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Give your Life a Tune-Up!

If I tell you that I can go back and read on what I was doing and how I was feeling on a DAILY basis from the year 2002 up to 2004, you would probably think that I am crazy.  Crazy for “wasting” my time writing everything down and/or crazy for going back and reading it years later.  Too much time in my hands?  At times, yes.  At other times, just curiosity as to: “I wonder what I was doing on this day two years ago?”


The one thing that I learned, aside from the fact that I used to spend a lot of time eating, was that whatever was hurting me back then, makes me laugh now.  I would often waste my time overthinking about what I see now as insignificant matters.  Have you ever been there?  For example, have you ever found a letter you wrote to an ex that you never gave to him or her and then realized “Uff…I am so glad I didn’t.”?  Priorities and perspectives change with time and that is one of the beauties of our life cycles.  One lesson to take from these moments where you glimpse at the past is that life will bring you pain and disappointments, but it is how you see, react and swing at these curveballs, what will eventually lead you through them.  One of my favorite sayings is that, “Everything happens for a reason”.  When we look back at the past and how we reacted to certain circumstances, we feel that we would have reacted differently if we would have known that at the end, everything was going to be just fine.  Still, those moments are what made us who we are today.  We live, we learn, we grow and we keep on moving.  As to the present:  I want to share with you what I believe can make your life a little better 🙂



These are the moments when you find yourself saying, “I need a break from everything.” I call mine ‘Darla time’ and by now my friends and family should know what this means, okay? 🙂 Although it can seem selfish, the truth is that these moments are important for you to communicate with yourself and listen to your needs.  Analyze how balanced your life is, or if there is a lack of.
Forget about work, politics, deadlines, blahs and blahs.  Yep, forget about everything but yourself.  Focus on your “NOW”,  on what makes you happy in this precise moment. What would you love to do? It can be another job or a hobby. It could be a trip or going to eat to that restaurant that you have been wanting to go to on  a “special occasion”.  Write these down and just start planning.  I don’t call it a bucket list because these are more simple and immediate things that you could be doing on a weekly and even daily basis to make your life a little brighter.  I went through a phase where everything was driving me crazy, especially myself. I was bored, uncertain about the future and pretty much just crawling through life.  As I was having one of these ‘Darla times’, I realized I wanted to start writing again.  It has kept me busy, entertained and happy as I get to express myself through something I really enjoy. Whether it’s painting, meditation, dancing, soccer, scrapbooking, playing an instrument, walking on your tip toes, skipping, or collecting pennies you find on the street, find something you enjoy and just do it.  Don’t ever think they are silly things.  If you like it.  Go for it!  Take this time to also think about what is not making you happy anymore and start letting go.  You can see examples on these as you keep reading.

Title sounds great, right. Well, if you love what you do, then it shouldn’t sound great.  I know that finding a job during these times is not easy.  I am not telling you to go and quit your job just because you hate it.  But if you are miserable at work, I suggest you start looking for another way of making your money.  I know it is not that easy but “impossible” it is NOT.  Think about what you would love to be doing.  What would make YOU happy?  Then start researching all the possibilities.  The worst that can happen is that you find nothing, but at least you tried.  The best that can happen is that you end up quitting your yucky job and start getting paid doing something you truly LOVE.



Find something you believe in and go to it when life gets tough.  Whichever religious beliefs you have or even when you don’t, it is a matter of having something that you can look at that will bring you a sense of peace and faith.  It can even be found through music.  Aside from entertaining, I truly believe that music has a great power of healing and therapy.  We all have that song that once it is played, our mood suddenly becomes lighter and happier!
Prayer has also been one of my escapes.  It is in times of turmoil that I found sanity and hope through prayer.  I read a lot of books and enjoy the words by preachers like Joel Osteen.  I have learned that God will not hand you anything that you cannot handle and at the end of the day, he has a plan for you.   Positivity is a must and I definitely understand how hard it is to see it at times.  Walking away from ugly thoughts is a must.  I try to use the word “cancelado”,  Spanish word for ‘cancelled’, everytime a negative thought crosses my mind. It sounds silly but it actually works!!  And talking about staying positive…lets go to the next thought:



Keeping negative people away will make your life so much lighter.  Just a couple of months ago I was backstabbed by a so called friend and it is strange how I cried for five minutes and then a sense of peace invaded my life.  For years I had my doubts about this person and suddenly, it all became clear to me.  Negative people and negative thoughts will keep away the good from your life so let go so you can let in.
The same goes with love relationships.  Do not settle for someone that is not going to love and respect you the way that you should be.  I went through this and when things did not work out I felt my world was going to collapse.  Now,  I cannot be happier and I am grateful that it happened because now I appreciate that love and respect that I am receiving.  I’m a happy girl!  Everyone should be able to feel this, but it takes letting go of what does not feel right.



