Going Back To Where Everything Started With An Empowered PerspectiveApr 11, 2023
As we grow up, there are certain places or events in our lives that we begin to view differently. We gather all of these experiences that help inform how we think now, that when we look back, we start to appreciate things from a different light. Yanet Borrego went back to where everything started: in Puerto Rico, where she spent twelve years of her life. Standing on the ground, she was able to view it from an empowered perspective, far from how she looked at it while still living there with her mother in survival mode. In this episode, she shares with us this renewed sense of empowerment as she connects back to her roots. Yanet tells us about the value of forgiveness, of letting go of resentments, and of just showing up with compassion not only to others but also to ourselves.
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Going Back To Where Everything Started With An Empowered Perspective
Welcome to another episode of the show. I appreciate you so much for reading again. I'm so grateful to you. I hope you're having an amazing time. I'm recording this episode in the first week of April 2023. Let me tell you. March 2023 was such a busy month. When I look back at the month of March and even at the beginning of April 2023, there was this trend. There was this message that kept appearing for me. It kept popping up. The message was, “Going back to where everything started.”
Let me explain what this means. My husband, Cody and I were planning our next vacation. He wanted to go to Southeast Asia, which I'd never been there before but he took one year off from work before he met me and traveled around Southeast Asia. He traveled to Latin America for four months. He took a whole year and traveled around.
He speaks highly of Southeast Asia. I've been wanting to go for a while too but I felt this calling to go back to where it felt more like home to me. My husband is from Dallas so home to him is close to where we live here in Houston, Texas. It is interesting because I was born in Cuba. I lived there until I was nine years old. From there, I moved to Mexico City and lived 3 years there and then my mom and I lived for 12 years in Puerto Rico. Home for me was more of the island vibe or the Caribbean vibe. I told him, “I want to go to a place that feels more like home.”
I used to go back to Cuba to visit my family once a year but years back, my uncle passed away from cancer and my grandma passed away a few months after him. Even though my dad lives there in Cuba still, we don't have such a close relationship as I had with my uncle and grandma. I needed to go back to a place that felt like a grounding place for me to go back home. That place was Puerto Rico for me. Why? It’s because I lived there for twelve years.
Honestly, I hadn't been back to Puerto Rico since 2018. I don't have family there but I do have friends from high school. Puerto Rico is such a magical place. My mom and I went through so much there. It taught us so many lessons. I studied chemical engineering there. It prepared me so well to enter the workforce in a huge oil and gas company with an amazing salary and benefits. I'm so grateful for Puerto Rico as a place. I love the culture and the people. Even though I'm Cuban, honestly, when you hear me talk, a lot of the accent is Puerto Rico.
We agreed to go to Puerto Rico. We went and I had so much fun. I keep telling my friends in 1 week of being there, I explored so much more than 12 years when I was living in Puerto Rico and there are so many reasons. The main reason is my mom and I were in survival mode. We arrived in Puerto Rico after asking for political asylum because my mom decided she didn't want to go back to Cuba. She wanted more freedom and opportunities for me and for me to follow the American dream.
We arrived there with zero resources. My mom had an uncle that helped us at the beginning. We didn't have any network other than my mom's uncle. We didn't have any money or resources. When I look back at this experience and look at my mom, which I have the fortune of seeing every day because she lives with my husband and me, I feel this immense gratitude for the courage that she had so I could have the opportunities I have. Not only that but she sacrificed every single thing she had for us to be able to pursue the American dream.
It was those twelve years where there was a lot of survival for us, figuring things out as a child and in many ways, leading myself because she didn't know better. She was new to all this like the American system. She was new to everything like me. I had to acquire a lot of responsibility earlier on, which is honestly a lot of immigrant stories.
In those twelve years, there were a lot of ups and downs. Even though at that moment, I didn't look at it that way. It was a lot of survival and challenges that we had to face and overcome. It was so magical to go back to that place where I spent years, stand in the ground and be able to see it from a different perspective than the one I had many years ago.
