Organic Melinda

healthy living with a Latin twist


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Day 22 – Capoeira Cuddles

To My Little Girl,

Today was a wonderful day.

Mami and Daddy took you to a Kids’ Festival on Ferry Street, because Grupo Senzala de Capoeira was doing a capoeira presentation for children.

Daddy will be teaching capoeira soon, so it was an opportunity to inform people about our group and advertise the classes.

I think you were over-stimulated by all of the music, people, and events going on at the same time, because you were holding on to Daddy and I for dear life.

Daddy held you for a long time and lifted you up, so you could watch the folkloric dances.  He was cuddling with you and bouncing you on his shoulder to help you relax.

You looked so happy with him.  I love that you get to have your Daddy in your life.

Then, I held you for a while before we did the performance.

After the events were over, we had dinner and you kept taking food from my plate.  Daddy had a slice of cake and you took it from him. It was pretty funny.

You’re, also, learning so many words.  You say “boobie,” “mine,” and “dayyyuum.” Thank Daddy for teaching you that last one.

You have also started saying a few sentences, like “where you go?”

I love watching you and Daddy interact.

Every day, you look more and more like him.

Now, you are sleeping after an afternoon of fun.

Thank you for all that you are, and for your hugs, smiles, and kisses.

Gratefully,

Mami Loves You

—-
About this Series:

In honor of Latino Heritage Month, I will write 30 letters for 30 days to my beautiful daughter. This series is entitled, Mami Loves You. In these letters, I will tell her about the world around her, and reflect on her development.

Each Tuesday and Thursday, I will honor a Latina woman that I believe is a great role model for my daughter to admire. Through these letters, I pay homage to my role as a mother, and I will teach my daughter about one of the cultures that has birthed her.

To Subscribe to the series Mami Loves You, follow the link: http://mamilovesyou.com/ and fill out the form.

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Day 21 – Living in Boxes

To My Hope Manifested,

I have moved every single year for as long as I can remember.    I have things that I’ve collected throughout the years – books, art, paintings, and writings.

I have long wished that, one day, I will have a house of my own with a large library displaying the works of poets like Pablo Neruda, Martin Espada, and Walt Whitman. I wanted to sit in the sacredness of that space reading the words of Kurt Vonnegut and imagining what it takes to write like him.

I envisioned an art room displaying the works of women that I have come to know and love, like Mia Roman, who I talked about a week ago.

I’ve so badly wanted to have spaces for the arts in my home – a music room and a capoeira room, too.

What has resulted in my life, instead, has been many, many boxes as your Daddy likes to remind me and complain about.  He says, he refuses to move these boxes, once again, when we find our own apartment. So, I am faced with the reality that I must downsize and give up so many of those dreams I held as a child.

My library will be a book shelf, perhaps, and my art room, a space in my mind.

But, this is a fading moment in time.

I will rebuild, some day, and, hopefully, know what it means to have a home of my own.

I do not want you to grow up feeling like you belong nowhere.

I know that a house is just a set of walls, but there is a safeness that comes with returning to a home.

At least, I imagine that there must be, because I have never known such a place.

What matters most now is to build memories and let go of the items that I thought would signify success.

Remember, life is less about what you have and more about what you build within you.

Humbly,

Mami Loves You

 

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About this Series:

In honor of Latino Heritage Month, I will write 30 letters for 30 days to my beautiful daughter. This series is entitled, Mami Loves You. In these letters, I will tell her about the world around her, and reflect on her development.

Each Tuesday and Thursday, I will honor a Latina woman that I believe is a great role model for my daughter to admire. Through these letters, I pay homage to my role as a mother, and I will teach my daughter about one of the cultures that has birthed her.

To Subscribe to the series Mami Loves You, follow the link: http://mamilovesyou.com/ and fill out the form.


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Day 20 – Big Dreams

To My Thumb Sucker,

Today was a productive day! Wooot!

