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~ Laarni

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Where my mind wanders, rests, and flows


Filtering by Category: parenting

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. 

A is for Access

Laarni San Juan

One of my favorite words that start with "A" is ACCESS.

I love the concept of access. To access opportunities, ideas, and experiences is to increase your chances of being fulfilled. Access info, access mentors, access resources, access knowledge, access support, access help.

Access whatever it is that will lead you to the life you want.

Hashtag jus sayin.


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.


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.

The Best Gift Ever

Laarni San Juan

I work with moms each day and I hear their joys but most of all their struggles. I hear what pains them and their perceived challenges.

I get it. I'm a mom too.

What I've learned over the years is that the struggle and the perceived challenges will always be there. However, it's all perspective and mindset. It's what we train our brains to think.

I taught parenting classes for over 10 years and I start with "LOVE YOURSELF FIRST BECAUSE YOU CAN'T GIVE WHAT YOU DON'T GOT".


The best gift, ever, that we could give others is our best selves.

Our loved ones know when we are sad, angry, excited, alert and emotions in between. They are watching. They also copy what we are and what we do.  

Be contagious but for the right reasons.

Root Word of Awesome = Awe

Laarni San Juan

I grew up in the heart of San Francisco, a busy city where houses are stacked next to each other, cemented front yards are spiked with weeds growing in between the cracks, and rows of people are lined up at the stations to catch the bus or BART train. I’ve been on a mission to explore new cities around the world and discover the awe that we can all dive into. Nowadays, airlines do a great job in alluring the traveler with fare prices that cost less than 3 digits one way (yippeee!) Went up to Oregon recently and had a great time. I rarely do any research prior to my travels, that’s just the way I roll. I’m lazy when it comes to reading up on my destination and frankly, I like the element of surprise. I’ll see what I see when I get there. The homes in the Portland area where I stayed were NOT forced to be next to each other (a rare sight when you are from SF), the hot weather was bearable even though many warned me of the heat wave, and there were NO parking meters in the more remote parts. What, no parking meters? If you know SF, that is unheard of. There was actually endless amounts of parking and it was FREE. Again, when you are from San Francisco, that parking combination of available and free feels like a gold mine! There was nothing even close to the SF meter demands of 3-minutes-per-quarter. I was giddy walking and setting foot in the famous Powell’s bookstore. Oh, my love for books ballooned with joy when I saw the vast collection of all that paper print. [Insert heart emoji here]. Soon after, I took a nice long drive in the Cadillac Escalade that the rental car agency graciously gifted me at a super low rate (helps to be a manifester of things desired). It was an awesome three hour drive south to Bend, Oregon. Hung out in what seemed like an up-and-coming area with newer neighborhoods of straightedge architecture and rows of organic’ish yogurt and yoga spots. The flat landscape of tall trees, desert-like plains, and spiky-looking dry shrubs for miles on highway 97 was a serene view to take in. Drivers actually drove the speed limit calmly hence the lack (or more like absence) of road ragers. What, no road ragers? As always, I took a couple selfies along the route (need to have keepsakes and post on social media, right?) I’m not an outdoorsy person but I was aware of the endless trails, hikes, and roads available for exploration. Maybe next time. I still love San Francisco but I surely got a pleasant dose of Oregon during this trip.
Traveling to new places and exploring boundaries outside of our familiarity is definitely a great way to expand awe and possess a true appreciation of what is.
Yes, awe is my word of the day. Actually, it’s my word for life. I just had an aha moment: awe is the root word of awesome. No wonder I’m feeling good.

Quakes and Identity

Laarni San Juan

Last night I did a presentation and let the audience know that I have a deep thirst for knowledge and so got a masters degree in public health. I love learning systems and examining WHY people do what they do. The constant denominator of my journey since childhood has been studying systems, helping others, and seeing them win in life. That's my drug. As humans we were meant to co-create, build communities, and thrive. When the human spirit thrives, living WITH LIFE happens.

The more I speak each night, the more I can feel the shift in my own IDENTITY. My breath becomes louder and my core does earthquake somersaults. Things jolt and I ENJOY it. God, I enjoy it. I am shedding my former identity and coming into the new. Its like a chameleon in an earthquake. Shedding and changing are part of the human condition. Fear can get in the way of what could be. The best part of the process is knowing I am alive, anew, and even more convicted to be a servant leader to others.