How I turned to Puerto Rican comfort food and decided to showcase 30 Powerful Latina Trailblazers #hispanicheritagemonth

 

At the beginning of the pandemic and quarantine, I turned to some of my favorite comfort foods to relieve stress. The Puerto Rican dishes that I love and grew up eating. My first dish on Mar 28th was my Abuela’s Puerto Rican-style bacalao con verduras (cod-fish with starchy root vegetables). Such a simple dish, yet it’s one of my favorites. It takes me back to my childhood when I was growing up in Puerto Rico and would visit my Abuela and family. It’s funny how, in times of stress, we turn to what comforts us. In my case, I find comfort in a delicious meal, and during COVID-19, I found myself going back to my roots.

Soon after, in early April, I learned that my Abuelo tested positive for COVID-19. During that time, I caught myself thinking about my family and my childhood. Although I was born in Miami, and my parents moved to Connecticut in their teens, our Puerto Rican roots were deep. We moved back to the Island when I was a baby, and for the first seven years of my life, I grew up between la playa in Dorado and el campo in Comerio. I probably fit most stereotypes of a Puerto Rican woman. I am bilingual, friendly, hospitable, and very expressive. I am catholic, family means the world to me, I love my Puerto Rican dishes, a good party, and can dance salsa with the best of them. I have always been incredibly proud of my heritage and loved everything about it. But as an adult, I realize that I have not celebrated my heritage or female empowerment.

Thinking back to my adulthood, I have never put myself in a box. I do not recall ever thinking that I was held back because I was Latina or a woman. When I was looking to re-brand my company Be Productive Coaching, I started taking some personal branding classes to get to know myself. These classes led me to reflect on my career and who I am as a person. Although incredibly proud of my heritage, I recognized that I did things to avoid being stereotyped as a “typical” Puerto Rican woman.

Starting my career at 15, I rose quickly, becoming a supervisor by 18 and a Director of Sales and Marketing soon after. I remember dressing conservatively for a long time, not wearing tight clothes, plunging necklines, flashy jewelry, and nail polish. As a woman, I did not want people to think that I was getting my promotions by using my sexuality as a young woman.

I alienated myself subconsciously from my Latin culture, female empowerment, and my own persona, not wanting to categorize myself. I also distanced myself from female friendships because having experienced the competition that often comes from girls while growing up, I frequently felt a cattiness or judgment by women in the workplace. 

This started to change in 2006 when I moved to the neighborhood where I live today. After meeting a group of women with careers & lives filled with experience and success, I felt welcomed into their group. For the first time, I belonged to an all-women group and loved it. As the years went by, I started to form stronger friendships with women. As an entrepreneur in 2013, in the words of Helen Keller, I realized that “Alone we could do so little; together, we can do so much.” I was going through a career change & divorce, and for the first time in my life, I turned to other women for support and guidance. These friendships and being an entrepreneur have taught me a lot, and most importantly, it has taught me that we need to support each other.

This year, I am proud to be celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. I am taking this opportunity to celebrate not only our heritage but also our women. I am doing this because I have learned through my journey that supporting small businesses, entrepreneurs, and women are essential for our communities’ betterment. We should endorse and lift each other as much as possible. That’s why I am excited to highlight these 30 amazing Latinas. 

The inspiration for this project came from a movement that Lilliana Vazquez, Emmy Winning Host, TV Personality, Style Expert & Author and Erika Hernandez, Co-Founder & President of Latina Made Not Maid brought to their Instagram communities. On Aug 31st, Lilliana went to her Instagram to discuss “Why the September cover of Cosmopolitan Mexico is so problematic!” and Erika participated in this conversation. Erika also started a trend where she posted her very own CosmoMX cover and invited her community to do the same, so I joined! #letsgetlatinxloud 

 

 

Be Productive’s #hispanicheritagemonth “30 Powerful Latina Trailblazers” came shortly after I posted my CosmopolitanMX cover. I decided to do my part to empower the powerful Latinas in my life and celebrate our heritage at the same time. In a very Be Productive way, I got to work!

I have chosen these 30 Powerful Latina Trailblazers carefully as they are experts in their related fields. As a Career Strategist and Coach, my mission is to help people utilize their natural talents to do exciting and fulfilling work. The Latinas that I introduced to you this week are all passionate and doing work that they love.

I want everyone to share these stories of inspiration to anyone that would benefit from hearing them. Sharing these stories will inspire and motivate men and women alike to support one another, follow their dreams, and do what they love.

For me, when COVID struck in March, I was uncertain about the future, just like everyone else. After a week or so, I said, “Wow, I finally have time to catch up on unfinished projects.” I launched my re-brand and a new website on Apr 15th. After speaking with my Hubby, I decided to take some risks and hired social media and sales coordinators. Most importantly, I did not focus on how BAD things were. Instead, I thought to myself, “The Future Is Bright!”

Each of the women was asked to tell us how they have stayed productive, positive and maintained their life balance in 2020. They’ve shared some great quotes and life lessons. If you missed my earlier posts, visit my Be Productive Coaching Blog at https://beproductivecoaching.com/blog-2 to read the full responses about their incredible 2020 journey.

Let’s take one last look at these amazing women.

 

#latinxheritagemonth #latinatrailblazers #femaleleaders #juntassomosmasfuertes #letsgetlatinxloudion

 

Meet the Final 10 of 30 Powerful Latina Trailblazers

OMG, we cannot believe that we are finally introducing you to our last 10 Powerful Latina Trailblazers. 💃

The response via IG, LinkedIn, and FB has been superb. We are so happy to see that many have joined us in celebrating #hispanicheritagemonth and #femaleempowerment by sharing the posts, commenting, and liking them. Thank you!

When we lift each other, we grow! You can continue to join us in supporting small businesses, entrepreneurs, and women by following on IG @beproductivecoaching and on FB @beproductivecoaching and reposting the project with your community in your stories or feed.

This week we have seen women in the arts, entertainment, corporate world, founders and entrepreneurs, creatives, and activists, and today you’ll meet women in legal, healthcare, public accounting, education, and public service.💪

These Powerful Latina Trailblazers are all experts in their related fields. As a Career Strategist and Coach, my mission is to help people utilize their natural talents to do exciting and fulfilling work. These women have all accomplished this and more.🙌

I hope that this project has inspired and motivated you to support the people you know, follow YOUR dreams, and do what YOU love.

Each of the women was asked to tell us how they have stayed productive, positive, and maintained their life balance in 2020. They’ve shared some great quotes and life lessons that we know you will enjoy.

You can read the full responses from these powerful Latinas below.⬇️

Missed the first 20? No worries…just jump on over to the blog post from Tue & Wed below.⬇️

Stay tuned as we wrap up tomorrow, Friday. I’ll be sharing a bit of my personal 2020 journey with you and the inspiration behind this project.

