Tag Archives: growth

Soy Sauce Ninja says I’m Taller

I drew this Ninja in my left over soy sauce with one of my chopsticks

I love embracing that part of myself that’s forever playful and curious. I love sharing my child like ways of viewing the world and encountering people. I still play in my food and see imaginary animals and made up creatures in the patterns of wood grain in tables, doors and floors. I love the sense of endless possibilities and limitless creativity. This is where I live, in a world of ANYTHING is possible and it feels amazing.

I was at Trader Joe’s recently and saw one of the friendly clerks and she said, “I haven’t seen you in a while. Where have you been?” All of a sudden I felt like a little kid, like when I used to be greeted with something like the following, “I haven’t seen you in a while, look at how much you’ve grown” except since I’ve been a full grown adult, I can’t remember the last time someone has noted my growth. Which is kinda a bummer, ya know? Cuz I’m still growing.

So, I asked her, “Do I look taller?” She looked at me kinda puzzled and said, “Not really, why? Have you grown?” I said, “I’m always growing, ya know spiritually,…”. She paused to ponder the notion and said, “Yeah I guess we’re still growing I guess. Hopefully, anyway.” I said, “Yup! Look at me I’m spiritually taller” She tilted her head back with laughter as she restated what I had said, “I’m spiritually taller,…. oh that’s great.” To be completely honest with you guys, I’m actually physically shorter. Last time I was measured, my doctor logged 5’7″ even in my chart. I’ve been 5’8″ in the past, and I’ve been hanging on to that height in the 5’7.5″ range, but had to totally come to terms with being shorter when I measured in at 5’7″ even. That’s ok, I’d rather be spiritually taller.

© 2018 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.

IMG_1976.JPG

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

Changing and yet, some how staying the same

I just want to be clear about this girlie side of myself that I have been exploring. I do love it. I really do, but I have to say it can be really frustrating sometimes, because at 44, it sorta’ feels like I should be more practiced at styling my hair and applying make up, which by the way I don’t do yet. I bought some make up and I’ve tried it a couple of times, but it feels very awkward. I don’t wanna walk out of the house looking like a three-year old who’s been playing with her mommy’s make up.

So, I try, every now and again with the eye shadow and then I shake my head at myself in the mirror and remove it. I feel I am doing well to fix my hair and wear a little lipstick. Even that frustrates me sometimes, because my hair,… Ugh, my hair. It’s getting longer and I just don’t know what I am going to do. Honestly, on the weekend I mostly wear a ball-cap. I’ve been trying scarves and pins and it just gets to be too much sometimes.

I appreciate the space Keri provides for me to explore. I appreciate her support and her efforts to help me come up with solutions to my hair troubles. She’s even purchased some girlie t-shirts for me. She’s very sweet. I appreciate her sense of humor when I come home with a 90’s hip hop hairdo. I appreciate my best friend, Shanna, helping me transform my awful 70’s feathered hair style into a 90’s hip hop look. I appreciate her encouraging me to get little flowers painted on my toe nails, which I wouldn’t have even thought to do and resisted at first, but now I love it.20140824-172235-62555113.jpg

What I appreciate most is the love I have around me and the fact that I am loved just the way I am whether I decide make-up is for me or not, I am who I am and no outward appearance is going to change that little factoid.

I find it interesting that as I am writing this and listening to my iTunes on shuffle that, Just the Way You Are by Billy Joel comes on. It is so fitting that I have placed it on repeat, but I think it’s important to emphasize that I didn’t choose it to begin with, it just came on in a random shuffle. Every single thing happens on purpose. I totally believe it.

I just want someone that I can talk to,
I want you just the way you are.

I said, I love you, and that’s forever.
This I promise from the heart.
I couldn’t love you any better,
I love you just the way you are.

Thank you. Love abounds.

20140824-171257-61977108.jpg

© 2016 Angel Zamudio

Without a Break Down, There’s No Break Through

If you believe in yourself enough and know what you want, you can make it happen. – Mariah Carey, American singer and song writer.

