Author Archives: Arturo

About Arturo

My heart's desire is to maximize every resource in order to create, maintain and promote gracious and enriching relationships. Relationships significant enough to transform people and special enough to bring glory to God.
  1. Questions

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    Today I’d like to zoom in one of the many questions Jesus asked in the Gospels:

    “When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?””

    John 5:6 NIV

    This question was addressed to a paralytic man who has been disabled for 38 years. 

    One would assume the answer to that question is “of course! What kind of question is this?” But in my experience working with people, and doing some self-reflection, most of us WISH to do better but in reality do not want to make the necessary sacrifices. 

    Let me give you an example. My average screen time on my iPhone is 2.5 hours a day… I know… I know. Lately I’ve seen this number jumped to 4.5!!! The biggest culprit? Facebook. 

    Do I want to fix this or merely wish it’ll solve itself? Well, yesterday I put a time restriction on this app (10mins a day). Coupled with YouTube and Instagram also under time restrictions I anticipate my usage to go way down. 

    Do you really want to get/do better, or do we merely wish things get better one way or another? 

  2. No BS Review 24 Books in 2019

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         This 2019 I set out to read 24 books ranging from spirituality to decision-making. In this post I’d like to list all 24 with my impressions on each one of them. Due to me being on the road most of the time, I used Audible to listen to them and every now and then either got the Kindle version or paperback.

         I call this the “NO BS” version because I’m actually trying to pull from memory how each of these books really impacted me, In other words I didn’t write my impressions as I was reading these books and copy/paste today. Instead I’m trying to tell you if these books really left a mark on me TODAY.  To read more about these books simply click on the picture and it will take you to their Amazon listing. Having said that, here’s the list:

    DIDN’T SEE IT COMING *** Great book to start 2019. Written by a pastor, this book was laser-focused on diagnosing spiritual challenges we are all facing while serving others. The one that hit me the hardest was APATHY and how the author prescribes CURIOSITY/SILLINESS as an antidote and it landed my wife and me straight into salsa/bachata classes every other week. If you’re stuck in a rut, check out this book!

    THE FOUR AGREEMENTS *** This book is a staple in Addiction Recovery and honestly I felt I had to read it. It helped me convey 4 simple propositions to my clients and have them buy in: a) Be impeccable with your word b) Don’t take anything personally c) Don’t make assumptions and d) Always do your best.

    THE GO GIVER *** This is one of those books I read regularly and each time it gets better and better. The author explains the 5 Laws of Stratospheric Success a) The Law of Value b) The Law of Compensation c) The Law of Influence d) The Law of Authenticity and e) The Law of Receptivity. All of this is done in a story-telling style anyone can follow and understand.

    THE ADVANTAGE*** This book is a FOUNDATIONAL book for anyone seeking to sharpen their leadership tools. This was a weird book for me because it was chockfull of good content and it took me almost a month to finish… however I can’t tell you one SPECIFIC thing today (about 10 months later) that I’m using thanks to this book.  So, it was really good to read and freshen up on foundational leadership concepts, but was not very practical in my opinion.

    THE TRUTH ABOUT MEN *** This book is all about THE DOG all men have inside, according to the author.  My first reaction was to dismiss his claims as over simplistic and stereotypical, but after hanging in there I came to really appreciate this book.  In fact, I wish EVERY MAN would read this book especially here in the United States.  This book made me a better person, and offered me some man-to-man straight talk that I find missing nowadays. Highly recommend it!

    THE ROAD BACK TO YOU + MIRROR FOR THE SOUL **** I’m putting these 2 books together because both of them are packed with Enneagram knowledge and they both are introspective in nature.  I recommend these books if you want to become more self aware of how your “type” interacts with other types in the Enneagram.

    FALLING UPWARD *** Another introspective book.  I think coming right after the previous two books it made sense in my mind/soul, but honestly I can’t remember a single point about this book.  So, as a stand alone book I can’t recommend.

