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LIFE IS A JOURNEY

16 Feb

“Life is a Journey with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experience to enjoy.”

My dad passed away in a horrific car accident on November 2002 in which he caused.

That’s when my life changed!

I  knew very young that life was not going to be easy, and that I was going to have my challenges along the way.  I was not a great student, was not overly smart, did not have a creative talent.  Knew that if I wanted anything in life I would have to work hard for it.

journeyBy November 2002 I had a wonderful husband and a beautiful little girl.  That day when the phone rang and I got the message that my father passed away it was the worst day of my life.  It wasn’t that I did not expect it.  He was an alcoholic and I knew that death was just a step away for him.  What hit me so hard was how he died.   Not only did he pass away he also caused someone’s death because of his addiction.

The effects of this incident have stayed with me for many years and made me evaluate my own life.  It’s made me think how precious life really is and how short it can be.  When we are young we think that we have our whole lives to do anything we want, that we have time.   We let fear and  insecurities stop us from pursuing what we have always dreamed of doing.  We talk about our dreams, but we never make that first step toward them.  We make excuses why we can’t pursue them.

November 2002 changed all that for me.  Yes it took a few years for me to get all my ducks in a row.  When I turned 40,  I focused in and made personal changes.  The funny thing was that I was thinking of a whole different journey for myself, a more creative journey. That is how 4 chicks started.  But life had different plans for me.  I went back to school, I knew that I wanted to study Holistic Nutrition but with my husband traveling for work so much and having 2 small girls at home, I knew it was impossible for me to go to a campus-based university.  So I researched the best Holistic Nutrition distance learning college to help me achieve my educational goal.   Some disagreed with my choice of school.  But I believe in trusting one’s intuition and going with the flow of life and seeing where it will lead.  Many were asking what are your plans for life after college.  Truthfully, I did not have a plan at all.  I knew I wanted to help people get healthy.  I really enjoyed the learning process without all the stress of  what specific job this was leading too.  I have great faith in life and know that I’m the only one that can change my future.  I knew I was going to have obstacles along the way and was prepared to face them.  In January 2014 I finished! Where will this all lead me?  I don’t know but I’m excited to find out :-).

It still makes me very sad to think about my father.  More because he did not value his life or the consequences to others of his actions.  He did not understand that life had great plans for him (as it does for each of us).  He lived his life with the notion that ‘if you have lost it all, why even try’.

I believe that everyone is put on this earth for a reason and YES life is hard but it’s up to us to make a difference within ourselves, family, community and world.  If we stop blaming others for our challenges in our life and focus more on how to move forward in a positive and uplifting way, we really then begin to enjoy the journey.

And life is a journey, and we must learn to enjoy it and not focus so much on the final destination.

So what happens now at mile marker 2014?  I can’t wait to find out!!!!

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HAPPY NEW YEAR – My 2014 Goals!

4 Jan

Happy New Year!

I don’t know about you all, but it felt like the holiday’s just flew by.  Usually I’m able to sit down and write my goals for the new year.  It helps me be accountable on the things that I want to accomplish before it gets lost with my hectic life.  There are years that I’m able to accomplish many things and there are years that I don’t even accomplish one thing on my list.  But that is Ok, I just add it to the next year.

But for some reason, this year I could  not think of what I want to accomplish or do for 2014.  Don’t get me wrong there are many things I still want to do but I was trying to think of things that was not time consuming or much effort from my part.

Have you ever had those moments that you are thinking of something and you are about to disregard it for whatever reason and something you read or heard convinces you to not give up, do not disregard or ignore it.   Well I just had that moment.

skydiving

This was challenging for me!

I’ve been reading a book called Succeed: How we can reach our goals by Heidi Grant.  She writes:

“Setting and achieving challenging goals has added benefits besides great performance. Think of a time in your life when your accomplished something really difficult, and compare that to how you felt when you pulled off something relatively easy.  Which feels better? Succeeding at something hard is more pleasurable, gives greater satisfaction and happiness, and increases your overall sense of well being.”