Yep, go out hiking, shopping, jogging, drinking, dancing, singing!  Be loud, get crazy, laugh, eat, be silly, catch up with friends. As long as you are being responsible, especially with the whole drinking and driving, there is nothing wrong with happy hour in the middle of a crazy work week.  Take that break.  These are great ways of letting the stress out, venting to friends and just loosening up.   Have you ever gotten an invitation out, you said yes and then you started regretting it because you felt tired and didn’t feel like getting dressed?  Then, you feel bad because you said you would go or because they are already downstairs picking you up, so you get up and you go.  From nights like these sometimes come the best moments in your life.  You recharged some energy and end up being glad that you went out.  Appreciate the little things and moments in life.

Yep, it’s not all fun and games!  In my experience, my mood swings become pretty apparent when I have not done any type of exercise or if I have indulged in too many slices of pizza.  Once you stop your exercise routine for a while, it can become hard to start again but once you do, your energy level and mood take a hike all the way to the I Feel Really Good mountain top rock.   Combine it with some healthy intake and you are good to go!

Being able to love the people around you is definitely a way to make the world and your own world a little better.  Stay away from Ignorance as it is the main cause for Judgment and Prejudice, two of the uggliest things anyone can carry inside.  Don’t judge the person that is next to you wearing those dirty, stinky clothes.  You don’t know if he/she lost her house and this is pretty much part of what was left.  Change your negative attitudes towards people, traffic, little situations you encounter on a daily basis.  There is always someone out there that has something worse going on in their lives, much worse than being stuck behind a slow driver, a red light or a boring meeting.  If you are able to spend $10.00 on a glass of wine at the bar, don’t hesitate when the opportunity comes for you to donate to a local charity or to a friend in need.  By becoming more positive as to how you react to certain situations that can affect someone else or yourself, you are already making this world a better place.



As a Libra woman that I am, balance is a key ingredient in my life.  At times it can get hard to get to it but we should make an effort to make it happen.  An unbalanced life could lead to sickness, too much stress, broken relationships with people that we love, among other situations.  When you become a workaholic and forget about family, friends and your own interests, life can become pretty dull and hectic.  I am a lucky girl when I get to say that I have an amazing family that has always been there for me.  You can be replaced in the position you are the minute you walk away from a job, but you will never be able to be replaced in your family and friend’s life.  Spend time with your spouse, kids, grandkids, siblings, parents, grandparents, friends.  There is no greater love in life than the one you receive from your family,  as well as your chosen family:  your friends.
Nobody should tell you what makes you happy.  This is something that only you know.  These are my thoughts on the subject and I hope that you can take something from these lines, written from the bottom of my heart.
I will end this with one of my favorites … “DON’T FORGET TO SMILE!”


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© DarleneVazquetelles, [2013]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [DarleneVazquetelles] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The presence of Angels

The word “Angels” is often associated with guards, protectors, guides and messengers of God. Many people believe in their existence, many people don’t. Let me tell you how my belief and gratitude towards them began and what has kept it alive.

I was about four years old when my first encounter occurred. It was a beautiful day in my hometown of San Juan, Puerto Rico. My dad and I had a beach day out. It was just the two of us plus some acquaintances from his job that happened to be at the same place. First, let me explain to you about the beach we went to on this particular day. It is located in Condado, East of the Historic Old San Juan. This morning my dad took me to the beach right behind La Concha Hotel, one of the many hotels that decorate this beautiful area of San Juan. As time has passed, more and more swimmers, both local and tourists, know that when you decide to go swimming in the ocean at this particular area, there has to be an extreme awareness and respect of the waters. Although beautiful, it is filled with rocks, aggressive waves and strong rip currents. It is a combination of these three what taught my dad about the dangers of this particular beach which  almost took our lives away.

