Monday, May 30, 2011


Today is a day about connections!  But like many things in life, connections these days come about almost organically.  Whether you want them -or even welcome them- or not people connect with others mostly in ways that escape their control, and for younger people this can be hard to manage.  Being in control of your connections seems a hunting task, but if we look at it more closely, everything that comes our way CAN be managed, and it definitely should be.

So the question we need to answer is not "How do we manage connections that are out of our control?" but rather, "How do we keep in mind that every connection (good or bad) is indeed manageable regardless of its nature?"

This is the question that we have raised over and over again, because when talking about connections we have to define them as experiences involving external agents that are present and may have an effect in our lives. From that definition, we are already seeing it as a manageable external agent in our lives, specially when you realize the fact that they are "outside agents."  This is the key, and it is the root of our ability to manage them.

For example:  Imagine there is now, at this very moment, a negative situation involving bullying in your local high school.  Imagine for a second, that this particular event involves your child, and that he or she is being bullied, mocked, made fun of... or even hurt at school...  Not a pleasant picture in your head is it?

Now:  Imagine for a second your child turning around and recording this event in a notebook, date, place, people involved.  Imagine your child understanding there is an action and a reaction and that his or her reaction will need to be one step ahead of the initial upsetting agent, to the point that he or she is calm, is analytical about it, and is planning the solution to his or her problem... Imagine your heart beating so fast in pride and in awe at your child's ability to evaluate the situation, map a plan of action to solve it, and proceeding to keep record in order to put that plan into action!  That is a powerful image, one that goes from seeing your child as a victim and knowing he or she is a Strong and Confident child.

Keywords: Strength and Confidence

Inner Strength is the one trait that we need to instill in our children in order for them to go beyond survival mode and thrive in life!

Confidence is a closely related trait that comes with belief and  knowledge.  A child believes in himself and one that has knowledge about the resources available to him will be more likely to go through life less worried about outside influences because he would know how to manage them.

So how exactly do you manage the negative connections your children experience on a daily basis?  By showing them how to manage them on their own.

Some steps are:

1)  Educate them on the fact that we are all different, and that other's views are just that, "their views" not a determining factor on who they will ultimately become.

2) Instill confidence in your children by letting them know that they are capable of counteracting others' comments or negative feedback by consciously rejecting their own acceptance of the negative influence coming their way.

3)  Educate them about their resources, at home and outside, so that they can better understand how to proceed in a situation of high stress.  Let them know that the sooner they address a situation by utilizing the resources available to them the sooner it will come to an end.

4) Inspire them and encourage them to be creative.  Creativity is the root of all solutions, and it is a critical trait in thriving in society nowadays.  Encourage them to think outside the box, and to find avenues to navigate the situation while tackling it, not running from it.

5) CONNECT with them! Let them know they are not alone, and reassure them in the fact that asking for help is not a weakness, and that feeling blue, or hurt, or vulnerable, and admitting it takes a very, VERY strong person indeed!

We hope this has helped a bit in creating a new vision of yourself, your children, and all of those who can shift their focus, manage their connections in life, and thrive as individuals in any and every situation they face!

Much love and all the Strength to you!



Monday, May 23, 2011

Finding the way...

Well...  I guess its true that nothing worth pursuing was ever easy!

Our cause remains active and strong, but our means are not necessarily all there yet.  I guess it takes time to find the way, even with a map in your hands.

I find it very hard to sleep these days, and I discovered that it had more to do with my lack of productivity than with the excess thereof.  I am working full-time and had felt that the job I am holding mostly to fund this company was consuming me and making me feel exhausted, but as it turns out, that initial exhaustion was nothing compared to the emptiness I felt when I did not work towards achieving the goals of my company.

So, I have decided to re-claim my life, as I wanted, and as I have planned it!  I guess I just had to remind myself why am I working at this other job in the first place.  I did not find my calling in life to see it die in the hands of a system that makes you "live to work"...  I want to really WORK TO LIVE!  And I want to live a fuller more meaningful life, just like I want to spread this better life to others through Strength Ave.

It is very easy to get consumed by the many to-do's of the day, the many appointments, and paperwork, and the phone calls, and the misunderstandings... And it is even easier to feel sorry for one's self...  Dwelling on self pity to justify the many ways in which a day does not go right.  Well...  I got me my very own Bully, so I cooked myself my very own, home-made piece of Inner Strength covered in Self Love, and Self Respect with some Perspective sprinkled on top... And I have to say, my Inner Strength Delight is a HIT!

So bring it on "you" and "all of you too"!  I found my way and will find it again any time I need to through the realization that life is not better or worse depending on other's views of your daily accomplishments, or your abilities... I remembered that life is always beautiful and full if you are able to find a way to walk through any situation with the same dignity with which you entered it.

Finding your way is not easy, but it is certainly worth trying over and over again until you feel it deep inside you.  Your way is your guide, your inner voice, and your companion.  You way is the you that knows better that anything, the instinct that guides you to the right places at the right times.  Your way is made from you and by you, and nothing and nobody can take it away...  Only you can.

