rrrepeat : connecting stories

life is a magical experience

 by nícia cruz

it was not too long ago when i bumped in aileen’s youtube channel: lavendaire. i was hooked at the first video and, since then, i couldn’t stop watching them. or listening to her podcasts. her voice is so soothing, her words are so inspiring, her message so admirable.

i thought about inner-viewing her, share a bit of her story and worldview, and in all her kindness she replied. unravel her words and create your own magic:

you once said “i had to put myself out with no reward”. what motivated you to keep going? what saved you from quitting?

before i started lavendaire, i already tried to start so many things previously.

so, i had a music youtube that was just a hobby in high-school and college. but when i graduated from college, i decided to take it seriously. so, i was seriously pursuing music as a career and trying to, like, put out youtube videos and i made an album, i was performing a lot and i was pursuing that and i was also pursuing like hosting, and acting and i also had like a part-time job.

and basically i learned that the one thing that is so important in building a brand or building any kind of business or company is you have to be consistent. and i knew that, in my music, i was never consistent. because it was hard to make a new song or video every week with music. and, basically, i just learned a lot of lessons and i felt like i never found success in those first few years because i was never able to be super consistent, i was never able to commit to one certain thing, i was kind of like spread out in all these different directions. and so, when i started lavendaire, i had all those lessons i already learned in the past and i knew that the one thing i never been able to do was consistency. so, that was like my most important thing to make a channel, and make consistent videos, one video a week, just to be so stubborn about that consistency and see where it would take me.

and yeah, it’s the first time that i was ever that consistent with something and i made videos every week for like a year. and then the second year came on and it really started to grow, like around year two and two and a half, which is like this year when lavendaire finally started to grow. so i think during those tough years, where nothing was growing, the only thing that motivated me to keep going was that stubborn, being very stubborn about being consistent because i knew that was the one factor i’ve never been able to do. i just wanted to try it out and see if it would happen, if it would come out well because i’ve heard so many successful people talk about that.

and what saved me from quitting was, i guess… i mean, first of all, i really enjoyed what i was doing. i was doing it for no pay for like years. and you have to have that inner passion, naturally. and what saved me from quitting was because i have that mindset that as long as you don’t give up, you haven’t failed. so if you just keep going and really be consistent about it, i believe with anything you can be successful, as long as you just keep going. and so i really wanted to test out that theory. like, am i really going to succeed if i just be consistent and keep going no matter what? i don’t care if it takes one year, or two years, five years, 10 years. i wanted to see how long. like, if it works. and that was my mindset and I guess it worked because consistency really showed progress.

what is the biggest lesson life taught you?

one of the biggest lessons i’ve learned about life is to take life less seriously {giggle}. when growing up i was always very ambitious, i always wanted a goal. and in college my struggles were so dramatic, i was like: i don’t know what to do with my life. and like: this has to be perfect, i have to get the perfect job and i want the perfect life and blah blah blah. i think when you’re young, you’re just so optimistic, and then, in reality, it’s not that easy.

you know you can set a goal and you can try to get it, but you probably won’t get it on the first time. and it’s not always going to be easy. life is so much more fun when you can learn to take it less seriously, when, you know, you’re not so hard on yourself. because the pain and the struggle and the melodramatic parts of life really come from the pressure you put on yourself, kind of like you have high expectations for yourself whether it’s in your career, whether it’s in your love life or your friendships or whatever. when you have such high expectations and the reality doesn’t meet those expectations, you’re going to be disappointed and you’re going to be hurt. but if you look at life from a more playful point of view, like life doesn’t really have to be that stressful, it doesn’t have to be that difficult because it doesn’t have to be that perfect. so learning to see life as something very light and playful, something you shouldn’t take so seriously has really shaped my mind, it really helped me become a happier person and really let me let go and release myself from my expectations. like whatever happens, happens. i also love the quote: i don’t mind what happens. i love to have that mindset because you just live life in the present moment, day by day. don’t be so attached to any certain outcome and don’t be so stubborn in trying to make things go your way because, you know, like, life is a magical experience, it’s a journey and it should be enjoyable. life is not meant to be like a struggle. i mean, yeah, there are hard times but the hard times are harder if you are harder on yourself, if you know what i mean. so the hard times if you can learn to see it in a more playful view and not take life so seriously, don’t take yourself so seriously, learn to laugh at yourself, learn to laugh at your mistake,s learn to laugh at the hard times. or find something beautiful, or something happy in the hard times. there’s just so many different angles you can take this, but in general, yeah, don’t take life so seriously.

what would you tell to someone who’s feeling lost? what worked out for you / what is your experience?

