Asides

On Love and Loving

By: Val Cavalheri

LoveLovingRecently, Bliss Magazine spoke to Kiya Knight and James Lockwood, co-creators of Weightless Worldwide, LLC, a web based fitness and nutrition business and an adventure bootcamp hosted on some of the world’s best beaches. They also happen to be married and in love and, honestly, they just look awesome together.

BLISS: So, was it love at first sight?

JAMES: We met while we were both working in Tulum, Mexico at sister resorts one mile apart on a white sand beach. My first thought was, ‘eh..she seems nice but not really my type.’

KIYA: And I thought, ‘he looks a bit ruff, tattoos a bad boy and a hooligan!’    

BLISS: What about your courtship and marriage: the usual standard stuff?

JAMES: It wasn’t usual at all. We started to fall for one another over CB radios on a Caribbean beach at the tip of the Yucatan. I would call to see if Kiya had extra avocado or cheese for my hotel. At first it was a nice mini break from work, then our beach runs and product exchanges turned into an excuse to look for things we were out of. We would then meet and make out on the beach for 5 minutes before returning to our hotels.

KIYA: After a year on the beach I moved to NYC to learn how to start a fitness business. James joined me in Feb 2011 and we left to host WEightless Escapes in Costa Rica 8 months later. Right in the middle of our Costa Rica Business adventure we snuck back to the beach in Tulum for a traditional Mayan Ceremony.

BLISS: What keeps your relationship in balance?

JAMES: We don’t let each other slack; we hold the mirror right in front of one another when either of us is acting like a fool. We have extremely high levels of communication. I am a big believer of chivalry and old school etiquette. I think it goes back to understanding that men and women are different species. This has been the key for us. Instead of wanting your partner to be just like you, we try to remember our differences and understand that each of us has feminine and masculine energies that need to be looked after.

KIYA: One good thing about hanging out with an ex punk is that nobody messes with you. James just looks fierce so whenever I am with him I feel really safe. One time when we were in Lisbon Portugal, this guy tried to steal my passport and camera. James looked at the man with such an intense stare that the man instantly apologized and handed them over to James, trembling. This knowing that a powerful person has my back gives me the balls to follow my bigger dreams and take huge risks, which are now starting to pay off big time.

BLISS: You guys run a successful business together. How do you handle the day-to-day stresses of so much togetherness?

KIYA: Because we are business partners who work from home, we practice changing from work mode to home mode and making the other aware when we are in what mode. What we try to avoid is one of us talking about what’s for dinner and the other wanting to talk business… this just leads to arguments.

JAMES: We also have different specialties. Kiya is the sports scientist of our business, and movement is her genius zone. I am the Holistic Nutrition Specialist and this is my genius zone. We understand that each of us is an expert in our specific areas and we don’t assume to have better ideas/options in those fields. This keeps us operating efficiently.

BLISS: Any advice for those looking for love or looking to stay in love?

KIYA: I can only speak for us. The thing that attracted us the most to one another was our passion and commitment for a life of never ending learning and growing as people. Being in a relationship requires a lot of adaptation. I think the ability to adapt to situations and the willingness to see from another’s perspective is the magic sauce in creating a ridiculously awesome life. 6 months after we met on the beach in Tulum, we took a trip through Europe. We backpacked, surfed, ate and slept on airport floors. We really got to know each other by seeing how the other reacted to certain situations like stress and delay or opportunity to explore the unknown.

JAMES: Because fitness and nutrition is our church if we are stressed out or arguing we go for a run or workout, and by the end we are cheering one another on and proclaiming our love. Negative emotions like resentment and anxiety are energies that can take us over and control us. What we teach in our business is that you/we need to move those energies through and out of our systems in order to be in tune. Nutrition also plays an instrumental role, when we are energized and feel good/ look good we are more prone to be patient and understanding with our significant other.


James and Kiya are currently hosting events worldwide. Check out www.kiyaknight.com, www.facebook.com/coachkiya and www.facebook.com/jamesclockwood for more information and to connect.


Photos by: Masha Osipova

Nanny Escapades: Bum[p]s in the Road

By: Leigh Macdonald

NannyShe arrived at our Miami home on a Sunday afternoon. Tall and beautiful. Twenty-five years old and highly intelligent. Indeed, I was certain I’d chosen exceptionally well when hiring this au pair. She was Polish and held two Masters degrees. She was a former professional basketball player and came with an exceptional letter of recommendation from the father of the family for whom she’d recently worked.

