Monday, April 16, 2018

What My Little Brother Taught Me About Perseverance

“To persevere is to make a decision that you will not stop until you win.”
—Nancy Salmeron

In my family I am regarded as someone who accomplishes goals and follows dreams. I am blessed that I get to do what I love and love what I do. I am humbled when I am told that I have inspired someone to believe in themselves. But there is someone very close to my heart who has inspired me to keep on pushing my dreams forward. This person has told me that I make him proud. He has been one of my biggest supporters, yet I don’t think he knows how much he has inspired me to believe in my dreams. His name is Luis Fernando; he is my little brother.
Luis Fernando, also known as Furny in our family, has taught me how to persevere and never give up when things get hard. He has also taught me the true meaning of commitment and dedication. Currently, my little brother is stationed in the Middle East fulfilling his duties as a soldier for the National Guard. Ever since he was a young boy he spoke about being a soldier. My parents, wanting to protect their son from this hard and strenuous lifestyle, reminded him of the dangers that come with being a soldier. They did everything in their power to stop him from joining the Marines when he was in high school. They even bribed him with a new car! The new car and the fact that my mother could not bear that something could happen to her little boy convinced him to hold off on his dream.
He held off for a while but not permanently. We thought he was through with his dream of being a soldier because he never spoke about it after high school. But as an individual who believes that dreams should always be pursued and accomplished, I knew that his dream would never fully go away. Dreams stand aside patiently and wait until you are ready to embrace them again. My parents thought they had convinced him to not pursue his dream, but they could not fully kill his desire to become a soldier. His journey to becoming a soldier was not easy. He was rejected from joining the Marines due to some prior life setbacks, yet he never gave up. Where there is a will, there will always be a way. I believe that his sense of humor, the fact that he does not take life too seriously, and that he never complains helped him persevere.
I admire that even when he was told that he would never be part of the United States Marines, he continued to knock on doors until the National Guard opened the door for him. He defied all odds because he believed and never gave up on his dream. He has been very gracious and respectful on his journey to becoming a soldier. He loves and takes pride in serving his country. I know that it was hard for him to leave his family for a year to fulfill his mission in the National Guard, but he shows up to what he has signed up for with great honor.
My little brother does not know that whenever I am rejected or fail to accomplish something in my life, I think about him and I keep on pushing forward. He will tell you that I have inspired him, but he does not know how much he has inspired me to believe in what I do and to persevere. I am very proud to be his big sister. I love and miss him very much. I can’t wait to hug him and tell him personally how proud he has made me. Today, I want to honor him by dedicating this blog post to him and sharing four lessons he taught me about perseverance.

Use humor to keep on pushing.
Furny is the clown of the family. Now I understand that every time that he failed he used humor to help him keep on pushing. He never complained about his rejections and he made fun of himself for doing silly things as a young kid that cost him the opportunity to be part of the Marines. He showed me that you must simply keep on pushing forward. When you feel like you can’t keep on pushing forward, remember that your dream is waiting on the other side. Tell yourself that you will get there and laugh yourself through the nonsense of life. Use humor to motivate you to persevere and don’t take your failure too seriously.

Don’t stop. Persevere.
To fulfill your dreams, you must never stop.  It is only when you stop that you have failed. I know my brother knew that if he stopped he would have failed. To persevere you must keep on going. When a door closed on my brother, he found a different door to knock on. He reminded me that sometimes in life we knock on the wrong door, but the right door will always open for us.

Practice optimism as you fail your way to the top.
Things don’t always go exactly as you planned. Challenges show up to test how serious you are or how much you want that dream. My little brother used a positive attitude to get to his destination of being a member of the armed forces. He always believed and was optimistic that someday he would get to represent his country as an American soldier. And now he does.

You are always right where you need to be.
A few weeks ago, my brother posted on Facebook that he was right where he needed to be. And he is. When we are pursuing our dreams and life goals, remember that everything is perfect. There are no accidents; you are always where you need to be. As I look at my journey and compare it to my little brother’s journey, I have concluded that everything that happens in our life is happening for our benefit.  The true lesson is found in deciphering what rejection and failure have to teach us. Be grateful for what is and be hopeful and optimistic for what is coming.

