Inspiration & Expert Advice on What Matters Most

Finding Hope & Solace at the Gym

In Blogging, Health, Lifestyle, Relationships, Spirituality, wellness on December 9, 2019 at 10:13

Yesterday I went to the gym after almost two years and a half since the last time I worked out. Yes, I did one 7-minute workout one day this summer, but I am afraid that doesn’t count for personal statistics purposes.

I joined with an online offer two weeks ago without ever visiting the place. I got there early, with the intention to get my barcode keychain, tour the club and join a yoga class.

As much as I tried, I couldn’t get myself excited. The smell of rubber, cleaning products and bleach from the pool and jacuzzi, the sound of the weights falling on the floor or racks, the inspiring, colorful wall-sized posters, and I can’t even remember the music. Nothing seemed to impress me.

I got in the room for the yoga class. It was cold and the mats were worn down. Students started to arrive. One lady smiled to me and asked me if it was my first time. I said yes. She said the teacher was amazing while she saved a spot for a friend.

Her friend arrived and they started talking. She introduced me to her friend while the class started filling up, still enough space to avoid feeling crowded. The teacher arrived, a beautiful French yogi with the respective accent and body.

The class was gentle as the music she played, exactly what I was able to handle after not working out in so long. I was relieved, happy and grateful.

My instant friends invited me to join them on Saturdays for Zumba and Yoga after. “I’ll do my best to join you”, I said. I asked her names before I left. “I am Esperanza and she is Consuelo”. “What a beautiful pair of names!” I said.

Esperanza (Hope) and Consuelo (Solace) made my day and I have been thinking of them ever since. I am sure they are what I was looking for on and off the mat.

I found hope and solace at the gym yesterday. May you find what you need today.

Namaste,

Laura

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In Our Thirties: Updates & Table of Contents

In Career, Finances, Health, Lifestyle, News, Quotes, Relationships, Spirituality on December 3, 2019 at 06:00

Hi friends,

How have you been?

Hope you are well. In my case, life keeps throwing curveballs, therefore here I am, doing what always makes me feel better: Reflecting and moving forward.

It’s been a while since the last book update. At the moment, we are in the final design/formatting phase. Before we are ready to launch, we will have at least three rounds of revisions, as recommended by our editor and project manager Amy Schleunes. With the holidays approaching, that means that most likely we will be launching Spring 2020.

The good news: You don’t need to wait to know what is in the book, as I am excited to share with you the full Table of Contents today:

CONTENTS

Preface

I. All the Way to Thirty

II. What Matters Most 

People 

“I wasn’t seeing how I looked—I was seeing how I felt.” 

Autumn Whitefield-Madrano on Beauty 

“Safety is not only possible, but it should be every thirty-something woman’s bottom line.” 

Jill Di Donato on Relationships 

Health 

“Everyone should experiment and learn, especially people in committed relationships.”

Dr. Sonjia on Sexual Health

“Fitness is a lifestyle, not just a look.”

Angelique Mills on Exercise and Longevity 

Spirit 

“Develop your ability to observe what’s happening in the moment.”

Warren Ogden on Spiritual Practice 

Career 

“You might have to re-evaluate your dreams.”

Cindy K. Goodman on Work-Life Balance 

Money 

“You need to know what you want and say no to everything else.”

Sandra Acosta on Personal Finance 

Living 

“We attract what we are or what we need to grow.”

Dashama on Positivity and Sustainability

III. Back to Basics 

IV. In Our Thirties: A Collection of Stories From Around the World 

Reading Group Guide

As you can see, In Our Thirties is a hybrid book, including:

An uplifting memoir about experiences so far, how priorities have changed, and how I am devoting this decade devoting it to what matters most now.   

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Guest Pieces written by Expert Contributors

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Compilation of more than 50 essays by friends from all around the world about being 30+.  

I would love to share a Sample Chapter soon.

What section would you like to read?

Tell me in the comments and I will post it. It’s your call!

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Always grateful for your support,

Laura

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Our son lives in a trilingual household—and we wouldn’t have it any other way

In Family, Lifestyle, motherhood, Relationships, travel on November 24, 2019 at 06:00
This article first appeared on Mother.ly. Grateful for the opportunity!

By Laura Sgroi

I always knew I would marry someone from another culture. Growing up in the Dominican Republic and then moving to Miami in my early 20s, I was curious and attracted by looks, accents and customs different than mine. I started studying English when I was six and added Italian classes at age 16, so marriage was still far from my mind, but little did I know that becoming trilingual would definitely mark my life and my family’s when the right time arrived.

My husband is Italian, born and raised in Palermo, Sicily. When we started dating, I was excited to learn that he had two of my non-negotiable musts in a guy: He could speak Spanish with my parents and he could dance merengue! Bingo!

Shortly after we got married ten years ago, we started daydreaming about our future mixed kids. We could almost see and hear our child running free and jumping for joy around us. Beyond any gender or looks, all I wanted was a healthy, happy and wholly baby.

Photo by the talented Eva Hart

Our son is now 2 years old. I gave birth with my Italian husband-become-doula reminding me to breathe and push in Spanish, my Puerto Rican ob-gyn coaching me with his Boricua accent, and three nurses—Indian, British, and Cuban—all cheering me on in their own version of English.

The moment my son was born, I just remember telling him: “I love you! I love you! I love you!” A hundred times. English was the language that I heard myself speaking to him.

Even before he was born, we were spontaneously and intentionally looking for ways to include our cultures in his life. We debated between names that had the same spelling and pronunciation in Spanish, English and Italian. We asked his grandmothers to bring children’s books from home so they could read to him in the only language they speak. We included multilingual toys in our baby shower registry and started talking and singing lullabies in my native Spanish and Daddy’s Italian when he was in the womb.

Even though we often sound like an episode of Dora the Explorer, I do my best to only speak Spanish at home, and his dad speaks Italian to him 100% of the time. He loves pasta, maduros, and pancakes.

When it was time to look for a preschool, diversity was our number one priority. We chose a Montessori school where he is now learning English as a third language and where we thoughtfully share traditional desserts from our homelands when we are invited to potlucks.

When he is out of school and we have run out of ideas, I admit that he watches and dances to merengue videos on YouTube, and loves them. As a result, our boy is now growing up trilingual in the United States, in a multicultural environment filled with all Latinx experiences.

His favorite! I don’t know why!

At the same time, I like to acknowledge and celebrate the fact that he was born in the United States. I make a point of having a traditional menu for Thanksgiving dinner even though none of us enjoys turkey that much.

We alternate our holiday travel between the Dominican Republic and Italy every year, and no matter where we are, he gets gifts from El Niño Jesús and Santa Claus on Christmas and then from La Befana (the old woman bearing gifts from Italian folklore) and Los Reyes Magos (the Three Magic Kings) on January 6th.

He made me feel proud when he came back from camp this summer holding a red, white and blue boat while jumping and screaming, “Our flag!” on the days leading up to the Fourth of July. And on the Fourth, he surprised us by lying on the grass to enjoy the fireworks, making us feel grateful for him and for this land that we call home.

Being a Latinx parent in the US today is a blessing and challenge at once. As an immigrant, I am aware of how fortunate I am to be able to raise my child with all the benefits this country offers, while still embracing my roots. Every day I challenge myself to keep growing, to become a better citizen and to be more visible so that we continue to break stereotypes and defy statistics.

Most of all, I want my little one to be free to express himself, to see the world and appreciate all the colors, rhythms and flavors beyond our own.

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