Your Playground


A dear friend of mine of many years called me up a few days ago. We chatted for an hour catching up on so many changes in our lives. My ex and I were closed to her and her husband. We were inseparable for many years. We endured incredible pain and losses. She lost her husband a few years ago. I moved to North Carolina. Life happens! Things change and growth takes over in a way that we don’t recognize the people we once were until we reconnect with those souls that remind us of who we have become. We lose track of the drama, challenges, and day-to-day mundane living. So to catch up and hear her struggles reminds me of how far we’ve both have traveled. It allows me to see the mirror of strength, tenacity and faith. It’s never easy to pick up, move on, and leave toxic relationships. It’s never easy to face the disasters that we have been blinded to see until that moment when we can see clearly. It’s even harder to release the guilt and shame of anything in the past. But, we must.

In the midst of this conversation she said, “I have become very picky at who I allow to come play in my playground.” I was in a store when she said this. In between picking up incense and a bottle of water I stopped and just had a huge aha moment. I understood this. I just never heard it with such simplicity. I got it clearly and in a few seconds my mind traced back the many folks I allowed to play when they didn’t deserve the privilege to share with me in my joyous space.

You want to learn who your friends are? Go through some major life event and see who has the guts to stand by you. You want to witness how people behave? Watch how they react to illness, loss, and financial changes in your life. We have been programmed to step back and just disappear. But, in truth, a true friend will not judge you, shame you, or blame you for anything that’s happening in their lives because life has no stop signs, only yellow warning lights. You can’t just sit forever and let it pass by. You have to keep moving.

I decided at that moment, hearing these words, that it’s important to be aware of the folks you let into your playground. It’s imperative that you choose wisely who will share in your joy, laughter, sorrows, secrets, and journey. It’s important to remember that not everyone is carefree without an agenda. Some people have ulterior motives that eventually hurt and you never see it coming until it’s too late.

I sent her some pictures of my adventure with my daughter yesterday and she sent back, “I belong in your playground.” I belong in hers and many others. That’s the beauty of playgrounds, they are free to enter as long as you remember that the sandbox is not for dumping your crap and leaving it to stink up the place.

You do not have to entertain everyone who enters your life with the same openness. You are, however, responsible for kindness, love and empathy. But, you do not need to allow every single person into your space with the same intensity that you would share with those who have your back. Intimacy is earned. Now, go create a playground that makes you sing with joy and live in the moment. I look forward to visiting some of those spaces!

The Need for Retreating

helping each other

For several days I’ve been in a fabulous retreat up the mountain in a place that feels like a tree house. I’ve laughed, cried, created, purged, shared, listened, expanded, and entertained. I’ve witnessed magical “aha moments,” heard stories of tragic losses, and participated in healing. This is what I know as mystical. I can be in the presence of others and learn something about myself through their mirror essence. Sometimes those things do not happen right there at the moment. They knock in the middle of the night, or even days later. But, I can hold space for someone and not take it in while having empathy and demonstrating them love. I can do this in a way that I extract love and understanding. This is what a retreat and gatherings offer.

Each one of these women has been magical. Spending a large portion of five days with them has brought up so much in my own desire to continue gathering and sharing. Each single one has enriched me these past few days with the element of JOY. I haven’t laughed so hard in a very long time. I haven’t felt so free in many years. I have had silly moments and enchanting ones that leave the state of wonder to experience those things that have no explanation.

We are all magnets. We attract that which we are at the moment of thought and conscious choices. I love my wacky friends…my misfits…my unicorn-riding folks who aren’t afraid of being themselves. I love the ones who say what they think, and think what they say with depth and laughter. We are a tribe. We love together. We cry together. We question our paths but, without judgment, pull and push each other down the rocky roads. It’s part of our humanness to attract the good. It’s all so good here. Right now it’s all that needs to be without the element of restriction or expectations. It’s just perfect to be part of something so ecstatic.

At this age I am not getting older…I am getting playful, deeper, and acquiring a no-bullshit attitude. Life is too short. Enjoy it. Live inJOY! Attract the best of the best who vibrate on your frequency. Yeah! I want nothing less. The best treat you can give yourself is being fully present in a diverse group of souls. You get to learn from each other what works and what doesn’t.