That's why this episode is all about connecting back to your roots with an empowered perspective. I added the empowered perspective because so many times, based on my coaching practice and on the many people that I've taught and coached as a mentor, it is very common to look at your past and sometimes feel remorseful, shame or bad about where you came from or feel that you don't want to go back. You don't want to face that again.
I remember when I started working on corporate. It had been twelve years since my mom and I went back to Cuba to see our family. My dad, my uncle and my grandmother saw me when I was 12 years old and when I was 24 years old. There was a gap of twelve years when we didn't get to see our family because my mom was afraid to go back to Cuba. Not only that but she had so much remorse and hate for the place that she came from that she didn't want to face it again.
I finally convinced her to go back. I was like, “When I start corporate, I'm going to have ten days of vacation. That's it. If we don't go now and spend more than a week with our family, it is going to be hard to happen once I start.” She finally agreed. Everything went well. We felt safe. Everything was fine and we were able to see our family.
I'm saying this because there is so much power for you to go back to where you started and for you to go back to the place where you struggled, faced so many challenges and felt the highs and lows. There are times of highs and lows. To be able to go back with a different perspective, when I look at the big picture, I realize how the dots connect to support me to where I am.
I remember this very challenging time in my childhood when my mom lost her job. For two years, she was unemployed. She was the only source of income we had. Honestly, she wasn't earning that much. When she tell me how much she was earning back then, I'm like, “No way. That doesn't make sense.” She lost her salary. Thankfully, I landed an internship with a big oil and gas company in Minnesota. I remember it was in Saint Paul Park, Minnesota. I was being paid well. Chemical engineers, even in internships, get paid well. I remember using that money to pay the rent and every single expense that we had when I was young.
I look back and I'm so grateful for everything that we went through to get the lessons we needed to get. Many times, the lessons come in the form of problems, challenges or whatever label you want to use. Whenever we are going through challenges, we don't feel like there is a purpose. When you zoom out into the bigger picture of life or the story that you are living, you realize how much more sense those challenges had.
So many times, the lessons come in the form of challenges.
Going back was powerful. Why? It’s because I was able to see my whole life story, at least those twelve years that I was there, through a different lens. It was through a more empowered lens and a lens of a lot of gratitude and compassion for my mom, myself and everyone whom we interacted with. There was a lot of love.
This is something you can do for yourself. You can't have this exercise of going back to where everything started. Maybe it is your home. Maybe it is a high school, a college or whatever place that carries meaning to you. Maybe it is a place where you felt challenged or a place that sometimes you don't want to face because you have built a lot of resentment. Part of this journey of life is to let go of that resentment and operate from a place of forgiveness.
Sometimes, people don't understand that forgiveness doesn't have to do anything with other people. Forgiveness is all about ourselves. It is about realizing that we need to let go of the past. Holding onto the past and that resentment is not helping us. It's doing the opposite. It is damaging our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual state.
For you to move lighter, you got to let go of that resentment. You got to forgive and feel compassion for even the people that hurt you at times. I truly believe that everyone, including ourselves, is doing the best we can with the resources we have. Sometimes, it's not about other people. Sometimes, it's about forgiving ourselves for showing up differently. You were doing the best you could with the resources you had at that moment. I would encourage you to pick a place, a situation or a person. Face this person or situation from a loving and compassionate place.
One of my friends from my first corporate employer when I graduated with my bachelor was retiring. She invited me to a place where they serve barbecue, alcoholic drinks and everything else. I went and it was the same pattern of going back to my roots where everything started. With that first corporate employer, I learned so much about myself through the highlights but through many challenges too and painful moments. It was mainly at the beginning of my corporate career that I needed to work on my confidence and clarity. I was like, “Whom do I want to be?” It was the first time I asked myself that question. I wouldn't have done it if I didn’t start in that company.
