Inside Validation Is More Important Than Outside Validation

Validation from anywhere can help boost our self-esteem and can help propel us to greater heights than we could ever imagine. It can help us realize our greatest potential and make us see what others see in us that we may not always see in ourselves. It can help motivate us or push us to do things that we may not have imagined before.

It can also quickly tear us down. Outside validation is very powerful and can have a strong hold on how we view ourselves because it is dependent on how others view us. We tend to feel better when others give positive feedback to what we are doing by reassuring us of our greatness. But just as easily as it can uplift us, it can all come crashing down with one verbal attack.

As children, we are equally praised and criticized for our behaviors and choices and are taught that what others think of us is important (at least that was how I was raised). We are taught that the views of others about ourselves is just as important as our own views. This type of mindset can transform us into many different versions of ourselves to fit everyone else’s needs. We can manipulate our personality and our needs to help align ourselves with people in order to make them feel comfortable but in the end, we become muddled with confusion with who we truly are.

We become dependent on the views of others to help define our strengths and our weaknesses. We are subjected to their opinions and have an internal battle with ours. This internal struggle is what makes us crave attention and affirmation from people, who may or may not have our best interests in mind. And one little comment on how we look, who we are and what we stand for, can have a greater affect on our identity than our own views of ourselves, since we are so dependent on theirs.

But is this the way to live and view who we are as human beings? Should it really be dependent on some one else’s view of us? If we continue to seek validation from the outside world, we will consistently hunger for more and lose sight of who we truly are. We cannot allow others to control our way of thinking about ourselves and validate our worth. We are unique individuals who are all capable of creating our own sense of self image by finding traits and characteristics we love about ourselves. We are all made distinctly by the Universe with the love we have for ourselves.

I spent many years teaching, craving validation from my peers, principals, parents and students. One friend asked me what I will be looking forward to with not teaching anymore. I simply stated, “not allowing outside validation to define me”.

Do not let outside validation to define you any longer. Seek the truth and love from yourself. I know, easier said than done, but you have to start now. Simply say, “fuck it”. It really should not matter what others think of you anymore because those thoughts and opinions will hold you back. If you allow love from others and especially from yourself to flow freely, you’re going to achieve what the Universe already has in store for you. So, set yourself free and fly baby. – Peace and Love

With knowing what words are important to say to help uplift others, we find that we can influence anyone towards their greatest potential.

Words are very powerful. They could help fix any broken heart or they cut you like a knife. If you’re one of those people who dwell on what others say or takes what someone says personally, then you know how important it is to choose your words wisely when interacting with others. It could be a challenging act, but it is one that must be given your full attention because it could change how others feel about you, about themselves and also how you feel about yourself.

What you say could be just as important or even more important than how you treat others (I am not saying one is more important than the other, but different people respond to things differently). It could make someone who was once self-assured begin to question their self-worth. It could also help strengthen someone’s view on themselves and helps drive them to achieve their goals.

As a parent and as a teacher, I have been made more aware of my words. As a parent, what I say greatly affects my daughter’s drive, self esteem and how she interacts with the world. Don’t get me wrong, I am not perfect and I have messed up A LOT along the way but I have also apologized when I have made a mistake in invalidating her feelings. Being a parent has made me stop and analyze the words that would best help her (even when I just want to scream) in any situation. I’ve learned to not “react” so much to her actions but try to figure out what is going on instead of “assuming”. I’ve learned to ask her more questions on why she did what she did. As a child who was brought up in a strict household, I knew I didn’t want to repeat the same patterns of self-doubt and not having the ability to express oneself. I knew that I needed to be more aware of my words and the affects that it could have on my daughter.

