In Honor of Momacita: An Angel in the Darkness

Momacita had a warmth about her. You could see it in her smile and you could feel it emanating out of her very being. Her hugs were as good as gold and her laughter was contagious. Standing near Momacita, it seemed as if everything was safe; everything was going to be okay. Her faith could move mountains.

She had faith in me and for that I am forever grateful.

I fled to her house. It was after dark. I had to get there. I had to get away. The only items I could take were those I could carry as I rode away on my beach cruiser. My Walkman and cassette tapes were on the list of necessities. I didn’t call and ask permission. I just showed up.

Was I crying? Visibly upset? Or, was I relived?

The time I spent living in Momacita’s presence were absolutely days of relief and restoration. Yet, I was not at a spa.

I was a teenager and Momacita was a single mom with 3 daughters, 2 of them teenagers. We lived in a HUD subsidized, 2 bedroom, sparsely furnished apartment. It was the 80’s and people were feeling the pinch of Reganomics. Momacita was not able to work due to disability.

I remember the day began with the smell of beans cooking on the stove. I can see Momacita now, in her night gown, stirring a pot of beans. She would season them so that it seemed like you were eating a special grandma stew. I promise, it had healing properties, thanks to Momacita’s special touch.

The food came from the food bank. I remember a certain day of the week she would get a bag of beans, a bag of rice and a block of “Reagan” cheese (American). After I moved into my own apartment, I went and got these same items for myself once or twice. It was better than nothing.

Because at the time, I could not even think about going back home. I would rather sleep in my car, and I did.

Once I settled down a bit, I had a series of waitress gigs including Bob’s Big Boy and Norm’s and I lived in apartments with roommates. It could have been dismal but it was blissful in a sense. Maybe not so much at the time as it is now, reflecting back on the 30+ years of life that have passed since then and the many times when Momacita’s love and faith intervened in my life, turning me away from destruction and toward rejuvenation and healing.

I was learning to live a life free from fear and violence. I was learning what it was like to live principles versus just preaching them in public.

If it weren’t for women like Momacita, who knows where I’d be.

It was easy to say yes when the family asked me to speak at the memorial. I wanted to share the story of Momacita’s love with all in attendance. I believe she deserves public recognition and I hope the story inspires others to know what a difference love and acceptance can make in someone’s life.

On October 31, 2014 this loving woman, who touched the live’s of many made her transition. She was a living example of the saying, “one person can make a difference” and an example of someone who cares for people, regardless of their race or biological family ties. She proved it doesn’t require lots of money to make a mighty difference. A little love can go a long way.

When I feel like giving up, or I think I don’t have anything to give, I remember this. I think of all the people who did little things here and there to help me out, to lift me up. I try to be aware of the fact that my meanness or kindness could be a turning point in someone’s life whether I realize it or not.

Here’s to Momacita, an angel in the darkness. God bless her and the many women like her who provide a safe haven for lost souls and who help parent and redirect youth who come from broken homes.

Come visit us on the fourth Friday of the month to read the continuation of the story. Subscribe to the blog to receive daily words and music to help you stay galvanized.

Story is Editable

Understanding Codependency, Shame and Self-Sabotage with Sheri Zampelli

Children who grow up in harsh, critical, unloving environments with unavailable parents tend to adopt patterns for dealing with people that are self-destructive in nature. These patterns make it nearly impossible for a person to have a loving, honest, authentic, peaceful relationship with their mate.

These patterns also impact work relationships and even relationships on a sports team or volunteer team. It is possible to identify the self-destructive patterns and to break them. Doing so often requires honesty, open-mindedness and willingness and a hefty dose of acceptance for what is. Because not a single one of us can change the past.

Join Sheri Zampelli, Author of From Sabotage to Success: How to Overcome Self-Defeating Behavior and Reach Your True Potential
in a 16-week class at Long Beach City College. Tuesday mornings from 9-noon, class number 32377. Go to to enroll.

Follow IamGalvanized’s board Words of Wisdom on Pinterest.

Stress Management: Groups and Music Achieve Results

Stress ManagementStress management has a lot to do with the ability to release and transform strong emotions. It is normal for people to have periods where they become angry, even rageful. People get sick, they get tired and sometimes it’s harder to maintain an even keel than others. When those moments arise and the blood begins to boil, we need solutions that are self-honoring not self-destructive. Many times violent outbursts, whether verbal or physical do relieve stress for the moment but when the tempers settle down all that’s left is a mess and many times everyone is farther away from resolution than they were in the beginning.

If you need some strategies for stress management consider taking a class with Sheri Zampelli at Long Beach City College titled HS45-Stress Management for Case Managers. In the class we learn about how thoughts can create anxiety and depression. We learn better methods of communicating with ourselves and others. Music is used throughout the class for stress reduction. Students create support groups as a way to continue working on stress management until it becomes an automatic habit.

The best way to learn something is to experience it which is why this group is hands on and interactive. A portion of class time will include lectures about how your thoughts contribute to anxiety and depression. The class time will also include participating in and leading a stress management group. This class is especially for human services students who will be working in a very stressful environment with difficult people and situations.

