The Opportunities that Come Up from Healing and Letting Go

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Elisa and BalletAfter writing about my childhood and teenage years attending ballet classes, I had no idea what would unfold next. Over the years, much healing took place but I never thought I’d attend another ballet class in my life.

While visiting my hometown in Brazil, and since I was going to stay there awhile, I managed to sign up for the gym where I took dance classes as an adult, before moving to NY. They informed me that they had a dance class similar to the one I used to take, being offered twice a week in the evenings, and twice a week at 10:30am. I attended the Monday evening rhythms dance class and although it wasn’t great, it felt good to be dancing again.

The next day I showed up for the morning class as it was going to be with a different teacher. When I realized that the classroom was occupied with a different class passed the starting time, I went back to the front desk. I then learned that the morning dance class had been cancelled. Needless to say that I got disappointed, I had after all signed up the previous Friday to attend that specific class. The lady at the front desk said that the class had been replaced with an 11am class called Ballet Fit. (more…)

Finding Deeper Meaning in Your Childhood Dreams

Thursday, June 25th, 2015


During my childhood, if someone would have asked what I wanted to be, I would have said a ballerina. It wasn’t meant to be. It’s likely that even if I hadn’t experienced the negative feedback I did, as you will read in this article, I still wouldn’t have done it. I was five years old when I participated in a few dance performances, and the above pictures were taken.

A few years later, when a dance company opened a ballet studio three blocks from my parents’ home, I signed up for their modern ballet yearly program. Every year, we would perform at the theater for family and friends, and I loved it. Towards the end of my third year, the teacher approached me and said that she was recommending that I repeated the year. I didn’t say a word. I’ve always been shy and had no idea how to speak up for myself. What hurt the most was that, throughout the year, she never said anything about my performance or how I could have improved. (more…)

The Habitual Self-Talk – How to Shift It

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Self-TalkOn Friday I attended another Paint Nite event. I wrote about my first experience here. I had planned to arrive 15 minutes early, but the 6:19pm bus I was going to take never came. The next bus arrived at 6:43pm and I ended up getting to the bar 12 minutes late. On my way there I was dealing with my feelings, trying not to cry and negotiating my options. I asked that I could mend time and arrive on time. When it became clearly impossible that it would happen, I asked that the instructor would start after I arrived.

I got there, and as soon as I gave my name to get a blank canvas, the instructor started the class. I didn’t miss a thing! I sat down and started painting with everyone else. I briefly thanked this miracle and moved on. I didn’t take time to breathe though, or to ground myself. Perhaps the painting would have been nicer if I had done so. It was a very humid evening, and I chose to have my hair in a ponytail and wear a headband. The painter’s assistant asked to take my picture while I was painting it and I said sure, even though I was self-conscious about my hair, and my smile was as fake as it can be, as I remained emotionally charged throughout the evening. (more…)

The Sand Poem – Clearing Internal Pipes

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

Sand PoemI spent a weekend in a healing workshop in Cape May. During the weekend, I was able to notice how I was experiencing it all. How at times I felt confused, while other times I felt as clear as ever. I also made a decision beforehand that I would find joy in the little things, and I took the time to enjoy the paintings around the house where we were staying, and to be present with the group.

On Saturday evening I saw a warning note on the bathroom door (this blog post’s image) that started with Sand… I thought the note was a poem about sand, and I decided to read it carefully, imagining I’d be inspired with a cool message, perhaps something like: (more…)

A Labor of Love

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

heartrakuWriting and publishing my new ebook has been quite an experience. I wrote the first draft not long after I experienced a heartbreak a few years ago. I wrote about the heartbreak here. Writing “Mending a Broken Heart: Lili’s Magic Journey” was a healing tool for myself.

I consider the ebook a labor of love, my way of going through my feelings, my way of making sense of what had happened, my way of potentially giving light to someone else who could be having similar experiences. Publishing it also had a deep meaning, the ability to transform something that once was so painful, into something that could become a source of inspiration for others to focus on self-love as they heal. (more…)

Side Effect of Self-Love

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

loveyouI launched the 30-day Self-Love challenge on November 5th 2013, and over a hundred people joined me on this journey of focusing on self-love at least once daily.

