Thursday, June 29, 2017


I have been thinking a lot about life lately. Not only because of the struggles and hard times that I have gone through but because I see loved ones and close friends going through similar situations.

People who have successful jobs and beautiful families and careers are deep down, not truly happy. I mean, I guess we, they, are happy but it is more contentment than anything. Many people I have spoken with have a life of "I should have," or "If only" I had done this or that.  

So often, people I know just went with what they thought they should do as the next step, according to society's standards, myself included.

It has lead me to my conclusion that the ultimate goal in life is that internal search for happiness. No matter who you are or where you live or what you believe in, you just want to be happy. 

The million dollar question is: "What is it that really makes us happy?" We spend our whole lives trying to figure that out.  We are taught from the moment we are young that growing up and being successful,  getting married and having children is the way to go. Never along the way is emotional well-being ever a priority.  By that I mean, no one ever really taught us to be happy with ourselves first to find out what makes us truly tick. No one really teaches to to find out what is that goal that will make us happy from within? 

Instead, we are taught to go to school, to go to college, to get the best job possible to work 9 to 5, to get married, to have kids and that this is the WAY to go. Of course, education is important but it doesn't always have to be the only option. 

We live our lives where we are always dreading Mondays and looking forward to taking time off. A great majority of society lives for vacations to escape their "reality."  Why are we not genuinely happy with what we are doing? I mean, I'm sure there are those who are genuinely happy. I know during my time in the music business I was extremely happy and fulfilled with what I was doing,,, but again it was because I was doing what truly made ME happy. 

Then that biological clock starts ticking and we start looking around and seeing that we are not where we are "suppose to be yet." At least not in the place we have been indoctrinated with: married, kids, big house etc.. For some reason, this equals success to society.

Why do we not teach our youth today that they have the power within them to make themselves happy? We do not need to go looking for another human being to feel that sense of satisfaction? Sure, it is wonderful to spend your life with somebody and share the joys but I believe our society has it all backwards.  

We are taught that we must find someone to be happy and then we must have kids to be an even happier. That cycle never seems to end. Then we get to mid life and wonder what we've done with our lives. 

I believe that from the time our children are young we should teach them to express their feelings. We think it's okay that little girls write in their diaries and that it's OK for them to cry but how about the boys? Do they get to write in their diaries and express their feelings? I am sure there are some who do and this is wonderful, but generally speaking, it is not the way we are all brought up.
Why is it not OK for boys to cry, for men to cry? It has always been seen as a sign of weakness. Well, I disagree. I think it is important to nourish that emotional state and all the feelings that we have as we are growing. I truly believe that we should encourage emotional expression and well-being. I believe that we should teach our children respect, empathy and compassion. I think that we should focus more on the well-being of an individual and less about their test-taking skills. 

Ultimately, I believe that life's goal should be to be truly happy with ourselves and when we find that happiness we should share it and make a positive difference in the world. Of course, we have obligations as we reach adulthood, but I think life would be a whole lot easier if we learned to do the things that make us (emotionally) happy from the time we were young and continue to do so all throughout our teen years and well into adulthood. And by that I mean, not conforming to society standards,  continuously having to live by the rules of what make others happy for us.

For example, that girls only get to play with dolls and that boys only get to play with trucks and that when you reach a certain age in adulthood you should get married. Obviously, we have come a very long way with those things I just mentioned, but the biggest factor still remains, learning that we need to love ourselves first and be happy with ourselves before we can make anyone else happy. And most importantly, when we finally do find that person to share our lives with and we begin a family, we should not give up all the things we love to do, the things that make us happy as individuals. 

I believe we should learn to express our feelings and follow our passion and do what makes us genuinely happy. We all have that power within us.  The key is, learning to access that power.  We need to learn to genuinely be ourselves and express our feelings without the fear of criticism from society.  And if we have kids, we need to raise them to be respectful, compassionate and empathetic human beings, but most importantly. teach them that happiness is a vital component in life.  We need to let them know and others, that it is okay to be who you are, not what society wants us to be.

We ALL have the power to be happy! Get inspired!
Dolphin Discovery


Good things come to those who believe. Better things come to those who are patient. The best things come to those who never give up! 

It may seem like the end of the world to you right now (at least in your world) but have faith that things will start to turn around for the better. You need some time to re-group and focus on what it is YOU really want! 