    THE MORE OF LESS *** Now this book was probably the most PRACTICAL book of them all.  It really challenged my way of life, my possession (clutter), and my need of keeping/ accumulating junk.  Because of this book we did at least 3 deep cleaning sessions in the house, tossed out/donated a bunch of stuff, and made a deliberate effort to live with less.  HIGHLY recommend this book!

    GRIT *** This was probably my most ACADEMIC book of the year.  I listened while I ran or was on long airplane rides.  It gave me a push to continue pursuing my goals with determination and discipline.  It’s basically something we all know, but very few know the research behind it.  If you like data and story-behind-the-facts this book is for you.

    LIFE WITHOUT LACK*** This book completely changed  my life.  Why? first off Dallas Willard is an authority in spirituality, but also because the step-by-step approach to Psalm 23 was something I needed around April/May.  It is extensive, but 100% worthy.  Highly recommend it!

    THE SINNER’S PRAYER / EVANGELISM *** In all frankness I only read these 2 books because I was challenged by a couple of friends on my view of evangelism.  I do believe in God, I also believe that we are called to show God’s light in this world in all we do.  However I felt my friends were pinning me down and expecting me to present a formulaic Gospel invitation to all people in all circumstances, and obviously I felt really uncomfortable with this.  Turns out they weren’t as legalistic as I thought, but still I felt I needed to load up on these two books for support.

    LETTERS TO THE CHURCH *** Francis Chan ALWAYS challenges me.  I read this book on my Kindle and simply couldn’t put it down.  My biggest take away: Am I really called to be a pastor? Francis lays HEAVY on people in ministry riding on their talents, but having no calling from God and thus being inefficient in leading the flock to the “Good Shepherd”.  Great book for ministers! It’ll challenge your calling!

    LETTERS FROM A SKEPTIC *** This is the actual correspondence between Greg (a Christian apologist) and his father (an atheist).  These letters were mailed back and forth over a period of years and it shows the father’s deep and sincere questions regarding faith, God, and Jesus.  I loved the relational flavor of this book and the love these two have for each other in the midst of their theological differences.

    REPENTING OF RELIGION *** This is the most DANGEROUS book on my list.  Why? Greg’s view of God/World is fresh and rooted in Scripture… at the same time it feels a little too unorthodox to me.  First of all I believe religion (done right) is a great thing.  Unfortunately when done wrong, religion can be used as a tool to harm and chastise people.  However, once you get past the title, you’ll be awarded with a refreshing view of the Garden of Eden and this will change the way you look at the Bible.  Guaranteed.

    SHIFTING *** This is a dynamic book written by my pastor.  I say “dynamic” because is by nature an e-book and pastor Bill will keep adding chapters at a later time.  The concept of shifting comes embedded in the picture of “highway lines” and how one is different from the other.  For me it was a good reminder/challenge to be intentional when I’m in “working mode” and not to cross lines and have my loved ones suffer in the process.

    WHAT’S SO AMAZING ABOUT GRACE *** Now this is a book I read every other year or so because it is probably the most REFRESHING book on God I’ve ever read.  My struggle with organized religion is how quickly it becomes judgmental, exclusive, and “elitist”.  This book brings God to our neighborhood, makes Him accessible and makes me want to love Him more and more! Highly recommend this book!!!

    TALKING TO STRANGERS *** This book felt like a multi-hour podcast and thus it was an awesome listen.  Malcolm Gladwell is a fascinating story-teller and he definitely proved his point “we really have no idea who we’re talking to unless they’re in our close circle of friends/family”. This is a book that humbled me as a mental health clinician but at the same time it allowed me to give my 100% while also to walk away with no attachments from my clients.  In a strange way it was humbling and liberating at the same time.

    THE FORMULA *** Phenomenal through the first 30% and then it got muddled in technicalities.  However it answers the question “if a tree falls in the middle of the forest, and no one hears it… does it make a noise?” As it pertains to success the answer is a resounding NO!.  Success is communal, not just personal.

    THE CODDLING OF THE AMERICAN MIND *** Another “heavy hitter” in this rotation.  I believe this should be a required book for our teens since it presents a cold hard look at how we tend to prefer “intellectual laziness” instead of a rigorous and disciplined approach to life.

