Dancing with Finger Cymbals

I finally got my finger cymbals sewn to fit my fingers (thanks mom). It’s not as easy as it seems. I got this cool skirt and snake bracelet from my friend Jane who is a professional belly dancer. I think it has good mojo and came from India. So this is my first video where I use the finger cymbals.

This head dress is a little weird but hey I’m a weirdo.

The song is Dorset Perception (Total Eclipse Remix) by Shpongle. It’s a cool jam. They are out of the United Kingdom and I found their music on Pandora.

Check out the black unitard I am wearing you can find it at the Yoga Outlet. It’s really comfortable and you don’t have to find a top and pants anymore and don’t worry about a bra either because it has really good support.

Have fun no matter what!!

Valerie’s a Health and Wellness Coach. She lives in Nor Cal and is recovering from a long career. She wishes you joy and lots of happiness.

Get Healthy Without Food

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Many think that whenever it comes to being healthier than it must involve food. While food is definitely important, it’s usually a process to make changes regarding food. So here are some things to consider that do not involve food.

  1. Take a breath to the count of 3,4 or 5. That’s it. Exhale and just feel your body relaxing with each exhale. It doesn’t have to be a big production, you don’t even have to tell anyone your doing it but while your at it, give a little thanks for clean air.
  2. Walk tall: Do you realize how many people only dream about being able to walk? Give thanks to your body for giving you the strength and privilege to be able to walk. A 10 minute walk can do wonders for depression, mental health. Just breathe and walk… Hey do 1 and 2 together. Now we’re multi tasking. If you have pain while walking, maybe a good time to visit the doctor to find out what’s the problem.
  3. Think for one minute about what your favorite song is. This is the song (old or new) that you know the words to the song and you hear it and it just makes you happy. For me it would be Dance Sister Dance by Santana but what’s your favorite song? All you have to do is listen to that song and breathe. Hey if you want you can do 1, 2 and 3 together and you will be a triple threat… But you can listen in the car or shower or wherever you feel like listening to it is cool!! But a triple threat will be cool!!
  4. Feel grateful for whatever you want to acknowledge. If you can walk and talk and breathe, be grateful. How about being grateful for this life that you have been given. Life can be hard but believe it or not, you are a miracle and there is nobody else exactly like you. The mold was broken and you are a beautiful soul. Even if you have done terrible things, your soul is still good. Your body just did some stuff but your soul is pure light.
  5. Have you ever day dreamed? You know just think about whatever wonderful little thing you love or a fantasy that you would love to have come true. Spend a little time dreaming about anything you want but if you want to integrate all 5 concepts. Breathing, walking, listening to your favorite song and while you are at it be grateful that you can day dream. Pretend you are a super hero and everywhere you go it’s just easy breezy and you have cool super powers. What would that feel like for you? If you want to write about it, do it but not any pressure. This is fun stuff. But writing it down would be super cool!!
Maybe just hang out and relax. This looks heavenly!!

In the spirit of not giving you more than you can chew, we’re going to end this so you can go on and practice. In the words of my music teacher, Keep Calm and Practice, Practice, Practice.

Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach that lives In Nor Cal. She encourages everyone to find their passion and enjoy life. Valerie wishes to sleep in a tee pee one day. But she’s not the camping type right now. Maybe one day she will find her tribe. Dreaming of my tribe. Donde estas?

Celebrating European Union

Why Celebrate the European Union?

Recently the European Union agreed to set aside 25% of their budget to stop climate change. Once I heard that I got very happy and made this dance video.

Dancing to I’ve Got the Music In Me by Kiki Dee

If you have never heard this song OMG you have to listen to it. It’s very positive message and it has a really good beat. And Kiki Dee can really sing so good!! I was a girl when this song was popular but it used to be blasted in my house growing up. I sure do LOVE THIS SONG and I hope you do too.

It’s really important to focus on things that bring us joy. There are many beautiful things in life. Let’s just all focus on what’s going right for a minute. There really is a lot going right if you stop and think about it.

Take care sweetie pies. Wishing everyone a great day.

Valerie is a Health and wellness Coach. She loves to dance and sing and encourages everyone to follow their dreams. She lives in Northern California and encourages everyone to eat fruits and vegetables for good health and also to help Mother Earth.

