2016 BIZARRE US POLITICS: An Abominable Joke That Only Hurts Us And Belittles This Nation

2016 BIZARRE US POLITICS: An Abominable Joke That Only Hurts Us And Belittles This Nation

I usually try to stay away from politics and act upon it on a private manner, only discussing my views when it’s appropriate and among family and friends who welcome my opinion and whose opinions I respect. While this is true, as a journalist at heart, there are times I feel the urge to voice my thoughts and practice my freedom of speech. In doing this, I always hope to be able to do it in the outmost respect for everyone and that I won’t hurt those who might then turn my words into political incorrectness, be offended, or twist my statements in a way I never intended.

During the last few weeks of political distress, enragement, ups and downs and unprecedented approach to campaigning, I have been very much in tune with the latest happenings. Like many fellow Americans and US residents, I could not ignore the facts and had to turn my head to reality. I have to say that, before anything or anyone at all, we must respect our police and military. No matter the color of their skin, cultural background, place of birth, gender, sexual orientation, or level of education. Further, we must acknowledge what our founding fathers did before us to make this country worth of dreaming and believing that a prosperous life can be achieved. An improved life, not with the works of others, or the money from people’s taxes or by taking away a percentage of the earnings of those who acquired their capital through hard labor and dedication; but through our own efforts and desire to grow as human beings, as professionals, as better individuals than generations behind.

As for what is being projected in the news, it is detrimental and embarrassing to watch the insults, false hopes, school children bickering, lies, government fraud, and general disrespect to voters from this great nation, from both sides of the current political spectrum. This is certainly not what our founding fathers had in mind for this country.

Some people from outside of the United States are laughing and happy to see us running aimlessly like chickens with our heads cut off. Others who honestly appreciate this land of opportunity, where dreams still come true if you want and work hard to accomplish your goals, are truly hurting for us. Let’s wake up and remember our core values, ethics and civism. Let’s love our police, our leaders when deserved, our veterans. Let’s do this for our children. Let’s act like the colosal nation we are.



My first job was as a legal receptionist.... No, wait! It was as a cashier at an Asian supermarket, a block away from my Jackson Heights apartment in NY; knowing very little English, at the tender age of 14 and a year after I arrived to US. I don't even remember how it fell on my lap; just like every other job I had during my teens. That first afternoon, I walked in the store without expectations, without knowledge of anything whatsoever, and without knowing that I was getting paid way below legal salary standards. It didn't last long; I probably started school or moved on to something else. I honestly fail to remember. Today, I thank the owner for giving me the opportunity, though. Thanks to her, I learned what it was like to earn money. However, I still didn't feel it. Who knows where she is right now, or if she is at all?

My other jobs were randomly offered, temporarily accepted and ephemerally gone. I was a teenager who wanted to roller-skate, hang out in Flushing Meadow Park with my friends, and absorb this new life I had acquired in the United States.

A few weeks later, I got another part-time job as a telemarketer, or a phone 'responder' or something. My task was solely to answer phones in a super large room full of other telemarketers who, like me, were sitting at beautifully carved mahogany desks. I distinctly remember the architectural designs of the walls that framed the rectangular space that contained us. Beneath each desk, there were large areal rugs covering the polished wood floor, and although worn-out and ancient-looking, they were designed with beautifully hand-made embroidery, where bright colors of red, burgundy and purple prevailed. I didn't find it odd at the time, and I just went on with the routine: pick up the telephone, say the company name, and write down the name and the number of the caller. Next day, same thing.

One day, after two weeks in the office, I got into a new pink and white Cadillac with golden rings around the tires. The owner of the business offered to take me home after my shift was over; it was late and I accepted not giving it too much thought. Yes! Ok, Ok! I did! Thank God the man’s chauffer delivered me right at my building doorstep, because I started hesitating and a feeling of uneasiness began to flourish in my gut as I was sitting in the back speaking with him trivial things in broken English. Oh, the things we do when we are young! Needless to say, I never went back to that place; especially after I told my friends and they did not hold back when they explicitly told me about all the things that could have happened to me, had that man been a psycho. Or maybe he was and I just got lucky.   

