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Many years ago I had a calling ~ to share my story. As a teenager, I thought I was the only one that was going through what I was going through. But, there are millions out there that have been given a tough life. For those of you, please don’t give up. ❤❤
Evolving to Grace is a memoir about perseverance, strength, spiritual evolution, and the choices one must make to change one’s path. I share my life’s experiences, my journey—finding my way out of darkness—discovering hope, positivity, strength, happiness and the right path for the life I choose to live. I write about many challenges I’ve had to face and overcome—either due to alcoholism, depression, violence, rape and being a single mother on welfare.
I could be labeled many things: illegal, ACoA (Adult Child of an Alcoholic), domestic violence survivor, excessive alcohol and drug user, rape victim, assault victim, hitchhiker, high school dropout, call girl, and single mother on welfare. But, these are just situations I ended up in when I was lost and broken. I’ve learned from my past and I am evolving to find my grace in this beautiful thing we call life. I believe by sharing my story, we all can learn from one another or at least find more compassion and understanding. We can change our destiny, our path.
And now I’m giving away a few signed copies of my memoir! Enter on Goodreads.com for your chance to win!
I was so honored and touched that UGauGrrl nominated me for their Modern Muse.
Ugaugrrl sets to Inspire, Empower, and make an Impact.
UGauGrrl’s mission is to inspire every woman and girl to recognize the muse within herself and empower her to find her purpose so that she can make her singular impact on the world.
What inspired you to do the work that you do/motivates you today?
“Why I write? I write because at an early age a voice told me to write down words, sentences that were coming to me. Prior, I had never been one who was interested in poetry, but little did I know that I would be gifted ever so-lightly with phrases/sentences. Now, I write to share myself with others and to hopefully inspire people that they can get through anything and that they are not alone.
“Why I photograph? I have had a passion for taking pictures since I was 6. My mother had fancy, professional cameras always, and the very first time I got one and went on a field trip to the zoo, I was hooked!”
How did you get to where you are and what challenges did/do you face?
“I got to where I am by sheer determination to not follow in my mother’s footsteps. As a teenager, I did veer in her direction, abusing alcohol and drugs, allowing others to mistreat me, but I fought and continue to fight to make better choices and finally learned to love myself.”
Who is your she-ro?
“J.K. Rowling is my she-ro because she was also on public assistance as a single mother, as I was after I had my son. She believed in her story (Harry Potter) and didn’t give up. After becoming the wealthiest woman in Great Britain, she donates a lot to charity.”
What does the term”UGauGrrl” (“you go girl”) mean to you?
“The term ‘UGauGrrl’ means to me: a girl that defies the odds based on what used to be society’s standards or defies the odds based on her circumstances. We have brains, intellect, strength (physical, emotional, mental), and perfectly can combine those with love, compassion and understanding. We can do it all, and we can do anything!”
“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.“
Check out my video and the complete Modern Muse post at: http://ugaugrrl.com/2017/01/modernmuse-survivor-grace-lozada/
Also, check out their wearable inspiration! A collection of stylish t-shirts that feature women of yesterday and today who are muses in their own right as well as words of inspiration.
Holiday sale! Make sure that you don’t miss out on this discount. This offer won’t last.
Evolving to Grace is a memoir about perseverance, strength, spiritual evolution, and the choices one must make to change one’s path. Grace shares her life’s experiences, her journey—finding her way out of darkness—discovering hope, positivity, strength, happiness and the right path for the life she chose to live. She writes about many challenges she has had to face and overcome—either due to alcoholism, depression, violence, rape and being a single mother on welfare.
Grace could be labeled many things: illegal, ACoA (Adult Child of an Alcoholic), domestic violence survivor, excessive alcohol and drug user, rape victim, assault victim, hitchhiker, high school dropout, call girl, and single mother on welfare. But, these are just situations she ended up in when she was lost and broken. She has learned from her past and she is evolving to find her grace in this beautiful thing we call life. She believes by sharing her story that we all can learn from one another or at least find more compassion and understanding. We can change our destiny, our path.
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#cyberMonday #blackfriday #cyberweekend
RIP, Lily (25yrs ago) and Tupac (20yrs ago).
Such amazing souls and very similar.
Enthusiastic, happy, fun loving friends of mine that were appreciative for the moments life was giving them.
Lily, you changed my life.
Tupac, you said things I needed to hear at a very lonely time.
Thank you both for coming into my life and touching my soul!
Grace by definition is:
simple elegance or refinement of movement or in Christian belief – the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.