A Dancer’s Journey

Valerie Estrella was raised in Stockton, California but her parents called her by her middle name which is Georgianna. They called her Georgi for short. She was born in 1967 in the Summer of Love or actually Fall of Love. Her first-generation Mexican American Father was a musician and her Mother was a nurse. The Apple didn’t fall far from the tree because Valerie definitely has a passion for music and as a health coach for healing. 


John, Valerie’s father in 1968. He was a music teacher for Stockton Unified for over 30 years and a local musician. Valerie credits her father for having music in the house. Everything from classical, jazz, disco, funk and Mariachi. Thanks for loving music.

Valerie was the youngest of four children. She has three older brothers. When Valerie was born, the Dr. lifted her by her legs to show Leonora her baby girl. That’s when Leonora exclaimed, “Look at those legs, she’s going to be a dancer.”

Valerie’s mom Leonora was the first in her family to graduate from College. She went to school while working full time. She was a nurse over 40 plus years. Leonora supported all of her children in their pursuit of music and art. She’s a talented artist too.

When Valerie celebrated her 8th birthday, her mother gave her a black leotard with pink tights and Georgi just died. Her gut instinct was “NO I DON’T WANT TO DO IT.” Leonora was gentle and said let’s just try it and see how you like it. She didn’t have a choice so she went. Turns out she had a blast and fell in love with dancing. She studied with Judy Ratto at Judy’s Dance Studio in Stockton, CA. She progressed to point shoes within a year as she had very strong ankles and feet. After a little while she started to take tap and jazz. She enjoyed it and danced consistently for 5 years.

Valerie at 9 years old on Point.

When she was 13 she decided she was too cool to dance. So she did what parents dread and she quit. Although she took a break from dancing in a dance studio, in high school she was a Song Leader at Del Mar High School in San Jose. Valerie transferred schools her Junior year and decided to go by her first name which was Valerie because Georgi was too much of a nickname. When you transfer schools your Junior year of high school you kind of want to blend in. She got tired of having to explain why she had a boys name. Valerie, as she was now known, was able to choreograph some of their dances at Del Mar High School in San Jose and had fun. She was able to dance at the 49ers HalfTime show with about 500 other teenagers who went to the United Spirit Association Camp. It was a routine to Footloose by Kenny Loggins in 1984. Joe Montana was the best!!

In college Valerie studied ballet at San Joaquin Delta College with Dorothy Percival. Dorothy was really good with technique as she carried a little stick and wasn’t afraid to use it. Just that little extra bit to get you set up correctly. This is where Valerie became really flexible. She graduated with her Associate of Arts Degree in General Education in 1988. She finally decided she needed to pick a career. She really wanted to be independent so she ended up majoring in Criminal Justice at California State University Sacramento. She graduated in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice.

After she had been working for about 10 years for the State of California she really was experiencing pain through her back, severe insomnia, depression, and anxiety. She had just gone through a stressful divorce and had relocated from Southern Central California to Northern California. Valerie knew that yoga would be her cure for back pain.

She started taking yoga at her local gym and one day she heard an ad on the radio about becoming a Yoga Instructor. Her eldest brother, Christopher had recently passed away. He was very much into Eastern philosophy and studied meditation and energy. She decided to become a yoga teacher in honor of her brother. In 2008 she completed her Ashtanga yoga 200 hour Yoga Alliance Certification with Michelle Paisley Reed. Michelle went on to become a best selling author. This is where Valerie first heard the concept of being able to manifest. Valerie was really happy that she had learned so many different ways to stretch. And in 2009 she started teaching at Millennium Sports Club in the North SF Bay of California.

John Christopher, Valerie’s eldest brother was instrumental in Valerie becoming a Yoga Instructor. Chris, as he was known, as a drummer and had very strong arms. You might not be able to tell but he had a super strong grip strength and was into advanced meditations when it wasn’t cool in the ’70s. Chris is so loved and will be forever honored as a true Earth Angel.

Valerie became absorbed in the gym culture which involved maintaining certifications, getting new training and continuing to get stronger and develop herself. The Millennium provided her with opportunities to get excellent training in Les Mills Body Flow, Les Mills CX Worx, Zumba and U-Jam Fitness.

