Mañana es otro día! 

Ya van 24 días desde que Maria vino a darse un paseito por la isla. Y ayer, no fue de mis mejores días. De hecho no había tenido un día así todavía. Estaba bastante irritada con todo, pero especialmente con la bendita comunicación. Tratar de coordinar una mudanza, vender un carro y todos los trámites que conlleva irme de PR es un verdadero dolor de cabeza si no logras comunicarte con quien te tienes que comunicar y si te toma 2 horas en llegar a donde generalmente llegarías en 30 min. Y obviamente añadiéndole todos los demás factores que están afectando al resto de la isla. La verdad es que por lo que esta pasando nuestra gente y la isla, esta del cará’…

Salir a la calle es como jugar Rush Hour en el nivel 100 y colgarte cada vez. Los mosquitos tienen un “fatal attraction” conmigo, porque aunque seamos 10 personas afuera, solo me pican a mi! Con el calor que hizo hoy, y lo mucho que sudé empacando cajas, no había cubito de agua que pudiera quitarme lo adoba’ que me sentía.
Ayer mi única meta, era poder terminar el día sin enredarme a bofetá’ con misma. Hoy vi todo lo que sucede a nuestro alrededor con ojos de frustración y cansancio. Hoy no estaba pa’ escuchar ni un “PR se levanta”. Soy humana, y hoy me sentí frustrada y cansada ante todo lo que sucede y ante nada de lo que se hace. 

Nosotros (mi adorado tormento, mis hijas de 4 patas y yo) ya tenemos fecha de salida por razones que ya antes les mencioné, pero no se crean que eso lo facilita todo. Irse es difícil de por sí, y más duro el golpe cuando es durante el momento más difícil del país. Irnos a sabiendas de que familiares y amistades seguirán en estas condiciones y que uno no puede hacer nada al respecto, pues es desesperante. 

Pero como hoy es otro día, ya me siento mejor. Y para no perder el humor, a continuación una lista de las cosas que María me dejó:

1.Me he certificado buscando cosas en la oscuridad(el que me conoce sabe que soy pésima buscando y que ni la luz me salvaba para encontrar las cosas) 

2.Aprendi a usar la misma toalla más de una semana, y hacer un back-to-back de un set de ropa 2 días consecutivos. 

3.Ya mismo puedo hacerme trenzas en las piernas. No se ustedes, pero si antes se me olvidaba afeitarme, ahora eso ni pasa por mis pensamientos.

4.En 3 semanas, me he comido 35lbs de pan Sobao; las que no me he comido en todo un año.

5.Ya tengo experiencia durmiendo en todo tipo superficies con tal de buscar un vientito que me refresque.

6.Mi pelo parece que le vendió el alma a los hippies y quiere convertirse en dreads.

7.Me levanto a horas de la mañana (4/5am)nunca antes vistas.

8.Matar mosquitos es mi nuevo cardio y lavar la ropa a mano me tiene los brazos más peposos que cuando entrenaba.

9.Aprendí a bañarme con agua fría ya que hasta el calentador solar se lo llevó María.

10.Maria me dejó los “sugar cravings” en high y me como una cantidad exagerada de munchies como si no hubiera mañana. 

En fin, hoy reflexioné sobre la importancia de aceptar la imperfección de ser humanos. Hay que abrir espacio para las emociones reales y dejar que fluyan, aunque a veces no sean las más positivas. Si no fuera por los días difíciles, no sabriamos lo que son los días buenos. Así que acepta tus emociones y suéltalas al universo. Quéjate y llora si es necesario, y luego sigue caminando. Nadie puede decirte como sentirte o cómo procesar tus propias situaciones, cada quien es dueño de su propio camino. Mañana es otro día, una nueva oportunidad para vivir, ser agradecido e intentarlo otra vez!

*L 

Ser puertorriqueño; se nace y se aprende a serlo. 

