The Seventh Step Prayer

My favorite part of this prayer: “I am now willing that you should have all of me Good and Bad It is when I recognized that I was not perfect and did not have to pretend so, I was free from guilt and shame. God accepts us just the way we are.

When we acknowledge our imperfections, we open up our hearts to let God work his miracles within us. Blessings to you today.

Stay Blissful My Friends! – E

Stop Being So Damned Hard on Yourself


“I feel like an asshole.”

“Why did I do that?”

“If only, I had ___”

These thoughts are like slips of paper spinning around in the blender that is my mind. Am I the only one? I highly doubt it. Otherwise, therapists would be more extinct than the North African Elephant.

I don’t feel the need to explain why we do this or come up with solutions either. All I have to say is, just stop being so damned hard on yourself.

Okay, I lied. I have more to say…

My daughter and I have been spending a lot of time together lately as she has been simultaneously in search of a new job and a room for rent. Each telephone conversation and interview is followed by her second-guessing how she did. “I should have said this”, “Maybe I wasn’t serious enough”.  I tell her to stop acting like her mom.

Less than an hour later I am complaining about how every time I find an answer to my boss’ questions about our new credit card system, something else is effed up and I don’t have an answer to the latest anomaly. “I feel like an asshole”, I tell her. “Wow, I really do get it from you don’t I?”, she shared her thought out loud.

Ouch! Not only have I been hard on myself, I have passed this on to my daughter. How many times while she was growing up did she see me looking in the mirror complaining about how fat I am because I have no self-control over my food consumption? When in reality, hormones played more of a part in my weight gain than how much I was eating.

Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children. – Charles R. Swindoll

A random memory of one of my facebook posts came to mind: When I am beating myself up over something I did or didn’t do, that is my ego talking and not my God. Ego is also known as “Edging God out”. Not something I want to do consciously. 

With this realization, I articulated out loud that it is time to stop doing this NOW!  My daughter fully agreed. I guess an alternative script is necessary if we are to accomplish such a declaration.


My new word is “Focused”. It is not likely for us to remain focused when we spend so much time beating ourselves up. So just stop!  If I commit to doing this today, will you join me? Perfection is not attainable. Continuous improvement is more sustainable. Don’t be perfect, be better. It is time to change our focus.

I make the commitment to kindly, gently and lovingly maintain inner-peace.

Stay Blissful My Friends – E

If you liked this,  check out:

Made a Decision…

Living Elysian


C.S. Lewis wrote, “Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do.”

Ah, the anguish of indecision. There are worse challenges, yet there is nothing like having to make a decision.

I once heard a speaker share, “If you cannot make up your mind whether to get a haircut or not and then you end up staying home due to indecision, well you just made the decision not to get your hair cut.” Sounds simple enough, but listening to this man made me shift in my seat uncomfortably as I imagined trying to make that very decision.  I still feel a little twitch as I am typing this.

I am well-known for my indecisiveness and if my husband wants any peace of mind, he knows it is best NOT to ask me where…

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Mondays with Michael – Gratitude

As this year comes to a close, I wish share Michael’s poem below as the final MWM for 2015. Anyone can look back on his writings this year and see how Michael has grown to be a strong, sober individual and I thank him for letting me share his words. I hope we can continue in 2016 as MWM is a popular weekly article. Have a Blissful New Year my friends!  – E


What a year, awakened, sober, love, God, and no more beer.
Started from the bottom, and now I’m here.
I opened my eyes and I came to see,
What a beautiful life, I can look in the mirror, I love me.
No more drugs, no more booze.
I want to thank you for your support.
I love you,
Lot’s of tears as I’ve faced my fears,
Through the storm, and out of the rain.
I’m smiling again, free from the pain.
Full of compassion, here to help those in need, you can be a miracle too. You just need to believe…
Never Give Up…
Live 2 Love…

Are You Ready for a New Year?

