Maggie de Vera Blogs: REFLECTIONS…


Great year…

Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the January 8th, 2014

During my break between back-to-back clients and meetings today, I went to the one of the BEST taco trucks in SF (behind my ROYAL office in the Mission District) to pick up some tacos for my first meal of the day at 4 pm. After I paid for and picked up my order, I smiled at the hard-working older woman working in the taco truck and said “Happy New Year! This is going to be a GREAT year!”. She looked like she was very tired and said to me with a sarcastic/doubtful look, “How do you know it will be great?”.

I said, “Because I’m going to work very hard to make it great. And I’ll be looking for the positives in as many things as I can, appreciate and be grateful and learn the lessons of the hard, challenging times- while I pray for and practice strength, love, patience and peace.. that’s how I know.”.

And with a huge smile that grew on her face which also reflected in her eyes, she said, “Now I know that I’m going to have a great year too!”.

Made the rest of my day…

BLESSINGS and Love to y’all!

Reflections for today’s significance: 9/11

Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the September 12th, 2013

Reflecting on the significance of this day and the devastations and trauma that occurred; 9/11. I think about how many of us believe it’s right to fight for what we believe in. Some have more passion and intensity in their beliefs/values- then have a need to “fight”- which can sometimes lead to physical, emotional, mental warfare. Some fights lead to the destruction of the masses but all fights can lead to our own self destruction as well…
I myself have been guilty in my past for resorting to a “fight” in order to achieve my goals or what I believe in and sometimes in defense of what is unjust or feeling treated wrongly/badly. And although I have managed to change much of that thru the years, I feel very tested by some people/situations and struggle in not resorting to my old ways even if I feel justified. But so far so good in not repeating my ways from “back in the day”. And some times are harder than others. For goodness sake, I teach anger management. Lol. I definitely try to practice what I preach.
Most people have their reasons that lead them to do what others may believe as irrational, senseless, evil, negative, etc. And most of us have or continue to “fight fire with fire”. This is a hard issue. As a human with feelings, values, thoughts, reactions and imperfections- I too struggle with always maintaining perfect peace. I try. I fail. But I keep trying. And I keep getting better each time as I age. Yet I know fighting begets fighting. When will it end? But at times, we feel we also have to defend our freedom, safety, lives, etc… I don’t have all the answers for sure. But I seek them out.
What keeps coming to mind at least for me in my own life is that I can’t go out and look for peace. I must BE peace. And if I fail at times, may I be Blessed with the compassion, forgiveness, wisdom and strength to go back and try again.
Peace starts with each of us… Peace begets peace? I pray for this.
May we appreciate the freedom, goodness and Blessings in our lives while we’re living our lives…
Loving, positive energy to all of you…

Partners of addicts

Posted in ROYAL,Reflections,Uncategorized by Administrator on the April 25th, 2013

As I was reviewing my Facebook stream this morning, I saw a posting. I felt compelled to respond (although I’m not one that usually engages in debates via facebook comments. I wanted to share it and will write more on it later. (I’m about to get ready to go into the office soon).

Posting:
Center for Healthy Sex
24 minutes ago
“Many partners of addicts have told me they feel bad about themselves for staying in the relationship because of the betrayal they’ve experienced. They imagine that the people who know their past judge them to be stupid for staying with the person who’s caused them so much pain. I often counter this thinking, explaining that leaving may seem quick and easy because they can pretend they’re okay and the problem has disappeared. However, if you leave your relationship, you’ll be stuck with your pain and sorrow without the person you loved to help you sort it out. Why is this true? Because even though it feels as if your pain comes from your partner, it’s actually coming from inside you.”
― Alexandra Katehakis, Erotic Intelligence: Igniting Hot, Healthy Sex While in Recovery from Sex Addiction
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My Response:
Maggie de Vera- Although I don’t agree with others judging others, I also respectfully don’t agree with the counter thinking mentioned above. Although each situation can be different from situation to situation, sometimes when one stays with an addict, they are drained and depleted of their own energy; spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically, financially. Sometimes, they themselves become addicted to their addict partners and enable the addict. Most of the time addicts have to hit rock bottom and lose what’s important before they seek help and make vital changes. I believe that partners of addicts allow their love to be expressed energetically and in words yet also set firm boundaries and remove themselves from the toxic environment if it has proven destructive to themselves and their life. Respectfully submitted.

