Inspiration & Expert Advice on What Matters Most

Posts Tagged ‘thirties’

Meet Ineabelle from Artsy Hive

In Career, Contributors, Entrepreneurs, Family, Lifestyle, Relationships, Spirituality on December 15, 2017 at 08:44

By Ineabelle Soto

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Back in Puerto Rico, I studied in a specialized, middle and high, school of arts. After graduating from college with a bachelor degree in advertising, I worked for 10 years in the advertising field and stopped when I gave birth to my daughter. But I felt the urge to go back to my creative side. I took a brief cake design course and started baking from home (@dulcelabakery). Even though it was something fun to do and business was good (and surprisingly growing), my husband and I felt that we needed to do something bigger than that.

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When looking for that “big thing to do”, my husband and I started developing what’s today Artsy Hive. With our background in the arts, we started exploring the possibility of opening a business related to that. That’s when we thought of an experience we had in a pottery painting place we went with our daughter and thought of the things we would do differently. Pottery painting is an old concept and we felt that the options out there stayed in that old fashion era. When deciding to go for this concept, we wanted people of all ages to get inspired from the moment they stepped in, we wanted clients to feel comfortable in a space that is not only for kids, but for the entire family and all ages. Therefore, while designing the environment, we went for a clean, modern yet cozy shop.

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We designed a place that we, as parents, wanted to come back not only with our family, but also with our adult friends.

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It took us a year and a half to open our doors. With many good and bad days, stress and huge decisions to make. My biggest satisfaction and the second best feeling I have every day (the first one is when my daughter is back from school) is to open Artsy Hive‘s door, turn on the lights and put the music on. I always take a moment to see what we’ve accomplished. The beauty of the space. I feel in love every single day I come in. If we worked so hard to open, we must work harder to keep it that way, one day at a time.

Artsy Hive has taught me that I am brave. It is not easy to step out of the comfort zone. To wake up every day worried about how this project will change our lives forever and yet keep going forward. I learned it is not a decision to be brave, I learned it’s in you. 

I am a woman, daughter, granddaughter, wife, mother, friend, entrepreneur, creator, immigrant, active community member, among many other dimensions. I decided not to wear different hats. I won’t stop being a mother to be a wife, I won’t stop being a friend to be a woman. The best way to go in life is to apply every single facet in your everyday. While working at Artsy Hive, and in life in general, you must have empathy. All those facets we have as women we have to use them all in the best way we can. If there is a mom struggling to control her toddler, I would never step back and watch. I will always offer my help and understanding. That’s how I manage my multiple facets, using empathy, being humble and just being human. That’s also how I make connections with our clients. It’s a win-win.

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Now that Artsy Hive is open, my hobby is to find things we can do with my daughter, spend our ‘free’ time with her. Although, I still have a passion to create things with my hands. When I am only me, Ineabelle, I’m at home and I lay down. I can’t nap, I don’t know why,  I like to just lay down. Netflix and chill, literally. I rest. As simple as that.

Many things have happened and are still happening during the journey of my 30s. I believe that it’s been a decade full of findings. My daughter was born when I was almost 30. Not only my purpose in life changed because of  her, but also my mind shifted.

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I now think that this is the real age to make bold decisions and still have the stamina, energy and passion to do it (contrary to when I was in college). I thought that having a baby would stop me from doing something that felt right to be done. Fear, doubts, concerns, you name it, I feel it all, but still manage to do everything with them. I did it with fear, I did it with doubts and concerns. This is my mindset. I believe that in your 30s, you are mature enough to visualize yourself in a position and manage to plan the best way to achieve it. Only maturity can make you do that. I call it “the planned risks”.

My tips for another thirty-something doing it all like me?

  1. Work for what’s right and for what feels right.
  2. Find your Passion. Everything you do, do it with Passion.
  3. I invite everyone to start a relationship with HIM. In my 30s, I received the call and decided to obey. That decision, changed my entire life for the best. I’m not a religious person, I just have a relationship with our creator.
  4. You are awesome, you are amazing, you are a super woman and you are not alone. I’m here.

Ineabelle

www.theartsyhive.com

211 NE 95th St. Miami Shores, FL 33138

305-456-1059

P.S.: Artsy Hive is the beautiful location for our Vision Board Workshop on January 6th, 2018. One week left to take advantage of Early Bird price! Register NOW here! Thanks for joining us and thanks Ineabelle for having us!

 

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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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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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Is Stress Stalking Your Life?

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

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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

a-little-more-kindness-a-little-less-judgement

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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