If you Believe in Magic, Magic will Happen!

I came running from Diego's school to share something wonderful with you. Something magic just happened! Here is the story:

I religiously spend about 25-30 minutes in Diego's school playground every single morning, from Monday to Friday. I have been doing this since Diego was in Kindergarten. By keeping this routine Diego is consistently exposed to an environment where he can get social clues about how children interact in a spontaneous dynamic. My hope has been that one day he will learn how to connect with other children on his own, without the participation of adults. I believe that adult help is key for Autistic children (which Diego has all the time) but I also believe that it's a positive thing to give Diego the freedom to figure things out on his own, from experience.

Diego is able to engage in play with children from his class and from his social skills group. But when he's in a situation where he doesn't know the children, then he never initiates a play and he doesn't follow kids that want to interact with him neither. That's what I see every morning in the playground. Non of the children from his class go to the playground, for various reasons, so he's there on his own.

Every morning when we arrive in the playground he has the same routine. He walks in circles around the playground. Then he runs following the same path and then he goes up to a little bridge and jumps over and over again. He loves doing that. But he does all of this alone while all the rest of the children are engaged in their own games. There was a time when I actively tried to help him connect with other children but it didn't work so I decided to trust the fact that Diego is a good learned. I think that in order to learn you need some space so I did that.

Sometimes, just to get an idea of how Diego is feelings I ask: Sweetie, do you like the playground? Do you like the kids in the playground? Do you want to keep going there in the morning? His answer has always been YES. But if you see how disconnected he looks from the children in the playground you would imagine that he's not happy over there. The thing is that I had to learn how to see beyond my eyes. 

Well, today is the day that I have been waiting for!! It was a normal day, he was doing the usual thing. I was talking with other mothers when suddenly Diego comes running to me. Two adorable smaller kids were having fun chasing him. Diego hugged me and with a mix of excitement and confusion, like expecting some kind of clarification he said: Mom! Those kids are chasing me!! I have been so ready for this moment that I immediately said: That is sooo cool!!! Go ahead and have fun chasing them now! Go! Go! They're waiting for you! So he did it. He started chasing the kids, they were laughing and having so much fun. Then they went to the slide and started playing together and taking turns. Then they run again...For a few minutes Diego was one more kid in the playground, having fun, sweating, smiling, his face was read. His body and mind were 100% activated.

I have visualized this scene in my mind so many times! And today it became real. This seems to be such a small thing but it was HUGE for me! It was a milestone. This is the first time that Diego engages in a play with other kids totally on his own, outside the group of children that he's familiar with. It's too bad that I didn't have a camera to take a picture. His face was so radiant! He was so happy!! I know that this is just the beginning of a long road.

Here is what I learned from this experience:

*Follow your instincts and always do what feels right.

*Have hope.

*Be extremely patient and consistent.

*Don't give up.

*Belive in magic and magic will happen.

*Visualize your dreams as if they were real.

*Be ready for what you want so you know what to do when it happens.

*Don't ever believe that idea that Autistic children prefer to be on their own. They do want to belong, they want to have friends, they want to be accepted and they want to have fun. They just don't know how to do it naturally. They don't "prefer" to be on their own, that's what they do because it's just easier or because they have been so affected by their unsuccessful attemps that they decided to give up trying. But very deep within, every Autistic child wants the same things that neurotypical children want.

Much love!

Elsita :)




Feliz cumpleaƱos to me :)

Libelula copy

New painting for my upcoming show in Miami, Florida.

Today I'm turning 41 years old so I decided to list 41 of the many lessons that life has taught me so far:

1. Forgiving those who hurt you is the first step to personal growth.

2. Make a conscious effort to remember your past. Many of the clues that help us solve current problems are found in the past.

3. Be excited about the future. Anything can be better in the future if we star building it today.


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4. If you want to enjoy the beauty of life be present in everything you do.  

5. Don't judge others. Just observe, listen and learn from them. Every single person on Earth has something to teach you. 

6. Real wealth has nothing to do with money. 

7. Do good things for other people. By doing so you're planting little seeds of love. Those seeds will feed your soul when you most need it.

8. Be gentle and patient with yourself, everyday. 

9. Be brave enough to apologize when you do something wrong. 

10. The greatest lessons are learned from whatever hurt you. 

11. Smile and life will smile back to you. A smile is understood in every culture and in every languaje. 

12. Spend time in solitude often. It will give you space for listening, feeling and seeing more than when you're surrounded by people.

