When I started blogging, I named my page “Raya’s growing happy” because I thought “since I am working on it, I am growing happy.”

Then I learned so much through reading and writing. I found that if I believe in the quote “happiness is a way of travel not a destination” then I need to find a way to be happy with what I have now, in the present. So I named it “Raya is Happy.”

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From Google images

 Now this is the most challenging part, especially when you feel like everything and every one that you ever care about is out to sink you deep into darkness… It is exhausting fighting with one’s self and it doesn’t become second nature just because you want it. In my case, I spent 22 years of my life thinking horrible, horrible things about myself. And when I learned that I have to take a stand against myself, I thought “huh! that’ll be easy… I can convince myself to put myself first.” But then I realize that

  1. if I put others first for 22 years and it’s become second nature to a point where I don’t think I can live without people who treat me like a dirt bag…
  2. It will not take me 2 years to train myself back to a point where it becomes second nature to put myself first and say that I am worth every good thing that comes my way…
  3. So the take away message here is to never give up… why? Because I am worth it!
Google Images
Google Images


I graduated this past January and I started applying for jobs months before I graduated, through hurricane Sandy and all, yet I still am not a full time employee. On days like today: I waited for 2 hours only to be told that I don’t have experience and I received another rejection letter. In addition to all that, I had to deal with a whole lot of stress… And I won’t lie, I had my short period of “God why? why me?” but then I took the train, and this young man came in with a little boy in a stroller, he is homeless, sick, no food to eat and he is a single dad. I asked myself if I really have the right to sulk right now and the answer is evident right? So here goes my little poem…


Google images
Google images

Air in my lungs,

“lub dub” melody of my heart

warmth of my blood

Afro on my head

images through my sight,

family around me – although always bickering

Friends that care

Strangers that smile

life around me

Happiness is…


Enough to bathe,

Enough to eat,

Enough to drink,

Enough to walk,

Enough to smile,

Enough to say God I thank you for this…


Hope in a brighter tomorrow,

Hope in Love,

Hope in happiness…

Happiness is today

Do I want more? Yes! but do I have enough? Yes!

Dear Daughter…

African Mother by Denise Cummings
African Mother by Denise Cummings

You are not conceived yet but I already love you and I am already mothering you…

When you are my little girl,

My sweet and innocent girl, I want you to remember this

I will set the bars high, I will push you hard, But I will always be

Proud of you because you will keep your head high

you will look at yourself in the mirror and see God’s beautiful creature

you will remember that mama’s got your back

And no one can make you feel any less than my little princess

Now don’t get me wrong, I won’t be a perfect mother. I won’t always remember to tell you all this

that is why I am writing you this letter.

I know that when you are born, I will be too busy worrying about a roof over your head, a quality education for you,

a good healthcare and most importantly, enough resources available for you to be nothing and I repeat nothing but a child

And when you reach puberty, I suspect that I will argue with you

chances are we won’t see eye to eye because I am already “old school” now and it won’t get any better

But through the silence and the distance, I want you to remember

that mommy loves you and she will always be there for you

you see, you and I are together for better for worst

And so when you fall for the wrong guy, I will take you in my arms and we will eat ice cream together

We will trash talk about guys and even plan revenge schemes

When you meet that guy that makes you smile like a silly girl, the guy that will be genuine enough to make you believe everything he says, I doubt you will ask me “mommy can I sleep with him?” but if you do, I hope that I will tell  you: “Baby if it feels right, you can never go wrong  but protect yourself”

Protect yourself from diseases, better be safe than sorry

protect yourself because people will come and go in your life

And you cannot take them for granted honey, so protect yourself…

But through it all, remember this baby. Please remember this because it is very important.

People will treat you the way you let them treat you. So have standards and stick to them.

And after you’ve grown and moved on, I have no doubt that I’ll be proud of you

and you’ll be a phenomenal woman, I know you will, because I’ll raise you.

You will not repeat my mistakes because I will teach you to make the right decisions for yourself but to also live and make mistakes and learn from your mistakes. Everything will not be perfect but you will manage better than I do because I will teach you to plan for gray area.

As a woman, as a beautiful woman and as my daughter, remember this…

People will watch you for every mistake you make, you will never be good enough for them,

I have a feeling that I will sound like you will never be good enough for me either, if I do, please forgive me!

Darling, put yourself first. I promise to remember to ask you in every situation whether you are happy or not…

Because, that is all that I will care about at the end of the day.

When in doubt, call on God… Repeat Psalms 23 and the serenity prayer

they will give you the warmth that I might not be able to give you

And the tenacity that no supplement can provide you

Baby, what even I cannot do, he can… So keep him close by.

Be proud! Apologize to no one for wanting to be happy and stay true to your principles.

Your health is not just physical, it is mental and spiritual

So nurture your body, your soul and your brain.

