Inspiration & Expert Advice on What Matters Most

Posts Tagged ‘BEING 30’

How Have You Been?

In Blogging, Career, coaching, Contributors, Giving Back=Paying It Forward, Health, Lifestyle, News, Videos on September 28, 2017 at 08:50

Aloha!

How Have You Been?

How has 2017 treated you?

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What are your plans for the remainder of it?

How are you preparing to finish it with a bang / in a high note?

I hope you are well, that this post finds you in good health and spirit and that you are safe wherever you are considering everything that has happened around the world lately. Please consider volunteering and/or donating to the causes closest to your heart.

It’s been a while since my last post. I barely shared a few articles on our Facebook page. I have missed you, writing for you, connecting with you. 

Last year was life-changing: After four years living in Nicaragua, I moved back to the United States, to my beloved Miami (It’s been over a year already, and I still owe Lia Seirotti a post about that-coming soon, promised!).

The move happened fast. We became homeowners. I thank my husband for doing most of the research and paperwork. I limited myself to following the great tips in this article by my talented friend Zania and contacting another great friend Oscar Terán as a realtor. The rest was signing a mountain of documents and we are still choosing furniture!

Once again, I was ready to conquer Miami. To recover my space, my work, my friends, my life. Not that I had lost them, but I definitely needed to reconnect.

They were all priorities. Work took over though. I started getting hired for Public Relations and Entertainment Production projects, it felt like I had never left and it was a great reassuring feeling. Fun projects took me to some of my favorite destinations while pulling me away from blogging, writing and social media, as I always strive to respect the time of my clients and the privacy that they deserve.

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I also went back to school for my Professional Coaching Certification. I am still offering complimentary coaching calls, please don’t hesitate to contact me and take advantage of that.

While all this was happening, I was simultaneously “working” on my health. I had been dealing with a hormonal imbalance that not only affected me physically but also emotionally as it directly conflicted with the deepest desire of my heart. I turned 34 in the middle of unpromising fertility diagnosis and felt like there was nothing to celebrate. I was wrong. More on that soon. In the mean time, if you plan to have children, please ask your doctor if you can start taking folic acid daily. You and your future babies can thank me later.

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Family and work kept me busy and entertained with exciting and all-consuming endeavors, including touring with a rock band in South America and other trips to new places and revisiting old ones. I kept it all to myself, absorbed it, digested it and now I am ready to share it. Stay tuned for upcoming travel blog posts.

The election results also affected my blogging persona. I realized once again the power of media, considering that a product of it had become president, and I felt even more responsible for what I was creating and sharing. It paralyzed me for months. Still not over it, but I have decided to transform fear and empower myself through it instead. That’s another reason why I am back.

Four days after publishing our latest post, I received the miracle that I had been praying for. Long story perfect for a future post. Just know that “When Jesus says yes, nobody can say no”.

Earlier this year we also lost two of our beloved contributors: Alfonsina Ferreira and Godelena Segura. I deeply miss them, their smiles, their energy and their wisdom. I am grateful for their lives and souls and the valuable time that we spent together.  

Take this post as a relaunch of this blog. I am back and with so much to offer. I want to write posts that have a lot for you in them. I can’t promise frequency and regularity, just content that will make you content. In that order, I would love to hear your ideas. What would you like to read about? Please let me know as soon as you can.

Thanks in advance for sharing this post with your family, friends and colleagues!

Who misses you?

Laura

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Lessons on Hearing Deeply + Complimentary Coaching Call

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

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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,
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Laura
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Beauty Expert Guest: Autumn Whitefield-Madrano

In Beauty, Blogging, Contributors, Lifestyle, News, wellness on June 24, 2016 at 08:20

As told to Laura Sgroi 

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Autumn Whitefield-Madrano

My name is Autumn Whitefield-Madrano and I am a beauty blogger. I try to make it clear from the start that I am not a beauty blogger who writes about makeup tips—I am a beauty blogger who looks at why we are invested in beauty as women and the role that it plays in our lives. I started The-Beheld.com when I was 34, therefore I had some sense of what I wanted out of life in terms of who I was, and that enabled me to start this blog in the first place.

