Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Why You Need to Join Meetup.com Groups in Your City and Build Thriving Communities

by Advice Columnist Cathy Harris, DearCathy.com

Do You Need A Helping Hand?

Why You Need to Join Meetup.com Groups in Your City 
and Build Thriving Communities
by Cathy Harris, DearCathy.com, Advice Columnist

June 10, 2015

As a business owner every once in a while you have to look at your business to see what is working and what is not working and as of today, I am abandoning my long e-newsletters.  The last two e-newsletters, for Mother's Day and Father's Day, were extremely long and I knew that upfront, even before several of my readers told me that.

I do listen to my readers and their feedback so keep it coming. I also know a lot of people don't like to read.  Many people are visual and they have to see and hear something so this is another reason I am abandoning my long e-newsletters to prepare for more upcoming Cathy Harris TV visual youtube.com presentations.  

Also sending out an e-newsletter every 30 days is no way to keep people motivated so as an Empowerment and Motivational Speaker, I am going back to short posts every 2 or 3 weeks or when I feel like I have something relevant to say but still I don't plan on overcrowding any inboxes.  

Building a new audience as a speaker on the ground, unlike the internet, is not always easy.  I have been in Austin since July 2014, a week before the 4th  of July, but when I introduce myself on the ground at events, I tell others that I have only been here for a short time.    

This is because when I arrived here in Austin last July 2014, I had to finish up several writing projects and that was my priority so the only places I ventured out into were grocery stores, restaurants, gyms and parks. 
As an Empowerment Speaker one of the things that I don't lack is focus, unlike many others who know they should be doing something, at this point in my life I am pretty focused on what my life and business needs to look like. 

I have also spent many hours recording audiobooks in my new home recording studio while I am busy taking out all the glitches from my upcoming empowerment webinar series and seeking to start "The Cathy Harris Show" on a regular basis several days a week.  If you would like to be a guest email me at info@cathyharrisspeaks.com with the topic for discussion.

I had to get  "The New CEO: 185 Easy-To-Set Up Businesses for Youth and Adult Entrepreneurs"  released as an e-book and paperback because I knew people really needed that book.  Face it until many people, especially many youths today, realize that business ownership is their way out, they will continue to suffer.   

I had started working on the book 2 years earlier but I wasn't really in a hurry to finish it until I physically moved out of Atlanta after 20 years in January 2013.  I spent an entire year on the road taking my National Humanitarian Tour to 15 states and I witnessed first-hand the deplorable conditions of people in this country, especially Seniors and children, so I knew right then and there that the book had to be a priority - so PROJECT COMPLETE!!!

The book  "Recession Survival Guide: How To Get Back Into The Driver's Seat" was another project that had to go from an e-book to paperback because many people, especially Seniors, who are suffering in this country, still don't know what an e-book (also called "digital book") is and many will tell you they still need to feel a paperback book in their hands.  Therefore, I sat out to rerelease this book as a paperback because the book will show you how to keep more money in your pocket -- while it teaches you how to get back into the driver's seat - so PROJECT COMPLETE!!!

Many people are continuing to wait around to see if the economy will get better but they need to get out of that waiting mode and get out there and make something happen in their life.  Despite what you might think, there are a ton of opportunities in this fallen economy but these opportunities will not just knock on your door.

The book  "The Failure of Homeland In-Security: The Government's Dirty Little Secrets from an Insider"
was extremely hard to finish and release as a paperback because it took me back into an abusive workplace mindset so while working on this book, I had to work on myself mentally and physically by eating good brain foods while I engaged in daily exercises for my brain such as yoga and meditations. 

I retired 10 years ago, in 2005, from my job as an Customs Inspector and despite becoming a whistleblower
"The Cathy Harris Story," 15 years ago, what happened to me after blowing the whistle, the retaliation -- still seems like yesterday.   

So it was an extremely painful book to release as a paperback but now everyone has my story  "The Cathy Harris Story: A Whistleblower's Victorious Journey to Justice" and now the stories of what women international travelers went through when they returned to this country.  Both books are now released as e-books and paperback books - so PROJECT COMPLETE!!!

I suspect this will not be the last that we will hear about abuses by Customs and Border Protection (www.CBP.gov), under the Department of Homeland Security (www.DHS.gov), because I am being contacted by travelers from all over the country stating that they are being abused by this agency.  All these travelers will have in the future are my books in order to teach them how to fight back - so help me spread the word!

