Category: Gratitude

How Jealousy Can Change the Trajectory of Your Life


It was recently brought to my attention that some people delete their Facebook accounts because they hate to see other people’s happy lives. This notion took me by surprise as it was something I, personally, have not considered.

Naturally, it got me thinking.

Is it possible my Facebook posts piss people off? Is someone out there jealous of the happy times I share? Could I be the reason someone shuts down their Facebook?

If I knew this to be true, I would respond like this:

My family and I have gone through more tribulations than most people I know. I’ve shared quite a bit of it on Facebook and my blogs, although there is much more that I keep behind the scenes to protect the privacy of others.

But in spite of our trials, we’ve triumphed. I’m now watching the manifestation of my focal points taking form in the physical world. I find myself mesmerized as I watch one beautiful moment after another unfold around me. In awestruck wonder, I often ask myself:

Is this really happening? Do you see what I see? Is this really the beneficial reaping of my focus, determination and healing?

 Each sweet moment, every tiny victory and each step of spiritual growth has become super important to me. I cherish it. I roll around in it. I allow it to integrate into my spirit.

Posting on Facebook is my personal way of shouting from the mountaintops with outstretched arms, “Thank you, God! I see what I have, I’m receiving it and I’m so incredibly grateful!”

My hope would be for you to understand where I’ve been and how important celebrating my “good stuff” is for me.

One might be thinking,  You just don’t understand. My life is a mess. Nothing goes my way. It’s hard for me to be happy for anyone because I’m so miserable.

Oh, my dear… I understand more than you know. And you have the power to change that.

In my not-so-distant past, I was in the gutter so low I felt my life was over. I believed a happy life was only reserved for others. Depression, anxiety, self-loathing and negativity were oozing out of my pores.

In December of 2010 all my brothers and their families were gathered at our mother’s house for Christmas. Everyone was joyfully chatting and laughing with their spouses by their sides. I had just entered “my tsunami”. My husband had abandoned our family and left us homeless and incomeless. I couldn’t get past the belief that I was the “loser divorced child”. I desperately wanted what they had.

I could barely contain my depression, sadness and unworthiness. I wanted to hide out in my room until the holiday was over then slink back into my dreadful existence without anyone watching. It was a painfully lonely and shameful time.

However, after a couple days of my self-induced hell, I reminded myself of something…

Their lives aren’t perfect. No one’s is. They have their own trials and tribulations too. Their “stuff” just looks different than mine does. I’m not broken, flawed or beyond redemption! My life simply took a weird ass left turn and I have some grieving and healing to do. Nothing more. Nothing less.

In that moment, I chose a different perception and with no prompting, the density of my emotion began to ease up. I chose to view the happiness and well-being of others as a place I wanted to return to, not a place of jealousy and self-loathing.  

 I chose thoughts that would put me on the trajectory of victory rather than thoughts that kept me rooted in the ghastly hell of victimhood.

And you can too.

Pity parties are desperately unproductive. Sometimes we have to kick our own butt and get back in the game!

So I ask you, dear friend, do you see other people’s lives through the filter of regret, despair, loneliness, discouragement, jealousy and/or unworthiness?

If you answered Yes, you can change your path right now by focusing on these

3 Steps That Will Change Your Life Trajectory:

  1.  Focus on what is going right in your life instead of what is not. No matter what storm we are in, there are always blessings afoot. Take notice and practice gratitude.
  2. Celebrate others’ happiness and victories. Focusing on others’ “good stuff” creates an energetic change in you thus an energetic change in your direction. When we focus on better feeling emotions, we align ourselves for better experiences to come our way.
  3. View others’ “good stuff” as a point of reference. Instead of being jealous or resentful of their life, use their experience to inspire you to reach higher for yourself and your family. If they can have it, so can you! When we align ourselves with healing, healing will come.

Our experience of life is how we choose to perceive it. We can choose to see life through bitterness, resentment and jealousy or we can choose to recognize our blessings and others’ blessings as a point of attraction we want more of.

Just as wallowing in despair will give you more to despair about, basking in your blessings will bring you more to bask about!

Much Love,


Is This Grief Or Is This Love?


This morning at work I was presented with a new client. Her name was Martha. Then I was introduced to her husband. His name was Juan. I immediately detected a slight Spanish accent with Juan. Just a tinge of what I assumed boasted a Mexican heritage. Accents fascinate me and I love playing a game with myself and others called Guess That Accent!

After I applied Martha’s color and put her under the heater for processing, Juan and I began a conversation. The more we talked the more I felt his accent seeping into the deepest part of my soul. I felt like reaching out and touching his face. What are you thinking?! I wanted to hug him and put my head on his shoulder. Are you crazy? I wanted to feel the essence that was oozing out of his soul. What on earth is going on here?!