Then map out a plan and start working on it! You got this! You are a warrior and YOU have the POWER to be HAPPY

Monday, September 26, 2016


Jose Fernandez, age 24 (image source: Miami Marlins)
Is it possible to mourn the loss of someone you did not know personally? How do you put that loss into perspective?  People always say you should, "Live life to the fullest" or "Enjoy life as if it was your last," or "Tell your loved ones you love them everyday." Well, even when we do all these things, does it really make losing a loved one any easier?  I think not.  Death is never easy to accept and it is something we, as humans have enormous trouble coming to terms with.  Well, what happens when you feel a huge loss over the death of someone you never knew personally? 

I feel like I am always writing about death and grief, but it just seems that it is a constant flow of "only the good die young."  I have experienced enough loss first-hand but this week was a new one for me.

Upon hearing of the un-timely death of young baseball superstar, Jose Fernandez, in a tragic boating accident, on September 25, 2016, my 9-year old was devastated. At first, when he heard the news, he was a little saddened, even saying "he knew he was in a better place," but as the day went by and the story was all over the news, the reality that his favorite baseball player had died, hit him hard.  He was crying intermittently all day, as he recalled seeing him pitch at various Miami Marlins baseball games. Even in the afternoon, when he was at the hockey rink, his favorite place to be,  he over-heard adults talking about the loss of this amazing young baseball player. It was everywhere.  I thought I could distract him by allowing him to go on his PlayStation when we got home, but that only lead to having more tears come streaming down, as number #16 came up on his virtual roster of his Miami 
Marlins PlayStation team.

As the day worn on, there were moments when he literally sobbed. It broke my heart and scared me a little too that he could be this affected by the death of someone he did not know personally. He has always been a very sensitive & self-less kid, being extremely concerned about the feelings of others and being overly sympathetic to the well-being of animals or to someone who is not being treated fairly, but this death, this was hitting him hard.

He has experienced death in the family before, as his aunt died of cancer and his great-grandmother passed away last year. However, he never really got to interact with either of them very much.  He did cry and was saddened upon their passing but this, this was too much, for his young heart to bear and I struggle to understand it, this is also why I write, in an effort to make sense of things.

So excited to go a Miami Marlins game

Which leads me to now - How in the world do I explain to my child not to mourn the loss of someone he never really knew?  I am not an insensitive person, I just do not want my child to suffer every death in the future and every bad thing that happens in the world  as if it was only upon his shoulders.  I recognize it is still too soon, for him to understand that "no one gets out alive."  Even for us adults, it is extremely difficult to accept the death of someone so young and so full of life, however, I need him to know the difference - or do I?

Do I want him to stop being an overly sensitive, caring soul?  Do I want him to stop having empathy and compassion for those he loves, respects and admires?  No! I don't.

The death of Jose Hernandez has hit those of us who did not know him personally, very hard, because I think, we can innately recognize a soul that is pure love, pure life.  His exuberance and his joy on the field was evident. If we, the strangers, feel this enormous loss, I cannot even fathom what his family and friends are going through, and I cannot even begin to imagine the unfathomable pain of loss that his mother and grandmother are experiencing.

It is in the passing of this wonderful young man, who was only 24-years old, that I have come to realize, that it is okay to feel the loss of someone you never met, especially someone of such an amazing character, as was Jose Fernandez.  While, I still believe it is unhealthy to harp on the death of someone you did not know, it is also a sign of true compassion and empathy and those are the qualities I have always tried to instill in my children.

So as the baseball community and South Florida bids farewell to Jose Fernandez, I will make sure to let my son know, it is okay to express sorrow for someone he admired so much. I am sure my son will learn to watch his favorite team again without being sad but as the days go by, I will also make sure to teach him about what an amazing human being Fernandez was. How he was a philanthropist and did all that he could to help children with cancer. I will teach him how Fernandez risked his life to leave the oppressed country of my parents, Cuba.  I will remind him how he jumped into the dangerous waters during this escape to save his own mother, at only age 15.  I will point out to him what an amazing community member he was and how he lived his life with extreme joy and passion.  I will teach him, that like my own parents and grandparents, he left a dictatorship seeking freedom to live the American dream and how important it is to stand up for what you believe in.

And some day, maybe someday, he will understand that no one lives forever, and that God sometimes takes those who have accomplished their "mission" on Earth, a little too early.

Jose meant a lot of things to many different people and in writing this, I realize now, just how important he was to my son, as well, and how it is okay to mourn someone you never knew.

However, life does go on...


R.I.P. Jose Fernandez

Sen. Marco Rubio tribute to Jose Fernandez 


Friday, September 23, 2016


Remember that it is not what happens to us, but how we react to it and what we do to learn from it, as we strive to become better human beings. 