Together we rise!🙌

#latinxheritagemonth #latinatrailblazers #femaleleaders #juntassomosmasfuertes #letsgetlatinxloudion

 

I’ve been able to maintain balance in my life by staying active and participating in my online church. I never stopped working during the pandemic if anything I worked a lot more. So doing things that made me happy and having faith to keep me grounded helped me get through all the stress that came with working in healthcare this year. Follow on IG:@crysmarie._

 

2020 started with a roar; it was going to be the best year ever.  But when things changed almost overnight, the hardest thing for me (as a Type A personality) was not being able to plan for the future. So I realized quickly that I could only work on things that I could control and trust that everything else would/will work out. Plus, I realized that I had to be more flexible and open to doing things differently, along with being more compassionate/forgiving with myself and others while we all learn to navigate this new normal.  From zoom meeting faux pas to dogs jumping on your lap during a client meeting, all we can do is smile and keep moving forward. Visit her website at www.ser-associates.com Follow on IG: @ser_associates

 

At the beginning of the pandemic, I was overwhelmed not only by the personal factors of risk but also by the many changes that were coming my way as a CPA. There were many regulations changes with the Cares Act, every business needed our assistance as their CPA, if they were going to survive, they needed guidance in how to complete the PPP and SBA loans, which instructions were changing every day. For 2 days, I was speechless and powerless, but I had to get myself up and start learning and start zooming. This was the time for me to help every client, and to make sure that they would not only survive but also be on their way to striving again as a business owner. Every business and every person, are part of a big chain and if one of us does not survive the rest will also break from the chain. Visit her website www.mariafdiazcpa.com Follow on IG @mariafdiazcpa

I feel lucky to have been able to continue doing what I love to do during this time. My office never closed during the crisis, because as a health care provider we needed to continue providing our services to our patients. If we close as a health care provider where will patients turn to to get better? What we did for the community was to open the platform of our care to include zoom classes, get together, and meditations. This was it also opened the avenue to those people that lived far from us but we’re still in need of receiving those services for their overall wellbeing and mental sanity. We wanted to do a community give-back program, where we offered our healing circle and meditation classes for free. Stepping in to help the best we could our community and those in need during this turbulent time. By incorporating exercises, meditation, and healing into my day-to-day as well as offering that to those in need I’ve been able to stay healthy and balanced and productive during this time. Visit her website www.minsuhealingoasis.com Follow on IG:@mdhealer

 

I do daily devotions and a gratitude journal, all of this allows me to be positive and productive. I start my days doing my daily 2-mile walk; listening to the Divine of Mercy Chaplet as I walk and then Christian music; I do my daily devotions and my gratitude journal, all of this allows me to be positive and productive during my day, on the days that something interrupts that routine I can feel unbalance and not as productive.  This 2020 pandemic has allowed me to really reflect on the blessings in my life, even though I have challenges, but I am grateful for the challenges. I remind myself that with God All Things Are Possible. Connect on LinkedIn:@linkedin.com/in/marina-g-wood-0199443/

 

2020 has really thrown a curveball in everyone’s life but sometimes the show must go on… “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity” right?!? I never had a quarantine period so I just kept trying to do my best to keep my normal routine up!!! I also basically upped my meditation and prayer game and now I include saying a few things I’m grateful for every morning before I get up!!! I also found reaching out to others, whether it be coworkers and or friends via video apps ( thank goodness for a house party) was helpful to see that I wasn’t the only one having a hard time emotionally, socially, or physically!!! Family and friends listening and taking care of me virtually have really gotten me through!!! Follow on IG @joannemarie17

 

Staying productive in 2020 hasn’t been difficult at all. I have a toddler who needs a lot of attention and I have stayed busy teaching him, playing with him, and making sure that all his needs are met. When he naps, I have been productive by staying busy at home cleaning, cooking, starting new home projects, entering a new side business, and exercising. I usually travel for the summer since I am a teacher and I am off, but the Coronavirus has kept me home and I have made it a priority to make sure I stay productive. I have stayed positive by counting my blessings and praying for my family. These are trying times we are going through but I have learned, and I am a believer that we should not stress the things we have no control over. Having the opportunity to spend all this time with my son has kept me positive! I have maintained my life balance by continuing to exercise, staying in contact with family and friends, either by phone calls, drive by’s or zoom calls, and continuing my self-care practices of doing my nails and eyebrows. =) We cannot forget through the struggle, to continue doing things that make us happy! Follow on IG @its_me_yamaris

Note from Vimari: You may or may have noticed the similarities in our names. Yamaris is my younger sister of which I am extremely proud of. Something additional that I’d like to share is that Yamaris #eslaprimera in the family to graduate from college and get her Master’s degree in Education. She makes everyone in the family proud. 👏💪

 

IM Kahlo boosts confidence, self-expression, and behaviors that build the courage to overcome life challenges and limitations.

The name is inspired by Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, whose life became a testament to the notion that we can transcend external limitations to define a new scope of possibilities.  Her tenacity also inspires us to express what we feel, fear, and want, hence I am Kahlo.

The initial purpose was to help women ages 13 and up endure the not-widely-known side effects caused by cancer treatment that leave a negative mark on a patient’s state of mind, like the loss of eyebrows and lashes, and the potential damage of skin and teeth. Working with these patients, and as a patient myself, I identified another need: We need to learn how to celebrate life by talking about death. As a life transitions coach & end-of-life doula, I advocate for patient rights and work with people, not only cancer patients, in getting comfortable talking about death and sharing their end of life wishes with their loved ones. Legacy projects and advanced directives are only a part of this preparedness planning. I also co-admin an online support group for cancer patients coping with life transitions. Most of my professional life I worked with corporate crisis communications, so this 2020 project is like turning the preparedness concept to a personal level.

At the beginning of the pandemic, I worked with Compassion & Choices. In developing the COVID-19 toolkit, an end of life planning guide in English & Spanish to promote compassionate and informed end-of-life care plan amid new challenges in our healthcare system. I am also a guest speaker in different webinars discussing topics such as demonstrating power in end-of-life planning. Under IM KAHLO, I’ve held several inspirational talks for the American Lung Association. I also consult for GoCrisis, an international crisis and emergency management firm currently expanding to the Americas.

During COVID, I like to lead by example. I exercise at home, do yoga, read, keep in touch with my friends, design TShirt, go to my treatments, and take my time to heal and rest. 🙂 A stage IVB diagnosis is not a death sentence; it is a life ticket. ¡Viva la Vida! Visit her website www.BrowsLashesHope.org Follow on IG: @pr_in_Miami and @lifetransitioncoach 

 

I approached 2020 with newly identified goals and desires for my two businesses. I believe whole-heartedly if we want to produce change-we must first be willing to manifest and walk out into change first. I began the year by analyzing and most importantly self-reflecting my own leadership. My goals must align with who I am and who I’m becoming. Our business and desires are a direct reflection of who we are.  I wanted to learn from each passing month. I desired deeply to originate a program that would be fully energized and birth from my leadership and past experiences.  Identifying what platform I was currently operating from was my first priority. I wanted my platform to create a path, an option where women and young ladies can walk into empowerment and utilize their voices as they redefine their pain into power.  I realized in order to birth such a path of realness and genuineness fueled for empowerment, I would have to first experience the healing. I accepted to walk in Self Acceptance of my past. There is a level of oneness when you can share with another woman “I empathize with you”, “I have been here”.  Having the courage to truly reach the depths of where our traumas are stored. My productivity began with scheduling and participating in Healing and SELF LOVE courses. Focusing on directly rooted traumas, week after week.  As I walked in acceptance and completed course after course, I began to attract the woman who was aligned with my energy, a woman who was ready to heal from past childhood traumas. Focusing on my past childhood traumas allowed me to actually forgive the past negative self-talk I ever presented to myself when and if I fell behind on deadlines, simply didn’t have the head to focus, or felt many times unmotivated.  I realized that my productivity was affected consistently for many years due to childhood trauma.  As each week came to pass and I would complete a new course, I also would feel the intense feeling of love for myself while healing and creating a genuine energized healing-self love course. Although the journey was strong it has been well worth it. A woman who can acknowledge who she is, what she has un-become with a direct focus on her self-love and mental health, is a woman who understands her strength, courage, abilities, and warmth. A woman who can have gentle talks with herself, a forgiving heart for herself, a strong mind is a woman who has learned above all how to respect her own boundaries. This is a woman or young lady who will conquer dreams, goals, productivity while remaining positive and in awe with the internal strength of a woman. My two businesses focus directly but individually on Mental Health and Wellness. Visit her website www.growingintorealleaders.org Follow on IG: @yadira_fiercelybecoming and @girl_leaders

 

Believe it or not, spending time with the kids and my childcare team at Ms. Claudia’s Village Academy while being in the forefront of the COVID-19 response as President of the Miami-Dade League of Cities brightened my every day! In 2020, I rediscovered that my gift and purpose is being a public servant—in every aspect of my life: as a military wife, childcare business owner, and Mayor, I give back and place the needs of others before mine and that’s always my happy place!

