By acknowledging that love is an action and not an emotion, it also allows us to hold negative feelings and thoughts and tackle them without avoiding truths that can help us in the long run.

Can you share with us a little about your background, experience and your passions in life?

My name is Rocio Flores and I am a SELF-Development coach. I came across this profession by having to go through the journey myself and recognizing the need for more of us in this world, to just be ourselves. I am 27 years old and in my pretty short life, I have experienced change and adversity that deeply affected my ability to develop a strong and unwavering sense of self.

I am an immigrant, I have struggled with various mental illnesses, and I am a survivor of domestic violence. These types of circumstances tend to attack our identity and keep us from developing in the areas of our life that we can’t avoid. Over that last 6 years, I have focused on learning about health&wellness, personal development, and career development since these are the unavoidable areas of our lives that we are constantly making decisions in whether we are aware of our how our ideas about our SELF are affecting those decisions. We work, we eat, we grow.

I have realized through my own passions for justice, art, education, and truth that my faith, my culture, and my environment held very strong bonds to my sense of self and these ideas were affecting my ability to make changes that resulted in real long-term growth in those areas of my life that I really couldn’t avoid.

We can go our whole lives not questioning our faith, our culture, our upbringing and force on to try and make changes that deny our passions but promise success, yet at the end of the day, an undeveloped sense of SELF will only lead to a life that isn’t FOR us. I am passionate about leading a life of my choosing and helping others do so as well.

What would you say are your top 3 core values in life?

Love, Truth, and Choice. and I would go as far as to say that I don’t believe any of these three can exist independent of each other.

If you could select one piece of advice that you feel the world needs to listen to and bring into reality, what would it be?

Love is an action not an emotion and when we truly love, we see a change in ourselves, our loved ones, and our world. Because love is active, we can CHOOSE to take actions that are loving and by loving our TRUE selves, we create patterns in our… Click To Tweet

What is your “secret ingredient” for a happier and fulfilling life?

Seeking the truth that is most loving. Sometimes we tell ourselves some really mean stuff and when we ask ourselves if it’s true, sometimes it is… but that doesn’t make it the most helpful thing to say to ourselves and so when we add that extra filter of…”is this also loving?”…then we see how truth can create positive change.

By acknowledging that love is an action and not an emotion, it also allows us to hold negative feelings and thoughts and tackle them without avoiding truths that can help us in the long run. Click To Tweet

Which habit do you think is making you a better, happier and healthier person?

Admitting and being honest about when I don’t feel better, happier, or healthier. We can’t change what we won’t admit is a problem and we can’t know that we need to make strides towards something better if we don’t allow ourselves to sit with what isn’t great right now.

It is actually really hard to just let ourselves sit with negative emotions or ideas and so we end up trying to make changes that are too abstract and don’t actually affect the situation we are trying to change.

By being honest about our current state and the specifics of what we are judging as not being great or best for us, we can really break down the patterns that are in place and make substantive change.

How did you build this habit?

Very slowly and timidly and in very safe environments. It isn’t culturally automatic to admit to negativity and so it can be scary and difficult but patterns get stronger with time and I promise, it gets easier and more empowering as time goes by.

What helps you when you are stressed or anxious?

Breathing. Taking a moment to actually stop and do a breathing exercise. While it may feel useless or simple, it does a world of wonder to actually choose to allow yourself a moment of peace and rest.

Are you into journaling/bujo? If yes, in what way do you journal?

I have stacks and stacks of journals. I have never done well with “Dear Diary” style journaling so I write down notes, random sentences, sketches, quotes, ideas, thoughts, or even just feelings.

I like being able to look back and remember what I was feeling and why I wrote down what I did and recognizing how much has changed or acknowledging what hasn’t.

Do you practice mindfulness? If yes, why did you start and what do you like about the practice of mindfulness?

Over ten years ago I took a course on conflict resolution and our teacher spent the entire semester trying to teach us mindfulness. He had us read a book about knowing ourselves and had us turn in a giant binder filled with tasks that would make us mindful….and I hated it. I didn’t understand the benefits or how to do it right. I wasn’t being mindful…my mind was too full.

Over the last few years as I experienced loss and fear and pain… I have become more mindful because there is nowhere to go when you are in the midst of struggle, when you finally let go and just lose all energy to fight and surrender. When sitting and just letting your mind do what it needs to do is the only option… you experience a peace that is really hard to explain.

What do you do when you don’t know what to do?

I figure out what I do know and use that information to figure out what’s the next thing I need to figure out. Thankfully we live in a world where we can Google anything or at least Google something close to what you are trying to understand and eventually, you will find your path and the right steps or options to choose from.

What is the most unusual thing you are grateful for?

Sticky notes and notepads on my computer and phone. If I had to try and remember everything that pops into my head, I would hate life. I like the idea that I don’t have to be perfect or expect my brain to handle more than is possible and that we have created tools to just help us whenever we need.

What makes a “Good Day” a good day for you?

I would say that a good day for me is one where I didn’t spend a lot of my day trying to feel certain and was just okay with uncertainty.

What question I should have asked you by now that I haven’t yet…? What would your answer be?

I like how in school/work interviews we are often asked, “is there something you’d like me to know about you that we haven’t asked yet?” because it allows for us to give caveats to all the strengths we spent time trying to describe. In interviews or when we first try to get to know someone, we spend a lot of time perfectly describing our strengths and our beliefs and not enough time sharing our weaknesses and all the ways that we don’t agree without our own assertions.

So my answer would be that…I have a caveat to every single thing I say, to everything I write, or to any assertions I make. I just think most things are not simple enough or universal enough to not be explained further and I like being able to have the opportunity to do that as I get to know people. I like having and giving the benefit of the doubt.

Discover more about Rocio on her website, Instagram, or Facebook .

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