What does it really mean to live a
My work resides mostly in the dreaming, designing and illumination of new systems.
I work with impact driven organizations who are serving groups whose voices need to be heard through trainings, mentoring programs or are weaving communities of practice to deepen and integrate change. As a consultant, facilitator, mentor, board leader, speaker, author, I support the organizations I collaborate with by helping them expand their vision, connect with who they are serving, define strategic directions for their services, and design meaningful and engaging trainings, practices or cohort programs.
Lately, I have been exploring working along the fringes of those who are part of the dying systems by promoting healing-centered ecosystems as a framework to hospice the old and intentionally harvest what we’ve gained and learned. I am keen in promoting healing as transformative pathway for societal change. I believe relationships are not built only on trust, it is also nurtured by mending the gaps in between through decolonization, healing histories, and cultivating safer and brave spaces for people to find each other as our kapwa (Filipino psychology that refers to our shared humanity).
MY WAKE UP CALL: What I never knew, until breast cancer came along
I never realized how much I was losing myself, until I was diagnosed with breast cancer. At age 37 and with two young children, I was faced with the question:
"what legacy would I want to leave behind?"
This question propelled me into an intense self-reflection phase. One where I had to learn how to fully check-in with myself. Going through treatments made me re-evaluate my life: how I embrace self-fullness, the connections I want to nurture, the legacy I want to live & the transformation I want to stir in society.
What started as an inner exploration, turned to a powerful expression of my life purpose.
Going back to my dreams
I knew before getting married and having kids that I had big dreams. Dreams that got set aside as I got settled into family life. Dreams that were parked only to be revisited almost a decade after, while I was bedridden, worried and questioning:
"is this how I want my life to be?"
And that was the period of self-exploration- knowing where my full yes lies and where my heck no’s were. It was a period of setting boundaries for myself, even telling my kids, who at that time were 5 and 7, that “I am not available” that “I needed space.”
Like a lioness protecting her cubs, I too became so fierce with my newfound zest for life. Fierce in sharing what my non-negotiables are. Fierce in keeping my space, honoring my time, and preserving my energy.
It was during this period in my life that I learned how to be “self-full”. I learned how to fill my cup to the brim, knew when I am depleted and knew how best to nourish my soul. It was during this period that I grew in leaps and bounds — from reconnecting with my calling, surrounding myself with people who inspire and nurture me, to saying yes to activities that feed by being.
I learned to redesign life amidst a period that is painful, challenging and uncertain. What I got out of it, is a renewed sense of who I am, where I want to be and how I want to embrace life. I realised it was not about "leaving a legacy", it was about LIVING A LEGACY.
This started my understanding of ALIGNMENT to one’s calling, the importance of finding and nurturing communities and creating the change that one’s presence can give. All these are what I infuse in the work I do and the people I connect with.
I grew as a person after such a traumatic period. At a time of difficulty, I found my greatest strength — myself.
My Life's Purpose
For me, purpose signifies my stance in life. This is how I can live in integrity with myself, with those around me and with the world. I have multiple expressions of purpose with the different initiatives that I am part of, yet the red thread with all of these initiatives is CONTRIBUTION.
I remember how as a young child, I have this image of a pebble being thrown in the pond and creating ripples. I have gravitated to this analogy throughout my life of being that pebble and causing ripples in other people's lives. My purpose is to own the energy I bring in the room with my presence, my voice, and my gifts so that I may contribute to a nurturing, impactful and connected society.
Work that has inspired me
Here are some of the books that inspired me.
Living, Loving and Learning
Reading this when I was a teenager helped me give language to what I was yearning for. Powerful book to start this process of self-discovery.
7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Begin with an end in mind- this was one of the 7 habits that I incorporate with my strategy work. It is crucial that we learn to envision and re-imagine possibilities and start designing the pathway for change.
The Artist's Way
Up to this day, I still practice doing my morning pages (it was decades ago that I read this book!). For those wanting to embrace and give space to their creativity, this is a must have!
The Power of Full Engagement
I read this book when I was going through chemotherapy and struggling with my energy levels. It helped me frame how I can be of service and be discerning of what I commit to engage in.
Permission to dream and to expand- this is what Playing Big and going through Tara Mohr's program have inspired me. "Let it be easy' is still a mantra that I hold closely to heart.
The Four Pivots
I read this book as I was shifting mindsets around healing and the importance of healing as a pathway for social transformation. It opened my eyes to how social change is directly linked to our personal