My Every Day Inspiration: Mi Familia, Connectedness and Cinema #McFarlandUSA

This is part of a sponsored campaign with DiMe Media and Buena Vista Home Entertainment. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

I have been in a big writing slump lately. Even this blog post has been a struggle because I’m supposed to write about what inspires me and I’ve not been very inspired to write. My sounding board is my husband – lucky him, I know. On the last day of this project, I mentioned to him my struggle to write what inspires me. The conversation went as follows …

“Are we not your inspiration?” he asked.

“You are my motivation,” I replied.

“Mom, what’s motivation?” my oldest son asks as he listens in on our conversation.

“It’s what makes you want to accomplish things,” I replied.

“That’s also inspiration, my love. It can be one in the same,” my husband added.

He’s right. When I thought about it in that perspective, my boys (husband included) are what (who) make me want to accomplish my goals as a parent, a wife, an activist and an entrepreneur. I have BIG goals to reach so, inspiration is needed on a daily basis to keep moving in the right direction.

In our Latino culture, women are often the caregivers for their families. We do it all. We work, raise our kids, tend to our home and all the while maintain relationships outside the home, too. We volunteer in our communities, spend time with our friends and our family who don’t live in our homes. ¡Ay! It can be overwhelming. And maybe that’s what got me in my slump. All it took was looking through a few photos of mi familia to inspire me to get to writing again.

McFarland USA Mi Inspiracion

Mi familia = Mi Inspiracion

When I see my familia together, I don’t just think of who I see in front of me but I also think about my family who came before me and I think about my future family. As a Latina mom, I wish to carry on role of the caregiver of my familia. That’s one part of our culture I don’t mind as a stereotype – la vijita who always making sure everyone is taken care of. Don’t get it twisted. That’s not all I want to be or who I am. I’m also an entrepreneur and activist. However, above all, I am my family’s caregiver. And I’ve had some amazing role models like my abuelas, my tías and of course, my own mom. Reflecting on it, it has always been because of my family that I’ve set big goals for myself. I can appreciate where we’ve been, where we are today and the work needed to get us to where we are going.

Monarch Butterflies QueMeansWhat

Monarch Butterflies QueMeansWhat

In addition to my family, I find my every day inspiration in connectedness to people, of course, but also to mother nature. I’ve recently started to set reminders for myself to get up and walk around and drink water. As a work-at-home mom, it’s easy to get into a zone and forget to go outside. So, when my alarm goes off, I step outside for some fresh air and take it all in – the air, the trees, the plants, the birds and when I’m lucky these gorgeous monarch butterflies (pictured above). It never fails that I get back to work refreshed – whether that work is teaching my kids, client work or house work.

Nature plays an important role in our culture as well. As Mexican-Americans, our families are from here. We’ve worked this land and have gained resources from our land. I think that’s why in our hearts we feel such a great connection to it. I don’t have a green thumb but my connectedness isn’t so much about a garden as it is being still and being one with the outdoors. Connecting to the outdoors – even my own backyard – is inspiring.

The Giveaway

How could I forget to mention that a large part of my regular inspiration comes from cinema? I’ve shared my love for cinema and one reason is that I love the way a story can be told on the big screen. When a true story plays out as an inspirational story, I’m completely moved and left completely inspired. That is exactly how I felt when I saw MCFARLAND USA in the theaters and it’s now available on Blu-ray, Digital HD & Disney Movies anywhere.

McFarlandUSA DVD Combo Giveaway


Based on the true story of a 1987 cross country team from predominantly Mexican-American McFarland High School, in McFarland, California, the film stars Kevin Costner as Jim White, the school’s coach, who leads the team to win a state championship. The common themes from the movie are inspiration and family and how these two combine to motivate these unlikely athletes to a fantastic victory. The story is not only about a personal sports victory, but how a community was inspired to keep pursuing their dreams in a new country as well.

One lucky reader is going to win their very own copy! Please share with us who is your inspiration below for a chance to win! Good luck, queridos!

Disclosure: No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Giveaway ends June 9, 2015 11:59 p.m. CST. Sole Sponsor: The prize was provided to me by Buena Vista Home Entertainment and I have been paid to blog and promote the film. Buena Vista Home Entertainment is not a sponsor, administrator, or involved in any other way with this giveaway. All opinions expressed in the post are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 ‘Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.’”

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Melanie Mendez-Gonzales

Original content creator for ¿Qué Means What? Texas Latina mom blogger celebrating culture in education, entertainment and family life.

19 Responses

  1. Stacey Grantham says:

    I was the first in my large family of aunts/uncles/cousins to graduate from college and become a professional. I paid my way through it working two jobs, and now have my own son in his third year at UF.

  2. Ashley says:

    this just sounds like such a great inspiring story, I just try to inspire every day

  3. ron schnell says:

    Looks like a good movie!

  4. Gloria Hamilton says:

    Saw this movie with my husband, daughter & parents. It was so wonderful to see a beautiful, positive and inspiring moving about the Hispanic culture. My paternal grandparents and father traveled & worked all over the US as migrant workers. It was great to see the view point of the hard working families.

  5. wen budro says:

    Growing up- I lacked family support or attention. I try to support and push my niece and nephews now that I’m an adult.

  6. John R says:

    my own family inspires to work hard every day to be the best i can be myself.

  7. My Mom pushed me to succeed and I have done well for myself.

  8. Sarah Elston Yurga says:

    My family encourages me everyday and thanks me for my volunteer work. I like being the band mom, knowing my daughter is proud of me.

  9. deanna says:

    My family always encouraged me to follow my dreams. They told me I could go to the college of my choice and helped me study and fill out applications. I made it!

  10. Nicole Sender says:

    My mother always encouraged me to reach for the stars!

  11. tracee says:

    Some of the best “support” I got from my family came in the form of sibling rivalry – after all, if they could do it, so could I! (and vice versa)

  12. Sarah L says:

    My folks always told me I could do whatever I put my mind to.
    Thanks for the contest.

  13. Pam H. says:

    My family pushed me through college with their encouragement and support. It was a long road, as I faced obstacles due to a disability, but I finally earned my Bachelor’s Degree a few years ago.

  14. Saundra McKenzie says:

    Sadly, my family never pushed me to do anything. They always said I couldn’t do things. That is why I push myself so hard I think.

  15. Kimberly M. says:

    They encourage me to not give up even after I suffered a brain injury that changed my life. I can no longer drive due to seizures and other problems and they helped to keep me focused and positive throughout my whole ordeal. I have faced and overcome challenges and I feel it is my family that has given me the strength that pushed me.

  16. Abby Barge says:

    My mom always told me I could be anything I wanted to be and to always strive for that.

  17. Leigh ANne Borders says:

    They encourage me by believing in me. Providing me with encouraging words.

  18. Leigh ANne Borders says:

    They encourage me by believing in me. Providing me with encouraging words.

  19. amy tolley says:

    they have showed me how to be strong and remember the little things in life and that family sticks together thru good and bad times

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