Chronicles of a Desire Map Facilitator: Authentically Puerto Rican in Puerto Rico

Four glorious day before the brave souls that took the leap arrive here. I’ve had some last minute challenges, the hurricane Mathew has graciously left PR shining however the mail and shipments of this and that are in limbo. As with any soul nourishing project there are times where we have to deepen our commitment to make it happen against all the odds. The key is trusting the process and choosing to expand along the way.

That has worked out beautifully for me, I’m so excited how about how this story turns out.

I’ve been looking for an opportunity to support local businesses with the needs of the retreat and at the same time looking for a keepsake that would remind my attendees of this experience.

I was thinking, t- shirt , mugs but my desire was that it would be clearly authentic. I ran into a women’s conference online that I missed by one day here in Puerto Rico... bummer.

Continuing on and then discovering that a women who had helped put it all together here in PR started a business creating bags designed and manufactured here in Puerto Rico.

As with most guidance it comes right on time and the path is clear.

I called her, the group and I are going on a private shopping experience in Old San Juan at her shop and the attendees will get to pick out their own authentic keepsake bag to take home.

It will be a shopping experience, hosted by a social entrepreneur and it turns out her shop is right around the corner from where we are staying.

More to come, in the meantime you can check out these authentically Puerto Rican bags, homegrown on this island of opportunity and the story behind the women who dreamed it up.

Go to https://shopconcalma.com/pages/our-story the founder is Matilsha Marxuach

And order yourself a bag, it supports local business in Puerto Rico and shipping is free.

More to come on this…   

 

Come Reinvent Yourself in Puerto Rico

You can have it all: family, career, business, adventure, love, sisterhood… you name it.

The only limits are the ones you create for yourself.

Women, tend to fill predetermined roles and by doing so, we wake up one day looking at our life and wondering what the {use your imagination}???

I've asked myself this time and time again. 

And I've discovered we are.warriors, strong, capable and adaptable. 

We have people depending on us.  

We wake up as adults and discover that what we spend our days doing has nothing to do with what our soul’s desire. 

When was the last time you took time for yourself to figure out what you want? I mean really figure it out?

I challenge you to consider taking a leap for the people you love. Will you commit to serving the ones you love by investing in yourself?

What would it be like to wake up and enjoy your day.. everyday? 

Do your experience bliss? I do. 

What would it feel like to lead your family from a place where you are living your dream? 

Not later, not next year, not when the kids grow up and move away - today.

How about a trip?

Would a trip to a Caribbean island serve your soul right now?

The Puerto Rico Retreat is a holistic experience for women who crave to live life out to the fullest and believe they can. have. it. all.

This retreat is designed to serve those who are ready to reinvent themselves - women who know what they want out of life and are ready to take their dreams to the next level.

I know you have big dreams; I know you’re ambitious and you crave adventure and clarity and a sisterhood of like-minded women who are willing to take the leaps, too.

Stop using your personal and familial responsibilities as an excuse not to live out your life to the fullest. The deepest truth is that they are your inspiration.

Join me in Puerto Rico. I’ll take care of you like you’re one of my own; we’ll go through a process that will help you become crystal clear on what you desire and how you want to feel.

We are going to add some practical strategy to your dreams; when you leave here, you will be prepared with the tools, clarity, and energy to create what you want. You will also be connected with a community of like-minded women to keep you motivated and energized.

We will have beach time, yoga time, community time, and time for rest and reflection. I will even feed you - even if you are gluten free.

Does it sound too good to be true?

I challenge you to own your own power. Join us in an experience you will never forget. My goal is to provide you with an experience so incredible that you will want to attend every year. This is the ultimate girls trip with inspiring entrepreneurs, mompreneurs, changemakers, and women living in their truth.  

You can choose to the stay the same, or you can book your trip today - the next version of you is waiting.

The Undeniable Challenges of the Mompreneur

It's a Saturday morning at our house and we have had a full week of school and work. I have played the role of accountant, CFO, marketing director, personal branding expert, sales manager, motivational speaker, and sales agent CEO and janitor.

During the week we focus our efforts on homework, school and getting to work. By the end of the week we have packed, plated, served, or thrown together 106 meals and people still have to eat on the weekends?!

My kids and I have been adjusting to a full schedule, separation anxiety and mother's guilt.

Lydia, my toddler, slept through the night last night for the first time in two weeks. The screaming and thrashing and pacing through the halls at all hours of the night is a recipe for fatigue and irritability for all.

As I sit here on this glorious Saturday morning, my toddler is shoveling a cold bun from take-out leftovers last night because I just couldn't do it anymore. I was done #adulting.

I am seriously surrounded by piles of laundry right now.

Some of the laundry is clean, there’s a pile that I know dried on the table because it was moved to free up the machines for an emergency uniform wash, damp sandy towels, and baskets of what looks like all of my clothes dumped in the middle of the living room.