It feels to me that many of us are finishing off 2015 by the skin of our teeth. I myself have had a rough end to a rather challenging year. Thankfully, we get to start a new year in just 5 days! I might have a few ideas to consider as we begin 2016…


unsplash morgan sessions
Source: Photo by Morgan Sessions



Have we challenged our minds lately? Are we ready to step this up? Might there be a class or educational advancement you have been putting off? Time to let go of fear and hit it head on! A funny thing about getting back into studying, it makes you crave more. At least, that is the effect 2015 has had on me academically.


Is it time to build a habit of prayer, meditation, church or temple attendance? For myself, I am setting in motion my 21-day stay at an ashram in Hawaii.

What are the desires you have for your spiritual life? I miss singing in the church choir. The sweet sound of lifting up God in worship and praise!


The first part of January is always the busiest time of the year for most gyms. Most of us start out fierce and with good intentions, only to fizzle out in the middle of the year. Maybe just starting a walking program at work. I have been known to walk up and down the stairs at work during lunch to get a little exercise in. Some employers offer a workout space for their employees. There are a few good online Yoga programs you can use first thing in the AM in the comfort of your own home.

Do what works for you! Aaaand, don’t forget the bubble bath to soothe those tired muscles!


If you are working on the above items, you have already started working on your emotions. But if you have become a recluse, due to the cold weather, it might be a good time to meet up with a close friend for coffee and a chat.  Call your mother.  Call your father.

Talk to your significant other. You may be surprised at how much time has passed since you last enjoyed a productive conversation with your other half!


Some of us have no other choice but to reflect on last year and plan for the next. This is usually the season for performance reviews. But if you don’t have this option, do your own SWOT analysis. A SWOT is a review of:

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats

When you inventory these items, you will know what to keep doing, stop doing and start doing more. It is a rather simple process. You can also use this tool in the Mental, Spiritual, Physical and Emotional aspects of your life as well.


Another business that flourishes at the beginning of each year is home organization! Time to start re-arranging your surroundings for better functionality. Wabi-Sabi is a good discipline to study.  It might save you some money as well. Wabi-Sabi is basically the art of seeing the beauty in imperfection. But if you feel you must take action in changing your home, a book on Feng Shui might be a good start.



More and more of us have become aware of what Narcissistic Personality Disorder is. We are able to recognize it in the people we have been close to. We now also realize the effects of continuing our relationships to such toxic people.  Friends of mine have told me how they have chosen to cut things off with their narcissistic family members. I myself have had to do this. But we get to do this in love, by sending  them off with a blessing instead of a curse. The result is being comfortable in our own skin!

Then we get to appreciate and focus on the good, solid relationships we do have. I remember a woman I know crying over a slight by her narcissistic father following a monumental accomplishment she had just made. Later, she called all her supporters and apologized for spending so much of her energy on his negativity rather than their support. “I felt like an asshole.”, she despondently expressed to me. Narcissists have a way of bringing out the worst in most of us…

When we let go of the toxicity, it no longer clouds the positivity with all its drama and chaos. We remain focused. “Focused”, now that sounds like a power word for 2016! Stay  Blissful My Friends – E



Why it’s Okay to Have Sh!tty Holiday

All over social media, I am seeing the blues come out of more people than ever.  Relationship troubles, grief over lost loved ones, work uncertainties, family members not getting along and putting you in the middle.  To be honest, even I have been hit from all sides to the effect that I just realized Christmas is less than a week away.

So I stopped, took a deep breath…after shedding many tears, and realized that it is just okay to have a sh!tty holiday season. Hasn’t happened in years. But it’s okay. Not sure what 2016 has to offer and if will be any better. And that too is okay.

So here are a few reasons I think it is perfectly okay to Have a Sh!tty Holiday:

Life happens at any time of the year

Just because it is the holidays and there are numerous expressions of cheer does not mean that you will not have that argument with your spouse or child at home. And even though you are surrounded by merriness, you might still find yourself going to bed hurt or pissed off.

