Monday Inspiration; September 29, 2014

By: Gabriela Yareliz

I just realized that I thought I had some days off this week, but I was wrong. (Typical). Oh, Monday! Why so cruel? (Grin). All right, people; we are going to celebrate Monday.

This is a new thing (at least in my world). Monday sets the tone for the rest of the week–and hey, we are starting a new month this week. Ironically, most weeks feel like a month long. :)

We got this, guys; we got this.

How do I know it’s all going to be ok? I wear glasses.

Let’s do this:

1] First, HELLO OCTOBER! (You charming, charming and seductive month)

2] Risk curiosity, wonder and spontaneous delight

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3] Make sure there’s alone time

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4] Leave a sparkle wherever you go–always

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4] Focus on personal growth

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5] Have at least one adventure this week

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6] From the heart speaks the mouth. It’s good to remember for ourselves, and as Maya Angelou once said, when people show you who they are, believe them.

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7] NEVER FORGET (even when the going gets tough)

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[Images from Tumblr]

A Philosophy of Walking: Living Deeply

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

“The eternal child is one who has never seen anything so beautiful, because he doesn’t compare. [...] But the walker who marvels while walking (the blue of the rocks in a July evening light, the silvery green of olive leaves at noon, the violet morning hills) has no past, no plans, no experience. He has within him the eternal child.” A Philosophy of Walking, pg. 84, Frederic Gros

Chinatown; Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Chinatown; Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

NoHo (?); Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

NoHo; Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

East Village; Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

East Village; Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

“Living in the deepest sense, is something no one else can do for us.” A Philosophy of Walking, pg. 90, Frederic Gros

East Village; Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

East Village; Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Tribeca; Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Tribeca; Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

City Hall; Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

City Hall; Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

“To walk is to experience the real.” A Philosophy of Walking, pg. 94, Frederic Gros

South Street Seaport; Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

South Street Seaport; Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

South Street Seaport Museum; Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

South Street Seaport Museum; Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

South Street Seaport Museum; Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

South Street Seaport Museum; Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

The first man to write a treatise on walking, Henry David Thoreau, said:

“Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”

Amal Alamuddin Weds George Clooney

These two bosses got married today. Congrats to the newlyweds!

I hope their lives are filled with happiness, joy and love. Most of all, I hope they continue to use their power and influence to help those around them. May they continue being excellent humanitarians, together forever.

POWER COUPLE MADE ON SEPTEMBER 27, 2014.

Skin Deep

By: Gabriela Yareliz

I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the past. I am doing this thinking it might help someone because it’s slightly mortifying for me. I really believe that when God blesses you, you should pass it on, and share the blessing with others. So, I thought I would share a bit of my skin journey. I hope this will be short. I am not a doctor or dermatologist. I just wanted to share what healed my face. I am so grateful every day for the things I discovered and learned that helped me.

My first breakouts in life were in middle school. As any average kid that age, I had breakouts. Eventually, I found Proactiv, and my problems went away. In high school, I had normal skin; not too problematic, but at times there were some breakouts. My weight changed a lot during that time–you know, normal high school stuff. In college, my skin cleared up completely, and I had issue-free skin basically.

When I moved to NYC for professional school, everything changed. I figured it was due to the water, maybe the polluted air, school stress–it had to be something. My skin was terrible. I had acne running down my cheeks, on my chin–it was a mess. I think my skin was the protagonist of many of my conversations with my mother. Thanks to my terrible breakouts, I began experimenting with concealers of all types, which would leave my skin dry, flaky and scary. There was a time when I kind of gave up on covering anything up. Then, if and when things would clear-up, it would leave a shadow or scar behind. So even if that particular breakout had healed, I still had something on my face. I was a mess (maybe emotionally more than in actuality).

I changed all of my makeup, my brushes (and kept them super clean), and I started using only natural products. Nothing happened. I went to Sephora and bought face kits from many major and expensive skincare brands, starting with natural stuff and then going into salicylic acid and more powerful chemicals and minerals. Even the Peter Thomas Roth products would leave my face burning and red, but no results. I disliked events and special times when most people looked fabulous, and I felt like a mess and gross because of my skin situation. Not my best times.

I didn’t understand why I was breaking out so much. I was vegan, exercising, and I didn’t feel abnormally stressed. Also, I was an adult. Why was my skin regressing? Turns out that in adulthood, we keep changing.

Below, you can see my face in 2013 (and this was on a mild day with makeup).

July 2013

July 2013

August 2013 Makeup free and at Manhattan Beach.

August 2013 Makeup free and at Manhattan Beach.

Everything changed when I went home December of 2013. At this point, I was angry and resigned all at once. I was just trying to master the art of makeup and do the best I could with what I had. My mother told me that a friend of ours at church had great skin, and my mother asked her for her secret. Turns out, she juices a lot. Then, we started doing some research. I watched a video that talked about gluten and wheat. The video encouraged a 30-day, gluten-free challenge. I decided to do it and see how I felt, even though I was skeptical (what was I going to eat? I was already vegan!).