My personal self-love practice did not end after the 30 or 45 days the challenge lasted last year – and I’m still committed to self-love, although sometimes I need a little reminders. I created a reminder on my cell phone, and I also got a little white board magnet (seen on this post’s image) for my fridge, and wrote to myself: “I love you”.

It made sense to have a daily reminder that I’m loved, especially by me. Pretty soon, as in many things in life, I stopped reading it or paying attention to it. Until one of my sisters visited this summer, and she wrote “I love you too”.  A few weeks ago, a friend spent the weekend at my house, and although she didn’t know the board’s story, she also wrote “I love you too”. When I saw it I smiled, and told her who had written the previous messages. Now, my little reminder got even more special. (more…)

Adapting to a New Creative Rhythm

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014


When I had a full time job, my personal life rhythm was established by my schedule. I had a long commute to work, and had to leave home early to make it there by 9am. My bed time was at 11pm, mostly non-negotiable, as I was used to getting up really early, writing, having breakfast and going to work. Even on weekends, I rarely could sleep late, as my rhythm was set up.

Since I’ve been self-employed for a while, I’m able to make my own hours, and at first, I was able to keep up with the same rhythm. But during the spring, things started to change. I was teaching late evenings, and was getting home too late to make it to my 11pm bed time. That led me to not be able to wake up as early as I’d have liked either. (more…)

The Spirit of Authenticity

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

authenticityFor over two years I’ve been participating on a chat on Twitter called #SpiritChat. The host Kumud Ajmani has gathered a group of people from all over the world, and it continues to grow. In addition to being a great and inspiring way to start our Sundays, I also met one of the participants in person and we became great friends. I highly recommend, if you are up on Sundays by 9AM EST, that you join the chat.

On Sunday, I had the opportunity to co-host the chat. I wrote the introduction to the topic The Spirit of Authenticity, based on my own experiences with being authentic, or not. One thing that I didn’t include in that article is how the topic came to me. I was on my way home after teaching an all-day course, followed by teaching another 2-hour course, and I was a bit out of it. I started to cross the street when the light turned white for pedestrians to cross. But before I took the next step, I heard “stop and look”, so I turned, and there it was – a car was speeding my way, the driver ran the red light, and if I hadn’t stopped, it would have run over me. (more…)

Celebrating 15 Years in New York

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

chocolateI moved from Belo Horizonte, Brazil to New York, USA 15 years ago today. I had no idea what to expect, or what was ahead. I knew I was in a relationship, and that I was going to study the MBA. That was all. I also had a few aspirations in mind, to change careers and become a consultant (the term coaching wasn’t around back then), and possibly a writer. I was writing a fiction story in Portuguese at the time, it took me a couple of years to finish it, if I’m not mistaken, but the file was deleted accidently, and the story was never published, and never read from start to finish by someone other than me.

When the file was deleted, I decided not to write for a while, as I had put a lot of effort into it, and it was disappointing. A year after I graduated from the MBA, the idea came up to start That’s how I sort of launched my own writing career. The term blogging didn’t exist back then either. (more…)

Sharing Love and Letting it Go

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Art by Elisa BalabramFor the past few years, as long as I have time available, I have created gifts for friends and family, instead of buying them something. I started a little over two years ago, by drawing the flower that is shown at the top right of this post’s image. At the time, I was taking photos of flowers and trying to draw them. This was the first time I actually created a gift – I printed the photo, and drew the flower, put them both in a picture frame, and gave it to Robert Baker, a friend/spiritual teacher/mentor, who sadly passed away a year ago this Sunday. It meant a lot to me that he received it graciously, and displayed it right away. In most situations, I don’t receive the same response though.  Out of all the picture frame gifts I created for friends, I’ve only seen one displayed at another friend’s house, and it warmed my heart when I saw it. The others may have kept it somewhere hidden, or they may have thrown it away for all I know.

One of Robert’s lessons helps me to let go of any attachment to the response I may receive regarding the gifts I create: (more…)