Hace exactamente 10 años partí de la isla hacia Nueva York tras mi sueño de estudiar y jugar voleibol Div 1. No fue hasta que me fui que realmente entendí lo afortunada que era de ser puertorriqueña. Entendí lo que era extrañar tu gente, tu isla, la comida y tantas cosas más. Nunca planeé regresar a la isla cuando terminara mis estudios, pues tenía muchas oportunidades de progreso allá. Pero la vida es así y me llevo de vuelta a casa. 

Hace 5 años, un 20 de junio regresé a la isla, graduada con un Bachillerato en Biología Humana(pre-med) y concentración en Desarrollo. Los que me conocen saben porque regresé. Nada mejor que regresar a casa con la familia en lo que me podía establecer económicamente, regresé con muchos deseos de salir adelante y bien ilusionada de construir mi futuro. Además de que podría jugar en la Liga de Voleibol Superior en PR con lo cual había soñado desde pequeña. Jugar en la liga de aquí les confieso fue una experiencia grata por las compañeras y experiencias vividas en cancha, pero la realidad es que fue una gran decepción por la falta de profesionalismo administrativo. Pero no quiero entrar en detalles, de eso puedo escribir un artículo entero luego. 

Inicialmente tomé el primer trabajo que me dió la oportunidad y creyó en mi, aún cuando no era nada de lo que yo buscaba y ni experiencia tenía con niños. Al sol de hoy es el único trabajo que he tenido. Realmente fue una bendición y una oportunidad de crecimiento increíble, sin mencionar la familia extendida que me regaló. Pero, es de esos trabajos que desafortunadamente no son para toda la vida.  No les niego, que mis primeros meses y hasta años de vuelta en la isla fueron duros. Fue como darme contra la pared. Me había convertido en una extraña en mi propio país. Mi círculo de amistades de la escuela ya tenian nuevos amigos de la universidad. Los lugares que frecuentaba antes, ya no estaban. Yo llevaba 5 años fuera y muchas cosas ya habían cambiado. Literalmente, había regresado a empezar de 0 en la isla que me vio crecer. Fue duro y muchas veces me quise ir ante la desesperación de sentirme así. 

1 año luego de haber regresado, procedo a solicitar para entrar al Recinto de Ciencias Médicas para continuar mis estudios. Y como nada es fácil, durante mi proceso de solicitar a mi familia le toca la dura noticia de que el trabajo de mi mamá iba a recesar operaciones en la isla, lo que tendría eventualmente consecuencias en mi intento de estudiar. Como algunos saben, mi mamá es de Bélgica;nacida y criada, pero ya llevaba 27 años desde que Puerto Rico la adoptó. Si habia alguien que no se quería ir de aquí, era ella. En 27 años mi mamá había aprendido el español tan bien como su lengua madre, había visitado todos los rincones de la isla, le encantaba ir a la playa, y cocinaba un buen arroz blanco (amogollado) con “corned beef”. Nos había criado a mi hermano y a mi con un mezcla cultural entre europeos y puertorriqueños. Y aunque habían muchas cosas de la cultura de Puerto Rico que nosotros no experimentábamos, la realidad es que mi mamá hizo un gran trabajo, sin duda, no me podría haber tocado mejor mamá que ella. 

Para cuando mi mamá le toca irse, a mi me tocó decidir si irme con mi familia o quedarme en PR. Por un momento pensé irme, si total me sentía como una extraña en mi propio país. Pero me quedé, sin saber realmente porque y aún sabiendo que no podría continuar con mi plan de estudiar a tiempo completo pues me tocaría trabajar para poder sobrevivir sola por acá. Además de que estaba en una relación seria con mi actual compañero de vida, tenía fé de que aunque no fuera como lo había planeado iba a poder salir adelante y disfrutar de lo lindo de vivir en mi país aunque fuera sin mi familia.

 Me quede con mi trabajito part-time de instructora de clases para niños que tanto me gustaba y jugando voleibol. Me quedé a construir mi propia vida desde cero con mucho entusiasmo y esfuerzo, pues nada fácil era trabajar y jugar voleibol, todo a tiempo completo, y que la recompensa económica no diera abasto. 