I was so happy because I got to see many people that I hadn't seen in four years, which is when I left that corporate employer. Being there in that environment where I first started with different people, a lot of them helped me along the way. It was such a healing process too of going back to where everything started.
In March 2023, I went back to Puerto Rico where I started many things and faced many challenges. It was such a healing journey. I also went back to an event from my first corporate employer where I learned so much about myself and a lot of those learnings disguised as challenges, lack of fulfillment and lack of clarity. At the same time, I am so grateful for everyone who helped me along the journey and for all the lessons I learned.
A lot of the lessons in life are disguised as challenges, as lack of fulfillment, or as lack of clarity.
In April 2023, I'm going to give a speech to the 1st company where I had my 1st interview ever. I was a baby when this happened. I don't remember the exact year but it had to be 2009. I was in the second year of my Chemical Engineering degree. The first time I stepped into the mainland was when we asked for political asylum at the lateral Texas border. That was two days. That's it. I remember coming back to the mainland for a job interview. I wasn't even speaking fluent English, to be honest with you, but I always had this vision that I needed to push the boundaries of what I knew. I needed to get myself into an uncomfortable zone.
We were a group of maybe 60 to 100 people. I don't remember very well. Everyone was interviewing for these internships. I was the only one from Puerto Rico. Everyone else was from the mainland. I remember feeling so fearful and uncomfortable but the interview went so well. I did three summer internships with this company and one co-op, which is one semester. I worked with them and learned so much. I'm going to give a speech there, which is crazy because that was another place where everything started with the corporate journey that led me to my entrepreneurship journey.
I am so grateful for everything that has happened. If you're reading this show, you are seeking to grow more, contribute and make an impact in this society. Growth and contribution are part of your DNA. I was thinking everyone who reads the show, sharing this message of going back to your roots or going back to the place, person or event where everything started and looking at it from a different perspective can be so healing in this journey of self-discovery.
Remember, if you decide to go back, show up with forgiveness. It is letting go of the past and looking back at it from a mindset of celebration and reflecting on how far you have come to be where you are. It is all of the things that you had to go through to get the lessons so you could move forward with more clarity or purpose.
Also, be thankful. Be thankful for all the lessons you have gone through. It also gives you an opportunity to have a big-picture perspective. Zoom out and see how every single challenge served a purpose. Whenever we are going through pain and challenging times, we are so zoomed in on the scenario or the challenge that we don't see the bigger purpose that that challenge serves us. Going back and looking at everything through the eyes of healing and transformation can be powerful.
Also, reflect. Reflect on your past while you celebrate. If you are like me, you are very driven. You are always thinking of the next thing or what you could have done better. It is also important to look back to celebrate how far you have come. Do that. Celebrate. We got to celebrate more of who we are and where we have come from. It's so important.
I hope this episode was powerful for you. I hope you take the exercise of going back to a place that carries a lot of meaning. This can bring so much healing for yourself and the people around you. I want to leave this episode with a quote that I heard while I was listening to one of my favorite spiritual teachers, Dr. Wayne Dyer. He passed away a few years back but I still listen to many of his videos because he's amazing. Every time I listen to him talk, he is talking to my soul.
In one of his speeches, he gave this quote from T.S. Eliot, who was a poet. His art still lives on even though he doesn't. His quote is powerful and it goes in alignment with the message of this episode. Let me read this quote because it is amazing. It says, “We shall not cease from exploration. The end of all exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” What a profound quote. That's exactly how I felt when I went back to Puerto Rico and when I went back to that retirement event that I'm talking about. I'm sure that's how I'm going to feel when I give my corporate speaking engagement. It is being able to go back to that first place where everything started.
Since you have a bigger perspective, you have a more empowered perspective to be able to look at it with fresh eyes. You will be able to know that place for the first time and see it with a set of fresh eyes with a new perspective. I hope this episode was super empowering for you. Looking back and facing that place where you come from can be healing in this journey. I hope you have an amazing rest of your day. Thank you so much for reading. I'll see you soon. Bye.
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