Please Join Me on June 30!

Nourish Your Heart. Expand Your Mind. June 30 – Register here.

Friends, this is a first. I have never ever shared an event from my job on this site. And here’s why I am sharing it–this upcoming day represents the intersection of all that you read on my blog and how I earn my living. It’s what my mentor Lindsay Pera (and Buddhist tradition) calls Right Livelihood.

I will be speaking at the beginning of the conference about my personal experience in  Resilience Mapping: Transforming Trauma into Joy. This is what we call a #viewsmyown kind of talk offering approaches that you can use to thrive, especially during these times.

You can register for this free event here.

Coming Together While Living Apart is a free virtual conference focused on creating hope and connection and providing practical tools and knowledge you can use right away. And you’ve read about Priya Parker, author of The Art of Gathering, How We Meet and Why It Matters in a previous post of mine. She is one of our speakers! I’ll be hosting her in a fireside chat at the culmination of the day.

When you visit the registration page, you can view the schedule for this live event (as well as the bios of the panelists, moderators and speakers) which runs from 12:00pm ET-3:45pm ET with a break in the middle. Find your local time zone here.

Here’s the journey

12:00 PM Welcome 
Audrey Grove, Director of Community Services & Social Accountability, Masonicare 
Resilience Mapping: Transforming Trauma into Joy  
Rebecca Villarreal, AARP Advisor, Office of Community Engagement  

Connecting Mind, Heart, Body & Soul through the Expressive Arts  
Moderator: Gary Ware, Breakthrough Play
Jennifer Fijal-Brevik, Instructor for the Adult Chamber Choir at the University of Hartford’s Community Division 
Juan Brito, Artist, Composer, Musician, Editor and Social Worker
Susan Holmes, Expressive Arts Facilitator for Masonicare Home Health & Hospice 
Marissa McInerney Expressive Arts Therapist Center for Discovery

Creating a Path for Zero Isolation  
Nicholas R. Nicholson Jr., PhD, MPH, RN, PHCNS-BC, Associate Professor, Quinnipiac University School of Nursing 

1:45 PM 10 minute BREAK  
1:55 PM Gather

Thriving in Troubled Times: How We Can Normalize Acute Stress 
Dr. Richard Kamin MD, FACEP University of CT Health Center 
Unlocking Creativity: Your Path to Joy & Mastery  
Gary Ware, Breakthrough Play 

The Presence of Absence: An Intergenerational Response to Grief 
Moderator:  Claudia E. Oakes, PhD, Department of Health Sciences, University of Hartford
Mala Matacin, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Hartford
Samaria Williams, Licensed Psychotherapist/Adjunct Professor, Co-Founder, Hey Girl, Thrive podcast

Beverly Bryda, MSW, ACSW – Director of Social Work, Masonicare Healthcare Center 

How to Be Together Apart Virtual Fireside Chat
Priya Parker, Author, The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters
Rebecca Villarreal, Community Organizer, AARP

Wrap Up and Gratitude 

Rebecca Villarreal, AARP 

I hope that you will make time to join all or part of the conference!

Personally, I’ve been on a journey to health after illness, grief after the passing of a family member and rage and anguish over the collective suffering of people due to the pandemic and the ongoing injustice and suffering of our black community. Check out my resources of support on my new page Will You Take My Hand?

I think this conference will be healing for me and for so many. Let’s come to the table, learn and celebrate a future where we can be together, together.

The Book of Loss and Learning

—for the Mothers

You can listen to this poem here.

By Rebecca Villarreal

How many shares would blond blue-eyed darlings get

if wearing hoodies got them killed?

or jogging?

Would we see documentaries flashing back to soccer teams

and lemonade stands?

Would the lineup of captured offenders parade your feed?

How many vigils?

How much b-roll of crying family members?

Now we get hashtags

for black and brown

searching for systemic change

root cause

If there were superheroes to re-plant our origins

where might the story shift?

Our First Nations families might have fed our love of the land

rather than moved, contained, separated and boarded

now man camps and pipelines

snake their way into cracks in the earth

where women and girls turn to shadows

And what of the lettuce, strawberries, melons

now in a world six feet over?