Ayden Alexander, hadn’t seen me in 2 months and this was him when he saw me – you can’t make up this love and happiness 🥰 Visit her website www.msclaudias.com Follow on IG @mayorofelportal and @msclaudias

Note from Vimari: I met Claudia in 2014 at a networking event when we were sitting at the same table by coincidence. She had been serving on the Village Council for El Portal, where I have lived since 2005, but that was the first time I remember meeting her. She told me at that event that she was going to be running for Mayor that November. I scheduled a meeting to drill her (😊) on why she was running, and by the end of our meeting, I decided that I would support her.

A few weeks later, I opened my home to my neighbors and invited them to come over to meet then Councilperson Claudia Cubillos. This was my first time ever supporting a candidate and hosting this type of event. At that event, I was convinced that she should be our next Mayor. I volunteered to help her campaign, although I had no prior experience. Mayor Claudia Cubillos was elected Nov 2014 and asked me to Chair her Mayor’s Task Force. I didn’t know what that meant, but I decided, why not? I took on the opportunity and recruited approx nine others to join our Task Force. The Task Force agreed that “community engagement” should be our focus and that we could accomplish that through events. We looked at our demographics and decided that an art fair would be an excellent fit for the community and so the El Portal Art Fair was born. I had my meeting planning company at the time, and being the Chair of the event was a natural fit. We hosted our first Art Fair in 2015 and many other events.

In 2016, I saw a need within our Council and, in August, decided to challenge the incumbent and ran for Council Seat #2, and I won. Since 2016, I have served two terms (4-years) with Mayor Cubillos. I have to say that it has been an extreme honor to serve with a woman that genuinely places her community’s needs before her own. She has sacrificed a lot in the 12 years in office and is truly an example of what one can achieve when we serve. In addition to being a fierce leader, she has the honor of carrying the title of being #laprimera Hispanic Mayor of El Portal. Mayor Cubillos decided not to seek re-election in 2020 (as did I). I want to take this time to thank her for the years of service to our community. I am proud to call her my friend and include her as one of the amazing and powerful Latina Trailblazers celebrating this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month. Thank you, Mayor!

Spotlight Series #transitiontuesdays – Luis H. Leon, III, Senior Finance, Business Analyst & Market Trends Expert

Welcome back to #transitiontuesdays where we feature a fearless leader and their transition story. In these stories, you are learning how these leaders took action on their dreams. Some have transitioned to exciting new jobs, others to a completely new career, or to their own businesses. This week our Spotlight Series #transitiontuesdays introduces Luis H. Leon, III, […]

Spotlight Series #transitiontuesdays – Molly Mulhern – Social Media Manager, Lead Admin, and a Candle Maker for The Beeswax Co.

Welcome back to #transitiontuesdays where we feature a fearless leader and their transition story. In these stories, you are learning how these leaders took action on their dreams. Some have transitioned to exciting new jobs, others to a completely new career, or to their own businesses. This week our Spotlight Series #transitiontuesdays introduces Molly Mulhern – Social […]

Meet the Next 10 of 30 Powerful Latina Trailblazers

We are overwhelmed with the response received from this #hispanicheritagemonth project and want to thank everyone for their comments, likes, and shares. We are excited to introduce these next 10 Powerful Latina Trailblazers. 

This project has been a labor of love and coordinating 30 Latina’s is no easy task. Still, these amazing women were just as excited as I was to celebrate our heritage and each other. Thank you to my hubby and our Marketing Coordinator, Adilyn, for helping me bring this project to you.

When we lift each other, we grow! You can join us in supporting small businesses, entrepreneurs, and women by sharing this project with your community via social media (links to share on Facebook and Twitter below). 👇

These Powerful Latina Trailblazers are all experts in their related fields. As a Career Strategist and Coach, my mission is to help people utilize their natural talents to do exciting and fulfilling work. The Latina’s that I am introducing to you this week have all accomplished this successfully. 💪

I hope that this project inspires and motivates others to support one another, follow their dreams, and do what they love, even during these trying times.

Each of the women was asked to tell us how they have stayed productive, positive, and maintained their life balance in 2020. They’ve shared some great quotes and life lessons, that we know you will enjoy. You can read their full responses to their amazing 2020 journey below.

Missed the first 10? No worries…just jump on over to the blog post from yesterday below.

Stay tuned as we’ll be back tomorrow, introducing you to the last 10, and on Friday, I’ll be sharing a bit of my personal 2020 journey and the inspiration behind this project.

Cheers,
Vimari

#hispanicheritagemonth #latinx #latinas

The pandemic brought me to my knees. In other words, it kicked my butt. I witnessed one of my biggest sources of revenue disappear in 30 days as all my live events for 2020 got canceled by April. I had to quickly switch the focus of my business to my digital product and find a way to offer and serve more female entrepreneurs that needed more than ever to get clients. However, there was an energy of impending doom in the environment that was precluding most entrepreneurs to act and a leap of faith into digital courses and coaching. It’s like the whole world wanted to be on a “pause” estate when all I wanted was for them to push “play”. So I got discouraged, I felt defeated after working for 8 years to build a business from scratch and crushing every single goal I set for myself, my confidence had taken a hit and I no longer trusted my decision-making as an entrepreneur because everything I was doing did not seem to be working under the current paradigm. I lost the fire in my soul, gained about 12 pounds from all the COVID snacks and cocktails, and felt pretty much defeated. And then I took a week vacation that became a month vacation on which I connected with nature and reached out for help to go inwards to discover what I really wanted. And what came out of that was connecting again with the sense of significance that I have always chased. It has never been about money or having a book full of clients. It has always been about feeling relevant and being an inspiration to other women, most importantly moving women into action.

After I was forced to slow down, I stopped looking at the answers outwards and looked inwards. During that time, I decided to challenge myself to feel and looking like the person I wanted to be. To ditch all the bad COVID coping mechanisms and focus on me. I took on a pretty ambitious online challenge that required me to work out twice a day, drink a gallon of water every day, read 10 pages of a self-development book daily, follow a healthy diet of my choice, quit alcohol, and take daily pictures of my exposed body. No more numbing, no more escaping, this was me with me and the pictures reminded me of how far I have worked myself to the ground trying to accomplish the things that “others” were accomplishing as evidenced in social media.

I have been working on my self-development for years now and this situation got me into going deeper. What I discovered was that hunger for significance was not going to be satisfied by anything else but completing my mission, my deepest desire. And to do that, I needed to let go of trying to control all outcomes and just create from a space of service. Most importantly I needed to do work and take consistent actions that were relevant and fulfilling for me.  I needed to accept that my path is different from anyone else’s and rather than a straight line to success, it’s a spiral where everything that I want is just around the bend already waiting for me to get there.

