Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Bear Surfaces to Scratch Her Ear

Sometimes while I'm sleeping in my cave of hibernation, I toss over and flip my paws, wondering if anyone is missing me on my blog.

I'm in hibernation, you see.

I've spent so many years emulating the eagle and the hummingbird, I overlooked the powerful medicine the bear has to offer. (Thanks to my bear friend Jacqui for reminding me of the power of bear medicine). Eagles and hummingbirds are real "can-do" animal guides. Combined, they are the highest and the fastest, the speed metal headbangers of the medicine wheel. I like velocity and being the best, it works for my competitive creative nature.

The bear... well I used to think of it as this lumbering grouch. And who wants to be associated with a lumbering grouch? No high flying, wings a mile a minute avial headbanger, that's for sure! But then my comadre reminded me that the bear is the finder of medicine: she digs the ground for roots, finds berries and leaves, climbs trees, grabs salmon from streams. She puts her paws on every herb and medicinal, teaching us humans how to use them.

And she hibernates.

My body has been asking me to hibernate, but I put on my hummingbird headphones and tuned that song out. Now with so many things happening (not much has changed drastically since my last post) I've decided to chillax like the bear.

I'm just drowsily surfacing from my cave for a moment to wave to everyone and say all is good, I'm just in need of some bear naptime.

I look forward to coming back out in the spring, perhaps I'll even find me a pick-a-nick basket of great ideas and creative inspirations.

Sometimes I wish the world of Web 2.0 would all agree to take a week off, like a Holy Week for bloggers. Then we can all lift the pressure of having to post and go back to a simpler time of being.

In Spring I'll think that's a lame idea, but for now, I like it.

Happy hibernating, I'm going back to bed.


Monday, December 03, 2007

OK, God... You Can Let Up Now!

Mother Theresa was quoted as saying, "God never gives me more than I can handle. I just wish he didn't trust me so much."

I have to say, right now I'm going through the Ironman of challenges and I wonder if maybe God left her desk and is missing my messages that the challenges can stop for a while.

Let's start with my husband.

He's a diabetic, always has been since I've known him. Convinced that the western medical establishment was out to get him, he conveniently evaded doctors for many years. He'd go to a doctor when things got bad, but would shortly slip and neglect any advice he'd been given.

The recurring buzz was always "You need to eat less carbs, more protein and green veggies."

He's a vegetarian who didn't like vegetables. Most of his day was spent eating really healthy things- just in questionable quantities. Brown rice is good, right? Well, how about 8 servings in one sitting?

Whole wheat pasta anyone? Sure, if you have enough sauce to go over the entire package.

We had major blow-outs over his food choices and eating. Diabetics with high blood sugar are just as crabby as people on low sugar crashes. Impatient, ill-humored, you name it.

So a few years ago, I made a move for my own serenity and decided to detach from his diseases and inability to manage them. I knew that if I tried to manage his health, it would be more resentments piling up against me. So I let go.

I did what I could to stock the house with healthy choices, but ultimately he was the one lifting the fork to his own mouth.

A few months ago he developed a sore on his toe that wouldn't heal. It looked pretty bad and several people saw it and warned him that it could lead to some major concerns. I'm not here to bash him, but let's just say it wasn't cared for with the utmost concern.

Aside: I'm a super achiever, he's.... well, not as much. He's a super achiever when it comes to collecting reggae music and buying books on spirituality and philosophy, but other things aren't as well tended to. If I were in his position, I'd have done a zillion things to save my health. He took the ostrich approach, sadly. Who knows why. I think after so many years of frustration of high sugar, he gave up the battle and said "f--- it".

Back to the sore toe.
It festered. Then he started getting fever and chills and then it was time to get intervention. While I was at the park having Citlalli's 5th birthday party, he drove himself to the ER.

The doctors took one look at it and realized it needed to be amputated.

Hi mom and sister came to the hospital the night before his surgery. We joked that if they wanted to operate on his foot, they'd need to go through his mouth (last place he left it... ha ha!!). My mother in law prayed extensively for him as did many others.

The day of the surgery I sat in the hospital lobby with my mother in law, my two stepdaughters, and their kids. He did really well in the surgery and was up eating and talking an hour later.

My mother in law motioned for the surgeon to come to her. She grabbed his hands and said a prayer over him. He looked a little embarassed, but getting a prayer said over you by the 13th Apostle (Paco's nickname for his mom) is a huge honor.

