Tag: Inspiration

Six Spanish Movies that will make you feel…

I am an avid consumer of popular culture. I love movies and television. In fact, it was thanks to American television growing up that I learned some of the finer nuances of American culture.

As an adult, nothing makes me feel connected to my Latin roots like Spanish based movies and music. If you, like me, like to use your Spanish skills to enjoy this type of media then here is a list to inspire you. This list includes movies from the 1980s to 2000s.

Like Water for Chocolate

Como El Agua Para el Chocolate is a 1992 film based on the 1989 novel by Laura Esquivel. This is an arthouse movie that is set during the Mexican Civil War of 1910.

This story is complex and beautiful. It is a deeply symbolic movie is about star-crossed lovers. It also features a highly toxic relationship between mother and daughter. There is some nudity so don’t be alarmed by the front nudity featuring major 80s bush.

Under the Same Moon

Bajo la Misma Luna is a 2007 journey’s hero movie focusing on a young boy. After the death of his grandmother who is raising him in Mexico, he travels unaccompanied to Los Angeles where he hopes to find his mother played by Kate Del Castillo. You will cry. That is… if you have a soul.

The Motorcycle Diaries

This movie came out in 2004 and it features one of my favorite actors, Gabriel Garcia Bernal. If you do not already know him, you are missing out. Garcia Bernal portrays a young Ernesto “Che” Guevara in this dramatic biopic. The movie is based on the real life events that led to Guevara’s enlightenment and acknowledgment of social injustice.

Belle Epoque

1992 movie.  I watched this movie when I was entirely too young! Belle Epoque is about a young Spanish Army deserter who has sex with four sisters. As sexist and gross as that sounds, this movie was actually highly acclaimed and features a young Penelope Cruz as Luz, the youngest sister who ultimately marries the adorable, army-deserting loser.

Love is a Bitch

Amorres Perros or  (2000). This excellent movie stars Gabriel Garcia Bernal in a dramatic ensemble about a people linked together by a horrific car accident. It is Crash before Crash came out.

Ladron Que Roba Ladron (2007)

This movie is a Robin Hood-esque, heist comedy. In addition to having a premise that will help you justify cheering for the “bad guy” robbers, you will enjoying Gabriel Soto’s beautiful body as he sweats and digs a tunnel.

What is your favorite Spanish-language movie?

Monthly Motivational Mantra

Work towards progress, not PERFECTION.

In my younger years, I was not as wise. I wore the badge of “perfectionist” proudly. As time passed, I realized the absurdity of my self-assessment. I learned, through a much wiser friend, that perfectionism is a form of procrastination. Why? For perfectionist to get things perfect three things have to line up PERFECTLY: Time, Inspiration, Capacity. Impossible!

Now, I think about the ways in which I can move projects along to the next phase. I accomplish a large number of projects, goals and responsibilities when I move towards progress.

I don’t have to be perfect or inspired to get moving. I just need to progress forward.

Monthly Motivational Mantra

 

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February Watchword- Fearless

I am not superhuman. But, I am a Latina, which is nearly the same thing. When I begin to feel fear, I acknowledge it. “Yeah fear. I see you. I hear you pounding the inside of my chest trying to break me apart.” I close my eyes, take a deep breath. I get myself ready. I look fear straight in the eye and say, “But, I’m still doing it anyway. Now, step aside!”

 

*This photo is of my first rock-climbing trip in Colorado. I took the photo so that I could examine the hook and cables sixty feet above me. I would be putting my entire weight… and faith on them.

Book Review of “I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter”

A young woman dealing with loss, love and learning.

Fall 2018, I learned about a young adult author that completely excited me. Erika Sanchez, a professor of Poetry at Princeton University. She is the author of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. Her debut novel was released by Knopf Books in October 2017. Now, I cannot say why I had not heard about it sooner. But, I am so thankful that I did. I connected with the story.  

The moment I heard the title, I knew that I had to read this book. The title proved just as intriguing for others in my social circle. After I finished reading it, I took to social media to laud its praises. I posted on Facebook,

If you have not already picked up your copy of this book. Do it! It is devastatingly beautiful. #iamnotyourperfectmexicandaughter

I read the first comment following my post:

Yes, you are my perfect Mexican daughter!! 

I laughed. My mom had posted a response. I could hear her saying those words, the Y’s in yes and you sounding more like J’s.

