Great advice! Now what?!

Great advice! Now what?!

It is easy to give advice. When it is time to take advice, however, it is difficult to remove yourself from the situation and have a clear view on how to move forward. It is for this reason that psychologists and psychiatrists have their own therapist and doctors do not diagnose themselves, or rather should not. When facing any difficulties, it is helpful to get an outside opinion in order to get perspective and attain clarity. I recently experienced this myself. I was having an issue with a friend of mine and found myself at a loss in how to approach things. I carefully thought about what I usually advise others but was unsure of how to proceed because I was emotionally invested in the outcome. I had a very hard time separating what I knew to be true with what I wanted. The first thing I did was to call someone I trust, who was not involved. Sometimes you need to enlist several people. If you do not have a good support system, I recommend a therapist, a religious or spiritual guide, a teacher or even a complete stranger who is willing to lend an ear. The important thing to note is that no matter who you speak to, you are the one who will resolve the issue. Even with professional help, be aware that they will not solve your problem for you. They cannot perform miracles. They will not give you a magic potion, pills or even the strength to face or do anything. They will make suggestions, provide you with guidelines and offer support. That is it. What you do with that help is entirely up to you. Knowledge is an amazing thing. The mind processes any information you read, all the advice you receive, every seminar and sermon you attend. The lessons are heard but not applied to your life unless you choose to include them. Everything gets filtered by your state of mind. That is why you can read the same book after many years and have it affect you in a completely different way. The more experience we have, the more knowledge we retain. As we become more confident in ourselves, we interpret the advice we are given more honestly. Once you have determined how you want to live, it is essential to develop your own personal mantra. You may have only one mantra or many. I have several that I refer to when I am facing adversity. For example, one is “make the healthy choice.” In my twenties, I struggled with body issues but really wanted to create a healthy lifestyle for myself. This mantra translates easily into many aspects of life. When thinking about dinner or whether or not to stay up late, I will repeat my mantra and make a choice. I don’t always make the healthy choice, but that is why I also have the mantra “Forgive.” When you incorporate a mantra into your routine, it becomes part of your conscience. When used correctly, it will help keep you on the path you have chosen. Each time you listen to that little voice inside, you will gain strength and courage to be true to yourself. When it came to the problem with my friend, my little voice reminded me of another rule I try to live by, “be honest.” That is one of my most important mantras because it goes hand in hand with who I have become as a person. The only way to live everyday to the fullest and feel good about who you are is to be honest. That is one of hardest things to do in life. Personally, it has ended several friendships but it gave me the confidence to be who I am today. The friends who have stood by me, know what they are getting with my friendship. When I analyzed my dilemma along with the help of a good friend, I realized that I was not actually hurt by my other friend’s actions, but was upset about the circumstances around the situation, over which neither one of us had any control. In the end, what I needed was simply to communicate my feelings to her. A true friend will listen, help you cope and give you the love and support you need. Keep in mind, there may not be a solution to your problem. You need to look at the facts, accept what is out of your control and choose to come to terms with the situation. You will decide what to do based on advice, instinct and chosen path. Your mantra should help you take action and move forward. Using this method, one problem at a time you will slowly take control of your life and your happiness.  ...

The Anti-Gravity Room

The Anti-Gravity Room was a show about comic books and video games. It was produced by YTV in Canada, and aired on the Sci-Fi Channel in the US. It had an array of guest hosts including Kevin Smith, Ben Stiller and of course, Patricia Ribeiro.      ...

Forgiveness begins within.

Forgiveness begins within.

