The Younique Foundation Retreat

A couple weeks ago, I had the amazing privilege of attending the Younique Foundation Retreat.

The Younique Foundation is a non profit organization that has retreats for women who were sexually abused as a child. Their mission is to create a safe place for women to heal. Whether you are just beginning your journey, or you are a long ways on your journey, it doesn’t matter. They have activities that foster healing and dealing with the traumatic experience you may have felt as a child. Visit their website for more detailed information!

The way it works is you enter into your information and there is a random drawing of names for each week of the retreat. If your name is drawn, they contact you if you are available for a specific week and you get to choose whether or not you’d like to attend. If you choose to attend they assist you with the necessary information you’ll need to get there. If you choose not to attend that week, your name will go back in the pot and you could be chosen for another week. They cover the costs of everything besides traveling. It is located in Utah, so if you are out of state, you will need to book your own flights here and back. It is held in a cabin in the mountains, and a question I’ve been asked many times is, is it worth it?

YES. A THOUSAND TIMES YES. It is TOTALLY worth coming to Utah. I understand flights are not cheap and that many women have to find babysitting and that it’s practically a week off of work, but YOU are totally worth it. YOUR healing, YOUR life, YOUR sanity, YOU ARE TOTALLY WORTH IT. The women that did come from out of state gave it a resounding yes as well. They all agreed that it was totally worth flying to Utah for.

I’m kind of jumping ahead of myself and all over the place, so I’m going to try to explain this through my perspective and from those who attended with me, and whom I know have attended.

Let me start from the very, VERY beginning.

I began working with the products company Younique about a year ago. I worked for their Customer Service department. I actually joined because I loved the idea of the Younique Foundation. As soon as I was told about Derek and Melanie’s desires to help women who have been sexually abused, I was all in. I do want to note that the two companies are completely different. Younique Products is not a part of the Younique Foundation or vice versa. Yes, they were started by the same people, and yes, they share the same name, and yes, the Products company has made donations to the Foundation, but they are two completely different entities. They are like sister companies I guess? They’re from the same family and their purpose is the similar, but they are two totally different companies and missions. They both want to uplift and empower women but they do in very different ways. When I found out they were beginning the retreats I was a little hesitant to apply. I was honestly afraid. I had already worked with counselors. I’ve been to group therapy. I’ve got issues because of these traumas. I even do energy work. I’ve done so much I really actually felt guilty applying. But I did. I was comforted by a tight group of friends and I knew that when the time came to it, I could opt out if I wanted to.

A few months later, I was chosen for this February retreat. It was still a ways out, but I was excited that I got picked! Yay me!!

As the time grew closer and closer, I grew more and more afraid. I was telling people I was going to a retreat and when they asked what type of retreat, I didn’t specify. I just said a girls retreat in a cabin. Something like that. Then I realized that I was afraid of judgement. I was afraid of people judging me! I realized that I was keeping the topic taboo by not saying anything. So I finally decided to just tell people straight. I would tell them in a matter-of-fact manner and they were totally cool with it. They actually thought that I was brave and courageous for going and you know what.. I totally felt like it.  So when the day came to go, I was so ready. Kind of.

I had an idea of what to expect. I knew that some of us would have shared rooms. I knew that we would be small group. I didn’t have to worry about food or transportation. I wouldn’t have service, so I didn’t even need to worry about anything else because I literally would have no way of communicating. (There is a phone up there for emergencies. They do have WiFi but… that was really ify. I mean, you’re in the mountains…) I went with an open heart and an open mind.

I was pretty amazed when I got there. I’ve been up that canyon many times, but to actually be in a private cabin up in that canyon was completely different! It was stunning! The staff was so kind and they really will get you anything that you need. (Or try their best, depending on the request. LOL.) And the women I got to know were amazing. Many of them had just begun their journey and had never told a single soul. Most of them didn’t even tell people where they were. They just said a “girls retreat” or a “work retreat” or something similar. I was so proud of them and their bravery. I was proud of their willingness to come and be pampered. (I think that’s hard for moms and women in general sometimes.) Some of them never told their spouses, or their spouses were the only ones that knew. And others, like me, had been through various counselors and programs and were very open about their trauma. And even though we were all in different parts of our journey, we were all there to do one thing… and that was to heal.

I really enjoyed the activities we participated in. I learned a lot about myself and my own personal journey. I actually thought I was “done”. But I realized that I will never truly be “done” because there isn’t a place I’m trying to get to. I’m just learning how to be me. I’m learning how to love me. I’m learning how to accept me and all that I was, all that I am, and all that I can be. There is no destination. And I’m totally ok with that. Each of the activities we did were optional as well. We didn’t have to join. We didn’t have to participate. We made that choice ourselves. And we all bonded in our own unique way.

