Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Not-Worthy-Of Complex and Toxic Relationships

In one way or another, we have all struggled in our lives with feeling “worthy-of”. Most often than none, we have had doubts about our worth in different areas and therefore we have questioned whether or not we are worthy-of something. Are we qualified for that job? Are we cut out for that promotion? Do we have the right or enough credentials as compared to others? All these doubts are perhaps easily dispelled by taking risks in the professional world in which others can reassure us of our worth. However, the worthy-of doubt and questioning are particularly dangerous when we question whether or not we are worthy of love or worthy of a certain person in our lives in the context of a sentimental relationship. The not-worthy-of complex usually leads to poor choices in relationships and a lot of heartbreak.
It seems that a lot of people are involved in toxic relationships these days. However, as bizarre as it may sound to the logical mind, perfectly fine and fairly intelligent individuals continue to choose to be involved in deconstructive relationships with people who “are not worthy of them”; or so we think. The problem may be that that person living in that toxic relationship may think he/she is not worthy of something better and therefore settles for the person who, although brings a lot of toxicity into the relationship, is at least available and showing that “at least somebody cares about me”. The other person in the relationship who is the cause of mayhem feeds off of the “not-worthy-of” person because he/she is also feeling that he/she is not worthy of someone good and constantly jeopardizes and antagonizes the relationship and the person who she/he feels is more worthy than her/him.  In any event, both “not-worthy-of” individuals feed off of each other’s insecurities and low self-worth.
Often times, our not-worthy-of complex manifests in the way of rejecting someone worthy in fear that, if we give him/her a try our not-worthy-of truth will be revealed, leaving us exposed and reassured in our complex. For instance, we fear that if our “secret” not-worthy-of status (our past, our debt, the truth about how our past relationship ended, our professional credentials, our bank account or whatever that may be) leaks, the other person may reject us, thus validating what we already knew all along: that we are not-worthy-of. We fear that if we agree to be with someone leveled, intelligent, capable, available, whole, complete and sacred, she/he will flee when we get uncovered in our not-worthy-of state. Therefore, we reject the worthy candidates and choose the not-worthy-of like us with which our secret is safe.
When we start self-doubting our worth we run into deep trouble. Yes, self-worth is something that is constructed during childhood and if the foundation was weak, building up that self-worth can be an uphill and constant battle. And more than a battle, it may lead to many relationships in which one does not feel worthy enough to be with a worthy-of-us or worthy-enough partner. When we live in toxic relationships, both partners are lacking self-worth. Both the one receiving the toxicity and the one initiating it do not feel worthy of anything else, more or better. And the cycle becomes vicious and never-ending.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

WOMEN VOTERS TO DECIDE THIS ELECTION


Women have been the focus of this upcoming presidential election. By accident? Maybe. I don’t think the presidential campaigns purposefully started out as campaigns in which women were thought of as the secret weapon; or not. However, both presidential campaigns have promoted ideals and platforms that have made this political campaign personal for many women who stand on both sides of the political spectrum. Are the messages to women from both parties a mere tactic to get the women’s vote? It depends on who you ask.

The Republican Party has focused on the economic issues they claim have been created by the Obama administration. Additionally, Republicans have repeatedly expressed that President Obama is diverting the attention from his failed economic policies by focusing on rhetoric about women’s rights. Moreover, the pro-life stance of the Republican Party is intended to strike an emotional nerve with women and as such, the Republicans (divided by the issue on if and when abortion should be “allowed”) are appealing to the maternal instinct of women by telling us that they will protect life in the womb. However, we all have heard what many men and women in the Republican leadership have said about women, abortions, rape, and so on (including the latest comments by Murdock), which in my opinion should make all women (and men) angry.

In the other hand, Democrats are appealing to women’s votes by focusing on their track record on women’s rights. President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act which states that women must earn the same pay for the same work as men (the wage gap is that White women earn 77 cents for every dollar a man makes; this gap is even higher between men and women of color). Obama also banned employment discrimination based on gender identity which helps women and girls increase their access and participation in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math). The Affordable Care Act also prevents insurance providers to discriminate against women (women pay higher health insurance premiums than men). Furthermore, Obama stands to protect women’s reproductive rights by supporting access to contraceptives free of copay and women’s right to choose. Additionally, the President signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act which allows gender crimes to be prosecuted by the Department of Justice.

Based on what we know so far about the presidential campaign, how well are Republicans and Democrats playing the woman card? As a woman and a voter, the Romney campaign is doing an excellent job at pushing women (at least the ones that are not suffering from Stockholm Syndrome) away, if you ask me. Obama has professed he wants his daughters to have the same opportunities as every other son in America will have and his record proves it. As a woman, I cannot vote for a party that is so wrong when it comes to women’s rights. Some may argument that we (angry women pro Obama) are just suffering from hysteria. Well, men would be in rage too if any woman candidate would tell them what to do with their penises and testicles and impose on their right to procreate (or not). I wonder how men, especially those from the Tea Party, would react if they were the ones being regulated, raped, and denied to choose what’s best for their bodies. We would definitely be reading a different set of stories. But for now, it is up to us, women and the men that place the women in their lives in high esteem, to go out and vote for our rights and the only candidate who has supported and defended our rights. That candidate is Barack Obama!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

AT 8 YEARS OLD, MY SON IS A FIRST DEGREE BLACK BELT!


 
We started my son in karate when he was 4 years old. At first, we just wanted him to play a sport and be with his friends. We also thought karate would be good for his motor skills, to learn discipline and courtesy, to burn off all that energy young children have and to someday be able to defend himself against bullies and potential abusers. When Paul Vincent started as a little tiger, he looked so cute in his uniform! It was too big for him but he looked adorable. As a little tiger, he basically learned the basic form of Tae Kwon Do and played fun games that were geared towards improving his coordination, building those pathways in his brain so that he could focus, learn, and do. I was ecstatic the first time I told him to do something and he responded with a stern and loud “yes, ma’am!” at 4 years of age! I thought “just for this, you are staying in karate!”

Now, a little over four years later, my son is a first degree black belt. He respects the sport and just now “gets it!” He said to me yesterday during a ride in the car: “mommy, I love karate. It is really my thing. Although, I sometimes feel like not going to class because I am tired, I love karate and I know being a black belt is only the beginning. I want to continue”. I was very proud of him for saying those words and for his honesty and commitment to his passion. We have seen him grow in karate and the days as a little tiger are long gone. Now my son is on his path to becoming something greater; something that he doesn’t even realize yet. He is on the path of becoming a man of principle, commitment, and values. Just like the tenets of Tae Kwon Do, my son is on his journey to mastering “courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit.” He says those tenets 4 times a week during class but he is doing much more than just saying them: he is becoming them!

I wait excitedly for what the future holds for my son. I certainly don’t have a crystal ball to see into his future (although I would love to!) But I know his experience in Tae Kwon Do will certainly help him to become the best version of himself.
(I want to express my gratitude to Mr. and Mrs. Spicar from Spicar Martial Arts in Southlake, TX for facilitating this journey for Paul Vincent and being allies in his development and growth. You may not know that you play an important role in the life of all the children that you teach. A part of what they are and a part of what they will be has been forged by you!)



Monday, September 17, 2012

¡BabyCenter en Español se une a la blogosfera!



¡BabyCenter en Español se une a la blogosfera!

Un diverso grupo de mamás, papás y expertos en varios temas, comparten su sabiduría, aventuras, dilemas y controversias en el Blog de BabyCenter

17 de septiembre de 2012 (San Francisco, California) – BabyCenter en Español desea celebrar este año el mes de la Hispanidad con el lanzamiento del Blog de BabyCenter, que permitirá a la mujer latina hacer oír su voz en medios de información de Estados Unidos y el mundo hispano. La importancia de abrir una ventana a las voces y experiencias de mamás hispanas, en español, en un mundo de alta tecnología donde impera el inglés, hace de la iniciativa bloguera de BabyCenter un momento para celebrar.