As I contemplating what she wrote, I started looking at what gave me great happiness and it was those goals that I set for myself that were not easy and had me doubting myself but when I was able to accomplish them, gave me such an amazing feeling.

daily mileExample: I have never run before and at 40 years old decided that I was not just going to do a 5K, I was going to do a triathlon.  Call it stupid on my part to try something harder, than doing something like a 5K first (like if that was not hard enough for someone that had never run before).   But it was the best decision for me.  I knew if I trained for a 5K, I would be able to do it, if I stuck with it.  But a Triathlon seem so much harder and had me thinking “can I really do this?”  Can I push myself out of my comfort zone? YES! As I look back I always did better on things that took me out of my comfort zone.   Am I scared to death? YES!!!!   I always knew that we are here on this earth for a very short time and I always wanted to make my life count for something for someone.  I wanted to be an inspiration to may girls, that even in the hardest time you are able to get through it and keep pursuing your dreams.  But finding a balance is very hard, I never want my children to feel neglected because of my own dreams.  So I try to choose carefully what I want to do and what is really important to me.

There is a motivational video that I love to listen to and he said

“The wealthiest place in the planet is the graveyard, because in the graveyard we will fine the inventions that we never were exposed to, ideas, dreams that never became reality, hopes and aspirations that was never acted upon. THE QUESTION IS WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH YOUR TIME?”

So, here it is my 2014 Bucket List!  (few of these goals I know that I will be focusing on and the others might happen or not, but I’m not so worried about them if it doesn’t).
1. Find an activity that we all can do as a family together (bike, volleyball etc) (MUST)
2. Take time to focus on my spiritual journey (MUST)
3. Start working on my Documentary (This is the reason why we started the 4chicks and a Muse)
4. Continue my education in Holistic Sports Nutrition (MUST)
5. Compete in Spartan Races (Already signed up)
6. Bungee Jump (scared to death)
7. Take a paddle board class (Dream)
8. Learn to sail (Dream)
9. Go to Greece (I don’t expect this to happen but I’m still putting it out there just in case LOL).
10.  Make time for my chicks and our amazing blog!   (MUST)

What are your goals for 2014?

FLAVOR! Experiencing the different flavors of life

25 Nov

On facebook there was a game that if you commented or liked someone’s post about “what you might not know about me”, they will give you a number and ask for you to write something about yourself that people might not know.

Here is what I wrote:

Here are 11 things about me, in case you didn’t know.
1. I’m a level 2 Reiki practitioner
2. Lived in the projects in Queens, NY for the first 12 years of my life
3. Love Disco
4. When I was 10 years old I send John Travolta $1.00 for his birthday LOL.
5. Was an aerobic instructor in my late teens.
6. My first car was a Suzuki jeep.
7. Did a commercial for a Puertorican magazine.
8. Lived in Minnesota for 1 year
9. Owned a small business with a friend doing personalized books for children in Los Angeles.
10. I’m into genealogy! I researched my Grandmother’s family history from France to Spain and than to Puerto Rico.
11. Love to cross stitch

I found it interesting that many were surprised that I lived in Minnesota, or that I was into Reiki or enjoyed cross stitching.   They couldn’t see me doing those things or being interested in them.

I have always love experiencing new things and I’m willing to take a chance and give it a try before I say “No thanks, this is not for me”.   I want to taste, smell (well I don’t have sense of smell, so this is a hard one :-)), and see new things.  In a way I want to experience life like a toddler does.  I think we have lost that in our society.  We look at the world with eyes of distrust, judging it’s every move, and always trying to rush through it, till one day we stop and see that life has just flown by, and all the dreams and hope that we had once when we were younger are gone.   We then say I’m to old, don’t have enough money, I might as well give up on my dreams.

