martial arts

Martial Arts Sensen Marieangelic Martinez defeats industry stigma and work-life balance

Martial Arts and Family Fitness Center owner Marieangelic Martinez talks work-life balance, facing industry stigma, and mindset for success.

family and career Balance in relationships, unhappy couple

Snow White, Cinderella and the pinky swear: 5 Steps to relationship balance

Balance in relationships, unhappy couple

Remember our princesses’ stories in which the prince woke up Snow White? Or the other prince –or was it the same prince? – was able to fit Cinderella’s foot into the crystal shoe? Finding a great relationship or getting married isn’t the end of the race. It’s actually the beginning of a new chapter in your life, with new rewards and new commitments.

Entrepreneur Yasmine Robles shares with us that she is up early morning and works till all hours of the night. Being the CEO of her own website design and branding company, Robles Design is bitter sweet. She loves her career but feels resentment for lack of time because she wished she could spend more of it with her husband as a couple and be there for him and his goals while being with their kids and taking “me” time.

So how do you balance your partner, your family, long hours at work and time to yourself?

You create it. No worries, easier said than done but you’re in luck today because I am giving you my best steps so you can stop feeling frustrated about having to juggle it all and not getting anywhere. Here goes!

Step 1

Make an HONEST assessment. So what’s really going on? Is all the arguing and blaming really about you working late hours or is it that he is still resentful because what you said about his mother or are you trying to stay away because you no longer feel a connection?

Be honest. Once these issues are addressed, then everything will easily fall in place or will actually give you a fighting chance. Because as long as you don’t deal with the underlying reasons for the feuding or late nights at work then there will never be peace.

Also, what are your new goals? At the beginning of the relationship we know all about our partner, their hopes and dreams. Then, as the years pass, we don’t even ask anymore; even worse, we assume. So take this time to share each other’s goals as individuals and as a couple. Is this vision where you see yourself at this time?

Upset couple lying side by side in bedStep 2

Make a plan together. Now that the underlying reason is out of the way, what are your needs? What are his or her needs? Where can you compromise? Find the sweet spot. Don’t think of it as giving in, think of it as trying something new. It’s ok if the new plan isn’t exactly what you expected or you aren’t sure is going to work but you are willing to give it a shot. It takes two to build a relationship. Remember, this isn’t the end all be all, this is just a plan for right now and it will take form. ALWAYS look at the bigger picture……….and that’s LOVE.

Get resources, family, friends, a nanny, a housekeeper once a month. Get creative. Stop making excuses.

PS: While you are making the plan, if too much fighting or power games ensue, ask yourself if you are playing out the same unhealthy dynamics of your parents? NO BUENO. You must look at the underlying symptoms.

Step 3

Keep your promises. Remember when we were kids, how important it was when we did a pinky swear and it counted? Remember those times. You might have to say no to working late, you might have to learn to call it a day. It might not feel natural at first but take a stand for your relationship. As Adam Toren says in, “Don’t backslide. Once you find yourself in a good situation, or even find the person of your dreams, it’s easy to think, ‘Well, that’s taken care of,’ and jump right back into your business full-time. Understand that another person in your life isn’t a project you can set aside until you’re ready to work on it. You’ve made a commitment, with the attendant’s responsibilities.” This is so true!

Step 4

“No” is a complete sentence. The truth is there will be months where there is more biz than love life, or more family time than girl time… and for those times… BREATHE… and ACCEPT… You are doing your best. And you don’t have to do it all, you can choose what makes you happier… Release any shame, sister.

Step 5Busy Woman with Baby

Remember what’s truly important in your life. No one ever said on their death bed, “Damn, I wish I would have stayed late to hand in that report.” It’s more like, “I am so happy we got to spend all that time together, and that we took that trip to Jamaica.” Well, I made that one up but seriously, Bronnie Ware, an inspiring woman and author of “The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying” mentions the second biggest regret is “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.”

In her words…

“This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.”

(Now, it’s us women who end up on the “treadmill of a work existence.”)


It’s simple. Not easy but simple. If you have a great partner and a wonderful family, make time for them. If you don’t think you have a great partner ask yourself, is it because we don’t spend enough time together and have I forgotten what made me fall in love with this person in the first place? Remember LOVE must be nourished. But if you give your all and your partner still doesn’t meet you half way, it’s time to reevaluate the big picture. You can only carry the relationship alone for so long before it sucks the life out of you.


