Thursday, April 27, 2006


Lo contemplo, y no me canso de mirarlo. Hace tiempo que vengo poniendo mis ojos en él, y todos los días me parece nuevo y diferente, pero tan viejo a la vez. Cada minuto que paso a su lado es un viaje hacia la eternidad, corta y cerca, pasajera y tan larga, palpable a la punta de mis dedos e inalcanzable. Lo miro y me pierdo en su piel que refleja mi amor perdido por él, tan fiero y apacible, como el viento que fluye sin barreras a través del tiempo, y el agua que se escapa por mis dedos sin poderla detener. Quiero darle todo en todo momento, hacerle saber que mi alma se extiende hacia la suya sin remedio, se me crece y se me expande buscándolo, y encontrándolo en mí, muy profundo porque nace de mi esencia que nos une en una sola cosa, en un solo ritmo, en un solo sentir. Lo miro, y él no sabe que lo estoy contemplando con una mirada larga y llena de mí que estoy depositando en sus cabellos como una caricia sutil que casi no se siente, pero que carga la energía de mis adentros. Observo su boca y su sonrisa, tan de él y tan hermosa, que enciende en mis ojos el cielo como una llamarada en el horizonte. Puedo cerrar mis ojos y verlo sin mirarlo, con su imagen gravada en mis pupilas que lo hacen cierto y latente, aun cuando no lo tengo conmigo. El no sabe que lo miro y que su imagen vive en mí como yo misma, porque mora en mí como mi ser. Algún día se enterará de mi mirada y de por qué lo miro…

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


I am doing a few readings right now, and one of the books I am reading is titled The Confident Woman by Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz. The title speaks for itself, and I found one of the quizzes of the book very interesting. The author calls it a “state-of-the-person confidence inventory” which would hopefully give readers more light as to what their level of self worth, confidence, and esteem is.

The following questions or statements should be answered or ranked numerically, from 1 to 10, 1 and 2 meaning rarely or never, 3 and 4 meaning not very often, 5 and 6 meaning sometimes, 7 and 8 meaning most of the time, and 9 and 10 meaning Yes!!Always. The sum of your responses will give you an insight to your confidence level, which I will disclose right after the questions.

(Having self-knowledge)
1. I have a strong sense of my self: that is, I know who I am, what I like, and what I want out of life. I am my own person.

(Being self-responsible)
2. I take responsibility for getting what I need and want rather than depending on others to give it to me, or get it for me, or do it for me.

(Prioritizing actions)
3. I spend my time on who and what is important to me.

(Choosing quality people)
4. I spend time with positive people about whom I care and who are caring , supportive, and respectful of me.

(Choosing quality work)
5. I love the work I do: it’s interesting, challenging, and meaningful.

(Choosing quality activities)
6. I engage in activities, hobbies, sports, and events I love.

(Choosing quality environments)
7. I make sure that the environments in which I live and work are positive, healthy, and pleasing to me.

(Having life balance)
8. My life is well balanced between work and play.

(Choosing a positive attitude)
9. I am a positive person; that is, I am able to focus on the positive aspects of my life and eliminate or effectively deal with the negative.

(Having a solutions orientation)
10. When life’s problems and challenges arrive, I act on them rather than think or worry about them.

(Accepting body and appearance)
11. Aside from occasional “bad hair day”, I am comfortable with how I look, including my face, my body, and my choice of clothing.

(Effectively using feelings)
12. I am aware of and can identify my feelings.

(Having a sense of humor)
13. I seek out and enjoy the humorous aspects of life.

(Choosing to have other people do it)
14. I ask things of others, delegate when appropriate, buy what I need to accomplish what I want, and employ others as needed.


15. Physically: Caring for my body including eating right, exercising, resting, relaxing, getting enough sleep, and seeing health care professionals when appropriate.

16. Emotionally: Caring for my emotional side including carving out time to renourish and reenergize myself, having fun, seeking peace and clam in my life.

17. Socially: Caring for myself by spending most of my time with people who are good for me, and eliminating or limiting the time with those who are not good for me.

18. Intellectually: Caring for my mind by making the most of my intelligence, reading, becoming as educated as I can, keeping intellectually alive.

19. Financially: Caring for myself by being financially aware, accountable, and responsible.

20. Spiritually: Caring for my spiritual side by attending religious services or spending time alone to reflect, meditate, or pray, or seeking spiritual insight through reading, study, or other experiences.

Write down your score. The interpretation of your score is as follows:

180-200 You are highly confident
140-180 You are mostly confident
100-140 You are sometimes confident
60-100 You are not often confident
20-60 You are rarely confident

If you are a highly confident individual, congratulations and keep it up. If you lack some or most, then it might be time to start making some changes in order to become a better you. Only you know what you need, and only you can give it to yourself. You are responsible for your life, only you, so make it worth living.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Found this and thought is was cute. I would say all girls agree. Guys: pay attention!

Every girl's dream...
1. Getting kissed in the pouring rain
2. Have that one hot kiss where your pressed against the wall
3. Have a guy that thinks you're the world
4. Have a guy that holds on as long as possible when giving hugs
5. Have that moment where you just gaze into each other's eyes
6. When you're not with your guy he's all that you can think about
7. When you cry, he kisses your tears away.
8. A guy that will play her favorite song outside her window
9. A guy who tells you that your smile makes everything better
10. A guy who tells you you make his day better, just for being you
11. A guy who squeezes your hand
12. A guy that says he loves you and means it
13. A guy who would love you forever no matter the circumstance
14. A guy that will sing to you no matter how bad he is at it.
15. A guy that will kiss you on the forehead.
16. A guy who stands up for you no matter who he is against
17. A guy that will never judge you for how you look.
18. A guy that says cheezy stuff to you just to make u smile
19. A guy who you can hangout and have fun with
20. A guy who will hold your hand through the roughest parts of life
21. A guy that whispers he loves you in your ear
22. A guy that tells you everything honestly
23. A guy that will always let you win
24. Wearing his jacket and every time you breath in, his scent surrounds you
25. A guy who will watch any movie with you, no matter how teary eyed you may get.
26. A guy that will call you beautiful or adorable...not hot, fine, or sexy
27. A guy that is the same when he is with you and when with friends
28. A guy that is good with your family and introduces you to his family
29. A guy who calls you at night just to say 'hi' and see how your day has been
30. A guy who will sit on the phone with you when you're sad, even if you're quiet
31. A guy who wouldn't mind you wanting to get all dressed up and do your make up for him even if he says he likes you better without make up.
32. A guy who you can be yourself with and he will never give a care and would still tell you that you are amazing to him.
33. A guy who runs his fingers through your hair, like he's washing your worries/troubles away.
34.A guy that will just randomly call you for no reason at all, just because he missed you
35.) To have a respectful, loving, caring guy that is not just your "man" but your boyfriend and friend.

By gbbybrunette


I am going back to Puerto Rico. Not that I do not go often, but this would be the first time this year. Every trip to Puerto Rico is a trip back to the small world that I once left behind. My heart fills up with joy and anticipation with every trip, as if it was the first time in a long time I had been there. I can close my eyes and see everything unchanged, as though time had stopped and frozen life. I can see in my mind the tropical beauty of the Island, the beauty I always long for when it is winter. I see green, the green I adore because it is so vibrant and full of life. I see the deep blue sky, endless, covering the Island like a cozy blanket. But most of all, I see the ocean and the sea, with whom I am forever in love.