I’ve had those moments, that years pass by and I say “where did time go”.  But I also have had those moments that I try to cherish every second, every moment.  Because I know that today and NOW is all we have.  Life does not guarantee me that I will be here tomorrow.   So if TODAY is all I have than what am I willing to do, to savor, to experience right now!  What is my life purpose? What can I do to contribute to the world that I live in? How will my children remember me, when I’m gone?  These are the questions that I ask of myself.

cross stitchYes! I cross stitch, I practice Reiki, I love doing mud races and getting muddy, and jumping out of airplanes.  But I also love baking cookies with my girls, and watching movies on the floor when it’s raining, and playing board games.  I love making Christmas magical for them, because I too want to believe in Santa Claus!

So, I ask you, what are you choosing to experience in your life TODAY?

DIVE….Do what the French Do!

30 Jun

I was in France a few weeks ago with my husband for vacation.  It was my first time in Europe.  And I had an amazing time.   I learned so much about myself during this trip that I didn’t realize.  We live in a world of always having to be busy.  I will talk for myself, I always have to be busy, always have to be doing something new.  I feel unproductive if I’m not doing something.

966204_10201500832301643_1808902320_o (2)How did I come to realize this?  My husband and I went to the Eiffel Tower and below we saw a beautiful park name The Parc Du Champ de Mars that people were just lying on the ground relaxing.  I was so excited about lying down on the ground, looking at the Eiffel Tower and relaxing.  Well guess what I couldn’t.  My husband had no problem, but I felt so restless.  First half hours it was nice just people watching and they all looked so relaxed.  Some eating cheese , bread and drinking wine.   I just got on my phone and started reading my facebook, walked around, till I had tell my husband it was time to go.

It drove me crazy why I JUST couldn’t relax.   The more I thought about it, I realize that I was always running around doing things.   I did not know how to relax.  Just to lay there and do nothing and admire the small things.  Like the sky, flowers, grass, watch the kids play. Why have I never just taken some food, blanket a good book and enjoyed all the blessing that I have.  How can I appreciate everything I have if I’m always trying to stay one step ahead, always running around trying to do to many things and not really enjoying it.

Well I got my chance again.  8 days into our trip we were heading to Barcelona from South of France on train.  Well guess what?  We missed the train and were forced to wait 6 hours with our entire luggage for the next train.

Here was my chance!  The funny thing was that the night before someone had recommend for us to buy a bottle of wine, some cheese and bread to take on the train.  My husband was so upset but in front of the train station was a beautiful park and I looked at my husband and told him lets go sit on the grass and have a picnic.  My husband said “for 6 hours?”  YES!!!!!  And we did!  We had our wine, cheese and bread, we talked, he took a nap, I read a book and just people watch for 6 hours.

Was it a coincidence? Maybe or maybe not, but it was what I needed to renew my energy and come back with a clearer mind and learn to take time to relax and enjoy the outdoors without feeling that I have to always be doing something.

So, I’m diving into new territory here.  In hopes that it makes me a more rounded person, a better wife and mother and more creative.

Now you know what I will be doing this summer and it’s OK to enjoy the little thing in life, like sitting in the park with some good food and great company.

So thank you France for teaching me to relax!

Paddle! Through Life

22 May

canoeHave you ever felt like all the stars were aligned and everything was going so well and you felt that you were destined to do this! Than out of nowhere something happens that has you questioning if your were heading in the right direction.  You start doubting yourself, and asking yourself maybe I was not destined to do this? Am I crazy to try to do this for a living?

