Guest Post by Daisy Hernandez
"Life is but a dream, said someone once. And I truly believe it. Like a dream, it can end abruptly and all you're left with are the experiences lived." - dh
From Hidden to Seen - My Struggle with Keeping Myself Small
I was once on the other side of that quote. I was on the side of life being somewhat of a nightmare; I had somehow become a bit of a cynic between my teen years and late twenties. But you wouldn't have guessed it by simply looking at me or even talking to me, I've always been somewhat of a 'ray of sunshine'. But when I felt blue, everything I looked at was blue and that ray became but a glimmer.
Instead of lifting myself up, I'd put myself back down. There was a sense of comfort being there, so I stayed there. Plus the company I would keep was no help in changing that, on the contrary.
I got a point where I wanted something different and when depression crossed my mind, I went looking for a counsellor. His words forever changed my world. He said: "You're too much of a giver. And you need to give to yourself first, before you can give to others." Strange, right? In my world it was.
Being Latina, there's a level of respect you must give to elders, a sense of submission to men, and a level of service to everyone else. As women, no matter the family that raised you, this becomes part of your culture and therefore, you.
Though I've always been feisty, trying to abide by such rules was near impossible. Not because I wanted to be disrespectful, but because I felt that any level of respect must be earned, submission should be a choice not a given, and service...well, that I could stand by.
Having been brought up in two different cultures (first years in Latin America, later years in the Great White North), you can guess the confusion inside of me. What I felt I should do vs what I was told to do because of a cultural background. All of this was rooted deep within me without me understanding it fully, it wasn't at a conscious level. But the uneasy feeling was very much there.
My counsellor's words hit me like a bucket of freezing water. And subconsciously, it did something. I began to notice that whenever I felt blue from then on, rather than drown myself in depressive music, I'd do the opposite. I created a playlist labeled "Lift Up" and songs like "Mickey" and "The Look" became part of its repertoire. I'd cut that comfort in half and began to move into a completely different territory.
I began shifting my mindset. I somehow became stronger, I began showing my strength. I saw the many possibilities of being ME and standing up for what I wanted. It was like night and day.
Even my company took at 180 turn. I gave up my relationship with a close relative, ended my relationship with my partner, jumped on a very scary unknown way of life. A new apartment, new possibilities.
What does that have to do with giving? I was giving myself time and space to come back into myself.
I began to learn how to take care of myself, how to help myself feel my best from within and began to feel lighter. No more heavy thinking or carrying the whole world on my shoulders.
It all started with a baby step. Identifying change is possible and putting things in place to help move me forward.
And hey, there are challenging days. It's not all picture perfect, but now I know it's my choice to drown or swim.
My roots will always be a part of me but, just as you can choose what to wear every morning, you can also choose what to carry with you.
I will continue to respect others, serve others, and at times, be submissive...but it's all my choice. Not the choices others want for me.
And I think that's important, to make that distinction between following versus considering.
There's no way I could have ever imagined jumping into an entrepreneurial role, helping other women embrace their uniqueness and guide them toward a lighter way of life that supports their "over the top" goals, with the comfort level I had in keeping myself hidden from the world.
My challenge to you is to identify a baby step you can start taking NOW to move you toward the stronger you that's been hidden.
Daisy Hernandez is the creator of Pura Chica Natural, a digital resource dedicated to empowering long-term change by shifting into a cleaner, stronger, more powerful version of yourself - naturally! She offers personal 1:1 sessions in both English & Spanish, self-paced programs such as the Challenge Your Cravings ecourse, and full, fun-loving support to help make that shift happen.
Connect with her on Facebook (Facebook.com/PuraChicaNatural), Twitter (twitter.com/purachicantrl), Instagram (instagram.com/daisyhdez), YouTube (youtube.com/user/PuraChicaNaturalTV)