If I could describe the retreat in one word, it would be haven. It is really safe place to just feel okay to be yourself and to be vulnerable. It really is a haven. It is a little oasis of love and healing and acceptance and just amazing support. I don’t want to go into the details of what I did because I don’t think that’s relevant. Yes, we did fun stuff. Yes, I had a great time. Yes, I would totally go again if I had the chance. But it was fun and great and awesome and everything because of the environment. Being tucked away in the mountains, not having to worry about everything else (even food), allowing myself to open up and to take a really good look at myself, and having a staff that was literally there to serve me, was what I needed, I guess what WE needed to heal. I saw a huge change in these women. Some of them still had to deal with difficult things at home and I just thought to myself holy crow I am surrounded by fierce warrior women. They did not let their trauma hold them back. Yes, it totally affects their lives, and they are still struggling, but they hold their heads up high and take on the world head first. They aren’t afraid to fight back. And their coming to the retreat wasn’t a sign of weakness that they “needed help”. Instead, it was an oasis for them to rejuvenate, renew, and see the world with new eyes.

I will touch on one activity. We did a photo shoot. I told myself that I was photogenic in January. I didn’t like taking pictures and I decided I was going to get rid of that limiting belief and create a new one. Well, unfortunately, I had a HUGE sty on my left eye and I didn’t get rid of it before my photo shoot. I was DEVASTATED. I was like great… now we’re going to have an ugly looking picture… But I did it anyways. And the women who were a part of this photo shoot were beyond phenomenal. The whole point was to see the beauty in each of us. They made me feel comfortable and confident in myself. I was so worried about this one little thing, and they totally squashed it in no time. And for the first time… the first time in my whole entire life, with a sty on my eye, I could see Heilala. I saw myself as I truly am and I was amazed. I was amazed at who I have become and also that these women could help us see. And just so you can see, here is a picture of the Polaroid she handed me:

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And although I’ve got tons of make up on, a double chin, and I look whiter than I really am, that is a genuine smile. That look is a sincere face of joy. I had a few heart touching experience, experiences that I’m not sure how to explain, and even encounters with others on the other side, but this was by far the most joy-filled moment during this retreat. I was filled with joy because I felt like me. I felt beautiful. I felt #brave. And I am brave and beautiful. I am a survivor and I am totally going to own it.

Coming home wasn’t too hard. I missed my kids. I missed my man. I missed my bed. I missed my car. I missed my daily life. But I do admit that I missed the quiet serenity of the cabin. (And chef. I really, really, REALLY miss chef. Can you just come cook at my house???) I would love to live in the mountains and I think I will one day. And I want to be able to foster a haven in my home for my children. I know that if anything happened to any of them, I want to be the first one by their side to tell them that they will be alright. I totally believe in miracles and I know that God allowed me this opportunity to heal and to help others heal as well.

I also miss my girls. It is one thing to be a survivor, and another thing to know another survivor. But when you bond and create a sisterhood of survivors… nothing can create a bond quite like healing together can. I love and miss you all!

If you, or a woman you know, had been sexually abused as a child, I highly encourage you to apply. I know it’s scary to have to deal with this trauma. I know it hurts and that it could hurt having to deal with it, but if my word means anything to you, please take my word for it. You totally deserve it. If you have any questions, feel free to comment or send me an email.

You are totally loved.

You are completely wanted.

And you are definitely needed in this world today.

Always remember that.

And I love you.

xoxox,

-Lala

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Advice to my 18 Year Old Self

At the Limitless Seminar a week and a half ago, Gerald asked us a question. And it’s been on my mind ever since. I’ve really pondered this question and am still trying to formulate the answer. I figured the best way to do that would be to write about it 🙂 so here’s the question:

“What would you tell your 19 year old self about marriage?”

I took this to heart. I was married at 18 years old. I was 4 months pregnant. Joshua, my husband, did not want to marry me (he will tell you otherwise). I was basically lost. I was a “baby adult” having a baby child. I didn’t even know how to take care of myself! I didn’t even know who I was or what I wanted! Heck, I didn’t even know where baby’s came from! (Don’t judge me. That has a long back story. You can email me if you’re that curious.)

And so as I thought about what I’d tell this insecure, lost, irresponsible, and naïve child… I recognized exactly what I would have told her.

This is my love letter to said child:

Dearest Heilala,

I love you. You are so BRAVE! Stupid choices, but you are brave. You face things head on! You are a fighter! And you keep going. Don’t let anyone or anything keep you from becoming your best self. You are so much closer than you think. And I am so proud of you.

You grew up quickly. You had a lot of trials and yet here you are… Facing them ALL. Yes, I know you’re afraid. Yes, I know you’re trying to do the right thing. And yes, I know you are just trying to make things right. You are doing a beautiful job. Just keep your head up.

There are a few things you should know before you marry this man. I want you to know that I know all of these things are true. And if you hold on to each truth and find out for yourself, you can weather any storm. 

Here is everything you need to know:

1. God lives. And He loves you. You are a priceless daughter of a King. The King of all Kings. And He wants you to succeed. Turn to Him.