When I was a kid, my mother didn’t wear makeup at all—maybe mascara but nothing else. But whenever I would visit my grandmother I would sit at her makeup table and I would play for hours. I just loved trying on the different lipsticks and the different eye shadows, it was just this world of fantasy that I loved engaging in but I didn’t know how to do it because I didn’t learn firsthand from my mom. So when I started working in women’s magazines in my early twenties, even though I wasn’t in the beauty department, my heart was there—I always loved the beauty pages, and loved talking to beauty editors. Beauty is literally the face that we present to the world. I am more surprised when people are not interested in beauty. You are interested in beauty in some way even if you don’t ever wear makeup. It’s what you are showing the world, and that says so much about who we are. That is how I got attracted to the subject of beauty, and I’ve engaged with it as long as I can remember.

Most women become more comfortable with who they are as they get older and that shows in the way that they present themselves. The way they do their makeup or the way they don’t do makeup, the way that they style their hair or the clothes that they choose. When I was younger I was a lot more experimental. I wouldn’t even leave the house wearing wild eye shadow or other things, I was playing around. But there wasn’t the sense of joy about it, it was almost a searching of identity: Who am I? Am I someone who wears bright red lipstick? Am I someone who has short hair? Do I have long hair? Do I have highlights? I was trying to put my identity on who I was physically and we all do that. What happens as we get older is that we understand the variety of identities that any of us have, so instead of searching for “Oh! That’s our one identity!” you understand that sometimes you want to wear your natural curls flowing and other times you are going to want to have your hair sleek, and I am the same way. I go through phases when I want to wear my hair long, and luxurious and puffed out—and other times, like during the summer, I just twist it up with a pencil and that’s it. I understand that there are different faces that I am showing to the world. I’m not looking for my identity, I am presenting various sides of myself.

My approach became a little narrower in a certain sense now that I know what works for me, and that is something I didn’t know fifteen years ago. I didn’t understand what my features were, I didn’t understand what my strong points were, what you should be emphasizing and that is something that you just learn with time. Some ladies have a knack for it when they’re younger but I was certainly not one of those. I also have become more comfortable with what I do have to offer and learned to trust those things that are worth showing off and that was something I had to learn with time. I never thought like that when I was a teenager, I knew that I had nice big hazel eyes but I was afraid to show them off because I thought it might be seen like, “Oh, she thinks she’s all that” if I tried to emphasize them with eyeliner. As I get older I tell myself: Everyone has these things about themselves that they know are beautiful and they should show them. That is something I became more comfortable with as I got older.

I also spent so much time when I was a teenager thinking I had bad skin because of some pimples, I thought bad skin, bad skin…Yes, I had some pimples but I had elastic, smooth skin, except for those occasional pimples, and I wished I had been able to recognize that for myself as good skin instead of always saying “bad skin,” because it was just teenage girl skin—it was in general pretty nice.

Something that helped me in my early thirties was looking at some old pictures of myself and I saw how nice I looked. I was never one of those stunningly beautiful women, but I looked at pictures of myself in college and I saw that I just had this glow, I saw that my hair was shining and bouncy and healthy and I saw this vibrancy that I had. I also saw that I didn’t know how to dress myself and other things that were “wrong”, but I saw all these gifts that I had that I didn’t let myself believe when I was younger and it dawned on me: That means there are still things within myself that I don’t know, there’s still something lovely, there’s always going to be something lovely there even if I don’t recognize it; I have to trust that is there. I try to remember that when I have a day I don’t feel so great. I try to think that whatever I saw yesterday that I liked is still there, and in ten years I’m going to look back at a picture of myself now and wonder why I didn’t see some quality.

