DEAR SELF...

 Cartagena, Colombia, July 2017. 

Cartagena, Colombia, July 2017. 

Have you ever written a letter to yourSELF? Truly feeling reflective + contemplative as the year closes, and I wanted to share a personal letter as a year in review, and a set of daily reminders to help carry me into a successful, and abundant new year. I share with you in hopes of inspiring you to take time for reflection, to meditate on your past 12-month journey, and to rekindle your spirit for what is next. 

You may encounter many defeats but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, and how you can still come out of it.
— Maya Angelou
 Barrio Getsemani, Cartegena, Colombia. July 2017

Barrio Getsemani, Cartegena, Colombia. July 2017

Dear Self... 

2017 came to show you what you are truly made of. You dealt with oppressive structures + systems, and bounced back from limiting mentalities. Often, you were the only voice in a room full of nonbelievers. Often, you were tested through all your strengths. Often, you felt you were swimming against a strong current with barely any room to breathe. 

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You faced your fears by becoming one of the first in your family to pursue a higher education. You mastered your goal, and stood on stage as one of the few Latinas in a program that has graduated more than 20,000 candidates.

You did all this through grit, persistence, and quite frankly, through tears. 

You ventured into a new creative field, shared your worldview and met some really, really inspiring people. You explored art, culture, and food through your travels domestically and abroad, each time filling your soul with more love for the intricate details of the world. You strode through history and engaged in local customs. You dived deep into your curiosity through writing + adventure seeking. You decided to listen to your inner voice, enjoying the moment and quieting the anxious voice that doubted your commitment. 

 La Ciudad Amurallada, Cartagena, Colombia. July 2017. 

La Ciudad Amurallada, Cartagena, Colombia. July 2017. 

Despite the condition of the soil, I chose to bloom.
— Tonya Ingram

You stood your ground and fought power dynamics that were historically stacked against you. Professionally, you held your own while validating your worth through your work ethic, direction and creative output. You allowed new ideas to emerge, and acted on your passions for social justice by bringing more people to the table through your collaborative efforts. You built your social capital through connections, and by embracing your unique voice. You stepped into a room and allowed faith to carry you. 

 Roxbury neighborhood, Boston, MA. October 2017. 

Roxbury neighborhood, Boston, MA. October 2017. 

The act of discovering who we are will force us to accept that we can go further than we think.
— Paulo Coelho

At times, you allowed old feelings of self-doubt to creep in. This left you feeling restless, anxious, and lacking control. As a woman who is used to demanding all from life, these moments felt overwhelming and left you feeling less than. You masked these feelings by immersing yourself further into your work, or shutting down emotionally to your partner + those who love you. 

 The Fuschia Files team, October 2017. 

The Fuschia Files team, October 2017. 

Anxiety is real. 

Do not shame yourself when you have these moments. You sought out forms of healing through reiki + meditation. You learned about your chakras, and stimulated crystals to ease any blockages. You confronted hidden triggers, brought them to light + removed them at their root. You confided on your allies about your fears + pressures, and they helped walk you through each endeavor. I hope you continue these practices, and make them a daily part of your routine. I hope you require intention in all your actions, and create a disciplined path towards healing your past trauma. Allow time to aid in this process- it will not be an overnight miracle. Seek therapy in the form of daily journaling, and envision your inner light as you face down your fears. Quiet your ego, and be gentle with yourself. Identify your strengths, before magnifying your flaws.  Take pride in how far you have come. 

 Koh Phi Phi Don, Thailand. October 2017. 

Koh Phi Phi Don, Thailand. October 2017. 

Most of all, I hope you remember that even at your worst, GOD's guidance will always see you through. You come from a lineage of strong women who like you moved heaven + hell to see themselves through. You will be no different. 

You also have a very strong network of women who love and support you. You are blessed with a partner who loves and supports you. You are blessed with a family who loves and supports you. Remember the circle of trust you've built through the years, and reach out more frequently when life feels heavy. Do it more often, do it honestly, and do it with love.

They will always welcome you with open arms. 

...and when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.
— Paulo Coelho
 Koh Phi Phi, Thailand. October 2017. 

Koh Phi Phi, Thailand. October 2017. 

I hope you take in all the LOVE that is in store for you in this new year, and allow ABUNDANCE to flow into your life.

Get creative, get to work. Follow your intuition when you feel right, and silence your fear when it becomes too loud. Introduce new ideas that inspire you, and conspire with like-minded individuals to define your truth. Be available for your family, partner + friends. Be present for moments with your inner circle that matter. Discover more of yourself, and understand your capacity for change. Continue promoting kindness in all your actions, and karma will reward you. Be a gatekeeper to your happiness, and immerse yourself in experiences that will enrich you. Celebrate your journey, while also taking time to clear your focus. Find ways to review entrenched habits, and create more fluidity in all your actions. You will surprise yourself at how far your potential will take you.

Through faith, patience, and consistency, all your goals are within reach. 

Sincerely, with love and gratitude. 

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About writer:

 
Beya J. is a city planner, interested in travel, writing + urban settings. Through her travels, Beya has been able to explore and participate in extensive cultural immersions to learn more about world religions, politics and music.
Instagram and Twitter: @plump_lips
#latinaontherise