En un año en que el mes de la Hispanidad es la antesala a la contienda electoral en Estados Unidos, la voz de la mamá hispana y sus opiniones sobre las próximas elecciones presidenciales y otros temas de actualidad son más importantes que nunca.

El Blog de BabyCenter acoge a un diverso y talentoso grupo de mamás, papás y expertos en relaciones de pareja, sexo, tecnología, decoración, cocina, belleza y moda. Las mamás brindan una perspectiva única en temas como el embarazo, la obesidad infantil, la disciplina, la cultura, el trabajo y las noticias del momento.

Los colaboradores escriben desde varios rincones del mundo, incluyendo Estados Unidos, Puerto Rico, México, Chile y España, entre otros países. “Hemos apostado por un grupo de escritores que no tiene pelos en la lengua a la hora de compartir sus experiencias y conocimientos. Desde la visión iconoclasta y humorística de la maternidad que aporta Desmadreando, hasta los francos consejos sobre sexualidad de la Dra. Cuascud, pasando por la sabia guía de expertos como la Dra. Tiba Araujo y mamás como Lezeidarís Morales, nuestra intención es reflejar la multiplicidad de la mamá latina a través de un contenido fresco, entretenido y útil”, comentó Isidra Mencos, directora editorial de BabyCenter en Español.

El blog se compone de tres secciones:

Historias de mamás

En la sección Historias de mamás, se expondrán temas relevantes, prácticos y muy divertidos sobre la gran aventura de la maternidad o paternidad. Entre los blogueros se incluyen:

Lourdes Alcaniz: Periodista, escritora, divorciada y madre de 4 hijos. Ha publicado seis libros, entre ellos: Esperando a mi bebé: una guía del embarazo para la mujer latina y Gordito no significa saludable. Lee más sobre Lourdes y sigue su blog Batallas de Mamá. 

Sandra Arriagada: Ganadora del concurso de blogueras embarazadas, que se llevó a cabo en la Comunidad de BabyCenter en Español. Sandra es periodista y guionista de televisión en Santiago de Chile. Escribe de manera honesta sobre los sentimientos, sensaciones y frustraciones que conlleva su pancita. Lee más sobre Sandra y sigue su blog MamiRocker.

Desmadreando: ¡El humor no podía faltar en el Blog de BabyCenter! Te morirás de la risa leyendo a la Sra. Desmadres, quien se proclama como detractora de la maternidad rosa y es defensora de contar las verdades que nadie suele decir. Sigue a Desmadreando.

Lezeidarís Morales: Madre, esposa, periodista, programadora de radio y boricua de pura cepa. A través de su blog comparte un pedacito de su experiencia como mamá primeriza. Lee más sobre Lezeidarís y sigue su blog Ser MadrePR. 

Tu vida y tu hogar

Expertas en relaciones de familia, sexo, tecnología, decoración, belleza, y cocina comparten sus mejores consejos y recetas en la sección Tu vida y tu hogar.  Además, una "fashionista" asesorará a la mujer latina sobre cómo vestir durante y después del embarazo. Entre las expertas encontrarás a:

Dra. Tiba Araujo: Psicóloga, escritora, y terapeuta en el amor, comparte sus trucos para la felicidad de la familia. Es autora del libro Sobre amor y sufrimientos: realidades de la vida en pareja. Lee más sobre la Dra. Araujo y sigue su blog Mi bebé, mi pareja y yo.



Dra. Tanginika Cuascud: Reconocida sexóloga y autora, que brinda consejos e información a mujeres y hombres para que alcancen su potencial sexual.  Es autora del libro titulado Desnuda. Lee más sobre la Dra. Cuascud y sigue su blog Sexualidad al día.

Cristina Mella: Te inspira cada día a tener una casa bella, cómoda y práctica, que refleje tus raíces y estilo de vida. Lee más sobre Cristina Mella y sigue su blog Latino Living.

Verónica Cervera: Cubana, radicada en Miami, a quien le encanta cocinar sabroso y variado. Otra de sus pasiones es viajar, y probar todo tipo de comida que se le cruce en el camino. Te invita a "viajar" por el mundo con sus recetas. Lee más sobre Verónica y sigue su blog La cocina de Vero, al minuto y con comida.

Hoy en los foros

En la sección Hoy en los foros, le tomamos el pulso a lo que de veras piensan las mamás latinas de hoy, reseñando los temas más interesantes y populares que surgen en la Comunidad de BabyCenter en Español. Sigue a Loaina y Vocera de mamá.

Consulta esta página para conocer al resto de los colaboradores: http://espanol.babycenter.com/blog/authors/

¡Únete a la fiesta!

Por último, invitamos a todas nuestras lectoras a participar en un Twitter Party para festejar el lanzamiento del Blog de BabyCenter. La reunión será el 19 de septiembre de 10:00 a 11:00 a.m. tiempo del Pacífico (PT) en Estados Unidos. Tema: Estrenamos el #BlogdeBabyCenter. ¡Síguenos en @BCLatino y participa en la fiesta!  ¡Podrás ganar bonitos premios! 
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Créditos: BabyCenter en Español: http://espanol.babycenter.com/

Información para la prensa: Isidra Mencos, directora editorial de BabyCenter en Español: 415.344.7663 (oficina) 510.289.2645 (celular) o  isidra.mencos@babycenter.com.

Redes sociales: ¡Visita nuestra página de Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/BabyCenterEnEspanol)! Síguenos en Twitter (http://twitter.com/#!/BCLatino) y en Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/bclatino/).

Sobre BabyCenter® en Español: ofrece completa información sobre la maternidad y la crianza para los padres hispanos que viven en los Estados Unidos y en el resto del mundo hispanohablante. Su contenido abarca desde la concepción y el embarazo hasta niños de 5 años. Incluye artículos y respuestas de expertos traducidos y adaptados de la página en inglés de BabyCenter®, así como artículos originales escritos específicamente para los papás latinos. Además ofrece una comunidad (http://espanol.babycenter.com/comunidad) en la que los papás se conectan y comparten consejos y experiencias. BabyCenter® ha lanzado también un área para familias hispanas en la página en inglés (http://www.babycenter.com/hispanic-families), donde ofrece artículos sobre temas relevantes, desde nombres hispanos para bebé hasta consejos para criar a los niños de forma bilingüe.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Mujeres Republicanas


En días pasados he estado viendo con gran interés las convenciones nacionales republicana y demócrata. Con avidez he prestado atención a las plataformas políticas presentadas por ambos partidos. Con horror he leído y escuchado las propuestas inflamatorias que intentan obstruir y en algunos casos eliminar derechos por los cuales las mujeres hemos luchado por siglos. Con incredulidad he sido consciente de los comentarios infundados, falsos y peligrosos que algunos políticos y seguidores republicanos han expresado con respecto al aborto, a los crímenes sexuales en contra de la mujer, a los derechos reproductivos de las mujeres, al acceso a los anticonceptivos y la planificación familiar para las mujeres, al derecho de las mujeres a obtener servicios de salud, al derecho de la mujer de vivir libre de violencia y al derecho de la mujer a obtener la misma paga por el mismo trabajo que hacen los hombres. Y mientras miro horrorizada cómo los hombres del partido republicano defienden sus posturas en favor de que la mujer retroceda en sus derechos, miro con indignación como las mujeres del partido republicano alzan sus banderas en favor de dichas medidas.

