It is with pride and joy I present to you the 21st member of Team Do Good and the 1st of 2021, the mighty Yashira Anderson. I am absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to celebrate Yashira here via Tampa Bless and Team Do Good. Her willingness to participate in this feature is highly appreciated. And now, without further ado...
Name: Yashira Azank Anderson
Place of birth: El Paso, Texas
Currently reside: Odessa, Florida
Heritage: I’m a mix – but who isn’t these days! My mother's side is from Puerto Rico and my father's side is from Argentina and Brazil, and even further back on my dad's side they were from Syria.
Family: I am married to the love of my life – Joey Anderson – and we have 3 beautiful children – Julia (21), Austin (9), Benjamin (7), and one fur baby Harvey (3).
Alma Mater: I am a proud alumna of the Academy of the Holy Names (’99) and obtained my Bachelors from The University of South Florida (’04) with a major in Finance and Accounting and a minor in Art History.
Occupation: I am the Director of Operations at Agape Diamonds as well as a Health & Wellness Coach with Arbonne International for the past 8 years.
Activities you organized or participate in related to helping others and uplifting humanity?
I am the Founder and President of A Moms Life (https://sainttims.org/a-moms-life/) which is a ministry I started back in 2016 at St. Timothy’s Catholic Church. A Moms Life is designed to support and affirm women in the many roles that we have in life as mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, and friends. It is a ministry about women bonded by their vocation and their faith who come together to share the joys and struggles of motherhood. A Moms Life is about being loved, chosen, and empowered to do all God has called us to do. The point of the group is to encourage each other to grow in our faith and form friendships with our sisters in Christ.
I am also on the Board of Directors for LifeChoices Family Medical (fka Guiding Star Tampa). The mission of LifeChoices Family Medical is to transform healthcare by providing natural, holistic, and life-affirming medical care. We have established a state-of-the-art healthcare facility for women and families, specializing in gynecology and obstetrics, pediatrics, and primary care.
In addition, 8 years ago, my daughter and I started the Adopt a Grandparent Initiative where we raise funds and gather donations from family, friends, neighbors, and the community in order to adopt all the seniors living at a chosen local assisted living facility where we can deliver gifts of hand creams and cookies on Christmas Eve, play games, sing them carols, and spend time visiting with them. My grandmother lived in an assisted living home for almost 9 years as she had a long battle with Alzheimer’s and dementia and I will never forget that first Christmas we went to visit with her – my heart was saddened as we learned most of the seniors living in the home would not be receiving any visitors. So we decided right then and there we wanted to help do what we could to bless all the seniors not only by going to visit with them but to take them a small gift to let them know they had not been forgotten. We always remember the children when it comes to gifting at Christmas but we don’t always keep in mind the elders so we thought this would be a nice way to give back and get the community involved.
The Tampa Bless 12
1) Favorite pastime or hobby? Why? Please explain.
I had two favorite pastimes as a child – the first would have to be taking naps on the couch with my father on Sunday afternoons – we would come home from church and my father would go into our family’s living room, put one of his classical music records on the player and just sit on the couch and listen. He would always fall asleep listening and I just loved to cuddle up right next to him and just relax and fall asleep with him. I think that may be where my love for the arts came from, which includes painting and being crafty.
My other favorite pastime and is also a favorite hobby is cooking with my mother and grandmother. I LOVE food so learning to cook and playing with recipes was a natural fit. I truly enjoy cooking for others – I feel food brings so much joy and comfort and what happens around a kitchen table is sacred – plus I feel food is the 6th love language.
2) Favorite sport, team, or player? If not into sports, your favorite musician or album? Or answer one of each if you’d like or any combo. Please explain why for any one or more of the questions you answered.
My favorite sports team hands down is the Tampa Bay Bucs! I grew up in Tampa so I’m a fan through and through! I am so excited we have Tom Brady this year and are now in the playoffs and one game away from the Super Bowl which is being held in Tampa too! Amazing! A favorite musician or album would be SO hard – I absolutely love music and so many different genres – but a few of my favs are Dave Matthews Band, Ray LaMontagne, The Hamilton Soundtrack, The Beatles, and everything 80s.
3) Favorite movie? Why? Please explain.