Then, I was a clerk at a store that is no longer operating, Alexander's. My shifts ended at 9 or 11 pm., and once again I had no clue of what I was doing. All I knew was that I had to stand there for 4 hours, welcoming people into the store, and that I would get a check every two weeks. That job, however, naturally introduced me further to customer service. I learned back then that it is hard for people not to like a kind hello, a "can I help you", or a simple welcoming smile.

So, between the slight idea of dealing with perfectly strange people that I got working with the Asian market customers, the phone skills I acquired (unknowingly, I must say) speaking with people who called in that bizarre (I now think) telemarketing office, and the manners I developed with customers in the department store, I was ready to receive new cases, welcome prospect clients and open legal files for the attorneys who hired me at 17. Legan and Welsch, if you are out there, thank you for taking me in when I was so young, so inexperienced, and still so lost in little-flying-birds world. Thanks to their fair salary, I was able to pay for some of my college credits, my almond croissant and my life-saving coffee on my way to school. Once I moved to Florida I never heard from them again.  

So, I'll just leave it there. Many other jobs came and disappeared from my life and my resume. Soon enough, I began to find focus and only work in my field; but that's another story. This one is to honor those employers who saw in me what I had no idea I was capable of. This story is for those teens who are working and moving from job to job. There is always a lesson, always a helping hand, always a bitter experience (or two, or three); but without realizing, you kids are growing and taking it all in, archiving each moment and lesson, every step of your way. Believe me, they will come in handy when you least expect it.

My last message to you, the young, is to remember to stay in touch, to keep a phone number, to save an email, retain an address. You will move on with your life. You will not say "Thank You" as you should (REALLY feeling it, and not just out of compromise). You are too young, too busy, too distracted, too full of energy and life, with too many things to do and places to go. There is no time for you now to think about it twice, to look back. Only after a few years you will maybe recall the first mistakes on the jobs you held, and perhaps remember that teacher, that first boss, that mentor, that supervisor who believed in you when you just wanted a paycheck to cover your daily expenses or extras. 

As for those who supported me from my first job at 14 until today, I really have no articles to write, story to tell, or words to express how grateful I am.



NEW YORK, Roosevelt Island – Feb. 1, 2016 - Writing down yet another list for new year's resolution -and actually seeing it through- was more important than ever for Coaching for Life Goals (CFLG) company owner Laura M. Sanchez-Ramirez. It wasn’t just a new year’s game. It was a MUST.

Originally founded in Miami, FL, in 2006, CFLG was re-launched in New York City this year to assist clients who need guidance in their businesses, careers, education, and life in general. Sanchez-Ramirez decided that, after 25 years of working in the Communications field and teaching higher education, something was still pending.

"All along in my career, I kept having this feeling of dissatisfaction,” Laura recalls. “I always felt there was an immediate need to reach out to the community, more than just through interviewing a source or publishing a news story.”

Laura says that the stories she covered while working in the Journalism and Media Relations fields did not help people directly. Many times she found herself wondering what happened in the lives of her old news sources, and hoping she would have been able to, somehow, contribute to improve their situations. Some of these were women who wouldn’t find their place after their children left the nest, foreign professionals unable to revalidate their degrees, parents who lost their children to drugs and alcohol, entrepreneurs who had business ideas but didn’t have proper guidance, children who were bullied and abused at home and in schools, teenagers who struggled with themselves and their families, seniors who lost their homes or fell into a great state of depression after they retired, a homeless person under a Miami bridge, a war veteran lost in a unknown world upon his return, an artist who had to abandon her dream for not having the money to pay for her studio rent.

“And the stories went on and on,” Laura remembers. “But they were just that, stories and nothing more.”

Similar circumstances were encountered in the schools where Laura taught international students. Her first experience in a classroom setting began when she was still pursuing a BA degree, and worked as a part-time ESL teacher for an adult education school; and, later, taught Reading Comprehension and Grammar in a community college, where her students were also from various countries in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Even back then, Laura knew that an extra mile needed to be taken in order to find new ways to help them accomplish their goals.

Most recently, Laura had the honor to teach at an Arts and Design university where, she taught classes to young students hoping to graduate with a BA degree and, either successfully return to their lands, or remain in USA in search for a more prosperous life.

