Photo Credit: cris-mary.com
Loving the life you live is kind of like loving the one you are with, someone once said to me while sitting in a conference like room during a social meet and greet. I thought about it and could not agree more but then reconsidered my opinion months later. If you are in a relationship and feel like you have to, as in being forced to, love that individual in your relationship then that is certainly not healthy. If you are living a life you are not happy with certainly, you have the ability to change it.
Some change their lives to the extreme by changing their bodies through an ultimate transformation (almost like transformers) except you are not putting on a costume for a movie, you are under a knife for life changing surgery. Others are changing their lives by choosing to change their careers or choosing to buy that dream home they always wanted.
Why not do the same in a relationship? Some people are. They are getting a divorce instead of working things out or feel there is nothing left to be worked out and may simply grow so far a part that they feel nothing for their spouse anymore. So surely, this can be done in life. If you are unhappy living a life you do not want to live, you do have the power to change it so that you can love the life you live.
You can change your eating habits and work out plans to lose that weight you always desired to lose. You can change your organization skills to improve on completing tasks at a timely manner to feel more accomplished each year. You can change your negative thinking by incorporating more positivity in your life by the things you do and the people you include in your circles. Try volunteering more for a local non-profit organization whose mission and vision aligns with your own as a person.
You have control on your life to make it one to love. To begin you must love yourself. Not in a narcissistic way of overindulging in conceit but true self-love that instills positive vibes that radiate out into the universe.
What does healthy actually look like? I had an interesting week last week. Full of amazing coaching and mentoring with some personal growth and self development sprinkled with a little sunshine and refreshing rain. For a brief background, I must inform you if you do not know already, it is hard for most women to go anywhere without a man staring at her rear end, breasts, or more. It is another typical day and I am not wearing my breasts or butt out. A middle aged man stops briefly as I am entering the grocery store and he is leaving but must tell me something so important.
I sometimes take longer routes depending on who is in my direct path to a destination to avoid the stares and comments. Some women do not agree with my views and take the longer routes to get that extra attention. To each their own. However, sometimes most women who are constantly gawked at or “cat-called” want a break. This was that day and when he briefly stopped, he simply said, “you look healthy.”
Catching me completely off guard, I said “thank you” shockingly, but began to ponder what does healthy actually look like. It is almost the same as beauty, for beauty varies from culture to culture and from eye to eye. The beholder makes the rules. But I wanted to know, really… what does healthy look like?
What does healthy look like to you or have you ever gotten such a remark or compliment? What would you say in response if anything? Men, if a woman said you looked healthy, what would your response be? I am actually curious on this and certainly was thankful that my a$$ was not devoured by this man’s eyes nor did he pitch a story to get my number. Sometimes, some men stare so obviously with your back turned but you can still feel the heat burning through your pants through your panties from their eyes, even without seeing them in your central vision or your peripheral vision. Yes indeed, it was an interesting week.
Often times, people mispronounce my name. Phonetically it is (Aneesa) but spelled Anisa. You can probably guest the many ways in which people have pronounced it. I have noticed that when people grow up with “non-challenging” names, nicknames are given to individuals they come across with “challenging names.” I have also noticed that some people with “challenging names” more and more give themselves a nick name to make it easier for other people unfamiliar to their names to pronounce. I have been called Anis- a, Anees, Anisia, Lisa, and more. Some friends I have say it gets tiring to keep on correcting every single person you come across or people begin to think you are crazy when you hug them for pronouncing your name correctly on the first try. Have you ever worked with someone who consistently says your name wrong? In their world, you mean nothing to them. Those who have said names wrong, admit mistake and work harder to pronounce correctly. There is power in a name. If you do not know where your name is from or what it means, find out. It is interesting and boosts confidence. My mother passed when I was young so I did not learn what my name meant until I was older. My mother was also adopted and perhaps felt the importance of a name even moreso than others because she was called many names maybe outside of her birth name. I have met many people over the years who either change their names due to various reasons or have learned that they do not carry the name they were born with due to the adoption process and adoption parents wanting to change their names. Sometimes parental figures name their children after people they knew that were significant in their own lives. Others seek out names through searches and decide on who they would want their children to be (finding a meaning and matching the name to it). Whatever you decide, make that name powerful! Make people pronounce your name the way it should be pronounced unless you approve a nickname or substitute name. I worked at a university and saw many undergraduate students from international parents through coaching sessions. Many of them had very cultural names but wanted to be called an American name. America is a huge meeting pot with so many races, ethnicities, backgrounds, and unique names. I believe the only true Americans are Native Americans and that everyone has their own unique culture. Now whether individuals or families choose to be in-tuned with their cultures are their own personal choice(s). Do not deny that from them however. We all bring something unique to the table. The majority of us are all mixed up with several ethnicities and backgrounds through various generations. Nowadays, no one is full of any one race or background anymore. Let us embrace our uniqueness and if you choose not to, respect those that do. Call them by their name! Do not take that power from them! -AP
