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“Enough with the pregnancy questions, please.”

October 26, 2016

This may come off as a personal PSA letter, but really more like me venting.

Reaching my 30’s has been an amazing blessing and nothing shy of anything less. BUT, since reaching this age-milestone I’ve been tormented and interrogated frequently with the question, “when are you going to have a baby?”

As my identical twin sister is slowly approaching mothering her 3rd child, the questions regarding my fertility begins to heighten. I have lost count of how many times per day my husband and I are interrogated about having children. I’ve even lost desire to attend dinner dates or large groups in simple avoidance of this question that by some means has become bothersome to us. I mean, we are just uncomfortable being placed in an awkward position to feel pressured to answer a question we really would like to remain private.

We really…really enjoy each other and the way things are. We can assume it may sound selfish for certain people, but 3yrs into a marriage is still very gentle, and the enjoyment of just-the-two-of us is pretty darn awesome.

But my effort here is more-so to challenge women on why we rush, demand, or expect each other to jump into one milestone to the next, as if there is a standard manual to marriage and post-marriage. We obviously carry unmet goals and dreams that have yet to be fulfilled, but why don’t we question one another of these aspirations? Why do we demand each other to suit-up (woman-up) for the roles and the expectancy that society, tradition, and culture has deemed so-called righteous, dignified, or by–the-book?

Since I’ve been married I have yet to meet any woman who is married with/o children ask me “how are you?” These 3 words mean the world. These three words override … “When you’re going to have a baby, or when you’re going to get married?” Why doesn’t checking with one another take precedence anymore?

In this life many of us will birth many things. Some will birth physically (children) others will birth their life-time goals that are either educational, career oriented, or entrepreneurial. Why aren’t these “births” questioned or prioritized in the center of conversation amongst women?

These “births” are personal and each has its value and priority for each woman. These “births” require support like anything else, right? We shouldn’t measure or value one’s sense of worth over the other, right? Supporting women in areas that are male dominated, challenging, or screams advancement is necessary during these times as we begin to surface our 30’s. We know those women who feel highly accomplished with bringing life into this world, but let’s also have some reverence for those who’ve achieved significant goals in their lives aside from bringing forth life.

On a serious note, we don’t have a clue who’s battling infertility issues, marital discord, or overcoming miscarriages along with significant unforeseen health concerns. So why do you think someone will volunteer sharing such an intimate part of their lives to you? Ladies, let’s not be so callous and/or inconsiderate with the “baby” question.  I don’t understand why women today are not cognizant enough to withhold the urge to ask another woman of their baby plans.  One day you may ask a woman who has been tirelessly struggling with this area in her life, and your question may be the trigger and tipping point of her anguish to conceiving.

Recently I’ve been overstretched to answer my baby plans, to the point I’ve felt offended. I never knew that I would be so emotional about this. I examined deeper as to why certain individuals are more inquisitive or just plain NOSY with this life changing decision.  While this particular person persisted with the baby questions I repeatedly responded, “It’s all in God’s timing,” but in turn she continued and decided to “speak” over my life in terms of conceiving; but I never gave her the permission to do so. She has never spoken anything over my life nor supported any of my other milestones whatsoever, but insisted in inviting herself in this facet of my life. I’m unfamiliar with the root of her intentions or anyone’s true intentions as to why they want me to become with-child so desperately. I mean these people never wished anything else for my life. It’s a curiosity that screams spite; but I can’t really frame into words what it feels like, but it feels far from sincere at this point. In closure, this is not a jab at any loved ones or friends, but an extended written request to reduce the stress caused by the endless questioning.

Now to help my girls attack the next most visited question- “When are you going to get married?”

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“Cut out the NOISE!”

October 4, 2016
Written by, Judith Rapley


I just saw the movie ‘Race’. Without giving the whole movie away, spoiler alert for some of you, there was a powerful scene halfway through the movie when the runner, Jesse Owen, his coach and his track team are rudely being pushed out of the locker room by another one of the school’s teams and their verbally aggressive coach. That coach begins to yell and make a lot of noise which was quite overwhelming, intimidating, and distracting to Jesse.

