Project 20|20 – Week 2: Gratitude

2020 Pulse

Project 20|20 – Week 2: Gratitude

Last week, I suggested a self-reflection exercise to identify what types of goals we want to achieve in 2020. Without knowing where we want to be, it is impossible to get there. By writing down the list of goals, we increase the chances we will follow through.

If you had not had a chance to work on that, do it this week. Imagine how you will feel when you succeed, picture what clothes you will wear to celebrate, and with whom you will share it. Set a reward that will make you happier and give you an incentive to pursue new accomplishments. 

This week, I would like to reflect on gratitude. Being grateful has been an important exercise for me. It gets hard to be thankful when I am in pain, or my dreams and desires are being chopped because of things I have no control of.

When you think about the word gratitude, what comes to your mind? People, things, places? The past, the present, the future, your life? I will list a few areas that we may use to explore, acknowledge, and experience gratitude this week. 

1- People

We all have been influenced by the people around us. Some of them were good teachers, others showed us how not to behave and treat others. The social experience is rich in opportunities not only to define who we are but also to learn from other people’s mistakes. Life is better when we are blessed by having family members and friends who love us and appreciate us. That is not the rule, though.

This week, spend time to remember three people who made a positive impact on your life. A school teacher, a friend, a family member, a doctor, or a neighbor. Think about what they did or continue to do and how it makes you feel. Can you find an opportunity to do the same for others and pay it forward? Are you able to tell them how important they were to you, if so, why not?

2- Things

We usually pay more attention to the things we lack and want than the stuff we have today. Why? 

For me, I have yet to learn to appreciate my own successes instead of focusing on them.

In the next few days, find at least three important and positive things that were or still are part of your life today. Something that not everybody has, and maybe taken for granted. It can be the school you attended, your health, family, a job (even if it’s not your dream job), places you went or can, food, shelter, your ability to write and read, have access to the internet, or clean water. We all have been surrounded by infinity things we should be grateful for; nevertheless, we may take them for granted.

3- Last Year’s Lessons 

We are still in the first week of the new year. The past twelve months were filled with experiences and learnings. Can you write down at least three critical teachings you took from last year? How did they make you feel? What did you do with these teachings? Would you be able to apply to your life this year?

Earlier this week, I was reading a Harvard Medical School paper about Gratitude ( Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier ) and learned how it is connected to greater happiness. So, wouldn’t it be fabulous to become a more grateful person this year, meaning more content?

The paper explains how gratitude can make us feel positive emotions, get healthier, improve our ability to deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.

As we look into this new year, let’s build together a hopeful and positive mindset. That is one of my goals with this website and this blog. 

I plan to come back on this gratitude theme a few times this year, as it is the powerful reminder and antidote to sadness, frustration, and anger, as well as a great trigger to more happiness.

I want to uplift my mindset and the way I look at life today and tomorrow. It will surely help me be healthier and happier. 

Check the template I created below, hopefully, it will help you. I am grateful for having you join me on this challenge. 

2020 Project Gratitude

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie

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The Time Is Now

closed-door and end of the year of fighting lupus
closed-door and end of the year of fighting lupus

The Time Is Now

I can’t believe it’s over — another year of living with lupus, another life chapter with learnings and milestones.

Just one year ago, I decided to start this blog. It feels like a short journey, but we have been together for 52 weeks.

This past year this blog took me on a trip to the unknown, of self-discovery, finding my way back to healing, rising myself from my cocoon of shame to take care of my health, and build the strength to continue to move forward as I am.

Putting my face out, confronting my fears, insecurities, and sculpturing a brand-new identity has helped me overcome the emotional and physical pain I thought I could not bear.

This Is Us

People who live with the challenges of a complex disease get a lot of deep scars. The disregard and misunderstanding of our community, government authorities, employers, the health care system, can make us feel unworthy of attention. We need to change that.

This past year, on my Instagram and FB pages, I saw many of you rising from the ashes, checking out of hospitals, much stronger than you checked in. I saw beautiful smiles with red lipsticks, charming long eyelashes to help disguise the inner pain.

That’s who we are. We are fighters. We lose a battle but never give up the big fight. We stood up tall, brought our families together, looked for the better side, and fought for the cure. Each of you has inspired me differently and given me the sense that I am not alone.

I am very grateful to have you. Thank you.

I learned the power of my mind in my wellbeing, how meditation and positive thinking worked as an antidote to depression, insomnia, and body pain. How real friends are essential to help heal my wounds, and love is a small 4-letter word that makes miracles. Spirituality helped me put things under perspective and pulled me to the next chapter. Praying gave me special powers and strength to overcome what I thought was impossible.

We can win this battle, and together we will achieve our goals faster.

As we close in 2019, I wish you upcoming days of pleasant beginnings. That all your regrets may rest in peace as this year ends. That your joy for life grows as time passes, and you find your way to cure your soul and heal your body.


I believe 2020 holds something special. It is an opportunity to see things differently. Create the perfect vision of who we are, what we are capable of, and what is ahead of us.

For the upcoming year, I decided to create a 52-week program for myself, and I will share it with each one of you, every week. I believe if we do this together, we can be more successful by learning with each other.

I am going to call it 2020 Project: Eyes on Me. I will share more information next week, including templates and ideas on how to set achievable goals for a better us. Hopefully, that will inspire you to live a better life and start the new year with your hopes high and your hearts open.

Let’s remember that together we build a better tomorrow, no matter how hard yesterday was.

Happy 2020 – may you keep your eyes on you.

Yours truly,





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The Real Present

christmas gift and lupus

The Real Present

Everyone is busy. Decorating homes, planning a big meal, buying gifts, and getting new outfits for parties and pictures. Last Friday, my kids reminded me of what is really important to celebrate.

I had a special dinner planned for my family, my two boys, and my husband.

I got pulled into all the busy bee, Christmas to-do list, crazy schedule. My house was sparkly clean, the table was set with seasonal china, and a red table towel to match the spirit of the season. I had a special menu planned for us to celebrate Christmas before our end of the year family trip.

Continue reading “The Real Present”

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