Fresh Blood Podcast Episode Guest - Veronica Villanueva

Intro Banner of Veronica Villaueva

Veronica talks about overcoming stage 4 ‘incurable’ cancer, the importance of your thoughts and beliefs and the huge impact our words have on our world.

Veronica Villanueva, discovered her "why" after being diagnosed with incurable stage IV lung cancer and given six months to live in 2016. Veronica rejected her diagnosis and dove into educating herself on traditional and alternative treatments. A certified health coach and Cordon Bleu-trained chef, Veronica cured her cancer by developing her own treatment plan and at the same time starting her own Cannabis/CBD product line, Alive-Well-Thrive. The line consists of CBD and Cannabis infused foods, balms, and oils to help others who want to lead happier and healthier lives.

Veronica talks about overcoming stage 4 ‘incurable’ cancer, the importance of your thoughts and beliefs and the huge impact our words have on our world.

Veronica Villanueva, discovered her "why" after being diagnosed with incurable stage IV lung cancer and given six months to live in 2016. Veronica rejected her diagnosis and dove into educating herself on traditional and alternative treatments. A certified health coach and Cordon Bleu-trained chef, Veronica cured her cancer by developing her own treatment plan and at the same time starting her own Cannabis/CBD product line, Alive-Well-Thrive. The line consists of CBD and Cannabis infused foods, balms, and oils to help others who want to lead happier and healthier lives.

Veronica is also an author, having written, The Grace of Cancer, in which she details her wellness journey, as well as what her entrepreneurial journey has been like as one of the only female CBD producers in the US.

Veronica is also an author, having written, The Grace of Cancer, in which she details her wellness journey, as well as what her entrepreneurial journey has been like as one of the only female CBD producers in the US.


Veronica Villanueva - Stage 4 Cancer Survivor, Canapreneur (Co-Founder of Alive-Well-Thrive), Health Coach, Author & Speaker

Jolie Downs: [00:00:00] Today we are speaking with Veronica. Villenueva Veronica discovered her why after being diagnosed with incurable stage four lung cancer and given six months to live in 2016, Veronica rejected her diagnosis and dove into educating herself on traditional and alternative treatments. She is a certified health coach and Cordon blue trained chef.

[00:00:23] So Veronica cured her cancer by developing her own treatment plan. And at the same time, she started her own cannabis and CBD product line alive. Thrive. This line consists of CBD and cannabis infused. Foods, balms and oils to help others who want to lead happier and healthier lives. Veronica is also an author having written the grace of cancer in which she details her wellness journey, as well as her entrepreneurial journey.

[00:00:53] What that's been like as one of the only female CBD producers in the U S I can't wait to hear more. Veronica. Thank you for joining me on fresh blood, please. Can you tell us a little bit more about your journey to getting where you are today.

[00:01:06] are today?

[00:01:06] Veronica Villanueva: [00:01:06] Wow I was your lead. That's really a nice introduction. And thank you for having me. I do really appreciate my time here. And it's funny as I'm listening to you describe what I've been through and the word, and I always pay attention to the language and the word reject. And usually I don't like the word reject, but in the way you used it to reject the prognosis.

[00:01:30] Hell yeah, I had to read it. That's the right word, Jolie, yes. I love that you use that word because that's precisely what I did. I rejected the prognosis. How did I get here? I got here by the desire, the strong desire to live. And when you have that strong desire, because listen, we're given life. We didn't choose life.

[00:02:01] It's when we exist that we have to choose life. And I got mine. My, my own disruptor, which is cancer. I received a lot of disruptors in my life. I'm hoping that cancer will be my last biggest one.

[00:02:19] Jolie Downs: [00:02:19] it was a big one.

[00:02:20] It was

[00:02:20] Veronica Villanueva: [00:02:20] I'm good for a while.

[00:02:24] Jolie Downs: [00:02:24] You've earned some time.

[00:02:25] Veronica Villanueva: [00:02:25] I can rest. And. Life prepares you for all of those challenges. And then you get to a point in your life where you do get that big disruptor. And mine just came all at once, but if you know the, Hey, that's the way, that's the way I roll. Everything happens at the same time. It's like when it rains, it pours.