I was working on two books at one time but I don't really advise anyone to ever do that!  It can be quite overwhelming so pick a writing project and complete it before moving on to another one.  

As I was finishing up all the writing projects, I continued to build my loyal online audience and provide them with great tools on how to move forward through my empowerment articles, e-newsletters and coaching services.

Now that I am taking a break from writing books, my freelance inspirations are flourishing.  Every day I wake up with topics to write freelance articles about and don't forget that freelance articles can be turned into books.  

After staying focused and completing all my projects and still being unfamiliar with my new city, Austin, a few weeks back I realized it was just time to meet others locally on the ground to see exactly what Austin had to provide for the future of my business and -- life -- and I have been pleasantly surprised about all the business opportunities the city offers.

The way I met others initially was becoming involved in the meetup.com groups.  Austin has an abundance of these groups with many being maintained by entrepreneurs and for those of you who don't know it, in order to be successful as an entrepreneur, you need to form business alliances and strategic partnerships with other entrepreneurs.  

Being a solo business owner is fine but at the end of the day, if you really want to move your business to the next level, you need the support of others especially other business owners.

You do want to be careful meeting people nowadays, however, meetup.com groups are not like meeting someone from Craigslist.com or facebook.com, where you stand a chance of being at risk for a crime.  Just make sure the meetup.com groups are in a public setting and not at someone's home unless you received the referral from someone you know.   

The meetup.com groups can be used to move your life and business in the right direction.  We are using the meetup.com groups in Austin to build a holistic community especially with our "Law of Attraction" meetup.com group and I am glad to be a part of it.  

Remember no one is an island and people need social interactions in their lives so go to www.meetup.com and put in key words to find people in your city to meet and form long-lasting relationships with or to form business alliances or strategic partnerships with. 

You can put in key words such as Holistic Communities, Non-GMO, Gluten Free, Raw Foods, Law of Attraction, Energy Healing, Boomertime, Book Clubs, Dance Clubs, Bike Clubs, Social Outings, Business Women Over 30, Business Women Over 40 -- the sky is the limit on groups you can find and become an active part of.

Don't forget you can form your own group.  The membership fees are $18.00 a month but you can ask others in the group to donate at least $10.00 for the entire year.  And the meetup.com group will offer you a chance to form at least 3 different meetup.com groups at a special rate so again it is a great way to meet people in your city.  

My youngest daughter who likes to move around told me she had moved to some city and formed her own meetup.com group and even though only 5 people came to her meetup, she has now formed a lifetime friendship with at least two of these individuals -- so a lot of good people monitor these groups.  

Now there should be no more excuses why you can't form thriving communities in your city and move forward by using the meetup.com groups.  To read more about how communities are set up read "How To Take Control of Your Own Life: A Self-Help Guide To Empowering Your Family and the Entire Community" (Series 1) -- available as an e-book or paperback.  Good luck!


Cathy Harris, Speaker, Author, Trainer
Angels Press, CEO, President & Publisher
National Non-GMO Health Movement
P.O. Box 19282
Austin, TX 78760
(512) 909-7365
www.CathyHarrisSpeaks.com (Lectures, Seminars, Workshops)
www.AngelsPress.com (Empowerment & Publishing Company)
www.DearCathy.com (Advice Columnist)
www.TheCathyHarrisStory.com (The Cathy Harris Story)

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Why I Won't Tolerate Women Who Criticize, Complain and Gossip

By Advice Columnist Cathy Harris, DearCathy.com

May 7, 2015

I am staying true to my readers when I made the statement that this year my motto will be "It's Time To Come Clean in 2015."  I wanted to finish this article for my Women's History Month e-newsletter since many women would be reading it but I did not finish it on time -- so I am publishing it now especially for all women.

I grew up watching my mother, day-in and day-out, gossiping up a storm on the telephone with her female friends.  Something about it never sat right with me and this could also be another reason that my mother and I never had a close relationship.

I grew up in rural Georgia.  I was the youngest daughter with 3 older sisters (9 kids total), two in particular that my mother and father idealized.  As the youngest daughter, I was able to sit back and watch the dynamics of my family play out and this is how I became a good listener. 