When I see the Island from above I get very excited. What a beautiful sight of the ocean, the sand, and the palm trees from the sky! I cannot wait to get my feet submerged in the sand and smell the salty water in the air. The smell of the sea and the ocean is one of the greatest smells there are. I can close my eyes and hear the water dancing with the sand, flirting with the wind, moving in a sensual rhythm that has no end. I can get lost looking at the horizon in which the water and the sky merge becoming one, with no beginning and no end, just like soul mates. I can stare at the reflection of the sun and the moon in the water as the light becomes alive in the movement of the waves that never rest. I can close my eyes and serene with the soliloquy of the ocean and the sea chanting an endless story that has been told many times but never gets old. I could write countless pages and recite countless poems inspired by the majestic experience of my romance with the Island breeze by the beach.

My trips back to home are always revealing. I see all the changes in me, as I have evolved with time and through my absence from my old world, but I see the essence of what I am reflected on my past that is so present when I return to my roots. The loves I left behind I find unchanged, and maybe strengthened by the void that the lack of physical proximity can impose to one’s heart. Every minute is spent pampered by every soul that surrounds me, with love, hugs, kisses, caresses, and food. And in those brief days I spend back in my small world I can see how time cannot stop us from loving, and distance cannot stop us from caring and showing it.

I am going back to Puerto Rico. I will hear the roosters singing in the morning (way too early if you ask me), and the coquies singing at night, and it will all be wonderful. I am glad my son has the chance to enjoy my past too, and hopefully learn to treasure it.

Monday, April 24, 2006


En diosa me convierto, o tal vez surge de mí con la esencia que me roza y me penetra, y deja salir la mía más fuerte. La luz me nace de adentro, se acrecienta y brilla a través de mi piel, despidiendo destellos que dejo en el éter para que iluminen el camino que a oscuras no quiero andar. La mirada a mi alma la hace despertar y viajar a lo más profundo de ella misma, allí donde es más pura y más fuerte; allí donde al convertirse en carne deja de existir para vivir en la verdad de lo efímero, lo innegable y lo palpable. Allí soy diosa, y la diosa que vive en mí despierta al contacto de tus manos que van abriendo mis ojos divinos para ver tu aura brillando sobre mí, uniéndose a la mía, intensificándose con cada latido que sale de mí y se siente a través de mi pecho y mi centro. Afuera ahora vive la diosa, antes durmiente, ahora grande buscando el camino a la eternidad.

Friday, April 21, 2006


Why quiet what speaks to us loud and clear? Why hide from what has already found us? Why silence our lips, when the words escape our thoughts through our skin? Why close our arms, when by opening them we can embrace the sky? Why close our eyes, when through them we can read a soul? Why shut the doors to our truth, when it is the key that opens it all? Why deny ourselves with the opportunity to let go, when by abandoning ourselves we find better paths? Why resisting giving in to our essence, when it can tell us all that we need to know?


"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn´t do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain.


I saw it, the meeting of those two, and I witnessed their romance and sensual dance. I could not take my eyes off of them, unsuspicious of my presence, giving in to their mutual desire to be with one another. I had to stop and stare at them, and I looked at them briefly before I decided to leave them alone. I realized their thing would go on with or without me, but I realized how lucky I had been to have had seen their glorious union. I smiled as I drove away, not being able to take my eyes off of those two, so immersed into each other, like one, unified in total communion. I smiled and drove away, as I left the water and the light continue their romance and sensual dance.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


In one of my readings today, a book titled Gendered Lives, the author explains the socialization of males and females, and how the socialization process influences gender roles. 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; being male is highly celebrated, encouraged, and promoted. When the first born is a male it is a reason for celebration. When the first born is a female it is like a consolation prize: the next try might result in a boy. I have notions of myself about gender issues, and throughout all my research I have confirmed the suspicion that I had about how, for some reason still unknown to me, almost every society in the world still believes that being male is being better.

Do not get me wrong: I love men. How can I not? And quite frankly, when I read about all the studies that have been conducted about gender issues and how men and women are treated unequally and unfairly, after agreeing, I also see the disadvantages to men in the world of men. Again, men are socialized to be tough, rough, strong, stay calm and remain cool even when things are not going so well. Men do not have the luxury to cry when they want to: they were just not taught to do so. Men find it hard to express their feelings and emotions openly and freely, like women: they are not expected to do so. Some men find it very hard to enable intimacy, proximity, and vulnerability in relationships: they are not programmed to allow for that level of emotional abandonment and fulfillment. Women have many disadvantages too, according to experts in the matter, but that is material for another article. For now, I want to focus on men.

As I have witnessed how my culture, and I guess experts would say every culture, worship masculinity, I cannot help but realize how hard it is to be a man sometimes. I have witnessed how emotionally stressed men can be, and I would imagine that it is hard for men to comply with the requirements of society, which ultimately means being successful (which generally means work until they drop to make as much money as possible with little time for family life and fun), without being able to express their deepest feelings, or even allowing themselves to feel and connect at that deep level. In the book, the author asked males and females what would they do if they woke up one morning being the opposite sex. The responses varied, and generally women expressed that they would be relieved not to have to pay so much attention to their looks for once without being judged, and men expressed that they would probably have to get up earlier to spend some extra time to get ready in the morning. If I woke up being a man, I would cry, probably will cry a lot before I know I will not be able to cry anymore in front of any one.

I love being a woman, despite all the disadvantages experts have proven we have and the ones we have had to live through. In spite all the inequality and imbalance that does not benefit women, at least I am able to be a mother and fully enjoy it, cry if I want to, laugh as hard as I want to, take as much time to get ready in the morning without criticism (if my son allows me), but mostly, express my feelings, thoughts, emotions, expose my soul, and allow myself to be intimate, close, personal, vulnerable, connected, immersed, loving, caring, and giving with those I love because it is expected of me, but most importantly, because I want to and because I can.

Ultimately, though, all experts agree that gender roles are learned through socialization, but also decided upon when we are old enough to know better. Guys have the right to be expressive, loving, caring, and intimate, and they should free their minds, hearts, and souls to do so without shame or guilt. I am sure women would be very appreciative of more “feminine” men, and men would live more fulfilling lives.

Monday, April 17, 2006


When he touches me, it is like the whole world stops. I feel so embraced by a warm and wholesome light, it fills up every fiber of my body and soul. I see life from the end of the sky every time he lays his hands on me, and it feels so good that I never want that feeling to go away, or for him to not want to touch me again. I feel his caress on my skin and deeper, profound, where there is no light because there is only light. I feel his contact beyond what my eyes can see, and I am moved by what I feel; I had never felt this way before. The effect of his touch on me gives me an inner radiance that transcends time, space, and flesh, as I think about those hands and I am able to see the beginning of the universe with no end. Those hands play with mine, and I want to kiss them and sculpture them in my body so I never forget how they feel, and they never forget how much I love them. When he touches me I feel as though we are the only two people in the world and nothing else matters. His touch is able to open the windows to my soul wide, like they have never been opened before, and keep them that way to receive the healing and nurturing power he holds in his hands.



Life is too short to be stubborn. Life is too short to harbor feelings of anger, hatred, and resentment. Life is too short to not make each day count and make it the greatest day of our lives. Life is too short to not unleash our feelings of love for ourselves and others. Life is too short to wait to live that moment in which we can reach eternity. Life is too short to not let our loved ones know how much we love them and how much we care. Life is too short to wait for others to do and not do ourselves.