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13. Enjoy human presence. Human energy is the strongest of all energies.

14. We need to learn more from animals. They live simpler and happier lives. They deserve our respect.

15. Suffering comes from wanting and expecting things all the time.

16. Happiness is a state of mind. It's accepting ourselves and everything else in a peaceful manner. Just like nature does.

17. Don't try to change other people. Just accept them, love them exactly as they are. That will inspire them to be better.

18. Don't define yourself in any way. We're not something made in a factory with a label that says what we are. Just be whatever you want to be.

19. Parenthood is one of the hardest and most rewarding things in life.

20. The most important thing that every child wants is: your attention.

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21. Creating special rituals and habits with your children is like planting seeds for the future. One day that's what they're going to remember from the past.  

22. Being nice to other people doesn't mean that you have to be naive. Let your intuition alert you when someone has bad intentions so you can protect yourself.

23. You don't have to say yes to everything. Even when everybody else is doing it.

24. Our time and energy is precious and limited. Think well before you decide how to spend it.

25. Don't run away from your emotions and feelings. They are our most important communicators. They let us know everything that we need to know about ourselves.

26. What really works when it comes to healthy eating is to develop a functional relationship with food. 

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27. Pay attention to your appearance. Stay nice and clean. It will help you stay connected with your body and soul.

28. Be considerate with people that have physical disabilities. But don't feel sorry or underestimate them. They are probably stronger than you imagine. Having to overcome daily limitations builds a stronger character. 

29. Be nice with children and adults with special needs. If you're open to them you will be surprised by how much they have to offer.

30. If someone needs your help don't ignore it or make a big deal out of it. Whether the person is disabled or not, just be spontaneous, natural and enjoy helping.

31. Be always curious. Read, ask, research, learn as much as possible.

32. Knowledge is nothing without experience. In order to really learn something you have to somehow experience it yourself.

33. Be open to new experiences, don't be afraid to try something new. It will revitalize your mind and body. It will make your life more interesting.

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34. Let the most important people in your life know that you love them. Write a letter with a list of the things that you love about that person. 

35. Be creative in everything you do. Creativity can solve anything.

36. Don't be afraid to disagree with someone. Just do it in a gentle way. There is more power in being calm than in being aggressive. 

37. Don't do anything when you're angry. Otherwise you will end up hurting someone else or yourself.

38. Nothing stays the same for a long time. Be aware that change is part of life. Some changes will be positive and some negative. Be open to both of them so you won't be unprepared when they arrive. 

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39. Stress is part of modern society but you don't have to let it take over your life. A simple solution to reduce stress: define your priorities and eliminate everything else. Simplify your life in every possible way.

40. Enjoy your friends. You won't know how important they are until they're gone.

41. The best way to stay connected to life is to be aware of death. Our time is limited so do what you want to do, now.



Femina Plantarum. (#2)

Origanum Dictamnuscopysmall


Growing hurts. Transformation is a bumpy ride full of obstacles, but it is the only way to progress. As Frederick Douglass said: "If there is no struggle, there is no progress." I have witnessed the truth behind these words over and over again from my own experience and from observing other people. 

Based on this idea I felt the urge to create a series of works that were visually provocative. Something that suggested growth and transformation. Something that shaked my senses a little bit. That's how I started working on Femina Plantarum.

I think that growth has a lot to do with reaching into dark places and with being brave enough to look at those places in the eye. For the tree to grow strong and healthy there is always the roots deeply embedded in the darkness of the soil. To become a strong and emotionally healthy person we need to deal with the dark side of life. 

Light and darkness, day and night: two sides of a coin. We need to embrace both, the positive and the negative aspects of life because both are part of what we are. In order to go/grow in the right direction and to make good use of our potential we need to be in peace both sides of the coin.


I saw The Two Fridas in Person.

I went to the LACMA in order to see: In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States. It was one of the most intense experiences that I ever had in a museum.

2 fridas

As soon as I entered the room where The Two Fridas was (this is the largest painting by Frida Kahlo) my heart started beeting very fast, my hands started sweating and I felt a subtle heat coming up to my face. Tears came out of my eyes. For a minute I felt like the whole universe was right there in front of me. It was a magic experience that I will never forget.

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 The language of art is something amazing. It can talk to you in such deep ways. I am extremely grateful for artists like Frida Kahlo. If you are in Los Angeles CA, I highly recommend that you see this show. You won't regret it.

Beyond the Horizon.