So find your way!  Do whatever it takes to find your own answers, to pave your own roads, and to arrive at your very own destinations!  It is rewarding, fulfilling and charged with truth about who you are.

Best of luck and may love and strength fill your heart very day, no matter what!


Sunday, February 20, 2011

To Save a Life Today

Well...  here is how we are summarizing our mission: To Save a Life Today.

It really explains what we are trying to do in a very short sentence. 

We know that many children, young adults, and even adults we know are struggling with all kinds of difficulties in their lives:  depression, terminal illnesses, bullying, stress, suicidal thoughts...  And most of these things, no matter their source, can be alleviated if we shifted our perspective and make the person suffering feel loved, appreciated, and important.

Perspective is everything in fighting any and all pains.  It is the one thing that can bring light back into our thoughts, because a new perspective can change the course of action we take towards anything.  ANYTHING!

The right perspective is not a single option amongst the milliard of them that can be chosen to address an issue, it is simply the one that made you survive, made you conquer, made you come out of your problem successfully...  It is not black or white, it is any shade of gray that works for you to go through the worst situation successfully.

Are you or someone you know being harassed? Is bullying an everyday thing at your school?  Are you depressed beyond any measure of hope?  Are you suffering from the loss of someone close?  Do you want to end your suffering by ending your life?  Well.. CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE!

Look at your problem from a different angle:  Have you got resources available to you to stop the harassment?  Have you reported your situation to your closed ones?  Have you forgotten how many people are in worse situations than you in the world?  Do you believe that what doesn't break you only makes you stronger???  We DO!  And most of all, WE BELIEVE YOU CAN TOO!

We strongly believe in you, and in everyone's inner strength, and we believe that with the right perspective, and the right tools, everyone can find their inner strength and live a happier life.  That is why we created Strength Avenue, and the products in it: to help you shift your perspective about your issues and to help you believe in yourself, so that you can overcome any obstacle, and any pain.

We are convinced that if our products, and the messages they promote can save just one life today, our mission has been accomplished!  Because every life is worth saving, and living!  We are committed to saving one life every day, that is 365 lives each year...  We think we should be able to make that contribution to this world, and to its people!  We would certainly feel moved by such an accomplishment because in a world where the numbers are reported in terms of "deaths per minute",  considering "lives per year" is just uplifting and inspiring.

We will be launching our company in July 2011 and making our products available to the public.  Our messages will look towards saving one life each day by reminding everyone that they are loved and that they are an important part of the world with a unique contribution to make.  No matter what issues we may face, we all have the strength to overcome them and to thrive as individuals.  We want to remind everyone that the life of their dreams is within their reach, and it is a product of their perspective towards life's many issues.

May Love and Strength fill your heart every day, and may you be committed to Save a Life Today!


Monday, February 14, 2011


As it is customary, today I've heard a lot of "Happy Valentines!"   It is a beautiful thing to celebrate the day of love and friendship.  It is also a time for me to reflect on the many people that are not feeling the love today.

Valentine's Day, as we know it, is a day in which people give each other beautiful cards expressing love and joy for having others in your life, chocolate and stuffed animals have made the list too, and the much anticipated bouquet of flowers...  Valentine's, as we have created it, is a big-o redandpink day with tons of sweet feelings floating around, which is just wonderful...

It is however, within this plethora of love-evoking products around me, that I sometimes wonder...  What about the real love?  Yes, I said it!  All of these things, products, and details, although a great way to express love in the "traditional" way for Valentine's Day, are also NOT the only way to show real love.

Expressing love can be as simple as a much overdue hug, and as powerful as a subtle kiss from those who care about you.  Young adults are especially prone to expecting "things" that "show love," and are often quick to miss the very important signs of True Love in their surroundings.  They are easily distracted with the mountains of imagery and influences that dictates everything they know to be, from what is "cool" to wear, going through what is "so-on!"to behave-like, all the way to defining and showing love to others, and to themselves.

It seems as if most young people -and a fare share of adults- are just sitting on a surfboard, riding the waves of life, wherever these may take them, with this month’s pop-hit (from anyone with enough money to make a sad comeback) as the love-song of choice, and a minimalist sense of understanding for what it is to give love to others in the first place. 

I would like to see love in high school hallways where other's are being bullied, in countries where people are being killed, and in households where people are being taught to discriminate.  I would like to see less "text-me" and "be-mine", and more "stop what you are doing to him!" so the Real Love can come out from wherever it is.  I would love to see the day in which love is not shown with a card but with a firm stand for others' rights, because we are all deserving of protection, of affection, of love... Anywhere and everywhere.

Valentine’s Day is a special day, by tradition.  Let's make it even more so by making someone that did not expect it feel loved, for any and every reason!  Have a sweet valentine gesture towards someone in need of your help, of your comfort, of your strength and help them find theirs too!  We need to start thinking of all of us as responsible for one another, and maybe we will see the day when we will embrace others differences as just that, simple and basic differences that create diversity, and that present opportunities for us to evolve into a more loving human race.

