Are You Worth It?

Let’s get real EVERYONE wants your $$

Nowadays is it just me or does everyone want to get paid? Uncle Sam, grocery stores, water bills, car payments etc. Come the first of the month everyone has their hands out and we pay these bills because we are responsible adults. That’s just what we do.

This is getting old!!

What about your dreams?

After you’ve paid all of your bills and if there is anything left over, it’s time to think about investing in yourself. Now you can buy a book to learn about your passions. However whatever that is, you must begin to practice it at some point. And that’s what this article is really about.

What about Video’s for learning?

Let’s say you want to learn pilates reformer, video’s are great for learning for observation, theory and just to watch how the professionals do it. But once it comes down to implementing what you’ve learned, you really want to have professional training. Why? Because you can learn bad habits which are difficult to break, you can injure yourself because maybe you aren’t set up in the correct alignment, and over time doing it incorrectly can cause serious injury. Also you can do things maybe you’re not really ready for but you force it and get hurt. You need the immediate feed back to know what you are doing correctly and what you aren’t doing correctly.

Why would a yoga teacher take classes?

I do understand that monthly hand out syndrome I described at the beginning. Although I have had numerous hours of training, teachers still need training. Recently I made the investment in a Stott’s V2 Max Pilates Reformer Bundle and let me tell you it is a beast. I am not certified in reformer training but somewhere in my mind I thought, I’ve taken enough classes, I don’t think I need to keep taking classes. I’ll just watch some videos and do it that way.

Would you know what to do with this beast?

“Warning danger Bill Robinson,” don’t do it. Keep taking the classes until you are really confident that you know what you are doing. Plus watching videos to learn can be quite literally a pain in the ass!! You just want to know a simple answer to a simple question, with a teacher, you can just ask the question. If not, you are literally on your own. Google this, google that and maybe you’ll get the right answer. Many just give up in frustration or maybe they get injured. Also the teacher will be able to look at her students and know what their bodies actually need. She will say, my students need to focus on chest openers and make sure to target that. A video just does whatever it does and you end up frustrated.

What did I end up doing?

I decided that I still need to continue taking classes in person and also continue on my own to learn via books and videos. I really like Pilates Anytime. The instructors are excellent and they really educate you about your body and how it should move.

Did I want to go the cheap route and quit paying a professional for training? Hell yeah!! Did I do it? Hell no!!! I’ve decided that I am worth the investment to make sure I stay safe and can continue to learn. Plus let’s keep it real, we all need the motivation and teachers motivate us and so do the students. So do yourself a big favor and get professional training. I promise you won’t regret it. Plus baby, you are WORTH it!!!

Valerie doing Triangle pose. Such a delicious pose.

Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach. She lives in Northern California and encourages people to follow their dreams and passions. She’s passionate about dancing and fitness and is evolving in her knowledge and training. She encourages everyone to follow their passions.

Valerie’s loves to dance and have fun. Here she is PLAYING.

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

How I Manifested an Electric Car

2019-ioniq-hybrid-ext-13-symphony-air-silverAround a year ago I purchased a vehicle because I got my puppy, Amber.  After that I realized I made a bad mistake and should have purchased a hybrid.  But in any case I decided that I wanted to redeem myself by getting an electric car.

So what I did was just started looking at electric cars and focusing on them only.  Pretty soon I was seeing them all over the place.  I was only familiar with a few cars.  Tesla of course and the Leaf and some other cars that are either too expensive or I refuse to buy from the corrupt companies.

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So fast forward to October 2018 and my friend gave me an Electric Car magazine.  I started to study it and look at all of the prices and rebates etc.  I found a car that was a great price, all electric and it looked really  sporty.  The car I was interested in was the Hyundai Ioniq.  I started looking on line and they only had them in Southern California.  So I called one car dealer and they didn’t have it in stock.

I had just come back from a trip where I stayed in Santa Clarita so I clicked on the Santa Clarita link and I ended up at Parkway Hyundai in Valencia.