His track coach continued to speak and instruct the team calmly and in a matter of fact way, directly and steadfastly drowns out that noise. All while the other coach continued to make a lot of noise over him, the track coach right through this continues to instruct his team. After a while, the noise dissipated. Once this noise ended, both teams got the point at which time the track team and their coach left.

Cut to another scene a few minutes later, where now Jesse and his team are in Berlin receiving an overwhelming amount of noise, as a crowd of on-lookers cheer for Jesse Owen and his team, even before they had won the medals they would by the end of the Olympic games. Different scene, different noise but noise nonetheless.

I invite you to consider a few things I took away from my reflections on these scenes:

1. There will always be noise.

2. Learn to ignore the noise.

3. People will make as much noise against you as they will for you. Neither their auditory noise against you or for you, or visually rewarding ones like their likes or comments on today’s social media platforms, make or define you.

4. Listen to your own voice. Learn to know and listen clearly for your own voice even in the middle of the noise.

5.  Make sure what God says about you makes the loudest noise. Drown other noises out by filling your mind, your heart, your soul, your life with Scripture, the truth and affirmations even if you don’t always feel that way or the rest of the world says differently.

Reflective assignment for you to consider:

1. Think, where is most of my noise coming from? My inner self, social media, family, old scripts and messages going on in my head, circumstances of life around me?

2. Which one do I most need to drown out or shut off? Once you identify it, shut it down! Cut out or silence that ‘stinking thinking’ whether coming from without or within.

3. In what area do I need to most affirm myself? What is good about me? Start listing your strengths! Keep that list to remind you in those noisier negative times.

4. Where can I immediately find new, uplifting, positive messages to drown out that negative noise? Scripture? Supportive friends? Past accomplishments? Go for it! Be intentional in matching that ‘other noise’.

You are not who people say you are- neither all that good or all that bad. You are who God says you are. Cut out the noise!

Let me know by commenting below or contacting me directly about what this change is like for you. If there is some way I can support you or interests that are important to you, please let me know. Sign up immediately here so that we can prepare satisfactorily for you.

All the best to you in Your Transformation for Life!

Be well,

Judith Rapley,  Life & Business Coach     www.judithrapley.com

Change, Transformation, Awareness, Cultura Latina, Exist Spiritually, New Post!, Organic Message

Connection through the feminine: “The Power of La Luna”

September 1, 2016
Written by, Dieniz Costa

For nine months now, I have been gathering with my hermanas every new moon and full moon to honor and rejoice in the energy of la luna. You may be saying to yourself: “wait, what? Latinas and the moon?” Yes, I have come to deeply understand that we are all connected- not just we humans, but everything- the stars, the planets, the very soil that we stand on are connected to everything. One of my favorite quotes is “as above, so below.” These four simple words carry such deep wisdom and truth.

Have you been feeling tired and confused this week? You may feel it’s because of the busy weekend you had or your workload or a lack of sleep… that may be so AND it has to to do with the planets and that which is beyond the physical 3rd dimension. On August 30th, we entered into Mercury in retrograde. On September 1st we will be experiencing a new moon and a solar eclipse.

This next month is calling us to step up into that TRUTH, into our POWER. As Latinas, we are faced with the challenges of our culture, our programming, the inequalities of “la cultura americana” and yet we can move gracefully and powerfully through it all. We are in this world, not of it. This is why spiritual practice is a strong foundation in our lives;  it’s vital to our existence and evolution. In my experience, many Latinas are born leaders, paving the way for us all. Our spirituality gives us the strength needed in every moment. Connecting to the moon is a practice that truly gives to you-feeds you energy to continue serving the collective.
You may have heard about Mercury in retrograde- people often blame it for technology issues, bad karma, etc. Here is the truth- no energy is positive or negative. We are co-creators, period. We can take any energy, low vibrating or high vibrating and alchemize it to work with us, for us. This is exactly why I am writing this article: to help as many Latinas cultivate and harness the powers at large for their greatest good. We can sit around and blame this or that for holding back from playing life full out OR we can take what is and make miracles from it. 
This new moon and mercury retrograde brings about growth, an expansion in our collective consciousness and a rise in individual power. We will see a new wave of archetypes rising and claiming their place in our consciousness. We will hear the call to rise and be of service. Each and every one of us is a fragment of a hologram and a prototype at the same time. We each have a unique purpose and we are all a derivative of the whole- perfection in both the abstract and concrete, the spiritual and physical, the divine and human. 
Being in connection with the moon cycle has brought many gifts to my life.  I have been communing with my soul sisters every month in a sacred circle where we can stand for one another, side by side and powerfully declare our intentions, support each other in releasing the old limiting beliefs and habits and co-create a vision for what sisterhood looks like for each one of us moving forward.  Each month, every ceremony looks and feels differently and it is always perfect and divinely guided.  I have been able to feel the impact of having my own menstrual cycle in alignment with that of the moon, an intention I set back in April and have now successfully achieved.  It doesn’t feel as if I am fighting the natural forces during my cycle, rather, I receive an extra boost of love and light when it arrives and departs, just as I do with each time I commune with mama luna. All of the support I feel from sisterhood and la luna allow me to be of greater service in this world.  I invite you to ponder on your practices and to commit for a month of communing with the moon.  Below are a few options to commit to and begin your practice. 

