Let’s get real. I usually respond, “No” (super politely) when asked to switch my routine (also known as “take a break” or as some people call it – “vacation.”)

So when I was invited to Cuba with one of my best friends, the no was literally about to come out. Because the last time I left the country to go to London (on a second date), I came back and my mom died a week later. This most horrific moment of my life and my fear wanted me to add a “hell” with that no – a big ol’ “Hell No!”  

But instead, I said yes. Even up until the night before as I packed my bags, I was dress rehearsing every possible disaster that could happen.

What if my dog died?
What if some of my clients wouldn’t like me being gone for a week?
What if my boyfriend isn’t here when I get back?
What if Gram dies?
What if I don’t have the proper sun protection hat and get another questionable sun mark?
What if my sunscreen explodes in my bag and destroys all the expensive clothes I bought?

[Feel free to insert any other disaster because I’m sure I thought it.]

Disaster did not happen. Instead, I fell in love – with Cuba,  that is. These are a few amazing moments but most importantly I want to share that by choosing to live in fear, I was limiting my life.

I never thought I would say this but it is actually selfish to make your life ((so)) important that there is no time to stop, power down, and recharge.

I used to see this quote and think I knew exactly what it meant. “Of course,” I would think as I grew up in a home where it was indeed selfish to put yourself first. Now José was referring to his experiences – first hand – of watching a government rob his beloved country of Cuba.

But for our DiStyle learning, it applies to this idea of self-care for sure. Now let’s look at something else José Martí said…

And that is damn straight. We are so powerful and capable of magnificent things.

This happens when we believe in ourselves, commit (and recommit) and love ourselves.

Often, we rob ourselves blind when we don’t love ourselves – and I am not into theft, ok? Not loving yourself, second guessing, judgment, making excuses, and criticizing more than doing is all grand larceny in my book.

Instead, make time to:

  1. Do the things you always avoid. It can be as simple as making your bed in the morning or as extensive as leaving that job to travel and do something more meaningful to you.
  2. Stand up for what you need to be happier. Living life as a victim and complaining more than doing will not create your joy.

And while José Martí is considered one of the great turn-of-the-century Latin American intellectuals, putting any thought into action is where it’s at.

So what will you make time for? What change will become possible?

Go forth and do.

Check out a few of my favorite moments from Cuba…