Even as a teacher, I was made aware of my words through the interactions with my students. My job was to teach them but that required motivating them and influencing them with my words. I could have had the best lesson in the world on paper but if my delivery and the way I felt about it wasn’t expressed through my feelings and my words, most of my students would not have wanted to accomplish what I had brought forth. Of course, they had the motivational drive to want to do it, but I had to be the bridge in cultivating the “wanting” through my feelings and my words that were presented throughout the day. I had to speak words of wisdom and not words of criticism. I had to find words to inspire not words that undermined their intelligence.

With knowing what words are important to say to help uplift others, we find that we can influence anyone towards their greatest potential. We are not using words to try to “control” anyone because that is not the reason for our existence, but it’s important to understand that we are all connected in some way and our words truly connect us. If we speak words of love, we will receive love in return. If we speak words of hate, we will receive hate in return. So when we speak, we should be mindful of what comes out our mouths because what we say could change the world drastically, and it should be for the good of all mankind.

So go forth and speak words of love, even to your enemies. You never know what your words can do for others but you should want to help and heal them instead of hurting them. When we help and heal others, we are helping and healing ourselves too along the way. – Peace and Love

You must take care of yourself first and foremost.

Today is the first official day back for all New York City teachers and I want to wish all my teacher friends an amazing school year filled with rich conversations, exponential learning growth, a positive outlook, but most importantly self-maintenance.

With it being the first day back, I am filled with gratitude and with sadness. Gratitude that I do not have to be back in a toxic environment but sadness due to the fact that I will not be able to interact with my beloved students and colleagues on a daily basis. As I sit here and reflect about this occasion I have to think of the well-beings of all the teachers across America and across the world: Please take care of yourself.

As a teacher, we are taught by society that we need to sacrifice our time, our money and our energy or we are made to feel not “good enough”. This toxic mentally continues to affect how we treat teachers and how teachers treat each other and ultimately themselves. But the one thing I have learned throughout my years teaching, is that this is utterly bullshit.

How are we supposed to be good educators when we cannot even take care of ourselves? How can we give our best to students if we can’t give the best to ourselves? We are constantly taught that the “I” comes first, but that whole idea is thrown out the window if you’re a teacher. You are made to feel that the sacrifices you make will be good for society, good in the long run for everyone involved. But what about you? WHAT ABOUT YOU?

If you are a teacher, caregiver, wife, mother, father, a nurse, anyone who takes care of others, I want you to know that YOU ARE JUST AS IMPORTANT AS EVERYONE ELSE. Do not allow anyone to make you feel guilty about not taking work home, saying “no” to something that pushes your limit, or walking away from anything that depletes you. You must take care of yourself first and foremost.

We can not give our best if we are not at our best. People who try to push us or make us feel guilty about taking care of ourselves need to learn to SHUT THE FUCK UP. And we must learn to tell them to FUCK OFF. I know I am being quite vulgar right now but I really do not give a shit. I realize that we can not allow other people’s views to dictate who we are or how we want to act. If we feel that people are constantly pushing our buttons and consistently trying to hurt us, we really need to just tell them to shove it and then walk away.

So, teacher friends, take time out in the school year for YOU. Say no to shit that doesn’t bring you joy. Learn to self-advocate and tell people what you need and do not need. We have to learn to stick up for ourselves or manipulators will just take advantage of our kindness. Never allow anyone to take away your personal time, your energy and your boundaries you have set up for yourself. If you do, you will end up exhausted everyday with hardly anything to show for it and it will ultimately affect your job and your home life. It isn’t worth it to deplete yourself and to give yourself to everything and everyone else. Take care of you this year and I will be here to continuously remind you to do so. – Peace and Love

Remember Your Reasons “Why”.

Your life is going smoothly, you made huge changes in it and you’re feeling so good about your life. But then something hits you like a ton of bricks, making you question your huge life choice: Did I just make a big mistake?

Have you ever experienced that moment in your life where you had to stop and question if what you did was actually the best for you? Did your heart just jump out of your chest and make you question your goals and your aspirations that you had wanted for yourself because of one incident?

