*Are you happy at the moment?
I am at peace, contented, nurtured, and loved. These qualities contribute to my happiness, so yes, I’m happy. After ending an unhealthy marriage, I’m finding and living a life that is genuinely mine. I’m giving myself more space to explore who I am, my voice, and to reconnect with the silenced parts of me.
*If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?
I would tell her to relax, let life come to her, and not worry about the “what ifs”. I feared adventure. Instead, I would encourage her to welcome each new opportunity and not be afraid to experience unfamiliar events, people, and places. Finally, don’t rush into a serious relationship and the responsibilities that come with it. Know yourself first-always.
*What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?
I have learned to flow with the pace of my life, to stop resisting its transitions, and to welcome the unknown. In the past few years, I’ve experienced a great deal of change and learned attempts to control the timing and way in which results are achieved has prevented movement rather than promoting it. In other words, stop interfering with my own journey!
*What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?
I want to see Love Magazine develop and reach a broader audience. Since life satisfaction is often reflected in the quality of our relationships, my mission is to educate and support others toward healthier connections with self, our partners, families, friends, and co-workers. And, I would like to continue to progress as a writer, calligrapher, and entrepreneur.
*What’s your secret to happiness?
Love, laughter, and meaning are essential to my happiness, so healthy relationships are life-giving to me. Solitude is another secret for happiness. If offers the opportunity to connect with, hear and clarify my voice.
*What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?
For me, self-care is a must. I eat nutritious foods, exercise moderately, rest, and attend to my relationships. Poetry and stillness always ground me when I’ve drifted too far from my soul.
*What’s your biggest regret?
Living according to the expectations and standards of others and being unaware of how harmful it is to do so.
*What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?
I have taught my son to pursue the life that belongs solely to him, to explore the world, and to discover that which nurtures his soul. And, I’ve taught him the importance of knowing who he is independent of others. Watching him flourish reminds me of motherhood’s purpose-to develop an adult who awakens to and lives his or her truth.
*What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?
My bad habit is holding unrealistic expectations of myself. Now, I am more attentive to acceptance, truth, and letting go of perfection. I am embracing life rather than limiting it!
*Aside from motherhood/fatherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?
I am most proud that I am courageously building a life that belongs to me. I am grateful for the opportunity to encourage and support others as they navigate their own changes.
*When were you happiest?
I was happiest the day my son was born! My life today is more about authenticity, contentment, presence, balance, and quality relationships. I’ve found when these needs are met, I am consistently happier. And, I’m especially happy when I notice something new about the world around me!
*What ten words best describe you?
Attentive, intelligent, joyful, brave, insightful, curious, loving, real, honest, and tenacious
Anita Martin is a relationship mentor, writer, and founder of Love Magazine. For more than 20 years, she has helped others understand and develop meaningful relationships. Her own personal journey inspired her to obtain a master’s degree in social work with an emphasis on psychology, relationships, and self-development. As a counselor and advocate for survivors of intimate partner violence, Ms. Martin shaped and refined her knowledge and expertise. She acquired advanced professional training in child sexual abuse, relational aggression in adolescence, and attachment disorders in trauma treatment.
Anita’s work challenges conventional thought and inspires readers to consider alternative viewpoints on a range of mental health and relationship topics. Her mission is to awaken others to self-understanding and a life that reflects individual identity, purpose, and values. In addition to writing regularly for Love Magazine, Anita seeks opportunities to address international women’s rights issues such as human trafficking, violence against women, and economic empowerment as a sustainable solution. Follow Love Magazine on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest too!