And so, I did. One faithful Saturday I asked my husband to leave the house with the kids and the dog for a whole day that I needed to myself. I meditated, I prayed, I journaled. Most importantly I let go, and after asking for inspiration and to be guided in this spiral path, I started creating. And it just flowed. That’s the day the most authentic and creative work I have ever done was born. I created the Refocus your Vision Challenge as a space for female entrepreneurs, just like me, to refocus on themselves to find what they really want out of their intuition rather than trying to follow as others have out of ego. A 5-day journey where they could discover and act on those goals they want and that seems impossible where we stand now. I understood that day that my path is to move people into action by also leading them to be still for a minute so they can figure out what they want.

The next 30 days after that, I lost 15 pounds (I am still doing that challenge daily), brought my challenge into reality, delivered live, and attracted over 75+ entrepreneurs (and counting) to my group. Women just like me that felt lost and living on Groundhog day for months and needed to go inwards to act.

I have found the key to get over motivation. Motivation only takes you so far. Will power fades.

What gets me going is a commitment to my mission. It’s upholding that vision of myself that is so much bigger and better to fulfill my highest goal of speaking at venues full of women that need to hear my message.  What keeps me moving is knowing that to obtain that deep desire of significance and get to that stage I need to take daily actions that get me closer to becoming that person that stands in that stage to move those women. That version of me still works out every day, nourishes her body with food that provides fuel rather than comfort, does not drink alcohol so she can stay sharp, hydrates her body to keep energized, and puts herself out there every day. All these actions combined have made me a well-rounded entrepreneur with purpose, a present mother that leads by example, and a loving wife that knows how to stand in her own two feet. And that is all the motivation I need to keep going. Follow on IG: @theeventmaximizer

Nine months into 2020 and I am still figuring out how to catch my breath. I own a cake/dessert design studio, we started the year surpassing every forecast and doubling our 2019 sales, 2020 was going to be a stellar year, then on March 14th ALL of our future events, weddings, and corporate events were canceled within a week.  While the majority of the corporate world was forced to stay home and find new ways how to conduct business, homeschooling, or dealing with sudden unemployment, I had to re-invent my business, QUICKLY.   Instead of customized desserts, I created a ready to access the menu for my clients to celebrate birthdays and mini weddings from home.  Holiday menus were created and a new marketing campaign embarked to keep my business alive.  I was able to keep 25% of my team, this means that I am busier than ever, as I am wearing 10 hats daily, baking, decorating, cleaning, delivering, billing, selling, and marketing. Balancing life right now is on the back burner and I cannot wait to some sort of normalcy soon. Visit her website at www.sweetguilt.com Follow on IG: @angelicalenox and @sweetguiltbyangelica

2020 has been one of the most challenging years I’ve ever faced. I am aware that I’m not alone when I say that it can definitely go down in the books as a time when I had to take an honest and very hard look at my life.

I started off the year expecting which was a dream come true, and one I had been pursuing for some time. With a thriving business, a wonderful 14-year relationship with a great husband, and everything else that I could possibly need, COVID definitely made me put lots of things into perspective.

I have been on the quest, the journey for “life balance“ since I was 21. I started meditating at that time and exploring aromatherapy, energy healing, music therapy, and my overall spirituality.

I have kept my sanity during this sensitive time, practicing all these above-mentioned practices. I feel that those tools have helped me be a productive me. I’ve been working on personal projects that I had left on the wayside. I’m actually excited to say that I think I’ll come out of 2020 a better version of me and with some exciting new things to share professionally.

I learned a big lesson this year and it was a reminder about investing time connecting. Not by text. Not by email. TALKING. The lost art of the conversation came out of COVID19 for me as the one I can’t forget. It’s changed everything during this trying time……

Note from Vimari: Congratulations to Liza, she welcomed her sweet baby boy Gabriel Andres Pineres on June 22, 2020. Blessings! Follow Liza on IG @lizamsantana and @creativasgrouppr

As a Hotelier with over 23 years of conducting face to face events, finding creative ways to stay connected with my clients was my main focus. Successfully and with the collaboration of our local DMC partners we were able to create remarkable virtual events that not only helped us stay connected with our clients, but we were also able to showcase our Resort and destination with its true essence, culture, and vibrant.

Another huge component that helped me to stay motivated was to invest in my inner self, I took a meditation class that rewired my thoughts, to focus on the positive thoughts and energy, aligning my focus, tranquility, and balance.

As one takes care of your inner self, your mind and thoughts find ways to get back to your creative self.  

By this my new venture was born, I have a deep love for relaxation and quality of life.  With that in mind, I combined two of my passions champagne and candles. Follow on IG: @bubbly_brio and @bubbly_candles

Everyone of us have to find their own rhythm on how to best navigate these times. 

Evolution is the name of the game and it can be a great thing. Being an island native, I know after every Hurricane, the sun comes out again! My personal mantra during this year has been. Stay firm in your faith whichever it is – it is strength and hope.  Family truly comes first.  If working from home, maintain/create daily routines:  beauty, exercise, meals, wellbeing, recreational opportunities, mind coaching. Plan in advance:  for your home office, for your children, for your significant other, for your friends, for your family. Go on a vacation and disconnect. Connect and Support your friends and acquaintances – You don’t know who needs an encouragement call. Volunteer to help others – when you give, you receive. Follow on IG: @iacoszob and @mrchotels

2020 has been an exciting and challenging year for many if not for all. With the COVID work demands, it enabled us to be more efficient at work while taking care of number one, our family. Sanity means constant walks, meditation, and positive thinking that things will change to give a new normal back! Follow on IG @hannehbb

Productive: I’ve stayed productive by exercising “FOCUS.” When I focus consciously I mentally exercise in a positive way and relax. Having a family has kept me productive. Last but not least is work. I am really thankful and fortunate to have work. Positive: I created a new vision board. It really has depth on vision. What you see can set your mood and have an effect on you. Be good and positive. Feel it. Knowing that timing is everything has kept me positive. Not letting anything that meets the eye affect me. Balance: I am balanced, is my first affirmation each morning. Working out, writing, affirmations, audiobooks, books, magazines, green juice, massages, wine, and waking up is my balance. Oh and never stopping date night with my honey even if I am stuck at home. Follow on IG @leynni_m

I knew right away I couldn’t stay still and let time go by so I got immersed in personal development, training, and studying. I started getting up at 5:00 am, working out early to maintain a “normal” daily routine to be in front of my computer by 8:00 am and solve this puzzle called “new reality” while taking small dance breaks singing “I’m a champion” by Carrie Underwood at the top of lungs or bouncing on my trampoline, just for giggles. Follow on IG @rockymedina.dv

The productive part has been quite easy to achieve, work has been incredibly busy! This has kept me completely engaged with my clients and my colleagues.

Staying positive has been challenging at times, but regular zoom happy hours with girlfriends are a fun distraction from the sometimes overwhelming demands of work and home life. 

Achieving balance is not something I really strive for, it tends to cause more stress than relief for me.  I have learned to accept that some day’s work will be a priority and other days it will be a dinner date with my husband or it will be binge-watching the latest TV show. Whatever gets me to the next day. Follow on LinkedIn @rocio-ortega-cfp

2020 For me it’s been challenging in a lot of ways. After rediscovering my inner power as a human being and as a woman, I started reconnecting with all the things that make me happy and… what a better way to start a year, right? I didn’t count on some quarantine that the universe had planned for us so I had to work from home for 4 months and then when I finally got back into the office I tested positive for COVID, another challenge. Yes I was broken inside, yes I wanted to give up but when you have a strong mindset and you know your own “why”, nothing that happens will really destroy you. I knew I had the power of continuing with my life, I wrote a lot, read some books, and even fell in love. Was all of that planned? not at all, but I was open, my heart was open to learning about the challenge, to absorb every single piece of knowledge that I could from what was happening, and from being a control freak, I started being present in the present, with no special recipes but with the clear conviction that even delayed my dreams would still come true. what did that bring to my life? new beginnings, new people, new dreams, and new lessons.