That is exactly what happened to me this week. I was casually opening my old school email address to just see if my principal deleted the account but for some odd reason he had not. I scroll through the messages and I see one from a person who is in charge of a teacher award. He’s read so much about me and would like me to become a potential juror in the selection process. Something just took over me and I started to cry. I couldn’t help it. Did I just walk away from something that I have known for so long? Have I just made the biggest mistake in my life? It became so bad that my four year old was asking me why I was crying. She then started rubbing my back. I responded by telling her that I did not know what to do. Her response was, “You can do anything you want mommy”. I immediately started bawling some more.

My child is such a sweet soul and I am truly blessed by her simple words of wisdom. She’s right, I can do anything that I want. Just because I felt a certain way at that moment, didn’t mean I had made a mistake. I had to think about my reasons “why” for leaving and wanting to make a career change. I had to think about the feelings that I had when I knew that this life path wasn’t for me anymore. With a little bit of help from my daughter and friends, I realized that email was another path I could take but in a different capacity: to help others.

There may be a few bumps on the way to your life’s purpose (or whatever you want to call it). You may experience some regret and hesitation about the future but keep pushing forward. You made the choices for yourself for an important reason: to be happy. Stick with your reasons and do not allow regret to control you. The Universe is leading you on your path towards your goals and you will be tested from time to time. Allowing your emotions to take over you could become your detriment but allow those feelings to pass and think about your reasons “why”. They will help motivate you to keep moving forward. Your destiny awaits you and I am so looking forward to what it is in store for me and for you. – Peace and Love

The World Is Yours For The Taking, Just Believe in Yourself.

Helping people is my passion and that’s why for a very long time I was a teacher. However, with the daily grind and stress levels fluctuating every period of every day, it finally took its toll on me. I knew I wanted to help people but I did not want to be in place where I didn’t feel comfortable. I wanted to set my own hours and provide more time for myself and loved ones, while helping others. Therefore, I decided I wanted to blog and inspire others to live their dreams back in February 2019.

I may not be the best writer to some people or someone who can express themselves as well as others, but I don’t care. I don’t need to be the best or have the tools of an expert, all I need is my will power and the belief that I can do this.

My self-doubt has been my kryptonite and it has held me back from pursuing things that I may have possibly enjoyed but was so scared to due to the fear of failure or my own insecurities. It has been a detriment all my life and has always determined what I should be or should not be doing.

At this point in my life, I am releasing that negative aspect of myself and I highly suggest you do the same. Allowing your insecurities about yourself will continue to stop you from pursuing your dreams and aspirations. Confidence must be pushed to the forefront and you must believe that everything you want will manifest into your life. The belief in knowing who you are and what you’re capable of, regardless of doubt, will propel you to a higher level of thinking. Allow the belief in yourself to change the way you see yourself; be sure of who you are and never let anyone downplay your abilities.

You are an asset in this world and your presence in this world is enough to change it. Whatever it is that you choose to do with your life, believe that you deserve it. It’s such a simple statement but it’s extremely powerful if you want to control the trajectory of your life. Hold on tight to that confidence and never shift your mindset about yourself due to anyone’s criticism or even your own self-doubt. The world is yours for the taking. -Peace and Love

A Colored Hair Did My Mind Good

There will be times where I will be writing about my journey of reinventing myself or how the Law of Attraction brings you peace, love, and harmony. And there will be times where I will combine both. I thank you all for always being open-minded to my thoughts, my life and my self discovery.

Yesterday, I woke up having a strong urge to color my hair. I wanted to do something different for a while now and in the past week I had ordered a color from “Lime Crime” thinking I wanted to do the process myself. However, I had a change of heart because I trust a colorist more instead of my own two hands and vision that could end up being a “make it” or “break it” process.

So I went online, Googled a place relatively close (walking distance) to where I live and made an appointment. After arriving and speaking to the colorist, we decided that a lavender/purple color would look best on me. I was ecstatic but extremely nervous about the process. Here I was changing my whole head to an entirely different color, much less a color that I have never even considered before. It felt like a transformation and man oh man did I need one.