May Love and Strength fill your heart every day, and may we find you walking through Strength Avenue in the company of a new Valentine today!



Friday, February 11, 2011

Birth and Growth

Today is a very important day for me...  My daughter was born eight years ago today, and that gets me thinking about the dynamics of life, and how it shapes people, and who they will become.

My daughter Sofia was born a healthy, happy, gorgeous baby, who was breached and almost pre-term.  My pregnancy was not perfect, but I consider myself lucky and blessed to have been able to do all I needed to do to give her the best odds at having no complications.  I was successful at this, and I am humbled to have received such great gift!

As I see her now, eight years old, smart, happy and completely unaware of so many things yet to come, I wonder what I can do to make her transition into a young adult one that will have a strong sense of hope, and excitement at the prospect of the contribution she will make to the world.  I see her and remember how small she was just "yesterday" and how she learned, and grew into this very familiar and yet very new person I see in her every day.  I can recognize the experiences I have provided to her life and the ones that have been absorbed from the environment, the media, and her social groups and I wonder, with a little bit of worry, who will she be when she grows up?

I wonder if she will be strong, courageous, independent, happy?  I wonder if she will love herself as we love her now...  I certainly hope so.

I am blessed to have a daughter that communicates with me all the time, about small and "big" things too.  I am blessed to have been taught to listen patiently, carefully, and with respect for the individual she already is.  And although this has not really made her exempt from difficult situations, it has certainly helped her stepped up to them, solve them, or at least address them, evaluate them and understand them, even if she does not always agree.

Sofia has a strong, amiable character. She was born sweet, raised strong, and grown a balanced mix of the two, easily approachable, not easily tainted...  Quick to smile, but not to trust...  She evaluates everything before she engages, and stands her ground any time without allowing conflict to take over.  But the truth is, she is just a little girl.

Like so many other children, 8 or 20, she seems strong, and independent, but life has not really taught her enough to be able to respond to every situation on her own, and like so many parents, we have to make a conscious effort not to forget this, and to let her know it is ok to seek help, advice, and support.

I celebrate Sofia today by celebrating all the children in the world to are born and growing with innate hope for the beauty and delight of tomorrow, and for the many parents who work hard to be the mentor all children need!

 May Love and Strength fill your heart every day!

 Happy birthday my Sofia! Mom loves you and is here for you today and always!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Yes! This is AWESOME! 
It is awesome to start a company, help others, to do what you love...  But what is even more amazing is to absolutely love what you do, love who you are, and love your life... 

That was not always the case for me, and it certainly is not the case for many young people out there, who struggle on a daily basis to even like who they are.  Be it due to outside influences, or the loud inner voice that talks to them to put them down, many children, young adults, and even fully grown adults are not happy with who they are. Some hate the image in the mirror, some hate the sound of their own voice, some would love to love themselves, but they feel too much pain.  Some even give up on themselves, on their dreams, and on their future, and they go through a path that is dark, lonely, and completely destructive.  That path exists in their choices, and in their thoughts, and anything that exists in there is as real as the blood running through their veins... 

That's why we started this: Strength Ave.

A year ago my 7 year-old daughter asked me what "suicide" was.  I was shocked!  I asked where she had heard that and she explained I had talked about it with a friend while telling a story about a boy in high school.  [Now, you may think I was being careless talking about these topics with her around, but it is not the case...  She has ears in every wall in our house!]  I have a personal policy not to lie to my kids so, shifting the tone to a more appropriate one for a 7 year-old, I explained how depression caused by bullying had led him to desperation beyond any measure and had pushed him over many limits, causing him to make the wrong decision to end his life.

I was devastated by her face.  I felt as if she had just woke up in a different world, and she probably did.  This knowledge had given her a new perspective about how life really is for other people, and how incredibly sad it can be.  And then... My 7 year old founded Strength Avenue with the words: "We have got to do something about it!"  So we did.

I went to work on the Strength Avenue project as if it had already taken over the world! 
She loved the name [Check!],
She loved the logo [Check-Check!],
And the most important thing... She LOVED our Purpose [A perfect smile!!!]

I explained that because we wanted to make sure we did things right, we actually had to do 2 things, so our mission and our purpose became:
1)  To gain victory against hate, discrimination, and violence in the world, (and)
2)  To instill love, self esteem, and inner strength in the hearts of all people.

That was just the start, back in February 2010.  We are standing here, February 2011, celebrating many beginnings and remembering many ends to continue to pursue this dream of a little girl and her mom, who want a better world for all and just "Have got to do something about it!"

She gave me her latest design with the words "My Soul is Strong!"

I just have nothing more to say as to why, THIS IS AWESOME!!!

May Love and Strength fill your heart every day, and may you find our products the tools they are meant to be to see yourself finally walking through Strength Avenue!