Free Gifts Given To Me – Sharing With You

These past months have been such an interesting time. For me, personally, it’s been challenging, invigorating, depressing, surprising and… well, you get the point. It’s been ups and downs and everything in between!

The one thing I’ve been grateful for during this time is my ability to keep trying to connect. With myself, with friends, with whatever I need to, to keep myself going every day. Sometimes connecting just means being okay with doing absolutely NOTHING at all and just being quiet, dazed, sleeping or chillin’ on the couch.  Sometimes it means taking on a few jobs I wasn’t planning to do – but plowing through them anyways and finding joy in accomplishing it even if I didn’t really love the process…

Either way, it’s been tough times for everyone.  Doesn’t matter why. Doesn’t matter how you faired up-until now, I’m just glad to be here! And I’m glad you’re here reading this too!

I’ve learned so many things about myself during this time – some good, some not-so-great, but stuff nonetheless!  The biggest thing I’ve learned though is how to ask for help. Surprisingly, not that hard to do once you realize, people really do want to help. Okay, some people anyways!  I realized it made sense that people would want to help me because I’m always the first in line to lend a hand. So why wouldn’t someone want to be there for me when I was hurting?

What happened to me when I asked for help, is that people came out and…wait for it…helped!  So, the first gift I want to share FOR FREE is to remind you that we all need help at some point and it’s okay to ask for it. Trust me, I know it’s hard to ask because who the hell wants to be vulnerable only to be shot down, right? Hey, that happened to me too. But when I asked one person to help me and they didn’t, I moved onto the next.  I didn’t harp on why THEY didn’t help me, instead, I stayed focused ON ME and getting help somewhere. So, I kept asking. And the next person not only helped me, but boosted me up on their shoulders and walked me all the way through.  It was exactly what I needed to help me out of the hole I was in…

Next, I got help from some professionals. Yes!  I reached out to therapists/social workers through my union (SAG-AFTRA) and asked for help.  I also went to Meetup.com and searched for groups to join. I Googled. I was feeling down, feeling unproductive, feeling totally alone and needed someone to talk too who could give me a different perspective – and I joined various support groups that met once a week. It was so helpful!  And look, I know money is tight. And these professionals can cost money, but support groups can also be free. I didn’t pay anything for the groups I worked with. And some social workers and therapist can provide assistance for those who can’t afford it based on sliding scales and such. Don’t let money be the reason you don’t ask for help! You need to reach out, ask for help, google what’s available – that’s how I found free support groups to help walk me through.  By the way, once I asked for help, that person who lifted me up on their shoulders and walked me through, was the one who provided more ideas to get more help… it’s like a domino effect – once you free yourself and tell the world you could use a hand, it all starts to show up and you might just find yourself overloaded with assistance!

Now, here’s the crazy part of this – through all these groups I participated in – I found out about other resources that I never knew existed! For example, I’m not a fan of meditation and yoga stuff AT ALL, but I did find use in watching some of these soothing meditative live cams that explore nature and the world around us!  I had no idea these existed.  FREE to watch and they are all over the world. Here’s the next free gift and one of my favorites – it’s from the Monterey Bay Aquarium and… if you had told me months ago that this would make me feel better, I would have laughed right in your face!  But wow, I’m just able to relax for a bit – after I got over how odd it is to just watch these fish!

Click here to watch

This one below is from Explore.org which has live cams all over the world of all different sorts – puppies, eagles, polar bears, forests, mountains – this one is my neighborhood beach and since I can’t really hang there like I used too because of Covid, this is a great way to get a little daily taste – my goodness, I love this so much:

Click here to see the Santa Monica Beach Live Cam in it’s beauty.

Another gift I want to share, is a little self-promoty, but bare with me – it’s also free!  A friend told me that my book CANELA helped her realize there’s still good in the world and that she really enjoyed it.  Uhem, of course there’s still good in the world!  Me and you reading this right now are evidence of THAT!  And since I’m working on the second book, still untitled, I thought it best to offer my book for free on Amazon. You can download the digital version at no cost under the Kindle Unlimited link – and if it fancies you, read the story of my childhood. You’ll then know more about me than you care too… uhem, that may be both good and bad, not sure!  But if you’re up for a walk down my cool crazy lovely past, knock yourself out! Ha! It was never meant to be a book for the public, so the fact that I can share it so widely is…my pleasure and privilege!     

The last gift I want to share is this:  If you’re having a hard time this holiday Covid crazy season, know that you are not alone. I’m here with you too.  Remember, we have good days and bad days. WE. ALL. DO. Even Chris “Jamal” Evans. Oprah Winfrey. Sting. Beyonce. I bet the Pope too! I’m sure Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, LeBron — your neighbor, your spouse, your teacher… Everyone who is human has bad days. Real bad days. It’s how we know and crave for the good days after-all. We wouldn’t know a good day, if we never had a bad day. So, it’s part of the journey we’re all on and it’s okay if you’re still in a slump. I hear you. I got you. I understand!  And don’t get me wrong, it sucks and it’s hard! I don’t mean to demean that part of it at all. But I am here to say: You are not alone.  Please reach out to someone – reach out to ten people if you have too, but reach out and start the process of healing thyself.  You are so worthy! Sometimes we just can’t do it alone. Trust me, if we could do it alone, I’d be the Queen of it because I’m pretty stellar on the “do it all by myself & alone” model!  But we’re all in this together. We really are only human after-all. We need each other.

I know. Mind. Blown!   

Sweet lovely holiday to you all!

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate.

I’m wishing you all peace, love and all that good stuff!    

Carmen

Adding this lovely Short Film made by New Art Films in collaboration with the Estate of my favorite Poet Maya Angelou. The Poem/Film is Alone Together. And it is truth.

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