A few exercises you can do to connect with the moon include: 
1. Moon bathing- sitting under the sky focused on the moon energy (it doesn’t matter if you can see the moon.)
2. Release the old and set intentions for the new (writing or speaking it to others)
3. Share the moon energy with others, i.e. Do a circle of friends, repost this blog, send out positive vibes to the collective.
Your practice is yours, make it what you desire it to be.  Please visit:  www.sexualitypower.com
 
In sisterhood,
 Dieniz Costa
Exist Spiritually, New Post!, Spiritual "Blessantries"

If I Had The Power To HEAL…

March 16, 2016

Recently,  I was asked “If I had a super-power what would it be?” Immediately my heart began to race as if that super power would truly be granted. I mumbled several things and finally said, “To  HEAL!” I wish I had the power to heal every physical ailment, emotional and/or mental disorder. Three weeks later, I find myself still mentally processing the icebreaker activity and wondered, what if I can really possess the power to heal? Have I healed anyone before, unintentionally?

The act of healing in itself has transcended into various forms across religions and their respective  remedial purposes.  I personally wouldn’t consider myself a “healer.”  To be frank and honest I truly believe the miracles from being healed is a respected area for the head of the church and/or those persons who’ve attained appropriate credentials in the concentration of healing, however, after reading  “Draw the Circle, The 40-Day Prayer Challenge”, by Mark Batterson, I’m slightly convinced I have the ability to heal… slightly. Batterson challenges it’s readers to seek prayer not only as the gateway to commune with God, but also to heighten a sixth sense. This action will in return help plant your dreams, blanket you with peace, grant you discernment, and lastly, help you take a deeper dive to understanding God’s agenda. He ultimately wants for us to be  healed, restored,renewed, and to be forgiven! I’m sure throughout our lives we’ve heard many versions of what God intended our purpose  to be, but as for me, Healing as my purpose  came to me as a revelation: through the ministry of counseling/therapy, support groups, and small-talks with families, married couples, and teens.

Keep in mind, like many prayers and dreams, God doesn’t answer them all at the times and format most desirable and convenient to us. Batterson states,

“I wonder how many of our prayer requests are within our own power to answer. Yet we ask God to do what we can do ourselves. And then we wonder why God doesn’t respond. Maybe it’s because God won’t do for us what we can do for ourselves. God isn’t honored by prayers that are within the realm of human possibility; God is honored when we ask Him to do what is humanly impossible. That way, God gets all the glory!”…  Reflect on that.

Occasionally, we don’t pray prayers of healing because we’re afraid they would go unanswered, are too big, unable of being resolved, or just outright ridiculous. We’re  defeated before the request is denied, already in progress, or advised that right now is not the moment for God to show his Glory.  In addition, we’re left contemplating in our own confusion and questioning our faith, which is deeply vested into a source we live and die for, but yet, with belief, it has left us broken with unanswered prayers. Batterson speaks on this emotion and encourages persistence to keep asking, keep praying, keep seeking; I know it sounds cliché, but it’s all about God’s perfect timing that will calm your anxieties with HIS perfect peace.

We all  have responsibilities within our prayers to bridge a stronger relationship with God.  We are ordered through faith to release burdens and prayer requests to Him. With the act of Faith, one will begin to feel a sense of healing and anxieties being lifted off your shoulders. You’ve then, learned to exchange that worrisome-spirit for prayer.

