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EXPOSÉ: Marissa Cristina

// What does it mean to you to be a woman today?

I think it comes down to what we do with our power. As women we are all powerful by nature. And is that not incredible? I think there is no better time to be a woman than now and I think it's important for us all to share our struggles, our stories, our successes and to celebrate each other for each of them. Second, I think it's important for us to educate younger generations on the power of us. I want to inspire as many young women as I can to strive to be their absolute best. Because if I can do it, so can they. 

// In an effort to be vulnerable and true to yourself what do you want to expose to the world?

I am in the deepest gratitude of my life at the moment. The fact that I get to wake up and do what I love every single day, and be myself is enough. It has taken me a long to time to open up about this but in an effort to be fully self-aware and vulnerable, in March 2017 I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. It was a blow. It still is and I feel ashamed. As a woman, especially in business, your strength is your power and I felt that was taken from me.

I felt broken for a long time and it was tough for me because I really didn't know how I would manage to continue doing what I love. With the help of my partner, I managed to turn my confusion and anger into determination because what I had built was just too good to just roll over for.

Today I’m aware I won’t always have good days but I am good and I am staying positive because I've been able to give it my all. It's almost a feeling of "I have nothing left to lose". STIL brings me the utmost joy and allows me to steer clear of negativity and to persevere. It’s truly my own personal drug that gets me up every morning and puts me to sleep at night. I will never give that up. I work out a lot. I meditate. I eat well. But most of all, I am loved. Thank you for making this dream continue to be a reality.

// Do you have a life mantra/motto that you live by?

There is no such thing as luck. There is only hard work and determination. 

// What is something you’ve sacrificed in order to achieve success?

I've sacrificed my health, a lot. After my diagnosis I think I was in denial about a lot of things and I went about my life the way I used to. I realized very quickly that this was not going to be possible. I had to make changes. I make time for the gym. I make time to meditate. And I make time to relax and breathe. I think sometimes I forget to breathe...as crazy as that may sound. You cannot get your health back once it's gone so make sure you take the steps to take care of you before you take care of anything else. 

// What are 3 things you are grateful for?

I am grateful for my partner. He is my rock. He gets me up in the morning to go to the gym and he makes sure I have a healthy lunch every single day. I still cannot believe I actually get to keep him.

Another thing I'm grateful for is the fact that I get to be myself every day with what I do. Unapologetically so, and that is pure magic. 

I am also grateful for my illness in a very twisted way. It's taught me a lot about my limitations and what's important in life. I've decided this is a good thing that's happened to me. It's created a lot of positivity in my life which was unexpected. 

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