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The Youngest Nobel Peace Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai

 
Amazon
My heart swells with love and hope.

Education is the foundation for independence. When I was a little girl, I was expected to excel in academia. As a woman, education was woven into the thread of my existence. I realized when I was a teenager that education is denied to countless around the globe on the basis of gender. In many countries, girls are denied the right to an education.

Malala Yousafzai courageously defied the cultural bounds placed upon her and she nearly lost her life because she was determined to go to school. She was shot in the head because she was on her way to school and that was forbidden.

Today, she became the youngest person to win a Nobel Peace Prize.

Malala,

May your light keep shining and may you continue to inspire others. The world stands with you.

With love and gratitude,

Vx  

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The Perfect Opportunity

Last week, I received a message from a well-known Hollywood producer. I recognized her name because I watch several shows she has worked on, and she appears in the credits of those shows. She sent me the message inviting me to appear on a show she is currently casting for. It's a show that features couples, and I was beyond thrilled to receive her message.

The only thing is, due to my boyfriend's career, we are unable to leave the country for extended periods of time - she show is going to be filmed in South America.

Naturally, I was bummed, but I remembered that the perfect opportunity at an inopportune time is not one that should be pushed. All things come at the right time.

I am humbled and honored that someone who works on national TV found me worthy of an invitation. It brought back memories of my teenage years and how modeling agencies and recruiters constantly invited me to join their agency, and due to my focus on school and other reasons, I was not able to take advantage of the fantastic opportunity that presented itself.

I've had to reframe "missed opportunities" as possibilities that may arise later in that I will have more flexibility to explore. What I've learned about opportunities is that most often, they are unexpected. They are like bursts of possibilities that occur throughout our lives. Even if I am currently unable to take the offer to appear on a show, it has opened up a channel of communication between myself and this Hollywood power player, and that, in and of itself, is a wonderfully perfect opportunity.  

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I've Been a Very Bad Blogger

I've been traveling, sick, traveling, working, writing, and putting the finishing touches on Become Your Own Bliss.

I am completely aware of my shortcomings as a blogger. I am flat-out bad at it. I think it's because a part of me feels (ridiculously) that the meaningful things I have to write about should go into book projects, outlines, and notes. I've forgotten how much I relished in the process of unloading my thoughts on a regular basis on this medium of communication.

Between August and September, I treated myself to a Facebook-less existence. I signed out. Even my posts to Twitter and Instagram were limited. I have enjoyed a long trip out of town, recovering from a sinus infection, and getting back into the swing of things without the distraction and clutter that social media news feeds smattered into my consciousness. It's good to detox every once in a while, and it feels so good to do so.

I'll do better as a blogger and writer and overall person. Using the "I don't have time excuse." is ridiculous and isn't valid. History has shown that if the action/person/pastime means something to me, it's something I can make time for.

No more excuses.

What do you want to do better with?

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On Love and Loss

Earlier this month, I relived a painful part of my adolescence. Grampa, the maternal grandfather of my best friend, Megan, who is also the paternal grandfather of my boyfriend Keith, passed away.

The last time I saw Grampa was last November when Keith and I visited his family for Thanksgiving. It felt good to be back in the Mitten, as I had visited with Megan who is my Sandbox Lover, when we were teenagers over a decade ago. I got to know and love her family. Her grandparents became the closest people I had to my own grandparents, who were thousands of miles away in the Philippines.

When my grandparents grew old, sickly, and finally passed, I wasn't able to go to them. I never got to say goodbye properly, so the closure I experienced from around the globe has felt incomplete.

I have since felt a deep, hollow sense of longing for one last hug and kiss, and I believe that sense of loss is something I must live with until I meet my loved ones again. The important thing about love that I have learned since the loss of my grandparents is that love does not go away. It simply takes on another form. I'm beyond thankful for all of the times my beloved grandmother, Mama, softly reminded me,

"When I am no longer here, know that I will be with you. Physical distance won't be a barrier for us anymore. I will be close to you until we meet again."  

I often feel my Mama. Often when I pray and meditate, I see her in my mind's eye. I remember so vividly how she so intensely prayed that she swayed as she spoke to God. I feel her in my stillness. I hear her whisper to me the right thing to do and as I carry out my purpose in this world as a writer, I know that her spirit is with me. 

