Radical

By: Gabriela Yareliz

No one is born knowing. I like this saying. It reminds me to be patient with myself when I am facing new circumstances and learning to deal. Sometimes, I place an unbelievable amount of pressure on myself.

This past week was an intense week of “learning to deal.” It was draining, emotional, and there was a question mark at every turn, inquiring of me, “Who do you want to be?”

I deal with a lot of upsetting situations. Things many people would be surprised to learn still happen.

In my profession, an attorney is more likely to be sanctioned or lose her/his license for misplacing escrow money than for being a racist, sexist bully. I am tired of a world where we care more about paper than a human being.

Someone once said that the paper money puts a roof over your head when it rains; but I would like to think that if we live in the right way and maintain relationships with love and respect, a person can offer you more than a roof over your head– a person can save you, so to speak. A person can offer you genuine and disinterested love and laughter. A person can dress you and bathe you when you are sick. Paper money cannot. Yet our priorities and what we celebrate are the other way around.

In my own frustrations and things I encountered throughout the week– as I learn to deal, I am reminded how radical life can be when you want to be a follower of Jesus. It means seeing the world and people through a lens that is very different from how others see things. That includes the upsetting things.

Today, my bible study group started studying the life of Peter. It was a profound reminder to me how God takes a person with no self-control, a wild temper, an air of superiority and filled with ambition, and He molds it into something beautiful and powerful. He completely transforms Peter.

In my figuring out of life, which is littered with plenty of mistakes, pride and feist, I see a God who has a radical sense of justice, holiness and love. A God willing to walk with me and transform me. That’s what I find most profound. Transformation doesn’t involve a Disney moment and a magic wand; it involves walking with God.

I think that when we look at Jesus’ disciples in scripture, we are reminded that we all speak from our corners with our own ideas, but in the end, none of us really knows what we are talking about until we are transformed by a radical, loving God. A God who asks us to love our enemies and offer them a place under our roof; a God who forgets no one and values flesh and blood over gain or fame.

This past week, I experienced frustration, hostility, sadness, anger, exhaustion, joy– and God keeps telling me despite all of it that He can transform me, use me and that He wants to walk with me.

As Easter nears, we are reminded to look up at an uplifted Christ on a cross. As we struggle and try to stand, we are called to cling to the cross so we can stand. It is only then that we truly understand what grace is. It is at the cross that we are reminded that the pure, Godly things are radical. Radical service. Radical love. Radical life.

Monday Inspiration: March 27, 2017

“Everything you do right now ripples outward and affects everyone. Your posture can shine your heart or transmit anxiety. Your breath can radiate love or muddy the room in depression. Your glance can awaken joy. Your words can inspire freedom. Your every act can open hearts and minds.”
– David Deida

March Madness & 73 Questions

“Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn.” Lewis Grizzard in Kathy Sue Loudermilk, I Love You

By: Gabriela Yareliz

Happy spring. Here in New York, one minute, it feels like spring is finally here with a sigh of relief– the next minute, it’s bone-chilling cold.

This month has been busy. Which month isn’t? I know, I know.

I felt like this month revolved around deadlines and other people’s agendas and times. Now, in this last week, I am exhausted. I wrote an insane post I never published detailing my frustration of trying to meet everyone’s expectations and desires, while living on the verge of cardiac arrest (is this hyperbolic…? I don’t even know, at this point).

That post I never published was written in my Notes, on my phone, on a stalled and delayed train stuck underground, while each ticking minute ensured I was another minute late to my haircut appointment.

The last part of that post read, “This evening, things are on my terms. I have exhausted myself and my apologies.” Let’s just say, thank God my stylist is a gorgeous Persian woman, who sat me in her chair and brushed off the failings of our insane public transportation system in NYC, and she instead talked to me about hair supplements and how long my bangs had gotten since I had seen her last. I needed that.

What is this crazy pressure we all accept to be put under? I miss Florida. Ahhh peace. This week on the train, a girl in front of me almost fell and in efforts to grab onto the poll, she smacked me in the face, full force. I couldn’t even be mad at her because I noticed that she almost fell, but that slap in the face stung. I blinked several times to make sure my contacts were still in and resumed reading my The New Yorker.