Van 4 años desde que decidí quedarme. No me arrepiento en lo absoluto. Pero dozenas de solicitudes de empleos más tarde, billes en las nubes, y cuentas sin fondos, nos toca en los momentos más difíciles de nuestro país, tomar la decisión de partir a abrir camino en otro lado.  Han sido años de crecimiento, de madurez, de enriquecimiento. Años de vivir en austeridad y solo vivir con lo esencial, con el dinero siempre contado para la compra. Gracias a nuestros padres por enseñarnos el valor de la sencillez y que los lujos y las comodidades no son esenciales. 

Hace unos días entendí, porque el haberme quedado era parte esencial en mi camino en la vida. Me faltaba tanto por aprender de mi pais por las circumstancias (mezcla cultural)en las que me crié. Gracias a estos años que me quedé en la isla, aprendi a ser más puertorriqueña; ahora sí que tengo lo mejor de dos mundos! Aprendí todas las cosas que mi mamá no me pudo enseñar (por razones obvias). Visité lugares de la isla que no sabia que existían, aprendí a cocinar muchas comidas de aquí que no sabia hacer y he comido platos típicos de PR que nunca había comido (gracias a mi suegra). Disfrute Navidades mucho más puertorriqueñas de lo que estaba acostumbrada. Puedo decir que aprendí un poquito a bailar salsa y a pasarla bien en los chinchorros. Y como olvidar los famosos road trips de guiar horas para ir a comer a un restaurante en el campo donde harías 2 horas de fila para comer. He aprendido a valorar más el español y los pequeños detalles de nuestra cultura tan única. Adquirí una familia extendida de la cual estoy muy agradecida. Y llevo con mucho más orgullo, a donde quiera que vaya, la cultura puertorriqueña.
Ser puertorriqueño; no sólo se nace, también se aprende. O por lo menos, así me tocó a mí. A través de mi mamá y mis vivencias, aprendí, que no solo se es puertorriqueño viviendo aquí. Ella es de Bélgica, vive en Texas, y lleva a Puerto Rico como si hubiera nacido aquí. De hecho, ahora que vive lejos me hace enviarle maduritos y sazones y hasta pan sobao de aquí. Pronto me tocará a mí, pero me voy tranquila, porque sé que no importa dónde esté, Puerto Rico vive en mi. 

*L

5 morning habits to have great day!

Hello everyone!

Hope your September Intentions are going well so far. I want to talk a little bit about morning routines. Do you have one? If that’s a no, then here’s why you should get one started.

What you do in the morning is important because it sets the tone for the rest of your day. If you get up too late, then you will end up rushing trying to get everything done, getting ready in a hurry and you will most likely skip breakfast at this point. And as we all know, mornings are that time of the day where the most random situations come up unexpectedly. Like an orange juice spill right before you walk out the door, a flat tire, the dogs ran out, and the hundreds of scenarios that can happen if you are a mom(which I am aware just because I work with children, but really, though, I have no idea what mornings with children are like). So, plan ahead and have plenty of time to deal with whatever comes up.  Your body will thank you later, as you will keep the “stress hormones” (I’ll talk a bit more about those in a future post) at bay.

Going back to good habits… We must remember that we all live under different circumstances, and therefor this is just a guideline to help you create your OWN morning routine. Let’s take a look:

  1. Wake up at a comfortably “early” time – (what is that? does that even exist; comfortably early?) Yes, it exists. And it is different for everyone, based on their jobs, lifestyle,etc… With this I suggest waking up at a time that allows you to complete all the things you usually do in the morning, but most importantly it’s a time were you know you can wake up on most days. Keep it real. Don’t go for waking up at 4:30 am if you know you won’t be able to stick with it, and just the part of waking up will stress you out.  For me, waking up 1.5 -2 hours before my departure is time enough to do my morning routine at a calm pace. I personally take into consideration that waking up before 6am is not an option for me, because I am just not that kind of early bird.
  2. Do something you enjoy – first thing in the morning, do something you really enjoy. This will make you happy and it feeds your soul. It can be anything, really! Like reading a inspirational reflexion, just cuddling in bed 10 minutes before getting up, reading a book, checking your agenda, drinking a cup of coffee or tea, etc… For me, that means drinking my cup of warm water with lemon and honey(it gets your metabolism and system going) while I relax on the couch. Take 5-10 minutes to really enjoy your moment. Remember, you are more likely to feel energised and motivated after doing something you enjoy!
  3. Get moving! – getting some movement bright and early has many benefits like increased metabolism and increased physical/mental energy. Ideally, making time to workout in the morning is the best way to go. It doesn’t have to be a super long workout, actually some 15-20 minute circuits will do just fine. But… we all know this is not so easy for everyone. Personally, I like eating well before working out because I tend to feel dizzy and weak if I don’t. So if I was to get a good workout in during the morning, then I would have to get up extra super early to eat, digest and then workout.  So I decided that my main workout won’t be happening in the morning, except on my days off, that I truly enjoy working out at around 8:30-9am.  So, what do I do instead? I roll out my mat and just get some movement in. Some days I do some light stretching, or a quick yoga routine, or a brief circuit of 2-3 floor exercises (push ups, planks, glute bridges,supermans) to get blood flow going.  Other days I go for a 10 min morning walk with the dogs. This only takes me about 10-15min most. I often include some breathing/meditations as well, this too gets your blood flowing 🙂
  4. Eat well – take time to sit down and eat. Your body has been resting all night and needs nutrients to get going again. If you haven’t yet, drink a full cup of water before eating and take time to enjoy your meal. As you all may heard, breakfast is the MOST IMPORTANT meal of the day, so make it a good one. It should include protein to help you stay fuller longer and carbs to provide you some energy. A few options are boiled eggs with a side of toast, warm oatmeal or overnight oats, scrambled eggs with vegetables or green smoothie. There are lots of options, just DONT LEAVE YOUR HOUSE WITHOUT EATING BREAKFAST! *more on quick breakfast options coming soon*
  5. Set your goals and affirmations for the day – last but not least! Organise your day starting with setting small daily goals. Whatever that means for you. It could be finishing up a task at work, staying more present during the day, smiling more, finishing your to do list, slowing down, etc… Together with your goal, don’t forget to set your affirmation for that day. In case you are wondering, when you make an affirmation it is basically you being in conscious control of your thoughts. Affirmations are short, powerful statements, that become conscious thoughts and since our minds are so powerful it can help us set the tone for our day. For example, I am motivated and focused today! Remember, you are what you think, so think positive. For me this particular part of my routine means writing. I enjoy writing, so every morning while I eat breakfast I take a moment to write down  1 thing I am grateful for, 1 goal and 1 affirmation. This grounds me and helps me keep it present  throughout the day.

    Now that I have shared my morning routine with you all, I hope you find it useful to create your own. Remember, its all about finding something that WORKS FOR YOU…on most days. Have in mind that some days are just a little different and thats ok too. That’s the beauty of finding your Happy Medium ❤

    PS:I would love to hear from you all whats that 1 thing you do in the morning that helps you start your day off right! Don’t forget to spread the love and share the good stuff with your friends 🙂

    Stay balanced and live fully, until next time!

    *L

Monthly Intentions September Edition

Hi all!

Better late than never. How did your August Intentions go? Were you able to accomplish them all? only a few? Most of the time but still got a little work to go? Thats ok. Good thing you are all healthy and alive reading this right now, which means you have a brand new month to keep on working towards that beautiful Happy Medium of yours.

About my August intentions, I must say that keeping it at 5 intentions (compared to 10 intentions when I first started this practice) really helped me focus on them and fulfil them better. If you were wondering if I was able to accomplish them all, I wasn’t. Im “rolling over” to September getting better at Work-Life Balance. For some reason I had pretty busy month juggling “work” and all my little projects I have going on right now, so my mind was constantly running and brainstorming, loaded with ideas and I found it really hard to disconnect and turn it off every once in a while to enjoy other things.
But for the rest of my intentions I did surprisingly well. I visited a new place, I started  salsa classes (my boyfriend and I had been putting that off for years now) and I got  much better at trusting things as they come instead of trying to control them this past month. After having a couple of plans not working the way I thought, I had to find a way to cope with changes coming. As for showing more love, thats one for me to work on ALL THE TIME. I have trouble embracing vulnerability, and to love fully one has to be willing to be vulnerable, so thats something I try to keep in mind most days and months. Its not the lack of feeling love that I have to work, but showing it or I would say verbally expressing love is hard for me.