Si mal me parece un hombre machista, peor me parecen las mujeres machistas. No puedo entender cómo una mujer puede estar a favor de su opresión justificándolo en base a ideales políticos y religiosos. Las mujeres que siguen al partido republicano porque supuestamente están a favor de la vida están en contra de sus propias vidas. Si es el derecho a la vida lo que defienden, defiendan la educación para disminuir la taza de embarazos no deseados. Si están en favor de los matrimonios entre hombre y mujer, que nadie se los impida. Los gay no andan imponiendo matrimonios gay en la sociedad ni en el mundo. Si Dios dijo “no juzguéis”, que se apliquen la ley y dejen a los demás ejercer sus derechos y sus ideas sin legislar lo que una pareja de cualquier sexo hace en su alcoba y lo que una mujer hace con su cuerpo. Si lo que quieren es gobierno pequeño que no gobiernen mi útero. Si son tan religiosos y creen en lo que dijo Jesucristo “repartid lo que tenéis y dadlo a los pobres”, que propongan una plataforma de gobierno para trabajar para el 100% y no para el “top 1%”.

Todos tenemos que colaborar en encontrar soluciones para los problemas sociales y económicos de nuestro país ya que al final de cuentas el sol brilla para todos, republicanos y demócratas.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

When Women will Reach Equality

Until women realize we deserve equal pay, equal opportunities, equal access to healthcare, comprehensive healthcare, and ownership over our reproductive rights and care, women will not reach equality. When women support MEN and political agendas that do not support the above, we not only detain progress; we set back the clock to a time in which women were worthless.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Where are the Women?


Where are the women?

As recent as yesterday, the attacks on women’s rights continues through the moronic words of GOP ‘s Representative and Senate candidate Todd Akin regarding “legitimate rape” and pregnancy and giving women more power to beat up husbands during divorce if the definitions of rape are not changed. I am not only appalled by his comments, I watch in horror as the whole country seems to be reversing to the dark ages when it comes to women and our rights. I have two interesting questions: (1) Who elects these officials? And (2) Why?

It is concerning and deeply disturbing to see that the mindset of many at the GOP are congruent with representative Akin’s views. It is even more disturbing to see how our votes have put those individuals there or have even allowed them to be in the race. Don’t we know better? Haven’t we learned? Have we no value for women in this country?

Many would argue that women in other countries are plagued with inequality and dangerously live under misogynistic regimes. But in reality, women in this country live under the umbrella of a controlling group of men, supported by brain-washed women that, justified by their beliefs and political ideologies, blindly follow a path of destruction for women. My question is will we all unite and stand against these ideals or will we let them prevail and doom us?

I hope women realize that there is a lot at stake in this next election. Regardless of political ideologies, women rights are human rights. And women rights will only be protected and won by women.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

If Your Vagina Could Talk, What Would It Say?

”If
[Via: http://www.mamiverse.com/if-your-vagina-could-talk-15677/" />If Your Vagina Could Talk: Keeping Yours Happy & Healthy]               

Ten Female Orgasms

”10
[Via: http://www.mamiverse.com/10-female-orgasm-types-15669/" />10 Explosive Female Orgasm Types (Must-Know Info!)]              

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

Happy day to all those men who hold the title "father", not only because they were able to biologically produce a child, but because they are role models, care-givers, super-heroes, leaders, champions, and stars in the lives of their children, biological or not. May you be crowned today with love, appreciation, and cheer!

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Men's Sexual Health: Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and Sex

Pelvic floor dysfunction is believed to be something that affects only women. But nothing is far from the truth. Problems with erections, sexual pain, incontinence, anal, testicular, abdominal pain, among other symtpoms, can be associated with pelvic floor dysfunction in men. Moreover, men are less proned to talk about their sexual health with other men, women, or even bring it up to their doctors. Read and find out if you or somebody you know could be suffering in silence. There are solutions!

http://voxxi.com/pelvic-floor-dysfunction/

Saturday, June 02, 2012

The New Snow White

For a long time, I have not been a fan of the children/fairy tale stories.  The main reason for my apathy towards stories such as Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty, among others, is that they portray the princesses as weak girls, so fragile and at the mercy of a others. In these stories, it seems that in order to be a strong woman one has to be evil and ruthless.  Conversely, the frail princess must always be saved by a prince that will finally give her her place in the kingdom. Without the intervention and bravery of a handsome prince, the princesses would’ve never made it in the world.

Recently, I went to see Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman and the new twists on the role of the princesses presented in the movies impressed me. Long I have longed for princesses that are a depiction of the strength of women. Long I have been crying that girls need to be taught that they do not need a prince to save them and define them. I feel all women have been vindicated through these characters in fairy tale land and in real life!
Even more interesting is that the princesses in these stories either save the prince (Mirror Mirror) or decide to live without a prince (Snow White and the Huntsman). Both princesses fight to take back their kingdoms and redeem the people who have suffered from the rule of the evil queen. Beauty is still a priced commodity in the movies but the focus is on the strength of women, either for good or for bad, I must ad. However, women are smart and the protagonists of their own lives. Moreover, having a pure heart does not mean to be a pushover in these stories, but rather, to bring justice to all.
I am glad to see that these fairy tale stories have been “updated”. As the roles of women have expanded, what we teach our daughters and sons about what a woman is must evolve too. Maybe it’s time to update Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and all the other classic princesses’ stories to depict women as more empowered, intelligent, wise, clever, strong, and ethnically, racially, and physically diverse, just as we are in real life!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Where are the "colored" superheroes?


Where are the “colored” superheroes?

I recently saw the movie “The Avengers” and very much enjoyed watching it. The special effects, the sound, the plot of the story all captured my attention and I was quite amused and amazed at the action. When I finished watching the movie, though, I felt something was missing. In all the heroic characters showcased in the movie, not one superhero was colored.

Do not get me wrong. I did not dislike the characters or who played them and how they were played. In fact, the acting was good. I very much enjoyed how Scarlet Johansen kicked butt in the movie, and I am in love with Thor, so mighty, strong, and handsome. However, I could not help but to notice that the only colored person in the cast was Samuel L. Jackson. Granted that Samuel L. Jackson had a big role in the movie and in the story, he was no superhero. All the superheroes, Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, and the Hulk (prior to his “hulk” state, after which he turns green), all of them are Caucasian. Even the assassins and the astrophysics genius were White.

The notion of having a full cast of White superheroes is thought-provoking for me for more than one reason. Fundamentally, the notion that “whiter is better” is still being sold to us in every walk of the way. I also saw the movie “Mirror Mirror” last weekend and noticed the same reality: all characters of the movie were White. It seems as if though heroism equals superiority, thus played by White characters. And not only the characters are White; they are blond or blond-ish, blue eyed, and appear to be of pure White descent. The world is always saved by the White gods and superheroes that fight against evil and bring justice and peace to us all, mere mortals.

When looking at the literature or the media, I cannot recall any “colored” superhero. There is no Black immortal being that saves the day for all of us. I don’t know of any Asian demigod that is capable of shooting fire and fight demonic creatures. I have not seen a Latino superhero with powers capable of stopping bullets and trains and fighting the elements.  Besides Halle Berry in The X-Men (she was also Catwoman in Batman), I cannot remember any mulatto or mixed mutant trying to save the earth. My point is that it always seems as if though we are sold, promoted, enforced, instilled the notion that “white is better”, in spite of the fact that “whiteness” does not represent the whole totality of the ethnic landscape of our country.

Why isn’t there a “colored” superhero? I don’t know. Maybe, instead of a White guy turning green, and therefore acquiring superhero after doing so, we can experiment with a White guy turning Black, powerful, and almighty for a change.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

How did we get here? The world of the overachievers


Today’s world can be described in one word: overachievement. As I reflect in my own life, I wonder how and why are we all in a wave of constant movement, doing, thinking, creating, shuffling, juggling, consuming, producing. I look at my own life and I look around and it seems as if though everybody is complaining that there are not enough hours in a day to accomplish all one is set out to do. I see how frantically people rush to tend to our many commitments and the demands, attention, and energy imposed on our time and I wonder: how did we get here?