3 Mindful ways to improve productivity and reduce anxiety at work

Aixa Lopez with her daughter Andrea

Aixa Lopez with her daughter Andrea

The word mindfulness reflects the state of mind of being conscious or aware of something. In the past years, we have heard how this word has been used to describe the importance of being in the present moment and not worrying about the past or the future.

In the late 90s, I started reading about mindfulness looking for tools to manage my stress and anxiety. I was working in the manufacturing industry and in charge of a production area. Not only this area worked 24/7, but we were measured by production output, cycle time, shipments, material shortages, and quality complaints. Our year-end bonus was tied to these metrics. I felt responsible for the performance of each one of my employees, for the performance of the engineers supporting my area and releasing new products, for validation processes and for ongoing investigations to release units on-hold. I felt responsible for the equipment that broke down and how fast it was put back into service.

When you work in this industry, you learn how to multi-task and how to deal with stress in a very peculiar fashion. For instance, I remember changing my shoes at the beginning of the shift and wearing nursing shoes to walk faster around the manufacturing facility.

I learned how to focus on the end-result. That helped me later in life when I had to manage 200 construction employees and a very demanding city Mayor. I easily communicated with the Mayor to send asphalt crews to fix potholes at 6:30 am while preparing my daughter and dropping her off at pre-school. Yes, I was very “productive”; however, I paid a high price for it.

At age 32, while I was running from one meeting to another and being late for the second meeting, I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I thought it was the result of my hurry. I started feeling chest pains and all of the sudden I felt dizzy. I was taken to the hospital. My blood pressure was almost 200/100. After several days of physical exams, I ended up getting a catheterization. My doctor instructed me to slow down and live a mindful life. I had read about it but never paid too much attention. At the end of the day, my life had always been measured by accomplishing tasks, and that’s what I knew better.

After that incident, I decided to start being more mindful, sometimes succeeding and sometimes failing miserably. You know, women, we put tremendous pressure on fulfilling all of our roles “perfectly”. I started reading more and more about awareness, being present, working smartly, but for some reason the implementation was not as easy as it seemed on the books.

mindfulness garden seeds

Several years later, I was falling again into the old pattern. I decided to put a stop to it and make a change in my life. The decision I made has paid off tremendously and has allowed me to identify three mindful ways to work and improve my productivity without losing myself in the process. Honestly, it’s a daily effort. There are days in which I still feel overwhelmed, a sign that I have to stop and take some time off for myself to recalibrate. Here are the three mindfulness principles I practice:

  1. Identify what is important to you.  I was asked once who was the most important person in my life. Guess what I said? My daughter! Wrong answer. It should have been “ME”. Without a sane mom, there is no happy daughter. Now, I make sure I have a physical exam every year, I take time to meditate, exercise, eat healthy, read every night, go on road trips, volunteer at church, and do other activities that make me happy. All this keeps me sane and nurtures my body and my spirit. It makes me a better wife, daughter, mom and professional.
  2. Instead of trying to control the future, think about the worst thing that could happen, embrace it as a possibility and let it go.  This is a challenge for me. I always try to plan things ahead of time. Trying to control now what could happen in the future is a lost cause. It’s futile, and it creates a lot of anxiety. One of my supervisors said to me once that I had the “worry gene“, and added that most of the things we worry about never happen. If one or two of those things do happen, then we shouldn’t feel like it is only OUR responsibility to fix it.  Worrying is the most difficult thing for me to work on. I am an engineer, so my brain is set to fix things. Whenever I can’t fix something, I feel defeated. The book Dale Carnegie’s Stop Worrying and Start Living  has helped at improving this issue. What’s the worst that could happen if something doesn’t go the way I want it to? What would I do if that happened? Only then I get mentally prepared for that outcome. Believe it or not, that takes a lot of stress out from my mind, and it allows me to shift my focus into the present. When you switch your focus to the present moment, ideas start flowing easily, and you start getting the results you wanted. I can guarantee you that most of the times, the “worst” never happens, and if it does, then you already know what to do.
  3. Celebrate every accomplishment.  It is easy for me to celebrate everything. That’s part of my Hispanic culture. However, celebrating does not come easily to everyone. In the past, I would share with someone some good news; perhaps a nice small accomplishment, and I would get an “Oh, okay,” plunging me into such a bad mood.  Getting upset about it was a huge mistake on my part. We let our surroundings dictate so much of how we feel. In the past, one negative word could make my day miserable. Now, I force myself not to fall into that trap. I celebrate everything. I pat myself on the back. I value my efforts. If I receive a negative feedback, I meditate on the merits of it.  If it has merits, I put it in my toolbox for the next task, if it has no merits, I just let it go. Celebrating small accomplishments will motivate you and will allow you to produce more and better results.

