I Am My Best Company by Marquesa Lola

I Am My Best Company

By Marquesa Lola

I have never lived alone before. I left my family home and I moved in with my partner almost immediately.  Five months ago, after 40 years of living with my partner, I found myself living alone in the middle of a world pandemic. And I realized that I am my best company. Today, I want to reflect on the benefits and challenges of this milestone in my life. 

Living alone is giving me the time to work on the most important relationship in my life; the relationship I have with myself. For many years, I have neglected the person I spend most of the time with “Me”. 

My whole life, I have dedicated my time to taking care of others, feeling I was not getting enough in return.  As the oldest child in a family of five siblings, my parents relied on me to be responsible for my sisters. That probably set me up for a lifetime of caring for others. Later, as an adult, I dedicated my life to support hundreds of students and my own family with all my heart.  I believed, at the time,  it was selfish to look after myself and rarely took the time to think about my wellbeing and happiness.  

I have neglected the person I spend most of the time with “Me”.

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Today, I find myself living alone, in the middle of a pandemic with only one person to take care of, Marquesa Lola, and I am loving it. All the attention I gave to others, I am now receiving from the person I trust the most, Me. I am learning to take the time to love myself because I deserve it. All that love and support I will continue giving around will be enhanced as I learn to embrace the concept of self- love. I read that a woman writes with lipstick on her bathroom mirror the words: “I am enough” every day.  I have tried it myself finding this simple act of affirmation extremely uplifting.  Let’s celebrate loving ourselves to be able to love others better! 

Living alone is allowing me to strengthen my relationships with family and friends. It has allowed me to examine those relationships and to evaluate the ones I don’t get much benefit from. I am learning to identify who adds positiveness and who adds toxicity to my life. This allows me to choose the people  I want to be present in my life as friends and who are those people I just want to keep as acquaintances. Solitude has provided the time I need to examine all my relationships and prioritize who I want in my life from now on.

“By far the greatest benefit to living alone has been to be able to make my own decisions, big or small.”

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Being alone has also allowed me the flexibility and time to explore new things. I always felt uneasy to do certain things in front of my partner or my family. You may ask yourself: What would you want to do without an audience? Well, I love sing-alongs and dancing.  Now, I can dance to my favorite music in the kitchen. I can watch any television show regardless of how silly the show is, go to bed, eat, go for a walk, paint, and meet anyone I want, at any time I wish, and without anyone judging me for it. This is a huge plus of living alone.

Living alone has allowed me to create my own spaces at home. When I found myself living on my own, I gave my bedroom’s furniture away and I redecorated my new bedroom. When I look around my new space, I see myself in it now. Everything around me is mine, my taste, and my choice. I feel more comfortable, to the point that I sleep a lot better these days. My room looks beautiful and I love it!

By far the greatest benefit to living alone has been to be able to make my own decisions, big or small. For the last 40 years, every decision I took was consulted with my partner or my family. Now, I don’t have to ask anyone for “permission” to make choices and that is liberating. I started with small decisions such as buying new furniture for my new bedroom and moved to more important decisions. I have adopted a pet without consulting anyone, I am making decisions for my retirement, and I am learning to manage my finances.

Living alone can be challenging, but you can learn to enjoy your own company

Living alone can be challenging, but if you can learn to enjoy your own company, add some healthy routines, and make regular plans to meet your friends and family, it can be freeing and rewarding. My experience of living alone is not a lonely one. If you live alone, YOU are definitely in good company!!!!!! Enjoy a single living!! 

These words of encouragement are dedicated to my lovely sister who, like me, is learning to walk this path alone but not lonely! Si se puede!

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Searching for My Life’s Mission by Rei

Searching for My Life’s Mission

By Rei

It’s been a long time ever since I started wondering what I was born to do. I am always drawn to people who follow their passions and know what they are meant to do. I get so excited for them as it was mine, and support them. I’ve been searching for my life’s mission for many many years. Every year, that was my New Year’s resolution, finding passion. It’s not like I was waiting for it to come; I went searching and trying. 