My little brother has been a great teacher to me. He continues to inspire me to persevere with my life goals because he never gave up on his. I am very proud of him. I know great things are coming to him,  because he is a creator, not a bystander in his life. I love him dearly and can’t wait to see him safe and sound back home. Remember, your dreams were given to you to be accomplished. Never give up and persevere just like Furny did! Until next Monday, Believe. Change. Become.

Sending blessings and love your way!

Monday, April 9, 2018

How to Love Life When It Has Become Unlovable

“Sometimes life can become unlovable.
Love it anyway!”
—Nancy Salmeron

What is the purpose of life? Why are we here? These two questions have been lingering in my mind for some time now. As a personal development coach, writer, and inspirational speaker, I talk about living a life of passion and purpose. I speak about letting go of fear and taking leaps of faith into sometimes very unclear and muddy waters. I believe that part of our life’s purpose is to seek what makes us come alive. I also believe that our purpose is our reason for being here. We must stay present and savor not only the good, but also the bad and ugly in life because it’s from the combination of good, bad, and ugly that we will learn why we truly are here. As I contemplate where my journey of self-discovery is taking me, I understand that I will stumble not only into the bliss and beauty of life, but also into the scary and horrible of life. We must savor and immerse ourselves in these unpleasant moments because these moments illuminate our strengths and make us treasure the simple, mundane moments in our lives. How could you truly appreciate the beautiful, blooming spring, if you did not experience the bitter, cold winter? Why do we curse life when things fall apart? Sometimes when our life is falling apart it’s for the betterment of our life experience, therefore we should value these moments. Remember, these challenging moments have come to your life so that you can appreciate the ordinary moments. The day-to-day moments will always bring peace and calm to the storm. And what about those moments of true ecstasy and joy? Treasure those too, but remember they are short-lived. Yes, our mission in life is to discover our purpose, yet while seeking our purpose life happens and it’s not always pretty. Today, let’s talk about how to love life when it’s not being kind and lovable to you.

Welcome the situation you are in.
When the bad and ugly of life comes knocking on my door, I peek out, brace myself, and welcome it in. Don’t hide from the bad and ugly of life. Welcome it in and offer it a cup of coffee. As you befriend the bad and ugly of life, you may realize that it has something to teach you. Remember that tough teacher you hated, but learned to appreciate by the end of the school year? You can transform the bad and ugly of life in the same way.

Appreciate the bad as you do the good in life.
Love the bad as you love the good in your life. Be grateful for the experience of feeling pain so that you can better appreciate joy. Cherish and understand that the bad and ugly in your life is not permanent and the same goes for the joy and good in your life. Live a truly abundant life by staying in the moment and not wanting to be anywhere else. Your life will never be defined by those epic moments of joy or tragic moments of pain but will be defined by your everyday moments. Enjoy and treasure these simple, but beautiful moments.

What is life trying to teach you?
The painful moments that bring you to your knees have a lesson for you. What is the lesson? Some of the toughest situations in my life have taught me that nothing is forever. Those moments reminded me of my strength. I have grown as an individual, and my soul has benefited from those experiences immensely. Every negative experience has something to teach you. The trick is to learn the lesson quickly, so that you can move on to bigger and more important lessons.

Difficult, painful moments in life have gotten a bad rap. Yes, they are hard to deal with. Yes, they hurt. But remember they don’t last forever. Appreciate these moments when they come into your life. Embrace them by welcoming them into your existence. Know that they have a lesson to teach you. Learn the lesson and move on. Be grateful for the simple moments of your life so that you can enjoy the peak of the mountain more intensely. Remember, you have a purpose for your life—a reason for being here—and part of that purpose is found in the good, bad, and ugly of life. Embrace and love them all! Until next Monday, Believe. Change. Become.

Sending blessings and love your way!
P.S. My book Believe. Change. Become.: Remembering Who You Were Destined to Be is out. Check it out!!

Monday, April 2, 2018

Is Pursuing Your Passion Overrated?

