Empowering Discussions

Transforming the Definition of Being “Rich”

Since August of last year I have been working on changing my money story. Finally, I have a healthy story. What a year! WOW! There were times I really doubted myself, but each time that happened I resumed my practice of self-care, reached out, and returned to challenging myself.
Recently I have felt the physical change. My body feels lighter. I’m no longer worried or fretting over lack. I am at this joyful place. I’m not rich with money yet, but I plan on changing that soon. I’ve also changed my definition of rich from having everything to having enough to afford all the experiences of my personal, authentic life.
I feel a bit like a magical creature in this moment. I feel this way because I know that money was the last major blockage I needed to work through. So yea, I feel magical. I just conquered the last peak of a long climb.
The final push was reading a book with a title that turned me off. But I was bored so I flipped to the first page. I was waiting at my friends casa while she got ready to go out when that first page grabbed me by the shoulders and said “THIS IS MY STORY!” HA! The lesson is don’t judge a book by it’s cover, flip it open. Same can be said for most things I believe.
The book is “You Are a Badass At Making Money” by Jen Sincero.


 If you desire extra support in transforming your life, check out my Dive Deeper Self-Care Challenge.


I’m an artist and writer with a focus on art therapy. If you would like to support my heart work, please consider becoming a monthly patron on Patreon.com/Loviedo. For $1 a month*, you can fund programs like my D.I.Y. Therapy: Healing Depression E-course, my monthly “Radical” e-zine and other creative healing projects, like “Cultivating Radical Self-Love: A Collaboration of Healers, Artists & Writers“.

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Book Reviews

Book Review “Awkwardly Awesome” by Jason Freeman

 “Life presents us with opportunities to love ourselves breath by breath, hour by hour, day by day.” Jason Freeman.

This quote resonated with me so much.  After years of hating myself because I thought I was simply a flawed, broken being with no hope of being different, practicing self-love saved my life.

Awkwardly Awesome: Embracing My Imperfect Best, by Jason W. Freeman is worth a read. There don’t seem to be many books that encourage men to practice self-love. At least I haven’t seen any. Usually I see books for men on topics of succeeding in terms of money, careers or romance. It is refreshing to read about Jason’s experience with learning to love himself, find his passion in life, take risks, transform his life and not see his disabilities as bad. Instead he embraces his imperfections so much they have become his strengths.

I bought Jason’s book at his book launch last summer. But I didn’t read it until this summer because I was traveling for the last 9 months. I didn’t have room in my backpack for books which was a painful decision since I can easily read a few books each month. I was pleasantly surprised to see his book when I returned home and unpacked my box of books.

It is an easy read with journal questions and pages with each chapter. I recommend this for any man who feels awkward, unloved, apathetic and ready for a transformation. If you know a man who is searching for more from life, this might be the best gift you can give him. Personally, I am saving this for my nephew, when he graduates high school.

Visit Jason’s website Jasonwfreeman.com, by his book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble,


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I’m an artist and writer on a mission to bring healing arts into the mainstream. If you would like to support my heart work, please consider becoming a monthly patron on Patreon.com/Loviedo. For $1 a month, you can fund programs like my D.I.Y. Therapy: Healing Depression E-course, my monthly “Radical” e-zine and other creative healing projects, like “Cultivating Radical Self-Love: A Collaboration of Healers, Artists & Writers“.

Book Reviews

Book Review: “Choosing Happier” by Jem Friar

This Book Brought Me Many Smiles! (this is not a paid review)

The tile of Jem Friars book, “Choosing Happier” resonated with me because we need to consciously choose to be happy in a world that can be so painful and challenging. Experience has shown me that happiness is not an end goal, but rather a process on my individual journey.

This book offers guidance on creating a 30 day happiness practice that includes creating a morning routine. having a morning routine has been very helpful for me. I didn’t want to wake up earlier, but 10 extra minutes for the exercises I chose, gratitude and journaling, has created a more positive attitude for my work commute.

Having this book is like having a really positive, encouraging friend who you can bring just about anywhere! I’m grateful for the request to review this book because the pages empowered me with good feelings. One of my favorite exercises in the book is acknowledging my character strengths. As Jem writes, “A character strength is potentially a bit like your superpower…” . One of the ways I healed from depression is by using my skills and love of self-defense to empower others. When I started teaching self-defense I felt a sense of rejuvenation like I hadn’t felt before.

