Spanista » Self Care Rituals, Reflections & Resources for Joyful Living by Ginny Shiverdecker

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  • About Spanista

    Ginny Shiverdecker, Creator of Spanista is Spa Wellness Enthusiast, Adventurer Seeker and Brand Builder.
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 Dear Wellness Seekers,

Praying For World Peace During Pope Francis’s First US Visit feels appropriate. As The Pope arrives for his first visit to America my spirit turns toward his potential effect on the world during this very challenging time on our planet. This Man of Faithful Service  has captured the hearts of many because of his outspoken views on our role in helping the poor and needy.
The NY Times is producing expansive coverage.
I am reading  various preliminary press reports and just a bit dismayed. While reporters try to anticipate his remarks in search of the point of controversy in them to write about, many recount his focus on the environment and global climate change as well as modern social issues polarizing people of the Catholic faith.
Frankly there is a more pressing issue to address – The Pope’s guidance on The Millions of Refugees fleeing Syria to all the boarders of Europe. I turn my thoughts and prayers to them – millions striving to survive with their families in tow along the boarders of Greece, Germany, Italy, Hungary – with little understanding of what the next day brings let alone their futures.
These are good responsible people – so hungry for freedom. The Freedom we are famous for and hold superior.
Spanista believes in the power of prayer no matter what your faith. My humble hope is The Pope leads us in collective world prayer to inspire our free countries come together to support these refugees driven from the homes to find a better life.  As I watch his visit unfold I guide my thoughts and actions contribute to peace in the world. He has the power to bring us together for them. Collective prayer brings about harmony of thought and intention. Trusting this principle, I affirm world peace daily. I am one with my brothers and sisters all over the world affirming peace.

My prayers for world peace lead me to more inner peace. When I hear news about war or conflict, I still my mind and affirm peace. I deny energy to disharmony and focus on the presence of peace.

” We must restore hope to young people, help the old, be open to the future, spread love. Be poor among the poor. We need to include the excluded and preach peace.”  Pope Francis


Praying For World Peace During Pope Francis’s First US Visit is one positive way to be part of the experience as most of us will not be close to the reality of it. As I center on the Christ within, I radiate peace in every interaction—from a conversation with a stranger to a heart-to-heart with a loved one. My thoughts, prayers, and actions contribute to peace in the world. In addition our AbodShelters Team is working with The Ministries of Germany to explore our affordable micro housing solution can help offer shelter for the refugees who have been taken in in Germany. I also pray for his safety. Thanks for joining me in this.

To Your Self Care Journey To Joy,


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Dear Wellness Seekers,

Good News Monday: Are You Grocery Bagging Your Intentions? This is a curious question that has layers of implications. Spanista often shares beliefs about the Power of Intention.

This message is seeded and solidified as a personal value by the very unique point of view created by Dr. Dennis Whitley who is the author of many books addressing the power we have within to take charge of our Emotional Wellness.  His writing encourages us to go with in to tap the ability we all possess to rise above what appears before us, to look at life at the very highest vantage point possible. This in turn helps us see differently. To gain perspective that allows us to live not as a victim of circumstances but with intention of purpose. So we realize what we project to be will indeed be. It’s about what context we allow to shape our intentions – A positive context that nurtures us and helps us be the best we can be or a negative context that dilutes us and triggering us to be the worse we can be. Focusing on our intentions takes them from the subconscious to the conscious so that we can direct them with spirit.

For example, in the feature ‘Well’ by Gretchen Reynolds that appeared in Sunday’s NY Times Magazine a very basic provocative question is posed in ‘Carried Away’, ‘ Can the bags we carry our groceries home in affect our waistlines?’

The answer? People generally bought more organic produce when they brought their own bags. Wonderful right? But here is the catch. If they brought their own green bags from home voluntarily they appeared to have a tendency to feel righteous enough to then buy sweet treats too, adding in cookies and candies as well. Really? Really!

A study published last month in the Journal of Marketing offers this insight based upon shopper data analyzed from a large California grocery store by Uma Karmarkar assistant professor at Harvard Business School and Bryan Bollinger of Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.









GoodNews Monday: Are You Grocery Bagging Your Intentions? Spansita wonders if perhaps our best intentions can be to shop smarter so we eat better to ensure our health, but as the world dishes out complexes stresses to deal with we feel the need to indulge to care for our weary souls? Therefore, our intentions toward Self Care can become marginalized with out us even realizing it. So now that we know this tendency we can take steps to be mindful of the derailing behaviors.

Spanista asks us to revisit stress coping mechanisms. Before we head to the grocery store with green bag in hand take a moment while driving to Whole Foods to check in on your stress level before you go into the store to set your mind right before shopping. if we finds yourself coping by reaching for sweets you will make a conscious choice to indulge or not.  If you say yes – this maybe a signal to check in with your body there maybe a greater need to cope or relieve your body through massage which yields a better result.