Besides “Grace” being one of my birth names, translated from Spanish, Grace has many meanings for me and what I consider Grace to be.
Since I do not follow any organized religion, I don’t think of Grace in that sense and even though I believe in a soul and spirit, I am far from truly saying for sure that there is one divine creator. I am just a human being that does not know for sure. I do believe in past lives. I relish in my love and connection I feel for the universe-which includes Mother Earth and Inti (the sun-god) and I think that it is bigger and more important than we treat it as.
I believe we all have souls that pass on – eventually, to a new life until we reach our peak of divineness. I believe that it is okay whatever others believe. I just believe in being good toward yourself and others; having compassion, love and understanding as best you can. And lastly, I believe in giving back – helping whomever you can.
When I titled my memoir, Evolving to Grace, I thought of how my journey was desperately trying to find the path back to Grace – to me. That spiritual being that came into this world so peaceful, so happy, so centered.
Life happened though, and how we all do, I lost my way to who my real self was. We lose touch with our soul, at least partially. We let pain, suffering, hurt in. It is unfortunately a part of life. But, it not only changes who we are, steers us away from why we are here, but it also takes away that state of grace we have when we are in touch with ourselves, in touch with the universe, and in touch with what life is supposed to be. I didn’t realize until I completed my book that this was exactly what I was desperately trying to fight for, for so many years. I wanted and needed to change, so that I can be realigned with my grace.
Grace also means to me, moments of grace. Are they divine? I don’t know because my belief is that I won’t truly know what is for sure until I pass. I do believe though that there are loved ones that have passed on that are present in moments of need. But, I also believe in ourselves and that our inner wisdom that has been learning or at least trying to from past lives is speaking out to our current self. Some may refer to this as “inner voice”. In my book, Evolving to Grace, I wrote about a moment I had of clarity about my parents while driving to a loved one’s service. So many years before, I struggled with the pain of letting go of family and then just in an instant it all made sense. Finally, without any conflict in my heart and head, grace happened, and I was able to understand that it was okay to let go.
Grace means something different to everyone. But, these are my thoughts and feelings of what Grace means to me.
#peace #grace #book #memoir #amazon #goodreads
It has been many years since I finished Evolving to Grace. Since then, I’ve come a long way from being that woman that was confused by what life was having her go through. I learned that whatever happens to us or the people that come into our lives are all opportunities for us to learn from, whether they are good or bad. I don’t believe that anything happens by accident or is coincidental. I am also no longer that girl that was destructive and a victim, losing herself in alcohol and countless bad choices. Though I am not “cured” or “normal”, whatever that means, I acknowledge I do still have some things to work on, but I have done a damn good job on the things I have overcome. I know that nothing becomes perfect or changes overnight–it is a process. So, year by year, things have gotten better. There are moments that are challenging for me, but those times are regular life situations that I am dealing with rather than the toxic, negative, dysfunctional behavior or situations that I used to be around. It is all about finding hope, optimism and a good perspective on things, which I work on having on a daily basis, and for the most part, I would say I have most of the time. On the days that I am not working, I choose to do what I want to do with my time. I am usually relaxing, spending time with people I enjoy, doing something productive that makes my brain and body feel good, or just investing in something that motivates me more to be a better person. In my real life–my 9-5, I work in Accounting. I like what I do in my career life, but I am working on leaving behind the corporate world in hopes that one day I will be doing photography and writing on a full-time basis, because returning back to my creative side is what I am truly passionate about.
I couldn’t be happier for my son, also. He is at a prominent university in Southern California and enjoying life. He loves film, music and is a happy, hilarious, and a compassionate young man with so many possibilities in front of him. I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome for him.
I am a warrior, a survivor, and optimist. Life is not dark anymore. I’ve triumphed, because I am still a loving, kind, compassionate, and giving individual. I still smile at strangers because why not, you never know who needs it. And, I still have my sense of humor, despite everything. And, though my memoir ends on a sad note and after the grief I had to go through, my life is actually pretty good now. I am happy and content. I live my life on my terms and have positive, supportive people in it. There have been good times throughout my life. Yes, some tragic things may have happened to me, but life is better and I look forward to what lies in my future. I don’t dwell on the past, even though I speak of it from time to time. My past, my heart, and my mind have made me who I am today. I had to experience what I experienced, the good and bad, so that I could learn, grow and love ever so deeply. There is this deep sense of gratitude and love for life, because I have seen darkness, and now all I want to experience is the beauty that life has to offer. I am excited of every day that comes and the endless possibilities–places to see and re-see, new things to experience, people to meet, loves or a love to have in my life, and definitely more books to write–next time, possibly fiction.