There’s a great section on self-compassion, which has been vital to my own healing practice. The author describes self-compassion as, “learning to be emotionally responsive to our own suffering from a place of kindness.” I’ve learned that you can do all the happiness work in the world, but if it doesn’t include compassion for yourself and others, it doesn’t have much of an impact.

I recommend this book for anyone who needs structure and guidance in their effort to create more happiness. It would also a good book for someone who is experiencing mild depression.

What are you waiting for? Request this book from your local library or order this book at:


Find more information & inspiration at:





Diy therapy book cover


“D.I.Y. Therapy: Healing Depression” is available through Amazon; available as both an e-book and a paperback.

If you’re suffering from depression I strongly encourage you to seek help. If you can’t afford a therapist find a supportive mentor, teacher or healer who can help you discover inner peace. Healing is possible IF you are open and willing to commit to a self-care plan.



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Book Reviews

Book Review “Oh Flux How did I get Here” by Patricia Rundblade

“Oh Flux How did I get Here: 8 Simple Strategies to Begin Transforming Your Life Today” by Patricia Rundblade.

What really stood out to me in “Oh Flux” by Patricia Rundblade was the authors honesty. So many books in the self-help genre are so impersonal that I don’t connect with the message, lose interest and feel as if I wasted my time and money. In this book the author talks about how her fears scare her, “My own fears would require a separate book all in itself! But my fears are just like yours, and they truly scare the crap out of me most days.” She opens up about divorce, gaining weight, crying, struggling financially and feeling as if she had no real reason or purpose for her life. In the beginning of the book she says, “So here I am, approaching fifty, and in the process of re-creating my life.”

The parts of the book that resonated with me were issues I have experienced.
-Freedom from the common addiction to material wealth and the difficulties of letting go.
-Feeling that moment when I knew that my life was changing, “I felt a shift happen in my world, and in my heart.”
-Realizing that I need to build healthier and stronger friendships, “When we look for friends we should be cognizant of what they add to our lives.”

I appreciated the ponder points exercises at the end of each chapter. My favorite was from chapter 6: The Study of Self Mastery. See the excerpt below.

“My five key strengths are…
• My most meaningful experience has been…
• What drains my energy?
• The relationships that have influenced my sense of destiny are… (explain how)
• My top three weaknesses/areas for improvement are…
• My Personal Purpose in life is defined as…”

Chapter 10 especially caught my attention with her message of forgiveness, compassion and self-love. “As I begin applying more self-loving methods, I notice something else happening: I am attracting positive attention. I know this sounds strange, but as I began to forgive myself, I also stopped passing judgment on my looks, weight, and other things in/out of my control. I am more present, and comfortable in my own skin—a feat that has eluded me for quite some time.” from chapter 10.

And finally in chapter 11 she talks about rebooting our lives. We need to ask ourselves, “is my comfort zone serving me, or not serving me in living the life I desire?”

I recommend this book for those who feel as if there is nothing new to experience and those who are on the brink of giving up and settling for less than they’re worth. Once we start the process of individual empowerment it’s important that we pay attention. An important lesson I’ve learned is that what we give through our thoughts, words and actions is exactly what we receive from the universe. I’m at a point in my personal growth where I know that’s an undeniable truth and it felt comforting reading a similar experience from the author.

“As I trusted more and more the process of change and revelation, I was open to more meaning and fulfilment in how I viewed and participated in the world around me.” Patricia Rundblade

Buy your copy at http://www.amazon.com/FLUX-How-Did-Get-Here/dp/1500624225/
Learn more about Patricia at http://thepersonaladvancementgroup.com


Ready to HEAL? Read my D.I.Y. Therapy posts.

Find my BOOKS on Amazon.com and Bookemon.com.

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Book Reviews

Book Review “Shortcuts to Mindfulness: 100 Ways to Personal and Spiritual Growth” by Catherine Auman LMFT.