Here is the insight, Ms. Reynolds states the study indicated that IF WE ARE REQUIRED BY THE STORE to bring a green bag from home, we DO BUY more green organic foods BUT DO NOT STEP OVER the indulgent line. But she the study does not offer us “the why”. Perhaps knowing this can help us set the right intention. BTW, full disclosure I am a Green Bag advocate. I see majority of people using them in Europe and Australia but not here. To learn more go to

Do you think this case can motivate us to stay in line? What do you think?

To Your Self Care Journey To Joy,



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Dear Wellness Seekers,

Friday Wellness Tip: Write A Letter To Your Future Self. Write Now. Read Later. Treasure Forever. A Paper Time Capsule.

Spanista adores the written word in a letter. The beauty of each cursive letter forms a word and each word forms a sentence that expresses someones heartfelt thoughts. I am saddened to think this artful form of expression might be lost in third digital age. That is why I advocate it power for deepening relationships. Of course that also means the relationship with your self.

When shopping on The Plaza in Kansas City, the legendary outdoor lifestyle modeled after the architecturally ornate cities of Spain with its many water fountains and lush gardens, I came upon a charming boutique where I found this little inspiration. It is a little kit to encourage you to write a letter to yourself. How grand! Absolutely an idea after Spansita’s own heart. This idea is a true act of self care indeed. I became curious about the back story on it so I searched online to find more about the creator. I discovered a guide called A Letter To My Self created by Leo A. Notenboom in 2004.

He offers these guidelines in his words quoting Mr. Notenboom:

  • “Is the concept even right for you? Think about the experiences you’ve had and seen. Do you have life lessons that you are afraid of losing by the time you might need them? Is there a family history of, to put it bluntly, stubbornness? Would you listen to such a letter?
    In my opinion the risks of writing a letter to yourself are very small, and the potential benefit to yourself and to the people around you, is very large.”
  • “Customize the Letter. Write your own, but make sure it’s meaningful to you. Or rather, try to make sure that it will be meaningful to your future self. In my case, drawing on my parents story is likely to remain an issue I can drawn on as I age. Perhaps it’ll be something else for you. I believe that your future self is more likely to accept a personal message.”
  • “Keep the language simple, and the message short. As scary as it is to contemplate, you may not have the cognitive ability that you do now.”
  • “Print it and Sign it. The letter should be on paper, and you should sign and date it yourself. Besides the risks of various technologies changing by the time the letter is needed, a real signature is likely to be another reminder to your future self of the process that lead you to write the letter, and of it’s authenticity.”
 A Letter To Myself is Copyright © 2004 by Leo A. Notenboom.

Friday Wellness Tip: Write A Letter To Your Future Self is suggested for its therapeutic value. Its the opportunity to cultivate self awareness. The process can encourage capturing important feeling or thoughts. A chance to frame up a memory or project the type of future you hope unfolds. Perhaps you can steal some time this weekend to give this a go.

Spanista believes nothing feels like hand writing your thoughts to commit them to paper. You do not need a kit. Just find some lovely stationery and use a fancy pen. Head to a quite corner in your favorite coffee shop. Remember you are worth it. Even add a dash of your favorite fragrance if you feel moved to do so. The key: Commit it to paper and let it go!  Then send it to yourself and tuck it safely away with a note on a day in the future you want to remind yourself to open it.  Have fun and enjoy this exercise in the spirit of your personal wellness. One day you will be so glad you did.

If you do this let me know how it, ok?

To Your Self Care Journey To Joy,


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Dear Wellness Seekers,

Exploring Walt Disney’s Life, PBS American Experience Story goes deeper than I first thought yesterday. After watching Part 2 on PBS I was drawn in more deeply to the emotional wellness dynamic that appears to fuel him over a life time. Spanista Takeaway: The American Dream can come with a price if we are not-self aware and mindful of our personal needs.

Walt’s success is yet unparalleled. Before the age of 30 Walt had  amazing firsts:

  1. First American Animation Icon before the age of 30.
  2. First to have the MOST Academy Awards and still holds that honor.
  3. Later in life he created the First Theme Park Lifestyle Experience that ignited an entertainment empire with the highest values.

He died of cancer too early at the young age of 65. Sadly we wish he had another decade or more to share his creative genius. In Part 2 you see the challenges he faces and the emotional toll it takes. The key themes that emerged are worth reflecting upon:

  1. Obsession:  Relentless push to be successful, respected and recognized for it.
  2. Driven: Inspired creative tour de force with the ability to manifest dreams in to reality.
  3. Tormented: Deeply riddled with emotional turmoil that clouds his heart.

Walt spent much of his childhood in small town Marceline, Missouri an hour away from Kansas City. His Father toiled from job to job trying to be an entrepreneur but failed so they moved to a farm where Walt’s imagination took hold. His dreams to achieve it all were shaped there where the script was written for what he would seek to create: A happy family, A happy childhood, A happy place to play together.

