2019 Artist Year in Review

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Featured Enlighten Your Lives Artists

2019 was a great year for performers at EnlightenYourLives.com. These artists reached out of their comfort zones and decided to share their passions with the world. As an artist, one of the scariest thing to do is actually share your passion. One can work on their passion for months and years and still not share it. Why don’t they share it? Most likely it’s fear. Why should an artist be afraid to share of themselves? It can be a fear of the response they will receive but also fear of rejection or being ridiculed. It’s an uncomfortable feeling to perform in front of others. But after a while, one does get used to it. When the joy of expression overcomes the fear to perform, then one is ready to share of themselves. Meet these brave Princess Warriors who have risen above the fear.

Meet Varia Strix from Washington DC

The mysterious Varia Strix

Our first featured artist is Varia Strix. Varia has a real passion for life and has many hobbies such as being an awesome photographer and a beautiful dancer. If you say, Belly Dance Workshop, she comes running. She is a pleasure to know and she gets a lot of credit for being courageous enough to be the first featured dancer to be interviewed in 2019. We wish Varia continued success in 2020. To learn more about Varia you may read the full article here.https://enlightenyourlives.com/2019/08/18/meet-washington-dc-bellydancer-varia-strix/

Valeria Star Singing in French

Performing in June 2019

Valeria Star sings an emotional rendition of Les Feuilles Mortes/Autumn Leaves. During a live performance, like life, you never know what’s going to happen. She practiced, she sang, she cried and went home. Valeria Star has been singing since a child but she started training and studying voice in 2014. Valeria hopes to sing and dance for the rest of her life. Let’s wish her continued success in 2020. https://enlightenyourlives.com/2019/06/23/valerie-estrella-didnt-think-she-would-break-down-an-emotional-rendition-of-autumn-leaves-les-feuilles-mortes/

Meet Beautiful Vanessa Montoya from Texas

Vanessa Montoya

Vanessa is a talented and beautiful yoga teacher and dancer that is active in her Texas community teaching dance and yoga. A real princess warrior that is also a healer. We want to thank Vanessa for sharing her passion and joy with the world. We also wish Vanessa continued in 2020 and beyond. Here is the full article.

Meet Nor Cal Dancer Valeria Star

Hanging with her favorite Trees

Valeria Star from Nor Cal loves to dance and sing. In this article Valeria shares her passion for dance. She’s been dancing over 40 years and doesn’t intend to stop anytime soon. She encourages everyone to follow their passions whatever they might be. Click here for full article.

Here’s Shilly from United Kingdom

A captivating creative artist

Shilly is talented on multiple levels. She’s a fashion designer, dancer and also makes some delicious cacao drinks that one day will be tasted in UK. Shilly directed this captivating video that is highly recommend for everyone to watch. Shilly also teaches belly dance in her community and she gets extra credit for getting kicked out of ballet. We want to wish Shilly much success in 2020 and want to thank her for sharing her passion with us. Full article is https://enlightenyourlives.com/2019/11/10/meet-dancer-shilly-nakedmoon/.

Anna Puts Hungary on the Map

A Beautiful Dancer, Annamaria

Finally meet Annamaria from Hungary. She is such a talented dancer. She really knows how to draw in an audience and keep their attention. It’s obvious she knows how to dance and really commands the stage. It’s not an easy thing as a soloist to keep the audience engaged. But her athleticism and beautiful flowing movements are superb. Bravo to Anna and we wish her a successful future in all she does. Don’t miss this one or well, you’ll miss out. https://enlightenyourlives.com/2019/11/18/meet-dancer-annamaria-benko-fothy/

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Thank you again to all the beautiful people that contributed to this article. Keep it up in 2020 because the world needs more of your passion, joy and light. Here’s to an awesome and safe New Year!!