I recently had a realization about myself and to be completely honest with you, it’s not like I didn’t know this about myself because believe me, I’ve been very aware of this internal struggle, but it wasn’t until recently that I finally got sick and tired of the paralyzing fear this struggle created within me. The struggle is real and I’m certain it’s a common struggle. So, my hope is that by sharing it with you, it will provide some insight into how to deal with it yourself or shed some light on this struggle you may have noticed in someone else.

Deep breath, as I’m about to share some of the most vulnerable parts of my soul, the fears that make me feel like a scared little girl. You may not believe this about me because I’m very outgoing and pretty fearless when it comes to being in front of a group of people, but my paralyzing fear is related to sharing or expressing an opinion. Wow!!! It feels so much smaller and insignificant once you get it out. I know I share plenty of opinions here within my blog, but it feels very safe in here. I’m talking about speaking up in a conversation where the potential for disagreement exists.

In the very recent past, I’ve noticed I’ve shied away from speaking up in group messages. I’ve noticed, when I’ve been in a group text, I’ll purposely wait for someone else to give the first response in an attempt to get a gauge for others are feelings before I chime in on the conversation. In social situations, in the past I’ve become paralyzed with fear up when someone looks to me for support when a differing opinion is presented. I don’t like that paralyzing fear, I don’t like feeling incapable of supporting people who look to me for backing.

My recent realization has brought me to tears a few times because I believe myself to be a very loyal person. I want nothing but the best for those that I love, but when fear keeps me from being able to provide the best of me to them, it’s time for a change.

Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 8.21.15 PM

Thank you, Shanna. You helped me see myself in a different light.

I shared my realization with my best friend, Shanna, on Thursday and she sent me a message that opened my eyes a bit. I never thought about it this way before, but here’s the message she sent me.

On Friday, Keri and I were on our way into downtown to take her to work and I was still going over my realization in my mind and talking it out again with her. I declared I was going to overcome this fear. I told her, I’m stronger than I think I am sometimes and I used to say, like many others, “Awareness is half the battle” but in recent years I tweaked that old adage just a bit. Now I say, “Awareness is half the VICTORY and I’m going to overcome this debilitating fear” and do you know what she said to me? I was kinda shocked, but she said, “Of course you are!” I whipped my head around to look at her and I said, “Really??? You said that with such certainty,…” She replied, “You are the MOST self reflective person I know. Look at how far you’ve come,…” My chest swelled with an amazing sense of confidence. I feel so fortunate to have so much love and support in my life. I hope by sharing my fears that awareness will be broadened and another person’s path to self discovery will be shortened.

Maturity. I think it’s over rated.

I don’t know how many of you listen to meditation music, but I do, especially when I’m writing my blog because the lyrics of songs can be so distracting. Writing for this blog is very reflective and introspective.

I feel like over the last few years that I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve grown quite a bit. I know myself way better and I’m more patient and gentle with myself on my life journey. Maybe it’s the self-reflection and introspection of the writing and maybe its the hours and hours of meditation music I’ve listened to over the years. Who knows,… I’m inclined to give credit to both.

I do know, however, that there is something to be said for quieting the noise of our very active minds. I know that when our minds are crowded with thoughts, whether they are thoughts of worry or reliving upsetting situations or trying to figure out why something happened the way that it did or why someone has treated us in a manner that we find displeasing, it makes it all the more difficult to hear the subtle and quiet divine answers that may be trying to reach us.

I believe it was Einstein that said, “We cannot solve a problem with the same mindset that created the problem” and that my friends is why it is so vitally important for growth and change to slow down, quiet your mind and allow divine guidance a chance to assist you. This has done WONDERS for me in my transformational growth. I’m more confident in myself than I have ever been.

However, transformational growth doesn’t always affect maturity, hence the point I was going to make about meditation music. Have you ever noticed how the waterfalls in meditation music always make you feel like you hafta’ pee like RIGHT NOW!!!! Jump up and go to the bathroom and then get yourself settled into some still quiet mind time.

Tip: go to Pandora create a station called meditation by the sea. It’s one of my favorites. Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 8.37.53 AM

News Flash!!!

