Mona's Family Emporium
I love art and I tend to pick up the effort when time allows. I have my materials ready and I get into the brushes and colors of paint to create joyful work whenever I can. I also love watching others’ art work.
This past weekend, our town hosted an amazing art show. It was entertaining and most importantly, well organized. However, I can’t help to automatically think about an incident that turned mine and my husband’s date into pure discouragement.
We were at the end of our browsing as we entered the “Featured Artist Alley” and walked upon some paintings by a white haired man. We admired them as the paintings took us back to an anniversary vacation we had taken in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, a couple of years ago. We discussed where we would hang the piece of art work in our home. However, nobody asked us about our interest, and it was obvious we wanted more information since we had made side comments to the couple sitting outside the tent. At least 10 minutes went by when a blond woman entered the same tent. Automatically, she was approached and asked if the artist could tell her more about the art work. My heart dropped and I walked out.My husband looked at the white haired man sitting outside the tent and said, “interesting- we have been in the tent for several minutes and no one offered to help us.” The white haired artist replied with his shoulders shrugged and turned away. I looked at Mario and said, don’t worry about it because nothing you say will help change his mind.
What this “artists” does not understand, is that his highly priced work would have been a lovely addition to our home. He either is not interested in making up for his hard work and is willing to lose a potential client just because of the way we “looked”. Or, he does not value his work. I doubt a true hard working artist would have preferences as to who is considered elite enough to own a piece of his.
Either way, we are better offbeing ourselves and me continuing how to make life with a variety of colors. Those that care to join will find true friendship and love.
Speaking of, this coming weekend, many will celebrate “Cinco de Mayo.” While it is not an official Mexican Holiday, I love the fact that many of my friends remember Mexico during this time. I hope that one day all Americans from the US will value every culture and their positive contribution to the rest of the American culture. Mexico is not just a vacation destination where you can create beautiful artwork. The Mexican hospitality is well known and loved. I am thankful that my beautiful new country of the United States of America has worked to embrace diversity. This is why I wonder, why do I still feel discriminated against for the way I look?
I have really tried to give this incidence the benefit of the doubt, but ultimately there was something this man did not like about us and his assumption was gathered by our outward appearance. When I was younger, I would dismiss those occurrences by making excuses that, "they probably think a young person can't afford it." However, I am in my mid 40's now! I’m OK with not being liked, until I get compared. I have been blessed and don’t need to seek others approval, but I do deserve respect. I would love to hear your perspective.
Feliz Cinco de Mayo and Viva México in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!
I have for many years been frustrated with the decisions I have made that have taken me to the life style I’m living in. You glance at me and you see the nice clothing, therefore, you assume I have things together.
The truth is that I have not been able to reach my full potential and at 45 years of age, that scares me. Although financially, physically and spiritually stable, my emotional wellbeing has been lacking for years.
So lately, I have taken the step to work on, “me”. I have lost myself in the process of taking care of everyone else in my household. Spring is here and I’m ready to go to the next level. First, I need to capture dreams that I had put aside. Second, I need to analyze my health. And thirdly, I need to be intentional about putting my goals on the agenda daily.
Maybe this means I need to slow down and really enjoy the time I have by not attempting to be in control of every item that takes place in our house. This also means that I need to remind myself that what I had heard as Biblical authority was actually just false religious interpretation.
So many false beliefs about myself have caused me to feel unappreciated and unable to fulfil my passions. I’m so glad I saw the light and I’m moving towards feeling fulfilled. It is Spring and I’m so blessed to have friends that care to check on me, a family that continually prays for me and a home that I can feel safe in. I was raised to be a hard worker, and it will be difficult not to see a paycheck, but the smile on my face will be sufficient. Now, it’s time to enjoy the roses!
Do you remember the last time you felt tired and wore out? This could happen physically, after an exhausting exercise class or a 5K, but what about when your emotions have been tested and you are left with heart wrenching attempts of catching your breath to stabilize your mind?
My Grandmother Ramona had an extraordinary moment of taking air in to her lungs at birth. All thanks to a vigilant eye. As Ramona struggled to survive under the remains of a placenta and at less than 5 lbs., she made a kitten sound that alerted the midwife attending the birth of an unexpected set of twins. The midwife came to the rescue and pulled her out of the birthing remains, which then made a way for Ramona to take in a good, life-saving breath.
I think about how emotional that moment might have been to the midwife and not to mention my great grandmother or her family members. The midwife took a step closer to investigate through what did not seem usual. That decision opened the door of opportunity to a baby that grew up to almost 92 years of age.
There are so many people in need around us, whether emotionally, physically or spiritually. It can be small or large, but every citizen of earth, like the midwife that helped my grandmother; can make a difference to help someone take the breath necessary to continue living. Take the time to do something kind to someone you don’t know well. Give that moment of advancement to an eager employee, cut the yard of your emotionally strained neighbor or allow the hurried driver the right of way on the road. Give the breath of life.
It’s not fun, especially when it happens to a loved one. There’s a definition for “profile” as a verb, that I like and it’s from an artist’ perspective which is “to shape the outline of by passing a cutter around”.
When my boys where younger, we had them take an etiquette class in London and we all learned a lot. Etiquette comes from the French word which means, “label”. In today’s media driven world, everyone is being labeled, whether you like it or not. What you wear and especially, your actions DO matter on how people will perceive you.
It’s shameful that we all have presumptions about people before we even meet them. This is one of the biggest faults in humans. However, even if we are all at fault for doing it, profiling based on race, culture or gender is ALWAYS wrong. I encourage you to have a label that people will want to profile. What do you believe people say about your shadow? What is your experience in accepting others?
As 2018 comes to a close and 2019 begins, I want to express gratitude with honesty. Every year I suppress my needs for making changes at the beginning of the year because I am in constant change mode.
In the last 10 years, I have moved 6 times to different cities out of the continent and states of the USA. My family has learned how to make friends quick, be flexible and organized due to home changes while putting God at the center of it all. However, I still struggle with change every time it happens. It is difficult to look back at my mistakes, but more painful, to swallow those things that have occurred out of my control.
Perhaps you find yourself in decision mode and change is knocking at your door. Some things I have learned along the way are:
The process of change is painful, but when you look back, it is definitely worth it. Your health emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually needs change to continue thriving. Humans were created to make changes. History proves that humans change constantly. If you are not interested in making drastic changes, begin in small steps. The key is to say yes to change however you can. Sometimes change means looking at the opportunities a little different than what was expected.
If you find yourself stuck in the mud, see how you can make personal changes to make this world better. As for me, I will eat better, exercise more and have fun…will you remind me about my changes in 2019?
During the holiday season, Mona Chavez’s childhood memories bring her more joy than presents under the tree ever could. When she was five years old, Mona and her family immigrated to the United States from Mexico. She says she’ll always remember the love and support her family received from their new neighbors: the teacher who helped her pronounce English words correctly, the church that provided her school clothing, and the elderly neighbor who showed her dad how to maintain a healthy lawn. Although those relationships changed her life, Mona knows building community with people from different cultures can seem a little daunting. She shares some simple steps to help you create space in your life (and heart) for these new relationships:
Do you have a story like Mona’s or about an unlikely relationship that’s blossomed into something beautiful?