Take An Afternoon For Yourself at the Mindful Mom Re-Treat this September 16!

Mindful Mom Re-Treat makes a comeback next month on September 16, Saturday, 8:30 to 11:30 AM, at Makati Diamond Residences.

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While it’s almost second nature for moms to help others, it takes a little prodding for them to care for themselves. At the Mindful Mom Re-Treat, moms have a few hours not only to enjoy the company of other mothers but also to delve into their present priorities, past issues, and future goals. It’s going to be a physically, mentally, and spiritually refreshing day as moms take the time to rediscover and re-center themselves. Facilitating the re-treat is Michele S. Alignay, MA, Registered Family Psychologist and mom of two.

We will also be joined by The Oil Natural Project who will be doing a quick talk on the benefits of essential oils in living mindfully and will have samples for you to try.

Sponsored by Belo Baby, PLDT Home & Goodbag, the retreat is a takeoff from Mommy Mundo’s award-winning Mom Manifesto campaign in 2015. It was conceptualized and created by Mommy Mundo Founder Janice Villanueva, in collaboration with Alignay and Mommy Mundo Content Head Jing Lejano.

Mommy Mundo passport holders gets 30% off from the registration fee!

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Register by texting 0908-865-7245 or go to http://mommymundo.com/mindfulmomretreats/. Pre-registration is a must! The P800 participation fee covers snacks and the workshop kit.

Remain Zit-free with Proactiv! Is it your favorite acne treatment too?

My struggle with acne has finally reached its tail end…well, I think and I really hope that this is finally it this time. So far no major pimple breakout for the past one and a half months. I am hoping that in this territorial dispute (my face, my territory) with acne, my pimples have finally surrendered on me.

Thank God for effective, Proactiv Solution, clear skin is just a beauty counter away. Proactiv Solution’s acne clearing system has garnered a loyal following in the country since it’s successful release in the local market. It’s proven effectiveness in elimanting even the most stubborn pimples has made it the go to brand of people with acne.

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I know for a fact that Filipinos are pretty discerning when it comes to beauty choices. I guess, what made this U.S. brand so popular here is their collection of products that complements the skin care needs of Filipinos struggling with acne and blemishes. Each item in the Proactiv kit is designed and developed to treat even the most stubborn, problematic spots. In fact, it actually stops the growth of acne even before it starts!
Great isn’t it?

Whats more, Proactiv Solution is easily available in any branch of Watsons and SM Department Store nationwide. It comes in a 30-Day or 60-Day kit. You can choose which one fits your budget and need. And, it still continue to offer a money-back guarantee just in case you are not satisfied with its result.

What are you waiting for, get your own Proactiv system at (Php 2,495) for the 30-day kit and Php 3,995) for the 60-day kit at any Watsons and SM department store branch near you. Trust me, this is your ticket to clear, beautiful skin.

Birthday Post

39 years of living and loving unabashedly. The blessings continue to flow along with the tears. The plan for the rest of my life is still the same: Live and love tenderly, passionately, and joyfully. Dream fiercely and conquer those dreams fearlessly.

My dear friends and family, I am grateful for the lengths you go to ensure that I am happy not just today but everyday. Thank you for your warm greetings. I pray for more gentle days like this for us that are oh-so beautiful.❤️🙏😌

Happy Father’s Day

I remember how my relatives smiled in amusement when I introduced Nan to them for the first time. Not because his features were funny but because he looked like my dad, the resemblance was uncanny. I was not really aware of it until people started pointing out to me how similar they were in looks.

Funny because when I was choosing the right man for me, I made sure to pick someone who was the complete opposite of my dad, humurous, warm, flexible, and friendly. Later on I realized, these were what made Nan atttractive to me but then, what made me really love him actually was the way he cherished, loved, and cared for me and Bianca. It was the same way my dad cherished, loved, and cared for me. Everytime he looked at me or Bianca, it was always with the same adoring eyes as my daddy.

They may be poles apart when it comes to personality but their hearts beat the same, they beat for family. I am indeed blessed to have been loved by these two great men.

Tonight, I pray for all the fathers. May the good Lord always bless and guide them. May they always set the bar high for love so that when the time comes, their daughters won’t settle for a love less than what they deserve.🙏😌

Good Grief

A random stranger who came across a past article I wrote messaged me today to ask this pressing question, How long will my grief last? It turns out today is the 2nd death anniversary of her husband. For a while there, I was at a loss for words.