Today, I believe that If you’re a praying person you’re a healing person. You’re eager to encounter God repeatedly and intimately in purpose to thank Him, restore others and yourself. Obviously, the “healing” power won’t transform you into a doctor, psychiatrist, financial adviser, and/or that recently hired attorney, to name a few. However, the most beautiful healing orchestrate grace,  peace, sanity in a chaotic world, and the understanding that you can always go to God to observe this intimate time of communication to address your needs and the needs of others.

If you’re able to understand this and offer yourself as vessel to bring peace, grace, sanity, and help your brothers and sisters understand the beauty  in going to God in prayer,  then my friend, you’ve just brought Healing to the broken.

Change, Transformation, Awareness, New Post!

New Year, Next Chapter… Is it Necessary?

January 7, 2016

Ahhhh… New Year, next chapter…No pressure right? Let’s see, well, the next chapter does require a new sense of preparedness; somewhat like a blank canvas. The question is, should we consider a “next chapter” because we’re in a New Year? Shouldn’t we feel somewhat content and present with where we are? Or should we immediately associate the New Year with establishing a new expectancy of ourselves? To be clear, there’s absolutely nothing wrong about recharging, beginning a new phase with the goings of the new year, but as millennials, and ever evolving individuals, lets shift a bit of our energies into celebrating our “nows.” Celebrating where we are and appreciating how far we’ve come. As the saying goes, “I’ve prayed for this moment in my life,” and for that we celebrate those current victories, and usher challenges for more victories. For that we embrace the present. For that we become more mindful, and less anxious for the next bite of success. Success, and the chase of it is quite relative and subjective. We all have our own ideals, perspectives, and theories of how we should exist successfully. For some we strive so tirelessly for success due to the fear of failure, and the repeated mistakes we watched our family, friends, and even ourselves inflict. For some we seek to retain our reputation. I’ve once read, “ Your reputation is not located in you. It resides in the minds of others,”-Wayne Dyer. Obviously, we don’t control our reputation, others do. Regardless of what good or bad deed we construct; so might as well live your way.We stretch ourselves thin, stacking more goals, tasks, and resolutions to only find ourselves doing the same act over and over again, each year. Growth, must certainly persist, it’s simply non-negotiable. This is all part of change. Change big or small is change. Change has no measurement to success, in which we all presumably try to achieve each New Year. Lets release ourselves from the pressures of “New Year, New Me,” and really approach this belief to become spiritually responsible, and create a lifestyle that allows us to reach our goals while we free space to consecrate our mind and spirit to be at PEACE. I mean, isn’t that the end goal?…to find peace. Disappointment, change, and challenges will meet you this year and EVERY year. Lets assure that our “New Year’s” agenda is God’s agenda, if not, please proceed 2016 with caution.  

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No they didn’t!…Wait, of course they did.

December 15, 2015

This past Monday, media ignorance, once again, spotlighted negative attention regarding Kylie Jenner and Serena Williams. Hmmm…no happenstance here! For us to entertain the disgust may insinuate some embarrassment, but heck, we couldn’t keep hush about this eff’d-up nonsense. After the anger and blood-rush from reading about Kylie Jenner’s inaccurate comparison to “A Mix of Latina Celebs”, and further on with Serena Williams’s slight shade from LA Times, in discrediting her well deserved coveted cover on Sports Illustrated, for 2015 Sportsperson of the Year, we weren’t a bit surprised how jaded our society has “comfortably and boldly become.” As women these are levels of consciousness we must keen on when it involves mainstream ignorance w/race, gender, and ethnicity; yes, we know we’re preaching to the choir. Not that what’s requested here is to start some fiery protest, or throw a feminist tantrum, but to create a movement in our everyday creative environments and to reduce the possibility of these insulting articles to parade across social media as a mockery to diminish our very being. Today we learned the article published by PopSugar was taken down, due to the uproar it created amongst the Latina culture… Pa’lante! But then what? So now how do we go forward and ensure this foolery doesn’t surface? The world may never now, but we wont be surprised either. We aren’t even going to wait for whats to say or do with the horrendous mockery and comparison made between Serena Williams and American Pharaoh. I’m sure Serena has better things to entertain, since this is one of thousands insults served to her throughout her successful career.

http://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/celebs/news/a50813/popsugar-kylie-jenner-latina-celebrities/

http://www.latimes.com/sports/sportsnow/la-sp-sn-serena-williams-american-pharoah-sports-illustrated-20151214-htmlstory.html

 

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How is “Your” Beautiful Communicated?

