How To Communicate with Humans in 2020

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Is it Just Me or Is Communication Changing and not in a good way?

In 2020 communication is much different from how it was just a short 15 years ago. Before if you wanted to connect with someone you would write them a letter, call them on the phone or you would knock on their door bell. Obviously things have changed because now you can: email, fax, text, Facetime and message in numerous applications.

While it’s great to be able to send a quick text to tell someone whatever, if you are trying to have an actual relationship with someone, modern forms of technology just don’t bring the connection that many people yearn for.

Talking is a Great Form of Communication

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Throughout careers many people are required to talk to others. Teachers do it and lawyers, doctors, nurses and many professions talk during their career. How would you feel if your Doctor texted you instead of an actual physical exam and conversation? They just give you a thumbs up and end the appointment. Most people would probably feel brushed off and like they weren’t really listened to or understood.

With many people if their primary method of communication is via texting and messaging what happens to their verbal skills? Talking is a skill that requires practice just like anything else.

Sometimes you get tired of talking when you work. Then when you deal with your significant other all you get is a thumbs up or often times no response whatsoever to a text message. Is this because there’s just too much information and so they really cannot connect with you because they are too busy on social media or whatever other distraction. It can definitely harm relationships? Makes you wonder…

How To Improve Communication?

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Often time people really do want to connect with other people. But often times it turns into a frustration game of cat and mouse. So how can you improve your communication? If it’s someone you really want to connect with a phone conversation of video chat is a great way to connect. You might have to schedule a time to talk. And here are some great conversation starters.

“Hello, how are you?” “How was your day?” “What have you been up to lately?” And then watch the conversation blossom as the dialog goes back and forth. It might start out simple and next thing you know your discussing Japanese fashion. If someone tells you, “I was watching a movie.” Don’t just say, “OK bye, you’re busy.” Ask this person, “Really? What movie are you watching? Is it good? I haven’t seen it.” Maybe they will say, “Come on Over.” Or maybe you might realize after you find out what kind of movies they watch that this person is a moron and you don’t want anything to do with them but if you didn’t talk to them, you would never know.

The main point is that conversation is a great way to connect with someone.

You Can’t Go Back

2020 is here and we can’t go back to the way things used to be. But if you find someone that you enjoy their conversation, don’t be afraid to call them up and say hi. Also if you find it difficult to talk to others, that just means you need to do it more. Reading will help you come up with words to say. But if you stop talking at some point you might become mute.

Valeria is a Health and Wellness Coach living in Northern California. She encourages everyone to follow their passions.

Music Teachers Create Music

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I Didn’t Realize My Music Teacher was so Accomplished

A few years back I signed my daughter up for singing lessons with a local music teacher. My daughter was just starting out and I found a music teacher and she started taking voice lessons. I had no idea she was such an accomplished musician.

It actually took me from 2014 to 2019 to realize exactly who I was dealing with. Should I get a bad grade for not doing my research on my music teacher? My thought process is that when you are a beginner that maybe they don’t have to know as much as a conductor of a symphony but just enough to figure out what the notes are etc.

I did realize she was an accomplished violinist as I had seen her perform many times and one day during music class she started to play a beautiful piece by Bach by memory on piano and I was quite impressed. It was so beautiful and I decided to actually go to my teachers website and read up on her. She actually blew my socks off.

Alina Adams is conducting her ensemble of very talented music students.

She Dedicated her studies to Music

This is the full article about Alina Adams . She’s an assistant concert master which I’m not really sure what that is as I’m such a neophyte to music education.

I’m Sure Glad She Came to USA

With her education and knowledge she could have landed anywhere on the planet. But she came to California and I’m sure glad. She’s teaching music and her students are awesome. OK yes I am one too. I’m talking about the other students though when I talk about awesome though.

Flashmob Joy To The World

I actually got to film this video with the help of other videographers. It was so cool to watch it unravel. I didn’t know exactly how it would go down but here’s how it turned out. The little 6 year old girl that kicked it off is such a brave little girl.

Luckily this will be a new tradition.

Keep UP The Good Work

2020 will surely be another year of great performances. Keep an eye out for Bach in the Subways coming in March 2020. This is going to be a great year for music is all I can say.

Another of Alina’s Students.
Valeria is a Helath and Wellness Coach living in NorCal. She’s also a student of Alina’s. She encourages everyone to follow their dreams and passions. She’s currently studying voice and piano with Alina.

Dancer=Supreme Athletes

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Why are dancers supreme athletes?

Dancers require a great deal of physical strength in order to perform at a high level. It requires a great deal of flexibility and endurance to be able to perform. The amount of practice that is required is crazy. Professional dancers dance all day and then perform at night. Can you be on a treadmill all day and then perform at night too? It’s crazy to think about it.

Do Dancers get Respect?

That really depends on who you ask. One dancer interviewed indicated that she gets messages from men requesting photos of herself and attention that is unwanted. “People often mistake your dancing as being erotic when really all it is you are doing is moving your body to the music. It is the physical expression of music vibration. But because the movement of the body may be considered arousing by some, somehow the artists must be wanting attention.”