One of the biggest things that helped me make peace and make friends with my image was understanding that when I looked in the mirror, I wasn’t seeing what I looked like—I was seeing what I felt like. Once I understood that, I didn’t take the mirror as the final truth about how I looked. I still sometimes wake up and my skin is puffy or my hair just isn’t working, but as long as we are taking care of ourselves and getting enough rest, we look the same most of the time. The biggest problem I see with women in our age, who are a little more comfortable with ourselves than we might have been in our twenties, isn’t so much that they don’t like what they see or that they think they are hideous—it’s that their self-esteem fluctuates a lot. One day they might feel “Hello, I’m Miss Thing” and the next day they feel terrible. I would like to see more women be able to do instead is have trust in those days when you look at the mirror and you feel like you got it going on or you don’t even need to look at the mirror at all, you just have that feeling, have a certain faith that that is what you are showing the world. On those days that we see something we don’t like, more often than not, it’s about mood or something internal—it’s not about “Oh, my eyes looks smaller today than usual” because your eyes do not get smaller, I promise.

Some people think that if they are unhappy they need to mask it somehow and maybe put in a little more effort those days. I don’t think that is the best way that beauty can relate to happiness in our lives. First of all, there is no evidence that beautiful people are happier. There are also statistics about how the conventionally attractive ones earn more money—more so for men than for women, but that is another story. They might be seen as more competent or more likable but there is no evidence that they are happier. Science has shown that as we get older we do get happier, which is contrary to what some people think but when they look at their lives that is what they see. I’d like to see us applying the same thinking to beauty, recognizing that most people look how they feel on a day-to-day basis, and they do feel better at this age and possibly even more as they continue to age so they will also look better. I would like to see women trust their instincts more and draw on their real life experience instead of looking at what the media and advertising are telling you with all these messages about youth being something that we need to cling to. Our real lived experience shows the genuine connection between our own form of beauty and our own happiness as well.

Women learn to trust more what they have to offer just on a pure physical level—the more that they learn to highlight that, the better they feel. Maybe sometimes you do mask, because some days putting on lipstick transforms the way that you look at yourself and that can be an important tool towards shifting your mindset. I remember talking to an Iraqi war veteran not long ago, and she said that in the Army you learn how to apply camouflage makeup, and that after doing hers, making her face blend into the background, when she looked in the mirror she saw herself as a soldier. It changed the way that she view herself and she now applies that to the way she wears makeup in her daily life. When we put on our face, our “war paint”, it transforms the way that we see ourselves, and that could be something joyous there for women to draw on.

The concept of mature beauty in women around the world and from many different paths of life is interesting. For example, I haven’t interviewed women from France yet but from what I understand from just talking with French women and women from some other European countries is that the age range in which women in the media are considered beautiful is much larger. There is a scene in “Eat, Pray, Love”, Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, where she goes to Italy in her late thirties and she is surprised that men aren’t chasing her down the street like they did when she was 20. And another character says something like, “It’s not like France, where they dig the old babes.” You look at French movies and mature women play the leads and they are seen as beautiful and sensuous. That is happening more in America but we have a ways to go still. Other cultures have a stronger holistic view of beauty. Many Asian cultures revere the elderly—for them it is a given that you would take in your parents and/or your grandparents as they age, there is an understanding of the respect that accumulated years of life give you. We don’t understand that yet in our culture; we understand it intellectually but we don’t value aging that way; at least our generation doesn’t.

In the past twenty years there has been a change of our roles in our society, which is wonderful for women for the most part. Our grandmothers could only be housewives and mothers, maybe career women but they couldn’t have children, or they had to choose. Women from our generation have so many more options, which is wonderful, but that can also be overwhelming. In America, we are looking to beauty as “here’s a role that we can fill”—certainly it’s the role that women are told to fill. What I would like to see happen is, as America and the West in general become more comfortable with the variety of roles that women can play now, that we can opt-in and opt-out of, that beauty will become one of many roles we will begin to see in a more holistic sense. I’m not trying to say that Asian cultures are doing that already but there is more understanding that a 65-year-old woman has a lot to offer to the world and to the younger and maybe more active members of society, and I don’t think we get that fact yet. Once we get closer to that, it will help us understand a holistic concept of beauty.