    THINKING IN BETS *** Hands down one of the books that impacted me the most this 2019.  The presentation of poker, instead of chess, as a game-analogy to life was eye opening.  This means there are many things that by the nature of the game will not go as we’ve planned, but that’s the nature of life.  Rather than leaving us with a pessimistic outlook, Annie Duke challenges her readers to pay close attention to the “quality of the decision-making” rather than using “resulting” as the only measure for qualifying our decision making process.

    DECISIVE *** Not the book I was expecting to read.  Coming off the hills of “Thinking in Bets” I was eager to build on this “decision-making” wave and many people suggested this book aaaaand… it just felt flat.  In the beginning it had flashes of potential when discussing different ways/systems of decision-making but honestly I can’t think of 1 take away from this book.  Simply cannot recommend it.

    PRAY LIKE JESUS *** Finally we arrive to my last book of 2019 and I’m glad this was the one since it was written by someone I’ve known for over 15 years! This book has a “comfort food” feel since the author presents his points in a loving, caring way. Imagine someone who loves you telling you a story over coffee, and the conversation being so filling you walk away wanting to come back for another cup of coffee with this guy… that’s the feel of this book.

    Now I’m prepping my Reading List for 2020.
    Happy reading and join me on next year’s Reading List!!!

     

    Peace,
    – arturo

     

     

     







     

     

     

     

  3. The Bachelor

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    If you want to read the biblical version of the popular TV show The Bachelor look no further than the book of Esther.

    I’m not going to tell you the entire plot (if you’ve seen the bachelor then you already know half of it), but at this point Esther needs to make a decision, a decision that could cost her life: to enter to the King’s court unannounced (punished by death) to save her people.

    The following is an excerpt of a conversation she’s having with a relative encouraging her to step up to the occasion:

    “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”” Esther 4:14 NIV

    I cannot relate to the Bachelor, the Jewish struggle, nor to royal matters. I do however can relate to the last sentence: And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?

    Why do I live in Boca? Why do u have this education? Why do I drive what I drive? Why do I have social media? and the list goes on and on… who knows… but that I have all of this for a REASON… 🧐

    I think Esther reminds us to be on the look out for opportunities to use our situations for a greater purpose.

  4. People are Looking

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    This week the topic in one of our Spirituality Group was “identity” and how this relates to “character and reputation”. 

    The thing about reputation is that it doesn’t depend on us… is solely on what others read/perceive in us. 

    The prophet Zechariah tells us about the reputation one city would have among the others:

    “Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the Lord Almighty is their God.’”

    Zechariah 12:5 NIV

    The people around us might or might not know about God much, but they know about you and me. They might or might not voice it out, but in their hearts they’ll say things like:

    • x amount of time in sobriety!
    • Look at their family
    • Look at how he/she treats others
    • Look at their relationship
    • Look how they treat their parents
    • Look how content they are
    • Etc

    At this is their bonafide hint that there’s a God. 

    People might or might not know of God, but they know about you and me. 

  5. Coffee Sessions: Adriana

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    When I do Coffee Sessions with models/athletes the hardest part is making initial contact with them.  I mean, just imagine the amount of notifications, texts, email, and Direct Messages these folks get! I don’t blame them.  But what this means for me is that I need to invite LOTS of talent, and quite frankly by the time we strike the initial conversation to the actual date we shoot many times I forget how on earth we crossed paths.

    Welcome to my session with Adriana.  I believe we first made contact in early January, but then she was out of town so nothing happened.  Then all of the sudden she was back in town and we arranged to shoot at Ella Cafe in Plantation, FL.  Needless to say, I was trying to figure out more about Adriana as the shoot was going and the more we chatted the more impressed I was with her story, experience, and career.

    But, and this is a BIG but, the biggest surprise was towards the end of our shoot when it was EVIDENT she wasn’t just someone who leisurely hit the gym here and there.  Turns out Adriana has been competing in bikini bodybuilding since 2011 when she won the NPC (National Physique Committee) Novice Overall and Open Overall at the Fort Lauderdale Cup.  Do you think that’s all? Think again.  Soon after having her baby daughter she came back (after 2 years off stage) and WON FIRST PLACE at the IFBB Prestige Crystal Cup and receiving an invite to 2015 Olympia, which is the pinnacle of this sport.