“I would rather die of passion than of boredom.”
-Vincent Van Gogh

Last week, at a networking event, someone asked me what I did for a living. I responded, “I help people come alive.” “How do you do that?” they then asked. “I help individuals identify their passion, so that they can pursue their life’s purpose,” I said. “Don’t you think passion is overrated?” they asked next. “No, I don’t think so,” I answered. “I believe that if people pursue their passion and live in purpose, they will find more meaning in their lives and be happier. According to a Gallup poll, seventy percent of people hate their jobs or are disengaged at work. I believe that when people do what they love, they give their best work and will never feel disengaged. These people understand that they are the creators of their lives. They have discovered the connection that their passion has with their life’s purpose, and they are always ready to give their gift to the world. I am passionate about empowering individuals, women specifically to believe that they can pursue their passion. Therefore, I don’t think living passionately is overrated.” The person asked me no more questions after that. Today, I want to talk about passion and how it is the gateway to a life of joy. Here are three tips for letting passion take the lead in your life.

Identify what brings you joy.
What brings me joy is empowering the human potential. I love seeing people pursuing what makes them come alive. I get chills when I see someone doing what they love for a living. I see the creativity in individuals when they are using their unique talents to help others. One person’s talent might be making jewelry. In making jewelry, they bring beauty and joy to others.  Another person’s talent might be nursing and assisting in saving people’s lives. Again, using their gifts, they make this world a better place. What are your gifts? What brings you joy?

Put fear aside and pursue your passion.
I was afraid when I began pursuing my passion of personal development. I found it hard to leave a wonderful career as an educator to follow my purpose of personal development. My fearful ego voice tried to convince me many times that I should continue on my well-known path of teaching. It told me that there was nothing wrong with my life and that I was stupid for giving up a modest, but secure, income for something that had no real guarantees. Yes, I experienced sleepless nights when fear of the “what ifs” conquered me. I had no idea what it took to run a coaching business or how much work it required. However, if I was going to advise others to live their passion and I was not doing that myself, then I was being a hypocrite. So, I decided to take the plunge, leave my teaching position, and sink or swim! Disclaimer: I am not suggesting that you do what I did. I am suggesting that you take whatever step fits for you in pursing your passion.

Ask yourself, “What is the worst that could happen?”
Anything that is worthwhile requires some risk. In my mind, the worst that could happen when I decided to pursue my passion was that I would fail. That was scary! I continued to feel scared until I heard “The Strangest Secret” by Earl Nightingale. If you have not heard this recording, I recommend that you look it up. Earl Nightingale reminded me that I was failing if I was not doing what I was passionate about. He also says that one fails if we stop pursuing our dreams. It’s important to understand that you will stumble and fall, but you will succeed if you fall forward and keep on moving. Also, you must remember that sometimes your worst failure only happens in your mind.

To conclude, I want to remind you that you are amazing, and you should never settle for a dull life. Seek passion, not only in your romantic relationships, but in every aspect of your life. Look at your life. How have you handled setbacks? If you are reading this, you have survived many trials and tribulations, and here you stand. Don’t doubt the power of your soul. When you go after your passion, you will develop courage and strength. Fight to believe in your life’s purpose! Never doubt that you have what it takes to go after your dreams, because if you didn’t you wouldn’t have these desires to begin with. It will not be easy. Failure and pursuing your passion go hand in hand. However, you fail everyday if you are not doing what you love. So, keep your head up, Buttercup, and follow your passion. Until next time, Believe. Change. Become.

Sending many blessings and love your way!

Monday, March 19, 2018

A Lesson on Betrayal

“Trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair.”
“How are you holding up?” I asked her. She replied, “I am a human being that understands that betrayal is damaging to the soul. I know I will overcome this pain, but right now I am reacting to the heartache.” I listened as my friend shared about a betrayal by her close friend. According to my friend, whom we shall call Rose, her close friend had shared some personal information about Rose with others at her place of employment. This had left Rose devastated and less trusting. This betrayal of their friendship left her confused and seeking answers about what had happened. She had lessons to learn from this experience. She learned that being vengeful is a reaction to the pain, but that revenge deepens your pain. She learned that forgiveness does not come automatically, and that you must not rush it. Rose discovered that distancing herself from someone who had hurt her could help with the wound, but that true healing comes with time.
There are times in your life when you give unconditionally of yourself. You go out of your way to help and support people who you think will be part of your life forever.  But people change, and you are left mourning the loss of a friendship, which feels like a death. How do you trust again? How do you learn the lesson and move on? Today, let’s talk about how to learn from betrayal and how to overcome it.

