Time Management Inner Chingona Style: Getting Me Back on My Personal Track

images (5)Check out my horoscope for today:

Hi Carmen! Here is your Daily WorkScope for Tuesday, August 26

You’ll be easily distracted now, so breaking everything down into little steps is crucial. Set goals you can actually achieve, and don’t let frustration diminish your focus.

Sometimes, these things hit it right in between my eyes. Yesterday, Inner Chingona had to set me straight. A fuerzas you might say, while I was laying on a hospital bed, and told me that it was time to get my ish together, that it was not by chance that I had not been feeling well, that I had a lot to do with why I was stopped in my tracks. So, laying there toda enferma/ill, I started to think of what needed to happen. And Inner Chingona was not going to make it easy either, I had to come up with something to start ASAP for the next month.

Today, I continued my talk with God, Jesus and the Virgen of G to help get me back on track. These days always coincide when I don’t feel good physically. When I’m down physically, even with a cold, it is always a sign that, if nothing else, I’m moving too fast in most or all areas of my life. Today, as Inner Chingona gave it a break LOL, things were much more soothing, so I was able to think more clearly.

I took time to break out some short-term goals that I want to reach within the next month, my 3rd Quarter Tune Up if you will. While it’s unrealistic that I completely stop all that I do, it’s time to be smarter about it.  Time to disconnect from some of the distractions that are driving me crazy and catching up with my productivity.

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In no particular order:

1. Take a break from Social Media. I’m such a chismosa and love to see what’s happening but it should not be at the expense of my health, my time or my responsibilities.
2. Make time to get my health back on track, including taking the time to sleep and rest.
3. List and actually finish the projects that I’ve started.
4. Kill the distractions that do not allow me to get thru my goals/day be they people,projects,  ideas and straight-up pendejadas.
5. Don’t worry about long-term goals for this month, concentrate on finishing what you start this month, that way, you’ll have time to accommodate the rest of your ‘to-do’ list.

It’s all about shutting my mouth, pulling my sleeves up, and working my 30-Day List.  Looking forward to getting thru the month working it smarter, not harder.

 

What are your Top 5 ways to get yourself back on track?

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Linda Ronstadt and the Joy of Following My Cultural Heart

images (4)I can honestly say that, ever since I can remember, I’ve always been into my Mexican culture. I grew up surrounded by music, food, my hilarious familia from Michoacan who continue to remind us and tell us about Mexico. Being that my Mom was from the US and my Dad was from Mexico and a musician, we grew up bi-cultural from the start,  it is so interesting to me to see how the 5 of us siblings have our different ways of honoring our culture.

I don’t think that anyone will deny that I was the daughter who has always ‘represented’ and have always worn my culture on my sleeve. In the third grade, I was chosen to “plan” my first Cinco de Mayo, the staff really did it all but, gave me the credit, and after that first event, it was ‘ON’. I took charge of any opportunity thru all of my years in school from elementary school to university, to work it in cultural events and, more important, to make sure that the event was done as authentically as possible. I had a Mom who had great ideas and my Dad is so ‘folklorico’, he knew what looked or sounded right so I was off!

I was constantly running into this dilemma, “you’re not Mexican enough”, “no sabes hablar en espanol bien“, “how come you act like you’re white?” (when I’d speak in English around my Mexicano friends) and on and on and on. In school, I was into Student Government just as much as I was into my many Latino clubs. I will admit, however, that I was never completely comfortable being myself around anyone anytime until I got at the University.

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I had always been a fan of Linda Ronstadt and her music, I never knew that she was Mexican American. Imagine my joy when she came out with “Canciones de Mi Padre“. I was always the first one to get the latest music so I was completely floored when I heard her break out with “Los Laureles” – it doesn’t get any more Mexican than that. What struck me was her accent, so much like my own when I spoke Spanish. But the fact that she had the ‘huevos’ to get up there and do her thing with the #1 mariachi in the world, El Mariachi Vargas de Tecatitlan, and sing these classic songs, songs that I had heard my entire life, totally gave ME the big push I needed to claim and own that cultural part of myself 100%. I would, from that time on, make an effort to roll the many r’s in my name in front of anyone, not just in front of relatives or people who spoke Spanish; I would not be embarrassed to let out a grito if I wanted to in front of anyone, I would follow my cultural heart if you will. I would speak Spanish NO MATTER HOW IT CAME OUT. And I would follow my dream of working in Spanish radio — so what if I wasn’t born in Mexico? so what if my Spanish was more like Spanglish at times?  Y’all know how that turned out…I am working at my twelfth Spanish radio station at this writing.