The way I understand it is that, grief is never the same for everyone. The amount of grief one feels after a loss equals the amount of love one has for his beloved who passed away. Its been four and half years since Nan died and honestly, I am not totally over the grief and the loss yet.

This grief or sorrow is something that just stays with you. It settles quietly in your heart, unmoving at times, until something triggers it and pushes it up again forward. Usually a memory that would hit you so hard, it would knock the wind out of you, leaving only in its aftermath that familiar painful twist in your heart.

Eventually, you’ll learn to live with this grief and actually welcome it at anytime because somehow it also pushes something good forward, which is joy. Joy that would make you go through life grateful. Grateful that you have loved and been loved by that person. Grateful that you are still alive to celebrate fully for the both of you what is left of life after your beloved has gone.

Today, my prayers are with the widows, orphans, and survivors of all the beloved who passed away.

Bianca at 16

16 years ago I gave birth to this adorable baby who while still in my tummy already showed signs of being a true fighter and lover of life. During my whole pregnancy, I kept thinking I must be growing a ninja with the way she was literally kicking her way out. She was just too eager to experience and see the world, she came out at only 8 months.

She reminds me so much of her father, good naturedly funny, (com) passionate, fearless, and kind. Eyes always sparkling with excitement and smile totally disarming.

Today, she turns 16. My dear Bianca Angela, I have nothing but heartfelt wishes and prayers for you on your birthday. You have been nothing but amazing these past 16 years. I feel so blessed because of you.

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As you add another year in your life, I hope it will still be love, courage, compassion, faith, and reason that will drive and move you. A world of opportunities and possibilities awaits you anak, go find and live out your bigger purpose.

You are many shades of wonderful and I love you everyday, my braveheart. ❤️

Lenten Diary 2017 (A Summary)

Dear God, we’re still able to smile despite difficulties because your Son Jesus, our Lord and Savior (and not some easter bunny), has shown us clearly that at end of each season of suffering comes resurrection. Victory is indeed ours, thanks to your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.🙏😌

Dear God, I pray that when the time comes, I will also be given the chance to spend my last day, last night with my loved ones. I pray that I will be given the chance to share a loving meal with them, serve them, and for care for them much like what Jesus did with his apostles during the last supper. May my last day, last night be something that my loved ones will also remember, Lord, not with great pain and sadness, but with deep love and fondness. I pray.🙏🏻😌

Dear God, sometimes I catch myself wondering why others seemed to be more blessed than I and why they can easily have what I’ve been wanting, longing, and praying to have. I cannot help it, I get shamefully jealous sometimes of the way why you seem to favor others. What actually stops me from feeling sorry for myself is the thought that all good things in my life right now also came from you. There is no reason for me to feel this way for you have also showered me with blessings, attention, and love many times like no one else existed. For this, I am extremely grateful.🙏😌

Dear God, bless me with a strong mind that will always choose you over anything else. Bless me with a strong heart that will forever please and love you. Bless me with a hopeful spirit that will soar with so much strength, nothing in this world can weigh it down. Bless me.🙏😌

Dear God, I have never thanked you for my thorns. I have thanked you a thousand times for my roses but not once for my thorns. I realized what really changes me for the better, moves me to persevere in life, and drives me close to you are not really the comforts in this life but the discomfort that comes with every trial, failure, sorrow, or defeat I face each day. Teach me then to love and value my thorns as much as my roses, Lord. Make me realize that it is through tears that I will see my rainbow. Remind me each day that for every thorn that pierce my heart and soul there is a (Your) corresponding grace.😌🙏

Dear God, today I witnessed another batch of students graduate. It is funny how the most common thing I hear parents say during graduation is, “how time flies” when in reality, time has been moving at the exact same speed our whole lives. Today, it dawned on me that time has always been faithful to every heartbeat. It isn’t moving at a rapid rate as what we want to believe. It moves in a set pattern, rather leisurely, like how it has always been. As a parent, I pray Lord that I may learn to cultivate a mindful heart that purposely seek and desire only the things that matter, so I won’t completely miss out on my child’s growing years. Please send your holy spirit to guide me, so I won’t become too busy building a career I would forget about building a good life for my family. When the time comes that I see my child all grown up, Lord, may I marvel not on the years that may seem to have gone in a blur but rather, on the years that I have personally witnessed my child grow into the person you want her to be come. 🙏🏻😌