Life is really too short, this is not a cliché. As every minute of our existence becomes our past, we have to live every minute like it is the last one, because it might very well be. Life is too short to hold back and deny ourselves from feeling. Lets not coat our hearts with indifference, or shield our souls with fear of rejection and failure, as every step we take to live fully and unleash our best selves means triumph. Lets celebrate, embrace, and recognize the purity that lies in our deepest self, there where there are no boundaries to what we can accomplish and no fear to the unknown, because all the questions have already been answered. Lets believe that this will be our last day, see each day as though it was the first one in our lives, and live it fully as though we have no more tomorrows left in our calendar. Lets breathe in the life of all that surrounds us, give our blessing to all who walk by us, and nurture the being that defines us.

Life is too short to wait to live. Life is too short to wait to love. Life is too short to see it walk by us without grabbing it. Life is just too short.

The Life You Want

My very dear friend Myrna Concepción left me a voice message saying that Spring has given me inspiration. Truly, the energy from all that is young and renewed has lifted my spirit and given me a lot to write about. Nothing quite like Mother Nature to soothe the soul and put things in a better perspective. I hope all of us find that new and better space within to share with oneself and others. I am on my way...

Hope this inspires you today.

You are the only person alive who has sole custody of your life... Your entire life... Not just the life of your mind, but the life of your heart. Not just your bank account, but your soul. -- Anna Quindlen

Friday, April 14, 2006


De todos, mi favorito. Enjoy!


Mustia como la brisa que baila en tu mejilla,
sola como la nube que termina en llovizna…
Contemplando lo pasado y mirando sus paredes,
regresando desde ayer al hoy de tu mañana y siempre.
Encerrándome en la imagen de lo que borrar no puedes,
haciendo huella en la senda que pisas mientras no mueres;
persiguiendo en la quimera de lo que fue ayer y no pudo
los rastros de aquel recuerdo que en silencio te murmuro.

Intentando ser canción que en tus adentros penetre
soy esa maldición que te bendice en la suerte;
soy tu presente palpable en los rincones del aire…
El hoy desde tu ayer que siempre el mañana abrace.
Imitando a ese tiempo que traicionero me apaga
y me convierte en ayer que en todo tu ser se graba;
estoy hecha de tu soplo y me convierto en suspiro
que se escapa de tus labios cuando me escapo en gemidos.

Viajaré desde ese grito que sólo en sueños tuviera
hasta amanecer en luz de un rayo de vez primera.
Seré el rincón de ese cielo que alcanzar sólo desearas
Volviendo en siempre el ayer del hoy que será mañana.
Vigilaré tu equipaje de lo que ayer me robaras
y te sabré bien de mí cuando me entregues tu alba;
intentaré ser razón para explicarme a tu alma,
del cielo viajaré en estrella con lágrimas de ser santa.

Como el ciclo que sin razón a ser principio regresa,
como el origen del todo de la vida, en una pieza;
igual que aquellos surcos que esculpieran en la roca
mezcla de aire, agua y viento sin rastros de prisa loca.
Eterna como infinito que no explica el pensamiento,
siempre el ayer que hoy veneras, y mañana es el recuerdo…
En ti vivo como eso que ser explicado no puede…
En mi hoy tú siempre ayer que el mañana no regrese.

Tangie, 1995

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Looking into my things, I found some of the many poems I have written. Every time I read one it brings me back to times that are apparently far away, but so present in those poems. Fortunately, the stories are not over as they always live in a poem. Fortunately, my history is engraved in my poetry.


Se me acercan los fantasmas, los que quiero que no encuentren
el rastro de mi vacío por encontrar tu inquietud,
me acechan sombras de almas que deambular no quieren
y buscan refugio en mis alas, cuando mi destino eres tú.

Los espectros están a la espalda cuando vuelvo la mirada
buscando encontrar tus ojos sin poderlos ya mirar,
me invaden sombras funestas que se apoderan con ansia
de lo que sólo a ti quiero darte y no te logro encontrar.

Corro huyendo de mí misma para ahuyentar maleficios
vertidos sobre mi carne para marcarme la piel;
me despojo de fragancias que se adhieren con ahínco
dejando huellas que borro volviendo a tenerte ayer.

No quiero más los residuos de estas visitas no gratas,
no quiero acercarme al borde de lo que ya sospeché;
me tienden trampas sin nombre en las sombras que me atan
para obligarme a ataduras que quiero siempre romper.

Que se vayan los que vienen a burlar mis desafíos
al saber que no me amparo bajo tu faz de desdén;
ellos saben que no pueden penetrar en tu vacío
y me ofrecen solamente pasión, locura y placer.

No quiero ya a mis fantasmas, ¡que se vayan de una vez!
que me dejen soledades sumergidas en mi piel,
no me importa ver que el tiempo se escapa mientras me ven…
Pues yo sola soy fantasma por no poderte tener.


I look out the window, and I see the moon, so full and beautiful, looking down at me. Its light is subtle, but its presence is majestic. I get so inspired by the moon, that I just want to look at it and write all night long. I have written so many poems inspired and accompanied by the moon! There is nothing quite like its reflection in the water, as the water dances to give the moonlight life. I get bathed by its magical light and it soaks into my muse.

I once heard that humans do not look at the sky anymore, and that is too bad. There is nothing quite like Mother nature's gifts to us; the simple things that are always at our disposal for us to enjoy. Today the moon is full and so are my heart and soul.


Como mujeres Latinas, se nos acondiciona a trabajar faenas largas, a servir a otros antes que a nosotras mismas y a poner las necesidades de nuestros hijos y de nuestros esposos antes que las nuestras. Se espera de nosotras que seamos como nuestras madres: sacrificadas, desprendidas, entregadas totalmente a los demás sin prestar atención a lo que queremos o deseamos. Viendo a nuestras madres cuando crecíamos nos juramos que nunca seríamos igual que ellas; que comeríamos con el resto de la familia y no luego de que todo el mundo terminara; que le compraríamos ropa a nuestros hijos, pero también nos compraríamos algo nuevo para nosotras; que no le aguantaríamos a ningún hombre lo que nuestras madres le aguantaron a nuestros papás; que no seríamos sirvientas de todos en la casa y que nos dedicaríamos tiempo para hacer las cosas que nos gustan y realizar nuestros propios sueños.

Durante toda mi vida vi a mami ser el vivo ejemplo de desprendimiento total, más allá de lo saludable. Y a pesar de que no dudo ni un segundo de que sentía profunda satisfacción en saberse útil a sus hijos, hacer lo que estaba programada para hacer y en procurar por el bienestar de todos en la casa, no creo que era feliz. No tan sólo la vida de mami fue sacrificada y entregada totalmente a sus deberes familiares, sino que también lo hacía todo de la manera más elaborada y difícil posible. Nunca tomó atrechos para cumplir con su deber; todo lo que hacía lo hacía de manera ardua, complicada y elaborada. Su filosofía de entrega y sacrificio total la llevaba a consumirse del cansancio y a enfermarse a veces. Y aún cuando su cuerpo batallaba en contra del agotamiento físico para seguir en pie de lucha, la embargaba un sentimiento de culpa por no poder dar más en sus momentos de debilidad.

Al ver casos como los de mami y los de otras mujeres en mi vecindad, se me ocurrió un día que las mujeres como mami sufrían del Síndrome de la Súper Madre. Dicho síndrome es fácil de ver, pero bien difícil de combatir. Y no tan sólo ataca a las mujeres de la época de mami (la cual ya tiene 82 años), sino que también ataca a las madres de hoy en día. Recientemente hablaba con mi hermana y me decía que tenía unos síntomas de cuidado, pero que no tenía tiempo para ir al médico, así que los estaba ignorando. Le contesté que ella tenía que procurar cuidarse primero antes que a sus hijos porque ella es la persona más importante de su familia, y en caso de que ella sea incapaz de cumplir con sus responsabilidades de madre no existe substituto.