“But I felt again that, still, there wasn’t much more I could do,” Laura says. “Some of my students needed real guidance with their education, career decisions, work issues, and personal turmoil; and my hands were tight.”

Stories of despair and sacrifice, hope and dreams, added to the increasingly growing desire of Laura to switch gears and further develop CFLG.

”Coaching for Life Goals was born with the purpose to honor every news source, student and friend (young or less young) I met somewhere along my life and career paths; and from whom I humbly learned many lessons.”

Laura M. Sanchez-Ramirez is a journalist, professional life coach, writer, and public speaker. Additionally, she has enhanced her life and career experience in the areas of public relations, marketing, social media, presentations, radio production, business development, yoga teaching, and higher education.

During her bilingual (English/Spanish) career trajectory, she has written for multiple national publications as well as for local newspapers and magazines; worked as news producer for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC); served as university professor; has been coaching clients from various professional backgrounds and countries since 2006; and is currently working on 4 books, poetry (in Spanish), recipes and life tips (Spanish), Life Coaching (English) and a novel (English).

For additional information, and an Free introductory Coaching session, please contact 786-315-1246; naga@bellsouth.net




Scene #1

-          What! Who? Now what do we do?

I was disappointed. I was upset. I was enraged! No, not really that much, but this young girl working at the Starbucks on 5th and 42 taught me a lesson.

-          No problem Ma’am, I’ll make you another one.

I felt relieved, I felt served, I felt terribly embarrassed.

Scene #2

-          SORRY, the computer didn’t register your appointment.

-          What! But I set it up online because you told me over the phone that it was faster and easier. And I wasted my time and I’ll be late to …

-          No problem, we’ll sign you up and you’ll be next.


I was left with my mouth open and my heart crushed; all I could do was smile at her. “Ahhh…This crazy woman,” she must have thought. Here, the medical receptionist taught me yet another lesson.

Oh, so I get it! If something doesn’t happen how I expect it, plan it or hope, it’s not the end of the world.

Hey, wait! Isn’t that what I profess, isn’t that what I believe in, what I teach, what I was taught? And then it came to me crystal clear. A teacher is not perfect, is not a know-it-all, and doesn’t always practice what is preached. A parent, a teacher, a coach, a leader, an authority figure is a human being, with natural feelings and innate emotions that are only tamed through learning that, because you set an example to others, you should control them. It takes time, education, effort, experiences, mistakes, saying the wrong thing, or even saying the right thing when you are not supposed to say anything at all.

Now, I realize we are swimming in other waters and the current doesn’t always flow smoothly. Operating in this ocean requires the prevalence of serenity and of understanding that not everyone is always synchronized with your scheduled program. And you are not always in tune with other people’s channels. You leave a door open to conflict (most of the time, unnecessary) if you don’t have the patience to decipher the best satisfactory outcome, with results that don’t disrupt the peace and benefit everybody.

Although you might not accept it, check yourself every time you have an outburst or a reaction for something that doesn’t go your way. I go back all the time to check these pearls of wisdom from my mother and my mother-in-law’s acumen; women who admit time and time again they still have much to learn. I’ll pass them on to you so, next time you are on the verge of embarrassing yourself, you can pull them from under your sleeves as fast as you can possibly fit them in the moment.

ü  Take a big breath

ü  Think

ü  Think twice

ü  And think again

ü  Relax your jaw

ü  Check your facial expression

ü  Bring your shoulders up to your ears and roll them back and down (actually part of a yoga pose-Tadasana)

ü  Find yourself to smile

ü  Smile a little longer

ü  Look into the person’s eyes (with kindness)

ü  Ask if there’s any option, another item, another of whatever you expected and you didn’t get

ü  If no momentarily option, Ask when will it be possible, available

ü  Say thank you and leave if you don’t resolve it at the time, or if you leave with a partial solution. You’re not being resilient you’re acting with a high level of consciousness

ü  Show great appreciation if there’s a quick solution, after all.

ü  Leave the experience with a smile on your face

I must admit that many times I agreed with these smart women in my family just out of respect; especially when I was younger, when I acted like I knew it all, when I thought I could gulp down the world. Although these points might seem trivial to you, I suggest you try them. Don’t forget that it is in the simplicity of things where it all becomes apparent.