We are the first generation that has had the opportunity to see women we considered starlets in our twenties, grow in to be who they are now. Julia Roberts, is still on magazine covers after her mid forties, Helen Hunt is in her fifties. Julianne Moore, who is a mature woman who is still seen beautiful, is 52, the same age that Rue McClanahan was when she was cast in the Golden Girls. When you think of that—McClanahan was a beautiful woman but she was seen as a senior citizen, she was an “old woman”, while Julianne Moore is a sex symbol! But there is a counterargument to be made: At what age can women stop trying to be seen as beautiful? That’s another discussion; as far as understanding that women over 25 are sexual creatures, that’s a positive move for us to be seeing, we’re lucky that we get to see that now in our lives.

There is no secret or magic bullet. If you eat healthfully, exercise, get enough sleep, drink a lot water, don’t smoke and don’t drink much alcohol, that will show up in the way that you look. You can dye your hair if it starts to go gray but there is no way to fake that natural glow that comes from taking care of yourself, and I certainly did not understand that in my twenties, not at all. I thought advice telling us to take care of ourselves was a trick to get us to do the healthy things—I felt fine no matter what I did in my twenties. Now, the difference is amazing—if I’m in a heavy work schedule and I can’t get to the gym for a few weeks, I can tell in my energy, I can tell in my face. It’s not that I look ugly is that I don’t have that natural glow that you get when you do everything you should be doing. Women in our age understand that a lot more.

There are certain things that you can do like using retinoid creams, which are the only thing that has been proved to work on fine lines and wrinkles. They’re a little expensive but they last for months and with that I’ve seen a difference in my skin. I can’t recommend them enough, they work wonderful. I wasn’t great at eating a lot of vegetables before—eating a salad takes a long time and I just don’t have the time to sit there and eat twelve ounces of greens, so almost every day I have a green smoothie and I get all my vegetables for the day. I get other vegetables throughout the day as well, but if I don’t have a chance, it falls under one smoothie. That’s my biggest trick: the green smoothie. As far as muscle loss, I’ve been going to the gym regularly for ten years, but I only started seriously strength training a few years ago and I feel amazing, I can tell the difference in my body. I don’t want to say I look younger because I don’t, but I look better than I did five years ago, even though I look five years older, so I can’t recommend strength training enough. I see a lot of women in the gym just spending all this time in the treadmill, running is good for you but only until certain point; if you want to keep your metabolism up you have to strength train and you will feel and see the difference in your body. It’s been a wonderful journey for me. I wish more women weren’t afraid to pick up heavy weights—you are not going to get big and bulky. I lift the heaviest weights I can and I got some muscle there but I’m not the Hulk or anything, so you are not going to get too big.

Understand what your features are. If you are insecure about that or you are not genuinely sure, there are makeup artists that can help you identify your best attributes, like “you have these amazing lips let’s play them up by doing this”. Most women in this age know what their gifts are, we all have times that we look in the mirror and we feel amazing. I see this more and more as we age, and I just want more women to be able to embrace what is striking, unusual, or just sexy about them. This sounds cliché but is true: Confidence is attractive, confidence is sexy, and there are no shortcuts to that. Those times that you just don’t feel it, meditation helps bringing up a sense of calm that accompanies confidence. I can’t say that it directly translates, that when I’m doing a good job at meditating every day, or as often as I can, I’m more beautiful—it doesn’t work like that. But we live incredibly stressful lives and stress does show up in our faces and our bodies, therefore doing whatever you can to find some center is very helpful. In my personal case, exercise, meditation, and recognizing my need for alone time are key. I am friendly but essentially I am very introverted and I know I need a lot of time to myself. I wish I recognized that when I was younger; I spent a lot of energy putting that outward. A lot of these things come naturally to women, as they get older.

No one is going to think that you are more beautiful than you at your best believe that you are, there is a truth to that. Of course everyone looks at us and sees something different and we have no way of controlling that, but as long as there is some part of you somewhere in there that believes that you have something special to offer, people will see and respond to that. You don’t always have to feel it, but learning how to access that can be a great gift.