     

    Check out this 1-minute video to see more of this shoot’s photos:

    Coffee Sessions 2017: Adriana from arturopaulino on Vimeo.

    Thank you Adriana for being super humble about how AWESOME and INSPIRING you are.  I just can’t believe how cool you were throughout the entire shoot.  God knows if I’d have your accomplishments I’d be wearing a t-shirt with my name all around it listing my competitions, medals, and telling the world how awesome I am… yes, the world is a better place without me winning any physique competitions 🙂

    Also special thanks to Ella Cafe in Plantation, FL for allowing us to shoot these photos and providing a strong cup of coffee to get us going! For more information on how to train, proper nutrition, and/or reaching you fitness goals you can reach Adriana at her website www.adrifit.com.

    If you’d like to get your Coffee Session done send me an email at info@arturophotography.com and let’s book it!

    Peace & Grace,

    ⁃ arturo

    IG @CoffeeSessions

  6. Coffee Session: Reina

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    Have you ever seen someone and instantly you KNEW you had to approach them and invite them to join you on a team/project/idea? That’s exactly what happened when I first saw Reina about 5 months back.

    When I’m not working with models/clients is kind of tricky and intimidating to approach them for a photoshoot, nevertheless I knew all she could say was NO so literally I had nothing to lose.  After seen my Instagram feed, seen my ginormous minivan (hint: I have a BIG family), talk about my wife and kids, etc she agreed to keep in touch and eventually we managed to coordinate our schedules and made it happen!

    My biggest take-away from this Coffee Session with Reina was a greater conviction in the power of our uniqueness.  God has made each and everyone of us different and it is precisely these differences what makes us standout, memorable, and distinguished.

    Check out this 1-minute video to see more of this shoot’s photos:

    Coffee Sessions: Reina from arturopaulino on Vimeo.

    Thank you Reina for trusting my eye, for taking my invitation, and for sharing your happy self with me and this Coffee Session. Also special thanks to The Seed Coffee Shop in Boca Raton for allowing us to shoot these photos and providing a strong cup of coffee to get us going! If you’d like to get your Coffee Session done send me an email at info@arturophotography.com and let’s book it!

    Peace & Grace,
    ⁃ arturo
    IG @CoffeeSessions

  7. Coffee Sessions: Anna Barbara

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    Where do I start..? First, let me tell you the fun facts: Anna Barbara is a 2-time Miss Boca Raton/Dania Photogenic, published model, brand ambassador, fitness enthusiast and she’s finishing her education as a Master Fitness Coach. I can go on and on with how much of a hard worker she is, that she’s fluent in many languages, the amazing community she’s a part of, but you’ll still miss the full picture.

    Anna is genuinely a nice, fun, caring, and down-to-earth kind of a person. You can’t help but to really like and enjoy your time with her, every time, all the time. For this shoot we were running late so we had to make the most of our time. However, even with the time constraint Anna made it feel natural, in-the-moment, and effortless.

    Check out this 1-minute video to see more of this shoot’s photos:

    Coffee Sessions: Anna Barbara from arturopaulino on Vimeo.

    Thank you Anna for bringing your warmth to this Coffee Session project. Also special thanks to The Seed Coffee in Boca Raton for allowing us to shoot these photos and providing a strong cup of coffee to get us going!

    If you’d like to get your Coffee Session done send me an email at info@arturophotography.com and let’s book it!

    Peace & Grace,

    ⁃ Arturo
    www.arturopaulino.com

  8. Coffee Sessions: Darina

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    I don’t think it’s coincidence all 6 photos I’ve posted of Darina acquired over 100 likes in less than 24 hours in Instagram.  I found Darina at a modeling website and judging by  her current work (high fashion/studio work)  I wasn’t quite sure how her “A Game” would translate to the open/public/lifestyle flow of the Coffee Sessions.  But boy oh boy…

    Right from the get go, and I truly mean from the get go, Darina was on point delivering natural expressions at a drop of a hat, consistently, for the next hour!!! For a model to strike a pose isn’t a big deal. For a model to make a pose believable is what separates ordinary from extraordinary, and this is exactly what Darina was, extraordinary.

