I suffer from F.O.B.S {& more confessions…}

I’ve procrastinated for over 2 weeks deliberating whether or not to write this article. Alas, here I am.

This is going to be a tad different from other posts. I’m going to get more personal and intimate with you. More open, more honest.

Am I a positive person? Hell yes.

Am I spiritual? I am constantly practicing spirituality.

Am I kind? The older I get, the kinder I get.

Am I good? As good as I want to be on a good day.

Am I perfect? No freaking way.

I am human after all.

Could I be better? Yes.

Could I be happier? Indeed.

Could I be more stable in my emotions? Absolutely!

Could I achieve great things? Yes. Yes. Yes.

What’s stopping me?

That is what we’re going to talk about today…

You see, I think that ever since childhood I’ve suffered from this particular syndrome.

I call it the F.O.B.S, i.e:

THE FEAR OF BEING SEEN

 

Just by hearing this, you can probably relate. Maybe it made you smile or shy away. Either way, I know I’m not alone in this.

The Fear of Being Seen Syndrome has plagued me my whole life.

Imagine that you are the sole owner of the biggest, brightest, clearest and finest diamond in the entire world. What do you do? Wear it around your neck everywhere you go? Or keep it somewhere hidden where you know it will be safe?

Now imagine, that diamond… is you. You are this beautiful, one of a kind gem. You’re priceless. So what do you do? Do you put yourself out there, lay your truth bare, stand naked in Times Square to show off your radiance? No… you hide it. You keep it safe. You protect it. Or at least that’s what you tell yourself…

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All these years, it’s what I told myself. I was SO AFRAID of being seen. Of someone discovering the REAL me. Of being recognized for who I really am. Of being noticed for my kindness, my thoughts, my words, my deeds, and most importantly…. My heart.

Yet, at the same time, I was DYING for someone to see beyond what I would show. Like some magic stare from some magical person could break through all the falsities and just see… me. If it happened like that, I would know that I was safe.

Ultimately, it was a fear of being hurt, rejected, judged, criticized, also a fear or raising the bar of expectations (for others and myself), a fear of not being able to go backwards, a fear of not recognizing myself, of losing the relationship I had with me. A fear of being inadequate, of not feeling like enough….. Basically, the entire dictionary of fears!

No matter what I did, I couldn’t shake these fears off my shoulders. I collected all my insecurities like jewelry and decorated myself with them.

For years I felt heavy. Unaware of the invisible weight I was carrying around with me. (not to mention the additional physical weight of top of that!)

It took me YEARS and I mean that literally to gain some perspective, some self-love and self-respect.

To love myself, want myself and choose myself the way I wanted others to.

It took me decades to value and appreciate my strengths, my talents, my gifts, my AWESOMENESS!

Like I am a GREAT listener (seriously, ask anybody), If you’re my friend you know you can always count on me, I’m a giving lover, I’m a challenging daughter (in a  good way hahaha, I love you Ma & Pa), I’m a grateful traveler, a pretty rad teacher. However, there are things I want to try that push me outside of that attractive comfort zone so I keep procrastinating because secretly I am terrified of trying new things (yup). For example, my friends tell me I have a really nice voice and I’ve got a knack for storytelling. I actually love to tell stories. However, making videos or starting a podcast intimidates me. (plus im not as technologically savvy as I seem…. You see what happened right there? Another limiting belief… * mental delete*)

These are things that I push through, little by little, piece by piece, day by day, until the puzzle is complete.

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I KNOW I have so much more to offer, to give away, to learn, to see, to be. Sometimes during my meditations I feel this power surge through me, begging me to be released. How? Where? Into what? These are the current questions that plague me.

How do I reach a state of full expression? Without limitations or restrictions?

How do I let myself show, completely, unapologetically, openly, strongly, and wholeheartedly?

How do I let go of my fear of being more that what I thought I was capable of?

How do I fall into all this gorgeous glory?

Gosh, does it really belong to me?

YES!!!! Because IT IS ME!

So, I guess, my advice to you after all these years of searching and hurting and growing and breaking and learning is the following:

Life is a story and you are the main character. You can choose to be the hero, the villain or the victim.

But ultimately, it’s your choice. You can hold so many titles. Play so many characters. Just choose the one that fits you best.

Every day I choose to be the hero. The warrior. The kindness agent. The dream maker. The philosopher. The gardener. The healer. The photographer. The artist. The musician. The nomad. The label breaker. The seamstress. The butterfly. The leaf. The sun rays. The treasure. The diamond. The student. The guest. The star. The instrument. The raindrop. The feather. The cloud. The ocean. The rock. The scientist. The lotus. The dragon. The swan. The passenger. The key. The pearl. The projector. The blank page. The entire damn Saga.

You are a soul. You are Concentrated Energy. Know this. Know the light that you hold. The power within.