All the messages to which we are exposed on a regular basis offer us the ability to have access to more, better, bigger: more food, more stuff; better bodies, better cars; bigger homes, bigger budgets; and the list goes on. All these promises come with another invitation: do more, expect more, give more, get more. And the list of exhortations is coupled with the requirement to be better moms, better cooks, better housekeepers, and better at being involved in our children’s education, recreation, the community, politics, charity, family, and a long list of other things. The list of “must-dos” insanely grows daily as our jobs expect us to do more and better, giving our careers more time than ever before and being accessible and available 24/7 to better serve the company’s clientele and show our commitment. As if we needed more impositions on our time, now we have to stay connected to social media, especially if our work requires so. Therefore, our lives are just a race to do more, be better, get bigger, at all times. Such paradigm of life, which is extremely stressful, is what most of us are living.

What prompted us to be that way? I have only one good answer: we live in a culture of overachieving. In order to feel that life is worth living, we have created a culture in which “having-something-to-do” at all times is the norm, what is expected, and the only way of life that is acceptable. I remember when I grew up in Puerto Rico. Businesses closed from 12-1pm for a lunch break, everything closed at 1pm or 2pm for the day on Saturdays, and there was nothing but church, some open restaurants, and beach on Sundays.  Now, people are lucky if they get a 15 minute break to devour their lunches at work, many people work at least 10 hours a-day, and we are demanded to give more, and many must take work home after their shifts have ended. Nonetheless, we are told that we need to chew our meals slowly and eat healthy. But how? Fifteen minutes is barely enough to get a sandwich out of its wrapper! Similarly, vacation times are scant and many employers do not offer paid sick days or family leave time, not to mention health insurance.

Overachieving has become our way of life. We must stretch our time to the limit to comply with all the demands put on it. For many, the only solution is to sacrifice their sleep, which has long-term negative implications. Moreover, stress is a silent killer for most that are kept hostage to this overachieving culture; not to mention how this lifestyle affects our families in the short and long run.

After expounding how this culture of overachievement has taken over our lives and its negative implications, here are some suggestions:

1.       Familia comes first: Be structured and strict about devoting time to your children and family and give them your undivided attention. The rest will wait.

2.       Forget Martha Stewart: See those beautiful homes in magazines? They belong there! Keep your house orderly and clean but do not attempt to have it magazine-ready (unless you have the time or a maid). Teach your children to be orderly, pick up after themselves, from the time they are toddlers and it will pay off in the future.

3.       30 minute meals? More like 15 minute meals: Prepare meals that are easy and fast, but you don’t have to sacrifice nutrition and health. For instance, spinach cooks very fast, almost all veggies taste great steamed for just a few minutes, fish cooks very quickly, pasta is a savior! Don’t try to overdo it in the kitchen. Leave fancy dishes for the restaurants.

4.       Time for yourself: When? While the kids are playing or napping, nap, polish your nails, take a bath, and don’t feel guilty about it. Share the load (spouse, family, friends) and don’t hesitate to enjoy yourself without the children every once in a while. I promise, everyone will be alive when you return.

5.       Sleep! Decide at what time you will shut down every night and just do it! Everybody needs certain amount of hours of sleep. Know your time and get what you need.

6.       Not perfect, just good enough: Don’t strive for perfection. If your kids are well-fed, healthy, given a lot of love, well-educated, happy, and alive, that’s good enough! Do not impose the same time demands on your children. Children also need down time. After being in school for 7 hours and having homework to do, one or two extracurricular activities are plenty, especially if you have more than one child to juggle.

7.       Say no: If you want to live a longer and happier life, start becoming braver at using the word “no”. Once you’ve had enough practice, it comes easy!

8.       Stop: I need one day a month to just be. I recommend it to everybody. Just devote one day to be in your jammies all day, watch movies, read, and disconnect.

9.       Prioritize: Junk mail: don’t read it. Cleaning the house: important but not as important as cuddling with your child or significant other.

10.   Ditch some things: Go over your life and make a decision on what you will let go of. We cannot tend to it all. Let go of things you don’t need, people that don’t contribute to your life, or causes for which you cannot fully commit.

In spite of how we live, we don’t have superpowers. We need to take care of ourselves and start a culture of health, quality and quantity time for us and family, sanity, and the enjoyment of life; a more simple life!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Why do Hispanics need an education? And if we have one, why should we care?


The future of Hispanics will be determined by how educated our community will be. The US Census Bureau estimated the Hispanic population at 47 million, or 15%, of the population of the United States. This number is impressive; however, our projected growth reveals how powerful our presence will continue be in our nation in the upcoming years.  The landscape of the US has been shaped and changed by our numbers. But it is not enough to be the largest majority in the US. We must also prepare to become the force that can propel our numbers to a brighter and more prosperous future.


Hispanics lag in academic achievements in the US. According to the PEW Hispanic Center, 52% of foreign-born Hispanic adults are high school dropouts and 25% of native born are as well. These figures are alarming. An uneducated Hispanic population will have less access to competitive jobs, salaries to keep them above the poverty line, and opportunities to overcome their social and financial disadvantages. Hispanics who drop out are more likely to suffer struggles brought about by unemployment. They also display more incidences of poor health, are more likely to be on public assistance and become single parents.  As can be seen, the consequences for dropping out of school are ominous. Moreover, drop out parents who do not instill the value of education in their children may doom them to repeat the same deconstructive patterns.


Educated Hispanics should be in the trenches working to bring down the Hispanic dropout rate. For starters, as part of the same ethnic group, we are all representative of our cultures and peoples. Unfortunately, the higher the numbers of uneducated Hispanics, the more negative and permeated stereotypes will follow us all. Enhancing our population to achieve more will benefit us all in the short and long run. Furthermore, the social problems that emerge from lack of education among our population will shrink as more of our children become educated. Currently, our tax money is utilized to provide public assistance to those who are uneducated and suffering from the associated social ailments. As more of our population has access to education, the best our taxes are going to be utilized to strengthen our nation and benefit us all.


If we are the largest minority, we need something to show for it. It is not enough to be large in numbers. Our Hispanic population must also rise and step up to become key players in all realms of the social and political spheres of this great country we call home. We should all care about the education of our children because we all pay the consequences, one way or the other, if we don’t.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Follow me!

I am writing about Sexual Health for Mamiverse. Also, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Also, follow me in Rocinante Erotica (erotica in Spanish only).  The world is endless for The New Latina!

Happy Mother's Day!


Why do we celebrate mother’s day?

I am a mother and I am happy that there is a mother’s day celebration. Besides the fact that mothers sacrifice a lot for our offspring, our job is unpaid, many times unsung, and nonstop.  I am reflecting on the significance of this day celebrated across many cultures and peoples all over the world and I feel a sense of entitlement on this day: I do deserve it and I do want it.  I do want to be celebrated that day for all the days and nights I have spent giving my unconditional love and attention to my child. I want to be pampered and honored on that day as if though I was the queen of the world. I want to accept the love and gifts and attention freely and openly, because as mothers we usually don’t take anything for ourselves. 

It is mother’s day this Sunday and I feel that I have earned the right to be whole and happy on that day and every day because I am doing the ultimate and utmost job in the whole world: I gave life and I am raising a life that will reach his full potential in this life thanks in great part to my investment.  I celebrate mother’s day as if though I owned it and I am proud to be a mother, always. Motherhood is the most important job, the most rewarding career, and the most beautiful of all vocations.  Happy mother’s day!

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Male Domination


I have been thinking quite a lot for the last few months about what is going on regarding women’s rights in the United States of America. United States, yet there is no unity being displayed when it comes to women and their rights and their placement in the land of man. In the name of God, many laws have been proposed and enacted that strip women of our basic rights. Men, in power, have not only written these laws, but they have been known to deny women even to communicate their feelings and opinions regarding these laws. The war against women is blunt and evident.

As I am puzzled as to what is the cause of all this hatred displayed towards women. I am trying to come up with explanations that will shed light onto why is this sentiment against women being promoted and perpetuated in 2012. One of my friends offered her comments and I think she is right. I will elaborate.

