un aguacate a la vez

hurricane season 2017

27 Lessons in 27 Years

Lifestyle, wellnessMaría Elena RodríguezComment
27 lessons in 27 years

Before I begin, I wanted to say thank you for being so understanding of the little break I took this November. Your sweet messages helped me truly recharge! Now, on to the post:

Being born on November 27, so near Thanksgiving and so close to the year ending is truly a blessing. It gives me the obligated opportunity to be grateful and reflect about my life in the last 365 days. But this year, even though I'm human and made a lot of mistakes along the way, being grateful wasn't a forced attitude. Contrary to all the previous years in my short adult life, I was committed to making my new years resolution an accomplishment, not a cliché.

I started by making a huge switch in my attitude, like learning to accept compliments, stop complaining about things that I could change, making peace with what I couldn't change and finally start shifting my energy towards making ambinity something that I could truly be proud of. It doesn't hurt that in 2017 I somehow attracted some of the most amazing people I never imagined I would call friends. People who are as proud to support me as I am to support them, without competition, just good vibes and a great time. Is it luck, karma, law of attraction? I don't know, but  I do know that there is no way I'm going to let surviving two traumatic hurricanes in less than two weeks opaque all these wonderful experiences I've had this year! Maybe it's true what they say: What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. 

But I know this wouldn't have happened without your support. From just liking a post to showing up to my events Offline Saturdays. You made my busiest, hardest most emotional and transformative year the most fulfilling year of my life.

Fun Fact: I started this list back in January of this year, not know half the crazy lessons I was going to learn this year. Enjoy!

  1. Life is a constant evolution of feelings and circumstances. It's ok to change. 
  2. Learn to let go of the people and things that don't make you happy anymore.
  3. Everyone deserves the right to be happy as long as they are not hurting anyone.
  4. Stay away from what society says life "should look like", find out what makes your soul happy and make that your north. 
  5. People will always criticize you. Learn to accept it and don't let that stop you from making your own path. 
  6. Everything great in life is right outside your comfort zone. (I talk about this topic here and here
  7. Once you start pursuing your dreams, watching other people succeed will make you happy. This is how you find your tribe!
  8. Mantras work. I repeated to myself "todo va a estar bien" (everything will be alright) during my most anxious days and everything certainly did turn out well. 
  9. Find a planning or calendar system that works for you and stick to it! Once you start thriving, the adrenaline of getting things done will become addictive in all the right ways.
  10. Waking up before 6AM is the best way to be productive. And yes, I said before. Here's a great book that will help you become a morning person. 
  11. Stay away from negative people. Seriously! They will always find the most creative ways to bring your down. 
  12. You don't need a religious system to feel spiritually connected to a higher power. 
  13. Always carry cash with you! I learned this the hard way after Hurricane María
  14. You are the only person in charge of your present and future life. Your job, your family, your career, your past and your circumstances shouldn't define your character. Any self help book will teach you this, but Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert is the one I will recommend. 
  15. Traveling is one of the few ways money can buy happiness.
  16. Prioritizing mental health will significantly better the quality of your life. Here and here are two posts that will help you get started.
  17. Gossiping and judging other people's life choices is for losers. 
  18. Life has a magical way of putting the right people in your way. If you're reading this, you know who you are. <3
  19. There will always be a negative and positive way to react to things, so be aware of your actions and consiously choose the latter.  
  20. If you don't like how someone is treating you, say it. 
  21. Don't let emotions get in the way of your career. Never let them see you sweat. 
  22. If you're feeling lost, explore your identity by following your curiosity without judgement. Again, Big Magic will help you with this. 
  23. If you're not excited about a fitness routine, change it. Working out should be a fun and relaxing part of your day. 
  24. Your intuition is the most powerful tool you have. Trust her. 
  25. Eat plant based and get moving to feel great. Looking great in result is just an awesome side effect. 
  26. Surviving a natural disaster will change you forever. If you ever get hit by one, take care of yourself first and then help out other people. Everything will suck for a while, but learning to get through the pain will help you grow as a person. Just remember "this too shall pass". I wrote about my experiences post Hurricane Maria here and at Merodea.
  27. If you can't stop thinking about it, take the risk. 

Last but not least: Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.

Best,

María Elena

By the way:

Recharging...

wellness, LifestyleMaría Elena RodríguezComment
recharging

Even though things are slowly getting back to normal in Puerto Rico's Metropolitan Area, I can't ignore the fact that more than half of my Island is still without power, water, food and roofs. 

I have looked for ways to finally have the strength to talk about beauty, lifestyle and all the fun stuff that I used to love writing about, but it just doesn't feel right anymore. Ambinity stands for ambition and vanity, but these days I'm not feeling vain at all. 

That is why instead of pushing out content that I am just not feeling, I have decided to not post during November, my birthday month. I need some time to recharge my batteries in order to come back stronger and keep posting the meaningful posts you all know and love. 