    Half way through the shoot we flipped the script and just started having fun, learning about each other’s families, backgrounds, and careers.  Turns out Darina is from Czech Republic, which is a country I’ve visited many times in the past and is very dear to me.  She’s also an Environmental Engineer, barista, and an adventurer at heart.

    Check out this 1-minute video to see more of this shoot’s photos:

    Coffee Sessions: Darina from arturopaulino on Vimeo.

    Thank you Darina for bringing elegance and simplicity to this Coffee Session project. You were a class act to work with… extraordinary, simply extraordinary. Also special thanks to SubCulture Coffee for allowing us to shoot these photos and providing a strong cup of coffee to get us going! If you’d like to get your Coffee Session done send me an email at info@arturophotography.com and let’s book it!

    Peace & Grace,
    ⁃ arturo

  9. Top 8 Questions regarding Wedding Photography

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    Whether you are getting married in Miami or in Tuscany, these are some of the most popular questions I get asked.  Please keep in mind the pricing referred in this post reflects the current 2017 pricing structure.  Please contact me for customized quotes.

    1. Why should I hire Arturo Paulino? I take pride in listening to my customer’s requests and expectations, and together we arrive to the best pricing, package, service for the client. You will not only have a “hired-hand” but an allied in your project. After reading what my customers write on social media and/or on our Google Reviews, it is my professionalism, personality, and common-sense workflow that leaves a lasting impression.
    2. How does Pricing for Weddings work? Simple, $375 per hour of photography coverage locally. This includes the consultation, a second shooter/assistant, unlimited number of photos, an online Gallery for sharing/downloading/ordering, and a DVD/USB Drive with full-resolution images. We believe in giving the power to our clients, therefore we give them the freedom to place their order through our photo labs or they can take the DVD/USB to the lab of their choice and order themselves. Whenever they’re ready, with the Photo Lab of their choice. We cater mostly to independent, driven, and cost-conscious clients.
    3. What’s the turn around time for Wedding Photos? 10-days. Yes, just ten days. In 10 days you will receive a link with all of your photos and your DVD/USB will be in the mail heading your way. Since our business model focuses on your needs (consultation), preparation (gear, lights, cameras, etc), and execution (shooting day), instead of pressuring people into “prints, prints, prints, sale, sale, sale!!!” this free our time to be efficient with our time and image handling.
    4. Is it the same Pricing for Weddings all around the USA or Abroad? Yes, $375 per hour of coverage of your Wedding event. The only thing that we’ll add is the Travel Expense which boils down to flight+lodging. For example, a 4-hour wedding in Rome would be $1,500 plus flight+lodging (usually $900+$200).
    5. How many Weddings do you do a Year? While I’ve done close to 100 weddings since I first started back in 2008, nowadays due to my Photography Workshops, Promotional Videos, and Traveling Photography, I shoot about 5-6 per year.
    6. Are there any discounts for Weddings? YES! Do you like to give to charities? We do too!!! Not only we’ve served with Young Life for many years, but we also have partner with Compassion International and other charities to the betterment of our world. So, if you have given to a charity, ANY charity, within the year before your Wedding Day, and you can send us a receipt, all you have to do is a) Record a short Video introducing yourselves b) talk about why you love that charity c) end the video with a kiss. Did you do all that? BOOM! You get 10% off your Photography Bill.
    7. Do you have a Referral Program for Weddings? YES! Any wedding we book through you the couple gets 10% off their final Bill and you get $100 cash. Plain and simple.
    8. Do you do other types of Photography besides Weddings? Absolutely, technically we do all sort of events from birthdays to Bar Mitzvahs. Pricing for these events depends on location, number of hours of coverage, number of guests, etc. Send me an email at info@arturophotography.com for more information.

    Check out the following video regarding my Wedding Photography:

    All About Listening from arturopaulino on Vimeo.

