A New Era is Unfolding . . .

Student PictureDear Maria Sanchez Show fans.

I apologize for my absence from this website in the past several months. We’ve kept our blog very much alive and well and you can click on it to the right of the post to see what you may have missed there at TheMariaSanchezShow.com

However, I have begun a new journey that is a dream revisited and I wanted to share with you my next venture in life.

24 years ago I started my Masters degree in between child 3 and 4. A subsequent move back to the Los Angeles area from Portland, OR, a divorce and a career in radio postponed my dream. I applied for and I was accepted to Pepperdine University in their Graduate School of Education & Psychology to study for my Masters degree in Clinical Psychology.

My first semesters began in April of this year and continued until the end of July. My 3rd semester begins next week. I’m taking 5 classes. I just accepted the position of Public Relations Graduate Assistant for the Marketing Department of the Graduate School of Education & Psychology and those duties begin next week as well.

I cannot tell you how exciting it is to be a student once again. How much I adore being back in the classroom, surrounded by intelligent and curious minds, being taught by amazing faculty and learning about the field of psychology and all that it has to offer.

My intention is to graduate and to sit for the Marriage, Family, Therapy license (MFT) and perhaps thereafter the more recent discipline of the Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC).

Unlike a lot of fields in today’s economy, psychology doesn’t discriminate regarding age. In fact, wisdom appears to be celebrated and thus the life that I have lived thus far, the experiences that I have had, the successes and the failures that I have been involved in and finally, the education and training that I am receiving all appear to be poised to help me to be of service to those in need.

As one of my professors so poignantly stated, psychology and therapy can help alleviate suffering, and that’s what I would like to do until I draw my last breath on this planet.

I see no need to retire. I’ve lived a wonderful life thus far, traveled to amazing places on this earth, volunteered my time, treasure and talent to some fantastic organizations and now I’d like to focus on the individual who is looking to seek some relief or a solution or fix a challenge. I will do my very best to keep my posts active as I continue along this journey as a student.

Thank you for taking the time to read what I have written.



I have entered the world of dogs!

Miss Millie & chew toys - 2I was in San Diego last month attending to the needs of my elderly parents when I first encountered a foster mommy, her forever dog and the pup that she was taking care of that had been rescued from the streets of Los Angeles. I stopped and talking with her about the rescue organization and the circumstances regarding Millie’s need to be adopted.

The next day at a different time, in a different place I once again encountered Miss Millie, her foster mommy and forever dog. I asked if I could pick Millie up and I was told that’s what she lives for.

I scratched Millie’s face, she closed her eyes and leaned into my face. I was enchanted.

I have never had a dog as an adult. I was raised with a pet dog while I was growing up but it was clear that our dogs belonged to our father who took care of them, fed them, trained them etc.

I raised four children as a single mother. They were 2, 4, 6 and 8 when their father and I divorced. I used to say that I didn’t have time to potty train a dog because I was potty training children. I’ve been ‘home alone’ for nearly 5 years since my 4th child went off to college. The resulting freedom, independence and solitude were luxuries to me and the thought of taking on another responsibility was not in my game plan.

However, after I returned to my home last month, I couldn’t stop thinking about Millie and her circumstances. I logged onto the rescue’s website, www.forgottenpaws.org and saw Millie’s picture as available for adoption.

I contacted the woman that founded the rescue and she told me that Millie was indeed still available for adoption. I decided then and there that if I could raise 4 children, surely I’d be a good forever mommy to Miss Millie.

I drove back to San Diego to pick up Millie and we’ve been fast friends ever since! Millie loves everyone she encounters and every four legged friend too.

I take her to as many places as I can (that allow dogs) so as to incorporate her into her new life and make her as much a part of mine as possible.

Happy Chinese New Year 2015 – Year of the Goat

Chinese New Year GoatLet’s Celebrate the Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. The Chinese year 4713 begins on Feb. 19, 2015.

Chinese months are reckoned by the lunar calendar, with each month beginning on the darkest day. New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of the month and continue until the fifteenth, when the moon is brightest. In China, people may take weeks of holiday from work to prepare for and celebrate the New Year.

Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal’s year would have some of that animal’s personality. Those born in sheep years are often artistic, charming, sensitive, and sweet. It is known as the most creative sign in the Chinese zodiac. Jane Austen, Boris Becker, Jamie Foxx, Mel Gibson, Michelangelo, Mark Twain, Rudolph Valentino, Barbara Walters, Bruce Willis, and Orville Wright were born in the year of the sheep.

At Chinese New Year celebrations people wear red clothes, decorate with poems on red paper, and give children “lucky money” in red envelopes. Red symbolizes fire, which according to legend can drive away bad luck. The fireworks that shower the festivities are rooted in a similar ancient custom. Long ago, people in China lit bamboo stalks, believing that the crackling flames would frighten evil spirits.

In China, the New Year is a time of family reunion. Family members gather at each other’s homes for visits and shared meals, most significantly a feast on New Year’s Eve. In the United States, however, many early Chinese immigrants arrived without their families, and found a sense of community through neighborhood associations instead. Today, many Chinese-American neighborhood associations host banquets and other New Year events.

The lantern festival is held on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. Some of the lanterns may be works of art, painted with birds, animals, flowers, zodiac signs, and scenes from legend and history. People hang glowing lanterns in temples, and carry lanterns to an evening parade under the light of the full moon.