After moving and not having access to wi-fi for a few days, I was finally able to really sit down and work.

I hosted a tweetchat along with Yaritza Zayas Melendez on #eatingandemotions. We believe that it is important for people to eat to live and have healthy habits when it comes to food. Food can be the source of so much disease, which is why Mami insists that you always have healthy eats.

I was finally able to catch up on my blog posts after hosting the chat. Then, I worked on my doctoral applications for this Fall.

After, I have spent much of the day cuddling with you since this week was super busy and I didn’t have the ability to really focus on you.

Right now, you’re laying down next to me while I write this post. Well, now you are sitting up about to dance along to Doc McStuffins’ songs.

Mami is trying to get Organic Melinda together to secure our financial future.

It’s pretty uncomfortable to live in someone else’s house when you’ve been on your own for 10 years. Every few minutes, orders are being barked at my direction. I cannot even shower after 10:00 pm, and I am awakened way before I want to be.

I am planning on putting together two online courses. One course will be to get people to eat healthier, and the other course will be with Yaritza on emotional eating. They are just thoughts, right now.

I am also putting workshops together, and I have a ton of emails to send out.

I will be writing an add-on book for the Winter season to LIVE. Maybe, I will do soups or my favorite holiday meals.

This October, I will be TAing the Digging Deep, Facing Self course along with Caits Meissner.

I know mami is busy, sometimes, but all of this is to secure our futures. I am hoping I can make enough money with Organic Melinda, so I dont have to return to an office job and be away from you for so many hours a day.

I really dont want to spend 50 hours a week away from my baby girl.

I just hope our endeavors are blessed.

Always having hope,
Mami Loves You

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About this Series:

In honor of Latino Heritage Month, I will write 30 letters for 30 days to my beautiful daughter. This series is entitled, Mami Loves You. In these letters, I will tell her about the world around her, and reflect on her development.

Each Tuesday and Thursday, I will honor a Latina woman that I believe is a great role model for my daughter to admire. Through these letters, I pay homage to my role as a mother, and I will teach my daughter about one of the cultures that has birthed her.

To Subscribe to the series Mami Loves You, follow the link: http://mamilovesyou.com/ and fill out the form.


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Day 19 – Mujeres Poderosas – Isabel Porras

To My Mini Educator,

As I write about the women that inspire me, I have noticed that many of these women are involved in higher education and community work.

Today, you get to learn about one of the coolest chicks I have ever met, Isabel Porras.

Isabel is currently completing her PhD at UC, Davis in Cultural Studies.  She was awarded the AAUW American Fellowship to complete her dissertation.   She is teaching Women’s Studies (feminist theory and sexuality history/theory).

One of the creative geniuses of the blog, http://academictyra.tumblr.com/, Isabel is a woman destined for academic and career success.

I met Isabel at an MMUF conference in Oberlin College a few years ago.  Our personalities synced together really quickly when we discussed the difficulties of being a Latina woman, an academic, and someone who also wanted to have a husband and children in the future.

It is often perceived that a woman should or could not have both an academic career and a family.  It is also very difficult for Latina women to find comfortable spaces within the academy.

Isabel left a huge impression on me when she debated with the conference staff about having gender-assigned bathrooms, which could discriminate against intersexed individuals.

There she was, with her head covered in curly locks, demanding social inclusion for all people.

Isabel is the kind of woman I want you to admire because of her holistic approach to advocacy and her determination to succeed as a scholar without compromising her beliefs.

Isabel

Starting Academic Tyra is just one of the subversive ways that Isabel contends with various aspects of academia.  She also likes to sample rap songs and make them academic and quite hilarious.

Isabel has also been a mentor, thinking tank, resource and role model for me.

When you think of Isabel and women like her, remember that you can accomplish your goals and dreams while poking fun of those who try to limit your possibilities.