Valerie in 2012 with Solano County Zumba Instructors. Look for the Legs and you’ll find Val

Zumba is where Valerie really got the confidence to dance in front of people. She also participated in many Zumbathons for Party in Pink, ToyAthons and many other fund raisers. Valerie was having so much fun because she was dancing and helping the community.

Look at the lovelies from Solano County Viva Zumba

In 2012 Valerie was still experiencing quite a bit of stress from work and was exhausted, moody and just feeling overall no good. So she went to a work shop called Growing Wild in Santa Cruz with Joy Smith who was also a Zumba Trainer and a health Coach. Joy encouraged participants to become a health Coach. It was dancing and juicing and clean eating for 3 days and after doing that Valerie began to feel better and decided that she needed to learn as much as she could about healthy eating. So she decided to become a health Coach in 2013 through Institute of Integrative Nutrition.

Organic Greens are great just wash them really good.

In 2015 Valerie began to study voice with Alina Adams. It was divine intervention that Valerie began to study voice. It is because Valerie had paid for her daughter to have voice lessons who did not want to do it anymore. So Valerie started to take lessons and she really started to enjoy it. Alina really worked with Valerie. Zumba gave her the courage to get in front of the crowd. She decided to Sing Like Nobody is Watching You can watch her sing here.

Valerie performs Shatter Me at a local recital

After a few years the Millennium, it was bought out by In Shape SportsClub. Well, it was beneficial because the Millennium was suffering from the 2008 recession and was getting ready to shut their doors, it started to feel like it was work. Logging into websites for training, too many small changes pushed her over the edge and she decided she didn’t want to deal with all of these changes. She was working a stressful job and she was at the end of her career. She had to work until October 2017 and it was just getting to be too much. So she decided to resign from teaching.

After she resigned from teaching she created EnlightenYourLives.Com as she knew that she had so much information to share with the world and felt that a Blog would be the best way to share it with the world. She could influence more people on a global basis than taking a few clients here or there. She also wanted to focus on her own dancing and began to study with Angeline Lucia of Dio Amore Dance and Fitness. Angeline has a large background in dance. Not only is she a fantastic dancer but she’s an excellent instructor. Valerie studied, Ballet, Tap, Salsa, Hustle and too many to list. (All you have to do is go to one of her dance socials and you are doing Waltz, Fox Trot, Tango, Salsa, Bachata and so on and so on and so on. Angeline was instrumental in getting Valerie prepared for a performance at her retirement party in October 2017.

Valerie definitely decided that she was going to continue to dance and that’s what she has done. She stopped taking dance lessons because it was time for her to dance to her own beat. To take everything she has learned through dance, yoga and fitness and begin to integrate it into what works for her. She really started to have fun with improvisational dance. You can catch up with her on her Youtube channel.

She’s having fun dancing to whatever her heart desires. Ballet, tap belly dancing. She’s exploring and enjoying her freedom and Belly Dancing is in the air for 2019. In March 2019, Valerie will perform at a restaurant in the SF Bay Area. Here’s wishing her much success in 2019 and beyond.

Mother and daughter in 2017 at Valerie’s Birthday Party. Special thanks to the mom who inspired dance in her child even when the child didn’t want it. XOXO

Dancing to Eternal Music

About almost 300 years ago in 1721 Bach wrote the Concerto #3in G major. It’s such an amazing composure. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!! This piece of music is about 6 minutes and it was written for the Catholic Church. I think it would be have been pretty amazing to hear this in Church.

So here I am dancing improvisational to Bach and I hope you enjoy it. The music is just AMAZING and it’s so good to listen to music. I hope you enjoy it and please feel free to share this beautiful music with the world.

Better yet what’s your favorite song or type of music? Feel free to share below. We may not know everything in life. But one thing I know for sure is Bach was a genius. XOXO VALERIE


Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach.  She lives in Northern California with her daughter and Labrador Retriever.  As you heal yourself, you heal the planet.  Find your joy and live it.

Have you ever wondered how to Hang from a tree?https://enlightenyourlives.com/2019/01/11/when-was-the-last-time-you-hung-from-a-tree/  Find out how to do it here?  It’s so awesome!!