I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On

Dancers are just moving their body and enjoying the music and having a good time. Just because one gets turned on doesn’t mean that somehow there is any type of connection between the dancer and the audience. Yes the audience is part of the performance but that doesn’t mean you can say disrespectful things to a dancer or even think that the intent is to get attention. It’s the untrained eye that doesn’t realize the strength, flexibility, grace, musicality and timing that is involved in dancing. But now that you know this, you’re forgiven for your past transgressions because you didn’t realize.

Let’s all just be patient and dance.

Synchronicity Via Bach

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She rushed to visit her cousin when she learned about the accident. She knew her cousin would be ok so she decided to take her portable keyboard to the hospital to visit. She showed him the keyboard and right away he started playing a melody that sounded familiar. He said, “Let me play this one I remember.” His fingers were much to big for the childish keyboard. but the piece was by composer Johann Sebastian Bach and it was Prelude in C Major. Then it dawned on her that was the exact piece she had been working on with her music teacher.

What were the odds that he would pick the same piece of music? It wasn’t until later that she realized that this was some kind of synchronicity. Or it could have been pure coincidence. But deep in her heart she knew it was not coincidence it was a sign to show how strong their bond is. It doesn’t matter if you have not seen family for months or years, the bond is still there and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.

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It was a sign to continue to study. It was a sign to realize that it doesn’t matter if you don’t see each other frequently the bond is still there. It was a reminder of how much she loved him. It was a sign of hope. It was a reminder to keep practicing. It was a beautiful moment she would cherish always.

Valeria is a Health and Wellness Coach living in Northern California.

Have you heard of:

Bach in The Subways

Stay tuned for Bach in The Subways coming March 22, 2020.

Is It Time to Break Up with Your Phone?

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Is Your Phone Problematic?

Let’s face it in this point in time everyone has a phone and is probably spending too much time on it. All you have to do is look around at teenagers walking down the street looking at their phone with their neck in a bad position to realize that this getting to be too much. Also the amount of car accidents that are caused by texting and driving is a big enough cause for alarm. But let’s just say you are smart enough not to walk/drive and text. You might say, “I don’t do those things, so it’s not a problem.”

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Review Screentime

First do a little review of your screen time and you will see exactly how much time you actually spend on your phone per day. Once that is viewed one might begin to realize the amount of time that is actually spent on their phone. Once you view that, you can begin to decide if that’s really how you want to spend your time.

Bad Posture

An article from Forbes discusses the negative impacts of social media. But also the physical act of being on the phone usually results in your posture being put in a really bad position. Next time your on your phone, put in on camera and take a picture to see what position your neck and shoulders are in. Most likely, it’s not pretty.

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Is it helping you reach your goals?

Depending on your goals, is your phone helping you reach your goals. There are many beneficial apps such as Subliminal Vision Boards that really do help you reach your goals. And also fitness apps and various app such as Calm that really do help you with your goals. But is scrolling mindlessly through Twitter really helping you? If the answer is no then you might decide that it’s time to give your phone a break. It’s doable but it will take a little practice because to be honest, it can turn into an addiction.

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How To Get Off Your Phone

First thing is to realize that you might have a problem with it. Unless you need the phone for work, you’re going to have to make a little plan and figure out what you can do to replace the mindless scrolling.

1)Decide that at a certain hour, you are going to take a break from it. Have a pad of paper nearby because you will need that paper to write down all of the urges you have to get on the phone. Suppose you are on a break and you say to yourself, “I must text my spouse and tell them I love them.” Write it down on the note pad and after your break from your phone is over, send the text. Perhaps you get the urge to look up the weather for tomorrow, write down on your trustee pad to look up weather for tomorrow. And then you can look up later. You get the idea.

2) What are you going to do during the time, you’re not on the phone? This is the fun part. There is so much you can do when you are not on your phone. You can read, write, sing, color, clean up your place, decorate, play a musical instrument, dance, mow the lawn, wash your car, cook, go grocery shopping, write a letter… the possibilities are endless. Basically you can live in the real world. You can plan what you actually want instead of being a phone zombie.

3) Set up a support network. Maybe there is a friend you have that you can call up and tell them what you are trying to do. There are probably support groups to help. Just know that the urge to get on your phone will pass. It’s called urge surfing. Be aware of the urge to use the phone and breathe and allow it to pass by like a cloud. It can also be used for other addictions.

It’s not easy to do change habits but if you clean instead of get on your phone, you’ll have a clean place in no time. Put that phone down and nobody will get hurt.

Valeria is a Health and Wellness Coach living in Nor Cal. She encourages everyone to pursue their goals and dreams. All you have to do is dare to dream.

Happy New Decade

Here’s to continued Peace, Dreams and ⭐️’s.

Wishing everyone a healthy, safe abundantly creative years with lots of movement and gardening.

New tradition New Years Gardening

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.