My dad had me in his arms and we were enjoying the moment. Warm waters, waves, happy times between a father and his little girl.  Suddenly, he realized that he was slowly losing control and that the shore was becoming smaller and smaller to his eyes.  The waves were pulling us farther away by the second, passing the rocks, which were considered the safe zones. One thing is to lose control while you are on your own. You find a way, you try to call for help, you improvise. Unfortunately, even on their own, many people have not survived these waters. So add a small child to this troubling moment. My dad was carrying me in his arms and trying to fight for both of our lives. As he explains it to me the multiple times that I have inquired about what happened on that day, he could not be more certain about what happened next.

I am not a parent but I have four nieces and three nephews that I love with all my heart. I would do anything for them and in any given circumstance I will save their lives before mine. My father was about to do just that. He did not believe he was going to make it out of these waters so he did what he thought would save my life. He threw me up in the air towards the shore. You would think that a four year old would not be able to swim or survive those waves.  There are so many possibilities and different situations that could have happened, but my father believed that there was a chance I would be able to touch ground and walk away from the water to the safe sands. Then something happened that gave my dad confirmation that I was going to be fine. He saw a man with black shorts walking towards me and taking me by my hand all the way to shore.

Seeing how I was saved gave my dad motivation to save his own life and that he did. He took every opportunity he had to ‘body surf’ his way away from trouble. Taking one wave at a time he managed to go all the way to shore. Once he saw me happily playing with the sand by the water he went to his acquaintances that were standing around and told them what happened. They were not even aware that we had been in trouble. He then proceeded to find the man that had helped me for those well deserved two words: Thank You. But the man he had seen was no longer in the area. He asked his co-workers if they had seen the man that brought me to shore but they had absolutely no idea who dad was talking about. They only saw me walking out from the water to the sand. There was no man around. I truly believe that the man my dad had seen was an angel, one of God’s messengers sent out to help us. And it was him who took me by my hand and led me to safety, giving my dad the chance to save his own life without a toddler in his arms. And this is how an angel saved our lives.


Angels come into our lives to comfort us, give us courage and fill us with hope. They appear in crucial moments and through a stranger or  a loved one. This second story is about that loved one that came to protect me.

About six months after my grandfather passed away I went into surgery. At five years of age I was diagnosed with a tumor in my left ovary. The first years of life of a child are so important. Even though I was very young when ‘Abuelo (Grandpa) Boabdil’ passed, I have memories of him. I remember all the affection that he would always give me and how he always found a way to show me I was protected and loved. Missing him was a daily thing for me for the rest of my life.

(Abuelo Boabdil)


As my dad and mom sat in the waiting area of the Hospital del Maestro in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico, I was having that left ovary removed. Imagine how nervous they were to have their little girl going through all the pain I went through prior to the surgery and now being in an operating table. All of a sudden my dad felt my Grandpa Boabdil (dad’s father) speak to him. Let me remind you that he had lost the battle to cancer just 6 months earlier. My dad looked at mom and told her, “Darlene is okay. Everything is okay”. My mom didn’t know how he would know being that they had been sitting there together all along. My dad then said, “Dad just told me she came out from surgery and that she is okay”. If my mom was surprised by this, imagine her surprise once I woke up in the recovery room and told her, “Mom, I saw grandpa. He was there with me during the surgery. He was wearing the same thing he had on at his funeral. He had that dark suit and his glasses. But this time he was also wearing wings and floating in the air”. Later on I drew a picture of my grandpa watching over me through a window that was right in front of me during surgery. Suit, glasses and wings.  I still have that drawing. Knowing that I have him to protect me, along with my other loved ones who have passed is so comforting to me.

(At the hospital)


(With my dad the day I went back home after surgery)


Oftentimes I am reminded of the existence of angels, either through personal experiences or through stories I hear from other people. So many different scenarios. People that are going through financial difficulties and suddenly receive money from a friend that know what they are going through. That moment when you have no food on the table and a knock on the door brings you some bread and butter because at the supermarket they had a 2 x 1. Little things like these show how there is never a moment when God does not have our back and he sends assistance through his angels, which come in so many shapes, colors, forms.

I believe that we can all serve as angels for someone who is in need. We have the power to be messengers of God. It is a matter of doing good, with no judgment or expectations. You never know how one little act can make someone’s day, week, month, life. And it is one of those stories that I want to share with you in a post which I will be dedicating to my friend Erick Cedeno. He has an inspiring story to tell about a goal, a journey, an important part of history, barriers encountered, motivation in the making and angels who protected his way.

Thank you for reading my post. It is very significant for me and I wanted to share it with you.

God Bless,


© DarleneVazquetelles, [2013]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [DarleneVazquetelles] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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