The male supremacy is instilled in us since birth. Through socialization, we are taught that everything masculine is more powerful, better, bigger. The sun is masculine and its light nurtures every living creature. The moon is feminine and we don’t really know what its purpose is.  Our dads are the law, our moms are soft. Boys are socialized to be strong. Girls are socialized to be “girlie”. And so forth. Images of men being superior are taught to us in everything. Children’s literature always portrays princesses that need to be saved and the prince that comes in a shining armor and a white horse to save them. And so forth. How won’t these messages permeate our psyche? Of course these messages create the paradigms that we live by and that are the root to how women get treated in the US and in the world.

I propose that we need to start young. We need to teach equality from the time children are born. We need to teach boys to be strong and girls too. We need to teach girls to be nurturers and boys too. We need both sexes to learn to be compassionate towards each other and that both females and males have a valuable place in society and in the world and that both are equally valuable. If we keep teaching girls to play with kitchens and dolls and then to be smart and go to college, but we don’t teach boys the same, women will still work double shifts-working outside the home and being the primary caregivers as oppose to men who primarily work outside the home, their home workload is limited, yet they are held in higher esteem because they are men. Men will continue to earn more if both sexes don’t share the load at work and at home, equally.

The hatred towards women is not new but it’s has taken a political dimension that, although is not unprecedented, it signifies a renaissance in the retro notions about women and their worth.  We need to change our way of thinking about the sexes and start doing things differently to get different results. Equality and thus the war on women will end once and for all when we raise both boys and girls to see each other with the same degree of respect.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Land of Men

In recent weeks, we have all witnessed in the media how men and women are clashing in politics regarding women’s rights. All these events that are evidence of a war against women have prompted me to think about why women and men are entrenched in this fight. I started thinking about how men and women are socialized to try to come up with a framework for what is going on in the American society.
It is well known that females are socialized from an early age to be nurturing, pleasing, giving, caring, expressive of emotions, dependent, and fragile. Men are socialized to be strong, assertive, competitive, stoic, and pay less attention to emotions. Being raised in a very traditional Hispanic home, I witnessed how families (mothers, fathers, grandparents) and society in general worshiped men. Many experts express that societies in the world are mainly patriarchal; therefore, manhood and the male construct are highly celebrated, valued, and enforced. For some reason still unknown to me, almost every society in the world still believes that being male is being superior and therefore better.

All these events that are going on in the US regarding women’s rights, including men deciding on the reproductive rights of women, lead me to realize that in the US, just like in many parts of the world, being male is synonymous of dominance and power. We are living in a society that still puts men in higher regard with respect to women and that attributes that power to men freely and unquestionably. Notions of the supreme power of men are engraved in the culture and in the mindsets of men and women in all realms of life. Negative stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination towards women are still the norm and are now happening bluntly in the fascinating and male-dominated world of politics. As frustrating as these events are, at least for me, it is even more frustrating to know that these negative notions about women permeate all spheres and are supported by both men and women and passed on from generation to generation. 
The gender war we are fighting in 2012 is a war that has been fought for centuries; maybe from the time humans have existed. This war is not new but it is being fought in new fronts. The gains that women have made are being taken away and there is an agenda to bring women to the dark ages in the name of “conservatism”. Women and men that are against what is going on will have to fight a long and hard battle.
Socialization happens to us without our input and without having any choice in the matter. Nonetheless, when we are smart enough to bring ourselves to a new level of awareness, men and women can decide to live in harmony and in a balance of power. We cannot promote misogyny and stand idle watching how our country deprives women of their rights. The war against women, although old, is experiencing a renaissance and we must all unite to crusade against it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy Birthday to The New Latina!

It has been six years since I started writing in this blog. Today, I was looking back at some of my old writings and I can see the evolution and growth, not only in the diversity of the writings, but also in my own style. I used to write about everything that came to my mind when I started this blog. Today, I write about mostly about the things I am passionate about, such as gender equality, education, sexuality, and health. When I first started this blog I used to write almost everyday. The frequency of my publishing has decreased over time but not due to a lack of writing but because my career as a writer has evolved. Today, I coach and assist university students who need help completing their papers and research. I pride myself in providing much needed assistance to master's and doctoral candidates complete their theses and dissertations so they can further their education and reach their goals. I have a blog in www.voxxi.com and I am going to start contributing in www.mamiverse.com. I try to publish something that is dear to me in this blog every once in a while. My life revolves around writing!

It is a blessing to be able to do what one loves for a living and to have the fortune of enjoying every minute of it.  Today, I celebrate the birthday of The New Latina and thank those who have followed this blog over the years.  I invite you to see my latest writings in Voxxi and Mamiverse and to leave me a note or send me an email. I hope this blog has enriched your life as much as it has enriched mine.  Happy birthday!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Women Are Smart Enough to Choose and Take the Pill

In recent weeks, there have been increasing and ongoing debates about women’s reproductive rights. Pro-choice and pro-life supporters are constantly clashing in the media and in everyday life.
Discussion boards online, Facebook walls, and tweets about conflicting conservative and progressive views on women issues are rampant. However, it seems as if though political and religious ideals have taken precedence over common sense, equality, and the rights of women in this country.


Where are women´s reproductive rights?


Today, I am experiencing deep thoughts, unpleasant thoughts, about what is going on with women’s reproductive rights in the U.S. I see anti-choice and pro-choice groups entrenched in their views and shooting at each other and I see how many fanatics of political and religious ideologies fail to see deeper into the main issue of all their battles.

Reproductive rights of women should be protected and preserved. When I hear right extremists swinging political and religious rhetoric at anyone who attempts to protect the reproductive rights of women, I cringe.
I cringe, because the same old notions that women fought against for centuries resonate loud and clear in my ears. I hear that those who oppose women’s reproductive rights still believe that women are not capable enough to make intelligent decisions, just like last century many still believed that women were not smart enough to vote, for instance. I feel that, in spite of the strides women have made to advance their condition in the world and in this country, many men and women are still women’s worst enemy because they do not trust that women, if given the choice, will choose well.
I am a woman. I trust women. I trust that when women are given choices, backed up with education and the right support systems in place, they rise above and make the right choices for themselves, for their families, and for society as a whole.

Pro-choice is not akin to pro-abortion

Saying women are not allowed to choose implies that women are not smart enough to choose what’s best for them. I am not a proponent of abortion. I am not pro-abortion. I am pro-choice.
I believe that women are smart and that given the right tools women can make more educated decisions that will have a better and greater impact over their lives. Instead of censoring women’s rights, give them options. However, removing the options will not solve women’s problems but rather, aggravate them and moreover, create bigger problems for society.It has been documented that women will recur to abortion, illegally and dangerously, home-made/self-induced and under less than sanitary conditions, if they are not given the legal option to abort an unwanted pregnancy. Therefore, enacting laws that prohibit abortion only creates a bigger problem for which the whole society pays.

Both conservative and religious women have gotten abortions over time so abortions are not reserved only for the most liberal. Moreover, it has also been documented that abortion rates drop in countries where abortion is legal and accompanied by education and access to contraceptive and preventive health care, and viceversa.
We, as women, need to fight for our rights
We need to award women those rights in this country, freely and comprehensively. We are ready! But if there is opposition to abortion, why is there also an opposition for free contraceptives in this country? If women cannot abort, and they cannot have access to contraceptives free of charge, what options do they have?
I encourage all, but especially women, to fight for their rights. Pro-choice is not an invitation to abort all pregnancies of all women. Rather, pro-choice is awarding women the freedom to decide what to do with their bodies and protecting their reproductive rights. Pro-choice does not impose abortion on those who do not believe in it.
Pro-choice is leaving the choice in the hands of women, not politicians.
Additionally, allowing contraceptives free of copays is in accord with women’s reproductive and healthcare rights and would reduce unwanted pregnancies that could end up in abortion. Denying women these rights put women in a dangerous position, disadvantaged and oppressed, just as centuries ago.

