Inspiration & Expert Advice on What Matters Most

Archive for the ‘Career’ Category

Crossing The Bridge: Meet Vanesa Paredes

In Career, Family, Lifestyle, News, Relationships on December 12, 2016 at 14:00

vane-perfil

Vanesa Paredes, 34, is an Argentine film director and producer, born in Buenos Aires, a city she describes as full of art and movement. Her mother, a housewife with a taste for theater, drawing and music, was the one who influenced her and her siblings (dancers, actors and musicians) in the art world.
Vanesa always wanted to tell stories, since a young age, she drew on every blank paper she could find, invented and wrote stories, drew cartoons. With the help of her art teacher, in high school, she found the perfect profession: Filmmaking. She started her studies at the prestigious University of Buenos Aires. Before graduating, she started working as a cameraman and video editor, first at a record company in the visual area, later, as an editor at an important company located in Buenos Aires.
Living in Buenos Aires, she was friends with children of Asian families and from other countries of Latin America. She always had a special interest in the experiences of travelers and an empathy towards immigrants.  She wondered how it felt to live between two worlds. What was it about living away from your culture and your language? How did it feel to share and learn new customs and ways of life? She felt in them the pain of uprooting and the feeling of being between two cultures, without feeling 100% part of any of them. She graduated as an audiovisual designer with a thesis on this subject and in 2012, she did a lively short on this topic.
vanesa-foto-perfil
Vanesa’s life was good. At 29, she got engaged to her boyfriend of three years, a good man who loved her enormously. However, deep inside, she knew she was not ready to take that important step.
“I was always a curious person with an adventurous spirit. I felt that something had been relegated in my life. I felt the need to travel, to see the world, to explore, to hear stories, to be by myself. My family is very traditional, I was about 30 years old, and everyone thought that it was the ideal time to get married and have children. I had found a wonderful man, why shouldn’t I want to marry him? I tried to keep myself strong on my decision to get married, because it was supposed to be the right one. I was lying to myself and he felt my doubts, he knew me enough to see that I wasn’t sure about it, so he asked me what I really wanted, and in that moment, I realized that I wanted to follow my dreams of traveling and exploring the world. We cried and hugged, we said goodbye and I made the conscious decision of changing my life. It wasn’t easy, I loved him, but it wasn’t my time to be a wife and mother; and for him that was a priority.
 
After a few months, I got a working holiday visa in New Zealand and my adventure started. I was so excited and happy! I wanted to learn English; I wanted to see the world. I couldn’t believe that my life had changed so much in such a short time. I have been in 12 countries in the last three years. I have seen wonderful things, I have met many people and I had the opportunity to work on what I love. At the moment, I am 34, and all these experiences have made me stronger and more independent. My life is a continuous adventure. I do not regret my decision. When you listen to your heart, there is no way things can go wrong. My ex-fiancé got married and became the father of a beautiful daughter. He is happy with his new family, I am happy for him and he is happy for me. We both fulfilled our dreams and we are still friends.”
After 2.5 years doing all kinds of work, but always, looking for the opportunity to do what she loved, she found the opportunity to keep working as a filmmaker in New Zealand. She has participated in different audiovisual projects and was presented with the possibility of participating in “Crossing The Bridge”a creative collective founded by Mauritian Anthropologist Sophie-Claire Violette supported by Creative Editor Lucy Holland from New Zealand and now, also supported by Vanesa as a filmmaker. They create visual and experiential projects with a strong anthropological focus. Their first eponymous project “Crossing The Bridge; Exploring Identity and Belonging in Ashburton’s Migrant Community” told the stories of twenty one migrants and their experiences integrating into the rural town of Ashburton | New Zealand. This project is extremely close to Vanesa’s heart as she can feel in her own flesh what her immigrant friends felt living in Argentina.
“With perseverance and following our hearts and true dreams, we can fulfill everything. Our work in “Crossing The Bridge” is the best example.” For more about Vanesa Paredes and Crossing The Bridge please visit: www.crossingthebridge.co
ctb-print

 

Advertisements

¿Qué Hacer para NO Quedar Embarazada?

In Career, En Español, Family, Health, Lifestyle, News, Relationships, wellness on September 17, 2016 at 08:36

img_2995

¡Gracias a la revista Glamour México y Latinoamérica por la oportunidad de compartir información útil con sus lectoras en todo el continente!

Este artículo aparece originalmente en la edición de Septiembre 2016 de Glamour México y Latinoamérica, ¡a la venta ya!

Screen Shot 2016-09-16 at 1.37.17 PM.png

Screen Shot 2016-09-16 at 1.38.28 PM.png

 

Screen Shot 2016-09-16 at 1.42.50 PM.png

 

screen-shot-2016-09-16-at-1-44-59-pm

Screen Shot 2016-09-16 at 1.48.02 PM.png

Si tienes alguna pregunta o duda sobre este tema, por favor no dudes contactarnos.