Dear God, bless me with your grace so I may learn to cultivate a grateful heart that always seek to magnify you. When I find myself in difficult circumstance, Lord, send me your holy spirit so that I may focus on your goodness and speak only of gratitude and praise. 🙏🏻😌 #

Dear God, today I was with my doctor and we were discussing the impact of my activities and non activities these past 3 months to my health. As a woman, I have this automatic and instinctive way of nurturing and caring for others but sad to say, I tend to neglect caring for myself. Bless me with the strength and willpower Lord so I will be disciplined enough to feed my body with the right food and commit to a good form of exercise. Bless me with wisdom and prudence so I will be mindful of the attitude I adapt and take everyday, and the nourishment I give my soul. May I never forget that my body is your temple. You dwell within me therefore I should learn to care for it properly, make it strong, and keep it healthy. 🙏🏻😌

Dear God, I read somewhere that life is a series of happy accidents and chance encounters. Personally, I think it is more like a series of Hand-written stories and events lovingly authored by you. Things, good or bad, unfold not because the universe conspires to make them happen but because Your mighty and divine intervention cause them to happen so that we can receive the fullness of your grace. 🙏🏻😌

Dear God, today an old friend asked me, has it ever occured to you to remarry and start a new family? Don’t you long for another partner who will take care of you? Kawawa ka naman. For a while there, I was taken aback not by her questions but by the way she seemed to perceive my choice of staying single pitiful. Thanks to you Lord, I do not feel neglected at all nor missing out on anything. I am not saying it does not get lonely because it does sometimes but at this point, there is nothing I desire more than this relationship I have with you. In you, I feel blessed and complete. In you, I find contentment, joy, and peace that no other man can ever give. Continue to strengthen me in your word and spirit Lord, so I may remain faithful and devoted to you always. 😌🙏

Dear God, when you delay, I often forget that You know what is best. Today I am reminded of this…you are never late, I just have to learn to trust and wait. Your timing is perfect, I shouldn’t run impulsively ahead of you. You know the precise moment I’ll be needing your blessing and grace. 🙏🏻😌

Dear God, today I lift up to you my dreams. I believe no desire will ever be placed in my heart unless You intend for me to fullfill it. All I long to be and long to do for you are within the possibilities of faith. Since you have it all for me, I can make each of these dreams to come true. 🙏😌

Dear God, today I realize something that I wish every teacher would know as well. I realized that my mission as a teacher isn’t really to teach, it has always been to love. For when it is love that moves me inside the classroom, it becomes easy to do more and be more for my students. It becomes easy to stretch my patience and to seek better ways to enagage my students in learning. It becomes easy to assure them, to affirm them, to understand them, to listen to them, and to help them in the classroom. Stretch our hearts teachers as wide as possible Lord, and fill them to the fullest with love.🙏😌

Dear God, today I was with a friend and she was having one of those desperate days. I saw despair in her eyes but also, this glimmer of hope. She said something that truly struck me. She said, sa awa ng Diyos makakaraos din kami. At that moment I realized, hope finds its strength in helplessness and faith is what really sustains us through desperate days. I pray Lord, that every person who finds himself having one of those desperate days be able to draw strength and hope in your mercy. 🙏😌 #Lent2017

Dear Lord, last week, I decided to write in my prayer journal the exact amount I need to cover the cost of my car repair. I remember asking you intently for it. Today just before the week ends, I received a dividend from one of my investments and true enough, the envelope contains the exact amount I need to cover the impending expense. I realize, it is really the aimlessness of my prayers sometimes that accounts for so many of my seemingly unanswered prayers. For really, if I make my request earnest and my petitions specific, you’ll give me definite answers and if I take your word and your promise that you will always provide and care for me, not one of heaven’s blessings will be denied to me.🙏🏻😌

Dear Lord, when I fall into the trap of negative thoughts, make me realize that whining and complaining about my situation will not do me any good. Help me instead to draw strength from everything that comes my way. Whether good or bad, right or wrong, may each circumstance I find myself in turn me into a better person.🙏🏻😌

Dear St. Joseph, may you continue to watch over us, widows and orphans, the same way you watched over Mary and Jesus. We entrust our needs to you, during times of uncertainty and trouble, we rest in the knowledge that you are present always to keep us from harm. May all fathers develop the same quiet strength and loving devotion that you have for your family. Continue to intercede for us and bring us closer to Jesus more. 🙏🏻😌 #Lent2017 #LettertoStJ