I hope my story taught others that the cycle of dysfunction–alcoholism and abuse, can lead to dark paths, but that you can awaken, learn and change your life to break the cycle, because in the end, life is beautiful and amazing! I believe that we all can learn from one another or at least find more compassion and understanding. I, myself, cherish the good moments, and I am excited of what my future holds. I know now that I can overcome anything, and all that I want to do besides writing and photographing is share my story with anyone who will listen so that I can tell them, “You are not alone. You can overcome whatever you are going through. Just believe, find hope, seek help, make better choices and be patient. It will happen. Your life can be different.”
In Evolving to Grace: A story of perseverance, strength, spiritual evolution, and the choices one must make to change one’s path, I share my life’s experiences, my journey—finding my way out of darkness—discovering hope, positivity, strength, happiness and the right path for the life I choose to live. I write about many challenges I’ve had to face and overcome—either due to alcoholism, depression, violence, and rape.
Life can be a roller-coaster ride for some more than others. Mine has been this way. Born into generations of educated, privileged, and successful millionaires, I tell a story of how one generation’s downfall due to financial, emotional, and addiction problems had crippling, traumatic effects on everyone around them, including myself. This story is about my journey of how I was going to fight with every fiber of my being, so that I would not follow in the footsteps of others. From very dark times as a teenager where I believed suicide was the only option to later entertaining times in my early 20’s living in the City of Angels, hobnobbing with professional athletes and entertainers.
I could be labeled many things: illegal, ACOA (Adult Child of an Alcoholic), domestic violence survivor, excessive alcohol and drug user, rape victim, assault victim, hitchhiker, high school dropout, call girl, and single mother on welfare. But, these are just situations I ended up in when I was lost and broken. I am trying to better myself, changing my ways and learning from my past and I am forever evolving to find my grace in this beautiful thing we call life. Lastly, I write to inspire others to never give up. You can change your destiny, your path.
“This is a very powerful story told in an extremely honest and candid fashion by a woman who has been there and back . . . fractured family, drugs/alcohol, running the streets, relationships with celebrities, issues with romantic partners. But mostly I saw this as the story of a woman with all the cards stacked against her who came through, and ultimately triumphed over, adversity. Amazing, Grace!” – Seth Kadish
“Her writing is so down to earth and real … I felt like I was having a conversation with her. Her obvious strength as a woman does not diminish the scope of the tragedy, though; her vulnerability is often excruciating.” – Patrice H.
Available now on Amazon, Nook and Amazon Kindle!
Loneliness is a void in one’s self that everyone feels at some point in their lives. I always felt so alone and at such an early age that it seemed like I was always alone, even when I was playing with my sister or someone. For as long as I can remember, I always felt like I would be alone in this life, and unfortunately, not much has changed about that. I was content with being alone at times. I can be nonsocial for long periods of time. It has always felt natural, but part of me has never been completely happy being so alone all the time! #alone #loneliness #evolvingtograce
…… I saw that he was meant to be in my life also because he had
some things to teach me, too. I had finally met a man that was
sensitive, understanding, trusted me by sharing all the things that he
couldn’t to others, would always acknowledge anything good or bad I
was talking about and was appreciative and thankful that I was there
in his life. He was my V.O.R. (Voice of Reason) when I needed someone
to remind me to see the good. I always thought if he got sober and
really loved me that I would have been the luckiest girl in the world.
He was The Nicest Thing I Had Ever Seen. He taught me to be more
compassionate, understanding and sensitive towards everyone by showing
me himself giving out his last five dollars to some homeless teenagers
and a buck and change another night to an older gentleman on State
Street and to now understand my mother and how unfortunate it is that
she could not find her way to peace and happiness. His mom would share
stories of his generosity at his service that others shared with her.
He also put everyone else first. His last voicemail that he left for
his mother and she played for me was that he’d be by to visit her and
help out around the house after he went to court with his brother and
saw his ailing grandmother the next day. The last thing he taught me was that I was
much stronger than I thought. I always thought I put people first, was
extremely compassionate and had a lot of patience, but I had never
known that I had so much abundance of these traits before all the
struggles we endured in this time. Maybe the year and seven months
with him helped me grow into the person I’m meant to become. I just
wish I could hug him for one last time and apologize for that letter I
last sent him. I hope he knew I was just hurt and didn’t mean it. And,
I wish he could have read this book. He was the one that encouraged me
the last year of his life to get back to writing it.