Recuerda: El mejor método es…¡el que te funciona a ti!

Y tú, ¿cuál prefieres? ¡Por favor déjanos saber en los comentarios!

Tu amiga,

Laura

_________________________________________________________________

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Lessons on Hearing Deeply + Complimentary Coaching Call

In Career, coaching, News, Relationships on July 26, 2016 at 11:00

IMG_2922

For years I longed to become a Certified Coach and develop a combination of professional and personal skills to help others unlock and reach their greatest potential. As I mentioned on one of our June posts, I am currently training to be a Certified Professional Coach with the University of Miami, an Accredited Program by the International Coach Federation (ICF). 

To my surprise, on our first day of Coaching school, I realized I was going to be the one who would benefit the most from this program in my personal life and relationships.

Still, my main goal with this Certification is to share this gift with you.

That is why I am thrilled to tell you my learnings of the first practical module: Hearing Deeply.

What has changed about how I listen to others?

What has changed about how I listen to others is my own awareness of the way I listen. I always thought I was a big listener considering the time that I dedicate to listen to others and their willingness to talk to me, but I never realized I was not a good listener, I was not intentional in my listening.

 

Thanks to this class, I want to listen as I have been listened to, therefore I am working on goals in deep hearing, starting with the following steps to achieve them:

  • Stop multi-tasking and immerse myself in the conversation, being quiet and present.
  • Being conscious about not interrupting the speakers.
  • Observing without judgment, assumptions, and respecting the point of the speaker while honoring them with my whole listening.
  • Not bringing up my experiences, offering a shortcut solution or unsolicited advice.
  • Allowing silence to be part of the conversation and even embracing it as an answer.
  • Becoming an accomplice and confidant in my conversations.
  • Understanding that most of the time the person only needs to be heard and that itself helps.

On a positive note, I realize that coming from a place of gratitude, I am developing a sensor that notices opportunities for reinforcement, encouragement, celebration, and triggers mindful questions.

I am looking forward to a new kind of conversation and achieving a real communication exchange, based on the hearing deeply skills that I will continue to practice as a listener.

If you would like to give Coaching a try, I am offering a complimentary 30-minute call to meet and decide if we would be great partners! Please contact me to schedule your call! And if there’s anyone in your life who might benefit from Coaching, please forward them this email. I thank you in advance and they will thank you later!

How do you like to be listened to? Is that how you listen?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Your Coach-to-be,
LS-IMG_0109
Laura
_________________________________________________________________

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

WOD: Pilates ProWorks Miami

In Blogging, Career, Entrepreneurs, Health, Lifestyle, News, wellness on June 28, 2016 at 09:00

Pilates-Por-Works-South-Florida-Bloggers-24

 

Have you ever tried Pilates?

I am not the athletic type, nor the most disciplined fitness fan, but I have tried everything from The Boss Chick Dance Workout, Burlesque workshops, Jane Fonda-type aerobic classes and excruciating boot camps. I know what I enjoy and what works for me and my body. That’s why I got very excited when I received an invitation from The Blogger Union for a workout at PilatesProWorks Miami.

Pilates-Por-Works-South-Florida-Bloggers (1)

The Blogger Union members at Pilates ProWorks Miami

Pilates ProWorks is a fitness concept centered on the fundamentals of classical Pilates with a modern, innovative twist. Pilates ProWorks currently has 15 locations around the United States and South America. Miami’s the twelfth location in the US and the first one on the East Coast, located in charming Coral Gables, FL. To pair with the excitement of attending my first workout as a blogger, I found metered parking right in front of the studio!

summerchristensen

Summer Christensen, PPW Miami Studio Owner

Our host and instructor was Summer Christensen, owner of Pilates ProWorksMiami. Summer, 37, first became part of the Pilates ProWorks family in 2010 when she helped open the first studio in San Francisco. “After teaching at the first Pilates ProWorks in San Francisco, I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of. Oscar, the Pilates ProWorks Founder and my business partner, built a company that truly values, and creates growth opportunities, for its people. I have the benefit of his years of experience, a solid business model and the wonderful Opening Training Team that he put together. Now I have my own studio and Oscar as a mentor and friend. Being a business owner has been a dream of mine for years. This endeavor has been six years in the making and is a true labor of love, hard work and perseverance.” said Summer, during a candid interview for our blog.

After taking us around the modern and welcoming facilities, it was time for these Princesses of the Blogosphere to hop on our carriages! Yes, forget those Pilates Reformer machines that looked like torture devices, PilatesProWorks uses a very comfortable custom machinery called FitFormer™ for a challenging 55-minute workout “ride” that develops strength and flexibility to the sound of an energizing playlist! It definitely got my heart racing and took my breath away! 