Obstacles are a necessity for growth. 💪

Monday, November 23, 2015


Some days do you wake up and wonder , "Just what am I doing? Is this all worth it?"  Working hard to make a living, trying to blend into the "rat-race," shuffling the kids back and forth between activities and sports, with barely any free time for yourself.  I know, sometimes, I do!
Blue Box

There are people who some days just feel down and "blue" and can't see the silver lining. This tends to happen on Monday mornings or when things aren't going well (from their perspective.) It is usually when they are in their "own little world," not really participating productively in society, and not getting everything they want fast enough. That is when most people get trapped in that "blue box."   Do you tend to get trapped in that "blue box?"

Life can definitely be challenging and sometimes  can seem like one disappointment after another, when we are faced with obstacles, but really, if we change our lens, and look at all the good and positive things in our lives, it can and will change our perspective.  It is so important to have a goal, to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.
Even though, I do wake up some days feeling like something is wrong with the entire world, I've learned that "life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."  I have learned that in moments like this, that's when it's time to make the EXTRA effort to get out and do something positive.  I have learned that three people have the power to make me happy: Me, Myself & I! 
That's right only YOU and I, individually, have the power to make ourselves happy.  And remember, life doesn't have to be perfect all the time, you just have to recognize and appreciate what you do have and show gratitude everyday for it!  This does not mean you are going to float around like "Mary Poppins" every day but it will help you will start your day off with a little more pizzazz and appreciation for the life you live, especially when you have dreams and goals to pursue.
Here is a list of things I want to share with you, that you may want to try to help you get back into the "swing of things."  Remember, YOU always have the power to be happy. 
"What you think, you attract!"
1. Make a list of all the things you love and appreciate in your life (look at this list and remember it!) 
2. Make a conscious effort to schedule time to do sometime YOU enjoy (art, crafts, yoga, write etc...)
3. Treat yourself to your favorite lunch or dinner.
4. Call or visit an old friend - sometimes the best therapy is just talking to someone you trust or like.
5. Find a way to laugh, whether it's listening to jokes (audio) or going to a comedy show.
6. Read something inspiring and motivational.
7. Start a fun or creative project. Something that you’re excited about, that will make you smile.
8. Write about how you feel, whether you have a blog or not. Talk about the things that make you feel
    down or upset. Whether you share it or not, is not the point. It is cathartic to write out   
     your feelings. Post it, don’t post it, whatever you choose to do, just get it out of your system.
9.  Watch that movie that you've wanted to see for a while now, even if it's requires getting a sitter.
10. Go for a walk, somewhere were you can appreciate nature (tree, beach, mountain, by a lake etc...)

These are just a few things you can do to help you get a jump-start to your happy frame of mind.   Everyday will not always be good but you can definitely find the good in every day.  You are attracting what you think on a daily basis.  You have the power...use it wisely!
Follow your dreams, set a goal, one day at a time.  The key is to find your purpose or your passion and life will become more exhilarating every day!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


The power of grief is inexplicable, really. It 
is a hurt that runs so deep that only those who have lived it can understand. Sometimes, we bury the hurt so deep down, we think it's gone and then like a flash of lightning, something zaps you right back into that black empty space. 

My mother died almost 14 years ago and the feeling of loss never really goes away. I believe that the loss of a child and the loss of one's mother is so powerful. This is not to diminish the hurt and sadness when we lose anyone else we love. It is just that the mother-child relationship is so  intricately intertwined, into the depths of our very soul.  

I considered myself pretty strong when it came to the loss if my mom. I mean, I did and do have moments of sadness and longing for her but I grieved when she died and celebrated her life thereafter, and still smile at her memory. So I was completely taken back, when recently, I grabbed a bottle of perfume, knowing full well that it was the scent my mother wore and inhaled deeply, as if to intoxicate myself  and like a waterfall of emotions, the tears just flowed as I smelled it.  I knew what I was doing, I just never expected that incredible flow of emotion.  It is amazing how emotions so deeply buried can surface at the slightest hint of a memory. 

As I inhaled the scent, it instantly transported me to my youth and to her sweet smile as she basked in the "scent of a mom." I didn't know it then, how much I would come to love that perfume, if only for the memory.

It is through moments of deep grief that I have experienced, that I have also learned to truly appreciate the power to be happy.  Grief teaches us that life is short and we must appreciate our loved ones before time runs out. We all have the power to be happy and although some of us have experienced major losses in our lives, some more than others, we must learn to overcome the sadness and learn to appreciate what we do have and be happy. We are ALL on borrowed time.  It is what we all have in common - no one gets out alive. 