Understand this; you are a real person, living with real problems at real moments in time. So cut yourself some slack and accept your unhappy mood and circumstances for what they are.

InspireYour feelings are valid

“There are times to listen to the people that believe in you during those days you don’t believe in yourself. Sometimes you look in the mirror and it’s fogged up; the person looking back a blurred image, but those folks that know you and love you see the real you. Sometimes you have to trust the ones that are there for you in your darkest times to find out how much light exists in you. God bless you.”  ― Lee Goff

If you are sad and lonely, don’t try to cover this up. Acknowledge it, even if it is just to yourself. Because your emotions are valid! You are valid! You might ask yourself if you are benefitting from these sad emotions and I bet you will find one or two reasons that point to the answer “Yes”.  Again, be F’n real with your emotions.

It is okay to have unresolved issues

That said, remember life is not a Brady Bunch episode where everything is neatly resolved and packaged at the end of the day. Some issues take days, weeks, even months to be resolved. Be at peace with where you are at this moment. You do NOT have to like it. Just know that it is what it is and wait patiently for resolution. It will come. But if it doesn’t arrive before Christmas, that is okay. You are okay. You are going to continue to be okay.

Don’t worry that everyone else seems to be “Happy”

“Any fool can be happy. It takes a man with real heart to make beauty out of the stuff that makes us weep.”

― Clive Barker, Days of Magic, Nights of War

These people are probably lying anyway. Well, maybe not. But think about how many times you have posted joyful moments on Facebook or Instagram and others might not have been feeling it? It is okay to feel happy for your friends while feeling sad for yourself. Don’t be so damn selfish. Just be real.

When Emotions are shaky, Spirit is Transforming

This is the truth of the matter. We don’t grow as much when things are all rainbows and butterflies. Transformation happens during the heart-wrenching experiences. We are being stretched to the point that we feel we can’t take anymore. Then we find out that we actually can. We find out just how strong and resilient we are.

We pass these lessons and experiences on to others while they are in the thick of it. We let them know they are not alone. They aren’t and neither are we.

Dos and Don’ts When you are having a Sh!tty Holiday

Dos Don’ts
Accept your emotions. Try to stuff your feelings.
Watch funny movies. Watch dramas or romantic movies that will only make you feel like less of a person.
Paint, color or do something that utilizes your creativity. Read tragic or romantic novels. See above
Dress the way you WANT to feel. Wear makeup if it helps. Avoid wearing sweats or other comfortable clothing. (unless you live in Colorado like me and it is cold as f*ck)
Reach out for help from a trusted friend. Reach out to judgmental, toxic or gossipy friends. Right now is not the time to share with them.
See a doctor. You might actually need medical attention. Rely 100% on anti-depressants. Utilizing all your available tools is a must.

When all else fails, maybe it is time to find a furry family member:


Photo Source


If it is difficult to be blissful for you this season, please know that it is okay and you are loved. Stay real my friends- E

Living Elysian 2015 Top 3 Posts


Well, here it is the final countdown of my most popular blog posts for your reading pleasure! I have challenged my writing skills and become more transparent than ever. Some of my writing has been downright raw.

As a wife, mother, and career woman, my relationships have transformed incredibly. I hope you all have felt this experience as you have read along.

#3 Four Things You Really Should Know About Emotions

In this post, we looked at emotions and their effect on us. By giving us clarity, motivating us to get sh!t done and building up our courage. We also explored these three dangerously powerful words:


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#2 Why I Stopped Being so Damned Independent

I took a good look at being too independent and then working on interdependency.  Blessing others by asking for help. Being authentic and the freedom that comes from being real. Liberation from emotional pain!

“For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” – Galatians 5:13

Let’s interdependence together!

the one
Sunday 7/26/15 – Louisville, KY. Bonnie St. John, Elysia Valdivia-Giauque

#1 WTF? Again? Why?