I sent them a message on line and right away I received a call from Manny and he was ready to assist me.  I also received a call from Danny too (yes their names rhyme).  I told them what car I wanted and they answered all of my questions and ensured me they could take care of me.  They said it was a car in high demand but they took care of me in such an amazing way.  I was going to Southern California at the end of the month so we set up the appointment to drive the car and we sealed the deal.

I was telling Danny how so many people want electric cars but are difficult to find.  I mentioned that they should specialize in electric and hybrid cars.  So what did Danny do?  He had a conversation with his district manager.  His manager agreed and is going to give them 10 electric vehicles.  That is so phenomenal.  So if you cannot find Hyundai Ioniq Electric in Northern California then make the short drive to Parkway Hyundai.  I sure am glad I did.  Actually they had it delivered to me.

I was so happy to finally have my electric car.  It was a real blessing.  And the car is so amazing.  I mean really it’s just an amazing vehicle. It has some serious pick up!!  I mean like amazing how fast it goes and it’s quiet.  I love it.  I highly recommend the Hyundai Ioniq and don’t be afraid to drive to get the car you want.

We won’t discuss the first time that I charged it.  We really won’t.  But now I have it all figured out.  If I can do it, so can you.  And I’m not a techie person.  But you will get the assistance you need. I promise.  So just start dreaming about it.

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Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach and a Yoga Instructor.  She is passionate about Green living and following her dreams.  She lives in Northern California with her daughter and doggie, Amber.

 

Fight For your Right to Dream

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This time of year it’s very popular to make changes with New Year’s Resolutions and all.  We have great expectations but when it comes time to actually implementing those changes or intentions.  That’s when the difficulty comes in.  I mean you are already super busy with a jam- packed schedule, so how on earth can you find time for one more thing?

newton's law

This answer is that something has got to leave your schedule or you just have to make that new thing a priority.  Meaning that you do it first before you do that other thing.  Now maybe you like to get on social media.  So make a little agreement with yourself that before you even think about pushing that little Blue square with an f on it that you will do that priority.  After you have done you’re “priority”, you can f away.  I mean get on the blue f as much as you want.

I think the morning routine is an essential part to having a great day.  If you wake up and do some stretches or yoga, breathing, praying or simply have some quiet time for positive affirmations before you start doing all of the stuff to get ready, you can have a much happier day.  So that’s where that blue f comes into play.  This means don’t f your day away.

Other things may have to give in order for you to make your priority.  Maybe you’ll have to take some time off of work in order to give yourself that time.  Is that the end of the world? HELL NO.  Trust me when you are on your death-bed, you’re not going to think, “I should have worked more.”  You might think, I’m glad I followed my heart and my passions.  But you have to fight for your dreams and passions.  (Think of Twisted Sister here: “You’ve got to fight for your right to dre am”).  Yeah that was me singing there.  But you have to be fierce with it.  You have to just say you know what, I’m going to do this and nothing is going to stop me.  Not laundry, not dishes, not TV, not work(don’t get fired though), not your spouse or partner, not your kids. But if you can rearrange things a little bit, I’m sure you can find the time to pursue your dreams.

Twisted Sister

Twisted Sister i.e. the big hair band of the 80’s that sang Fight For Your Right to Party

This is my quick story with this.  So as a Yoga Instructor, you would think I would be doing yoga everyday and just be super flexible and bendy.  Well last year, I wasn’t.  Life can get in the way.  And it can be difficult to just pull out that yoga mat.  But when I knew I was going to do a dance performance.  I knew that I need to get flexible AF and fast.  So what I did was got my phone, put it on stop watch and did 2 full sun salutes.  It took 6 minutes.  I just decided that every morning before work I was going to give myself 6 minutes for yoga.  And it did help me to get flexible.  I was able to do the splits, believe it or not.    But in any case it all started with me just giving myself 6 minutes in the morning.

splits

2017 not bad for 49 but my daughter snapped this picture fast because I was not enjoying  this. 

Remember Newton’s first law of motion, “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”  So you have to be that unbalanced force and mix things up a little bit.