Pilates-Por-Works-South-Florida-Bloggers-8

Summer aims to inspire clients to discover their inner strength by pushing themselves physically. And she practices what she preaches: Pilates ProWorks Miami and her baby boy are only five months apart.

How does she handle being a mom, and entrepreneur, teaching two consecutive classes some days, and everything else in her life? 

Summer: “Everyone said we were crazy to open Pilates ProWorks Miami, have a baby and move cross country when I was 9 months pregnant. My two “babies” are five months apart but I wouldn’t change a thing. I am lucky enough to have a loving ‘village’ of family and friends who believe in me. I couldn’t do it without their help and support. Colin, my husband, works at night so he gets to spend most days with our son, Von. My mom recently retired and she is thrilled to be able to spend so much time with her grandson. Most of my girlfriends’ had children before me so they are a fountain of information, advice and empathy. I am excited to be on this adventure and look forward to seeing my babies grow and thrive.” 

One last tip for thirty-somethings?

Summer: “One of the most important things I can do to keep myself sane, is to exercise. Carving that time out of my day, to take care of me, is vital. It gives me a chance to reset my brain, reconnect with my body and consciously breathe. It makes me a better owner, instructor, wife and mom. I come back stronger, more flexible and patient and better able to handle whatever life throws at me.”

Thank you, Summer!

Your Hard Core fan,

Laura

Pilates-Por-Works-South-Florida-Bloggers-29

25 Merrick Way
Coral Gables, FL 33134
P:(305) 631-2534
E: miami@pilatesproworks.com
Pilates ProWorks Miami wants to help you stay committed to working out through the summer season with their Save Up & Slim Down Membership Event through June 30th! The first month is $65 plus you get to choose a bonus gift from pairs of ToeSox, hand wraps, water bottles, t-shirt, tank tops or 2 months of Nutrition Pro. It can only be purchased in studio or over the phone. Hurry up!
 

About Summer:

A third generation Miami native, Summer is thrilled to bring Pilates ProWorks to her hometown. As a former dancer, Summer has been in the fitness industry for six years. She has been teaching Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga since 2009 and Pilates since 2010. Pilates ProWorks combines her passion for a healthy and active lifestyle with a fulfilling career.

 

Photo credits:

Summer Christensen’s: Tommy Hernandez 

Bloggers’: Paola Méndez

_________________________________________________________________

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

 

Let’s Work Together!

In Blogging, Career, Entrepreneurs, Finances, Giving Back=Paying It Forward, Lifestyle, News, Relationships, Spirituality, wellness on June 8, 2016 at 13:40

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 9.22.05 AM

Thank You for Considering the Possibility of Working Together!

I Can Help You with:

COACHING

Would you like to become partners in a thought-provoking and creative process that will inspire you to maximize your personal and professional potential and produce fulfilling results?

I promise to listen deeply, to observe completely, and to customize my heart-centered approach to your individual needs, that way we can grow and harvest the seeds that God already put inside you.

I am currently training to be a Certified Professional Coach with the University of Miami, an Accredited Program by the International Coach Federation.

Please contact me to schedule a complimentary 30-minute call to meet and decide if we would be great partners!

_________________________________________________________________

BRAND COLLABORATIONS, ADVERTISING & SPONSORSHIPS

I’d Love to Talk with You About Brand Collaborations, Advertising & Sponsorships if I Deeply Know and Love your Brand.

Please contact me and we will decide together the most organic way to support each other!

_________________________________________________________________

WRITING & SPEAKING

Do You Like My Voice?

I Can Lend it to You, Your Brand and/or Your Organization!

I am a freelance Bilingual Writer & Speaker about diverse topics such as:

Positive Lifestyle | Wellness & Beauty | Inspiration, Motivation & Empowerment  Relationships | Self-Love | Education | Women’s Interests | Spirituality | Blogging | Travel | Work-Life Balance 

Please contact me for samples and availability.

_________________________________________________________________

COMMUNICATIONS 

Public Relations | TV & Events Production Management | Marketing

I am a Multi-Passionate & Creative Communications Professional and Consultant with diverse work experience and an excellent track record that spans several cities in the United States and Latin America.

I have had the privilege of working with large and heterogeneous groups in multicultural environments for more than a decade, that has helped me develop strong communications and project management skills, and most importantly, I have managed to gain the trust of countless clients and colleagues.

Please check my LinkedIn profile for more on my career and please don’t hesitate to contact me for your future projects.

_________________________________________________________________

BLOGGING 

I learn and share blogging tips on The Blogger Union, please find below my latest posts:

What Should I Name My Blog

The Benefits of Joining a Mastermind

_________________________________________________________________

Thanks in advance!