Our business had to pivot so we started sourcing new opportunities and white spaces where we could be at the service of other professionals and companies. Meditation and gratitude have been two MAJOR adds-on to my daily life that have been the source of power, determination, inspiration, and motivation through my weeks. This “pause” made me realize how different results we can get when we switch from auto-pilot to intentional activities that we took for granted before.

I’m certain that our next normal will come with countless blessings and opportunities that we ever thought possible before. Follow on IG @claupatrina

 

Spotlight Series #transitiontuesdays – Luis H. Leon, III, Senior Finance, Business Analyst & Market Trends Expert

Welcome back to #transitiontuesdays where we feature a fearless leader and their transition story. In these stories, you are learning how these leaders took action on their dreams. Some have transitioned to exciting new jobs, others to a completely new career, or to their own businesses. This week our Spotlight Series #transitiontuesdays introduces Luis H. Leon, III, […]

10 of 30 Powerful Latina Trailblazers

I am proud to be celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month for the first time ever. I am taking this opportunity to celebrate not only our heritage but also our women.

I am doing this because I have learned through my journey that supporting small businesses, entrepreneurs, and women, is essential. We should endorse and lift each other as much as possible, and that’s why I am taking this opportunity to highlight 30 amazing Latinas of which I am proud to be a part of. 

I have chosen these 30 Powerful Latina Trailblazers carefully as they are experts in their related fields. As a Career Strategist and Coach, my mission is to help people utilize their natural talents to do exciting and fulfilling work. The Latina’s that I am introducing to you this week have all accomplished this successfully. 

I hope that this project is shared within the community and that it will inspire and motivate other Latinx women to support one another, follow their dreams, and do what they love.

Today, I introduce to you the first ten of the 30 Powerful Latina Trailblazers.

Each of the women were asked to tell us how they have stayed productive, positive, and maintained their life balance in 2020. They’ve shared some amazing quotes and life lessons which I am sure you will enjoy.

Be sure to check in again tomorrow and Thursday as I’ll be introducing you to the other 20, and on Friday I have a special blog post that includes my 2020 journey and why I decided to take on this project.

Cheers,

Vimari

#hispanicheritagemonth #latinx #latinas

I am a forever student; from the time I was a little girl, I played school because I love learning new things, challenges, and tasks. My mom taught me to never settle and never stop learning, so when the studio shut down, I had to learn quickly how to recreate my own in-home studio. The show must go on, as they say, and I wasn’t going to stop bringing my community the best content just because of a little social distancing! I studied and learned to take another utterly different role than anything that I’ve done before. I consider myself a forever student of the industry. I learned how to be the director, lighting, and sound and had test shoots during my weekends before having the opportunity to have a dual role as producer and host for E!’s newest show, Pop on Peacock! I’ve been grinding in the hustle for 10 years, and 2020 hasn’t been any different.

I can’t say that I have a life balance, but I can say that I have reckoning priorities. My relationships with family and my brother are significant to me. I’ve re-prioritized what I value and things that are really important to me: my family and my community. Perhaps my priorities before 2020 were a bit out of order because of my hustle mentality. Still, I know that I am coming out of this year as a better human being. I’ve always been fueled by passion and advocacy but had no time to take steps forward. But now I have no excuse, and my advocacy is as important to me as anything on TV. Visit her website at: https://www.lillianavazquez.com/ Follow on IG: @lillianavazquez

Well for me 2020 has been a real roller-coaster! I have gone through some things in previous years that I thought were roller-coasters but by far, like many of us, it has been a year of a lot of change, a lot of getting used to, and In my specific case –  a year of loss.  I lost my grandmother earlier this year due to COVID-19, I lost my any sense of privacy or alone time, now that my children are homeschooling, and I lost my job last month.

After I lost my job it gave me the opportunity to focus on “Latina Made not Maid” 100%. To the point where I am 100% invested and film TikTok videos every day. It’s given me the opportunity to invest in the appearance of the brand and the message that I wanted to send out to the world. Which is the message that we need to change the Latina narrative and the message that we have been hearing or that has been told to us for so long. I also had the opportunity to start a business where I can help multi-cultural women to start and scale their own business. 

Again, 2020 has been a roller-coaster but it’s been a blessing in disguised.

As far as balance, I have been able to do more self-care. I’ve been able to nap when I want to nap if I feel that I am burned out or just devote 45 min to an hour to giving myself an at-home facial or pedicure. Just the simple little things that we oftentimes say we do not have the time to do. I have been able to step back every once in a while to just be good to myself. Follow on IG: @lifebyerika @latinamadenotmaid @latinamadellc

Este año 2020 ha sido un año de transformación. Me he mantenido productiva haciendo mucho ejercicio, yoga, y meditación todos los días con el amanecer. Tengo un grupo de amigos que hacemos este ritual todos los días. El mar también espectacular, es como mi medio de sanación entonces ha sido impresionante la conexión pues que tengo con el mar por ser San Adrésana, entonces pues eso me ha mantenido. Y bueno la conexión con mi familia también. Dedicarme más tiempo a mi… saber que me gusta. Analizar como todo lo que está pasando en el mundo que nos puede ayudar como personas y saber qué pues en mi caso que la familia es todo. A pesar de que yo vivo acá sola pero mis amigos en este caso son mi familia y pues también mantengo el contacto con mi familia. Entonces creo que es un complemento entre ejercitar el cuerpo, el alma y la mente. Follow on IG: @anggiebryan

Pivoting on a few areas of the business but also focused on 2021 projects. As for life balance, I work out as much as time permits sometimes twice daily, and get as much fresh air as possible. Time with my son and dog are my life balance. Follow on IG: @mizzgiles @Soulfrito @latina100summit

Así las cosas en el mundo estén de cabezas, siempre tenemos la opción de elegir como nos queremos sentir. Así que cada mañana cuando me despierto elijo estar contenta y esa acción hace que mi día sea diferente porque me abro a la posibilidad de hacer las cosas desde un lugar amoroso con buena actitud y feliz. Desde que empezamos la cuarentena estoy muy consiente de hacer cosas que me diviertan y mirar las bendiciones que tengo en mi vida que son muchas. No estamos trabajando desde hace 6 meses y no me ha faltado nada para cubrir las necesidades básicas. ¡Eso es ser abundante!