I recently went on an adventure race with some friends, it was a two person race in which one person cycle’s for 23 miles meet their partner and canoe together for 3 miles and then the other person runs the next 5 miles.  Well let me tell you, it was a real adventure since I got lost cycling.  How do you get lost when others are racing with you? you may ask.  Well there was another race going on and I got confused and rode with them LOL, till I realize I was in the wrong race and have already ridden 19 miles.  Decided to head back because the whole point of this race was to canoe since I had never done it before, and darn if I was going to miss it.  So, I met my partner and we push the canoe into the canal, I sat in the back and my partner sat in the front.  What I did not realize was that I was supposed to steer the canoe.  Remember, I had never been in a canoe before.   To make the story short we kept going in circles rather than straight and we were the last ones to make it back.

This is how I’ve been feeling these few months.  I felt like I’ve been paddling in circles instead of going straight.  I love obstacles but obstacle racing not obstacles that life throws at you.

This morning something wonderful happen and it made me realize that I was in the right path, that yes I was going in circles for a while there but that eventually I will learn to steer the canoe straight and look back and realize that there was a lesson to learn.  Not alway, life will hand you things in a perfect silver platter but that life will have it’s up and downs but it depends on you to make the reality you want come true.  So even though my friend and I kept going in circles, we laughed through it all.  So, this is just a small wave that I need to conquer and move on to what I was meant to do.

I leave you with this.

Different Ways of Navigating

We’re All in the Same Boat
We are all on this earth together learning and teaching together in many different ways.

We’re all in the same boat. We just have different paddles, and perhaps we find ourselves on different rivers. We all live in human bodies. These are the vehicles in which we move through our world. We are all made of flesh, blood, and bone, with brains, hearts, and lungs to power us. Our paddles—the tools we use to move through the world—vary, as do the bodies of water—the environments—in which we find ourselves.

Some of us use our high IQs to get where we want to go. Some of use our smiles, others use kindness, a gift with language, or athletic ability. Some of these qualities we were born with and others are skills we have learned. Considering this metaphor in light of your own life can be very enlightening. What tools are you using to get from point A to point B in your life? Chances are, you and the people you know have used many different tools in various combinations throughout your lives to get where you needed to go. Just as with oars or paddles, a balanced approach is best. If you rely too much on one thing, like beauty, to open doors, you fail to be well-rounded and you may eventually lose your equilibrium. And if you lose that one quality, you have no paddle at all. This is inspiration to develop multiple tools to navigate your world.

Some of us may be moving along paths that are like rushing rivers; others may be on a large, still lake. We have all felt, at one time or another, tossed about on a stormy ocean. Through all this, we are never really alone, even though it might seem that way. There is inspiration all around us in the form of other people making their way through the world, in the very same boat. Remember to look around you for role models, companionship, and encouragement.

Happy Navigating,

Rachel Dack, L.G.P.C

SPROUT! Want to see humanity at its best? Watch a marathon!

18 Apr

“If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon.”
– Kathrine Switzer

So, you may be asking, what does this have to do with this month’s power word, SPROUT?

EvaWinner

As a runner myself, after doing the Disney Marathon in January 2012, I had said that I will never do a marathon again.  Tuesday’s Boston Marathon bombing truly effected me.  I never have thought I would ever qualify to run the Boston Marathon and was not sure if I ever wanted to.

Then came this horrific event, which had me at questioning at first about the world we live in. But after reading all the stories of people coming together to help each other, I realized that is what gives me hope for humanity.

Yes, there will always be a rotted seed that sprouts up from the ground to cause damage to others, but it’s how we react to those situations and come together that will truly show who we are as human beings.

Are we scared? Yes, of course.  My husband said to me jokingly, “no more running events for you, my dear.”  It even crossed my mind.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut what the Boston Marathon proved is that when tragedy hits, we come togetherstronger than ever.

So I will be training for the Boston Marathon. A few days ago, it wasn’t even in my bucket list of things to do.  But now I’m more committed to doing it, because I will never let fear or someone else take my freedom away.

DIG! Digging Yourself Out Of The Mud!

6 Mar

digging 1

This past weekend I did my 2nd Tough Mudder Obstacle Race! I though it was fitting for this month Power Word Dig!  It was a 12 mile run with 25 obstacles course, in which you are constantly in mud or in water.  Was it hard? Yes it was hard and I don’t think I would choose to do these kinds of event by myself.  I did it with a group friends.