My first full-time job was in the Fashion industry in NYC. The job was fun and fulfilling. After years, I moved on and tried for different industries to realize that those weren’t for me; I went back to the fashion industry doing a similar job with a much better environment. Though I liked and appreciated it, I always felt that something was missing… Passion. Surrounding myself with friends who had passions for their jobs made me even feel that I was out of place. We moved to Los Angeles for my ex’s dream job. Of course, I was very supportive of that. 

I became a full-time mother, due to the circumstances, which led me to feel empty as I was losing my own identity. I struggle being a mother; I started to think that this must be my mission for my life.

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After the divorce, I became more into a spiritual path. That’s when my friend told me about hypnotherapy. I tried to see if this could remove some of my blockages. Well…, I couldn’t access my subconscious mind much. That’s when I started to practice meditation. 

As my spiritual interests explore, years later, I learned about Quantum Healing Hypnosis Technique (QHHT), which was created by Dolores Cannon. She was a famous hypnotherapist specialized in past life regression, the one who rewrote Nostadams’ prophesies by contacting him through QHHT, proving that there is a parallel world, as well as many humans’ past lives, are from different planets. 

We all decide our own lives’ scenarios, yet we forget about to clear the assignments (what known as Karmas) for soul growth.”

I had a QHHT session three months ago by the practitioner, who was trained by Dolores Cannon. I was able to access my subconscious at this time and talked to a higher self, which is myself. All words were coming from my mouth. Finally, I found my mission. This experience confirmed that we have answers within us. 

We all decide our own lives’ scenarios, yet we forget to clear the assignments (what known as Karmas) for soul growth. However, many of us stuck with the assignments instead of clearing them. Yes, I was one of them. I had quite obstacles in life. As per the QHHT practitioner, through her experiences, when the assignments are cleared by overcoming, we will be led to our mission if we have any. Assignments are something towards myself, such as coming from the ego. Missions are toward outward. 

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Finally, all the puzzles are put together. 

The mission is much simpler than I thought. Everything has the right timing. I was ready to grasp the meaning of it instead of just the words. 

“Everything has the right timing.”

We are here to enjoy our lives and love each other. I started to have so many synchronicities after a month, started hearing what I have said everywhere as if it is a confirmation. Six weeks after the session, I had experienced Soul Awakening. I no longer need to search for the answer; everything is within myself. 

“I no longer need to search for the answer; everything is within myself.” 

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Balancing My Body and Mind With Yoga by Rei

Balancing My Body and Mind With Yoga

By Rei

Balancing my body and mind is one of my priorities in life. One of my methods I use to balance myself is practicing yoga. Yoga is becoming a part of me. Every once in a while, I practiced yoga at home or take classes. 

I was at the stage of still experiencing a “negative spiral.” Thoughts take over my feelings. Ideas are coming from past experiences and interfere with the future. I was desperate to break the pattern. My goal was, “Living in the moment.” That’s when I met my mentor, Edward. He has this strong positive energy that reflects his inner confidence. When I first met Edward. I sensed his energy that he was living in the moment without knowing him. Well, I found out that he is a master of oneness; he is always spreading love to others. That is the ultimate goal. His advice was to take Yoga classes regularly with an instructor named Eden; this would help me to live in the moment.

I have seen not only a physical change but a mental evolution in myself.

I’ve taken different Yoga classes, but I find that Eden’s class fits me. Her classes are challenging, but at the same time, rewarding. I come out very refreshing after each class. After ten months of taking her classes a few times a week, I have seen not only a physical change but a mental evolution in myself.

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Yoga puts me in a meditative state – be in the moment, and share the space with others who have the same purpose – be there to practice yoga. It is not like I can do all those crazy poses, but I accept myself for being there and trying. Practicing yoga is not just an exercise. It connects to and shifts the inner self. There are days where my emotions take over, but I am grateful yoga has taught me how to get back to “living in the moment. I am in a much better place in life because of yoga.

“Practicing yoga is not just an exercise. It connects to and shifts the inner self.”

