Fire Destruction – Spring Renewal

Let’s trek to the Santa Monica mountains from Mulholland boulevard! The path starts with mustard seed plants leading to renewal and growth at the Cistern Trail overlooking Malibu Lake. It was a glorious site to see after the destruction of fire that rampaged close to my home located at the foot of the Santa Monica mountains and this trail.

We were evacuated and then after five days of courageous fire fighters on the scene, we thankfully returned home to do some clean-up. Instead of the usual cool, clean air from the Pacific Ocean, the smell of burned soot was everywhere. Air filters were changed and changed again. Rain cleansed the earth that brought up compacted ash. When I began to see new growth of green sprouting on the hillside, it gave my heart hope.

“The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” – John 1:5


Light shines its renewal after the fire on Cistern Trail, Santa Monica mountains.



Fire Destruction and Regrowth

A fire burned tree shadows the flourishing beauty of Lupine flowers.



Cistern trail to Lookout trail on the Santa Monica mountains.

There were lovely flowers along the way, butterflies and caterpillars. My daughter and my sister trekked ahead of me down towards Cage Creek trail, while I took some pictures.


Nature’s beauty along Cistern trail and Lookout trail.



Lookout trail to Cage Creek trail below.

Where’s Waldo? Or should I ask, “Where is Marianna?”


Marianna does a leg stretch along the trail!


Hiking_Santa_Monica_ mountains

Hiking with my daughter, Marianna, my sister, Linda and her two dogs.

Hiking is fun but can be strenuous exercise. After this hike, I decided to invest in some hiking shoes as I want to do it more often. It’s a free adventure that is inspirational and stress relieving. It is a breath of fresh air, away from computers and traffic!

My sister, Linda lives in Westlake Village and she showed me some Poppy and Lupine flowers that were growing in all their splendor. It’s hard to believe that the mountains behind me in this picture collage were also filled with fire.


Enjoying the flowers blooming in my life!

The hills are now beautifully draped with yellow-tipped, mustard seed plants too numerous to count.

I wondered if Jesus was walking or hiking on the hillsides with his disciples, Matthew and Luke, when he spoke about the faith of a mustard seed that can move mountains and uproot mulberry trees. Yes! I think so!

Wishing you a blessed Easter,

Maria Lauren, AKA Maria Elena Alberici

Your Powerful Life blog

My Website

Your Powerful LIFE blog is about Living, Inspiration, Fitness, Entertainment…. It is produced in my own time and solely reflects my personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of my employer, past or present, or any other organization with which I may be affiliated.


Are you going around in circles?


Hope and Courage

“My awareness (to the balance of nature) opens to the creative energy of the universe (directed by God) as I walk into the fulfillment of the future (hope and courage).”

– Maria Elena Alberici, AKA – Maria Lauren


Going around in circles is okay if you’re dancing but it’s not fun if you’re just dealing with the everyday stuff of life!

I find that when I have one foot in the past and one foot in the future, my functioning in the present is all out of sync. Thinking as a singer/musician, it’s impossible to perform a jazz song, if your head is doing rock-n-roll.

Life has a rhythm and every day the song is different. Being aware of your breathing and the beating of your heart can give you a clue to the song that you are living. If you don’t like the song, then change the channel or stop to reboot.


Take a break…

Do something positive that will put a smile on your face. Read something motivational, maybe a devotional or you can journal, meditate, pray, listen to music or an inspirational podcast.  Relax-n-Renew is a good resource of mini Guided Imagery with soothing music. It’s like taking a mini vacation! 🙂

Starting my morning with a heart of gratitude always makes me feel better. I also like to do some kind of stretching or exercise to warm up my body while being in a prayerful state of thanksgiving.

Of course, there are those mornings, like today! You see, yesterday I varied my workout, a good thing to do, but today my body is screaming at me. Uhg! 😦 To get the kinks out, I stretch on my incline board/slant board where I start with very slow and mindful movements. 

I enjoy doing different forms of exercise and if I can do it outdoors, even better. At the beach, the air is so delectable! It’s a great place to do Yoga or Tai Chi with the focus on deep breathing meditation.

“Inhale new energy; exhale old energy.”


The Wheel…

maria_elena_alberici_yoga_fleibility_ strength_the_wheel

On the theme of going around in circles. The yoga pose called, The Wheel, is a challenge that keeps my core flexible and my limbs strong. Being 66 years on this earth, I use this move as part of my mental youth meter.

The Wheel used to be easy for me until two years ago, when I fractured my arm in two places. Since then, I have been slowly easing myself into this posture. 


Integrated Learning Strategies

To train my body for The Wheel, I do the same stretch with the support of a big ball.

The Yoga pose, Cobra also helps to stretch my abdominal and back muscles while The Plank pose helps strengthen my arms and core for this feat. 

Starting with the month of October is the arrival of Halloween and consecutive months of holiday celebrations which could be fun and stressful. I am getting a jump-start to keep the months ahead balanced and healthy. As I center my whole being on my breath, strength and resiliency, the distractions and worries of life no longer affect my nerve center in a negative way. I am grateful for the moment.


Final thoughts…

When I’m driving through life and I ignore my body’s speed limit and the environmental conditions, I may get stuck in the mud. My wheels go round and round, splattering mud everywhere but going nowhere. That’s when I need help to get back on the road of life.

Thank God for my circle of family and friends, especially those who hold me up in prayer.


“The circle of well-being balances strength and flexibility supported by a circle of family, friends and prayers.”

– Maria Elena Alberici, AKA Maria Lauren


Do you have a circle of prayers around you and your loved ones?

Wishing you peace,

Maria Lauren, AKA Maria Elena Alberici

Your Powerful LIFE blog

My Website

You Got The Power


Your Powerful LIFE blog is about Living, Inspiration, Fitness, Entertainment…. It is produced in my own time and solely reflects my personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of my employer, past or present, or any other organization with which I may be affiliated.