Did I mention there are seven of us?


Yes. Seven.

There is a pile of bedding used for nap time that has been peed on. There are boxes of supplies that have been waiting  for weeks to be mailed by the front door; every day that I have walked by them I wonder when I will make it to the post office.

There are toys everywhere, but that's pretty normal for home with small children, isn't it?

There are backpacks and shoes piled all through what would be considered someone's dining room.

It is no wonder that we cannot find matching shoes from day to day.

And now, amidst all of the existing chaos, there is a lonely, cold hamburger patty that my toddler has just abandoned on top of the piece of paper that I write this to you on.

With leftover hamburger beneath my toes and the list of unimaginable chaos I can witness that exists from a simple glance up from this paper, we haven't even started on the happenings of the actual laundry room, kitchen, bedrooms or bathrooms.

In a perfect world, I would have all my work wrapped up by 1 PM Friday and head home for preparation for the Sabbath.

The house would be clean, the laundry would be done, food would be prepped and I would have zero concerns if maintenance needed to enter this war zone that we call an apartment this weekend.

If I close my eyes... and tune out the minecraft youtube commentator who has been on since 6 AM and just accept that my toddler is going to write on herself and the couch then maybe - just maybe - I can take a moment...

...a moment to feel the ocean breeze that whispers quietly through my apartment and listen to the soothing sound of the endless Atlantic shoreline that I am blessed to live by here in San Juan, Puerto Rico

When I stop, listen, stare out onto the endless ocean horizon, something happens inside me.  Something is renewed.

There is a communication.

Verses of Scripture pop into my head.

My sight expands past my immediate vision of personal chaos and I am connected with my Creator.

The wind blows harder now; the ocean gets louder and the energy and heavenly family remind me that my support is always here.

My mission becomes bigger than me.

Where I have doubted myself, there is reinforcement.

Where I question my sanity, there is a fresh version of crazy installed.

Where there is despair, there is hope.

Where there is darkness, the light shines through.

Where there is fear, faith and courage override.
 

From Brooke's Desk: Top 10 tech tools I use everyday

I love technology and it can truly make or break your productivity. I have spent many years trying all the options because I am always looking for the best. 


Here are the top 10 tech tools I use for my business daily #timesaver

Facebook 

Great for building relationships, staying connected and chatting on messenger. I use it for customer follow up, connecting with family/friends and everything in between. 

Note: I spend a lot of time CONNECTING with other humans on Facebook I do not use facebook for “cold calling” or sending random messages about business to people I don't know or do not know well.
Always, always ask permission to add people to groups either business or personal. 

Remember: Facebook is about making connections and nurturing relationships. 

Google

Google solves a lot of problems and adds powerful organization to small businesses, teams, and households. Online storage, affordable email hosting for your custom domain, word processor, spreadsheets and online calendar that you can make public, keep private or share with your team or family.   

It is a great collaboration tool. 

iCloud

Online storage, I don't know why but I think it is easier to download images and social media share content that I created on Canva.com and put it in iCloud and find it again then any other storage option I have. It could be because I have so many other things in my Google Drive!

Leadspages.net

Recommended to me by my friends at Succes Engine I'm using this daily to create landing pages and add them to my website or they can be used stand alone. They have a couple other offerings that can add the flair and convenience of adding text message opt in campaigns to your current offerings.

Evernote

If paperless is your goal then evernote is you friend, I have been using evernote before evernote was cool and robust and before I knew a thing about organization. That said I can still find most things I stored years ago with their handy effective search option.

Canva

For me this is easy and affordable solution to satisfy my desire to create images and sharable content and change it up whenever I want. I love me some Canva and their design blog is awesome too.

Squarespace

My love affair and it is always getting better. After many websites and going through the different options Squarespace is my go to to launch new sites and concepts on a budget and with professionalism. 

If you want a blog, launch a business or create your own web presence for personal use Squarespace is it. 

I highly recommend Squarespace over anything else. 

You know, I have tried it all. 

Wordpress

I have a love/hate relationship with Wordpress but have spent so much time, effort and money on learning to and hiring someone to create a website that I feel committed in ways to continue to use it for something.

I do love the wordpress app and how easy it is create a blog from your hand held while you are rocking sleeping babies in your arms.

Squarespace has the same convenience. 

Zoom

I have used the mass majority webinar tools available, I have bought, paid for and tried so many of them it is ridiculous. The most annoying thing about webinar options on the market is many of them are a "wrappers" for google hangouts.

What this means is the base technology is google hangouts and someone built a wrapper to go around it and “make it more robust”

I think this is a bust move and the winner of my webinar woes is zoom.us

Sadly my 15 year old daughter told me about it when she was 12 and I didn't listen.

Zoom.us is free for online meetings, use it to connect with family, friends, colleagues or run your business and nourish your team across oceans.