La manera como me he mantenido en balance en estos meses de encierro ha sido estudiando. Aprender de tecnología ha sido muy excitante para mí. Yo veo el 2020 como un año de aprendizaje personal y profesional. Un año de replantearme de lo que es realmente importante en mi vida y lo que es necesario. Ha sido un año de auto observación y de hacer limpieza interna. Quiero simplificar mi vida y sentirme feliz trabajando en servirle al mundo atreves de mi arte. Visit her website at: http://www.claudiacalle.com/ Follow on IG: @claudiacalleart

As a Mompreneur during quarantine season, it can be challenging juggling business + personal life (online homeschool!), that is why I do not believe in balance but in harmony. You see, with harmony, the definition states that it is an order or congruity of parts to their whole or to one another. If you are striving to have balance in your life, then by the definition, you will have to ease up on something or give it up to bring your life in balance. With that being said, I find harmony in life by time blocking, this has kept me productive by focusing on work tasks that need to be achieved by a certain deadline. It also helps me disconnect from work duties and focus my energy on enjoying my kids, my husband, my home, date nights, friends’ time, and my very special me-time every day which includes a morning ritual, meditation, exercising, and a bedtime ritual. By harmonizing my life, I have a positive attitude and can be at peace every day. Follow on IG: @diaryofmissm

In this challenging year, I’ve been able to stay productive, positive, and keep balance in my life by living in the moment and not letting anything really affect me. Setting my priorities has been the most important, as a mother, as a wife, and as a professional. Staying focused and organized has really been a major key to overcoming adversity, not to forget staying calm and enjoying the loving company of my family. We can’t always say it is easy, but we can always be sure it is possible. Feeling blessed to be in this part of my life. Visit her website at: https://www.hazelr.com/ Follow on IG: @hazelphotographers

2020 has been strange, to say the least!! Here a few things that have helped keep me productive, positive, and help keep some sort of balance. 1. Exercise! I’ve tried to exercise at least 4 – 5 times a week! Moving my body helps me stay more energized and helps my mood stay upbeat. Since working from home what I do to motivate me to workout is putting on my workout clothes first thing in the morning that way I’m ready to go at any moment!! 2. Journaling! More than ever emotions and stress are high so I make a point to write and journal as much as I possibly can. The more I put on paper and take out of my brain the clearer I can think! 3. Keeping a routine. This has been the hardest during these difficult times and I’ve had to adjust my routine several times but keeping a routine helps me so much in staying productive and organized. Follow on IG: @beautybyjennyfro

After major anxiety attacks, I had no other option than to change my glasses and see 2020 as an opportunity to reset all areas in my life. It’s a fun experiment – made a long list of all my not-so-healthy coping mechanisms and things in my life that we’re bringing me down – social media, people, alcohol, even services within my company that was not making me happy – And decided to make conscious decisions around them. I cut my social media usage in less than half, I’m not spending my time with people that do not add anything positive to my life, cut alcohol and most of the sugar, and optimized my business model and offerings. It’s not perfect but it’s helping me be productive, positive, and happy! I’m now experimenting with date nights with my husband, we are not going out to dinner we are taking salsa classes! We all have the power to make our lives as fun and balanced as we wanted to, it’s a conscious decision. Visit her website at: http://markofthebuffalo.com/ Follow on IG: https://www.instagram.com/markofthebuffalo/

It has been an overwhelming year. I try to keep my mind positive and have hope that everything is going to pass, and everything is going to be alright. At the same time, this year has brought me a wake-up call. A call for me to step up and not waste time to be ready for the next year. Follow on IG: @adilyngomez

Tips to Stretching Your Mind, Body & Soul

Have you been stretching? Stretching keeps you balanced and your muscles flexible, strong, and healthy. Without stretching your muscles shorten and become tight. That’s why a daily stretching routine is important and NOT just for your body. It’s just as important to stretch your MIND and SOUL daily.🧠💪❤

Here are some tips I practice daily that will stretch your mind, body, and soul to benefit your overall flexibility, strength, and health. 🧠💪❤

☑ MIND, BODY, AND SOUL STRETCHING Pick One Activity in Each of the Categories and Do It for 10 Minutes Each – Daily:

1️⃣ Body: Yoga or Static Stretching

2️⃣ Mind: Read or Listen to a Book or Podcast, Take a Class, Challenge Yourself by Doing Something New

3️⃣ Soul: Pray, Meditate, Journal, Spend Time With a Loved One

Doing one of these activities daily for 10 minutes will make a huge difference in how you feel and help you stretch not just your body but your mind and soul as well. You’ll have overall health and this is so important now more than ever. Keep yourself healthy mind, body, and soul. 🧠💪❤

 

Stretch your mind, body, and soul with our High-Performance Coaching. Learn how we can work together – schedule a free consultation: www.beproductivecoaching.com

5 Easy Mindfulness Exercises

I overheard a recent interview on one of the new’s channels as my husband was watching his daily COVID-19 update, and this time they had John Whyte the Chief Medical Officer, of WebMD, who was explaining that the most typed search on their website right now is for anxiety and depression symptoms. This didn’t surprise me knowing that many of us are experiencing high-stress levels and anxiety during this time of pandemic as we face COVID-19 and the global financial crisis. I was happy to see that this was finally a discussion on the news channels. 

I’ve always had an interest in mental health, I even wanted to major in psychology before getting caught up in my hospitality career. Then throughout the years, I’ve dealt first hand with the anxiety and depression of different family members including my mom, grandmother, and husband. As a coach, I’ve helped many of my clients incorporate practices to help avoid the onset of stress and anxiety from their careers. It was due to this interest that I decided to start my Face Everything & Rise, free weekly mental health support group during COVID-19.

One of the practices I incorporate is mindfulness. I happen to love mindfulness and have had my own practice for over 8 years. In this new post, I’d like to share with you 5 of my favorite mindfulness exercises. Before I do, in case you are not familiar with what mindfulness is, I’ll bring you up to speed quickly.

Lets first look at the definition of mindfulness according to the dictionary:

mind·ful·ness
/ˈmīn(d)f(ə)lnəs/
noun

1.
the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
“their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”
2.
a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

Next lets look at the overall benefits of mindfulness?

  • Improves overall health
  • Improves Cognition
  • Improves Performance
  • Brings Joy
  • Helps us sleep better
  • Improves self-esteem

Here are some ways that we can practice mindfulness:

  • Staying in the NOW
  • Meditating
  • Eating mindfully
  • Observing our breathing
  • Connecting to our senses
  • Listening to the sounds around us
  • Starting a gratitude practice

Here are the five simple mindfulness exercises that you can incorporate to help reduce stress and anxiety:

1) Color Walk (one of my favorites)
If you have a dog then you can practice this during your dog walks otherwise if you do not just simply go for a ten-minute walk by yourself. Pick a color that comes to your mind. During your walk, you will look for all the things that you can see in that color. Don’t focus on things, just focus on the color. You will be amazed at the things you see. At the end of your walk, think back about all the new things you saw.

Example:
Pick the color red. Notice the red flowers, a red car driving by, your neighbor’s red door, etc. Pick a different color each time.
Start in your block then go to new surroundings. You can also do this by walking around your home.

2) STOP: Take a Mindfulness Pause
When you notice that you are feeling overwhelmed, take a pause. Next follow these basic mindfulness practice instructions that will support re-engagement of your prefrontal cortex (our “logic center”) enabling you better access to your inner wisdom, awareness, and creative thinking.

  • Start by noticing or experiencing what is happening within your body at that moment.
  • Next, just sit with (allow) yourself to feel these sensations and breathe.
  • Whenever your mind wanders into the negative or overwhelming thoughts, simply return to noticing your body sensations.
  • After about 30 seconds notice if you feel a change in your sensations. What are you experiencing now?
  • Breathe into this new sensation and just notice your breath as it is.
  • This Mindfulness Pause takes less than two minutes, yet quickly creates a calmer space. Once in this calmer space, ask yourself what it is that you want to focus on that would have the greatest positive impact in the situation (or in the context of your bigger goals) and continue about your day.

3) Meet Each Day with the Best of Who You Are
This exercise has a small piece of pre-work, and is then followed by a mindfulness exercise to “meet each day with the best of who you are”. You can use this mindfulness practice daily or whenever you want to intentionally create your day.