so i think i have a podcast exactly on this topic. podcast episode number three on the lavendaire lifestyle. you can find it on soundcloud or itunes. it’s called «you don’t have to have it all figured out. keep exploring, don’t settle». that’s the episode i direct to everybody who comes to me who talks about being lost in life. because it’s a natural part of life, when you’re feeling lost. it’s actually a good thing because your inner compass knows that what’s in front of you is not what you want. and you actually want something else, you’re just not sure what that something else is just yet. and the best thing you can do is not to just sit around and think about it, the best thing you can do is to go out and take action in an area that you’re curious about. i’m sure you have some hints to what you’re supposed to do, any interest, any curiosities, any passions. follow those little clues and take action. you don’t know until you get out there and try it out for yourself, actually experience whatever it is you’re curious about. so my best advice is to go out and explore whatever it is you’re interested in and if it works, if you like it, then keep going in that direction. but if you find that you don’t like it, that’s totally fine. you’ve crossed one thing off your list. now move on to the next thing. what else do you think you’re interested in? so it really is about experimenting and exploring. and you don’t have to be so over-dramatic about it. i was totally super dramatic about being lost because i felt like i was wasting my time. i felt like oh my god the time is ticking, i want to be successful soon. i want to just get there now. but instead of making it so dramatic, it’s a bad experience, you should really look at it from another perspective. kind of like, this is actually a great time of your life because your options are completely laid out in front of you. it’s like open fields and that’s actually a positive thing. it’s so beautiful, anything can happen. there’s so much potential for you and your future. and that’s a really exciting place to be. so it’s kind of like the playing field is there, you can choose whatever you want. you have a huge playground like: do you want to go on the swings first? the slide first or?… i don’t know, whatever it is. you have to go out there and explore it. and that’s how you take baby steps here and there. and also another thing that guided me was really whatever felt right. i took a step in whatever felt right to me, kind of like when i was lost i had all these options in front of me. i think intuitively you know what direction feels good and what direction does not feel good.

so it really is about getting close to your own intuition, listening to your heart. and you know you might want to journal, maybe journaling can help you communicate with yourself better and get a better feel for what you want and what you don’t want. but really, you have to get out there try things. trial and error until eventually you won’t be lost anymore.

you failed, had some step-backs, and yet you’re successful. what is your perspective on mistakes and failure? what made you persevere?

thank you for thinking that. so i mean, now i’m sure you’ve heard this and i feel like everybody should have this mindset that mistakes and failures are not bad, they’re actually good. there’s that saying in entrepreneurship: “to fail forward”, that means that every failure that you make, launches you, it takes you a step forward. because it’s kind of like you figure it out. you, whatever, whenever you fail you learn a lesson and you probably learn many lessons and that helps you for the future. and also when you fail at something it’s kind of like: oh i just learned one way that didn’t work. let me try another way. so they say when thomas edison invented the light he tried like a thousand times before he could finally make the light bulb turn on. so it wasn’t that he failed a thousand times. it was that like he found a thousand times that didn’t work. so that’s not the exact quote. and that’s not the exact number but you get what i’m saying, right?

every failure and every mistake takes you forward and failures and mistakes are good things. every week you should ask yourself: where did i failed and what mistakes did i make this week? and you can learn from that. and if you find that you didn’t make any failures or mistakes lately then that shows you that you’re not pushing yourself enough, you’re not challenging yourself enough. and so that gives you a clue to take more risks in your life. and i mean, what made you persevered is so many things. obviously that mindset of Failing Forward like i said earlier too. i believe that as long as you keep trying you’ll never fail in the in the big scheme of things.

my heart was set on going into media, as a personality. my dream has always been to be like an oprah kind of person. and i’ve always wanted to write books and be on tv or whatever it is. so i mean i knew that for me there was no plan b, like this was it. once i started youtube, i knew i wanted to make this my career. i wanted to turn it into something big like this is the first step to launching like you know who i wanted to be in the future.

so i think that’s a big part of it. like persevering no matter what. because this is the plan that i want to be, you know. i was lost but once i found the thing that i wanted to be, like i knew with all my heart, that i’m going to stay in this lane or just do something with this for the rest of my life. so another thing that helped me really learn the practice of perseverance: i did this 90 day meditation. it’s like part of kundalini yoga and i have a video, a couple of videos, on my channel when i was doing this called patience, commitment and perseverance. and i have another one where i updated on like how it’s done. but basically it was like a 90 day meditation challenge where every day you would meditate in this position, where one arm is like up and one arm is down. and you have to hold it for nine minutes straight and to hold your arms up for nine minutes straight. it actually takes a lot of muscle and your arms start shaking and it hurts and it’s tiring. but the point of the meditation was to have a fresh start like after you finished the meditation.

it re-energizes you in some way but throughout that meditation like you know each day you’re like one day further and no matter how much it hurts, no matter how much you want to put your arms down and stop the meditation. i just thought to myself like these three words “patience, perseverance, commitment”. because first you have to have patience and you learn that as you meditate time will pass, time is constantly moving and the time will pass itself. you can’t be impatient, just be patient that time will pass, like you just wait. and then perseverance: keep going no matter what.

like the woman who i watched the video teaching this meditation she was like if you ever think about giving up don’t, like her answer was just like just don’t give up, don’t. because if you give up in that meditation you’d have to start all over again.