I remember when I was part of the retreat center and folks would come to do their retreats. I would speak to people who would mention that they weren’t getting anything. I would stay quiet and think, “Oh, but wait till you get home!” There is no timing to reach emotional breakthroughs. Sometimes you must really get out of yourself to feel the difference. And, other times you just have nothing that needs to come up. But, when it does, it becomes the catalyst to something greater than the self. If you allow for those shifts you can feel the gratitude later on in weeks ahead.

To those magical women who shared deeply this week…thank you. Thank you for allowing me to be part of your journey. Thank you for so much fun and bliss. I love you all!

Please check out our new page for living consciously through joy:


Being a Mother


Okay, folks, I am going to go out on a limb of vulnerability and hope to not fall too hard for this post. This is not a subject I openly discuss with people. It’s motherhood! The other day I was asked by someone who learned I have 7 kids, “Why do you have so many kids? Are they all from the same father?” I find this super intrusive and I always marvel at the curiosity so I gave an honest answer to the second question: “No…some of the fathers I have no clue who they are.” Because honestly if you are that arrogant to ask stupid questions I will screw with you in my truth.

I came from a Hispanic community. Everyone has children. That’s what we do. It’s normal to us. We get married (or not in these times) and have children. We become professional mothers. We begin to mother even other people’s kids in the neighborhood. At least this is true for me.

Once I moved to the mountains I have met many people who have no children or have little desire to have them. It’s an observation not a judgment. I don’t think everyone should be parents or have to conform to social pressures. We should learn to mother ourselves first. I tell my children when they discuss having kids this: “Okay, get a plant. See how it survives for 6 months in your care. Then get a fish. See how it survives in your care while the plant is still alive. Then get a cat. See how it survives in your care and how the plant is doing with it and most importantly if the fish is still alive. Then …then get a dog….” You get the picture. Not everyone should be a parent. Not everyone needs to be one. But, the questions I get asked about my children are a little disturbing. “Why did you adopt? Are ALL your kids adopted?” Let me explain, all my kids are MY kids. They didn’t all come from my uterus but they all came from my heart. End of conversation! If you are that ignorant and selfish to not understand I am not here to mother you through that answer!

I am certain that if I didn’t have kids I would have a house full of animals. I would be housing every lost soul out there. So…it’s not kids that I am so much attracted to as the need to love and give love. I have enjoyed my children immensely. They have been my finest teachers in life. I have grown up with them. I have struggled with them and because of them. I have placed my heart in their hands and received gifts beyond words.

The assumption that I collect children is asinine. I collect nothing. I am a human being nurturing those who need it. I do it with friends. I have done it with relationships. I do it with strangers. “Mother” is not my label. It is an act of love and kindness and compassion. So…to those who have this constant need to figure out how to fix me (because apparently having these many kids is wrong) please go fix yourself. I am perfectly happy navigating this life selflessly in the arms of another who needs it. And, if I have to continue to do it then it’s my choice and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to be placed in the heart of a child.

Your Tribe

holding the world

One of my dearest and oldest friends called me last night. We’ve known each other a thousand years. We spoke about events that have unfolded in her life and family. My heart was opened in such a way that when we hung up I cried. My first and only thought to my fiance was that I wanted to fly and be with her. We are almost 3000 miles apart. I have responsibilities and so does she. But, the miles disappeared while we were on the phone. We know each other well enough to understand that all we need is a listening ear and an opened heart. This is our human desire. That’s all we require in moments of discomfort and pain. I cannot be there next to her to hold her hand, but I can be here to listen when her tears flow and her heart is fractured.   I can be here to make her laugh even through the moments of feeling lost.

In my old life I could not handle emotions. I would lock up when I saw someone crying in front of me. I would always suggest that people release and cry…as long as it was not in my presence. But this was due to my own issues of control and holding tightly to a life that was a complete and utter facade. I was not living authentically. I was living a life of made up stories and pretending to be happy. I was constantly busy taken care of things, people, and I was the very last thing on my list of things to care for. I was running the universe of a martyr and didn’t even know it. Now when someone cries in my presence I feel honored and humbled for their spirit showing me them…and for allowing me to witness their humanness. I listen. I am able to be in that space without needing to run for cover because I, too, might break down. I cry at a drop of a hat now. It’s not just in movies or reading a novel. I cry at the sight of pain, love, injustice, and the many levels of spirituality I see around others.