My heart is full as it aches for Grampa's family. He was a beloved and respected by so many in his tiny Michigan hometown. Judging by the condolences the residents of Cheboygan left the remaining members of his family, Grampa was a force within his community. His passing has reinforced the stark reality that all of us will leave this plane of existence. Our bodies will fail and our souls will move on as our legacy lives through our loved ones. 

I am honored to have been loved by the grandfather whose family so generously shared with me. It was his elation at the prospect of my union with his grandson that made me believe that it was a good idea. After Keith and I began spending time together, Grampa followed us around his daughter's kitchen with a disposable camera, chuckling in his deep, gravelly chuckle, asking to take our photo. 

It meant so much to me that he loved seeing me with his beloved grandson. 

Saying goodbye to Grampa was the closest thing I felt to closure with my own grandparents. A person is never the same after a loss of that degree, but it is in their legacy, in what I was taught by them, where they live on. 

Every time I write,
Every time I practice kindness,
Every time I look into the eyes of my beloved, 

They live on. And I am so humbly grateful to have known and loved them. 

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5 Ways to Be More Grateful

Today is the eve of my 29th birthday, and I'm feelin' mighty grateful!

Whether you are currently in a floating, happy place or in the midst of struggle, I want you to serve yourself by stopping for a moment and to appreciate whatever you're going through. As I look back on my life, I realize how important it was to go through everything - regardless of how nonsensical or painful the situation may have been at the time. Today, I am grateful for all of it. 

It would serve you to be more grateful, too.

5 Ways to Be More Grateful

  1. Don't judge the situation you're in. Just move within it and be grateful for what you can learn from it. 
  2. Remember that your existence is a miracle. 
  3. Do things that make you feel grateful. Watch a sunrise. Breathe in fresh air. Snuggle a pup or kitty. 
  4. Celebrate differences between yourself and others around you.  
  5. Look at how far you've come. Do your best. Give life your best shot. 
Always, always, always, say Thank you. 

 



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Having a Bad Day? Let That Shit Happen

I have a confession to make.

Yes, I coach people to work toward becoming their most blissful. It is my calling to bring about shifts in people's lives so that they can bear witness to their own power. They learn how to make their own miracles happen.I recognize that it isn't because of me. I just show them what has been bubbling beneath the surface all along. I'm a messenger.

However on certain occasions, I move within the realm of pissed-offness. On days that are few and far between, I am not a happy camper, and there's no rhyme or reason for my bad day. There doesn't need to be.

Like today.

Perhaps it is because the world is on fire. Perhaps it is because I see pain and suffering all around and people's ignorance propagating human negligence, cruelty, and atrocities. Every once in a while, I allow it to bring out the anger and frustration I generally keep a lid on because I'm tired of feeling helpless.

Before I hit my meditation pillow, it's a shitty day and I'm mad as hell about everything I can't help. I'm OK with it. I sit with my frustration because when I feel this way, it gives me a point to re-calibrate to. I usually go out for a run to shake off the negativity, or I practice yoga.

My point is,

When you are having a bad day, let that shit happen.

Let yourself feel it. I'm not saying take it out on those around you, because they don't deserve to be subjected to your bad day, but give yourself time to move within it before you decide to make shake it off.

I usually give myself five minutes because I don't enjoy feeling emotionally cloudy or heavy.

But then, I hit my meditation pillow, and in the silence of my mind and the beating of my heart, I remember that my time on this earth is limited. That being angry without being led toward serving what will alleviate the anger is a waste of time and emotion. I remember how grateful I am to be here; to occupy this time and this space, and I wonder how I can make things better, in the one-person-can-change-the-world sense of better, and then I do whatever that is.

How can I use my actions and words to move forward and leave anger and helplessness behind, or to use those to fuel my endeavors?

The bliss I have found comes in the form of being of service to anyone who may need it, even in the midst of my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day...which I remain grateful for.



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The Universe Has My Back

On rare, blessed occasions in life, we are sent kindred souls who echo sentiments that our spirits whisper. Today, I spent a rare day off with a friend, Courtney, who I consider a spirit guide as well as trusted confidante. With her, our friendship is uplifting and enriching as it is easy. Spending the greater part of the afternoon with Courtney today gave me the reassurance that I did not realize I was seeking.

Today, Courtney blew my mind because for the first time since I began the process, I admitted out loud how overwhelming and humbling this process has been. She responded by echoing, verbatim, sentiments I have said or written. Building a business; writing my first book; leaving a life that was comfortable and taking a chance on myself have all been intensely world-shifting to say the least. I am working on implementing balance between my work, rest, recreation, and pleasure.

