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ONE on ONE

by Mayi de la Vega

Fresh Beginnings

By | Art, Family, Florida Finds, Travel, Uncategorized, Wellness

My big and small goals for the brand-new year.

Happy new year, and hope it’s off to a good (and healthy!) start. At the beginning of every year, I like to reflect on the road ahead. Building my business, raising my family and supporting my circle from colleagues to community dominated my life for so long. When we give and give, it takes its toll on us. Self-care has received a lot of attention in the media during the pandemic. It forced people to take a break from the rat race and focus on how they were really living. Many of us weren’t happy with what we saw. I’m reassessing what makes me happy and how to grow as a person. It can be challenging, even scary, but I know from my previous accomplishments that there’s no easy way to create change. I’d like to share my to-do list for 2022 from simple, everyday fixes to once-in-a-lifetime experiences that I’ve always dreamt of doing.

 

Move More
It’s all about movement for me this year. That may mean a brisk walk outdoors with the bonuses of vitamin D and fresh air, or more rigorous workouts that keep me on my toes so I don’t get bored. Consistency is key if you really want results. I hope to discover some new fun ways to keep my weight in check, strengthen my bones and core and glow from within. Dancing is one of the best ways to burn calories and improve mental health, so I definitely would like to incorporate more dancing into my exercise routine. Though you can certainly dance solo anytime, anyway, it’s also a great way to connect with your partner and friends. I just may get my grandkids to join me in a dance-off, too.

The Great Outdoors
I’d like to spend more time outdoors regardless of the activity. I’m going to listen to our ancient ancestors and benefit from nature’s healing powers, a practice that the Japanese refer to as forest bathing. Simply by living in Florida, we’re lucky to have close contact with the ocean and healing salt air, as well as its towering trees, wildflower-filled meadows and freshwater rivers and springs. I also hope to visit more places that offer outdoor activities with a wellness component like hiking and biking. It can be somewhere in my backyard or a faraway destination.

Bucket List Trips
I would love to take my family on an unforgettable vacation this year, such as Florence and its surrounding Tuscan wine country with stops along the Italian seaside too. Exploring this rich region’s nature, culture and history with loved ones has always been a dream of mine. After a long hiatus from my initial visit to St. Barth, I’m excited to vacation again in this piece of paradise. The Bahamas are one of my greatest loves, and their waters in surreal shades of blue are a continual source of rejuvenation and wonder for me. I take this image everywhere with me.

Creative Spark & the Pursuit of Knowledge

For many people, a bright spot in the pandemic has been picking up new hobbies or rediscovering old ones. I’d like to get back to my photography. I find the whole process very calming and rewarding. It makes you see the world differently, and there’s always room for improvement and the next amazing shot. It’s something I can do as I age too. It’s important to have a mix of activities that include those you can do more long term. I’d like to make time to read and review my books about art and photography for inspiration, and listen to podcasts especially on the subjects of wellness and self-improvement.

Setting Boundaries & Me Time

I won’t feel guilty about taking time for myself and focusing on my inward journey. When I’m at my best, I benefit those around me most. It’s also important to se boundaries for myself with people who zap my energy or don’t bring me joy. It’s okay to let go and live my best life!

Happy New Year

By | Uncategorized

A note on our fresh start and what I’ve learned.

To let you settle into the new year, I’m just getting around to my first post of 2021. I’ve read many insightful thoughts on this new beginning like no other in our lifetimes from some of the most brilliant minds. There’s a lot to chew on, yet it’s difficult to put into words our unprecedented experience of a pandemic and how we got there in the first place. Let’s just say, we were living on the edge in so many ways. I’m treating it like a priceless lesson, an ultimate wake-up call if you will, in how to balance life, always see the silver lining and make the most of our time here on this beautiful planet. Among many life-changing epiphanies, I’d like to share some themes that have been on my mind.

Wanderlust vs. Homebody
Travel is part of my profession. It was how I built my brand and got to make so many friendships all over the world. It was a big deal for my personal growth, too, such as learning about incredibly talented architects, artists and entrepreneurs whose enriching knowledge I shared with my clients and team members in the spirit of “pay it forward.” It’s one of my main passions, so not being able to travel was disheartening to say the least.
Without much choice, I did a 180 and turned the journey inward instead of outward. Then something magical happened. As is the case with most things in life, we often overlook what’s right in front of us. I started to enjoy my home, which I had worked so hard for and never really had the time to appreciate. I nested with my fiancé Rich and actually looked around for once at our good fortune, our sanctuary in a booming city. We cooked, read and watched movies, and I even started baking again to the delight of my grandkids. After so many years on the road, it feels good to reconnect with my home life and recharge for when travel resumes. I’ll be ready to take on the world again without taking my home for granted.

