I Choose To Be Me

Maria reflects on the season, and offers some words of advice.

Please show me a funny movie. After watching the finale of Miami Social I wanted to weep. Weep so hard that wolfs on an imaginary moon would hear me and come play with me and we can make it into a positive experience instead of the earth shattering, walls sweating in tears, give me 11 pills to take all at ones to kill myself, sweet one.

In one of the previous comments on my blogs a "viewer" asks if that is at all possible to be positive and assertive when life is a total mess and you dont see light at the end of the tunnel. My answer is yes. This is one of the two ways you can work this situation. One we all know. A lot of people follow quitting for real route. And I dont blame them. It is an easier way out. We all are going to die one day. I'd rather die knowing I tried to make my life enjoyable first. Another way (BETTER FOR ME) is to stay positive. To learn to twist your attitude around (it's all in your head, trust me) is by doing things that make us want to smile and that change our moods to the right direction. It's that simple and physical. To try and try and try and try and try. I promise there is always sun after the rain. The same viewer asks if that would have really helped if someone was there to tell me to be positive and assertive and pat me on shoulder in my harder days?

The answer is YES YES YES. I cant stress enough how important it is to have a support system. Please go out there to cafes, libraries, clubs, just go for a walk in a park, join your local photography club (pick a club for the hobby you have),  put an advert online on dating site, reconnect with your friends that live nearby. Do ANYTHING to start communicating with people and build friendships. Go do fun things together that will help you bond and become better friends. Then in the moment when u feel your throat is tightened by fear and all you can think of is that roof of that building across from yours and flying down like a bird if only for 1 minute until you hit it hard, when you feel your heart squeezed with unexplainable turmoil and the need to flush it out of your chest cavity you can reach out to your friend, stalk their doorway if needed and get that pat on shoulder and help. Sometime when your friend feels low and u want to cheer them up by taking them to new art exhibit or buying them a glass of champagne and share, you inadvertently pick your own spirits up.

Having friends is all around good. For you and for them. I am experiencing highs and lows a lot even now and I am far from where I see myself on life's map. It does not however stop me from enjoying myself in everyday simple things. I do still feel lonely and it's even worse knowing Angelika is far away in school. My cats warm my bed when I come home alone after party or a long photo shoot (to answer numerous questions about where you can see more of my work go to my website http://www.marialankina.com) and there are times when I want to "hang my chaps" and just give up. But I am not letting myself. I feel like I always can go for that later, if ever.

I choose to dream big, do my yoga every day, cycle in gym instead of shrink visits, work on my fine art and have my assistant busy with organizing my jet set travels all over the globe plotting the world take over that's OH SO SWEET and hey everyone can enjoy this ride with me! I choose to be me. When I am on a roller-coaster at amusement park, the one that scares the sh*t out of everyone - baby strapped around me and in for a ride that might make their pants wet, I am envisioning myself getting an Oscar on stage in a beautiful gown and you know what I feel? JOY and overlwelming heart warmth , not fear of the construction falling down and my insides splattering on metal railings of it. Power of visualization takes us to incredible heights. TRY IT. Tell me how it works for you.

I feel like there is never going to be a boring 100% calm period in our lives. I am learning to feel grateful for challenge. Whether it is in our jobs or personal relationships. Challenges and difficulties meant to make us grow. Our souls and our hearts. I feel it's not about what the problem is, but how you deal with it. So you learn. Learn to appreciate it and embrace it.

I feel for everyone (my friends) on the show. I feel for Lina and George, they are trying and this is admirable. I wish there was someone to REALLY help them figure it all out. I wonder if we can fully UNDERSTAND each other. I felt frustrated numerous times in my life and relationships where I felt I was from Venus and they were from Mars (book by John Gray) and I really wanted to talk to them using language we both would fully understand. I still do not know if that in fact is a possibility. I am also learning there is not ONE truth — mine of-course, but many. As many as there are people involved in one particular argument (reading my friend's autobiography and learning it on the fly). I wonder why I had to meet this guy just now and not 15 years ago when the realization of multiple truths existence would have saved me so many tears (hey I could use them to add on to the ocean's salt, so global warming would not be a real threat :).  Now I also wonder if I can actually implement this thinking in my life??? Can you ??

I feel for Katrina. I have been asked if I am jealous of her and if that is why I pick on her. I dont think i am jealous. It's just my habit of calling people out on their BS (or what I think is BS) when I see it peek it's ugly face out from under the life's regularity. My kudos for Kat's growing experience. Hey when I was 28 (like Kat now) I made a bunch of mistakes too, that are painful to think of, and boy I am not sure I would want them to be documented in areality TV based way. I really wish more of what's REALLY happening in Kat's head and life was out there. It's a far better learning experience for everyone viewing THAT, then something you can only see when u dig an inch deep.

I feel for Michael. He would do so well just being born a girl in 1950s. He would make an amazing housewife with talent to turn into that bitch in bed and glamourpuss on man's hand at the dare events of the year. But he is born in male's body) hot one albeit :) with receding hair (he is working on it and dont u dare to blame him for it, and PLEASE dont tell him to just shave his head, he will cry in response and hate you forever : ) and he has an amazing six pack. He is smart. And a very talented writer and soon to become a very successful business entrepreneur. I wish for the right investor to cross Michael's path and for the style lab online get wider audience! With the right team put together(in place) and passion (in place) and right investment (?) it will grow to become successful business of helping others to be better themselves.

