Monthly Archives: December 2016

Say HELLO to 2017

Yes, the end of 2016 is here and you’ll be seeing a great deal of media coverage regarding, the best of, and the worst of 2016 in the upcoming weeks, As you watch, read and reflect on the past,…. I implore you to remember where it took place. Yes, that’s right ALL of 2016 (with the exception of the remaining hours of this day) is where? In the past and yes, there were some amazing things that happened in 2016 and some not so amazing things, but we’ve already lived all of those moments. We’ve already felt all those emotions and where did all of that experience get us?

It got us to where we are now, which is the new and improved, expanded versions of ourselves in the NOW. There’s nothing we can do to change what has happened in the past. Regardless of what has happened, good or bad, it has helped clarify in our NOW what we want and don’t want for our future. We have a choice to utilize everything we’ve learned and expanded into, right here in this red hot moment of NOW. Right NOW you can positively affect your life. Right NOW you can change the course of your life. Right NOW you have all the power to make this day exactly what you want it to be. Making a choice today to focus your attention on the good of each moment will have an growing positive affect on the days to come.

Here are a couple of examples:

1. You encounter someone who’s in a bad mood, when you greet them they’re not exactly in a friendly mood, their response to you is short and a bit gruff. DON”T take it personal. It has nothing to do with you, with this knowledge you’re able to graciously grant them the time and space they need to process their feelings and be in whatever mood they choose. Maintain your happiness and move on. #1 they’ll appreciate you for allowing them to be authentic to themselves. #2 they might be inspired by your maintained happiness to make a choice to let go of or find resolution to whatever it was that made them grumpy, but if they don’t, that’s their business and you can continue on with your day in your happy mood.

2. Someone is confused about something you have complete clarity about and they come to you for help. You explain what you know to be true to help provide the clarity they’re seeking, but they seem to be stuck in confusion. They keep asking questions, your choice to maintain your inner poise knowing you have clarity will allow your inner calm to help guide them out of their confusion. #1 They’ll appreciate the fact that you care enough to take the time to explain, subsequently creating an opportunity for their resistance to subside with their elevated mood. #2 They just may reach the clarity they’re seeking as you’re guiding them with compassion. #3 You both walk away a little happier for encountering each other.

2017 OpportunityEvery encounter provides an opportunity. So, yes, you have the power to positively affect 2017. How will you tweak your perspective, your thoughts, actions and reactions to improve your future?

 

© 2016 Angel Zamudio

How to Create Space for Happiness

Have you ever felt not quite yourself? Have you ever squirmed with discomfort in your own skin during a conversation or a particular situation? Have you ever had a strong emotional reaction to something someone else did or said without even attempting to understand their intention?

You don’t have to answer, we’ve all had these feelings. We’re all human and we all come equipped with emotions. Sometimes,… well, let’s just be honest here, most of the time we allow ourselves to get entangled and imprisoned by these mix ups of emotion and misunderstanding. I know it’s uncomfortable, I’ve been in those situations and all I’m trying to do here is to raise awareness, because what I’ve come to know without a doubt is this,

The circumstances of your life exist because you allow them to exist.

img_3962When you think of yourself in a frustrating situation you see yourself as powerless and that is because you’re keenly focused on the problem. The way to gain power in your life is to take a deep breath and then take a few more deep breaths. When you can feel your emotions subside a bit, step back from the problem, loosen that kung fu grip you’ve got on your emotions and see if you’re able to actually set your emotions aside. Then you can evaluate the problem from a fact based position. Focus on a solution and even if the solution you come to places you in a position of approaching someone who you “feel” has “caused” you discomfort, when you approach them with the intention of understanding their perspective and intention, with a clear mind and an open heart, you may very well be surprised to find the whole thing was a big misunderstanding. It always is a misunderstanding. The question is are you poised enough to guide the situation towards a solution? With desire, determination and practice, I promise, you will gain the poise needed to guide any willing participants towards a viable solution.

Now, not only have you made steps in the direction of creating more space for happiness in your life, you may have just freed up some space for someone else as well and that feels a whole lot better than squirming around in your own skin, don’t you think?

You have power in your life, will you dare to be brave enough to use it? I believe you will. The reason I believe you will is because we all came here to be happy and happy feels SOOOO much better than, well,… anything else.

© 2016 Angel Zamudio

So Fresh and So Clean Clean

It seems to me, it’s been a while since I’ve shared a funny story and sometimes you just want a little humor in your life. Right? So, here we go,….