Know your worth. Discover you’re limitless. Admire yourself.

You are everything you have ever searched for

You are Love

You are Peace

You are Happiness

You are Truth

You are Beauty

You are Bliss

Know this

Feel this

Be this

And allow yourself to shine through

All the fears and BS around you

Just…

Be.

Dear Reader,

I beg of you…

Remember your divinity.

 

{this article was mad scary to write so please be gentle with your comments. My big, open, heart would appreciate it. Thanks}

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What do You Want?

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When we want to achieve something, when we have something that needs to be done, what we’re doing is focusing our energy to accomplish said task.

So my question is:

What do you REALLY want out of this Life?

What are you focusing your energy on?

Does it make your heart sing?

Does it make your soul fly?

Does it make you want to cry out of sheer joy?

Are you living or surviving?

What can you do about it?

If there were no limitations, no “ifs” or “buts” or “maybes…”

No fear.

If failure wasn’t an option… what would you seek out of life?

You want to know what I want?

Are you ready to hear this?

Are you ready to give me what I need?

Because I want You.

I want to see you succeed.

I want to hear your dreams.

I want to help make them come true.

I want to love and be loved.

Without conditions, without boundaries,

Without words, without fears.

I want to abolish currency.

I want to pay for my muffin with love.

I want our hearts to be treated as celebrities,

Rolling out the red carpet whenever you catch a glimpse of it.

I want to have the liberty to not do things just for the money.

I want to live free of fear. In all its forms and masks.

Self-doubt, procrastination, caution, get lost.

I want the mountains closer to me.

I want rivers.

I want trees.

I want kisses that end wars.

I want to share my point of view with whomever is willing to listen.

I want to give you my eyes, so you can finally see how beautiful you really are to me.

I want a family. I want babies.

I want my soulmate to give me another chance.

Just one more.

I want to live forever.

I want to be remembered for who I am.

I want to be an example of vulnerability.

I want to get it all out on paper.

I can’t die with things still inside of me.

I want clarity.

I want yoga.

I want 4 a.m. meditations back.

I want to find my purpose.

I want closeness,

With every human being.

I want to play my part

In this vast Universe.

I want to make the most

Of this body

My soul has chosen to inhabit.

And of this soul,

That my body has awoken to.

I want simplicity.

Optimism.

Lightness.

Beauty.

I want a revolution.

I want to break the mold.

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Have you met Vidal?

I am going to be real with you. I sometimes go into a deep existential crisis when I think about the future of humanity. When I think about the world that I must grow old in, the world in which the children I will one day give birth to have to grow up in. What kind of world will that be?

My optimism allows me to hope for the best. When I see the youth of today, I think of myself and remember that most things are just a phase and we need to go through certain life experiences in order to grow and expand our consciousness. However, this new generation has an obsession with technology. Striving to create virtual connections yet failing somewhere along the line to nourish and value true connections, emotions, people.

A lot of what is needed currently in the world are more of us being present in the moment. Absolutely present. Mind, body and soul connected to the action.

 However, I know for a fact that not all adolescents are the same. No human being is like any other. We are each unique in our experiences, our thoughts and our beliefs.

I put a lot of faith in the youth. I believe we are underestimating their power. I believe a ten year old has infinite potential within him yet he doesn’t have the space to express it.

That’s why I’m always moved when I read stories about very young children making a difference, whether at home, in school, for their community or their country.

It shows a powerful soul knowing its purpose and overcoming any adversity.

You might have met this young man already but if you haven’t, I want to make sure you do.

Meet 13-year-old Vidal Chastanet from Brownsville, Brooklyn. He had a chance encounter with Brandon Stanton, creator of the popular website Humans of New York.

Brandon took Vidal’s photo, and asked the teen who the most influential person in his life was; Vidal replied it was his Principal, Nadia Lopez, at Mott Hall Bridges Academy. The interaction went viral in this touching photograph.

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Curious Brandon just had to meet this amazing principal.

It turns out that Ms. Lopez was in the middle of raising money to send her students on a trip to Harvard, a college she wanted them to have in the forefront of their minds. Soon thereafter, Brandon found himself joining the cause, helping to raise over $700,000 for the trip in just four days.

“Nadia’s unbelievable,” Brandon tells Ellen’s Good News.

“She’s like a movie character, she just cares so much and she’s tough. It’s what you need in this area. She’s tough and she’s unbelievably committed and ambitious, but ambitious on part of the kids. She could have been CEO of a Fortune 500 company, but decided to be principal in one of toughest neighborhoods in Brooklyn.”

Because they’ve raised so much money – their original goal was only $100,000 – the entire school will be visiting Harvard, and subsequently, the sixth-grade class will be able to go for the next ten years. Additionally, they will be able to establish a summer program to run for the next 10 years, as well as a scholarship fund named in Vidal’s honor.

