Inspiration & Expert Advice on What Matters Most

Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category

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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National Infertility Awareness Week: A Message of Hope

In Family, Giving Back=Paying It Forward, Health, Lifestyle, motherhood, News, Relationships, wellness on April 25, 2019 at 11:05

By Laura Sgroi

When I was 32, my already short cycle became even shorter out of nowhere. I had always experienced 21-day cycles with heavy bleeding at the beginning. I got my period at age nine, when a visit to the endocrinologist confirmed that my body was about three years ahead of my actual age. The solution back then? Medroxyprogesterone to help balance out the estrogen. But now I was bleeding just two weeks after my last period. I’d never experience a cycle this short. What was going on?

Dr. E, my gynecologist, did an ultrasound to determine if I had PCOS[1]. After finding nothing, she sent me home with a million-times-photocopied chart to track my cycle. That didn’t help. A few months later, I went to my trustworthy and dedicated endocrinologist, Dr. B, and after telling her the story, she couldn’t believe my gyn had not ordered lab tests to check my hormone levels. I couldn’t believe that either. Dr. B ordered new lab work, which showed that the abnormal bleeding was caused by low progesterone and high estrogen, a condition called estrogen dominance. She told me it was “easy to fix” with synthetic hormone pills, the same pills prescribed decades earlier by my doctor in Santo Domingo.

Thanks. But no, thanks.

It kept happening every other month–I thought maybe one ovary was having the problem. It had been a year of suffering with this hormonal balance.

I spent a year with those first two doctors and my own research, before finally deciding to take a more natural approach. A Naturopathic way to be clear, with an integrative gynecologist who prescribed bio-identical hormones and advertised in “Natural Awakenings,” the free magazine at the entrance to Whole Foods, which I’m not proud to say I pretty much blindly trust. I knew this approach would take longer, and I didn’t know if it would work, but somewhere inside me I felt that it was the right choice and that I had time. I was not necessarily trying to get pregnant anytime soon.

I went to pick up my medical records at Dr. E’s office, my old gyn. The girl behind the front desk window knew I was about to change doctors.

“Where are you going?” she whispered.

“I’m going to Dr. M.,” I told her, “because they use bio-identical hormones and I want to fix my hormones so I can start trying to have a baby.”

“She won’t be able to help you, even if they treat you with bio-identical hormones. Go to this place,” she said, handing me a business card from a center for fertility and genetics.

I thanked her, hugged her, and walked to my car in tears. As soon as I had the breath to speak, I called and booked the soonest appointment available. Their lead doctor didn’t have any openings for weeks, but they offered me their female doctor, Dr. K.

The Coral Gables office was upscale and modern–white, silver, accented with orchids. Dr.K was beautiful and extremely sweet. She asked me about my background, my marriage, my career, my blog, my health history, and did an ultrasound before ordering dozens of tests. “Everything looks good,” she said in her thick Turkish accent, rubbing the ultrasound wand over my pelvis with the help of cold gel. “Except that for your age, I don’t see enough eggs.”

That didn’t worry me much at the moment. I went for all the tests and came back to see her again. My Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) was 0.03 (a normal reading for a woman ten years older than me) and my Follicle-Stimulating hormone (FSH) was 31 (Panic high is 21). Dr. K’s suspicions were right: I had diminished ovarian reserve. Ultra low progesterone and high estrogen were another issue, just as the first labs results showed. My adrenals were not functioning well either. My husband Claudio had also been tested and his results showed low sperm morphology as a large percentage of men in their thirties. Luckily for them, men renew their sperm every ninety days, therefore with some lifestyle adjustments (multi-vitamin, smoking/drinking less, they can  improve their fertility.

I broke into tears. All the reasons why I had delayed pregnancy started rushing through my head: uncertainty and lack of stability in my marriage, the cost of health insurance, working like crazy to save up enough money, stepping on a tack the night before leaving Nicaragua, Zika (trying to conceive in the times of Zika sounds like the title of a Gabriel García Márquez novel). Sobbing, I wondered if I would ever be able to get pregnant.

Dr. K handed me a box of Kleenex. “I will hold your hand until you get pregnant,” she said. It was as if she’d heard the question in my mind. She wrote on her small yellow pad, explaining the different options available: First, two months of timed intercourse. If that didn’t work, we should try IUI, and our last option would be egg donors. IVF wouldn’t be a successful option for me.

She asked the nurse to lead me to a private room where I could cry alone until I felt better. She ordered some tests for my husband, Claudio, and then said, “You should be writing about this.”