Not only was I the youngest daughter with 3 younger brothers, I was the family's black sheep.  Being the family's black sheep is no longer a negative thing.  Somehow I just knew early on that being the family's black sheep would propel me into greatness.  You can never let anyone define your level of greatness - so define it yourself.  

What it did was allow me to live life on my own terms.  Eventually after high school I left home and never returned for the next 20 years.  During that time, my father, who was a functional alcoholic, passed away. 

I chose not to be a part of my family's life because of the negativity I experienced growing up.  Making this decision was right for me in order to hold onto my own sanity and I am sure many people today would agree with me when I make the statement that "Your friends could be your family - blood has nothing to do with it!"

After my daughters turned 13 and 14, I eventually decided to move back home to the same state that I grew up in -- so they could be around my family before they graduated high school and went off to college.  However, the bond and nurturing my daughters hoped for never surfaced especially from their grandmother.  I saw the disappointment on their faces when they realized that it would be as good as it would get.

My mother passed away 3 years ago and I spent the last few weeks of her life by her bedside sitting with her so I was able to make peace with my decision for choosing to move away from home and not stay in touch with them.  

Well that's my story and I have no remorse about how I chose to live my life.  As I age, there is one thing I know for sure - that I am responsible for my own life and actions and when you reach a certain point in your life, you have to set standards for your own life.  I will no longer put up with others especially women who criticizes, complains and gossip.  They will never be in my circle of acquaintances.

You see people everyday who are frustrated with their lives, especially many women.  Instead of taking action to change many situations in their lives, they criticize, complain or gossip about everything and everyone under the sun.  They do this in their own communities and also on the internet. 

When I first got on the internet, I use to forward negative articles, pictures and youtube.com clips of African Americans and others like everyone else.  But now I no longer do this because there is enough forces put into place for others to do this.  


I am not saying don't forward articles, pictures, and videos around the internet that can educate a new generation but what I am saying is because we do live in a digital age, technology has essentially made it easier for us to educate others, so let's try to build instead of breaking down the next generation.  

The Klan (aka KKK) no longer has to wear hoods or meet behind closed doors in closed meetings because they are all around us now.  Not only do they work as media entities and local, state and federal police officers, but they are a part of these government entities that continues to break the spirit of good hard-working Americans by posting negative pictures on the internet, giving negative book reviews and just bullying a new generation of potential leaders.  

Everyone need to understand that "readers become leaders," so therefore, we must educate a new generation of readers.  Our ancestors fought and died for the right to read (and write) but yet we are not engaging in one of the best privileges that we will ever have that we can take into our golden years.  To get lost in a good book is like going into another world.  It is undescribable!

The person I am today is because of the books that I read and the books that I write.  One book I read said when you gossip about someone you are actually committing "little murders" by defaming that person's character.  You are gossiping about them because you can't get an audience with that person.  And that sounds pretty accurate - right?

There is a book that was written by a pastor/speaker and I would like for all women (and men) to read it.  For those who don't like pastors, believe me this book is different.  So don't let the fact that it was written by a pastor, keep you from doing the work in the book. 

The book was given to me by my youngest daughter years ago entitled "A Complaint Free World."  After reading the book you should order the purple bracelets and try to go 3 weeks straight without criticizing, complaining and gossiping.  Most people can't do that!   Remember it takes 2 to 3 weeks to form new habits.  If you can do this, it will bring more peace, joy and happiness into your life. 

It works because it worked for me years ago and this book has remained on my list as one of my top 5 most favorite books of all time.  I recently bought the audiobook version so every month, I take time to listen to parts of it to remind me of how I need to stay on track and not complain, criticize and gossip.  We are all a work in progress so don't beat yourself up if you have to read the book several times to actually get it.  

We are only on this earth a short time and everyone needs to decide today, whether they will be a part of the problem or a part of the solution.  It's never too late to transform your life and create the type of life that you love.  The choice is simple!  Don't choose to be a part of any generation that continues to 'break the spirit' of the common day man.

Cathy Harris is an Advice Columnist at DearCathy.com, an Empowerment and Motivational Speaker and the author of over 20 non-fiction books and can be contacted through her empowerment company, Angels Press, P.O. Box 19282, Austin, TX 78760, Phone: (512) 909-7365, Website: http://www.angelspress.com, Email: info@angelspress.com.  She is available for lectures, seminars and workshops at http://www.CathyHarrisSpeaks.com.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Are You Ready To Eat Foods For Your Blood Type?