Read this story in Voxxi by following the link:
http://voxxi.com/2012/02/13/women-are-smart-enough-to-choose-and-take-the-pill-voxpopuli-mujer-health/

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

A New Era

Dear friends:

A new era has come, figuratively and literally.  The information era is here and with it, many different forms of communicating and staying in touch.  Now, easier than ever, people can express themselves through the virtual space in which distances are shortened and time is redefined.  In that space, almost all of us are.

I have a Facebook account.  In it, most of my friends share my space and my time. I recently updated my LinkedIn profile, and I am beginning a blog in Voxxi, a new multimedia magazine for acculturated Latinos.  The new year has started busy and promising.  Visit me in my new spaces: www.voxxi.com, Facebook, and LinkedIn. I am sure I will add a Twitter account one of these days as well...if I have time! 

Lets convene in the virtual space that allows us to stay close and develop our dialogues even further.  I will still visit Blogger from time to time but my work at DoctorWrite (www.wix.com/DoctorWrite/DoctorWrite) and my other social websites keep me quite busy. To see my latest published book, visit http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/2732710 and see my poetry book, DESNUDA (in Spanish).  Lets stay in touch!

Monday, April 04, 2011

ACEPTACION

Aceptación ha sido un tema retante para mí en los últimos tiempos. Me he dado cuenta de que una de las barreras más grandes del ser humano en su evolución personal, profesional, espiritual, emocional, es la aceptación. Sabemos que lo único que tenemos certero en la vida es el cambio. La vida es dinámica y la única constante de la vida es el cambio. Lo sabemos. Lo vemos en nuestros cuerpos a diario. Lo vemos en el mundo cómo diariamente enfrenta nuevos eventos. Lo vemos en nuestros hijos cómo crecen y evolucionan ante nuestros ojos todos los días. Lo vemos en el clima que varía de nublado a soleado, de frío a caluroso. Lo vemos en las estaciones del año cómo van de invierno a primavera a verano a otoño. Lo vemos cómo la vida comienza y termina para muchos, en un mismo día. Lo vemos en el día que no permanece día y se hace noche y día, todos los días. Lo vemos en todo. Sin embargo, a pesar de que nos enfrentamos al cambio a diario, no lo aceptamos. Si llueve nos quejamos porque queríamos un día soleado, a pesar de saber que la lluvia es esencial para la vida y que nos traerá grandes beneficios aun con las contrariedades que pueda provocar. Si hace frío añoramos los días de más calor, a pesar de que el frío mantiene en balance al ecosistema y necesitamos ese balance. Queremos un cambio, de ambiente, de estatus social y económico, de estatus marital, pero al enfrentarnos a la decisión de adoptar ese cambio flaqueamos y nos invade el temor. Ponemos resistencia al cambio, lo cual no hace mucho sentido porque crecemos y vivimos sabiendo que el cambio es inevitable y necesario. Pero aceptarlo es un paso fuerte para muchos.


La aceptación conlleva cambiar nuestros paradigmas con respecto a lo que nos rodea y a nuestro comportamiento. Aceptar que tenemos que cambiar es tarea difícil. Aceptar las consecuencias inmediatas del cambio es arduo porque muchas veces implica incomodidad, sufrimiento, dolor, aun cuando sabemos que ese cambio revelará cosas mucho mejores en el futuro y nos traerá las cosas que queremos al final de cuentas. Si queremos un cambio en nuestro estatus financiero y una mudanza de domicilio es lo que tenemos que hacer para lograrlo, aceptar que esa es la opción más productiva para alcanzar nuestras metas y aceptar vivir con el escozor temporal de la decisión de cambiar muchas veces previene y/u obstaculiza ese cambio. Aceptar que ya no tenemos cierta edad y que la vejez es inminente e imparable, que una relación no funciona en su constitución actual, la muerte aunque certera, y hasta los cambios que traerán beneficios positivos a nuestra vida es tarea difícil. Aceptar es el reto más grande de cambiar. Pero la falta de aceptación solo trae resistencia negativa a un cambio que es necesario o inminente. Y esa falta de aceptación nos trae amargura, estrés, soledad, tristeza, ansiedad; sentimientos los cuales los alimentamos con el temor para dejarlos vivos por tiempo ilimitado.


Durante mi corta experiencia en la vida me he dado cuenta de que el cambio, no solo es constante, sino también necesario y enriquecedor. También durante mis experiencias me he dado cuenta de que el cambio trae consigo un periodo de caos total que no se siente muy bien. Sin embargo, luego de ese caos la vida se desenvuelve revelando el resultado de ese cambio y al final de cuentas siempre es positivo. No aceptar el cambio lo resiste, lo tensa, lo estrecha a su límite. Aceptarlo es asumir la responsabilidad del cambio, ser el líder de ese cambio y manejarlo con nosotros al timón. A pesar de que la aceptación no previene muchos de los malestares del cambio, la aceptación nos pone en control del cambio y nos da la visión de que somos los que decidimos el cambio y/o cómo vivirlo. Muchos cambios son inevitables y están fuera de nuestro alcance y control. Sin embargo, nuestra respuesta a esos cambios, nuestro proceso a través de ellos y el resultado que obtenemos está en nuestro poder decidirlos. Aceptar o no el cambio es nuestra potestad. Cómo lo vivimos es nuestra prerrogativa.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Estudiar es la llave a una mejor vida

Red de Mujeres Hispanas de Texas brinda becas en su reunión anual


Por Jay Torres

Especial La Estrella Digital

FORT WORTH — En medio de gritos y lágrimas de felicidad, sorprendidas estudiantes recibían las becas que la Red de Mujeres Hispanas de Texas otorgó a manera de premiación en esta ciudad.



La asociación femenina brindó el sábado 26 de marzo más de 300,000 dólares en becas durante su evento anual.



El apoyo a jóvenes estudiantes es una de las principales misiones de esta organización estatal fundada en 1987.



Con un banquete, la sucursal de Fort Worth de la organización conocida por sus siglas en inglés de HWNT, culminó su creciente programa anual Latinas en Progreso con el cual impulsan a mujeres estudiantes de preparatoria a continuar con estudios universitarios.



El valor de este año superó con $50,000 dólares la cifra total de las becas distribuidas el año pasado y líderes de la organización esperan que la cantidad continúe creciendo mientras más familias, universidades y empresas se unan al programa.



Érika Alonso, alumna de la preparatoria Trimble Technical, fue una de las 20 estudiantes del área en recibir la sorpresa al ser nombrada como una de las honradas con becas cuyo valor oscila entre $500 y $40,000.



Alonso recibió la beca de más valor este año ($40,000) la cual fue patrocinada por la Texas Christian University (TCU) y cubre el costo total de su colegiatura durante cuatro años, para su carrera de Enfermería.



Además de TCU, otras universidades del área, como la University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), University of North Texas (UNT) y Texas Woman’s University (TWU), apoyan el programa.



“Sólo tendré que pagar libros y el transporte a la universidad” dijo Alonso.



Excelentes calificaciones escolares, buen comportamiento, un manuscrito y trabajo voluntario son requisitos necesarios para participar en el programa, explican las organizadoras del programa.



Pero el trayecto al éxito no tiene que ser navegado sólo por la estudiante, explica Eva Bonilla, presidenta del comité estatal sobre educación.



Una vez seleccionada, a la estudiante se le asigna una “madrina”, la cual funge como mentora para “navegar” con ella por la carrera académica.



“Sabemos que si educamos a una latina, ella no sólo podrá apoyar a su familia sino también ayudará a toda la comunidad”, dice Bonilla.



La historia de Bonilla y su familia, quienes por años han participado en el programa como patrocinadores y también como quienes reciben los beneficios, es emotiva.



Bonilla obtuvo su diploma universitario de administración de empresas a la edad de 57 años.



Dos de sus tres hijas ya se graduaron y la tercera continuará en la universalidad.