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“When people tell you they’re from Brownsville they get cringes. There’s a sense of hopelessness. I want these kids to know that there are no limits or boundaries to where they can go… I also want those institutions to see the impact they can have on those children’s lives.” says Nadia. She is making a huge impact on her students. She started the school in 2010 as a way to change the narrative of the neighborhood, and to empower students to believe they are more than their surroundings. Vidal says he began school with a “short temper” and often got in trouble, but Nadia changed his attitude.

“If you’re from Brownsville, they don’t expect you to be much in life,” he says. “They don’t expect you to have a quality education, they don’t expect you to know what you’re doing. They expect you to fail. They don’t want you to become anything that you want to be… I realized that if I want to be anything in life, as Ms. Lopez said, I have to learn how to be better. It doesn’t matter about the past and present, you must focus on the future. Your future is what you set it to be in your mind.”

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The most recent post shows Ms. Lopez at an assembly on Monday where Ms. Lopez explained the fundraiser to the entire student body. Most of the students had already heard bits and pieces about what’s been going on, but Ms. Lopez projected the blog onto a screen and walked through the entire story. She began with Vidal’s original post and ended with the final tally raised thus far. ($707,000 at the time. over a million now!)

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“I have something to admit to all of you. Before all of this happened, I was about to give up. I was broken. I felt like typing my resignation. I told my mother: ‘Mom, I don’t think I can do it anymore. Because I don’t think my scholars care. And I don’t think they believe in themselves enough to care. I’m afraid they don’t think they’re good enough.’ And she told me to pray on it. But I told her, ‘I might be too angry to pray.’ And I know this is hard to believe, because you guys have never seen me break. But I was broken. It’s just like when you see your mom break down. You only see your mom cry when she’s been fighting so hard for you and she doesn’t think you care. That’s how I felt. But then a couple nights later I was with my daughter at a Broadway show, and we were waiting for the show to start, and I started to get all these text messages from my teachers and former students. And then I saw Vidal’s face pop up on my screen. And my first thought was that something bad had happened. Because that’s normally the case around here when someone’s photo shows up unexpectedly. And the moment I realized that Vidal had said something nice about me, the usher came over and made me turn off my phone. When intermission came, my daughter said: ‘Mom, we’ve got to find out what’s happening.’ So we went and sat in the car. And I read what Vidal said, and I began to read the comments. And tears started coming down my face. Because even though I always tell you that you matter, up until that moment, I didn’t feel like I mattered.”

This is love. Care. Inspiration. Kindness. Solidarity. Hope.

This is Humanity.

That’s why it touches us all.

PS – There are still 7 days left to donate! If you’re interested in reading more about the cause or adding your little grain of salt, click here.

PS 2 – Aren’t you glad you met Vidal? 🙂

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Wake Me Up

Feeling my way through the darkness
Guided by a beating heart
I can’t tell where the journey will end
But I know where it starts
They tell me I’m too young to understand
They say I’m caught up in a dream
Well life will pass me by if I don’t open up my eyes
Well that’s fine by me

So wake me up when it’s all over
When I’m wiser and I’m older
All this time I was finding myself
And I didn’t know I was lost

 

Edgar Allan Poe, a gloomy poet, once famously said “All that we see or seem. Is but a dream within a dream”

That stuck with me. I’ve been contemplating my reality for as long as I can remember. I ask myself “Am I creating the situations in which I am living right now? And if that is true, if I am the master of my domain, then can I change it? Can I change my circumstances? Can I change my perceived reality? Can I physically alter what’s in front of me?”

And the answer is yes.

Believe it or not, we each have chosen how we want to live. The experiences we want to have, the friends we like to keep close, the family members we only visit once a year, the job we’re doing, the money we’re making, the party we’re going to, the food we’re eating, the nationality we’ve been given. They have all been choices made by us. We are not victims. Life is not some big, ugly conglomerate that is out to make us suffer.

This life that we’re living and the way that we’re living it has a purpose. We’re here to learn something, to experience something, to heal something or someone. So we’ve chosen this life. We’ve chosen to be this person. Daughter or son to that person, father or mother to this person, best friend to that person, teacher of this school, author of that book. It’s not random. You have decided on it. You have chosen to be who you are right now.

Sometimes a situation or person appears in our life and teaches us something we never knew before. That’s growth. And it was meant to happen. If we weren’t constantly growing and developing as human beings, what would be the point?

So… if there’s something you don’t like in your life right now. Something you’re not so satisfied with. I want you to know that you can change it. You have the power. I say this all the time but I’m just going to repeat it once again… You are powerful beyond measure.

I invite you to Wake Up to your power and don’t let your life go by without mastering it. Without living it to its fullest potential. To your fullest potential.

