Valerie Estrella Didn’t Think She would Break Down…An emotional Rendition of Autumn Leaves/Les Feuilles Mortes

Valerie Estrella began preparation for this performance in August 2018. Alina, her Maestra presented it to her and she instantly liked it. At first she only worked on the English version but then later decided to add the French version to the beginning of the song.

The event was the 15th anniversary of Alina’s Music Studio and Alina had put so much time and thought into her event. It was a fundraiser and it was called Classics and Super Heros. Alina who is a violinist and actually a multi-media artist because she can, sing, dance, play violin, conduct and she did the media displays. You know the back drop behind all the singers. She did that too.

Valerie does not speak French so she relied on YouTube videos and then she found out that she did not have the correct pronunciation after all . So it turned out that her friend Farrah who coincidentally was a French Major at University of Hawaii was able to coach her and this was the end result. Alina also provided correct pronunciation but you know friends always come through for you in the end.

Thanks for watching and it would make me happy if you share this video and subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Thank You… Special thanks to Camille for the accompaniment.

People asked Valerie how she rehearsed the crying. “It was not rehearsed at all.” Valerie said, “I wasn’t nervous to perform until I went out on stage. As soon as walked out it was pitch black in the audience and then I started to feel nervous and I could feel my stomach start shaking. Camille, the Pianist was getting set up and I instantly engaged my entire core and I knew I had to make it through the song. My legs were literally trembling. Towards the end, I just lost it. I thought about my brother, Chris who passed away in 2006. When I sang, “Since you went away, the days grew long” I thought of Chris and by the time I got to “But I miss you most of all, that’s when I couldn’t hold it together anymore.”

As soon as she came off stage her fellow singers and musicians ran to meet her and hug her and give Valerie a lot of support. One violinist just said, “I was so nervous I couldn’t feel my hands. They were numb.” And they hugged her. It really made Valerie feel so much better. “These teenage musicians were so kind and supportive of me during a scary time. It’s not everyday you cry in front of people. And how people treat you after you cry is even more important.” These musicians had such compassion. It was really beautiful to see and it gives me much hope about humanity.”

When Valerie saw Alina she said, I wasn’t able to finish the song. Alina said without blinking an eye. The woman who literally does not miss a beat or a breath or a timing, said, “You felt the passion of the music and expressed it.” And then she ran off to take a picture with DeadPool. Valerie knew it would be OK…

Valerie is a Health Coach that lives in Northern California. She’s sharing her passion for music in June 2019. She’s also a Health Coach and encourages everyone to follow their dreams.

Tips for Sensitive People to Protect Their Energy

Originally Published on Psychologytoday.com on Dec 16, 2014 By Judith Orloff M.D.

Sensitive people or empaths have an ability to be emotional sponges that can heighten when they are at a social event, around co-workers, or in crowds. If empaths are around peace and love, their bodies assimilate these and flourish. Negativity, though, often feels assaultive or exhausting.

For empaths to fully enjoy being around others, they must learn to protect their sensitivity and find balance. Since I’m an empath, I want to help them cultivate this capacity and be comfortable with it.

I’ve always been hyper-attuned to other people’s moods, good and bad. Before I learned to protect my energy, I felt them lodge in my body. After being in crowds I would leave feeling anxious, depressed, or tired. When I got home, I’d just crawl into bed, yearning for peace and quiet.

Here are six strategies from my book, The Ecstasy of Surrender to help you manage your senstivity more effectively and stay centered without absorbing negative energies.

  1. Move away. When possible, distance yourself by at least twenty feet from the suspected source. See if you feel relief. Don’t err on the side of not wanting to offend anyone.  At the gathering try not to sit next to the identified energy vampire. Physical closeness increases empathy.
  2. Surrender to your breath. If you suspect you are picking up someone else’s energies, concentrate on your breath for a few minutes. This is centering and connects you to your power. In contrast, holding your breath keeps negativity lodged in your body. To purify fear and pain, exhale stress and inhale calm. Picture unwholesome emotions as a gray fog lifting from your body, and wellness as a clear light entering it. This can produce quick results.
  3. Practice Guerilla Meditation. Be sure to meditate before the gathering, centering yourself, connecting to spirit, feeling your heart. Get strong. If you counter emotional or physical distress while at an event, act fast and meditate for a few minutes. You can do this by taking refuge in the bathroom or an empty room. If it’s public, close the stall. Meditate there. Calm yourself. Focus on positivity and love. This has saved me many times at social functions where I feel depleted by others.
  4. Set healthy limits and boundaries. Control how much time you spend listening to stressful people, and learn to say “no.” Set clear limits and boundaries with people, nicely cutting them off at the pass if they get critical or mean. Remember, “no” is a complete sentence.
  5. Visualize protection around you. Research has shown that visualization is a healing mind/body technique. A practical form of protection many people use, including health care practitioners with difficult patients, involves visualizing an envelope of white light around your entire body. Or with extremely toxic people, visualize a fierce black jaguar patrolling and protecting your energy field to keep out intruders.
  6. Define and honor your empathic needs. Safeguard your sensitivities. In a calm, collected moment, make a list of your top five most emotionally rattling situations. Then formulate a plan for handling them so you don’t fumble in the moment. Here are some practical examples of what to do in situations that predictably stymie empaths.
  • If someone asks too much of you, politely tell them “no.” It’s not necessary to explain why. As the saying goes, “No is a complete sentence.”
  • If your comfort level is three hours max for socializing–even if you adore the people — take your own car or have an alternate transportation plan so you’re not stranded.
  • If crowds are overwhelming, eat a high-protein meal beforehand (this grounds you) and sit in the far corner of, say, a theatre or party, not dead center.
  • Some empaths are highly sensitive to scents, if you are overwhelmed, for instance by perfume, nicely request that your friends refrain from wearing it around you. If you can’t avoid it, stand near a window or take frequent breaks to catch a breath of fresh air outdoors.