In some unexplainably strange way, Juan reminded me of my momma.

I couldn’t help myself and asked Juan what his heritage is. He paused for a moment before stumbling out that he was from Texas. Yeah, that ain’t no Texan accent I’m hearin’. I can only guesstimate that he may have suffered some form of prejudice in the past and was hesitant to share. I pressed on by saying I detect a slight accent. He must have sensed I was reaching for something more and he quietly replied, “I was born in Mexico.”

And then it started.

Tears welled in my eyes and began spilling down my cheeks as our conversation continued. I felt a little perplexed (as I’m sure Juan did) with my sudden burst of emotion so I quickly tried to save him from thinking he had done something wrong.

I began to explain that my mother recently passed away (2/1/15) and she had a slight Spanish accent. For those of you who don’t know, my mother was raised in Cuba from infancy. Although she is not Cuban by heritage, she was Cuban by heart. She brought the Cuban culture she loved so much into our home growing up – food, music, language and all! Her first language was Spanish and I loved it!

No matter how much I cried, Juan didn’t flinch, make any weird expressions or move one inch closer or away from me. He remained peaceful and still.

Through my blubbering and runny nose, I went on to tell him that the Spanish accent always reminds me of my mother and I miss hearing her rap it out with random persons all over this city. Being geographically close to Mexico, Arizona is home to many Mexicans. I believe my mom was friends with every single one of them! She seemed to share a sense of “home” with all Hispanic people even if their country of origin was different than her beloved Cuba.

I told Juan not to worry about my tears as this was a very good thing and that for some random and strange reason he was reminding me of my mom. He nodded slightly while smiling and again, he did not flinch, make a weird expression or move one inch closer or further from me.

Prior to my massive self-healing that took place a few years ago, I rarely cried. I had gotten the message as a child that my tears were annoying and burdensome to others, so I stopped crying altogether. Later in life it took an awful lot to make me cry and it usually had nothing to do with something going on within me, but something going on with someone else. I had forgotten how to cry. One of the things I had to teach myself was to allow for organic emotions and the tears that followed. I’ve been practicing ever since.

And here I was standing in the middle of my place of business crying to a random man.

Wow… life is weird!

So…. I allowed it. I let go. I let it be what it was. I stood shameless in front of anyone who may have been watching. In fact, I was so present, the thought never crossed my mind. I was in it. Every cell in my body was soaking up the essence of Juan. At that moment, I was looking at my mother.

It was cleansing. It was beautiful. It was warm and delicious.

Of course, I have run across many Spanish speaking people since mom’s transition. I even work with a few; however, there was something different here. Something that my words will never describe accurately. There was something happening that was far outside the reaches of my understanding. All I know is that it was real.

After work while driving to pick up my little one from summer camp, I questioned that little scene. What on earth was that? Was that grief? Have I been suppressing emotion? Am I in denial that mom is gone? Those tears came so quickly and so organically. Have I been denying the reality of momma’s transition? I sat with it, I opened my heart and all I heard was, “No Kristen… That was Love” and I knew… plainly and simply…

That was love.

I was not sad. I was not grief stricken. I was merely reminded of and celebrating, in a perfect moment in time, a piece of my mother that I have always admired.

Upon further reflection, I remembered I had asked my momma yesterday to make herself known to me. I was craving a little “touch base” from her and if I could see her that would be so great! Today I saw her, felt her and heard her. She came to me in the form of a 63 year old, silver-haired Mexican man and based on his reaction to my tears, I can bet he houses a similar soul to my momma.

The truth is I am happy my momma no longer suffers here and I can feel her with me all of the time. Our love is strong and eternal. I don’t grieve her, I LOVE her and I celebrate her life! She always touched me with her gentle way and her gorgeous command of Spanish. I remember how even as an adult, I loved to sit and listen to her speak to her friends while trying to decipher the conversation through the few words I could interpret. My momma left a legacy of equality, non-prejudice, kindness and love.

Thank you, Juan, for being my earth angel today. And thank you, Momma, for finding the perfect way for me to feel your essence. I’m still smiling and I will continue to smile every time I think of you.

Much Love,


My Beloved Momma’s Transition

When I returned back to work after taking a week off after my mother transitioned, I was not sure what I was going to encounter. I asked my manager to please not have flowers and cards enveloping my work station. I had already been inundated with sympathy (which is so beautiful), however, it was not allowing me the moments of quiet when I could focus elsewhere. Not only do I know a lot of people, my mother knew a lot of people and the ripple effect kept going and going and going. I couldn’t find quiet. I needed quiet. I needed peace.