And it can be scary to change things up because you are letting go of the old way of doing things.  But in no time, those old habits will just be a thing of the past and you can go on with your life knowing that you were able to make one small change.  The next step is to decide  what else you would like to change.

Valerie is a Yoga Instructor and a Health and Wellness Coach. She lives in Northern California with her daughter and puppy.  You may contact her at estrella.valerie@yahoo.com.

PS.  Please follow my Blog and thanks for reading.  XOXO

Check out my Smoothie Recipe here.

Talking about Subliminal Vision Boards

subliminal vision boards

I recently had the opportunity to have a conversation with the co- creator of Subliminal Vision Boards.  I wasn’t too sure exactly what those were.  I met the Co-Creator of Subliminal Vision Boards, Jennifer Casolary where other like minded people come together, Facebook.

The typical vision boards involve getting poster board, magazines and cutting out pictures and gluing the pictures onto the poster board.  The pictures are supposed to help you manifest your goals.old fashioned vision board

                                              Old School Vision Board

Jennifer explained to me that she was living a mediocre life with her fiancé outside of Las Vegas and she decided to create a vision board. Her experience of creating a traditional vision boards involved the purchase of  poster board and a trip to Barnes and Noble to buy some magazines.  To her disappointment she left Barnes and Noble disappointed because she couldn’t find any magazines with images that she wanted on her vision board.

Jennifer’s father had passed away two days before her birthday.  He had a Mantra which was to Live Fully, Live and Enjoy Life.  She didn’t feel as though she was living fully  enjoying her life.

One day she was scrolling through Facebook and her friend had done a Vision board and the idea came to her to do a Subliminal Vision Board App.  She began to work on her vision and it took 3 years to develop the Android version of the App and another year for the IOS version.  The Subliminal Vision Board takes Vision Boards to a whole other level. It utilizes google Images and is Multi Sensory.  You have the portability of your phone so you can take it with you where ever you go.  It also has the ability to be used on multiple devises.

subliminal dreams   Example of a Subliminal Vision Board.  The possibilities are endless.

Prior to writing this article I was not familiar with the Subliminal Vision Board App but I did Download it to my phone.  I watched the tutorial video which was easy to understand and I made my First Subliminal Vision Board in no time.  You can make as many vision boards as you want and you can also add music, sound frequencies.  I found it to be very amazing.  There is a Take 5 feature, where each image and text that is placed on the vision board is flashed at a speed that your Subconscious Mind picks up. This allows you to reprogram the negative deep seeded limiting beliefs into positive empowering ones instead. The app also has a Notification Set Up feature where you set up a time every day to dedicate 5 minutes to focus on what is desired. This feature keeps you accountable to your goals and keeps them in the fore front. Also you can record your own voice and there are ancient powerful Solfeggio Frequencies that can heal your mind and your body.  The  other thing I thought was amazing is that .25cents of each purchase of the Subliminal Vision Board app goes to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

My first Vision Board involved relaxation and winding down.  I need to relax in the evening so I can make sure to shut it down.  I have the tendency to keep going and going and going.  Well needless to say I did sleep very well that first night after watching it.  You can watch it for 5 minutes or longer if you choose.

I asked Jennifer how her life had changed since developing this amazing App.  She said she now lives in North Carolina close to her family and is getting ready to move to the beach (which is a dream come true) and quit her job so she can focus 100% of her time on the App.  She also met Tony Robbins and was able to give him her business card at one of his amazing conferences.  She also feels that she is living a full life that would make her father proud.

Jennifer  This is Jennifer.

Jennifer recommends when you first make your vision board a good place to start is to ask yourself what do you want to heal and what do you want to manifest.

5 star

All in all I give this a 5 Star rating as the cost is only $4.99, it has so many benefits and a donation to St. Jude’s Hospital.  I want to thank Jennifer for being such a visionary and for helping so many people live fulfilling lives.  Do me a favor and let me know how you like the App.  You can check it out here:  Subliminal vision Boards.  

Valerie is a Health and wellness Coach, Yogini and Healthy Living advocate.  She lives in Northern California with her daughter.  Please contact Valerie here.

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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

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.