With this quarantine, my Yoga teacher Eden launched her Yoga site!! YogiEden.org, I had no idea how much my body and mind missed her classes. She is not only a fantastic Yoga teacher but also a loving person. She makes everyone feel a part of her class. Though she is a Yoga teacher, everyone assumes that they are all Zen. She shares the vulnerable side of her. Her message always touches my heart. It makes me feel that nobody is perfect, and it is perfectly ok.  We are human. 

Meet Eden – She’s not your typical yogi.

I can’t wait to take her classes face to face again. Until then, I am connecting with her and all others who are in this matrix through this new virtual way 🙂 

I look forward to discovering the depth of yoga as I continue practicing. Nothing is a coincidence. Everything happens for a reason. You go through experiences, meet certain people for reasons. I am thankful I was given and took this opportunity to surround myself with these wonderful people. 

This tip is for you 🙂

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Why You Should Listen To Red Flags by Marquesa Lola

Why You Should Listen To Red Flags

By Marquesa Lola

When I was 21 years old, I met my life partner. Picture London in the 80s; a young Marquesa Lola, new in town from Spain. Going to school and working in a London hotel to pay for rent and school. Weekends were spent with school friends and perhaps going dancing. On one of those weekends, I met HIM. Why should you listen to red flags? Ignoring Red Flags lead to years of harmful emotional distress in my life.

The first time I saw him was on the train as we rode back from dancing with some mutual friends. That very first day when I met him, he pushed my physical boundaries as we rode the TUBE across London. In a matter of minutes, without warning, he proceeded to fondle me. I felt shocked and flattered at the same time. But mostly, I felt uncomfortable, yet I stood still in disbelief.

I later pushed this incident at the back of my mind. However, for the rest of my life, I have always wondered if that behavior was typical of someone who felt entitled to ignore women’s physical boundaries. I believe that on that first day, I ignored the first RED FLAG that has been the precursor of an entire life of his entitlement over me.

“I ignored the first RED FLAG that has been the precursor of an entire life of his entitlement over me.”

There were many other RED FLAGS I ignored from the beginning of my relationship, but I did not recognize them as such. I was very stunned at the fact that the first few weeks after we met, he would be extremely interested in all I had to say. His core values coincided with mine completely. He loved everything about me; my country, my family, my friends, my political views, my kind disposition, my sense of responsibility, the empathy I showed for others. We were made for each other too fast, too soon. He was just learning everything about me only to later use it against me. He would years later say, “you are too emotional, weak…” and that way, he destroyed my self-esteem one inch at a time.

In a matter of months, we were living together, but there were times when I felt a sense of loneliness, even in his presence. At times, I was given the silent treatment for something I didn’t know I had done. This became standard practice for years in our relationship. I thought at the time he was reserved, or he needed his personal space. So, even though I felt I was being punished for something I had no idea about, I ignored this visible RED FLAG that has been a constant in my life ever since.

He always made all the decisions in the household. He decided for us to move to America in the 80s, separating me from my family and friends. I did not complain; it sounded like a great adventure. That was another RED FLAG. My opinion was not asked, as this was a plan he had had for years.

“Would I have chosen to acknowledge the first Red Flags I would have avoided years of insecurities, fears, anxieties, emotional disconnect with my partner.”

He constantly told me what I should do, and his compliments were always shady, giving me a feeling that rather than a compliment, it was more like a put-down. He would say, “you could be a model, only if you were taller.” Well, if you think about it, he was just calling me short, not “a model”. These and many unnecessary remarks and put-downs were RED FLAGS again ignored by me that led to my decline and diminished self-esteem later in life.

Over the years, I became insecure, fearful, and anxious. When my son was born, I concentrated on his well being, and then, my partner found other ways to find himself busy. He worked hard and found hobbies that kept him out of the house for many hours. My son and I were invited to go with him if we wanted to be together as a family. That was the next RED FLAG. He never included our hobbies in his schedule; rather, we were included in his.

The wandering eye and the “gaze” was another RED FLAG I ignored for years that made me feel insecure about my looks. He would check every woman in a room and, at times, gazed intensively at them. If I called him on it, he would say I was crazy and that it was not valid.