In Gratitude and Service,

Laura

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

El Premio Soberano es para…

In Career, En Español, Entrepreneurs, News on May 27, 2016 at 07:35
El martes 31 de mayo se celebran en Santo Domingo los Premios Soberano 2016. Hace 13 años de la primera vez que trabajé en unos, en ese entonces llamados Premios Casandra. Mi primer empleo profesional, mi primer proyecto como Coordinadora de Producción y, sobre todas las cosas, uno de mis primeros sueños hecho realidad. Desde ese primer espectáculo y hasta el día de hoy, más allá de las grandes producciones, los aplausos escuchados, los créditos y los ratings, la satisfacción más grande de mi carrera es el haber conocido, trabajado y compartido con tantos seres humanos talentosos y dedicados. Larissa Martínez es una de esas personas y hoy me honra entrevistarla.
Larissa Martínez

Larissa Martínez

¿Cómo ves a los artistas que representa tu agencia Miracle Box según su edad, en términos de madurez?
Los 30s son la antesala de la plenitud, en esta etapa el crecimiento y la madurez llegan a diario y depende de cada ser humano recibirla o no. En cuanto a los talentos que representa la agencia Miracle Box los veo muy centrados en sus carreras, con objetivos claros, determinados a alcanzar metas, en lo personal queriendo echar raíces, ser responsables y amorosos.
En el caso de aquellos con los que has trabajado entre sus 20s y sus 30s, ¿cómo los has visto evolucionar?
Ha sido muy interesante la evolución de los 20s a los 30s porque en los 20s se piensa mucho en fiesta y trivialidades, se sigue siendo hasta cierto punto infantil, y dependiendo de las experiencias que le toque vivir a cada cual la evolución es más fuerte o más sencilla. En la agencia hay talentos en sus 20s cuya actitud es a prueba de balas, que son inmunes a equivocarse y entienden que siempre tienen la razón. Los que están en sus 30s saben que pueden cometer errores, están más pendientes y son más cuidadosos, cuando se equivocan están más abiertos al aprendizaje.
¿Qué inspira a los treintañeros en tu catálogo? ¿A qué aspiran? ¿Con qué sueñan? ¿Qué los frustra?
Esta es una pregunta muy interesante porque el ser humano necesita de inspiración para alcanzar metas y me gusta saber lo que cada cual tiene en la intimidad de su corazón, la inspiración es muy personal, algunos se inspiran en la palabra de Dios porque todos estamos llamado a la grandeza, “Levántate y resplandece que tu luz ha llegado, la gloria del Señor brilla sobre ti” (Isaías 60:1), otros se inspiran en grandes personalidades, en logros y experiencias ajenas, algunos encuentran la inspiración dentro de ellos mismos. Como todos aspiran a lograr cosas, algunos piensan en grande, otros no tanto, aspiran y sueñan con ser reconocidos, con lograr grandes oportunidades, pero esto no para, al lograr una se está gestando la próxima meta lo cual es el alimento del artista. La frustración es parte del éxito y del crecer, la frustración es a veces hasta relativa depende desde donde se vea, el no conseguir algo deseado puede ser frustrante, el trato frío de alguna personalidad puede ser frustrante, con las frustraciones se forja el carácter y se aprende a dar importancia a lo que realmente la tiene.
¿Alguna diferencia entre los treintañeros y las treintañeras? ¿Y entre los dominicanos y los extranjeros?
Además de las diferencias obvias entre hombre y mujer, los 30s representan otro nivel de madurez y de pensar, las prioridades cambian en cada género y hasta las metas, se inicia la búsqueda de logros que llenen el alma, se reducen los amigos y círculo cercano, se van aquellos que no tienen la misma visión. Entre extranjeros y dominicanos lo único que varian son sus circunstancias. La República Dominicana es un país hermoso pero muchas veces no brinda las oportunidades que los talentos ameritan en caso de los extranjeros su proceder es más maduro y ágil pues deben moverse rápido para alcanzar lo que se proponen, las grandes industrias exigen más de los talentos.
¿Aprecian o se resisten a la influencia de aquellos que van delante en edad y experiencia?
Depende de las personas que pudieran ser ejemplo para ellos, hay que ser muy objetivo en cuanto a dejarse influenciar o buscar de quién tomar esa influencia, pero que creo en el momento en que saben lo que buscan se enfocan en la persona con quien se identifican y se dejan influenciar por ellos.
¿Cuál es el legado artístico de esta generación?
Atreverse a hacer cosas que antes no se atrevían, a usar todas las herramientas que estén a su alcance como las redes sociales. Es una generación que tomó lo bueno de la tradición y se enfrentó a un futuro con fuerzas.
¿Qué le recomiendas a nuestros lectores y lectoras que deseen desarrollar una carrera artística en sus 30s?
Nunca es tarde, lo importante es prepararse en el área que quieran emprender, tener metas muy claras, leer mucho sobre personas que han logrado lo que ellos quieren, buscar mentores con quien se identifiquen para trazar un camino, no es fácil y requiere de muchos sacrificios pero los logros son gigantes y hacen que olvidemos el dolor.
IMG_0004
Sobre Larissa:

Dominicana, Fundadora y CEO de @Realredmag (RED) y @Miracleboxag, escritora y guionista. Gestora de licencias de música para películas. Emprendedora. Vicepresidenta de la Asociación de Mujeres del Cine (AMUCINE). Su agencia Miracle Box se encarga de manejar las carreras de Isaac Saviñón (Panky), Mariela Encarnación, Shalim Ortiz, Gnomico, Ezequiel Montalt, Liannet Borrego, Denise Quiñones, entre otros talentos dominicanos e internacionales.

_________________________________________________________________

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

 

Enjoying the Ride

In Blogging, Career, Contributors, En Español, Family, Finances, Lifestyle, News, Relationships on February 20, 2016 at 00:01

image1 (2)

By Geisel Checo

This part of my life, here and now, is what I call enjoyment. You may have that description attached to your 20s but for me, the 30s are a true joy.

Let’s get you started, I am about to hit 37, father of three boys and married to my best friend since I was 28 years old. So my thirties got me married and with a first-born little person.

We were overseas in another Caribbean island working for a local Construction Company. I say another island because I was born in one, the Dominican Republic. Therefore, my first son was born in Trinidad & Tobago of two Dominican Parents. Three years after, now in my thirties, we decided to have a second child but in the middle of it I decided not to renew my contract with the company for two more years so we went back home.

Being an engineer, with two children, getting back to the labor market after five years being overseas it is only fair that the ride started to get bumpy. Got a job, which I lost in the matter of months due to rough economy times while my wife was unemployed due to the pregnancy. Thanks to my experience in the field, I got a job in a matter of days but it required being away from home every so often.

If two little boys were not enough, we got preggo again for a third time! And with it I was transferred to Haiti for a high profile project that required a Project Manager with my expertise, or so they said… But it was! Being a Dominican in Haiti is not an easy task due to some business that happened over 170 years ago but we cannot forget our past nor our history. Even though the project was very demanding and going out for drinks was not an option, I decided to write a book on my own. I have a blog in which I write about my real and imaginary life, but to write a book is something else.

So between chapters of my stay in Haiti I had the concept of what I wanted to write about but never set my foot down to finish it. Until one day that I read about a contest for Spanish speaking writers with an opportunity to have your digital book printed out in paperback with a well renowned publisher. By that time I was Operations Manager handling five projects simultaneously since I was promoted after the high profile project was handed over to the client.

I started writing the book on or around 3am due to heavy work load because there were two of the five projects with an end date approaching and extra hours were put into play to meet the dead line. I would reach home, take a bath and start singing “it’s 3am I must be lonely” (all rights lay with Matchbox 20) and then set to write my own piece.

It took me a month to finally have it presentable or so I like to think, or maybe it was because the end date to publish it was due and I only got an hour left to do so. I rushed into the laptop, in the middle of my working day, with my boss and the Minister of Education present on the job site and I minded my own business. It was like that or nothing.

At the end, I did not even make it into the top five of which a winner was going to be elected from, but I wrote a digital book, in a month, not sleeping and with lots of responsibilities on my shoulders delivering the two mentioned projects. I am aiming to print the book on my own and put it on sale in bookstores all over the Dominican Republic.

And that’s where I say that my thirties are about enjoyment, even being a bumpy ride, with ups and downs. If all these were to happen while in my twenties I would probably be divorced by now, pressure cracked in my professional life and would have never written a book from scratch and from inside my head with my own story.

So I’m not inspiring you to not turn 30 but to embrace it, wish it and dream it. It is the start of a ride to enjoy to the fullest!

I would like to thank Laura and her empowering blog for asking me to contribute to it and I’m looking forward to contribute again, probably on her upcoming blog ‘Now That I Am In My Forties’ (just trying to set the idea in your brain!).

P.S.: If you have the time and can read in Spanish, please visit my blog at www.entrelapizypapel.blogspot.com and/or purchase the digital version of my book ‘El Presidente de la Nación’ on Amazon.

Geisel in a glimpse:

morning person – sunset collector – lover of a good wine, golf and antiquities – habano’s savorer – full moon contemplator – husband of my best friend – father of three – brother of two – proud son – creator of stories, both real and imaginary.

______________________________________________________

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

 

Is Stress Stalking Your Life?

In Career, Great Articles Found Doing Research, Health, Lifestyle, News, Relationships on February 2, 2016 at 09:00

VARIOUS

Are You Aware Of The Dangers Of Stress?

Source: Is Stress Stalking Your Life?