    Peace & Grace
    – arturo

     

  10. Coffee Sessions: Sabrina

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    No facebook? No problem.
    Sabrina is a young model from Miami, without an active facebook account, who shines with or without help. Her warm personality, quick-thinking, and fearlessness make up for anything that might be lacking.
    The shoot was scheduled to start at 5pm, which is rather late given that sunlight starts leaving us right around that time, so I was a bit worried about the lack of natural light. After all, Coffee Sessions are all about minimum gear properly used in natural light. With that in mind we started shooting outside Panther Coffee located in Wynwood, Miami.

    My lens of choice for this low-light outdoor shoot was the Canon 70-200 f/2.8IS. The large aperture allowed me to squeeze the little bit of light left and allowed Sabrina to get into a rhythm without being in close proximity to her. This is when you know you have someone talented in front of you, when with minimal direction, she got “in character” and created her own flow while I was busy engineering solid shots with poor lighting.

    However, half way through the shoot I changed lenses and went with a more personal 24-70mm f/2.8II and the ambiance light lent itself to a “moody” type of shoot which played very well with Sabrina’s dark wardrobe and hairstyle. Check out this 1-minute video to see more of this shoot’s photos:

    Coffee Session: Sabrina from arturopaulino on Vimeo.

    Thank you Sabrina for rolling with the punches, for needing minimal direction, creating your own zone, and sharing a few good laughs in between. Also special thanks to Panther Coffee for allowing us to shoot these photos and providing a strong cup of coffee to get us going! If you’d like to get your Coffee Session done send me an email at info@arturophotography.com and let’s book it!

    Peace & Grace,
    ⁃ arturo

  11. Introducing: Coffee Sessions 2017

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    This past Summer 2016 I was stuck in a rut. With over 15 videos to edit, and if you know anything about video editing is that they take a loooooong time, most of my days were at home in front of my 27inch iMac making little changes here and there, answering phone calls/messages from clients, and uploading content to the internet. Everyday, for weeks.

    Needless to say I needed to do something different. I needed to do something creative, something that would connect me with other artists, something that would challenge me, something fresh and new. Just like that the Coffee Sessions were born.

    The idea was simple: find other artists to collaborate and create compelling lifestyle, black&white women portraiture, using only natural light, in the cozy and comfortable environment of a local Coffee Shop.

    After thousands of images, hundreds of posts, and a handful of Coffee Shops in South FL and southern Italy, this project has taken a life of its own and this 2017 I’m now taking bookings from clients wanting a more casual type of photography than the stiff look-here-hands-there approach. Here are some Coffee Sessions from this past 2016:

    Here are some of the 2017 Coffee Sessions I’ll be photographing here in the USA and Italy.

     

    If you are in the South FL area, or southern Italy, and would like to book one of these sessions send me a message at info@arturophotography.com for more information. Special thanks to the following coffee shops for partnering with this project SubCulture Coffee and The Seed Coffee in South FL and Dinamik Lounge Bar in Sant’Arpino, Italy.

    Check out this promo video I made last year (when I still had my hair long) and make sure to go to Instagram and follow my Coffee Sessions account on Instagram (www.instagram.com/coffeesessions) to see these new images!

    Peace,
    ⁃ arturo

    Coffee IG 4 from arturopaulino on Vimeo.

  12. Reading Log from 2015

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    These are the book I read this 2015 listed chronologically:

    1. Outliers Screenshot 2015-12-31 10.51.23
    2. Tribes
    3. The G0-Giver
    4. Go-Givers Sell More
    5. Drive
    6. Selling with Purpose
    7. The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster
    8. Purple Cow
    9. Vanishing Grace
    10. Scary Close
    11. Getting the Love you Want
    12. Daring Greatly
    13. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing
    14. The Gift of Imperfection
    15. Why Jesus?
    16. Learn French in 7 Days!

    In addition to that list from Audible, I also read:

    • The 4 Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John)
    • Bigger, Leaner, Stronger by Michael Matthews
    • The 4-Hour Chef by Tim Ferriss

    This brings the total to 19 books for 2015.
    I’d say the book that MOST influenced my life this year was Scary Close by Donald Miller.  It made me aware of how relational-challenged I can be, and it paved the path for deeper intimacy with my loved ones.