As I’ve embarked in my new venture, I must admit that it’s been quite a roller coaster; long days of work and exhaustion, as well as surprises galore and a priceless amount of learning. Opening my own business has been far from mind-numbing and daunting. I have strengthen some of the skills that I had already gained throughout my career in communications and teaching, received amazing advice and support from professionals who are already way ahead of me, and learned new concepts and ideologies that before were a mere thought, just a chapter from a book or a scene in a movie. I have watched so many online videos, participated in a high number of teleconferences and webinars, completed business plans, worked on growing my contact list, registered my company name and domain, worked on website design and content, planned new programs to promote, and developed a marketing campaign, among other necessary tasks. As you all business owners very well know, the list goes on and on; this is the norm if you want to reach a high level of trust and success.

While engaging in all this, one of the things I did in my investigative process was to run a search on the most commonly used key words in the internet. I must say I was truly surprised as I read the report put out by the company who originally published these results, SiegeMedia and Ross Hudgens. It was remarkable to see that, within a list of the top 100 key searches, some of the first terms that were important to online visitors were: calculator, USA jobs, social security, finance, euro to dollars, and lotteries. This demonstrates a highly increasing concern about money and financial stability fret that a vast majority of people encounter in their daily lives. And that is also, one of the most significant trends among clients that I’ve had the honor to serve and help during my coaching sessions. They either start with this focus, or come back to it at some point in our discussion, when presented with the question of where you want to start and what aspect of your life you feel you have an immediate need to improve.

Another slightly more extensive group of words that called my attention is one that listed inspirational quotes, flowers, funny jokes, funny pictures, free games, music, hotels, and flights. This shows that we are still candid and hopeful that our journey through life is more than material preoccupation and despair. Although other evident issues as war, crime, violence and drugs (surprisingly not mentioned) are an indisputable reality in our daily existence, people still look for ways to find in the little things a grain of enjoyment, a drop of hope, and a touch of beauty to go on living. People believe in authentic Happiness. And my clients have certainly attested to that. In my sessions, wanting to be happy, having fun with friends and family, acquiring the appropriate means to be able to travel, and laughing form part of an ideal life that somehow for many is not that simple to attain.

Additionally and interesting enough, the number of searches pertaining to time was high; food for thought that made me think about how many times within a day we wonder “what time it is.” Everyone may have a different reason, even strong enough to look it up in the internet: election time to finally cast my vote, break time from the office, time to eat, to go to the gym, to decide on buying a house, having children, getting married, time to walk the dog, to take that medication. Time to fly, to exit, to be free. Time to plan our next step, or take that big breath, or let go of anything that is holding us back. Time to progress and move forward, the core principle of my coaching business.

So, I wonder if people always had this mindset, or is it technology that allows us to have a closer look at our beliefs and thinking trends? Often, when I ask my mom about something, she kindly directs me to the internet and tells me that Google, for sure, has the answer. My dad is always reading and getting information from the search engines. And my friend’s grandmother cannot part from her precious tablet. It seems that people from every generational group not only feel and think alike, but are happy to have found a way to have access to a world that doesn’t discriminate and won’t judge.




Only Then, You'll Know You Have Succeeded

This time forget the cliche of smelling the roses or the coffee. It's not that satisfying. You need to bleed. Some, more liberal, might open this because it's bloody juicy; others more conservative might open this wondering, what in the name of the Lord got into this LinkedIn connection to write this now. Others won't even bother, because they might think this title is completely out of their zone. But watch out. It might suit you well. 

Succeeding is no easy fix, there's no skinny pill, no quick webinar promising to offer the answer you've been looking for all your life. Success is found in the tears that you shed; in the trial and errors that turn into errors more than answers; in the belief that you finally think you got it and ultimately (at least temporarily) it's just that, a simple thought that fades away.

Success appears after a scream in the subway station when the train is coming and you think no one can hear you; it's in a guttural sound escaping from deep within when you jump into the ocean and only God listens. Success is in the silence of what nobody knows you go through to reach the point where people think you've been all along. 