2. Christ lives. And He loves you. And He will always be there for you. No one in this world can ever know what you’ve been through  and what you will face. But He will. And He knows the way through. Follow Him.

3. Learn about Heilala. You are your greatest asset and your best friend. Learn about yourself. What do you like? Why do you like it? Why is it important to you? What makes you tick? What motivates you? Learn about yourself before anyone else. Once you know who you are, and Whose you are, it doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks you are because YOU know YOU. 

4. He is only a man. He is not your Prince Charming. He is not perfect. He is not superhuman. He will make mistakes. LOTS of them. Forgive him. He is doing his best. Love him unconditionally. Just like you love you. And remember, you’re human too. It will take time and that’s okay! 

5. When you say “yes”, you’re saying yes to EVERYTHING. For better or for worse. You are choosing into the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful, everything. All the good choices and all the bad choices. You are committing to make things work REGARDLESS. You are choosing into it all. Accept that, and accept him. Accept all that may come your way. And with the first 4 points, you’ll do just fine.

In conclusion, just recognize that this will be more than just “loving him forever”. This is loving you, loving God, loving life, loving your trials, loving your good times, and loving it all together. You can’t make him love you, but you can make sure that you love him fully and unconditionally.

Thank you for being you. I am amazed at the woman you are and striving to become. See you in 8 years!

Xoxox,

Heilala 2016

I probably won’t put 2016 but it’s a nice touch. 

As I look back at the young woman I was, I am in awe. I seriously have no idea how I made it this far. Joshua and I have come a loooooooong way. And I’m pretty sure if we can make it, anyone can. 

But that’s the thing… There really isn’t a destination. It’s choosing into it every single day. There isn’t an anniversary where we’ll say “we did it!” Even in the life after this, we won’t say “well we made it!” We’ll still be growing and learning and loving and progressing. It’s a continual journey. And after 7.5 years… I’m glad I made this choice. Ask me 4 years ago and I may have said otherwise but I love my Joshua. I love our marriage. I love my life. It took a while to get here but I seriously can’t wait to see where we’re going. It’ll be fun regardless!

So all you singletons or newly weds who have asked me for advice, here you go 🙂 insert your name and print it out. Lol. 

I love you dearly. You are loved. You are wanted. You are needed in the world today. If you forgot here’s your reminder. 

Xoxox,

-Lala

2016 “Align”

A new year means a new theme! Woot woot!

I love new years. I love a new start. I love making resolutions. I love feeling like things are going to be different. And most often then naught, I’m caught up in the same situation over and over again. The same problems roll around and the same issues find me another year later. I tend to repeat history over and over again and think “how in the world did I end up here AGAIN?”

There are a lot of reasons why I end up in the same place. But it all comes down to one word.

Insanity.

Not like the workout by Shaun T, not that Insanity. I’m just insane. I keep doing the same things over and over again and I expect to get different results. Redundant isn’t it?

Well for 2016 I decided to begin differently. I am a different person. As I wrote on my Living Whole As Heilala blog, I am me again. 2015 was a year to Renew and resume to my former state. I feel like me again. And because I am me again, I can now create the world I want to live in.

The past few years has taught me so much about myself. After Joshua and I got married, I went through a sleep-like state of “going with the flow”. I wasn’t even reacting. That’s how you know things are bad. You just don’t care. And I didn’t. I just let things happen and didn’t expect much of life. Thanks to a few people and a few life changing experiences (one of them being the loss of my sweet angel Maria) I woke up. I began reacting, and now that I’ve recognized my reaction, I am now aligning myself to create, to manifest, to bless, and to be blessed. I am acting to make things happen instead of reacting to whatever happens.

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Why did I choose “Align” as my word for 2016?

Well, I began learning about creating the life you want, and manifesting, and the law of attraction, and all that good stuff a few years back. I never actually tried to put things into practice until recently. Then I read about Self I-Dentity Ho’oponopono, which is a self-internalization of the ancient Hawaiian practice of Ho’oponopono. (Read Zero Limits by Joe Vitale to learn more.) I realized that it is more about aligning myself with my high purpose and my God and allowing myself to be who I need to be. I can manifest what I want, sure. I can create the life that I want, yes. I can become blessed and bless others, of course. But to receive the greatest fulfillment and to really achieve my greatest potential, I realized that I can’t be in charge. There has to be someone greater, someone all knowing, someone else who is  in charge. There just had to be a master planner. Because if it’s just me, then there is no way on earth for me to receive what I needed to receive or to become my highest self. I have to align myself with that greater power, for me that is my God, to be able to create, to manifest, to bless, and to be blessed in the highest way possible. It’s much bigger than myself. It’s much bigger than changing the world. It’s much bigger than anything I could comprehend. It’s about being a part of the grand plan. I intend to play my part the best way that I can.

What do I plan on doing differently?