  Making a better life is challenging.  You may be doing everything right.  You are living in the moment, appreciating the things you have and making small changes towards reaching your goals.  However, you can still feel like you are walking against the tide.  On those days, there will occasionally be setbacks.  You may slip into old habits or have an emotional meltdown.  It is OK. It happens.  It is part of the process.  Just like someone who is attempting to eat healthier may have an entire tub of ice cream after a particularly trying day, you may hit a similar stumbling block. We are human.  We are fallible.  Self improvement is an ongoing journey for the rest of your life.  Each day and each moment,  you have a choice.  Now and then you might indulge the three year old inside that has a temper tantrum when things do not go as planned.  Alternatively, you may step back, take a deep breath and focus on how to solve the problem.  Just because one day you make a poor decision does not mean you are bound to that course of action every time.  Unless that is your choice.  When you become disappointed with your behavior, forgive the transgression and allow yourself another chance. As a parent it is easy to forgive your child for their mistakes.  While learning to pour from a carton, you do not chastise them for spilling the milk.  While learning to walk, you do not insult them when they fall.  Apply this principle to yourself.  We are all learning how to be better people.  Be kind to yourself when you have a bad day. Forgive yourself for succumbing to your emotions or being angry at your circumstances.  Forgive yourself for falling into old patterns which have been established over many years.  Successful change occurs when you take responsibility for your choices and make better decisions next time.  Reflect on how you feel when you overreact or over indulge.  You will notice that these actions are counterproductive.  In addition, you feel bad about yourself which increases the distress. When you take this attitude with yourself, you will find it easier to apply it to others in your life as well.  This is essential to improve relationships in your life.  Learning to forgive yourself will help you understand how important it is to give those around you another chance to redeem themselves. Truth be told, I have a horrible temper.  I am Portuguese and as a culture we often scream, shout and flail our arms over just about anything.  I know the Italians get all the glory when it comes to hot blooded reactions but believe me, you do not want to get caught in the wrath of a Portuguese woman either, it is not pretty.  That being said, I had to put this temper in check.  It is exhausting to fly off the handle and as I mentioned before, it does not accomplish anything.  However, sometimes it is cathartic.  Before indulging myself in an outburst I try to ask myself the question “why am I upset?”  The answer is not as obvious as it may seem.  When someone hurts you, it may be that you are disappointed that they did not meet your expectations.  Perhaps something did not go as you had hoped and you are disillusioned because of your fear of failure.  If you analyze the root of your anger you often will encounter that it is because of your presumption of the outcome and has very little to do with any circumstance or person involved. It is natural to be annoyed when things do not go as planned.  How you decide to express your aggravation is the key to improving your life.  Call a friend.  Call a psychologist. Talk to the person with whom you are having an issue and make it clear that you are not mad at them but you need to vent.  It is ok to tell someone that you are upset by their actions without insulting them.  Whether it is your spouse, your children or a friend, it is important that you communicate your fears and disappointment without making them responsible for your state of mind.  This will improve your relationship because you can be honest and forthcoming without causing them to feel like they have to defend themselves. Whether it is the extra piece of cake you had at a friend’s wedding, losing your temper with a loved one or letting an opportunity slip by because of fear, forgive yourself.   Apply this philosophy to anyone in your life who may have a setback.  Each time you forgive, you will be moving one step closer to peace within and happiness in your life....

Focus on one thing that matters the most.

Focus on one thing that matters the most.

  The New Year always brings such hope and excitement.  Change is imminent and all things are possible.  Suddenly you visualize achieving all those goals you have been dreaming of for years and know THIS is the year you are going to do it!  You are going to quit smoking, lose 20 lbs, find a new job and meet the person of your dreams.  For the first few days, or even few weeks you are on fire!  You get on a new health regimen, successfully stop smoking and even fill out an online dating profile!  Things are definitely looking up. Suddenly, you hit a snag.  You get fired, have a fight with someone or you have a particularly trying day and you decide that you really need a cigarette.  Who could blame you? You deserve it!  You decide not to work out because you are just too stressed out.  Since you are not working out anyway, why not have that big piece of chocolate cake you have been eyeing for the last 3 days?  You have not applied to any other job because you need to fix up your resume and no one is really hiring this early in the New Year, maybe they’ll be looking in the spring…yes, you should wait until the spring when things feel fresh and exciting again.  The same goes for your online dating profile.  You have decided to wait because you want to get things in order with your life before looking for that right person.  I mean, how can you begin dating until you find that new job, quit smoking and lose that extra weight?!   There are several reasons to keep things status quo.  Change is scary.  Moving outside of your comfort zone is frightening.  What if you do not succeed?  What if it does not make any difference in your life?  What if you are still miserable and you suffered through all the sacrifice that comes with change?  When you take the time to do things differently, things WILL change and keep moving forward and that is never a bad thing.  You have to decide what is important to you and whether or not you are worth the investment. Instead of having a laundry list of New Year’s resolutions adding unrealistic expectations to the already challenging endeavor of imparting real change in your life, I propose you select just one.  With several objectives, it is hard to stay focused and clearly visualize your path because there are so many different aspects to your success.  Zoning in on just one thing will make it easier to establish a plan that produces results.  Take an honest look at yourself and prioritize.  Figure out which goal is most important and will have the biggest impact on your life.  If the first thing on your list is to take care of your health, then that should be your only focus this year. Once you have decided what to focus on, you can break it down into smaller, doable steps for each month and even each week.  In order to successfully achieve any type of change in your life, you must take small steps and give yourself enough time to realistically implement new habits.  For example, if you decide that you must make your health a priority this year, pick a specific goal such as “I want to lose 20 lbs by Dec. 31 2014” and then break it down into smaller tasks.  Make a list of all the things that you can do to help you achieve that goal.  In this case you may add such things as make healthier food choices, increase physical activity and reduce sugar intake.  Do not start doing everything at once.  In order for you to break an old habit, you need to slowly introduce a new one and remember that takes 21 days to implement successfully.  Start small.  Evaluate what you are eating and drinking and what kind of physical activity you are doing so that you may introduce slow but effective changes to your lifestyle.  You can start by cutting out soda.  Begin with replacing one a day with either sparkling or plain water for one week.  Then try replacing two sodas a day, for another week.  If that seems like too much, take it slower.  Make it an easy pace to ensure success.  Break down each step and decide what is doable and stick to the plan.  Once you have eradicated soda from your diet, try reducing sugar intake.  First, you may cut it out of your morning coffee or have one less dessert a week or reduce the amount of chocolate you eat.  If you don’t like the idea of eliminating, then begin adding physical activity.  If you are currently not active, start by walking once a week for 10 minutes.  Gradually increase the time you walk and then add days based on a realistic plan that works with your lifestyle and schedule.   If you have a bad day or week, continue from your last successful point and repeat it until you are ready to move on.  Don’t give up!  That is why this should be the only goal for the rest of the year.  You need to give yourself time to accomplish the goal while allowing the new regimen to become a regular part of your lifestyle.  When you are trying to quit smoking or improve your health, doing it successfully for a couple of weeks does not mean you have completely achieved your objective.  You should give yourself time to really establish your new habits to make sure they are truly part of your life before moving on to the next goal.   In the event that you do attain success before the year is up, you can then start to take the same approach with a new goal or you can just enjoy the fact that you accomplished what you set out to do for 2014 and start thinking about what you want to do next year! Good luck on achieving all of your endeavors for the New Year!!    ...