During this time in Kansas City Walt Disney privately created MortimerExploring-Walt-DisneyPINIMAGE Mouse. Feeling he could ride the trends of movie making he left The Star to start his own to start a company that did well creating our first Mickey Mouse cartoon series. (Thank goodness his wife renamed him!)

Well you can see the show yourself to understand his life and issues he worked to overcome in LA unfold with his lovely wife, his steadfast brother Roy and his friends who invested so much in each other.

Exploring Walt Disney’s Life, PBS American Experience Story opens up real lessons in life that illuminate how to better navigate your life’s journey in pursuit of your dreams.

The multifaceted Walt Disney Experience continues to be full of excitement and joy for me and my family. It mirrors many values that align with Spanista. I just wish Walt could have found more joy to offset the challenges by monitoring his Emotional Wellness and Self Care earlier in life. What a legacy. We miss you Walt!

If you have an opportunity over the next few weeks to bring your family together to see American Experience: Walt Disney on PBS please do! They will rerun it so check your cable guide for the times. It is an inspiring American story of following your dreams and never giving up. It is full of life lessons all ages can learn from. Hope you enjoy it too!

Let me know what you think about the series.

To Your Self Care Journey To Joy,


P.S. Photo credits for portrait to and original Disney Studio in Kansas City to The Disney Blog.

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Dear Wellness Seekers,

PBS American Experience Walt Disney Story Debut Shines in a way that speaks to the talented creators of this series. Salute to them.

This post explores my long time fascination with Walt Disney and his genius!  Admiring his relentless focus on high concept performance that sparks the imagination is shared by many. His amazing courage, endless capacity to dream big and be tenacious to push boundaries well beyond anyones capacity to believe.

Watching Part One of the two-part American Experience Walt Disney series over the helped me realize, to a good degree Spanista exists today due to the way the Walt and his Disney Experience influenced my childhood.  I remember being glued to the TV set in our living room on Sunday nights at 6 pm for the one hour program “The Colorful World of Disney”. Does anyone else remember that experience too? It featured many of Walt’s animated creations and amazing highlights of Disneyland in its colorful glory. It portrayed a unique world full of fun and fantasy for kids and families at a levelPBS-American-Experience-Walt-Disney-Story-1.jpegPINIMAGE never seen before. Through this weekly exposure Walt became my hero – Not just for the glorious animated movies or the theme parks he created, but for of WHO HE WAS.  I wanted to be in a creative world like him – A world-class dreamer who went deep into his soul to imagine how the world could be a better place for all. Then do everything in his power to bring his treasured friends along to make it a reality so they could enjoy the creative journey together. To this day Mickey Mouse if my favorite – the essence of Walt himself.

While watching the story unfold through the eyes of Spanista, I realized how his relentless drive and commitment to do what ever it takes – putting in long hours for long periods of time, pushing the edge of the envelope of everyone around him in tow, put his emotional wellness at great risk. He was internalizing great levels of stress. There were no coping mechanisms back then. You just pushed until you collapsed! The doctors called it exhaustion. This it seems was pretty common. It was deemed Walt had a nervous breakdown and under Doctors orders took several months away from Los Angles and the business.

Insight: A highly creative person runs deep. They bear their soul in everything they create and give the world. They expose their vulnerability with every idea they bring to life. This frays anyones nerves. So he traveled with Evelyn his lovely wife  he loved dearly which included an extended stop in Florida  to learn to play polo. Through enjoying leisure time with the woman he loved and his children. He stepped into sport and fitness. He found himself again. Creative Spirit returned. He went back to work with new vigor, and tool it all to the next level. With new ideas burning in his heart.

The Spanista Takeaway from Part One on the story of Walt Disney is about Self Care. Walt lost touch with who he was. Passion for the work as a means to achieve the goal carried him away from his true self. It went on too long without relief – body, mind and soul suffered. His candle almost burned out. The nervous breakdown was the manifestation. Today we are more aware and informed about the ramifications of such behavior but we do not always heed to the need.  That is what Spanista is all about. Reminding us in this fast paced complex world – we must be mindful of our fragile humanity. Emotional Wellness come from self-awareness and consciousness of taking time to restore our souls.

Walt learned from the experience and focused on bringing more emotional wellness to his world and that of his companies. A brilliant move that is now an amazing multifaceted success story.

PBS American Experience Walt Disney Story debut Shines is written with prayerful thanks to Walt who set me on a path of choosing a creative career.

I look forward to seeing and reflecting on Part Two of the series to share what more I learn with you. So far is worthy of watching – it is full of life lessons. Let me know if you have seen it what you think.

Here is a great review in the Los Angles Times if you want to read more.

To Your Self Care Journey To Joy,


P.S. Mr. Disney’s early photo was taken in Kansas City and found on A very cool site for historical documents.


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