I find it amazing that my most popular blog was indeed the most painful to write. This year, a young man who was like a child of my own when he was in high school died of a heroin overdose.  Talk about tragic. We lost one of the kindest friends and his daughters lost a

We lost one of the kindest friends and his daughters lost a wonderful father. A lesson learned by many, not all drug addicts are the stereotypical “scumbags” you see in the movies. Indeed, none of us even knew our friend used drugs until the day he died.

So in memory of all those we lost and keeping those still suffering addicts in our thoughts, I shared this writing with you.


Wishing you all a brighter, fulfilling and blissful 2016! – E

What Dreams May Come

Photo by Dyaa Eldin

I have had a recurring dream of a hallway that opens up to an unknown bedroom.  I decided to take some time to review an interpretation of this dream:

“To see a hallway in your dream symbolizes self-exploration. It is the beginning of the path that you are taking in life. You are going through a transitional phase and journeying into the unknown. It also signals spiritual enlightenment, emotional growth, physical prowess, new opportunities and mental passages in your life.”

“To dream that you find or discover a new room suggests that you are developing new strengths and taking on new roles. You may be growing emotionally. Consider what you find in the discovered room as it may indicate repressed memories, fears, or rejected emotions. Alternatively, such rooms are symbolic of neglected skills or rejected potential.” [1]

This was “eye-opening”, pun intended! Here is what I gathered from these interpretations:


Photo by Dingzeyu Li


Without a doubt, self-exploration is vital. We don’t always like what we see, but the good and bad tell their individual truths. When we are willing to see the good, we not only acknowledge it, we can celebrate it as well. When we are willing to view the bad, we are able to shine light upon our darkness and work toward righting our wrongs.

Transitional Phase and Journeying Into the Unknown

Where I find myself at this time, I am indeed transitioning. This new phase includes my Yoga practice and certification, my writing and my roles at home and at work. Challenging myself educationally and emotionally this year has proven to be a bit stressful, emotional and equally rewarding.

When we choose to walk through the hallway of the unknown, we open ourselves up to experiences we might never have imagined. We take necessary risks that empower us to grow!

Are you ready for this? Then Go!

Spiritual Enlightenment

Ahhh yes! Now is as good as any time to gain spiritual enlightenment. This world could use a spiritual connection and it starts with our individual spirits.

Spiritual enlightenment does not have to take place in a temple or church though they can. Sometimes this enlightenment will happen in your living room or back yard. Maybe in nature or even in your car. Just be open to it and it will come.

You might read the Bible or ancient texts. Attend a spiritual workshop. Just remember to hold onto your mountaintop experience when you have gone back into the valley.

Photo by Brian Giauque

Physical Prowess

When our physical courage is challenged, we also experience growth. We may at times have to change our dietary habits, increase our fitness curriculum, and even give up some addictions. We gain much physical strength from these changes. Be of good courage my friends!

New Opportunities

Carpe diem! Seize the Day! No time like the present to seek new opportunities. Career change, a relationship, friendships, retirement, a stay at an Ashram…Go for it! I know I will be!

Mental Passages in Your Life

As with the physical, it is always good to advance mentally. Education is always a good start. But just reading a book or series of books that represent something challenging to your intellect is as valuable. I have many books on my “to read” list. I hope to get to at least one.

A few good books I have read lately:  Wild by Cheryl Strayed and Divergent by Veronica Roth. These books have inspired me to go outdoors, hike, camp, and question man’s inability to remain at peace with each other. I plan to keep that shit up! Reading that is…


Neglected Skills or Rejected Potential

We all have potential that we have yet to discover. Or maybe we have set it aside for another time and just forgot about it, “Out of sight, out of mind.” For me, it has been my writing. Last May, I purchased my website and started this journey. You might be an artist, a baker or an animal whisperer.

Set off on a voyage of discovery…inside your mind, body and heart/spirit!

Emotional Growth

2015 has been an exceptionally emotional year for me and my loved ones. I have been stretched further than I have been for many years. No regrets. I don’t particularly like emotional growth, but I accept it and I honor it as part of my humanness. I believe all emotion is God-given. So who am I to reject any of His gifts?

