• Staying Connected

    “Sometimes you have to look back to see how far you’ve come.”

    Although I haven’t been blogging for a while…don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere. There have been major transitions in my life. With the career, fitness, and everything else ever-changing, I still get excited about Little Giant Life. I’m still writing for We All Grow Latina Blogger Network and I’ve become more active via Instagram.

    Blogging is a business and it always keeps me on my toes. The face of blogging has changed and has become a multi-functional way of keeping up with trends and making money. It’s not about writing the 500-word article. It’s all about content! Currently, I’m brainstorming how to be more effective to you without burning myself out.

    The major update in my life is the journey to becoming a yoga instructor. My friend Amanda Smith took some incredible pictures of this next adventure. The day was inspiring and emotional. She is amazing! Please read the story here.

    After a two-year break from teaching any type of class, I’m back to teaching a yoga class at Athleta this Sunday! I don’t know where else I’ll be teaching next, but I’ll be sure to keep you informed.

    Thanks for always being there and know that I do what I can to inspire you. Here’s hoping your Holidays are filled with peace and love.

    Thrive. Move. Be happy!

  • St. Jude Teams With Love To Heal Cancer

    When I was invited to visit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, I was incredibly humbled by the invitation. I was also a little apprehensive. Could I hold it together in the presence of children facing such challenges?

    As I was guided through the hospital, many patients, even infants, were wearing hospital masks. The urge to hug every child was palpable.

    Every inch of the hospital is inspiring and what makes it most memorable are the children and staff. It truly is a happy place. The hospital is set to expand in the next 6 years and with that expansion comes the addition of more talented individuals. Recently, I was lucky enough to speak with one of their dedicated staff members, Amy Love.

    Amy is the first music therapist to join St. Jude. She will be part of the new music room set to open soon.

    At the University of Dayton, Amy earned a bachelor’s degree in music therapy and a minor in psychology. She went on to earn her master’s degree in music therapy from St. Mary-of-the-Woods College. Additionally, she holds certifications in NICU music therapy and neurologic music therapy.

    A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Amy had a deep admiration for St. Jude and their work. She fell in love with pediatrics and was “willing to go anywhere” to be a part of it.

    The list of diseases the hospital researches and treats is impressive. St. Jude has increased the survival rate for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) from 4% before opening in 1962 to 94% today!

    During treatment, a child can experience different levels of discomfort such as fatigue, depression, and many other side effects.

    “Writing a song with a child is a way for them to cope,” says Amy. “We work with a variety of instruments. We can work on drumming, the guitar, or the ukulele.”

    A young cancer patient, Farrah Courville is playing the drums. Beside her is music therapist, Amy Love playing a guitar.

    (LR) Farrah Courville, Amy Love

     

    Music is healing. To a child suffering from cancer, it can be a day where they may not want to get out of bed. Providing musical therapy to a child requires meticulous planning. Amy consults with a St. Jude specialists to review the patient’s diagnosis and emotional effects. With that, Amy will ask the child what type of music they like.

    “I find ways to work with the child. If the child is at a very young age, then I will invite the family to be part of the musical process. We make it fun and bring in fresh ways to accommodate the child.”

    As I talk with Amy, I remember the moments where I broke down in tears during my visit to the hospital. I asked how she copes. “At times, the children can become very sick and it’s very difficult to cope,” explains Amy.

    “Everyone at St. Jude is wonderful! Self-care is important to all of us. We’re surrounded by a very supportive team.”

    As Amy describes her time with the children of St. Jude, her voice fills with joy and admiration for them. No matter the case, children are resilient and often surprise Amy.

    “Some children want to improv on the spot! The younger ones love to beat box! Depending on their energy level, the creation of a song can begin sadly. But it usually ends up being an upbeat and happy song.”

    Care at St Jude Children’s Hospital is free. With daily operations upwards of $2.2 million, every donation is the key to keeping the hospital going and one day eradicating childhood cancer.

    “One thing is to see their commercials. It’s another when you witness resilience of the children. “The more people support our mission, the more we can have the children express themselves and make their treatment easier. It’s an honor to work at St. Jude,” shares Amy.

    Watch Amy in action here. Learn more about St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and join me in supporting their great work.

     

    While playing the guitar, music therapist, Amy Love sits surrounded by her instruments.

    Amy Love

     

    Feature image: (LR) Farrah Courville, Amy Love

     

  • Deepening My Mind, Body, and Most of All My Soul

    It has been a very, very, busy, few weeks. Work has been far more intense than expected. However, I am excited to announce my latest adventure. But before I do, I’ll go back just a bit. I have been a dance teacher for the past 20 years and stopped (for now) about a year and a half ago. With the change of work/teaching life, I couldn’t do both. Teaching dance is a highly skilled art form which does a lot of damage to the body. As a result, I have experienced some physical ailments. But I don’t let it stop me.

    ¡El ejercicio es todo!

    I’ve always loved teaching and always saw myself teaching something other than dance. For the past 8 years or so, I’ve always dreamt of becoming a yoga teacher. And now the time has come!!!

    This weekend I will start my yoga teacher training and I’m beyond excited! The schedule fits my busy lifestyle and it has come at a great time! I invite you to follow my journey and hope you become inspired to do what you love to do! As everything in life, there is a process. I want to show the good, the bad and the realness of it all. So, follow me here and on Instagram for the progress.

    Namaste.

    Photo by: Creative Convex

  • Are you wealthy?

    Are you wealthy?

    Nope, the title doesn’t have a typo. ‘Wellth’ is defined by Jason Wachob as a new and more valuable life currency. A life exemplified by abundance, happiness, purpose, health, and joy. And yes, I was very intrigued by Jason’s concept. His first book, Wellth is an easy and simple read about topics in life which emphasizes self-care. Eat move, live, love, laugh and other life essentials are clearly written with personal stories and inspiring quotes.

    Based in Brooklyn, NY, Jason is the founder and CEO of the wellness site, www.mindbodygreen.com. His site garners 10 million monthly unique visitors! I’ve been a loyal Twitter follower to his wellness site as it reflects Little Giant Life’s intention. In his book, Jason takes us on a journey of becoming ‘wellthy’ mind, body, and green.

    At most this book was a refresher on how to play closer attention to yourself. Pushing ourselves to be the best in life shouldn’t be the priority. Wellth explains how we can take simple steps in having a better lifestyle. He brings vulnerability of his trials and errors in life and doing all he can to make it right.

    Many lessons dive deep into this book. My main takeaway is this. Practice

    Habito para comer bien. Habito para moverse bien.

    Practice what it would feel like to have job satisfaction. Practice and be mindful to all your wishes for it to come true.

    I partnered with Harmony Books to share #WELLTH with you. All opinions and words are my own. To learn more about the book, please click here.

    What actionable steps can you take today to become wellthy?