12 Houseplants for a Healthy Home

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A few years ago I was talking to my sister about plants. It might sound like a strange topic of discussion, but it is something everyone should think about. She has a beautiful home that is filled with detailed decor, lovely furniture, and plastic plants. I asked her why she chooses to decorate with fake plants instead of living ones. With a shrug she said, “Why would I want a real plant when the fake ones look the same but require no work?” She asked an important question and one that cannot be ignored. While plastic plants may (sometimes) look better and lack the maintenance of watering, weeding, and care, they can often release chemicals found in plastics. Ironically, living plants combat these same chemicals so the air is safer to breathe. I don’t think people recognize all the toxins within the walls of their homes. Even while using green cleaners, there are still pollutants hiding in your furniture, bedding, flooring, and walls. Here are twelve plants you can safely add to your home and additionally enjoy the healthy benefits they offer.

1. ALOE

This is my favorite plant, and might be the reason it is first on this list. The Aloe plant has a unique cactus look and is small enough to fit comfortably in a kitchen window. You might know it by the gel you rub on your sunburns called Aloe Vera, but it does more than just heal burns and cuts. It clears the air of chemicals often found in cleaning products, such as benzene and formaldehyde.

2. BAMBOO PALM

This is one of the best plants around for cleaning the air of formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene. This plant looks great as an accent piece in a living room or bedroom. It sucks the chemicals right out of furniture, carpet, and glues, making it a safe and clean place to relax.

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3. AZALEA

It is amazing where formaldehyde can be found, and this shrub helps tackle away this toxic chemical hiding in plywood and even the insulation in your walls. The Azalea has gorgeous flowers and survives well in colder temperatures. Place it on a porch, in a well-lit basement, or a sunny garage for it to grow best.

4. SNAKE PLANT

While deciding on which plants to put in which room, this one loves the environment of typical bathrooms. The steam and lack of light will help it continually grow. The bathroom is filled with items containing formaldehyde. The Snake Plant will clean the air from chemicals found in toilet paper, cleaning products, deodorants, and other personal items.

5. CHINESE EVERGREEN

This beautiful plant is like a built-in filter. Not only is caring for it incredibly easy, but it works hard to filter the air of pollutants while removing toxins. I would love to have a couple of these neatly placed in the highest traffic areas of my home; it helps the air flow as it cleans it.

6. SPIDER PLANT

This plant was made for people like me; I wasn’t blessed with a green thumb. The long thin spidery leaves and white flowers are strong enough to withstand neglect occasionally. This plant takes benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and even carbon monoxide out of the air so it is healthier to breathe.

7. GERBER DAISY

This beautiful little flower is a favorite for many, but beyond its stunning colors is the ability to ward off benzene and trichloroethylene. Place it in the sunniest room in your house and enjoy deep breaths of fresh air.

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8. CHRYSANTHEMUM

This beautiful flower would complement a brightly lit kitchen or as the centerpiece on a dining room table. The greenery and blooms both work together to filter out that nasty benzene that is a common ingredient in glues, plastics, and dishwasher detergents.

9. ENGLISH IVY

Every home looks stunning with a dash of Ivy, but the benefits of English Ivy are…well…really unique. A study concluded that this little plant has the skills to reduce airborne particles containing fecal matter. It might sound gross, but I wouldn’t want that floating around in my house. Changing diapers and using the bathroom releases fecal particles, so I would keep a plant close by these rooms to ensure the air is clean.

10. GOLDEN POTHOS

If you need a plant to hang from the ceiling, along a stairwell, or even inside the garage, this is the one. As a fast growing vine, it battles away the popular formaldehyde found in many products right inside your car or garage.

11. WEEPING FIG

This stunning plant looks great in any room. It takes a little work to keep it growing healthily, but the rewards are worth the effort. Often the carpets, fabrics, and furniture in your home contain small amounts of chemicals that are emitted into the air every day. The Weeping Fig battles away benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde so you can relax on your furniture and floors without a single worry.