    Peace & Grace,

    – Arturo

     

     

  13. 2015 Resolutions | Review

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    Photo Dec 27, 09 38 43For a couple of years now I’ve been jotting my goals for the upcoming year.  It’s fun to dream, plan, share with friends and be held accountable.  Here’s my end of the year review of this almost-gone 2015:

    1. Finish my chapter with Young Life Military/Club Beyond Italy with Integrity: Back in December 2014 we knew 2015 was going to be our final year serving the military through YL/Club Beyond.  Knowing my tendencies of daydreaming I had to plan in order to stay-in-the-present and finish my 3-year commitment with integrity.  That meant spending quality time with my students, finishing each contract item ahead of schedule, setting up the program for my replacement, and doing things with excellence.  This picture was taken at our last Retreat and looking back I’m glad I made it a goal to end strong and on a high note. Status: ACCOMPLISHED.F2458802-6D93-40CB-813D-5F0018BC9203
    2. Job for Tracy and solid Education for the Girls: This goal took many years in the making. Ever since Tracy started her masters in Mental Health Counseling I knew she has found her sweet spot, and it was just a matter of time to see her flourish in this field.  With that in mind we needed to make sure our next move was in line with Tracy’s professional goals as well as our girls ability to receive a solid and reliable education.  After adding all of those factors we decided to move back to South Florida, and 6 months later Tracy finished her education and landed a job in her dream field.  Plus the girls were integrated in the public school system. Status: ACCOMPLISHED.Screenshot 2015-12-28 11.05.57
    3. Collect Memories around me through my Camera: Knowing this was my last year living in Europe, I made it a point to squeeze every travel opportunity out my time there.  As a result I developed an appetite for landscape/travel photography and ended up with over 150 images. Of course (shameless plug alert), as you probably know by now, all of my prints sell on Aluminum Metal in two sizes, 16×24 and 12×36 inches here http://arturo.zenfolio.com/p943700910 . ACCOMPLISHED.397B4607-C48E-4856-B9B9-0B7D62D2FC5E
    4. Achieve 10% BodyFat: This was someone of a flawed goal to begin with.  Ideally it should’ve been to MAINTAIN under 10% bodyfat, not just achieve 10%bfat.  Well, I did achieve under 10% sometime during May, but unfortunately (get ready for the excuses) with the Summer and then moving back to the USA, and… it ballooned to 15% early this month and now I’m trying to manage it and keep it around 12%.  Easier said than done.  ACCOMPLISHED….somewhat.
    5. Motivate my Friends to achieve their Physical Goals: (full disclosure: I’m an Independent Coach for BeachBody) This 2015 I ran 3 or 4 online fitness accountability groups and I learned two things: a) I’m better at coaching men than women and b) nutrition is AT LEAST 70% of the equation.  ACCOMPLISHED.Screenshot 2015-12-07 19.02.15
    6. Bring down Photo Equipment debt to under 5k: I failed at this one.  I could go and on, but the bottom line is that by merging professions (ministry+media), and moving to a new location (aka: no steady income for 6-months) hurt this goal.  FAILED.
    7. Save 3 Months of Salary in the Bank: Well, by reading #6 you could guess the outcome of this one.  FAILED miserably.

    In these upcoming days I’ll incorporate/revise this list and come up with my 2016 list of goals.
    What about you? share or send me a PM with your goals for this 2016 and let’s hold each other accountable!