Pre-work: Start by writing down what an ideal day might look like for you. Then explore what factors get in your way of creating your ideal day, and what would help you create it.

Here’s the Mindfulness Exercise to Meet Each Day with the Best of Who You Are:

  • Tune into the sensation of your feet on the floor (for about 30 seconds).
  • Next tune into the sensation of your breath (for about 30 seconds).
  • Then answer these 3 questions:
  • “What matters most to you today?”
  • “What would you like to let go of today?” (What isn’t serving you?)
  • “Who do you choose to be today?” (How will you express your values?)
  • Finally, to wrap-up, this exercise, return awareness to your breath as you invite yourself into this intention for your day (for at least 30 seconds).

4) FEEL Your Breathing for 20 Counts
This is a quick tool we coaches use with clients – and clients can use for themselves – when the stress and anxiety are extreme. You can use this easy exercise when you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed about a difficult decision, prior to meetings or difficult conversations, or following stressful incidents from which you need to cool down. Here’s how:

  • Start by sitting in a comfortable position, placing your feet on the floor.
  • Next, place one hand on your abdomen and then to place one hand over your heart.
  • Now simply breathe – without any need to control the breath – just breathe.
  • Count the out-breaths from 1 up to 20.
  • Notice when your thoughts distract you (without self-judgment or criticism), and then return your attention to your breathing.
  • Why this works: Feeling your chest and abdomen rise and fall under your hands signals to your brain that the threat is over, and instantly stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system (the “rest and digest” part of our nervous system) which then switches off the threat response activation to bring a sense of calm.

5) Simple Breathing Exercise
This is another quick breathing exercise that is easy and you can do it anywhere.

  • Start by sitting in a comfortable position, placing your feet on the floor with your back straight, shoulders down and chest up.
  • Next, place both hands on your thighs facing up or down whatever feels normal for you.
  • Now take 3 regular deep breaths – without any need to control the breath – just breathe.
  • Next, take a deep breath in counting the breath in from 1 up to 5 or 10.
  • Hold the breath for a count of 5 to 10 (same count as your deep breath in).
  • Breath out counting the out-breaths from 1 up to 5 or 10 (always use the same number you used to take your deep breath in).
  • Repeat this 3 times and then notice how you feel. You should feel much better. If you don’t then repeat this breathwork 3 more times.

I hope these exercises are helpful to you. If you decide to start your mindfulness practice please email me and let me know how it’s going. I’d love to hear from you!

Free COVID-19 Zoom Support Group

As Americans, this is the first time we are experiencing anything of this caliber.

We all handle our stress and our emotions differently, and 2020 has proven to be a year of uncertainty with major events affecting us all. First, we had the Coronavirus Pandemic stay at home orders and now we have the new normal which is an adjustment in itself. Not to mention the unrest that has taken place as a result of systemic racism in our country.

Stress, worry, and anxiety are common problems that many of us experience from time to time. As humans, during uncertain times, our stress, worry, and anxiety accelerate, and this pandemic and unrest have done just that for many. The world, as we knew it has changed drastically in 2020. Given the news coverage, it is hard not to worry about what this all means for our loved ones and for us.

The unknown can be scary. Self-care and compassion are most important now more than ever. It is essential to take this time to do what makes you feel good. To be you while caring for your loved ones too.

Join us weekly on Wednesdays from 12-noon to 1 pm (EST) for a free support group via Zoom. Everyone is invited. These will be purely support sessions, there will not be much structure, and we will not be selling anything at the end. We may have some topics to help us get our conversations started, and that will be the only structure.

The idea is to have a support group that is a safe space where we can all be authentic as we continue to face the uncertain future of Covid-19 and 2020.

Let’s keep ourselves healthy – mind, body, and soul. I look forward to seeing you!

Click on the link to register via Eventbrite: https://beproductivecoaching-free-support-group.eventbrite.com

Blessings to all,

Vimari

How to Deal with Stress, Worry & Anxiety During COVID-19

Stress, worry, and anxiety are common problems that many of us experience from time to time. However, as everyone knows, we are living in uncertain times right now as we face the Coronavirus Pandemic. As humans, during uncertain times, our stress, worry, and anxiety accelerate, and this pandemic has done just that for many. The world, as we knew it has changed drastically in the last few weeks. As Americans, this is the first time we are experiencing anything of this caliber. Given the news coverage, it is hard not to worry about what this all means for our loved ones and for us.

The pandemic has already caused a financial crisis for many industries. One of those industries is the Hospitality Industry, where thousands of people have been laid off or furloughed from one day to the other. For those dealing with the loss of a job on top of the unknown, it can feel incredibly overwhelming, leading to anxiety or depression.

We all handle our stress and our emotions differently, and this is something we need to keep in mind as we practice social distancing. We are left at home with our loved ones, and this new normal has us together 24/7, which for many, could be an adjustment that takes time.

Like you and most households, I’ve experienced this in my own home in the last couple of weeks. I’ve always worked from home, so that for me is not different. But like many, my spouse is now at home also. This is not a bad thing; however, we both handle stress differently, and this pandemic has created another level of stress for us. 

You see, I handle things by continuing with my routines and keeping myself busy. On the other hand, my husband wants to be informed and is glued to the news channels. I’ve maintained my morning routines with prayer, dog walks, and yoga. He has had trouble sleeping and, as a result, feels irritated. My spiritual meetings have moved to Zoom meetings, and he has disconnected himself from his meetings. The differences in our self-care routines have shown. I am not as stressed, and his anxiety levels have increased.  

I have to admit that the first week of this new household routine took a toll on us. Our patience with each other decreased, and we argued more. But then one day, after asking myself what could be happening, I realized that his mood swings were coming from a place of fear. Fear for our future and what can happen to us. That’s when I realized that for us to get back to loving each other, I needed to show compassion and my routine needed to include him. 

I share this with you because I know we are not alone. I know there are many couples and households that may be experiencing the same challenges and I want you to know that you are not alone. This is the time that we all need to be compassionate and loving towards one another, even when we don’t feel like it. 

Worry and fear come from thinking about the future. It is natural to worry during uncertain times like these. But if you feel that your anxiety is becoming excessive and taking over your life, then it’s crucial to take steps to manage your wellbeing with self-care.

How do you know when worry is taking over your life?

  • You have restlessness, unable to relax or problems sleeping that can include strange dreams/nightmares.
  • You feel upset, short-tempered, or exhausted all the time. 
  • You are experiencing difficulty concentrating, staying focused, or working.
  • You feel unexplained muscle tension, aches, and pains.

In addition to compassion, it is essential to practice self-care techniques. One of my favorite self-care techniques is mindfulness. Mindfulness is a technique that will help you cope with the worry. Mindfulness is staying in the present. If you feel any of the symptoms listed above, then this is the time to stay in the moment and not think about what could happen. Mindfulness will help you do this.

Here are a few mindfulness exercises that you can do to help you deal with your worry and anxiety:

  • Focus on your breath throughout the day. Make sure you are taking deep breaths. Take 10 deep breaths when you feel the worry or anxiety coming on.
  • Pick a color and take a walk. As you walk, look around for all the things you can identify that are in that color. This will take your mind off the negativity.
  • Daily Journal: A daily practice can help you release your anxiety. Journal about how you feel and what you can do to release those feelings or keep a gratitude journal.

The unknown can be scary. Self-care and compassion are most important now more than ever. It is essential to take this time to do what makes you feel good. To be you while caring for your loved ones too.