Immerse yourself in the pain.
Yes, you must feel it. Betrayal can catch you off-guard. It can make you feel a sense of loss. Immerse yourself in the pain. Feel your sadness and anger. It’s your party and you may cry if you want to. Actually, you must cry it out! This whole notion that you must not let it bring you down is wrong. Let it bring you down, but don’t stay down too long.

Talk it out.
Find a friend, confidant, or reach out for a coach or counselor. We are here for you! When we share our latest setback, one rarely seeks advice or opinions from our friends. In the example above, my friend was seeking simply to be heard.  One is in disbelief of the betrayal, so it’s natural to want to make sense of what occurred. Be proactive by being open and honest about all the feelings that show up. Be aware of the fear that comes up and understand that you can move past this setback by acknowledging that it happened.

Seek to understand but learn the lesson.
The best medicine for these type of setbacks is empathy. Remind yourself that it’s not about you—it’s about the person who betrayed you. Try to understand why they did what they did. Think about how you might have contributed to this behavior. Remember it takes two to tango and you are part of this dance. Learn the lesson so that you do not repeat it. My friend mentioned that she was too trusting and failed to address issues as they surfaced in this relationship. She learned that she must address issues as they arise in her relationships.

Bless them and thank them.
Okay, maybe you can’t forgive and bless them right away. It’s even okay to curse them for a bit and to feel disappointed but then let it go. Hatred and resentment only hurts you. Bless and thank them for the lesson learned, and send them off into the sunset. Remember to be grateful for the experience because it has made you wiser.

We have all been betrayed at some point in our lives. It’s part of the human experience. It hurts to be lied to or betrayed by someone you thought you could trust. I know how difficult it is to forgive and let go. I have been there! Let time do the healing but be proactive in learning the lesson. Bless and thank those who hurt you. Trust that you will overcome, and trust that not everyone will betray you. Until next Monday, Believe. Change. Become.

Sending blessings and love your way!

Monday, March 12, 2018

How to Have a Life That Feels Like a Vacation

“Create a life you do not need a vacation from.”
—Nancy Salmeron
A turquoise-green ocean stretched in front of me and marshmallow clouds floated above me in a pale-blue sky. Majestic cream-colored sand surrounded me. The sound of the ocean waves calmed my mind and soothed my soul. I was in beautiful Tulum, Mexico—a place where memories were made and reflections developed, which resulted in great discoveries about myself and why we go on vacations.
Why do you take vacations? To get away? To escape from your reality? To seek adventure? I used to go on vacations to get away from my life. I wanted to escape my reality because I did not enjoy it. I used to seek adventure because my life felt dull. But not anymore! I love my life, so I don’t feel I need to get away from it. I enjoy my work, family, and friends too much to want to escape my reality. My life has become an adventure because I am enjoying my journey of believing, changing, and becoming. Our trip to Tulum, Mexico was a beautiful experience that reminded me of why I love my husband the way I do. It brought us closer and made us realize how lucky we are to have each other, yet we did not have to go that far to discover this. Vacationing for many may imply that happiness is found in a beautiful, beach resort somewhere across the world, but today I want to tell you that you don’t need to go that far. If you are grateful for your life and love the people in it, your home, and what you do for work, you may never feel the need to get away. I am not saying you shouldn’t take a vacation. Something happens to your senses and your spirit when you immerse yourself in new, beautiful surroundings. But let a vacation enhance your life experience, rather than taking you away from the life you are experiencing. I believe that if you love your life, a vacation is the cherry on top and not the whole ice cream sundae. Today, let’s talk about how to live a life that feels like a vacation.

Work for your purpose, not just for a living.
I often speak about living a life of your creation by living your purpose. It has been my observation that individuals that hate their jobs are not living their purpose and only look forward to Fridays, vacations, and retirement. Weekends, vacations, and retirement can enhance our lives, but they are not a time, place, or destination where happiness suddenly appears. My issue with looking forward to vacations or retirement too much is that you miss out on life by not being present. Living in purpose is essential to discovering your reason for being alive. As I live a life of passion and purpose, I discover that all my Mondays feel like Fridays and that my life feels like a vacation that I don’t want to retire from. Identify your passion so that it can connect you to your purpose.