12. WARNECK DRACAENA

This indoor plant can grow to be 12 feet with proper care and love. Varnishes, stains, and oils found in furniture and woods release pollutants that the Warneck Dracanena attacks like a champ. If you suffer from constant headaches and migraines, this plant might relieve chemical-induced headaches.

Not only are the healthy benefits hard to pass up, but plants create an energy that can be very therapeutic. I love walking into my home and seeing nature inside my doors. It helps me stay positive during the winter months and makes my home feel cleaner. Yes I am terrible at watering them, and sometimes the weeds are noticeable, but man do I love the feeling of breathing clean air. Like my constantly beating heart, I often forget about all the hard work my plants do during the day and night for me. The beautiful green and bright seasonal flowers are a reminder of the clean air I get to breathe from simply having plants in my home.

Source: BusyBee Cleaning Service

Singing About Trees

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In December 2019 the opportunity to perform at a local Christmas Tree Lighting resulted in this performance. Trees are so lovely and a Christmas Tree magnifies their beauty. Singing about trees can make you feel glorious!

This song was rehearsed for about three weeks. It was originally not going to be published because of the artists dislike for the performance but after a musician friend gave it the thumbs up, Valeria decided to release it.

Accompanied by the talented Alina Adams

Hopefully we can find the time to enjoy the beautiful lights this holiday season.

Valeria in Nor Cal Wishing everyone a Happy Holiday Season and a Merry Christmas!!

How a Tea Set from 1955 Made It Back Home in 2019

Made Its Way Home After 64 years

What’s So Special About This Tea Set?

This is a short story about my Uncle, Gilbert. In 1955 he joined the Air Force and traveled to Guam. While he was there he purchased two identical tea sets and sent one to his Mother, Catalina and the other to his sister in law, Eleanor, which happens to be my mom.

What’s The Significance of The Tea Set?

Well you see my Uncle Gilbert passed away some years ago and imagine the surprise of my cousin when she received this tea set in the mail. This tea set had been well cared for since my mom received it. She always had it on display in a special spot that for some reason she knew where it was but I don’t remember it at all. My mom took it with her everywhere she moved since 1955. The tea set went from California to Pennsylvania to Arkansas to San Jose, CA then back to Stockton. It had moved several times in Stockton.

My mom really loved that tea set or she would not have taken it with her so many times.

Valerie’s mom Leonora

A Car Crash Is the Catalyst To Finding Tea Set

In February 2019, a car ran into my mom’s home and the kitchen needed to be repaired. Everything from the kitchen had to be removed. Down came the tea set. It was placed in a storage pod. Then finally in December 2019 as my mom was putting her kitchen back together she decided to give me the tea set so I could send it to my cousin, Julie, my Uncle Gilbert’s eldest daughter.

Finally The Tea Set Makes It Home

After receiving the tea set from my mother, I knew I wanted to send it to my cousin as soon as possible. I just wanted it back home safe. I felt so happy to send it to my cousin. I didn’t open the box to look inside because I wanted to be surprised to see it. (I still don’t remember ever seeing this tea set in my house growing up. But whatever.) I finally saw the pictures on Facebook when my cousin posted pictures and it was so beautiful. It really made me happy that his daughter received something that her father sent half way round the world to end up back home safe and sound 64 years later.

Valeria is a Health and Wellness Coach in Northern California. She hopes to follow her passion and share her journey along the way.

Blue Sky’s and Rainbows Ahead

Feeling like the wicked witch wrote this message.

There’s Always A Rainbow

Yesterday while walking my dog, I looked up and saw this beautiful rainbow. It really reminded me that it’s time to stop being sad and mourning. A reminder that beautiful things can come from darkness. A calling to continue to create. It’s the small creations that matter. A calling that can only be quenched by your creator or creations.

Finally completed

What’s Next?

I’m taking some much needed time off to rest and also plan for my future. A little planning now will give you rewards in the future so plan and dream big because dreaming is free so may as well dream big!!