I started my own nonprofit organization to serve fighters of breast cancer after losing my own mother to breast cancer. On her birthday this year, she would have been 63 years young. Since starting my nonprofit organization, I realized that everyone in my field was typically male, caucasian, over 50 years of age, had an advanced degree, and was considered pretty wealthy. I knew my nonprofit would struggle so I had to strategize this accurately in order for my nonprofit to survive. I decided to go back to school. I could not decide between getting a degree in the communications field (Masters in Mass Communications) or something else. I looked up schools inside the United States and then I knew my next step. I would obtain my Masters in Public Administration concentrating on Nonprofit Management. I already had the communications skills I needed. I needed to grow in dealing with the various public entities as this is what I would be doing with my nonprofit organization. I also knew that I made some simple mistakes that could have been avoided in the start up process if I only had a mentor or personal experience in the nonprofit sector already. I was accepted to the University of Central Florida and did not even wait for the other letters of acceptance to come through. My GRE was waived because of my field experience in the nonprofit sector. I made one visit with my sister and knew this was the right decision. The traveling back and forth between two states began to weigh on me but I could not give up. I was on my way to becoming a better me for my nonprofit strategically. When there are things we truly want in life, we make the sacrifices to make it happen. People ask me all the time how to start a nonprofit organization and want to start one on their own. Most do not after they realize all the work, time, money, and dedication it takes. This is my purpose. Higher education is key. What are you waiting for? AP
Here is a throwback for you. The photographer who took this photograph died from prostate cancer a few years ago- may he forever rest in peace. I was modeling for a few years and boy, was that an interesting adventure. I never dreamt of modeling when I was a young girl because I was a tomboy. I could never be a high fashion runway model because I did not have height or the figure. I was always “thicker” than your average girl growing up and was very athletic. So where did that leave me? I was naive when I started in the business but I got smart real quick. Several “opportunities” for videos and overtly sexual magazines, were easily presented to me but I turned them down. I wanted more. I did not want to be just another woman displayed as “just” a “sex object”. I easily grew tired of the “cat calls” and overt disrespect.
Some women and men began to call me “up tight” and said I should learn to relax, which helped me realize that this was a deeper rooted issue. My modeling career was going no where. I began to see so many women settle and lower their standards as women with dignity. Some sold their bodies competing to be the next “sex object” for another man to touch himself to in a magazine or a music video.
I wanted out. I wanted more. I was tired of being told that models do not speak their minds, they just sit there and look sexy. I remember reliving all the experiences in my Gender and Communications course in undergraduate school in college and that is when it hit me.
I not only joined the military to serve and do something great but another reason was to prove something. I had to prove that I was more than just a pretty face. Beauty in the “eyes of the beholder” had to know me more than just externally. While serving in the military, male soldiers asked me what I was doing in the military as if I did not belong. Often times I was told “you are too pretty to be in the military” as if only women who were considered less than beautiful by “societies standards of beauty” were in the military.
Let us change the way we think. It must not only start with changing this culture and society norms but we have to elevate our women to have more self esteem and pride. This will not come overnight. Lack of equality is also an issue. Women can be great, women can do more, do not settle for less. Reach out to me if there is anything I can do to help. I support you.
I live life by the principles to reduce as much stress as possible. A positive vibes only kind of lifestyle that incorporates physical, mental, and spiritual bliss. We all have stress and all stress is not bad stress. Some stress helps us grow and move mountains. Some stress truly gives us the necessary tools we need, like those ethical decision-making skills we need in life.
How do you incorporate a reduced stress living environment? For me… I like to start with self. What am I tolerating around me that I need to stop? Could it be people, job (not career), some family members (we all have at least one), or simply daily habits that we would like to stop because they add stress to our lives (like bad eating habits)? It could be all of the above. You need some sun and some relaxation. There are studies that show people who have access to sun are more happier people. Ask me about the studies so that I can share them with you.
Try traveling more often. I love traveling. The ultimate stress reduction tip for me is traveling, that could be a number one for most, but not for all because we are all different but I would recommend it for all. Travel more often! Take that trip that you think you are unable to afford. There are countless ways to have a great trip and not break the bank with all the savings that are out there today. Living Social has some great trip getaways for a low costs as well as other sites out there. Travel with groups. Groups discounts can help everyone save. Stop putting it off. Put it in your calendar and book it now so you can stop making excuses.
Every year I plan at least one international trip and three domestic trips. I went on a seven night cruise along the Western Mediterranean after spending a little time in Barcelona and was able to visit Marseille, Monte Carlo, Pisa, Rome, Sorrento, Pompeii, Capri, and more. The years prior I had a fabulous time in Toronto, Bahamas, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, and always enjoy a visit to Puerto Rico and St. Croix. I am looking forward to some great trips lined up for this year.
In the end of the day, you work hard and deserve a break. You have to take it for yourself to reduce stress in your life. Come back refreshed and reenergized ready to conquer all of life’s obstacles and then we can work on those bad habits and other stress areas in your life.