While Paco was recovering that week, he had some realizations, both spiritual and physical.

He realized he took his body for granted and needed to change his eating habits.
He realized that he loved his mother so much and that her prayers and spirituality were just what he needed.
He realized that he wanted to be less of an outcast and more of a member of society.

The next day, his sister came over and cut off his waist long dreadlocks. He asked me to bring him a Bible. He said he was interested in volunteering in the community after he got better.

Huge change from the Paco everyone had gotten to know, he of the recluse variety.

When you're in the hospital facing your own mortality, things happen. He had a spiritual awakening and saw the he was being given a second chance.

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, with him still in the hospital, I received a phonecall at midnight. His mother had suffered a massive aneurism and was being rushed to the hospital.

I had just spent the morning with her at the hospital, we just went to lunch while we waited for him to wake up. She just sat with him on Friday, watching in amazement as his hair was cut.

Now it's Saturday and she's in a coma.

I went to his bedside Sunday morning to tell him in person. I spared no details, he needed to know that her chances of survival were 2%.

I saw him take the news with spiritual calm. Having experienced an awakening and with her to witness it, he felt like God was taking care of everything.

A few days later, she passed.

With him in this condition it's one thing. That's a lot of stress.
Then with his mother passing, it adds this layer of sorrow.

The beauty lying beneath reveals itself in each day. Family relationships that before were distant or strained, show signs of healing. People are saying "I love you" easily and without fear.

The gift left by my mother in law, Jessie, is the gift of unwavering faith. A few weeks ago I'd called her to tell her my mom was going to the oncologist for the word on her colon cancer.

"Tell your mother the Lord spoke to me and said she is healed."

Sure enough, my mom went to the doctor and was declared cancer free.

Was it from chemo or prayers? Well, let's say it was a divine combination of forces.

This is a heavy time for us here in my family. Yes, awakenings and reuniting are happening, but still we have sorrow and recovering.

I haven't posted anything on my blog for while and now you can see why. Just way too much going on.

But I have to hearken back to Mother Theresa's words and remember, I'm not in this alone and with my Creator's help, nothing is too great or too tragic.

All my relations.

Rest in peace Jessie.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Southern California Wildfires- Breathing Through It

Last Friday I picked up the local paper and read that areas near my home were to expect winds up to 85 miles per hour by Sunday. With a drought that seems to never end and impossibly dry hot weather, I knew this could be disastrous.
Early Sunday morning came the first one: Malibu. My cousin's daughter is at Pepperdine and the news showed the fire surrounding the campus.

Sunday evening, I talked with my friend Kristen and as we looked on the horizon, a huge black cloud came creeping towards us. We wondered where it came from. When I got home, Kristen called.

"Remember that black cloud we saw? Well, it's right behind my house. We're evacuating."

Four years ago we had terrible fires here in Southern California, with smoky air choking us and ash dusting our cars. It's going on again, although reports are that this year is even worse.

San Diego has been hit the hardest, and everyone I know in San Diego is out of their home. I don't know where they all are, I just hope they're safe. My friends who live in the rural canyons of Orange County, once home to mines and outlaws, are safely out of the area and staying with family and friends.

A woman evacuee, speaking from a makeshift living space in San Diego's QualCom stadium, spoke to the news. Her attitude was so upbeat, so focused on the positive she gave me chills. "I'm grateful that I have this place to go, and I know everything is going to work out."

Here she was, out of her home, staying in a football stadium, and she was focused on gratitude. She inspired me to count my blessings:

1. I'm in my home, not evacuated.

2. I have windows in my home that shut, keeping the smoky air out (sort of) from my house

3. I have a couple of little portable fans in my house that are circulating the soot in the air

4. Our humidifier works, and my child can sleep through the night without coughing

5. I have a car that runs in case I need to pack up and go

6. I backed up my computer and can easily grab my data should we ever need to get out.

7. If I can't get my computer stuff and my house burns, I trust that the Universe will take care of me. Between my webmaster, my bookkeeper, and my assistant, I'm sure we've got copies of the really important stuff.

8. My family is safe

9. Our water is drinkable

10. The winds have died down.

My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected on a larger level than us. I think of the people who the media doesn't always cover: the many Indian Reservations of San Diego County, asthma sufferers, and the infirm.
Here is a link to a listing of places where you can be a part of the gratitude and recover:

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Keeping Up With the Locas

Dang, have I NOT been posting on this blog! I made a big decision to slow things down quite a bit last year when my mom was diagnosed with cancer (she's doing better now), then I rebranded and created Viva Visibility, husband got sick, traveled some... and found myself less inclined to blog about it all and post pics.