One in four of us admits to feeling stressed every single day, but too often we do nothing about it. Writer Lizzie Pook, 30, found her way back from burnout… 

It was in a stark A&E cubicle, while a consultant slowly inched a camera up my nose and down my throat until my eyes streamed with tears, that I realised things had to change. Up until that point, my health had been slowly spiralling downwards. I had been blighted for two years by an endless cycle of infections and flu. I’d recently been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, and was suffering other bizarre physical symptoms, too: strange and erratic spasms in my nose, a numb tongue, angry rashes all over my body and a constant ringing in my ears. Eventually, things came to a head, and my GP packed me off to see if emergency-room doctors could explain the terrifying choking feeling that was rising in my throat.

The diagnosis that day was not hugely surprising. My body was being ravaged by stress, and it was reacting the only way it knew how. If I didn’t make some significant changes in my life, the doctor said, I was heading straight towards burnout and was at risk of making myself seriously ill. We may brush off stress as weakness or even inconvenience but, the truth is, it is having a debilitating effect on increasing numbers of women in the UK. Recent studies have shown that over half of all women would describe themselves as ‘moderately or extremely’ stressed.

Four out of five of us believe we push ourselves too hard, and a recent survey by Sanctuary Spa found that an estimated 12 million women feel that they are on the verge of burnout. It’s no surprise we’re feeling more stressed, either. Studies suggest our ‘have it all’ generation is struggling to juggle high-pressured jobs, financial worries and the never-ending quest for a decent work/life balance. For me, the causes of my stress were not unusual: a little self-doubt, a lot of anxiety, and the constant fear of disappointing others (particularly at work, in my high-pressure job as a journalist, where I would constantly put in overtime to prove how committed I was). That’s not to mention the tendency to over-worry about my family. In fact, since the death of my father 10 years ago, I’d felt sort of responsible for the happiness of everyone in my family; surely that’s enough pressure to shake the foundations of even the strongest woman.

But this constant anxiety began to gnaw away at my brain like a burrowing parasite. It soon affected my behaviour. Every morning on the journey to work, I could actually feel my blood pressure rising. I was so on edge that if a harried fellow commuter bumped into me, I’d huff and sigh theatrically. If someone started reading my newspaper over my shoulder, I’d eyeball them with embarrassing pantomime incredulity. There was no relief at night, either. After a frantic day at the office, I’d lie awake into the clammy early hours, convincing myself that my mother was having a heart attack, or that my brother simply wouldn’t wake up the next morning. The anxiety was so all-consuming, it felt as if I was losing my grip on reality.

‘Stress changes the way your body functions,’ says Neil Shah, director of the Stress Management Society. Our bodies are only designed to be in a state of stress, known as the fight-or-flight response, for a short period of time – just long enough for our ancestors to fight off the sabre-tooth tiger, for example. But according to Shah, if we stay in this state for extended periods, high levels of the stress hormone cortisol are released, damaging our immune, gastrointestinal, neurological and musculoskeletal systems. ‘Things like digestion, the reproductive system and our pain responses are also diminished,’ he says. ‘Because the body is focusing on keeping only our vital organs working and pumping blood and oxygen to our limbs.’

This means those under extreme stress can suffer a bizarre range of symptoms, including palpitations, hair loss, changes to their menstrual cycle and even miscarriage. That’s not to mention adrenal fatigue (where the adrenal glands function below necessary levels, causing profound tiredness and burnout). One woman I know was under so much pressure in the run-up to her wedding that she broke out in angry hives all over her body five days before the ceremony.

Back in that A&E room, I knew I had to make some changes – to turn my life on its head. The decision involved risk: leaving a job I absolutely loved to travel the world as an unemployed woman approaching her thirties (gulp). But I felt compelled to see what effect taking a hiatus from my normal routine would have on my wellbeing. So I handed in my notice, packed my bags and spent three months travelling the world (sleeping in tents, reading countless books and eating what the hell I wanted; not worrying about my expanding waistline or the state of my hair). Amazingly, my physical symptoms quickly diminished, and I felt happier and more relaxed than I had done for years, despite having left my dream job behind.

Now I’m home, forging a career as a freelance writer, and I have a new approach to life’s worries. For some of us, stress and anxiety will be an ever-present part of our daily lives. It is always going to manifest itself in some way because it is as much a part of us as our fingerprints. We cannot simply banish stress forever. But if we can learn to recognise when it’s getting too much, when the scales are tipping just a bit too far in the wrong direction, and take action, then perhaps we can assimilate it into our lives in the least harmful way possible. That’s what I’m hoping…

Don’t throw that monitor! Listen to stress management expert Eileen Burns…

1. Make a list and focus on one thing at a time. Multitasking is the main cause of stress, lack of focus, poor concentration, fatigue and anxiety.

2. Take a breath when you’re overwhelmed. Simply drop your shoulders and become aware of your chest rising and falling.

3. Have regular tea breaks and leave your desk for your full lunch break to encourage the body into a more relaxed state.