Finally, I will remind you, and I know you won’t always like it when I say it but baby remember that


From Shades of life by Thea Burger
From Shades of life by Thea Burger

Welcome 2013!

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Hello my fellow readers!

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment” Buddha

I decided to start 2013 with this quote because 2012 has been a challenging year but hey! We made it. I did all my introspection the last week of 2012. Yes! I did take big steps and I stumbled multiple times. There were times I felt like superwoman, there were times I cried while striving and there were times when I just threw in my towels and moved on.  But I am proud that I did not dwell in there.

Do I have dreams? Don’t we all? I dream of peace around the world. Peace and love among people. Equality among all races… But I won’t spend the whole year dreaming, I will focus my mind on the present moment.

In the present moment, I am content. I got a lot going on and the world is not crumbling around me so I am grateful. One advice that I intend to take very seriously this year is to start every day with a goal and end my day with gratitude.

What about you? how do you plan on dealing with 2013?

Deivid R Valdez

If you been looking for answers as of why you keep trying to succeed adapting a proper exercise regiment, to make you feel stronger and motivated, there are a few suggestions published by Men’s Fitness magazine that will surely make you re-think and recharge your energy. Remember you are never too old or too weak to start. You just have to learn how to do it, and specially, be consistent.

Here is probably why you are not succeeding…

Reason 1: You’re Not Training With The Correct Intensity

Reason 2: You’ve Been On The Same Program Far Too Long

Reason 3: You’re Training Environment Blows

Reason 4: You’re Not Focused on Recovery

Reason 5: You’re Never Setting Goals

Reason 6: You’re Not Moving Effectively

Reason 7: You’re Not Gutsy Enough

To read the full article published by Men’s Fitness Magazine follow this Link:

7 Reasons You’re Not Getting Stronger | Dan…

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I miss blogging

Hi everyone!

Have you been wondering where I am? or you didn’t even notice my absence? 🙂

I can’t help but feel like I have given up on all the wonderful people I have been exchanging with.  Well! I am taking 6 classes this semester and I am also graduating God willing this January BUT I am not happy so I have been looking for motivation online and as I expected, I got some and I wanted to share:

One Kara Kuther, PhD really cheered me up a little

I have been feeling pressured to be happy and excited. She said: ” Most graduates feel a little nervous and uncertain — it’s normal. Don’t make yourself feel worse wondering, “What’s wrong with me?” You’re ending one chapter of your life and beginning a new one.” but I can do this to feel better: I can recognize that endings and new beginnings are stressful for starters and I can relax and congratulate myself for my accomplishments 🙂

Guess it is time to take a deep breath and face this challenge and make new goals and look forward to accomplishing them. Have you experienced anything like this before? Were you scared to take on a new job, move to a new place or some major change in your life? How did you cope?Image

I like this and I think everyone should read it. 🙂

Alexandra's passion

For many of us, time management is a real challenge. Ask yourself: are you often late for appointments, or find that you often have to reschedule or cancel appointments? Do you find yourself rushing to the train or bus stop, only to get there just as your train is leaving the station? Do you feel “pressed” for time, and can’t find the space in your life to learn new skills, or simply can’t find the time to just sit back to relax? If this sounds at all like you, then reading this article will help shed light on this challenge.

A few years ago, like many of us, I was stressed-out, all day, every day, which led to extreme exhaustion. So, I decided to change my life. Then Neal Donald Walsch’s book, “Conversations with God” found it’s way into my life, and helped me understand some very important points about…

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Fit Cupcake

A lot of people immediately shy away from foods high in calories, that’s usually a good rule to go by. However, there are some foods (especially the natural ones) that are PACKED with nutrients, fiber, and other amazing ingredients that can really help speed up your fitness progress and your overall health. Moderation for anything is key, but here are a few reasons why you should incorporate more of the following into your diet:

Avocados: Did someone say guacamole!?! Believe it or not, there ARE other uses for these delicious things. Most people steer clear of avocados because 1 typically packs around 320 calories, which could be a sandwich or a lean cuisine. But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat them. Lately I’ve been having 1/2 of an avocado almost everyday (we’ll see how long my wallet likes this idea once we get into Fall/Winter). An additional 160 calories on…

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“You Matter’ is launched

Dear friends,

I am very grateful that so many of you showed so much enthusiasm and anticipated the launch of the online campaign ‘You Matter.” As of today, “You Matter’ is launched and I invite you to join the movement. Check out my first blog post on the website and more.

This will be my shortest blog post because I want to invite you to look at the pages we’ve worked on and please let me know what you think! Here are the links:

Website: You Matter Lifeline

Facebook: You Matter Lifeline

Tumblr: You Matter Lifeline

Pinterest: You Matter Lifeline

If you are on any of those sites, like and follow us. We hope to send you a little bit of positivity and encourage a high self-worth every day!

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