Nosotras somos primero, y debemos cuidar nuestra salud, nuestra mente, nuestro cuerpo, y nuestra alma antes de siquiera intentar cuidar de otros. Ileana, mi nueva amiga, escribió esta frase, la cual quiero compartir con todos:

“Las mujeres no nos cuidamos, pero tampoco dejamos que nos ciuden. Estamos entrenadas para ser supermujeres y mientras el cuerpo aguante seguimos, porque se supone que así sea. Pero ¿cómo llenas el vaso de alguien si tienes una jarra vacia?” Ileana Silva Guash

El Síndrome de la Súper Madre tiene que estar acompañado por el Síndrome de la Súper Mujer para una misma. Tenemos que amarnos para poder amar, valorarnos para recibir valor, respetarnos para inspirar respeto, cultivarnos para poder sembrar y dar fruto, y ser mujeres completas para que nuestros hijos y todos los demás disfruten lo mejor de nosotras. Llenemos nuestro cántaro y sirvamos la copa de los que nos necesitan, pero no olvidemos siempre volverla a llenar y mantenerla llena.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


I have been doing a lot of research and reading about gender inequalities in the workplace, and the reasons why that happens. I do not intend to write a dissertation about the subject in this blog, but I do have some opinions of my own that I would like to share. It is evident that gender inequality and discrimination still exist in the workplace. Women (and minorities in general) have faced discrimination in the workforce for many years, and although there has been legislation to prevent discrimination, it is still a reality. The phenomenon of the glass ceiling, meaning the transparent but apparent barrier women and minorities encounter in organizations that impedes their career advancement to upper levels of leadership, is present in every country, in almost every industry, in corporate America, and it is also present in the political, social, and family arenas.

Why gender inequalities still exist, in spite of all the efforts women have made to gain equality and all legislation against discrimination? I have found many reasons, among them and probably the most important, is stereotyping and prejudice. Women are still perceived as incapable of assuming leadership and positions of power. Motherhood is perceived as being a hindrance to women’s aspirations for career advancement, both from women themselves and organizations. Women are still looked at as followers rather than leaders, and I think there are two sides of that perspective that are worth discussing.

First, socialization influences the view of self and the roles that people assume in every aspect of life. Sex is a biological given, but gender is attributed by society. Males and females are socialized differently throughout their lives, starting at home, and by every social institution they are involved in. Socialization instills very definite roles in each gender, and limits sensitizing each gender towards the other one. I even see this in my household when my husband does not want pink in anything that has to do with our son Paul Vincent. Individuals of each gender are boxed in their notions of what they should be doing, and they go on in life doing what they learned and passing their behaviors on from generation to generation. Both women and men act according to the socialization process they were immersed on, and so they not only assume the roles that they have learned, they resist any changes in the learned gender roles concepts. Therefore, men still believe that they are the hunters, and women at some level still believe that they are the main and ultimate responsible ones for the household and family responsibilities.

Secondly, socialization permeates the individual level into the organizational-corporate-political levels, and influences the culture of organizations. Organizations are composed of individuals, and are mirrors of the stereotypical thoughts and behaviors learned through the socialization process. Men are still the hunters, and women are expected to serve, follow, and take care of men. Women want equality, and we should have it, but a lot of things have to be done in order to reach that equality.

Many experts give recommendations as to how to break the glass ceiling. Some say that women should get more educated, be more assertive, aggressive, acquire more skills, get training and education in areas that were generally for men in the past, and so forth. All these recommendations sound very good to me, but they are not enough. I think the issue of gender equality has deep roots, and those roots have to be re-routed. Women are generally more educated than men in many areas, work as hard or more than men, research has shown that are more effective than men in meeting deadlines and managing multiple tasks, have better relationships with peers, and develop better teamwork. But in spite of all this, they are still not getting the advancement opportunities they are seeking. The glass ceiling does not have to do anything with skills, education, and merit, but again, with discrimination based on stereotyping and prejudice. Changes have to be made at the individual level, and then at the family level in order for these changes to transpire to the corporate level. Women in the US are still 73% responsible for house work and taking care of children, and the figures are even higher in other places of the world. Women have to work harder at balancing work and family life than men. Men have to step up to the plate and realize that household and family are not exclusive responsibilities of mothers, and share even loads, and women have to also realize this as well and let men take on more responsibilities at home and with the children. Companies have to stop penalizing women for having children, and offer flexible schedules and time off for both parents to share the responsibility and joy of the family. I read that having children is a woman’s choice, and therefore they should not complain for not advancing in their careers because they decided to have children. Of course, the person who made this comment is a man, and he probably has children of his own, and maybe even asked his wife for an X amount of children (some men love to ask us to have children like we are able to pop them out effortlessly and instantly). Women decide to have children, but men do too. Raising a family should be a shared venture, so that both parties can benefit from the rewards it brings, but also reach their potential at work.

This topic is complex and interesting (just how I like them). Of course, there are a lot of points of views in the subject and no simple answers, and I am sure I did not even scratch the tip of the iceberg with what I wrote. But it is something for women and men to think about. Changes in gender roles, starting with shared household duties and responsibilities (in equality and fairness) and changes in organizational culture should give women equality after all, although the process might be slow, as many changes often happen. If changes start at heart, they will eventually find their place and a better place for women and men of any color.


En 1993 escribí un poema titulado Amor Imposible, el cual publiqué en el blog hace unos días. El poema habla del amor entre la nube y el mar, y cómo la nube se da cuenta de que nunca podrá materializar a plenitud su amor por el mar o el mar por ella, pero no puede evitar sucumbir a sus sentimientos y entregarse, sin resistencia, sin reserva, sin remedio. El poema es explícito en su significado, y sé que muchos hemos pasado por alguna situación parecida en cierto momento de nuestra vida. El poema lo escribí inspirada en la historia de amor de una amiga, pero también me miro en el espejo del poema y me relaciono con la nube o con el mar en su intento fútil de consumar su amor.

Una querida amiga escribió el siguiente comentario con respecto al poema:

¿Sabes? El amor puede ser imposible como este. Sin embargo, si lo miramos desde otra perspectiva, el mar en algún momento es parte de la nube y cuando vuelve a ser mar, parte de la nube está con él, entonces cuando se evapora y sube vuelve a alcanzar la nube. Creo que de cierta forma es un amor posible entre ellos. ¿Quizás lo que lo hace imposible es la realidad de ser posible?

Esta interpretación del poema me hizo reflexionar. El amor entre la nube y el mar sí se consumó muchas veces, ninguno de los dos se dieron por vencidos por lo que aparentaba ser una situación de amor perdida. Ambos se fundieron y lograron ser parte del otro, y fueron transformados en cada ocasión por cada encuentro que los llevó el uno al otro. Al separarse, ninguno de los dos volvía a ser el mismo, pues cada vez, más llevaban consigo la huella indeleble del lazo que los unía, aun cuando había una separación aparentemente inevitable. El mar es el resultado de la nube que baja para alimentarlo en forma de lluvia; la nube es el resultado del mar cuando este sube en forma de vapor, así que ciertamente ambos son uno, son lo mismo, son parte inevitable, innegable y bien presente el uno del otro.