So for this month, if you started this awesome practice for the first time last month, I invite you to step it up notch and shoot for 5 intentions this time. Let’s take a look at mine:

  • get better at work-life balance
  • do one thing I have never done before
  • stretch and do more yoga
  • face my fears
  • Don’t think… just do.

    Bonus: Write more 🙂

So now that you have learned a little more from my intentions, I would love to know a little more about how your month went. Did this practice help you at all? Any creative ideas of ways to share your intentions in order of holding yourself accountable? Hope you guys are enjoying the few posts so far and stay tuned because I have lots of cool topics coming up. Don’t forget to spread the love and share with your friends, someone might need a little help finding their Happy Medium ❤

 

Stay balanced my friends,

*LFullSizeRender 3

 

 

What is “Happy Medium?

Hello everyone! Im back on it 🙂 I haven’t had much time to actually write but I do have a couple topics in mind to write about for upcoming posts, so stay tuned. As for today, straight to our topic; What is “Happy Medium”? How is it “born”? What does it mean to me?

Happy Medium is a raw open space for growth and personal enrichment. For the longest time I wanted to come up with a space where I could combine all the different things that make me who I am today; my passions, the things I like, the things I struggle with, what I have learned and the art of mindful and balanced living. This space is born from my desire to share with others the journey of finding balance in our daily lives.

It is also a space for genuine sharing and it is a judgement-free zone. Everyone is different and there isn’t a specific set of rules to live by. It’s purpose is by no means to tell people how to live their lives, but to share ways and tools for people to find their Happy Medium. Everyone’s Happy Medium is unique.So, take what you need, share the love and go with the flow. With that being said, I would like to go a little deeper into my background, the meaning of Happy Mediums for me and why I live by it now.

Growing up in an athletic family where both my parents were international speed skaters (how cool huh?), I was exposed to a competitive and driven environment from a very young age. And, don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change any of it if I could because it’s part of who I am today. With a combination of that background and my character (got it from my papa), I certainly became driven to be the best in everything I did and developed a perfectionist mentality, because you know, there’s always room for improvement.  Now, having the perfectionist mentality(its an extreme trait) has its pros and cons, just like everything else in life. On the PRO side, I was highly motivated, determined, persistent and driven to achieve my goals, which also meant to be the best in EVERYTHING I did. That last part, not so good. I had trouble settling for anything less than that, meaning I had to be in control at all times, which turned out to be a huge emotional burden at times. These qualities certainly helped me achieve my goals as a volleyball player. I was able to obtain a full scholarship for volleyball at a Div I school and then eventually play professional.  But my overall perfectionist mentality took a toll on my physical and emotional life, specially when things never felt good enough and I ended up beating myself for it. Growing up I was always underestimated, therefore proving others wrong was my main fuel and eventually I became obsessed with being the best in everything I did; including but not limited to getting stronger, working out, being an A+ student-athlete, eating healthy, being a good girlfriend, looking good, always dressed to impress, etc… Plain and simple, it was a constant competition. That, right there, is the perfectionist side of the spectrum. Then there’s the “I don’t give a crap”  part of the spectrum, which is mostly negative things like lack of motivation/no drive/no goal orientation,etc… which I experienced quite often because trying to be the best in everything is absolutely ridiculous and it drains you so much, that you have to take breaks, and theres no halfway for that. Just like diets, if you starve yourself for a couple days, you will most likely binge eat at some point. I had become an all-or-nothing type. Neither side was working out for me, and so thats how I realised I needed to find that perfect spot, right in between both worlds, my own Happy Medium.