Sing Like Nobody is Watching

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Recently I did a performance and many people were telling me that they admired my courage to sing in front of people.  I told them that I just decided that I was going to be brave and not worry about what other people think.

I read a really good book which I highly recommend for anyone that wants to pursue their dreams or goals.  The main thing I got from this book was that you have to do what makes you happy and forget about what everyone else thinks or says.  Also if someone criticizes you, then tell them to come and do a better job.  So that attitude really resonated with me.  The name of that book is Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.  

big magic

Just to be clear that I am a student.  I am not a professional.  My preparation to sing this song began about 11 months prior when I first started listening to this song by Lindsey Stirling called Shatter Me and I just really fell in  love with that song.  I listened to that song over and over on a road trip.

I wasn’t sure I would be able to sing that song because it seemed like a difficult song to me.  I spoke to my voice teacher and she said, “Let’s do it in G Minor.”  So I got the music and we started working on it in December 2017.  It was very brutal at first.  Just painful to listen to.  But I just kept working on it.

After a while I asked my music teacher if maybe someone could accompany me on the violin.  So she was able to find an advanced student to accompany me.  (Please note that she did not want to be videotaped.  We had to actually edit her out because she did not want to have her images on the web.  But Rebekah is beautiful and an amazing violinist.)  The first time we rehearsed together was brutal.  Imagine trying to sing with someone banging drums right in your ear.  I couldn’t believe how thrown off I was.  My music teacher said it’s completely normal.  When the violin accompanies me, I was listening to her play and my timing was off and it was way more difficult than I thought.  It’s like I am distracting her by singing and she was distracting me by playing the violin.  The thing is we had to be in sync with our timing.

wood music classic sound

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

In any event this is the results of the preparation.  I watched numerous George Michael Videos.  I became a bit obsessed with him (which is a completely different story.) In any case this is the result.  Thanks for watching and any kind words are appreciated.  Also remember I am a student.  Think of your kid that’s been singing for a couple of years.  T

Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach. She has a passion for singing, dancing and following her heart. She encourages everyone to do the same.  Please subscribe to her Youtube channel and Follow Enlighten Your Lives to support everyone’s dreams.  Namaste

How to set Dreams and Goals for 2018

Happy-New-Year-Wishes-2018-1

Well 2017 has come and gone.  This was an amazing year.  I feel like I really lived it.  Some years let’s just be honest have been terrible.  This year for me personally was really good.  I had the following major accomplishments: RETIREMENT, AMBER DOG, Performances and I’ve been able to keep my sanity for the most part.

I looked over my goals for 2017 and I have to say that I have stuck with them.  That just means I need to continue to add to my goals.  I mean if I could nail the goals for 2017 then I can surely continue to nail the goals for 2018.

Since I’ve retired my focus has shifted.  I was super stressed when I was working and now that I’ve retired it’s time for me to get serious about relaxation and just settling into my groove.  Retirement is a Huge Adjustment and unless you’ve done it, I don’t think you quite get it.val_edited-9177

      This is me thinking about positive thoughts.  Give it a try and see what happens.

One of the main reasons I started this blog was to give me a way to focus my energy in a positive manner.

So how do you set goals anyway?

  1. Keep it simple.  Make too many goals and you end up not doing anything.
  2. It doesn’t need to have anything to do with fitness or health.  This is a popular resolution but you can set whatever goal or dream you want.  This is your chance to really get creative with your dreams and try to figure out exactly what it is that you want anyway.
  3. Write it down.  Perhaps your resolution could be to start journaling.  If you have never journaled or not for a while, this is a great time to start.
  4. Tell someone what your goal is with the hope that you can get some accountability and also once you tell someone, it reinforces your goal because you are discussing it.
  5. Day dream about your goals.  What would it look like if you had this?  How would you feel?  Imagine it’s already yours and be happy knowing that it’s coming into fruition.

Feel free to comment below with some of your dreams and goals.  Remember the more you talk about it, the more likely it will happen.  So I’ll go ahead and get this party started by sharing my dreams and goals for 2018.

