Lessons from a baby

I’ve always been a person who tries to learn lessons from life around me. It’s probably years of Sunday school classes and trying to find the lesson in the Bible stories.

I just started feeding my daughter, Portland solid foods. It’s been fun seeing her facial reactions to different vegetables and fruit. Her first reaction is usually unsure if she likes the new taste, by the second bite she is smiling big and wants more fast. She often tries to grab the spoon and put more in her mouth by herself. She once was so excited, she grabbed the small cup I was feeding her from and tried to eat it. I laughed and said, “You can’t eat the whole thing at once!” When I said it, I stopped and laughed to myself, so that’s what I’m trying to do! When it comes to all the new dreams and ideas I’m having, I’m trying to do everything at once. For the past month, I’ve been enjoying being a mom full time and being creative on the side whenever I get the chance. I started writing more here and making YouTube videos weekly. As I’m pouring my extra time into these areas I’m waiting like… ok when is this going to pay off? In other words, I’m trying to eat the cup just like my little girl. It doesn’t work that way, it’s one small bite at a time.

From the moment I learned how to do graphic design all the way to graduating as an editor, I’ve intern and got hired to help other people build their vision. I didn’t mind, since at 22 I didn’t really have one myself. It’s easier to help others build theirs. When it comes to my dreams, I’m often changing my mind on how to go about it, or ask the question; is it worth the risk? Rediscovering my creativity and refining new dreams has become a process in which I am learning new things about myself.

I guess if anything, my daughter is teaching me to enjoy the experience of life.

Thank you to those who enjoy my post and liking them, I hope you are also learning with me new things about life and are encouraged.

Preparation is Part of the Process

Sometimes it feels like the efforts we put into our personal work is useless and isn’t worth the time. If we were to calculate the hours we put into each project and see how much it’s costing us, it might cause us to give up. The only thing we know is that we love it and no one has to pay us to do it.

The pace of life can move so fast that we don’t have the time to prepare ourself. We hit record, or show up and rely on our past experience that we will know what to do next. But when is there time to study, read, and build? Be prepared for the opportunity to come is advice I’ve always taken to heart, but never really put it to action because I just didn’t have the time to. When do we have time to ask questions like, “What do you really want to do?” “What do you really want to make?””What impact on others do you want to have?”- let alone get them answered.

Now that I am at home with my daughter I am gifted with these open hours to do whatever I wish with my time while she sleeps. Because these moments can be 30 minutes to an hour, I have to use it wisely. For the first time in my creative life, I am able to work on work for myself. As I am taking the time to relearn a few things, research, read books that interest me, I am discovering new ideas and desires I never knew I had. When my daughter and I hang out at my local book store, I am noticing a pattern of what type of books I am picking up. Or when I work on youtube videos its allowing me for the first time to create for me. When I step back and see what all these things have in common. I can see clearly what it is I am passionate about. There is no job description for what it is I want to do, because it doesn’t exist.

I want to shout to the world all the things I am dreaming, but I know I have to invest time into my work before I can share anything. Every week I am showing up, putting in whatever hours I am able to. We hear these stories of how others are being successful, and I can’t help but wonder what the secret is. As I am pouring hours into my work, I am realizing it’s work. Preparing is part of the process, its what will make the difference between failure and success.

Yes I haven’t made any deposit into my back account, but I am pouring into my daughter, raising her, and when I get the chance pouring my creativity into myself. Building my dreams, hour by hour.

So I encourage you, whatever phase you are in, take sometime to prepare for what it is you really want to do. I’ve learned it doesn’t take hours like we use to do in school, but small breaks. Take the time to build something for yourself, your future self will thank you, and might even pay you.

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To keep or delete my blog?

2017 for me was all about asking myself what was important to my life. As I went through the year, I began to element things that were distracting me. Time seem to be passing me by and my daydreams were becoming ghost haunting me. I felt powerless and because of that my creativity suffered. I found myself making the same type of work, using all my tricks and short cuts. I became bored at my own creativity. When I would try and blog, it was like like hitting a block every time. I felt like I no longer had anything to share.