My second day back to work, one of my clients, an elderly, Jesuit man, came in. He looked in my eyes with deep love and expressed his sorrow for my loss. He said this, “I’m sorry for the loss of your mother, but I am happy for HER.”   That’s not a message that would sit very well with some people, but for me it was perfect.  I don’t believe he had any idea how he blessed me with his words that day.

You see, I had cringed and shuddered my whole life any time I thought about walking this earth without my mom. We had a very close relationship especially after co-housing for 4 years during and post “tsunami”. I often referred to her as “the best husband I ever had!” In those years, I was able to heal myself and divinely, she was able to heal herself as well. She said to me several times, “I know why you are still here [unable financially to move out yet]…. You’re here to help me set my soul right before I die.”

My mom had dealt with cancer for over ten years. It was a very slow growing cancer and she opted to try many chemo/medical trials as her treatment. Although she did everything with grace, I lived in very close proximity with her “struggle” every day. Even though she constantly told everyone she was fine, I knew better. I watched her with an eagle eye. I couldn’t help it. Every ache, pain, cough, long days in bed, energetic spurts, eating, not eating, hair loss, hair growing back, bruises from needle pokes, hospitalizations, diarrhea blow outs in Walmart (yes, that happened) and appointments, appointments, appointments, I felt deeply inside my heart. Even though she had her husband and oftentimes I was just in observance, she’s my momma, I’m her daughter, and we carried one another.

So often I had to hide the pain that watching her journey caused me, because I knew if she felt for one hot second that she was a burden or causing me pain, she wouldn’t let me in.  It was always the juggle between letting her to know how much I care and showing up bravely so she would feel free to lean on me when needed.

On Sunday February 1st at 6:30 a.m. I received a call from her best friend, Marcie, who was visiting her at the hospital requesting, “Please come quickly.  Mom wants you. She thinks it’s time. They have moved her to ICU.”  Although this was completely out of the blue (she was doing great yesterday!) somehow I knew I had to be brave for her one last time.  I walked into her room with a smile and love written all over me.  I did not have a chance to assess the situation before the doctor inquired about her Living Will.

I almost hit the floor.  Suck it up, Kristen!  Suck it up!  She needs you now more than ever.  You CAN do this.  You can do this! Allow your love for her to guide you.  And I did.  I held and studied her hands.  I kissed her face.  I whispered loving, peaceful words in her ear.  I kissed and kissed and kissed her face some more.  With all her ducklings, her husband and close friends in the room, momma made her transition 3 hours later.

When my elderly client said he was happy for her, I understood completely, because I, too, am happy for her.  She was engulfed by love her whole life because she exuded love. I know where she is. I know she is existing only in peace and love now. I know she lives inside me as I live inside her. I have not gone one day without feeling/knowing her presence. I don’t see her physical body anymore, but I FEEL her as if she is in the same room with me.

Even though a day does not pass without missing her, I can say with utter conviction and certainty, I am happy she is finally resting. And from the position she now “lives”, she can do an even better job watching over her ducklings which is absolutely her most favorite thing to do.


Today I spectated as my friend ran in a half-marathon.  For a period of time, my family and I were snuggled up tight against the retaining fence that kept the crowd and the runners separated.  We were literally within 50 feet of the finish line.  *Some 20,000 people were in attendance* While I searched the crowd to catch a glimpse of my buddy coming to the finish line, I began to notice the wide range of people that were coming down the lane.  Every shape, size, color, physical ability and physical limitation made it’s way toward me.

The one thing they all had in common was focus. Their concentration spoke volumes to me.  They were so close to their goal, they could taste it and I could literally feel their triumph.   I found myself spontaneously cheering and high-fiving and crying!  There were runners with artificial limbs and there were runners with gnarled knees.  Some had wrapped body parts and some ran in some type of limping fashion. There was the Marine running with a  massive pack on his back (who the crowd went crazy for) and the elderly men and women who were pumping their way through like it ain’t no thang.

I could not contain my fill-up of inspiration!  I had no idea what this crowded race would be like and I immediately concluded how incredibly fortunate I was to bear witness to the unseen warriors of this world.  Although this “race” was a true testament to physical ability, it was also a testament to dedication and fortitude.  For the 45 minutes I stood at that fence (which seemed like 30 seconds), I was in absolute awe… Actually… I still am…

Let us all imagine for a moment all unseen spiritual warriors of life that we don’t get the opportunity to bear witness too.  The walking wounded that make their way through life every day holding onto faith rather than fear.  The ones who choose victory over victimhood when victimhood could be far more easier. The betrayed who choose to trust again.  The armored who worked hard to open their hearts again.  The sad that learned to find joy in the world again.  The misplaced that eventually located “home” again.