  • Daily yoga (at least 10 minutes)
  • Meditation at least 3 days per week but the more the better
  • Dance daily at least 20 minutes
  • Write daily at least 20 minutes
  • Go on a plane for vacation
  • Shop local, vegan diet and breathe through all difficulties
  • Transform my guest bedroom.
  • Keep singing

VAL DANCING FOR RONI

This is me dancing at my party and having fun.  This is what dreams look like.  Just do it.

Now see that wasn’t so difficult.  Well here’s to an amazing 2018.  Don’t worry about all the drama that’s going on in the world.  You allow what comes into your reality.  Choose wisely.

Retirement Performance

VAL DANCING STAGE

Retirement Performance

When I first decided that I wanted to dance at my retirement party, my main motivation was because it was a dream of mine. I wanted to do it because I wanted to see exactly what my capabilities were at age 50. I felt that since I was a yoga instructor and a health coach that I should have the ability to perform and with the proper instruction, anything is possible.

So the dance training began and I found it to be very difficult. I had an injury at the same time I started training so I had to be very careful not to hurt myself. But I knew that I loved dancing and I just wanted to put on this epic performance at my party. I had an interest in belly dancing for years and I had done some training starting in 2008. I took a few classes with a local dance instructor and watched some videos but I hadn’t found a dance instructor in my area that I really was compatible with.
Then in 2015, I had surgery and the Dr. gave me the usual recommendation which was not to exercise for 6 weeks. I really despise that recommendation but of course I followed the Dr’s orders. They told me walking was fine.  Yoga was still not an option but the one thing I was able to do was belly dancing. And it just felt amazing on my spine, neck, shoulders and hips. Thus a belly dancer was born.
I soon realized that yoga and belly dancing were very much intertwined with one another.

VAL SPINNING
I kept up the belly dancing and I even taught a workshop at Angeline’s dance studio in 2016. I had previously been a Zumba and U-Jam Fitness Instructor and I felt comfortable dancing in front of people and I knew I wanted to perform at my retirement party in front of my loved ones, but I felt belly dancing alone would just feel completely inappropriate and I knew if I wanted it to turn out good, then I needed professional training and choreography.

I picked the song which was Transcendence by Lindsey Stirling and it had a classical feel to it. Although I used to belly dance at home to that song, I knew that ballet would go nicely with it as well.

At first I wanted to do a partner dance. But it’s difficult to find a partner and I decided to just do private instruction.
So it was going to be a belly dance/ballet fusion dance.
So ballet is very challenging. It’s pilates on steroids as I like to call it. And I was still working at the time and my work was not helping the situation at all. Because all of the sitting was counter productive. But I kept up with the training and the video is the final result.
When I watch the video, I feel happy with certain parts and other parts, I wish were better. But overall, I feel grateful that I had the ability and opportunity to dance and perform especially at the age of 50.

Sometimes when the fear strikes me when I think about releasing a video, I just think well if someone wants to criticize me that’s fine. They can go ahead and do a performance and then we can discuss my performance afterwards.

Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach and Yoga Instructor. She recently retired from a Career in Law Enforcement after 26 years. Email her at:estrella.valerie@yahoo.com

How I Became a Singer

 

Music has a way of being influential.  As a young child music was always being played growing up.  Having a music teacher, John DeDios Barron, for a father has many pros and cons.  An alleged pro is being exposed to many different formats.  The con is hearing the same song over and over and over.  Many times the music would be classical or jazz.  Mexican music was played regularly as well since he was a Mariachi as well.  My father could play the trumpet and piano very well.  However later in life he took up violin and that was just painful.  Wow!!  Also the volume of music could be very loud.

A regular scenario was trying to watch Gilligan’s Island to all of a sudden hearing, Brick House hella loud.  And forget about thinking you’re going to get your way and watch the rest of the show. TV time was just over.  That was a definite Con.

music therapy

Piano was offered as my father was a music teacher.  However I wasn’t feeling the whole piano thing with my dad so I rejected the concept and instead focused on dance.  I didn’t think I had the music gene until recently it has been awakened.

My daughter was taking voice lessons and she was being much towards me as I was towards my dad which was rejecting the voice lessons provided for her.  She was rejecting voice lessons and when she was  done, she was done.  So having already paid for the lessons, I decided that I would take the voice lessons in her place.  That was in 2014.