[00:02:46] Jolie Downs: [00:02:46] It hasn't been,

[00:02:47] Veronica Villanueva: [00:02:47] yeah. You just got swim. got to keep swimming. You got to keep going. You got to believe. You have to know that you're a good person and that whatever is being thrown at you is supposed to bring out the best in you, not the worst in you. And knowing that and believing that I took action towards that.

[00:03:10]I took towards being that person that I believe I am, which is okay. You're a a good person. What would a good person do when a good person is diagnosed with the disease she would study. Then what would a good person do once she knows what to do, she would do exactly what needs to be done to heal.

[00:03:29] After you heal yourself, what does a good person do? What does a kind person do? You now have the responsibility of turning around and helping other people? So that's the book. Now, what happens after the book, then people come to you and they say, how did you create these products? From my kitchen, Oh, my gosh.

[00:03:48] Now it becomes my responsibility to share my knowledge and how to create these products. So then I had to go and create those products. So then they can then become available to all these people who now know about my story, because that is the missing thing because they have the book and then they'll say what about the products that you use?

[00:04:08]I'm sorry, but I have them in my kitchen. I don't have, I make them from my kitchen and they're like what about us? Then? I'm like, okay, God, is this my calling to do my products? And I did. So when you asked me, how did this all happen? I can tell you exactly how unplanned. Yeah.

[00:04:31]Jolie Downs: [00:04:31] Let's take it. No, I want to go back to that moment of diagnosis because I find it again in that rejection because I find that very powerful. . Studies have shown that once people will find out that they are having an illness such as this, they often get worse very quickly.

[00:04:46] And because it's now they know the mind, it's the mindset. It makes a big difference. So how did you, cause I'm sure that was, I can't even imagine what a shock that is in that moment. So how did you flip that for yourself though? How did you not go down that path of just getting worse, but actually.

[00:05:06] Shore up that mindset to move you forward in the right direction.

[00:05:09] Veronica Villanueva: [00:05:09] Yeah. I have to warn the listeners and the audience, because I may sound like I make it sound very easy. But it's not easy. And especially when you go through something as traumatic and so such a horrific disease. But I'm being authentic when I tell you, I just believed. I just believe that I'm going to be around.

[00:05:36] And it's just as simple as that, knowing that I am meant to do something with this news. And because I know that when you know, you're a good person and you haven't done anything in life that warrants anything awful, even that is awful. But to me, I saw it as a gift because. I choose anything awful in front of me and I am going to turn that into something beautiful is just in me.

[00:06:09] And I refuse to believe that something awful can be in front of me. I think it's, they're disguised as a gift and it's up to us to discover what that gift.

[00:06:22] Jolie Downs: [00:06:22] Oh, that's powerful.

[00:06:23] Veronica Villanueva: [00:06:23] Yes. So don't get tricked

[00:06:27] Jolie Downs: [00:06:27] Yeah.

[00:06:28] Veronica Villanueva: [00:06:28] most of us do we say, oh no, that's too ugly. It's too painful. It's too much. It's too overwhelming. No, I say, get curious.

[00:06:40] Take your time. Open it up little by little, because soon enough it's yours to keep. And once you master that, you can then turn around and share it. With everyone who is ready to receive the same gift you were open to receiving. And that is the ripple effect of just the beauty of sharing your story and the beauty of finding people who are committed.

[00:07:12] So sharing their story, but also sharing the process that it takes to get there and making that process nonjudgmental, no shame attached to it and finding beauty in that journey.

[00:07:30] Jolie Downs: [00:07:30] Yeah. How did you get through the struggles that I sure came through the processes and various treatments that you went through.

[00:07:40] Veronica Villanueva: [00:07:40] again, reframing it struggles. They're not

[00:07:47] Jolie Downs: [00:07:47] Yeah. opportunities.

[00:07:50] Wow. That is amazing. I admire that so much. you know what, all of these struggles that you went through, what do you feel was your greatest challenge and what did you learn from it?