I know it’s just hair, but we all know “hair is not JUST hair”. It helps us represent who we are, what we are saying about ourselves and what we are saying to the world. I used to always experiment with my hair in college, to the point that my hair turned green (by accident!) once! I was a free-spirit, living life to the best of my ability and filled with much energy and light. I didn’t care what people thought about me and I celebrated in changing up my look often. Now almost reaching the 40 year old mark, I am also not wanting to give a shit what people think about me anymore either.

Since I quit teaching, I have felt a release of energy. A cage has been open and I am able to step out and feel the sunshine again. I am able to be who I was meant to be: happy. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed teaching and loved my students, but being a teacher came with many responsibilities. I always had to be careful about what I said, how I looked and how I acted. There was an unspoken expectation you had to maintain as an educator and if you didn’t, you were severely judged by students, administrators and parents. It was a heavy burden to carry day in and day out and I became a different person than who I actually was.

I became a person who was rigid in her ways, critiqued every movement and word that was said to parents and students. I became withdrawn and immersed myself in my work and eventually my world became less creative and more about “getting things done”. I really repressed my authentic self for 14 years of my life, so changing my hair color was another step in my journey back to myself.

Since coloring my hair, I have been feeling more lighter and enjoying my life a bit more. I am becoming less stringent on what I “have to do” and more concerned with “what I want to do”. I am taking a bit more time for myself by being in the moment and enjoying my interactions with my family and friends. It feels so liberating sporting a new do and I advise anyone who has ever thought about to just do it.

Do what makes you happy, even if it’s scary. Do what you want, even when others say you shouldn’t. Do what inspires you everyday, even if you feel you do not have the tools. Do whatever your heart desires and you’ll feel good about living and not just about getting by. Once we get “happy”, all of our wishes will come true and I believe all of mine are manifesting right now as I type this. – Peace and Love

Teaching and the American Culture

“Why do I always have the feeling that everybody‚Äôs doing something better than me on Saturday afternoons?” – Jerry Seinfeld

Teaching is a thankless job they say.  I say the opposite is true, at times.  Teaching is one of the most rewarding jobs out there and if you ever get a chance to work with a great staff it makes coming to work so much easier.  It’s also nice when your students appreciate you and value you not only as a teacher but also as a person. There are many perks to teaching such as summer vacation, a week off here and there, and the many smiles you get every day when a student suddenly understands something.  The most rewarding thing for myself is when a student has personally written a letter to me thanking me for my guidance and commitment to their education.

At times, however, teaching can be a nightmare.  Those summers “off” can be spent lesson planning, attending professional development, or working a part-time job to make ends meet. At times, your principal can target you for minor infractions and micromanage you if they see you aren’t teaching to the standards that they see fit.  Your co-workers could also be in co-hoots with administration and when they “see something, they say something”; meaning anything that goes against the administration.  When you do report something or simply speak to a union rep your words could be twisted and you may be the target of a smear campaign against you.

The American culture and our views on teachers have created an atmosphere of hostility.  We are not valuing our teachers anymore and the sacrifices we make everyday.  There are times when I do not spend enough time with my child (pre-school age), where instead of playing together or taking her to the park, I am lesson planning.  Even worse, I end up snapping at her because of my lack of patience due to the stresses of the job.  My social life is non-existent and I have retreated to sitting at my desk on my days off catching up on grading or inputting a new protocol that is being thrust upon me.

I am not here to have you feel sorry for me, but I think it’s time to start respecting teachers again.  There are a lot of factors going on in these buildings and districts that no one tells you about.  The bureaucracy is overwhelming and the collusion is sickening.  It has created a smaller retention rate of effective teachers.  We need to take care of our teachers and realize that we need to be looked after also before teacher burnout reaches them.