Wednesday, November 23, 2011

You Can Beat Your Happy Holidays Challenge

You can’t walk into a mall, watch television or listen to the radio without the sights and sounds of happy holiday music. From subtle to substantially overbearing, there’s no escaping the pressure to just be happy. We are in no doubt at that time of the year, where people often reflect, regret and recharge their definition of happiness. For many people, it’s disturbing to find the strength to move on without someone who was here last year or fathom how their finances will balance out because like millions of people last year, this year, they too are unemployed.  

As you know, there are no easy answers to how to cope with everything you view and literally feel as wrong, unfair and unconscionable.  However, what directs your future is intrinsically tied to your focus. Are you concentrating so heavily on your problems that something positive seems impossible? Are you surrounding yourself with people who have no solutions but roll out the welcome mat for your VIP pity party? If your answer to any of the questions is yes, you must act now. The reason you have to pull it together and make yourself happy is clear, the alternative is equivalent to standing in the ring and bracing for a knockout, instead of using everything you know about life as skills to help you fight and win.
Cheers to the better, blissful and blessed life you absolutely deserve, long before the New Year kicks into full swing.
What you think is the best or worst way to deal with challenges? Please e-mail your response to Maniko Barthelemy at

Monday, November 21, 2011

Love, Marriage and Homosexuality

Whether you lock eyes with the “one” on your own and approach, or you are set-up by friends to meet and greet with the hope of clicking, we all want the peace of companionship, pleasure of commitment and lifelong complete satisfaction. For millions, love, life and marriage all work without a test. However, every day millions of couples, deal with what some believe is the ultimate test of trust, faith and betrayal. “I know people say that they’d kill them if they found out but when you really love someone, you can’t do it,” says Joy.
Joy, shares her story with Maniko Barthelemy, during a recent interview for "I Thought It Was Forever."
Joy reunited with her high school sweetheart, shortly after an e-mail from him, which led to the couple exchanging vows and building what Parker thought was her perfect life. "I listened to the first voicemail and started to shake because I knew the next one would tear up my perfect life. When you find out your husband is sleeping with men, a lot of horrible things go through your mind," says Joy.
Randy is blunt about life during and after the love of his life came out.
Randy, still takes lessons from his first marriage into consideration, as he moves forward with his love life. "It does something to you, when your wife looks at you on your 21st wedding anniversary and says there's no room in her life for a man," says Randy. "I really thought she was my only true love. You marry people for life, not to look another partner."
Randy and Joy are two of several brave people featured in an upcoming documentary about love, sex, marriage and homosexuality. According to research, nearly two million are afraid to talk about the pain they endure, when a spouse reveals he or she is gay. Instead of confronting their pain, many people would rather live in isolation. Southern Belle Productions, LLC is in production on “I Thought It Was Forever.” Through revelatory and candid interviews, family photos and interviews with experts, the film examines what happens in five marriages, when a spouse comes out.

The 60-minute documentary answers questions left unanswered by the 2005 Universal Studio blockbuster hit “Brokeback Mountain” and TV Land’s current comedy series “Happily Divorced.” that strips away stereotypes and misconceptions. You can follow the progress of the documentary; learn more about the cast and crew, as well as interesting developments throughout production at The Movie, "I Thought It Was Forever" Facebook page,!/pages/The-Movie-I-Thought-It-Was-Forever/266635793379198.

You can also “LIKE” the Facebook page for Southern Belle Productions, LLC at!/pages/Southern-Belle-Productions-LLC/149203665156459.