April 1, 2015

Hello Everyone:

For those of you who still have not put your health first, you need to pay attention to this e-newsletter because since this is the first generation that will not outlive their parents, many people are not getting a new lease on life.

I have always said that getting healthy is like a puzzle.  You get some pieces here -- and some pieces there -- but today I will give you 90% of the pieces.  This will probably be the most important e-newsletter that I have ever published simply because I will tell you the key to having tons of energy and vitality -- which is to eat foods for your blood type. 

As we go into a new season, Spring, now is the time to start eating foods for your blood type.  One of the most significant things that I have learned in my life and what most of my holistic and natural healer friends and acquaintances believe -- is that if you want to live a life full of energy and vitality, then it is extremely important that you eat for your blood type.

First you will need to find out your blood type.  There are 4 blood types - Type A, B, AB and O.  Remember that most kids will either take the blood type of their mother or father which means in many homes, you will probably have one to two blood types -- which means everyone cannot eats the same foods.  Sure many people grew up eating beans and peas but in order to reach your maximum level of health, there are certain foods you need to give up!

Remember only 15% of people in this country believes in holistic and natural healing so there is only a small percentage of people who believe as we do.  For all you non-believers, you should try it.  

Buy the book "Eat Right 4 Your Type: The Individualized Diet Solution to Staying Healthy, Living Longer and Achieving Your Ideal Weight" -- (cost is only ONE CENT plus $3.99 shipping) which was written by a naturopathic healer -- and start looking at the change in your mind, body and spirit over the next few days, weeks and months - once you eliminate the foods the book tells you to eliminate and add the foods that it tells you to add.

Many people will be skeptical and make the statement "I don't need a book to tell me how to eat!"  I have heard them make the statement time and time again -- yet these individuals remain in very bad shape.

For me it wasn't hard to change my foods and gain the energy and vitality I needed to live a great life.  Four years after becoming housebound and bedridden in 2008 and realizing that doctors know very little about health and nutrition, in 2013, one month before deciding to get on the road and go on a worldwide tour to 15 states and hold my seminars and workshops, I picked up the blood type book.  

I had looked at the cover of the book for the past 3 years in my favorite health food store in Atlanta but this time I was ready to try something new -- to investigate even more how the human body operates so I bought the book.

I was upset for a few days because I had to give up some of my favorite foods such as Sunflower seeds, most beans and peas, tomatoes, tofu, avocados, etc. -- since I am Type B blood type.  These foods had been part of my life for a while but they were also the foods that were zapping my energy. 

A holistic healer, a kinesiologist, a holistic specialist who can tell what is happening in your body by looking at your blood under a microscope had already told me a few years earlier that I was allergic to coffee, oatmeal, strawberries, MSG, and food additives -- so I realized that eliminating the extra foods suggested by the blood type book would probably give me the energy and vitality I needed to feel great and that was the case indeed.

Within a matter of days after eliminating the foods and adding others that the book suggested for my blood type, I did not just have a slight rise in energy but I had a major rise in energy and felt absolutely great!  
So I know first-hand that the blood type book works.  That was in Dec. 2012, a little over 2 years ago and I am still today eating for my blood type and this is why at the age of 58, I feel absolutely great.

Now that Spring is here, I believe the biggest mistake that most people make is -- because many people start eating different foods in different seasons -- they will contribute their weak, sluggish and run-down feeling to seasonal/environmental allergies.  However, I believe that many people -- as a matter of fact a large percentage of people suffer from food allergies -- not environmental allergies.

Many blame their conditions on seasonal/environmental allergies and they head off to drug stores and live off "over-the-counter" or "prescribed" medications for months.  Many of these medications have side-effects that causes everything from drowsiness to brain-fog to depression.

I am not saying that seasonal allergies don't exist but what I am saying is that everyone should pay more attention to the foods that they are eating.  Many kids are taking needless medications for asthma, allergies and other breathing conditions but chances are they are just allergic to their foods.  