Happy Monday guys ❤

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…

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I have this little habit that I do. At least once day everyday. With all the routines set into our daily life, it’s only a matter of time before things become monotonous. When I start to feel claustrophobic in it, there’s this other little world that I’ve created in my head, so I pack a mental suitcase and I move myself over there and begin to live there until I decide to come back or I’m snapped out of it (I’m usually snapped out of it.)

 

Some people call it daydreaming; others call it ‘living in a bubble’. Growing up, my dad would always tell me that I’m living in some kind of fantasy world and because of it I don’t notice what’s going on around me in the present moment. That I was letting my “real life” pass me by. Most of the time, he was right. But it was because I had no interest in my current life. While life is comprised of many different factors that lead to happiness and success, I didn’t like any one of them. I had low self esteem because of my weight issues, I was in a dead end relationship with someone I didn’t love because I couldn’t be with the person that I really wanted (let’s put a pin on this topic and get back to it at a later time), I had a job that I hated, It was one of those “full time 8 hours a day nothing more nothing less work to get paid” kinda jobs, my friends were a bunch of fakes. I was always the one giving something, but what was I getting in return? When I needed someone, there was no one there for me. And everyday it was be a huge internal battle just to convince myself that today is worth living, that things WILL get better and for that I need to get out of bed. By the end of the day everyday I would be asking myself the same question over and over again. “Why?”

Why am I in this position? Why am I stuck here? Who’s forcing me to be here? Why can’t I do something about it?

I was right. Why didn’t I do something about it? I’ll tell you why…… One word. Four letters. Big, scary meaning.

The answer: FEAR

I was terrified of change. Truth is that I had gotten so accustom to my slum, miserable lifestyle that when I attempted to change anything, I would subconsciously sabotage myself to fail.  And it wasn’t because I didn’t believe in myself, it’s because I did. I actually had the power to change my life. I had a degree. I could go out and look for a job that I enjoyed doing, I could break up with my boyfriend, I could be honest about the way I feel with my friends, I could diet and exercise… I COULD change things… if I REALLY wanted to. And that terrified me.

I am 24 years old and I had given up on my hopes and my dreams. I forced myself to “get serious” about life and here I was, being that miserable disappointing adult that not too long ago I promised myself I would never become.

Shortly after this epiphany, I spent everyday questioning myself, studying my situation, analyzing myself and trying to find a way to rid myself of the fear. To live the life I love and love the life I lived. (I love Bob Marley, may he R.I.P)

And eventually… It just happened. It’s amazing what the power of thought can accomplish once you put it to good use. Nothing around me had changed. Everything was still the same. Except for me. I changed the way I thought and therefore the way I looked at things and people had changed as well. So everything was completely different to me. I started to make changes to my life that impacted positively on every area.

I tried dieting, but realized it made me hungry which made me angry so I started to add more fruits and veggies to my diet instead (you should start with baby steps), I didn’t have to break up with my boyfriend because he cheated on me. Yes, it hurt a little. But it was for the best. I asked my boss to take on more responsibility at work and I was rewarded for it. Everything just started to change. Everything happens for a reason J The world became a beautiful place again.

I went to sleep with a dream and I woke up with a PURPOSE. There’s nothing more fulfilling than that.

All those things that we want to do when we’re young and that we forget about when we grow up, like travel the world, or watch a Black & White movie, volunteer at a nursing home, break a world record. I started writing down some of the things I’ve always wanted to do. And then you know what I did? I started to DO THEM.

And as I did them, I ticked them off my list and I felt a burst of joy within me. “FINALLY!” I would mentally shout. However, the list doesn’t get any smaller because I also keep adding things to it. I also started to add to the list a few things I’d like to do more often.

Here are 10 things I’ve already successfully been able to tick off my list: 

–          Start blogging

–          Live in another country

–          Do a random act of kindness for a stranger

–          Tell the person that you really love how you feel

–          Watch a scary movie… alone.

–          Go to a party and NOT drink alcohol

–          Sing karaoke

–          Read more (by this I mean read more old fashioned paperback books.)

–          Go to Vegas

–          Watch a marathon of The Matrix

 

I couldn’t believe it myself either. But it’s true. All I had to do was believe in myself and dare to dream.

To let go of my fear and push forward toward the direction of my aspirations. Literally, that’s all it takes. Everything else is secondary nature. Everything else will follow suit. You just have to make the first move.

What are some of your dreams and hopes?

Write down at least 5 of them. And dare yourself to achieve them. Because you can. Like I said before, you are so powerful. You are your own remote control; anything is possible when it comes to you.

 

“As a child, we’re always told that the world is at our fingertips. As an adult, I think the only thing that has changed is the confidence we have to reach for it.” – Dolly

 

Just go for it. Saving your dreams means saving your soul so I DARE you to DREAM! 

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