I was at a baby shower a few years ago where I was one of the mother-to-be’s oldest friends, and she was the oldest of her friends. It was interesting to be there with a group of twenty-three year olds. We were talking about age and I mentioned my age—I was thirty-seven then— and these women turned around and said: “You’re thirty-seven? But you look so good!” And I was like: “Thank you!” But I don’t look any better or any younger than any of my friends who are in the same age group; we know that you have to take care of yourself. When you are young you have this notion of what being thirty-something or forty-something looks like and that’s an outdated idea. Those twenty-three-year-old will see in fifteen years, that being thirty-seven doesn’t mean that you are writing yourself off, it’s the beginning in a lot of ways.

I want those twenty-three -year-old women to be reading this. I want them to see what we have done with our lives and that there is so much to be looking forward to. That sentiment is out there and growing but you still hear women who think thirty is old…Oh Gosh, not thirty! When I was twenty-three, I couldn’t wait to be in my thirties, I was so excited to turn thirty, and whenever I hear women say the same, I smile and think: Right on!

About Autumn Whitefield-Madrano: 

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Author of Face Value: The Hidden Ways Beauty Shapes Women’s Lives (Simon & Schuster, 2016). Her writing has appeared in Marie Claire, Glamour, Salon, Jezebel, The Guardian, and more. She created The Beheld, a blog examining questions behind personal appearance. Her work on the ways beauty shapes women’s lives has been covered by The New York Times and the Today show. She lives in Astoria, Queens, and will tell you her beauty secrets if you tell her yours. 

Author’s Photo Credit: Siouxsie Suarez

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Enjoying the Ride

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

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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.

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How I Feel About Being in My Thirties

In Beauty, Blogging, Contributors, Family, Finances, Health, Lifestyle, News, Quotes, Relationships on January 20, 2016 at 09:00

By Sonia Young Yim

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Here are some of the things that get better with age: wine, cheese, art piece, and designer handbags.

How about biological age? – I guess you can argue both ways.

Here are some benefits:

You have higher self-respect.

You are wiser in life.

You have a greater sense of well-being (*cough* money *cough*).

Or, perhaps, you are naturally better at things with more experience (sex anyone?).

 

But there are also some drawbacks:

You have more wrinkles.

You don’t lose weight as easily.

You keep on forgetting (what was I saying?…).

Or, perhaps, suddenly reading small print becomes a challenge.

 

So, what does it mean to be in your thirties?

Here’s what I really think — It doesn’t matter.

But this is what aging taught me:

In anything, there’s always a good side and a not-so-good side.

You can’t ever bring back your past no matter how much you delve on it.

You can’t reverse anything that already happened to you.

And, most importantly, if you can’t be happy today, you certainly won’t be happy in the future.

 

“The only time you really live fully is from thirty to sixty. The young are slaves to dreams; the old servants of regrets. Only the middle-aged have all their five senses in the keeping of their wits.” – Hervey Allen

So, let’s celebrate our thirties to the maximum — Shall we?

 

About Sonia Young Yim:

A wanna-be writer who’s still finding her voice. A once disgruntled employee who’s all about non-conformity. And a minimalist gal who advocates a life of simplicity. Please visit her blog www.startsimplifying.com to know more about her. And it’s her birthday today! Show her some love!

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It Will All Work Out

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

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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.

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I Don’t Need New Year’s Resolutions. This Is Why.

In Lifestyle, News, Spirituality on January 4, 2016 at 11:44

This post is an adapted excerpt from our upcoming book, ‘Now That I Am in My Thirties’. I would appreciate your constructive feedback. Stay tuned for the launch!

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Years ago, I found myself writing my New Year’s Resolutions. I was twenty-seven, newlywed, trying to position a boutique communications agency. I felt it was the perfect time to put in order all the areas in my life. I wrote a long and explicit list. After reading it over and over for a full year, I realized I was not only planning for a year, I was planning for a decade therefore I didn’t write any resolutions for the following year, and decided to stick to my decade-long plan.

2012 was different, because I was turning thirty. Revising my previous resolutions with the intention of updating them, not to balance them out, I understood I had not only planned for one or two years or a decade, I had planned for a lifetime.