Eggs, chocolate, dairy products and fried foods are just some of the foods which are 'mucus-producing' which causes inflammation (swelling) throughout the body especially in your chest and sinus areas resulting in breathing issues.

Take This Test - Eat a bowl of ice cream before you go to bed at night or drink a glass of milk and tell me what is the first thing you do in the morning... besides urinating.  I can tell you it will be to blow your nose. These foods are 'mucus-producing' which causes fluids to build up in your chest and sinus areas.

I will never forget the story I heard one day on TV about one of the ice cream empires.  The heir to the empire said he spent his entire life SICK.  SICK because he had access to all the ice cream (a dairy product which contains food additives, sugar, the heavy metal benzene, etc.) he could eat.  What good is having money when you are sick?

Again these foods are "mucus-producing" which will cause you to feel  weak, sluggish and run-down.  African Americans should never, ever eat dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, butter, etc.) because most are 'lactose intolerant' which means they are allergic to dairy products.

As a senior ages, many believe they should be on medications because this is what a doctor tells them.  Seniors need to remember that getting old doesn't make you sick but getting sick makes you old and they need to be careful of "mucus-producing" foods and breathing issues such as Emphysema, Chronic bronchitis, Asthma and Pneumonia.

I suspect that a lot of these seniors with these breathing machines just need to change their diets but they will never hear this from a doctor because the pharmaceutical industry is BIG BUSINESS.  
No one should be on medications because your foods are suppose to act as medications.  

Foods affects every area of your life from your mood, behavior, happiness and entire quality of your life.  Foods either acts as "medicine" or a "poison" and the only time your food will act as a poison is because you are eating the wrong foods.

If you have to start drinking coffee as soon as you get up or get to work everyday, then chances are you ate the wrong foods for breakfast.  If you feel sleepy around 2:00 or 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon -- you probably ate the wrong foods at lunch time.  If you have to drink coffee or sodas all day to stay alert, you are probably eating the wrong foods or like me -- you might be allergic to coffee.

If you get off work every night and go home and eat -- then all you want to do is go to sleep, then you are eating GOOD NIGHT FOODS -- foods which you are allergic to so you need to change your foods and change your life.

When I drove to 15 states in 2013, I ate foods for my blood type so I had tons of energy as I drove around and enjoyed the countryside. Years earlier, I would have drank coffee or ate candy to stay awake but once you learn the secrets to having tons of energy and vitality, you do get a new lease on life.  So do yourself a favor and read the book and start eating foods for your blood type.
Available as E-book & Paperback
Coming Soon As Audiobook

Excerpts from the book
"How To Take Control of Your Own Life: 
A Self-Help Guide To Becoming Healthier 
Over the  Next  30 Days"

Food Allergies 
Environmental Allergies

There are two types of allergies (Food and Environmental (Seasonal) Allergies) which cause people to suffer needlessly.  Environmental allergies are also called "airborne" allergies.  Both types of allergies can cause you to be tired, miss days at work, have a chronic sore throat, feel achy, and can affect all parts of your body.

Food Allergies
Many processed foods causes "food allergies" and "food sensitivities" that can place stress on the immune system -- so try to figure out which foods you need to eliminate from your diet. 

If your allergies are thought to be "food related," keep a food diary and track foods eaten and the body's response to them in order to identify offending foods.

Some of the foods that you can be allergic to include -- milk/dairy products, wheat, peanuts, eggs or egg yolks, nuts, avocados, rice, wheat, soy, corn, grapes, strawberries, cantaloupes, chocolate, peanuts, fish, shellfish, soy products, GMO foods, etc. 

Over 75% of kids by age 3 or five out of six children will have at least one ear infection by their third birthday.  In fact, ear infections are the most common reason parents bring their child to a doctor. 

My first daughter had 17 ear infections by the age of 7 so now I find out she was probably allergic to the milk.  She had tubes put in her ears twice.  Can you imagine all the family sick leave I had to take from work to take her to the doctor's office?  Now as an adult, she realized that she is allergic to any type of chocolate (which contains heavy metals like coffee).  It gives her a bad headache.

Remember Genetically Modified (GM) foods causes food allergies (because of the corn content) and 90% of all foods in grocery stores (all processed foods) are GMOs.  

Food allergies (or 'food sensitivities') causes "depression."  And this is why the anti-depressant industry is a "billion-dollar" industry.  Even OB doctors are shelling out antidepressant medications like candy forPostpartum Depression.

