Tag Archives: The Universe

Attitude of Gratitude–Day 18–Bad Ass Ladies

Today is March 8th, International Women’s Day! This post is going to be short and sweet, but it is full of gratitude to the amazing woman who have transformed my life:

Mom–Numero uno! Thank you for bringing me forth into this amazing world and leading me with your example.

Mimi–The woman who taught me the true meaning of glamour.

Aunt Denise–A faithful mother to the entire Guerra clan!

Chris–My surrogate grandmother full of wisdom and love.

Betsy–The most amazing teacher, motivator and supporter!

Wendy–My guide to the stars,and all things big picture. Love knows no bounds for this woman.

Kelley–“I solemnly swear we are up to no good.” My partner in crime and fellow adventurer!

Alicia–A perfect example of the mixture of hard work and big brains!

Emily–The most kind hearted and beautiful soul I know.

Jessica–A ray of light and a friend to all.

Virginia– My mystic mamma with a knowledge for all things wilderness.

Kaitlin–My badass lawyer to-be, kicking butt and takin’ names!

Shaakira–A dancer filled to the brim with faith.

Madjane–Elle est belle, elle est forte, elle est folle.

Zannah–Soul. Sister.

Meredith–This girl is following her dreams around the world and back again.

Erika–I know no other as fabulous as she.

Alicia H–A woman so fierce and fantastic, so bold and beautiful.

Sophie–This witchy woman harnesses the power of the moon to free herself (and others) from being bound by social norms.

Nicola–Brimming over the top with love and beaming with light.

Maura–A positive, genuine and hilarious female role model.

Kristin–A woman who misses no small detail and is prepared for anything.

Brittany–Fabulous, fly, fantastic, and fleek.

that bathtub

To all my ladies,

Thank you for the love, guidance and support you have given to me. You are all beacons of light, shining forth your radiant power into this world. I am grateful, humbled and honored to have you in my life. Happy women’s day one and all!

Lots and lots of love!

Lizzie

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Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return — 40 days of gratitude, a renewed lenten promise

Today marks the beginning of the Lenten season in the Christian faith. A common tradition for this time of fasting is to give up one (or many) of your vices as a reminder of your humility and devotion to God.

Fact: I was born and raised Catholic. I was baptized in the Catholic faith, I received First Holy Communion and was EVEN confirmed in the Catholic church. I have given up everything from chocolate and candy bars to Facebook for Lent, and yet somehow I know next to nothing about the significance behind this important Catholic tradition. What I was doing during my 16 years of Sunday School is beyond me… I was mildly interested, and that’s a generous statement. But in the latter part of my life, I can say in all honesty that I have have struggled to claim this part of my identity that I was brought up with.

So today, as the priest on our campus offered the traditional blessing, the marking of palm ashes in the shape of a small cross on one’s forehead, I hesitated. I felt a mix of Catholic guilt and my new agey beliefs overwhelming my decision making processes. Was it possible to reconcile my Catholic identity with my spirituality? Part of me feels that I can have a relationship with God without having to smear a big black cross on my forehead as a symbol of my devotion. Yet another part of me felt particularly uncomfortable not receiving the ashes.

I waited until the very last minute and dashed forward to say that I would like to have mine. All the while I was making excuses to myself and those around me as to why I hadn’t come forth earlier. The priest marked my forehead and I mumbled an unconvincing “Amen,” not sure if I was supposed to even say that or not. And then I stood there in the middle of the school cafeteria with my big-black-smudged up forehead, feeling a mix of humility and shame. I felt humbled by my ego and ashamed that I had no clue as to why receiving ashes was even a tradition.

So, like any unknowing fool, I promptly wikipedia’d the significance of the Ash Wednesday.

#ashtag

My search quickly unveiled most of the uncertainties I had about the significance of Ash Wednesday and left me with this tidbit that my new age spirituality could really vibe with:

Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.

It struck me in a very non-denominational way, and cut straight to the point.

To me this read: you, human being, are made of the universe — hydrogen, helium and other trace elements. You were created in this form to live a human experience, and when you die, your body will return to where it came from.

I found this elegantly simple and in line with the natural cycles we experience all the time. It is as if to say that the daily rising and setting of the sun or the 28 day moon cycle or the turning of the seasons is as much an innate part of our experience as our life cycle–ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

As I began to reflect on the cyclical nature of life, I found myself contemplating the renewal of a cycle I began last year during Lent. Last year I made a commitment to my writing and to an attitude of gratitude, and I wrote for 40 days, each day outlining what I was most grateful for during that day. It was one of the most rewarding challenges I ever set for myself, and it genuinely changed the way I perceived my daily level of happiness. Not every day was perfect, but I was so focused on what I was going to be grateful for that day, that I learned how to transform my hardships into lessons, my lessons into gratitude, and my gratitude into happiness. Things such as loneliness and heartbreak became positives, and I learned of my capacity to turn the smallest moments of my day into powerfully meaningful blessings.

There have been scientific studies demonstrating the power that gratitude can have on a person’s happiness, and I truly believe that it is not happy people who are thankful, but thankful people who are happy.

And so, I recommit myself to this cycle. Another Lenten season, another 40 days of gratitude.

Today I am grateful for my kickboxing class. Not only do I leave feeling the benefits of a good workout, but I am also able to interact on a social level with members of my community. It is a time of day where I can focus all of my attention into the present moment, to dance around a punching bag, to inhale and exhale, and to focus on my form. I get to be serious and to laugh at the same time and to allow all of my external worries melt away.

I am grateful for this channel of expression that allows me to tune into the present moment. Instead of being an escape, it is an hour and a half of complete awareness. Thus, I would like to offer up my gratitude today to the confidence, power and energy that I receive from this class, and to the people with whom I share those sacred 90 minutes.

#attitudeofgratitude

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Twenty-13

Dear Lizzie,

I was about to wish that your every dream come true. That you find yourself surrounded by friends, laughter and good times. I almost wished that your every cup runneth over financially, romantically, spiritually, and creatively. That good health be your faithful companion, peace your guarded ally, and love your perpetual guide. When suddenly, it dawned on me that as an infinite, powerful, fun-loving gladiator of the Universe, with eternity before you and the power of thoughts to shape it….It’s you, Lizzie Guerra, who will be granting wishes this year.

10..9..8..7..6..

The Universe

Dear Universe,

Thanks! I appreciate your eternal support and confidence in all of my endeavors. I will continue to place one foot in front of the other with a smile on my heart and swagger in my step. I can’t wait to find out what kind of wishes I will be granting this year!

Always and forever,

Lizzie

Happy New Year to all my friends, family and fellow earthlings. What are your New Years resolutions, reflections, conclusions, new beginnings? This year I am going to take to the kitchen and concur my fear of grocery shopping!

Facelifts all around, starting right here with my blog…I’ve revamped the layout and the title so that they better reflect my current life style. Though don’t be misguided by the photo either. I’m not living in the sandy dunes of the desert. The new cover photograph was taken on a trek through the Sahara last year. My subject was our Berber guide; a fitting picture to go with the title Nomad–emphasis on the OM.  I will continue with my posts, but expect more music and photographs, and (inshallah) some recipes of the new cuisines I will be learning to cook!

P.S. If you liked my note from the Universe sign up to receive them yourselves from tut.com! They’re amazing!

 

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