A Letter From the Editor

Summer Edition 2015

Happy Summer!

By now I hope everyone has gotten into the groove of Summer 2015- barbeques and days off and lounging in the sun at the park, by the beach, or at home with or loved ones. Isn’t it funny how quickly we forget how cold and miserable we were just a few weeks ago waiting for the sun to make an appearance? Personally, I am a lover of sunlight, even and as much as I love the moon. Without it, my life takes on a dreary kind of feeling, the kind of feeling out of which it is difficult to pull one’s self and spirit. These days, I’ve been doing much better physically, so I’ve decided to put some of that good energy into Wine Out Of Water’s Summer 2015 Edition. Thanks so much to everyone who has joined us on facebook in the past seven months- we’re just past 700 followers in the past week! Wine Out Of Water is also on twitter, so find us there for fun and inspirational quotes @deltacat79.

As I shared a few months back, I’ve been dealing with a host of health issues brought on by an autoimmune disorder I’ve had all my life. I remember being labelled as “sickly” as a child, my grandmother lovingly referring to me as her “half-a-child” on account of my being ill more often than not. Though the doctors were unsure what was causing the trouble, one thing was certain- I was never going to let being sick stop me from doing anything I wanted to do! By the time I had turned twelve, the symptoms of my disease had subsided- the chronic plaque psoriasis in the palms of my hands, the mysterious fevers, the acid reflux and vomiting, the irritable bowels, the asthma- it all seemed to have gone away, and I felt considerably stronger. In my mind I had beaten whatever it was. I thought my body was completely healed and so I threw myself into life with reckless abandon, knowing that I could handle whatever life threw my way. Most anyone who knows me knows me for being a very active, joyful person, never one to shy away from an adventure. I love to test my physical and emotional limits in exchange for learning about myself and the world around me, even as an “adult” (I put that word in quotation marks because there are days when I don’t really feel like an adult, but I have to subscribe to the idea of being one because…life…). And so I lived most of my life after turning twenty four not very aware of my personal limits. These past ten years have been eye opening for me in terms of wrestling with and acknowledging my own limitations and figuring out how best to make them work for me. These past few months in particular have been game changing- chronic illness has returned, bringing with it a host of required change, some of which is difficult to understand and to deal with, but I am as committed now as I was as a child not to let it beat me.

For a while I’ve had to put my writing on hold to focus on bringing structure to my life in a way that my days will make sense and so I can function optimally and feel like myself again. Now that I feel like I understand what has been happening and I can see the positive differences these changes have brought me, I feel confident and excited to share my journey with you. Hopefully, some of the things I  have discovered about myself along this journey will help someone else who is experiencing the same things. The whole idea behind Wine Out Of Water is to inspire those of us who are committed to making the best out of the ordinary, everyday situations which we have been given. Far too often this world will tell us that we are too small, too inadequate, too frail, too weak, too anything to inspire change, but I know first hand that this isn’t true. No one is too small. No one is too weak. No one is incapable. We are all way more powerful than we believe. And it isn’t necessary to mount elaborate campaigns to inspire greatness. All we are required to be is the truest version of ourselves. We are all each others’ inspirations, whether we are aware of this truth or not. We are all talented, unique, gifted. My wish is that we all find that thing that makes us special and that we share it with the world. Now more than ever that we live in a time where connectivity is easier than it has ever been, we owe ourselves and those around us the pleasure of expressing, honing and cultivating those gifts.

One of the lessons I had presented to me in the form of autoimmune disease is knowing when to take a rest. If you’re like me, you’re constantly busy. There are never enough hours in the day, and you live at the speed of a freight train- constantly dashing from one activity to the next with barely a moment between to take a breath. The bad thing about AI is there’s never enough energy to do it all, a lesson that has come to me in a hard, unrelenting way. I’ve had to learn to ration my energy and be wise about day to day decisions previously to which I spared no thought. My friend, Harmony, who lives in South Africa, recently wrote a piece about Preparing For The Winter which inspired me to think about the way I usually live. Having grown up in the Caribbean, the thought of “Eternal Summer” has always been attractive to me- to have the sun constantly there to warm my blood and bones and make it okay for me to spend my days and nights on the beach…But the reality is, winter always comes in various shades, and the wise are always better prepared. Harmony got me thinking of what it means to be prepared for life’s winters, not just physically but emotionally as well, and things we can do in the summer to ensure our winter survival.