Luego de tantos años de haber escrito Amor Imposible, hoy mi amiga le añade un nuevo significado y sentido, y sé que para ella el poema caló profundo y la transportó a un tiempo lejano y diferente. Como mencioné antes, ¿para qué son los poemas que escribo sino para que alguien más les encuentre sentido? Hoy encontré un nuevo sentido y me di cuenta de que el amor nunca es imposible.


Motherhood gives women strength to do the unimaginable sometimes. I do not think there is anything else in the world that would inspire, motivate, and encourage more than the power that comes from loving your children. Mother nature is very wise, and gives females the instinct to care for and protect the young ones against everything, even when the odds are against us.

I found this video clip a few days ago, and it made quite an impression on me. Motherhood does not back down to fear, but acts on the fear that comes if there is a threat to our children. I found the images so powerful and true, and I can relate. There is nothing or no one I would not face for my offspring. Motherhood is more than a miracle: it gives ordinary individuals the power to be part of the force that is greater than we are.

The video clip I am referring to did not come up, so cut and paste the link below to see it: it is really impressive. Just do not pay attention to the other content of the page in which the video clip is, if you mind.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Music Video Codes by


Hace un tiempo mi amiga Amelia utilizó el término “mundo chiquito” para referirse a lo limitado de la noción de mundo que conocía antes de mudarse de Puerto Rico al estado de Washington. Hoy estuve hablando con uno de los seres que más amo, Irving, y conversábamos de lo mucho que se ha expandido su mundo desde que dejó nuestra bella isla del encanto para estudiar en Méjico. Como Amelia y como Irving, mi mundo chiquito se ha vuelto más grande sólo con el simple hecho de abrir mis perspectivas, muy diferentes a las que antes conocía, pero igualmente válidas.

Mi mundo chiquito comenzó a cambiar hace mucho tiempo. El tener la oportunidad de salir de los contornos de lo conocido es en sí expandir el conocimiento y la noción de mundo. De manera natural nuestro mundo se conforma con lo conocido a través de las experiencias y la crianza que en él recibimos. La cultura de nuestro lugar de crianza enmarca la programación que recibimos de parte de nuestra familia y las demás instituciones que componen nuestro núcleo social. Siendo yo de un barrio pequeño, en un pueblo pequeño, en una isla pequeña, es predecible que las ideas, valores, enseñanzas, creencias, y hábitos sean limitados a los conocidos, a lo tradicional; y que algunas veces ese marco sea limitante. Es normal que la mayoría adopte el mundo tal y como nos lo inculcan, sin cuestionarlo, sin auscultar otras posibilidades o darnos cuenta de que existen. No puedo hablar por todo el mundo, pero el mundo que conocí y que perduró en mí hasta que amplié mis perspectivas era muy pequeño. Eso no es bueno o malo, es sólo lo que es, pero yo tuve la suerte de descubrir otros mundos y ampliar el mío a otros niveles de conocimiento. Tuve la oportunidad de salir de mi mundo chiquito para ver otros mundos fascinantes, asustantes y completamente diferentes al mío; el mundo comenzó a hacer más sentido al ser más vasto, y comencé a sentirme más a gusto en el mundo grande. El mundo chiquito permanece en mí, y vivo en él cuando voy de vuelta a mi querido pueblo y barrio, o cuando hablo con la gente que compone mi mundo chiquito. Pero ya no vivo en el mundo chiquito; me fui de él mucho antes de mudarme, y la experiencia ha sido liberadora.

A mi mundo aún le falta por crecer, igual que a mí. Y tengo que siempre respetar el mundo chiquito, y el mundo de cada cual, cualquiera que sea el tamaño. Yo prefiero mi mundo grande, tan grande como la combinación de los mundos que se me presentan e intersectan el mío a diario. El mundo grande es más interesante, y de él tengo mucho que aprender todos los días.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

HOW LONG IS TOO LONG? (And how short is too short?)

My human condition cannot help to get greedy. My inner self, my best self, advices me to let go of my selfish desire to follow the wants and needs of my other self, the weak one, the imperfect one, the one present in everything I do and that influences everything I do. I want to love with detachment, without boundaries, without expectations, without rules, without distance, without time, without imperfection; I want to love only with purity. But my human condition is strong, and demands more than the sublime, the abstract, and the intrinsic. And I get greedy.

I cannot help but to wish that I could stop the time and live an eternity with the people I love. They live eternally in my heart and thoughts, no doubt, but sometimes, most of the times, I want more. I want the presence of the flesh, and the company of a warm body. I want a personal conversation, as the phone and the computer cannot substitute the magic of being with someone, looking into that person’s eyes, seeing that person’s smile, hearing that person’s laughter, and touching that person. All the camera phones cannot recreate the hugs and kisses we can invest into the people we love. All the time in the clock is not enough to express love when love is so deep and true. When feelings are bigger than big, all is not enough to let them show, be heard, and be felt.

My human condition makes me be imperfect and want to want to express my emotions physically. My soul advices me to relax and let love be, and love will find its way. My human side demands that I intervene to make some sense out of love. I guess I cannot help but to be human. I love you and I miss you deeply, for all our short lives that we already lived, and our long ones waiting to be lived. I love our story that has been written already, and the one that we don’t know how will end. All the time in the world is not enough to show it, and all the time we have spent together has been too short to even begin. Distance and time are uncomfortable sometimes, but I always try to show my love and let my love be felt even when distance and time are unfair messengers of love. I hope you can feel my love in my blog.

Saturday, April 08, 2006


Today I read an article that made me think about womanhood and the future of women in many aspects. It is well known that women still have to gain equality in the workplace in terms of opportunities, access to information, power, and pay, and that women are making progress in society to more actively participate in politics and take advantage of educational opportunities. However, we still have a long way to go.

There are many reasons why women have not reached equality with men regarding social standing, educational opportunity, and professional advancement. I will not attempt to explain here the reasons why women have not yet reached equality with men, as the reasons are many and complex, but a lot of it has to do with the way both women and men are socialized, and the gender roles we are programmed to exert. As a little girl I remember my grandmother telling me what I could not do because I was a girl, and it never made sense to me. I could not comprehend why I was not allowed to whistle, and why it was a boy’s thing to do so. I did not comprehend why I was not allowed to climb up trees, and ride a bike (actually never learned to ride), and why I was not allowed to mingle with boys too much, just because I was not supposed to. Did not understand why I could not play with cars and race tracks, even when I was dying to give up my dolls (just for a little while), and get dirty playing with cars in the muddy yard. Did not get why I could not play with marbles on the dirt, and had to play jumping jacks, because that was the girlie game. When I was little, I actually thought that it was very unfair to be a girl, and wanted to be a boy. Boys had so much fun! I could see them riding their bikes on the street, taking their shirts off walking down the street, riding horses, skateboarding, rollerblading, playing sports, fishing, going out unsupervised and ruling the neighborhood. I wanted to do all that! But I could not just because I was a girl. How unfair!