Right after graduating college, many things changed. I moved back to my parents house in Puerto Rico after 5 years in New York  and thats where my journey begins. All of a sudden my life was no longer revolving around volleyball; the one and only thing I knew how to do and did for the past decade. Now I had to find a job and earn a living. I was just starting a relationship and short story, I was in absolutely no control of how everything was unfolding. Actually, I was doing exactly what I had not planned. After a few weeks back in PR, I found a job where I certainly was not the best; it included public speaking, or should I say public singing. Jesus lord! How did I end up working with babies (who I had absolutely no experience with) and having to sing in public (when only the thought of it made me nauseous). Long story short, life took me to the right place at the right moment. It took me to a place filled with life lessons and beautiful people. And all of a sudden, after years of beating myself for not being good enough, I set myself free. At age 24, I picked up yoga and meditations and many things started to make sense and I realised how important balance was to a healthy and happy life.  I found value in the little things, but it wasn’t the same little things I used to focus on before. It was about the little things in the present moment. And the little things I could control., like my attitude, my awareness, my patience. Through yoga and meditation I learned to control my self awareness, my ability to stay present,  and most of all the ability to be patient(Yes, patience can be learned). Now a days,  there are a couple of things I keep in mind on a daily basis that leads the way of finding my daily Happy Mediums in the day by day circumstances. Here a few of them:
1)It’s much easier to work on little short-term goals or meaningful intentions that will take you to a bigger dream or goal.
2)Life isn’t necessarily about being the best in something, specially not in everything. Life is about purpose. Life is about balance.
3)Nothing in life is black or white/all-or-nothing. We gotta give and take a bit.
4)Being the best at something is pretty awesome…but doing something you love, with a purpose will make you truly happy… and thats priceless!
5)There is a Happy Medium in everything in life… You just have to be willing to find it.

And my favourite one… Life happens somewhere in between the highs and the lows, and thats exactly where happiness is.

I hope you enjoyed getting to know me on a deeper level and learning about where Happy Medium comes from. Stay tuned for many more fun and enriching posts to come. And don’t forget to work on your August intentions because September is just around the corner.

Stay balanced and live fully,

*L

 

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Setting Monthly Intentions!

Hello everyone! I am very excited to share a little piece of me with you and see where this goes. My name is Laura Gonzalez, but mostly known as Laurie. I am twenty-eight years old and mostly figuring out life as I go. I am passionate about life, health, nutrition, relationships, wellness and our capacity to balance all aspects of living a healthy and happy life.

It has taken me a while to get this up and running,  but I finally found my ideal first post to share with you, which is something that resonates with me very much. And so, I want to introduce you to ” A Happy Medium” , a space for sharing, and loving, and finding balance in this messy life we live.  Starting off my main focus will be to promote awareness about ways to live a balanced life, but as you know, things evolve as they go, so I am very open to whatever this becomes too.

As I get everything going, I want to get started sharing with you my favorite habit to do every time a new month comes around; Setting Monthly Intentions. It’s only the first week of August and it’s never too late to start, specially when it comes to setting a few intentions to work on for the next couple of weeks.  So if this is something you resonate with, get a paper and a pen and lets get started.

How to start your monthly intentions:
1) Start thinking about things you want to achieve, learn, do, etc…
2) For your first set of intentions, start with these 3 things…
– something to work on to be a better human being
– something to learn
– something to let go of
4)Write it down in a place you can keep track of it every month
5)Make it visible! Write it on empty picture frame or on your bathroom mirror with a “dry-erase” marker so you get a daily reminder.
6)Share it! Hold yourself accountable by telling a close friend or someone you trust.

*(Find my August Intentions below)

Now that you have your intentions set, its all about enjoying the process of putting the effort everyday. I hope you find this practice useful and a good way to achieve little important things every month towards living a more balanced life. Remember, it’s all about the journey and making the best of what you have. Do not stress or get upset for not fulfilling all of your intentions, give your best and embrace it all. Truth is, the intentions itself are not what is of most importance, but the lessons learned and the moments we live through focusing on these little “intentions”.  You can find my August Intentions below. Let me know what you think and I look forward to seeing your intentions. Don’t forget to enjoy the process.

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Stay balanced and live fully,

*L