I am a gay woman!!!

For the last 20 years of my life, I have grown with, shared my life with and loved one woman. She is the love of my life. Her name is Keri and she is who I call my double dose of adorable wife. She lights up my life every single morning she walks down the stairs of our home and into the kitchen where I am usually making coffee, sometimes our lunches, but always my morning shake and when she gets to the kitchen, without fail, a smile pops up on my face. I always tell her how cute she is and it happens every morning. I’m so happy to be so happy and still feel theses kind of feelings after being together 20 years. I feel so lucky.

IMG_9809When there were so many options of who you could spend the rest of your life with, I just have to say, Thank you Keri for choosing me.

Brave Little Pre-K Princess

The little girl pictured in this blog is not biologically or even legally my niece, but as much as she can be in my heart she is 100% my niece. Isn’t she adorable?
Why am I clarifying the specifics of wether or not we are actually related? Well, I’ll tell you. I attended her preschool graduation this last week and as I sat in one of the two rows filled with her family and friends who were there to support her I felt myself beaming with pride as she preformed with her class mates. She was a stand out in the performance. Her voice was strong and clearly heard above all the other kids. I could feel myself smiling so big as I watched her. I knew she had been practicing the songs and the Pledge of Allegiance. She did great!!! 
I was so proud and from my seat, as she spied me in the audience, I gave her two thumbs up, letting her know I thought she was awesome. The next day when I went to her ballet lesson she was wearing a light blue leotard and a matching shear dance skirt with sparkles on the skirt and the cutest little pastel pink leg warmers with sparkles as well. I told her how proud I was of her leading performance in her graduation the night before. She told me, “They told me to say it loud and proud, Auntie Angel and I did it without screaming”. Picture me with a big’ol smile on my face and I said, “You sure did and we all heard you”. 
I talked with her about the sparkles on her ballet outfit and told her she was a sparkle. I told her that she was a bright shiny person in the world and that she was brave and strong. I explained that in her new level of school there would be some bigger kids she might have to stand up to and let them know how brave she is and that she will not tolerate anyone mistreating her. She said, “Like (she mentioned a little kids name)” and I said, “Yes. Do you think you could tell him you don’t play with kids who aren’t nice and walk away?” She thought she could and I reassured her that I believed she could because of her sparkle, her bravery and strength. 
I am proud of her and that brings us back to the clarification of us not being related. Before I began writing this blog I read up a little on the subject of being proud. I was kind of shocked to read some comments following another person’s blog from people relating feelings of resentment associated with someone being proud of them. I don’t understand and I am open to thoughts and feelings being shared to help me see other points of view. Like all things, there are many opinions on this subject. 
Perhaps it’s simple minded of me, but I believe when you love someone, regardless of their age or if they are “related” to you or not, when you faced with opportunities to observe moments in their life when they’re showing growth beyond their former self it’s completely appropriate to be proud of them.
Auntie Angel is beaming with pride for you Little Lexi princess. Congratulations on your recent graduation and always remember your bravery and strength. You’re a bright shiny sparkle in the world and I love you very much.                           

 

Can you imagine???