[00:08:05] Veronica Villanueva: [00:08:05] so you see, even that word challenge versus opportunity when you use the word opportunity, something happens at least in my body where I know that. Because we are. So you do believe in the body, mind and soul connection, right? So we're all interconnected. And as I say, the word opportunity right away, excitement comes curiosity, smile.

[00:08:35]Like I can't wait that thrill like mystery versus struggle. Oh my God. Negative, heavy. Hard. Do I really want to do this? Uncertainty C just reframing it empowers you excites

[00:08:57] Jolie Downs: [00:08:57] no, you're bringing a broader awareness to the way we use our words and the way we speak to ourselves and other people it's.

[00:09:03] Veronica Villanueva: [00:09:03] Because you're constantly either healing yourself or poisoning yourself even in the way you speak to yourself.

[00:09:12] Even in the way you think of yourself throughout the day. So I'm so sorry, Julie, what was that?

[00:09:20] Jolie Downs: [00:09:20] Yeah.

[00:09:23] Veronica Villanueva: [00:09:23] I am so in the moment there and I got stuck there

[00:09:26] Jolie Downs: [00:09:26] it's so true. It was a very powerful, and I was just curious because you've had a lot of challenges really. What you went through

[00:09:31]It's insane. And I was just curious out of all of the things, what was the greatest and what you learned from it, what were your takeaway was from it? What was the gift that you got from that?

[00:09:40] Veronica Villanueva: [00:09:40] There are so many gifts, but I will say to you the one, the hardest, like truth bomb

[00:09:48] Jolie Downs: [00:09:48] Yeah.

[00:09:49] Veronica Villanueva: [00:09:49] is disruptors in life. And mine is cancer and divorce. Nasty betrayal, divorce all at once.

[00:10:03] Jolie Downs: [00:10:03] Ooh. All at

[00:10:03] once. Oh,

[00:10:05] Veronica Villanueva: [00:10:05] So what I learned out of all of this is that if you do not know you are, what you're made of at your raw form, it's going to be very hard to navigate life. In a happy and joyful way, because life is hard. I will say that to you,

[00:10:34] Jolie Downs: [00:10:34] Yes. And there's a lot of people struggling right?

[00:10:35] now in various ways. Do some divorce, some cancer, some just unemployment, trying to find work, grief, different things. What advice would you give someone who is struggling to help them lift themselves out of it?

[00:10:58] Veronica Villanueva: [00:10:58] it's counterintuitive, but be alone, stay alone, listen to all the voices, but there are voices. And then there will be only one. You go from voices to one voice and no one that stays is yours

[00:11:19] Jolie Downs: [00:11:19] Stripping away all of the other people's influences.

[00:11:23] Veronica Villanueva: [00:11:23] who you listened to. And that's where that's when and where you find the answer.

[00:11:29] Jolie Downs: [00:11:29] yeah. Oh, I like that. Ooh. Can I want to say the kind answer

[00:11:34] Veronica Villanueva: [00:11:34] Yes. Yes. Yes.

[00:11:36] Jolie Downs: [00:11:36] if you have a voice inside, that can be me.

[00:11:39] Veronica Villanueva: [00:11:39] And the mean voice you have to be kind to that mean voice because that voice needs healing

[00:11:47] Jolie Downs: [00:11:47] oh,

[00:11:47] Veronica Villanueva: [00:11:47] and you can it's you heal your healing by actually noticing it, observing it that in itself when okay. That not so nice side of Veronica came out. It's okay. We get you.

[00:12:04] We understand you, but we're not going to continue to speak to ourselves that way, because it's disempowering. There's enough things around us that are disempowering. The last thing we want to do is self-induced disempowering,

[00:12:22] Jolie Downs: [00:12:22] completely agree. I completely agree. Yes. And we all do too much.

[00:12:26]Veronica Villanueva: [00:12:26] So your own home, which is your space, your body, everything your mind has to be framed so positively to support you, to empower you, to love you because someone out there can have a different plan

[00:12:47] Jolie Downs: [00:12:47] Yeah.