The hands without documents can stay because we need food

and we need hands to pick the food

but their children go in cages

where there are documents of dying, abused and touched

The braid of being

Black in America

First here Wisdom Keepers

and Brown and borderless

Let us remember the all of Asia

and the fear of blame for the crown worn across the globe

If Gaia could speak

and in truth she has

there might be her own sort of lineup

A red thread connecting us

the nations are none

soil and seed

sun and rain

vitamins nourish

our one heart

She decided to make us see

You are not immune

You are

You shall thrive

You shall not

the lines are divided by us

by the funds for personal protection

What if the world spun on service?

What if money was not the currency of power?

What if kindness took the helm?

What if love rose up from Mauna Kea?

What if the mothers took over?

In a dystopian film there might be grief camps for offenders

so they could feel the heartache of losing the babies we raised for freedom

The mothers would pivot away from assault rifles in protest

Lock hands

Roots in

Wings up

Read you The Book of Loss and Learning

So we may

clean the wound

speak the unspoken

whisper truth in song

until it becomes

one with

our pulse

Our One pulse

hand on your heart

feel it

mirror the earth




© Rebecca Villarreal 2020

*Sculpture Artist Unknown – please let me know if you know.*

Rebecca’s Magical Mondays #13 – The Secret Whisper Tree

What wishes might you share with the Secret Whisper Tree? What are some of your biggest and boldest dreams? After being asked that question while listening to the interview of Glennon Doyle by Marie Forelo featured in Rebecca’s Magical Mondays #11, I’ve been contemplating that quite a bit–especially when it comes to how I spend my time and my overall lifestyle.
Many of us around the world are home bound right now. Many folks also struggle with insomnia or anxiety due to current events. Why not channel some of the monkey mind time into answering, “What is it that I really truly enjoy?” You can make a list. For example, I’m wrapping up Spring Break staycation and one of my favorite things is to linger in the morning and read with zero commitments while sipping tea and eating my Scafuri Bakery cookies for breakfast. Yup, pure decadence. Is that dream too small? Can I live that dream right now? I can make it happen on the weekends.
Of course I have even bigger, bolder dreams of time and space to work on my novels and seeing them on the big screen. I can imagine a world where I have all of the financial, physical, emotional, spiritual and magical supports I need to foster exactly the kind of lifestyle I enjoy. I also love to garden and grow my own food.
Here’s the thing about dreams: you can start to live them inch by inch by embodying the things you enjoy doing. For me, that’s planting vegetables and herbs and then cooking them. Do I have a lot of land or know a lot about gardening? No and no. Am I doing it anyway? Yes. Before my first novel, had I ever completed writing a book? No. Did I plug away at it for ten years while working full-time and raising an amazing human? Yup. The point is: whisper your dreams into that tree and try something–even while at home. If you want to live in France–research the country. Learn the language. Watch movies that take place there. This in-between time can at least partially be turned into a gift.
If you are a front-line worker in the medical field, farming, grocery, public safety, delivery or any other essential role, I say thank you! I realize that you may not have the bandwidth to dream right now, but know that I pray for you and give thanks for you every single day. And I also don’t underestimate the stress for those who have lost their income, so dreaming does not necessarily feel like a practical option. But maybe, just maybe if you let yourself wish a little, maybe there will be an opening for you to try something new or build a new skill or further develop a talent that could lead to a new and better job. Again, I’m not minimizing here, I am just trying to find some light beams to keep us all going.


Onward to this week’s resources featuring real talk for navigating these times by Brené, vulnerable and valuable insights from my friend Samaria and fabulous fashion for family dogs from my friend Mona:

  1. Brené Brown on Comparative Suffering, the 50/50 myth and Settling the Ball
  2. Mama Fuel: How Can We Make This Moment Meaningful? Samaria Williams on grace & writing your own narrative
  3. Small Business Feature: Flowerchild – In the interests of lifting up creative people and supporting small business owners, check out Flowerchild’s dog jackets below. You can custom order or Mona might just have a design that fits your pup. You can check her out her site or Instagram and send her a DM or email her at