So go ahead and walk on down that hall and open as many doors as you wish! Stay Blissful My Friends – E



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Living Elysian 2015

It has been a lovely year full of challenges and risks. I regret none of it. Indeed, I celebrate it with you all. For the next two Thursdays, I am counting down my Top 5 Blog posts of the year.

Stay Blissful My Friends – E

#5 – We have a Tie! One about my mother and one about my daughter!

Taking the Higher Road

New Name? New Vision!

#4  Mondays with Michael – Freedom

Of course, Michael would make this list! This one is all about freedom. If you know his story, you will cheer him on as I did!


The Elysian Life Part II.


I hope you enjoyed the tranquil first part of this series. I pray it spoke to your heart. That being said, sh!t is about to get real. Do you want an Elysian life? Are you prepared to do your utmost to attain it? Below are four more suggestions to help you get there!

Quit being a Whiny B!tch

Sh!t happens. Most of the time, we cannot control these circumstances. So let it the f*ck go. Really, you will feel peace and serenity once you accept the things you cannot change and then move on. When you whine about your situation, you not only hold yourself back, you also suck the energy out of the people around you. How effing selfish!! There is an old song written by Johnny Mercer that goes like this:

“You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between
You’ve got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
Have faith or pandemonium’s
Liable to walk upon the scene”

Really, it works. Try it. You will thank yourself. Your people will thank you. I know for a fact. I was once a chronic complainer. I complained about anyone and everyone around me. As if that would change them or the circumstance. It didn’t. It only caused me to be more miserable and people to avoid me at all costs.

Do you want good relationships? Then accept other people with as much love and tolerance you can muster. This could be difficult at first. Keep going. Practice, practice, practice…not being a whiny b!tch.

Stop Sabotaging Your Life
Why does it seem that the world is against you? Well, let’s take a look at the common denominator – YOU. Human beings tend to excel at shooting themselves in the foot. Stop. Take a pause and evaluate your motives, before you act or not act. Playing the victim or martyr role is not attractive at all.

Do you do any of the following:
• Shrink in the presence of others?

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson

• Avoid emotions so as not to “rock the boat”?
Express yourself! If you have to curse, then curse. But get it out. Your feelings are valid. YOU are valid.

• Find yourself gossiping?
Well, stop that sh!t now! You don’t make yourself look better by making others look bad. This poor behavior is so evident and it defines us as such. I know I don’t want that label. Do you?

How do you know when you are sabotaging yourself? A simple gut check will suffice. All you have to do is take the time to evaluate. Slow-it-down. If you are still not sure, contact a trusted friend and get their take on it. Someone outside of the situation can give you their vantage point.


Get Off Your @$$ and do Something.
“Procrastination is a crime, that only leads to sorrow. I can stop at any time. In fact, I will tomorrow.” – Unknown

Do you have dreams? What actions have you taken lately towards your dreams? Dreams are as good as the measures you take to achieve them. If you are still dreaming, well then Wake the F*ck Up!! Time to do something.

Fear is the number one issue that paralyzes us. It is okay to feel fear. Acknowledge this fear and then move forward. With each item you check off your to-do list, the fear begins to shrink smaller and smaller. Then you experience fearlessness. You become a fierce tiger in this jungle we call “life”! Now go get yours!

Shit gets done in the conscious world

Be Spiritually in Tune With Your God.
Spirituality begets the Elysian Life. In part I, I posed this question “But do we need it to be sunny all the time to have an Elysian Life? The answer, of course, is “No.”

When you are in tune with your God, it is easier to overcome the above setbacks in your personal development. Knowing that your God loves you regardless of your past behavior and hindrances, gives you the confidence to move forward and let go of all of them.

Relying on The Most High, will create the fearlessness you need. You will understand the feeling of being comfortable in your own skin. You will know that under all circumstances, you can live the Elysian Life.

Stay Blissful my friends. – E