I did have a lot of goals, but surprisingly, they were not exceptionally ambitious, and they didn’t have a deadline. It was not a checklist or a bucket list. Fortunately, most of them were life changing, but within reach: Maintenance for my soul as they were all toward a simpler, better and happier life as a grown up woman.

Therefore, for my thirtieth birthday, the only amendment done was consolidating all my goals, into one: Endeavor myself fully and devote my life to what matters most to me now.

I knew I was not the only one looking at life differently during this time. Friends from all around the world were invited to share their own experiences getting closer to thirty and being 30+/up to thirty-nine. This blog was set up. Research had to be done. Expert Contributors were approached. I never imagined such positive and massive response. Yet a book was not on anybody’s list; it emerged as part of this inspiring collective breakthrough.

This is not a travel blog, but it is a real life road trip “story”. We write nonfiction, even though some of the topics and changes we experience in our thirties sounded like fiction for us not long ago. It’s not biographical even though many true-life stories are told here, including mine and yours. Now that I am a thirtysomething year old, my goal is for us to use this blog and upcoming book as a reference to understand and embrace better what we are going through. I hope you find it somehow informational but I am not trying to persuade you in any wayit’s not a procedure manualit’s just a pure narrative: Personal experiences running our life all the way to our thirties and beyond!

2016 is in our hands now.

Let’s make it the year that we BECOME our BEST selves.

I am in.

Hope you are too.

Who loves you tons?

Laura

P. S.: What about you? What are your New Year’s Resolutions? We’d love to know and support you all the way!

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2015 in Review

In Contributors, News on December 30, 2015 at 09:04

Here it is!

One of my favorite reports of the year!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for “Now That I Am in My Thirties”!

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,500 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Thanks for your readership and ongoing support!

Happy 2016!

Always yours,

Laura

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Am I Doing My Best? Or, at least, Am I Doing My Part?

In Career, Family, Lifestyle, News, Quotes, Relationships, Spirituality on November 16, 2015 at 09:00

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Now that I am in my thirties, I consider one of my personal quests to be slow to judge fellow human beings and their actions. As a result, I frequently abstain myself from giving an opinion, picking a side, incriminating, complaining and/or even celebrating some events, current topics or holidays.

These days, every time a situation or crisis arise and becomes a trending topic in media and offline conversations, I fight the temptation to express my first thoughts.  I do my best to inform myself first about the background of the story, wait until the individual or group in question claims responsibility and then, inspired by Pope Francis’ answer to a delicate question, ask myself:

Who Am I To Judge?

Am I doing my best?

…Or, at least, Am I doing my part to make it better?

As a daughter?

As a sister?

As a friend?

As a Dominican?

As a raised Catholic?

As a woman?

As a professional?

As a colleague?

As an aunt? As a niece? As a granddaughter? As a cousin? 

As an immigrant? As a Hispanic immigrant? 

As a wife?

As a daughter in law?

As an expat?

As a blogger?

As a stranger?

As a spiritual person? 

As a privileged human being?

As a citizen of this world?

Only when I am in peace with my own answers to those questions, I will allow myself to talk.

And the first thing I would like to say is:

How can I help?

Yours In Love & Service,

Laura

Image Credit: Jen B. Peters.

Thanks Jen for creating and authorizing the use of this beautiful image!

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Meet The Boss: Simone Sobers

In Career, Entrepreneurs, Health, Lifestyle, News, wellness on October 23, 2015 at 09:00

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Ladies: Have you ever met someone who inspires you to work out, get healthy, do business, help others, and be a better woman for yourself and the ones around you while you feel sexy and have fun in the process? This is how I feel about Simone “The Boss” Sobers.

I met Simone a year ago through my client and friend Sandra Acosta from PerForm Studio, a dance fitness space in my beloved Miami, FL. You know you are doing things right when your clients refer you to new clients, and in this case, when God puts you in touch with determined women with clear goals like these two.