Nevertheless, I have a post that I have been writing for more than a year now coming up on my birthday, November 27. So stay tuned for that!

In the meantime, please find time to donate to causes helping Puerto Rico. I wrote about them in this post. 

If you wish to know I've been up to these days, I wrote all about it in Merodea

Hope you understand...

Until next time, 

María Elena

Hurricane María Lessons + How to Help Puerto Rico

Lifestyle, wellness, Real TalkMaría Elena RodríguezComment
hurricane maria puerto rico

To say this has been one of the most challenging days of modern day Puerto Rico is truly an understatement. Everything that we have been warned for years, has now exploded in our faces. From our weak infrastructure, electricity, flood zones and our dreaded territorial status. But before I get all fired up and political, I just want to be clear that I want to make this blog post as positive as possible, due the circumstances. Because we need it. People ARE dying in my Island because of the lack of food and no access to potable water, while that crazy dude in the White House tweets that FEMA can't be in Puerto Rico for much longer. 

Everyday feels like I'm about to break down, but I cope. I keep walking and trying to find collateral beauty. Because I am fortunate to have the basics: food, water and a roof over my head. Because if I don't go out with a positive mind and ready to do what needs to be done, I know I could go nuts. But for those who aren't as fortunate as you who is reading this post possibly from a functioning cellphone or me, stick through the end of this post for ways you can help Hurricane María's Relief in Puerto Rico. 

hurricane maria puerto rico

Hurricane María Lessons:

Natural disasters can happen any time and any place, so you should always be aware. There's no such thing as being too prepared. 

  1. Invest in hurricane proof windows and/or protect them before the hurricane hits.

  2. Always keep at least 3 months worth of food and water stored in your home - There is nothing scarier than knowing that you could be without food and water even for a day. Also, it is very humbling!

  3. Keep flashlights in hand.

  4. External battery packs for your phones are a must. Tip: Charge your laptops so you have an extra battery pack before the power goes out.

  5. Always keep an extra stack of cash safely stored in your home. - The lines for ATM in Puerto Rico have been crazy due to the collapse of credit card systems.

  6. Never go less than 1/4 of gas in your car tank. - Or better yet, use alternate ways of transportation like a bike or walk where you need to go. And if you don't need to go outside, stay and let the proper authorities take care of the disaster.

  7. Practice patience every day - That way, when shit hits the fan and people around are losing it, you will have the right tools to manage it. Practicing yoga has helped me a lot with this! (Here's the Yoga Series I've been following)

  8. The elderly need triple the care in case of emergency. Be prepared! - This was particular difficult for my family. My grandmother needs an oxygen tank delivered every other day. So since the delivery trucks where attending other emergencies, we ended up looking for ways to turn her electricity-charged oxygen machine by making 8 hour long gas lines in order to turn on the generator for her home. Every. Day. For a week.

  9. Emergency situations bring out the best and the worst in people.

  10. Mother Nature is alive and we should respect her by being kind. It's all about harmony; live and let live.

  11. I never knew how much I loved Puerto Rico until I saw it broken down into pieces. I took for granted the fact that I live in a paradise filled with beautiful nature.

  12. Robbers make a feast in national emergencies. - Be extra cautious of your belongings and specially the security of your home!

  13. Puerto Rico's political status is plain sad. - Let's leave it there.

  14. Actions speak louder than words. - Get your hands dirty or get out of the way!

  15. Nothing will change a human being as much as surviving a natural disaster. - Like for example, you learn that you actually don't need to sleep in air conditioning every day, have a water heater (I mean, Puerto Rico is in the middle of the Caribbean! or even eat three times a day to survive.

  16. I have a roof, I have access to water and I have food, therefore I am rich.

puerto rico hurricane maria

How to Help Puerto Rico Recover from Hurricane María

American Red Cross - Make sure you're in fact donating for Hurricane María relief.

Ricky Martin Foundation - The donation will be made via You Caring Crowdfunding. 

Bethenny - We should all be grateful for this Real Housewife, who went above and beyond helping our little Island and raising awareness about the crisis we're living through. 

Molusco - The most influential person in Puerto Rico is using his voice to collect donations and raise awareness of the situation. 

Banco de Alimentos de Puerto Rico - This foundation works hand in hand with Feeding America. 

Bloom Box - Fellow Puertorrican Blogger, Natasha Bonet is fundraising to purchase first necessity items for women in the Island. For things like sanitary napkins and tampons, which is something that gets neglected in many donations. Thanks Natasha! 

One last thing... 

Watching Trump tweet and engage in his crazy politics is hard. But watching him personally insult and mistreat your people is truly heart breaking. So I couldn't end this blog post without saying this: Trump, eres un pendejo. #PuertoRicoSeLevanta

Until next time, 

María Elena