“Para mí la opción de ir a la universidad no estaba disponible”, dice Catarina Bonilla, hija de Eva.



Catarina es una enfermera graduada en el 2005 de la TCU.



Con el programa Latinas en Progreso esperan derribar barreras que evitan que muchas latinas continúen con sus estudios.



“Algunas veces son barreras culturales”, dice Jennifer Treviño, subdirectora de administración de UNT Health Science Center de Fort Worth.



Treviño ayuda a los padres de hijos que por primera vez acuden a la universidad a navegar el sistema educativo.



La familia de Treviño coopera con tres becas de $1,500 cada una.



Otras barreras que con frecuencia enfrentan estudiantes latinas incluyen obstáculos económicos y estatus migratorio.



“Muchas veces los padres no les permiten ir a los hijos a la universidad porque no pueden pagar”, dice Christina Elbitar, presidenta de la HWNT de Fort Worth.



“Y aunque no tengan papeles pueden ir a la universidad”, agrega Eva Bonilla.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

EL ORGULLO

El orgullo es miedo a ser herido. El orgullo es miedo a que otro ser humano tome ventaja con o sin nuestro consentimiento. El orgullo es otra forma de miedo. Cuando una persona siente orgullo o actúa basada en su orgullo, no hace más si no protegerse del miedo de experimentar dolor al envolverse en esa situación o relación. Cuando te dicen “conserva tu orgullo” te están diciendo, protégete del dolor que te puede causar esa relación o esa persona. Recuerda, no hay nada si no el amor y el temor. Lo único que existe en el mundo es el amor y el temor. El amor no da cabida al temor, por ende, el amor no da cabida al orgullo. El amor evoluciona. El orgullo impide la evolución del amor. El amor libera. El orgullo ata a los prejuicios-ideas preconcebidas sobre algo y bajo las cuales actuamos y tomamos decisiones, aun cuando estas ideas sean infundadas, inservibles u obsoletas. Inclusive también cuando estas ideas no contribuyan a nuestro crecimiento.


El orgullo es un escudo para guardarse del dolor, del defraude, de la decepción, de la angustia, de la desilusión, de lo desconocido. Pero también es una barrera que impide mostrar, recibir y experimentar el amor a manos llenas, con plenitud. El orgullo es una falsa ilusión de seguridad y de protección. Es un rasgo humano aprendido, a través del modelaje de otros y a través de las experiencias dolorosas (las cuales también son aprendidas). El espíritu no tiene, no siente orgullo. No actúa con soberbia ni con juegos al escondite. No se resguarda de nada, porque el espíritu es lo que es, y vive en el mundo de lo absoluto. El orgullo es el bloqueo de la condición humana hacia experimentar el absoluto en su máxima expresión a través de la condición física. Deshacerse del orgullo es deshacerse del miedo. Deshacerse del miedo es amar sin límite. El ejemplo del amor por los hijos es el amor más puro que pueda experimentar el ser humano en su condición física en este plano. A pesar de que existe el orgullo en la relación con los hijos (porque lo experimentamos en nuestra capacidad humana, inevitablemente), este orgullo se sobrepasa más rápido y más voluntariamente. Con los amigos se expresa el amor de manera más plena de igual forma. Sin embargo, las relaciones de pareja se prestan mucho para juegos de orgullo. Las parejas que experimentan un nivel de amor más pleno y equilibrado, saben que dejar a un lado el orgullo es fundamental para el funcionamiento y la durabilidad de la relación. Los niños, en su relación con sus padres, no sienten orgullo. Un niño puede ser regañado o castigado por algo, e inmediatamente después de levantado el castigo puede venir a abrazar y besar a sus padres como si nada hubiese pasado. Esto ocurre porque aún no están condicionados para el orgullo. El orgullo es aprendido. No es parte de la condición natural del ser. Por eso decía Jesús que hay que ser como niños para entrar al reino de los cielos. Amar como aman los niños es amar sin condición y con completo abandono. Amar como niño es la clave para amar a todos y la llave hacia la felicidad plena y el reino de lo eterno.




Hay relaciones que vienen a nuestra vida con un propósito, previamente establecido, y cuando se completa ese propósito, esas relaciones parecen terminar. Terminan en su forma física, no obstante la conexión espiritual continua para siempre porque nunca se va. Todos somos parte de un todo. Todos somos uno. Todos surgimos de la misma fuente. Somos indivisibles. Como parte del juego, decidimos qué papel jugará cada persona en nuestra vida. Elegimos las condiciones antes de llegar. Tú puedes recordar quién eres, aun cuando la otra persona no puede. Decide siempre recordar quién eres y recordar quiénes son las otras personas, más allá de lo físico. La sabiduría te hará libre y feliz.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

EDUCATION BUILDS A FUTURE

EDUCATION BUILDS A FUTURE


Latinas everywhere face strong obstacles to their personal and professional development; that is well-known. Many of us have made strides and overcome obstacles and adversity in order to reach success; however, the vast majority of Latinas still encounter invisible, but solid barriers to build better lives for themselves, and the external forces that create those barriers are still latent, potent, and evident. Education is undoubtedly the best tool for Latinas to continue a significant and constant path to a better life.


Education is indeed an elixir that begins to heal many social plagues. Our culture, in spite of its goodness, imposes limiting barriers for women. Some of the obstacles Latinas face to further their education are: 1) limited education in the household; 2) marrying at an early age; 4) teen pregnancies; 4) having a family and aiding with extended family which leads to premature adulthood; 5) high school graduation rate for Latinas is lower than for any other ethnic group; 6) Latinas are less prepared and less likely to take college entrance examination exams than any other ethnic group; 7) Latinas are under-enrolled in gifted and talented education programs in schools, more than any other ethnic group; 8) Latinas are the least likely of any women to complete a bachelor’s degree; 9) isolation, racism, stereotyping, and prejudice in schools, colleges, and universities; 10) depression and mental health issues that leads Latinas to attempt suicide more than young women and women of any other ethnic group; 11) lack of financial resources to go to college; and 12) limited access to information on educational options, programs, and financial aid to go to college.


Why are Latinas so plagued with these problems? Latinas are raised in traditional homes that enforce them to conform to traditional expectations for females. There are low expectations from families when it comes to Latinas and their education. These low expectations come from their families, school teachers, and faculty in college. Because of the strict traditional roles and unquestioned respect to authority, Latinas lack networking skills to reach out. The Hispanic culture puts family obligations and responsibilities in higher regard with respect to education, and families impose these obligations and responsibilities on its women. Even when Latinas work outside the household and/or study, they are expected to come home and fulfill the vast majority of household chores and family duties. Another obstacle Latinas face when trying to pursue their education is the fact that they lack the support and understanding from family members in the household or their spouses when these women are trying to fulfill their school/college workload. The lack of role models, and lack of encouraging messages to stay in school and pursue higher education from key persons in these young women’s lives (parents, spouses, teachers, etc), instill in the psyches of Latinas a defeating attitude toward education. Another big issue is that Latinas may not understand the enhanced long-term benefits of education, and short term economic needs of the family, along with the instant gratification of a paycheck, may mirage to Latinas a false sense of stability and well-being.


How do we cure this plague? We must all become the voice that speaks to Latinas, loud and clear, about the benefits of pursuing an education. We must reach out to them and help them build a future. We are all responsible for the future of women in our culture, in our society and in our world. For those of us who have walked the walk and have overcome the obstacles of our culture, society, and to our education, helped by other comadres and hermanas, we must pay it forward. With our encouragement, example, and determination, we can make a difference in a young Latina’s life. Education builds a future!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

CULTURA DEL SLOW DOWN

Este artículo me lo envió mi queridísima amiga Waleska Irizarry en el 2006. Me ha tomado tres años y medio leerlo en su totalidad, no porque lea tan lento, ni siquiera porque he aplicado lo que dice el artículo, sino porque mi “falta de tiempo” me había impedido leerlo hasta el final. Si estás en un apuro, te recomiendo que detengas tu tiempo y lo leas. Valdrá la pena. No puedo darle el crédito correcto a la persona quien lo escribió, pues carezco de esa información. Le doy su debido crédito al autor públicamente e invito a la reflexión a través de esta lectura tan profunda.