I went home devastated. Once again, I had to take charge of my health, my healing and ultimately, my fertility. I knew every month was an opportunity and I only needed one egg. I started Googling everything I could do to fight those results. I found invaluable tips and resources specific to my situation: probiotics, acupuncture, yoga, massage therapy, supplements, all kinds of foods and seeding for fertility. A dear friend recommended health coach Beth Hill. I contacted her and we agreed to trade coaching practice hours as we were both finishing our coaching programs. Beth took the time to go over my case, and gave me helpful advice ranging from nutrition tips to relaxation techniques. She inspired me to try new foods and helped me become more mindful about grocery shopping, meal planning, and time management. Her flexibility and understanding made our sessions possible, despite the challenges of my ever-changing schedule. Our work continued during a five-country tour with a rock band in South America when I was sleep deprived, out of my routine, and attempting to adapt my fertility diet to what I could find at Latin American markets and restaurants. I always carried a suitcase full of supplements.

The most amazing thing happened. Four months after we started our program, with the aid of timed-intercourse, faith and divine mercy, I was able to conceive naturally. As my prenatal yoga teacher would say: “My baby and I are happy, healthy and whole.” I even got the bonus of an extremely “fast and easy” childbirth. Thank God.

Photo by: Isis Santana Photography

With the thorough diagnosis of Dr. K, the help and guidance of my health and wellness coach Beth, and a positive mindset, I embarked on a mindful journey to health–and received the gift of a lifetime. As a message of hope, no matter where you are in your health or fertility journey, please know that anything is possible. My baby and I are living proof.


[1] Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Note: This post is an adapted excerpt from our upcoming book, ‘In Our Thirties’. I would appreciate your constructive feedback. Stay tuned for the launch!

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What Could You Buy Today that Will Make Your 2019 Better?

In Career, coaching, En Español, Entrepreneurs, Family, Finances, Health, Lifestyle, motherhood, News, Relationships, Spirituality, travel, wellness on November 23, 2018 at 15:49

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What could you buy today that will make your 2019 better for you and the ones around you?

A Vision Board Party/Workshop reservation!

Our first Black Friday Weekend Sale ever starts now!

20% OFF when you book your private Vision Board Party/Workshop by November 26th!

You choose the date and location in Miami, FL!

Tag your friends and DM for details!

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¿Qué podrías comprar hoy que hará tu 2019 un año mejor para ti y las personas a tu alrededor?

¡Una reservación para una Fiesta/Taller de Murales de Visión!

¡Nuestra primera venta de Viernes Negro comienza ahora!

¡20% de descuento cuando reservas tu Fiesta o Taller privado para elaborar tu Mural de Visión para el 2019 antes del lunes 26 de noviembre! Tú eliges la fecha y el lugar en Miami, FL;)

¡Etiqueta a los amigos que quieres que te acompañen y envíame un mensaje privado con tu reservación! ¡Te espero!

Tu coach,

Laura

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It Takes a Village

In Career, coaching, Entrepreneurs, Family, Lifestyle, motherhood, Relationships on September 10, 2018 at 15:43

By Laura Sgroi

I have always loved being around of people. I enjoy chosen solitude and the silence and focus resulting from isolation, but I thrive in company.

In my thirties, I have confirmed that once again. From the support received on this blog/book project since day one to my most recent endeavors, the people around me have been vital in each case.

One of the best examples is going back to work now that I am a mom.

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Any mom will tell you that your career takes on all kinds of new challenges once you’re balancing it with raising a child.

After having my first baby, I gave myself an average time for maternity leave (USA, we need to work on that asap) and pursued the opportunity to get back to work. I started pushing 4-month old Luca in a stroller to meetings, group coaching and events locally and away from home, even abroad. My sister Amy has held him while I have gotten my hair and nails done by the Nica ladies at the Spa in Miami Shores for my first Vision Board Workshop as a coach.

While I am building my public speaking and coaching career, my days in entertainment aren’t completely over (when work calls, I answer)–but they are different. I have been self-employed working as a TV & Events production management freelancer for sixteen years.

The first production gig was an eye-opening experience. I chose an “easy” show. Pre-production from home, pushed the stroller to an information talk during a volunteer recruiting event at a college close to home and then prepared to leave my baby (3 days shy of turning 4 months) with my sister, whose wonderful boss gave her a day off so she could take care of him.

I left breast milk, three different brands of milk formulas, multiple bottles and nipples, clothes, diapers, wipes, toys, and instructions including local police contact info. As I drove to the venue, I was surprised to feel so at peace leaving my child for the first time. I knew he was in great hands.

I arrived a few minutes late (working on that, can’t even blame the child) and started rolling. Only a couple hours had passed when I got a text from my sister. She asked me to come back home and pick them up because my son didn’t want to take the bottle. I told the closest members of the team that I had to step out, took one hour to drive back home, fed him, and then drove them back with me for another hour (luckily Miami’s lovely traffic had not officially started at that time, but the event was on the opposite side of the city).

That was only the beginning of three long days of work with my child onsite. My sister stayed in a dressing room with no windows or electronics for two, 10+ hours days, babysitting her nephew so I could make some money. My husband came on the third day and did the same.

prod baby

So many things are still going through my head about that experience: For brief moments, I felt like an actress with my family entourage on set, breastfeeding during taping breaks. I felt grateful to have the support and flexibility of my blood and work families to do that. I felt sad and frustrated for the millions of women who don’t have access to childcare (or elderly care), which takes away their financial freedom and keeps them out of the workforce and even society. We need to be intentional and active about this.