Celebrate your accomplishments

As we become more mindful, we declutter our brains and souls from the burden and anxiety that everyday life brings. That allows us to connect with ourselves and with others. When you connect, you listen, you become aware of the alternatives you may have and how to make things work in a leaner and productive way.

When you are mindful, things flow and results are accomplished.  Have you wonder why sometimes you have outdoor plans and all of the sudden it starts raining and you don’t know what to do. Then, you suddenly decide to try something else and the day turns out better than you ever imagined. Why? Because you just surrendered and allowed new ideas to flow. That’s the concept behind all this.

I urge you to try any of these mindful ways. You’ll see the difference. Go for it!


Sun rising

Shift Type A personality blues into positive thinking (video)

Sun rising

Are you a Type-A personality adrenaline addict? Or you get frustrated when things don’t go your way and you cannot control or turn them around? In so many words, I am describing myself, a very hard-working workaholic border type-A personality. I love to beat myself up for never doing enough in any given situation, work, family or the world. I can be my best fan when life events go my way but my very worst enemy when they don’t.

Deborah Deras, a charismatic and engaging inspirational speaker who has herself experienced the hardships of this path, has gracefully shared this post with LIBizus. She recommends some tips for those days when you are feeling down that really will help you bounce back to your true, peaceful, loving and serene nature.

1) Let go of negative thoughts
Einstein says, “You can’t solve a problem from the consciousness that created it.” So you can’t think your way into positive thinking. I go to Hot Yoga which is literally the only way I can still my mind, quiet my body, release toxic emotions and unite me with my divinity. What practice do you have for this?

2) Finish incomplete issues
Anything you have on your TO DO list that is not done takes up space in your mind. It is like a hard drive that gets filled up with no more memory. Here are some options: do it, delete it or delegate it. Ignoring it will only make it worse and create stress in your mind whether you are aware of it or not.

3) Clear up resentments

Make a list of people who upset you. It doesn’t matter if they deserve to be punished, the fact is when we are upset at others we cut the love off from ourselves. Write a letter and forgive them. Send it to yourself until you are ready to edit and send to them.

4) Be grateful
I downloaded an APP called, igratitude to help me remember to be grateful for the big and small things. An attitude of gratitude instantly shifts our vibration and attracts more good. I also started writing and mailing, Thank you cards with a goal of two per week. This also helps me get in the habit of being appreciative.

5) Be compassionate with yourself
As recovering adrenaline addict-Type A plus personalities, we are very hard on ourselves. We don’t have the procrastination issue but the perfectionism one is insidious. Be kind to yourself. If it is a habit to beat yourself up, practice contrary action and cut yourself some slack. Practice saying, loving affirmations to yourself about yourself. i.e. “It is ok, sweetie. You will do better next time. You did your best.”

Getting out of a downward spiral is not easy nor does it happen overnight. It takes a diligent intention to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel. When you practice the 5 steps above it will illuminate the darkness a lot sooner and allow you to focus on the task at hand being a beneficial presence in the world.

Deborah Deras, inspirational speaker

Deborah Deras, inspirational speaker

Deborah Deras, M.S. C.R.C., ALSP, is a charismatic and engaging inspirational speaker, author, and social media marketing consultant. She is known as one of the top ten Latina speakers in the nation.

With over 15 years of experience speaking to audiences around the globe, she is a highly sought after speaker.

Her book, Confessions of an Adrenaline Addict: How to Achieve more with less effort, has contains powerful strategies to increase productivity and to thrive in the workplace. She also is the creator of Meditation for Success giving busy professional the tools to be more effective, productive and innovative.

Deborah is always on the cutting edge of technology and innovation. You can download her APP to connect with her. It is accessible on your Android and IPhone. Keyword: DeborahDeras. 

She resides in sunny Santa Monica, California but her second home is Miami, Florida.

Stress Management Keynote Speaker/Spokesperson


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