Mourning Boston Marathon’s nightmare

Posted in Reflections,Uncategorized by Administrator on the April 20th, 2013

Now that many rejoice in the capture of both suspects and death of one, may we all be mindful of the fragility and unexpectedness of life and do our best in making our world/our home on earth the best we can.
May all those affected by the Boston tragedy heal, recover, find/rest in peace.
May we ALL learn lessons from these horrific tragedies to empower/inspire sensitivity, growth, compassion, wisdom, gratitude, and action to be/do better…

My high today

Posted in ROYAL,Reflections,Uncategorized by Administrator on the February 13th, 2013

My high today:
I was dreading a long day at work today- starting off very early and training my new executive assistant with just mere fractions of numerous projects she’ll have to learn, understand, carry thru. Followed by back to back therapy clients with no breaks. Then ending a long work day with a long work-night to work with our Juvenile Probation boys at our Evening Reporting Center (because of being short-staffed, I decided to cover every Tuesday by myself until I hire someone- instead of cancelling tuesdays all together). As ROYAL’s CEO, I dont get to spend as much time with our kids at all so this is a rarity.
After a long day with no real breaks, I began my evening hearing negative reports/updates of the boys since last week. I was annoyed. I pulled the boys into my office, read them the riot act, told them I had no patience to deal with any excuses, negativity, or having to redirect them. I only wanted to see the utmost respectful, gentlemanly behaviors. This group of boys have been extra challenging to my staff of which i usually have 2 staff working together. Tonight it was just me.
We took a drive thru SF, dropped off my assistant- the whole time talking about their lives, their crew/friends, their fears, their need to “fake it” thru life as a thug even though they don’t always want to live that way. One of the boys said, “Maggie, every one thinks we’re thugs. We’re not. We just pretend to be.” This statement came from a young man who has been arrested and rearrested over and over again. Another one said, “sometimes i just want to get out- but if i do- i won’t have protection- and i know i’ll die”. I told him that many of our kids have stayed in their negative lifestyles for that very reason- and have died because of NOT getting out.
These boys are so lost. Their view of the future is so limited. So much of their acting out is from witnessing the worst of the worst, being traumatized at such early ages and having no sense of hope for the future- among many other factors.
I was telling them a story of how I overcame much of my own adversities and traumas and created a good life for myself now. One of them so innocently said, “Maggie, do you mean that we can make a life that can be paradise?” lol. I told him that we all have the power to achieve many things and how we perceive it is what determines whether it’s paradise or not. I also told them that we also definitely have the power to make our life hell…
At the end of night, one of the boys (who’s considered to be the biggest challenge towards staff) said, “Man Maggie, I don’t want to go home. I want to talk all night. I never talked like this before. Thank you and the program for caring about us and not judging us. I feel like I can do better when we talk like this”. He hugged me tightly when he left- so humbled and so vulnerable… All of them.
God Bless these kids- a victim of their circumstances. May their lives be touched and may they experience Miracles, life’s beauty and Blessings. May we continue our mission.
Thank you Lord. I am humbled yet again…

http://www.royalinc.org/video.php

www.maggiedevera.com

J’s story…

Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the February 9th, 2012

I just felt like I wanted to share this with you- whoever is interested in reading this.

We just restarted one of ROYAL youth programs for Juvenile Probation boys- boys that are court ordered into our 6 week-intensive daily program. I decided to take out one of the kids (who i’ll refer to as “J”) into the community to go grocery shopping to use an alternative approach to teaching the concept of math and cooking by teaching thru grocery budget and recipe measurements/instructions.

I brought him to Trader Joe’s as well as to the Mission; 24th St’s Mexicatessen/Tortillera. He was exposed to cultural differences and was fascinated by the fresh tortillas being made. While we were out at “Trader Joes”, J was very quiet, serious and distracted. As usual I was nurturing yet strict. I gave him many directives to see if he could comply. He did- EXCEPT when I asked him to ask the store staff where we could find the salad dressing. J immediately said “no”- he wouldn’t. I told J that I wasn’t ASKING him to do it, I was TELLING him to do it. He said “no” again. I reminded J of the right choices he needed to make as to earn rewards and can also earn consequences. He walked to the staff, rudely nudged him and when the staff turned to J, J pointed at me, gave him a rude look then walked away. I instructed J to do what he was supposed to do (ask the staff where the salad dressings were located). J defiantly shook his head no. I apologized to the staff, maintained my composure and informed J that there would be no salad dressing for their salad as a result. J remained quiet. We finished our shopping, went back to ROYAL, cooked, cleaned up, processed the day, then wrapped up. I had him write in his journal about what he liked about today and also to list the new things he learned. When I read his journal that night, he wrote “i learnt that people can be nice- even if they don’t know you”.
When i processed everything with him the next day, I discovered that he was afraid of being out in the community, he didn’t know how to act with strangers and was used to be stigmatized/judged negatively by other.