All these RED FLAGS I ignored, have marked my life for good. Over the years, I learned to walk on eggshells and to take his word as the one ruling the family. The ultimate RED FLAG is when you realize that after taking care of him, his mother, the family, the house, and the dogs, suddenly, you feel alone. Your cooking is not good anymore; you are not slim or young enough. And little by little, you are replaced with a more youthful, shinier supply.

“We should always trust our instincts.”

As you can see, this last RED FLAG was the last straw for me that liberated myself from the emotional abuse I was suffering for years, allowing me to start being myself again. Would I have chosen to acknowledge the first Red Flags and set boundaries or end the relationship then, I would have avoided years of insecurities, fears, anxieties, emotional disconnect with my partner, and also depression.

One lesson I learned is that in life, we should always trust our instincts and notice how other people make us feel. If we think that a particular behavior doesn’t feel right, don’t ignore it, it is a RED FLAG. Set boundaries, especially if that person is a family member, a friend, a boss. If it happens to be a partner, my advice is to run, run as fast as you can because you will not change them. Instead, they will tear you down over time.

Even though I went through all this, I now feel liberated from all the drama that surrounded me. Being in a relationship like this, I have an excellent opportunity to rebuild my self-esteem, recover the person I used to be, and just be Marquese Lola, not someone’s mother, wife, or teacher. I consider myself very lucky because having learned from the RED FLAGS I ignored before. I can now approach life with the certainty that the next stage in my life as a vibrant, free person, I will not hesitate to acknowledge the RED FLAGS, intercept them, and eliminate the source of them immediately from my life. The future feels liberating, and I look forward to the beginning of a brighter life. I feel lucky that I can recognize red flags for my next step in my life.

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COVID-19: Our Very Own “Science Fiction” Movie by Marquesa Lola

COVID-19: Our Very Own “Science Fiction” Movie

By Marquesa Lola

When I heard about COVID-19 back in December of 2019, I thought, that is “Science Fiction.” Not anymore. These days the word pandemia is mentioned every day in the media, on your zoom meetings with families and friends. Even at the supermarket. With COVID-19 you almost feel like you are inside a “Science Fiction” movie as you carefully and cautiously parade into the grocery store wearing face masks, gloves, and other protective gear. It looks and feels pretty scary.

In reflecting about my experience in confinement at home. I must admit that during the first few days or weeks living alone, I felt very stressed out. To minimize the stress, I tried to keep busy. I start activities that I’d not had the time to do during my busy regular teaching schedule. I start to paint, playing the piano, and assembling small pieces of furniture.

During the first three weeks, I divided my daily routine into sections. Exercise and breakfast, online teaching and lunch, hobbies and afternoon tea, and dinner and Netflix. However, the idea of confinement without the freedom to walk around the city sent signals to my brain. Once in a while, making me feel like a caged wild animal hence raising my stress level high peak.

During the fourth week, however there was a small transformation in the way I was experiencing my confinement. I began to accept the new situation and I started taking interest in new ways to communicate with my students and my friends. I learned about new technology platforms I had never heard of and I found the challenge very educational and rewarding. Teaching online and communicating with small groups of students via video conferencing has been successful in terms of targeting leveled groups of students more efficiently. 

We just began our 9th week of confinement and I realized how much I miss the direct contact with my students. I have not seen a person for a very long time. And if I have, it has been for no more than five minutes and at a six feet distance. The social distancing that I know is required to keep everyone safe, has proven to be the hardest and most unsettling consequence of this situation of confinement.

The idea of confinement… sent signals to my brain… making me feel like a caged wild animal.”

Yes, I believe that I can target students directly and they seem to be engaged in our online lessons. However, the fact that I can’t give them a pat on the back or a hug when they did something right is a high price to pay.

The question is- When will this be over? Like you, I am wondering when I will be allowed to go back to work, walk in the park, or dine at a restaurant. However, I believe our lives will not ever resume as if nothing had occurred. Mostly, I believe that the legacy of this crisis is here to stay for years to come changing the way we interact with each other. I am not only talking about technology, which has proven to be a great tool in this crisis, but also human to human interactions. 