It's bloody simple, but you need to be ready to understand it. When you feel you are scared to death, that your creative instincts are shooting messages left and right and you cannot capture neither the colors nor perceive the scent; when you squeeze yourself in a corner of your bathroom floor resting your head on your hands...thinking, thinking; when planning your next step hurts so much that you can barely eat; when the public library becomes your silent ally, while shooting at you ideas that you can't even get together; when all your effort, your contacts and sent emails finally return and turn into answers; when you wake up in the wee hours of the night to write down your heaven-sent inspirational plan, thought, or writing piece...

 When you bleed the antidote to your deception, then it's the moment you awaken realizing that you have passed the test to your first and most difficult challenge, and can now lift yourself to take the next step to complete your goal.

But... make sure you do one last thing. Wipe the blood, first, ok?

Good! Now, you're ready! 



Why am I interested in the insanity of being sane? I’ve always asked. Why my eagerness to perfection while I hesitate to be perfect? Why can’t I quench my thirst for knowledge? Why do I now want to continue challenging myself, studying and learning? I realized that I'm hooked, that I'm in need that it's like a drug of which I can never have enough.

Think. Think. Could it be because I did not find an antidote while pursuing my previous Engineering and Journalism education and careers. All the while, I kept running into formulated equations where the results were always exact replicas of what deceived me to be originals, in the first place. And then, I look back at all those years, since I can remember, and speculate that if I only had a counselor by my side, at least I would have had some life riddles answered more speedily and didn’t have to wait to be in my forties and still, tormented, questioning so much, even though I had angels along the way.

Perhaps, I speculate, I hope, I know I can alleviate some of this for others who may feel like me? It’s my chance. I survived. I survived because along the way I encountered smart humans such as parents, mentors, professors, colleagues, husband, children, dear friends, and students (not necessarily in that order LOL) from whom I learned invaluable lessons.  It’s my turn to give back, to offer a lending hand, and it’s not negotiable.

I am in my 40s, like I said, and still with lots of questions like I said, too; inundated with thoughts that drill my brain and penetrate my psyche every so often: Being confused about why a government and its obsessed followers (as if followers were not always obsessed) would treat decent families (like mine) with hatred and repudiation when all they wanted -we wanted- was to leave a country where freedoms were scarce, if at all in existence; seeing my grandfather die of sadness because the business he built with his bare hands, when he arrived from Spain to Cuba, was stolen from him by authorities; seeing my dad being expelled from the Education Department of the school system because he just wanted to teach English and Math and would not follow the fads of a party that went against his ideals; seeing a resilient mother going out to wipe windows, to clean porches, and to sweep the streets in a senseless effort to join the Federation of Communist Women, so they wouldn’t repudiate her daughter in school; fighting my own battles as an immigrant, as a teenager who was not comfortable here neither in her country, trying to fight the inner self making a colossal attempt to comprehend why I had to live here and there and in so many where's, as my parents tried what they thought would be the best place to live, once (and finally) our land was abandoned; trying to understand why I lost my first child, why the world continued like nothing, why there wasn't an answer.

Any of the challenges I mentioned above can be translated into an interpersonal conflict. But I'd like, if I may, to use them all as one. I could write forever, describe an entire story in detail on how I tackled each conundrum in my life, but there is no need; because, although the situations were different, the approach to life I chose has always been the same.

It's a process; you know. You're happy, randomly or purposely going through the days, and then, boom! You get a shocking experience that leaves you frozen in time. You shake the hurt, dodging thorns that randomly fall from the sky; you hide, you cry, you stop. Then, you realize that you learn and life goes on. When it happens again, you're prepared, you know what to do, you have already grown a thick skin. And then you smile and feel triumphant .... and wait for the next beautiful battle.

After years of this fable, you realize you are strategically placed in a line. You look in front and there are many others laughing and enjoying whatever; but the interesting part is when you turn around and take a quick look behind you. It is, then, when you recognize that you are in a good place. That your thorns, are soft petals, your tears strength; your hurt, experiences.

And then, you breathe again.



“Life is like a piano… what you get out of it depends on how you play it,” Albert Einstein.

That’s what I agree with. Often you're asked questions where rather than not having the answer because you can’t answer it, you don’t have the answer because you need more knowledge and specifics of the inquiry in hand.

I don’t feel that I am properly armed to tell you whether therapy is a thing for all. I can offer random thought and ideas based on experiences that I’ve had, that I’ve seen, and that I’ve heard; but that will only give you the gossip part of my intake. I will not be able to support it in a reasonable and academic approach.

