Wednesday, March 30, 2011


There is a time and place for everything. Life is a marathon, but in some stretches you just gotta sprint and learn to push out of your way anything that will distract you from reaching your goals.

These last weeks I’ve been buried in a couple of very important issues.

One of them, a rather difficult and draining beaurocratic process, I did not feel like dealing with, but had to. The other, a very interesting professional challenge, I was excited about.

In order to accomplish both, each day I had to make the decision to eliminate everything and anything that had nothing to do with those two impending issues.

The result was that I missed one of my best friends´ birthday party, wasn’t able to take phone calls, didn’t write my blog posts and the house was a mess. But I got the most important things done, and now I can get on with the rest of my life.

Prioritizing every week and every day helps me achieve my goals, while I also manage to devote time and energy to those I love.  

What is your priority this week and what are you willing to do to stick to it?  

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Succesful Co-parenting after Divorce

Co-parenting is short for cooperative parenting. First of all, if you are reading this, you probably already know that it´s no easy feat. It´s no picnic handing your child over to someone you cannot have a marital relationship with. Someone who you most likely still have unresolved issues with. Plus, they are probably dealing with similar resentments and unresolved issues towards you.

Co-parenting is ideally something both parents adhere to equally, but alas, this is not always the case. 

As a divorced parent of two beautiful girls inside and out, I deal with this on an ongoing basis. As I once heard: “a husband can be temporary but (when you have kids) an ex is forever”. True that, for better and for worse.

No matter how well we try to get along, most of us have an axe to grind with our ex spouses – or we would not be ex spouses.

I was browsing the Internet for information on how to deal with having your heart broken when the other parent makes decisions and doesn’t involve you in them, when he or she takes actions without prior warning and more …  

And I came across an article entitled Being a Successful Coparent that has a lot of common sense ideas, namely: put the children first. Even when putting the children first breaks your own heart or sometimes takes them away from you in time and distance. Because a kid needs both parents equally, I believe in shared custody and in co-parenting, or at least giving it your best shot. Unless there is, of course, an issue of physical abuse or any other equally serious problem. 

When I have a tough time with all of this, I remind myself that emotional freedom has a price, but it´s worth paying.

And so, I – as so many other divorced parents – sometimes cry at night, but my kids only see my tears of joy when I am with them. 

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Nothing Less than Perfect

It´s good to have friends and sisters who remind us to "change the voices in your head and make them like you instead."

My sister dedicated this song to me when I was having a rough day, and what woman doesn´t now and then. Now I listen to it whenever I need a quick pick me up, or while I´m running, and when I´m driving back home sharing the best of times - with my girls.

Music and the right lyrics are a great mood enhancer.

If you ever feel less than perfect, listen to it!

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Art of Joy

With my latest book
Starting Over

We writers are usually neurotic. Acknowledging my neuroses helps me deal with them. By practicing sports I overcome anxiety, worry, frustration and anger. Even my kids, who are now 9 and 6 tell me: “Mommy, you need to go for a run”, because they know it lifts my spirits.

Any sport or form of exercise is the best antidepressant. That, plus a balanced and healthy diet, sleeping enough hours each night, can keep the blues at bay. On the other hand, moderation is the key.

I’ve battled with obsession and compulsion since I was a kid (that’s perhaps why I suffered from bulimia, which I address in my books Me siento gorda (I Feel Fat) and Miedo a comer (Fear of Eating), and so I set limits for myself and practice moderation in all areas of life. Ever since I ditched the scale, stopped counting calories and quit overdoing it at the gym, I’ve had a healthy weight and size and I feel better than ever, physically, mentally and emotionally.

Don´t take yourself
too seriously!
Being pessimistic or negative can become a habit that you can certainly overcome. In order to avoid being washed away by negative thoughts, I often listen to self-improvement books or anything by David Sedaris on my MP3 player.

Something as simple as smiling often and not taking myself so seriously has worked wonders in my case.

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Monday, March 7, 2011

How to be a Positive Person: 5 Tips to make it Happen

-       Stop blaming and complaining. We all have challenges come our way at some point. You can use them as a crutch or as a springboard. No matter whether your situation is your fault or someone else´s, the only person who can do something about it is you!

-       Avoid blamers and complainers like the plague. They will suck your energy dry. You cannot change their situation. Only they can.

-       Write a gratitude list daily. Until it becomes second nature to you to see the good in every situation, write and reread a list of things to be grateful for each day, no matter how insignificant.

-       Be a doer. The more you do (within reason) the more energy you’ll have. If you waste away your life watching TV, for example, you won’t live life! One day, you will regret it.

-       Don´t procrastinate. The perfect time to take action is always now. Even if you can´t enroll in college today, you can fill out the application. Any action is better than no action.

No matter whether you are an orphan, have a chronic disease, are broke, had a bad divorce – you can still be positive and take life in your hands. You are the only one who can do it. Choose to be a winner!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Persistence and Patience: Keys to Success

Bouldering. 2010. 
At times we may feel that no matter how much we do, we just aren´t making progress, and that can be extremely discouraging. That’s when we need to keep in mind that the results of our efforts are rarely instantaneous. When you plant a seed and water it daily, it’s spreading its roots, even though you cannot see it. Until it sprouts, you must have faith in the natural process that is taking place below the surface of the soil, and that is invisible to the eye. 

Life is very similar. You go on a diet and of course you don´t lose ten pounds on the first day. But as you reduce your caloric intake and increases the energy expenditure through exercise, your metabolism changes and one fine day you realize your pants are loose!

You send out resumes, go to job interviews, and a few months later you receive several job offers.  

When you think your efforts are worthless, focus on the success of actually making the effort. Results are out of your hands, but the more you do, the greater your likelihood of achieving your goals.

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