The basics. That’s what Josh calls them.

 Alma 37:Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise. (from LDS.org)

Or in the words of one of my favorite church leaders:

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This means that each day I will do something small to achieve my goals. It isn’t about the huge ginormous tasks that make the difference, it’s the small, insignificant (or so we thing) things that matter. I love the proverb that says, “How does a man move a mountain? One stone at a time.” This is what I plan on doing different.

The reason why I never got to where I wanted to go, or why I sat in the same crap over and over again, was because I was doing the same little things over and over again. Sleeping in late, staying up late, playing games, putting things off til the last minute, rushing everywhere because I didn’t get things done on time, always going out to do things or sitting at home on my phone, instead of putting in a little time each day.

What does that look like exactly? Well for me it’s reading in my Book of Mormon each day. It’s meditating for just 5 minutes. It’s taking a green pill or drink (because I’m not about that green smoothie life). It’s taking 5 minutes to just talk one-on-one with one of my kids and letting them know how much I love and appreciate them. It’s listening to an audio book for like 20 min. My coach calls his system Core4. I could never get it down, so I changed mind to a Perfect10. If I could do just 10 little things each day, then my day is set. I just told you 5 of the 10 things I’ll be doing daily. If you think about it, listening to a good audio book (I am currently listening to “Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy) for 20 min a day, 7 days a week, that is 140 min of learning. And I can listen while I’m driving, or doing the dishes. I am actively feeding my mind for 140 min a week. That’s 7,280 minutes a year. Do you know how many audio books I could listen to in that amount of time???? If an audio book is 8 hours long, and there are 60 min in an hour, that is 480 min. Divide 7,280 by 480 and that’s technically 15 books I could finish this year. Just 20 min a day. Catch my drift?

So here’s to the little things. And as I do the little things, I will align myself more and more each day with my purpose, my God, and my highest self.

How do you plan on changing 2016? Or do you have a word to describe this new year?

Let me know in the comments below!

My Inner Warrior

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The Limitless coin as a reminder to Live our Limitless Life!

I had the privilege of attending the Limitless Seminar this past weekend. I learned so much about myself, I feel like I don’t know who I am, yet I feel like I’ve been re-introduced to an old friend I haven’t seen in many years.

I tell you, it was insane. Or I feel insane because of the things I did. I cried my eyeballs out as I recognized who I was, what I wanted to become, and embraced the parts of me “that weren’t all that pretty.”

The biggest take away for me was to embrace HEILALA. I tell everyone to call me “Lala” as a convenience for them. I never really tell me people to call me by my first full name because I feel it is inconvenient. It’s hard and I want to make life easier for people. Or so I thought. I hide my big, bold, talkative personality and most people know I’m out there, but they don’t know how OUT THERE I can be.

As a little girl, my mom said I was fearless. She said I would climb everything and regardless of who was yelling at me or telling me to get down, I would simply ignore them because I did what I wanted and it didn’t matter if I got hurt. I have cuts and scars from my childhood that are still with me because I didn’t care about whatever anyone said. I did what I wanted. And that fearlessness has been held back since then because I have lived in fear most of my life. I was probably depressed most of my life because of certain experiences and I learned to hold it back.

My big mouth always got me in trouble. I would say things that I had no intention of hurting people but they would take offense and be mad at me forever. It wasn’t until much later that I realized I had no part in making them angry. They took offense to what I said, even if I had good intentions and meant nothing but love and adoration. The opposite was true as well. People didn’t offend me, I chose to take offense to what they were saying. And you’d think that recognizing this would allow me to speak my truth and it did the quite opposite. I chose not to speak my truth unless I absolutely could not hold it in. (and I usually write when that happens, which is probably why I took to blogging in the first place.)

My crazy spirit was always told that I was “too much”. I was too talkative. I was too loud. I was too crazy. My hair is too big. My mouth is too big. I was told because I’m a girl, I can’t be a pilot. I shouldn’t become an archaeologist. I can’t go into the Air force. I wasn’t meant to travel and go places. I needed to be proper and mellow. I needed to sit nicely and stop running with the boys. I was too boy-crazy and that I was always known as “crazy lala”. Now it’s “crazy aunty lala”. And I was told that that was not okay. I was a girl and I needed to act like one. (Whatever that means.)

At Limitless, I learned to see these “limiting beliefs” as they truly are. They are just beliefs that limit me to be confined into a mold I do not fit. I don’t fit a regular mold. I have never been able to, yet I try so hard to. I had the privilege of breaking through each and every one of these limiting beliefs. I got to experience life if I didn’t have these beliefs. I got to show up, as Heilala, and be myself. I haven’t seen that side of me in YEARS. I had to be hynotized to bring out my inner Warrior.

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Out Team with the amazing Gerald and Kris.