Taking Steps to Change

Taking Steps to Change

To change your life, you must change. What does that mean?  It means if you are unhappy, you need to figure out what makes you happy and work towards that goal. It is difficult to change existing patterns in your life after spending so many years establishing them.  It is challenging for a smoker to give up smoking not only because of the nicotine but because it is difficult to institute new habits to replace old ones.  Another good example is someone who has struggled with their weight.  Food may have provided comfort or filled some sort of void, now there needs to be a substitute for food.  One habit needs to be replaced by another.  None of this change happens overnight, just as weight isn’t gained all at once.  You gain one pound at a time, one day at a time.  You cannot expect to lose weight or establish a new routine without giving yourself or your body time to adjust. You may ask yourself, why change at all?  If you are happy with your life, grateful for what you have and take each day as a blessing, then you are on the right track.  However, most people find themselves asking the questions “Why do these things keep happening to me?”  “Why is everything so difficult?” or “Why can’t I get a break?”.  If this applies to you or you find yourself searching for a better life then take charge and do something!  Perhaps you realize that you need to change but you are just trying to keep your head above water and do not have the time or emotional wherewithal to try something new.  This is precisely when you must act!  Once you have introduced something new, stick to it.  The less you feel like doing it, the more important it is to see it through.  Each time you defeat your negative tendencies you will feel more empowered.  Every action you take to improve your life will demonstrate that you are capable of change. Making small adjustments is only one way to revitalize your life.  The most important step is transforming your way of thinking.  It is easy to throw around cliche’s:  view the glass as half full or life is what you make it.  The fact is that it takes effort and determination to change your life and it really begins with your outlook.  Anyone can analyze their life and see where things fall short.  The challenge is looking at the same life and choosing to be grateful.  As a young woman I recall looking at myself in the mirror and thinking how unhappy I was with my body.  When I look at old pictures of myself now I think it is sad that I did not realize how beautiful I was at that time.  So whenever I am feeling a little insecure, as we all do on occasion, I am aware of how important it is to appreciate who I am now.  It takes dedication to recognize the value of what you have at every turn.  When your children are running around and not listening, take a moment to be grateful that they are healthy enough to drive you crazy.  If you have been let go at work, maybe it is time for a fresh start and you can finally go after your dream job.  Take the opportunity to spend some quality time with your children for whom you would not otherwise have the time.  Of course, you need to take action to resolve the problems you are facing but if you take a moment to be grateful, you will be more prepared to find a solution.  You will eliminate anger from your circumstances by looking at the benefits of your current situation. We are faced with challenges to prepare us for life.  It is not meant to be a road block to permanently stunt our growth but an obstacle to provide us an opportunity to evolve beyond our comfort zone.  Instead of looking at life as one miserable experience after another, find the lessons and take each trial and tribulation as a step closer to attaining your goals.  Just like a video game, every stage that you pass makes the next one more difficult in order to test your skills.  The closer you get to “saving the princess” the bigger and more dangerous the dragons become! If you find yourself unhappy and unfulfilled, decide what makes you happy.  Visualize the goal and make small changes that bring you closer to achieving it.  Trust that any challenges you are faced with are necessary to prepare you for the next step in your path.  There has to be a journey.  Without the journey, there is no destination!  ...

