Thursday, April 19, 2012

Getting to the Surface

My boyfriend, understanding my visual nature, gave me this comparison the other morning: Solving a tough problem is like dealing with quicksand. The more you flail around frantically, the faster you sink.

So, what if... I remained still? What if I was more thoughtful and reflective and took more precise, informed action?

But how long will I have to wait until I am out? It would be faster if someone would just come over and pull me up by the hand.

For my independent study at Antioch University Los Angeles, I worked with Beverly Kaye, CEO of Career Systems International. In her book, Learn like a Leader, Kaye says," I learned (and have had to relearn more than once) that it is when the ground turns to quicksand that the most valuable learning and most valuable and enduring growth is about to happen. Oh, that there were an easier way."

It is encouraging to hear a woman as successful as Kaye wish for an easier way to get out of the muck.
I realize that the hardest part about the quicksand dilemma is that if you remain still, you won't sink, but you'll also never get out.

So how do you get out on your own?

"What you've gotta do is stop fighting," he says, "try and lift your body up... and try and wiggle up onto the surface and change the angle."

Change the angle.

Am I getting comfortable in the muck? ... Waiting (impatiently) for the universe to send some help?

Have I been looking at my problem from all angles?

Wiggle.... wiggle... wiggle...



Saturday, April 14, 2012

When I was a girl: I danced like Janet.

I think one of my key takeaways from graduate school was learning that I could adjust my perspective.
I learned the importance of identifying my core values and ensuring that my daily actions and future goals were in alignment with those values.

One of the 'tricks' I learned that really resonated with me was thinking about what made me happy as a child. What were the things I remember doing that made me smile, gave me energy and hope, even made me feel powerful?

When I was young, I dreamed LARGE. I sang loudly and confidently and danced, as they say, like no one was looking. I still feel this way today, but juggling real life financial and societal obligations and tons of other new adult things has made it harder to attack life with the same vigor.

In an attempt to capture the energetic, positive-thinking mentality of little Reinel, I have been taking small steps to connect with her on a daily basis.

The easiest and quickest path I've found is through listening to some of the artists I loved during that time- confident, beautiful, female role models like Mariah and Janet.

The songs below are some examples of tracks that have been surprisingly inspirational for me when in need of a pick-me-up. Never underestimate the power of music. Even if the lyrics don't hit me in any special way on a particular day, I always have a killer beat to dance to. And if you're dancing, you're probably happy.

Before Mariah started making videos with P. Diddy, I saw her as this beautiful, confident, down-to-earth woman with an angelic voice. My Aunt Debbie introduced me to the album, Emotions, and I can probably still sing all the lyrics to this day.  The key lyric from this track for me is: "If you believe in yourself enough and know what you want, you're gonna make it happen." Simple enough, right?

It was hard for me to pick one Janet video, I love them all and I probably should've chosen a video like Control to represent confidence or Rhythmn Nation to inspire positive thinking. Ultimately, I chose this one because it's my all-time favorite. The song and video go so well together- you just want to be one of Janet's friends hanging out with her in the scene. When I was a girl, Janet symbolized a strong, sexual, in control woman, who was still sweet and very good at what she did. I visualized myself obtaining this confidence I admired in my future work, relationships, and personal pursuits. Her music still makes me feel a connection to that woman, and always gets me groovin'.

I was introduced to Carole King by my mom. She would play her album, Tapestry, all the time when I was younger, so naturally, I know all the words. This song has popped into my head on several difficult mornings. "You've got to get up every morning, with a smile on your face and show the world, all the love in your heart." I can hear my mom singing along at the top of her lungs whenever it plays.

I have a growing list of music (new and old) that I am collecting for when I need a new perspective. Which ones get you thinking positively?


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sneak Peek: Promo videos for Active Sports & Fitness

Active Jay
Active Sports and Fitness Gym

The weather was beautiful for the Active Sports and Fitness shoot this past Friday in Walnut, California.
Jay, the owner and trainer, is a friend who I've actually collaborated on a video with before. We ran two Ragnar Relay's together, in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

He asked me to create a series of videos that would exemplify his unique business approach and informed training for healthy lifestyle seekers of all types. :)

Now... to edit!

Stay tuned...


Connect to Jay's "Active" FaceBook page here.