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I was sick of reading inspirational books, and hearing, “You can become a better you” and “Be yourself.” (Which one is it?) When I went on a trip to San Francisco I found this book about leaving your creative mark on the world. Everything that was shared I had heard a hundred times, but this time because I heard it so much I finally stopped reading and asked myself, “Are you finally going to move and make something or are you just going to keep on reading about it.”

I was getting annoyed that I wasn’t acting on my ideas. I knew if I allowed this to pass me by, I would allow the next idea to leave, and doing so, would create this horrible cycle of killing my creativity.

6.5Monica

As a kid, I was shy in front of strangers. At home I was alive, laughing, and enjoyed making my family laugh. The moment a stranger walked into the room, I would stop and disappear. I thought they would think I was crazy or strange. It wasn’t until I saw my uncle who had a hard life, laughed at my 4th of July skit when I was 8. I realized making people smile and happy for a moment, was rewarding. When my uncle passed years later, his laugh came to my memory, and to this day I can still remember it.

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Ever since I saw I was able to make my uncle laugh,  I knew I had a gift I could share with the world.

Today, I create work  for a living that moves and inspires others, but with the ability to hind.

Finally, I decided to act on my daydream and create a youtube channel. I had officially ran out of excuses. It wasn’t easy getting in front of the camera and talking. In fact, I filmed myself three times before I posted a video. Creating videos for other people I knew how to capture their voice, but my own I found it more difficult to navigate through. Can I be myself on my channel? Can I talk about God? Can I share the hard times? Can I just share what I’m thinking? I’m still figuring out my voice but find as each passing episode, I am getting better at sharing my true self.

I know I don’t blog as much, doesn’t seem like anyone reads this anymore, but for those of you who do, I will keep writing for you. The new medium is youtube, its where people are listening and searching. I debated if I should keep my blog or just do away with it. But as I am writing now and sharing with you, this blog might be good to share my thoughts behind the scenes. Is it worth $40 dollars to renew? haha.

You can subscribe to Moniemuse

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Not So Brilliant Advice

It makes me nerves writing a post now a days. I read books of professional thinkers, listen to podcast of the intellectual elite, and read tweets from almost famous people. How can I compete? I can’t, so I won’t, but what I do have, and what you have is whoever you are. I use my deep thoughts, my observations, mistakes and shortcomings as a stepping stool towards doing something I can give to the world. I see the impossible become possible every day. I create something out of an idea, and from my idea package it into a bottle of inspiration that I sign over to my audience. I know most people won’t bother to pay attention but its the one person who is listening that I speak to. Like now, I have your eye contact.

I’ve said many times; work hard, be on time, and learn from your mistakes..what I would like to add to this list is to prove everyone who said you couldn’t do it wrong. Did you fail like they expected? Well get up and keep on going..  What else do you have to do?  Don’t be happy with a dead end. Listen to your angry GPS, Make a U turn.”

My expert advice as a 32 year old woman working in the field she loves..

Well, when everyone told me at 18 I wouldn’t find a job that would pay her for being creative, or that no church would pay me if I went into ministry I was fueled by proving them wrong. It gives me great joy when my life proves people wrong and exceeds their expectations. I prefer to be the example of faith, believing things that are unseen. I know people mean well when they try to warn, but don’t let the doubt of others stop you from pursuing what you know you’re good at and love. Slow down, and don’t be in a rush for the quick and fast road.. take your time, enjoy those who are in your world at the moment, save money, pay off your debts, and travel as much as you can without a credit card, and be careful what you post on line. lol. That last one was for free! 🙂

And as for your personal life, don’t bother looking for anyone, you will randomly marry the most unpredictable person, love them and live happy ever after.

A Turning Point

The book The Story by Robert McKee describes a turning point as a moment a character is forced to make a decision. I read the book years ago but never forgot the revolutions I received from adjusting my prospective to a writer of my story when it came to my own life. Author Donald Miller had the same experience and even wrote a book about it named Million Miles a Thousand Years. I was reminded about what I experienced after listening to his audio book.

When life takes a turn of its own, with no control of my own, I am reminded of the power of making a decision and what story I want to create for my life. I can’t control the twist and turns but I can control what has power in tossing me around.

I was one of those girls who wouldn’t or couldn’t make up her mind. I soon saw that making no decision was indeed a decision of choosing not to act. This left me stagnant in life, unable to move forward, leaving me not happy with where I was, and who I was becoming. I gave up control to the cares of this world.