4. Move. Even stretching at your desk helps reduce muscular pain, tension and circulation problems.

5. Stay hydrated. Dehydration adds pressure and stress to the body’s systems.

Photo: Monkey Business Images/REX/Shutterstock (5103856a)

______________________________________________________

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

The Eternal Transition

In Career, Contributors, Family, Lifestyle, News, Quotes, Relationships on January 27, 2016 at 09:00

By JT Gautreau

“We are prisoners in the present, locked in eternal transition between our past and our future” – Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Before I introduce myself, I wanted to show you this quote by Dr. Neil Tyson (Astrophysicist) because it’s incredibly relevant to my life which I’ll talk to you more about soon, but it’s also relevant to your life, yes, you reading me right now, no longer in your 20s but not yet in your 40s.

My name is JT, I’m a 34 year old singer-songwriter from the sunny and beautiful Dominican Republic. I currently live in Vienna, Austria; where the never-ending supply of schnitzels, wursts and beer is a constant threat to my weight especially now that I’m in my 30’s. But I didn’t start off as a singer-songwriter even though I’ve been playing instruments since I was a child. Like many children from third world countries you must study business, law, medicine or engineering, otherwise you are boycotting your future, but we’ll get to that soon.

I had a wonderful childhood filled with love, attention, the occasional smack in the ass by my mother and lots of toys. I was raised as an only child, you see, (own horn tooting alert!), a normal, non-spoiled one, I’d like to believe. My mother is a surgeon, my father a Psychology major/Marketing master and both of them are also Politicians. I know I ask myself the same question, how did I end up as a singer, in Vienna? As a teenager, I was always playing music, writing lyrics, humming songs, drawing marker tattoos all over my body and vicariously living through my favourite band’s music videos, yet I never really thought about dedicating my life to music, not in the real world at least, even though in my imagination I was a rock star.

DSC_0217

After school I went to university and majored in Marketing, that was it, adulthood had begun and my dreams got locked in a closet somewhere near my guitar. I graduated with honors and flew to Spain to complete a Master’s degree in Advertising, my mom was proud. But while in Spain I started playing guitar again and recording some music and as simple as it became very clear to me what I wanted to do with my life. I called my mother and told her I was going to finish the master program, but I was going to play music and write songs for a living. As you might expect a huge argument followed, even breaking off communication for some days, but I was determined! (She later understood and has ever since been my number one supporter). I completed a master program in Audio Production and a Post-graduate degree in Audio Engineering in Barcelona.

I recorded my first album in 2012 titled ‘Hay Veces’, it was a compilation of songs in Spanish and it was a fantastic experience, seeing my work and concept materialise in the form of a CD was something else. In 2013 I married a beautiful Polish girl and we moved to Vienna because of a job opportunity and in 2014 I recorded my first album with all songs in English titled ‘Crossing’ and have been gigging all over the place since.

Crossing_internetuse-1

Now that I told you a bit about my story I’d like to talk to you about growth, the past, the present and the future. For a while I was hunted by regret, I regretted not devoting myself a hundred percent to music earlier on, I regretted the years I invested acquiring various degrees in business that I was not making any use of, I even regretted not putting my wishes and desires ahead of anything or anyone else. But as Dr. deGrasse said, in the transition between my past and my future, I’ve learned to let go of regret and realise that the only thing you can change is the present, and every day you should work towards the things that make you happy, even if you have to do some things that you don’t like, eventually as time moves on you’ll be left with the good memories and the joyous moments, plus I wouldn’t be where I am nor think the way I think if it wasn’t for everything that I did or did not do. I learned this a long time ago, but only in my 30s had I achieved enough maturity to understand it and embrace it.

Thank you for reading this piece and thank you to Laura for suggesting I write it and share it with all of you. If you’d like to listen to some of my music, visit my website www.jtgautreau.com and of course I’m on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram as well as in iTunesSpotify, Apple Music.

Cheers!

JT.

About JT:

JT Gautreau was born in the Caribbean city of Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic. Coming from a family of musicians and poets, took guitar at age 12 and singing at age 16 starting an obsession with music that lead him to interesting places all over the world including Barcelona, Spain where he got a degree in Music Production and Audio Engineering school in 2009. Back in Santo Domingo, he played in some of the most renowned stages and recorded his debut E.P., Hay Veces in 2012, an album with all songs in Spanish aimed to the Latin markets. In 2013, JT relocated back to Europe, this time to Vienna, Austria and recorded his debut E.P. in English titled Crossing, a compound of seven songs all written and recorded by JT. His songwriting ranges from acoustic soul to pop rock and RnB. With a unique performing style, he is a solo act who relies on an acoustic guitar and sometimes a loop pedal to entertain all types of audiences. There’s one word that describes JT’s live shows: ENTERTAINING. JT started a promotion tour from Crossing playing cities such as Warsaw, Krakow and Łódż in Poland, London in the U.K., and Vienna. More dates and cities are being constantly added to the growing promo tour for Crossing, so keep an eye out on the News section of his page www.jtgautreau.com.

