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Blog

Where my mind wanders, rests, and flows

 

Filtering by Category: personal development

It's Not Luck, It's Hard Work

Laarni San Juan

Yes, good things do happen with patience and a LOT of hard work. 

It’s not luck, it’s putting in the hard work and being READY when life knocks at your door. 

Access to Warriors season tickets are a bucket list item for me and a dream come true. I put my name on the waiting list three years ago and boom, the day has come! I am ready!

I come from humble beginnings, like real humble. So humble that my father wasn’t educated past the 2nd grade, I qualified for free lunches in public school, I hardly had toys, and I struggled with being bullied because I was the frail kid with thick glasses and bony legs whose elementary school photos looked like I’m about to cry or pee in my pants (which I probably did). I was always the last one picked for the kickball team. Always.

Life hasn’t been easy BUT one thing that made the positive difference was that I was often surrounded by CARING parents and adults in a SAFE environment. I never felt that I was alone or neglected. My mom is really the hero in all this: she took on the US in the 60s as an immigrant (I cannot imagine leaving a country for another country and not turning back), she drove, bought a modest home, had a stable job and somehow figured out the formula for being a strong caretaker to me, my brother, and everybody else. Today, she is 84 and is a whiz at facebook, slot machines, and owns more Ugg boots than I do.

In high school I got exposed to skiing, 49er games, and college options outside of the local community college (stuff that my parents are not familiar with). These were “American” activities. What I experienced was a true perspective changer during those formative years. In college I got exposed to positive mentors who showed me what seeking higher aspirations does to one’s life. I will always be grateful to Dr. Ruth Hill, Dr. Melen McBride, my close circle of buddies, and a bunch of people who rock.

After college, I discovered therapy (the BEST HIDDEN GEM ever) and have never denied my need to run to that space until this day.  I've had to unload a bunch of crap and memories to allow me to flourish into the life I have today. If you have access to EAP services at your job or school, go. It’s a secret world that no one has to know about [hashtag lifesaver].

I’m living example of what could happen with hard work, support, and trusting the journey ahead.  If you work hard, your battle is 50% done. If you don’t have support, get it. If you have a hard time trusting, find ways to gain it back.

A Balanced Life is Like Flipping Burgers

Laarni San Juan

Balanced Life Flipping Burgers Sweet and Focused Life

Imagine you are at your friend's annual BBQ. Guests slowly trickle in and the host suddenly remembers somebody has to be in charge of the burger bar. There's laughter in the backyard, a bunch of head nods, no one bites, and finally the host points at you to take it on. You oblige. You think, how hard could it be to throw patties on the grill and get cheese ready for the cheeseburger fans. The party starts to warm up, beer is being chugged, the wine bottles are getting poured and the crowd looking comfortable. Your first order comes in, "well done please". Sure. No problem. Patty one thrown onto the hot grill. Second order, "medium with a touch of rare". Okay, I know what that looks like.  Cool. Third order, "medium with crispy edges but not burned". That sounds easy. That's how I like my burgers too. The patties are cooking, guests come over to the burger stand and you get distracted. You start laughing and cracking jokes too. You lose track of what's cooking. Uh oh. Burger one is almost burned (it's more like charred).  You forget what order three wanted so you keep it cooking. Starts to feel chaotic and you start to feel bad because you may have screwed up the one simple thing that was asked of you. It was supposed be easy but you managed to lose sight and now the person who depended on you goes hungry and maybe even disappointed. You pray they will say it's okay and we all move on. 

That scenario reminds me of life.  We have so much to cook all at once: health, family, job, community, business, and you can even throw in keeping up with social media. A lot of moving parts all at once. Whatever you got going on in your life, it's important to keep an eye on what's "cooking". We have to periodically check on the patties, flip it over once in awhile,  and sometimes chuck it out because we decided to have a veggie one instead. Maybe throw it on a toasted wheat bun with some hot sauce for zest. Maybe the fire underneath loses its heat and the time is taking way longer than planned.  Time to get more charcoal and lighter fluid to keep the fire going or is it? Whatever the situation, keep an eye on what's on the grill at all times.

You are the cook of your life. What's on your menu?

Tis' the Season

Laarni San Juan

Tis' the season to be reflective and push that gratitude button. Should be 365 days a year but hey, it's a good reminder especially when the scenery is of white fluffy snow (nature speaks), people making plans to see family and friends (humans thrive), and just overall giddy-ness to celebrate births and new beginnings (the life journey continues). When I was young, it was pretty standard to decorate the house with all things holiday and even burn cinnamon-scented candles.  The past five years I noticed myself shift my decorative desires to a more simplistic one of lights, maybe a tree, and placing gifts received in a special place in the living room.  The lights, colorful paper, bows, and thoughtfulness are filling enough and enormously remind me of how wonderful it is be ALIVE.  I am thankful that there is light, that color fills our world, that bows add the extra special touch, and that there are caring people out there in this world.  Wishing all much joy and peace inside so all that can be given outward big time in 2018. 

Common Denominators

Laarni San Juan

Question of the day is what is my specialty? Hmmm... I’ve tried, done, and failed a bunch of things in my life and so I don’t have that one specialty. I do know that the common denominators in life's tribulations are faith and resilience.  Those two have gone hand in hand to help create the joys I have experienced. Faith is believing that the higher source will guide me even if I don’t know where I’m going. I place all my bets on faith. She is my driver following that gps and telling us where to go. Important to trust the pathway ahead especially if the signs say to go in that direction. There are times, however, when the road detours because the gps wasn’t updated.  Can always get the update with a press of the reset button.  Resilience has gotten me through simple jams in life like wearing unmatching shoes when I leave the house and also the bigger jams like getting called derogatory names in public institutions where one would expect to get help.  That stuff stings but had to find the faith and resilience to move on.  I did my part in restoring myself by seeking higher purpose, seeing my therapist, reading, and finding support wherever I can.  I have bigger dreams to pursue and those jams will not get in my way. I have faith and resilience as my BFFs.

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Glad I Let Go Instead

Laarni San Juan

I didn't quit. I never gave up even when my mind was weary and felt defeated.

I look back at 2012 when someone called me a monkey that was 1000% inappropriate. It wasn't cute. It wasn't endearing. I reported to whom I thought were the appropriate authorities (I trust my judgement) but I soon tasted what my late father often talked about: there are haters and oppressors in our everyday lives. There are a whole lot of naysayers who are scared of their own shadows.

That first-hand back-hand experience has changed the course of my life. That bitter taste pops up but I have taught myself to squash it before it can dominate my palate. I am thankful (so thankful) for my life team who gave me unending support every time I bitched and moaned about the ugly layers that incident represented. 

I could wallow in anger but that would not set a good example to Sydney and the younger generation who look up to me. Daily rage would not serve my family and the people I love. The madness would add more frown lines and defeat my nightly skin regimen. Self-pity and lounging in the victim role would not bring me happiness.

I had to let it go. I prayed. I forgave. I sought out ways to be stronger. Opportunities presented itself that pushed me to let go and water a new garden. Because I never gave up, I discovered a new me, a better me! I have recovered and now I am bringing that same 1000% of GOOD ENERGY to the table. It's a very liberating and empowering feeling to LET GO of stuff that no longer serves and SAY YES to what does. My core still holds the same values I grew up with: be kind to others, help others, and BE the light to those who have those weary and self-defeating days.