Having said that, I do know (we all do; no mystery here) that both therapists and patients are human beings, rational individuals who are far from perfection and, most of the time, travel through life trying to improve, hoping to find their best self. But, when encountered with each other, if one is not willing to follow the rules of the game the other one cannot play her/his part to the fullest of her/his ability. Just one example, out of a few others, to illustrate my point: a teen who is aware of the therapist’s job and the parent’s intentions and clever enough to answer what she/he thinks the therapist wants to hear. 

So, my question to you is: Is everyone willing to play?

MY BUSINESS NAME IS ... Ta ta ta taaaaaaaan!

MY BUSINESS NAME IS ... Ta ta ta taaaaaaaan!


Many people would love to be able to own a small venture or their own company. However, when facing the topic of business ownership, a great majority of them lower their shoulders, hunch their backs and put on the mask of impossibility. Read along to find out which is you:

 "That's not for me!" And that's it? It’s all in the state of mind and what your beliefs have been telling you throughout your life. You have been living with the impression that this idea is way too far from your porche; that it is a concept you hear as you walk along your life roads. First off, I invite this group of people to establish a closer friendship with themselves by:

a) Taking some time to understand a bit deeper who they are as individuals

b) Getting to know more of what they like

c) Realizing the things they know and how well they know them

d) Sitting back and watch for a while the scenes of what they normally experience every day

Once you have clearly put this into perspective, you can be open to great possibilities. Now, you can have a vision of how this can be turned into some kind of income, your own business. My recommendation to this group is to begin by brainstorming and taking notes on the things they're passionate about, enjoy the most, and deeply believe in.

"I admire those who own businesses, but I will never..." These ‘future business owner,’ as I like to call this group, think they won't be able to own their own company, ever. They genuinely believe that this is because they don't have the money, the know-how, the tools, the contacts, or the skills to do it. I might add here also, the VISION, the DRIVE to do it.

All they need is to make the SHIFT from hopelessness to fervor. Know that IT IS, indeed, doable and there’s no need to come from a family of entrepreneurs or have a degree in finances to accomplish this; as long as you fervently get your mind to it. True, everyone may have to begin from a different starting point:

a)      An old model car or bike

b)      An old computer version or just a pencil and some loose papers

c)       A seat on a park bench or in a Starbucks

d)      Just some change or singles in their wallets

Some might have to do some self study:

a)       Register to a number of free seminars, workshops and webinars

b)      Read some relevant books or available online information

c)       And even talk to people in the same field that are always willing to assist and offer their insights

It all depends on where you find yourself at the moment and what you bring to the table. But don’t let this stop you. Don’t use this as an pretext to say “I will never…” The target will always be right in front and, once you hit it, you will be proud of yourself.

"You're not cut out to be a business owner" Says who? Ok. I have heard many of my clients humbly express to me their desire to open "a little business" but, ever since they were children, or younger, or insecure for one reason or another, they've heard the same rhetoric from relatives, friends, co-workers and supervisors.  This has affected them so much to the point that they came to embrace this notion and wholeheartedly believe that they will never, never, ever accomplish anything along the lines of entrepreneurship and business development.

Three pointers here for this group:

a) Check your heart

b) Check your mind

c) Check the people who wittingly, or not, codified this message in you.

Now, pick up the eraser, or hit your imaginary Delete key, and make the following disappear: Negative thoughts, Feelings of incapability, and ANY comment that does not contribute to your goal. Once you’re alone with yourself and a cool glass of wine, a delicious cup of tea, a crystal clear glass of water, or a nice cup of coffee (whatever rocks your world), it's time to begin. So, next, redirect your mind to the following thoughts:

1) I've always wanted to (fill in the blank)

2) I am passionate about (fill in the blank)

3) I want to contribute with (fill in the blank

4) I will start (today or tomorrow)

5) I will begin with step one which is (fill in the blank)

6) My deadline(s) is(are) (fill in the blank)


In any of the cases above, hold yourself accountable without excuses, and make it a point to check your progress regularly. You can either give it a shot on your own or with a Professional Business Coach by your side that will make sure you follow through successfully.

Let’s begin!