Excerpt, from Evolving to Grace
A little over a week later, I lost my virginity, technically. I was raped. It is mind boggling what paths my journey took me on when I didn’t make good choices. I never stopped to even think of what I was doing. I shouldn’t have ever had a drink. I shouldn’t have been at that get together. I shouldn’t have been in Chicago. I shouldn’t have bottled things up that hurt me. I should have been in school trying to do the best thing for myself, getting my education. So many should not haves or should haves play over and over in my mind. If I could have only pressed rewind, this may not have happened to me, but maybe like most things in our lives they are destined and meant to happen for a purpose.
I began drinking a year earlier. I drank until I threw up, blacked out and passed out next to my new friend, “Potty”, the toilet. And, even though I’d go to the extent that I had seen my mom go to and hated it, I was now doing it a lot of the time. Here I was at 16, still drinking, bottling up my emotions – escaping from my life, only facing my reality through depressed feelings, scarring my wrists with safety pins and drinking to the excess I was. At a get together across the street at a neighbor’s brownstone in Chicago, me and my sisters drank. One of my sisters was there with her new boyfriend, the boy I had been dating! I had to have felt uncomfortable. I was still so confused on what had happened to me again or maybe I was just trying to ignore my feelings. I believe by this time in my life I was trying to push down my feelings because to everyone besides me, my feelings didn’t matter. People, especially family had done so many hurtful things and with no apology. My feelings didn’t matter, I didn’t matter.
I can only recall about the first few minutes of that evening. We were at the guy with the tall, blue mohawk’s place which he shared with his roommate. I was excited because I had a crush on Mr. Mohawk. I kind of remember trying to go over there as cute as I could. I couldn’t be pretty or even pretty enough to get his attention because I was still not bloomed into the prettiness that would come years later. But, it didn’t stop me from getting excited from going over there. I walked into this guy’s place that evening with happiness and with a profound innocence that I still had. I was 16, going on 12. I didn’t know really what happened during sex. I had never seen a boy naked; except for the Playgirl Magazines one of my sisters would sneak and show us. I had only made out with two guys in my life and that was just heavy duty kissing. My sister mentioned later, that I had gotten so drunk I began to throw up all over the place. At some point like I always had, I had time to take pictures. It’s funny how I could continue doing what I love to do, despite never remember doing it. My sis later told me that she stuck me in the bathtub to clean me up and then later put me into the roommate’s bed to sleep it off, not Mr. Mohawk’s. I passed out. My sisters left me there. One of them had to leave me there because she was catching a plane back to Cincinnati. I believe Mr. Mohawk went with her to the airport. It was only decades later that I spoke to the other sister about that night, but it was brief, and we only spoke about the rape. She felt bad hearing what I had gone through and she didn’t want to talk any further about it, so I was never able to find out why she left me there. I cannot blame her though because for so long we all had been only watching out for ourselves. I was blacked out the whole night. I do recall a moment though. The pain of him trying to enter me woke me up. I remember seeing his outlined figure in the dark, on top of me and I was trying to push him off. I moaned in agony because of what he was trying to do. It hurt, but I just passed out again. In the morning I woke up to find myself half naked lying next to this dude which was completely naked. I quietly went out to the living room trying to find my clothes, which one of my sisters had semi-cleaned of throw up in the bathroom. I made small talk with Mr. Mohawk. My best time spent on Sheffield Avenue was watching this tall, skinny white guy with a blue Mohawk skate up and down the street. And, now this moment in the morning was embarrassing. I acted as nothing happened, like I always do – nothing affecting me, but it had to be written all over my face because I was so uncomfortable. I’d no longer look at Mr. Mohawk the same or his roommate. I pretended as all was good, even to the point that a few days later when I left to go back to Houston, they both rode the subway with me to the airport, like we were all friends or something. As a young girl, you don’t know how to behave when things like this happen because you really can’t understand what happened and you are probably in shock. I’d later find out that I got a STD. I had my virginity taken from me. I felt ashamed and confused, not knowing what to do but get out of there. I walked in as a happy, innocent girl and walked out snatched of everything that was pure of me, forever changed. It took me decades to realize how devastating that night truly was. It took me 26 years to finally cry about it. For so many years I use to say, “thankfully I was passed out for most it and that was why it never really affected me”. But, it did affect me. My childhood laid a base foundation for me to let men use me and possibly lead me into selling myself for sex, but this incident may have played more of a role than my childhood. After the rape, I didn’t have sex again for another year, but that time it was my choice.
Breaking the cycle starting with me, for a healthy and functional life
Writer - Photographer - Survivor - ACoA - Single Mom