Surround yourself with people who uplift and inspire you.
When you go on vacation you will notice that all the people around you are filled with happiness and joy. Excitement is in the air! To live a life that brings that vacation feeling, engage with people who uplift and inspire you. If that is not possible, minimize the time you spend with individuals who bring you down. Be mindful of the energy of those you bring into your life. We are the company that we keep, so only keep those who want to see you happy and soaring.

Actively create a home environment that is conducive to your spiritual growth.
If your home does not rise to meet and greet you when you walk into it, you need to make some changes. When I leave on vacation, I miss my home very much. I always want to come home because I love my home. I feel inspired in my home. When I hear people say they don’t want to go home, I always wonder why. Your home does not need to look or feel like a resort. It simply needs to feel like and be an extension of you. If your home is not feeling like that, seek to make it a place that nurtures and enhances your soul.

The older I get the more I love my life. I love my life because I have discovered the reason for my existence. I love the people who surround me because they make my life more interesting. I feel my home is my sanctuary because it’s an extension of who I am. As you plan your next vacation, reflect on why you are embarking on your trip. Vacations wake up all our senses and show us that anything and everything is possible for our lives. Yet, if you look forward to your vacations more than to your present life, you need to reevaluate what purpose or meaning you are giving to your life. Be grateful, stay present, and love your life every day, not just one week out of the year. Until next time, Believe. Change. Become!

Sending blessings and much love your way !

Monday, March 5, 2018

How to Liberate Yourself from Stress

When we get overwhelmed, we forget what we are capable of.
—Nancy Salmeron

Just last month I wrote about how stagnant and still my life felt. Well, the universe heard my concern and decided to shake things up a bit. My brain is now on information-overload. I have many projects, presentations, and programs that I must work on, as well as a week-long vacation to Tulum, Mexico that could not have come at a worst time. But is it really a bad time, or am I just feeling overwhelmed? I want to scream and pull my hair out. Just last month I was restless because life seemed too calm, and today I am seeking some of that calm. I am seeking time to reflect and be mindful, but fear tells me that I must work, work, work, because I don’t have enough time. My soul intervenes by telling me that I should calm down and relax because my projects always get done. As I try to focus my attention on what brings me a sense of calm, I realize that my soul is right. I always get tasks done, no matter what. Yet, fear has a point. I have no extra time for procrastination; deadlines are approaching; and I won’t have a lot of time when I come back from vacation to do everything that must be done. How do I find balance? One trick I use is to be in the flow, but also have an intention for using my time. As I contemplate on how I will meet all of my deadlines, I understand that I must watch my time. I also understand that I must not lose myself in the doing, so that I stop living and enjoying life. Yes, I have many projects due in the next couple of months, but I also have family and friends to build life memories and experiences with. I need to be mindful that life is fleeting and that the journey is much more important than the destination. So, for the times when you are feeling overwhelmed, here are some tips on how to slow down, smell the roses, and embrace your hectic life.

Prioritize and stay present.
To find balance you must prioritize, and focus on doing one thing at a time. I prioritize by noticing which projects most urgently need my attention. Don’t stress yourself by attempting to do many things at the same time. Do one thing at a time, complete that task, and then move on to the next task. Decide what is most important to attack, and stick with it until it’s done.

Just breathe.
Breathing is my favorite thing to do when I am feeling overwhelmed. Breathing can reduce your anxiety, stress, and even your blood pressure. So, if you are feeling out of breath and out of your element, focus on your breath for a few minutes and remind yourself that you have everything under control.

Enjoy nature.
When all else fails, and you need to reconnect with your soul, connect with nature. When you are feeling overwhelmed, go for a walk in nature. If you can, go for a hike; if you are not able to get away for a hike, go for a walk in your neighborhood. Enjoy the fresh air and just breath.

Disconnect to reconnect with your soul.
Technology can connect us to the world, but can disconnect us from our soul. Be careful of the time you invest in technology, including social media. Designate a time to check your email and social media, and don’t let it consume you. Before I check my email or social media in the morning, I check in with my soul by being with my kids, sending them to school, feeding my chickens, and meditating.  Don’t overwhelm yourself. Everything that needs to get done, will. Trust in that.