I feel for Trixia because she can join the "my boyfriends is an asshole" club and that is not where we all want to be. I wish for Hardy to stop playing host in his own life and take charge of it and go for what he wants rather then trying to satisfy other people's needs only and then finding himself unhappy with the way it makes him feel. TRAPPED.

I feel for Ariel but u know what? He will be just fine. Because money can always buy you another session with shrink. And money is what he says he has. So all I can give is peck on a cheek and pat on shoulder and Ariel you can always call me for that :)

I feel for Sorah and wish her to let go. I know how hard it can be and I do not know if that is at all possible. Especially when you live in the same building. But I am sure sooner or later things will settle down in her heart and i am sure that will be the right choice.

I read in LA times this week in interview with Criss Angel: "When we're kids, we sit there and play with mom's brush and pretend it to be an airplane, because we're able to suspend our disbelief. But as we get to be adults, society tells us that's wrong and we have to conform." Please don't ever conform.

We are still here - IT IS SOMETHING. Here is my order for you from the menu of life - MAKE IT COUNT! Check back on me often on me on my website http://www.marialankina.com I have fallen into habit of blogging about what had happened in my life and what I am going through and for some of you it can work as an inspiration to go and get it ! I need your support as much as you need mine. Together we can make this world spin! That's what friends are for.

Man in the Mirror

Maria counts down the most memorable moments of episode 5.

Drops of my favorite mimosa (champagne and orange juice) on my keyboard, liquid cooling my throat, bubbles having a prolonged party traveling the roller coaster of my throat as if immediately transported in my blood stream that is flowing into my brain, the view of great Los Angeles at my feet from the Penthouse floor of my famous hotel. Breeze is touching my shoulders lightly, sun is warming my bronzing skin. My mind is free after an hour of invigorating yoga at West Hollywood Equinox followed by the no less invigorating Michael Levine's industry breakfast. It is now 3 p.m. on Tuesday in the time of forever. Could it be more perfect?

My mind is holding onto this one thought that had lived in my brain since last week's happenings of my life reinforced by the viewing of the current episode of Miami Social.

A thought about assertiveness ....

Assertiveness is linked to self-esteem and considered an important communication skill. As a communication style and strategy, assertiveness is distinguished from aggression and passivity. How people deal with personal boundaries; their own and those of other people, helps to distinguish between these three concepts. Passive communicators do not defend their own personal boundaries and thus allow aggressive people to harm or otherwise unduly influence them. They are also typically not likely to risk trying to influence anyone else. Aggressive people do not respect the personal boundaries of others and thus are liable to harm others while trying to influence them. A person communicates assertively by not being afraid to speak his or her mind or trying to influence others, but doing so in a way that respects the personal boundaries of others. They are also willing to defend themselves against aggressive incursions. (Wikipedia)

In the fast paced world of todays relationships, more so in Miami, a week is considered to be an anniversary (Michael and Diego's date), 6 years is not enough to get married and have babies (Hardy and Trixia), 13 years is enough to break up (Kat and Ben), 2 years is not enough to establish the basics of respective communication ( Lina and George) and one night is enough to have a walk of shame morning after (=we all have been there, I am sure). All of the above mentioned could have been avoided, softened, lived through and enjoyed so much more if we all were the masters of assertiveness.

Like the birds in the sky in the beginning of episode clouding the sky screaming wildly we get carried away inside our brain when we don't have enough self respect to stop for a second and assess the situation. We yell because we dont know better (Lina and George). We agree nodding when we really should speak up (Ben telling Kat he can't wait for her things to be out of the house). What we should do is start loving ourselves enough to REALLY ask ourselves what is that:" I WANT" and after we answer that question politely, make a statement to the rest of the world of our knowledge and feel accomplished, because that is where success in everything in our lives starts. Respecting ourselves we immediately respect other peoples wishes, desires and aspirations without feeling squeezed, pinched, ultimately defeated because someone has the guts to do what we cant put our mind to. BEING OPEN AND HONEST WITH OURSELVES.

I know this is my lesson for the next few months, and I'm practicing every day. ASSERTIVENESS. I hope you will try that too and let me know how that worked out for you?

Now to the lighter stuff :) Three most memorable moments of the episode 5:

1. The Kat's Inner whore night out. Remember I mentioned that Kat would divert attention of men to me that were brought by Michael to meet her? Well, she did it big time at the very end of the night. Remember when Kat mentions it's HER music playing and she is off to dance? Well, she had to trade in my business card to the video director for the latin music to be put in Aerobat. She muscled it out of me, telling me she had a business client for my photography and she will introduce me to him, meanwhile she negotiated with Ivan (the video director) and latin music being put on the speakers after he pointed at me and asked for my card as a payment. Little did she know we would end up working together on HUGE project called ART OCTAGON that would premier during ULTRA festival in Miami with success.

2. Operation Smile. It always warms my heart to see other people helping others. I wish I was there. I was traveling to see Angelika in Lugano and could not make it to the event. I myself am nursing an idea of a charity helping single mothers to achieve their full potential, once in a while giving ability to let their hair loose and be cared for and have a support system that will make them feel NEVER ALONE.

3. Michael's date. He looks so super cute and vulnerable. You can't help but smile with him. I wish him to figure out his business and have time to work on his relationships. I think he makes a great boyfriend and I wish him that with all my heart.

I hope you guys and girls take my words to heart about being assertive and try to implement it into your lives. If we all start with the man in the mirror ( thank you Michael for this song) life will be better all around for ALL of us.

Until next week...