I was not alone in loving “Canciones de Mi Padre”, it struck a chord for many of us. For many, it was the very first time that they had ever listened to a mariachi, ever heard the classic songs that we Torres’ were blessed to hear practically from the womb, and likely the first time that they publicly expressed pride in their culture. The great majority of us have never lived in the motherland, yet we always felt very connected to our culture and, many times, we were made to feel bad for being half American, for not knowing how to speak Spanish well, for instinctively loving our both countries. Music was, for many of us, the bridge — one of the ways that we learned how to speak in Spanish and make it flow. To hear Linda Ronstadt sing all of these songs that we somehow knew was culturally powerful. Linda Ronstadt, for me, was the first true Mexican-American artistic heroine and she had a huge influence on those to come like Selena and La Jenni. And closer to home, my father, Mike Torres,  who KNOWS the music and, more important, the feeling one has to have to sing rancheras as one has to throw all of the emotion into the song in order to make it authentic, says that “this girl sang it right” LOL.

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Although I’m very sad that Linda Ronstadt will no longer be able to sing due to her illness, her musical and cultural journey was not in vain and it is not that much different that ours: Grew up speaking in English, heard the Spanish language and music in Spanish her entire life, opted to follow her musical heart to become a successful music star in English, and like many of us – we can run but we cannot hide, we always come back to our cultura. I have so much admiration for her because she followed her heart and opened up the world for us as much as for herself.

All I have to do is hear her versions of the classics, “La Charreada”  “Por Un Amor” or “El Crucifijo de Piedra” and I think, “oh man, I can totally sing that”… and then after like the first verse, I know that I’m nowhere in Linda Ronstadt’s league musically, but, culturally, I’m right up there with her.  I will, confess, though, that one of the songs that I will attempt in karaoke is ‘Tu Solo Tu”, y sin tener que tomar un trago/no drink needed.  LOL.  If you haven’t listened to “Canciones de Mi Padre” in awhile, I invite you to do so and you may have this sudden urge to break out in a grito and you will find that you actually know the words to the songs but have no clue when or how  you learned them.  Celebrate one of the must beautiful parts of our cultura today…enjoy the music and salute Linda Ronstadt’s musical legacy in both Spanish and English.

Here are a few of my favorites:

LOS LAURELES

LA CHARREADA

WHAT’S NEW

YOU’RE NO GOOD

WHEN WILL I BE LOVED

 

 

Turning The Tables: Attitude of Gratitude

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This morning I woke up “comiendo gallo” in a grouchy mood.  I did not want to go over to the folks house, I did not want to get up, I did not want to do anything.   I knew that their house needed to be cleaned as company was coming over and I did not want to handle it.    I get there and, in less than 10 minutes, had transferred my badass negative attitude to the entire house.   Even Mom said, “ay so negative” to me.

As always happens when physical activity is involved, my bad mood subsides, and my dad says, “mija, esta casa vuele a limpio” referring to the clean-smelling house.  As I was en friega sweeping, mopping, cleaning, I realized that it was only 2 hours out of my day and that, in my lifetime, that my folks did MANY things that they probably did not want to do because of me.

Back in the day, I used to just get mad, throw my fit, get up and walk out of the house…now, I really really really make an effort to make things right before I step in or out of that door.  It’s important.  This is what I do:

1.  Put things in perspective:   Leave my badass attitude on the kitchen floor, in the trash, etc. and remember that it is, after all, only two hours out of my day to make things better for all of us.

2.  Remember why you do what you do:  I remember that I do this out of love for Mike and Margaret, plain and simple.

3.  Sit still. Practice gratitude and give out positive vibes:  I started doing this about a month ago.  It settles me down and it gives me a  chance to reconnect with Mom and Dad, apologize, and remember that these negative moments don’t last forever.

Thank God my parents are so cool…I know that it is not realistic for me to always be sunny and cheery,  God, Jesus, the Virgen of G and Inner Chingona have been great at stopping me in my tracks these past few weeks so that I remember just how blessed I am that BOTH Mom and Dad are still with us.   Our lives can change in an instant and one of us could be gone just like that…so it’s all about appreciating your loved ones and striving to be positive every day!

