On self love and why it’s important

I wasn’t always the confident and well put together woman that I am today. For many years I struggled with my weight (or lack thereof) and hated my thick unruly hair. My teeth looked like the jagged edges of a picket fence and I spent many days and nights wishing that I looked more like my sister who was petite, had long beautiful wavy hair and overall had more refined features. When I was about nine or ten my family and I were at an amusement park and as I proceeded to walk into the ladies bathroom someone had mistaken me for a boy. I was tall for my age, skinny, and my hair was cut into a curly afro because my mother either did not know how to manage it or simply did not want to. I really don’t know, but I remember shrugging the incident off at the time because I didn’t want anyone knowing how much it had hurt me. That event was something that I carried with me for a long time.

My hair and weight are issues that I’ve spent the majority of my life battling.  I’ve experimented with everything from jheri curls to relaxers to keratin treatments to weight gainers to drinking cases of Nutrament, Periactin (pills and in liquid form), even stuffing my face with plates of arroz con gandules. For most of my life I was as skinny as a twig and as flat as a board. I was genetically made up to be a slim woman and instead of embracing it I’d try hiding my slimness by wearing multiple layers of clothes. For the most part that was okay, except when summertime came around and the NYC humidity made it almost unbearable to wear anything let alone 3 or 4 layers of clothes.

For a long time I tried everything to fit into the standard of beauty defined by society and by my family. Those little comments that they think are harmless can in fact become our inner voice and if we are not conscious of it can let it ruin our self-esteem and our lives. In my life, my mother and sister are always the first to let me know if I look too fat or too skinny, if my hair isn’t up to par, or if I’m wearing something that they disapprove of. Even when I’m lounging around at home my sister disapproves of the scarves I wear on my head; or the fact that I really enjoy wearing my husband’s pajamas instead of the typical female nightwear. To her, I should wear something more feminine.  At 37 I’ve learned to silence the negative voices so now when someone disapproves of how I look or what I say I let it roll off my back. I’ve realized that whatever it is about me that bothers them is their issue not mine. It wasn’t always like this and it takes a strong sense of self and self discovery to not allow another person’s perception of us to define us.

It wasn’t until I reached my thirties that I finally started to put on weight. Coincedentally (or not) it was until my thirties that I also finally started to love the skin I was in. When I turned 30 I decided that instead of focusing on those things that I wasn’t happy with I would instead focus on the things that I loved about me. I also decided that I would spend some time thinking about the things I didn’t like and ask myself why I had an issue with those things. Once I did that, I discovered that the things I thought I didn’t like about myself had all been issues that other people had with me. Once I realized that, I began releasing all my self-deprecating thoughts and behaviors. I started slowly loving myself and everything that made me uniquely me. I finally learned how to manage and love my beautiful thick hair and though I was still slim, I also learned to love my body. Once I started loving myself (flaws and all) I started feeling a lot happier and more confident. Now, every day that I awake I give thanks for all of the things that make me uniquely me revelling in the fact that there is no other person in this world like me. I wake up with purpose and with a desire to be my best self. It is what I hope to pass down to my daughter. I want to make sure that her inner voice reminds her of how beautiful she is even if she does look different.

Today I along with relationship expert Sujeiry Gonzalez and meia personality Leticia Reyes had the opportunity to participate on a panel about self-love and being self-first. The most important thing that I believe I said to the students of St. Joseph’s College is that once you compare yourself to others you take away from your own uniqueness and the thing that makes you special. No one ever remembers the person that fits in. It’s the person that stands out that they won’t be able to forget. Embrace your individuality, it’s your trademark.

2014: Year of The FIERCE Woman

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In April of this year with nothing more than an idea and a will to create something where women could come together, network, inspire each other, support and learn from each other, The Power of the FIERCE Woman was born. I did not know if my idea would be successful, but something stirred inside me and I knew that I had to listen to my inner voice. I listened to my heart, followed my passion and began planning my first event not knowing if anyone would attend. As with anyone who does something for the first time, I was afraid of failing. I was afraid that I would give it my all and no one would show. Boy was I wrong. I planned the first event and to my surprise it sold out. What I had set out to do was really happening and it was exciting.

Our first event was The FIERCE Woman Brunch where myself and two other women (Justine Hornedo & Wendy Angulo) hosted more than 50 women for an afternoon of food, drink, and inspiration. We shared with the amazing group of women how to rise above the challenges we all face throughout our lives and come out on top better and more successful than ever by sharing our personal stories. The event was so successful that two months later I hosted another event that focused on setting goals and following through.

With the intimate group of 20 women I showed the women how to identify and break down goals into smaller, manageable goals, set deadlines and execute. They created vision boards to help keep them focused on their goals and finally spoke their dreams into the Universe by sharing with the group some of their goals for the upcoming year. After the event the women left Katalina’s Bar & Grill motivated, inspired, and focused.

Most of the feedback I got from women who attended one of our events was positive and affirming. They commended me for putting together such inspirational events that connected women from all walks of life and appreciated the intimate settings that the events provided. They were able to connect with the speakers and hosts in a way that made them feel comfortable and feel as if they were sitting in their living room with their girlfriends. Their feedback was further proof to me that I was onto something great and knowing that I was helping women transform their lives really made me feel good.

In September, in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month I put together an all female Latina Entrepreneurs Panel at Maranello in New York City, which showcased 5 successful Latina Entrepreneurs and they discussed how and why they went into business for themselves. They shared pearls of wisdom with the women in attendance on how to create successful businesses.

As 2014 comes to a close I can’t help but feel excited for what lies ahead for The FIERCE Woman. What I did this year doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface for how far I want to take this organization. I am committed to empowering every woman who comes my way. There is a shift happening among women and little by little I am seeing more and more women lift each other up. That is the movement that I am committed to. So as I bid farewell to 2014 I am grateful for all of her lessons and the opportunities she gave me. She will always be a special year for my because it is they year The FIERCE Woman was born and as I prepare for our 1 Year anniversary in April I promise that it will be fun, exciting, and full of everything that women have come to expect from The FIERCE Woman.

Stay safe and be blessed. Happy New Year.

-NAR-

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Meet Power of the FIERCE Woman Entrepreneurs Forum Panelists

Qiana Aviles, Business OwnerQiana Aviles is the founder and CEO of Nail Lounge, a shrewd business women whose style, grace, and innovative ideas make her a sought after mentor among entrepreneurs. It’s not every day you walk in to a Nail Salon owned and managed by a Latina. But this particular Nail Salon and this Latina, are like no other. The stylish Latina was born and raised in New York City. While attending Baruch College for Finance, she was plotting her next move.  She founded Nail Lounge to fill a void in the Washington Heights community. “I saw WAHI lacked a quality service nail salon so I wanted to provide that service for the community,” says Qiana. Nail Lounge opened its doors in 2010 with a lounge-like, cool and relaxing atmosphere. The concept of this Bar-Lounge Nail Salon was the first of its kind. Nail Lounge is most popular for their creative custom nail art.

Her 115K Instagram followers and beloved customers can attest to the creativity and artistry that takes place at the Nail Lounge. Many customers and fans wait patiently for the next Instagram or Twitter post to see what the latest design, style, and trends are. Nail Lounge’s reputable service and one of kind Nail Salon has become the go to place for celebrities and musicians. Nail Lounge has been featured on MTV, VH1, Fox News and on numerous blogs.

Nail Lounge’s excellent reputation and popularity fostered the idea to open another nail salon to meet the demands of a growing business—luckily, a location became available next door and she opened Nail Lounge Etc., in October of 2012.

With her own Nail Lacquer “Q & A” which launched October of  2013 and an Italian restaurant “Maranello” scheduled to open April 2014 her plate is full but she continues to take on more projects, hoping to open a Nail Lounge in all major big cities and launch a magazine dedicated to empowering women. Although her schedule is tight, she still finds time to mentor, inspire, motivate and guide so many women that admire her success and big heart! Her affiliations with Morgan Stanley’s Children Hospital and countless women’s support organizations make Ms. Nail Lounge one of the most loving and supportive women today.

Qiana is more than a beautiful face; she has proven how one woman can take small business to big heights while making change in the community for the better. You can find her hosting clothing drives, fundraising for great causes, speaking on panels, providing free nail services to local community organizations and inspiring the many women that come through her businesses. It is her genuine heart, ambition and genuine love for people that make her a rare diamond. For more information on her businesses visit their websites.

Nail Lounge

Maranello

Q & A Nail Lacquer

 

Melanie Butcher, Founder/CEO WMSDF MagazineMelanie Butcher is the Owner/CEO and Editor of WMDSF Magazine. She is a “Mom”trepreneur on her way to the top. As a former social worker and domestic violence crisis counselor she has always had a love for helping women and children. Giving words of empowerment and inspiring those around her is what she is passionate about. An award winning poet, as well as a christian woman she has chosen this platform to reach out to others through words of encouragement and to positively uplift the upcoming generations of women.

You can learn more about WMDSF Magazine by visiting the site: WMDSF Magazine


 

Sujeiry Gonzalez, Author & On-Air PersonalitySujeiry Gonzalez is a vibrant writer, author and on-air talent that tells it like it is – with just a little more sass and a ton of laughs. Coined the ‘Latina Carrie Bradshaw,’ she is the host of “The Sweet Spot with Sujeiry” on ChicRebellion TV and recently appeared on FYI’s “Married at First Sight.” She’s rocked the relationship market since 2006, sharing her pearls of wisdom with CNN Latino, Cosmopolitan for Latinas, Latina Magazine, YourTango, MSN Latino, NBC Latino, GalTime, and more. Author of Love Trips: A Collection of Relationship Stumbles, the 2013 Love Guru on Exitos 93.9FM on the Raq-C and Nachin Show owns and runs LoveSujeiry Magazine – a digital space where she along with other writers dish on love, dating, relationship advice, women’s style, and The Power of Self-First.

To learn more about Sujeiry visit her website: LoveSujeiry.com


 

Maribel Rivera, Marketing ConsultantMaribel Rivera is a brand management and public relations consultant focused on creating brand stories that influence for clients that include global organizations. A person of action, Maribel has developed strategies to attain her goals including learning to listen instead of speak. She is considered a social connector constantly networking, meeting new people and seeing what she could do for others, While being a single mom raising two sons of her own and taking in six other boys, Maribel climbed the corporate jungle gym moving through the ranks from secretary at 19 to VP President of Marketing & Events last year prior to starting her own company. Maribel sits on the board of two associations – Women in eDiscovery, which is focused on developing women both professionally and personally and ARMA Metro NYC, an association for records and information management professionals. She is currently working with a group to create mentoring programs in technology for young adults. Maribel also has a personal blog with her boyfriend, Bricks on Division, which discusses everything from relationships to sports. In her spare time, Maribel can be found at the gym or shoe shopping. To learn more about Maribel visit her blog at:

Bricks On Division

Power of the F.I.E.R.C.E Woman Entrepreneurs Forum

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We are starting the Autumn season off with a bang. The Power of the F.I.E.R.C.E Woman will be celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with an event focused on bringing FIERCE, like minded female BOSSES together. Join me September 24, 2014 at Maranello’s as I host the very first Power of the FIERCE Woman Entrepreneurs Forum.

This event is designed to inspire other female entrepreneurs to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams by connecting them with women who have gone into business for themselves and have been successful. 

According to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Women are pushing themselves out of the shadows today and taking their entrepreneurial talents to the forefront.

Over the last 17 years, women-owned businesses have increased dramatically, with more than 9.1 million women-owned businesses operating in 2014, up from 8.6 million in 2013. This surging-growth pace, which has doubled in three years, has helped to generate nearly $1.5 trillion in revenues for women-owned businesses. Given these statistics it’s no wonder why more women are opting to go into business for themselves. 

If you have a talent, gift, idea, or passion that you know is a great business venture and want to capitalize from it, but aren’t sure how to get started then this event is for you. This interactive Q&A panel will connect you with 4 successful female business owners who are willing to answer your questions and share with you how they did it. So come prepared with your questions and ask these women anything you want about what it takes to start your own business. Seating is limited so make sure to purchase your ticket now to reserve your seat. Do not miss this opportunity to network with fierce like minded women living out their dreams.

Panelists:
Qiana Aviles, Business Owner, Nail Lounge/Maranello Trattoria
Melanie Butcher, Founder/CEO WMDSF Magazine
Sujeiry Gonzalez, Author/On-Air Personality
Maribel Rivera, Independent Marketing Consultant

To purchase your ticket today visit:

Power of the F.I.E.R.C.E. Woman Entrepreneurs Forum


All proceeds from the FIERCE Woman Entrepreneurs Forum will be donated to Amanda and Chris Bernier who have personally been affected by ALS.

Amanda Bernier’s diagnosis hit only days after she and her husband Chris received joyous, surprising news: They were expecting their first child, their miracle, the baby they’d wished for during years of working side by side as firefighters and emergency medical first responders. Amanda and Chris have learned she has the most aggressive form of the disease.  She has already begun to lose the ability to move her arms and legs and will lose the power to talk, swallow and breathe. Eventually paralysis will set in and then, death.

Within weeks, Amanda’s condition has worsened to the point where she can no longer walk and has lost over fifty percent of her respiratory capacity. She is living as long and strong as she can for the sake of their baby girl. She doesn’t know if she will get to meet her baby face to face. The donations collected will be used to help the Bernier’s off-set some of the costs they have incurred in making their home wheel chair accessible and spacious enough for Amanda to move around in her wheelchair. Her wheelchair does not fit in their bathroom or kitchen. To all who purchase tickets know that your dollars are going towards a great cause.

To learn more about the Berniers’ struggle visit:

http://www.amandas-angels.org/

Power of the F.I.E.R.C.E Woman Entrepreneurs Forum

 

This event is designed to inspire other female entrepreneurs to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams by connecting them with women who have gone into business for themselves and have been successful. 

According to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Women are pushing themselves out of the shadows today and taking their entrepreneurial talents to the forefront.

Over the last 17 years, women-owned businesses have increased dramatically, with more than 9.1 million women-owned businesses operating in 2014, up from 8.6 million in 2013. This surging-growth pace, which has doubled in three years, has helped to generate nearly $1.5 trillion in revenues for women-owned businesses. Given these statistics it’s no wonder why more women are opting to go into business for themselves. 

If you have a talent, gift, idea, or passion that you know is a great business venture and want to capitalize from it, but aren’t sure how to get started then this event is for you. This interactive Q&A panel will connect you with 4 successful female business owners who are willing to answer your questions and share with you how they did it. So come prepared with your questions and ask these women anything you want about what it takes to start your own business. Seating is limited so make sure to purchase your ticket now to reserve your seat. Do not miss this opportunity to network with fierce like minded women living out their dreams.

Panelists:
Qiana Aviles, Business Owner, Nail Lounge/Maranello Trattoria
Melanie Butcher, Founder/CEO WMDSF Magazine
Sujeiry Gonzalez, Author/On-Air Personality
Maribel Rivera, Independent Marketing Consultant

To purchase your ticket today visit:

Power of the F.I.E.R.C.E. Woman Entrepreneurs Forum

 


 

All proceeds from the FIERCE Woman Entrepreneurs Forum will be donated to Amanda and Chris Bernier who have personally been affected by ALS.

Amanda Bernier’s diagnosis hit only days after she and her husband Chris received joyous, surprising news: They were expecting their first child, their miracle, the baby they’d wished for during years of working side by side as firefighters and emergency medical first responders. Amanda and Chris have learned she has the most aggressive form of the disease.  She has already begun to lose the ability to move her arms and legs and will lose the power to talk, swallow and breathe. Eventually paralysis will set in and then, death.

Within weeks, Amanda’s condition has worsened to the point where she can no longer walk and has lost over fifty percent of her respiratory capacity. She is living as long and strong as she can for the sake of their baby girl. She doesn’t know if she will get to meet her baby face to face. The donations collected will be used to help the Bernier’s off-set some of the costs they have incurred in making their home wheel chair accessible and spacious enough for Amanda to move around in her wheelchair. Her wheelchair does not fit in their bathroom or kitchen. To all who purchase tickets know that your dollars are going towards a great cause.

To learn more about the Berniers’ struggle visit:

http://www.amandas-angels.org/

The Art of Manifesting Your Dreams

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“All of us have within us this amazing capacity to manifest and attract anything we want into our lives,” – Dr. Wayne Dyer

Ever wonder why some people seem to walk around with a dark cloud hovering over them and others appear to bring their own sunshine wherever they go? While one group tends to be generally unhappy, finds things to complain about, and nothing seems to go their way, the other group can walk the exact same earth finding gratitude in everything around them, keeping up a positive outlook, and easily creating the lives they want. In both cases, these individuals are very much creating their own destiny as the law of attraction is at work with the basic principle: Like attracts like. Simply put: If you focus on positive things, you will get positive results. If you focus on negative things, you’re going to attract negative results.

Don’t get me wrong. You can’t just say, “I want a million dollars,” focus all of your attention on that desire and then voila: instant millionaire. There’s more to it than that. Actual hard work, for one thing! But, there is a spiritual element to it as well. Sometimes the universe has other plans for us, or we just aren’t ready to receive yet.

A couple of years ago I read a book that helped to completely change my life and my perspective of my future; that book was Wishes Fulfilled by Dr. Wayne Dyer. In the book Dr. Dyer explains how to master the art of manifesting — or, in other words, how to attract what you want into your own life.

That may be a hard concept to understand especially for those of us who believe that we have little to no control over the things that happen in our lives. The truth is, that we indeed can control our experiences we just have never been taught how. The art of manifestation is often discussed alongside the law of attraction, but, according to Dr. Dyer, there is a fundamental difference between the two ideas.

If you’ve read the book “The Secret” then you know that the overall message teaches us that in order to get what you want you must speak it into existence, but what’s missing from that concept is that you also have to say “I will attract into my life what I am.” You get what you are rather than what you want.”

To do this, Dr. Dyer says that you must be in alignment with your source, with God. This doesn’t mean simply wishing for something and expecting it to appear. “You can’t go around and ask these divine beings — angels, whatever you want to call them — to ‘help me out,'” Dr. Dyer says. “You have to become like they are.”

You have to be it in your mind before it manifests into your reality. When I decided that I wanted to have a child I did things and acted in the way I would have if I was pregnant. I stopped drinking alcohol, I began taking pre-natal vitamins, I started eating healthier. I wasn’t pregnant yet in reality, but in my mind I was. I was calling into my life that which I wanted by being it and by doing so I indeed became pregnant after many years of trying with no success. I can personally attest to the power of purposefully attracting and manifesting because once I shifted my thinking my outcome changed.

Dr. Dyer believes that by placing into your imagination what you want and assuming the feeling of that wish as already fulfilled, you go through your life feeling that and then it’s only a matter of time before reality catches up to the vision you have planted in your imagination.

Tips on Allowing the Law of Attraction to Work for You:

Is it meant to be? Use your inner light as a guide. The musical key of your life’s symphony must be in harmony with the desire you wish to manifest. In other words, there needs to be a strong connection with what you want and what you’re destined for. I have had plenty of “pouty” moments in my days after working so hard for something and coming up short in the end. But after the fact, I always came to realize that there was a reason something didn’t happen exactly how or when I wanted it to. Don’t let this stop you from trying because trying and failing is better than not trying at all. You just have to trust your gut and have faith in your instincts, which will become stronger the more you become self-aware. A meditation practice also helps bring more insight. Some good questions to ask: Is this desire in line with my life’s passion and purpose? Is my intention positive and for the greater good of many and not just rooted in self-interest? If the answers are “yes” and something in your gut is telling you to go for it, than chances are you on the right path.

Hold powerful visions. Now that you’ve identified your desires and they feel intuitively right: Imagine yourself as actually having achieved your dream already. In this visualization, really see and believe it. Incorporate all of the senses: How does it feel, smell, tastes and sound? Think about all of the important aspects of your life and what they look like when this happens. What were some of details that surrounded getting there? Writing out your vision story is a very productive and powerful tool as it helps to make your dreams seem more real, brings your vision into focus in your present situation and triggers your subconscious into action.

Identify blocks and fears… and believe! You have to really believe in yourself and your vision. It’s not a matter of if you can, but when you can. Self-doubt is a form of negative thinking that will actually prevent your dreams from manifesting. Believing is receiving! The more you resonate with your fears, the more likely you will make them come true instead of allowing your real desires to manifest. For example, if you have a fear of public speaking and focus on all the things that could possibly go wrong before your speech — don’t be surprised if you fall flat on your face when you get on stage for your big moment. Literally! To avoid this, try noticing any internal resistance or self-doubt that comes up when you think about your desire and realize that both fears and desires exist only in the mind. It is best to identify any fears or roadblocks as soon as possible so you can accept them and move forward despite them. If the little voice of self-doubt in your mind is too loud to allow you to move forward or you are not sure what is holding you back, consider working with a business or life coach to help you work through it.

You’ve got to work! You’ve set a positive intention; now focus your energy on its manifestation for the highest good. It’s not magic, though. If you want it bad enough, you’ll need to roll up your sleeves and put in the time and effort to make it happen. The more systematic you are in the execution stage, the better results you will see. Start setting goals and creating new daily habits to help inch you towards making your vision story a reality. Have an accountability system in place whether to yourself, friends and family, or to a coach. Remember to celebrate all of your small successes along the way. Having a vision is a great start and often referring back to it is very powerful. However, remember, “Vision without execution is hallucination.” — Thomas Edison.

Trust and allow. Don’t get tripped up in your wants and desires. Have faith and confidence that if/when it is meant to happen, that it will. Keep your eyes and mind open for clues in the universe that will tell you if you are on the right path, or if you might need to tweak your vision slightly (or vastly, even!). Remain living in the now, while you ever-so-loosely and delicately hold onto your dreams and allow them to unfold as they are meant to. If you are totally focused on what you want for your future, than you are focused on manifesting more of what you don’t have. Trust and allow that things will play out as they are supposed to while you gently help to guide things along. There is perfection in everything that happens along the way. Enjoy the journey!

Power of the F.I.E.R.C.E Woman Workshop

Want to learn how to shift your thinking from a “I can’t do this” mindset into a “I must do this” mindset? Want to learn how to stay in track with your goals to achieve ultimate success? Want to learn how to balance your home, family and work life and make your dreams come true in the process? Then this is the workshop for you.

The Power of the FIERCE Woman Workshop is an interactive workshop designed to show you how to create the tools necessary to help you balance your personal & work life and keep you focused while pursuing your dreams.

In collaboration with Wendy Angulo Productions and Katarina’s Bar & Grill, join Motivational Speakers Nancy Arroyo Ruffin and Justine Hornedo as they teach you how to get and keep yourself on track.

Cost: $15

*Includes workshop supplies and materials*

This event is limited to 40 women and is expected to sell out quickly.

To reserve your seat register at:
www.fiercewomanworkshop.eventbrite.com

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June 10, 2014: Power of the F.I.E.R.C.E Woman Workshop (Save the Date)

potfw save the dateWant to learn how to shift your thinking from a “I can’t do this” mindset into a “I must do this” mindset? Want to learn how to stay in track with your goals to achieve ultimate success? Want to learn how to balance your home, family and work life and make your dreams come true in the process? Then this is the workshop for you.

The Power of the FIERCE Woman Workshop is an interactive workshop designed to show you how to create the tools necessary to keep you on track, focused, and committed to your dreams. The workshop will be limited to 40 women. This is the first in a series of Power of the F.I.E.R.C.E Woman workshops. More details coming on location, time, and how to register coming soon. Visit www.thefiercewoman.com to stay updated on all the latest Power of the F.I.E.R.C.E Woman news.

The world is remade through the power of F.I.E.R.C.E. women performing outrageous acts of creative rebellion. – excerpt © Louise M. Pare 2011