I always questioned my grandparents for not letting me do all the boys’ things, but I never got an answer that was satisfactory, or at least that could give me a rational explanation, as to WHY I was not allowed to do “boys’” things. Some of the socialization stuck with me, but I defied some of the gender roles imposed onto me. I realized later on that I did not want to be a boy, I was actually extremely happy being a girl (still am), but I did not buy that girls should just have girlfriends and play with dolls, and that we should not even talk to boys because they might get the wrong impression and loose respect for us. Even more, I wanted to maximize my potential and be what I wanted to be regardless of the “you can’ts” of my grandmother. And I did. I always invited my male friends to my home, fought with them (physically and verbally) in school, made very good friendships with boys-still standing today-climbed up trees, whistled, played with marbles, and interacted with boys more than my grandmother approved. I was not the typical girlie girl, although I was and still am much of one. I was the girlie girl that could kick a boy’s butt (and who got her butt kicked a few times, but only by Alvin Vidro). I was the girlie girl that presided every club and boards in school, and that grew up to not be afraid or intimidated by the opposite sex. However, gender socialization can have a deep impact on both males and females, especially with a Hispanic background.

I do not have to explain how traditional the Hispanic culture can be. I was socialized with all the restraints that the Hispanic culture can impose on women. I grew up in a society with double standards for men and women that still exist. I still witness gender inequality in a regular basis. I know that both men and women have to be sensitized differently about their perceptions and definitions of gender roles. But ultimately women have to redefine their own roles and step up. I do not want to be a man, do not want to act like one, do not want to look like one. I don’t even want women and men to be the same; we cannot be, not biologically, genetically, physically, mentally, emotionally, and that is right. I just want to have equal time and opportunity, just want to enjoy fairness.

Anyway, back to the thing I read today, an article about the Disney movie The Lion King, and some of the things the movie depicts. Here is a summary of the movie: the lion king is killed, and his son (the successor) goes out into hiding in the jungle, so in the absence of the legitimate successor, the king’s brother assumes power. Everything turns chaotic in the kingdom. The late king’s widow is forced to be kind of a slave to the new king, along with the other lionesses that are forced to hunt for the king. This other lioness that was contemporary with the successor and also his friend, ventures out of the kingdom to find the son of the late king, who is in the hiding. She finds him and urges him to go back, dethrone the king, and assume the place that was meant for him. He does, and after killing the king, he assumes the power and the kingdom’s balance is reestablished. My question: Why instead of venturing out of the kingdom with the sole purpose of finding Simba, and once she finds him, urging Simba (the late king’s son) to fight for his place as king, Nala (Simba’s friend) does not stand up to the bad king and assumes power herself? I guess the simple answer is because then the title of the movie would have been The Lion Queen, right? The portrayal of the whole situation in the movie supports the notion that males rule and females support and obey. I do not want to think that women have to do that, but I know that gender socialization is powerful. Gender equality should not be a fight for power, though. It should be a journey for women to reach their maximum potential. We can be queens, men can be kings, and we can both rule. But we do not need a king to bring us to power: we can get there ourselves and rule the kingdom successfully.


El verde siempre se antepone, vigilante, nunca claudica a su lugar, siempre prominente, siempre dominante, siempre verde. ¿Cómo es posible que tengo los ojos puestos en la verdura sinónimo de remordimiento y el completo alejamiento del ser? ¿Cómo puede verde detener el paso de las cosas que fluyen como el tiempo mismo, imparables e inevitables? ¿Cómo puede ser verde el corazón?

Verde son las cosas lógicas, siempre respondiendo a la razón, a los métodos, los procedimientos, la programación, el orden, lo predispuesto, lo que ya está escrito, lo que dicta la ley, lo tradicional, lo convencional, lo que hace la aparente mayoría, lo que no cuestiona, lo que sigue las líneas derechas que conducen a lo anticipado y lo común. ¡Qué fácil ser verde! ¿Puede verde entonar su intuición y darle rienda suelta a su corazón? ¿Termina verde de poner orden en su mundo y contestar todas sus preguntas? ¿Es verde el estado ideal? ¿Puede verde cambiar de color?

Verde es un laberinto de muchos caminos, todos rectos, definidos, dirigidos hacia un destino final ya previsto. Caminar por verde es fácil si se conocen las reglas y los manuales de cómo manejarlo. Ser parte de verde es sencillo si se es verde. ¿Qué pasa cuando verde encuentra otro color? ¿Qué le pasa al otro color cuando se encuentra con verde?

Habiendo encontrado verde significativo y bien verde, el encuentro me ha puesto un poco verde también. Me vuelvo verde pensando en descifrar el verde que me mantiene al margen, y pierdo el color. Paso de rojo a verde, y vuelvo a rojo, pero verde no encuentra otro color aunque lo intenta. Verde siempre será verde aunque le muestre los demás colores y las diferentes posibilidades. Así es verde y yo lo miro en la distancia sin poder evitarlo.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Breathe Me

A new favorite.

Breathe Me

Dirty Dancing

“Me? I'm scared of everything. I'm scared of what I saw, I'm scared of what I did, of who I am, and most of all, I'm scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I'm with you…” Baby-Dirty Dancing

Wow, I just found this quote by Baby from one of my favorite movies of all times, Dirty Dancing. The movie is not spectacular, the dancing is alright, but the passion is so intense, and combined with the dancing, creates a magic that makes me want to dance too. Anyway, the line from the movie struck me and caught my attention. Like in the movie, when one finds that energy, that irrational drive, that unexplainable force that magnetizes, captivates, charms, fascinates, and draws one person to another, so powerful and alive; what to do?

Well, in my favorite silly movie the expected happened, satisfying my romantic soul. Hopefully everyone will feel that energy at least once in a lifetime. Hopefully for most, they will be able to let it be.

Amanecer en mi Alma

Hoy me levanté temprano (demasiado temprano) para sentarme frente a la computadora, y en medio de todos mis pensamientos y el organizarme para el día que me espera, escuché el canto de un pájaro. ¡Qué maravilloso sonido! El alba despierta, el sol rasga el cielo oscuro asomándose tímido y lento, y esta criaturita recibe feliz el amanecer. Se me contagia la alegría y sonrío. Trato de mirar por la ventana para ver a tan maravilloso ser, pero no lo logro. Mi imaginación lo inventa ante la ausencia de una imagen, y como él me lleno de vida para admirar la grandeza de este día. A pesar de que quiero cantar no lo hago; prefiero prestarle oído al pájaro y recibir su canción en mi alma. Y como el pájaro, feliz, celebro un nuevo día.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Placer Adictivo

El término placer es muy amplio y aplica a muchas cosas. En lo personal, he definido que hay varias formas y niveles de placer en determinada cosa o actividad. Hay muchas cosas placenteras en la vida, y usualmente, mientras más profundo el placer, más dulce, intenso y adictivo. Hay muchas cosas que me dan una sensación de placer, desde lo más sutil hasta lo más estremecedor. La mejor de todas las sensaciones placenteras, al menos para mí, es cuando el placer trasciende lo superficial y se filtra en lo más profundo e íntimo; cuando el placer viaja a través del consciente y lo desconecta, porque deja escapar la esencia de lo que somos y nos permite convertirnos en lo que queremos ser. En ese momento el placer deja de ser placer y se convierte en una explosión de vida, tan sublime y voraz a la vez, que es capaz de transformar nuestra vida y cambiarla radicalmente.

Lo único que puede parear esa definición de placer es hacer el amor. Envolverse en cuerpo y alma en una batalla campal donde la mente no existe y el mundo se vuelve grande y único de dos personas es una experiencia totalmente gloriosa. En ese momento el cuerpo se va, no existe, y solo hay pura luz en una realidad diferente a la presente en un mundo sin límite. Encontrar ese momento íntimo es indescriptible, y sé por qué no podemos vivir en ese nivel de placer para siempre: nos incineraría como el centro de un volcán. Sin embargo, es curioso que la entrega voraz y total de alma y cuerpo de dos seres puede sentirse como un volcán intenso y furioso, con el poder de cambiar la noción del tiempo y el espacio, y tener la capacidad de hacernos morir en el intento. El placer derivado del desprendimiento total de lo racional y la manifestación completa de nuestros sentimientos a todos los niveles se queda como un sabor que no se va de nuestra boca.