At first, things seemed to be going okay. But on the Tuesday morning after her arrival, I wandered into the kitchen. It was 6 AM, I was blurry-eyed, and I desperately needed my first cup of coffee. She was standing across the kitchen, leaning against the counter and facing the other direction. And all I could see was bum. Did I mention that she was tall? 6’4”, actually. So her cheeks —  the kind on her bum —  were situated at about my chest’s height.

I quickly turned on my heels to pretend I hadn’t seen it. Surely, I thought, she’ll be embarrassed that someone awoke. She’ll run to her room and cover the lower half of her body. I poured my coffee v-e-r-y slowly and listened carefully for scurried steps. I placed both my palms on the countertop in front of me and spoke under my breath: “This is not happening.” But it was. And when I came to terms with the fact that she knew I was there and that she wasn’t scurrying, I turned around to face her.

And guess what? She’d turned around, too. To face me. I could not bring myself to look down. Instead, I looked up to meet her beautiful European gaze, and I said, “Good morning,” as I wrestled with the idea that I might have made a poor hiring choice. As she peeled a banana (I so wish I was joking), she stood there in front of me wearing what seemed to be just a t-shirt. And because she was well, very tall, her t-shirt didn’t hang far past her navel.

She told me how well she’d slept, that she loved her new room, and that she was grateful to be with such a nice family. Honestly, I don’t know if she said any of those things. She was speaking with her heavy Polish accent, that much is definitely true. But my full focus was on gathering enough courage to look down. Because I knew that eventually, I had to determine whether she was wearing panties.

After what seemed like minutes, but was likely only seconds, I did it. I looked down. And I was pleased — yes, really, truly pleased — to discover that she was covered in front. By nude mesh. “Ah, thongs . . . nude mesh thongs. Of course!” I thought, and for a moment, I actually felt content in knowing that she was wearing an undergarment on her bottom half. Just as I started to feel a bit of relief, she turned back around. And there it was, that young, perky, athletic bum without an ounce of coverage.

Without another word, I followed suit and also turned around. I headed straight to my bedroom where I promptly telephoned my husband who was traveling for work. I woke him, of course. And after he got his laughter under control, he told me what I already knew: that I had to tell her that clothing was not optional in our home. She could shower naked. She could even wear a bikini to swim in our pool. But for everything else, clothing was required. She would be, after all, caring for our two young children, and while our youngest sometimes roamed the house without her diaper cover, we didn’t think our new au pair should take that as an indication of our openness as to nudity.

She eventually donned clothes that day, but not because I instructed her to do so. In fact, during the weeks that followed, there were countless other issues to deal with, so I never mentioned the bum reveal. I will say this: before her brief time with us concluded, we had a better understanding as to why that glowing letter of recommendation had been drafted by the dad.

Fear of an Oyster

By: Tony Marciante

FearOysterAs a Chef, I’m considered an artist, businessman and screamer.

The last part is NOT true… mostly.

So as I offer my creative artistic dishes, I need to keep in mind that this is a business too!

Part of my daily routine is introducing people to new types of foods… mostly seafood since that’s my thing. I’ll get the occasional “oh, I don’t eat oysters”…

“Have you ever HAD one?” I’ll push…

“Well no, but you know?!…” she’ll say.

“No… I don’t. What?   The texture… that Silky Smooth Amazing Briny Treasure?”   I retort.

“Well yeah, isn’t it all… I dunno… slimy?” she says peering over her glasses at me.

“No, it’s amazing and I’d be honored to have you try some… shall we?”

“Well… okay, sure, just one…” I smile (and have a slightly evil laugh playing in my head).

Hey listen, it’s nothing devilish, it’s just that I get great satisfaction that I can break down some PRE-ASSUMED barriers for this situation.   She’s just making assumptions that she won’t like it, and possibly remembering some friend 20 years ago that swore she wouldn’t ever eat an oyster… or whatever.

Like I told my granddaughter (yes, I know I look too young! Thanks. Married into a large amazing Spanish family… but more on that later):

“You can’t ever say you don’t like something until you try it…

Then whatever you feel is cool…”

A Chef Tony original…

So one day we tried Hot Sauce on our Pancakes.

It’s not THAT crazy is it?   Sweet & Spicy—kind of like many Asian dishes?   Hey, just try it!

The point of all of this might be to get you to try a new food–that would be cool.     Maybe if you discover something you can email me at ChefTony@ChefTonysBethesda.com?   I’d love to talk about it.

