YessieChavez_030315-(744-of-747)_e.png
YessieChavez_030315-(744-of-747)_e.png

Publications


publications

SCROLL DOWN

Publications


publications

 
I recently discovered a passion for writing. I love that it allows me to relive pivotal moments of growth in my life and to share those experiences with you. I hope you enjoy! xo
 

The Unexpected Results of Choosing Kindness

Elephant Journal

April 19, 2016

 

I arrived to the Bangkok Don Mueang Airport nice and early to make my first venture to India run as smooth as possible.

This would be my first time visiting India and I was traveling alone. I was feeling anxious and didn’t want an airport hiccup to add to the stress. I was both excited and nervous, but my yoga teacher brain reminded myself that these emotions feel the same.

So, I convinced myself it was all pure excitement.

I entered the airport proud of my early arrival until I saw the line or should I say lack of lines. In Thailand when you arrive to the airport it is required to put luggage you plan to check through an initial X-ray machine before heading to the check in desk. Getting my luggage on that X-ray machine was only the first hurdle in this process.

There was absolutely no system nor order at the check in desk. People mobbed it as if it were a stage at a packed concert. There was reaching and pushing it was in complete chaos. Several flights were scheduled to go to India from this specific airline and I felt as if I was getting a taste of what was to come in the actual country. My shoulders became tense and the stress was creeping back in. I wondered, “How will I get anything done during my one month stay if I am always last?”

Not only that I was one of the five females amongst the crowd and the only person that was clearly not from India.

My nontraditional garb made me stand out like a sore thumb.

I got anxious and very uncomfortable at the thought of being the last person to check in because everyone was cutting the “line.” I waited for 10 distressed minutes that felt like ages. I was watching people completely ignore me and push in front of me.

As time passed, I moved further and further from my goal of checking in.

I feared that my early arrival wouldn’t make a difference and that I would miss my flight if I stayed where I was. I decided to take matters into my own hands and investigate other options. It turned out just on the other side there were more counters for the airline with clear lines that were even roped off—I was in Westerner heaven!

Never in my life did I think seeing a line would bring me so much joy and relief.

With an ear-to-ear grin, I blissfully joined the queue. Now there was a system and I would get my fair turn. I was behind a young couple and as happy as could be when suddenly I noticed someone come beside me and place their luggage right next to mine. Then both the newcomer and his luggage moved directly in front of me.

He had come from the mob and it did not look like he had intentions to follow the order of this line.

I felt a quick shift in my energy once again joy became distress. I was about to do what my western brain thought was right and stand up for myself by voicing that I was in line first, but instead I had a moment of pause.

I reflected instead of reacting.

I considered what the worst case scenario would be if I said nothing, one extra person would go before me, that isn’t so bad it’s definitely not something to spoil my mood about and a huge improvement compared to the mob I was just a part of. I considered what may happen if I reacted the way I was conditioned to, which was to demand my fair place in line, this was far more risky with a high possibility of cultures clashing and things getting ugly.

I decided to take neither of these options and chose to be kind instead.

“Hello where are you going to in India?” I warmly asked the man in front of me. He smiled and replied, “Bangalore.”

This led to a wonderful chat about, India, his native country.

Once we got to the very front of the line, lo and behold he insisted I go first. My happiness was restored from the moment I said hello. I instantly felt relief when I let go of the hostility inside. In the end I got a more positive outcome than I could’ve imagined. I got to check in first, the wait in line flew by due to our lovely conversation and I got insider tips and suggestions on things to do during my stay in fabulous India. The wrongdoer became a friend because I chose kindness.


Drop The "Why"  

Elephant Journal

April 10, 2016

 

Everything that was important to me and everything I achieved was gone.

I lost the job, had to move out of the apartment, and my fairy tale relationship ended, and all I could do was ask myself, why?

My world was shattered. I didn’t even get a chance to experience my dream come true before it slipped away. I tried to put the pieces back together the best I could. I dedicated some of my efforts to moving on, but most of my energy went to making sense of it all. I wanted to create a clear picture, a reenactment of what occurred. I asked myself, “How did I get here? Is the universe playing a twisted joke on me?” That’s when I became obsessed with the why. It fully consumed me and occupied my every thought.

Everything that was important to me and everything I achieved was gone.

I lost the job, had to move out of the apartment, and my fairy tale relationship ended, and all I could do was ask myself, why?

