When I first met Dariana, it was a few years back at a conference in Miami. We both were invited to a fancy dinner and sat across from each other at the table. After just a few minutes of chatting and introductions, and even though I’m from Arizona and she is from Venezuela – I felt like we’d known each other for a long time.
She is creative professional and has such a soulful spirit, a positive attitude, a great work ethic, and shares everything she has learned about living a full and artful life on her site, StrongVida.com.
Even better, she has a sister, Dariela of MamiTalks.com and together they run DariDesignStudio.com. Through DariDesign, they create beautiful graphic prints for everything from greeting cards to dinnerware to wrapping paper!
Stay tuned for an interview with Dariela soon!
OK, here we go!
KATHY: Hi Dariana! Can you tell us about StrongVida.com and how it got started?
DARIANA: Strong Vida was an idea that came from my husband and I. Vida stands for “life” in Spanish but also it’s a word conformed with the first 2 letters of our names Vinny + Dariana. From the beginning we noticed we both had a strong drive in common to become a better version of ourselves, not only physically but also emotionally, mentally and spiritually. We realized how challenging it could be to evolve consciously because there are many distractions always tempting us from forming the habits that will make us a more beneficial presence on this planet.
Strong Vida is a channel created to remind ourselves and others about ways in which we can cultivate healthy habits and also actively practice loving qualities that are already in all of us such as, generosity, peace of mind, flexibility, compassion, and so on. Cultivating healthy relationships are also at the core of everything that can contribute to becoming a better version of who we already are.
KCM: It’s fall already! How can we get motivated to check back in with our New Year’s goals we set in January?
DC: Cultivating a strong habit around goals all year round has giving me better results than counting on motivation to check back on them. Motivation is great, when it comes I enjoy the ride and take advantage of it, yet when it goes away, I draw from discipline and habit building to continue my walk and don’t loose sight of where I am going. It’s impossible to be motivated 100% of the time, that is why we need to keep going to the gym/exercise the days when we don’t feel like it. And training one self to take action in spite of “not feeling like it” is crucial. My suggestion is to check the goals you are working on every month. And don’t set more than 2 big goals per year, preferably one per year. As a creative entrepreneur filled with ideas this boundary has helped me a lot!
Here are a couple things that are important for steady habit building:
Have an accountability partner: This is crucial for habit building, it helps me be accountable in times when the initial motivation and excitement about my goal seems to have diminished or completely disappeared.
Keep focused on the journey, not the price: Goals are helpful to guide our way, many times we mistakenly think that once we reach our goal we will be happy. We forget that joy is available here and now. Joy is in the process – not at the arrival – of the finish line. It’s important to remember that the moment we arrive to the finish line another goal and new mirage will appear almost automatically. It’s a never ending cycle. Keeping awareness of that is important because it help us focus and appreciate the here and now, and that focus then becomes our inner motivation to fuel live. That is the greatest motivation of all because it’s available anytime inside of us.
Make sure your goal is attach to a quality: The word goal has a connotation of “doing,” “going,” “having” but in reality the most important part of a goal is about how we will be transformed during the process. That is why goals are really about “being” and the question we always want to ask ourselves is, “Who am I to become in the process of having xxx?” The answer to that question is the new quality that is seeking to be you.
For example: Who am I to become when I lose weight? When I write that book? When I travel? Is it more authentic, sincere, loving, real, flexible, compassionate, genuine, real, truthful, peaceful, considerate? When quality guides your goal, the motivation is intrinsic in your doing.
Five minutes everyday: Doesn’t it make sense to practice 5 min. a day that which you want to do or become? We can’t write a successful book if we don’t write every day or regularly. We can’t run a marathon successfully if we don’t run every day or regularly, we can’t learn a language successfully if we don’t practice every day or regularly, and so on. Keep in mind that goals can be reached even when we don’t take an action towards them everyday but this way it will always be a motivation struggle process because we are trying to achieve a goal without cultivating the core habit.
KCM: How can people take steps to get unstuck from a life they are not happy with?
