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Published:April 1st, 2009 09:26 EST
Alicia Rivers, author

Reclaiming Ownership of your Life

By S Renee Greene

The flow of true and real living is in the water. We are hypnotized and mesmerized by it because it represents eternity. It never stays in one place too long, and even if it becomes stagnant, sooner or later something comes along to push it from its place and roll it onward, even if only the gentle rains or torrents of floods from the sky. Water can never afford to get too comfortable, because once it returns to its roots; it is unlikely to take the exact same path on its way out again.

Alicia Rivers, author


Hot is not how I look, it`s what I am.


I had the pleasure and delight of speaking with Alicia Marie Rivers, owner of digital media magazine JOLIE, and author of The Pretty Thoughts of a Hot Chick: Foxy Notions for our Minds, Bodies, and Souls. " The book is an easy-going and flowing read that you will want to refer to again at regular intervals, especially when you need a quick reminder about something that you may have forgotten in your daily travels.


When asked to define pretty " thoughts and hotness " and how she came to combine these concepts into a book, Alicia mentioned that having pretty thoughts are equivalent to dusting off the pain and moving on when your life feels stagnant and it seems you`re not getting through or accomplishing what you want out of life. You are what you think you are.


When I came up with the idea for Pretty Thoughts, I had just gone through a devastating break-up "I lost my footing. One day, over a glass of wine as I was writing an article for JOLIE, I started to cry "I was reviewing quotes for my article, sipping wine, crying "and it came to me that the only way to change my circumstances was to change my thoughts. " Alicia says that she proceeded to write this book not only as therapy for her own situation, but also to find a way to encourage and inspire other women who are at the same crossroads looking for a way out.


The book took on a life of its own. It began as a series of what was to be "humorous` short stories or anecdotes, but what it became is a set of "helpful jewels,` or quotes from various life experiences that I picked up along my way. " A line here, a word there, a phrase here and there and ten months later, Pretty Thoughts was born.


When asked if any of the people she expressed gratitude to in the book were thank you as in "thank you and goodbye for good, " she mentioned that there was only one: Her father. She said that the hardest thing for her to understand was how she shared the same blood with what she determined to be a monster, " a very conceited man who spent his life abusing women. In the process of healing herself, Alicia decided to face her father`s ghost and remind herself that the love she needed in her search for that certain father figure didn`t come from him, it was inside herself.


As most girls who are deprived of a father figure tend to do, falling into promiscuity or repeating the situations their mothers were in only gives back to a past that engages in long-term fruitless relationships. It is not a good pattern or habit to fall into, says Alicia, because it projects farther and farther into the future an endless cycle of self-hatred that doesn`t end until someone takes the responsibility of bringing it to a peaceful closure. That someone, says Alicia, is you. In her own words, [paraphrased] Never allow the depth of love you have for a man to diminish your own dignity. " Not even if that man is your own father.


In Chapter 6, Affairs of the Heart, Alicia puts her own spin on the notion that too often we seek happiness from other people instead of ourselves. If we rely on others for our happiness, happiness will never come.


If you are not aware of any particular lessons that you learned from choosing your own moments, " whether feeling like you failed in reaching a goal or suffering the consequences of reacting badly to a bad situation, there is always some nugget or tidbit or jewel of advice that teaches you something, even if just This thing will never happen to me again. "


The main thread of the book is learning how to be comfortable in your sensuality "sexuality plus being true to yourself. Get close to the vamp and teach her how to co-exist peacefully with the lady. We get too antiseptic about sexuality, but it only lends to denying a big piece of who we are. If, in your mind`s eye, hotness " is a bad thing, rewrite history and make it your game instead of what someone else told you.


Hot chicks, " says Alicia connect on all levels "in her relationships with family, friends, men, lovers, and more significantly with other women. " A hot chick will balance it all out while discarding what doesn`t benefit her and keeping intact what she needs and wants. She believes in herself even when no one else does. She also knows that a feeling of failure has a companion called "so find another way. " It`s no crime to say goodbye to an old dream and welcome with open arms a whole new one.


At the end of the day, says Alicia, Look in the mirror and find the hotness that is yours alone. In the shape of your eyes, in your smile, in your accomplishments as a loving mother, a good cook, a good girlfriend, a great wife, a decorator, a teacher, a lover, a best friend, even in the unique way that you apply your makeup " " There is hotness to be had, we discovered as we talked, in the way you hold the hand of another woman "another sistah "who may not be feeling so hot at the moment and saying that one thing that makes her hold up her head and smile.

The greatest compliment a woman can receive is from another woman. "


Women are losing the ability to truly befriend and encourage one another, yet we are the very sustenance and foundation that holds together children, families-internal and external-and the at-large world. It`s hard work, so the most important thing to remember is to never neglect your hotness " along the way. Pretty thoughts, she says, begin with finding out who you are "so who are you? Really.


When you know who you are, stick by it even when no one else will. The key that opens the door to pretty thoughts is taking the high road called self-responsibility rather than turning your power over to others by playing the blame game.


Pretty Thoughts has immediate take-away value from its starting words: This book is dedicated to women who`ve been hurt and lost their footing " "


It is highly recommended reading for the sojourner of life who needs a quick pick-me-up in the darkest moments or just a friendly nudge of a reminder when you forget. If you get "stuck` or feel "trapped` and aren`t sure which thought pattern will get you unstuck and moving up, on or out, pick up a glass of wine or even a glass of plain non-flavored cool refreshing spring water, tell yourself It`s not that serious, " and read this book, even if you`ve already read it before. Somewhere in there is the prettiest thought that a hot chick can have at just the moment she needs it.


The Pretty Thoughts of a Hot Chick: Foxy Little Notions for Our Minds, Bodies and Souls, " was released February 2009. You can get a copy at, Barnes & Noble, and from other major publishers, as well as ordering a copy online.