There is a good chance that many of these women can fix their own depression by changing their diets or eating foods for their blood types.  Years ago these types of medications, antidepressants, could not be prescribed to anyone unless they were under the care of a mental health specialist (psychiatrist, psychologist, etc.).

Laxatives are also a "billion-dollar" industry because GMO foodscauses constipation and most holistic and natural healers know that your health begins in your colon.  I am talking to people who are going 2 to 3 weeks without a bowel movement.  

Unless you are having at least one bowel movement a day (2 to 3 is recommended) -- you are already moving toward disease and might need to engage in a complete detox program to open up your bowels.

Having food allergies doesn't mean you will break out in red spots but more than likely, these foods will cause you to feel weak, sluggish or run-down (or depressed).  Food should give you energy - not make you feel tired or exhausted.

Food allergies can mask themselves in different ways including acne, especially pimples on the chin or around the month; epilepsy; arthritis; asthma; chest and shoulder pain; colitis; depression; fatigue; food cravings; headaches; hemorrhoids; insomnia; intestinal problems; muscle disorder; obesity; sinus problems; ulcers and unexplained dramatic weight gain or loss.

Food allergies often cause symptoms that "mimic" bladder infections.  So if you have ever went to a doctor thinking you had a bladder infection, chances are it was just something you ate.  

Food allergies are linked to hypoglycemia (low-blood sugar) which can cause you to faint, go into a coma or death.  Hypoglycemia can be inherited because most families eat the same foods, but most often it is caused by an inadequate diet.

Environmental Allergies
People might have an environmental allergy to ragweed, mold, oak, cockroaches, dust mites, feathers, horses, weeds, pollen, trees, the urine and saliva of a dog, etc. 

For environmental or airborne allergies, you can purchase an air filter to clean pollen, mold, and dust from your home or office.  Frequent exposure to allergens combined with a weakened immune system can result in the development of allergies. 

If you can avoid contact with known allergens, you can reduce the misery of allergy symptoms.  Some hay fever sufferers experience relief almost as soon as they drink two or more glasses of water.  The best time to take allergy or asthma medication is between 6:00 and 8:00 a.m.

Pollen season can play havoc on allergy sufferers.  If you suffer from seasonal allergies you should:
1. Keep windows closed in your home and car
2. Buy special home or car filters
3. Use the recirculate setting on your car air conditioner
4. Use your home air conditioner to deliver clean, dry, and cool air
5. Do not use an attic fan for ventilation
6. Schedule for outdoor activities carefully (pollen counts are highest early in the morning so outdoor activities/exercises in the evening are best)
7. Avoid outdoors on dry windy days
8. Exercise indoors when possible
9. Take a vacation during the pollen season (Seashore is likely to have lower pollen exposures)
10. Avoid mowing lawns or raking or blowing leaves, it stirs up pollens and molds
11. Wash your clothes and your hair after being out in the pollen
12. Don't hang your sheets and clothes out to dry in the pollen
13. Wash your pet after being out in the pollen

 Remember that all medications 'over-the-counter' or 'prescribed' including antihistamines for seasonal allergies can cause depression.  Now that you know the difference between food allergies and seasonal (environmental) allergies, I hope you can take this information and start living the type of life that you truly deserve.  Make sure you read my health book "How To Take Control of Your Own Life: A Self-Help Guide To Becoming Healthier Over the Next 30 Days" and take the 12 steps in the 12 chapters.  Good luck!

Cathy Harris is an Advice Columnist at DearCathy.com, an Empowerment and Motivational Speaker, Non-GMO Health and Wellness Expert, Self-Publishing and Business Coach and the author of over 20 non-fiction books and can be contacted through her empowerment company, Angels Press, P.O. Box 19282, Austin, TX
78760, http://www.angelspress.com info@angelspress.com.  She is available for lectures, seminars and workshops at http://www.CathyHarrisSpeaks.com.

Monday, February 16, 2015

When Love Came Knocking At My Door - I Opened It

By Cathy Harris, Advice Columnist, DearCathy.com

The title might seem fiction but no this is not a fiction story but my story...I guess you can say "My Love Story."  My motto this year is"It's Time To Come Clean in 2015" so this year I will be sharing parts of myself with my waiting audience, hopefully in an effort to help others move forward.