Expectations may lead to disappointment.

Expectations may lead to disappointment.

In the same way that you shouldn’t judge yourself based on anyone else, it is also unfair to judge others based on your own expectations. Anticipation of a certain outcome or behavior can easily lead to disappointment, especially if it involves other people, mother nature or things we can not control.  It is important to have expectations of yourself but it is not fair to place those same demands on anyone else. Everyone is different.  People have diverse cultural and religious backgrounds, family values and moral compasses.  What we may see as inappropriate may be standard cultural behavior for someone else.  It is not up to us to judge.  Our only responsibilities are to conduct ourselves in a manner we are comfortable with and ensure that our family is not being hurt by anyone’s poor choices.  Other than that, we should not impose our expectations onto other people.  Everyone has their own limitations and if we love them and choose to keep them in our lives we must accept them for who they are unconditionally.  If there is someone who repeatedly disappoints you, take a step back and ask yourself if you are transferring your own agenda to this person.  Do not assume they are even aware that they are offending you.  Explain to them that your feelings are hurt and tell them how you hoped they would behave.  You should be clear about what actions are important to you.  If you have communicated with them and nothing changes then you must to decide how to proceed.  If it is simply a matter of them handling circumstances differently than you, keep in mind that it is their choice to conduct themselves as they see fit and if you choose to continue interacting with them you must accept them without reservation. If the transgression is unacceptable in that they are physically, emotionally or psychologically abusive, then you must remove yourself or your family from having any exposure to this person.  This will not be easy.  If it is your spouse, a parent or child you may need to enlist the help of a professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist.  Anyone else needs to be cut off from your life immediately.  Never allow anyone to bully or abuse you in anyway.  If you are a parent, it is imperative that your children understand not to tolerate this behavior.  Not only will they see that you have self respect, but it is a valuable lesson in self preservation! Outside of those drastic circumstances, there are plenty of everyday examples of people who do not live up to your expectations and you must decide how to deal with them.  You may have a friend who only calls when they need something.  They do not call to see how you are doing or to say hello.  Whenever they do call it is to ask for a favor or to unload the latest drama.  If you are looking to have a reciprocal relationship with this person, you are going to be disappointed.  However, you may enjoy their crazy stories and find that once in while it’s nice to focus on someone else.    If you decide that you still want to continue this friendship than you must accept them for who they are and all that entails.  If not, you should be open about how you feel and give them the opportunity to make amends.  Your friend may not have realized how they were hurting you.  They may have assumed that you would call when you need them and tell your own stories without any prompting.  You would be surprised what is revealed in a sincere conversation about your expectations.  Your real friends care about you and will do what is necessary to make the friendship work.  Anyone who is unwilling to have an honest conversation about your relationship is probably not the type of friend you want in your life. Once again, do not accept abuse of any kind from anyone.  That is not the same as having high expectations, that is having self respect.  Aside from that, do not hold your friends and family to your standards.  People have their own reasons for behaving in certain ways and if you choose to associate with them then you need to respect their choices and ask that they do the same for you....

Look within to find your path.  Everything else is an illusion.

Look within to find your path. Everything else is an illusion.