All throughout the semester we use music for relaxation and stress reduction. Toward the end of the semester we get into student presentations and students demonstrate what they know about stress reduction. Many find that creative, self-expressive outlets are natural stress reducers. They write songs, play instruments, dance and sing. They write poems and paint and we are lucky enough to experience it all as a group and learn from it.

Can’t make it to Long Beach City College? Stay posted as some of these classes will be available on-line in the future. For more information, subscribe to Sheri Zampelli’s Newsletter.

Ever Wished You Had an Expert There to Help You When Feeling Anxious or Having a Panic Attack? Click Here!

The Music Never Stopped

I know that I have one thing in common with you. I went through a period of time when I was lost. I may still be in it. But the older I get and the more I reflect on my life, the more I know that sound and music have both been pivotal in the development of my belief systems and attitudes. Music and the underground culture in Los Angeles exposed me to aspects of the city and the music industry that changed the way I thought about art, music, power, people and self-expression.

Crass Hat, Zed Badges. DJ GAL-VanIZed

So much happened along the way, so many faces I looked at, sets of eyes I locked with. Places we went together and what we saw and did when we were there. Sometimes a big blur. Always music. My life has it’s own soundtrack, as does your life. I was able to get a grasp of the movie of my life by making a Pinterest page as a hobby. I could not deny that music and going to gigs changed my philosophy about culture, style and life. Not necessarily for the better all the time but irrefutable nonetheless.

The boards I chose for my Pinterest page were things I’m interested in or just like to look at. I felt like I was making my own magazine with all the pictures I want to see, things I like, things that inspire me. So my boards include Music, Roller Derby, Galvanized Style, Bottle Cap Magnets and more. Come check it out :

Visit IamGalvanized’s profile on Pinterest.

Classical Music Aids Test Anxiety

With finals week approaching, many people will be looking for ways to get the most out of their study time. Some attempt to get extra study time in by “cramming” for the exam but this doesn’t always work. Some are so afraid of tests that they get test anxiety and can’t sleep. Current research points to classical music as an effective study and concentration aid and according to a recent article by Allison Engel in Imperial Valley News:”Classical music can help soothe insomnia.”

“A team of researchers at the University of Toronto found that tuning into classical music before bedtime helped people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Works by Brahms, Handel, Mozart, Strauss and Bach were effective sleep aids because they use rhythms and tonal patterns that create a meditative mood and slow brainwaves, the study found.” To read more, visit Studying for Finals? Let Classical Music Help.

I found this 6 hour Classical Music playlist by DJ Ja Big on YouTube helpful:

Also, if you want help with test anxiety, try this Test Anxiety Hypnosis Session for College Students by Sheri Zampelli:

Healing Relationship Problems Through Laugther & Enlightenment with Byron Katie

In this interview Byron Katie talks with a young woman about her relationship. The young woman is very upset because the man she wanted to marry kept on bringing up the past and sometimes called her a whore. After spending some time contemplating her grievances, she begins to realize that some of the things she was projecting onto her fiance were actually things she was doing herself.

That may all sound very deep and scary but what I love about this interview is that there are many eruptions of laughter and clapping from the audience and the stage. I believe that because of the laughter and the non-judgmental dialogue, enlightenment was able to happen very quickly and even the audience members could experience “ah-ha” moments.

I have known people (wink wink) who spent 20 years in “serious” therapy and never became this enlightened or free. That’s why I’ve become a fan of laughter and I’m a fan of this video because I’m one of the audience members who just had an “ah ha” that I believe will improve my relationship with myself and my relationship with my husband. If you watch the video, please feel free to share any “ah ha’s” or comments below.

Grace and Transformation: Grandma’s House

When people hear my story, they have one question to ask: ‘How did you do it?’ Another popular question is: ‘What was the turning point?’ I’m always stumped for an answer. For many years, I answered according to where the conversation took place: “the 12-steps, overdose, God, faith, CBT, Holosynch, etc.” but no matter how I answered I was never satisfied with the accuracy. I was always looking for a complex, specific, impressive or inspiring answer when in reality it was so simple, it seemed corny.

The answer is: Love.

Yep, Love is the answer. But before you put it off as trite, at least listen to the story. You can watch part of it here on this YouTube video titled: Uncover Your Power Through Compassion and Updated Beliefs

If you like what you hear, come join us on May 18 for a talk titled: Grandma’s Living Room: The Real Healing Center.

Here is a picture of my grandma. Isn’t she beautiful? Below is a picture of Lantana. Whenever I see Lantana I think of my Grandma Bette, and that is a very good thing. Hope to see you Sunday.

Sunday: Downey Church for Spiritual Living 10000 Paramount Blvd., Downey CA 90240

Time: 10:30-12:00 noon

Sheri O. Zampelli, M.S., CCH is a presenter with over 20 years of experience and has been an an instructor at Long Beach City College since 2001. Zampelli is and author of two books, From Sabotage to Success and Donate Your Weight. She is a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist and the Past President of Agape Toastmasters (2009). Her no-nonsense, humorous style comes from a mixture of experience and education. Sheri Zampelli has overcome many odds and obstacles and she helps others to do the same.

Find out more about Sheri Zampelli’s upcoming presentations and get free audio recordings to help you heal the past and become more powerful. Sign the mailing list at