my no claims certificate from the USA, saving me a bundle.

The sweet flat in Fishponds.

Three different summer festivals in one year.

Plug and Drive Gold Standard driver…which led to insurance discount.

Shaun’s Trail.

Arcadia Spectacular with Jenny (show of year).

First contents insurance policy.

A year of BOGO cinema tickets.

Attended a Dreamboys show (no apologies here).

First epic Three Cities /6 days holiday, and all the famous landmarks (Geneva, Berlin, and Paris).

First cable car ride 1100m up Mt Saleve.

During my epic holiday, I got off the bus in Geneva, crossed the street, and entered France.

Secured a permanent role in July 2015, and within three months, I achieved Gold Medal Performance Winner for meeting and exceeding my targets.

Saw Boys II Men in concert (and secured tickets to Nelly and Jeremih)

Finally found a sector I LOVE.

I’ve read over 25 books in the past year (including E books, and the reading frenzy started in Jan this year)

Finally, sorted a Will!

Student Loan sorted

First Vintage Fair.

Clubbing, twice in one month.

When a Manager says: “I hope you never leave”

First Masquerade ball NYE party!

First professional photo shoot, and registration with a modelling agency!

Visited Alice’s (Alice in Wonderland) Sweet Shop.

My cousin has begun illustrating the cover of my next book.

Became Reiki Level II Certified.

Completed Life Coach Training.

Naturally, the good has outweighed the bad. Bring on the next year. I hope your year is even more amazing!

Until the next post,

Love and Light,

Juan

 

 

To You!


11032008_10154181147395410_1137754070145062435_nArcadia Spectacular, Bristol (Sept 2015)

JE is one of my favorite people. I moved to the UK around the same time she moved to Bristol in 2013. I didn’t know anyone else, save it my partner. JE, SY, and I responded to an invitation on Bristol Gatecrashers Facebook group to meet up. The group was created to bring new transplants together. We met at Molloys, the Irish Pub on Baldwin Street. It was a night that would create the foundation, for one of the two closest friendships I have in Bristol. SY moved out of the city months later, however, JE and remained in each others lives. Bristol is a very hard place to make friends, and I’ve never been more grateful for the universe to give me what I needed, when I met JE.

We had so many good laughs! Our meetings were always hours long, and packed with catching up on the business that is our lives. We each had our own personal and intense struggles. There was nothing we didn’t talk to each other about. Absolutely nothing. I know she might not have agreed with some of my choices, but, she has always supported me in all my endeavors. The absolute highlight of our activities was Arcadia Spectacular, Sept 2015. A once in a lifetime, expensive event, made possible by this kind, dear, and generous friend.

The past two and a half years have been filled with one life event after another. Regardless of the issues, JE and I have always been each others  cheerleader and champion. The relationship has been a source of joy and escape in our lives. It has now culminated with JE getting ready to move back to her hometown for a new, exciting, and rewarding job, and to be closer to her new granddaughter. I’m so happy for her! I know how much she has wanted things to begin to fall into place. We both said this was going to be her year!

While I’m saddened she won’t be as close as before, I know a new beginning awaits her. And I couldn’t be more pleased for another person. There will be no goodbyes. We are only separated by a car/train journey. It’s been years since I’ve met someone so incredibly supportive, loving, kind, generous of spirit, and compassionate. JE deserves all the good things coming to fruition in her life now, and every thing else in the years to come.

Over the years, people have come into and moved out of my life. Nothing wrong there, not everyone is meant to stay. My friendship with JE has remained an integral and important part of my life. I don’t think she realizes how much I appreciate her influence! Through her, I now I’ve come to realize what Will Smith meant in this quote: “Don’t chase people. Be yourself. Do your thing and work hard. The right people, the ones who belong in your life, will come to yours and stay”

To life, love, and happiness. I love you JE.

 

Love and Light,

 

Juan