What drove me to finally start making a decision was the fear of not living the life God has written out for me. What I failed to see that it was He who placed the typewriter in my view to start typing out my story. I had a say in what happened, the decisions I make, if my will is to please Him, wouldn’t lead me to harm like I was fearing. Trust is what I was confused about. I was placing my trust in myself instead of He who knows every mystery of the earth. His love for me is more powerful than the mistakes I have made and will make, and because of love, I am free to create the story I want to live.
The turning point was indeed surrendering.

The more we get what we now call ‘ourselves’ out of the way and let Him take us over, the more truly ourselves we become.” C.S Lewis

The Wanderer Generation

I’m not sure what it is, maybe its the age group I’m a part of or the times we live in. For some reason it seems my peers are wondering around life with no real direction. I myself am tempted to live this life style of “whatever happens, happens”. I see photos of fellow college mates all over the world snapping shots of themselves in front of landmarks, using up their favors with friends to help them out while they figure it all out, in other words, it seems like they are in search of home.

It is a tempting lifestyle, one in which I tried myself but I knew I had a destiny to get to, work had to be done and the cost of living to pay. Whatever decision I made, I had to make it fast before I burnt bridges.

As I am working toward my goals, I want to stop half way. I tell myself, “This is good enough.” But I know it won’t be good enough in a few weeks when I become restless again. I must admit, I don’t know specifically where I am going, but as I navigate through each hour I try to be intentional with my decisions. To read instead of watch a movie, to create instead of be entertained, to think instead of zone out, to save instead of spend, which I don’t always make the better choice. It’s the little decisions that matter.

What I appreciated from traveling and school was that it required me to think and gave me time to figure it out. Now that I am in the middle of a full time career, I have to make it a priority, to keep on thinking, looking ahead, and setting new goals. If you ever got in the car and drove with no place to go, you’ll realize it gets you no where. It leaves you lost and with an empty gas tank.

Proverbs 22:3-5
Sensible people foresee trouble and hide from it,but gullible people go ahead and suffer the consequence.
The plans of a hard-working person lead to prosperity,but everyone who is always in a hurry ends up in poverty.

The Big Question – Book: Punch Fear in the Face

We all have that one big question everyone seems to ask. It changes in life. First it starts as an innocent, “What are you going be when you grow upl?” But then, it can turn into what feels like judgment through the years, “What are YOU going to do?” Most of the time, we too are asking ourselves the same question.

Which college?
Do you have a job?
What career?
What about marriage?
And kids?

And the list can go on. I’ve learned instead of saying empty unsure ideas, I am honest, I’ll tell those who are wondering, (usually those who aren’t in my inner circle), “I’m not sure.” You’ll get a look like, “What do you mean you don’t know!”
People don’t see those sleepless nights when we are down because we can’t find a job we love, or unable to enjoy the current season we are in because we are too consumed with the next.
I realized asking myself honest questions, help me eliminate everyone’s voices for what I should do. Also I stopped comparing my life to those around me, which might be hard with social media. If I listened to what everyone told me to do, I’d have lots of kids, be in heavy debt, and have regrets that I didn’t go to school to learn editing and travel around the world. To me, those things where important before I got married and have children, which coming from a Mexican background was told that was my only destiny.

What DO YOU REALLY wanna do?

Discover the goal, work hard, and don’t give in to what is easy.

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:6

Book to read: I just completed Start: Punch Fear in the Face by Jon Acuff. Super practical and encouraging. It help me see even though I had reached some goals, I still had some I was afraid to admit. This book will sent you on the path worth running.