I even had the nerve to call out this massive man. I almost went head to head with him because I was not about to let him fight the hypnotist. (We didn’t fight, not even close. The hypnotist got to both of us before anything went down. We went down lol.) I may not remember exactly what happened, but I do remember my thoughts. I had this little tiny voice, which I am sure was my conscious mind, that said, “are you seriously going to fight this guy?? Like what are you doing?” And then I had this loud, ferocious voice, which I think was my subconcious, that said “Just don’t hurt him.” And it wasn’t that I was actually going to hurt him, come on now, he was like twice my size, but I had this belief that “when I am myself, I hurt people”. I was afraid of hurting him because for once, I was truly being Heilala. And that meant people got hurt.

I also remember thinking “oh girl you talk way too much” and then the loud voice would “and what??? Who cares? I say what I want.” I also remember thinking, “why in the world are you talking about chubby midgets” and the loud voice would say “who cares! I say what I want!” These two voices would fight in my head and I recognzied that one was my true self. The loud, obnoxious, annoying voice was HEILALA. That was ME. And the soft, gentle voice was who I had trained myself to be.

I came home and I was so shocked at what I had done. The person I wanted NO ONE on this planet to EVER SEE was revealed. And she was a fighter. She was a WARRIOR. My amazing business coach, mentor, brother, friend, example, the Reverend Setema Gali told me last year to let out my Dark Warrior. And I said I would, but oh HELL NO was I going to LET ANYONE SEE THAT SIDE OF ME. NEVER….. until Friday night. I was so ashamed. People were coming up to me saying how funny it was and how inspiring it was and I was just stunned at how dumb I was to let her out.

That was until I spoke with the amazing Kalenn. She is one of the Limitless Archangels. She helped me work through another one of my fears ( or a few of them) and I recognized that it was okay to be me. I wasn’t shunned. I wasn’t exiled. I wasn’t beaten or laughed at (well for other reasons I was laughed at, but I’d laugh too.) I was empowered. I was validated. I was ACCEPTED for who I was. And I realize that it’s okay to have that part of me come out once in a while. My Inner Warrior doesn’t define me, but it is a part of me that I can accept and love.

I have learned to be gentle because of my husband. I have learned to be a visionary because of him. I have learned to love tenderly because of my children. I have learned to be quiet and at peace because of them. I have learned that it’s okay to have all these parts of me. I can accept my shadow, my inner warrior, and the parts of me that aren’t all that pretty. And I can accept the parts of me that are completely beautiful and radiant. I can accept ALL OF ME. And when I do, I allow others to do the same.

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Team “Double or Same!” They didn’t want to do nothing.

My experience at Limitless was just for one person. It was just for me. Others experienced different trials, different beliefs, different break throughs, because it was for them. And I bet, if and when you get the chance to go, it will be just for YOU. You will recognize things about you that you may have not known before. You will see yourself through new eyes. Eyes that aren’t clouded or blocked with rose colored glasses. You will see you and who you really are. And you will recognize that it is okay to be just that way. I CHALLENGE YOU TO REGISTER and begin your journey to a LIMITLESS life. You can do that at http://www.limitlessseminar.com.

Take the step now to create and live your Limitless life.

I always say this to end my posts and it is because I MEAN IT., but this time I will point it towards myself, because I think out of us all, I need it most.

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I am loved.

I am wanted.

I am needed, as I am.

I love you my sweet friends.

xoxo

-Lala

18 Months…

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She would have been 18 months today.

She would be walking, and nearly talking.

She would be getting into everything.

She would be bothering her sisters and her brother.

She would be terrorizing our home.

She would be big enough to try things on her own.

I can just see the little crease between her brows as she concentrates on picking up some cereal, or whatever she finds on the floor.

I can see the gummy smile of hers, with what I would hope to be my dimples on both cheeks.

I can see her running from her brother and he would have loved to chase her around the house.

I can see her walking after Na’a wanting to be just like her older sister. And I can see Na’a slightly glancing back as if she didn’t see her sister there, but a little smile of satisfaction that she is the leader.

I can see her dad chasing her as she runs away with his phone, or something that he needs.

I can see Gissi hovering over her every move being the mother she wants to be.

How I miss her…

How I wish she were here…

How I wonder what life would be like…

But this I do know.

She is always present in our lives.

She is always near.

She is always in my heart as I count the days without her.

She is my guardian angel.

She is my ticket to heaven.

She is my hope, my light, my best friend, in a world that isn’t always kind.

She is my reminder that life is short and should be lived to the fullest. Whatever that means.

To me it means to love with no bounds, wonder with no end, give with no thought, and LIVE like tomorrow would never come.

This doesn’t mean to “YOLO” and act like a fool. It means to appreciate those around you, and recognize that life is worth living in this moment. Not the next. Or in 2 years. Or when you have enough money. Or when you’re 21. It is worth living right now. And each moment you breath, can be a moment wasted. Wasted worrying about trivial things like “likes” and “followers”, or who’s dating who, or whats her face has a new problem, or whats his face isn’t being to kind…

Tell those you love, that you love them. Even if you think they already know.