In the book, “Shortcuts to Mindfulness: 100 Ways to Personal and Spiritual Growth” by Catherine Auman, LMFT, I like how the author begins with the harshest truth of individual empowerment, “It’s a painful process; there are no two ways about it.”

From my own experience  with therapy there are no easy fixes when it comes to self-development. It takes patience, work and a desire to practice what we learn. I felt like her 100 shortcuts are very powerful for long-term change. I say this with the wisdom of experience as much of her advice are things I learned when I first decided to commit to change and a few I’m still in the process of learning.

Some of my favorite shortcuts were knowing its okay to not be happy all the time, that meditation is a great tool to take control of our thoughts and that listening to music with positive messages can boost your physical and emotional strength.

While most self-help authors stick to one particular point in our quest for self-love, Catherine highlights simple actions and ideas we can use to create change in ALL aspects of our lives when we choose, without weighing ourselves down by taking on too much work.

I recommend this book for those who are just starting on the path of individual empowerment as well as those who are looking for more guidance.

Find her book at http://www.amazon.com/Catherine-Auman-LMFT-Shortcuts-Mindfulness/dp/B00RWS8TCY

I contacted Catherine and asked her to share her favorite mindfulness practice. Below is her response.

“My favorite mindfulness practice is when I can remember, to remind myself to BE in the present moment. Not the past, not the imaginary future. If the past or the future want attention, I will give it to them, then gently return, as I can, to the perfect now.

This is also one of my shortcuts, because if we could be in the moment, now, there would be no need for any other practice.

Of course, being human, I still struggle with this. But more and more, it seems less like a struggle, and more like a leela, the play of life.” Catherine Auman



Ready to HEAL? Read my D.I.Y. Therapy posts.

Find my BOOKS on Amazon.com and Bookemon.com.

Purchase my ART on Zazzle.com/OviedoStyle.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: “When All Balls Drop; The Upside Of Losing Everything”

When All Balls Drop; The Upside Of Losing Everything” by Heidi Seifkas

One moment Heidi was taking out the trash and the next she woke up in the hospital because a tree limb fell, crushing her body and knocking her unconscious. On top of that she discovered her husband was cheating on her. Stuck in the hospital and then a brace for many months she lost her independence, her ability to work and her marriage. Yet despite this trauma Heidi was able to heal, find hope and regain her power. Her transparency about a terrible time in her life made this a refreshing read.

My favorite parts of her story are the moments when she openly shares her fears and problems with family and friends and even an occasional stranger. When Heidi shared her experience about the accident and her husbands infidelity others responded with their own similar problems offerng advice and empathy. An important lesson I’ve embraced is that reaching out to others can be so healing. It offers us the chance to receive empathy when we need it most. Empathy is very important in a world with so many challenges and such strife. It also allows us to connect with others on a deeper level. As social animals we can give and get so much more from life when we take the chance to connect with others. I highly recommend being brave and sharing honestly with your family and friends. By connecting deeper we can create stronger relationships and closer communities.

The tree limb itself didn’t upend her life, but it was the catalyst that pushed her to make hard decisions that would change her life direction and allow her to take a new journey. Have you ever experienced a sudden change or loss that shook you to the core and created a new outlook on life or forced you to change unhealthy habits? If not, do you feel ready for change, for something new? You don’t have to wait for tragedy to strike before you make changes. If you need inspiration get this book and see what golden nuggets you can glean from Heidi’s experience and use in your own life. Through deeply personal anecdotes she shares the light and dark sides of a major health issue, divorce and regaining her physical independence.

In the midst of pain, grief and loss it can be hard to see any light at the end of a dark tunnel. However I’ve often noticed that those moments and years which are so challenging become important parts of our journeys, shaping us as they shake us to our core. In the epilogue Heidi writes, “After nine months of the most painful, challenging obstacles I had faced in my life, I understood that on that September afternoon, I had not been at the wrong place at the wrong time; I was at the right place at the right time.”

Ready to be inspired? Buy the book on Amazon.com,


Follow Heidi and check out her other books at http://www.heidisiefkas.com






Want ideas for a healthy lifestyle free of depression? Read my D.I.Y. Therapy posts.

Find inspiring books I wrote on Amazon.com and Bookemon.com.

Looking for books that support your personal development? Read my book reviews.

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