Choosing Joy-An interview with Author and entrepreneur Lilian Chavira
Good afternoon Lilian. Thank you for stopping by the blog today!
Thank YOU, Stacy, it is my honor and pleasure!
Stacy: You are a writer, businesswoman, wife, and mom. How do you keep all your many jobs in perspective?
Lilian: It is only possible because of all the amazing people in my life who help me to keep a healthy balance. I am a blessed gal because my husband’s wisdom, loving and fun presence are what pulls me out of my fast-paced routine and ambitious goals making me slow down and delight on the simple and random moments. After him, it is my role as a mom that gives priority to any decision I must make.
It gets a bit easier to realize how important is to live life fully, by the moment, taking care of those who you love the most when you had said a final good-bye to your sweet dad, your oldest son already left for college and your youngest baby girl is now a sophomore in high school. The clock is running way too fast and I want to truly enjoy my little family, my mom, siblings and every important person around who gives value to my existence. As my kiddos are learning how to fly with their own wings, I want to hold onto the memories made and never regret any time wasted while chasing an illusion of what the world calls “success”.
My faith and God’s principles would always give me the needed guidance to better look for purpose, I just have to listen closely and be willing to let go of the control!
Also, as an almost 45-year-old, I have failed and fallen so many times that I had learned the importance of not doing life alone. We need to surround ourselves by other human-beings that inspire us and support us to become the best version of ourselves. Friends who would love and respect us not only for what we can accomplish, instead like-minded people who can truly “see” into our hearts and love us for -who we are-. We need to do the same for others around, even strangers, without knowing it, we can become someone’s answered prayer and miracle. Definitely, God, my family, friends, mentors, business partners and clients constantly remind me about what really matters so I do not get lost. They are my source of JOY!!!
Stacy: In your business Joy In The Breakroom, you create a wonderful experience for businesses. Could you tell the readers a bit about your business and how it started?
Lilian: Joy In The Breakroom is Frisco’s premiere, full-service specialty catering, gifts, and décor for unique corporate celebrations. It is establishing a reputation as the most creative and still affordable one-stop-shop for producing memorable events. We work with different budgets to provide an experience, transforming a conference room, office, main lobby into a theme of choice or even bringing a brand, logo and company’s mission to life with customized food, favors, unexpected touches, and fun!
The best investment any organization can make is to cultivate a culture of gratitude and appreciation for its employees, customers, and partners, making them feel valued and special. We work with our clients to find “good excuses” to do that. Our logo explains it well. It is a picture of a bright yellow sun shining in a dark background, which is a visible reminder that every day is a new day, bringing another opportunity to be a light. I firmly believe that JOY comes from the inside, and a company that possesses JOY will shine among others in its industry. My business ultimate goal is to bring the wow factor, beauty and excellence. We are committed to adding the magic, by intentionally crafting an atmosphere that would help leaders at any level to spice up the routine, share some laughter and make unforgettable memories inside the office walls.
How did I start? Well, first I was the recipient for many years of legitimate kindness and wisdom in the workplace. Actions taken by my former boss Mr. Pat McGrath not only impacted my profession, life as a Christian, and even future, I also witnessed for more than a decade how God and people-centered principles really made the work environment a fruitful soil where strong friendships and mentorships were planted and had flourished for generations now. How important it is to recognize that what we do during our daily routine has a spiritual impact, our job is somehow our mission field.
Most likely we will spend more time with our co-workers than with our own families, why not to make it count. I guess I had to realize based on my own experience that there was a need for that kind of approach in today’s reality. Instead of keep complaining, I asked myself and God how could I used my previous entrepreneurial journey, creativity, passion, a marketing background, and every talent within me to make a difference in the corporate world.
This business concept was such a crazy idea and remote dream that has become real in front of my eyes. For the last three years, I had been taking frightening little steps, all of them completely out of my comfort zone, letting God guide my path and experiencing day by day the struggle and joy of encountering incredible people in this community that would give this wild idea a shot, joining my vision. Together we are becoming a strong and JOYful team delivering gratitude to the workplace!
Stacy: Congratulations on your newest book Souls in the Sand: Stories of setbacks, surviving, stepping and soaring. Lilian, you’ve written a chapter that is deeply personal to you and your family. What are some of the ideas you could share with the readers about choosing joy?
Lilian: Yes, Stacy. The title of my chapter is “The miracle of every sunrise, choosing JOY to conquer darkness” I wrote about a very confusing time in my life when I lost the essence of who I really was, my value and vision. I openly shared what it meant to be facing the struggles of a father slipping away because of dementia, the brokenness after my elderly parents’ painful separation, the fear of losing the most important people and accomplishments in my life, all at the same time. I had to choose between finding excuses to stay broken in my own deep darkness or instead of giving myself the chance to take ONE positive personal choice at a time. The one and only I could control. The toughest one at the beginning but also the one decision that brought more peace deep inside.
One choice after the previous one that all together simply opened a door for miracles. Today, as I look behind, I realize how different my dad’s funeral could have been if I had held tighter onto my pain and selfish emotions instead of letting forgiveness and God’s presence to heal my heart. It is incredible how eventually; forgiveness and humility were the beginning of real restoration. I recognize how different my own life, job, and little family would be if I had not decided to give God TOTAL permission to define my future instead of staying in my self-pity letting others’ opinions or my own insecurities to set my limits. I had learned that choosing JOY over fearful excuses based on surrounding circumstances is like giving God the pen to write our life’s next chapter, and He will always have a better story in mind than anyone else. So why is it so hard to trust Him?
Stacy: Are there other projects on the horizon, more books you’re writing?
Lilian: To be honest, launching this book at the same time than building my brand-new concept from the ground up has seemed many times totally insane. It has been so challenging and kind of frustrating not having the time to promote it as I should, however in the past few days, God opened a new horizon for me, it was already in my heart but I did not know where to start. Now, I can visualize a path to move forward. I can see this book used as a tool of hope. It covers a huge variety of struggles that women these days go through and provides meaningful tips that can make truly a difference in someone’s life.
Before thinking on writing another book, I am now fully committed to partner with business owners that can have this book available as a part of their employee/customer “caring strategy” because when life hits hard someone in their circle of influence, many times it is hard to know what to say… this book and a low investment can be a simple and powerful way to say “I am here for you because I care, I may don’t understand your pain but these pages may have what you need to hear”. I can not wait to see what God can do with the honest desire of committed leaders out there. This goes along well with one of my favorite quotes: “When you don’t know what to say…let real stories reach out to those who hurt” I am so excited to see God’s hand on this project and dream!!!
Stacy: I happen to know that you owned a bakery some years ago, what in your opinion goes best with a great cup of coffee?
Lilian: Well, I love sweets and when I owned my bakery most of my recipes were very labor intensive, I became much more practical since I do not have now that much time to spend in the kitchen. Besides coffee, I truly love fresh fruit, so I like to pair that with my “healthy” dark chocolate. This is a simple recipe that anyone can make fast enough and eat early morning or as a middle of the day snack…
Dark Chocolate Fondue with Fresh Fruit:
1 bag of dark chocolate chips (A commercial brand that I like is Ghirardelli Premium Baking Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips)
1 cup of heavy cream
Fresh strawberries, raspberries, and green apples.
You can dip on pecans or almonds if you want to add some crunchiness!
Mix in a pot the chocolate chips and heavy cream move to the stove in a water bath until all melts. Serve in a bowl or fondue dish, dip the fresh fruit one by one and ENJOY. Don’t forget to share with your loved ones… it makes it better!!!!
I appreciate you visiting us on the blog, have a beautiful day!
You are welcome.