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It’s been 7 years since I started this blog. Although there have been many external changes in my life (I.e.) Living in Las Vegas, loving life as a businesswoman, lived in Minneapolis, San Diego, and had many roles at my previous company I worked at. With all the changes yet my internal self remains the same. Maybe even greater as I've worked on mastering myself.

As I browsed through my past blog posts from 2017, It brings me joy to see how hard I was trying to persevere.

Let me explain that: the purpose of my blog was to have an outlet where I could share my personal life experiences in my young 20’s and help others if my writing resonated with them. I was trying to help others not settle for less in any aspect of their life. Subconsciously, I was also trying to release the painful experiences I overcame and move on from them. Today, 6 years wiser than before, I see the young woman I was trying to become: strong, independent, resilient, agile, and bold.

The great news is I have become the woman I desired to be. However, the self-love journey I thought I had all figured out turned out to be different. Life got busier and I'm human. I’ve come to learn that the journey is an everyday choice that you have to choose and want for yourself. I got lost a couple times but always got back on the path. The common denominator with staying on the path to creating the life you want to live and getting "lost" is your daily habits and choices. These are the lessons I learned and re-learned since 2017.

Lessons from the last 6 years:

Be present

2020 brought pain, loss of loved ones, and forced us to re-evaluate what matters most in life: family, friends, and loved ones. Put your phone down and enjoy the moment you won't ever get again. Enjoy your time with the people you are around at that moment in time. Be present daily when you're alone. It's so easy to think about the future or the past but what about the present?

"In today's rush, we all think too much - seek too much - want too much - and forget about the joy of just being." - Eckhart Tolle

Courage doesn't mean you're afraid, it means you don't let failure stop you

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear." - Nelson Mandela

This one. I have made life decisions and had incredible experiences from being courageous and taking a leap. I've moved states without knowing a single human there or even visited the place before.

I've traveled to solo to foreign countries, cities, and states. I was afraid every time; of failure and the unknown. My incredible moments came from leaving my comfort zone and being courageous.

Be kind

"Always remember the power of the simple smile, a helping hand, a listening ear, and a kind word" - Don Ritchie

Don't lose faith in humanity, there are good people out there. Be one of them. I will never forget one moment years ago at H-E-B. I was going through a dark time in my life and had just stopped crying to go get up and buy groceries. The associate who was scanning my items said to me "You have beautiful eyes" - I remember thinking WHY they were red and swollen from crying. But that made my day so much better. OH and DON'T forget to be kind to yourself too.

You gotta….Protect Ya Neck

Wu Tang's hit song has a deeper meaning we could all learn from:

1. Keep your head down

2. Keep your eyes, ears, and mind open/sharp.

3. Respect/re-examine your vulnerability and that of other people.

This ALSO means protecting your energy, learning to say No, creating boundaries, and taking care of yourself always. Stay away from what I call "Energy Vampires" - people who suck the energy about you. Have you ever left from being around people, someone, some place - and you feel drained? Yeah - all the time. Take notice of that and re-evaluate who you spend your energy and time with.

If you don't believe in yourself, no one else will

I hear it frequently from friends and mentees - in both personal and professional aspects. They don't believe in themselves.

Whether you're taking on a new path in your career or making better changes to your life. Believe in yourself.

Communicate….your feelings

I'd say I'm a great SITUATIONAL communicator....

I'm still working on is expressing my feelings and communicating directly on what someone did that bothered/hurt me. It's a terrible defense mechanism that I developed when I was in a toxic relationship 4 years ago. I thought it'd be a better decision to just walk away and never talk to someone again. It's not. Say something, people can't read your mind and miscommunication is common. AND you feel much better communicating how you feel. This also improves your relationships with others.

Forgive those who didn't apologize

Forgiving someone who never apologized for hurting you is the best way to let the pain go and get peace for yourself.

The apology may or may not ever come, so be it. It wasn't till age 22 when my father was diagnosed with diabetes that I internally let go of the emotions and forgave him in my heart. I'll never forget the night I saw his name pop up on my phone, it was rare and I knew it was urgent. I went to the hospital with my brother to see him and was glad to see him alive. I forgave him because I realized I was proud of the young woman I was becoming and how my mom raised us.

Growing up I had resentment, pain, "daddy issues", and these emotions affected me more than I realized. At age 25 I finally got the apology from him. It wasn't ego-satisfying as I thought it would be. I always imagined the scenario in my head with him apologizing to me, then I would be prepared to tell him: "You chose to not be in our lives, now stay out of it". Instead, I couldn't hold back from crying and feeling bad for him as he said everything I wanted to hear as a kid. I felt empathy because I had forgiven him in my heart 8 years ago. Life is short. Forgiving doesn't mean you will allow them back into your life, it just allows you to close a chapter and move on with your life.

Show Up. Stand Up. Speak Up

…….when you're tired, knocked down, silenced. Do it for You, your loved ones, what you believe in, and if you can…extend your arms and lend a helping hand, bring others along with you. "You have to care for others. There is always someone among you who has to teach those that don't - even if just by example." - RZA


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