We are made to run in packs like wolves. We have tribes and warriors in our lives. We gather in moments of weakness and pain. We rejoice in moments of joy and love. When one person is vulnerable another steps in. If you don’t have this then you need to find your tribe because you aren’t meant to be alone carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. We are all connected in this place by a thread of humanity through love. I’ve experienced that the more real and open I have become the more folks appear in my tribe group. It’s magnificent to feel the sense of unity even from thousands of miles away.

I have often said that we are the sum of our experiences. We are legends because of each triumph, failure, obstacle, success and connections with one another. Even monks who live in silence have a tribe. We are not meant to be alone in our grief. I have witnessed the love and support from total strangers and reading or listening to their stories allows me to experience life through a different lens. Humanity wants to be heard. We require the sharing of stories, the acknowledgment for our lives, and love without judgment through listening. This is who we are. There’s an urgency to be heard in a world that has turned to technology for connections. There’s an ache to be understood in a time that things are misinterpreted through text, emails, and posts. I am horrible with phone calls. I rather have a person in my presence. I still love handwritten letters and cards and personal emails. I love connecting with others through words. And, I do understand that it’s “old school” but this is a small legacy I can leave behind.

Find your tribe and be grateful for them. When we share among others we see that we are not alone in our stories. Everyone is experiencing something similar. Stopping ourselves from reaching out (because of fear, shame, and embarrassment) is an injustice to our spirits. Loneliness, sadness, despair, and so much more are compositions to our journeys but we can still reach out with our love and feel the comfort of another holding us up. You are not alone. You got this! I love you mucho.

To find our tribe means finding people we can learn from, people who are better at some things than we are, people who have something to teach. We say we want it, but how many of us fear being a beginner more than loneliness and much more than being in the wrong crowd? There is a strange comfort, a sense of safety, to suffering and loneliness. To be happy, to find our family, we must be willing to let that go.” ~Vironika Tugaleva

 You are truly home only when you find your tribe” ~ Srividya Srinivasan

your tribe

Lost in a Moment


Yesterday, while sitting in a waiting room for my granddaughter to get her pediatric check-up and shots, I witnessed humility at its best. I observed a young woman with her grandfather sitting side-by-side. The woman was reading scripture to him from her phone in Spanish. His distant look was endearing, sad, yet holding the rawness of final years in humanity. I have witnessed it many times in loved ones who have suffered from Alzheimer’s and dementia. Her words gently stroked him in his state of deep thought, lost in some other realm trying to reach this one. Every so often he would ask where he was or why he was there? She would rub his arm softly with security and explained he was there to see his doctor. She would continue reading from her phone. He would stare endlessly into a space void, a time warp, with a haze over his eyes that said, “I am here but I am not,” while her words caressed every syllable and his stare carefully followed them.

I sat, almost embarrassed, through the voyeurism rocking my baby girl back and forth trying to keep her entertained in the stroller. The scene put life back into perspective. I paused often, holding back tears, as he would question her again and again in moments of complete confusion. I thought about my mother before she passed. I thought about my children, when in their toddler stages, would ask again and again the same questions expecting different answers. We enter through youth and end through similarities…waiting for the love and care of another to lovingly embrace us without anger or judgment.

And, there, holding a one year old, attempting to make sense of life now and the hours ahead I was touched by humanity at the core of vulnerability. We are humans avoiding the constant flow of deep emotions. We keep busy here and there exploring the senses without truly being present. We are in need of love, touch, acceptance, and safety. If we are as fortunate as this man we have done an amazing job with our lives. He was touched attentively by someone dear and near to him. In the end that’s all we should want and need: the love from another who can care for us and still see us human rather than a burden.

Even today the scene tugs at me.  I feel the claws of gratitude urging acknowledgment. I am grateful for health, love, and the acceptance of my humanity. I am grateful for my evolution, the things I have accomplished, the obstacles I have endured and the loved ones dear to me who return with hugs and kisses. I am humbled by those who accept my imperfections and choose to laugh through my moments of insanity. I am deeply loved! I know this.  I feel this with certainty.  I am touched by friendships, relationships, and a man who would go to the end of the world in order to make me smile. Ah…we are made from complexities but if we allow vulnerability to guide us we are touched by the Divine. Mucho love to you!