My mother bought me a juicer for Christmas (yay!), and the journey began in 2014. My New Year’s resolution was to juice and be gluten free. The worse that could happen was my face would continue to be a mess, and I would have more nutrients in my system. I couldn’t lose anything. Of course, my life became an eternal lent. I am pretty sure Gandhi ate more things than I do. But that’s ok; he needed it. He was waaaay skinnier than I will ever be. :)

Being gluten free was harder than juicing. My first juices were disgusting, but things got better. With the blender, when I would try to juice, it turned into a vomit-looking substance. With the juicer, it was juice. Kale juice, but juice. As I was gluten free, I started doing more research about the difference between having celiac and simply having a wheat allergy. Turns out wheat allergies cause serious skin and acne problems and even eczema.

After a month, I was already seeing a difference. I ordered some Proactiv and added it to the mix (if it worked once, why wouldn’t it work again?) My skin continued to clear. Eventually, even most of my scars faded. I have been mocked and been called a fad-dieter; there are times I have been hungry because I couldn’t eat what was around; I learned to bring my own food to events–but it has been worth it.

I also met people who were really understanding and would help me hunt for gluten-free food (my colleague this summer was great about that). The point is– it worked. I think the biggest factor in my situation was the wheat. When I cut out the wheat, things changed DRAMATICALLY.

So, if you are having skin issues, or know someone who is having acne or skin problems… all hope is not lost. Turns out there are natural ways to reverse the skin damage. This will not work for everyone. Obviously, every person is different. Some need to go to a dermatologist and get a prescription. But, if you have a mild or new and random skin situation, and you are trying things out, why not give the gluten-free thing a try?

There are times when I catch a glimpse of my face, and I remember the way it used to be. It was horrible. I definitely learned about how our appearances and the absence of things that are often taken for granted (like good skin) can affect how we feel in dramatic ways. It was not an easy road; it still isn’t. Some people say they would never give up eating something to look or feel better.

We all make choices. Some choices mean sacrifice and inconvenience. I made my choice though, and it works for me. So, I’ll be stickin’ to it.

“I see health as a journey, not a destination. It’s ever-changing because if you’re not growing you’re dying–in every area of your life. My goal is to always move toward being better.” Maria Menounos for Shape Magazine, October 2014.

See for yourself:

May 2014

May 2014

July 2014

July 2014

Three words: Praise the Lord.

Hero

From nmagazine.com.br

By: Gabriela Yareliz

Sometimes, we discourage people even though we mean well. Often, we can’t see when people are really unhappy because all we see is what we want for them. We keep pushing them out of love, not out of malice, because we think we know what is best.

I heard Wilson Wilson Jr. tell Tim Taylor a quote: You don’t raise heroes, you raise sons.  And if you treat them like sons, they’ll turn out to be heroes, even if it’s just in your own eyes.”  – Walter M. Schirra, Sr.

I think this is something a lot of parents know. I know my mom always guides us with wisdom and patience. However, I recently realized that I was not being very understanding about something. Instead, I was holding others to the rigid expectations I have for myself. And this doesn’t just apply to raising children, it applies to how we treat and the expectations we have of everyone around us with whom we relate.

Life is complicated. We learn something every day. Thank God.

Facing Loss

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By: Gabriela Yareliz

Some nights, I listen to Delilah on the radio. Old habits that stay a lifetime, I guess. There is something soothing about her voice and wisdom when night falls. Stories and old favorite songs float around in the darkness as slumber finally seduces the senses into stillness. I love the stories, and I have written about the stories I hear on the show on the blog before.

Tonight, I was listening to the radio show, and I heard a story that was so sad. It is a tragedy. A woman called to let her friend know she is there for her. Apparently, the friend’s brother was killed in an accident. He was getting out of his car to help a dog, and a truck hit him.

The woman started sobbing on the phone while talking about her friend’s loss.

I didn’t want to share the story to depress everyone, but hearing this story helped me remember how important it is to constantly be praying for one another.

Let us pray for this woman and her family. They have suffered a terrible loss. Let us pray for all of the broken hearts and shattered spirits around the world.

The woman who called sobbing for her friend also reminded me about the meaning of love. It’s about crying together and celebrating together. It’s about being there no matter what.

Let’s be true friends. Let’s be a caring outstretched hand. Let’s allow ourselves to be moved for others. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to feel pain.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV)

Some promises to keep in mind:

“Be of good courage,
and He will strengthen your heart,
all you who hope in the Lord.” Psalm 31:24

“These things I have spoken to you, that in me you might have peace.
In the world you will have tribulation:
but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering;
(for He is faithful that promised;).”
Hebrews 10:23

“Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer;
thou shalt cry, and He shall say, Here I am.”
Isaiah 58:9

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.”
Psalm 34:18

God’s promises never fail.

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“God is patient; God is kind. God does not envy or boast; God is not proud. God is not rude, self-seeking, nor easily angered. God keeps no record of wrongs. God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. God always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. God never fails.”