Another way to look after yourself is by keeping a daily routine. This doesn’t have to be super structured, but it should include:

  1. Things that give you a sense of achievement: Cleaning out closets, doing your taxes, taking an online course, etc.
  2. Things that help you feel close and connected: Calling friends and family, setting up a Zoom call so that you can all see each other, or playing a card game at home.
  3. Things that bring you pleasure and joy: Reading a book, binge-watching your favorite series, dancing, singing, doing something creative, or trying something new.

Lastly, it’s okay to feel – move through your emotions. It’s okay to cry, shout, or scream. Just be mindful not to take it out on your loved ones, and if your loved ones need to cry, shout or scream, encourage them to do so and be there for them. We are all in this together, and we can get through it by taking care of ourselves and each other.

I am going to start a free support group via Zoom, and it will take place weekly on Wednesdays from noon to 1 pm (EST).  Everyone is invited. These will be purely support sessions, there will not be much structure, and I will not be selling anything at the end. We may have some topics to help us get our conversations started, and that will be the only structure. The idea is to have a support group that is a safe space where we can all be authentic as we continue to face the uncertain future of Covid-19.

Edited 3/30/20: Register on Evenbrite If you are interested in participating by clicking on this link: https://face-everything-and-rise-free-weekly-support-group.eventbrite.com

You will receive a link for the Zoom call once you register. The first call will take place this coming Wed, April 1st. If you know of anyone that may be interested, feel free to forward this article and/or just give them my email address.

Let’s keep ourselves healthy – mind, body, and soul. 

Blessings to all,

Vimari

12 Ways to Push Yourself Out of Your Comfort Zone Daily

“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” Brian Tracy

This year has been the year that I have decided to push my boundaries. I am purposely stepping out of my comfort zone weekly in order to continue growing. Stepping out of your comfort zone is not always easy. But once you do, I promise that the feeling will be amazing.

We have reached July 2nd – the first Monday of the mid-year point. This is a good time to look at the last six months, evaluate your goals, do some shifting if you need to and step out of your comfort zone.

Here are 12 ways you can push yourself out of your comfort zone daily:

1. Take the first stepAll you need to do is to take the first step. It will be difficult. The first day at the gym is the worst. The opening line of your story takes the longest time….etc. But as you gain momentum, it is easier to keep moving.

2. Put yourself in a new environment

Begin with some small changes that do not present any real threat, such as eating at a different restaurant in a different part of town, or attending an art exhibit. The idea is to place yourself in new areas where you control the interaction.

3. Don’t pick the safe choice

Every time you’re making a choice, one choice is the safe/comfortable choice, and one choice is the risky/uncomfortable choice. The risky/uncomfortable choice is the one that will teach you the most and make you grow the most, so that’s the one you should choose.

4. Take a different route home

If you drive or walk a different route, you will see different things. In a small way, that increases your view of the world. That is just an easy way to start. After that, you can make more drastic changes. Eventually, you will feel comfortable thinking out of the box. 

5. Make a snap decisionIt doesn’t have to be a life-or-death decision. Anything from choosing a restaurant to shopping. Just make a choice that’s unusual for your routine without overthinking it.

If that still sounds daunting, flip a coin. Yes, I am serious! Flip a coin over the decision and stick to it. I do it all the time and end up glad that I did (mostly).

Eliminating the need for mulling over a decision greatly boosts the process of stepping out of our comfort zones. Plus, snap decisions instill a feeling of self-trust. So, like Nike ‘just do it.’

6. Consider other points of view

Surround yourself with very smart people who are a little bit arrogant and disagree with you on many things. Make sure to debate ideas with them, in a civil way, which will cause you to re-examine your beliefs.

7. Say “yes” more often

Say yes even when you don’t think you’re ready. … If you are working, say yes to new projects, new assignments, new roles — even when you have not done it before. It opens up huge opportunities in your career. Who knows — you might find yourself enjoying something you never got the chance to explore earlier.

8. Volunteer

Preferably, make it a learning experience. Pick something you’re very unfamiliar with and soak up everything you can while also making yourself useful.

9. Do what you’re afraid of 

New mindset. It goes like this: Does this scare me? Then I have to do it. That’s how you conquer fear. It never goes away, you just learn how to ride that energy.

10. Create challenges to push yourself in areas you want to improve

Decide on a few challenges (and their triggers) for yourself designed to push you outside of your comfort zone in areas you want to develop.

• Next time you see a handsome boy or girl (trigger) you have to go and talk to him/her (challenge).

• Next time you go buy a cup of coffee (trigger) ask for a 10% discount (challenge).

• Next time you find yourself making eye contact with a stranger (trigger) keep it until they look away (challenge).

• Next time someone asks you how you are (trigger) respond by saying you are great/fantastic instead of just ‘good’ (challenge).

Just focus on these triggers and don’t make any excuses. It’ll become a habit after a while.

11. Allow others to decide for you

I make all the travel plans for my husband and I. If he was in charge we wouldn’t go anywhere. So, catch hold of friends who are more outgoing than you. Let them make the plans, and just go with it.

12. Remember that tomorrow is a new day

It helps to remember that what doesn’t kill you generally really does make you stronger — you will survive, you will heal, you will learn something, you will have a better chance of emerging unscathed next time.

My challenge to you today is to put some of these into practice this next couple of weeks to step out of your comfort zone then email me at vimari@beproductivecoaching.com and let me know how it goes.

Know someone that could step out of their comfort zone? Share with them via Facebook, Email or Twitter.

Mastering Self-Control

Self-control and discipline. Both of these actions go hand and in hand. You can’t have self control without discipline. Our level of both significantly affects the level of happiness we experience. As Matthew Kelly puts it in his book “Mastery of self and happiness are intimately connected.” So what is self-control? Self-control is the gateway to freedom. So many of us struggle with appetites and impulses which lead to addiction. This could be anything that we do on impulse such as shopping, gambling, eating, drinking, working, social media and so on.

How do we break from these addictions? One way is fasting. Giving yourself a break from whatever you feel has that control over you. Personally, I like to practice my fasting during lent which is 40 days. This year, I gave up my number one addiction which is coffee. I love my coffee. But I gave it up because I want to be free. I also gave up my wine and bubbles which are my go-to alcoholic beverages and lastly, I gave up Facebook. In giving these things up I felt and saw the difference it had made in my life. The sense of freedom and knowing that I can do anything that I put my mind to brings me joy. Don’t take me wrong, I especially missed my coffee but when I thought about it I said to myself “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” and then I quickly got myself busy or drank a cup of decaf tea.

We all can do this. For example, if your addiction or thing you want to practice self-control with is soda then when your body asks for soda ask yourself these two questions:

  1. Why did I give up soda?
  2. What could happen if I drink the soda?
  3. Is this really what I want?

After you answer these three questions, reply to yourself and say “no, we will have water or juice today because of ____”.

When you are shopping and you have an impulse to buy something ask yourself “do I really need this?” If you are in the middle of your day and have deadlines but your mind wonders and you have the urge to go into Facebook ask yourself the three questions above and remind yourself of what is most important at that moment, and what a time waster Facebook can be at times and fight that urge.

Addictions aren’t always food, shopping, or social media, sometimes they can be behaviors such as criticizing yourself and others, complaining or procrastination. You can fast from these also and free yourself from these behaviors. Try it. Practice self-control and I promise you will accomplish so much. I’ll end by sharing this quote from John of the Cross in the book Perfectly Yourself:

“A bird, whether it is tied down by a thread or a chain, still cannot fly.”

What is tying you down? What is it in your life that is stopping you from flying?