Here’s how you can help this week:

  1. *Quick request: I have done this weekly experiment for 3 months now and I’m analyzing whether to keep it weekly or move to monthly. Please let me know if you still want this weekly or if switching to monthly makes more sense. You can comment or shoot me an email that simply says “weekly” or “monthly” at
  2. Navigating Grief and Joy at the same time: If you or someone you know is struggling, check out my resources page for help.
  3. Dream a little and share your wishes with the Secret Whisper Tree.
  4. Practice taking a nap this week–even if you don’t sleep, rest your body for 10 minutes straight–or even 5.
  5. Take a break from the news for one day. Notice how your mind, heart and body feel. Write 1-3 sentences about what you notice. 
  6. Tell someone that you love them. Remember that I love you.

That’s all for this week! 

Look for the magic in the everyday. There are clues everywhere!

Flash 60-minute Magical Writing Session Now

Greetings from my magical writing lab,

It’s Thursday, March 26 at 12:30pm PT.

Join me now for 60-90 minutes or whenever you find this to jumpstart your writing today – link below

I’m on Zoom transcribing my novel. I won’t be talking much. If you want focus and company while writing, let’s go.

At the end of the hour, we might chat a bit to share what we got done. That’s totally optional.

Click here to join.


Rebecca’s Magical Mondays #12 – Feed the Love

Greetings to the whole human race,

We’ve come to see each other again, haven’t we? We now deeply know what it is to break bread together side by side. And we are finding new pathways to nourishing community as well as reconnecting to mother nature. This week’s Magical Mondays is themed “Feed the Love” — just the way you feed sourdough starter. Let’s offer hope and take back our individual and collective power by supporting each other. 

Here are resources for this week:

  1. Chapters 2 + 3 Reading in the Woods of my novel The Amazing Adventures of Selma Calderón: A Globetrotting Magical Mystery of Courage, Food & Friendship. As I write the sequel, it is important for me to go back and read my own book to make sure that I don’t confuse even the most minor details. So I figured, why not read it aloud to you? You can view the “live” reading of Chapter 1 here.

  2. Brené Brown’s new podcast Unlocking Us features a wonderful concept: FFTs – trust me and listen. It’s perfect for these times.
  3. Journey into the world of Jackie M. Wood, self-proclaimed messy painter: Jackie and I are in a monthly mastermind together which I co-facilitate. She offers some inspiring and affordable abstract mini art prints here.  I got to follow along with her recent cross-country trip via Instagram as she captured landscapes on her journey. Enjoy the gentle beauty of her work!

  4. Free Wellness Classes and Connections: Check out Creative Live’s Free Health and Wellness Classes here. Or join me every weekday with Ho’omalamalama Brown as she offers a 5-minute morning burst of exercise daily at 6:30am-ish PT to get you going. I don’t always catch them live but I do them when I wake up and it’s just the encouragement I need. You can sign up for more info here and then you’ll get the link to the private Facebook group where she streams every weekday.Then I move into my home yoga practice or have some fun with Tabata

  5. Music – Follow D-Nice and Quest Love on IG or YouTube for some amazing music during this time at home. Check out a glimpse here. Musicians like Nahko have also offered concerts where each view leads to a non-profit donation.
  6. Get Some Yummy + Support Small a Small Business: My favorite Italian Bakery in Chicago is Scafuri Bakery. I am thrilled to let you know that they are still shipping online orders of their amazing cookies and loaves. Get a discount with the code SMILE2020 for the rest of March. Pictured below is the Cuccidati, Pignoli and Chocolate Orange Ricotta Pound Cake Loaf. Say that last one fast three times with your mouth full of cake. I dare ya!
  7. Free Slow Food Live Webinars: Learn to Plant a Seed on Thursday, March 26 at 11am PT/2pm ET by registering here.You can register for the Zero Waste Minestrone webinar on March 27th at the same time here.
  8. Bethany Webster’s 3P Method: She is the world’s leading expert on The Mother Wound, author of the forthcoming book, Discovering the Inner Mother, and wrote a very helpful post called, “The Holy Simplicity of Sitting with Our Pain.” She also recently shared the following approach in her newsletter:

Here is a quick process to help you feel safer and less anxious during this time of uncertainty.