Do not judge yourself based on anyone else.  It may appear that people around you have it all figured out.  The fact is that what you see is an illusion. What was once unknown behind closed doors is now on display.  You can see everyone’s most intimate details on TV, in magazines, on Facebook, Twitter and other similar social networks.  What is sometimes difficult to keep in mind is that people have created an even more in depth illusion while using media to make it appear the reality. People expose what they want. There were always those nice, polite neighbors dressing in their Sunday best who appeared to do and say all the right things, yet behind closed doors they were a dysfunctional family.  Although inside there was alcoholism and spousal abuse, externally they looked like a perfectly happy family. In today’s terms a Facebook page may be no different.  Dressed up with happy pictures of vacations, encouraging life quotes and clips from You Tube of all these amazing adventures only reveals what each individual wants to project.  Because everything is so readily accessible it’s hard to keep things in perspective.  These images have been carefully chosen.  In most cases, it is not that the images are false, but they are often not the full picture.  The multitude of snapshots of family vacations to all these exotic locations are not going to come with the disclaimer that the family is now in serious debt from overspending and their house is in danger of being foreclosed.  Just as that lovely picture of the couple at a romantic restaurant isn’t going to include the comment that just after that shot was taken they had a huge fight and are now discussing getting a divorce. Each day we deal with various obstacles and often look to those around us for guidance or clues that we are doing things right.  We want to know that we are making the best decisions and it is common to look around us for validation.  When you are at a grocery store and your child becomes relentless in demanding the big box of sugary cereal which you have sworn you would no longer purchase, you might look around to find strength in the look another mom gives you that says “good for you – don’t give in” as opposed to the look of disgust that says “really, just give him the damn cereal and shut him up!” Be your own moral compass.  Whether you look to your friends, family or any of the social networks, you cannot count on what you see to guide you in your decisions.  Things are not always exactly as they appear.  Even close friends will occasionally not disclose every last detail.  They may be embarrassed that they still let their 5 year old sleep in their bed or bribe their kids with television so they can enjoy 30 minutes of quiet time with their favorite magazine.  Those 30 minutes of quiet time may be just enough to refresh your friend and give her the patience to deal with dinner and bedtime but she is also afraid of judgement. Asking people for advice is great but be aware that their opinions are subjective.  Their guidance reflects their own values and neuroses and should not change how you do things unless you fundamentally agree. When feeling overwhelmed and unsure keep the following thoughts in mind: What you see from other people is only part of the story.  Be confident that everyone makes mistakes and most of them will not have negative long term affects.  Do not let society dictate your values, most people are as unsure as you.  Do not let anyone else’s opinion override your inner voice, you know what feels right and what does not.  Make sure that your decisions are yours and not someone else’s, otherwise you may find yourself dealing with the consequences of other people’s choices in your life.  ...

Life Lessons from Lego

Growing up as a girl, I never played with LEGO.  I am not sure if it was because I was not interested in LEGO or if I just did not have any exposure to it.  When I was young, girls did not receive LEGOs as gifts.  Now that I am the mother of three boys, I build often with LEGO and I really enjoy it.  I love that you start with nothing but a bunch of pieces and a map and if you carefully follow each step, which in itself is very easy to do, you can end up building a pretty complex toy. I was building a LEGO Universe with my 4 1/2 year old son, who was tremendously impatient to get to the finished product so that he could start playing.  I was attempting to teach him to follow the directions in order to accomplish each step of the construction process. It then occurred to me how the principals of building with LEGO are a great metaphor for life. 1 – The picture of the final product is your goal. 2 – Do one step at a time and complete them in order.  Do not jump ahead or you may miss something along the way.  Do not worry about what happens in step 2 or 3 if you are on step 1.  You may not know how each step is going to get you to your goal but they are essential and you have to trust the directions. 3 – Enjoy each small victory.  Each step you do correctly takes you one step closer toward achieving your goal. 4 – If you skip a step along the way, you may have to go back and start from the beginning.  The good news is that now you have a clearer understanding as to why each step is important. Your tasks will progress with less difficulty the second or third time around. 5 – If you have not experienced success, be patient.  You can always try again. Remember to focus on one step at a time and try not to get ahead of yourself. 6 –  Just because you have reached your goal does not mean you will be satisfied with your final product.  You can always take it apart and build something else with the pieces, not following the directions at all....

Indigo TV

Indigo TV

Indigo TV was an entertainment show based in New York City.  Here are some of the stories produced for the show where Trish Ribeiro was host, producer, writer and occasional editor. Human Giant We did this interview with Paul Scheer and Aziz Ansari from the sketch comedy group Human Giant while they were filming Season 2 for MTV. What better way to get to know someone than have a meal together?  The line was so long for Shake Shack burgers we interviewed them while waiting instead. The Glamazons Before The Glamazons were on America’s Got Talent, they were on iNDiGO TV. Trish caught up with them during one of their shows in NYC Kevin Christiana Kevin Christiana is a great talent in the Fashion World. You may recognize him from Season 4 of Project Runway or from the Rachel Ray show as her “Style Buddy.” Trish had the opportunity to interview him just before his Project Runway debut.  ...

Commercials

Commercials

Here are a few of the commercials I’ve had the opportunity to be in. Care First (Blue Cross/Blue Shield) Blue Pages...

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