The other day Keri, Marbles and I were walking around the Northwest District of Portland. We had gone to that part of town for our favorite coffee. We call it “special coffee” and in a town full of green crosses, I should clarify, No, not THAT kind of “special”. LOL. It’s special to us because of the flavor, it’s a hazelnut cream. YUM!!! We get it at an adorable little coffee shop called The Dragonfly Coffee House. They have yummy foods too. I love the full of love living room feel of this place, there’s always a community cross word at the counter while you wait for your coffee or yummy pastry and they’re always so friendly and kind.

Anyway, we had placed our order for coffee and decided to have a piece of zucchini quiche as well. It all was super yummy and none of these details really have anything to do with the story I’m telling, but I thought you might like a bigger glimpse into our morning and now you have a coffee place to check out if you’re local or visiting.

Once we finished our quiche, we proceeded with our second intention of the morning, get Marbles on a walk. We had our special coffee in to-go cups and we headed out. Marbles was doing his usual doggie thing, sniffing all around, watching every dog who passed with his indelible question, Wanna play? We all had places to go, things to do and if we wanted to provide an opportunity for him to play, we would have taken him to a park or buddy’s house. We were “on a walk”.

Marbles seems to understand this concept and after a minute or two of watching a potential wrestling buddy continue their walk in the opposite direction, he resumes the sniffing about in our intended direction. There are always 3 practical reasons for a walk with Marbles; exercise, pee and poop. The added benefit for all of us is joy. I always enjoy looking at the sky, looking at the plants and the sunshine.

This particular walk provided an additional level of joy, as we were in the process of providing exercise and had already checked off, pee from our list, Marbles assumed the production position. We call him our little producer. When one of us takes him out at home, upon returning we always ask, “Did he produce?” Anyway, the answer for this walk was yes and boy howdy was it a stinky one. I said to Keri as she was being a responsible puppy momma, “Whew, that’s a stinker!!!” She wryly responded, “Well, I haven’t pick one up yet and thought to myself, What have you been eating? Candy canes? Your poop is so fresh!”

OMG!!!! This wife of mine keeps me in stitches with her quick wit and sarcastic sense of humor. She’s so funny and you never know what she’s gonna say next. The following drawing is a representation of came to mind when she responded.candycanepoop © 2016 Angel Zamudio

WHAT? No beer???

One of my favorite things in the whole wide world is when some one starts talking about a particular challenge in their life and they are totally ready to be inspired. You can totally tell when someone is ready to be inspired because every encouraging thing you say to them makes perfect sense to them and they are nodding in agreement the whole time you’re talking to them.

I encountered this delightful situation this last week when one of my friends and co-workers started talking to me about starting a new eating regimen for the purpose of reversing her lactose intolerance. I can not speak to the validity of this cleanse because I’ve not done any research on the subject, but what I can speak to is this young woman’s enthusiasm for making a positive change in her life.

Her name is Courtney and she is the one that has done the research. She is the one that has decided to make a change in her life. She was talking to me about the restrictions she has decided to place on herself in an effort to reverse her intolerance and was sharing some of the details. The next 5 months (starting after Christmas) she will cut out breads, sugars (even natural sugars (so no fruit), no beer or wine, and honestly, I don’t remember all the details, because once she said, “No Beer”, I kinda went into shock.

I’m kidding about the shock, but serious that I don’t remember all the details. Once Courtney mentioned how hard it was going to be, I shifted into inspiration mode. I said, “It will be as hard or as easy as you decide to make it on yourself”. She agreed and came back with, “That’s right and if I don’t ever do it. I’ll be lactose intolerant for the rest of my life”.

Yes, that’s right. As long as we remain unwilling to make a shift, we can only hold ourselves in place of responsibility for the circumstances that exists in our lives.

We talked about situations that are out of our control, such as people bringing treats to the office. I told her about when I had a clarifying moment a few years ago. Some very sweet well intended person brought some yummy goodies to the office and I said to myself, “Who’s the son of a bitch that keeps bringing in the goodies?” and then as if divine wisdom was whispering in my ear, this question came to me, “Well, who’s the son of a bitch that keeps putting it in your mouth?”

Ahhh HA!!!

It was really a very cool conversation. I am very excited for Courtney and the change that she is planning to make for herself. 5 months really is not that long at all. I believe in you. I am not saying there won’t be challenging moments, but with the right mind set it’s going to be much easier. It’s all about choices and how much you really want the change you are seeking. You have control over yourself, your thoughts and your actions.

I believe with the right attitude and desire any one of us could make any change we desire for our lives. We all have the power to make it as easy as we’d like for it to be.

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How My Amazing Birthday Can Help You

I had an amazing birthday over the weekend guys. It would be difficult and quite lengthy to list out every single special moment that made it so awesome, but the ONE thing I want to share the most is that the moments that made my birthday so special were regular every day things.