But, being a “Perfect Mexican Daughter” did not make me feel any less connected to this book. In fact, I felt connected to it deeply because I do not see myself as the perfect Mexican daughter. Like Julia Reyes, the book’s protagonist, I have felt hopelessness and despair. I have desired to rebel against my culture and circumstances. As a grown woman, I was able to enjoy the book and detach more than I would have years earlier.

The story is beautiful and raw. It is a literary masterpiece. It is a coming of age/maturation story of a young woman living in Chicago with her undocumented parents. Julia is a flawed, high schooler. She is suffering from depression, possibly PTSD and poverty. She is dealing with the questions left by her sister’s death. I could not to stop reading it. 

The book starts as the Reyes family learns that Olga, the older daughter, is dead. It is an excellent story that will grip you. And, if you come from a Latina background, it will feel familiar in a way other books may have never felt familiar.

The book ends beautifully. You grow to love a teenager who, like other teenagers, can be very unloveable. And, it will remind you to love the rebellious teenager you were. Since reading it, I have recommended it to everyone. And I hope that I have inspired you to read it as well.

I chose to include this book as part of the January theme for my blog because this book helped me re-evaluate and reset myself. It reminded me how much I long to have literature that features characters who look like me. Most importantly, it made me re-evaluate my dream of becoming an author and reset my goals in accomplishing the task. It is this book that helped launch me back into the trajectory of starting this blog.

Con Cariño, Amada.

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Motivational Mantra Monday

“She who buys what she does not need steals from herself.”

January Watchwords- Re-evaluate and Reset.

In the coming year, I expect big changes in my life. But, change does not come when one continues to do the same things that have led to the status quo. No. To bring about change, one must change their mindset, actions, and desires. This month, re-evaluate and reset your life. Now, begin to imagine…

How will life change for you?

Identify Your Goals

Every year, I try to challenge myself by trying something new. Most years, I forget my first of the year promise. By the second quarter of the year, I get busy with the day to day responsibilities that are part of my career, family, and personal obligations. And, I fail to accomplish the things on my aspirational list.

But this year, I have promised, will be exceptional. This year, I plan to share my fiction and nonfiction writing with the world. I plan to open up a conversation with Latinas worldwide who are navigating the numerous tags that identify them to the world.

But, I recognized that having an exceptional life requires exceptional efforts. For that reason, I began four months prior by preparing a future-focused plan. I not only backwards engineered my plan by contemplating my goals, my deadlines to accomplish said goals, and the current efforts that I must continue to exert in my life. I have created an excellent game plan for success.

What do you dream?

Plans require VISION.

But, before I could do all of that fun planning, preparation, and plotting, I had to start with the most important thing… A GOAL. Identifying my goals was crucial to creating my plan for success. If you wish to identify your goals as I did, check out the list of questions that I asked myself to identify my goal. I hope the list will help you begin an important conversation with yourself.

If these questions help you or you want to share any additional questions you use to help in your personal development efforts, comment on this post. You can also communicate with me at my Facebook page @AmadaAcostaAddair, Let me know how they work. I will start checking in on the steps you are taking to accomplish your goals.

5 Questions to Help You Identify Your Goals

What are three goals you wish to accomplish in your life? (or, In the next five years? In the coming year?  Etc. Think of any three goals. You are strong, hard-working, and achievement-oriented. You crush goals. Only you can limit your dreams.)

What are five steps which you must take under each of these goals in order to accomplish them?

Are there any time limitations or requirements you must meet in order to complete your goals? (I.E.- I wish to become a teacher. I must obtain a bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate in order to be a teacher. A bachelor’s degree takes approximately 4-6 years to complete.)

Do any of your goals require a certain amount of financial investment? If yes, are you able to make that financial investment at this time?

Which of these goals are you going to start working towards today?

What is the first step you need to take to get started?

What is next?

I hope these questions have helped you identify the goals. And, I hope that they help you evaluate whether or not you can begin to work towards your goals today.

Once you have identified the goals you have for your life, it is easy to create a future-focused plan that can be executed and accomplished. You deserve to live the life you envision for yourself. However, it is important to remember that amazing opportunities come from extraordinary efforts. Therefore, you must now use the goals you have identified to create the plan. It is as easy and hard as all of that.

Do you want to  discuss how to create a plan from your goals? Wish to discuss your goals in greater detail? Remember, identifying your goals is just the first step. Now that you have determined what goals you have the time and money to accomplish, you will need to create a plan.

 

What question(s) would you have added to my list of five?