When doors close

OK, here they are. The words I have been running away from.

Things are different for me. My reality, my life has changed once again and here I am trying to make sense of it all with these words.

I feel as though exploding is the only alternative to keep bottling up my feelings. You see, this, right now, for me is magical. Not because I think my problems fade away, but because I pour them into the world in the hopes of someone out there catches them and feels connected. And that, my friend, gives me peace.

I have a theory for why I felt the need to write today. It is because it became too much for me. Too much change. Too much adjusting. Too much expected. Too much to say goodbye to. A love, a hope, a present, a future, a whole life. Yes, all of it was only in my head and heart but it meant the world to me. And dreams matter. From the “smallest” to the “biggest” ones. They all matter because they are yours.

Along the way I have gained new opportunities that give me new direction, but still, my heart aches. And so I want to acknowledge it, then release it. I am grateful though, that even in my darkest times I feel blessed for the chance to keep trying, to grow.

Nevertheless, I cannot help but feel  I have done things the wrong way and it scares me. It scares me because I do not want to go through this pain again. So what do I do? How do I dust myself off and move forward?

Each day, one foot in front of the other I suppose. Things will fall into place. I hope so. Maybe my dreams for my life will become a reality with someone else beside me, with another view outside my window.

In the end, all I can say is: At least I gave it a shot, I gave it my all. Sometimes life sends us in a different path and that is OK. At least we tried.

Until next time world.

With love,

Ale

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Saying goodbye

I will never forget that feeling.

Walking away from the life I thought I would have. The life I fought so hard for. The dreams I believed in my heart I would fulfill.

I will never forget.

Walking away from you was not easy, my dear, not at all. With every step I took on that path, a scar was formed on my heart.

Walking away from the struggles, the tears, the effort, the longing, the love.

The growth.

The LOVE.

Goodbye, sweet one, the kindest one.

Goodbye…

From Ale

Duality

Hello friends,

I call you friends because there is a connection created by you, the reader, and me when you read the words I put out there in the world. A beautiful connection that gives me relief when I need it most. Some days, I feel an urge to write. I believe it is because I have no other means of expressing and releasing my inner most hidden thoughts and fears. We all have fears, some more hidden than others, but in our hearts they can be heavier to handle on our own. Today is one of those days.

There have been many unique and special circumstances in my life during these past couple of years. Yes, it has been incredibly wonderful with heights higher that I ever thought possible, but with tremendous difficulties that have brought me to my knees. In these I can see the duality of life.

“If we never experience the chill of a dark winter, it is very unlikely that we will ever cherish the warmth of a bright summer’s day. Nothing stimulates our appetite for the simple joys of life more than the starvation caused by sadness or desperation. In order to complete our amazing life journey successfully, it is vital that we turn each and every dark tear into a pearl of wisdom, and find the blessing in every curse.”

– Anthon St. Maarten

How unfair life seems at times. During the moments where we are at our weakest and without patience, it is very easy to let go of what we want. To give in to the fear and despair. In doing so, the thoughts that come to my mind are full of uncertainty and disbelief that my decisions are right. So how do I go on from there?

The only thing to do is keep going. This is in fact my very best attempt at my life’s circumstances. And I believe that I need to accept where I am and who I am. The latter being different from the former. Who I am is based on my values, principles and beliefs. Where I am is based on decisions and gambles I have made.

It is not easy though, it never is.

So here I am right now. Trying to make it even when I feel like I am drowning.

From my heart,

Ale

Things I love about winter baseball

I once read on a blog post something about my home town that turned on a light bulb in my head. The girl said that here in the city I live in we only have two seasons: summer and baseball. It is so true! and it’s weird that I had never considered that before reading about it on someone else’s post.

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We do have basically a 10 month long summer here in a city in northern Mexico, we also have a rather nice and breeze month and another slighty colder one. The catch is what happens during those two nice weather months. Baseball!!! Oh yeah. I come from a very, very baseball driven family. My dad started playing ball when he was around 6 years old and he still plays with the older guys till this day. He loves the sport. I have cousins, sisters and nephews that play it as well, which makes it sort of a family event every time a big game is played. My sister even works for the franchise. You get the idea I hope.

I wanted to write about it because I love the idea that the people from here connect with each other through baseball. No matter who you are in the city, come opening night you want to be at the stadium watching the fireworks. They hit a homerun this year, it was truly magical.

I love the atmosphere at the games, the shouting when they hit the ball or score a run. The vendors everywhere are a bit annoying but neccesary. I have accepted them by now. I love the kids and babys wearing the team’s emblems and how green the grass looks on the field. Last, but by no means least, I love the players. It is something special to see them in action. Running for the base, hitting the ball and trying to catch those seemingly impossible hits.

There you have it folks, I hope you give baseball a chance. If it isn’t for you oh well. There are always more options out there. As for me, take me out to the ball game, take me out with the crowd…

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With love,

Ale

5 tips to pamper your spirit

We all have those days were we feel the weight of the world on our shoulders. Days where it is easy to forget all the good advice and positivity quotes you have ever gotten. If this sounds familiar, stick around and let’s find out together if these tips work for you and can help your spirit soar once again.

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1. Go for a walk

I love nature. I never feel as sincerely at peace as I do when I am outside enjoying nature. I take one look at the sky and suddenly my world and troubles seem brighter and less heavy. Maybe because it gives me a chance to observe how the world is full of people and it is not only about me and my issues. So go outside and walk it off. Look at the world and find the beauty that surrounds you.

Take the time to observe the trees, listen to the wind and the laughter of kids. Pay attention to the hints of life that come towards you in every step you take.

2. Read a good book

I know it probably sounds contradicting that the second piece of advice is the opposite of the previous one. However, both of them help depending on your specific situation. For me, it is not always a possibility to go out on a walk given that I live in a desert climate. And let me tell you, oftentimes temperatures get very, very high and nobody wants to be walking in the sun in those conditions. So I grab my favorite book, turn on the AC and emerge myself in the author’s world.

For example, right now I have on my reading list Sherlock Holmes, Message in the bottle and a couple of not so recreational reading materials. But I decided to start reading Bridget Jones simply because I knew I loved that movie, I wanted something to make me smile and gave me comfort during these difficult times. It worked! I love getting caught in a funny British conversation with Bridget and her gang. It makes me smile in times where a smile does not come as easy.

For me, sometimes it is all about getting lost in another world while I figure out what I am going to do in mine. Maybe it has something to do with me trying to evade what troubles me. But when I am feeling overwhelmed, I think the best action to take first is work on getting rid of that overwhelming state of mind. A book helps. Then you can focus on the rest of your troubles.

3. Exercise

Bear with me, it does help I promise! It helps you lose focus on the shitty things that drag you down. It clears your head and allows your blood to flow all over your body, it gives you a push and boost of energy. It makes you feel strong and powerful. Just try it. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain. Find the perfect exercising routine for those gloomy days.

4. Go out with your best friend

Now this is an easy one that I often neglect. When I get caught up in my own head and problems I feel so shitty that I don’t even feel like hanging out with my friends. This is not always a smart idea. Going out with your friends gives you a safe place to talk about what is hurting you, to let those feeling and ideas out and listen to advice from people who loves you. And if you are not in the mood to talk, you can always have a good time just hanging out with some of your favorite people in the world. Make time for those people, they want what’s best for you.

5. Take a day to feel your feelings

This is one that I acquired only recently and it has made a huge change. I used to want to bottle my feelings and pretend to be fine with the people around me. Why in the world did I feel the need to hide my true emotions? I’ll never know. All I know is that it takes twice as much energy to pretend than to acknowledge your feelings. It is never easy, though, opening up and being vulnerable. But it has some reward, because it lets you be completely true to yourself.

On my not so great days I catch up on my favorite shows, listen to good music, do laundry (I know, weird, but hey I like it), and write. I love writing my thoughts about everything and nothing. It helps me release what creates a lump in my throat and all the crazy ideas. Now you do not necessarily have to post it online. Most of the writing that comes out during those periods really need to be proofread. I have learned this the hard way. Just write it and save it for your eyes only if you need to.

There you have it my friends, some of the things I do during my difficult days where life seems too complicated. I hope they help and can lift your spirits.

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With lots of love,

Ale

Book nook: What I know for sure

There have been many books in my lifetime that have changed my view on life. From an excerpt taken from them, the idea behind them or the connections I have created with them. Books are, and always will be, a safe haven for me. A chance to travel and imagine myself in places and situations where I have never been or would love to experience.

I decided to start this series called Book nook to present those literary jewels than have shaped the woman I am today and also the ones that shape me along the way.

The first book on this series is one that I believe found its way to me all by itself.

One afternoon I decided to go to my public library and pick some books for the month. I browsed through the shelves and suddenly I stopped at one and picked it out of the bunch. It was What I know for sure by the one and only, Oprah Winfrey.

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I had never read anything by her and knowing almost nothing about her except how famous she was I decided to take it home with me. Best decision ever.

This book is filled with stories that help the reader connect to the words of wisdom this amazing lady has to offer. It inspires your heart to be kinder. Opens your mind to greater possibilities. Teaches you that whatever it is that you want to achieve in your life you can do it, it is on you to make it happen. It gives you strength.

One of the many wonderfully wise lines written in this book is this:

You live. And if you’re open to the world, you learn.

I think the idea behind What I know for sure is this very one. It is a story about all those experiences and lessons in Ms. Winfrey’s life that took her to a place of success and self-awareness. It is an insight into her mind. What a treat to take a peek in there. I don’t think you would regret it.

Now, if you are more into audio books, I will give this link to the Audiobook excerpt: What I know for sure by Oprah Winfrey (I just love it when authors are the ones that read their books, don’t you?):

Please let me know what you think and if you have any recommendations on a good and enriching book for me.

With love,

Ale

Things I love about autumn

Autumn?! Say what?!?!

What do you know? It’s fall time in Northern Mexico as well!!!!

I am very excited about this wonderful season because it is unbelievable how much the weather changes here in my town. Plus, it is NOT a given that we can actually experience “AUTUMN” here so, it is a big deal. At least for me and some people I know.

I love waking up in the morning, going outside, look up and seeing high and bright clouds gracing the sky. There is something marvelous about closing my eyes and breath it in. Oh fall. How I miss thee. It is truly magical.

To commemorate the ocassion, I decided to drive to the local baseball stadium to take some pictures of the afternoon sun and the gorgeous and unique desert flora. I love going there and experience the stillness. Driving alone and choosing a spot to park, walk a bit and take some shots. Embracing the peace and quiet. Here are some of the photos I took, I hope you like them.

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With love,

Ale

6 Tips for a Workout Newbie

Hello beautiful souls,

The other day I was coming back from the gym and a light switched in my brain. Or maybe it was the rush of endorphins running through my body. I don’t think I can pin point it. All I know is that I wanted to share with the world how I started this interesting journey of working out on a regular basis. Because here’s a little secret (that everyone knows): You will feel ten times more amazing after working out than how you felt before. TRUTH.

Before we get into the specifics, I want to give you a bit of a background on me and my health state prior to being conscious about it. I started gaining weight when I was about 9 years old. Which meant that during most of my primary school days and all of my secondary education (which would be middle school in the United States) I was overweight. Not fun for anyone. Nevertheless, thank God for puberty. At least in my case it really was a blessing. During the summer break, right before starting highschool, my body changed and I lost a bunch of weight without really doing anything different. I was never the sporty kind or an athletic girl, so I never had a fit body.

Therefore, and despite that marvelous moment of hormonal craziness, the weight came back when I started college. Yes, the Freshman 15 made an appearance in my life. Times three. For some people, that may not be a lot of kilograms, but for a 1.57 m (~5’1″) woman, it is a lot. What a joy!

WOW that was a long intro!… Sorry about that. But I do believe it’s important to know the history to understand the present.  

After living with the extra weight for about 4 or 5 years I made a rather quick decision one day. I will start exercising. No excuses. No workout buddies required. No promises to anyone. No nothing. Just me and my brain deciding to join the gym and work out. One day I said it and the next day I joined in. Man, that was a very, VERY, difficult first week. There was a lot of pain, suffering, many aches, sweat and even tears. And of course, a bunch of thoughts of this is not for me, it’s very difficult, I can’t do it, I will die!… With all that in mind, here’s my first piece of advice:

1. Do not over think

Don’t give your brain the chance to make that dreaded pro/con list about starting a workout routine. Because rest assure, it will find a reason why it is not a good idea to do it. Instead, take the plunge, just go over there and have fun at it. Take it for what it is, a new experience. It’s OK to suck at first.

It is never easy  to start a new adventure. It takes courage, determination and heart. But once you endure the hardest part, the rest of it is truly magnificent. 

I believe that applies to working out just as much as any other adventure in life. For me, exercising was not about having a thin figure or to be prettier, have a smaller waistline or loose X amount of weight. For me, it was about being fit. I  wanted to stop feeling sluggish, slow and heavy. I did not like the lack of stamina and energy.

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So my second piece of advice is:

2. Set a realistic end goal

I believe that one of the key factors that helped me in my path towards better health is that I decided that my end goal would be to get healthier. That’s it. It is easier to achieve better health just by moving more everyday, than wanting to lose 5 kg in one month.

By doing this, I did not have to convince myself everyday to go, because I already wanted to do it. The sense of heaviness became smaller each day that passed. I was hooked!

3. Try different things until you find a workout that is right FOR YOU

There are a number of options out there. Going to the gym, having a personal trainer, running outside, working out at home or taking classes like Sumba, kickboxing or Pilates. I will not list all of them because I probably don’t know every option out there. Instead, do a web search of the alternatives closer to you and start from there. Each person is good at something, and each feels good by doing something in particular. Find what tickles your fancy. It’s fun!

4. Set a goal of workouts per week

I still remember hearing people say that you had to do five workouts every week in order to be fully committed. That if you wanted to see results you had to be hardcore and do it seven times a week for best results. What a load of BS. That is not true! You don’t have to over work your body to get great results. You don’t need to kill yourself in the gym everyday to be in the right path. You have to find out what feels right FOR YOU. Pay attention to your body and set a personal goal for you. For me, it was at least three times a week. With that, I felt like I was on the health path that best served me and my fitness end goal.

5. Wear workout clothes that make you feel confident in your own body

This may sound like and obvious one, but for some reason not everyone gives it the attention it needs. For example, I believe that wearing pants that are tight and don’t let everything jiggle is important. I enjoy looking at my fun colored sneakers in the mirror when I’m taking a Pilates class. I love wearing comfortable sports bras that give me freedom to move freely during my exercises. It does matter, so choose what works for you. You will thank yourself later.

6. Give yourself credit every time you do a workout 

I think this is the easiest one of them all. Of course, you are going to be so happy after a workout because you did it that you will look at yourself in the mirror and think “I’m proud of myself for doing this”. Never fails! I do not know anyone that after a workout has said they wished they hadn’t done it. It’s always a rush and a sense of accomplishment. So give yourself the much deserved TLC and pad in the back. YOU DID IT!

I hope today’s post inspire you in some way to go after what you want. If not, I hope you at least enjoyed it. If you have any comments, please let me know =) Best of luck in your adventures. And remember:

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With love,

Ale

One more year, what a gift!

Today is the eve of my birthday. For the past few days I’ve been getting caught up in a sort of daze about my life because of this matter. It is funny to think how much I grew in the course of one year. It was not an easy year for me, far from it, thus leading me to self-awareness and growth. I believe in looking at the bright side of things. Finding beauty in random places and thinking the best of a circumstance. However, there are days with dimmer light than others.

Today I am thinking of my life. Where I am, what I’ve done. The choices I’ve made and how they have led me to this place in this moment. I am in a pensive state. The results of an upcoming birthday and getting older. Life is viewed so differently as you get older. It is wonderfully complex.

Looking back at the last year of my life, I see mainly hope and love. My year started with an idea of writing a new chapter with Him in Sweden. Life happened and now here I am, across the Atlantic, many kilometers away from all of that. Knowing, though, that my dreams are coming towards me. It is just a lesson of patience and perseverance. One I needed to learn.

This year I am filled with a heartwarming sense of gratitude. I know I am never alone because God always has my back. It’s an amazing feeling.

I start this next year of my life knowing I am more patient. That shit happens and it’s up to you to choose how to take it in. Even though shitty things happen in life, IT DOES NOT MEAN life is shitty. Deal with it. This is my story and I choose the words to write in it.

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So be careful with your storyline, you only get one book to write. One life.

Have a wonderful and blessed week.

With love,

Ale

Un pensamiento, un suspiro

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Que es el amor,

si no un lazo, un deseo, una esperanza.

Te amo? Si. De eso no tengo duda.

¿Se podrá, entonces, con ese fundamento lograr todo? 

La incertidumbre y el miedo llenan de repente el alma.

En un abrir y cerrar de ojos todo se derrumba y la vista se nubla.

Se hace el silencio.

Y la luz de la esperanza busca su libertad a mi alrededor.