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It Takes A Village

Adriana’s asleep on my lap on the plane home from La Isla del Encanto – Puerto Rico. We had an extraordinary trip. Family, friends, food, kayaking at night in a bioluminescent bay, jogging on the beach each morning, warm rain, big laughs.

I am incredibly grateful for the life I’ve created. Make no mistake, I’ve made mistakes. A lot in recent years, which have led to the biggest personal and professional expansion of my life. I continue to forgive myself for those mis-steps. And it is in that forgiveness that I’ve witnessed a deeper understanding of where I’ve been, where I am and where I’m going.

Time to take stock, right? I have grown more this year, both personally and professionally, than in any recent time. I’ve felt great bliss, great despair, great love, great understanding. I’ve had tremendous success and major epiphanies. Some of it came through suffering. But I got past it with the help of friends and colleagues who nurtured and supported me.

And therein lies the lesson: I haven’t done it alone. I have a village.

Most of you know EcoRico is now on the Huffington Post (!!!). Videos, blog and recipes. That’s pretty big, right? Enormous, huge, gargantuan. We appear on the front page of Latino Voices every week. Food and Healthy Living sections coming. YEEHAW!

Guess how that happened. One of our Content License Partners – UrbanoTV/New Generation Latino – hooked it up. (EcoRico now has 4 content license partners. It’s been a busy year…) The great part about NGL is they get what we do. They understand our audience, see our vision, open doors. They know how to pitch EcoRico and we, in turn, know how to deliver content they can pitch. Mutual respect, appreciation and love. Win-Win.

The same dynamic has happened over and over this year with relationships, colleagues, friends, deals, meetings, groups, you name it. Someone says: “Hey G, you need to meet ___.” “You need to go to this event.” And I do. And it leads to a wonderful opportunity, friendship, situation. When I’m in sync with someone, great benefit has come for both parties. When I’m in conflict (and believe me, I was), it’s been disastrous.

I could not have gotten so far without the love, respect and support of YOU. Each time you re-post, tweet, email, mention, watch EcoRico, we EXPAND. Hopefully, I return the favor by providing you with info, entertainment, motivation and support. It’s a giant circle of love energy, EcoRico-style!

THANK YOU for your acceptance. THANK YOU for the opportunities you provide. THANK YOU for helping me fulfill my vision. We grow with your help. Personal and professional expansion does not happen in a vacuum.

If you’re wondering how to create an opportunity-rich life, here’s my suggestion for you. Take a close look at the people and situations in your life. Figure out who and what bolsters your self-esteem and actively encourages your dreams. Those are the people and relationships you nurture. The ones that tear you down, nit-pick and criticize must go. They do not serve you as you do not serve them.

Yes, this can be daunting. Tackle one thing at a time, one step at a time. What situation or person constantly makes you feel like caca? Handle that problem FIRST. Step by step. Deal with the residual effects. It may take a while, but I promise you will feel lighter, happier, stronger, more confident. I resolved a situation this year with someone who made me feel horrible about myself. The relationship affected every part of my life. It had to end. As soon as it did, KAPOW! Hola, opportunity!! It took a lot of soul searching. But it was in confronting and answering those questions that I grew.

Creating the life we’re meant to live takes a village. You can populate that village with whomever and whatever you want. I want the people in my village to provide acceptance, love and support. I want the situations that happen in my village to open doors with ease. Yes, life can include crisis. I’d like to live through that crisis with people who nurture the opportunity – not the toxicity – of crisis.

The choice is yours. Build your village wisely. Re-populate it with friends and colleagues who uplift, nurture your spirit and accept who you are. YOU make that happen.

I wish you a joyous holiday season and blissfully prosperous 2012!

Much peace and love to you, my friends.

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