 

Random or a Master Plan

DSCN6279Its summer time and I haven’t blog in a few weeks. Life at work has been busy and this week I’ve been on vacation. I usually would take this opportunity to travel overseas but I am suffering from the student loan crises of my generation. Of course I am working hard to overcome but its requiring sacrifice that has left me discouraged. I ran away to central California for a small time out. The interesting thing is I’m learning a lot about life here. I’m on my own, renting a room and have too much free time that I found myself eating dinner at the local park. No one should ever stay in an apartment for too long. Too easy to lose your mind

rs_560x415-130405113849-1024.Office.mh.040513The past few weeks I’ve been in a Netflix coma completing The Office. I have been a fan from the start, and nine years later watching the last season made me realize why I enjoyed it so much. I find it funny because I totally relate to adults trying to figure life out. Doubting their journey, doubting their decisions, fearing the unknown, staying with the familiar. The Office captures American Culture from the 2000’s perfectly. The recession, the dreams and reality of adulthood. I imagine the writers behind these shows struggling with the same things their characters did. Who knew it would end with such a profound thought.
“It all seems so arbitrary, I applied for a job at this company because they were hiring I took a desk in the back because it was empty, but no matter how you get there or where you end up human beings have this miraculous gift to make that place home.”
Cred, The Office.

Before my trip I was asking myself a question:
Is life random or is there a master design plan? My common sense brain says random but when I look back at my life, its as if it was designed. At those moment of feeling lost, I know I can trust in Him with my journey and when I’m 80 years old looking back, I can share my life story as a beautiful tail, and transform every challenge into the victory that changed my destiny.

As an editor by nature, I am learning its okay to not have everything figured out, some how the story always comes together by stepping back to reflect and paying attention to the small details.

There’s a lot of beautiful in ordinary things. – Pam, The Office 

Book: The Tipping Point

IMG_5019 I like to go to bookstores and see what new book I can discover. I kept seeing The Turning Point by Malcolm Gladwell displayed everywhere. More than the fact it’s a national best seller, it was the title that I found intriguing.
The first few chapters I read through, enjoying what I was reading but it was the last chapters that I started to highlight key points. Though out the book I was looking for the answer on what creates a Tipping Point for something, what causes a street trend to exploded to main stream, a movement or change culture. But instead I found what to look for in different people I come across. Those who carry the gift to sale, to inform, or connect with other people.
The book shares ideas and stories of failed and successful epidemics that took place in our culture and changed everything. The stories help you see what happened to create a tipping point that had a revolutionary impact.
I thought about the people who played the three different roles to create a tipping point in my life. My friend Geo connected me with so many of my friends and told me about Hillsong, which led me to attend their Bible College and move to Australia. Or my friend Desiree who’s word of mouth power has given my photography business so many clients, and my always cool friend Carlos who knows the trends before they happen.
I thought about what my role can be to impact culture and how I can use this knowledge to play a role in what I do for a living. I’ve always been a Maven but liked to keep things to myself in fear of everyone knowing and copying me or showing up at my new found coffee house. Now as I am sharing information, it shows me that I can be that tipping point in someone else’s life.

The Biggest Lie I Ever Told Myself

6325072032_c7a8baf6c6_oThe biggest lie I ever told myself was when I was in the third grade. I began to do poorly on test. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t smart like the other kids. I figured they were born with knowing the answers. I remember telling myself at that young age, “I’m not smart.” My third grade teacher told my mom that I probably had trouble hearing. Because I believed the lie I told myself, I didn’t blame my ear, I blamed my brain.

 

I believed it all though out high school. I always made sure to do all my homework because I knew I wouldn’t do good on my test. I would just make a passing grade. I even made sure to be a good student so my teachers would feel sorry for me and pass me.

It’s when I started to read more, that I saw I was getting better at remembering things and communicating my thoughts with others. Reading books grew my confidence and knowledge. I realized as an adult, I was smart, I just needed to work out my muscle inside my head, my brain!

Now I see, if I want to learn something new, I need to go out, read about it, discuss it, research it, seek it, to prove the lie wrong.

Okay, I’ll Write.

For some reason, when I leave a voice mail, it has to be perfect. I can easily spend thirty minutes trying to leave the perfect recording. I’ve been finding myself doing this when it comes to writing a blog post. There is a whole list of drafts that I’ve never completed or had the guts to submit. I guess I’m not sure how transparent I should be. Keeping things simple and shallow has always been safe. But as a deep thinker, I get bored with my shallow side. I tell myself to be honest, and I’ll connect with others but what if someone reads it! I guess I should practice being honest, to test the water, dip my toe in the big ocean and swim.

Over the years, I have become more than a video editor, photographer, and Christian and I want to try to share that with you. As a famous song writer once said, write the song before it leaves.