Happy 2015!


new years gala

A new year is upon us again!  2014 brought with it tremendous growth, challenges, and transformation.  I am looking forward to 2015 with giddiness and excitement.  Any way you dissect it a year in a life isn’t that much (365 days, 52 weeks, or 12 months).  It flies by in a blink of an eye.  I am always surprised at the acceleration.  The older I get the faster it comes and goes.  But, this New Year I vow to be more present. This New Year I promise to stick with having no expectations.

This past year I had two words I chose to live by: grace and adventure.  I was challenged with both. Grace kicked my butt. It showed me what true divinity and faith are composed of in me. Grace didn’t just gently take me by the hand…it knocked me down so I had the opportunity to learn the forgiveness and compassion I was lacking in myself. Phew…so glad the lessons didn’t land me in the hospital…oh, wait! They did and that was just on the first month of the year. That’s where the other word comes in: adventure!

Adventure has been a roller coaster ride this year. I have learned to remove all plans and just live day by day. Nothing like having a new baby to clear up the true meaning of a quest. It’s been a beautiful ride into memory lane. Motherhood has always been a question mark for me. I have repeatedly asked myself if I have done the best possible job with my six kids. Now I am seeing things in a mature and compassionate scene. We all do the best we can under our capacities after all we are the best versions of ourselves. I’ve been provided with, yet, another little one. The universe has entrusted me with another chance to love a child…but this one, it turns out, is showing me the adventure of a lifetime. She’s taking me by the hand every day and exposing me to things I overlooked in my twenties. She’s divine light allowing me to revisit those things that I questioned and accept that I have done exactly what I needed to do. This little angel is the best gift I could have imagined. She is turning my question mark on motherhood into a huge exclamation mark of joy! Grace, Faith and Hope are always present holding us together. There’s no mistake that she turns one year old on January 1st. We start with a beautiful reminder that this is definitely a new year. 

If you allow for it the world will move you every day to a place of complete openness. The hardest part is allowing the heart to stay open enough to receive the gifts. Some gifts will be painful and force you to grow for the betterment of your spiritual evolution. Others will contribute grace, adventure, and love to bring you closer into the web of humanity. Give yourself the permission this new year to experience all the wow’s and aha moments while staying in the present. They will transform you forever. Take risks, move beyond the comfort zone, laugh more, love deeper, share your life with strangers, truly forgive, don’t forget to breathe and enjoy the ride. Create your resolutions. Make your vision boards. Make space in your life for more joy. I will not be choosing two words this year. I will not be putting myself with the stress of losing weight, finally sewing that dress, or anything that I know will make me spin out of control because I cannot accomplish those tasks ASAP. I am allowing each moment to dictate what needs to be done. I am being realistic with my thoughts. No more expectations! They force Ego to dictate my mood.

Happy New Year! 2015 will be full of serendipitous moments.  Make peace with the past and pay attention to the signs ahead. Let your heart guide you into the unknown. Let these next 12 months woo you with excitement~!  Mucho love, my friends….mucho everything that’s good!

Life is about courage and going into the unknown.” – The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

…Until you walk in my shoes

love is the absenceWhenever I feel an attack I become a recluse.  My hermit ways grab a hold of me and I escape into a world of silence.  After releasing it writing about it comes natural.  Judgment has many complexities.  It is about our own intuition and perception.  It is also about wisdom, telltale, warnings and consultation.  Judgment is also painful, opinionating, deceitful and full of many false criticisms.  It can destroy relationships, friendships and anything it comes in contact within the umbrella of gossip.  We are all subject to it.  No one is exempted from it. And, this simple noun, with all its complexities, rises and grabs us hold.  We are forced to step back and re-evaluate, not only others but ourselves in the process of relating to them.

When we are emotionally unavailable life is a huge struggle.  We show the strength in our spirit as soon as the walls start to cave around us.  Strength is not shown in moments of comfort and happiness.  It appears in moments of trials and difficulties through the courage of letting go. Judgment and criticism are catalysts to stepping back and watching the ego take the lead.  Challenges push us to stay in hot water and brew to develop into something magically unavailable to us in other instances of our lives.  We become authentically in nature if we allow the self to live in honesty while honoring our truths.  The judgments from others can’t really hurt us if we are grounded in authenticity.  I always say out loud when I am making a point, “I know my truth!”  That knowing comes from divinity.