I call it the 3P Method:

Pause, Pivot, Provide tender holding.

1) Pause:

Stop in the moment and notice what is happening for your inner child. You may notice an underlying panicky feeling, a negative inner narrative, or a feeling of being trapped or unsafe.

2) Pivot:

After you pause, turn to the distressed inner child. Here you become the inner mother self, bringing a sincere, loving curiosity to her and what she’s feeling in the moment.

3) Provide tender holding:

How is the little one within you?

I invite you to consciously bring her or him lots of nurturing, reassurance, tenderness and gentle calm.

You can simply say:

“I’m here with you Little One. I can see you’re scared right now, which is natural and normal, given what you’ve been through. I’m here with you to keep you safe. All is well.”

Consider signing up for her newsletter if you like her work. She even offers a free e-book called What is the Mother Wound?

Okey dokey, I have more, but I’ll stop before Monday turns into Tuesday!  Here’s how you can help this week:

  1. Leave a note of encouragement outside a neighbor’s door.
  2. Stay hydrated with water and warm liquids.
  3. Try a new class online.
  4. Rest.
  5. Give yourself and everyone around you a break. Assume a well of good intentions as people navigate the new normal for now.

And remember, look for the magic in the everyday! There are clues everywhere!

Rebecca’s Magical Mondays #11 – #CampFTC

Greetings from #CampFTC,

Looking for some magical distraction? Watch and listen to me read Chapter 1 of The Amazing Adventures of Selma Calderon:

Stay tuned to my Instagram account where I’ll keep you posted on my next chapter reading.

I have a lot of fun resources for you this week and in case you missed last week’s edition, do check out some of the nourishing resources here.

I hope you’ll join me at #CampFTC by using the hashtag to share creative ideas on staying home for those with non-essential jobs, as well as going out into nature for a breath of fresh air. I also want to acknowledge small business owners who are doing what they can to stay in business and to stay careful during this difficult time. If you’re wondering what FTC stands for, it’s Flatten the Curve. You can read Flattening a Pandemic’s Curve: Why Staying Home can Save Lives and this message from concerned physicians to gain a deeper understanding into the importance of our collective choices. These articles are particularly helpful for individuals who are still in denial about the pandemic. We have a chance to significantly slow down the community spread. And if nothing else, this interview with Michael Osterholm, an internationally recognized expert on infectious disease epidemiology will give you the scientific details needed to convince anyone who is doubting the value of social distancing and washing hands as demonstrated in this video.

And most of all here is a List of Personal Things You Can Do to Stay Well.

So let us all know what you are doing with the hashtag #CampFTC — no idea is too small:

  1. Organizing your spice rack
  2. Dance alone in the living room
  3. Dress your cat in fine attire
  4. Cook something you’ve never tried before
  5. Write a poem
  6. Use the telephone to have a live conversation with someone
  7. Sing at the top of your lungs
  8. Hike in nature

Here are this week’s resources:

  1. What’s your one truest dream? This and many more questions are asked in Marie Forleo’s interview of Glennon Doyle Melton regarding her new book, Untamed.

2. Inspiration from Sir Isaac Newton – he was homebound for a similar reason and guess what he did.

3. Armchair exploration – Here’s a link to virtual tours at museums around the world. And here are virtual field trips. And you can enjoy an epic 12-hour mix charting the history of spiritual jazz here.

4. The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker – how can we take the approaches by Parker and apply them to a virtual space? Let’s get creative! You can listen to a wonderful podcast interview with her, titled “Gathering as a Form of Leadership” here and here. Or look on your favorite podcast app and search for the Sounds True podcast to find it.

There’s always more to share, but for now, I invite you to stay close to home, let’s bring our globe back to a level of health and think most about those with compromised immune systems. 

Here’s how you can help:

  1. Share the resources in this post.
  2. Create anything.
  3. Sleep and rest as much as possible.
  5. Try to stay nourished with nutrient-rich foods.
  6. Practice social distancing (6 feet or more between people), stay home and get out in nature — and wash your hands thoroughly.