June 29, 2015
https://youtu.be/litXW91UauE

We tend to easily, but unintentionally over-criticized every inch of our body; from our nose, hair-color, lips, ears and so many other physical features. But what happens, when you realize the very enemy exist within yourself. You are the individual creating harsh, false perceptions of yourself with words you repeat daily – its possibly normalized as part of your everyday task; while you’re getting dressed, applying makeup, or in the shower. How does that transcend?  What power and role we have given these self-destructive words over our body? What message does that speak to your world and all those you interact with? The person that needs the most improvement on communicating beautiful is you! Check out one of Dove’s most influential video of how everyday women perceive themselves, with the assistance of a forensic sketch specialist.

Change, Transformation, Awareness, Exist Spiritually

Brainstorming Growth…

January 10, 2015
Diverse Businessman Brainstorming About Growth

Recently, I  was involved in a group discussion pertaining to growth. Although, the ideas exchanged were from various subjective views, it evolved into a quite informative brainstorming session.

Questions that arose…How is growth compared and  measured?  How is it realistic and both visible and tangible to others?  How much growth was experienced? Where were you before…or how did you begin? Does self-growth validate self-worth?

Growth is an area that people take very personal and quite serious if you ask me. The hard work, diligence, and the journey necessary to experience some level of improvement in growth will generally invite feelings of discomfort, elements unknown, and additional commitment.  This may very well be the few of the many reasons why growth is avoided in hopes that it self-evolves. Most people may agree, that growth should manifest its strength over time, trial, and that intentional efforts may manipulate your end result/outcome.

Let’s be honest with ourselves.  EFFORTS intended for the betterment of yourself, whether its spiritual, physical and mental are NEVER null and void. Kudos to those that choose to grow up and out of their circumstances! I’ll admit, as a child, when my parents would say “You need to grow up!” I accepted  these words as being somewhat offensive.

So what’s the bottom line? Where and how do we begin to foster growth in our lives? What if you like the person you  currently are…is growth welcomed, now, or again? I asked myself this when I was preparing to take the leap of faith and marry the man that was  put on earth for me. But I wasn’t sure that I was ready to accept the responsibility and commitment that  accompanied such a huge step.  I figured that  as long as we are kind, loving and respectful to one another, it was sufficient.

I LOVE who I am and want to remain that way. But when a voice whispers, “you need to grow up”, or “you need to be a big girl now,” it becomes frustrating since I wasn’t ready to receive this advice. The growing has a lot to do with IDENTITY.  If identify myself as a woman of truth, respect myself and others, embrace my beliefs and culture, then that’s growing up, right?

Not really! What about my LEGACY!?

Take the time as I have, to examine if  you’ve done anything daring or impactful in declaration of love, spirituality, service, and peace. Just ask yourself, and be honest. DO you really feel that living day to day, with the same routine, having the same responsibilities, really is, an onward path to building your LEGACY?

Be phenomenal, and radical about your mandate and beliefs.  This world is a host to many  ordinary and mediocre humans. Kick the coziness and the sense of comfort out of your system, and brave the risks and  journey the unknown.

Another question, to pose is are you being CHALLENGED enough? The landscape of change has  always prepared me for “war” against odds presented. I used to avoid them all together  because I  simply embraced  being comfortable and happy…well I thought I was happy, until I noticed great people who have made huge impacts admitting that avoiding the comfort zone was a contributor to their successes.

From this moment forward, everything I’ve done, and the rewards that resulted,  was gained through overcoming the challenges.

Growth is a personal investment; take inventory of yourself. It’s essential to our progression and essential to our self-assessments as  humans.

Only you can open up the opportunity to reward yourself with being the  better person you’ve always yearned to be. Growth is essential for our well-being, whether it’s personal, spiritual, physical, or mental. http___signatures.mylivesignature.com_54492_320_5C901DB21899B290D7B659227EE24F4F