Infusionsoft

A contact manager and automation power house with commerce solutions built in and a little R2D2 still left in the mix.

I have used very robust CRMs and old school ones from my 20s. I have been to Dreamforce and the whole shebang. If you are just starting out making sure you have a list of contacts in one place is key. This can be done in google forms. When you take it a little bit bigger, I liked infusionsoft as a company and the people there enough to give it a second try after I had already started and scrapped it over a course of a year.

I use the team over at Succes Engine to help me get things rocking and rolling.

If I need something I will hire them again and again. 

 

 


 

 

Mother's are the World's Leaders

I was just looking at my FB feed and I, a mother of five amazing strong willed children, understand the struggle and discomforts of the most rewarding experience on earth. 

The most common thing I see when I start reading a mother's bio from her blog or about page is somewhere in the mix the message that "my entire life changed when i became a mother". Oh how I thought I was so original back in the day! Then I accepted that everyone changed and now when I see someone having either their first child or their next, I send their soul momma to momma love as they are getting ready to transform in ways they never thought they could. I am convinced in some way every time I carry a child and give birth I too become new in some way as my energy and theirs co-mingles in the small space of my body and then we journey forward together. 

It is the most breathtaking, awe inspiring snapshot if it would just stay still for a moment long enough to grasp. 

Motherhood can completely engulf you.

No matter what it will change you and if you stare into the eyes of the light you gave birth to, you can forever lose you soul in their enchantment.

However......

I share with you from experience. This coming from someone who likes to experiment with different concepts and has grown up raising children........ our most important role in our motherhood adventure is to lead. 

Lead our children to dream

Lead our children to love

Lead our children to compassion

Lead them to serve worthy causes...

I love business and organizations, I have been working at places since I was 14 years young.

Five years ago I left my 9-5. 

The most influential leaders, managers and/or bosses I had, the ones I wanted to follow, the ones that inspired me, were the ones that led by example. They were the ones that not only told me what to do, they showed me. 

Think about what you dream for your child? 

I wonder what their soul came here to do? 

They are some extension of you in this realm, either by adoption or biologically they have asked to be here with you to teach them. 

What will you teach them? 

Will you teach them to be free? 

Will you teach them to have healthy boundaries? Will you teach them work ethic, kindness, compassion, tolerance, faith, strength...

Will you teach them to love through the expression of their own lives? 

I see and hear and I was raised hearing of the sacrifices mothers' make for their children, I wonder if the perception of sacrifice could possibly be a cop-out for someone who was unwilling to live out their life passions with their blessings in tow. 

Sure I get it, modifications have to be made, there are challenges, responsibilities, and bottom line they have to eat THREE times a day, however, I wonder if we embraced the journey of motherhood with the idea that we would learn how create a life where we didn't have to choose them over us, how would that ripple out into the world. 

We may not see women fearing they will lose their fertility because if they hadn't waited so long they wouldn't have become XYZ, sure they may have became something else, maybe something better? 

What if we taught our children the important things by leading them there with us. 

Not choosing between ........ them or us. 

Motherhood is an adventure, live it to the fullest. 

My greatest teachers are my children and it isn't because I sacrificed myself to be their mother it is because we journey together and I lead. 

Lead with me, figure out what you desire and then teach them to. 

Motherhood is an ever changing landscape, plant seeds, water your garden and grow. 

A Little BW Update

How are you all doing?!?!?!??! I miss my family and friends!!! <3 <3 <3 <3

A little BW update: School is back in session and everyone went with no tears including me. I am so happy they all love their schools and teachers. (Remember we use to homeschool less than 6 months ago)

There was anticipation of going back in our high schooler however I did a couple of rockets' kicks rockefeller Christmas style on the walk to school and she couldn't help but smile <3

We almost had everything we needed, we had all the "must haves" - covered socks, underwear, shirts and pants then I realized there was a list of school supplies that Michael needed. Still counting it a WIN!

Evan and David both start SOCCER this week. So, yesterday David went on the hunt for extra - wide cleats. Yes, picture David and I as soccer mom and Dad. Whoah!

Yesterday, while David was covering PR looking for cleats with FOUR kids in tow, I dusted off and busted out my mad domestic goddess skills, I cleaned my room and did my laundry, bathroom, floors, identified some crazy unidentifiable smell coming from the laundry and yes it required bleach.

Suki, our lizard, joined us and we have been enjoying having him in the front of the house vs. tucked away in Claire's room like he was in Texas.

Michael has asked to go back to the "big house" several times. God bless him there have been times I felt like we should just pack our stuff and go back home too. Then a couple days ago he said he now calls it the "old hotel" so we are making progress.

This place is nice however I am not going to lie going from the house in TX to this has its moments. I realize now (hahaha) we had quite the setup.

We are feeling fresh and fancy today, I even ran to Yoga.