I believe that the legacy of this crisis is changing the way we interact with each other.

In the future, I, personally, envision myself being cautious while interacting with others. To hug or kiss others and believe me, I love hugging my students, friends, and relatives as much as I need to be hugged and kissed by them. But the fear and trauma inflicted by COVID-19 has made me cautious. The consequences of this situation have proven to be very pricey. I am not sure how the “new normal” will look, but I am not very hopeful about our future. COVID-19 you are small, but you certainly have shaken our lives in a very short time. I will not forgive you!

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How I am Adapting and Learning to Co-Parent by Rei

How I am Adapting and Learning to Co-Parent

By Rei

One of the main reasons that I was hesitant to get a divorce was because of the idea of co-parenting. I didn’t want my children to get confused having different rules. At the time of my divorce, my kids were only 5 and 1. We went through many changes: new environments such as school, living place/area. It was a tough year, my kids and I were living in LA while my ex was living in Canada for work.

Since the kids were so young, I had to be with them every second. I was always extremely exhausted and many times I seriously thought I would not survive another day. I didn’t know how to ask for help.

My main focus was my kids not being sad. I made sure that they were always tired going to bed. With kindergarten ending at noon, we spent hours at the park every single day or arranged play dates. I am fortunate and grateful to have amazing people around me while I was going through the most difficult time. 

I am fortunate and grateful to have amazing people around me.”

The following year, their dad came back to the US. It was quite an argument in the beginning as he forgot how to take care of kids. And of course, we are different people. Though I personally don’t want to spend time with my ex, we spent many events together. I share pictures and videos for any missed events.  All for the kids. I want my kids to grow up with their dad since he wants to be around them. I have the role of the tough parent, and go through non-fun activities with them but that’s ok. We both express our love for the kids in different ways.  As kids are growing up, they have less physical care from parents; I think we came to the point that we no longer have much disagreement. (Hopefully!) I am also learning to ask for help. “Receiving is giving.”

“Receiving is giving.”

One thing I finally got from the divorce was appreciation from my ex. He always had something to say about my motherhood. I don’t need anyone’s approval. But I only wanted to be approved by him that I am a good mother.I guess because being a mom is not something that comes naturally to me. I have to put in extra work. He finally realized and saw that after the divorce. 

I don’t regret for one second getting divorced. I had held on to the idea of being ”married” and “family” for so long that I lost the true meaning of marriage and family. No matter what the relationship between my ex-husband and I is, we both love our children. 

“As long as they feel the love from us, I know they will be ok.”

I was always there for my kids. My kids always have happy drawings and their behaviors seem ok so far. They are both caring children. As long as they feel the love from us, I know they will be ok. 

After all, everything happens for a reason.

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My New Journey: Writing A Blog by Rei

My New Journey: Writing A Blog

By Rei

Writing a blog is just hard….at least for me. I had no idea how challenging this would be. 

When I was first approached with this opportunity, my reaction was “Why do I want to tell the world my life, especially things that I overcome?? You know that I am private.” Their vision was by sharing my story I could heal myself and others.

Never thought of that. I said “YES” immediately. It was unlike me. Something inside answered for me and told me that I had to go with the flow. This opportunity came for a reason. As I always say that everything happens for a reason. 

Months went by, I no longer feel the need of healing myself, yet I still want to be a part of spreading the love by sharing my stories. Even if I can only reach a single person’s heart. 

“I want to be a part of spreading the love by sharing my stories.”

I am not a good writer neither in Japanese nor English… I realized that through this process. 

Last week, the Coronavirus topic was just hard to put together. My mind was just all over the place with different thoughts and experiences. The more I have to clarify my writing, the more frustrated I get because they don’t understand me…trapped by low energy. Besides daily stress, being a mom and now a teacher because of quarantine, I now have more stress because of the blog. I had self doubt doing the blog. That is when low-self esteem hits.

Being a part of this community is my new journey.”

Life is just so unexpected. Though we all choose our own paths before being born. Being a part of this community is my new journey. Please bear with me. 

P.S. Being a teacher is a HARD JOB!

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