[00:12:48] Veronica Villanueva: [00:12:48] and you have to stand still in the midst of this tornado.

[00:12:53] And you have to be right there and saying with a smile. I know who I am. Nobody can tell me anything. I don't feel nobody can tell me what to do. Nobody can tell me how I feel. Only I can tell you that. And that's power. When other people see that you're untouchable, nobody wants to mess with you. You're unmessable.

[00:13:25] Jolie Downs: [00:13:25] Yes.

[00:13:26] Veronica Villanueva: [00:13:26] and that's how I feel.

[00:13:27] And that I have to say Jolie, it's one of the best gifts I've received is knowing who I am and knowing doing a crisis that V is going to stand still and hopefully add to the certainty that's lacking during that moment. That's the ability that's lacking. I hope to add to that and be that for many people.

[00:13:58] Jolie Downs: [00:13:58] great. So you had this diagnosis, you. Put on the right mindset, you embodied that frame of mind and lived it. So you went out and studied and essentially created the products that you are now selling that helped save your life. Correct.

[00:14:16] Veronica Villanueva: [00:14:16] Yes.

[00:14:16] Jolie Downs: [00:14:16] So tell me a

[00:14:17] Veronica Villanueva: [00:14:17] Well it's again, I can't take credit for this. As a disclaimer, God's given this, I'm just a vessel. I really am. Who does this, fights through cancer, and I'm not glorifying myself because this is crazy fights. And heals herself nine months later, writes a book about it.

[00:14:36]During the fight and, launches, a cannabis company, who's a can of preneur that, that's what they're calling me. Who's I guess a cannabis entrepreneur. It's great. How language just keeps changing.


[00:14:49]And and now, and we have 16 skews, so it's a robust product line.

[00:14:55] And Jolie, you know what it is, it's just, that's when you know, you're being guided. That's when, you're just a vessel. Even the company name alive Well thrive. The fact that it's a lifestyle company, wellness company, so alive Well thrive are the three words. And I love words as I said, language, even though English is my second language and maybe, perhaps that's why, so the word alive, well thrive.

[00:15:23] Very strong words alive. It is something that you want when you can't have it. These five doctors tried to tell me I can't have that anymore. So there was an obsession to me being alive. And then after I chose to made the mental decision to be alive, as you have to now support that with actions.

[00:15:51] To being well, so I knew, okay, Veronica, you want to be alive? What kind of a life does that look like? So I had to define the life that I wanted to create because the life I was leaving the divorce, I, I couldn't wait to leave that. So I got excited about the new life I wanted to create and completely forgot I had cancer and involved my mind and everything in this new life.

[00:16:21] Then I started taking actions and becoming healthy, being well, eating right. Sleeping, making sure I was with the right people, doing all the activities that I knew that would get me while again, and then boom, one day while I'm thriving. No more disease. How the hell did I? I do this. I was just living. I was just living.

[00:16:46] Jolie Downs: [00:16:46] did your doctors say? I'm curious. What was that like?

[00:16:49] Veronica Villanueva: [00:16:49] doctor is a very nice man. He just basically said keep doing whatever it is that you're doing.

[00:16:58] Jolie Downs: [00:16:58] Thanks doctor.

[00:16:59] Veronica Villanueva: [00:16:59] Yeah. I choose to always be positive. People are always going to be who they are and I'm going to be who I am. That's it.

[00:17:13] Jolie Downs: [00:17:13] No. That's fantastic. So have you adopted any specific habits

[00:17:17] that have helped you? Okay. Tell me about, tell me the ones that have really served you.

[00:17:21]Veronica Villanueva: [00:17:21] Learning how to say no.

[00:17:24] Jolie Downs: [00:17:24] Ooh. Yes. Isn't that a big

[00:17:26] one for women

[00:17:27] Veronica Villanueva: [00:17:27] Yes. Learning how to say no. And learning how to say yes. And redefining what yes. Means yes. With boundaries. Yes. With boundaries. Yes. Doesn't mean it's limitless. Yes. It doesn't mean that you get to walk all over me. Yes. Means I'm listening. Okay. And I get to tell you whether I will be able to do that for you.