I put a lot of non-essentials off so I could focus on bigger items. Sometimes we have to make decisions like that to stay sane and I'm living proof. Time for self care may have turned out fewer blog posts recently, but my head and heart are happy. But here are some things I've been wanting to share for the longest time.

This summer I started my new Platinum VIP coaching programs. These are custom designed coaching packages that combine my services with the services of others such as marketing specialists and image consultants. Here I am with client Joanne Chen before she met with image consultant Flavia Manconi of Project Image. Joanne is a public speaking coach and also a specialist in the area of accent reduction. She's really a funny woman too, with a background in theater and improv. I love my clients so much!

Here you see Joanne and gorgeous Flavia getting ready to spend several hours doing Joanne's colors, editing her wardrobe, creating what Flavia calls "wardrobe capsules". It was an incredible day for both.

This picture is a little grainy (I took it with my new camera phone), but it's noteworthy because I was in the dj booth at a big LA radio station! Host and morning drive time anchor Josefa Salinas interviewed me on her Community Affairs show and the interview turned out really great! I had so many emails from people saying they were inspired. We had an entire hour together and she asked me questions no one has asked before in interviews (family, growing up, etc). That was a surprise and I think questions you aren't prepared to answer always come out with the most honesty.

This is me with artist Laura Lopez Cano, posing with the coolest little cell phone purse she painted. It perfectly matched my purse and had a hand painted image of the Virgin of Guadalupe. (Just can't get enough of my Lupita!) We were at the VIP reception for the Hispanic Women's Corporation conference in Phoenix. The temp outside was over 100 degrees F and it was evening. Gotta love Phoenix!

Same Phoenix conference, here I am with fellow presenter Marie Diaz, founder and CEO of Pursuit of Excellence HR. Marie and I met a year earlier when we both won the Anna Maria Arias Award. She is such an amazing woman, her life story brought me to tears. Talk about a woman who has overcome obstacles and came out ahead! We had a great presentation called "Beyond the Business Plan" where we shared our advice and tips on business.

Aliana Apodaca was another presenter at the Phoenix conference, and turns out to know both my old client Linda Bannan and colleague Suzanne Falter Barns. What a small world! Aliana and I trolled the Expo Hall and paid $1 to get glitter eyeliner applied. She was on her way to Vegas to meet her husband so it was perfect timing. I looked particularly glamourous flying back to Anaheim where my daughter got to enjoy Mommy looking marvy and sparkly.

My comadre and Chicana hybrid sistah Jamie Martinez Wood celebrated the launch of her new book, Latino Writers and Journalists with a fiesta at Martinez Books in Santa Ana, CA. The book launch party was a labor of love with help and support from comadres and members of the community. When I arrived I said, "Put me to work, I'm here to help!"

Jamie said, "See if Glenda needs help with the food", so I promptly went into the kitchen and emerged carrying platters of Cuban Sandwiches, Gazpacho, and Pan Dulce. Once a waitress, always a waitress! Glenda is the Executive Chef of Granville Cafe in LA and a longtime friend and comadre.

Also at Jamie's book launch, I got to reconnect with comadre Yasmin Davidds, who is now such superstar material it's unbelievable. Yasmin is the Hispanic spokesperson for L'Eggs hosiery, AOL Latino, Verizon, and a whole bunch of other companies. She is all about empowerment, you just feel braver and better after talking to her. She came with her daughter who is so cute and her sister Judy with kids.

Here we have writers Josefina Lopez (Real Women Have Curves), Mary Castillo, and award winning reporter Yvette Cabrera chillin on the couch. Josefina and Yvette were part of the panel of writers featured in the book.

You may think I have some sort of rock star social life, but mind you I work from home and am a fully devoted mom. On these occasions that they do let me off my tether, I really have to have fun and take lots of pics!I don't get out nearly as much as it looks like, but I do enjoy myself when I do.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Stand Out, Get Noticed, Get More Business with

Drumroll please!

I’m extremely happy to announce my newly launched website,

If you’re an entrepreneur, author, speaker, or business owner, then this new opportunity will show you how to increase your visibility and stand out from the crowd.

Over the years, I’ve had more and more clients ask me to coach them on increasing their visibility, positioning themselves as experts, and gaining more exposure for their businesses. We all know that expertise and visibility give us credibility, and credibility opens doors.