The following days, we focused on “Communication Skills Training”. On his third week with us, he has worked very hard to be helpful, proud of the cooking skills he’s acquired, learned how to write poetry, and learning how to control his anger. Not once has he challenged staff in an aggressive way and continues to try to show respect, despite his known anger issues. When I pass by the program to visit the boys, he immediately jumps up and gives me a loving hug- allowing himself to show his vulnerability (which is hard for many of these kids).

Many of our kids do a lot of negative things- because they were not shown/taught what was right… In fact, was shown very negative things… Some of our hardest kids become our most positive, and strongest leaders who have the most positive impact on many other kids- once they learn the skills, the tools, and are nurtured, empowered and validated yet held accountable…

As challenging as our work can be- esp in just raising money to keep our agency going, the breakthroughs that we witness are inspiring.

linkedin

Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the March 21st, 2011

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If you think…

Posted in Reflections by Administrator on the August 10th, 2010

If you think good, good will follow. If you think negative, negative will follow. How we think, sets the tone of what our lives become. Release negative thoughts & replace w/ “brighter side of things” thoughts. We can recreate our life’s patterns & direction one little step at a time (or big ones)…

Loving & positive energy to all- thank you for being in my life & helping be a part of an interesting yet great journey…

Be the change you hope to see…

Posted in Reflections by Administrator on the July 6th, 2009

I saw this quote and it has stuck with me all week.

“Be the change you hope to see…”

I felt the urge to post it on my website blog and share it with all of you…

To briefly summarize SOME of the thoughts that came to me while reflecting on this;

Life is full of ups and downs. Often times, we feel helpless, frustrated and disappointed. We wish things were different. There are times we don’t like
-the way our community/society/world is
-the way people treat us/each other
-negativity in our environment
-and on and on and on…

I truly believe that we have so much more influence and power in our lives/this world than we sometimes realize/remember…

LET’S BE THE CHANGE WE HOPE TO SEE… believe this, implement it and remind one another of such…

It would be great to see the results.

Beginnings…

Posted in Reflections by Administrator on the May 30th, 2009

For several days now, the thought of writing and publishing in blog form has been following me around… I have to admit, I’ve never been one for blogging- writing or reading them. However, as of late, I’ve been responding to several emails from individuals who were seeking advice/support. Not only did I identify and appreciate the therapeutic value I was feeling while writing my responses (especially during these significantly stressful days), but I also thought, “maybe this can be of value- for what it’s worth- to others who might read it and relate…” Besides, it’ll save me time in having to write the same things over and over again if similar issues arise from others.

Hence, a blog feature on my website entitled “Reflections”. Reflections on this blog are not only mine but whoever might want to share as well (as long as I can consider it appropriate to publish for a semi-general audience). However, for what IS published, it’s for each individual to accept/reject/challenge what is written for themselves. To each their own.. I ask that we are as respectful as possible…

OKAY- enough of the “reason to blog” explanation.

It’s a bit past 1 a.m. and although my body is peacefully resting in bed while typing on my laptop, my mind is far from being ready to sleep… Too much to reflect on…

Here’s one:
Earlier this afternoon, I met with one of my staff (who I have placed as a counselor at a school that specializes in educating special education/emotionally disturbed students). She informed me that she is starting to work with an adolescent male that is mandated to see her twice a week by his probation officer. She shared with me her concerns. He’s a kid who deals drugs and expresses no true intention of changing other than “saying” and “doing” what is necessary for the moment to get off of probation…

I won’t go into the therapeutic discussion/supervision I had with my staff but I will share my reflection:

It’s very sad that many of our children abused, exposed to violence, who have minimal/inadequate financial resources, and lack positive adult role modeling and nurturing (just to name a few) are left to fend for/raise themselves let alone survive realistic horrors within their environment. I look at some of these older teenagers and think back on how they must have looked like when they were at the ages of 1 or 2 years old- how cute they must’ve been- still so pure, innocent, and naive yet only to be eventually lost to fear, pain, and anxiety from the negativity and traumas inflicted upon or that surrounded them.

Damage… damaged children… damaged teenagers… damaged adults… and new babies born to them… many damaged…

If only more hope can be available to those who lack it… How wonderful it could be if more disadvantaged children and adults where to taste the flavor of feeling “successful”- not focusing on the material success alone but the holistic success in which a mental, emotional, physical, material and spiritual sense of success is achieved…

Can we ourselves accomplish this for our own lives? Yes, we can… And I hope each and everyone of us can share our wisdom and support to at least one person in this lifetime…

(Such a different state of mind I’m in from where I was a few days ago- when things for me felt extremely overwhelming and seeming very hopeless.)

There truly are many things that can be done to make things be/feel/seem better… Thank goodness. I hope this for …