Month: January 2015

My Mother’s Love Letters

My mother is a woman of strong character, unyielding pride, and highly critical. She is not a woman who has historically said “I love you” or “te quiero.” But as a teenager even through our disagreements, even when she was infuriated she never refrained from offering me food and this is how I knew we would get past it.  Like many other Latina women, my mother’s cooking has become her main avenue of unconditional expressed care and affection. I now understand that a plate of warm quesadillas, was much more than that. As a Mexican woman it is no surprise my mother’s values are consistent with the Latino cultural values of “familismo” and “marianismo,” which emphasize family loyalty and self-sacrifice above all. My mother’s identity is made up of these two values, she makes it a goal to care for her family, her husband, children and grandchildren, to the extent of sacrificing comfort and personal preference. A prime example of this is cooking for everyone else while being the last to eat and still washing the dishes at …

Brand Boulevard

  On weekends my morning routine consists of a jog along my neighborhood and its surrounding cities.I am a frequenter of Brand Boulevard running along Mission Hills and San Fernando, often admiring the Spanish architecture as though I were in a museum. I pass by Brand Park (Memory Garden) and Andres Pico Adobe one of the oldest residences in the city of Los Angeles. I run further down still past Laurel Canyon, and I continue to admire the homes with their Spanish and Greek revival style influences. There is something that invites me to this boulevard time after time and just now I have started to understand the reasons why.   Brand offers a historical view of the great city of San Fernando. This boulevard has witnessed Spanish settlement with construction of near by Mission San Fernando Rey de España as early as 1797.  This humble town does not make a fuss of its amazing history but rather live out their histories daily grounded in Mexican-American tradition. I not only see what this city has been but I see what it has started to become. I see a city …

Shedding Old Clothes

I am fond of fashion. I don’t necessary follow the latest trends or own designer things, but I do love dressing up. I often have strangers ask, where did you find that item of clothing? And sometimes I am able to answer H&M. But other times I don’t remember where I bought a particular item of clothing, it could have been a thrift store.  I tend to fall in love with a certain pieces of clothing or shoes that stay with me for years I’m thinking its gotten pretty bad when my husband encourages me to shop! My husband sometimes points out that I need to get new clothes when he notices a tear or wearing on my clothes. I am not sure why I have hard time letting go of some clothes, I guess I feel I could not find another piece like it, or maybe its just the penny pincher in me. I didn’t grow up with very much so my mother always taught us to make the most of what we have. Sometimes it is difficult to shed …

Confessions from a therapist: Work-life balance

Confessions from a therapist: Work-life balance In my position as a therapist I experience many challenges both personally and professionally, some weeks are more difficult, as well as more rewarding than others. I want to share those with you. In my field it is emphasized that in order to be able to achieve a work, life balance one must be able to separate from work at the end of the day. I find it difficult do this seamlessly. I mean I am not building a table I can leave behind. Or leaving the hammer that helped me build it, because I am the hammer, The therapist is the most important tool of the therapy process. I’ve come to understand that a therapist is most effective when they are present in the room with their client, authentic, and compassionate. In part a job of a therapist is to respond to the client’s concerns that week, which requires minute to minute decisions about what to say and do that is at the best interest of the client. …

New year, happiness is my aim

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2015 I know I am a little late. But I am all about resolutions and goal setting. Let’s face it most of the time  we make same resolutions year after year dressed in new language.  For me this year I would like my focus to be happiness everyday if possible. I am in the process of trying to figure out what that looks like for me. But a start would be aiming to increase my activity of things I love to do each day. 2014 was wonderful to me, but at a certain point I felt like I got caught up in my professional endeavors, and the daily hustle. By the end of the year of found myself in thirst for a different kind of life, one of freedom in creative expression. I want to have everyday be a meaningful day and not just another day purchased from me and resigned by me so easily. This year I vow to try my best to play my Ukulele, sing, draw, paint, redecorate, watch funny movies, cook,  photograph things, read, …