Dear God, when I want to do little else but pull my hair out or throw my hands up in the air in frustration, I am glad there’s always heaven to look up to and you to call on. Thank you for being just a prayer away. 🙏🏻😌

Dear God, help me fix my eyes on you. Help me focus on your graces and not on my problems and difficulties. Help me focus my attention on your blessings and not on the missed chances or opportunities. When I am starting to get discouraged, send me hope and when my patience is wearing thin, stretch me with your love more. Help me fix my eyes on you Lord.🙏🏻😌

Dear God, you clearly own my tomorrow. I have complete trust in your great design for me. I know you always have my best interest at heart. You’ve brought me this far and I am sure that you’ll take me even farther than my hopes and dreams.🙏😌

Dear God, train my eyes so I will learn to see the beauty in others. Train my tongue so I will learn to speak only the language of respect and love. Train my mind so I will have nothing but good thoughts about others. Train my heart so I will learn to easily forgive and understand shortcomings and mistakes. When I thread the path of self-righteousness, Lord, let your Holy Spirit guide and lead me back to you. 🙏😌

Dear God, teach me how to demonstrate love in big and small ways. Teach me how to be humble enough to admit and owe up to my miatake. Teach me how to speak only with kindness. Teach me how to value people the same way you value me. Teach me how to show genuine mercy and compassion towards others so they may always see and feel your love through me.🙏😌

Dear God, teach me to find miracles in the mundane and ordinary so I won’t have to demand big things from you before I believe in your capacity to meet my needs. Train my eyes to see the blessings that you so generously give everyday so I won’t need convincing of how a great a Father you are. Open my heart and mind so that I may understand that the wonders and signs of your love aren’t always spectacular. In fact, they are oftentimes quite plain and simple, yet amazingly wonderful and beautiful as the great ones. 🙏🏻😌

Dear God, with your grace make me into this kind of woman everyday: Firm yet loving. Strong yet compassionate. Fearless yet wise. Gentle yet tough. Turn me into the kind of woman who is not afraid to fully embrace triumph and defeat, and joy and sadness in her life. Inspire me to be the kind of woman who deliberately works at creating for her family a home of quiet refuge, where faith, hope, love, and charity thrive. 🙏😌

Dear God, sometimes I feel anxious when you do not respond to my prayers quickly. I have to remind myself a dozen times that you simply don’t do things in haste because you want everything to be perfect when you finally grant my request. When I start to become impatient Lord, please bless me with forebearance so I may learn to joyfully wait for your answers. When I start to lose hope, bless me with wisdom so that I may understand that I will get my answer in YOUR own perfect time. 🙏😌

Dear God, you’ve been attentive and faithful to my every need, how can I not feel loved by you?! When I feel small and insignificant, your grace moves me to do great things. When I feel discouraged, your spirit fills me with joy. When I feel worthless, I only have to look at you on the cross and I’m reminded of my value. Your sufferings and death alone show just how important I am to you. Clearly, I belong to you and for that, you have my heart forever. 🙏😌❤️

Dear God, I trust and thank you for everything you permit me to go through. I know that in the end, they will work out for my good for nothing comes my way that has not first passed through the filter of your love. 🙏😌❤️

Dear God, in the face of difficulty and uncertainty, I choose to give thee thanks and praise, and a promise to trust where I cannot understand. 🙏😌❤️

Of paper airplanes and little boys

I have an ongoing love-hate relationship with this boy because he won’t write properly and would purposely make his answers wrong so he can annoy me. He came home one day with papers screaming red marks and smugly told me he would tell his wowa his tutor sucks. I knew better than to argue with him. The next day, I found him crying because he just learned that instead of 3 days in a week, her wowa wants us to tutor 4 days instead.😂 Talk about major backfire.😏

Most of the time we want to strangle each other, but there are also those rare moments when we would find ourselves doubled up in laughter because of some funny joke or pausing in the middle of studying to do a quick game of tic-tac-toe. When he’s not crying and whining, I think I love him and when, I am not nagging and bossing him, I think he loves me too.