My world was shattered. I didn’t even get a chance to experience my dream come true before it slipped away. I tried to put the pieces back together the best I could. I dedicated some of my efforts to moving on, but most of my energy went to making sense of it all. I wanted to create a clear picture, a reenactment of what occurred. I asked myself, “How did I get here? Is the universe playing a twisted joke on me?” That’s when I became obsessed with the why. It fully consumed me and occupied my every thought.

Why me? Why would they do that? Why? Why? Why? The quest for the perfect reason, the one that would make everything make sense and give me peace, was actually paralyzing and disabling.

Day in and day out it was all I could think of, until one day I realized I was no longer myself. I was fully depleted of energy. I became a huge source of my own unhappiness on top of all the other suffering I already had going on. I couldn’t allow this to go any further, so I made a pact with myself to drop the why completely.

It was extremely difficult to get the why that was residing in my mind to vacate. I had subconsciously built an infatuation with it. I was feeding my role as a victim. Suffering is a tricky thing—if it is not caught early, it can become an addiction we dwell in.

I had to find strength to let go, and not in a passive way, but in a very active and purposeful way of choosing to not get stuck in trying to understand the past, but rather moving forward. Through persistence and constant reminders I was able to let it go. I said the following mantra anytime I found myself spiraling down the slippery why slope:

“I drop the need to know why, I accept what is, I choose to let go.”

Once the why was dropped I felt alive again. I was able to regain my energy and heal in a healthy way. Eventually, my little mantra became my truth, and my mind was free.

It was the most painful year of my life, but after dropping the why it became the most influential year yet. Once I dug myself out of the past, I was able to breathe again and rebuild my life. Now I am content and free.

Five life scenarios where dropping the why can help us heal:

1. Abandonment: Being abandoned can leave massive scars behind. The worst part is that, often times, the person being abandoned carries this weight on their shoulders by believing that they were not enough. If you have been abandoned, drop the need to know why, and instead practice loving yourself. Know that there are plenty of people on this Earth to love you and that you are enough in every way.

“You, yourself, more than anyone, deserve your love and affection.” ~ Buddha

Drop the why when dealing with abandonment in order to find self love.

2. Betrayal: Loyalty is something we all value, but it’s a sensitive thing, for once it’s broken it’s hard to “sage” or make whole again. The person you love becomes unrecognizable after doing something so hurtful. In the long run, the betrayer is hurting themselves more than they hurt you. So practice compassion for them and for yourself by forgiving.

“It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.” ~ Maya Angelou

Drop the why when dealing with betrayal in order to let go.

3. Deception: Unfortunately, things are not always as they appear. Many people hide behind masks, mostly due to fear. It can be shocking to unveil what’s behind the poker face. If it’s your family member, love them anyway. If it’s a romantic relationship, friend or employer and their true self isn’t a good match with yours, simply move on and see this as another knotch to add to your belt of life experience.

“We find comfort among those who agree with us—growth among those who don’t.” ~ Frank A. Clark

Drop the why when dealing with deception in order to grow.

4. Rejection: Not getting what we want after putting in handwork and time can be a huge blow to the ego. We get down on ourselves and question our self worth. We get overly attached to that goal, so much so that we don’t see that there are other possibilities that may, in fact, be a better fit. Obsessing over the why in rejection means we have limited ourselves to only one possible outcome.

“The root of suffering is attachment.” ~ Buddha

Drop the why when dealing with rejection to practice non-attachment.

5. Death: Sudden death of a loved one is devastating no matter what the situation is. It leaves us feeling enormous grief and asking questions. It is okay for us to gather as much information as we can, but once we find ourselves stuck with unanswered questions, it’s time to focus on accepting it. Time does heal all, but without acceptance we don’t allow this process to begin. Our wounds will stay open until we accept what is.

“Happiness can exist only in acceptance.” ~ George Orwell

Drop the why when dealing with death in order to find acceptance.

I know these are all heavy topics, and it is much easier said than done, but this idea of dropping the why can become a useful tool in healing. Obsessing over an unavailable answer keeps us trapped in an unchangeable moment in the past.

Once I let go of the why, my mind was no longer a prisoner to it.

We don’t want to spend years, let alone a lifetime, wondering why. As difficult as life may be it can also be very sweet if we get our minds right. Drop the why.