This past weekend I was visiting with a friend and she asked me about the t-shirt I was wearing. I’m guessing her curiosity was peeked because the phrase on my shirt wasn’t in English. I can’t write out the phrase because it’s written in Russian and I don’t have a Russian keyboard, but I can share pictures. 
The translation of this Russian phrase is, Love Conquers Hate. The reason it’s written in Russian is because the shirt was created to raise awareness of the fact that in 2013 Russia enacted harsh anti-LGBT laws banning propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations and banning same-sex couples from adopting children. 
Since the laws were put into place there has been an increase of violence against LGBT in Russia. LGBT people are being murdered, pelted with eggs and blinded by air gun attacks. My friend had heard of this news regarding Russia and was appalled. She said to me, “Can you imagine living in a place where you didn’t have the freedom to express yourself and the love you have for your wife?” and I simply replied, “Yes, I can imagine that because I’ve lived that reality in my lifetime.” 
My friend looked at me and said, “Oh yeah. You have lived that haven’t you?” I told her the story about when I worked in an office in Oklahoma and my boss said to me in 1998 mind you, “We love you and we don’t have a problem at all with your relationship with Keri, but we have an older base of clients and we have to ask  you keep Keri’s gender to yourself when talking with our clients.” 
Wow. Ok, the options, in my mind at the time, were keep my mouth shut regarding my personal life or refer to Keri as a man and give her a male name. I was young and needed my job. I opted for calling her Ken and referring to her as my husband. I was only able to do that one or two times because it felt so wrong. I decided to keep my mouth shut. Which, if you know me at all on a personal level, you’d know that was very difficult and spirit killing. 
For a split second, I was slightly put off by my friend asking me if I could imagine living in a place where I couldn’t express myself, but quickly I realized it was really an amazing thing to be living in a time when a person, who I know is an advocate for the expansion of diversity, was asking me if I could imagine this situation. This is a clear sign to me that progress is happening right here in my lifetime. I actually love it that this situation is unimaginable to people in my generation. That’s a pretty awesome progress!!!
By the way, we got the hell out of Oklahoma in August 1999. The level of acceptance and freedom to be our whole true selves increased dramatically when we moved to Portland, Oregon. It’s amazing how wonderful it feels to share my life and the love I have for my wife. A feeling I will always cherish. 

 

Truth Bumps

Recently, I’ve been experiencing transformational growth and this growth is directly related to something a I’ve been attempting. I’ve been practicing the art of diverting my attention away from subjects that don’t serve my greater good. How do I know when I’ve stumbled upon one of these subjects? My emotional guidance system alerts me. It’s very simple.

When I feel sad, frustrated, irritated, or anything less than content I simply allow myself to let it go. I may cry some tears sometimes and when I get lost long enough for the crying to linger, I catch the tears in a tissue. I imagine all the sadness or frustration leaving my body through those tears. Once I’ve captured the tears in a tissue, I imagine all those overwhelming feelings are now in the palm of my hand in that tissue and that’s when it’s time to let it go. I hold my hand out way from me and simply turn my hand over and the tissue and all those feelings falls from my hand.   

My process of letting go.

I encountered a woman this last week who was carrying some sadness with her. She walked into my office and right away seemed not quite her usual self. I asked her if she was ok and her reply escapes me now, but what I do remember is my response. I said, “I know just what you need” and I walked out to her and gave her a big’ol Angel hug.  

 
As our hug ended she was tearing up and said, “You’re gonna’ make me cry”. I placed my hand on her knee and asked why she was upset. That’s when she told me about her cat. She hadn’t seen him in a few days and was fearful he had a fateful encounter with a coyote. 

I empathized with her and shared what had happened to me that very morning. I was in the middle of my morning routine, my rampage of appreciation, and I looked up and expressed my gratitude for my connection to my Ultimate Creative Source. I expressed gratitude for my connection to my dad, who now lives in the realm of Eternal Spiritual Beingness. As I was looking up with my arms raised above my head, I said aloud, “I love you Daddy” and as if he was right there with me, wrapping his big’ol daddy bear arms around me, tears began to stream down my face.

I do miss hearing his voice and his laughter, but what I really like now is that he’s with me ALL THE TIME. I never have to miss him and that’s what I shared with this woman and she said, “You’re giving me chills” I said that’s because, “I’m sharing my truth with you. Those are truth bumps”      

You know the moment when you’re listening to someone tell a story about something that moves you, something that rocks your foundation,… You know because you get truth bumps.   

Should We Upgrade Ourselves?

My favorite thing about life right now is being green. Not to be confused with being environmentally conscious, however, I do place a great deal of value on such a consciousness. In this particular scenario I’m talking about, ironically, the metaphor of being a plant.

 

I’d rather be green and growing than ripe and rotting.

 

I love knowing I’m incomplete, this doesn’t imply, I feel I’m not whole. It means I feel I’m perfectly incomplete, content with my current OS (operating system) and consistently providing feedback to my developer, eager for an upgrade. Current OS: (45.4)

 

I love learning and growing. It’s so exciting.