Loneliness is Real
The modern condition of loneliness has been well-documented. Caused by a number of reasons including our addiction to technology, demanding work schedules, and the breakdown of traditional families, loneliness is only going to keep growing unless we do something about it. Despite Rich’s invaluable companionship, I felt lonely in the first few months of the pandemic when I didn’t see anyone else. It made me realize how we’re naturally wired to be social creatures who need each other. Let’s put an end to loneliness by investing in our relationships from our immediate friends and families to our communities at large.

Leadership in Tough Times
I’ve always believed in leading by example, and covid put me to the test. In the beginning of the shutdown when there were so many unknowns, I had to keep the troops together and motivated with a positive outlook and proactive strategy for the shift in spirit—I never doubted the strength of Florida’s real estate market for a second and knew we’d come out on top. We stayed connected from our in-house team to our clients, and this constant checking in got us through dark days. Because we stayed super focused on work, we were prepared when a flood of new buyers showed up on our doorstep. They came from all over and were relieved to work with helpful experts to find their dream homes in a safe haven.

Everlasting Empathy
Covid humbled all of us. No one could escape the fear, and it truly leveled the playing field. We began to see ourselves in our fellow mankind and that we’re all in this together. It showed me that creating a win-win for all of us was the only way to go. I believe that we all developed more empathy for those around us, and hope that this remains long after we’re vaccinated and move on with our lives. Please remember those in need when this trial passes. Just because we have a vaccine doesn’t make problems go away. Consider making a donation, whether your time or resources, to a charity. Even the simple act of being kind goes a long way.

Turn Distress into Destress

By | Uncategorized, Wellness

We’re already been through enough stress this year. Take a deep breath with these tips.

This time of the year can be a particularly stressful time. I know it’s hard to take your mind off of your endless to-do list —the planning, decorations, special meals, entertaining children home from school and trying to get some work done—but self-care should be a priority. We hear this term a lot these days. Maybe it took the pandemic for us to realize how thinly we were stretched and that we need to take a step back and reassess what living the good life truly means. I’ve put together some methods that I use to destress, and I hope that this talk of self-care continues in 2021.

Tammy Fender

Long before organic this and that, wellness pioneer Tammy Fender launched her namesake, holistic spa in West Palm Beach in 2002. It led to her line of plant-based, skin-care products made with all-natural ingredients. Beyond their fantastic results—beauty editors rave about the Epi-Peel micro-exfoliator and facial mask with kaolin clay, spearmint and rosemary—their aromatherapy element like Bulgarian Rose Water tonic is heavenly.

https://www.tammyfender.com/

Gardens

Nature soothes our nerves, even something as simple as a walk around the neighborhood. I also enjoy visiting Miami’s many gorgeous green spaces. World-class gardens like Fairchild, the Kampong and Miami Beach Botanical Garden are perfect for safe outings with fresh air and social distancing. They’re also great for families when you need somewhere to take the kids and let them run around.

https://fairchildgarden.org/

https://ntbg.org/gardens/kampong/

http://mbgarden.org/

Calm App

I’m a huge fan of Calm, a wellness app for meditation and other health benefits. Many of us are having trouble sleeping these days, so its ambient music, breathing exercises and nature sounds like soft rain are very helpful in shutting off the noise in our heads at bedtime. You can also relax by watching tranquil videos of nature scenes and instructions for how to stretch, as well as listen to expert-led masterclass programs. Try its complimentary trial and see for yourself.

https://www.calm.com/

Cashmere Travel Set

Speaking of sleep, sometimes it’s nice to take a cat nap. Some people consider it a must during their day. Even if you’re not the napping type, you can still get good use out of Maison de Papillon NY’s Alana cashmere blanket and eye mask set in a convenient travel pouch. Made from pure Mongolian cashmere, it comes in cafe or pewter. It’s the ideal gift for any occasion and travel accessory to take on the plane.

https://www.maisondepapillon.com/product/alana-cashmere-blanket-pouch-set/

ESPA Candles + dōTERRA Essential Oils & Diffusers

No matter where I am, I can turn any setting into a sanctuary with aromatherapy. ESPA’s hand-poured, natural soy wax candles are so soothing that they named one exactly that; its blissful fragrance blends sandalwood, rose geranium and frankincense. If you’re looking for something seasonal, their Winter Spice candle combines classic Christmas scents. Wafting the finest essential oils throughout your home or office is at the heart dōTERRA’s home line. I load up on a variety of their scents to supply their chic room diffusers in onyx and marble.

https://us.espaskincare.com/home/candles.list

https://www.doterra.com/US/en