Como nuestro cuerpo no puede manejar el nivel de placer tan intenso y poderoso de la demostración de entrega sin medida que exige nuestra alma en todo momento, como consuelo placentero existe el chocolate, ir de compras y la yoga.

Some Culture

I have been doing research for my dissertation about culture and how it shapes our behavior, ideas, our notions of right and wrong, the material things we produce and accumulate, our way of solving problems, our way of thinking, our feelings and emotions; our habits, the way we interact with others, and our social constructs, among many other things. All individuals are born into some kind of cultural set that will dictate much of the norms and codes of conduct that he or she will follow throughout life. There is a lot to culture, and this is certainly not a dissertation about culture (who wants to read that in a blog?), but researching and writing about this interesting topic I find myself realizing how much of our way of thinking, reacting towards situations, dealing with the everyday life and new challenges, and our relationships with others is shaped by our upbringing and the socialization process we have been immersed in. Our whole perception of the world is based on what has been programmed into us, dictated by the general culture in which we were socialized. And although it is necessary for individuals, groups, and institutions to be based on a cultural system, I see how limiting that can be in many instances.

The focus of my study is to determine how cultural socialization in a traditional Hispanic upbringing affects the corporate success of Hispanic women, however, I can see how many times the notion of the world as we know it can be an obstacle to appreciate and understand a bigger world than the one we previously knew beyond the professional aspect. Culture is wonderful, but it can also put us in a small box, blocking our senses to see the other realities that surround us. I embrace culture, but I also want to be open to see and understand that my world is not absolute, that my mindset is just mine and not necessarily other’s, and that what I know is not necessarily “the way” for everyone. Of course this is easier said than done, as we find ourselves adhering to our known system everyday, passing it onto our children and everyone who would listen at times, and that is OK. What we need to understand is that, although it might make us feel uneasy, sometimes we have to relax, see beyond our margins, recognize and respect the validity of what we cannot understand: challenging indeed, but it could be quite interesting and rewarding.

In a more close and personal note, it is very interesting to share culture. One can grow a lot by appreciating the world of others. Hopefully we could add willingness and openness to our definition of culture and pass it on, and that way our little world will become bigger and far more interesting and fun.

Making Love Out of Nothing At All

One of my old time favorties. Para cortarse las venas. Enjoy!

Making Love Out of Nothing At All

Vulnerability and Intimacy

This article is not mine, but I found it while I was doing research on how cultural socialization creates gender issues for women, and I thought it is very enlightning. For both men and women, this article can teach us some things on dealing with relationships. Enjoy!

Vulnerability and Intimacy

Vulnerability and IntimacyIn today's society, we are finding that women are picking up more male characteristics and are crossing over gender boundaries. These women are, now more than ever before, able to show a range of feelings, independence, strength, competitiveness, goal / achievement orientation, etc. As women are able to show both feminine and masculine characteristics, they are more flexible, better adjusted, and higher functioning. They are operating from a whole personality as opposed to half as when they only use their feminine characteristics (vulnerable, dependent, nurturing, relationship oriented, etc.). This has changed their roles within the work force, the home, and their intimate relationships.

At the same time, men are sticking with their learned role within the work force, the home and their intimate relationships. They continue to use mostly their masculine characteristics. Between the ages of 3 and 5, boys are socialized to prefer the male characteristics. This is when they are taught to be tough and competitive, not to cry, to show strength and heroism, etc. This is also the developmental stage when they are becoming verbal, and as they are taught to hide emotions they don't learn to identify them, put a name to them and express them, a skill necessary in intimate relationships.

What happens is that these boys grow up to be men who operate from only half their personality (use only masculine characteristics). Since men have been comfortable in their societal role, and until recently did not feel a need to be any differently, they have not done much to integrate their counterpart characteristics. As feminine characteristics are devalued in our society, why would they want to show them? It is difficult for men to express their feminine characteristics, not only because they are devalued in our society and therefore they "shouldn't want to", but because they do not have the skills to do so. They have a hard time with the relational, nurturing, feeling piece of their existence.

Now keep in mind that there are always exceptions. Here I'm describing this phenomena from a general perspective. There are plenty of men out there who are doing a great job of becoming more whole. This piece is in no way intended to put men down. (For you men reading this newsletter, I want you to know that you are a large portion of my readership.) On the contrary, my heart goes out to you for being in a difficult spot. And I'm getting to explaining how all this translates into your intimate relationship. For you feminist reading this, don't bug-out yet, I do pull it all together at the end...

I'm trying to shed some light on issues that contribute to relationship difficulty and to assist you understand the reason for feeling stuck in your relationship. I am honored to have so many men read my material. It shows me I'm on the right track. They do want to become more educated on the ways of relationships and nurturing. They are trying to bridge the gap I'm discussing here. Keep up the great work!!

Women are making progress in changing their role and picking up male characteristics thanks to the women's movement of the last 40 years, and the fact that their socialization came around the adolescent stage when they already new both sets of characteristics just learned to deny one of them. Men did not have a revolutionizing movement, teaching them how to be more nurturing. (Sounds silly, right? This is how ingrained our socialization is...). Also, since men were socialized at an earlier age, they are hit twice as hard. They had no help becoming more whole (they are strongly socialized not to show feminine characteristics) and they don't know how to.
What happens is that now we have women operating with a whole personality and a different role, and men who still operate basically from a half personality and the old role. How are they to be compatible, share the same visions and goals, see eye-to-eye, understand each other, meet each other's needs, and have a mutually fulfilling relationship when they come together on such disparate footing? Wow! It is no wonder the divorce rate in this country remains close to 50%.
I want to point out that for the purpose of this newsletter, I am addressing this social concern from a relational perspective alone to assist couples in their relationships. It is written in very basic terms and general facts. This is not a theoretical paper nor am I promoting a social agenda. I'm not condemning men nor women for the state of affairs in the gender world in today's society. Also, the dynamics described primarily address heterosexual relationships, but can be applied to homosexual ones (these relationships are usually more complex in terms of gender roles and socialization, and a more specific discussion is beyond the scope of this issue).
Anyway, today we have men and women in our society operating from different perspectives and with conflicting goals. Women continue to fight against oppression and to sustain their newly developed whole personalities, and men are trying to keep their feet on the rug. What happens is that women appear to be running the show, and demanding more from their mates. They feel that if they have both sets of characteristics and have an androgynous role where they can take care of traditional female and male tasks, why can't men do the same and share the load. Hence, they are resentful when they feel men don't meet them half way.

Men are finding it difficult to continue to exist / operate with half personalities as their old roles are failing them in everyday interactions, especially at home. They feel something is missing, they fall short, they do not understand, there are high expectations they are not meeting, they feel out of place and weak and can't show it. They are floundering. Just being the "bread winner" is not enough (and this is usually shared today). They are stuck in being "manly" and this is not working for them, and they don't know how else to be. They feel less than, inadequate, weak, out of place, stuck, etc. This leads to male depression and violence, the only ways they know how to express themselves in light of the situation.