The Sound of Music – one of my all-time favorites because I used to watch it with my grandmother so it’s a movie I can watch over and over again and be reminded of her and our time together. I also love The Pursuit of Happyness and Hitch – one because I absolutely love Will Smith and anything funny but also because the storyline of The Pursuit of Happyness is truly incredible – showing a life of resilience, persistence, and hard work which are all things I admire. I also love romantic comedies and anything with Leonardo DiCaprio or Tom Hanks.
4) Favorite place (country, city, town, etc…) you have visited and why?
I love to travel and discover new places, take in the culture and history, and of course, taste the food. One of my favorite places to visit is New York City - it is the first place I took my daughter when she was a little girl and we would go and travel there often - she grew up loving the theatre so it holds a special place in my heart. One place I have never been but is my dream to go one day is Italy – even though I have not been yet I feel it would probably be my favorite place once I do get to go. The country’s culture is so incredibly rich being famous for its huge contributions to the worlds of art, architecture, religion, fashion, opera, literature, design, and film… and the food (I hear) is delicious – the list can go on and on!
But what I would be most excited to see and take in while visiting is the history of my Catholic faith – to "Rome" the streets where the saints once did would be a dream! And secondly to see the art. I minored in Art History so any place that is rich in the arts I love and Italy’s contribution to the art world is immeasurable. Works by Giotto, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, Caravaggio, and Bernini are among the most recognizable and most celebrated in the world. Not just limited to paintings and sculptures in museums, artistic wonders can be found everywhere in Italy – in churches, castles, historical residences – and in the architecture of the country itself.
5) Last meal? You could have anything, what is it? Why? Please explain.
Is wine, cheese, and chocolate considered a meal? LOL. Another hard question for a foodie like me but if it was going to be my last “meal” I would start with cheese and wine or some kind of charcuterie. I would then have some of my father's empanadas and my mother's milanesas. And I would finish it off with some kind of chocolate dessert like tiramisu. I restrict myself from eating those things on a regular basis so I would totally indulge for a last meal and I would want to eat something that reminds me of growing up and home.
6) Three activities or routines you would highly recommend? Please explain your reasoning for each.
1. Starting your day with gratitude and spending some time in thought and prayer with the Lord. We are all on Earth for a very specific purpose but at the very core of that is living our lives for Jesus. In order to do that we need to remind ourselves daily of our purpose and be reminded to walk in our faith. I find the best way to do this is by starting the day with our Lord and giving thanks.
2. Spending time in nature and moving our bodies – this is so important for the mind, body, and the soul as well as learning how to eat and nourish your body. Your body is a temple and God wants us to care for it and fuel it with the right food so we can live out our God-given purpose.
3. Laughing – life is meant to be lived out loud! It should be happy and joyous and laughter truly is the best medicine. Take time to spend moments with the people you love and laugh with them.
7) A) Personality trait you highly value? Why? Please explain. B) The personality trait you highly dislike? Why? Please explain.
A. The old expression that actions speak louder than words is very true when it comes to personality traits. You learn about people's character by watching how they interact with the world. There are so many qualities I admire including honesty, generosity, faithfulness, and humility. But one personality trait I really admire and value is resilience. When someone is able to keep going and push through, to not give up or quit despite the odds or what others say. Getting back up every time they fall and having the discipline to stay motivated to follow through. That person to me is a warrior!
B. A personality trait I highly dislike is jealousy. Jealousy like comparison is the thief of joy and can lead others into making some very poor choices or having a dark heart. There is a saying I saw once and it has always stuck with me. It read, "Stop being jealous of people in their winning season. You don’t know what they lost in their losing season.” That literally brought me to tears thinking on all we had lost in our losing seasons. Sometimes people see someone else’s success and think, “Why them? What do they have that I don’t?” or “They are just lucky.” But the truth is – we have no idea what they had to do in order to get to where they are, the sacrifices they had to make, the obstacles they had to overcome, or the losses they had to suffer. One of the biggest blessings in my life is continually watching God show up – even through the losing seasons for He has much bigger plans for us. I have learned this time and time again and for that I will always try my best to never be jealous and to always be happy for everyone's wins!
8) Favorite thinker (author, philosopher, theologian, etc…)? Why? Please explain. And what is your favorite piece of advice, quote, or text from them or in general? Why? Please explain.
Mother Teresa is someone I truly admire as she lived a life full of passion and selflessness. Can you imagine if we all lived and gave the way she did? The world would be a completely different place. I actually have a few quotes that have stuck with me through the years – all from different people and at different seasons in my life.