 

 

At first I was pretty terrible.  I had to learn so much and anyway I just kept going to class.  One thing I noticed was that the singing made me feel very happy.  It became music therapy for me.  So I kept taking the classes but then took a break in 2015.  I took it up again last March 2017 and decided to work towards my goal which was to sing at my retirement party.  Which I did.

Singing is very physical.  One thing I struggle with is singing and looking relaxed  You know like it’ the easiest thing to do.  Effortlessness.

Your body becomes your instrument and I have to keep it really strong if I want to continue to sing.  But it is very therapeutic to sing.  I would recommend it to anyone.  It did not come natural for me but it absolutely comes natural for my daughter.  Now if I can only figure out how to get her singing again.

In any case I am going to stick with it for now as it is a positive outlet and lord knows we all need that.soy milk(This is here just to see if anyone sees this.  I thought this was so funny!!!  Never thought about Soy Milk being in Spanish.  lol

My Dream Retirement Party

fancy reception

When working a long career, it is easy to dream about retirement.  Dreams about the future and dreams about a retirement celebration.  As the time grew nearer, I spoke to people about having a retirement party and I decided that I definitely wanted to have a party.  And I was only going to invite people who I truly cared about.  When you work for the government, you work with people that you have no choice in the matter.  I’ll say it first, I haven’t been the easiest person to work with over the years.

Anyway planning this party was a fantasy of mine and I only wanted super cool people there.  So I invited people who are currently in my life that were sweet. People that I’ve known for years since I was a kid and we kept some semblance of contact with each other over the years.  It’s so hard to maintain relationships over the years.  We get caught up in careers, kids and relationships.  Also for financial reasons, I just couldn’t invite everyone.

I decided that I wanted to share my dreams and passions with my guests.  For so many years I’ve had to walk around with this mask on that was suffocating me.  I had to be super tough and I couldn’t let the real me out or it would have been seen as weakness.

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Celebrating my 29th Birthday at SVSP.

It was in this safe space that I was creating that I knew I would be able to let my passions shine.  I decided I was going to perform for my guests.  It was really fun to plan this event.  I wanted to plan it because I knew it would be exactly as I wanted.

glitter girl

The most amazing people showed up and assisted me with this event.  My dear friend, Peggy who is an amazing event organizer, provided me with the caterer, a DJ was recommended by another friend and I found an amazing Videographer, Kristian Medina that was super cool and creative.

Kristian took these photographs but I am proud to say, I did the slide show.  Those that know me, know this is no small feat.  I was really happy with the way it came out.  I tried my best to put pictures in that were flattering.  Trust me I have some black male pictures if I wanted. Not really.

I did do a little editing and I finally figured out how to do a slide show.  And I picked some music from the evening and added that in.  #Lindseysterlingtranscendence, #Beatsantiquebattle, #Pa’Bailar-Siemprequieromasbajofondo&Julieta.  I threw in Siempre Quiero Mas because it’s an amazing song.  Great song to dance to.  (Wink Wink)

Also I really want to thank the people who showed up.  It’s not easy to get out of the house these days.  But thank you for showing up. I love you and appreciate you from the bottom of my heart.

I wrote a thank you note and was planning on reading it that night but of course I forgot it and had to just do it ad-lib style.  My favorite thing to do.  I’m going to write that here:

Thank you Letter intended for Valerie’s Retirement Party

I want to take this time out to thank everyone for coming to my party.  I really appreciate your spending time with me on this special occasion.  This has been a dream and a goal of mine for many years and I have happy to have finally made it to retirement.

Special thanks to the following:

Leonora Barron, mi madre and mommy.  I would not be here physically and also you helped me to make this event possible. Thank you Mom for always being there for me with all of my crazy ideas.  You’ve always supported and encouraged me and I appreciate you for that.   Again working for CDCR was not easy and I know I could be very harsh at times.  Thank you for forgiving me.  I hope I can be as gracious as you.

My father, John Barron who without you, I would not have been exposed to music to the extent that I was.  I know as a child it was sometimes very annoying to have a musician for a father.  But looking g back I am thankful that I had that influence in my life.  I understand now how you used to be “spacey” at times and I’m sure it was because you were mentally trying to figure out timing or a musical arrangement.  Thanks for following your dreams because I know it helped me go for my dreams.