And remember, look for the magic in the everyday — there are STILL clues everywhere.

Rebecca’s Magical Mondays #10 – Eat

Hello Hungry Hungry People,

We are hungry for food, hugs, love, naps and why not be hungry for inspiration? I’m hoping that this week’s edition of Rebecca’s Magical Mondays fills up your hearts, bellies and minds.

I’ve fallen into a big rabbit hole following Samin Nosrat, author of Salt Fat Acid Heat thanks to an unexpected delightful stop on the way home from the Nahko and Medicine for the People concert at Plenty on Bell in Los Alamos, CA where I had a delicious pulled pork sandwich, perfectly strong iced tea (and I’m picky about that) and THE BEST peanut butter cookies of my entire life — think nutter butter for adults! Photos are below.

And amazing news! You are invited to a monthly mastermind that I’m co-facilitating with Ho’omalalama Brown of — our next online gathering is Saturday, March 21st at 11am Pacific Time. (You can calculate your time zone here.) She is an amazing and inspiring multi-passionate entrepreneur who always brings new, creative and practical resources as well as deep roots in Hawaiian culture.

Here’s how it works: a group of entrepreneurs, writers, artists and creatives gather online for 90 minutes. During the first 20 minutes, we state our goals for the session. Then we stay online together and at least start on those goals, then come back for the last 25 minutes and share what we accomplished. We get feedback and ideas from the facilitators and participants if we need help solving for something or advice on next steps. It has been so motivating for me. And get this: you can drop in monthly for only $20. You can click on my PayPal link or Venmo if you would like to join us! It is so energizing to know that I can count on a monthly gathering to kick start me to get that project done–be it transcribing my novel, crafting a production schedule, revisiting and getting clear on my goals or organize my finances.

Here are this week’s resources:

A. Samin Nosrat interviews I love: For simplicity’s sake, I’ve shared links that work no matter your device, but you can find these interviews on your favorite podcast app:

  1. How to Fail with Elizabeth Day
  2. Keep Calm and Cook On with Julia Turshen

These are two of my favorites–but I’ve listened to at least six interviews because I am a complete Salt Fat Acid Heat nerd.

B. Alexis Saloutos of Chakredy is offering a free webinar on March 11 at 11am PT on Energetic Grounding for Collective Anxiety. I like the way Alexis shows up in the world and believe that she will offer helpful approaches to navigating these times.

C.  Booklists at Social Justice Books – A Teaching for Change Project – Explore!

I hope you explore this! I loved learning about all of the American Indians in Children’s Literature books. In case you didn’t know it, since the publication of The Amazing Adventures of Selma Calderon in 2015, I have donated 5% of all net profits to Teaching for Change.

D. Slow Food – Plant a Seed Kit – I thought that if you haven’t already explored Slow Food, you might like to learn more about it. Either way, their plant a seed kit is just the hope some of us need right now. The links provided are for the U.S. but there are Slow Food groups all over the world.

Here’s how you can help this week:

  1. Cook something delicious! Check out the resources connected to Salt Fat Acid Heat to explore a new approach if you already cook or try something new if you are a novice in the kitchen.
  2. Tell someone about the chance to join our monthly mastermind by sharing this post.
  3. Explore the booklists above — they cover everything from Activism to Gender Identity to Arab Americans to Voting Rights!
  4. Deep breaths this week loveys. Here’s a quick video of me at the beach. And in case you need more ocean sounds, I recorded this 10-minute Ocean Meditation.

And remember, look for magic in the everyday. There are clues everywhere!

Join me on March 7 for Magic and Moola

Do you still need to get organized for your taxes? Do you have another project hanging over your head?
A huge part of my success (and happiness) is thanks to #smallincrementalsteps in everything I do.

You can join me on Saturday, March 7 at 11am Pacific Time via Zoom and get your stuff done. I will be hanging out for 90 minutes. I will get us grounded, pull cards and then off we go to get our stuff done.

Pay what you can and enjoy that feeling of making progress or completing the thing you keep saying you are going to do.
No recording. Just a live hangout.
Pay via PayPal:
Or Via Venmo @Rebecca-Villarreal-Author

I hope to see you there!