So, where does this leave us? With a joint venture for creating intimacy. You see, right now intimacy is really difficult because of the wall men have up because they can't show vulnerability. And, because of the resentment women have. Hence, the couple has a hard time connecting and being intimate. Ladies, I could just hear you saying, "Yeah, men get it together and become whole already." But it's not that simple. What happens if you are one of the lucky ones that have a partner who has cried in front of them? Did you freak out? Did you think less of him? Were you scared that he was "falling apart"? Be honest. See my point? We collude with men for them to continue to operate with only half a personality. We don't want a "weak, cry baby" man... Get my drift?

The solution? Women, encourage and support your partner's softer side (feminine characteristics). Help them and teach them how to identify feelings, put a name to them and share them.

--Feeling shows up and is noticed: "funny feeling in the stomach" and "heart pounds"--Identify feeling, name it: "anxiety"--Express it: "I feel anxious when you put you down"
Men, be receptive to women teaching you their ways. Observe and emulate them. Ask questions. Tune-in to your body - it'll show you the emotions. Accept them. Express these. When women give you mixed messages, call them on them. When you feel stuck because you are damned if you do and damned if you don't, point this out. You'll see that women have this picture that they are perfect and do all the work in the relationship and if it weren't for them there wouldn't be a relationship, but they are not perfect and assist put you in this awkward spot. Like I like to say, "It takes two to tango." So when you point this out to them, they might at first feel blamed and resentful, but eventually love to hear when they are assisting you "mess up." They no longer question their decision to be with you. They realize that you are on this together, that you are paying attention and trying.

For women who are not happy with this presentation, you are probably more of a feminist (I hear you, believe me!!). What has made me be "ok" with this and embrace this concept is the fact that, "If I help my partner be more whole and change his role, then I am making my relationship better, and in the long run I'll be happier." You see, I'm in charge of my future, my life, and my happiness. I'm not a mere recipient.

By Couples Expert Emma K. Iozzi, MA, MFTFounder & President of Metropolitan Wellness Services, Inc.


El insomnio no es placentero, y muchas veces improductivo, y a mí me visita la noche interminable sin sueño de vez en cuando, tal vez más veces de lo que me gustaría. Hoy fue una de esas noches largas, densa, ocupada por la historia leyéndose y escribiéndose en la oscuridad. Noche en mi cama arropando con su telón, cayendo sobre todas las cosas, pero es de día en mi pensamiento que no acaba. Decidí hacer la noche día y hacerla hablar, romper su silencio para que converse conmigo y me diga por qué, a pesar de que está conmigo no está en mí. Ella se ríe porque sabe que no tiene que hablarme, y que con el tiempo se irá inevitablemente pero volverá a jugar conmigo. La miro y la contemplo sin miedo, esperando su respuesta al silencio de mi boca, esperando que dirija mis manos para hacer poesía en papel y música en mi cuerpo. La poesía se escribe, y bailo al son de la canción que invento sin reglas en tempo perfecto para mi cuerpo en espera de respuestas. Y ya tengo una nueva página en el tiempo, para leerla luego cuando sea de día, y al sol tenderla en el viento que le dé vida y me sonría.

El insomnio es largo, y la noche es corta con mucho que decirme. La dejo que hable, pero no responde. Me cuenta lo pasado y lo acrecienta, lo mejora, y lo reescribe. Me invita a caminar por diferentes caminos y a descubrir lo que traerá mañana cuando vuelva a visitarme y a jugar conmigo. Me llama y yo acudo, con ella duermo y me amanezco llena. El insomnio es una visita de uno mismo a uno mismo, y hoy decidí darle la bienvenida. Me quedo entonces conmigo en lo que se va la noche y me hago buena compañía. Después de todo, el insomnio me da el tiempo para verme y dialogar con mi alma acerca de la vida y las cosas que encontrarán su lugar.


Noche como el día de verano largo
con el sol de tu visita quemando en mi interior
haciendo sudar mis adentros que invadiste
bebiendo a la sed de la espera de mi pasión.

Se enredó tu altura con mi solitario abismo,
interminable aún cuando el final nos llegó
y sigue su cauce mi río sediento,
desemboca furioso sin encontrar razón.

Noche larga sola, día corto en mí…
Invito al recuerdo a morar en mi cama,
se posa en mi cuerpo el calor del recuerdo
que se niega a abandonar la sinrazón de mi alma.

Tangie, en una noche de insomnio

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Se me queda la mirada puesta y perdida en lo que no se ve pero que está tan claro delante de mis ojos. Veo a través de los ojos cerrados en otro cuerpo, cerca y lejano del mío, que me deja sin voluntad para aceptar las cosas como son, y me da alas para abrazar las que pueden ser. Me baila en la piel el aliento perdido que se llevó el tiempo y que lo trae el viento, pegándolo al vapor que dejó el calor de lo que se vio con vida y se fue. Vivo y desaparezco ante la realidad de palpar en mis adentros la ironía que me persigue, y me subo a la cima del mundo para abrir mi ser a recibir lo que parece complicado pero tan simple a la vez. Complejo enigma de la fascinación por lo poco aparente que se distorsiona con lo aparente que no se explica con todas las palabras, y que es fácil de entender sin ellas. Ser es más fácil que estar, es verdad, sin complicaciones, y yo simplemente soy.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

To Say or Not to Say

There is a say, (at least we say it in Puerto Rico), that the best word is one that remains unspoken. All my life I heard this, and I have to say I never believed it myself, but I have always wondered why people would rather not say what they really feel. I can understand why people would rather not say what they really think sometimes, but are words really better when they remain unsaid? Why do we choose to not say, or worse, say what we do not mean or not mean what we say?

If saying, speaking, talking, using words as a means of expression were a crime, I would have to be lucked in jail for the rest of my life. Words are an important means of expression for me, and keeping them hidden is like restraining my freedom. I have always tried to say what is most honest and true to what I feel at the time. Sometimes the meaning of what I had said in the past has changed, but I have always been at peace with letting the words be heard by my ears and the ears of others. Sometimes I have chosen to say what I must with simple words, other times with poetry and other writings, and some other times with a song. For me words are like a river that must flow and find the ocean: blocking its path is possible for some time, but inevitably the flow will always find its way. Refraining myself from expressing my ideas, thoughts, and feelings is like shadowing a light that nurtures life. Of course I have said things that have gotten me in some trouble, not with myself though, but with others. However, I have never had to apologize for saying, only to myself for not saying at times.

I was thinking about this peeve of mine of having the urge to voice out my mind, heart, and soul; and wondering if at times I should just keep things to myself. However, just to think about not verbalizing or writing what I feel boils up an energy in me that wants to explode, so I guess the answer is no, at least not for now. I have always been proud of saying what I mean and meaning what I say, so that is the way it will be. Everybody should have the courage to say, and everybody should have the courage and openness to listen, hear, and understand.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Amor Imposible

I have been looking at my old poems, and found this one. Decided to dust it and post it; it is an oldie but goodie. It is such a beautiful day! Whether is raining or sunny, make it a great day in your heart.


Ráfaga de viento que irrumpe mi pensamiento
y me arrastra hacia el tumulto de una pasión enloquecida,
y cual furioso huracán pone en peligro mi vida.
Ráfaga de viento…hacia ti me quiere llevar.
¿Cómo podré yo evitar esto que a mi pecho arropa?
Pasión demente…loca… No se puede detener.
Como una ola furiosa que arrastra la húmeda arena,
así se arrastra mi pena, mas yo no protestaré
porque en tu furioso mar, allí me quiero perder.
Y no debería ser… Pues el mar nunca podrá alcanzar a mí, la nube
porque aunque se evapora y sube,
siempre volverá a ser mar.

Tangie, 1993