Tell those you appreciate, that you appreciate them. Even if you’ve already said thank you.

Tell those you care, that you care about them. Even if you do take care.

Tell those you miss, that you miss them. Even if they don’t seem to miss you back.

Tell those you worry about, that you worry about them. Even if they don’t listen.

Tell them today. Tomorrow may never come. And in 18 months, you may wonder….

I am not here to make you feel guilty.

I am not here to make you feel sad.

I am definitely not here for your pity or your empathy.

I am here because I wish I had 18 months with my sweet Maria. And because I didn’t, because I don’t, I will enjoy the 18 months, hopefully years, hopefully times 100, with the ones I do have. And I will love them today.

I miss you Maria.

I cannot wait to see you again.

But until then, save us a table in heaven.

My dear friends,

if I haven’t already told you,

you are wanted,

you are loved,

you are needed,

and I thank you for being a part of my world.

All my love,

-Lala

Hope

I remember being in the dark.

Feeling hopeless, helpless, unwanted, unloved, unappreciated, insignificant and filled with anger and resentment.

I was furious at the hand I was dealt. Life was simply UNFAIR.

I was more furious at the fact that I had kept it. What in the world was I thinking????

And I was most furious at the thought that there was nothing I could do about it. I was stuck. Stuck in my misery and joy-less life.

I probably could have done something drastic but the outcomes were too risky.

I was NOT going to loose it all. I had already been close enough, I was not going near the edge again!

But it was too much and I prayed and begged and prayed and begged that my life would be taken.

I saw life as meaningless, pointless, purposeless and filled with pain and sorrow.

I felt that I could not bare the burdens that were placed on my shoulders. They were not easy burdens.

And yet after each prayer, after each pleading for death and an end to my misery of what I called “life”, a shimmer of hope flickered off in the distance.

I’m not sure how it started, I don’t know how many days or weeks or months had gone by, I don’t know what happened… But I do know this:

After a prayer and begging for death I waited for an answer. Thinking I wouldn’t get one, I feebly lifted up my head to see if anyone was with me and I stared into the deep dark beautiful brown eyes of my baby girl.

I didn’t see her eyes… I saw love. I saw compassion. I saw curiosity. I saw HOPE.

I saw staring back at me, a curious new baby in this world trying to figure out what her mother was doing. A woman she looked up to with love, adoration, and complete dependency.

I could not leave my baby.

I had already “left” my other two.

I wasn’t present, in the moment with them.

I was distant.

I was caught up in my depression, my sorrows, my woes, I was merely the woman they knew the longest.

But this baby was going to be different.

I was going to live and love and be the best I could be. Just for HER!

But it wasn’t enough…

It was enough to stay alive..

Enough to keep going…

Enough to pray for strength.

But I still struggled in my misery…

Yet embers of a dying flame of hope started to glow within me.

A year went by and we met Suzie. She introduced us to the Emotion Code.

It took me a few tries but I started to feel the difference.

I was becoming aware.

I started to feel again.

I started to think clearly again.

I realized I didn’t HAVE to be miserable!

But did I choose otherwise?? I sure didn’t!

I enjoyed being miserable!

I enjoyed being unhappy!

I enjoyed the pain.

I enjoyed the sorrow.

I enjoyed being hopeless.

And I stayed that way for another couple years…

And it would have stayed that way…

But God sent me another baby..

Another reminder..

Another set of eyes…

But these eyes I will have to wait to see..

For she is not here with me at this time.

But through these set of eyes I have seen HOPE.

Not a small tiny flicker..

But a bright flame brighter than the sun.

There IS HOPE.

There IS LOVE.

There IS JOY.

There IS HAPPINESS.

And it is through our misery, and sorrow, and pain, and agony and all things that bring us to our knees, that we are able to see the BRIGHTNESS of our future.

For who would appreciate the Rays of the sun???

A man on the beach day in and day out, basking the the sun all the days of his life??

Or the man stuck in his own cave of depression, despair and sorrow, who comes out and SEES the brightness of the sun after being in the dark all his life??

You can only feel love as deeply as you have felt sorrow.

My sweet friend…

If you have had pain…

If you have felt sorrow…

If you have felt hopeless, helpless and lost…

If you don’t know which direction to go, who to turn to or what to do…

If you are feeling that life has no meaning, no purpose, no LIFE…

HOLD ON… There is hope.

Christ is my hope. My center. My king. He is my advocate with the Father. And through Him I can see my sweet baby Maria again and look into those beautiful eyes of hers!

There is ALWAYS HOPE. And you can do this.

However bitter your pain is right now, or has been…

Imagine how SWEET your joy will be, if you but endure.

There are worse things in life that loosing a child… It’s loosing YOURSELF in the pain of it all..

Don’t go there.

Don’t be like me.

Learn NOW.

Life is as beautiful as you make it to be.