so for example if you were like on day 20 and you wanted to give up you’re like no i don’t want to give up because once i give up i have to start all over again from day one and is kind of like you want to keep the momentum going and that’s a lesson that i applied to life and everything too, like to keep the momentum going to persevere. and lastly, commitment. because to really be able to persevere in something you have to commit, you have to make that decision that you’re going to do this no matter what. and like i said, i decided that this was what i wanted to do with my life, so i made that really strong commitment.

in your first  podcast – be stronger than your fears, bolder than your insecurities – you talk about your journey into music and all the fears you had. do you think fear is a missed opportunity? how did you stop letting your insecurities rule your life and let your personality shine?

i believe you can still have fear and go forward to do the action anyway – those are the times where you really grow. i didn’t stop letting my insecurities rule my life. they still do. they still live in me. but it’s kind of like i’m stronger than them, than i used to be before i quit. i guess you’re just scared, you’re too scared to be brave enough to take these actions. but I mean, i think i just got fed up with it. i realize that anything worth doing in life, anything that’s meaningful, and fulfilling, anything that will make you successful too is outside of your comfort zone. any growth happens outside of your comfort zone and your insecurities, like feeding your insecurities is like staying in your comfort zone. so i knew that if i wanted to move forward in life, and grow, i would have to overcome my insecurities, or at least kind of like be stronger than my insecurities. so i think it takes practice. i think you grow stronger by just kind of taking action even when you’re scared and you just start doing it by doing little things like maybe if you’re scared to be on stage, maybe you perform something in front of your family, give a speech somewhere like in a small setting and then you upgrade to a bigger stage, and a bigger stage. and whatever it is that you’re insecure about or you have fears over. i think to face your fears is the best way to overcome them. and i mean it’s a constant practice. it really is.

but i think a lot of it is like being honest with yourself first of all, being aware of those insecurities and those fears. once you’re aware of them you can realize, like you can understand where they come from. you know you have insecurities because maybe when you were a child you were bullied about certain aspects of yourself and you can see where it comes from and then you can see like that it really isn’t about you. you can understand the bully: they bullied you because they were probably insecure about something in their life or that they didn’t have a good life at home so they had to take it out on someone else. and then you realize that it’s not about you, it was about them so you don’t take it as personally. and being aware of your insecurities first of all is like a great way to start to release them. and then, like i said, facing them through taking some action in some way.

in your opinion, what do we need to do to be able to forgive? where can we find the love and strength to do that?

i think i do talk about this in my podcast episode number two. rewrite your stories through the eyes of love, about forgiving people who have hurt you in the past.

the book that really helps me tackle forgiveness was the four agreements by don miguel ruiz and in that book he talks about forgiveness in a way that you should forgive others for hurting you in the past. you don’t have to tell them that you forgive them, but you have to forgive them in your heart. not just because all humans deserve love and forgiveness but because it benefits you to forgive others. if you don’t forgive people you always hold that grudge and that negativity in you and that’s never good.

so if you can be able to forgive someone in your heart, then it lets you be free, lets you be at peace and in full. it’s kind of like if you love yourself enough then you will forgive everyone who’s ever hurt you because you don’t want to keep hurting over that situation.

so ways to forgive is to see the other person as a human being kind of like really bring that person as close to you as possible. imagine that person’s like your brother, or your sister, or your mother, or your father, whatever it is. like, that person is your family and that person deserves love. or another way to do it is: you can imagine that person as a child, a child that needs love. imagine a child who’s crying, and lonely. imagine the person who hurt you as a child, who’s sad, and cry, and is lonely. and then, every child deserves love. we’re all human beings, we all deserve love and so if you can find that connection through love, then you’ll start to become compassionate, and empathetic towards that person. and you’ll find that you’ll be able to forgive them a little easier. and it really varies on what kind of situation this is. it might be harder to forgive others than some people but i guess ultimately it’s about finding the love in the situation, seeing the love, and seeing that everyone makes mistakes, everyone has insecurities, everyone’s flawed and everyone deserves to have love at the end of the day, no matter what mistakes they’ve made in the past.

and for last, let’s get silly! if there was a next life, would you reincarnate in yourself? why? / why not?

so you’re asking if i would reincarnate into myself again? i would say maybe not because i would like to experience different things and i mean i wouldn’t mind to reincarnate into myself because when you reincarnate you completely forget who you used to be. i believe that in each lifetime you’re meant to learn something, right? and you keep reincarnate, every lifetime you learn something new. so i would like to learn something new from different perspectives.

yeah, i mean, i wouldn’t mind reincarnating into myself because i really enjoy my life and i think i’m very, very, very blessed. i live in the first world and i have so much more than, you know, most people in the world.

but, i mean, i don’t think it would be fun to do the exact same thing over again. i think you have to try something new, learn new lessons, and see things from a new perspective. but then again, you wouldn’t even remember who you were before. so that’s a trick question.

 

yup, i guess it was a tricky question. but aileen gave a great answer don’t you think? if you enjoyed this inner-view share it with a friend. you can find aileen on youtube, instagram, twitter, soundcloud, itunes and snapchat {@lavendaire}.

what have you learn with this inner-view? how do you overcome failure? tell your story in the comments!

be magic,

n.



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