Wishing you a joyous future,

Mami Loves You

—-
About this Series:

In honor of Latino Heritage Month, I will write 30 letters for 30 days to my beautiful daughter. This series is entitled, Mami Loves You. In these letters, I will tell her about the world around her, and reflect on her development.

Each Tuesday and Thursday, I will honor a Latina woman that I believe is a great role model for my daughter to admire. Through these letters, I pay homage to my role as a mother, and I will teach my daughter about one of the cultures that has birthed her.

To Subscribe to the series Mami Loves You, follow the link: http://mamilovesyou.com/ and fill out the form.


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Day 17 – Mujeres Poderosas – Kristina Hernandez

To My Darling Dove,

Spirituality is a part of us that many have come to neglect in pursuit of other things like education, money, or fun.  However, having a connection with the Most High, the Universal Everything, and the Center of All Beings is absolutely necessary to internal balance.

During my last year of college, I took shahada and studied Islam for quite some time.  That journey led me to another Mujer Poderosa, Kristina Hernandez.

I am not even sure how Kristina and I met, but we began to hang out a lot my first year of studying Islam.

Kristina doing dawah

As  a Puerto Rican Muslimah like me, it was great to be with someone who understood the difficulties of separating culture and the desire for religious practice.

We both struggled with aspects of our faith and sought to be studious in our efforts to follow the suratal mustaqeem.

Alas, I strayed as I confronted my own difficulties with religiosity, and Kristina was one of the few Muslim friends who stuck by me even as I continued to my spiritual journey.

While I could not find my own sense of peace being a devout Muslim, I was overjoyed to learn that Kristina continued her path by becoming a Muslim Chaplain at Manhattanville College.

She is, also, happily married to a man who loves her for the sake of Allah as she studies to become a dietitian.

And, like many of the women that I admire, Kristina hopes to get her PhD in Public Health in the future to do work on HIV infection in the Muslim community.

Kristina is the type of woman that you should admire because of her resilience and her ability to find her own way to worship our Creator.

She has also never been judgmental of me, and she is a testament that you can be religiously devout and be a balanced, loving, and kind human being.  You know, she is what a person of faith ought to be.

I want you to remember that spirituality and faith are important foundations of who you are and find your own path towards the Most High.

La Illaha il Allah.

Every day,

Mami Loves You

 

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About this Series:

In honor of Latino Heritage Month, I will write 30 letters for 30 days to my beautiful daughter. This series is entitled, Mami Loves You. In these letters, I will tell her about the world around her, and reflect on her development.

Each Tuesday and Thursday, I will honor a Latina woman that I believe is a great role model for my daughter to admire. Through these letters, I pay homage to my role as a mother, and I will teach my daughter about one of the cultures that has birthed her.

To Subscribe to the series Mami Loves You, follow the link: http://mamilovesyou.com/ and fill out the form.


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Day 10 – Mujeres Poderosas – Mia Roman

To my Singing, Dancing, Painting Baby,

I was thinking about my childhood the other day, and trying to remember all of the women who influenced me when I was a little girl.  I was shocked to discover that no Latina women came to mind that were not directly related to me.  I only began to have Latina role models in my teenage years when I saw my history reflected in other women.

Having that realization makes it all the more important for me to ensure that you have Latina role models to look up to, and, luckily, it is Tuesday, which means you get to learn about another Mujer Poderosa, Mia Roman.

I met Mia in 2007 when I was hosting a poetry show fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in honor of Women’s History Month.

Mia was the first person to graciously donate her time and artwork to raise money for the cause.  Through our connection and commitment to the empowerment of the Latino community, Mia and I have remained colleagues.

As a painter, writer and mixed media artist, Mia explores women’s issues,  empowerment, liberation, spirituality,  nature, and Latino culture.  She also creates beautiful jewelry and other artistic pieces.

Mia painting

Mia painting

Mia’s art is strikingly beautiful, but it is her energy and constant striving towards positivity that make her an admirable woman.