    Peace,
    – Arturo

  14. How I Gained 10lb while trying to Lose 10lb

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    Back in the beginning of October I was stuck in a rut, zero motivation to exercise, and betty bored with my nutrition.  This was the time in which I knew I needed something different, some extra motivation.  The solution? Go into a “Men’s Physique” kind of diet and a new exercise regimen.  After surfing the Internet for a “doable” diet (first mistake) I found what I thought was the right diet to follow for the next 10-days:

    7:00am (after workout) – Coffee and a Whey protein shake
    9:30am – 6 whole eggs (scrambled) cooked in skillet with a teaspoon of olive oil, 1/4 cup of steel cut oatmeal sprinkled with cinnamon along with 6 blackberries and 15 blueberries
    12:30pm –8 ounces of chicken or salmon with broccoli, red skinned potatoes, or sweet potatoes
    3:00pm – Whey protein shake and 15 almonds
    6:30pm – 5-6 ounces of chicken or salmon with either broccoli, red skinned potatoes, or sweet potatoes
    10:00pm (before bed) – Whey protein w/ MILK

    As far as my workout regimen, again after some Internet surfing, I decided on the following plan: CHEST on Mondays, BACK on Tuesdays, LEGS on Wednesdays, SHOULDERS on Thursdays, ARMS on Fridays.  Saturdays and Sundays were off.  12086806_708107769323439_1222966699_n

    Something else also happened on Sunday, it was my designated CHEAT day.  Not only I wasn’t working out on that day, but I’d make an effort to go out of my way to pile up on junk food.  You guested it, there lied my second mistake. The idea of a Cheat Day/Meal isn’t a new one, nor a harmful one.  The problem wasn’t the concept, it was my self-control. The result? I gained nearly 10 pounds in 10 days, 1.5″ inches around my waist (my problem area), and 2.4% of body fat.

    Photo Dec 07, 14 02 36Photo Dec 07, 14 04 48Photo Dec 07, 13 57 12

    Moving on forward I’m planning on going back to what has worked for me over the last 15 months: build a lifestyle instead of a diet.  Instead of going super strict on weekdays and going wild on weekends, I’ll stick to my three basic nutritional guidelines:

    • Eat when I’m hungry
    • Doing water instead of any other drink
    • Stop consumption of white suga

    Here’s a Fitness Log I’ve been keeping for about 15 months now.

    Screenshot 2015-12-07 19.02.15

    Live and learn.  Hoping for a healthier and smarter 2016!

    Feliz Navidad!

    – Arturo

     

  15. Thank You for Life

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    4314602_1429883710.8547_funddescriptionLife came in the form of a baby.

    This sentence was not taken from the Bible, but from the lives of Krysta and Robbie Dickson. They were planning a wedding, but not just any wedding. This wedding was also to celebrate two bouts with “Stage 2” Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, endless hours of treatment, and a pregnancy which doctors recommended her to abort.  This was an up-hill battle with her body, her finances, and doctors delivering bad news.  Healing isn’t a word that logically follows, but through the of birth Krysta & Robbie’s baby a story of life, hope, and faith began.  Science calls it microchimerism, they like to call her their miracle baby.

    4314602_1429883754.3126_funddescriptionAgainst all odds and medical advice Paityn Dickson was born.  Here is the miraculous story from Paityn’s (the baby) point of view:

    “My mom is fighting Hodgkin’s Lymphoma for the second time in her young life. For those of you who don’t know exactly what Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is, it is a cancer found in the lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system. When she found out treatment may cause infertility she put ‘life’ first and prayed for me. God granted her prayer, but then her doctor told her to have an abortion. That would have never been a option because she already loved me so! So she prayed, searched for better doctors, gave up living in Tampa, where she was a Kappa Delta at the University of South Florida, and moved back with her parents for support.
    Thanks to our Mother Mary’s intercessions, my Grandma’s prayers, and everyone who prayed for me, I was born perfectly healthy. Have you heard that motherhood heals? Microchimerism, which is scientifically proven now, is when a baby’s stem cells from pregnancy remain in their mother and can help fight disease. We even saved my cord blood… expensive, but “My mom gave me life so maybe I can save her’s!” Due to God’s grace and so many people praying, the cancer did not grow or spread the whole 9 months she carried me.”

    Here’s a 2-minute highlight film from this beautiful and inspiring new family. If you’d like to read and support Krysta’s recovery please consider making a donation to GoFundMe/SaveMyMommy

    Life coming through the gift of a baby, it doesn’t get much better than that.

     

    Krysta & Robbie’s Film from arturopaulino on Vimeo.