DC: When we are stuck is usually because we believe things are not happening the way they should. Live is not manifesting it self the way we had planned. Feeling stuck means there is an area in our lives where we are feeling like a victim. Someone, or something (that we can’t control) is making us feel bad, sad, frustrated, down or mad. The ultimate symptom of being stuck is that we believe in that moment that if only something could change we would be ok. For example: If only my boss wasn’t so hard to deal with, if only my health was better, if only my mom understood my problem, if only my kids behaved better, if only I was naturally more proactive and less of a procrastinator, if only my family had taught me the language when I was a kid, if only I had chosen that other career instead of this one, if only my mom had me in a different country etc. Arguing with reality will make us feel stuck.
Here is what has worked for me
Stop arguing with reality: Something different needs to happen to manifest a different reality. That difference will come from us not from others.
Apply the mirror law: Everything you don’t like about others or your circumstance try to find it inside of you. If you see it you have it, or have had it or thought of it.
Let go of accusing others and take responsibility: Walk away from victimhood.
Bring awareness to the area you need to work on: Is always an inside job.
Make amendments and choose differently: Here is where healing begins and reality starts shifting. And remember we can make amendments about a situation that happened years ago.
“I feel stuck because no one at home supports me on my desire to go to college. My parents dropped out early in high school and my siblings never studied either. I depend on them financially. What can I do? They are not going to change their point of view. I feel stuck!”
Mirror law: When in my life have I not supported someone or something or myself? Why? How did that feel? Most likely, I was doing the best I could with what I knew at that moment. I didn’t know better or differently. Sit for a while here with what you find. It’s natural that what you find here will always appear less than what others are seem to be doing to you now. Ask yourself – How am I currently supporting myself financially, emotionally, etc? Start working with those answers. You are always the chosen one to solve your problems and usually that solution might look way different than the one we imagine to be. Stay OPEN and willing. Know that everything is divine order even inside the storm. Keep taking action according to the answers above. For example how do I support myself emotionally? consciously choose how you would like to do that. Be creative, give yourself what you need.
Getting to a point where you see others with forgiveness and focus 100% in what you can do for yourself- can be a long process. In that process you will feel inspired to take action. The intentions behind the action are always to evolve not to get back to anyone. Part of your actions can always include words of respect gratitude and forgiveness to those you thought were victimizing you. By working on myself during this process is when the unstuck part happens.
KCM: Let’s talk food, I love watching your Snapchats where you make healthy snacks! What is your favorite healthy meal or drink these days, a great pick-me-up?
DC: My favorite drink is my morning green smoothie:
– 2oz of orange juice
– half banana
– a hand full of spinach
– a tbsp of infinity green
– a tbsp of infinity protein ice and go!
And also I’ve been obsessed with the pomegranate tea from Trader Joe’s. Tapioca quesadilla too!
KCM: What is your own personal struggle and how do you push past it?
DC: I struggle with asking for help, with uncertainty, with emotional exposure. I struggle when I feel excluded or rejected. I struggle when I feel dependent of something or others. I struggle when I don’t feel Free. All of those feelings make me feel vulnerable. I push pass them by replacing resistant to vulnerability with:
Allowing myself to laugh and use humor in the situation
Doing a “judge your neighbor sheet” from the Work of Byron Katie
Ask questions and inquiring myself and others instead of affirming, assuming accusing and blaming
I practice a mantra in my head that says: I see you, I accept you and I love you (during the moment of struggle)
I write on my journal
I talk about my feelings with a friend that deserves to hear my story
I actually have all these reminders in my phone so that I can access them quickly in moments of struggle 🙂 I even set up 2 alarms during the day with this reminders. One when my husband comes home and another around 9pm which is when we most share our days. I discover that being with family, friends and loved ones are the most common triggers for these feelings to pop up.
It’s a great day when I’m able to remember and I catch myself on time and I implement any of the replacing things from the list above, because that day I allowed myself to be vulnerable, authentic and enough. Other days I stay paralyzed and resistant and it takes me a little longer to come down from there. It’s a work in progress always!
From Kathy: Wow! See why I was inspired to share this interview with all of you? I love Dariana’s perspective on life. We eahc hold the power to steer our ship in a more desirable direction, but it takes a lot of hard work and focus.
I really encourage all of you to visit StrongVida.com and subscribe to Dariana’s YouTube channel! Her videos will empower you because she gives very specific ideas and examples. She knows how to break down a topic/struggle/situation and offer a doable solution and/or suggestion!
Thanks for reading, everyone, have a happy Friday!Love & light,