On the Tough Mudder website they really emphasize on team work there moto is “To get through mud, fire, ice-water, and 10,000 volts of electricity you’ll need teammates to pick you up when your spirits dip. To get over 12 foot walls and through underground mud tunnels, you’ll need teammates to give you a boost and a push. Tough Mudders are team players who make sure no one gets left behind. To that end, all Mudders are expected to uphold our ideals and exhibit teamwork and camaraderie both on the course and off it”.

This is how I feel with my fellow chicks.  Without them I would not be where I am now.  They have given me the courage to go out there and try new things, to be creative, to write and to pursue my dreams.  There faith in me has helped me DIG myself from things that were pulling me back, my insecurities, my fears and my worries about what others might think.    Dig 2Because of them I have become braver!

I still have lots of Digging out to do but I know that I have my fellow chicks to help me out when I get stuck.

P.S. No, they won’t do a Tough Mudder with me, I’ve tried to convince them maybe you all might have better luck LOL.

TANGO! A LOVE and HATE Relationship

13 Feb

Let's Tango!As they dance across the floor, he grabs her tightly against him. She slaps him and starts walking away. He grabs her arm and pulls her in.  She falls to the ground. He walks away. She grabs his leg as he pulls away, dragging her with him.   He stops, looks down and picks her up, and they dance together again.

This is how I see my relationship with my work.  There are times that I love and could spends hours working on it and then there are times that I just don’t feel inspired.

I sit on my computer looking at the screen waiting for something to happen.  Some creative inspiration? God’s voice? Anything would be better than nothing.  I get frustrated and walk away wondering why I’m I putting myself in this situation.

Other days, I’m in bed and at 2:00am I wake up with an idea.  I have to get up and write it down before I forget and then can’t wait to start working on it.

My issue as a mother, wife and student, finding the time to sit when you are inspired is very, very hard.  You try to schedule your time thinking “ok, once I pick up the kids, get them fed and working on their homework I have one hour to sit down and work on my documentary, before I have to get up and make dinner.”  But how can you tell your creative side “hey, it’s time to turn on your creative juices and get busy.”  No, these are the times that I hate, because–trust me–there are no creative juices coming out of me.

But then there are those times that it just flows from me, and I don’t want it to stop.

So my question’s to you, readers.  How do you do it?  How do you keep your creative juices going on all the time.  Because at the pace I’m going, I will never finish.

I do have a love and hate relationship with my work, but I hope that like the tango, in the end my work and I could dance together as beautifully as the couple doing the dance.

ZOOM! Facing Forward

7 Jan

Eva 1This past December I did my first Tough Mudder!  Yes, I am insane.  Why, you may ask?    Again, here FEAR comes into the picture.  It’s been a constant battle my courage will, against my FEAR will.  Who will win? Sometimes it wins and sometimes I win.  December 1st I won!  I faced it with courage and excitement even when I had to run through the electrical wires.

So, this brings me to this month Word ZOOM and what it means to me.  For me it’s facing forward and never looking back.   This was the last obstacle of a 20 obstacle course, there was no turning back.  I needed to face forward and just push through it, knowing that I was going to feel pain and might fall and not be sure if I was going to be able to get up and finish.

But I did not look back at what I already failed at or what I already succeeded at.  NOW is all that mattered.  Will I run through it or just decide to play it safe and skip this obstacle    Then the question would be, “what have I learned”.  That when things get tough I just play it safe.  NO!  Fear was not going to take over and WIN.  I ran through it, never looking back and saying “I WON THIS TIME”!  Ouch!

Not looking back at your failures or successes, who are you NOW?  What are you zooming toward?

The 4 Chicks Escape to Captiva Island

21 Nov

A recap of our time together!

 

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