Ponce, Puerto Rico
Ponce, Puerto Rico

Language of Faith

 

IMG_3804Learning the language of faith feels like reading words backwards. It goes against every thought in the mind. When you speak the language out loud, its as if you start to walk towards the sky, flying above all that you’ve ever known to be reality.

The language of God doesn’t have the words like, “I feel” and “I think”. In the end, it has nothing to do with our power but the power given to us. The knowledge is freely given but cost everything you’ve ever known. What you thought was true suddenly becomes flawed. It awakens a part of your brain you didn’t know existed. You can physically feel the differences in your being when you speak this language. My self confidence of, I can do anything transforms to, He already did it all.

The language of faith is the language that existed before breath was given. It’s not of words or symbols but a reality that exists beyond what we see. It has no timeline, it always is and always was. Its a language anyone can learn but only few use. It reminds me I know nothing and yet tells me the mysteries of His will have been made known. The language expresses how much we are valued that we were indeed worth it all. The language of faith is a language that goes beyond all we know and goes beyond all we see.

 

music by: To Our God – Bethel Music

Don’t Stop Moving

20140228_210534Time again I get so wrapped up in success that I can lose the essence of who I am. That child like faith and dreamer begins to fade away and numbers and figures become more important. Today, as I heard the kids playing outside so carelessly, I remembered the possibility of life. I know those who are my age have gone past I want to save the world stage and now its I need to pay my bills. I read on twitter from thirtysomethings telling the twentysomethings –stay in college, it’s not better out here.

For me, I can’t help but still hear my young heart telling me all things are possible. As my generation moves towards adult hood, we must remember that making a difference takes time. It may not happen in 10 years, 20 years or even our lifetime but it doesn’t mean to give up. We shouldn’t allow discouragement to come so easily -overcoming is not easy. Doing something big is not easy. We’ve read all the quotes, we know how to write inspiring text ourselves. We’ve read the lives of those who passed on before us, who believed in doing something bigger than themselves. We made them into heroes as if they were supernatural beings. We forget they were once were we are. They had the desire to the dream for more.

It’s easy to get caught up with the numbers and forget the story were are part of. We forget we are not the main character that the camera follows. We’re part of a community of people who are moving towards the same goal -to see this world a better place. God has made us apart of the answer, we play apart of the solution.

We are to do our part where were at and doing the best we possibly can to live a life of obedience when we hear that voice in our hearts. We can make it so complicated and talk ourselves out of it. The hippies had something there, love, hope, peace but took a wrong turn and gave their lives to drugs. That generation is now our leaders, they’ve learned a lot along the way, and there are some who are still working hard, raising up a new generation to carry the movement forward.

I don’t want to be the generation who just had good intentions but I want to be part of the action that does something. We continue to write in our rooms blogging, Instagram and Face booking hoping were doing something of importance. Time will tell the impact we end up making. We have so much freedom and knowledge, will we waste it? I know that I have to keep the young dreamer heart movement going, I have to keep moving.

A spiritual leader once told me I had the beauty of Esther. Looking back he was probably crazy but his encouragement lead me to believe I can have influence. I can be like all the 30 year olds – logical, pay my bills and minding my own business but I can’t help but want to do more.

And so I continue the journey..

don’t stop moving.

Dear Social Media

Dear Social Media,

I want my life back. My moments, my relationships and privacy. I no longer want the pressure to brag and show off where I am at, what I am eating and who I am with. I know you mean well, but when I instantly give these precious life moments to share, I lose them as I try to upload, tag, and write a caption.

Thanks for what you do, connecting me with people but I also need to connect with the people in front of me. I’m putting my phone down and forgetting about it when I don’t need it. When I snap a photo, I’ll look at it later. The world can wait and so can I.

Wednesday morning before work I heard an interview with the creators of Instagram. I was pulled in by their witty personalities and big dreams. I listened with closeness as I heard their heart behind Instagram. They spoke about capturing those special moments; children learning how to walk, a mom spending time with their child, graduations, weddings, birthdays and how people can share images as they happen.