But now let’s talk business!   I run several businesses: a restaurant, my online consulting & marketing, and an amazing Podcast called CreativeEntrepreneur.Buzz with my Co-Creator Mali Phonpadith!

How would my career be if I never tried anything new?   Anything that scared me? Anything that wasn’t already PROVEN to work?   How could I exist like that?

That answer is that my career might just be a flop, boring and controlled by someone else.   As an Entrepreneur, I HAVE to embrace change… I HAVE to embrace new things and at least try them (remember the oysters?)   I HAVE to understand that I don’t have all the answers, and there are PLENTY of people WAY smarter than me.   I LOVE to be the “dumbest” guy in the room, that let’s me learn all sorts of new things to TRY… (remember the hot sauce and pancakes?)   You see what I’m doing here???   :)

So what can I challenge you to try in YOUR business?

  • How about discovering Podcasting?
  • Add in a dash of Website re-design?
  • A splash of new tools to update social media? (Scared? Don’ t be, it’s easy and you need to be there)
  • Put in two cups of a Wacky New Customer Appreciation Idea?   (Ask your staff to come up with them, like Steve Dorfman? What a wiz…)
  • Mix it all together and try this Fall… New Years is only weeks away… get ready.

At the end of the day, every entrepreneur needs to be fearless (or at least supported when so… get in a Mastermind!) but READY to learn, grow and be uncomfortable for a second… because THAT is where positive change happens.

Ok, so if you don’t like something, you can always just spit it out, right?

Don’t be locked into that old mentality that once you try something, you’re locked in!   Nowadays companies have finally realized that pulling out some contract and shaking it in your face is NO GOOD for business!   Everything almost is “try before you buy” and if you don’t find value in it after some time, quit!

Power to the Quitters!   Trying things in this day and age has never been easier and can lead you to some amazing discoveries.

Just wake up and shout out: “Remember the oysters!!”

Try something new, and tell us about it!   Tell your fellow crazy beautiful and World Changing Entrepreneurs about it too. They will appreciate it!

The Colors of Bold Faith

By: Tony Marciante

BoldFaith “My friend, please pray for me. I had a biopsy this morning, there’s a highly suspicious mass. I’m okay but feeling a little overwhelmed right now.”

That’s the message I sent to my friend, Rev. Romal Tune almost a year ago and here was his reply:

“I will definitely be praying for you. I already know that all will be well. I sense that. Be encouraged, Heather. Positive thoughts and confidence. Do not worry. Rejoice in The Lord always. Give God thanks now for the victory you want and anticipate. Bold faith.”

Bold Faith.  The second I heard that phrase, it took root in my soul and has been my mantra ever since.

While awaiting the biopsy results there was nothing, medically, I could do. I talked to my close friends and family, I prayed, I walked in the woods, and I visualized healing.  I pictured myself as light, with a dark spot where the tumor was growing.  I imagined my light overwhelming the mass; I pictured healthy cells blanketing the mutated cells and snuffing them out.  During one of these visualizations it occurred to me that these are just cells.  This is just a body. Even if the cancer killed all of my healthy cells, it could never get to the essence of *me*.  My light is my light regardless of what happens to my cells.

When I realized that, I had an a-ha moment and made a spiritual link between what was happening to me now and everything I’ve learned about God in 41 years. God reaches out to us constantly, even in our brokenness.  Cancer can’t get to the essence of who I am, but God’s love and grace can.  I started to picture God reaching out to me and peeling back this shell of a body to reveal my true self. That night, I had a brainstorm… I wanted to have my body painted with this idea of God reaching out to me, revealing my Spirit, and me responding with love, gratitude, and Bold Faith.

I immediately thought of artist Maggie Spaloss and photographer Jenn Alcantara as the visionaries that could capture what I was feeling.  Remarkably, not only did both of these busy moms immediately respond with full support, we were in the studio just four days after the initial idea.  I sent them a description of my thoughts with the primary theme being Bold Faith.  I met with Maggie once prior to the shoot to talk about how to actually execute this image in my head.  Somehow, she was able to take those ideas and turn it into something more beautiful than I was ever able to imagine.

God’s funny, we think we’re going one way, then bloop, we’re headed somewhere entirely different. I don’t know what lies ahead for me.  But, I do know that God has shown me time and time again, that if I just stop trying to steer from the passenger’s seat, life is a beautiful, exciting and unexpected ride.  Now, I’m going to take a deep breath, let go of the wheel, and live.