It is as sweet as it is painful. But the sweetness is so sweet, you won’t even remember the pain.

It’s been a couple years since that dark time..

I remember counting the minutes, the hours, the days, the months… And now the years.

And I am HERE TO TELL YOU TODAY:

You are LOVED.
You are WANTED.
You are NEEDED in this world.

And there is ALWAYS HOPE.

Keep going.
I believe in you.

All my love,
-Lala

My Birthday & 25 Life Lessons

Today I’m 25! So here are 25 things I’ve learned throughout the years of my existence in this life:

1. Life is as beautiful as you make it.

If you think life sucks, life will suck. Those who are always looking at the ground miss the beauty of the world above them. And even if you’re looking up, you can’t expect sunshine if all you’re looking for is rain…

2. We all suck at life.

We all make mistakes. We are all imperfect. And that’s ok. Just get back up and dust yourself off. If anyone sees you fall, just know at one point they were or will be in your same shoes. Because we all trip and fall. It’s those who get back up and keep going that succeed.

3. Success is more than money.

Money is paper. When the dollar fails, people will be after food and resources and those who can DO things. And besides, who wants money without family, friends and fun. There are things in life you can’t buy… Loyalty, love, trust, kindness, time… Those things you have to EARN. And when you do earn it… You gain way more than whatever money could buy. You also gain self love, self respect, and the knowledge of who you are and what you are worth.. (And you’re worth more than all the money on earth!)

4. Jalapeños are hot.

And they burn like the fires of Mordor. I’m not kidding. Don’t eat one unless you are absolutely sure you can handle it. (Yes, I still feel dumb from yesterday.)

5. If kids give you candy… They are giving you a piece of their soul.

If a child offers you candy, TAKE IT. They either really love you or they are really nice. And either way, it is difficult for most children to give up THEIR candy and give it to you. So you take that sucker and enjoy the crap out of it because that kid just have you their heart in the form of sugar. At least it’s sweet.

6. Time is nonexistent.

You only have NOW. There is no such thing is tomorrow or yesterday. Only today. When you book an appointment or make time for something, what you are really saying is: I have to do all these things and take time for all this other stuff before I can get to that right there. So can you wait until I’m done with this person, this other appointment, this time frame, and THEN I will get to that. So don’t tell me your loved ones you “don’t have time”. No one has time!!! You MAKE TIME. Point blank.

7. Giving is food for the soul.

Whether it’s time, money, service, or a cookie, it doesn’t matter. Giving is seriously FOOD for your soul. It thrives on giving and sharing and loving and caring.. We were made for these things. And when you do give, it’s like your whole chemistry changes and you are happier, healthier, and you see the good in life. So give! And give freely without expecting anything in return.. Even though you get the greatest return of all.

8. Choose happiness.

Did you know you can CHOOSE to be happy??? You seriously can! It doesn’t matter what’s happening in the world, or around you, or whatever. If you WANT to be happy… You will find something to be happy about. So CHOOSE HAPPINESS!

9. You get what you pay for.

If you pay $1 for a burger, you get a $1 burger. Now it doesn’t necessarily always mean that if you pay more you “get” more. No. Something’s are more about personal preference than anything else.

For example, I will pay $1.50 for a toothpaste and be fine with that. While josh, my husband, gets some healthy, organic toothpaste for maybe twice the price. For me, it’s just toothpaste. BUT, if I want some mascara, I am NOT about to buy a $1 mascara. I am not about that life. I am getting the one that makes my lashes look the best.

Another example is a goal you want. If josh wants to get down to less than 10% body fat, he will eat rabbit food and work out everyday to “pay the price” for under 10% body fat. And if you saw my pictures you’d understand that I am not willing to “pay that price”. So paying the price isn’t necessarily $$$$.

10. Reading is good for you.

I love reading. And I know if you read daily, you will expand your mindset. New ideas, new ways of thinking, things you never thought about before… You just need to READ. And let your mind interpret and design. When I had read Harry Potter, I wasn’t skeptical to watch the movies because each person sees things differently. I saw the Chamber of Secrets differently but after watching the movie, that image of their Chamber of Secret is now stuck in my head. Which I’m ok with now. So just READ! And let your imagination work and expand your mind.

11. Margarine does NOT taste like butter.

And it doesn’t cook the same as well. If the ingredient says butter, YOU PUT BUTTER. This is true for lots of ingredients, and sometimes you can replace things just know it’ll be different… Most people can’t tell, but I can. And that’s because I LOOOOOVE butter.

12. People who you spend time with the most, are a reflection of you.

You tend to gravitate towards people who are like you. And you become friends with them because you have similarities. And when they say you’re a combination of the 5 people you hang out with, they literally mean it. Count your 5 closest friends and you’ll see that you are a combination of all of them.

This is important because they are either empowering you or disempowering you. And just in case you didn’t know, you get to choose your friends. So if ones doing you more harm, it may be best to find a new close friend. And if ones doing you good, it’d be wise to stick around that friend instead.