"It's not about me; it's about the message."


I said this about two weeks ago to my significant other when I was expressing mild frustration about being in the midst the billionth round of editions to my manuscript. I refocused my energy from my deadlines to the content. That the work I release has been a labor of love that has been crafted to serve and inspire. None of it is about me; it is through me. 

Courtney said at lunch, "It's not about you, it's about the message. So you have to make sure that the message is perfect before you release it." My jaw dropped as soon as she said this. She vocalized what I knew all along.

"Don't let yourself get in the way of your success."


This heading is the original heading to this very blog post I began writing last night. I felt so deeply about reminding people to focus on their goals in order to move forward with their lives, versus allowing themselves to be trapped within their realm of perceived possibilities.    

Imagine my awe and elation when - you guessed it - Courtney said this to me, once again verbatim, today at lunch. Without knowing it, she single-handedly gave me permission to have faith in what I have been secretly trusting with my whole being. I now know without a shadow of doubt, that:

God, The Universe, The Powers That Be have My Back.

And I know it has Your Back, too.


In the span of one afternoon, my friend innocently encouraged me. But I don't think she realized how powerful her words were. I have tears in my eyes as I type this because soul sisters have been so rare in my life, and when I meet one, I consider them to be precious and enlightening. I am blessed to have a handful of light-bearers. 

Listen to those who love you and who uplift you. They are messengers who were sent to you to guide you, inspire you, and love you, even when you think you are falling apart. I hope that you have your own version of Courtney. Everyone should be blessed with someone in their lives like her.


Who in your life brings you luminous hope?
   

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Become Your Own Bliss

Dearest Loves,

As most of you know, I've been working on Become Your Own Bliss, my debut as a published author. My original release date for the book was set for Monday, July 14, 2014. 

Due to a last-minute massive edit, I am forced to push the release date for #BYOB a few weeks. Don't worry, it will be available for purchase before the summer ends. I will make announcements on every social media front, and every single one of my websites for the final release date.

However, I am honoring my original release date by publishing the corresponding website to Become Your Own Bliss, and I will be posting gifts leading up to the release of the book. 

We have much to look forward to! 

Blissfully yours,
Veronica

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Get Your Blissification on The Talk 2 Q Radio Show

Tonight at 8:00 CDT/9:00 EST, get your Blissification on The Talk 2 Q Radio Show! Click on the link for details. 


It'll be my first time as a guest on a radio show, and I'll be chatting with Q about my upcoming book, Become Your Own Bliss, (#BYOB) and how much I love being a life coach, and other stuff.
Join us!



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Project: Fresh Start

During some of the most trying times in my life, I went to my mother for advice. The common thread that wove the events together was that they were the turning of the page from one chapter of my life into the next. "Change is the only constant in life," my Mom would say, "get used to it."

That has been the singular best piece of advice I've ever received, which is why I have learned to brazenly swim into the turning of the tides.

Change 

Starting anew is deliciously terrifying. There are fewer things that can blissfully rattle the human psyche more than a fresh, bright, new start. 

When we make the conscious choice to move forward while using fear as power rather than a hindrance, we not only do we allow ourselves to grow by leaning into our edges; we give others permission to do the same.

A month ago today was my first day completely devoting my life to my coaching practice and my writing. I've never felt more liberated, and the transformation has not only been surprising, it has been awe-inspiring. I am bravely putting my future on the line by betting on myself.

Stop doing what you dread and give yourself a chance.

My soul is grateful that I have.

"Do what you love and everything else will fall into place."



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Late Night Confession

I confess:

I LOVE honest people. God, do I love honest people. People say the truth hurts, but I'm OK with a little bit of pain.

BS - low tolerance for.

I do my best to think differently, every day (but Facebook makes it so darn hard).

Swearing feels so good sometimes. Fucking loooove.

I surround myself with my books and my dogs.

I stay up most nights writing, finishing stuff up, crafting words and absorbing them.

I hate that my best friends are so far away, but we text every day.

I'm obsessed with lip balm.

The past couple of months have been kind of hectic for me; I owe some of you mail. It's coming!

And lastly, I truly believe that people are not told enough that they are loved. So, whoever you are, wherever you are...You are enough, and I love you, from the floor of my thumper. <3 <3 <3

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