What do I want to do with my life? Good question!

Recently I was asked, if I could create my “ideal” job from scratch, what would it be? I couldn’t answer with the level of detailed that I wished. My ego was hurt. I assumed that after all the personal work that I have done and after 38 years in this world I should have been able to figure it out. In a way, I am half way through my life. But no. I couldn’t say exactly how I envisioned an ideal job fit for myself. After dealing with the frustration and anger of this realization I started thinking about it from a different angle. What do I know? I know that I want to work with people. I know that I love teaching but I don’t want to do it all day long. I know that I enjoy being an entrepreneur and being involved in small and growing technology companies. I know that I love coaching and developing strong bonds with my clients to bring change to their lives. I know that I want to do as much online work as possible and have the flexibility to work from different locations. I know the type of person that I like working with. So in a way, while I haven’t found one job that encompasses all of these things, through my work as a teacher, a coach, an entrepreneur working with tech companies, I’ve actually found a way to match each of my skills and interests to a productive outlet. Is it possible to do all of these things in one role, at one place, at one time? Maybe, maybe...

Getting personal

I have an issue with small talk. Communication is key to connecting in the world – with friends, family, partners, and colleagues. But when we use small talk, are we really communicating? I feel that small talk just fills space. There is no value in it. You can’t learn much (if anything) about another person simply by talking about the weather, the commute or the score from last night’s game. Maybe that is why I like being a life coach – pushing conversations to go deeper, helping to make communication more open and gaining clarity from those conversations. Ask yourself, what do you want to get from the next conversation you are going to have? Are you looking to be nice? Are you trying to be liked by others? Are you looking for acceptance? Comparison? Flirtation? Are you looking to hear your own voice and repeat your ideas out loud? Personally, I have been searching for connection. I find that connection occurs when we talk about real stuff. It happens when we are sharing or listening about dramas, fears, struggles, relationships or relevant family issues. Sharing something personal is deeper. You are connecting and putting out there a part of who you are at a relevant moment in time. I never feel connection when talking about TV shows, economic news, clothes, or anything that is impersonal. To get personal you have to be open to yourself and the world, you need to be interested in other people. You need to shift your attention for 3 minutes and listen instead of opening your mouth and saying the first thing that...

The Power of Nature

A few weeks ago, I had a super emotional and intense week. I was feeling confused, sad and anxious. I needed to relax. Luckily for me, a good friend suggested that we go hiking on Saturday. We went to a place just 1.5 hrs outside the city called Breakneck Trail (luckily I didn’t know the name of the destination before going to the train station). I thought I was ready for the 3 hr experience. In my mind we were just going for a walk surrounded by trees. My brother in law texted back encouraging me to leave my cell phone and connect to nature. Wise advice! The first half an hour was a super steep walk, where we had to use our hands to “climb”. The challenge forced me to be present and connected to my body and my movements. I didn’t want to fall or get injured. I need my body to work! The view from the top of the hill was amazing (here are some pictures). More importantly, the sensation of peacefulness was deep. I started feeling very calm and connected. No words were needed. I felt extremely connected to nature. My gut, my body and my mind all connected. It was about feeling and nurturing myself with the vibrations of the forest. The place and experience was the antithesis of my life in New York – quiet and calm with no deadline to meet, no appointment to rush to. So often the city can feel busy, crowded, noisy and always rushing you. Full of distractions. Our experience in urban or suburban cities is similar. We...

My Annual Review

I recently read an inspiring and practical post by the writer James Clear, where he suggests the idea of looking back on the year and asking just 3 simple questions: What went well this year? What didn’t go so well this year? What am I working toward? I can sometimes obsess about being productive and find myself worrying that I haven’t done “enough” (in my day, in my work, with my friends, when asked for help, etc). So with the start of the new year, I’ve decided this is a good chance to pause, look back, look forward and (hopefully) get comfortable with where I am right now. Here are the results of my annual – 3 question – review…   What went well this year? Yoga Life Coaching Group: I successfully ran my first online program! 8 students participated from three different countries (Colombia, Ecuador and Peru) It was a great experience for me and for the members of the group. I’m thrilled that I got this one going. The next program is starting in February. Yoga: I participated in a number of auditions and 3 new studios in NYC invited me to teach (Prana Power Yoga, The Yoga Room and David Barton Gym). I feel honored to have the chance to share everything I know about yoga with more students. Relationship: I started dating someone at the beginning of the year. Now we are living together! Wow! What an amazing experience it has been. I’m very grateful for you! South American workshops: I was invited to do life coaching and yoga workshops in Quito and Lima. This...

Learning to Connect

Sometimes it’s better to break down in tears and show your emotions than to keep it all inside and not tell a single soul. ~ Unknown Do you remember the last time that you truly felt your emotions? We live running around in a world saturated with stimuli. It’s easy to pay attention to what our senses pick up. It is difficult to stop doing so. It is comfortable to find “things to do” to be distracted (TV, Facebook, talking on the phone, etc.). It is uncomfortable to stop running and take a break to observe and be present. We want to go for a coffee with friends and listen to them. We do not want to be with ourselves. There is a strong tendency to suppress emotions, to minimize how much we know about our feelings. We believe that we control the situation. We feel that we are safer by keeping it inside. There is fear to open up. It scares us. The more we accumulate the more difficult to start sharing. We become numb and begin to feel less, be less connected, less alive. This makes me think of a bag with holes that has water inside. We continue filling the bag with water (we keep living) and when the water spills out, we try to plug the gaps. But if the bag keeps filling with water and the holes are closed, the bag may explode. The solution is not patching the holes, but to know how to open the bag and let the water run in an organized manner without making a mess on the floor....

Where do I belong?

Two countries, one person. I wonder, where do I belong? I was born in Peru. That is why I have a red passport. For the last 12 years I have been living in the U.S. and I recently became a U.S. citizen and received a blue passport. I have friends and family in both places, I am on top of what happens in the two countries, both have given me experiences that have shaped me into who I am, And yet, I feel conflicted. I have affection and gratitude to both of them, but I feel that at the same time, I am and I’m not part of them. I want to belong! When I visit Peru, family and friends sometimes tell me that “I think like a gringo” or that “here things do not work like that.” Restaurants serve me “vegetarian” food that it isn’t vegetarian, people make me wait for appointments and believe that it’s normal, and every time I feel more frustrated with the inefficiency and chaos of the systems in my former home (transportation, justice, health, etc.). These situations make me feel uncomfortable. I do not like it. I feel that my roots to the land where I grew up are being cut, thus I’m less connected. I am in and out at the same time. On the other hand, even when I’m in my apartment in NYC, I read the news every day from Peru because I care about it, I follow my soccer team and suffer alone in front of the TV, I constantly mention to people the wonders of Peru with a...