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Simone “The Boss” Sobers, 31, is the creator of The Boss Chick Dance Workout, a 60-minute high intensity hip hop, dance hall, and afrobeats fusion twerkout for women only that consists of:

  • 40-minute Dance Cardio Set
  • 5-minute H.I.I.T (High Intensity Interval Abs and Strength Training)
  • 10-minute Choreography
  • 5-minute Cool Down

While other workouts focus only on one rhythm, The Boss Chick Dance Workout features dance combinations set to the music and styles of three of them along with an abs series and stretch series! In addition to having a great time dancing the hour away, you sculpt your abs, arms, legs, and buttocks while you burn up to 1000+ calories!

Given the high rates of obesity and heart disease among women Simone inspires women to get healthy. There are not many Black women on the forefront or the face of health & fitness and Simone “The Boss” Sobers is changing that with The Boss Chick Dance Workout™!

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“The Boss” takes the first step and makes the first move towards her dreams, that is why she is destined to success. She knows no barriers, as she speaks the universal language of music and dance. Since its inception in July 2013, The Boss Chick Dance Workout™  has reached thousands of ladies worldwide through Masterclasses in Miami, Atlanta, New York City, Philadelphia, London, Madrid, Bogotá, and Brussels. Regular classes are currently held in Miami, New York City, Houston, San Antonio, Morris Plains, Atlanta, Gainesville, Philadelphia, and London.

A native of London, raised in beautiful South Florida, Simone started her classical dance training 24 years ago and since then she has studied a wide variety of styles at notable institutions around the world such as New York University, Alvin Ailey School, and Netherlands Dance Theatre. A dance teacher of 15 years, always striving to excel in her already successful career, she received a M.F.A. in Dance from New York University Tisch School of Arts in 2010. In 2011, she instructed at Debbie Allen’s Dance Academy in Los Angeles. After growing interest and a booming fan base with her fitness vlog, The New Sexy, she also became a certified personal trainer by the American Council on Exercise® (ACE). In 2012, Simone was invited to train and work with Madonna and her team of dance and fitness professionals at Hard Candy Fitness. This was Sobers’ first taste of dance fitness and it was instrumental in her development as a Dance Fitness instructor: She got inspired to start up her own dance fitness program. The Hard Candy Fitness experience paired with her passion for dance, her love for personal training and the H.I.I.T. format plus her strong interest in women’s issues became the key ingredients for an exciting fusion: The Boss Chick Dance Workout™.

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Being a dance freak myself, I am the kind of woman who always felt like being a backup dancer, but with The Boss Chick Dance Workout™ I feel like the lead performer, like a star! But, don’t take my word for it, please check out these features: Shape Magazine, Channel 7 News: Style FileRacked MiamiGypsy Jaunt, and Your Fashion Highness.

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Are you ready to join Simone “The Boss” Sobers and lead an all-female takeover in your city?

The Boss Chick Dance Workout™ is one of the first women only internationally certified dance workouts by American Council on Exercise® (ACE). Simone “The Boss” Sobers auditions all teachers through a very selective process and trains them to learn 60+ routines of choreography. Sobers also empowers The Boss Chick Dance Workout™ instructors with the tools and knowledge to make an impact in every class using their role to be leaders and world changers. Now you can get certified to become a Boss Chick Dance Workout™ Head instructor in your city. During the 8 hour practical Instructor Training you will learn the BCDW concept and methodology, routines, and key moves from 4 street dance styles: hip-hop, dance hall, afrobeats, and twerk techniques. You will receive all the resources and tools necessary to teach a successful Boss Chick Dance Workout™ class.

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“I wanted to create a workout around something that we identify with: hip-hop and pop culture. All of the hip-hop and pop divas possess a strong feminine identity and nature present in their performances. Everything about them screams FEMALE Power. They are major influences that help sculpt our routines for The Boss Chick Dance Workout. I love meeting new women all over the world who fall in love with it. Regardless of race, language, or color they share the sentiment of feeling empowered and sexy after a BCDW experience. You can feel liberated and burn calories while you’re at it. I wanted to create something unique that would inspire women to own their sexy and take charge of their health in a new way.” said Simone Sobers. 

Congratulations Simone! You got it, “Boss”!

Slide11Credits: Matt Pendleton/Photos & Jesus Martinez/Graphic Design

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