Here is a photo taken by my beautiful niece Camila from my brother's boat in Miami, Florida. I find it so inspiring. It made me think about the future and about the quote below:

The best way to predict the future is to invent it.

Alan Kay.



Brave and Fearless.

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See the original story here: Lion Cub Rescued by Mother.

These dramatic photographs were taken by wildlife photographer Jean-Francois Largot in Kenya in August of 2011. When I saw them for the first time my heart experienced many emotions.

In the pictures you see a small cub in danger to lose his life. The mother is desperate knowing how extreme the situation is. Other brave members of the group try to save the cub but only the mother takes the risk to go down the cliff. She goes down to rescue her baby and then with great struggle she goes back up with her treasure.

That mother Lion represents one of the most amazing and beautiful aspects of nature: the potential to take risks for something that is really important to us. The most crucial moment in this sequence of photographs is when the mother lion goes down the cliff. She had the courage to risk her own life in order to save her cub. I want to keep that picture in mind forever.

Now let's think about the things that we want to do in life but we're not brave enough to go for. How many times do we stay at the edge of the cliff, afraid and unsure about taking risks? If we love something hard enough, not only our kids but our ideas, our dreams...we will gather enough courage to jump into any adventure, not matter how risky it could be. If I ever find myself in a situation where I'm afraid of pursuing a dream I am going to think about the lion mother going down the cliff. A good dream, as much as a child, is worth risking everything.

Pushing the Envelope.

I am so grateful that Bill got this book for me. Once I started reading it I couldn't put it down. This extraordinay man was way far from perfect, as the rest of us, but his qualities and accomplishments are such an inspiration. I highly recommend this book, particulary to creative people. 


If I had to name a single practical lesson from Steve Jobs that I learned from this book I would say: Stay focused. Get rid of innecessary distractions and define exactly what is it that you want to accomplish in your life. He had the ability to put all his energy, heart, soul and body on a clear objetive until he got the best results possible. His search for excellence inspired lots of people to give the best of them as professionals.

There is a common feeling that we all have as humans beings, we know that we can do better than we're doing right now but sometimes we lack the self confidence, willpower or the strenght to push ourselves out of the comfort zone in order go after more ambitious horizons. Steve Jobs was constantly pushing the envelope and seeing ahead of his time. He was fearless and never stopped following his dreams. He was a visionary. 

I invite you to watch his inspiring speech below, it is very moving: 


What is a Year?

We're starting a new year. But what is a year? According to Wikipedia a year "is the orbital period of the Earth moving around the Sun"... You and I are, in this very second, moving around the sun. It is such a subtle motion that we don't even notice it.


A year

We could say that in 12 months we're going to be back where we are now. But the thing is that we're not going to be exactly the same person that we are today. Life is a circular journey. Each full circle around the sun leaves a mark in us. Each new year is an opportunity for each person on planet Earth to learn something new, to be exposed to new experiences.


Sometimes things seem to speed up or slow down in our lives, but that is just an ilusion, it is the way we perceive ourselves and the events in which we are involved. The truth is that if we observe the universe as a whole with us in it we will notice that nature moves in a steady and consistent speed. We need to keep that in mind, we need to be in sync with nature in the outside as well as in the inside. 

I notice that life gets out of balance when we get disconnected from the big picture, when we see only the tree and not the forest, when we lose perspective of what the universe is and what we are in that universe. We, as human beings, tend to complicate everything. But in the end it is all pretty simple. We will go around the sun as many times as we're lucky to. A few of us get to do it 100 times, some of us much less. This is my 41st time! I feel really lucky.

During our yearly circular journey we will face different experiences; positive ones and negative ones. It is totally up to us what we are going to make out of those experiences. The time that we spend responding to those experiences and the way we interpret them will define what our lives will be in the next few months.

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I invite you to keep going in this common journey with a very positive mind. No matter what our challenges are or will be, let's keep in mind that we always have the power to chose positive over negative. And since traveling solo is not as fun as traveling with company, I am looking forward to sharing my own journey with you!

Happy New Year!

Elsita :)



My Personal Mission Statement.

In the beginning of this year I read a book that taught me a lot. One of the things that this book recommended was to write a personal mission statement. It had to be something short that expressed the very essence of what you want to do in your life. I agree with Mr. Stephen R. Covey , writing your personal mission statement is a great way to remind yourself where you want to go. Here I'm sharing what I wrote with you. I keep it in a visible place so I can read it often and make sure that I stick to it. 

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