13. Is the best number.

I love that my birthday is on the 13th. It lands on a Friday once in a while and people panic. It’s funny. I love it. So it’s the best number.

14. Love is the key to all things.

You can’t beat war with war. But you can eliminate it with love. For who can be your enemy if you love all? I know I’m hoping for the impossible in this world, but people think you have to hate people because they’re mean or rude or horrid. No. You don’t. You can love them yet you can distance yourself at the same time. And that may be the most loving thing you can do for them. People aren’t searching for money or happiness or fitting in and acceptance. What they want is love… They just don’t know where to find it. And they can’t find it if you’re not willing to give it. So love. Love all things. Not like romance love, just have love. And be willing to express it.

15. Find joy in simplicity.

I like when my kids draw for me. It isn’t much, but it’s the fact that they thought of me and created something to give me. I also enjoy the color yellow. It reminds me of my Maria. As a child it had always been my favorite color. And you want to know why??? Because it made me happy. Simple things that create happiness means you can be happy when all you have are the simple things in life. So when I see a yellow daffodil, my day is 10 times better and I am happy 🙂

16. Forgiving is a state of being.

You don’t forgive someone, you ARE forgiving. Because it isn’t something to GIVE to them.. It’s something you CHOOSE for yourself. You are saying: you hurt me, you wronged me, you put me in a hard position… But I will be ok regardless. It’s really a gift to yourself. Because you have taken control of YOUR life… Regardless of someone else’s actions.

17. Find purpose.

If you don’t, you literally feel like Katy Perrys lyrics. A plastic bag floating in the wind. A plastic bag is meant for carrying things, being filled and used. If it’s floating around it’s not fulfilling it’s purpose and it’s being a nuisance to the rest of the world. Not that you are a plastic bag or a nuisance…

18. There is good in everyone.

If they choose it. And some people won’t. But that’s what they decide. Just know it’s there.. And if you are lucky enough, you might be the one person who gets to see it.

19. My business. Your business. Gods business.

My business are things in my control. My thoughts, my actions, my words, my choices… I can do something about all of those.

Your or their business, is someone else’s business. I can’t make my kids decisions. That’s their business. I can’t stop josh from saying unpleasant things. That’s his business. That’s what THEY decide and do for themselves. You can’t change people, they change themselves.

Gods business is the rain, the weather, the trials and experiences we go through. Things no one really has control over.

Why is this important??? Because you can only work on YOUR business. When you’re worry about someone else’s business, there’s no one to work on yours. So figure our today, what’s My business, Your/Their business and Gods business AND ONLY WORRY ABOUT WHATS IN MY BUSINESS. Life will be so much better and you will be less stressful. I promise.

20. Don’t make promises you can’t keep.

That includes yourself. If you say “I’m gonna wake up at 6am!” Then you better get up at 6am. The more you stop doing what you say you’re gonna do, the less likely you’ll keep ANY promises because you can’t even trust yourself. It becomes easier to say, “nope, I’m sleeping in” and lying to yourself.

21. Homemade cookies are the best because they are made with love.

Cookies bought from the store or bakery are great. They really are. But when you actually MAKE a batch of cookies, you are saying “I got all the ingredients, put them together, and waited for these baby’s, I took time out for you!” This goes for anything home made. (Now don’t go thinkin you can’t buy stuff, there’s nothing wrong with that! Some people are willing to take more time out and that’s ok. That’s your business not mine.)

22. You literally ARE your thoughts.

In case you don’t know about him yet, look up Dr Masaru Emotos water experiment on YouTube. (The videos are usually all the same.) But basically if you are thinking awful thoughts, you’re getting awful water crystals in your body. And you are 70% water. If you’re thinking good thoughts, then you have beautiful water crystals. So be careful about what you think around others. Your thoughts affect them as well.

23. Be kind to others.

You don’t know when you’ll meet people again. So be kind. You may need their help later on in life.

24. You are never alone.

We come in families for a reason. However your family may look like. But you are NEVER alone. And if you ever feel that way, shoot me a message and let me prove you wrong. I mean, help you out.

25. There is a God.

There is a God. And He loves you. And He has a Son, my Savior, Jesus Christ. You don’t have to believe in them. They will always believe in you. No matter what you do. There is always a way. He is the way. Even if you don’t see it now.

Thank you for letting me share a few things I’ve learned throughout my 25 years of life.

It hasn’t been easy… I’m always told I seem like I’m in my 30s.. Idk if it’s my kids, but I’ve been through a lot of things that have opened my eyes and my heart to a beautiful world of possibilities. Life IS beautiful. But only if you wish to see and believe it. I do. And I love every moment.

Enjoy life.

Embrace it.

And enrich the lives of others while you love it.

You ARE wanted.

You ARE loved.

You ARE NEEDED.

Remember that.

All my love,
-Lala