More importantly, it’s ESSENTIAL that you stand out from the pack and portray your credible expertise as unique, authentic, and genuinely yours. (I say you need to add sizzle to your visibility, what I call “Sizzibility”).

Visit right now and get started with my free audio course, 7 Quick and Simple Tips to Stand Out and Sizzle as a Sought After, Recognized Expert.

Discover how easy it can be to get increased visibility and how there is a perfect visibility plan for you.

Here’s the link again, I’d be so honored to have you stop by and check it out!

There is an audio player on the home page with a really cool message I made up- even has swingin’ background music! Don’t miss it, come on over and see for yourself.

Love and Success,

Nancy Marmolejo
The Entrepreneur’s Visibility Expert

Monday, September 10, 2007

"Beyond the Business Plan"



Nancy Marmolejo, CEO Comadre Coaching
Phone: (714) 777-1216
Fax: (309) 410-4227

Beyond the Business Plan: Award Winning Business Woman to Share Success Secrets at Nation’s Largest Latina Conference September 13-14 in Phoenix.

Anaheim, CA, September 10, 2007 - Nancy Marmolejo, owner of the award winning Comadre Coaching, will share her success tips “Beyond the Business Plan” with fellow Latina entrepreneurs in Phoenix this September 14 at the National Hispanic Women’s Conference. This event is the largest Latina conference in the United States and draws speakers and attendees from across the nation.

The conference includes plenary sessions designed to address topics such as money, careers, health, business, literature, and political power. Marmolejo will speak on creative ways to grow and market a business in the workshop, “Beyond the Business Plan”.

Known for her creative and spirited style, Marmolejo will stress the importance of :

• Thinking outside the box to remain competitive and confident in any field

• Maintaining a high level of visibility and how to use that to leverage your marketing efforts

• The magic of standing out and getting noticed with do’s and don’ts for entrepreneurs and career women alike.

For conference registration and itinerary, go to

About Nancy Marmolejo: Founded in 2003, Comadre Coaching has helped hundreds of women entrepreneurs start, improve, and expand their businesses. Founder Nancy Marmolejo is the recipient of several awards including the 2006 Anna Maria Arias Award, Entrepreneur of the Year, and was named one of the 100 most inspiring and influential Latinos in Orange County, CA. Nancy has also been nominated for several other community and business awards both in her local area and nationwide.

Get free resources and tools to help you in your business by visiting

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

My Mom is Back! Sassy Comments and All

Last year my amazing mom Bunny was diagnosed with colon cancer. Months of chemo and radiation, followed by surgery and more months of chemo have been hard on all of us.

After 9 brutal rounds of chemo (which left her sad and weary, very un-Bunnylike traits) she was released from chemo and now awaits yet another surgery in a few months.

When your energetic mom who everyone thinks is your sister loses power and enthusiasm, you begin to miss the little quirk and habits that you appreciate so much.

I spent this past week with my mom as she recuperated and I was given the gift of seeing her regain her strength, her humor, and her uncanny ability to comment at just about anything.

You see, Bunny is a commenter extraordinaire, especially on physical qualities of strangers walking down the street. (Perhaps this is tied into some of my own paranoia, but we'll talk about that in another post. Just know that when you cross the street anywhere in Alameda County, California you're open to Bunny's observations)

Here are some classics:
Weary looking bum crossing the street in a haphazard manner:
"He looks like he's high on booze, dope, and God knows what else!"

Shirtless man crossing same street:
"You get one hot day and suddenly everyone's a muscle man."

Shapely woman pushing a shopping cart in a parking lot:
"Now that's what I call CURVACEOUS!

Sullen teenage girl with too much mascara, smoking in public:
"I just think that's CHEAP." (This is usually followed by a reference to some wardrobe mistakes I made as a teen- the woman has the memory of an elephant)

When my mom started chemo, she slowly began to lose her life spirit. All those comments dried up, as she had no energy except for to survive the pain. Her usual vim and vigor went into hibernation, her zeal and zest to sleep.

When I arrived to my mom's last week, she was doing so much better. Her voice sounded like her again, her smile was back. Most importantly, her appetite returned. To celebrate, we went to lunch.

On our way back, we passed a woman with a rather large backside.

"Now THAT'S what I call JUNK IN THE TRUNK" exclaimed my mom from the passenger seat of my car.

In that moment I celebrated: My mom is back!