In many areas the highlight of the lantern festival is the dragon dance. The dragon—which might stretch a hundred feet long—is typically made of silk, paper, and bamboo. Traditionally the dragon is held aloft by young men who dance as they guide the colorful beast through the streets. In the United States, where the New Year is celebrated with a shortened schedule, the dragon dance always takes place on a weekend. In addition, many Chinese-American communities have added American parade elements such as marching bands and parades.

Although most Americans know today’s holiday as the Chinese New Year, the Chinese have been calling it the Spring Festival since 1912. That is because in 1912, they adopted the Gregorian calendar and moved to celebrating the New Year on January 1st. To preserve the holiday, they changed the name to the Spring Festival.

This holiday is one of the most significant in China, and originally developed as an opportunity to celebrate deities and ancestors. It was celebrated by gathering family together to feast, and consequently became an important opportunity for family to reconnect each year.

Heart Health for Women & Men

Heart Month 2015Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States. It is also largely preventable. To bring awareness, the American Heart Association has declared February American Heart Month.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD)—including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure—is the number 1 killer of women and men in the United States. It is a leading cause of disability, preventing Americans from working and enjoying family activities. CVD costs the United States over $300 billion each year, including the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity.

CVD does not affect all groups of people in the same way. Although the number of preventable deaths has declined in people aged 65 to 74 years, it has remained unchanged in people under age 65. Men are more than twice as likely as women to die from preventable CVD.

Having a close relative who has heart disease puts you at higher risk for CVD. Health disparities based on geography also exist. During 2007–2009, death rates due to heart disease were the highest in the South and lowest in the West.

Race and ethnicity also affect your risk. Nearly 44% of African American men and 48% of African American women have some form of CVD. And African Americans are more likely than any other racial or ethnic group to have high blood pressure and to develop the condition earlier in life. About 2 in 5 African American adults have high blood pressure, yet fewer than half of them have the condition under control.

Many CVD deaths could have been prevented through healthier habits, healthier living spaces, and better management of conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes.

You can control a number of risk factors for CVD, including:

Physical activity
Tobacco use
High blood pressure
High blood cholesterol

As you begin your journey to better heart health that can last a lifetime, keep these things in mind:

Try not to become overwhelmed. Every step brings you closer to a healthier heart, and every healthy choice makes a difference!
Partner up. The journey is more fun—and often more successful—when you have company. Ask friends and family to join you.
Don’t get discouraged. You may not be able to take all of the steps at one time. Get a good night’s sleep—also important for a healthy heart—and do what you can tomorrow.

Reward yourself. Find fun things to do to decrease your stress. Round up some colleagues for a lunchtime walk, join a singing group, or have a healthy dinner with your family or friends.

A healthy lifestyle can make all the difference for our hearts, so opt for healthy recipes like this one. To make it, you will need:

1/4 cup of orange juice
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
4 – 5 oz. salmon fillets with skin, rinsed and patted dry
1 1/2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of curry powder
1/2 teaspoon of paprika
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons of orange zest

Mix the orange and lemon juice in a large, shallow dish. Add the salmon, coat with the juice, and let marinate in the refrigerator for thirty minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Mix the brown sugar, curry powder, paprika, salt, cinnamon, and orange zest.

Drain the fish and arrange the fillets skin side down on a baking sheet. Rub with the brown sugar mixture. Bake for about 14 minutes, or until the fish is done.

Enjoy this recipe! To catch up on the latest from The Maria Sanchez Show, download the latest podcast today.

Australia Day is January 26, 2015.

Aussie beachThis year, Australia Day falls on the 26th of January. This day is intended to support and spread the values of Australians as a whole.

My youngest child and my only daughter has been living in Australia since June 2014. She has enjoyed her time there tremendously and experienced an amazing array of activities, events, travel, friendships and terrific employment opportunities. This picture is one that she sent me recently.

The only time I traveled to Australia was with my daughter on a cruise that originated in Hong Kong and traveled south, eventually taking us to Darwin, Brisbane and ultimately Sydney.

We fed koalas, kangaroos, toured the world famous Sydney Opera House, walked across the bridge and enjoyed the sights and the people.
The cost of living is tremendous there so it is very expensive to eat and drink. I remember taking us to a restaurant for ‘happy hour’ and a Smirnoff cocktail was $22 and that was Aussie dollars, which at the time was even more expensive then US dollars.

It is almost surreal when I look at her photos because the colors are so vivid and lustrous. We chatted on the telephone yesterday and she told me about all of the festivities that are involved in celebrating Australia Day.

Whether you are Australian or not, there are a variety of ways in which you can recognize the holiday, including but not limited to:

If you are interested in holding a public Australia Day event in your community, allow the Australia Day website to broadcast and promote your event!

If you are Australian, take a moment to think about what makes you proud to be whom you are. The Australian of the Year Awards acts as a nationwide celebration of the achievements of Australians.

Australians living in America can partake in an Australian Citizenship Affirmation ceremony where they can affirm their commitment and loyalty to Australia.

Are you simply an #AussieFan? Share the word on all of your social media pages describing what makes you passionate about Australia.

See Austrailia Day for more information.