Valeria Star on an evening performance

Valeria Star is a Health and Wellness Coach following her passion. Wishing everyone a Happy Holiday Season!!!

How To Get Over a Breakup

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Have you ever had to get over a broken heart from a relationship? It can be one of the most painful things to endure. It’s like your heart gets ripped out of your body and you’re supposed to walk around like everything is normal on the outside. But on the inside you’re so sad, depressed and you can also be filled with feelings of anger and rage depending on the circumstances of the break up. There can also be real serious issues such as alimony, child support and loss of income. But let’s just pretend it’s just a normal break up. Also assume that there are no legal consequences and you won’t be in financial turmoil because that’s just too much to deal with in a single blog post.

Establish a Support

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It’s time to call your network of support. Friends, family, psychological support and anyone else you trust to tell your story. Just be honest about what happened. You have 24 hours to create this network because you don’t want to just keep talking about this issue for weeks which can turn into years. You can have more than 24 hours to set this up but the whole point is that you don’t want to get over this relationship. The longer you continue to discuss it and rehash the hash, the longer it will continue. Tell your network, “I need support getting over this relationship. Can you help me do this?” 9 times out of 10 they will say, “Yes, I’ve got your back. What can I do to help you.” You need emotional support only. This isn’t a smear campaign and you don’t have to share every gory detail. Just say you need support getting over this relationship and leave it at that. Of course you can tell the whole story but just know the more you continue to discuss it, the more you are breathing life into a dead relationship.

There are Different Levels of BreakUP

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Perhaps you need to develop a relationship with yourself instead of giving everything to a relationship. Perhaps you want to keep the lines of communication open because there’s a possibility you might get back together. Perhaps you just need to establish firm boundaries within the relationship. So we’ll start out there and then go to the point where you are literally DONE with the relationship. NO WAY will you go back!!

Stage 1 (Keeping Options Open)

Now perhaps your partner is ignoring you and not giving you the time of day. You still love eachother but it’s not working for you. You spend your time obsessing about when you will hear from them and crying because they don’t text you back like they used to. Something is wrong and you don’t know what to do. What do you do?

Answer: Call your network and tell them you need support. You must decide what it is that you want for yourself. So what do you want? Tell your partner in an I statement. “I have decided to start taking care of my health. I am going to start walking and eating more healthy.” As an example. If they don’t respond back that’s their choice but you will still allow them to remain in your life for 30 days. After you send that final text give them 30 days to respond. If they don’t respond within 30 days BLOCK THEM on your phone. If they want to get a hold of you, they can send you an email. Now during this 30 days you will need to start new habits. Perhaps it’s a great time to start a new hobby or maybe just start to clean up your place. Stay busy. Read books, watch movies, connect with friends but under no circumstances are you to contact them. After the 30 days you will have more clarity about how you want to move forward.

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My Heart is Broken but I Cannot Stay

If you are done and ready to move on you will need your network. You will need a journal and perhaps professional help. You are going to have to go 30 days with no contact from this individual. It’s most recommended that you block them from your phone and cut off all communication. You will miss them. You will cry. You will want to call them to tell them something funny. During those times that you want to contact them, pull out the journal and write down your feelings. Call someone from your network and tell them how you’re doing. If you are feeling anxious or depressed, contact your Dr.

It’s during times like this that singing and dancing can really help you to feel better. You have to get your endorphins going to help you feel better. Avoid alcohol and drugs because they don’t really help on the long run. They are just a big nasty band aid that is only going to make you feel worse later. Later you are sad and hungover. It’s better to just feel your feelings and then the next day you will feel better day by day. Again emphasis on cardio. Start easy and try to do something you enjoy. Listen to upbeat happy music. Watch a happy movie!! It will get better baby but one thing is for sure, you won’t be putting up with treatment that is unbecoming of you.

Valeria not caring if she ever hears from you again. Play games she said. You can’t play a player. She’s a Health and Wellness Coach in Northern California. She encourages everyone to follow their dreams and passions.