I believe that we learn through the challenges of feelings.  We are pushed to escape our egos and allow the Divine to help.  When things are going well we rarely go to Spirit.  It’s as if we need to find pain in order to fall on our knees and get closer to God.  It’s ironic.  The lower you are the higher you become.   Being emotionally honest allows the freedom to celebrate Spirit, the core essence of our being.   I find that the older I get the more emotionally available I become with myself.  I am not running.  I embrace the emotions, sometimes holding them too tightly to finally allowing them to subside.  My humanness craves for the liberation of principle.  I am accepting me in the perfection of being the best version of me there is in this world.

A few things I have learned from the vile of other’s opinions.  And, here are quotes that fit any situation that causes us to step into the uncertainty of criticism and how it affects us.  Unless you’ve walked in my shoes, you cannot know how I will react, and vice versa.

– “Do not wait for the last judgment. It comes every day.” – Albert Camus

– “People hasten to judge in order not to be judged themselves.” – Albert Camus

– “Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up.” – Jesse Jackson

– “We judge others instantly by their clothes, their cars, their appearance, their race, their education, their social status. The list is endless. What gets me is that most people decide who another person is before they have even spoken to them. What’s even worse is that these same people decide who someone else is, and don’t even know who they are themselves.” – Ashely Lorenzana

– “I am aware that I am less than some people prefer me to be, but most people are unaware that I am so much more than what they see.” – Douglas Pagels

– “Don’t judge a man by his opinions, but what his opinions have made of him.” – Georg Christoph Lichetenber

Sadly enough there’s no return from gossip and judgment.  Once it is out there it is difficult to deny it.  The only thing one must do is keep moving to the best of your own judgment.  All the great masters expressed that the secret to compassion is to turn the other cheek.   We must give thanks for those teachers who hurt us and push us to expand our hearts.  Our hearts have to break, pain has to be somewhat present, and then we grow.  I’ve come to realize that’s how it is with love and God.  There is such beauty in allowing the truth to come through our weakness.  The more we allow ourselves to feel the discomfort, the easier the journey becomes.  I vow to become more emotionally honest and speak up when the pain appears, when joy embraces me, and when Spirit speaks to me.  I wish you freedom as you gift yourself the ability to honor all emotions and live authentically.  Life is too short to pretend, hide, neglect and reject the emotional roads that lead to truth.  Judgment, or not, the choice is always yours…until you walk in my shoes I will not allow you to dictate my emotions.  Ultimately you are only responsible for one person…YOU!

Onion Dust

Conversation about manly cooking.

Me:  Matt, you want me to make you the eggs while you cook the hash?

Matt:  Nope.  I’m gonna throw them in there when the hash is done.

Me:  I can cook them separately.  How can they cook in there?

Matt:  They cook!  It’s the manly way of cooking all in one pot.

Me:  Too bad you don’t like onions and tomatoes.  I could make you something delicious with that.

Matt:  Hey, babe, I throw the onion dust in there!

Me:  What?  Is that like fairy dust?  O-n-i-o-n dust?  Is there a Godmother who comes and brings it? (Laughing hysterically)

Matt:  Yeah, the onion powder shit….

He’s not allowed to cook for me with his onion dust unless there’s a fairy Godmother granting me some wishes.  “OMG!”


The most dangerous risk we can take is the risk of not laughing at ourselves.  If we allow ego to dictate every moment with seriousness we are lost.  This is the same risk of denying yourself the simplicity of joy.  I am aware that life can (and will) throw things at us that bring imbalance.  I am completely aware that finances, illnesses, divorces, death, and a million other challenges can (and will) break us.  But, there has to be a point when the scales return to their upright positions.  Not everything can be lopsided.  Life is not meant for a constant struggle.  We choose how we live and perceive in this world.

I am one of the most sincere people when it comes to laughter.  It’s not that I take every situation and poke fun.  I think it is a part of me to inhale grace and joy and then exhale the negativity.  It takes less effort to stay in a place of contentment than a place of torment.  What happens when we remain in darkness is that the light gets further from our spirit.  My wit sometimes could use filtering but I believe it is Spirit truly engaging in the moment.  Luckily I have found a mate who is the same.  I am fortunate that I have friends who get my sarcasm and laughter.  I am often the point of being poked at for my silliness.  And, that alone brings some awkward moments to rise with loving vibrations. I am the first one to make fun of myself.  I walk around sometimes talking out loud and giggling at the most ridiculous memories.   There are times, however, that I can also be hard on myself.  It is in those moments that I need these friends to remind me that I have to remove the stick from my ass and return to my realm of contentment.