They are all around us, but most of the time we are so consumed with ourselves, we miss it.

I see the hero in my mother every day.  She has had cancer for over 10 years and brings inspiration and hope to her chemo center every time she is present.  She chooses not victimhood, but to use her experience to share her love where it is needed so badly.  She often comes home with a sweet story of an exchange with another patient that I couldn’t even begin to aptly portray here.

Although I do get inspired by books, articles and posts, I also get inspired by all the beautiful life warriors right before my eyes. I see them in my family, my friends, my clients, in the media and even in the stories I overhear at some public place or another.  Heroes are EVERYWHERE and I know if I had the opportunity to talk to you, you’d be one too!

I believe when we all start to view our brothers and sisters as courageous warriors, this world will change.  It’s time to look upon our neighbors with compassion rather than contempt – to take a moment to see their struggles and have compassion for their experience rather than being so wrapped up in our own.  To celebrate how far they’ve come rather than how far they still have to go.

This world is full of A-mazing people!

And YOU are one of them!

Never, ever underestimate what you have overcome, because I know you are my hero too.



The Miracle Of Gratitude

Several years back I went through a tremendously difficult period of time.  Everything that I had known and attached onto in the physical world was gone.  My life had been turned upside down and emptied out much like one would do with a bathroom trashcan.  All that was left of me, was a floundering spirit not sure which way to go or how on earth I was ever going to recover from this emotional and physical upheaval.

*The full story is in my book.

For all practical purposes, I had nothing to feel joyful for.  Depression was very prevalent in my existence. Daily tasks were difficult.  I would wait to grocery shop or do laundry until I literally had no choice but to do so.  I could hardly stand to witness my brothers with their families, holidays were anxiety ridden and sad and suffice it to say, even though I had put on a brave face and showed up the best I could, I know my company must have been dank to be around.

The one thing I can say, is that I was actively seeking for healing.  It was slow at first, but I could feel little micro-bursts of light coming in.  It wasn’t every day, nor did they last but a millisecond, but they were there.  My logical brain kept telling me, “It won’t be like this forever. Just hang in there.”  However, my fearful disclaimer (ego) would attempt to discount any hope as soon as it arose.  I had to literally force myself to keep a keen eye on the light no matter how minute it was.

Along my path, I began to read about the power of gratitude.  I can’t tell you from what author or teacher it came, but all at once it was brought into my awareness.  Hmmmmm gratitude, eh?  Weeeeell, I don’t know about that!  First off, I don’t have anything to be grateful for!  My life is a wreck!

However, I decided to explore this tool/option/idea further and made the concerted effort to give it a go.  Every night as I was falling asleep I would recite my gratitude list.  At first, it felt like I was lying to myself.  The list felt contrived and fake.  Even though I was listing them, I wasn’t truly feeling them. Yes, these things are in my life, but ALL of this other sh*t is here too!

I can’t say it was an explosion of joy that came all at once like a firework in the sky, but I can tell you, my anxiety began to ease up, my breathing started to slow, my days became quieter, my decisions made easier, my smile came back, I started singing in the car and even breaking out in random dance when a great song would come on.

Whoooaaaa!  Where on earth did this come from?  This is the old Kristen! My, have I missed her…

My sweet, long-lost, beautiful friend, joy, was back.  And with joy came her cohorts:  hope and faith.  My life and attitude were shifting.  At first, I didn’t wanted to believe it and I was a little afraid of feeling joy again because I was still “white-knuckling” my existence waiting for another bomb to drop.  I recognized that I was sabotaging myself and I made a conscious, directed decision to believe that the joy I was feeling was for me to embrace and enjoy.

Oftentimes in my life during moments of God’s miracles, I simply have no words…  I literally just shake my head in amazement and say, “Wow… Thank you, Spirit.”  In fact, I find myself doing that now as I’m writing this piece.  The change in my life was indescribable, but oh so beautiful.

Gratitude is much like presence.  When you feel it, embrace and focus on it, nothing else can come up.  All that plagues you is released.  The mind relaxes. A new perspective comes.  Fresh ideas emerge.  Intuition is more clear and peace comes.  Much like love, gratitude can work miracles in our lives if we are willing to invite it in.

I encourage everyone who reads this (no matter if life is grand or not-so-grand right now) to start a practice of gratitude.  All that you need, you already have.  It’s right before you, holding your hand.  You have not been forgotten nor will you ever be! Spirit is in our lives at all times and what we focus on, we attract more of.

Open your heart to all the wonders and blessings in your life!  They are there!  I promise.