A huge part of this is looking at self-care, physical health and nutrition as building blocks for happy, healthy life. After exploring all the different foods I love but cannot eat anymore, I’ve had to make it a priority to look at food differently. Prior to getting sick this time, I would eat anything I wanted, anytime. Sure I had chest pains, irritable bowels, acid reflux, migraines…but I never thought about how what I ate affected how my body felt. I thought I would be just fine. How wrong I was! Now, my approach to food is much different. I eat specifically for what my body needs, and I’m much happier about my choices. Food is no longer my enemy- it is my friend. Very rarely will you hear me say “I’m on a diet”. I don’t do dieting anymore since my food choices are now reflective of my lifestyle. I will share with you the different things I have learned since going gluten free and striving to make my kitchen the first line of defense against illness; homemade tips and cheats I use around my home to keep me healthy and energized, and how learning the art of meal prep has changed the dynamics of my entire day. I will also share a bit more about chronic illness, and hope some of you will share with me too about how you find inspiration and strength on your individual journeys to living optimally despite daily limitations.

Dear Future Husband by Harmony will be back up with new articles on Tuesdays, exploring one woman’s thoughts about love, relationships, marriage, and every little nuance in between.

Lessons From The Lighthouse will return to close out the series with new articles on Wednesday. There may or may not be a giveaway of the book, Life Of Pi by Yann Martel…so stay tuned to learn more!

Love & Anarchy will be updated on Fridays with thought provoking questions and answers

Thoughts Of A Goddess will make a return on Sundays, bringing you nuggets of universal wisdom to inspire the direction of your week.

New To Wine Out Of Water

As part of my new efforts to be more disciplined and organized and grateful (all New Moon intentions!), I’ve added more structure to the blog, and am totally excited to be introducing three new items to our online magazine!

Unsolicited Opinions is an open forum discussion of EVERYTHING. As a philosophy major, I refuse to believe that philosophy as an art is dead. Now that we have all types of online communication platforms and myriad ways to communicate, we’re more exposed now than ever to each others’ backgrounds, idiosyncrasies, and cultures. Some things are worth exploring for absolutely no reason at all! Over the course of my life I’ve been accused of giving unsolicited advice and opinions. Listen- I’m curious and I’m nosy, and if I have an opinion, I’ll give it to you- simple as that! I believe my opinion- and yours- matters!

What if you found out you only had ten years to live? What would you do differently? These are questions I ask myself quite often. Things I Wish My Mother Told Me is born out of those two questions. Here, I chronicle things I wish my mother had told me in the ten years prior to her death in 1999 that I believe would have made all the difference to me in my adult life. These are things I hope my daughter and son will find useful in the days after my death, well into their adulthood, and will pass on to their children, and that shape my thoughts into the next ten years as a mother, wife and daughter.

And finally, but certainly by no means the least of all, I am most thrilled to introduce you to The Path Less Traveled, a YouTube series hosted by my dear friend Neffy Anderson. Neffy is a budding television personality who certainly has her eyes set on the prize. Inspired by her own journey to carve out a niche for herself in the journalism and broadcasting world, Neffy started her own YouTube series, chronicling the remarkable work of millennials who have all chosen to pursue their life’s passions and turn their personal gifts and talents into lucrative businesses. Every week, Neffy puts her stellar networking and interviewing skills to work to capture the lives of these diligent and talented individuals- and she does it in style! Links to previous as well as new and upcoming episodes will be posted every Sunday, so let’s catch up and stay tuned!

What a way to find the extraordinary in the Sacred Ordinary!

I’m really excited and grateful to everyone who has contributed to this summer season being the best we’ve had since the launching of this magazine two years ago. When I started off I was so scared that no one would care to read anything I wrote, but I kept writing. Today marks our third Summer season and I am beyond thrilled to have such exciting and engaging content to share with you, the readers, the thinkers and the doers. I look forward to hearing your feedback, as always. Wine Out Of Water would be nothing without you guys!

Much love and light as always,

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Asa-Mari

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