Inspiration: "in" to create inclusion...."spir" Latin word "spiritus" means "breath" breath life into something, fill it with spirit. We cannot see inspiration, but like air it is there surrounding us.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

An Inspired Chamaca Chica... Nancy Arroyo-Ruffin

Nancy Arroyo-Ruffin of Spotlight Latino is a mover and shaker breaking down barriers one stone at a time and she does it all with her voice and determination to inspire, build, create, educate, nurture, support and empower the Latino community one person at a time.

Our Chamaca Chica of the week is the one and only Nancy Arroyo-Ruffin a Senior Consultant for the New York City Health & Hospitals Corporation. She is a strong American Puertorriqueña born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens. Nancy believes that the only limits that exist are those that we impose on ourselves and therefore feels that anything is possible. Her passion for education led her to pursue a B.A. in Accounting and an MBA in Healthcare Management. She is a firm believer that learning is a lifelong journey and doesn’t end once formal education is over.
For more information on Nancy or to read her blog and independent musings go to

Please join me in welcoming Nancy Ruffin to the Chamaca Chicas Blog where we recognize women making moves toward change, growth and education ….. We RISE as ONE VOICE!!!

INSPIRATION - Written by Nancy Ruffin

Make your own path and leave footprints for others to follow. This is what it means to inspire.

I live to inspire. Why? Simply because to inspire another human being is the one gift in which you give your heart, soul, and spirit to another who in turn uses that same energy to give the gift of their heart, soul, and spirit to the world. To inspire is to make someone want to be better, greater, and more productive than what they ever thought they could be. Inspiration makes us feel like anything is possible. I live to inspire, by my actions, my thoughts, and my words. I live to inspire because it is what we’re all meant to do, yet very few of us do so. How many people have inspired you to give more, to do more, to be more? The person that I am today is the direct result of the many people that have inspired me. Some inspired me and weren’t even aware that they were doing so. The following is a piece that I wrote dedicated to all of those that inspire me on a daily basis…Thank you!

I am inspired by fearlessness, by kindness, by independence, by strength, by love, by knowledge, by pain, by fear, by the will to never give up.
I am inspired by those who are not afraid to be true to their spirit. I am inspired by those who can stand up and give a middle finger to the naysayers, the non believers, the haters, detractors, and conformists.
I am inspired by anyone who is willing to fight for what they believe in even when what they believe is not the popular or generally accepted viewpoint.

I am inspired by the little girl or boy who knows at a tender age that fitting into society’s definition of “normal” is just a bunch of nonsense so instead of conforming they live to stand out.
I am inspired by those that challenge the status quo. I am inspired by those that dare to be different. I am inspired by the individual who embraces who they are, unapologetically and fearlessly.
I am inspired by those who stand up for others, by those that give a voice to those who cannot or are afraid to speak for themselves. I am inspired by the abused woman who says she will no longer be a punching bag and fights back.

I am inspired by the single mother that does what’s necessary to make ends meet. I am inspired by the father that chose to stay rather than running away when she said “I’m pregnant, and the baby’s yours.” I am inspired by those who take responsibility.
I am inspired by beauty. Not just physical beauty but by mental beauty, intellectual beauty, and emotional beauty, by those that radiate beauty from within. I am inspired by you.
I am inspired by persistence. I am inspired by those who don’t take no for an answer and go after what they want. I am inspired by the man and woman that get up day after day looking for work even though they are constantly turned away.

I am inspired by the child who falls off the bike but gets back on because they know the scrapes and bruises will eventually heal.
I am inspired by those who fight for their lives when the threat of disease, illness, sickness attacks their bodies. I am inspired by their tenacity, their bravery, and their will to eliminate the enemy.
I am inspired by the optimist who see the glass half full, who sees the light at the end of the tunnel and doesn’t stop walking, running, climbing until they reach their destination.
I am inspired by the sun that shines, by the winds that blow and by the rainbow that is sure to come after the storm.
I am inspired by confidence. I am inspired by those who know who they are even in a world where most walk around aimlessly pretending to be someone they think everyone else wants them to be.
I am inspired by the person who shouts “screw you, you idiots in your idyllic world full of nothing but propagated realities”, because they know it is far more dangerous to remain quiet than to speak out.
I am inspired by dreamers, doers, lovers, writers, artists, anyone who can paint a picture by any means necessary; those that can go beyond the realm of normalcy because it feels so damn good to be different. I am inspired by you..

Let me be your muse. I am here naked, free of prejudicial thoughts, innocent and pure. I am yours to inspire. Please inspire me!

IMAGINING BEAUTY - Written by Nancy Ruffin

As a Latina woman, family has always been the cornerstone of my life because for Latinos family means everything. Family has never been something that I’ve had to think about because it is a part of me, it’s my DNA, it’s my heart, it’s my blood and without it I would be nothing. When I got married 10 years ago starting a family was something that I knew that I wanted but was in no rush to start. I was 23 years old and had plenty of time to start working on babies or so I thought. At 33 and childless I am starting to hear the loud ticking of my biological clock and now that I am emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and financially ready motherhood seems to be evading me.

What seems to come so easily for some can be a virtual uphill battle for others and we never realize this until we are the ones battling in what seems to be a lost cause. As hopeful as I am of becoming a mother I will never really know what that feels like until the day that life is born from my body. And until that happens all I can do is imagine…
I don’t know what it feels like but I can imagine, the love between a mother and child. The inexplicable connection that is formed even when the umbilical cord is cut and that new life is no longer physically attached to the body.

I don’t know what it feels like but I can imagine; it’s the immediate need to love, nurture, and protect your greatest asset; something so special, so unique because it is a very real part of you.

10 fingers, 10 toes, 1 heart beating full of dreams, ambitions, and hopes; beauty that is wrapped up in golden satin sheets of new beginnings, innocent eyes looking back at me, a reflection of my soul.
You are a flower blooming in spring, yearning for sun, water, and so I feed you. You cling to me sucking all that I have to give. I am yours, you are mine.

I watch you grow and wait in anticipation to see you become that beautiful and rare African tulip you are destined to be. You are special. Like a sun shower. I am the artist and you are my canvas. In you, I see all of the things that I am not; so I dip my brush in the paint and with soft gentle strokes you become patient, brave, warm, and calm, like a desolate island that has yet to be discovered.You are an untapped resource yet I am drunk, inebriated under your influence I stagger not knowing which way to go. I’m a novice. I’ve never done this before. You didn’t come with an owner’s manual. What if I screw you up? There’s no return policy and so I become afraid.

Lost, searching, grasping, alone in the dark it’s just me and you so I close my eyes and you are there in my arms. Inhaling, I smell your scent. Intoxicated, I lose my breath. For you are my air, the sole and soul purpose of my mere existence. I touch you and your skin is like suede. Soft, perfect like untouched snow you are summer, you are winter, you are spring, you are fall, you are day, you are night, you are a thousand dollar bill and I will walk naked, bare, uncovered through thorn filled rose bushes just to protect you for no other reason except that I am your Mother.

Gracias Nancy...

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