CULTURA DEL SLOW DOWN


Ya tengo 18 años desde que ingresé a la Volvo, una empresa Sueca. Trabajar con ellos es una convivencia muy interesante. Cualquier proyecto aquí demora dos años para concretarse, aunque la idea sea brillante y simple. Es una regla.


Los procesos globalizados causan en nosotros (brasileños, argentinos, peruanos, chilenos, venezolanos, colombianos, mexicanos, caribeños, australianos, asiáticos, etc.) una ansiedad generalizada en la búsqueda de resultados inmediatos. En consecuencia, nuestro sentido de la urgencia no surte efecto dentro de los plazos lentos de los suecos. Los suecos debaten, debaten, realizan "n" reuniones, ponderaciones, etc. ¡Y trabajan! con un esquema más bien "slow down". Lo mejor es constatar que, al final, esto acaba siempre dando resultados en el tiempo de ellos (los suecos) ya que conjugando la madurez de la necesidad con la tecnología apropiada, es muy poco lo que se pierde por aquí en Suecia.


Lo resumo así:

1. Suecia es del tamaño del estado de Sao Paulo (Brasil).


2. Suecia tiene tan sólo dos millones de habitantes.


3. La ciudad más grande, Estocolmo, tiene apenas 500.000 habitantes


4. Empresas de capital sueco: Volvo, Scania, Ericsson,Electrolux, ABB, Nokia, Nobel.


Nada mal, ¿no? Para tener una idea de la importancia de ellas basta mencionar que Volvo es la que fabrica los motores propulsores para los cohetes de la NASA. Los suecos pueden estar equivocados, pero son ellos quienes pagan mi salario. Por ahora, menciono especialmente que no conozco un pueblo, como pueblo mismo, que posea más cultura colectiva que los suecos.

Voy a contarles una historia corta, sólo para darles una idea:
La primera vez que fui para Suecia, en 1990, uno de mis colegas suecos me recogía del hotel todas las mañanas. Estábamos en el mes de septiembre, algo de frío y nevisca. Llegábamos temprano a la Volvo y él estacionaba el auto muy lejos de la puerta de entrada (son 2000 empleados que van en coche a la empresa). El primer día no hice comentario alguno, tampoco el segundo, o el tercero. En los días siguientes, ya con un poco más de confianza, una mañana le pregunté a mi colega: "¿Tienen ustedes lugar fijo para estacionar aquí? pues noté que llegamos temprano, con el estacionamiento vacío y dejaste el coche al final de todo...". Y él me respondió simplemente: "Es que como llegamos temprano tenemos tiempo para caminar, y quien llega más tarde, ya va a llegar retrasado y es mejor que encuentre lugar más cerca de la entrada a la empresa. ¿No te parece?"


Imaginen la cara que puse. Y con ella fue suficiente para que yo revisara en profundidad todos mis conceptos anteriores. En la actualidad, hay un gran movimiento en Europa llamado "Slow Food". La Slow Food International Association, cuyo símbolo es un caracol, tiene su central en Italia (un espacio en la Internet que es muy interesante, visítalo). Lo que el movimiento Slow Food predica es que las personas deben comer y beber lentamente, dándose tiempo para saborear los alimentos, disfrutando de la preparación, en convivencia con la familia, con los amigos, sin prisa y con calidad. La idea es contraponerse al ánimo del Fast Food y lo que éste representa como estilo de vida. La sorpresa, por tanto, es que ese movimiento de Slow Food está sirviendo de base para un movimiento más amplio llamado "Slow Europe" como resaltó la revista Business Week en una de sus últimas ediciones europeas.


La base de todo está en el cuestionamiento de la prisa" y de la "locura" (generada por la globalización, por el deseo de "tener en cantidad" nivel de vida) en contraposición al de "tener en CALIDAD", "Calidad de Vida" o "Calidad del Ser". Según la Business Week, los operarios franceses, aunque trabajen menos horas (35 horas por semana) son más productivos que sus colegas estadounidenses o británicos. Y los alemanes, que en muchas empresas ya implantaron la semana de 28,8 horas de trabajo, vieron su productividad aumentar en un elogiable 20%. Esa llamada "slow attitude" está llamando la atención hasta de los estadounidenses, discípulos del "fast" (rápido) y del "does it now!" (¡Hágalo ya, apúrese!).


Por tanto, esa "actitud sin prisa" no significa hacer menos ni tener menor productividad. Significa sí, trabajar y hacer las cosas con "más calidad" y "más productividad", con mayor perfección, con atención a los detalles y con menos estrés. Significa retomar los valores de la familia, de los amigos, del tiempo libre, del placer del buen ocio o el ocio constructivo, y de la vida, en las pequeñas comunidades. Del "aquí" presente y concreto, en contraposición contra lo "mundial o global" indefinido y anónimo. Significa retomar los valores esenciales del ser humano, de los pequeños placeres de lo cotidiano, de la simplicidad de vivir y convivir, y hasta de la religión y de la fe. Significa un ambiente de trabajo menos coercitivo, más alegre, más leve y por lo tanto, más productivo, donde los seres humanos realizan, con placer, lo que mejor sabe hacer o dedicación de aprender lo que no sabe.

Es saludable pensar detenidamente en todo esto. ¿Será posible que los antiguos refranes: "Paso a paso se va lejos" y "La prisa es enemiga de la perfección", "Vísteme despacio que voy de prisa" merezcan nuevamente nuestra atención en estos tiempos de locura desenfrenada? Que no sabemos para dónde vamos. ¿Acaso no sería útil que las empresas de nuestra comunidad, ciudad, estado o país, empiecen ya a pensar en desarrollar programas serios de "calidad sin prisa" hasta para aumentar la productividad y calidad de los productos y servicios sin necesariamente perder "Calidad del Ser"?


En la película "Perfume de Mujer" hay una escena inolvidable en la que el ciego (interpretado por Al Pacino) invita a una muchacha a bailar y ella responde: "No puedo, pues mi novio va a llegar en pocos minutos". A lo que el ciego responde: "Pero es que en un momento, se vive una vida", y la saca a bailar un tango. El mejor momento de la película es esta escena de sólo dos o tres minutos.

Muchos viven corriendo detrás del tiempo, pero sólo lo alcanzan cuando mueren, ya sea de un infarto o un accidente en la autopista por correr para llegar a tiempo, o para otros que están tan ansiosos por vivir el futuro que se olvidan de vivir el presente, que es el único tiempo que realmente existe. Todos en el mundo tenemos tiempo por igual, pues nadie tiene ni más ni menos de 24 horas por día. La diferencia está en el empleo que cada uno hace de su tiempo. Necesitamos saber aprovechar cada momento, porque, como dijo John Lennon, "La vida es aquello que sucede mientras planeamos el futuro".

Falta tiempo cuando falta el espíritu de vivir, es un asunto de prioridades, porque no hay un compromiso consigo mismo. Tres factores nos aniquilan: cuando evitamos el riesgo, eludimos la responsabilidad y oponernos a los cambios. Como no tomamos tiempo para nosotros, no podemos dirigir nuestras propias vidas, ni menos la de nuestra familia o nuestros hijos, entonces nos empeñamos en dirigir una ciudad, un estado o una nación.

Felicitaciones por haber conseguido leer este mensaje hasta el final. Hay muchos que lo habrán dejado por la mitad para "no perder tiempo" tan valioso en este mundo globalizado, porque su "brainwash" es que el tiempo es dinero.


¡APRESÚRATE A VIVIR DESPACIO!


FIN