Sandra Guzman

May 12, 11 Sandra Guzman

City you live in:
New York City

Occupation and why?
I am a writer. I write to inspire, heal & celebrate, myself, and others. If I couldn’t write, I would not be able to breathe. (I am award winning journalist who has worked in newspapers, magazines and TV for the past two decades. I am also the author of two books: “The Latina’s Bible” and the second edition, the forthcoming, “The New Latina’s Bible: The Modern Latina’s Guide to Love, Spirituality, Family and La Vida.”; Authored several essays and hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles. I am a blogger, check out Presently also working on a third book, a collaboration with an iconic fashion designer. And also working on an HBO documentary.)

A regular day consists of?
No such thing as a regular day in my life but, these are the things I try to do on a daily basis: Meditate, hug my kids, (they say it takes one hug a day to survive, two hugs to thrive, and three to fly… so I hug a lot;) hot yoga or bike ride, try to get in some kind of body movement; phone call to mom in the Caribbean to get status reports on the many fruit trees and vegetables in her garden (the latest, the two pineapples we ate last summer and she planted have sprouted and will bear fruit soon;) lots of internet stuff ie: blogging, emailing, FB, tweeting, writing, reading, cooking. And all while listening to my Pandora stations, John Coltrane and Donna De Lory on heavy rotation these days.

How do you define success?
I define success if I live my life to fullfill my greatest potential. If I have health, love, friendship, and purpose in my heart — I am wealthy and successful. Success is also being able to live with dignity which to me is walking in step with my individual, moral compass and never negotiating what I believe in for the sake of expediency. And finally, success is making a living doing what I most love most, writing. Oh, and being able to have the flexibility to nap daily is a sure sign of success, to me!

What has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge has been to tune out the naysayers; to break the chain of dysfunction in relationships and to believe in my greatness.

What advice would you give a Latina who wants to follow in your footsteps?
A Latina who wants to follow in my footsteps should dream big and take responsibility for those dreams as the great poet Langston Hughes once wrote. Also, prepare, prepare, prepare, as in do your homework. Tune out the haters. Don’t accept mediocrity in anything that you do, in your life or in your relationship and love affairs. Take care of your insides–eat well, rest, exercise. Have good friends, and surround yourself with positivity–negative people and chismosos steal your light… And above all, believe in your greatness.

What’s on your bucket list?
Trips: Travel to all the Latin American and Caribbean nations (8 so far, 25 to go), Egypt, India (Southern) Africa (New Guinea, Ghana, Dakar, Morocco,) Asia (China, Japan, Vietnam and Thailand) & Bali. In life: start a foundation for poor women and kids in the US. Learn Portuguese;

I am proud to be Latina because:
Latinas and Latinos personify joy (music), pleasure (food) and perseverance in the world.

How do you get your Latin fix?
My Latin fix is satiated when I have a conversation with my mother, when I eat anything she cooks, or anything my two sisters cook. Also, I get my Latin fix by listening and dancing to any or all of the following salseros: Marc Anthony, Hector Lavoe, Maelo, Ray Barreto, Cheo Feliciano, and many more Rican and Latino greats..

Spanglish, English, Spanish?
All three, but mostly English and Spanish.

My favorite Latina stereotype is:
The Latina stereotype that I can live with is that Latinos are all happy people.

Best advice from mami and/or abuelita:
As a girl of nine, when we first arrived to this country, as immigrants, though we had US citizenship, my mom said to me my first day of school, these words that I never forgot: “Even though you can’t speak English, are poor, and live in the barrio, no one, and I mean no one, not even the King and Queen of England or Spain, is better than you. You are not better than anybody and no one is better than you. Everyone eats, shits and eventually, dies! Walk with your head high mi hija–after all, tu eres puertorriqueña!”

Favorite home remedy:
I have many home made remedios handed down from the women folk in my family, but the most consistent one is fresh ginger tea with lots of honey and almond milk. And a warm soak in epson salts or Kneipp bath oils.

Favorite Quote
“Just because you have a nightmare doesn’t mean you stop dreaming.” Jill Scott.

[fun]♦ Middle child: Spelling Bee champ. Won state twirling championship in New Jersey as a high schooler.[/fun]

[career]♦ Won an EMMY in 1995 for producing a 1/2 hour television special that explored the Cuban embargo.
♦ Appointed Editor in Chief of LATINA magazine with no magazine experience and taking the new title to new heights in circulation and readership.
♦ Published two books that have helped change lives of Latinas. [/career]

[description]“Have good friends, and surround yourself with positivity–negative people and chismosos steal your light…”[/description]

1 Comment

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