What will define your life?

September 15, 2013

September 14, 2013

I won a trip to the Emmy’s.

When I initially saw the contest I thought, “That would be cool.” After all, I love getting dressed up and have never been to an awards show. Since I rarely watch TV and have never been a celebrity gawker, I am a little timid about the hype surrounding an event where idolizing celebrities, scrutinizing their fashion and awarding their acting talents is the focus. With all the really important people in the world – who do really positive and impactful things – it’s a wonder why we invest our energies admiring actors who play a role in a made-up show.

I don’t mean to sound apathetic

I’ve just never understood the title of ‘celebrity’.  We celebrate people who act and sing more than we acknowledge those who perform humanitarian work. What’s worse is when we raise a person’s ‘celebrity’ based on the bad reality shows they join, the distasteful performances they stage and the shocking fashions they wear. We devote a piece of our life’s energy to them, while disregarding the differences in priorities, values and lifestyle.

Being relevant to one’s life doesn’t matter. In the world of celebrity, it seems the less relevant you are, the more you are adored.  Many people want to watch the shows with the very rich housewives or read the magazines with the most beautiful, fit bodies. We want to see the extravagant sweet 16 parties and watch brides spend 15k on a wedding dress.

We want to escape our mundane lives and live vicariously through the seemingly perfect or imperfect life of another person’s. That is the façade I see when I walk the red carpet next Sunday. I see a world where being beautiful, rich and recognizable is awarded and celebrated. I see onlookers valuing an imperfect representation of what they think defines happiness.

It’s so easy to look at anyone’s life and think it’s flawless. You see their family, their spouse, their job, their body, and their belongings and imagine ‘having it all’, because you believe they must certainly have it. What many people don’t grasp, is even those who have the most, often don’t have as much as those who seemingly have the least.  

I’ve met happier families who lived in a two-bedroom apartment, than those who live in a sprawling mansion. I’ve met happier couples who are older and sick, than those who are young and vital. I’ve even met happier people who are active but not considered athletic, than the actual fitness models who has a six-pack and magazine covers.

Happiness is not attaining what you don’t have; it’s knowing and appreciating what you do have.

If you have shelter, water and food…if you have income,  family and physical health…if you have friends, a car and a phone…then you have all the basic things you need to survive and be sustainably happy. The ‘happiness difference’ between the person who makes 30k/year and the one who makes 30m/year is not much. Once your basic needs -and a bit more-  are met, everyone is equally unhappy.

We are all given a certain route we think if followed, will be the destination towards fulfillment. What I have learned through my life experiences and the elderly people I serve, is that you will never be fulfilled if you are constantly seeking satisfaction in the external world. If you spend your life trying to acquire money, objects and fame, you will be trying to fill a continuously empty vessel.

For it is not what you take, but what you give that will define your life…

Knowing what you have to give requires a deeper level of humility and consciousness.  You give what you’ve been given. For whether realized or not, you were given a gift – a talent that you are more exceptional at than others. A trait that brings you flow, contentment and satisfaction….

…a feeling that is only felt when shared and given to others.

For some of the actors next Sunday, perhaps their talent made you feel laughter in a life you find stressful or depressing. Maybe your childhood teacher made you feel important or perhaps your spouse made your feel supported. Maybe my personal writings made you feel aware.

Whatever you feel was their gift to you. That eternal feeling is the loving energy they leave behind. It’s not about fame, it’s not about what you do or what you own, it’s how you make others feel, that will leave the most lasting and memorable impact when you inevitably depart this life.

Trying on dresses at Cache yesterday.
I’ve loved their fashions since I was 16 and am so grateful to be going to the Emmy’s because of them!

We had a great trip to Hawaii this year. The boys had a really hard time
saying good bye to their grandfather and uncle. (My husband grew up there)

We tried to get to the beach every day.


I hosted a special mom-me workout while in Oahu!

We had a great turnout!

Took the boys gliding for their first time. They were scared but they loved it.

Last day of our trip and I had a fun  photoshoot with Jaymi Britten www.brittenphoto.com
Despite my inconsistent workouts, mild cheats and weather-induced-bloating, I was able
to capture some pretty amazing images. Here I am at Lanikai beach.


  • Reply Jenny Collins October 15, 2013 at 2:03 am

    Hi Maria,

    Can you please give me your meal plans and work out routine? I do better with a set plan. Thank you so much. I think you look amazing and a real inspiration.


  • Reply Amar October 16, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Forget the bullies, you inspire me, and if you can reach just a few people and make a difference, then forget the haters…bitter people are better left alone

  • Reply Shanthi October 17, 2013 at 4:13 am

    Wow..u look amazing…you are a real inspiration!

  • Reply Nicole October 19, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    You are so beautiful!Be proud of yourself!

  • Reply Nicole October 22, 2013 at 3:37 am

    Hi. I found you due to media hype about your gorgeous photo entitled, “What’s Your Excuse?” with your three darling boys. (Great marketing job!) Who says a Mom can’t be “slim, trim and full of vim”? Now all those dumpy housewives with hormone imbalances due to whatever reason (The Pill is one of the worst fat-producers, and addictive drinks or foodstuff are also life-killers) can no longer blame their children for their imbalanced weight, flab, or lack of happy heart and attitude! Loved your poster, pose, and challenge. Glad to read some of your blog. I’ve always said that “playing with children” was my idea of a great workout… but that was before I saw you doing squats while holding yours! What a great idea! Keep up the good work. May your husband always realize how blessed he is. Aloha from New England.

  • Reply Layla October 29, 2013 at 3:22 am

    I’ll be a first time mom in March and I must say, instead of feeling bitter at your famous picture, you really are inspiring. Sure, there will be not much time but some sort of internal discipline will get you to a better fitness level at some point!

  • Reply Mare-Elle October 29, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Hey Maria! I just want to say Thank You for sharing Your story!

  • Reply Paula January 26, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    You look great forget the haters. We need this positive information against all the negativity in this world. Our young girls walking around with muffin tops like it is cute. Keep doing what you are doing as it is about health and happiness mentally, physically, and spiritually. Thanks for the motivation.

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