Many women have told me that my love story has aspired them to believe that they too will one day experience true love.  There are many women who have given up on love and so did I.  However, at age 58, love came knocking at my door and I opened it.  I can safely say there has been only two men that I have truly loved in my life.  

The first was the father of my two daughters.  We only spent 7 years together as husband and wife then we went separate ways.  My daughters were only 5 and 6.  From that day forward he chose not to be in my daughter's life because I suspected that seeing me would have been too painful for him.

Of course I am not making excuses for him but it was the way it was back them.  I tried to pursue him to collect child support but he moved around so I gave up and just put my daughters' needs first.

I landed in a good job so I was in a place where I could give my daughters what they needed so when life hands you lemons -- you make lemonade.  Shortly after the departure of my daughter's father, I met a man from the local military base while working on the El Paso, TX border with U.S. Customs. 

My arrival in El Paso was one book opening in my life and another one closing.  It was full of opportunities and possibilities in my life so one night he came walking out of the blue - unexpected.  He looked like a young, black Arnold Schwarzenegger.

He was very quiet and reserved.  So he was pretty hard to figure out.  However, he was so passionate and sweet that he literally blew my mind.  I did not ask him all the important questions that most relationships should because I felt I was just enjoying him for the moment. 

With me working for U.S. Customs and him working in the military, either of us could have been transferred elsewhere at any time so again we were just enjoying each other.

He was always there for the simplest things.  When I had to go outside and jog - he would watch the girls.  I remember him allowing me to take long baths and unwind from a long day at work.  I even remember him brushing my hair as I sat on the floor --  just the simplest things in life.

I can't even tell you to this day how long we were together on the border but it seemed like a whole lifetime.  Before meeting him I had actually put in for a transfer off the border and eventually the transfer came through. 

He also told me that he was due to leave for another port in 30 days so this made my departure much more bearable since he too would be leaving.  But on the day that I left, it was still hard for me.  All I wanted to do was to put the car in park and run and jump into his arms. 

I asked myself over and over again "Was I making a mistake by leaving?"  What was so ironic was the day we, my two daughters and I, left the border -- it was snowing for the first time since my entire 18 months there.   So like meeting him, the snow was magic.

After arriving in Miami, in a few months I got a call from him.  We agreed to have a rendezvous at that time so he traveled to Miami. Those rendezvous turned into several rendezvous over the years. 

We never talked about long range plans because -- like me -- he was still moving around but eventually I thought he was a little selfish for trying to avoid the topic.

I was in Miami for 5 years.  After moving to Atlanta the rendezvous continued - sometimes years apart.  Even though I had a feeling that Atlanta would probably be my home for a while since I was born only 2 hours away and my main reason for returning was for my daughters, then 13 and 14, to be around my family before they went off to college - somehow in the back of my mind, I always knew that one day I would leave. 

The last time I met him was about 3 years ago when I flew in from Atlanta to Austin, TX.   By then I did crave to have a deeper conversation with him about us, but like always, he avoided the conversations.

Because of his busy schedule working shift work at night and with his hobbies, recovering classic cars and weightlifting, I don't think he could have made room for me in his life so again words were left unsaid.  

He had been busy all these years being the father of 4 kids after his divorce, and me, 2 kids after my divorce -- so this brought both of us, joy and happiness and kept us busy.

I was extremely careful not to bring men around my daughters because they grew up during the Ricki Lake (TV Host) era, where many couples chose relationships over their children. 

My daughters can never make the statement that "My mom allowed all types of men to come around us."  I dated here and there but none of my past relationships could add up to him. 

After he retired a few months ago, he emailed me.  When I saw the email I was trying not to respond because by then I had left Atlanta and had traveled to 15 states in 2013 in order to live my dreams and I was in search of a new home and new life. 

And because I felt that he had been selfish over the years by avoiding talking about building a life together, I avoided his emails.  I was very happy after living my dreams and had settled down in a new city, Philadelphia, so I did not want him to taint my new life. 

Again it was like one book closing and another book opening which meant my life was now full of opportunities and possibilities not just for my business but for love.