_________________________________________________________________

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

It Will All Work Out

In Career, Contributors, Family, Finances, Lifestyle, News, Relationships on January 12, 2016 at 09:00

Marilu1

By Marilu Cristina Flores

In my twenties, I accomplished numerous things; I was married, moved away from my home permanently (or so I thought) and was pursuing the career I had always dreamed of. I gained recognition professionally, traveled to many places I had longed to visit and had a lovely home in Southern California.

Five years into my first marriage, we called it quits and just a short time later I found myself engaged to someone else, we married a year into dating.

As I approached my thirties, I found I was no longer in love with the career I thought I always wanted and it felt like the few choices I did make for me, were not heavily appreciated or accepted by my partner. I chose to go back to school and pursue Marine Science and took a position in Marine Conservation which paid me a third of what I had ever made, even as a young professional in High School!

While I was happy professionally, working outdoors in the sea and teaching children about the importance of conservation, I quickly found myself stuck in an unhappy marriage with a spouse who was less than there and in-laws that could fill the pages of horror novels.

When my ex-husband left me, just two weeks after my thirtieth birthday, I wasn’t devastated, but relieved to be free of his wandering ways and exhausting family. 

The day after he uttered the words “divorce,” I hopped on a plane and spent a month away visiting friends in Vermont and New York. When I returned to Miami, I packed up my things and relocated to Vermont. Just like that. It was the freest I had ever felt up until that point in my life, I had no plan, and minimal savings, but somehow, I truly knew it would all just work out. I’m sure to many it seemed odd, unexpected and completely out of left field! But somehow, I knew this is what I had to do.

Now if you know me, you know I am #TropicalLife for life so this was a huge change for me, before my life in Vermont I was convinced anything under 75 degrees was freezing and ungodly.

While I didn’t know it yet in Vermont I would experience the worst winter there since 1859, and I would find myself moving to an area completely new to me: Digital Marketing.

It was during my time at Keurig, that I really began to realize what a broad diversity of work experience I had and how I truly was capable of anything I wanted to accomplish.

I met someone, a man, through a friend and for the first time in my life I took my time; took my time to decide.

Not just on who I wanted to spend my time with, but to truly decide what I wanted to make of my time, my energy and of the things I was so extremely passionate about. 

In May of 2015, in the winter that felt like an eternity, I had a rather odd crazy dream about putting on an #EcoFashionShow and that next morning, I reached out to the people who were in my dream. Who crazily enough, had recently started a nonprofit and had been discussing a Fashion Show for months! But had no clue where to start and so began this new chapter in my life. 

I started organizing the show, making phone calls from Vermont and emailing people I had met throughout the years.

Everyone I reached out to said “YES! We’ll help you!”. They donated goods, time, the venue, everything! It was CRAZY!

Everything was happening just like in my dream; I decided to re-locate back to Miami in August of 2015, my new love in tow! And work continued on the fashion show, I also became involved in other projects, such as helping Surfrider a nonprofit I had been involved with in California and for a few years in Miami before I left to Vermont. Shortly after my return I was asked to become a Board Member – one of my lifelong dreams!

Finally, the day of the Fashion Show arrived and within an hour we were completely SOLD OUT! Raising well over our expectations and gaining interest for another show and other events.

From this began an overnight business, as people wanted to hire me for my newfound Digital Marketing and Social Media experience.

I turned thirty-one on August 23rd, and upon reflection on my birthday I realized how much more I knew now (cliché, I know) and despite what many would consider some epic failures (two divorces and a 15-year long career I left), I learned that without those marriages I would have never been able to appreciate the man I am now with, who was willing to leave all he knew behind and relocate to Miami with me because he believed in me and my dream, who wanted to see me grow professionally and personally and without my previous career I would have never learned what I now know which has helped me immensely as a Social Media Specialist. 

At thirty-one, I am living the life many strive for over a lifetime. I love what I do! I have accomplished work/life balance and every day is a new, welcomed challenge.

I have gained financial freedoms I never thought were possible for me and have learned to nurture a healthy, mature relationship with an age appropriate man who appreciates me as much as for my flaws as well as my accomplishments.

I can’t wait to see what this decade has in store, there will be ups and there will be downs I am sure, but the wisdom gained from my experiences in my early twenties will surely see me through them.

 

About Marilu:

Marine Conservationist, Media Producer, Surfrider, Social Media Specialist. Please visit www.marilucflores.com to know more about her.

_____________________________________________________

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

 

%d bloggers like this: