sickness and stillness

Hello Beautiful One,

I have a confession…

This was supposed to be a great year yet it has been mostly anything but that. With a lump in my throat as I type, a lot of not knowing on my mind and tears flowing as rapidly as the anger that is racing through my veins my heart is screaming for everything to be okay. Life should be okay. No! Life should be great. Life should be great once you’ve beat the monster that chased you repeatedly. Life shouldn’t deliver another blow. But it has. This too I shall overcome or so I desperately hope.

For the last few months while working on my next project I’ve struggled with fatigue and abdominal pain. In last couple of months, I’ve been going through the long process of getting a diagnosis and treatment for whatever is causing these physical pains and fatigue that stole the first quarter of 2013 from me. During those months a lot of people noticed that I’ve been extremely and unusually silent, sheltered and what has seemed as stagnant. As the pain got more intense I feared the worst. As the pain got more intense I became as silent, sheltered and stagnant still as possible so, that I could go within to prepare for the worst as I hoped for the best. I’ve slept more in the last few months than ever before in my life. When people started to question my silence, me sheltering myself away from others and my lack of progress with my work, at first I felt like maybe I had wasted a lot of time.

Emotionally healthy people know that no matter what you do with your time, Time will always be a thief.

As an emotionally healthy person I allowed myself to sleep, to be silent, to shelter myself with only the most caring family and friends and allowed myself to be still.

Stillness is not stagnation.

Stillness is healthy. Stillness is full of purpose. Stillness allows you to feel fully. Stillness is the calm before the storm, the battle, the growth, the triumph and the calm before the worst. It is in stillness that I’ve sat for the last few months. It was this stillness that showed me my emotional growth and health. I can finally see that regardless of what comes after this stillness I am more ready than ever to fight for a great life. It is because I sat in stillness with my fears and all of my emotions, that I can certainly say that no matter what comes after a diagnosis my spirit has already overcome. I have already beat the worst.

Life should have been so great once I beat the depression monster. It should have been but it hasn’t been. But because I did beat depression I know that I don’t have to put a smile on my face and pretend that I am okay. I don’t have to give give give to my friends and family. I don’t have to hide behind a facade as I am falling apart inside.

Because I did beat depression…

I can ask for help from my family and friends.

I can eloquently explain to my mother what kind of relationship I want and need from her.

I can be afraid of the not knowing without spiraling out of control into despair.

I can believe that the best is yet to come even if it means going through an extraordinary hell.

I can allow myself to sleep when I am extremely tired; even if it means putting all my work and dreams on pause.

I can say no! And it feels so damn good to say that word!

But most of all I can be as silent, as sheltered and as still as I need be.

And I can speak, be open and thrive as I am ready…

I am ready to face whatever this mass in my cervix is.

I am ready because if I beat depression, what can I not beat?

Swimming with Hope in an ocean of tears.

xo, Anaín

how to be sexy in four easy steps

Last Wednesday, I shared a story with you and the Merriam-Webster definition of the word sexy, then I left you to ponder the question, “What makes you sexy?” If you missed that post you can read it here.

These days the word sexy describes everything and anything but for me sexy isn’t something that can be bought. Yes, the lust we feel for material things is real. Sure enough, I am extremely guilty of calling stilettos sexy when they trigger my lust or desire to possess, but high heels are not and cannot be sexy. You cannot buy the most expensive pair of stilettos and expect to be sexy. Those heels won’t make you sexy, even if you have the most ideal body wrapped in the most beautiful designer dress, and your hair, nails and everything is did.

You cannot purchase sexy!

That real sexy, that you and I want to always be is definitely not for sale. I’m sure you already knew this, especially if you are a person that is considered sexy by many or if you’ve spent a lot of time and money trying to become that sexy person in the room that awes everyone. The funniest thing is that at different points in your life, you’ve probably been both of these people. It is just like that because your sexy and my sexy is attached to variables.

The variables of sexy are:

  • your joy
  • your confidence
  • how awake your spirit is
  • your audience

If you want to be sexy, if you want to turn heads here is what you have to know, do and remember.

  • Create joy in your life. Every single day. Sexy people do things that bring them joy at least once a day. What brings you joy? Do that today. Anything else bring you joy? Do that tomorrow. Do what brings you joy often and you’ll become magnetic. If you don’t believe me then look around you and notice the people that are “chasing happiness” or talk about wanting to “be happy.” They aren’t very sexy people are they? Not that they might not be attractive looking people, it is just that desire without action can make the most attractive person very not sexy.
  • Confidence comes from action. Taking care of yourself, doing the things that bring you joy, accomplishing the things you thought you couldn’t, and even failing all build confidence. Doing all the things that you know are right for you, the things that feed your spirit and keep you healthy builds confidence. Your confidence grows with every action you take that comes from a place of self-love and self-care. Even when those actions fall short, doing something makes you feel a lot more confident than doing nothing and it awakens your spirit.
  • Your spirit shines when it is awake. The sexiest person in the room is the most awake person. The most awake person forgot about being happy a long time ago, they built confidence by doing what brought them joy and takes awesome care of themselves. The most awake person knows that knowledge is as powerful as action and they seek knowledge. They seek outer knowledge to improve themselves and they seek inner knowledge because an unexamined life is not worth living.  The most awake person has great boundaries because self-love and self-care mean that you know your worth; boundaries are the best way to make sure you are valued. The most awake person is happy to share joy, collaborate with others and helps others become awake. An awake person knows they aren’t alone; even the biggest hermits always have an audience of at least one.
  • You are your audience. You are always your company. Sometimes you are your own quiet company, at other times you are your best cheerleader and sometimes you can even be your worst critic. You are your audience everywhere you go. You know when you are walking through life asleep. You know when you aren’t taking care of yourself or being very loving to yourself. You know when your confidence plunders due to inaction and poor self-care. You know when you aren’t doing anything to cultivate joy in your life. So if you aren’t turning heads it is because you aren’t doing what your most important audience member needs to see you as sexy.

You are only as sexy as your actions.

That’s it. That’s all. Stop reading. Comments are closed. Go act sexy. Go!

xo, Anaín

playful parenting

One of the things that I am most grateful for about my ForteFemme experience is that I was reminded to be more playful about my parenting.

It was as we sat in a semicircle telling one another about the kinds of play that were approved and unapproved by our parents that I thought that I could definitely be more playful with my children.

It was in that semicircle that I almost cried because of the amount of heartache that having to be the one that disciplines the children most of the time causes me.

The thought scared me because although I do have so much fun with my sons and they bring me so much joy… I hardly ever am fully in playful mode. There always seems to be this burden on my shoulders of having to be in control. Guess that I’ve never felt permission to really let go of the responsibility of parenthood and join them in play without being in control. You can even see the difference between how they totally jump into playing with dad versus how they play with me. Mom plays but always at a further distance than dad. How he gets to be one of the kids sometimes but not me has always hurt. I am the guardian, the responsible parent, the one that usually has to be Debbie Downer and set limits on how wild and carefree the play gets.

Goal 1: Figure out how to challenge myself as a parent so that I could step out of my box as the “responsible parent” and be the “fun parent” more often.

It wasn’t strange at all, thinking about how my parenting would shape my own children’s sexualities while sitting in a room full of women that were discussing how their childhood play related to their adult sexual play. It wasn’t strange at all because almost everything that I do, think or think about doing usually stirs a thought or two about how it will help or hinder my children. Once you’re a parent you’re always a parent. So, it was in that room full of women discussing their kinks that I decided that I needed to allow my children more modes of approved play.

And when I thought about it, long and hard, I realized that I had always wished my mother hadn’t been so strict with me and that when she did play with me it had been more on my terms than hers.

That’s when I thought for a minute that maybe even as a child I might have been greedy and self-centered but instantly that thought went to…

Goal 2: Make childhood more about the needs and wants of my children and less about me.

I am the parent that has always said that children teach us how to parent them yet I had not always followed my own advice. Controlling Anaín has too often wanted for her children what she didn’t have for herself as a child and forgotten that her children are not her even if they are her own.

And there it is… the web that’s so tangled that I can’t seem to get myself out of it. My childhood shaped me and the way I parent, the way I parent shapes them and the way they will parent…

So instead of worrying about how to get myself out of this tangled web of wanting to give them everything I never had, keeping them in a perfect straight line towards happiness and success as adults and being the parent they need and want, I’ve decided that maybe being playful is just what we need more of.

I can let go some…

run around the park chasing the son that loves playing tag

create art with the son that loves painting, sculpting and all things visual art

have conversations with the make-believe friends that my other son has

I can master playful parenting as soon as I learn that it isn’t a goal to be mastered but a part of parenting to be enjoyed!

xo, Anaín

inner lives are sacred

My ears perked up when I heard her say, “You must nourish and protect your inner life.” She definitely was telling the entire damn truth. I knew all too well the value of being within oneself; I had learned self-love the hard way. What I learned the hard way is that our inner lives are sacred. It is on the inside where we sow our seeds, figuratively and literally even if you are not female bodied, it is on the outside where we harvest everything we’ve planted.

It is not possible to control the outside of yourself until you have mastered your breathing space. It is not possible to change anything until you understand the substance you wish to change. ― Jeanette Winterson

It wasn’t until I repeatedly, found myself standing in the ashes of what I once thought would feed my future, with nothing but a fistful of tears in my hands that I stopped focusing on the outside and went inside. I instinctively and as an act of self-preservation, went inside of myself to do the work that would ensure that no matter what life threw my way, that there would always be a positive to feed my soul and help me live another day. It was so much more than just thinking positive thoughts, doing acts of self-love, being with my emotions or focusing on myself; this was a new way of living thriving.

My tips for nourishing and protecting a sacred inner life that helps you thrive in today’s world.

  • Nourish Your Inner Life.

Feed your inner life the things that allow it to dream then expand. Nourishing your inner life requires being connected to the ebb flow of energy within you. For me, this diet mostly consists of music, books, relaxing seaside/mountainside getaways, moments of silence and conversations with people that listen without influencing but that gently nudge me towards the right decisions. My diet isn’t always low-key; who doesn’t eat something exotic or spicy once in awhile? Sometimes to nourish my inner life, I have to get my body moving vigorously. Yes, sometimes I feel the need to feast on action; running, biking, hiking and especially all things dancing. When I am in need of active nourishment, it also involves spending more time than usual around large groups of like-minded people, talking and laughing loud, sipping on our favorite drinks in a overcrowded bar or dancing the night away as sweat drips off our energized bodies. Just like the Earth has seasons our bodies have cycles, even if you are not female bodied, your soul has to adjust to the season within.

Fill yourself with all the delicious things you love and that inner voice will reward you with healthier thoughts and conversations that lead to bigger dreams. Feeding your inner life the best guarantees outer actions in a positive direction. Staying focused within, knowing exactly what kind of loving you need to keep you moving forward and balanced is the key to letting go of worry, struggle and pain. Believe me, as a person that spent too many years fighting depression, I know all too well that if you don’t feed yourself exactly what you need when you need it your inner world becomes a hell and your inner self an abused abusive demon.

You have to remember that no matter where you go there you always are. You cannot run from yourself. Your work, your lovers, your friends, your family, your parents…nobody can save you, except for you. You are the hero in your story. You have to be everything to yourself and guess what that means? That you have to feed yourself and then you have to protect yourself.

  • Protect Your Inner Life.

Protecting your inner life is where you’ll begin to get your hands dirty, how your real strength will emerge and when you’ll find out if you are cut out to be a hero. Not everyone is cut out for this; even the ones that are have moments when they can’t save themselves. Usually, if you can’t protect your inner life from other people it is because you are having trouble protecting it from yourself. Are you currently your own worst enemy? Focus on nourishing your inner life and do nothing but that.

Sometimes the only way you can protect your inner life is by doing nothing other than nourishing it. This is an especially radical subversive act when you are a parent but if you don’t provide yourself with what you need consistently more than likely you are not showing up fully as a parent. You might be doing a great job at being a parent but you are absolutely drained, exhausted and many times even resentful because you have been everything to your children without first being something to yourself. If you are married or in a relationship, these can also apply to you. Protect your inner life from yourself by doing less of the things you have to and more of the things you need to.

Too often protecting your inner life means shutting life suckers and energy vampires out of your life. As a High Priestess of Intuition, I often set bridges on fire just to keep people as far as possible from all that is good within me. Nourishing my inner life has given me a keen sensitivity for seeing which people have pure intentions and which ones have arrived to drain me. If you find yourself often complaining about someone in your life it is probably time for them to go. Cut that person off, tactfully is always best, then figure out what about you they were reflecting that you need to work on. These days whenever a person rubs me the wrong way, I first look really close to see what about them is triggering me. If following the trigger leads me to work that I have to do within myself, I figure out if I can do the work while this person is still in my life or if them constantly triggering me would hinder that work. Depending on that answer I decide whether I should burn a bridge or allow the person all the way up to my moat. If following the trigger shows me absolutely nothing that I need to work on and this person is still triggering me they always go and I don’t even care if I do it tactfully.

You have too much to fight for to wait for a savior or the ideal conditions to live the life you dream of… nourish and protect your inner life… make it hard for life’s circumstances to knock you down. Do not lay down on the inside!

xo, Anaín

thoughts on suicide

Earlier this month I ended my longest relationship when I finally parted ways with Depression.

Breakups aren’t easy, especially when you are breaking up with the you that helps you hurt yourself. Breaking up with depression requires hitting a wall of sadness that is the realization that you’ve always been enough and do deserve more. Letting go of depression for those that have always had romantic thoughts of suicide requires believing in the you that knows that there is a best you could ever dream of being already with you. A you that knows that suicide is never an option. Ever.

 Finding that for me I’ve had to face a lot of sadness as I’m making an effort to understand that joy comes & goes.

Breaking up with depression caused me to have a full blown breakdown. As several dreams were coming true and new possibilities presented themselves instead of celebrating I panicked and wondered if deserved them and whether or not I was enough woman to follow through and live what I had dreamed. Instead of celebrating, I often found myself breaking down in tears as I prepared to leave my house to step into the bigger role that life now had for me. In those moments of panic and tears, I had to look forward and tell myself that I could do what was now expected of me and that I did deserve these things. It was in these moments that I realized that I might have been hiding behind my depression before.

Hiding behind depression? There was a time when irrational thoughts and emotions paralyzed me, causing me to quit on everything that I really wanted. Completely quitting life often felt so right that I believed that I belonged to a certain troubled group of people for which suicide is the only option. For this troubled group it wasn’t a question of whether they would commit suicide or not but a question of when they would. It just seemed better to figure out when was the perfect time to quit on myself than to feel my emotions or fully listen to my own negative thoughts. Sounds insane doesn’t it?

All the same negative thoughts and feelings of despair that had plagued me since forever were with me as my dreams came true. Sadness still filled my soul no matter what was going right or wrong, but this time around instead of backing down, quitting or not following through I allowed myself to fully experience my emotions and sit with the negative thoughts. I would not be the shadow version of me that wasn’t strong enough to live through the self-hate.

My moods do not control my life anymore, even when I am fully in my feelings I am in control of my actions.

I wasn’t hiding behind depression. What I was doing was not allowing myself to sit in my feelings or listen to the awful thoughts that I had. When depression set in I would retreat into the darkness and not work through my emotions or thoughts. I had to redefine what self-love was for myself because sometime ago somewhere someone had convinced me that if I really loved myself I would not allow myself to have negative thoughts. They were wrong! At the age of thirty-five, I learned that the fastest way towards happiness sometimes is through the sadness. Making it through the negative thoughts and terrible feelings is how I reach joy.

It is in my greatest moments that I am often fighting sadness the most. It is in my saddest moments that I reaffirm my commitment to living. These things are true for me now yet I know that for many there often seems to be no better option than suicide.

As I decided, that even though I would always have moments of depression I wouldn’t allow myself to suffer from it anymore, people I love started to tell me about friends that recently “suddenly and unexpectedly” had committed suicide.

Suddenly. Unexpectedly. Committed. Suicide.

It might seem sudden or unexpected to the people on the outside but to many of the people that follow through with suicide it was a long time coming.

Some of these people were the same people that when they expressed their feelings of sadness or irrational thoughts of unworthiness their friends responded with, “You can’t be depressed. You have a great life.”

You cannot see the internal struggle that those that are part of the group that believe suicide will be their tragic ending.

You cannot see anyone’s inner struggle but you can be vocal about how you work through your negative emotions and irrational thoughts to more friends so they can see that everyone experiences these things.

My emotional truths…

  • Never imagined the emotional strength it takes to step into the big stilettos that I always dreamed life would have for me someday.
  • Having much needed breakdowns are a part of realizing that I’ve always been enough and that I do deserve to live the life I’ve dreamed.
  • Breaking up with depression has me in an extreme cloud of sadness as I walk away from it. I don’t need/want to hide behind depression anymore.
  • I definitely have a blessed life filled with a lot of happiness but I will always have to battle depression and mental illness.
Share your emotional truths with those you love!

xo, Anaín

Enjoying Sex, Avoiding Shame

There are people that cannot enjoy their bodies or sexuality because they were raised to be ashamed of both; I am not one of these people. Since as far back as I can remember I knew that what my parents were teaching me about sex and sexuality was flawed therefore I rebelled against their standards.

My parents wanted to make sure that I remained a “good” girl that would be worthy of being chosen to be a wife. Both of my parents tried their very best to assure that I wouldn’t become one of those “loose” girls that had sex outside of marriage. Neither of my parents told me much about sex other than that I shouldn’t do it, that if I did do it that no man would marry me and that it was a dirty thing that I should save for the man that would become my husband.

self-love starts with positive thinking

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I hope that you are loving yourself today whether you have a special partner in your life to add to that love or not. Self-love truly is the foundation for all other loves but when we are feeling blue, depressed or irritated by yet another holiday that reminds us of our loneliness, we might not want to hear shit about self-love. Well, at least I didn’t back in the day. Self-love on Valentine’s Day?!

The blues, depression and loneliness are things that I know very well; they have been a part of my life journey since before I can remember. For me *being* happy is often a daily battle, which is why I know that this daily routine becomes extremely unbearable during holidays. A holiday celebrating love towards the end of the most depressing season never really brought me any joy instead it highlighted my blues even more.

Then I learned that making a point to think positive allows me to love myself more making the trying times and silly expectations of the holidays easier to deal with.

When I am busy focusing on positive thinking loneliness is less of an issue, holidays don’t bother me as much and I am more capable of being there for my family and friends that need someone to lean on. Choosing to think positive has taught me how to love me and has opened the doors for me to also love we.

Today, I felt that the best thing I could do to show you my love and gratitude for reading and being a part of my journey was to share with you three things that help me love myself more.

Self-love starts with positive thinking…


comfort in sexual self-exploration

Push. Push. Push your limits. That’s what many that are writing about sexuality these days are saying. Transcend your sexual limitations! Really? What if you yet aren’t even comfortable with your sexuality. Shouldn’t the first goal of sexual self-exploration be figuring out how to navigate our sexuality? Shouldn’t we figure out our limits, our levels of comfort and define some goals before we do anything else? I am all for transcending limits but it is time we focus on our sexual truths before we get fancy with sexual exploring.

Me as a case study.

I absolutely made peace with my body. I often feel more comfortable naked than I do dressed. In certain outfits I might feel self-conscious in a room full of people. Naked in the center of a sex party that’s my environment! Just because I feel comfortable naked in a room full of people doesn’t mean that as someone that writes about sex I should stress to my readers that they should push their limits until they too feel comfortable socializing among other naked people at an orgy.