For my daughter Victoria, Thank you for being so patient with me.  Thank you for being so loving and kind to me.  You have a huge heart and I hope you keep letting your light shine.  Thank you for going with me to all those classes and events and for taking my classes.  You were a real little trooper and I appreciate and love you for that.  Don’t ever forget your name means Victorious Star of the People.  Let’s enjoy my new-found freedom.  Let’s see the world.

To my brother, Adam Barron: Thanks for being there during the years and especially for looking out for my father.  Thank you for being supportive and for always opening your house up to me.  I know I hardly go around anymore but it’s because I’ve been working like a dog.  Keep shining your light Adam.  You are a beautiful person that everyone loves.  Don’t ever forget that.  Thanks for allowing me to be, “Adam’s little sister.”

To my brother, Ben:Thank you for always encouraging me to pursue my goals and for listening to me.  You’re an amazingly talented guitarist and performer.  I encourage you to continue with your artistic goals.  Thank you for staying true to your art which isn’t an easy task in these times.  You are a role model for everyone.

To my Aunt, Eleanor Barron-Druckery, thank you for being there for me.  Thank you for being supporting and listening to me over the years.  You a dreamer and I never realized how important dreams are.  But with all of your extensive writings on dreams, it has definitely helped me to find my vision for dreams.

To my cousin Ray Ray Lozano:  Thank you for being there for me.  It’s been great getting a male perspective on things.  No matter what we are family first and even though we don’t always agree on everything, we’re still family.  Keep striving for your dreams and goals and you are an awesome role model.  Remember it’s your strength is found in forgiveness.

Peggy Rairden:  Thank you for helping with the decorations and for all of the input on the party.  Who knew going to a Zumba class would bring me a great new bathroom and such an amazingly talorented interior decorator and party planner.  Thank you for all of your support.

Alice Hutchings: I’ve known you for 20 years and have had a lot of fun in the past.  I want to thank you for coming the distance to be at this event.  I’ve always been able to rely on you over the years.  You used to be my mom at work.  Whether I needed a fork or if you shared your left overs.  You always helped me out in the best way and made me feel better.  You have a beautiful heart and keep letting it shine.

Special thanks to Angeline:  Thank you for pushing me beyond my limits.  Thank you for pursuing your dreams because.   You are always able to figure out what a person is doing and what they need to be doing so they can be better.  I don’t know how you do it.  As you know it’s not always easy working with people and our excuses for why we don’t do things to improve our capabilities.  Thank you for creating such an amazing safe place to learn to dance and thrive.  I wish you continued success.

Thank you to Alina for being the amazingly talented musician you are.  I know I wouldn’t have been able to get up here today and sing had it not been for your support and encouragement.  Thank you for following your dreams and you’re helping so many people and children to fall in love with the universal language of music  Thank you for sharing your gifts with us in the US.  I know you could have lived anywhere on the planet and yet we found each other. Thank you for following your passion had you not, you would not have been able to assist me with mine.  

I also want to thank all of the people who have been supportive of me throughout my career  As you know it’s not an easy career.  Sometimes it feels like all you are doing is putting out fires and it can be difficult to work together to reach a common goal.  I really want to thank John Butler who was my supervisor for 4 years.  I want to thank you for being supportive of me.  You probably don’t know how much you helped me and I will always be thankful for that.  I think I most appreciate was how you were more than understanding about giving time off.  Also after you retired, I missed your sayings or as I refer to them, “Butlerisms.”  Anyway I just wanted to say thank you!! In case you don’t know I’ve had some dark times during my career and as you know there are many people that suffer in my line of work.  

And it’s my passion and goal that I can inspire you to pursue your dreams and goals, no matter what they might be.

Lastly I love you all  and wish you all the best today and always.  I truly hope we are able to keep in touch.  And although we may not always agree on every single issue in life, I hope we are able to put those things aside and truly look at each other’s heart when we have disagreements.  We don’t know how long we have to live and I truly wish you all peace in your heart, love in your spirit and joy in your life.