If all else fails and you absorb stressful or negative energy while at a gathering when you get home take a bath or shower. My bath is my sanctuary after a busy day. It washes away everything from bus exhaust to long hours of air travel to pesky symptoms I have taken on from others. Soaking in natural mineral springs divinely purifies all that ails.

Dr.Orloff shares more about empaths in The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People

Tips for Sensitive People to Protect Their Energy_2

Judith Orloff, M.D. is the author of The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People, upon which her articles are based. In the book she educates readers about empaths, highly sensitive people, and offers strategies for anyone who wants to avoid narcissists and transform difficult emotions to positive ones. Dr. Orloff is a psychiatrist, an empath, and is on the UCLA Psychiatric Clinical Faculty. She synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. Dr. Orloff also specializes in treating empaths and highly sensitive people in her LA based private practice. Dr. Orloff’s work has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, the Oprah Magazine and USA Today. She is a New York Times best-selling author of Emotional Freedom, Positive Energy, Guide to Intuitive Healing, The Power of Surrender and Second Sight. Connect with Judith on Facebook and Twitter. To learn more about empaths and her free empath support newsletter as well as Dr. Orloff’s books and workshop schedule, visit her website. Republished with explicit written permission from the author. Join her empath Facebook community for sensitive souls Here.

Next Economy: Exploring the Role of Community and Restorative Economics

Originally published on Sustainablesolano.org By Gabriela Estrada and Allison Nagel, Sustainable Solano

Next Economy Exploring the Role of Community and Restorative Economics

Communities have the power to shape a new economy that is equitable and just, and the transition to get there lies in creating self-determination and shared prosperity through community governance and community ownership. It also relies on moving from a mindset of scarcity to one of creating abundance.

At our recent Next Economy discussion, we explored these key elements and how they can be used, particularly within communities of color that have been disempowered and disenfranchised in the current economic system, to create a new way of approaching the economy that often draws upon traditions of supporting one another.

This discussion of Restorative Economics came from insight and lessons learned at a workshop led by project management consultant Nwamaka Agbo, who has a background in community organizing and restorative justice. Through our Next Economy series, we’ve tackled problems with the current economy and shared what we’ve learned about creating a new economy from the courses taken through Santa Cruz Permaculture’s Next Economy series, including Nwamaka’s workshop.

Restorative Economics addresses how to prioritize investment of resources back into impacted populations. Nwamaka focuses on creating a just transition that moves away from capitalism’s patterns of economic oppression that has harmed marginalized communities and placed power and wealth with a select few.

In particular, a just transition moves from:

  • Extraction to Regeneration — Moving from an economy that pulls resources (and pushes people) out of communities to one that builds up those communities.
  • Control to Governing for the Whole — Moving from those with power and wealth controlling decisions that affect impacted populations to community governance and approaches that are beneficial to impacted populations and make life better for society as a whole. (As an example, curb cuts were put in on sidewalks for wheelchairs, but then those with bikes, strollers, etc., benefited from having them)
  • Accumulation to Shared Prosperity — Moving from an accumulation of wealth among a few to supporting shared prosperity through the reinvestment of profits in the community to add community benefit. (An example is the “pay-it-forward” approach that, rather than sending loan interest income to an investor turns around and invests it in a loan to another business.)
  • Exclusion to Inclusion — Moving from excluding people from being a part of the economy to build models that give voice and build capacity for meaningful participation in the local governance and economy.

We asked attendees to reflect on the fact that capitalism is a system, which means we have agency over it and we can change it. Keeping this in mind, we asked the group to think of some practices and values we could use for a just transition. As a group, we discussed the different ideas behind Restorative Economics and did some activities to think about both how we look at economics now and new ways to redefine the economy.

We shared Nwamaka’s tenets of Restorative Economics and some examples:

  • Investing in Human Development and Capacity Building: The Restore Oakland project, of which she was a vital part, builds employable skills in recently incarcerated individuals while also creating space for furthering restorative justice and restorative economics work.
  • Remembering and Reclaiming Traditions and Collective Wisdom: Drawing on the indigenous cultures of shared prosperity that have been discouraged in the current economic system.
  • Building a Community of Practice and Social Movement Infrastructure: Practicing community governance through co-ops and other approaches, and bringing community organizations and social movements together to support each other in efforts on the ground and to shape policy.

We wrapped up by thinking of what some of the biggest challenges are in our local community and how to address them. That included creating a system of affordable housing, better community gathering space and the recognition of the true value of labor. The idea of changing from a system that commodifies land, labor and capital to a system of land trust, right livelihood and public banking was also identified.

Join us at our next discussion on May 2 to explore ways to design our economic future.

As Nwamaka told us at the Santa Cruz workshop: “Change doesn’t come from intent. It comes from deliberate action.” That is the first step towards a more just economy that works for everyone.

The funding for Sustainable Solano’s team training at the “Next Economy” course at Santa Cruz Permaculture was provided by Solano Community Foundation through their NPP Capacity Building grants program. Community conversations are made possible through a grant from the Peaceful World Foundation. Thank you to both organizations!

We will continue to share insights at our final workshop at Green Hive Spaces in Vallejo. Please join us to further the discussion on the next economy in our community.

Designing the Regenerative Economy, 6 pm, May 2

Join us to discuss the design principles and strategies needed for vocation and regenerative enterprise design. We’ll discuss how we could redesign the economy for security, prosperity and a stable climate with transformation based on permaculture design principles, methods and ethics for an economy that benefits all life.