The first is something my mother would say to me growing up and it wasn’t until I was an adult that I truly understood the meaning of what she was trying to tell me. She would say to me, "Tell me who you walk with and I’ll tell you who you are." I always thought she would say this to me when it came to choosing what friends to hang out with - which is very wise advice in life. However, now I know she was ultimately referring to choosing to walk with Christ. Once I made the connection with those words my life completely changed!
Another quote I love which my husband and I had made on a canvas and it hangs in our home is by Pablo Picasso, who is one of my favorite artists. He said, "The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away." There is no better way than to spend your life gifting others with your God-given purpose.
Finally, a quote by one of my favorite musicians and was also my senior quote – “The future is no place to place your better days” – Dave Matthews Band – Reminding us to just live in the moment, be present, and not wait! The future is never guaranteed so live each day with purpose and joy.
9) Biggest influence in your life or a top one, and what was it about them that really stood out?
My parents for sure! There are so many people who have been a big influence throughout my life including my husband, my children, teachers, and mentors (especially my dear friend Leslie Humphrey who I love, admire, and cherish deeply), but if I had to pick my top it would have to be my parents. They taught me so much about love, friendship, business, and just life lessons. They modeled for us a good healthy marriage - not perfect - but full of love, joy, laughter, grace, and forgiveness. They instilled morals and values I cherish and am now passing down to my children. And most importantly, they raised me in faith. To love our Lord above all and know Him and trust Him and to always have faith in Him and for that I am forever grateful.
10) If there is one thing you could change in the world, what would it be?
It would be to spread more love and help others not only feel loved but to learn how to give love. Mother Teresa once said, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” I absolutely LOVE this because it reminds me what is most important aside from Christ and that is family. And if you want to create change it all starts at home – what you learn at home and then go on to teach your children at home is what goes out into the world. And love is truly the greatest gift. It was Gandhi who said, “Be the change you want to see in the world” and Peter who said, “Above all things, love each other deeply” (1 Peter 4:8). All simple messages yet incredible words of wisdom of which I hold dear.
11) Where did your desire to help others and uplift humanity come from? Please explain.
From a young age, I was taught to have a servant heart and to give to those less fortunate so I always loved to give back. My mother modeled this for us growing up as she would give so selflessly and many times more than what she had. She was always donating her time and helping someone in need so I too began volunteering in middle school through my church and school by getting involved and helping our local community whether it was at Metropolitan Ministries, Faith Children's Home, or any other outreach program where I could serve.
12) What are you working on now and how can people get involved?
I am working on bringing more awareness about the importance of healthy living to others as a Health and Wellness Coach through my Arbonne business. Ever since I went through some major health issues and struggled through multiple lost pregnancies, nutrition and health and wellness became a big passion of mine so I decided I wanted to help others the way I was blessed. It truly is so important to take time to learn to care for yourself and I take an integrative approach that focuses on the whole person to help them flourish inside and out. Whether someone is looking to learn healthier eating habits, lose weight, manage stress, gain confidence, have more energy, balance hormones, get better sleep, clear up their skin, or learn how to build their own business, I am here to help! Arbonne is about living a life of purpose and abundance. I get to use my passion for health and wellness to inspire others to live healthy through the products but also create a successful business so they can live out their dreams. I never thought I would be thriving in a company known for nutrition, skincare, and makeup, but I thank God every day for bringing this gift into my life and I just want to pay that gift forward to others. My heart is to meet you wherever you are at and help you with your specific needs – whether it is through the products or the business! Both have changed my skin, health, and life, and I want to help change yours. You can visit my website at www.yashiraanderson.arbonne.com or reach out to me directly either via text 813-743-5025 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow me on Instagram @yashira_anderson as well. I am also still working very closely with LifeChoices Family Medical. Our goal is to provide the healthiest options for achieving wellness by caring for the mind, body, and spirit, and promoting restorative reproductive medicine. We provide services through medical physicians and nurse practitioners in a comprehensive care model that honors the unique beauty of every person by promoting the dignity of life. You can visit us on the web to learn more at https://lifechoicesmedical.com.
Thank you so much for your time Yashira and for all that you do. The place we live in is that much better because of you. I hope that this feature has served to inspire you, as well as successfully celebrate those that help others and uplift humanity.
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