Yesterday, before I left him for summer, he gave me 2 paper airplanes and when I was getting inside my car, he told uncharacteristically he does not want to see me again. But then, as I was slowly driving away, I caught him in my rearview mirror with a sad wistful look on his face. And, just when he thought I wasn’t looking, just before I made a turn to speed away, I caught him making quick gestures. He was blowing kisses towards my car. Sometimes I really do think he loves me and you know what, just between you and me, I think I love him too. 😌👫

Dear God, thank you for this little boy who stretches my patience and tests my limits. Thank you for the opportunity to teach him, however hard and trying it may seem sometimes. Thank you for giving me the chance to mold him into the kind of boy you want him to be. I believe that out of difficulties grow miracles. Let him be one of my miracles.🙏🏻😌

Prom 

Today, my daughter, Biancs, attends her first prom, excited and totally resolved to make it one of the best nights of her high school life. I know there will be more prom nights or dates to come but this one is quite special because this is the first time I’ve seen her literally glowing like a princess. There’s hardly any trace of the pain and discomfort she’s been through the past years, only a beautiful sparkle coming from her very own brilliant light.

Eversince her daddy died, I’ve been working so hard to raise her into this independent, well rounded, and self-assured person, who is compassionate towards others and passionate about her love for the Lord. But truth to tell, this work is not really meant to be done by a single parent alone. It does take a village to raise a child. Luckily, I have a strong community of family and friends co-parenting with me, making sure Bianca is well taken cared off and does not miss out on anything. Tonight I share this special moment with my close friends, BCBP family, and Bianca’s lolos and lolas, titos and titas, godmothers, “fairy godmothers,” and doctors. We’ve done a good job so far. Thank you very very much for always stepping in to help. 
To the boy who took my Bianca to her first (prom) date tonight. I’ve been praying for you for years. Believe me, I pray for these things too and the Lord didn’t disappoint once again. He sent someone who isn’t promising her the moon and the stars, just the possibility of a beautiful friendship. Like what I’ve always prayed Bianca’s first (prom) date to be. Thank you for being every inch a gentleman. Your parents have indeed raised you well. You are exactly what I’ve been hoping you to be, a heaven sent. 

Mindful Mom Retreat: Find Your Flow

Last Saturday, January 28, I attended the fifth Mindful Mom Retreat at Earth Kitchen in Bonifacio Global City. I personally think this is a good way to jumpstart 2017 that is why I made sure not to miss this one.

An offline version of Mommy Mundo’s award winning Mom Manisfesto Campaign, the Mindful Mom Retreat uses modules to guide moms to uncover and (re)discover their purpose and passion so they could live better, fuller lives, and parent more intentionally. It is especially designed to equip moms with tools that would help them be more mindful and conscious of their thoughts and actions.

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This retreat is facilitated by Michele “Ichel” Alignay, Registered Family Psychologist and co-founder of the Mom Manifesto Campaign. An expert when it comes to creating an open and inviting atmosphere, Ichel always manages to keep things light and fun. Main reason why moms who attend this retreat are never shy to share and participate in the well crafted activities and insightful discussions that have become the trademark of Mommy Mundo Parenting Events. Since participants receive a lot of support and encouragement in this retreat, they always come home re-fresh, re-energize, and re-centered to their mommy mission.

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And true enough, after sitting for three delightful hours listening to Ichel lead and facilitate the discussion on finding one’s flow (your strength) instead of one’s flaws (your limitations), of focusing and harnessing one’s strengths instead of one’s weaknesses as a woman, I felt truly empowered and affirmed. I must admit, I spent a significant part of my life as a mother trying to overcome, to no avail, my weaknesses until I simply just quit trying because truth to tell, I don’t really have the knack for them baking, cooking, Math, and even breastfeeding. Ichel’s fresh take on self-improvement made me feel truly good inside. It drove away any guilt feelings I have for delegating such tasks to the other members of the household and made me stop feeling like a total failure in the motherhood department also. It made see that if I just take the time to acknowledge the skills and talents that I have, I would realize just how much I can (still) share and give despite my limitations. It completely drove this point straight to my heart as well: I do not really need to be a perfect mom, just a mindful mom who deliberately and consistently work on improving myself for the better through constant and mindful reflection (self-check, visioning, goal-setting) and action.

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There is definitely a lot to learn from this retreat. But perhaps the most valuable lesson I got from this Mindful Mom gathering is this, to live a life of meaning and purpose, one must always take the time to recharge, reflect, and re-center. The Mindful Mom Retreat I tell you, is the perfect venue for that.

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In case you are interested to catch its May run this year, simply follow Mommy Mundo to get heads up on its latest schedule. Hope to see you there.😊

Photo credit: Mommy Mundo

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