Is this what Camus was referring to when he said, “Live to the point of tears“? I doubt it. But what did he mean?

The cold and this whole dance has exhausted me. I am taking my rest more seriously. I cherish the mornings where I stretch in bed and linger there.

I am excited about spring. I am excited to leave my coat on a hanger and have the breeze and sunshine hit my legs. I remember one spring, I marched a couple blocks down to Washington Square Park. I had on a flowy skirt. I sat on a bench, propped up my legs and pulled up my skirt a bit like a scroll to try to tan my legs. The sun was shining, but it was freezing. I remember I stayed there for a bit, shivering, and then ran home. I am not going to push it this time. But oh, how I long for it!

Spring always represents a new beginning. There is something fresh and alive about it all.

I am always seeking for ways to grow myself and be transformed.

“For many people, [self-]transformation is a terrifying exercise, so we look everywhere for capable guides.” Amanda Petrusich, All In, The New Yorker, 81, March 13, 2017.

I have been reading a ton, (except for the news), praying a lot, and I am doing a reading-prayer plan in preparation for Easter appropriately called, Preparing Our Hearts for Easter, by Timothy Keller, on The Bible App. It’s a 40-day reading plan. So far, it has been such a blessing.

I have been digging for new recipes and flavours, and trying new things. I also started my exercise routine to get in shape. I am thin but so not toned for summer. The work out begins. I even made my own playlist on YouTube of fun Latin songs.

I have recently developed a fascination for Vogue’s 73 questions.

“What is one thing every woman should have in her closet?” Joe Sabia

“A bra. Duh. If your girls aren’t high lifted, what else is?” Ashley Graham

If you were interviewed, what 73 questions would you want to answer?

I stare at the calendar, and I can’t believe April is just around the bend.

Love. Spring. Warmth. Flowers. Peace. Joy. Patience with myself. Sunshine. Forgiveness. Dreams. Hope. Plans. Dancing With The Stars. Wedding. Beauty and the Beast. Camila Cabello.

Everything I am trying to cultivate and I am excited about, now.

Ugh. This post is all over the place. It’s an accurate reflection of my brain.

I guess Joan Juliet Buck is right: “If you know what you’re going to have written before you start, you’re bored, you have no energy, and you don’t want to do it. But if it’s an adventure of discovery, it’s more dangerous, but it’s much more exciting.”

And to add to the madness, my own 73 questions– Vogue style. I loved listening to other’s answers because it made me reflect on where I am today.

1.First thing you do when you wake up? I pray and read something inspirational. I also love looking at photography. If I see something I like in the mix, I will text it to my boyfriend.
2. What is the last thing you do before bedtime? I pray, talk to my family and write to my boyfriend.

3. When is the best time in NYC? Early summer; when they turn on the fountain at Washington Square Park.

4. What do you miss the most about Florida? My family, the people, driving down green roads, sleeping on sunny benches.

5. What is next? Publishing a book.

6. Essential item you pack in your purse? Tweezers.

7. Essential product you don’t want to live without? H2O Moisturizer.

8. One thing no one will ever find in your bag? Lotion.

9. Go-to drink? Lime-Ginger-Cayenne juice.

10. Advice you would offer your 18 year old self? You are stronger than you know.

11. What is one pet peeve? Lazy people.

12. What is your spirit animal? Raccoon; curious and agile.

13. Fashion Icon? Amal Clooney.

14. Favorite lipstick shade? Sunset Angora #176, L’Oreal.

15. On a scale of 1 to 1,000, how neat are you? 750.

16. What’s the best thing going on in life right now? My relationship. ❤

17. What is the best thing about your relationship? I am dating the best man I have ever met.

18. What is one thing every woman should have in her closet? A colorful silk print scarf that can be tied around the neck or around the head, turban-style.