[00:17:51] Without compromising myself without compromising my me being, I matter, because whenever we prioritize something, there's always something that we're not prioritizing.

[00:18:06] Jolie Downs: [00:18:06] yes.

[00:18:07] Veronica Villanueva: [00:18:07] So like for now, like right now I'm dating again and that's big because before cancer, what got me sick is giving to everyone. But me. So I'm afraid I was a to date again and lose myself and take care of the man and lose me because V is super woman. She can handle anything. She'll do, she can handle 20 things at the same time.

[00:18:32]Guess what? I only want to handle one thing from now on

[00:18:36] Jolie Downs: [00:18:36] Yeah,

[00:18:36] Veronica Villanueva: [00:18:36] multitasking. I want to get an F on that.

[00:18:41] Jolie Downs: [00:18:41] you do when want to handle one

[00:18:43] Veronica Villanueva: [00:18:43] Exactly. And I'm proud to say that to all I want to do. Because I really got good at multitasking and it got me sick too.

[00:18:51] Jolie Downs: [00:18:51] Yeah. Let's

[00:18:52] Veronica Villanueva: [00:18:52] I'm not doing that again. So if there is anything, is don't forget who you are, what you are and that you matter. So that if you constantly saying what is this gonna do to these time, quality time?

[00:19:04]What is this going to do to Veronica's exercise schedule? What is this going to do to my bedtime schedule? All of that. And I'm not saying you have to be so stiff, I'm not, but when you start compromising and it adds up, that's when resentment starts adding up,


[00:19:24] We don't want that. And it can be towards your parents in, towards your children, towards your best friend, towards anybody.

[00:19:31] No, even to yourself, because you abandoned yourself.

[00:19:35] Jolie Downs: [00:19:35] you're so right. And then you take it out on other people when you ha when you have, are angry at yourself and you're not taking

[00:19:41]Veronica Villanueva: [00:19:41] Because you neglected yourself.

[00:19:43] Jolie Downs: [00:19:43] Yes. That's so important in that we, and we see what happens when we neglect

[00:19:46] Veronica Villanueva: [00:19:46] Yeah. So it's very important to live a life that is alive well and thriving. And, I that's, if you want to know what kind of life I live, that's it, a live wall thrive. And then I also have the habits and the behaviors and the skills to support that. And then the layer of products. That's what I go by.

[00:20:08] I live Walt's wife. All the supporting behaviors, all the lifestyles that include that goal. And then I empower myself and the rest of everyone else in the different channels that I have so that they have access to my products, access to me, coaching to my ad, to all our education, it goes from ground zero to thriving.

[00:20:30] Jolie Downs: [00:20:30] Yes, that's wonderful. Now I know you need to wrap up here soon. Before we go, I'd love to ask you my favorite question. What are you sure of in life?

[00:20:41] Veronica Villanueva: [00:20:41] one thing I am very sure of in life is we are only guaranteed of one thing. One thing change. So get good at loving change. And welcoming change. Good and bad.

[00:21:03] Jolie Downs: [00:21:03] Yeah,

[00:18:52] Veronica Villanueva: [00:18:52] I'm not doing that again. So if there is anything, is don't forget who you are, what you are and that you matter. So that if you constantly saying what is this gonna do to these time, quality time?


[00:21:09] Jolie Downs: [00:21:09] exactly. It's all about the

[00:21:11] right word,

[00:21:11] Veronica Villanueva: [00:21:11] right. That's right. So that's what that's that to me is the most important thing.

[00:21:17] Jolie Downs: [00:21:17] That's a wonderful now. And if people want to find you, they, I will have on the show notes, your website.


[00:21:22] Which has

[00:21:24] Veronica Villanueva: [00:21:24] So, it's Veronica. So Veronica Villenueva that's V I double L a N U E V as in Veronica, and then alive, is where my products that's the home of my babies. Check us out there. Thrive is more a, of a CBD line. That's my pantry kitchen pantry line. We have an immune boost.