While struggling with cancer, Mia turned to creative expression in order to find strength and continued faith in the world around her.  She dedicates herself to the cause of happiness.  She radiates balance and inner-peace.

Mia’s influence on me has been more as an observer throughout the past five years than as an active participant in her daily life.  It is has actually been a few years since I have seen her, but the fact that she still has such an influence on me beyond physical space is evidence to her character.

She is dedicated to informing the world on the plight of the Puerto Rican people in a way that paints us, literally, as actors in our own destiny.

Her artwork also reminds me to seek calm within myself.

Mia has been a supportive throughout my poetic career and in the work that I do with Organic Melinda.  She is committed to her community as a mother, teacher, activist, and feminist.    She is the type of woman that you should emulate and look up to, because she teaches us that we can be warriors while being gentle spirits.

Mia embodies how art saves us and why we need it in order to live a worthwhile existence.

I cannot wait until you are old enough to participate in one of her classes.

Always and forever,

Mami Loves You

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About this Series:

In honor of Latino Heritage Month, I will write 30 letters for 30 days to my beautiful daughter. This series is entitled, Mami Loves You. In these letters, I will tell her about the world around her, and reflect on her development.

Each Tuesday and Thursday, I will honor a Latina woman that I believe is a great role model for my daughter to admire. Through these letters, I pay homage to my role as a mother, and I will teach my daughter about one of the cultures that has birthed her.

To Subscribe to the series Mami Loves You, follow the link: http://mamilovesyou.com/ and fill out the form.


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Day 9 – You Get What You Give Out

To My Dearest Little Love,

Yesterday, I wrote to you about keeping hope alive, and, today, I tell you why it’s so important to do that.

Last night, I went to sleep with the weight of the world on my shoulders.

My anxious mind threatened to get the better half of me, but I took control of my thoughts.

I laid in bed with you on my chest and held you tight.  Breath in.  Breath out.  Breath in. Breath out.

The humming of our breaths lulled me to sleep, and when I woke up at 5:30 a.m., I checked my email and discovered that, as we slept, generous people had donated $300.00 to the gofundme campaign that I started last month for our security deposit.

About 6 years ago, I studied Islam very closely, and learned so much about the way of the universe through that spiritual exploration.

Islam teaches that you should always pray to the Creator for all that you need in your life – be it, shoes, clothes, water, shelter.

But, it is not enough to just pray. Rather, one must be working towards accomplishing what they require in actions as well.

This week, I have been doing just that.

Yesterday evening, I searched for jobs, and while the employment situation is bleak around here, it was part of building my intention.

On Saturday, I gave a presentation at a local church on healthy eating and gave out samples of green smoothies in hopes that people would be guided towards Organic Melinda and purchase a book or consultation.

But, even if they don’t purchase and benefit from the free information that I offer, at least we are one step closer towards food integrity.

Today, I woke up before the birds and the sun in order to read some anthropological articles and work on my statement of purpose to apply to doctorate programs.

I am building, slowly, the foundation which will benefit us in the long-term.

I know that while times are hard, right now, they wont always be.

Mami works hard, every day, to ensure that in the future, we shall be the ones helping those in need.

The Universe provides all that you need.

But, remember, you will only get what you give out.

Grateful for Life and Humanity,

Mami Loves You

p.s.

If anyone reading this wants to help, please donate towards our security deposit via gofundme: http://www.gofundme.com/3ysdtk

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About this Series:

In honor of Latino Heritage Month, I will write 30 letters for 30 days to my beautiful daughter. This series is entitled, Mami Loves You. In these letters, I will tell her about the world around her, and reflect on her development.

Each Tuesday and Thursday, I will honor a Latina woman that I believe is a great role model for my daughter to admire. Through these letters, I pay homage to my role as a mother, and I will teach my daughter about one of the cultures that has birthed her.

To Subscribe to the series Mami Loves You, follow the link: http://mamilovesyou.com/ and fill out the form.