19. If you were in a band, what would the band name be? The GGs.

20. If you were a bond girl, where would you be from? Puerto Rico.

21. What would your name be? Gabriela.

22. What is one country you wish to visit? United Arab Emirates.

23. What is your work out anthem? Despacito (Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee).

24. One thing people would be surprise to learn about you? I love cleaning.

25. Most memorable pick up line that has been used on you? “Will you touch me today, miss?” So weird.

26. One book that has had a positive impact on your life? El Tiempo Entre Costuras by Maria Duenas.

27. What advice do you have for other women? Failure is not an option.

28. What series would you kill to see a reboot of? So Little Time.

29. What is a movie that made you cry? Life is Beautiful.

30. What is a movie that made you laugh so hard that you cried? Life is Beautiful.

31. If your life were a song, what would the title be? “Great is Thy Faithfulness”.

32. Who is the most handsome Disney prince? Aladdin.

33. What do you find yourself doing a lot of, these days? Cooking.

34. Current obsession? Supplements.

35. Can you make any prediction, about anything, exactly one year from now? I will be one year closer to 30.

36. What do you do on your days off? Go on an adventure with my boyfriend.

37. What is something you own that you truly cherish? My Bible.

38. What is one hobby you will never give up? Writing.

39. What’s one hobby that you plan on picking up? Fencing.

40. How would you describe yourself in three words? Introspective, passionate, loyal.

41. What scares you the most? Losing someone I love.

42. What is your favorite exercise? Dancing.

43. What is your favorite candy? Peanut M&Ms.

44. What is your favorite thing to eat? Tacos.

45. What is your least favorite thing to eat? Eggplant.

46. What is your first memory of life? My mom dressing me in my pink Barbie birthday dress (I think that was my 3rd birthday), while I was on my parent’s bed.

47. Who do you look up to the most? My mom.

48. Where do you see yourself in ten years? Married, with a family, in a sunny place.

49. Fictional character you would want to spend the day with? David Copperfield (Charles Dickens novel).

50. Fictional place you would love to live in? Genovia.

51. What is the movie you can watch over and over again? Princess Diaries 1 & 2.

52. What was your favorite movie as a kid? A Little Princess.

53. What is the best gift you have ever received? A trip to Paris.

54. What is the coolest thing about your family? How close we are.

55. What is your favorite thing about your mom? Her strength and beauty.

56. The silliest nickname ever given to you? Gabbers.

57. In general, when do you feel the most beautiful? When my boyfriend hugs me.

58. When do you feel the most creative? In the shower.

59. What is your favorite song to blast in the car? “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

60. What is your most overused word? “Bizarre.”

61. If you had to choose another career, what would you be doing? I’d be a professor.

62. What do you have left on your bucket list? I want to dance a tango.

63. What’s your favorite holiday to celebrate? My birthday.

64. What angers you the most? Being misunderstood.

65. What are three things you look for in a  man? Loyalty, caring and a seeker of truth.

66. Who did you have a crush on when you were younger? Boston Rob from the series Survivor.

67. What is your favorite place to visit? Florida.

68. What was the name of your first pet? Spidey (Beta Fish).

69. If you could have a super power, what would it be? I’d heal people.

70. What is the app you use the most? Notes.

71. Who is your favorite teacher? Mrs. Partridge; she taught us everyone has a gift and should use it to bless the world.

72. If you could teach one subject in school, what would it be? Foreign language.

73. What one thing do you need in your refrigerator at all times? Butter.

And now, I am off to work on that summer bod.

XOXO.

G

 

Come Walk With Me: Playa Sucia (Dirty Beach)

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

By: Gabriela Yareliz

This was my favorite stop. Breathtaking views. Skies and ocean for days.

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

The Problem With Being Sincere In Our Error

Sincerity of belief does not justify the belief. This is why we must seek truth, which is something objective and absolute, not subjective.

“A drunkard reaches a point at which (for the moment) he actually believed that another glass will do him no harm. The beliefs are sincere in the sense that they do occur as psychological events in a man’s mind. […] But errors which are sincere in that sense are not innocent.” The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis, 38

Sometimes, we try to justify our acts or beliefs with our sincerity. But if they aren’t in line with God Himself and His character, our sincerity is worth nothing.

Two Kinds of People

“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” […] No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. To those who knock it is opened.” The Great Divorce, by C.S. Lewis, pg. 75