Contentment is contagious, generous, and captivating.  It reels you in on an invisible string from the heavens and allows gratification to be the bait that gets you every second.  What one does with it is miraculous.  It becomes part of my spiritual evolution.  I can see it in the darkest of moments, a bad day, or stress being erased by its humility.  That is what forces me to reside in this realm.  It’s joy that comes through and through while being on an infinite quest for peace.  It is my state of being whole-listic and constantly growing in our times with Divine guidance.  I rarely take anything serious.  Whether it involves fairy powder or onion dust, I plan on laughing up a storm…as long as I can.

Halos and Laughter

Conversation between my boyfriend and I last night.

Me: “Babe, if I get senile before you please leave me. Don’t stick around for that. Go on with whatever you have left of a normal life.”

Matt with a smirk: “Oh, I am totally gonna screw with you. I would be like, hey, good morning I am Jesus Christ.”

(I was hoping for some sweet answer like…”Babe, I would never leave you…I would totally be by your side taking care of you and making sure you would be alright.” I was hoping for something out of a Nicholas Sparks’ novel not SNL).

Me: I would look at you and ask, “Where’s your beard, Jesus?”

Matt answered without skipping a beat: “When I died and went to Heaven I shaved it. It was a fire hazard with all those halos around me.”

Me: “I am so naïve that I would introduce you to everyone as Jesus. Yes, this is JC he had to shave because you know in Heaven halos can burn beards and you blow up.”

There was a long laugh and then on to another ridiculous subject. It was then that I realized how much I love this banter between he and I that I have never had before.

A few years ago I made a promise to myself that I would only allow those individuals who contributed to the best of my life. I was through with all the crap of people who were emotional vampires. I wanted a community, a family of friends, who were there for the good and the bad. I wanted people who allowed me to be me at all times without judgment and likewise I would relish in their uniqueness. The Divine provided much more than I had intended because I have wonderful people in my life. And, I also have an amazing man who cracks me up over the silliest things. I have no clue where it comes from but his lack of filtering causes me to constantly be giggling.

When we realize the old patterns in our life, the way we choose situations, and accept (with full blown responsibility) that we attract those people who hurt us because we participated in the drama, then the Universe moves on to what the heart truly needs. I’ve changed and with those modifications I have allowed like-minded people to enter my circle. These are giving individuals who truly care about friendship. I am truly blessed.

If you have people in your life (whether it be a mate or friends) who don’t bring out the best in you, take a look at your behavior. Take note of your actions, how you treat others, and seriously decide if they are projecting your individuality. The root of criticism in others is usually the reflection in ourselves. We attract that which we put out. You don’t want drama, look to see if your life is one stage act after another full of chaos. You don’t want selfishness then see if you are reflecting things only being about you. You don’t want craziness, well then I suggest you start to define what normal is for you!

Life is marvelous. It is too short to allow others to dictate misery in your life. Fill those special moments in your life surrounded by things and people that matter. Setting boundaries is hard, at least for me. Those vampires from my past disappeared as soon as I decided that I was worth loving in a manner that allowed the best of me to shine. These people know my laughter, sorrows, sarcasm, goofiness, bitchiness, kindness, creativity, love and the things that create the totality of me. They are there when I need a shoulder to cry on and a wine glass when I need to unload my craziness.

We’ve lost the sense of unity and community in our lives. Society has become so busy that we forget to get together for a simple meal, or just a cup of coffee. I love how the Italians and the French in Europe live their lives. They work hard but they also know when to quit and gather around their loved ones to enjoy the simplicity in sharing their lives. There is an easement and therapeutic element to sitting with others while allowing laughter, tears, and expression as the only agenda. I am with a man that can make me pee in my pants from laughing at his ridiculous answers…oh, but how I love those belly shaking laughs!

**Note: If by any means this post has insulted anyone please forgive me. It is not meant to be taken seriously or in any religious manner.