“It takes a village to raise a child”. Yes, it does. It takes a family, a community, and a village. And I am beyond blessed to have it all while I keep working to find and nurture you, my tribe.

Thank You All.

Grateful,

Laura

Note: This post is an adapted excerpt from our upcoming book, ‘In Our Thirties’. I would appreciate your constructive feedback. Stay tuned for the launch!

Photo credits:

1st photo by: Isis Santana Photography

2nd photo by a dear production colleague

Now That I Am a Mom

In Family, Lifestyle, motherhood, News, Relationships on May 13, 2018 at 10:19

You gave a full agenda, playlist and decor to our house with your name

Changed the kind and content of the bottles on our counter space

My best ideas come to me in front of your changing table instead of my writing desk

I nurse while listening to audiobooks knowing at heart that you will inspire me and teach me more than them

I am still the same

I just love you, son

Now that you have lost your hair and grown it again

Your eyebrows and eyelashes have become thicker while my love for you grows fonder

Your round eyes look at me saying: “I count on you”

Yes, you can my dear

I am still the same

I just love you, son

You are the greatest gift

That arrived just in time

You are such a great addition to our lives

We share a birth date and a birth time,

and with the help of God, we will share the ride of a lifetime.

They cut the plastic bracelets in our wrists, removed your LoJack, and it felt like opening a gift,

taking the plastic off the seats of a new car, no road map or manual though.

I can’t still differentiate between a burp cloth and a wash cloth.

I wear a Boppy pillow like a lifesaver because it is, just like that NoseFrida has become a source of bliss

You have filled our hearts, our home and our cellphones with your smile and that look in your eyes.

Oh, those eyes!

I am still the same

I just love you, son

As Grandpa said:

The desire to be your mother became a painting brush, and here you are, my masterpiece.

I love you, son.

Blessed to be a Mom by the mercy of God,

Laura

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Vision Board Workshops to Thank A Teacher

In Career, coaching, En Español, Entrepreneurs, Giving Back=Paying It Forward, Lifestyle, News, Relationships on May 7, 2018 at 16:39

 

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Inspired by Teacher Appreciation Week and feeling proud and grateful to be the daughter, friend, and student of impactful teachers, I am thrilled to offer Vision Board Workshops for Teachers, Schools Teams, and students for the school year 2018-2019! If you know of any school teams that would benefit from this goal-setting activity please contact me.

Thanks in advance!

Laura

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Ode to a Friend

In Family, Health, Lifestyle, News, Relationships, Spirituality, travel, Videos on April 7, 2018 at 20:41

“To love is to admire with the heart; to admire is to love with the mind.”

– Theophile Gautier

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A month ago, I lost my dear friend Leana. One of the most caring and smartest beings that I have ever had the honor to be friends and work with. I used to call her my consultant, she was my hotel roommate, my travel pal, my partner in crime, my neighbor, my favorite Nica, my light warrior, and much more. She made me her sidekick in endless adventures, and I will be forever grateful for that and for everything I  enjoyed and learned from her.

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Leanita became my family and made me part of hers. She opened her house to us the same way she opened her heart, with no reservations. We enjoyed our friendship to the max, since day one. She was an amazing, fun, thoughtful friend.

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As my other dear friends Melissa and Ana said: “She was loved, valued, and respected”. An inspiration to everybody around her. She taught me valuable lessons of love and integrity until the end: Loving her was respecting her. She knew that I felt both for her. Quoting Theophile Gautier above: I loved her with all my mind and admired her with all my heart. She knew that, and so did our families, friends, colleagues and clients.

She will always live in me. Her smile, her laugh, her professionalism, her passion for the entertainment industry, her respect for the craft, her style, her wit and wisdom. She will live attached to my heart like the beautiful orchids she gave me once for my birthday, now blooming in my patio attached to the mango tree.

I will always love you my friend. Thanks for sharing it all.

Tu Laurita

P. S. : This song is for you:

Know you are loved

Rest in peace

Dream your sweet dreams

“Til your soul is released

Beloved Child

My heart is yours

Beloved Child

Go out and open doors

With your love

With your faith

With your compassion

With your grace

Oh, with your grace

Beloved Child

Go out, spread light to the world

Be strong,

be kind,

be brave

 

 

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New Event in Miami: The Art of Being a Woman

In Beauty, Blogging, Career, coaching, Entrepreneurs, Family, Fashion=Moda, Finances, Giving Back=Paying It Forward, Great Articles Found Doing Research, Health, Lifestyle, News, Quotes, Relationships, Spirituality, travel, Uncategorized, wellness on February 19, 2018 at 15:42

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Please visit https://www.theartsyhive.com/workshops-events  and register now!
See you there!
Thanks for the support!

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