What’s New – April 2010

Summer already?? Seems I was just writing you to wish you a Happy New Year and let you know about my upcoming trip to Peru…Well – my trip came and went…it was amazing as I knew it would be, and my life has shifted in many ways ever since…

After meeting the children and family at Casa de Milagros – I was more sure than ever before that I wanted to be a part of this cause for many years to come, and wanted to be of service in a bigger way. Unfortunately, we all suffered a major loss on February 20th when Mama Kia, the founder of the Casa, lost her battle with cancer. Her passing left many questions and even more to-do’s, which the Board has been consumed with over the last couple of months. In the days after, we were able to travel to Florida to be with Mama Kia’s biological children, and discuss with her daughter Marie what logistics need to be taken care of in order to keep the Casa running smoothly. Due to severe flooding in the Sacred Valley – the Casa sustained some structural damage, and the kids had to be evacuated to a mission in Cusco for almost two months. Thankfully they were very well taken care of, and are now back at home; with limited access due to the damage to parts of the home.

Needless to say – the Board and I have our work cut out for us. There are many administrative and operational projects on the Casa plate for the next few months. It was decided that I would return this summer for a few months to give support to Marie, assist with managing several projects, and be an on-the-ground liaison for the Board as we implement some new procedures and marketing objectives. I feel so honored, and incredibly blessed to be entrusted with this responsibility. Most of all, I just can’t wait to be back at Casa de Milagros and with the kids!

For those of you who didn’t get a chance to see my pics from last trip – you can see them here: http://gallery.com/cmiro


I remember an old website my friend turned me on to a few years back called Daily Om. I received their daily words of enlightened thought for months, and then decided to unsubscribe…not because it wasn’t good content – but because I was in email overload, as most of us can relate to. Anyhow – just randomly thought of it today and decided to check out the day’s inspiration. Most appropriately, it was on the topic of forgiveness…a topic that has been front and center in my life over the past year. Definite food for thought…

“Daily Om”
April 14, 2010
An Empowered Perspective: Importance of Forgiveness

In order to forgive, we need to try and stop identifying ourselves with the suffering that was caused.

When someone has hurt us, consciously or unconsciously, one of the most difficult things we have to face in resolving the situation is the act of forgiveness. Sometimes it feels like it’s easier not to forgive and that the answer is to simply cut the person in question out of our lives. In some cases, ending the relationship may be the right thing to do, but even in that case, we will only be free if we have truly forgiven. If we harbor bitterness in our hearts against anyone, we only hurt ourselves because we are the ones harboring the bitterness. Choosing to forgive is choosing to alleviate ourselves of that burden, choosing to be free of the past, and choosing not to perceive ourselves as victims.

One of the reasons that forgiveness can be so challenging is that we feel we are condoning the actions of the person who caused our suffering, but this is a misunderstanding of what is required. In order to forgive, we simply need to get to a place where we are ready to stop identifying ourselves with the suffering that was caused us. Forgiveness is something we do for ourselves, and our forgiveness of others is an extension of our readiness to let go of our own pain. Getting to this point begins with fully accepting what has happened. Through this acceptance, we allow ourselves to feel and process our emotions.

It can be helpful to articulate our feelings in writing over a period of days or even weeks. As we allow ourselves to say what we need to say and ask for what we need to heal, we will find that this changes each day. It may be confusing, but it is a sign of progress. At times we may feel as if we are slogging uphill through dense mud and thick trees, getting nowhere. If we keep going, however, we will reach a summit and see clearly that we are finally free of the past. From here, we recognize that suffering comes from suffering, and compassion for those who have hurt us naturally arises, enhancing our new perspective.

Three people immediately came to mind. It’s been very difficult for me in life to know when to cut someone out of my life, vs. continue to try to make things better. I realize that most of the time the decision is made for me – some external force just forces us apart, or we just…drift… In the few instances where I make a clean break, it is usually extenuating circumstances. Today I realize how much pain and suffering I have caused myself by holding onto self-created anger and resentment.  I am not an angry person, and I want to let it go.

I want to forgive. I am open to forgiving. I forgive. I love.

Last Day of My 20’s…


Should I be out on the town?

Should I have a bunch of friends over drinking wine?

Should I be cataloging all of my experiences from this last decade of life??

So much pressure!! There’s definitely a poignant aspect to any new decade of life…makes you reassess; analyze what you’ve done with your life so far and what you still have to do.

For now, I’m going to get off the computer, join some friends, and have a fun time…after all, it’s my last night to be an irresponsible 20 something! ;-p

Happy Birthday to ME!! xoxo

Wanderlust 2009

I went, I saw, I conquered ;-) The 1st annual Wanderlust Festival lived up to my wildest expectations and then some…I have been on a cloud since returning last Monday, so I have yet to post up my pics – but stay tuned. In the meantime, here are a couple of cool links to give you a sense of what you missed:


A Piece of my Childhood Died Today…

Michael Jackson is dead. So sudden, and so wierd – shouldn’t really surprise any one I guess…yet I am immensely sad and shocked right now. Just like everyone else, I had become jaded and creeped out by him towards the end. But I think I had separated him into two different people. The Michael of recent years was not the same Michael I grew up worshipping and transfixed by in the 80’s and 90’s. The one who gave the world so much AMAZING music, paradigm-shifting performances, inspiration, and genuine love. The Philanthropist and soft-spoken activist who transfixed everyone – it didn’t matter who you were – with his one-of-a-kind talent. He was a truly gifted performer…often imitated but never equaled.

There’s a part of me that always felt like I “knew” him somehow. When I was a kid I swore we were destined to meet one day. Sounds silly maybe, but aside from being the most famous man on earth, there was also the fact that Neverland Ranch was 5 miles away from my house my entire childhood. He was my neighbor ;-) I remember legends of his brief appearances in downtown Solvang and how I would dream of someday seeing him in person. When my mom told me he had come into her store, I hyperventilated at the mere thought! I think there’s also something about celebrities from your youth – it affects you so much more when they pass on…something about the innocence of childhood, that we just appreciate them and their talents in a raw and honest way. He is part of so many beautiful memories, and his songs are more than just music – they are like a soundtrack of an entire generation. There was also an intuitive knowing that he was such a sad, lonely, haunted, and pained soul. How could any one be “normal” living such an abnormal life?? He was put to work at age 4, and mentally, emotionally and physically abused by his father. It breaks my heart to see any one who is not allowed a childhood. I am saddened by the dispicable comments I keep reading on the internet about him – a clue into how truly ugly human beings can be. I can only get a sense of the ugliness in people he must have seen and felt in his lifetime. I cry thinking that humanity was his biggest abuser of all. No one will ever know what being Michael Jackson was like except for Michael Jackson, and I just feel immensely sorry for him, and for those closest to him.

Aside from all of that – the truth is that Michael Jackson was a unique and gifted human being like we have rarely seen before. Never will be another like him. Say what you will about his personal life, the man touched people and hit nerves that only he could. He inspired any one who ever saw him perform. The reaction to his death is unprecedented – I am shocked and surprised at the intensity of my own. He was an icon that touched so many souls in a profound way. Today we are all feeling the impact of his loss – even the ones that had forgotten how much they cared. I am mourning his death, but I think I’m also mourning part of that innocent era that I so fondly remember growing up. When symbols of a generation pass on – it strikes a painful chord. I miss the 80’s sometimes, and I freak out when I think they were 20+ years ago…seems surreal. Events like this make me feel like I don’t fit into this world today. A world without Micheal Jackson seems strange; even stranger than his overly-destructed nose and ghostly white skin of latter years.

I choose to continue remembering the Michael I fell in love with as a child. Sitting here watching his videos and smiling, I remember him at the peak of his fame – before the drama and cruel speculations. I remember when he was speaking out about causes ahead of his time and making positive change in the world before it was a P.R. move. I will always remember his sweet face that brought so much happiness to people as a member of the Jackson 5, feeling a tug at my heart as he showed us how much hunger was out there in the world, and grooving to his timeless songs at every moment of celebration throughout my entire life – which I have no doubt I will continue to do ;-)

A great and talented enetertainer died today, and took with him a piece of my childhood. Rest in Peace Michael, may you find some at last…

Some of my Favorite Michael Jackson Songs:

Man In the Mirror
Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough
Another Part of Me
Liberian Girl
Working Day & Night

I am an American Woman Now!!! ;-)

Today, at the age of 29, after almost 28 years in the United States, I finally became an American Citizen.

Am I a procrastinator or what??? ;-p

It’s a little anti-climactic, but gratifying and exciting just the same. I’m very proud of myself actually – it hasn’t been an easy road (for those who know the drama I’ve been through) but I didn’t let it stop me! I had 3 main goals that I set for myself for the year when I got back from Peru – and now I can check this one off the list!

But most importantly, I will sleep soundly knowing I am finally free from the threat of La MIGRA!!! ;-) Ay Carajo!!!


Lots of activity as of late – one of those moments in time that feel like you’re in a big dust storm and you can’t really make anything out; you know the dust will settle soon, but you have no idea when. I also realize that a dust storm creates a “refresh” and brings in new energy, ideas and possibilities. Transitioning back from my trip to Peru was tough – I was full of inspirations and new ideas for how I wanted to be in the world and what really mattered for a happy, fulfilled life; yet felt stuck by the reality that there was “unfinished business” in my current life that needed to get taken care of before I could really throw myself out there freely. Travel and family are two priorities that have been life-long passions, yet have been brushed aside for other objectives (career, school, financial stability) over the last few years. I am challenging the belief that in order to achieve my career and educational goals – I will have to sacrifice either of those two.

Recently I have come to realize that I am at an inflection point – similar to ones I have been through at various times in my life – like at 25 when you realize you’re no longer 21 and the people and lifestyle you have surrounded yourself with are no longer satisfying you or making you better. When I started at Emergent Solutions, I was challenged to grow in ways I could never have imagined. I have evolved personally and professionally in exponential ways – and I know that I am truly blessed. This inflection point feels like “growing pains” – like there are some remaining layers of old skin that need to be sloughed off for me to freely step into the next chapter of my life. These layers are in the form of negative self-limiting beliefs, self destructive/non-constructive habits, relationships that are not enhancing my best qualities, and general FEAR.

I am in “search” mode – reaching out for resources, answers, and examples of people and organizations that are doing the sorts of work and living the lifestyle I have always dreamed of. I believe that when you put it out in the universe that you need some help – you better be ready to start picking up on the signs, clues, and resources that will start presenting themselves to you. The universe has been telling me to FOCUS and that word has come up for me a lot lately – around going to school, figuring out what my goals are, and deciding what it is I really want to manifest – so that I can focus all of my energy to that and not let it get wasted and dispersed to other unimportant activities or people. I realized that one of my weaknesses is my negative self talk. I have done a lot of personal growth and development, and I believe a disciplined mind is capable of so much. I started working with a hypnotherapist and she has been great – it has been a refreshing change from the standard therapy I had gone through a year ago, and is helping me realize a lot of the root causes for some of my behavior and beliefs, and reframing past negative experiences so that I can heal and move on from them. I felt like I was in a rut – and while it is not an immediate/quick fix – it is helping me slowly but surely start to see what I need to do to get out of it.

I told myself that I wanted to be a Yoga instructor – but I kept talking about it like it was some far off goal that I was not “ready” for. So I decided to challenge that belief and applied for Yoga Kula’s Anusara Immersion Program and lo and behold – I was accepted ;-) This is a 108 hour program that is essentially the first Phase towards achieving an Anusara Yoga teacher certification – and will undoubtedly be a life changing experience. I can’t begin to express how excited I am to see the growth in my yoga practice, my spirituality, my self confidence, and to be surrounded by such beautiful, evolved and radiant people. This is a huge learning edge for me – a little scary, but I know it will be amazing. My goal is to be certified by this time next year – so that I can start taking groups on yoga retreats to Cusco and other amazing places. Yoga has opened the door to so much healing and enlightenment and I can’t wait to be able to share that gift with others…and getting paid to do that and travel would be like icing on the cake ;-)

I have also recently been introduced to The Silva Method – which I am super excited to learn more about. I’m doing a 9-Day online training called “TheUnlimited You” which works with their fundamental principals for how to use Meditation, Visualisation and positive affirmations to bring about positive change in your life. Cool stuff.

Last but not least – I was sent an email today titled “FinerMinds – Welcome to the first day of your new childhood”. Intrigued, I opened it, and followed the link to the website of an organization called MindValley. Let’s just say that as I browsed around the site and watched a couple of videos – it became clear that it was no coincidence this came across my path at precisely this time. Check out the video below and you’ll see what I mean:

This post is incredibly after-the-fact, however, I feel I still need to post something! I was in Peru – the land of my birth – from 12/15/08 – 1/10/09 for the first time in 12 years. I was able to fit in so much, yet still had so much left to do… No stress though – only more reason to go back as soon as possible. Peru is a magical country, and it was amazing to get to connect with my true peeps, and with family I hadn’t seen in far too long. Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu were magical – beyond words. I have never felt so human, so alive, and so connected to everything…

I created a separate travelblog to share my experience and pictures from my nearly month long trip to Peru with family, friends and any one else who may be interested for any reason somewhere down the road. I decided to use Travelpod since their blogging tools are specific to traveling and I liked the format. The process of putting the blog together was great – as a diary and to help me try to process all that I experienced; which has been life changing on so many levels.

I put it together once I returned, because to be honest, there was no way I was going to rob myself of one minute of being there, being fully present and soaking in the country and my family and friends by stressing over keeping up with a Blog. So, I posted it up retroactively and that is ok. ;-) Hope you all enjoy… xo


I also posted up just the pics on Picasa:

Cusco Pics:

Lima Pics:

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