[00:21:49]With ashwagandha, I'm all over, like how to boost your immune system detox at the same time. So come and visit us. That website is a may guide. You can just, it's like a home pike yourself in there and learn as much as you can about how to empower yourself, your entire being

[00:22:08] Jolie Downs: [00:22:08] Oh, I'm going to be checking out more of your products as well. Your website is amazing. It's wonderful. Everyone should check it out. So yeah. Thank you, so much for sharing your story and spending time with us today. I really appreciate it.

[00:22:23] Veronica Villanueva: [00:22:23] I am so excited for you about your project and I'm so happy to be part of it. So please, anything I can do to help in that journey of yours. I'm excited. So yes, anything don't hesitate and thank you for having me.

[00:22:39] Jolie Downs: [00:22:39] We loved it.

[00:22:40] Thank you. Veronica.

How powerful is Veronica’s story. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be told that you have six months to live. To be told that you need to start planning for your death. I LOVE, I absolutely LOVE that Veronica’s response to this was to reject it. To say NO. I choose LIFE. I will not plan for my death, I will instead plan for my LIFE. She made the choice to focus on creating the life she wanted to see for herself. She stayed focused on the things she could control and let go of the things she could not, eliminating an unhappy marriage and work that no longer fulfilled. She looked around her, figuring out what it was she WANTED in her life and then she brought that into her life. She got so excited about creating and embodying this new life that she was fully living and thriving instead of focusing on the cancer.

Veronica’s perspective is one we can all learn from. Our perspective, our mindset and how we think, this changes our world. Adopting a positive mindset is one of the more transformative practices you can bring into your life. And let’s be clear, this is a practice. As I’ve talked about before, we are born with that negative mindset, the gift that was given to us by our caveman ancestors, a positive mindset is one that is adopted. It’s a choice. It’s a practice.

As Veronica shares, life prepares you for challenges and whatever is being thrown at you is supposed to bring out the best in you, not the worst in you. I agree, and I loved Veronica’s method for moving through those difficult times. With each decision she would ask herself, what would a good person do when dealing with this? And then she would do whatever that is. What a simple, effective hack for life’s difficult moments. When you find you are spinning in whatever situation life has presented you with, think about Veronica and Ask yourself. What would a good person do in this situation? And then go do that. Then ask again, now what would a good person do in this situation and then again, go do that. And so forth and so on.

The power of belief is absolutely awesome. Our minds are capable of so much more than we realize. Our brains are our super computers and our self talk and beliefs are the programs that will run it. Tell yourself you are terrible with directions – you got it, you’ll be terrible with directions. Tell yourself and others that you never remember names, your brain says, check, never remembering names.

When you argue for your limitations, when you mentally and verbally embrace them, then you get to keep them.

This has been proven in countless studies. In one test, Scientists gave people something that was not fattening but told the subjects it was incredibly fattening and they found that just the belief that something would cause weight gain had an actual physical response in the body. That’s right people, tell yourself you’ll gain a pound by looking at those cookies and you might be creating a self fulfilling prophecy.

Whatever you are telling yourself, those thoughts become unconscious programs for our mind.

This is why so many people tend to get sicker once they are given their diagnosis. Naturally their thoughts run towards the negative of whatever diagnosis was given and their brains begin to react to the information. This emotional/physical effect happens to us in other ways when we are fired or let go, when we struggle to find that right next role, when we struggle in our relationships – difficult situations trigger a negative thought bias, most often towards yourself, but you can train your brain in the opposite direction. All you need is awareness. Every time those negative thoughts slip in, be aware that it is happening and then consciously replace that thought with its most positive opposite. This will feel like work but the more you do it the more natural it will become. Eventually your mindset will become a super power.

As Veronica shared, it’s incredibly important that we pay attention to the words we are using. Instead of using the word struggle, use the word opportunity – reframe your language and you will help reframe your thoughts and feelings. As Veronica shared, think about what a word does to your body. The word struggle feels heavy, negative, hard, uncertain, it’s a contracting feeling in your body, an avoiding feeling right?