Next hangout – writing!

And you can be sure this week’s Magical Monday is FULL of inspiring joy!

#mysticathlete #cucalacas #workingwriter

PS: This is my nourished, happy smirk sitting in the sun after completing some major tasks on my list and rewarding myself with a gorgeous break.

Rebecca’s Magical Monday’s #9 – Fly with me

Big news! I learned to fly. They gave me waffle wings. And with those powerful new wings, I’m taking you back in time with some of my most helpful blog posts. Here goes:

1. Shine the Pot: When to Let Go of Friends and Family

2. You are Asking Me to Swallow the Sun…

3. Erasing Big Mistakes, Watering the Seeds, Naming Your Own Matilda

How you can help:

A. Rest

B. Rest

C. Rest

Look for the magic in the everyday — there are clues everywhere!

Rebecca’s Magical Mondays #8 – Chilaquiles


Hello Beautiful People!

Are you hungry? I hope so because you are getting a hands-on demonstration video on how to make chilaquiles! My husband agreed to share his special recipe from page 12 of my novel, The Amazing Adventures of Selma Calderón. He even gives you tips on picking the best avocados.

Here are the ingredients:

All measurements are approximate based upon the quantity in the demo video.

4 Eggs

Tortilla Chips

Mild Olive Oil

Tomato Sauce (8 oz)

3 chipotle peppers (canned + seeds removed)

salt and pepper

Serve with avocado plus optional cotija cheese + cilantro

I hope you enjoy the video! If you make them, please tag me on Facebook or Instagram. We would love to see your photos!

Onward to this week’s resources:

  1. Chef Magic + Human Condition: Award-Winning Chef, Samin Nosrat is the author of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking who experienced another level of fame with her Netflix specialof the same title.  Here’s a beautiful New Yorker interview titled, “I fail almost every day”  that touches upon many aspects of her life, including living in the in-between.
  2. Music: Wash it Away – I stood in the ocean listening to this powerful song. I urge you to give yourself this gift by Nahko + Medicine for the People. I have so many favorite lines. Among them, “Today is a good day for my ego to die.” I am SO EXCITED about seeing him in concert next month!  Also, check out Garden and Slow Down too. And I’ve shared it before, but I’ll share Dragonfly again because it kept me going during one of the most difficult times of my life.

3. On Women: This article titled: Matriarchies are Not Just a Reversal of Patriarchies is a deep analysis of what happens when women rule.

4. Change Your Pants, Change Your Life was the original title of this TEDx talk which is now called “Dressing for Confidence and Joy” — really though, it’s about this idea of inside out congruence. How do your insides match your outsides? It’s touching, funny and practical. Check out Stasia Savasuk’s take on life–it’s delightful.

5. Hair and Identity: I was thrilled to see Christin Brown featured in a recent issue of Forbes. She and her wife own the LunaBella Makeup and Hair salon. I met Chris and her wife Ashley at their other AMAZING business, Pura Luna Women’s Apothecary — which by the way, ships amazing her teas and so much more. They provide a vital home and sense of community to many of us. I’m inspired by their work, their leadership and general bad-a**ery when it comes to being bosses.

What you can do to help:

  1. Share, baby, share this post. People NEED chilaquiles, right?!
  2. Make chilaquiles!
  3. Make a new moon intention — go ahead WISH for something beautiful no matter when you read this.
  4. Let yourself feel the feelings this week. I’m learning more about what’s up energetically and folks keep telling me, it’s Pisces, on top of Pisces, on top of Pisces. And I’m all, “tell me what that means.” And from what I can tell, we take that watery energy and feel the feels. Cry if you need to cry–pay attention to what comes up, experience it and then let go and be cleansed. My riff on all of this. April Elliot Kent of Big Sky Astrology has a great post called, “Pisces New Moon: Surviving Quicksand.” There are many more experts out there like, Dr. M. Ruth McKants, Karen M. Rose, Kari Samuels, Vanessa Couto and Alex Myles.

And remember, find magic in the everyday! There are clues everwhere! For real.