I began to think about all the big events in my life to my everyday routine. I thought to myself, “Those are mine, I don’t want to give them away by snapping a photo, writing a caption and uploading it.” I’ve learned through the years about the sacrifice a photo can cost. Live life or take a photo of it? I have to make a decision between enjoy what is taking place or pulling out my camera and capturing it. And now because of instant publishing more time is lost to experience life.

The question is how do I solve this dilemma? If I’m not careful, I can end up experiencing life though a screen, missing out on the beauty that no camera can capture.

This 4th of July weekend I did an experiment. Take a photo and look at it later. I was anxious to share immediately but instead told myself to enjoy my time with the people I love most.

Looking back on the photos, I can appreciate them even more because I got to live them.

Give It Some Grace Space

A few weeks ago, when I was directing I said a phase that made me stop in my tracks. As I was teaching a new volunteer how to use the follow camera I told him, “the tighter you are in, the harder it is to follow. Why don’t you give yourself some grace space and zoom out a little.”

When I heard the phase grace space come out of my mouth, I began to think about what that meant. I started to think about past experiences since being an adult. I remember being 18 having to make some big decisions. I wasn’t sure what I was suppose to do or where I was suppose to go. I had no money, only a high school diploma, and no experience.

The only thing I had was grace.

I remember praying and asking God for direction. He helped me see who I was and why I was. From there, I realized I was creative and could make something of this. Now that I am close to being 30, looking back, I see my path was perfectly planed. Some of the biggest obstacles that I faced helped me figure out where to go next.

Though you may not have it all figured out, that’s okay. Give it some grace space, zoom out a little. 🙂

 

 

Chasing Fame

Its odd to admit but in some way we are all guilty of chasing fame. We strive to be noticed from an early age, we can recall yelling for someone to look at us as we do some trick. In high school, we wish to sit at the cool table with the popular kids. And now as an adult, we talk about how many people are following us on social networks. Most say, Please keep looking at me once they got everyone’s attention.

But there most be a deeper meaning to fame – other wise, whats the point.

fame |fām|
noun
the condition of being known or talked about by many people, esp. on account of notable achievements:

I am reminded of Joseph from the Bible. He was a young Hebrew boy who became a ruler over Egypt. His brothers sold him as a slave to the Egyptians when he was just a teenager. It is said the brothers were jealous of the favor Joseph had with their father and hated hearing about his dream that one day they would bow to him.

He spent most of his life in prison and God was with him, giving him much favor and success with those who were in charge of him. When Pharaoh was haunted by a dream, rumor was, Joseph interpreted dreams. When Pharaoh told the dream to Joseph, it was his big opportunity of fame. Joseph responded, “I cannot do it..but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.” Joseph’s interruption ultimately saved nations from famine. Pharaoh in return made him a ruler over Egypt.

After so many years in prison, Joseph most have realized what his dream of greatness really meant. At first his young heart thought it was about him, but as his life seemed to turn for the worse, he had to trust God was doing something bigger than his dream. During those confusing years for Joseph, he chose to helped others in prison, chose to forgive his family and chose to work hard. And with that type of character, he was able to lead a nation through a time of famine and save so many lives.

It was no longer about fame but about what God wanted to do.

Joseph wasn’t chasing fame, he was just trying to live a life pleasing to God. And in return, God gave him power to rule Egypt which helped him save his family. Joesph’s fame made a difference. Those years of being unknown and unseen built up his character. Joseph walked though fame’s door and made a difference in his generation.

Fame is powerful, it can destroy a person if handle wrong. We now see Joseph had to go through all those troubling times because the task ahead required someone with the right heart. Joseph had the type of fame that mattered. That’s the type of fame we should chase. The fame that makes a difference.

Thoughts

Sometimes the hardest thing is to express feelings out loud. As we grow into adults, we learn how to keep things to our self. In our room, where we lay our head to sleep each night, we discover this is the place where thoughts are emptied. But sometimes, when conclusions can’t be found, those  heavy thoughts can start to follow us into our day.

Once in a while, life blesses us with a person who fully understands and who can be trusted. They seem to complete the unfinished thoughts perfectly with no judgements attached. Like a cold summer pool, expressing things that are haunting us can take sometime to get use to. Sharing some of your deepest thoughts with someone can remind us that life isn’t so scary after all. It’s a place with many worries but sharing them means you aren’t carrying the load all alone anymore.