Occupation: I am a Center Manager for a Medical Interpretation and Telemedicine Center, which helps patients communicate with their health providers in more than 250 languages, promoting equal access to quality medical care for all.
What did you want to be when you were a little girl?
Sigh… I, more than anything, wanted to be free!
I wanted to learn, discover, and experience everything that the earth had to offer. I would read books and magazines about travel and art events. At school, I could listen to teacher conversations about their travels for ages. Although I didn’t really know what that meant or what direction that would take me, I just knew I had to travel. Through the years, and with the many different experiences of being a mother of 4, a student, and a full-time employee, I noticed that I always needed art more and more – to calm anxiety, stress, worry. Or simply to feel free; it was like my prayer, my song to the higher gods, my meditation that allowed a connection to my soul, my request for clarity and inspiration.
Each time I reached for art, it reminded me that at one point, in my younger years, when I started hearing that question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and after I was more familiar with specific titles and careers, I wanted to be an interior designer part-time and a missionary the rest of the time; what a combo, right?
What are some different jobs you’ve had in your life?
Oh my! Where do I begin? I have done a little bit of everything. Jack of all trades. You name it, I have done it. I have been a cashier at the local shop, a bank teller, an outdoor cook for cowboys during branding season on a Colorado ranch, a caregiver to sheep, horses, bunnies, chicks, and of course, cats and dogs. I have been a retail “associate,” a speech pathologist’s assistant, a “cacti picker” out in the desert, preschool teacher’s aide, a writer for online material, a telecom telephone operator – remember directory assistance? And collect calls? A team manager for a bank, medical interpreter, and even a hair, hand, and eyeglasses model – yikes!
What do you work toward in your spare time?
This has changed through the years. Currently, I find that you have to make time for spare time. It’s hard to have any time that doesn’t require a bit of planning or that is “vacant” and up for grabs. Leisure… let’s see… honestly, I try to go on hikes if I can. I love the outdoors. I feel this is an investment in me. It is “working on myself” time. I try to squeeze in a bit of time for reading and writing my book as much as possible and, of course, overall fitness- because I actually enjoy it! If I have a few consecutive days off work, I try to squeeze in some knitting and volunteering in the community. Always active within my own kind of stillness… must be the ADHD that kicks in. LOL!
What are you most proud of?
I’m so very proud of many things. I’m proud of my children’s spiritual growth and understanding of authenticity. I am proud of my culture, my background, my roots.
But what I am MOST proud of? I have to say that I am most proud of those that give the example of kindness. Those that live and breathe kindness. I am proud of those, that even through life’s “uglies,” whip their hair, smile, and wave. I admire and am proud of those who take the time to pay attention to their surroundings and make things better by caring. Those that dare to be different, that are fair; those that explore and adventure!
What are you known for?
Because I have had the privilege to experience so many different areas of expertise, travel, and events, I feel that in each, I may be recognized for different things. Overall, I hope that I am known for my willingness to help. Truth is, I am probably known for my adventurous spirit. I’m a gypsy at heart.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by art, by the morning bird’s song, music, and courage.
I find inspiration in intelligence/knowledge, BOOKS!
I find that when I look at the earth’s bigger picture, when I step outside of my city, my state, my country, I realize how much there is still out there for me to discover, to support, to give back to… sigh… that inspires me! Youth – they are always so clever and full of life!
Tell me something about you that most people don’t know.
I represented Mexico in a popular international beauty pageant. I won state, then national, and was not able to attend the international final due to school and family circumstances. Many years later, I was able to do it again in a Mrs. pageant.
Why did you apply to be an O Mag Insider?
I applied to be an O Mag Insider because I believe in the purpose of the magazine. I believe in empowering women, supporting diversity, and being a friend to the young mom, the struggling grandmama, the young teenager that is looking for a glimpse of hope, etc. I wanted to be a part of the O family because I feel like you enter the “friendship club” with Oprah, Gayle, and friends. It seemed like it was the place where you could get a different view on the “real stuff.” You get to share insight, advice, and support on real topics that could be your own story or one relating closely to it. Well, and of course, because I’m one of their biggest fans!!!!
How do you live your best life?
As Jaime Lyn Beatty wrote, “Jobs fill your pocket but adventures fill your soul.”
I find that I can only live my best life by conducting self-evaluation every once in a while. By self-discovery, by learning new things, by sharing what I know and think may help others. I live my best life by trying my best to be humble and considerate of others.
And what makes living my best life easier is, DANCING through life!
What’s a day in the life of Ali Luna like?
My days begin at approximately 4 or 4:15 in the morning. Ablutions first… then, I try to meditate/pray a few minutes, then do some stretching, drink my morning tonic (herb and lime tea) then get my love Romeo ready to go out for a walk and a short podcast. I then prep for work as my brew is in the works.
Once I get to the office, I struggle with getting up for breaks, walks, or lunch. (Unhealthy, I know!)
After putting out “fires” for about 10 to 12 hours, I go back to my Romeo and my daughter. I try to read, exercise, write or prep for the next day, but it doesn’t always go that smoothly. I usually end up in a cuddle moment with Romey and wake up the next morning and do it all over again.
Now weekends… that’s a different story!
This is part of an ongoing series, introducing you to the dynamic individuals who make up O, The Oprah Magazine’s Brand Ambassadors known as the O Mag Insiders. For more information on the program or to apply, click HERE.