I just sat down at the PC to do a little work because we are weaning Lydia and our favorite mommy daughter bonding time is dancing to the oldies between bouts of mourning. We aren't going cold turkey but we are definitely eliminating key habits and behaviours, she has been an amazing milk manager and she has graduated with honors. The process is all hands on deck and I am fascinated with how far she can do a backbend when she decides to give her all for a minute.

Definitely a future Yogi.

My heart was heavy as a lot of my family gathered old school style in TX and the festivities will continue for another week or so. I am reminded how blessed I am to have the most awesome family on the planet even if we get a little loud and rowdy sometimes I love them and miss the echoing of everyone trying to talk over each other <3

I also realize that by feeling so close to them _no matter what_ it has definitely confused me a bit on friendships. My family has been the dominating factor for me to the point that when I have a friend that I feel close to, they become my family.

It's like I am adding to the family, not making friends.

Does that make sense?

So now at 37 and on an island where we start from ground zero I am learning to navigate all of this. ABOUT TIME!!!

Would you say that friends are more forgiving or is family more forgiving in your own experiences? I'm not talking about the amount of time it takes to forgive, just ultimately.

Admittedly too, there are those that you can forgive and you still move on without because that is the "healthy choice" however I feel like this is less of an option if you are family but maybe that is just my perception and there is freedom in that too.

Just sounds sad.

Or does it really just boil down to who you are dealing with and the particular circumstances, and relevance?

I realize it is easier for me to bond with people when there is some purpose wrapped in it. Like we have a project or a business to build or something to create. Thank God I have been building my direct marketing business for four years or a may not have ever left my house since the day I quit my 9-5 - SERIOUSLY

I am grateful for the relationships I have built through the process so many of those relationships with other moms, customers and business partners have developed into amazing friendships that I know I could not curate without the commonalities that come from being a part of our wellness community.

So as you can see I a wondering through all of these things and this experience is great opportunity for me to allow a transformation in this department and obviously a healing of some sort.

I can't imagine that it is THIS challenging for many of you.

Throw in the networking vs. friendship and it just starts to blow my mind.

It is exciting and terrifying at the same time and I am accepting miracles all day long!! It would be nice if somehow the universe would "label" people for me so I knew how to proceed <3. God help me discern the messages!!

Last, but never least, how could I update you without telling you that David and I are closer than we ever have been. There is so much mutual respect and teamwork happening in this house, it is ridiculous. I find myself madly in love him and his ability to adapt. And after I restored our room to a suitable sleeping quarters I am eternally grateful for his patience. I am so grateful for the divine intervention that facilitated our union, I get it now, I finally get it.

He is my best friend so that position has been filled.

Thanks for letting me babble ......

Shalom,

XO<3

Brooke

#lookingformytribeinpuertorico
#BWupdate
#suki
#heregoesvulnerable


My Gratitude Letter

Despite us moving in October, we are still not all the way settled in. Going from our 4200 mansion ( :) ) to a 1500 sqft apartment has put quite the squeeze on us. We have purged and purged, and unbelievably I think we still have some things to purge.

As I see my house finally go on the market in Texas, it is bitter sweet. There is a part of me that wants to jump on a plane and get back to being comfortable, eat Marth soul nourishing food, watch some netflix binge for hours on our big screen, invite our friends and family over for swimming, drive on a Texas highway through DT houston and on into Brazoria county to see my Nana.

I miss her so.

I think about what we have done in the last 6 months and it is frightening.

Sold or gave away most of our things, moved from the Houston metro for the first time in 37 years to a place I have never been and we knew no one in a place that is way different from what we have been used to.

With five kids.

Yesterday I had breakfast with my kids across the street and when the man took all 6 of their chocolate milk glasses and replaced them with 6 fresh water glasses I found myself blessing whoever was going to wash those dishes. - Thank you, thank you, thank you

When I went into my closet and pulled out fresh clothes for Lydia, I am grateful each day that Alexandri washed a load for Lydia and hung them up for me - Thank you, thank you, thank you

Today I wasn't feeling good and I was grateful when David said "I can make noodles, spaghetti and sausage and have it ready in 15 minutes" I looked at him and said "well that was worth the move" - thank you, thank you, thank you

I used to have six sparkling toilets and now I am grateful if one that is flushed before I got there - thank you, thank you, thank you


I know that this recalibration is temporary, I know that there will be a day I miss the simplicity of it, the intimacy. We will get a bigger place we want at least 3K sqft for the 7 of us.

We do play more here, we read more here, we have more interactions with people outside our family in one week than we did sometimes in 3 months at home.

I don't have to wonder where or what my kids are doing in the "big house" because we are all here together.

It has changed forever our family dynamics.

We are closer, we are becoming more grateful, more forgiving, we are playing more as a team.

No doubt growth can be messy however we are growing, no doubt.