The word opportunity, now that’s a great word, it brings forth excitement, curiosity, a smile, a can’t wait feeling. It’s an expanding, opening up feeling in the body right? This is another really important life hack. You can change the way you feel about a situation by changing the way you talk about it. You have the power to choose and define how anything will impact you.

I also try to reframe certain situations I may not be looking forward to. What I’ll do is add it to my bucket list. I keep an active bucket list going and you should to – and when I’m faced with that sinking feeling in my gut about something that I don’t want to do, I know it sounds funny, but I’ll physically write it down and add it to my bucket list. All of sudden, I made that thing an opportunity or adventure. It feels different. It’s now an experience in my mind, a human experience that I get to go through and learn from as opposed to something I have to deal with. It makes everything feel different, and it makes the experience of the situation, whatever it is, so much better than what it would have been. Not to mention the satisfaction of making that check once done. These simple mind shifts make life so much more enjoyable.

What have you been dealing with in life that could use a change in perspective? Is there any way to reframe the difficulty you’ve been dealing with to discover what the gift might be?

Let’s all learn from and be more like Veronica. Remind yourself that you get to make a choice. When faced with difficult situations, choose to believe that something awful could not be in front of you, instead believe whatever is in front of you is there disguised as a gift and it’s up to you to discover what it is.

And once that gift is discovered, please take another cue from Veronica and share it with the world. After all, what we’ve learned through all of these Fresh Blood conversations is that helping others ends up being the best way to help yourself.

Veronica also shares great advice, that in order to navigate life in a happy and joyful way, you must know who you are. Get back in touch with yourself. Spend time alone, practice self love and self-gratitude. Make a list of all the things that make you you, all of your strengths and accomplishments, all the good you do. Spend enough time that you can listen to all of the voices, as Veronica said, being kind to the mean voices and letting them strip away until you are left with only one. The empowering one. The one that is yours. The one that knows your purpose. The one that knows you are enough.

When you know who you are you are untouchable. No one can tell you what to feel, no one can tell you what to do, you own your life and that is power.

When you own that power, you learn how to say no and how to say yes. I loved how Veronica put it, redefining what yes means. Yes with boundaries. Yes doesn’t mean limitless. Yes doesn’t mean you get to walk all over me. Yes means I am listening and I’ll be able to do for you without compromising myself, without forgetting that I also matter.

Can you feel that? Can you feel how important that distinction is? I know so many who give and give without boundaries, that is as equally unhealthy as those who don’t give at all. You want to give yourself the attention and love that you deserve so that you are overflowing in your inner abundance and then able to easily and freely give to others. You must take care of yourself in order to thrive.

It makes me think of the bougainvillea and roses in our backyard. Gorgeous and thriving bougainvillea that I decided to have my youngest be in charge of watering. Months went by without me checking and when I went outside I found them completely bone dry and dead. When I got upset and asked my son what happened and he said he forgot to water them, why would I put him in charge of something that was so important to me. Good point. Good question.

What is more important than your own life?

Make sure you don’t put anyone else in charge of your body and souls health and happiness.

I left those bougainvillea for another month or two thinking they would need to be tossed. Then one day I thought, well, before I go buy more, maybe I should just try watering these for a few weeks and see what happens. I added some fresh soil for food and started watering them every day and within a week new leaves started to bloom on the dead looking branches. Within a couple of weeks the bougainvillea flowers started blooming and little shoots starting forming on the rose bush. Amazing what happens when you get fed what you need.

Do not abandon yourself and let your soul get dry, but, if you happen to forget and find yourself aching of thirst, all you have to do is feed and water your soul with the right ingredients to make yourself bloom again. Keep yourself Alive, Well and Thriving.

I’ll leave you with Veronica’s final thought, that the only thing we can be sure of in life is change. So we all need to get good at welcoming change. So this is my wish for us all, that when change comes in the form of something we don’t like, we’ll remember Veronica’s story and reframe our situation, choosing our words carefully and finding the gift in every stage of life.

Until next time.

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