Feeling overworked and overwhelmed does not let you give the best of yourself to the world, and in addition it can be detrimental to your health. As I contemplate my state of mind, I am mindful of how I prepare for my week, days, and hours. It’s important that you designate specific hours to work, but it’s as important for you to designate time for yourself and your loved ones. Take that vacation and immerse yourself in the present moment. Be sure to disconnect from devices that not only drain your battery, but drain your soul. Live a life that matters by doing what matters. Be organized with your day, but embrace where your day takes you. Love and be grateful for your busy life, but learn to reconnect with your soul by breathing and enjoying nature. And remember to relax, because things will get done! Until next Monday, Believe. Change. Become.

Sending many blessings and love your way,

P.S. My book, Believe. Change. Become.: Remembering Who You Were Destined to Be, has been published. Check it out!

Monday, February 12, 2018

How to Listen to What the Universe Is Trying to Tell You

The way to become one with the universe is to trust it.
As an inspirational speaker, I never know who will be in the audience to listen to my message of living a life of passion and purpose. When thinking about who my audience will be prior to a presentation, I always remind myself that the universe has a special way of putting the people who need to hear my message in the room. It never fails. I always have people who thank me for my presentation afterward because they needed to hear something I said. Last week I presented at a Women’s Bridal Event. This was a beautiful event for soon-to-become brides. There were over one hundred vendors and six women speakers at this event, myself included. I was a bit concerned ahead of time about how many women would come to listen to the presenters, because there would be so many amazing activities going on, but I decided to attend because I believe that all of my presentations will attract the individuals that need to hear my message. So, if five women show up, these are the women that needed to be there.   But in this instance, I was afraid that no one would show up to hear me speak because this event had  vendors selling dream honeymoons, beautiful cakes, glamorous wedding gowns—anything a bride needed to have the wedding of her dreams. There was even a bridal fashion show. The ladies at this event were celebrating that they recently got engaged. They were in a state of bliss. How could I possibly compete with that? And while all those activities were on the main floor, the speakers were on the bottom floor. I told myself that I would be very lucky if one or two women showed up. But when the time for my presentation came, eight women showed up! “Yay!” I told myself, these are the eight women I prepared this presentation for.  These were the women that needed to hear my message of living a life of passion and purpose on that day. I felt my presentation was a success, regardless of the number of women in the room. “How do I measure success?” you ask. I measure success, in part, by the fact that I had eight ladies in the room. But also, I believe there is a reason why we encounter everyone in our lives. I was reminded of this because many of the women told me they were glad they came to see me present. They said that they needed to listen to my message.  I believe that everything has a purpose and that you should always find blessings in whatever happens. I was grateful for the experience and for the connections I made with these women. It reaffirmed for me that people come into our lives for a reason and that we should pay attention to why they show up. Here are three tips on how to listen to what the universe is trying to tell you.

Listen to your gut.
 When I asked some of the women in the audience why they decided to come downstairs to the speaker’s room when the party was going on strong upstairs, they told me they felt it in their gut. There was something inside of them telling them they should come to hear me speak. Listen to that feeling, and if it feels right, go for it. Believe it or not, those feelings know more that your critical mind.

Pay attention to your surroundings.
Pay attention to your surroundings. Everything in your external environment is a potential sign. I have experienced that when I am wondering about or questioning something, I will stumble upon answers. The trick to listening to your surroundings is to fine-tune your attention to detail. To do that, you must be present. Be present by reconnecting to the hear and now. Work on one task at a time and stay focused on that task.

Take note of recurring experiences.
Pay attention to experiences that keep on showing up. It could be people, places, or things. For example, when I was an educator, I would be asked to participate in committees, workshops, and projects that involved developing character in students. I did not know then that the universe was trying to direct me into a career of personal development. I can see it clearly now. The universe always has a plan. It’s up to you to take note and figure out that plan.

In conclusion, the universe is speaking to you right in this moment. If you have stumbled upon this blog, maybe there is something I am intended to share with you that could inspire you to change your life. Recognizing and receiving information through signs depends on your willingness to see and listen to the signs all around you. Trust your gut feelings, and be alert to what the universe is trying to show you. Until next Monday, Believe. Change. Become.
Sending many blessings and love your way!

P.S. My book, Believe. Change. Become.: Remembering Who You Were Destined to Be, has been published. Check it out!