A “tears of joy” loving conversation with my wife on a country drive, an endearing phone conversation with my mom while sipping a fresh cup of coffee in my pajamas, a brief and love filled conversation with my son on his break from work, messages of love and happy thoughts from so many friends and family via Facebook and text messages, hugging and laughing with my best friend and having sushi for dinner.

Nothing fancy or extravagant, just every day things and the reason this is so important to me to share is because EVERY day is filled with regular “every day” things, you see? So, my point is this, it doesn’t have to be your birthday, Valentine’s Day, an anniversary or even Christmas to be an amazing day. Every day holds the possibility be an amazing day with a practiced and intentional focus of appreciation for the everyday things.

I know it’s a risk, because what if you try it and you don’t have an amazing day? Well, then you can at least lay your head on your pillow at night with a smile on your face, knowing you tried. You’ll sleep better and wake up feeling more refreshed than the previous day and then you’ll try again. I promise you, with practice of intentional focus on appreciation, it will get easier and your happiness will increase. You didn’t give up on trying to walk when you were a baby,… So, what do you say?

How can you start TODAY??? Oh boy!! I love your enthusiasm!!! Start by writing a list of the first 3 to 5 things, beings (human or otherwise) or places that pop up in your mind that you appreciate. Then, either sit and think about why you appreciate those things, beings or places or write about them. It doesn’t have to be lengthy, it just has to generate a good warm feeling. This could be a 10 to 15 minute exercise. Through the day when you begin to feel frustration brewing, STOP, take a deep breath and recall what you thought or wrote about. Pay attention and feel the flame fueling that brewing frustration begin to cool. All I’m trying to say here is, you hold the power, you always have.

Reach out and grab it!!

© 2016 Angel Zamudio

Did Life Throw You a Curve Ball?

There will be times in your life when it feels as if you’ve been thrown a major curve ball. You’ll end up in places or situations you never would have imagined. You can plan and scheme with the best of the best, but I guarantee there will be a time when you’ll be faced with challenges you never even considered and it will throw you off you game. It will put a hitch right smack in the middle of your giddy up.

The very best way of preparing yourself for just such a situation is to practice, Practice, PRACTICE unbending faith in your own ability to shift your focus towards something, ANYTHING that makes you smile. What makes YOU happy? Think about it!!! Decide and then think about it often. What’s the worst that could happen? You might get happy? Well, I say throw caution to the wind and practice happiness.

fullsizerender-10The next time life throws you one of those lovely curve balls, step right back up to the plate and into that realm of practiced happiness. Life is full of lessons and there are teachers everywhere. One minute you’re the student and the next, you’re the teacher.

© 2016 Angel Zamudio

What’s the #1 Best Investment?

I’ve always been a HUGE sucker for just about all love songs. I remember when I was a kid, I loved hearing the words of love songs sung with such emotion. I could actually feel the heart break in the lyrics of unrequited love songs. I could feel the ache of desire when I heard those songs. I was a young girl with feelings of love and crushes for other girls. It was a very confusing time and I had no idea where I fit in, so those songs of unrequited love really resonated with me.

In 1987, Whitney Houston sang, I wanna dance with somebody, Somebody who loves me. Who was gonna dance with me or love me when nobody even knew who I loved? In 1991, Lisa Stansfield sang, Time to make you mine. It was the very beginning of my mind really opening to what I thought was the fullness of who I really was. I was certain that song was written for a woman in love with a woman. It wasn’t too long after this that I was bravely embarking on a journey of true love.

In 1995, I met the love of my life and there have been so many love songs through the years that apply to my relationship with Keri. In 2003, Alicia Keys sang, I ain’t got nothin’, if I ain’t got you, and true as that is for me, this is when I began to see that even more important than our devotion to each other was the devotion we held in our hearts for ourselves. I know it seems selfish to say that my relationship with myself is my #1 priority, but if you stop for a moment to give it some thought, you might begin to see that maintaining yourself as your #1 priority, only provides an opportunity for you to provide the very best of yourself to those closest to you.

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Loving yourself sends love out to everyone. Start right now.

Self love is your #1 investment in yourself. Yes, I sing love songs to myself. Listen to that Alicia Keys song again and imagine looking at yourself in the mirror.

© 2016 Angel Zamudio

How Would You Like to Hold ALL the Power?

Having and maintaining a positive attitude is easy when you know how. The trick is leading with a full heart, focusing the lens of your life on goodness and letting go of anything that displeases you.

screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-6-56-16-pm When you pause for a moment and consider what you are doing to yourself when you hold on to hurtful situations whether intended or accidental, it places you in a tremendous place of empowerment.

You have a choice. Which would you rather do?

A) Harbor it and continue to feel bad or

B) Let it go and feel better

The choice is yours and you hold all the power. 🙂

 

© 2016 Angel Zamudio