So, if you too are struggling with moments of grief, do your best to hold on to the great memories you have and use all your strength and power, to be HAPPY! 

~Lissette R.

Friday, June 12, 2015


Everywhere I read, it says how good Yoga is for you. Well, this is the year that I am going to start!  The benefits are many. Despite the fact that I am so out of shape, I am going to start little by little, perhaps with "chair yoga."

Chair Yoga

Chair Yoga is a gentle form of yoga that is practiced sitting on a chair, or standing using a chair for support. It is in the process of being recognized formally as a type of yoga distinct from other types, such as Iyengar Yoga or Ashtanga yoga. Often the poses, or Asanas, are often adaptations of Hatha yoga poses.

"In Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism the word yoga means "spiritual discipline". People often associate yoga with the postures and stances that make up the physical activity of the exercise, but after closer inspection it becomes clear that there are many more aspects of yoga. It is an activity that has been practiced for thousands of years, and it is something that has evolved and changed overtime. Different factions of yoga have developed since its conception."

"The traditional purpose of Yoga, however, has always been to bring about a profound transformation in the person through the transcendence of the ego," (Feuerstein 3)

Modern Yoga

Modern yoga is based on five basic principles that were created by Swami Sivananda.
  • Proper relaxation
  • Proper exercise
  • Proper breathing
  • Proper diet
  • Positive thinking and meditation 

Recently, I read an article in the Huffington Post about how Yoga can make you happier!  Here is the article:

By Monique Minahan
When I first started practicing yoga, I was still digging my way out of a deep cavern of grief. Something about this unusual method of twists, turns, and upside downs kept calling me back. I didn't know what it was initially, but as I began to settle into my body, things began to shift in my life.

I think of it as going from a paralyzed life to a walking life. If you are already able to walk and then begin to run, that's liberating. If you are paralyzed and then begin to walk, that's a miracle.

2013-01-17-Gaiam4This was my experience with the power and patience of yoga. Learning how to walk into my life, transition from grief to peace, and eventually to happiness.
The peace and happiness we access on our mats is no accident. Although many write it off as just another exercise-induced dopamine high, yoga goes deeper than that. The mind-body connection created in yoga facilitates change at a cellular level. Cellular memory is the idea that our bodies hold our histories.
Before you brush this off as far-fetched, consider that scientists and physicians have found compelling evidence that the brain and body send messages to each other through neuropeptides and receptors. Neurocardiology is a discipline that studies the communicative relationship between the brain and the heart.

Our nervous systems are what we're tapping into in yoga. Retraining how psychological or emotional triggers set off our flight-or-fight response allows us the opportunity to rewire our sympathetic nervous system. The deep breathing practiced in yoga activates the parasympathetic nervous system, producing a calming, relaxed effect.

The relationship between head and heart has been described as a "dynamic, ongoing, two-way dialogue with each organ continuously influencing the other's function."
When we weave positive intention into our movements, we are imprinting these thoughts, not only into our minds, but into our bodies. We are effecting change on our mat that will allow for change off our mat.

Much of our unhappiness as humans comes from our thoughts or feelings. We judge our experiences in terms of good or bad. We experience feelings of inadequacy, powerlessness, embarrassment, humiliation, and we often keep track of what we don't have more than what we do have.
A full practice of yoga, including meditation, gently removes these weights from our minds and our bodies. Not only does it remove them, but with time it can begin to reshape our attitudes, views, and thoughts.

The physical postures take us into our bodies in a non-judgemental way. From this neutral viewpoint, we can see huge possibility. Without being blocked by preconceived ideas of what we can or cannot do, we are free to try, to fall, to play, and to grow.

Physically, yoga asks one simple thing of us: Show up. Show up in mind, body, and spirit. These are things we can skimp on in other areas of life. Perhaps we show up in body to work or a conversation, but our minds are somewhere else. At times we show up mentally to a project, while our bodies slouch for hours, forgotten. The integration in yoga of all these parts creates the prerequisite unity and connection required for happiness to bloom.

Once we feel unified and connected, we will access a deep well of joy that does not diminish when shared. Yoga doesn't just lift our spirits. It lifts our lives. It opens our eyes to the essence of who we are, and therein lies peace. Therein lies the happiness.

(ref.  Feuerstein, Georg. The Deeper Dimension of Yoga: Theory and Practice. Boston: Shambhala, 2003 & The Huffington Post 2015)