Even though I had resigned to being by myself for the rest of my life, I eventually responded back to his emails and he called me and he said all the right words that a woman wanted to hear especially that he love me and that I was always the woman for him.  He also said that he regret never making room for me in his life all those years ago.  And that he would do anything to get back those years and to have me in his life for the rest of his life.

I then felt if I had gotten with this man earlier in my life, we would probably be separated today because the timing wasn't right but now somehow it was. 

So after not really being satisfied with my move to Philly, I left and went to Austin to be with him and found myself in the arms of my true love.  It takes work everyday to build the life that we can truly love but now I know we are committed to doing just that. 

I believe there are 4 areas which couples need to build around - Love, Communication, Trust and Respect.  There must be love in the first place in order for you to be in someone's life; You must be able tocommunicate everyday of your relationship which means no words should be left unsaid; You must have trust that when the both of you get out of bed everyday, the other person will put the other person's needs first - always; and respect is very important because once couples start losing respect for each other, everything changes - and not for the better.

My relationship with my mate is fairly new but we both know what we want out of the life for the rest of our lives so knowing what you want and what you are willing to do to get it -- will be key to living the type of life that you truly want.

I am really not in a position to advise couples because I have been single for a while but I worked in a mostly male-dominated industry and all my male co-workers had wives and many of these guys would come to me for love advice.  They even called me "Dr. Ruth" -- so I am well aware of what goes on in most relationships.

I have been around people all my life and all people are the same.  Single people especially women, need to stop saying that they are going to wait until they get married to travel the world or wait until they get married to buy their dream home and other luxuries of life that they truly desire. 

If you truly desire to do these things, then don't wait.  If you continue to wait for a mate to live your dreams, then you might not never live your dreams.  And don't forget the reasons that many people are not living their dreams - is because of their mates. 

Many times it's your mate that will hinder you from truly living your dreams -- so again don't wait.  What everyone need to understand is that sometimes it is meant for you to travel this world alone without a mate.  It does not mean that you are not worthy and that you are not living a worthy life.

The goal is to figure out your true purpose and get out there and live it before you leave this earth.  Do the things that you were truly put on this earth to do and have fun doing it.

My biggest reluctance about getting with a mate as I aged was that I had been on my death bed in 2008, housebound and bedridden, basically from eating toxic foods and living in a toxic environment -- and I did not want to end up in a relationship with a mate, where I would have to become a nurse maid to him. 

I did not want to get with a mate where his unhealthy habits rubbed off on me especially after my experience in 2008.  I have talked to tons of women where this happened to them.  Eventually many of these women walked away from these types of relationships and I don't really blame them. 

What everyone need to realize even at any age, that no mate is going to make you happy.  I truly believe to find true happiness, you have to work on yourself first and live the life that you solely desire - then you can attract the kind of mate that you can be truly happy with. 

I am now in the third act of my life.  The first 30 years was the first act and the second 30 years was the second act.  As I turn 60 next year, this is the last act of my life and I have to get it right.  So I am looking forward to all that life has to offer. 

The good thing is my mate and I have history, so we have good times that we can build upon.  However, we will not focus on the life we could have had together but instead we will focus on the life that we can build together now and be happy.

There are 5 points that I want everyone to walk away with by reading my story:
1.  Don't try to commit yourself to a person who is obviously not ready for you to be in their life.  When it is time - it will or won't happen.
2. Don't put your dreams on hold waiting for the right person to come into your life.  Get out there and lives your dreams.
3.  If you are in a relationship where your partner devalues who you are - then move on.  For all you women, never forget that "one man's loss is another man's treasure" - so if you are being mistreated...another man will probably treat you like the queen that you are.
4.  Guys...when you see that woman and you know she is a diamond -- don't spend an entire lifetime getting with her.  Always keep her close...and make her a part of your life -- before you lose her to another man.  If you know that she is special -- then other men will know that also.
5. Be grateful for all your life experiences whether you are walking this earth with a mate or alone.  Love every minute of your life!

Cathy Harris is an Empowerment and Motivational Speaker.  She is an Advice Columnist at DearCathy.com and is the author of 21 non-fiction books and can be reach through her empowerment company, Angels Press, P.O. Box 19282, Austin, TX 78760, website: http://www.angelspress.com, email: info@angelspress.com.  She is available for lectures, seminars and workshops atwww.CathyHarrisSpeaks.com.