InnerChingonaApproved Advice: Stay Out of Your Own Way and MAKE Things Happen



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Effing Frustrada with Myself.   Inner Chingona tells me EVERY day, to stay out of my own way and get to the job at hand, whatever it may be.  I think to myself, “yeah, she’s absolutely right”, but do I do it?  Not often enough.   I have so many ideas running in my head, so many plans, so many things that I’m going to handle “within the next 5 minutes”, so many opportunities to do the things that I want to do … and then today,  I overheard a conversation that SHOULD HAVE BEEN MY CONVERSATION.  I should have taken more ownership in this matter so that I would not sit here now, knowing, and it hurts to admit this, knowing that I could have done more to make it happen for myself, on my own terms.

I wish that someone would have sat me down when I was a young girl and showed me how to channel my energy, to navigate myself and shown me, the absolute importance of STAYING OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY in order to be a success in life.  I know that I would have been living my life at another level because I loved myself enough to stand up for myself, do the work needed, and then step back to let God, Jesus and the Virgen of G make it all happen.

So today, after I had my lil ‘berrinche”,   almost in tears, I got up and came to my favorite place to write the hell out of my journal and to figure out how I could be more proactive in all areas of my life, so that Inner Chingona can stop, for lack of a better word, chingando.

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What do I know today?  That I like having a lot of plans, projects, things to do.   What else do I know today?  That I need to organize myself AFTER I get myself into a new state of mind:  Inner Chingona has thrown down with my Inner Chillona many times because of my tendency to think like a victim, to say that no one was really there for me, that no one could understand me, so how could anyone help me?   Inner Chingona has shown me, maaaaany times, that, whenever I stopped crying about it, stopped with the terca attitude,  and have intelligently taken life on, that I really could get what I want!

Today, what I really needed was a road map, so I borrowed these steps  from Jessika at Bohemian Musings blog.  Inner Chingona approved advice.  Waaay past time for me to sit back and practically cry tears at lost opportunities por sonsatontapendeja.  It’s time to live Inner Chingona Style.  Read on and bring your life to another level, maybe I’ll see you up there!

 

How To Get Out of Your Own Way

1)Face the Facts: YOU are the one stopping your dreams from becoming a reality.
Once you accept and see the patterns and ways of self sabotage, you can devise a plan to overcome it.
 
2)Believe in Yourself.
This is the most important, without this belief you can and will not be successful. The negative voices in your head will win each time and you will be left discouraged and without any strength to continue.
 
3)Surround yourself with Positive People who are going places.
Positivity is infectious so let it rub off on you. Like attracts like and if you’ve been hanging around negativity then it’s time to reorganize your circle of friends.
 
4)Stop Procrastinating.
Some goals simply require disciplined action. Just Do it.
 
5)Drop the Baggage.
Maybe you’ve failed before. Maybe everyone has always told you, you would never achieve great things.Let it go, along with any other past baggage that isn’t serving you well right here and now. Write it down, get it out all out of your system and then burn it and let it be released from within you. Move on.
 
6)Focus.
Once you have a clear picture of what it is you are going after, you must have laser-like focus to determine the steps that will be needed to turn the dream into a reality.
 
7)On Paper it’s a Plan, in your Head it’s only a Dream.
Read any article written on people who have made it to where they wanted to be and you will find the majority of the time their one key to success was writing their goals down in the first place. Getting things out of your head and onto paper makes them tangible, no longer something that only exist within your head.
 
8)You can do anything you want, but maybe you won’t be able to do everything you want.
This is something I’m guilty of doing.  I find it very difficult to focus on only one thing but when I do I’m more productive. It’s easy to get in our own way by trying to do too many things at once which only leads to very little being accomplished. Try focusing on your tasks one a time and moving on to the next only once what your working on is finished.
 
9)If it’s not working, STOP DOING IT!
When Albert Einstein defined insanity as; “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting  different results” he hit the nail right on the head. If you keep meeting resistance in a particular area of your plan, then it might be time to reassess and try a new way. Don’t be stubborn or think there is only one way. If the direction your headed in is not working, it’s simply the Universe telling you that there’s a better way for you. So find it.
 
10) If it doesn’t make you happy, don’t do it.
Working hard towards what you want will not be easy, but you should find joy and satisfaction in knowing that you are headed in the direction of you dreams and doing what you want to do. If that’s not true then you must reevaluate your goals and how you are pursuing them.
 

Now Do It

So start doing whatever it is that you’ve always wanted to do. Whether it’s changing careers, moving to another city or country, taking a round the world trip, mountain climbing, learning a new language, do it. All you need to do is plan an action route and go for it. Of course you will come across some real obstacles on certain paths of your life, so that’s why it’s so important that the rest of the time you stay out of your own way.
 

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